Discuss various social and religious institutions in Sikhism.

The highest aim of life is realization of spirituality and its expression through human conduct. It is clearly evident in the practice of three cardinal precepts i.e. kirat karma (honest labour), nam-japna (contemplation of divine name), and vand chhakna (sharing with others). These precepts are simultaneously functional both at the individual level as well as at the social level.

Kirat Karma: The term means to earn an honest, pure and dedicated living by exercising one’s God-given skills, abilities, talents and hard labour for the benefit and improvement of the individual, their family and society at large.

Nam-japna: The term refers to the meditation, vocal singing of hymns from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or contemplating the various Names of God (or qualities of God).

Vand Chhakna: The term means to share what you have and to consume it together as a community. This could be wealth, food. etc.

The Sikh religious institutions such as Gurdwara, Guru, Sangat, Langar, Dharmsal, etc., encourage the concept of community worship and provide a model for an egalitarian society.

Gurdwara: Gurdwara is also a central institution of the Sikh community. The word Gurdwara was first used by Guru Hargobind, meaning thereby home or abode of the Guru where Guru Granth Sahib is installed.

Guru (Divine Preceptor): The word Guru literally means one who removes darkness and is an enlightener and the first and foremost Guru, according to Guru Nanak is God Himself, meaning thereby the Word of God as the Primal Guru.

Sangat (Holy Congregation): It literally means holy congregation and the institution of sangat in Sikh religion has far-reaching social implications as it inculcates the feeling of brotherhood, promotes equality and provides opportunity for service (seva).

Dharamsal (place to practice righteousness): It literally means a place for practice of dharma or righteousness.

Langar (Free community kitchen): It is a unique Sikh institution which has been established to represent the basic postulates of Sikhism that is earning with honest labor and sharing with others.

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