The Guru Granth Sahib - the Sikh holy book
Simran explains that the Guru Granth Sahib is not just a book to Sikhs; it is treated as a living Guru. She tells us that 5867 sacred hymns or Shabads make up the Guru Granth Sahib and that it is full of wisdom and teachings for Sikhs.Simran talks about a special devotion, called Akhand Path, which involves reading all of the scriptures aloud and takes about two days. This is something that Sikhs do as a special act of worship.
Symbols for respect for the Guru Granth Sahib are also outlines, these include: bowing the head to the ground in the presence of the Guru, covering the head, removing shoes to enter the presence of the Guru, sprinkling water ahead of the Guru Granth Sahib and providing a room and bed for rest. The greatest respect for the teachings, however, is not in removing shoes or sprinkling water, but living a life inspired by the wisdom of the Gurus. This matters most.
Draw attention to the ways scriptures or holy writings are used and honoured in different religions (you could use another clip from the ‘My Life, My Religion’ series about Torah, Bible or Qu’ran). Ask pupils to think about why these scriptures are so highly valued and rank some reasons: is it because believers say they come from God? Because they give rules for living? Because they tell stories that make sense of life? Because they are inspired or inspiring? Pupils could be asked what makes some words holy, and get them to choose examples of ‘holy words’ that mean a lot to them.
This topic will be relevant to teaching Religious Education at KS2 or KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 2 or 3 in Scotland.