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Guru Nanak Dev and His Teachings - Book By Professor Sahib Singh Ji
Preface Of The Book 'Guru Nanak Dev and His Teachings' By Prof. Sahib Singh
Life history of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikh Faith was written by Prof. Sahib Singh in Punjabi. This has been translated into English by me with minor modifications and comprises Part I of this volume. Earlier, life history of Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth and the last Guru was similarly translated and published. Prof. Sahib Singh has published the life history of the remaining eight Gurus-------Angad Dev, Amar Das, Ram Das, Arjun Dev, Hargobind, Har Rai, Har Krishan and Tegh Bahadur, in Punjabi. These will be translated for publication in due course.
Part II of this volume gives the teachings of Guru Nanak and the successor Gurus and has been contributed by me. Actually if one wishes to comprehend the Sikh teachings from the bottom up, one must read Scriptures in 'Gurus' own language. However, English translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is available and non-Punjabi readers can benefit themselves to a larger extent by reading the translations.
Reams uon reams have been published, and are being published, on Sikh philosophy, but without touching the central point of the teachings. The teachings in bits are compared with the other religious systems and at the most it has been said that Sikhism is the synthesis of the various religious systems already existing and the Gurus put in whatever good was in existence in their own system. This is in contradiction of the repeated assertions made by the Gurus that their system was quite different and distinct from those already in existence. These assertions have been completely overlooked as the Gurus' approach to the three pronged programme of (1) Realisation of the Reality as life giving as opposed to the reliance on material objects which lead to moral death (2) Objective love leading to the adjustment with the environment as opposed to the self love or self absorption (3) Independence in thinking as free from various types of symbiotic attachments and prejudices, has not been understood. The Guru further asserts that the basis for the forementioned three points is the objective Love of God alone. There is no room for any extraneous thought creeping into this system, which may lead astray. This book deals with the subject in the manner stated above.
It is certain that this new interpretation will meet with initial resistence, because of the universal propensity of man to adhere to the arduously acquired notions of the past. Therefore, whether this book will evoke praise or censure from the professional and lay men, is immaterial, but the fact remains and there is no doubt about it that the objective study of Sikh Scriptures was over due. The Guru's writings are most scholarly and mostly in symbolic language, it therefore requires a great skill to interpret them. The meaning of the word 'Guru' - Teacher or Preceptor referred to in Sri Guru Granth Sahib has not been understood in its true perspective. The Gurus refer to the super conscience or the sense of Morality in man as the 'Guru' - and the necessity for complete identification or fusion of the real Self (Ego) with Morality to form a strong united Self. There is always a conflict within our psyche, it the self (Ego) acts differently from the voice of the Conscience (Super Ego). There would have been no locus standi for the numerous pseudo saints and the petty gurus of various sects claiming as the intermediaries, had this basic teaching been understood. The present state has led to confusion and chaos, due to complete obscurity of the true Sikh teachings. The very ideas and the practices against which the Sikh Gurus raised a powerful voice are to-day vehemently preached and vigorously practised by the Sikhs, e.g., there is the perpetual race for acquisition of power in the name of religion, the powerful ones are idolised and worshipped, criminal aggressive tendencies are applauded as heroic and meritorious acts, ascetic practices are condemned and praised in the same breath. I have no hesitation in making a sweeping statement that nothing of importance in the study of Sikhism has been done so far during the last more than 290 years after the Ascension of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708 A.D.
The theme in the Sikh Scriptures in purely a human problem and has been scientifically dealt with. The men of Science, particularly the Psychoanalysts, will find the study of original texts of the Sikh Scriptures most rewarding, and this study will no doubt be of mutual benefit to Sikhism as well as to the Science of Psychoanalyhsis. I may assure once again that a disppassionate study of the teachings of the Sikh Gurus will produce sweetness and light against bitterness and darkness, harmony and creative tendencies against conflicts and destructive tendencies.
The Central Sikh Religious Organization has a great responsibility on its shoulders. The situation demands a scientific, scholarly and intelligent interpretation of the teachings of study of the Gurus. To meet this end it is imperative to organise a study of the Sikh Scriptures by men who are really competent to do so. Knowledge of Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Sociology, Philosophy, Ethics, Anthropology, Biology, Physics, Medicine etc. is absolutely necessary to interpret the Gurus' Word.
I feel indebted to M/s Raj Pulishers, especially Lala Sohan Lal Khanna in making special efforts for publication of our books, as the publishers deal with publication of School and College books only. Their devotion to the Sikh Gurus is praise-worthy and is acknowledged with deep gratitude.
I also wish to express my sincere thanks to Sardar Hoshiar Singh of Pandara Road, New Delhi and Sardar Surinder Singh of R. K. Puram, New Delhi , who partly associated themselves with the work and scrutinized certain portions of the book. Sardar Hoshiar Singh also helped in arranging twelve chaptersof Part II of the book typed.
Table of Contents of the Book 'Guru Nanak Dev and His Teachings' By Prof. Sahib Singh
|Part I-------Life History|
|I.||Birth and Early Life||21|
|III.||First Missionary Tour from September 1508 to End of 1515 A.D.||46|
|IV.||Visit to Talwandi and Founding of Kartarpur||105|
|V.||Second Missionary Journey||112|
|VI.||The Third Missionary Journey||125|
|VII.||Guru Nanak Dev at Sayedpur (Eminabad) on his return from the Third Missionary Tour||151|
|VIII.||Settles at Kartarpur||162|
|IX.||Guru Nanak Dev's Tour of Achal Batala and Multan||167|
|X.||Training of a Successor and Ascension||177|
|Part II-----Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev|
|XI.||Search for a Purpose||189|
|XII.||Development of Man's Instinctual Life||194|
|XIII.||Formation of Conscience and Sense of Social adaptability||203|
|XV.||Regression and Birth Phantasies||214|
|XVI.||The attitude of Creativity||219|
|XIX.||Psychic Conflicts and the way to resolve them||236|
|XXIV.||Free Will and Determinism||281|
|Appendix 1--- Creation of World||317|
|Appendix 2--- Degh and Tegh---Kettle and Sword||325|
|Appendix 3---Goddess Chandi---The Life Principle||332|
|Appendix 4---Guru Gobind Singh's ideas about his pre-natal life||340|
|Appendix 5---Unshorn Hair---A Source of activity||350|
|Appendix 6---Unshorn Hair---Its relation to War and Peace||356|
|Appendix 7---Meaning of 'Use of Force' in Guru Gobind Singh's writings||367|
|Author||Prof Sahib Singh|