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Cults and World Religions

Sikhism



This another late reformation of Hinduism, dating to the time frame of the Christian Reformation. It was founded by Nanak (1469-1538) who was born into the ruler caste.

Nanak wanted to rid religion of its rituals and ceremonies. Salvation consisted of a combination of grace and works. Righteous living is required because the ideas of karma and transmigration have been carried into Sikhism.

Nanak’s battle cry was that “there was no Hindu and no Muslim.” God is Sat Nam (True Name) and he bestows grace on his followers. These followers are called Sikhs or disciples. This is a monotheistic version of Hinduism which views God as a formless, sovereign righteous person who is unknowable and absolute. When a person reaches Nirvana he is absorbed into God. It is to be noted that while the idea of Absolute God is Hinduistic, the idea of submission to God for salvation is Islamic in origin.

Nanak did not break with Hinduism. The rituals of Hinduism are replaced by the direction to be obedient to the divine guru, Sat Nam. Sikhism separated itself from Hinduism in the late 1500s, after the death of Nanak. Worship centers around the Temple and the sacred book, the Granth. The Granth is written in a “special script” and is not read by most adherents, just worshiped. There are between 6 and 8 million Sikhs today, but most are not strict practioners and the sect will probably be reabsorbed into Hinduism.

For further information Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions, and the Occult, USA: Victor Books, 1977, 1990, 4.

 

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