Here are a podcast and notes on Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Shinto (19 minutes).
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LESSON 6: Sikhism &c
- Guru Nanak (1469-1539)
- The Granth, compiled by the 5th guru, Arjun, in 1604
- The Punjab (India/Pakistan).
- 588 BC
- Persia, Iran, India (esp. Mumbai)
- c. 520 BC
- Mahavira, the last of 24 gurus, reacting to the worldliness of Hinduism
- Purvas (all lost), Angas, Upangas
- c.550 AD
- [no founder]
- Kojiki, Nihongi, Yengishiki (8th century AD)
- Don't write anyone off! The gospel is for all the world (1 Timothy 2:4).
- Refuse to lump & label.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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)
- 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.
- Digambaras: Monks are nude, and only males can reach enlightenment.
- Shvetambaras: All wear white robes. Women can be ordained as nuns.
- 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