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In The Footsteps of Guru Gobind Singh - Book By Jaswant Singh Neki
Introduction to the Book of 'In The Footsteps of Guru Gobind Singh' By Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki
To be ignorant of the lives of great celebrities of the past is to say in a protracted state of childhood all one's life. Guru Gobind Singh's life is pre-eminent among the great exemplary lives. He was the potent Spirit of Truth that could raise a nation of death-defying Knights-at-Arms of God, designated as the Khalsa, out of such people who had been slaves for millenia.
He inspired his followers with resolute courage and spiritual optimism (charhdi kala) that could smile even at devastating vissicitudes as holocausts. He was a great emblem of sacrifice who sacrificed his all (sarbas dan) to uphold the freedom of faith. He was only nine when he counselled his father to stem the tide of religious oppression even by laying down his own life. All his four sons as also his mother attained martyrdom for the same cause. He accepted all that with gratitude to the Almighty for having blessed him thus.
A highly skilled poet, he employed his exquisite muse to create not only intense devotional verse, but also powerful secular genres such as autobiography, redacted mythology, and an epistle to an Emperor who was thirsty for his blood. He produced even some profane stories. His sacred and profane works together signify his obeisance to the one common divine source that inspired the Vedas as also the Kok Shastra.
We are singularly fortunate that we had the privilege of celebrating some of the important events of Sikh history in our own lifetime. After celebrating the tercentenary of the birth of Guru Gobind Singh in 1966, the quincentenary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev in 1969, and the tercentenary of the creation of the Khalsa in 1999, we celebrated the quadricentenary of the installation of the Adi Granth in the holy precincts of Sri Darbar Sahib in 2004. Currently we are celebrating the tercentenary of the Gurgaddi Divas of Guru Granth Sahib and Parlok Gaman of Guru Gobind Singh.
During the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa in 1999, our Institute took up a major research project on "Locating, Cataloguing and Photographing Relics of the Sikh Gurus and other Historic Personalities". In the course of our fieldwork, we were able to get photographs of some rare relics in different parts of India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. With a view to sharing the result of our research with the larger audience and creating awareness for the preservation of this endangered heritage, we published eight pictorial books under the Panjab Heritage Series in 2002-2004. Some of these books have become immensely popular and have gone into several editions. During the quadricentenary celebration of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib in the Harimandir Sahib at Amritsar in 2004, our Institute took up another major project on "Locating, Cataloguing and Digitising rare Guru Granth Sahib Birs".
To mark the tercentenary of the Gurgaddi Divas of Guru Granth Sahib and Parlok Gaman of Guru Gobind Singh, our Institute has decided to bring out a set of four pictorial books dealing with different themes relevant to Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh. We have already published two pictorial books - Guru Granth Sahib: The Guru Eternal and Takht Hazur Sahib: Journey into Eternity by Dr. Mohinder Singh, We now bring out this book In the Footsteps of Guru Gobind Singh. While the text has been written by Dr. J. S. Neki, eminent Sikh scholar, Mr. Sondeep Shankar, S. Malkiat Singh and others have provided photographs for the volume. Mr. Kanwar Dhillon has been very supportive and permitted us to use photograph of the artwork from this precious collection.
The Institute would like to acknowledge its gratitude to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar; Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Delhi; Takht Sri Harimandir Sahib, Patna; Takht Sri Hazur Sahib , Nanded and other institutes and individuals who have permitted us pictures of the Gurdwaras and their collections. We are also grateful to Prof. Bipan Chandra, Prof. B. N. Goswami, Prof. P. S. Kapur, Dr. Amrit Basra and other scholars, for their advice and support to the project.
I would also like to record my appreciation for Dr. Mohinder Singh, Director of the Institute and his team of scholars for their input to the project.
|National Institute of Panjab Studies||(Amrik Singh)|
About the Author 'Dr. J. S. Neki' of the Book 'In the Footsteps of Guru Gobind Singh'
Noted metaphysical poet and scholar of Sikh thought, Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki is a psychiatrist of international repute. He held high academic and administrative positions including Consultant - WHO, Geneva and UNDP S-E Asia. Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh , he is a former Professor & Head of the Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, New Delhi.
Recipient of National Sahitya Akademi Award and Shiromani Sahitkar Award, Dr. Neki sits on the Advisory Boards of several National and International organisations. Author of several standard works, he is presently the Chairman of Guru Granth Sahib Research Centre and the Honorary General Secretary of Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi.
|Author||Dr Jaswant Singh Neki|