What is the Sikh community? Where do they originate from? What are the core principles of Sikhism?

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The Sikh community originated in northern India in what is now called the Punjab region. It began in the late 1400s. The faith community today numbers about 25 million Sikhs.

The core beliefs of the Sikh faith are that it is a monotheistic religion that sees God as neither male nor female. It believes in equality between the sexes. Although distinct from Hinduism, the faith shares some concepts with the other religion. A similarity is the concept of Maya found in both. Maya means that the world is an illusion that pulls people away from devotion to God in pursuit of the false path of pleasure. The human goal in life should be to put aside illusion and concentrate on reuniting with God. This union, which can be achieved while a person is still alive, leads to liberation from earthly desires. Sikhs believe that all of life is interconnected. They further believe that we can achieve oneness or wholeness by embracing our connection with the rest of the planet. Part of this is the belief that the secular world and its activities are a part of God's kingdom.

Sikhs believe in reincarnation. They also believe that humans can move to a higher plane if they can abandon ego and devote themselves to service and the pursuit of justice.

Sikhs do not cut their hair as sign of respect to God. Their holy text, central to guiding their faith life, is called the Guru Granth Sahib.

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