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The Sikh Heritage of Pakistan
Introduction to the Book 'The Sikh Heritage of Pakistan'
Pakistan is a land of bounty and diversity with a glorious history of vibrant civilizations and colorful cultures that adorned its landscape. It is a land of legends and heroic tales giving birth to some fascinating folklore which shaped its literary traditions. Some of the oldest texts, like Rig-Veda, were composed on the banks of its rivers and in the religious retreats. No wonder some major religions flourished here. The religious interaction during the medieval period in India inspired new doctrines and reform movements in a bid to synthesize the rival ideologies. The Naths and the Bhaktas rejected the prevailing caste system and laid stress on inner devotion. However, a more coherent and enduring new philosophy, Sikhism, was expounded by Baba Guru Nanak. Since Punjab was the centre of activities of the Sikh Gurus and later the political power base of the Sikhs, there are numerous sites in Pakistan which are sacred to the Sikh community. Thousands of pilgrims visit these places from all over the globe to pay homage to the founders of the faith and other valiant men and women who committed their lives to the growth and glory of the new religion. The book is designed to serve as a souvenir to the faithful who may not be able to go to all the sites and find it convenient to make a spiritual journey through lively images of the sacred shrines, and may also serve as ad-memoir back home. While it may refresh fond memories of the elders, it may serve as a guide for younger generations about their history related to this region.