*This was my homework for class assignment. So Obviously the facts and information are not provided by me but I compiled them in one place for the topic. Hope it helps* 🙂
Sikhism came into existence in the fifteenth century as a reaction to the social and religious practices of the time in the Indian subcontinent. Idol worship, superstitions, division of society into classes and denigration of women in society were some of the social ills that preempted the strong emergence of Sikhism.
CONCEPT OF GOD
A typical monotheist religion, it believes in one God and is based on Three Pillars of Sikhism, which are Naam Japna (meditation on Waheguru), Kirat karō (honest labor), and Vaṇḍ chakkō (Charity to the community).
PILLARS OF SIKHISM
The three pillars in Sikhism are Naam Japna, Kirat koro and Vachakko.
THE FIVE Ks
Sikhism has Five K’s. The Five K’s are Kesh (uncut clean hair), Kangha (wooden comb), Kachera (clean white shorts), Kara (steel/iron bracelet) and Kirpan (long sharp sword).
The Sikh Gurus (or teachers) have emphasized on recognizing all humans as equal before Waheguru, regardless of colour, caste or lineage. The Sikh Gurus did not call themselves as prophets. The emphasis is on a single all pervading God and creating a relationship with him. There is no place for intermediaries.
Sikhism is opposed to the concept of forced conversions and strongly believes in the fatherhood of an omnipresent, omnipotent and all pervasive God and brotherhood of man.
The Sikh holy book is known as the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, it contains the teachings of the Sikh Gurus and includes passages from both Hindu and Sufi saints. The Sikh Gurus have referred to their compositions as “dhur ki bani” or the word of primal divine source. Again, no intermediary communicated this word of God.
The teachers in Sikhism are called Gurus.
Beginning with Guru Nanak Dev who was the founder of Sikhism, the teachings of the first five Sikh Gurus were compiled by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev into the Guru Granth Sahib. These included teachings of saints of the Hindu and Muslim faith also. The Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, before his death, declared the Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal guru of the Sikhs for all times to come, and copies were distributed by Baba Deep Singh and Bhai Mani Singh to Sikhs.
HOLY PLACE AND DAYS
Amritsar is the sacred place for Sikhs. In Sikhism, Gurpurabs are considered auspicious days where as Eid is an auspicious day in Islam.
A dead Muslim is buried whereas a dead Sikh is cremated.
Taoism existed in more direct competition with other traditions and was not established officially to the same degree.
CONCEPT OF GOD
Taoism is not monotheistic and it believes in a variety of deities and spirits which may or may not originate from this world, and particular ones may be more or less important to individuals.
Taoism is more likely to be experienced as either tradition and as principles to strive for.
Taoism is more compatible with eclectic or self-chosen beliefs and practices which might be combined with Confucianism, Buddhism, or even elements of Islam.
Taoism emphasizes reflection and mystical experience more than does orthodox Islam, which is more rationalistic and focused on active structuring of society according to what it understands as correct beliefs and correct practices.
Taoism teaches reincarnation, with hope of becoming an immortal after a number of lifetimes.
In Taoism, the main purpose of life is to live it to its fullest and achieve happiness and satisfaction while we are still living. In order to do so, we must live in the context that we exist in, without trying to change it or create any unrealistic needs or desire that will cause us to think that life should be different than what it is.
In the Taoist culture, the purpose of life is to live life to its fullest without thinking that it should be different than the way it is. In fact, in Taoism, it is believed that: “if we have no perceived lack, our life will be the best one because then there will be no desire for things that we don’t have.”
In the Taoist beliefs, we can notice a certain “fatality” to follow your life as “planned”. People live their lives like it is without desire to change it. They just make sure that they make the most out of it without imagining it being different, as explained by the Taoist concept: “ The purpose of life is to live life, without thinking that it should be different than what it is right now.”
They live their lives in order to satisfy their own will and in order to, themselves, reach the highest level of harmony with nature without having any “colored filters” between their eyes and reality.
Taoism has a variety of sacred texts but there is no decisive authority among them.
Taoism is more associated with sacrificial offerings, propitiating spirits, and similar activities
Buddhism is based on the words of the Buddha, or Siddharta Gautama. More than being a religion, Buddhism is a philosophy which encompasses a variety of traditions, practices and beliefs.
Buddhism is a widely-practiced religion in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.
CONCEPT OF GOD
Buddhism only introduced the concept of God in the later doctrines.
The Buddhist doctrine exhorts the Buddhists to follow the essence of Dhamma and condemn idol-worship.
The earlier Buddhist doctrine does not mention any God, although the concept of Godly figures was introduced later.
PILLARS OF BUDDHISM
Buddhists believe in the two major branches of Buddhism, which include the Theravada, or ‘The School of the Elders’, and Mahayana, which is ‘The Great Vehicle’.
Buddhists also believe that the actions of a person are dependent on his salvation. According to the Buddhist doctrine, the works done by a person decides upon his salvation, and therefore, the person cannot blame others for it.
Buddhism does not focus too much on good and evil.
Karma is something that Buddhists believe in when you talk about eternal life.
The universe is separate from God and has been created by Him.
Buddhism believes in humanity and love for all beings.
Buddhism opposes the evils of caste and creed and asserts the equality of all beings.
Buddhism neither stresses on the aspects of the natural world, nor gives an emphasis on the role of God in goods and evils.
In Buddhism, there are a vast number of Buddhist scriptures and religious texts, which are commonly divided into the categories of canonical and non-canonical.
The former, also called the Sutras (Sanskrit) or Suttas (Pali) are believed to be, either literally or metaphorically, the actual words of the Buddha. The latter are commentaries on canonical texts, other treatises on the Dharma, and collections of quotes, histories, grammars, etc.
The Tripitaka (Tipitaka in Pali), Mahayana Buddhism reveres the Tripitaka as a sacred text with addition of the Sutras and the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Buddhism celebrates many holidays and festivals.
The Buddhist New Year,Vesak (Buddha Day), Sangha Day, Dhamma Day, Uposatha (Observance Day), Kathina Ceremony (Robe Offering Ceremony), Loy Krathong Festival (Festival of Floating Bowls), Elephant Festival, Festival of The Tooth, Ulambana (Ancestor Day).
Islam is one of the largest religions in the world, with over 1 billion followers. It based on revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad in 7th-century Saudi Arabia. According to Islamic tradition, the angel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet over the course of 20 years, revealing to him many messages from God. The story of Islam starts with the prophet Muhammad. The religion of the Arab world before the advent of Islam was an animistic polytheism. Numerous gods were worshipped as well, with most towns having their own patron god.
CONCEPT OF GOD
The single most important belief in Islam, and arguably the central theme of the religion, is that there is only one God. The name of God is Allah, which is simply Arabic for “the (al) God (Ilah).” People who follow Islam are called Muslims and they believe whatever Allah told them through his book to his messenger is guarded by Allah Himself. They believe in success following Allah’s guide.
PILLARS OF ISLAM
The Arabic word islam means “submission,” reflecting the faith’s central tenet of submitting to the will of God. Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
Islamic practices center on the Five Pillars of Islam—faith; prayer; fasting; pilgrimage to Mecca; and alms—and include several holidays and rituals as well.
There is no official creed to which one must adhere to be considered a Muslim. All that is required is to believe and recite the Shahada: “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” Beyond this core belief, however, Muslim doctrine is often summarized in “Six Articles of Faith.” Many Muslims believe that one must adhere to the six articles to be considered a Muslim: One God, angels, books, prophets, judgement day, supremacy of God’s Will.
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is revered as “the Seal of the Prophets” – the last and greatest of the messengers of God. He is not divine in any way, for the strict monotheism that characterizes Islam (as well as Judaism) does not allow for such an interpretation. Other prophets are important in Islam as well, all of which are shared with the Jews or the Christians.
For a Muslim, the object of life is to live in a way that is pleasing to Allah so that one may gain Paradise. It is believed that at puberty, an account of each person’s deeds is opened, and this will be used at the Day of Judgment to determine his eternal fate.
Like Christianity, Islam teaches the continued existence of the soul and a transformed physical existence after death. There will be a day of judgment and humanity will be divided between the eternal destinations of Paradise and Hell.
In Islam, there are two main sacred texts: the Quran (also spelled “Koran”) and the Hadith (or Hadeeth). These books teach and illustrate Islamic beliefs, values, and practices. The Quran is the most sacred text, as it is believed to be the literal word of God as revealed to Muhammad. The Hadith is a secondary text that records sayings of Muhammad and his followers. These two texts form the basis for all Islamic theology, practice and Sharia (Islamic law).
The word “Quran” means “recitation” in Arabic.
The word “Hadith” means “narrative” or “report” in Arabic.
Sacred places in Islam, like Mecca and Medina, are very important.
The most sacred place in Islam is the Ka’ba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Ka’ba is a mosque (built by Abraham according to Muslim tradition) built around a black stone. Muhammad designated Mecca as the holy city of Islam and the direction (qibla) in which all Muslims should offer their prayers.
The second holiest site in Islam is Medina (or Medinah), the “City of the Prophet,” is in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia.
The third most sacred city in Islam is Jerusalem, which was the original qibla (direction of prayer) before it was changed to Mecca.
Karbala is a city in Iraq, located about 100 km southwest of Baghdad. Shia Muslims consider Karbala to be one of the holiest places in the world.
Al-Hijra (the Islamic New Year), Ramadan, ‘Id Al-Fitr or Eid al-Fitr (Arabic for “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast”), ‘Id Al-Adha or Eid al-Adha (Arabic for “Festival of the Sacrifice”) and Ashura.
COMPARISON BETWEEN SIKHISM, TAOISM, BUDDHISM AND ISLAM
||Guru Nanak, c. 1500 AD, Punjab, India.
||One God (Ik Onkar, Nam)
||Overcome the self, align life with will of God, and become a “saint soldier,” fighting for good.
||Reincarnation until resolve karma and merge with God.
||Prayer and meditation on God’s name, services at temple (gurdwara), turban and five Ks. Balance work, worship, and charity. No monasticism or asceticism.
||Adi Granth (Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
||Lao-Tzu, c. 550 BC, China.
(394 million adherents of Chinese religion)
|Pantheism – the Tao pervades all. Yin-yang – opposites make up a unity.
||Purpose is inner harmony, peace, and longevity. Acheived by living in accordance with the Tao.
||Revert back to state of non-being, which is simply the other side of being.
||General attitude of detachment and non-struggle, “go with the flow” of the Tao. Tai-chi, acupuncture, and alchemy to help longevity.
||Tao Te Ching, Chuang-Tzu
||Founded by Siddharta Gautama (the Buddha) in c. 520 BC, NE India.
||Varies: Theravada atheistic; Mahayana more polytheistic. Buddha taught nothing is permanent.
||Purpose is to avoid suffering and gain enlightenment and release from cycle of rebirth, or at least attain a better rebirth by gaining merit.
||Reincarnation (understood differently than in Hinduism, with no surviving soul) until gain enlightenment
||Meditation, mantras, devotion to deities (in some sects), mandalas (Tibetan)
||Tripitaka (Pali Canon); Mahayana sutras like the Lotus Sutra; others.
||Muhammad, 622 AD, Saudi Arabia
||1.3 billion (Sunni: 940 million)
||One God (Allah in Arabic)
||Humans must submit (islam) to the will of God to gain Paradise after death.
||Paradise or Hell.
||Five Pillars: Faith, Prayer, Alms, Pilgrimage, Fasting. Mosque services on Fridays. Ablutions before prayer. No alcohol or pork. Holidays related to the pilgrimage and fast of Ramadan.
||Qur’an (Scripture); Hadith (tradition)