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(3,284 words)

Author(s): Dhillon, Balwant Singh | King, Noel Q.
1. Origin The name “Sikh” (Skt. shishya, “disciple”) signifies a person who follows the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus and of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book. The first guru, Nanak (1469–1539), founded a new fellowship that was open to all, irrespective of caste, creed, or gender. He considered himself a divine minstrel whose chief avocation was to sing the glories of God. Never claiming that he himself was an incarnation of God, he conveyed the will of God through his bani (utterances). Guru Nanak forthrightly criticized the contemporary evil order, whether social, religious…