Sikhism and military history are closely intertwined. Beginning with the Sixth Guru Hargobind (1606-1644), the concept of temporal power combined with spiritual guidance took root as this faith sought freedom of worship against discriminatory policies in India at that time. The Tenth Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708) stated, “When all efforts to restore peace prove useless and no words avail, lawful is the flash of steel, it is right to draw the sword.” The order of the Khalsa, once formalized, has prevailed to the present time as a political and a religious institution.
This exhibition offers a glimpse of the weapons, images and other articles of Sikh history that demonstrate the balance of martial and spiritual endeavors of Sikh leaders and communities in times of peace and of battle.
Saintly Soldiers of the Sikh Faith is organized by Phoenix Art Museum. It is made possible through the generosity of donors to the Museum's annual fund.
See an exclusive screening of the 2017 film All Quiet on the Home Front, which tells the remarkable story of Bhagat Singh Thind, the first Sikh to serve in the US Army in World War I wearing his articles of faith, and the landmark Supreme Court case that followed in 1923.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Kamal S. Kalsi will be on site to introduce the film, providing an insider’s perspective on the challenges that persist to this day of the wearing of religious articles during armed combat. A panel discussion will follow the screening, featuring director Harjus Singh in conversation with Lt. Col. Kalsi, Bicky Singh (the founder of Sikhlens, the world’s premier Sikh film festival), and several other special guests.
Tickets are free for Members and included with general admission. For full details, please visit our event calendar here.
Admission is free for Phoenix Art Museum Members, past and present members of the Military and youth aged 5 and under. Not a Member yet? Join here!
This exhibition is offered to the general public for free during voluntary donation, free-access hours from 3–9 pm each Wednesday, from 6–10 pm on the First Friday of each month, and the second weekend of each month from 10am–5pm on Saturday and noon–5 pm on Sunday.
Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here.
Exhibitons page and left: Emily Eden, Akalees or Immortals, 1844. Hand-painted chromolithograph on paper. The Khanuja Family.
Right: Shield, 1854 – 1856. Metal. The Khanuja Family.
Warriors of World War I and Beyond: Sikhism On-ScreenWarriors of World War I and Beyond: Sikhism On-Screen