What do people think of Sikhism

IndiaThe Sikhs' attitude to life

As soon as the morning mist clears, the sun makes the Golden Temple in Amritsar shine like a fairytale castle. The richly decorated building, covered with gold leaf, is located on an island in the middle of the lake "Amrit Sarowar", the nectar pond. Every visitor has to take off his shoes and tie a headscarf as long as he is not a Silda and is wearing a turban anyway or has a scarf tied around his head as a Sikh woman. The marble-lined temple complex is open around the clock. Throughout the day, verses from the Sikhs' holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, can be heard from the loudspeakers.

The temple complex from the 16th century, which appears so peaceful today, also looks back on times of violence, most recently in the 1980s, when Silda extremists holed up here and called for a free Khalistan. On June 3, 1984, Indian soldiers penetrated here with weapons and plunged the Punjab and the Sikh community into pogrom-like unrest until the 1990s. Today, after 30 years, it seems to have been forgotten. Sikh Davindra Singh Chawla, a thin man in his 50s, comes to the Golden Temple almost every day.

"As a Sikh, I have to pray five times a day. In addition, I am not allowed to smoke, drink alcohol, lie or cheat, as other religions prescribe. But our guru Nanak has given us a key to how we can reach God. First of all, there is for Sikhs have an obligation to contribute something to the community, to help others. We call it Sewa. Second, we should seek inner peace, live holistically and strive for the advancement of humanity. We call this attitude meditation. These two attitudes towards life, fellow humanity and meditation , are very important to me as Silch. That is how Guru Nanak, our founder of the religion, wanted it. "

In a Gurdwara, a Sikh temple, there is more than just prayer and singing. Anyone can stay here and have a simple meal. In the temple kitchen, volunteers clean vegetables, cook rice and lentils, and bake bread all day long, financed by donations from visitors. Tens of thousands are fed this way every day. Dishes are constantly being washed and laid out to dry on huge shelves. From morning to evening, clattering metal plates drown out the chants.

Great willingness to donate

"People automatically have a positive attitude towards a religion when they experience something good. We use our donations to buy food and to positively influence society through good services. This also attracts visitors from other religions to our site and they are interested for Sikhism. Ten percent of my income or ten percent of my time, like other Silchs, I give to the temple and thus to society. "

The Silda religion, which originated in the 15th century, goes back to the traveling preacher Guru Nanak. God is shapeless, is neither man nor woman. There are no religious dogmas, priests or monks in Sikhism. About two percent of India's population are committed to this. Religion should be suitable for everyday use, which is why the pursuit of prosperity and social prestige in addition to the willingness to donate is in the foreground for a Silda. A Sikh should be a role model, better in all areas than others. Despite this, or perhaps because of that, the Sikhs are often laughed at by the rest of the Indians. They are, so to speak, the "East Frisians of India". Jokes about her are making the rounds all over the country. Is it because they often behave like model students and are too gullible on top of that? Arjit Singh is a young Silda, tall and well built, who visits the Golden Temple of Amritsar with his parents.

"There are so many jokes about us Sikhs, but they have nothing to do with our reality. We are known all over the world as very generous people. A Sikh helps others. It's a shame that we are laughed at so much, but of course we understand fun too."

Many sildas are successful. You excelled in science, business, and the military. Since the beginning of the 1990s, a Sikh has even dominated Indian politics, Manrnohan Singh. The son of a Punjab farmer was a fellow at Cambridge and Oxford. In 1991 he became finance minister and is considered the father of the Indian economic miracle. The Sikhs have rejected extremes since the events of the 1980s. The Golden Temple of Amritsar is accessible to everyone, regardless of religion, says Arjit Singh:
"Here in the Golden Temple there are four doors that are always open. One for us Sikhs, a second for the Muslims, the third for Christians and a fourth for other religions. For us there are no inequalities."