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Of Sikhism - An Anthology of Essays - Book By Sardool S. Kaveeshar
Introduction To The Book 'Of Sikhism - An Anthology of Essays' By Sardool Singh Kaveeshar
This book was conceived in the years 1920-25 by Sardar Caveeshar while in jail. Sardar Caveeshar was a great revolutionary, a freedom fighter of eminence and above all a thinker and a philosopher. Though he conceived the book as early as I 920-25and prepared the first draft but he could not do anything more about it because of his deep involvement in freedom struggle and subsequently his untimely sad demise. You will appreciate that the first draft written on such a serious subject in 1920-25 and thoughts then expressed, had to be rehashed. Innumerable writers have put forward their works and therefore, it was essential that everything is overhauled and updated and brought in .consonance with the present times. I feel highly elated and greatly. honoured that this formidable, onerous and hazardous task of giving practical shape to the dreams of late Sardar Caveeshar was handed over to me. It has really been a very challenging job as it included revising and updating the notes besides re-writing of various portions of the draft and of editing it. Subsequently, the job of getting it printed fell on my frail shoulders too. Now, how far I have been successful in completing this difficult and impossible task is a matter of conjecture at this stage : but the real judgement will be that of the readers. I am sure they would receive it well and appreciate it accordingly.
Prior to the writing of this book, for the readers in English many writers of the East and West e.g. Malcolm, Cunnigham, Honig, Berger, Hiegel, Griffin. Narang, Latif, Khazan Singh, Sher Singh, Archer, Mac Gregor, Dr. Hari Ram, Daljit Singh, joginder Singh, Teja Singh, Patwant Singh, Khuswant Singh, Dr. Gopal Singh and many others have witten about Sikh history and Sikh religion : briefly and in general terms. They did throw light on the factual matters pertaining to the lives and teachings of the Sikh Gurus and leaders-but these do not meet the requirement of a reader who wishes to delve deeper in Sikhism. Hence there was and is a dire need of a book which could satiate every one; and it is sincerely felt that this book would meet all such requirements.
The Sikh Gurus did not label their ideas like professional theologians; their feelings and thoughts roam freely like air on an Ocean of Song, their Holy Book. The attempts so far made to appreciate the truths they taught have been of a cursory and general nature, systematic study in details has not yet been attempted. There is a craving in the mind of the people for a system in religion, philosophy and morals as prompts an apothecary to keep his balms and sherbets in well-arranged properly labelled bottles. An attempt has been made to satisfy that craving as regards the study of Sikh religion. Most of the people cannot grasp the truths of a religion or culture intuitively; for them it is necessary that they should be presented with a systematic view of the subject in all its various aspects. This work attempts to perform that task; because this book has intensive analysis of various thought provoking subjects of Sikhism and exclusive quoting from Sh. Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book or the Bible of the sikhs.
The main idea has been to explain the principles of Sikh religion by writing not what Sikh and non-Sikh authors have written about those principles, but by cataloguing serially the important subjects dealt with by the Sikh Gurus and by quoting extensively from the Sikh Scriptures to show what the Sikh Gurus have said about those subjects.
A genuine attempt has been made to analyse the Sikh Scriptures from the Theological, Religious, Mystical, Ethical and, to a minor extent, from the r1etaphysical points of view. In arranging the Sikh Scriptures, Guru Arjan had not such a viewpoint before him. His appeal was to the masses and he wanted to touch their hearts at the most tender and vital point i.e., their emotions. He accomplished this by. arranging the Sikh Scriptures under Musical heads, under Ragas or melodies in which each hymn was to be sung. It was the poetic beauty, the melody and harmony of words, that he employed to impress his listeners with the religious truths, as it was in that way that he could easily put them on the path of active religious life. Intellectual appeal, even when convincing, seldom leads to action; those whose intellectual level is not very high are never impressed by intellectual subtlety. Even to the intellectuals this appeal to the emotional part of human life 'is necessary for action. Guru Arjan, therefore, employed the most natural and practical medium for the arrangement of the Sikh Scriptures.
When one has to put such teachings before the people of other countries in translation, the original arrangement does not help him. In translation you cannot reproduce the poetry and music of the original. Hence the analysis of the Sikh Religion, followed the intellectual interpretation of various themes under well-known philosophic, ethical and religious heads. Poetry and music in translation often have to assume a philosophic garb. That is the case with most of the religious literature also. The modern mind is analytical and discursive; it feels quite at home in dialectics. Writers on religion, therefore, have perforce to adopt that medium to explain the underlying ideas of their subject.
|Author||Sardool Singh Kaveeshar|
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