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Selections From The Holy Granth - Book By Prof. Gurbachan Singh Talib

Preface To 'Selections From The Holy Granth' By Prof. Gurbachan Singh Talib

Sikhism, a faith whose followers have achieved great distinc­tion in several spheres, is still comparatively unknown to most people with regard to its principles and doctrines. A great deal of misunderstanding on this score exists. Indeed, the scholarly study of Sikhism was begun only recently, mainly in the universities.

In this context there has been a long-felt need for a handy book which should present to the general, lay reader interested in the study of this faith, a representative selection of its basic scriptural writings. English renderings from the Adi Granth known popularly as the Granth Sahib), have been in existence for nearly a century, but most translations do not adequately convey to the uninitiated reader the original concepts or the power of what to the Sikhs is the divinely inspired word. To be conveyed are not only a number of philosophical concepts, integral to the Sikh faith and couched in the language of metaphor and symbol, but also the experience and emotion of the original. It is hoped that in the renderings that follow, these aims have been amply fulfilled.

Attention may be drawn to another feature of this book-­the thematic arrangement of the hymns presented. While in Punjabi some selections with such an arrangement are extant, there is perhaps none in English. In the Punjabi selections referred to, the pieces presented are over-weighted on the con­ceptual side: the subtle appeal of Cosmic Wonder, the Ecstasy of Divine Love, the Transmutation of Suffering, the Joy of the Soul in God-all such aspects are left out. This translation to a very great extent cures this imbalance, and it is hoped will convey to the reader an adequate idea of the fullness and richness of the spiritual experience and the universal ethical hings of the Founders of the Sikh faith.

A part from non-Sikh readers in India and abroad there are now among the Sikh people themselves, a class of adolescents and even middle-aged persons who under the stresses of pre­sent-day urban living, have lost touch with the fundamental principles and vision of their faith. To all such this book will bring the joyous message of the holy Gurus.

In the Footnotes and the Glossary, certain problems of interpretation have been dealt with. The introductory chapter sets down in fairly detailed outline the fundamentals of the Sikh faith along with brief notes about the teachers whose compositions are included in the Holy Granth.

The book is thus aimed at the general reader and the scholar seeking a deeper knowledge of Sikhism. I hope it will serve as a good and reliable introductory study of this faith.

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