Akal Takht

In 1606 the Sikhs established their own royal court, similar to the Mughal court of the time, with the Guru as the royal and spiritual head. The temporal role of the Sikh Guru was symbolized by the seat called Akal Takht, “The Throne of the Almighty.”


Upon initiation into the Khalsa, Sikh men assume the name Singh, “Lion.”


In the Sikh tradition, the term rehras refers to evening prayers.


Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, created the Khalsa, the “alliance of the pure” in 1699. When a Sikh comes of age or is ready for a greater level of commitment, he or she joins the Khalsa through the special initiation known as “taking amrit.” Initiated Sikhs wear five signs of their new identity and acquire a new name. Singh for men and Kaur for women.

Guru Ram Das

The fourth of the ten Sikh Gurus, Ram Das served as Guru from 1574 to 1581. He is primarily known for establishing the town of Ramdaspur, later known as Amritsar, in the Punjab.


The granthi is the custodian of the book (granth). In the Sikh tradition, the granthi cares for the Adi Granth by maintaining the gurdwara and seeing to the daily observances in the special room where the sacred book is housed. He may also lead the chanting and singing of its hymns during services. The term is also used by the Ravidas sect.


Amritsar is the city in the Punjab in northwest India that is the historical and spiritual center of the Sikh tradition. In 1574 the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, established the town and had the “Lake of Nectar,” Amritsar, dug at its center. The magnificent temple called the Darbar Sahib, popularly known as the “Golden Temple,” was built on an island in the middle of this Lake of Nectar.

Being Black & Sikh

September 17, 2019

I'm Afrodhari And Im Proud

“An Afro-what?!”

Yes, you read that right. An Afrodhari. It’s an imaginary word I use to address myself to acknowledge I’m both an Amritdhari and have natural hair. Of course, I don’t use this word with others though cause I know most just won’t get it. But what does this have to do with anything? Well, let me tell you.

The Five K’s and the Courts

The five ks and the courtsWearing uncut hair (kes) covered with a turban and carrying the symbolic knife (kirpan) are two of the five emblems of Sikh initiation into the Khalsa, the Sikh sacred community. In the United States, Sikhs have defended the right to wear these symbols of faith with varying results. Many judicial cases require parties to strike a balance between an individual’s right of free exercise, and questions of safety, government interest, and/or undue hardship on an organization.... Read more about The Five K’s and the Courts

Sikhism Post 9/11

Sikhism Post 9/11Following 9/11, there was an increase in hate crimes and discrimination against Sikhs across the United States, which led to the formation of national Sikh advocacy groups and organizations. More local initiatives seeking to educate the public about Sikhism and build relationships with non-Sikh community members also emerged.... Read more about Sikhism Post 9/11

America or Khalistan?

America or Khalistan?After the Indian army attacked the sacred Sikh Golden Temple and killed thousands of Sikhs in 1984, the call for an independent Sikh nation, Khalistan, gained significant traction in the Sikh community both in Punjab and abroad. A desire for independence has been present throughout Sikh history, but the events of 1984 brought the issue to the fore for many Sikhs. In gurdwaras throughout the United States, addressing the issues surrounding Khalistan is  balanced with addressing the issues of how to maintain a Sikh community in the United States.... Read more about America or Khalistan?

Growing Up Sikh

Growing Up SikhMany Sikh children find themselves the only Sikhs in their schools and neighborhoods. The American Sikh community provides youth programming at gurdwaras and summer camps for Sikh youth from different towns and cities to meet and gather. Online communities also provide spaces for Sikh youth to connect.... Read more about Growing Up Sikh