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Guru Gobind Singh His Life And Bani

Introduction Of The Book ‘Guru Gobind Singh His Life And Bani’ By Dr Harbans Lal Agnihotri And Chand R Agnihotri

The book brings forth the life and poetry of the Tenth Master. The biographical details highlight the crucial importance of the Guru’s life, struggles and sacrifices in Sikh history. Beginning with an analytical scrutiny of how the rise of the Sikh movement corres­ponded to the growth and decline of the Mughal Empire in India, the book covers all phases of Guru’s career including the alleged worship of Durga and the creation of the Khalsa.

The second section presents Guru Gobind Singh as a poet. The Jaap Sahib, The Akal Ustat, The Bachitra Natak, Chandi as the Metaphor of Valour, Chaubis Avatar, Zofar Nama, Swaiyyas, Shabad Hazare and Chaupai Sahib have been taken up for elucidation and explanation. The book closes on the memorable Tribute paid to Guru Gobind Singh by Bhai Nand Lai, a Court-Poet of the Guru, rendered into English prose along with its original in Persian. The Guru’s bani has been transliterated in the interest of the Engilsh-Knowing reader.

 

Preface Of The Book ‘Guru Gobind Singh His Life And Bani’ By Dr Harbans Lal Agnihotri And Chand R Agnihotri

The series of volumes on Sikh Gurus, contemplated a decade back, had their genesis in the need, poignantly felt by us, to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals enshrined in the composite culture of Panjab and to educate the younger generation settled away from the land of their inheritance. As such, the present book is not a dissertation tailored to a specific topic or frame of references; nor is it a routine biography detailing facts or events in a soulless manner.

The composite culture of the Panjab which ensures the freedom of faith and dignity of individuals finds its expression in the Sikh way of life, as espoused by the Gurus. Prof. Puran Singh pays a tribute to this legacy when he writes that the gospel of the Gurus has sustained the community life in the Punjab : “Panjab sara jeeonda guru de nam te,”

First of its kind in English, the present full-length study is a labour of love, undertaken over the years, that reconciles the biographical details of the Tenth Master with the soulful compositions, as recorded in the Dasam Granth Sahib'. The book brings forth the life and poetry of Guru Gobind Singh. The biographical details highlight the crucial importance of the Guru’s life, struggles and sacrifices in Sikh history. The authors have drawn upon various sources to project the mission and personality of the Great Guru, a rare manifestation of spiritual light and valour.

The opening chapter ‘Awaiting the Arrival of Gobind’offers an analytical scrutiny of how the rise of the Sikh move­ment corresponded to the growth and decline of the Mughal Empire in India. Guru Gobind’s birth at Patna, return to Anandpur, education, training and marriage are covered in ‘Early Life’. Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom, simmering tension with Kahlur and stay at Paonta are taken up in the chapter “Gobind Becomes the Tenth Master.” The battles of Bhangani, Nadaun, discomfiture of Khanzada and the attacks of Hussain Khan and Muazzam are discussed in the chapter “The Battles of the Pre-Khalsa Period.” The authors have critically examined the alleged worship of Durga and the creation of the Khalsa. The battles of Anandpur, Nirmoh, the Siege and the battle of Chamkaur figure prominently in “Battles of the Post-Khalsa Period.” Saka Sarhind, the battle of Muktsar, stay at Damdama Sahib, movement to the South, meeting with Banda Bairagi and the last journey at Nanded are discussed in “Haal Muridaan Da Kaihna.”

The second section presents Guru Gobind Singh as a poet. The Jaap Sahib, the Akal Ustat, the Bachitra Natak, Chandi as the Metaphor of Valour, Chaubis Avatar, Zafar Nama, Swaiyyas, Shabad Hazare and Chaupai Sahib have been taken up for elucidation and explanation in the interest of the reader. The transliterated texts of the bani, it is hoped, would provide an enlightening and uplifting experience to the readers who are not conversant with Gurmukhi letters. The book closes on the memorable Tribute paid to Guru Gobind Singh by Bhai Nand Lai, a Court-Poet of the Guru, rendered into English prose along with its original in Persian.

We make no claim to learning or scholarship; nor do we pretend to have discovered anything original, hitherto unknown, from the labyrinths of records and manuals. An earnest attempt has, however, been made to present the life and Bani before the modern reader exposed to cross-currents of cultures and thoughts. Guru Gobind Singh : His Life and Bani is a part of a bigger project that modestly seeks to transmit the

universal message of the Gurus and their Bani to the readers in the language and idiom they understand. Suggestions for further improvement of the book will be gratefully acknowledged.

Baisakhi Day, April 13, 1996 ‘Sakoon’                                              Harbans Lai Agnihotri
732/5, Bank Colony, Hisar - 125001                                                    Chand R. Agnihotri

About the Author ‘Dr Harbans Lal Agnihotri And Chand R Agnihotri' of the Book 'The Darbar of The Sikh Gurus'

Dr H.L. Agnihotri (born 1937) taught English at graduate and post-graduate levels in Panjab and Haryana. After doing his Master’s degrees in English and Panjabi languages, Professor Agnihotri earned his Ph.D. on Indian-English Novel and the Gandhian Struggle for Freedom from Panjab University, Chandigarh. A keen student of literature, Principal Agnihotri is a dedicated student of Sikh history and thought. He has produced readable works on Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.

Chand R. Agnihotri (born 1944) teaches English language at the Senior Secondary level. Currently engaged in writing monographs on the Sikh Gurus in collaboration with Professor Agnihotri, Chand, an M.A. in English and Hindi, is an insightful reader of religion, literature and history.

 

Table Of Contents Of The Book 'Guru Gobind Singh His Life And Bani' By Dr Harbans Lal Agnihotri And Chand R Agnihotri

  CONTENTS  
     
  Preface  
  Acknowledgements  
  Introduction by Prof. Darshan Singh Maini  
1 Awaiting the Arrival of Gobind 17
2 Early Life 21
  Education and Training 27
  Marriage 29
3 Gobind Becomes the Tenth Master 32
  Guru Teg Bahadur’s Martyrdom 36
  Simmering Tension with Kahlur 40
4 Stay at Paonta 42
5 The Battles of the Pre-Khalsa Period 48
  The Battle of Bhangani 48
  The Battle of Nadaun 50'
  Discomfiture of Khanzada 52
  Then Came Hussain Khan 52
  Shahzada Muazzam Wreaks Vengeance ... 53
6 The Worship of Durga 55
7 The Guru Creates the Khalsa 61
8 Battles of the Post-Khalsa Period 65
  The Battle of Anandpur 65
  The Battle of Nirmoh 66
  The Battle of Anandpur 67
  The Siege of Anandpur 67
  The Battle of Chamkaur 68
9 Haal Muridaan Da Kaihna 71
  Saka Sarhind 73
  At Damdama Sahib 75
  The Guru Proceeds to the South 76
  Meeting with Banda Bairagi 77
  The Last Journey 77
10 Guru Gobind Singh : The Poet 80
  The Jaap Sahib 85
  Akal Ustat 93
  The Bachitra Natak 113
  Chandi, the Metaphor of Valour 129
  Chandi Charit (Part I and II) 131
  Var Durga 134
  Chaubis Avatar 137
  ZafarNama 177
  Swaiyyas 199
  Shabad Hazare 205
  Chaupai Sahib 211
11 A Tribute by Bhai Nand Lai Goya 218
12 Shrines of Guru Gobind Singh 220
13 Select Bibliography 225
14 Index 229

 

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