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Foreword To 'Religion And History Of The Sikhs 1469 - 2010' By Mewa Singh
It is a matter of great honour and privilege for me to introduce the learned author of this research-oriented and highly Knowledgeable book - Religion and History of Sikh - 1469-2010 ,S. Mewa Singh (Retd. Judge) and more so as he is my respected father, for whom I have the highest regards and affection. In fact he needs no formal introduction as he is already well known as a very honest judge of high integrity and as an upright scholar of Sikh religion and history. He remained posted on various high judicial posts from 1958, first in Punjab Civil Service - Judicial, after his selection in that cadre and then in Punjab Superior Judicial Service from 1975 till his retirement in 1991, primarily as District and Sessions Judge in Several districts and as vigilance judge as well for Punjab judiciary in High Court Chandigarh. Just after his retirement he was persuaded to contest the elections for Parliament of India as Akali Dal Candidate, which were cancelled just one day before the elections to prolong the President's Rule in Punjab. He got immigration to USA and is mostly residing there since 1993 with his family. We are now living in California, where I have my law offices, practising as attorney at law and one law office in New York as well. I got my law degree from Punjab and did Master of law from Michigan. My all three sisters are doctors in USA and my mother is a Retd. Professor of Political Science. Thus the learned author has well educated family , which is mostly due to his able and affectionate guidance.
The author has himself mentioned the objects of this book in his preface, though ha had been dealing with the legal matters and the interpretations of law, throughout his tenure as a judge. In fact his judicial talent and experience of legal interpretations proved an assets for coming to the right conclusion as to the interpretations of Divine teachings of Sikh religion and to the historical Sikh events, as to point out the misrepresentations having been made against Sikh religion and history and to suggest the methodology to falsify those misrepresentations. Similarly his habit of deep study of laws as a judge not only proved beneficial for the deep study of Sikh religion but also of other main world religion, which is manifest from his learned discussions in the book, and particularly as to the Sikh religion being an independent revealed universal religion for the present age and as to the distinguishing features of Sikh religion from other main world religion - Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
The learned author has been successful to the accomplishments of the objects for which he has written the book, which goes to the roots of Sikh religion, the achievement of which is a real service to the Sikhs and the Sikh religion. The study of this book provides the right understanding of the Divine teachings of Sikh religion, and to be an independent revealed religion for the present age, satisfying the developed scientific and juristic mind of today. It creates the urge in the mind of the reader for the truthful living in Sikh way of life with a sense of pride. The Sikh history has been so elaborately described in the correct mannner of its entire period of over five centuries in this book that it inspires the reader to become and act as a true Sikh, with qualities of both the saint and soldier. I hope that this book will prove very useful for all the Sikhs world over, and particularly the younger Sikh genaration, who must study it deeply.
Preface To 'Religion And History Of The Sikhs 1469 - 2010' By Mewa Singh
Sikh religion is the latest religion of the world, having been founded in the fifteenth century. It is universal religion for the present age, capable of solving the problems of the modern man. It has been so conceded by the eminent scholars of the world religions in composition to which it is a religion of greater originality with a more comprehensive ethical system. It teaches the highest and purest principles that serve to bind man with man. The Sikh Scriptures contain the sublime Truths, the study of which cannot but elevate the reader, spiritually, morally and socially. The other religions also contain the truth but Sikhism is the fullness of Truth. Sikh religion and its scriptures have something of special value to say to the rest of the world. It elevates everyone politically and religiously. Sikhism is an independent and conspicuous order of its own. The world today needs its message of peace and love. Sikhism is the only living faith that gives the healing outlook on life. It is a wholly new, original and genuinely monotheistic religion.
It is an independent religion. Those who consider Sikh religion as an off shoot of Islam are as mistaken as those who think it to be an off shoot of Hinduism. Like any other religion, Sikhism is born of direct revelation. It is totally to be rejected that Sikhism is a mixture of Hinduism and Islam. Sikhism is no disguised Hindu sect. It is a distinct religion like other great religions of the world. Sikhs have a separate religion of their own. They are entirely different from Hindus.
These are the comments of the eminent scholars of History and world religions. These scholars professing the religious of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism and as such having no personal interest in Sikhism, have rather based their belief upon merits and correct understanding of the Sikh religion. There can be no other opinions as to this aspect for Sikhism rejects gods, goddesses and incarnations of God of Hinduism ; rejects the scriptures of Hinduism; rejects caste and creed distinctions, and rites and rituals of Hinduism and its doctrines an ideology.
Still, some Hindu fundamentalists and those of Brahmanical cult had been making false assertions and misrepresentations time and again; that Sikhism is part of Hinduism and Sikhs are a sect of Hinduism. In fact , these elements are overzealous to depict all the religions of India as being sects of Hinduism and all the faiths as being a part of it. The misrepresentations against Sikhism have been rejected and exposed though some scholars of Sikh religion have repeated those after a lapse of some time.
One object of this book is to clarify the misrepresentations against Sikhs and the Sikh religion and to make it clear that the Sikh religion is an independent religion like other religions of the world and not a part of Hinduism. And also that Sikhs form a separate nation, and not a sect of Hindus. This has mostly been established by virtue of the Divine hymns of Sikh Gurus as contained in the Guru Granth Sahib, and those are crystal clear in this respect, and wherein Hinduism on all the basic aspects was rejected as to its view on the concept of God, as to the mode of worship, as to the religious rites and rituals. Sikhism teaches religious harmony and mutual co-existence of all religions with due regard to every religion and faith by every one. No doubt, all religions teach this but to insist to the contrary that one religion is a part of another religion with glaring misrepresentations, is itself irreligious. Sikhism has been accepted by the world to be one of the main five religions of the world on the basis of numerical strength of the followers and distinct and separate ideologies and religious practices. These religions are: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddism and Sikhism - in seriatim.
The other object of this book is to elucidate the Religion and History of the Sikh nation in a compact form in simple English for its easy understanding , particularly for the younger Sikh generations living abroad. They hardly get any opportunity to study it in their educational career in schools and colleges and therefore, it is necessary for them to have knowledge of their own religion and the nation, so as to get inspired to live in the Sikh way of life and be proud of it. The eminent scholars of world religions and history , particularly of the West , who had the occasion to study Sikh religion and history are unanimous that Sikhism is the religion of the present age and is capable of solving the problems of the modern man. In their opinion, it is a matter of pride and privilege to understand and follow its higher values in all spiritual, moral and ethical spheres with which mankind has to deal. These scholars have blamed the Sikhs for not discharging their solemn duty to bring the values of Sikh religion to the notice of the entire world. The Sikh youth, living in different countries of the world , should discharge their duty in this century. But, for this, they have to be aware of their religion and history first , and feel proud to be Sikhs. They must establish themselves in their respective professions in which they should be successful but ultimately they must live the Sikh way of life, which is now well known and respected throughout the world, for its sense of honesty, hard labour, and religious devotion. It would bring them more honour abd acceptability , if they remained true to their religion and its higher values. Similarly, it would be beneficial for all those Sikhs to live in the Sikh way of life who are not strictly adhering to the Sikh code of conduct, and to all others who would like to be acquainted with Sikh religion and history - a must for every seeker of truth. The analytical appreciation in this book is the author in his honest belief that should not hurt the sentiments of anyone, though the historical events are based on the true historical belief and facts.
I am thankful to everyone who has provided me help of any sort for the completion and the publication of this book. I acknowledge my appreciation to everyone of them.
I deem it my great privilege to present this great religion of the present age and history of its brave and dedicated people in this book, Religion and History of the Sikhs (1469-2010) .
I hope the Sikhs and particularly the younger Sikh generation would earnestly understand their religion and act upon its higher values by living within Sikh code of conduct and bring it to the notice of the world which would help enhance their own esteem.
M.A. Macauliffe rightly remarked:
"All persons of discrimination acquainted with the Sikhs, set a high value of them, but it appears that a knowledge throughout the world of the excellence of their religion would enhance even the present regard with which they are entertained".
(Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, Preface p. VII and p.XI)
"Not less important will be the result of Sikh teachings on the mind of religious Europe and America. Already the Khasla, has achieved a world-wide renown in the matter of bravery. In the matter of religion, too, the name of the Khalsa will shine replendently when the glorious deeds of our ancestors in the morals and religious world are made known far and wide".
What could cause more pride for the Sikhs of their religion? What more aspiration can there be for the Sikhs to preach their religion throughout the world? These high tributes to their religion are by the very eminent British scholar and historian, author of a prestigious book , The Sikh Religion, published by Oxford University, London; which is highly reputed in the world . The American eminent scholar of religious, H L Bradshaw, has gone to the extant:
"The order faiths were good in their day, but day is now past and we are living in the dispensation of Guru Nanak (founder of Sikh religion).
("Sikhism", The Sikh Review-Calcutta)
These tributes are by a highly reputed priest of Christianity.
Table of Contents For 'Religion and History of The Sikhs 1469 - 2010' By Mewa Singh
|2.||Sikhism : An Independent and Separate World Religion||67|
|3.||Distinct Features of Sikhism from other Main World Religions||91|
|4.||Doctrine, Ideology and Religious Practices of the Sikh Religion||105|
|5.||Distinct Sikh way of Life||143|
|6.||The Period of Ten Sikh Gurus||159|
|7.||Sikhs Durings the Mughal Rule (1708-1799)||284|
|8.||Sovereign Sikh State Sikhs in Sikh Rule (1799-1849)||317|
|9.||Sikhs under British Rule (1849-1947)||353|
|10.||Sikhs in Republic of India - 1947 to 2010||398|
|11.||The Sikhs Worldwide||535|
|12.||The Sikh Institutions||543|
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