a) What is the meaning of Ik Onkar.
c) Why did Guru Nanak Dev Ji visit places like Mecca and Hardrabad, and what did he teach the people there?
d) Why did Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (9th Guru Ji) die to save the rights of followers of another faiths freedom of religion?
e) What two major things in Sikh history happened in 1984?
If you found the above questions easy, then good for you, as they’re very basic. However the truth is that most Sikhs today don’t even know the names of our ten Guru’s let alone any deeper knowledge on Sikhi. While we all like to call ourselves Sikh’s when it suits us to look cool in reality things couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our history is filled with unequaled sacrifices by men and woman to uphold and carry on the Sikh faith. They were hunted down with rewards being put on the head of anyone who followed Sikhi by the Government of the time. Things reached such points that thousands of Sikhs per day were publicly killed for refusing to convert and instead chose to keep their Sikhi and die. Our Sikh forefathers had so much love and devotion to the teachings and way of life preached by our Guru’s that they happily lived difficult lives and underwent unimaginable tortures, but kept their religion alive so that we could have the right to follow and live by Sikhism in freedom.
Our religion is the newest and most practical in the World. We believe in One God and the equality of all human beings regardless of gender, caste or even religion. The teachings of our Guru’s are so relevant and ahead of its time compared to all the other faiths. However we don’t even know the simple basics, nor do we make the efforts to read up on and research our religion. Consequently we have become easy target for conversions and exploitations due us not really knowing who we are, or what Sikhism is.
It is the basic duty of anyone who calls them self a Sikh whether they are clean-shaven, keep a turban or an Amridhari to take steps to find out more about this hidden diamond of Sikhism. I am sure all would be amazed at what Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the other Guru Ji’s really did and left the whole of humanity with.
a) The phrase Ik Onkar in its most basic interpretation simply means One God. This is the very first thing that comes in Guru Granth sahib Ji. Hence our Guru Ji is teaching us from the very beginning that there is only One God for all beings.
b) Simran literally means remembrance. In Sikhism the highest thing an individual can do to get closer to God is to remember and meditate on God’s name. Waheguru, which means wonderful Lord/enlightener is the most common name used by Sikhs for God. Its always to be repeated and contemplated. Sewa means selfless service. This can be any act such as cleaning utensils in the Gurdwara, helping someone in need, helping out a charity etc. The Guru’s reveal how these two simple things that can be done easily by anyone are more beneficial then other ritualistic acts such as fasting, going on pilgrimages etc.
c) Guru Nanak Dev Ji after receiving a divine order from God to spread the truth embarked on the widest tour of the World carried out by any Prophet in history. Where ever Guru Ji went he preached to the people and leaders of other faiths about One God, love and the brotherhood of humanity. At Mecca Guru Ji revealed to the Muslims that the Kaaba is not the house of God, and that God is every where. In Sikhi we believe God is in everyones heart. Likewise at the Hindu site of Hardrabad Guru Ji revealed to the Pilgrims how ritualistic acts such as throwing Ganges water towards the Sun in order for it to reach their ancestors was foolish and wrong. The above two are basic accounts, for more details you must get a book on Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
d) In the times of our 9th Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji; the Muslim government of India was forcefully converting Hindu’s to Islam. The Hindu’s couldn’t fight back and had no hope as each day thousands were being forced to convert. In despair a party of the highest Hindu Priests made a journey to Guru Teg Behadur Ji for help. Although Guru Ji didn’t believe in Hindu beliefs such as idol worshipping, the caste system etc still agreed to help them, and went to Delhi to confront Aurenzb the fanatical Muslim Emperor. The Emperor refused to stop, and our Guru Ji stated that if he could be converted all of India would willingly convert. Hence Guru Teg Behadur Ji was tortured and eventually publicly beheaded. This brave act was done to save the human rights of another faith, the Hindu’s to practice their religion freely. Nowhere else in history has the Prophet of one faith died to save the rights of another faith to practice their faith freely.
e) In 1984 the Indian Government launched a full scale military attack (using commandos’, helicopters, artillery and tanks) on the Golden Temple, killing thousands of men, woman and even children. A few months later two Sikhs avenged the unjustifiable attack by shooting Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister who ordered the attack. In Delhi over 4000 Sikhs were killed and burnt alive by Hindu mobs over four days in revenge. Sikh properties were looted, men and children killed, woman raped with the police looking on and even joining in.