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An Introduction To Sri Guru Granth Sahib - Book By Gurbachan Singh Talib

Summary of 'An Introduction To Sri Guru Granth Sahib' By Gurbachan Singh Talib 

Sikh Scripture, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is a 1430-page-long psalm in laudation of the Transcendent. Its poetry is all in the spiritual key. It lays down no dogma or prescriptions. The message it communicates is couched in the language and symbolism of love and faith. It is purest and most exalted poetry ever written. Being liberal in design and spirit, the Holy Granth is a major repository of spiritual thought in world literature-thought apparently common to all religious traditions, but unique in its announcement of the existence of the Absolute Being, and in its celebration of God­consciousness.

As the principal sacred text of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the pivot of their religious and social life. It is not merely a text bejewelled with sacred word and phrase; it is for Sikhs the mystic personality, the person visible of the Gurus. Students of religion will find in it much that is in consonance with the richest spiritual experience of mankind. Also, much is to be found in the text which points to contemporary concerns of a broad humanitarian doctrine based on truth, compassion and justice.

It is a measure of the vast and ready learning of Professor Gurbachan Singh Talib that he undertook to translate into English the entire text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, since published by Punjabi University in four handsome volumes. 'To translate', as the adage runs, 'is to betray.' To render a religio­spiritual and cultural text of one tradition into another is a challenging task which requires a· deep understanding of the idiom and phraseology of both languages and traditions-host as well as guest. It amounts to a confrontation of two heterogenous sensibilities which are conditioned by the intrinsic value systems of their respective cultures. Professor Talib through his remarkable genius for 'intercultural mediation' has accomplished a new semiotic reference by evoking the consciousness of rupture in the continuity of identification. He has employed Indian theistic, philosophical and devotional vocabulary, intelligible to the general readers, having a universal significance, conveying at the same time the meaningful exposition: in subtle music and cadence to the recipients of target language culture.

Professor Talib’s prolegomenon to his four volume translation is, in a way, an exhaustive and a comprehensive essay on... Sikh philosophical thought. Terms fundamental to Sikh belief and doctrine such as guru, hukam, nadar, mukti, niranjan, and sachkhand are expounded with uncommon intellectual finesse and clarity. Several exegetic expositions of the Holy Book exist, but Professor Talib’s rendering excels them all in aesthetic as well as in literary grace. Conversant with the currents of the philosophical and religious traditions of both the east and the west, having at the same time a deep understanding of Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi traditions, Professor Talib' s renderings and interpretations attest his life-long pursuit-the pursuit of excellence. While his translation preserves the soul, beauty and rhythm of the original, his interpretation is a happy fusion of the perceptively critical approach and an intuitive vision. The Punjabi University is publishing Professor Talib's Introduction to his four-volume translation of the Guru Granth Sahib as a separate treatise. For its cogency of analysis of Sikh concepts and for its freshness of expression it will bear reproduction in this form and, I believe, it will be received with equal appreciation by the erudite as well as by the lay reader.

 

Table of Contents For 'An Introduction To Sri Guru Granth Sahib , Book By Gurbachan Singh Talib'

Foreword (iii)

1. The Holy Granth Sahib-Origins............................. 1

2. A Brief History of Compilation of the Granth Sahib....................... 4

3. The Granth Sahib as the Mystical Person of the Guru............... 22

4. Detail of the Contents of the Holy Granth Sahib.......................... 25

5. Language of the Holy Granth................................. 31

6. The Teachings of Guru Granth Sahib............................... 40

7. Karma and Grace................................... 47

8. Bhakti....................................................... 57

9. Mysticism............................................ 62

10. Sahaj.................................................................... 67

11. Nam, Shabda..................................... 72

12. Akkhar (Word, Syllable).................................. 79

13. Grihastha (The householder's life)............................... 80

14. On Yoga............................................... 88

15. Social Conscience-Caste......................................95

16. Mukti-Jivan-Mukta..................................................... 105

17. The Cosmic Vision............................................ 108

18. Guru, The Holy Preceptor, Guide................................... 115

19. Imagery............................................... 119

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