|Title||7th Avatar of Lord Vishnu|
Rama Avatar,[note 1] or Raja Ram had an important place in Sikhism. Rama is mentioned as one among the 24 incarnations of Vishnu in the Chaubis Avtar, a composition in Dasam Granth traditionally and historically attributed to Guru Gobind Singh. The discussion of Rama and Krishna avatars is the most extensive in this section of the secondary Sikh scripture. The important sources for depiction of Rama can be found in the Sikh holy book, Dasam Granth and is described as the 9th Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Though there have been many claims that the Ram in Sikhism is not related to the Rama described in the Ramayana. In Gurbani there is difference between Ram Chander (King of Ayodhya) and Ram (all prevailing God). Guru Nanak in Asa Ki Vaar says that there are many Rams and Krishnas with many stories. Also Guru Nanak Dev clearly mentioned in Mool Mantra that God do not take birth and remain absorbed in itself. So Ram meaning in Gurbani should not be confused with Ram Chander the incarnation of Vishnu (A Hindu deity).
The word Rama (ˈraːmɐ) has been described in the Guru Granth Sahib more than 2,500 times. Hinduism is a pre-historic religion, while Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak. In Sikhism, Guru Nanak has described and explained many facts regarding Hinduism and gave the concept of Ik Onkar, which is quite similar to that of Om. There have been a depiction of Rama as a character for inner peace and inspiration in Sikhism.
In Dasam Granth's Chapter-13, there is a topic of Rama Avatar regarding the Rama.[note 2]
Following is the outline of Rama story from the Sikh narratives:
Rama was a pre-historic figure from Ramayana, who belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty of Ayodhya. Rama was a brilliant, brave and efficient warrior. He had 3 brothers, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. He married Sita from whom he had 2 sons, Lava and Kusha who were born in the Ashram of Valmiki. Rama was the 7th Avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Sikhs claim that their tradition has always been separate from Hinduism. But Sikhism too believed in Ram and other avatars of Vishnu and Lord Shiva as recited by the tenth Guru Gobind Singh in the granth. In Sikhism Ram means to that almighty god who is one, who has no shape, no colour, no size. In Guru Granth Sahib Several names are used such as Ram, Raheem, Alah, khuda, Mohan, Krishan and other Hindu-Muslim God and Goddess. Guru Nanak Dev ji teaches that God is one, he can be in the form of Alah, Ram, Mohan and Waheguru. Nevertheless, many Western scholars argue that in its earliest stage Sikhism was a movement within the Hindu tradition; Nanak, they point out, was raised a Hindu and eventually belonged to the Sant tradition of northern India, a movement associated with the great poet and mystic Kabir (1440–1518). The Sants, most of whom were poor, dispossessed, and illiterate, composed hymns of great beauty expressing their experience of the divine, which they saw in all things. Their tradition drew heavily on Vaishnava bhakti (the devotional movement within the Hindu tradition that worships the god Vishnu), though there were important differences between the two. Like the followers of bhakti, the Sants believed that devotion to God is essential to liberation from the cycle of rebirth in which all human beings are trapped; unlike the followers of bhakti, however, the Sants maintained that God is nirgun (“without form”) and not sagun (“with form”). For the Sants, God can be neither incarnated nor represented in concrete terms.
Sikhism was born in the Punjab area of South Asia, which now falls into the present day states of India and Pakistan. The main religions of the area at the time were Hinduism and Islam. The Sikh faith began around 1500 CE, when Guru Nanak began teaching a faith that was quite distinct from Hinduism and Islam. Nine Gurus followed Nanak and developed the Sikh faith and community over the next centuries.