The Sikhs (followers) represent the youngest of the world's major monotheistic religious traditions. Founded in the early 16th century by Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the Sikh tradition is historically associated with the North Indian state of Punjab, a region that connects southern Asia with the Middle East and Central Asia. The current Sikh population is around 23 million, of which 2 million have left the Punjab and now live and work in North America, western Europe, and former British colonies. This entry discusses the history of Sikhism, touching on beliefs, sacred literature, and devotional and ceremonial life.


Guru Nanak was born into an educated, landowning, influential Hindu family that lived in Talwandi, a village near Lahore, the cultural and political center of the Punjab. While in his ...

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