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Guru Nanak And Origins of the Sikh Faith - Book By Harbans Singh

Foreword To The Book 'Guru Nanak And Origins of the Sikh Faith' By Harbans Singh

DURING the tercentenary year of Guru Gobind Singh's birth, the Punjabi University, in collaboration with the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, undertook an extensive programme of publications. One of the important books published on the occassion was a biography of Guru Gobind Singh by Sardar Harbans Singh. This was originally written in English and was translated into all the major Indian languages. Its Sanskrit version, in verse, produced by Dr Satya Vrata, was given the Sahiyta Akademy award.

The Senate of the University, while considering proposals for scholarly works to be brought out in commemoration of the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, decided to publish a biography of Guru Nanak. The work was entrusted to Sardar Harbans Singh. For him it meant the relinquishing of his charge as Registrar of this University. He, in all humility, gave up the office and took over the new assignment. He has been at this work for more two years and I know with what single-minded devotion he has pursued the subject. I am glad that with Satguru's grace we have been able to keep the time-schedule for the publication. 

In writing this book, Sardar Harbans Singh has made use of all the available primary and secondary sources on Guru Nanak, such as various versions of the Janamsakhis, Mahima Prakash, Suraj Praksh, and other relevant material in Punjabi and Persian. The task was, indeed, a difficult one, especially because of the inadequacy of the material. The Sikh traditional and religious literature has not been exposed hitherto to historical criticism, so it is not easy to sift what is authentic from what is not. The problem is posed in its most intractable form when dealing with the life of Guru Nanak. Sardar Harbans Singh is conscious of it. Yet he has tackled it with resourcefulness and succeeded in producing a lucid and reliable account. His analysis of the historical situation at the time of the Guru's birth and of the impact he made on the religious and social life of the people is perceptive.

Here I would also like to mention that the Punjabi University received in 1968 an invitation from the Harvard Center of World Religions for Sardar Harbans Singh to visit there for a year. I must acknowledge the help given in this behalf by Dr. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Director of the Center, and the facilities afforded to Sardar Harbans Singh by the Center in completing his work.

The University is also bringing out Punjabi and Hindi versions of this biography. These are under preparation and will be out shortly.

Punjabi University  
Patiala KIRPAL SINGH NARANG
October 19, 1969 Vice-Chancellor

 

 

Table of Contents of the Book 'Guru Nanak And Origins of The Sikh Faith' By Harbans Singh

  CONTENTS  
I INTRODUCTORY 13
II THE HISTORICAL MILIEU 36
III THE BIRTH AND EARLY CHILDHOOD AT TALWANDI 63
IV THE TEACHING BY HOLY SONG 72
V THE BOYHOOD OCCUPATIONS 79
VI "THERE IS NO HINDU AND THERE IS NO MUSALMAN" 87
VII LALO 100
VIII RECLAMATION OF SAJJAN 109
IX IMPALING-STAKE REDUCED TO A THORN 118
X RETURN TO TALWANDI 131
XI JOURNEY TO CEYLON 140
XII UDASI TO THE NORTH 153
XIII PAEANS OF BLOOD 163
XIV KARTARPUR 178
XV CONTINUING REALITY 199
  APPENDIX I 227
  GLOSSARY 229
  BIBLIOGRAPHY 235
  INDEX 243

 

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Tags: books guru gobind singh, books on sikh gurus, books on teachings of guru nanak, sakhis of sikh gurus, teachings of guru gobind singh, teachings of sikh gurus and, origins, the, faith, harbans, english