Sikh Dharma began in India a little over 530 years ago and since then Sikhs from the Punjab region of India, who make up less than 2 percent of the population of India, have migrated throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia, numbering about 28 million worldwide.
While recognized as the fifth-largest organized religion in the world, it is truly a Dharma, a spiritual way of living.
Guru Nanak taught this way of life:
Nam Japa - to get up each day before sunrise, to clean the body, meditate on God's Name and recite the Guru's words to clean the mind. Throughout the day, continuously remember God's name with every breath.
Dharam di Kirat Karni - to work and earn by the sweat of the brow, to live a family way of life, and practice truthfulness and honesty in all dealings.
Vand ke Chakna - to share the fruits of one's labor with others before considering oneself. Thus, to live as an inspiration and a support to the entire community.
The tenets of the Sikh faith were formed through the lives and teachings of the ten Sikh Gurus and the final teachings embodied in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is a compilation of sacred writings of six of the ten Sikh Gurus, as well as Sufis, Bhagats and Hindu saints, all who served as pure channels for the Divine Truth.
Sikhs bow to the Word as embodied in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and receive their daily instruction through a verse selected randomly each day. The role of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is central in the life of every Sikh.
For more details visit: http://www.sikhs.org/summary.htm
From the late 15th century to the beginning of the 18th century, ten successive Masters consciously channeled and acknowledged the power of the Shabd Guru. These Masters, who would come to be known as the ten Sikh Gurus, lived, travelled and taught in what is now India and Pakistan. Their lives spanned a period of 239 years. They revolutionized the spiritual, social, economic and political life of their time.
All ten of the Sikh Gurus clearly stated that they were human beings. They were simply blessed with the capacity to hear, channel and share the Sound of that Universal Teacher for others to hear.
“Sikh” means “Seeker of Truth.” During the time of the Sikh Gurus, the community of believers was diverse, multi-cultural and interreligious. It was only later that the term “Sikh” began to refer to a specific group of people. At its origin, Sikh Dharma meant “the spiritual practice of one who is looking for truth.”
500 years ago, these ten Sikh Gurus taught the equality of men and women. They taught that no group of human beings was higher than any other group. And they claimed that the common brotherhood and sisterhood of the human race was the highest reality. Their teachings empowered people to break the caste system, to overcome social habits that harmed women, to become economically self-sufficient, and to create a tolerant society based on the common humanity of all people.