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Table Of Contents For 'Guru Granth Sahib Speaks - 1 - Death And After' Book By Surindar Singh Kohli
|The Mystery of Death and|
|Life After Death||13|
|The Visible Death||19|
|The Time of Death||23|
|Messages of Death||36|
|Yama---The God of Death|
|The Path of Yama and|
|The City of Yama||53|
|Disposal of the Dead||59|
|Heaven and Hell||65|
|Karma and Transmigration||75|
|Out of Body Experiences||92|
FOREWORD To Book 'Guru Granth Sahib Speaks - 1 - Death And After' By Surindar Singh Kohli
Death is a certainty. Therefore, in all ages, people have been absorbed in comprehending the mystry behind this perennial subject. Why everything that takes birth must die? Who is responsible for birth and death? People who die? narrate various types of experiences. The dying man becomes conscious about the presence of some beings coming from some other world for talking away the life-force or soul. The sages in various countries recorded about this phenomenon of death in their 'books of the dead'. The most ancient document on the subject that has come down to us is the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It is a compendium of incantations, prayers, litanies, procedures of treating the deceased etc., recorded from the funerary.texts belonging to various centuries. They reveal the beliefs of the Egyptians in the Immortality of the soul and the life after death. The Egyptians worshipped the sun-god RA. The other revered deities were Osiris and his sister Isis. Another work of importance on the subject is the Tibetan Guru Padmasambhava. It presents the belief in the continuation of life after death. It also brings forward elaborate rituals for conducting the soul safely to the regions in the yond. This work was written as a guide for the dying. It also presents a belief in the local gods, mountain spirits and other deities. The experiences associated with the time of death have also been described in this Book. The culmination of these experiences is the scene of judgement, during which the Lord and the justice of the Dead, whose name is Yama Raja ( and who is also called Dharma Raja ), just like the Indian belief, examines the performance of the individual in the world with the help of his tale-telling mirror. After knowing the merits or demerits of the work of the individual, he is sent to be reborn in one of the appropriate lokas (realms). Though we do not have with us the separate Hindu Book of the Dead, and its wisdom on the subject is scattered in various works including Puranas, it must have cast its strong impact on the Tibetans, many centuries earlier. The concept of Dharma Raja or Yama Raja is purely Indian, though Chitra-Gupta working with every individual has been transformed into a tale-telling mirror.
The literary legacy of Maya civilisation of central America has not survived, but still it is believed that the perished heritage might have presented the Maya Book of the Dead . Much of the Maya ritual and art was dedicated to the death-process according to Maya mythology and funeral art, which described death as a journey. Another Book of the Dead described by Stanislav Grof in his work Book of the Dead is the Nahuati Book of the Dead, which presents the Precolumbian eschatological mythology, symbolizing the process of spiritual death and rebirth. Mr. Grof has mentioned that good deal of literature on death and rebirth exists in various countries of Europe, where Christianity spread, therefore he thinks strongly about the Christian Book of the Dead. The religions of the world have talked about the matters concerning the soul and the life after death except the Charvaka Religion, therefore all of them can be considered to have their Books of the Dead, though no books like the Egyptian Book of the Dead, jaina Book of the Dead, Jewish Book of the Dead, Zoroastrian Book of the Dead, Islamic Book of the Dead, Tao's Book of the Dead, Confucius' Book of the Dead, of the Dead and Lastly, the Sikh's Book of the Dead can be recorded or produced.
Thus this work may be called the Sikh's Book of the Dead. It cannot be called the part and parcel of the Hindu Book of the Dead, because it has its own distinguishing marks. Sikhism is purely a monotheistic faith, while Hinduism is polygamous. Sikhism does not believe in Heaven and Hell in the same way as Hinduism does, though Hinduism has cast its influence in several ways on Sikh way of life.
With this work, a new series of books on the Sikh Scripture is being launched, which is entitled "Guru Granth Sahib Speaks" series. The first volume is on the subject of death and life after death, therefore it has been given the title Death and after. The list on which it is proposed to write the books further carries a good number of subjects for the Sikhs living abroad, in foreign countries. The next volume that I proposed to write the books further carries a good number of subjects. If God Wills and gives me some more time for service, I hope to complete a good number of subjects for the Sikhs living abroad, in foreign countries. The next volume that I propose to write in the Series is on "Naam" (Name of the Lord), which is the crux of thought in the Scripture. With their absorption in the Name of the Lord, the Sikhs will rise much higher spiritually and this is the requirement according to the Guru for a Sikh, because according to Guru Nanak Dev, which can be translated as "The Lord's Name is within the divine Command, which can be realised only through the True Guru."
The present work begins with a general chapter containing, in a nutshell, the description of subject in the Scripture. After this the visible death and the time of death have been discussed. Then three elegies have been given, two by the founder Guru and one by the third Guru. The next chapter is on the messages of death, which we receive in various ways. After this the god of death i.e. Dharmaraja has been described, mentioning his functions alongwith the conjunctive words and symbols used for him in the Scripture. This chapter is followed by another chapter about the city of Yama and the Path that he or his messengers traverse in order to fulfil their mission of extracting the soul from the body. We now have the chapter describing the disposal of the lifeless dead body by various people or religious groups in the world. After this we have the chapter on Heaven and Hell followed by two chapters on 'Reincarnation' and 'Karma and Transmigration'. Then we have experiences of the soul, while leaving the body, divided into two chapters entitled 'Near-death Expperiences' and 'Out of Body Experiences'. The last chapter has been given the title 'Miscellaneous', in which several undealt aspects of the subject have been briefly discussed. The references containing the appropriate verses from the Scripture are given after each chapter. The English translation or the thought of the verses has been given in the chapters. All the above material will introduce the subject to the reader very briefly and he will be able to comprehend the subject's intricacies in the light of the Sikh Scripture. I am confident that the Sikhs all over the world will be benefitted amply by this Series.
Surinder Singh Kohli
|Author||Surindar Singh Kohli|
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