Key terms for Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism (four points per term)
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Key Terms for the Lecture on Sikhism:
Nanak – first guru
Angad- second guru
Amar das – third guru, that introduced a variety of institutional innovations that
helped reinforce cohesion and unity of the ever-growing Sikh Panth. Founded two
annual festivals Divali and Baisakhi that provided regular oppurtunities for the
growing community to get together and meet the Guru, introduced system of
twenty-two manjis as bases for missionaries seeking to attract new converts.
Ram das – fourth guru, established town called Ramdaspur and ordered
construction of large bathing pool there. (Renamed Amritsar, nectar of
immortality). Contributed over 650 hymns to Sikh scriptures and expanded
number of melodies (ragas) to 30. The addition of these melodies made it
important to sing the sacred Word which became a distinct area within Sikhism.
Arjan – fifth guru, built the Golden Temple, in the sacred pool of Amritsar built
Ramdas, the fourth guru. This monument remains a sacred symbol for the Sikh
faith till today. Transformed scriptures into Adi Granth , definitive statement of
Sikhism’s unique spiritual stance. Had a strong stance of independence “We are
neither Hindu nor Muslim”. He was executed by emperor Jehangir , this
martyrdom was turning point pushing them towards separatism and militancy.
Hargobind – the sixth guru, signaled a new direction, by carrying two swords,
one symbolizing spiritual (piri) and the other temporal authority (miri). Took up
arms to defend themselves against Moghal hostility. Built Akal Takhat (throne of
timeless being) facing Darbar Sahib to resolve internal disputes within the
community. Moved beyond Mughal state and Kiratpur became new centre for
Harrai- seventh guru
Harkishan- eigth guru
Tegh Bahadur- ninth guru, encouraged followers to be fearless in their pursuit to
just society. Posed a direct challenge to Emperor Aurangzeb who imposed Islamic
laws and taxes, and ordered replacement of Hindu temples into Mosques. He was
summoned in Delhi and was executed when he refused to embrace Islam. His
death (second martyrdom) helped make human rights and freedom of conscience
central to identity of Sikhism.
Gobind Rai (Gobind Singh)- tenth guru,
Sufism- Is a specific sect of Islam in which the followers would follow devotional
practices towards the monotheistic God (Allah). The devotion would be shown
through the singing of devotional songs to praise God. Sufism is one of the three
influences that led to the Sant tradition, it is the Islamic influence.
Sant tradition- a tradition from North India , the term Sant means ‘holy ascetic,
or truth or saint. Bhakti(devotional practice), Tantric yoga and Sufism led to
development of Sant tradition. Tradition rejected worship of incarnation and
ignored ritual barriers between low and high castes.
Sant poets- there were many Sant poets such as Namdev, Ravidas, Kabir. These
poets would usually sing while using musical instruments.
Adi Granth – Has a literal meaning of ‘original book’ and was first compiled by
the fifth guru, Guru Arjan. Primary scripture of the Sikhs. It includes the works of
the first five Gurus and the ninth Guru as well as other contributors. Divided into
three parts, first includes prayers, middle includes bulk of musical material, and
final section includes epilogue with miscellaneous works. Not only meant to be
read but also understood, practiced and lived.
Sat Guru, Om kara- did not have a name for the divine , had ways to refer to god
which was Sat Guru or Om Kara. Sat Guru has a literal meaning of True Teacher
and Om Kara a literal meaning of Divine One. Insisted God should be
experienced and not talked about.
Mardana- A friend of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, who visited holy sites
throughout Northern India with Nanak. While Nanak preached and saught
disciples (Sikh) and sing devotional songs, Mardana would play a musical
instrument. Mardana was a Muslim and Nanak was raised as a Hindu and so this
shows how elements from both religions are present in Sikhism.
Sikh- has a literal meaning of disciples. These are the followers of the Sikhism
Khalsa – made by tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, that made his followers instantly
recognizable. The khalsa has a literal meaning of ‘pure’ ,an order of loyal Sikhs
bound by common identity and discipline. Included the development of different
practices like the Five K’s.
Akbar – a Maughal emperor during the time of the early stages of Sikhism. He
found Sikhism to be a tolerant monotheistic religion and regarded the followers as
a disciplined moral community. He was accepting of the new Sikh faith, however
his successors were distrustful about the growth of the Sikhs and thought of them
as a threat.
Kes- unshorn hair, symbolizing spirituality and saintliness
Kangha- a wooden comb. Signifying order and discipline in life.
Kachh- Pair of Short breeches, symbolizing moral restraint.
Kirpan- Miniature sword, symbolizing divine grace, dignity and courage
Kara- steel wrist ring, signifying responsibility and allegiance to the Guru
- All of the above are Five K’s
Gurdwara- daily prayer centres. These include charitable kitchens and social
meeting places. Include food for anyone who wants to come in to pray and also to
Key Terms for the lecture on Jainism:
Karmamarga- Literal meaning of “Way of Works”. How one acts defines
attainment in religious practice, not about praying or devotion but about your
actions which transform you into a different person. Your behavior or actions will
define who you will be in the future. It is closely related to non-violence (ahimsa)
if you follow this way of living you are doing a good deed/action.
Ahimsa- literal meaning of “non-violence”. It is the ideology that one should not
cause harm on any other living being. It is said that even non-intentional actions
of harm can produce small amounts of repercussions through karma. Some people
who follow this to the extreme would try to dodge bugs in their path so they do
not cause them harm. This is closely related to Karmamarga which is the way in
which one should live in order to gain a better future, if one follows ahimsa they
will be following the right path of life.
Sramanas – literal meaning of strivers. This refers to a group of people that
rejected the basic claims of the Vedic tradition of Hinduism and found that they
can attain liberation through meditation, and that any caste can do so, not just the
upper classes. This group in particular would abandone their family and follow
strict orthopraxy (rules of ritually proper behavior), giving up normal work and
social status to live a life in hope of liberation in the forest. Jainism and Buddhism
are both traditions of the sramanas movement.
karma (Jainism) – Jains believe karma to be material of nature. Known as karmic
matter. What you do (actions) creates a tiny substance that will stay on your soul,