SikhismFounded: 1496 A.D. by in Punjab, India.
Founder: Guru Nanak
Estimated Adherents: 23 Million
Main Geographic Area: Indian Sub-continent.
Primary Writings of Authority: Guru Granth Sahib Writings
Theology Basis: Monotheistic
Deity: Akhal Purakh god
Religion Information: Guru Nanak founded Sikhism as a method to reconcile the warring belief systems of Islam and Hinduism. As such, he chose to retain the Hindu concept of reincarnation.
Problem of Evil:
• Reincarnation: The Hindu process of reincarnation (multiple rebirths of the same person) was carried over to the Sikh faith. This process attempts to solve the problem of evil via an elaborate system of incessant rebirths whereby good or bad Karma are administered to perfect a person resulting in an enlightened (while on Earth) person and one who achieves Nirvana upon death.
• Karma: With each new “life” or “birth” an individual experiences either suffering at the hands of victimizing evil, or blessing at the hands of benevolent good. Both of which are believed to be working off or “paying for” the evil, or being rewarded for the good which that person committed in a past life or “incarnation. This law of Karma works both progressively and regressively.
• Sikhs & Hindus believe that Reincarnation and Karma should motivate a person to live a 'less evil' and a more “generously good” life so as to avoid coming back in the next life and suffering the negative Karma, or missing out on the good Karma of their actions in the past incarnation.
The problem with this solution is that it doesn't really solve the problem of evil at all, it simply perpetuates it.
Every person that comes back to 'work off' evil requires another individual to inflict the evil upon them.
That person then needs to come back and have evil inflicted upon them by someone who needs to come back and have evil worked off... and so on and so on,,, ad infinitum.
In short, reincarnation and Karma require evil to vanquish evil. So evil must and will (according to Hindus and Sikhs) be present for all eternity to work off past evil.
Afterlife: Sikhs do not make mention of Heaven and Hell which are therefore, not a core belief of the Sikh Faith. Reincarnation is the primary belief held regarding life after death. At one point, an individual may obtain intervention by Akhal Purakh which eliminates the rebirth process.
• Life is considered to be an opportunity to seize a union or closeness to god (Akhal Purakh).
Sikh Orders or Sects:
____• Udasis: This is an ascetic order of the Nanakshahi Sikhs
____• Nirmalas: This is a celibate order (comparable to Buddhist monks)
____• Akalis: Are considered a 'fanatical' Sikh order and wear a distinctive dress of blue with a black turban.