Wednesday, November 11

Dissemination and organization

There are an estimated 20 to 25 million Sikhs worldwide today, most of them in Punjab and about three million outside India. The largest foreign communities exist in Canada and Great Britain (several hundred thousand each), several thousand Sikhs live in Germany (numbers between 5000 and 15000 are mentioned), who gather in almost 30 Gurdwaras, mainly in urban centers. Several hundred are assumed for Switzerland and almost 3000 for Austria. A kind of religious parliament in Amritsar, in which the German Sikhs are also integrated, watches over the interests of the Sikhs. In this country, associations manage the affairs of the Gurdwara and the local church ( Sangat ). Financing is provided through donations.

The Radhasoami tradition (Sant Mat) emerged from the same roots as Sikhism in the 19th century. It ties in with early guruistic Sikhism, but forms an independent, widely ramified religion that emphasizes the importance of the living master. In the West it is particularly popular in the esoteric scene. This also applies to the “3H Organization” (3HO – healthy, happy, holy ), which was founded by the Sikh Yogi Bhajan, who emigrated to the USA and who taught Kundalini Yoga in the West from 1968. Some converts, however, came to Sikhism through 3HO.