Origins

This community would have expressed a very family-oriented and agrarian ethic. Guru Nanak spoke highly of women and they probably played very important roles in the life of the community. The community's social makeup included a broad mix of classes, which represented a new development in the caste-bound India of the day. Guru Nanak's own closest companions were all from "outcaste" groups. Ethical living in the context of family engagement, in accordance with Guru Nanak's teachings, are deeply important to the Sikh way of life.

Guru Angad (1504-1552), who was named Lehna before being selected as Guru Nanak's successor, discovered the community when he heard someone in his village reciting a morning prayer and inquired about the composer of that composition. It was Guru Nanak's composition. Lehna believed he had found his true guide in Guru Nanak, and sought out the community at Kartarpur. Later, when Guru Nanak chose Lehna as his successor he renamed him "Angad," which comes from the word for limb. The implication was that the second Guru's mission was an extension of the first Guru's mission.

Study Questions:
1.     What did Guru Nanak think of the Hindu and Muslim religions?
2.     How did Guru Nanak's relationship with God unfold?
3.     Describe the early Sikh community, and who led the community after Guru Nanak.

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