The Sikh faith, the most recent of the great religious movements of the world, was founded by Guru Nanak (1469-1539), who proposed to modernize and reform the practice of religious faith. A man ahead of his time advocated remarriage for women and allowed them to become priests, therefore, and the emancipation of women, 500 years before the arrival of universal suffrage in the West. The word Sikh means disciple or student and is a corollary of the word guru, meaning teacher. Today, there are nearly 20 million Sikhs worldwide, a third of those living outside India in countries as diverse as Canada, USA, Malaysia, Britain, Kenya and Tanzania (Juss 1995).
Sikhism is a tradition that was born in 1469 CE in the Punjab in northern India, with the birth of Guru Nanak (1469-1539). Nanak was born into a high caste Hindu family, but was also well versed in Islam, the other tradition prevailing in northern India. Its exquisite hymns of praise to God were never dismissive of Hindu and Muslim thought, but sought a different path, their songs make it clear that he was not satisfied with any formalism in orthodox Islam or Hinduism conventional separating the search deeper truths. More particularly, the mystic Nanak ritual deplored hidden religious truths, truths that can only be found inside.
Guru Nanak and nine subsequent gurus were visionaries, the extended release message to all without distinction of caste, religion and gender. Previous gurus always preached a radical message of devotion to the divine within, a devotion that would transcend and even opposed to all outward manifestations of religiosity. During the Guru (1469-1708), the Sikh community increased and developed its traditions, according to the needs of the community and the characters of the ten gurus. Institutionalization, which took the form of the compilation of sacred songs of the gurus (which eventually became the Holy Scripture), places of pilgrimage, missionary activities to spread the message of the gurus and specific festivals, changed the character of the development community. But it became more pronounced with the tenth guru, “Guru Gobind Singh” (1666-1708), a novel ideal Sikh born with the creation of the Khalsa brotherhood in 1699. The new ideal was now to be the saint warrior. The community was thus transformed into a military brotherhood, with significant military external.
In the center of contemporary organizations is the Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, ...