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The Sikh Ideology - Book By Daljeet Singh
This volume gives a comparative picture of the fundamentals of Sikhism and the principles and practices of the other three systems with which Sikhism is believed to have basic affinities and reveals that this belief is quite erroneous. The author, being analytical and objective, profusely quotes from the authoritative texts and establishes most convincingly how the idea of social responsibility forms and integral part of the spiritual attributes of the ideal man of Sikhism, the element that constitutes one of the essential tenets of Sikhism and gives Sikhism its distinctive and historic character.
This small volume, apart from having a brief introduction on the methodology of comparative study of religion, comprises an essay on a comparison of Sikhism, Vaisnavism, Nathism and Sant Tradition (Radical Bhagats). Parts of this essay include contents of lectures delivered at the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, the Punjabi University, Patiala, and the Guru Nanak Foundation, New Delhi.
Despite a large body of recent literature on the lives of the Gurus, Gurbani and other aspects of the Sikh Religion and history, there still persists, in some quarters, ignorance or misunderstanding about the essentials of Sikh Religion and the message of the Sikh Gurus. It is still not uncommon for persons, even form among scholars, to say that Sikhism is a part and parcel of the Indian Bhakti movement ; or that its doctrines are very much akin to those of the Nath Yogis, or the Radical Bhagats. While it is a true that hymns of some of the Bhagats expressing devotion to God have been included in the Guru Granth Sahib, it should not be taken to mean that the Sikh ideology is a part or the product of the Bhakti movement.
In this volume we seek to give a comparative picture of the fundamentals of Sikhism and the principles and practices of the three other religious systems with which Sikhism is believed to have basic affinities. Our study reveals that this belief is quite erroneous.
In recent years some interested or psuedo literature has appeared which seeks to give a distorted view of Sikhism. It has been said that Guru Nanak made new contribution to the religious thought of India ; or that there is a gap between the teachings of Guru Nanak and Guru Granth Sahib on the one hand, and those of Guru Gobind Singh on the other hand ; or that the Sikh Sabha movement gave an entirely new trend or interpretation of the Sikh religion.
It is common that during the period of a disturbed political climate such motivated literature should appear. Our analysis of the four systems shows that, apart from Sikhism being a revealed religion, independent in its identity, there was no trace of the fundamentals of the Sikh religion in any of the earlier religious traditions. Guru Nanak completely change the trend of religious life in India. Against the world being regarded as Maya, Mithya (illusion), or a place of suffering or misery, he called it real and meaningful. Against life-negation and consequent withdrawal into asceticism or monasticism, he recommended life affirmation and full and virtuous participation in the affairs of life. Against celibacy and the down graded position of women, he recommended a householder's life and equality to women. Against the withdrawal of Sanyasis,recluses, and Yogis, he proclaimed that he knows the way who works and shares his earnings with others. Against the general acceptance of the hierarchical caste ideology and the concept of pollution, he preached and practised the equality of man. Against a clear dichotomy between the religious life and the empirical life of man, he made an inalienable combination between the two, and wanted the Sikhs to accept not only participation but also total social responsibility in all spheres of life. We are not aware of any religion in India or the East having done that or proclaimed that the way to be a Sachiara or true man is to carry out the Attributive Will of God, or that higher than truth is truthful living. Infact, nothing could be more radical and revolutionary than what Guru Nanak and the Sikh Gurus did.
It is hoped that this small volume will help to dispel misconceptions concerning Sikhism.
It was very kind of the Guru Nanak Foundation, New Delhi, to have published, the first edition of this volume. I am deeply graceful to the Sikh Missionary Society, Southall, (U.K.) for agreeing to take up the publication of the second edition of this book.
After a bright academic record and a distinguished career in the Indian Administrative Service , the author has devoted himself to the study of religion in general and Sikhism in particular. The author has delivered Guru Nanak Commemoration Lectures at the Punjabi University, Patiala, and contributed numerous papers and articles to University journals of Sikh Studies or Religious Studies. His two other publications are Sikhism, A comparative Study of its Theology and Mysticism and The Authenticity of the Kartarpuri Bir and the Integrated Unity of Sikhism.
Table Of Contents For 'The Sikh Ideology' Book By Daljeet Singh
|I.||Methodology of Comparative Study||9|
|IV.||Sikhism and Nathism : A Comparison||72|
|VI.||Sikhism and Vaisnavism : A Comparison||109|
|VII.||The Radical Bhagats||112|
|VIII.||Sikhism and Radical Bhagats : A Comparison||131|
|IX.||Sikhism, Nathism, Vaisnavism and Radical Bhagats : Conclusion||137|
|Notes and References||147|
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