Sikhism, with around 20 million adherents world wide, is the youngest of the world’s major monotheistic faiths. Sikhism developed in the Punjab region of northern India in the 15th Century; from the teachings of Guru Nanak, a religious scholar.
Guru Nanak summarised the implications of his teachings in these terms “Realisation of Truth is higher than all else. High still is truthful living”. In keeping with this spirit Sikhs strive to live their lives in accordance with the principals of honesty, piety and equity that Nanak identified as being the key spiritual principals that bring believers closer to liberation through being in sync with the wishes of God.
This means that Sikh religious observance and practice is largely focused upon a series of rites and rituals intended to help believers focus upon attaining “higher Truth” and living a more “Truthful life”. Accordingly, much of their Gudwara’s decoration and the artifacts that are used to aid Sikh worship serve to focus worshiper’s minds in meditation upon key Sikh principals relating to justice, honour and truth whilst also illustrating how they principals can be put into practical affect in the world.
The pages below provide an illustrated guide to Sikh worship in the UK today.