1. Foundational Sikh Beliefs: The Guru Granth Sahib, the primary religious text that guides Sikhs, is at the core of Sikhism. The teachings place a strong emphasis on the goal of selfless service, the equality of all people, and the unity of God. Sikhs adhere to the ideal of leading an honest, sincere life while attempting to maintain a harmonic balance between their spiritual and material obligations.
2. The Code of Conduct for Sikhs:Sikhism is distinguished by a unique set of moral principles known as the "Five Ks." These are outward manifestations of a Sikh's faith that act as tangible markers of their devotion to it. The five Ks are Kirpan (ceremonial sword), Kanga (wooden comb), Kachera (cotton underwear), Kesh (uncut hair), and Kara (steel bracelet). Following these guidelines helps the Sikh community stay united, committed, and self-aware.
3. Seva Selfless Service: The idea of seva, or selfless service, is fundamental to Sikhism. Regardless of their upbringing or religious views, Sikhs are urged to do good deeds and improve the lives of others. The Sikh practice of langar, a communal kitchen that provides free meals to everyone, embodies the spirit of seva and upholds the moral principles of compassion and equality.
4. Gurdwaras and Social Gatherings: As Sikh centers of worship, gurdwaras are essential to the Sikh community. In addition to being places of prayer, these locations function as community hubs for social gatherings, education, and spiritual debates. A spirit of equality and solidarity among Sikhs is further fostered by the langar, a communal meal that is enjoyed by all.
5. Honoring Sikh Traditions and Festivals: Sikhism observes a number of festivals with deep cultural and historical roots. One such holiday that is observed with processions, prayers, and community get-togethers is Vaisakhi, which marks the establishment of the Khalsa (the Sikh community) in 1699. Additional festivities include Diwali, the festival of lights, which is especially significant to Sikhs, and Gurpurabs, which commemorate the anniversaries of Sikh Gurus.