Sikhism is a relatively young religion, having been founded just over 500 years ago. It is the fifth largest religion in the world with over 20 million followers worldwide.
Sikhism is not derived from any other religion. Sikhism was revealed to Guru Nanak the founder of the religion (1469-1539) over 500 years ago in the Punjab, (Northern India) the Sikh Homeland in South Asia.
The word ‘Sikh’ in the Punjabi language means ‘disciple’, Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666- 1708), did not appoint a human successor. Instead, he transferred his authority jointly to two institutions:
- the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scripture)
- the Guru Khalsa Panth (the community of committed Sikh believers initiated through a special ceremony)