Last week, the Sikh community around the world celebrated the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru (and last in human form) who was born on January 5, 1666. The specific date of the anniversary has been clouded with (almost ridiculous) confusion as various elements within the community debate the use of various Sikh calendar constructs. According to the Nanakshahi calendar, the anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth was on January 5. The actual date on which we […]
What manliness you have shown by extinguishing a few sparks? You have made the conflagration brighter and more furious. — Guru Gobind Singh to Aurangzeb, Mughal emperor of India, 1705. In 1705, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, wrote a letter in Persian entitled Zafarnama (“Epistle of Victory”) to Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor of India who engaged in a campaign to eradicate the Sikh people, resulting in the execution and deaths of the Guru’s four young sons […]
While it is not so uncommon to see Americans write about their first visit to Darbar Sahib (aka the Golden Temple) in Amritsar, India, a recent article in The New York Times by Michael Benanav describes his visit to Hemkund Sahib (a site associated with the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh), a very different Gurdwara located at an altitude of 14,000 feet in the Himalayan mountain range near Tibet: But even to a nonbeliever, the allure of a sacred lake […]
This week, Sikhs are celebrating Hola Mohalla, a three-day festival on the Sikh calendar that coincides with the Hindu celebration of Holi. Began in 1701 by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, this celebration is an exhibition of the martial tradition in the Sikh faith. The main festival takes place at Anandpur Sahib in India.
Today, Sikhs commemorate the birth of Guru Gobind Singh in 1666, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs and last in human form. His impact upon the followers of Nanak was transformational, so much so, that tens of millions of his followers remain inspired by his legacy over three centuries later. Happy Gurpurab!
Today, Sikhs commemorate the martyrdom of the mother of Guru Gobind Singh, Mata Gujri, and his two younger sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh (age 9) and Sahibzada Fateh Singh (age 6). The three were kidnapped when the Sikhs were fell upon by Mughal forces in a surprise attack in 1705. With the aim of wounding the growing Sikh movement, the governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan, attempted to coerce and then force the Guru’s children to convert to Islam or face death. […]
Mandeep Sethi, a filmmaker and hip hop artist from California, has made available his recently-released documentary SIKLIGAR, an inside look into the history of the original weapons makers of the Khalsa Army. The Sikligar community traces their origin to Guru Gobind Singh in the 18th century, but now have been long forgotten and marginalized in India. More information about the film — and the charitable foundation taking up their cause — is below, and a recent interview with Mandeep Sethi […]
As in years prior, Sikhs in the city of Tracy, California came together to provide warm clothing to needy families this weekend: Organizers estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 men, women and children picked out new coats, gloves, socks and blankets at the Larch Clover Community Center on West Larch Road. Now in its 14th year, the event is organized by Tracy Sikhs and spearheaded by Mike Sandhu, co-owner of Sandhu Brothers Farms. “We are trying to help the needy people, […]
In a thought-provoking article, Jodha, at the blog The Langar Hall, discusses the recent framing of Sikhism as a “peaceful” religion: My point isn’t whether Sikhs are peaceful or not, individuals come in all shapes and colors. The level of violence against women, against female fetuses, and often against one another, doesn’t seem to me that we are a particularly ‘peaceful’ people and should be so glib with our descriptions. Moving from Sikhs to Sikhi – I hope we never […]