Here are a podcast and notes on Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Shinto (19 minutes).

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LESSON 6: Sikhism &c


  1. c.1500
  2. Guru Nanak (1469-1539)
  3. The Granth, compiled by the 5th guru, Arjun, in 1604
  4. The Punjab (India/Pakistan).



  1. 588 BC
  2. Zoroaster
  3. Persia, Iran, India (esp. Mumbai)
  4. Avesta



  1. c. 520 BC
  2. Mahavira, the last of 24 gurus, reacting to the worldliness of Hinduism
  3. Purvas (all lost), Angas, Upangas
  4. India



  1. c.550 AD
  2. [no founder]
  3. Kojiki, Nihongi, Yengishiki (8th century AD)
  4. Japan


Outreach tips

  1. Don't write anyone off! The gospel is for all the world (1 Timothy 2:4).
  2. Refuse to lump & label.


Further facts

  • Sikhism
    • A compromise between Hinduism and Islam, monotheistic but incorporating many Hindu ideals.
    • Reject polytheism and priestly caste system of Hinduism.
    • Opposition to idolatry and asceticism. Sikhs seek not to escape the world, but to participate in it (opposite of the Jains [below]).
    • Janamsakhis legends: mythical accounts of the life of Nanak, including miracles. (Nanak never claimed to be a miracle worker).
    • Works salvation: "Sin and sorrow are destroyed by hearkening."
    • Practices include: male turban, baptism in sugar-water while holding a dagger, warrior ethic.
    • At 30 million followers, Sikhism is the 5th largest organized religion in the world.
  • Zoroastrianism
    • Monotheistic but also dualistic. God: Ahura Mazda.
    • Religion of classic Persia (think Xerxes, Darius, Cyrus)
    • Influenced the Jews living in the Persian diaspora
    • Zarathustra was a character utilized by the philosopher Nietzsche (1844-1900)
    • Sample passages:
      • … The soul of the righteous [shall be] rewarded with Immortality Everlasting torments for the wicked... Ushtavaiti Gatha: Yasna 45.7
      • Now at  the beginning the twins have declared their nature,  the better and the evil… Ahunuvaiti Gatha: Yasna 30.3
      • To me who would sing your praise as never before, as Righteousness, O Good Mind and Wise Lord... Come at my call to give me support. Ahunuvaiti Gatha: Yasna 28.1
    • Further info:
  • Jainism
    • Strongly ascetic (ahimsa [non-violence], satya [honesty], asteya [no stealing], celibacy, non-attachment [to this world])
    • Theology similar to Hinduism.
      • Escape cycle of reincarnation through ascetic practices.
      • Think of Jains as the opposite of Sikhs (escape from, as opposed to participation in, the world)
    • Cosmology
      • Infinitely repeating cycles of time.
      • One guru lived 70 trillion years and was 3000 feet tall.
      • The earth is at the center of the universe, which has existed forever.
    • Sects
      • Digambaras: Monks are nude, and only males can reach enlightenment.
      • Shvetambaras: All wear white robes. Women can be ordained as nuns.
  • Shinto
    • Shinto is Japanese for "way of the gods"
    • Indigenous religion of Japan
    • 120 million followers, depending on how you count; most also observe some Buddhist practices like ancestor worship. Life events are tied more to Shinto, death events to Buddhism.
    • Like Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, and Pentecostal Christianity, "speaking in tongues" is practiced by ecstatic worshipers.

Next podcast (the seventh and final in the series): Baha'i & 21st Century Tolerance