The word "Sikh" is derived from the original Sanskrit word "Shishya", meaning disciple. This eclectic monotheist religion is an offshoot of Hinduism. Its founder Guru Nanak (1469-1539AD) was revered by both Hindus and Muslims alike. His teachings and those of the nine "gurus" who followed him are embodied in the "Adi Granth" or the "Guru Granth Sahib". Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 AD) welded the Sikhs into a martial community in 1699 AD to fight religious persecution. He also instituted the use of the "five Ks" which distinguish the Sikh community from others:

Kangha: a small comb in the hair;

Kesh: unshorn hair;

Kripan: a sword by the side;

Kachha: a pair of shorts; and

Kara: a steel bangle.

The conventional mode of salutation consists in saying "Sat Sri Akal" meaning Truth is Eternal.

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