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Anthropology and Sikhism

Etic View (Outside View)
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in 1469 as instructed by God. Sikhism is one of the world’s youngest faiths. Sikhs believe in living a simple and honest life. In addition, Sikhs believe in reciting the name of God, earning an honest living and sharing what one earns with others, even non Sikhs. Sikhs see having a job and working hard, as an important part of their life. Most Sikhs like to do jobs that help people. Sikhs believe in community service; helping the community not just by giving money but also by being part of a congregation. All Sikhs are encouraged to reach the highest level possible in education. Sikhs are strong believers in God and they believe in salvation through meditation of God. Furthermore, Sikhism promotes equality of all caste, color, race, class and gender.

Emic View (Inside View)
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in 1469 by God through Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469. He was sent to this world by God in order to teach people about the true meaning of life and educate them about God. As instructed by God, Guru Nanak Dev Ji founded a religion, which is known as Sikhism. Sikhs had ten gurus in succession and the tenth guru compiled all the teachings into a holy book, which is called Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This holy scripture presides as the eleventh Guru of Sikhs. Guru Nanak Dev Ji laid the foundation of Sikhism as instructed by God. The next nine Gurus sent to this world by God, strengthened the roots of Sikhism and enlightened people to meditate on One God only. After the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji instructed that there will be no more living Gurus. Guru Gobind Singh Ji instructed that whoever wants to meet God can find the way in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

How Sikhism helps one calm anxiety, relieves stress and get rid of the fear of death?
Sikhism helps one calm anxiety and cope with stress. When one read Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, he understands this world which helps him get rid of all anxiety and stress. Gurbani helps one calm down and attain the state of peace. Mostly, stress arises due to financial and/or family problems. Sikhism helps one cope with these problems with meditation. Sikhism instructs not to be too attached to this world as it is a temporary place. One day you will die and will leave all your possessions behind. Your wealth, your spouse and everything you posses, which you think as of your own, Guru Nanak says, the truth is that none of them shall go along with you at the time of your death. Mortal views this world as his own, but nothing here belongs to him. Mortal’s consciousness dwindles all the time because of money. Among millions is the one, who actually remembers God. Materialistic things are of no use when you die; you should lead your life without any worries and concentrate on the meditation of God. The fifth Guru, Guru Arjun Dev Ji writes, "O mind, why do you plot and plan? Dear Lord Himself provides for you. He has created living creatures in rocks and provides nourishment for them" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 10).

Consider this world just like a dream. Guru Nanak says, tell your conscience that all mortals are created in this world just like ripples on the water, who comes in existence and fade away all the time. Guru Nanak says, nothing in this world is yours. You should be worried if death was to wipe only you. But this is the condition everyone in this whole world has to face, no one is stable here. The one who has taken birth has to die; everyone has to perish. Guru Nanak says, this is the time to sing praises of Lord and give up all entanglements and lead a simple and happy life, which is free of complications.

Way to meet God and attain salvation
God created Sikhism and introduced a very simple yet very effective way to meet God. Sikhism instructs that you do not have to fast, abstain, go on renunciation or enter a monastery in order to meet God. All you have to do is have faith, recite the Name of God and remember Him for each possible moment. Guru Ji themselves got married and lived a family life and showed everyone that you can meet God while living a family life. Furthermore, Guru Ji said that your mind has to be detached from this world, you have to look this world as a temporary place, you will not be here forever, one day you will have to die. You do not have to detach from this world physically, you can lead a normal family life and still be able to meet God.

God is the savior of sinners. He is the destroyer of fear, eradicator of evil-mindedness and the protector of every orphan. Nanak says, He always resides near you, make an attempt to know Him. Immerse your mind in Him, just like the fish in the water and you shall not be caught in the cycle of birth and death again. Always recite the One, by reciting whom you attain salvation. And salvation is attained only by reciting the name of God. Your dignity lies in merging in the one whom you originated from. Nanak says, tell your conscience to recite the name of Lord, and you shall be able to meet Him.

The one who is not affected by happiness, pain, greed, emotional attachment and egotistical pride. The one who is beyond praise and slander, and treats iron and gold alike. The one who is not touched by pain or pleasure, and treats his friends and enemies alike. The one who does not terrorize anyone and neither is afraid of anybody. The one who leaves all the materialistic things, renounces wealth and have detached himself from this world. The one who recites the name of God day and night, Nanak says, that person is the one who knows what is salvation, that person becomes spiritually aware, that is the person whose future is bright.

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