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RLGA01H3 (29)
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University of Toronto Scarborough
Henry Shiu

23/10/2010 20:29:00 RLGA01 Ch. 3 Sikh Traditions Origins Founded in the 15 cent. in Punjab by Guru Nanak believed in the possibility of achieving spiritual liberation through meditation on the divine Name (nam) and the living of an ethical life in this world Punjab : crossroads where the cultures of the Middle East, Cent. Asia, and India have interacted in various ways th Sufi Islam established in Punjab by 11 cent. CE by 15 cent, Buddhists disappeared from Punjab, save a few Jaina ascetics also three Hindu communities, devoted to Shiva, Vishnu, and Devi (the Goddess 1 Guru Nanak (1469-1539) born 1469 upper caste khatri (merchant) at time of birth, most of northern India under Muslim rule for more than 2 cent. Guru Nanaks Mystical Experience Info about G. Nanaks life is from the janam-sakhis (birth narratives) Written 7 decades after G. Nanaks death While bathing in the Vein River, he disappeared w/o a trace After being assumed dead, he came back from within the water Proclaimed Theres no Hindu, theres no Muslim. Believed his duty was to preach the message of the divine Name Left his family to pursue his calling Foundation of the Sikh Panth G. Nanak founded village of Kartarpur in 1519 Lived there for the remainder of his life as a spiritual guide Disciples received the message of liberation through religious hymns They used these hymns in devotional singing (kirtan) as part of congregational worship The first Sikh fam. who gathered around Nanak @ Kartarpur formed the center of the Nanak Panth (Path of Nanak) Nanak broke existing traditions, and formed logical groundwork for a new rational model of human behaviour based on divine authority Received spiritual message directly from the Divine Reality itself 974 hymns preserved in the Adi Granth : most reliable account of his teachings Nanak made distinctions between his teachings and the contemporary teachings of other religions around him Nanak used concepts familiar to his audiences to connect with them more effectively Nanak prescribed daily routines Morning: Japji (Honoured Recitation) recited Evening: So Dar (That Door) and Arti (Adoration) sung Balanced w/ agricultural work for sustenance Defined ideal person as Gurmukh (one oriented towards the Guru) Gurmukh practiced the threefold discipline of nam dan ishnan (The divide Name, charity, and purity) (AG 942) Nam (relation to the Divine), dan (relation to society), ishnan (relation to self) Established balance between individual and society Nanak preached truth, humility, taking only ones right share, respect, etc. These virtues expressed through 3 institutions: sangat (holy fellowship), a spiritual fraternity in some respects; dharamsala, the original form of the Sikh place of worship; langar, communal meal Langar prepped by memers of the sangat Served to everyone attending the gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) Ppl of different castes, gender, ritual purity, etc attended together Promoted equality of all ppl; unity Lineage of Gurus G. Nanak created the institution of the Guru Central authority in community life Before G. Nanaks death, he appointed Lehna as his successor, and renamed him Angad. Lineage established Continued until Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), the tenth and the last human Guru of the Sikhs The Ten Gurus After appointing Angad to Guru status, he himself bowed before Angad Shows humility, humbleness, respect nd 2 Guru Angad (1504-52) Angad consolidated the first Sikh Panth contained 62 shaloks (couplets or stanzas) composed by Angad paints the situation of the Panth during his period Angad refined the Gurmukhi (from the Gurus mouth) script in which the Gurus hymns were recorded Written in Punjabi language Early Sikhs rejected Sanskirt, Arabic, and Persian languages 3 Guru Amar Das (1479-1574) Helped reinforce Sikh unity Introd new institutions Established 2 festivals (Divali and Baisakhi); allowed community to get together and meet the Guru Introd system of 22 manjis (cots or seats of authority); HQs for missionaries wanting to attract new converts Disciples needed hard copy of Nanaks message to spread the bani (divine Word)
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