A ceremonial reader of the Guru Granth Sahib. Duties include arranging daily religious services, reading from the Sikh scripture, maintaining the gurudwara premises, and teaching and advising community members. A granthi is not equivalent to a minister as there are no such religious intermediaries in the Sikh religious tradition.
Literally "teacher." One of the most important words in Sikhism, it has a number of related meanings. It can refer, depending on context of usage, to one of the ten Sikh prophets, the Sikh scripture, the Sikh community (Guru Panth), or God. The Sikhs had ten living Gurus, and the 10th Guru transferred the Guruship to the holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib.
The fifth Guru of the Sikhs and their first martyr. Guru Arjan compiled the Sikh Scriptures by bringing together the writings of the four Gurus who preceded him and adding his own. The writings of the Ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadar were later added to the Sikh scriptures by his son the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Arjan’s writing was prolific and form the bulk of the Sikh Scriptures. Guru Arjan was martyred for not accepting the muslim faith. It was on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in June 1984 that the Indian army attacked the Golden Temple.
The 10th Guru of the Sikhs. An eminent linguist, poet and scholar, he conferred the Guruship to the Sikh Scriptures, Sri Guru Granth Sahib in 1708. Guru Gobind Singh was originally Gobind Rai and became Guru at the young age of 9 when his father the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadar was publicly beheaded in Delhi for refusing to embrace Islam. He forged the Sikhs into a Warrior nation fighting 4 key battles with the ruling Moghul forces. His efforts to bestow a distinct identity on the Sikhs culminated in the Amrit Ceremony in 1699 at which the Khalsa was founded. He only became Gobind Singh after taking Amrit himself from the Panj Pyare (five beloved) whom he had just initiated into the Khalsa.
The Sikh scripture, written in poetry organized in 31 sections, with each section corresponding to a particular melodic scale, or raag. It includes the poetry of six Sikh Gurus, and 36 other saints, including Muslims and Hindus. It is 1430 pages long and is the embodiment of the spiritual knowledge and authority of all the Gurus. The words from the Guru Granth Sahib are the central focus at all Sikh Gurudwaras. It is used by Sikhs for meditation, guidance, comfort, and inspiration.
The 8th Guru of the Sikhs, who was only 5 years old when he became Guru in 1661 and died three years later. He was the great grandson of the Sixth Guru and Son of the Seventh Guru, Guru Har Rai Sahib. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib today stands on the site of the Bungalow at which Guru Har Krishan stayed whilst in Delhi.
The 6th Guru of the Sikhs. Following the martyrdom of his father, Guru Arjan, he was the first Guru to maintain a standing army and symbolically wore two swords, representing spiritual and temporal power. He also created the institution of the Akal Takhat. He fought and won a series of battles against the ruling Moghuls.
The founder of the Sikh faith. Born in 1469, he began his mission by proclaiming that there is "neither Hindu nor Muslim," meaning that God is not interested in outward religious distinctions. He preached against caste and advocated the equality of women. His teachings form the bedrock of the Sikh Faith and his seminal work the Jap Ji Sahib is recited every morning by devout Sikhs all over the world. It is a widely held belief, backed up by scripture, that all the other Sikh Gurus were Guru Nanak in spirit and in fact all other Gurus who wrote Gurbani (Gurus Teachings) always signed it as Nanak rather than their own name.
The 9th Guru of the Sikhs, who was publicly beheaded in Chandni Chowk in Delhi by the Moghul rulers in 1675 for defending Hindus facing forcible conversion to Islam and for refusing to embrace Islam himself. Today, the Gurudwara, Sis Ganj Sahib, stands at the site of his beheading in Delhi. Guru Tegh Bahadar was the youngest son of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib.
Literally translated "Home of the Guru." Any building or room dedicated to housing the devotional songs of the Guru for the purpose of spiritual practice; A Sikh place of worship, open to anyone. Provides food and shelter to travellers, and the needy.