History of Guru Granth Sahib
During guruship of Guru Nanak, collections of hymns compiled and sent to distant communities of Sikhs for use in morning and evening prayers. His successor, Guru Angkant, started collecting sacred writings of his predecessor. This tradition was continued by the third as well as the fifth guru.
When the fifth guru, Guru Arjan, collected the writings of his predecessor, he discovered that contenders of guruship released false anthology of writings of past gurus including of their own with them.
To prevent false writings from gaining ground, Guru Arjan started drawing a holy book for the Sikh community. He finished his collection of religious writings of Guru Ram Das, the immediate predecessor, and persuaded Mohan, son of Guru Amar Das, to give him the collection of religious writings of the first three gurus.
In addition, he sent several students to go across the country to find and bring back some previously unknown writings. He also called on members of other religions and contemporary religious writers to submit papers for possible inclusion. Guru Arjan chose hymns for inclusion in the book, and Bhai Gurdas acted as his scribe.
The term “Khālsā” (pure) refers to Sikhs, who have received the Amrita (immortality), in the ceremony Amrit Sanskar. Sikhs have made this ceremony, called Amritdhari and are obliged have pañj kakkē or pañj kakār:
These consist of the following:
- kēs: uncut hair, which is usually covered with a kind of turban (Dastar or Pagṛi)
- kaṅghā: small comb for caring of long hair
- kaṛā: iron bracelet usually worn on the left wrist
- kirpān: small ceremonial sword
- kachchhera: shorts, used as underwear
This institution was founded in 1699 by the last guru.
Prohibitions in Sikhism
There are a number of religious prohibitions in Sikhism.
- Hair cutting: It is strictly forbidden to cut your hair in Sikhism. Every Sikh should keep his hair uncut.
- Poisoning: The consumption of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and other toxic substances, is not allowed. Toxic substances are strictly prohibited for a Sikh. However, Nihangs of Punjab use meditation to help in healing.
- Adultery: In Sikhism, spouses must be physically and mentally faithful to each other.
- Blind spirituality: You should not follow or watch superstitions and rituals including pilgrimages, fasting, cleansing rituals, circumcision, idolatry, worship graves, mandatory use of the veil for women, etc.
Guru Granth Sahib traditions and teachings of Sikhism are clearly linked to the history, society and culture of Punjab, where 75% of Sikhs lives today, while numbering 25.8 million worldwide. Many Sikhs are found in Western countries such as Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, while in the early 20th century an important community on the West Coast of the United States was created. Also, there are significant populations in East Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia.