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The Sovereignity of The Sikh Doctrine - Book By Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia

Table Of Contents For 'The Sovereignity of The Sikh Doctrine' Book By Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia



Page No






1. Introduction : Problems of Defining and Locating  
                the Sikh Identity           19
2. Exegesis of Sikhism : The Methodological and   
                Ideological Crisis 30
3. The Quintessence of Sikhism :  
                The Doctrinal Sovoreignty 43
4. The Sikh Metaphysics :  
                 Some Fundamental Problems 77
5. The Concept of Akal Murat 92
6. The Meaning and Significance of Rituals  
                  and Sacraments 106
7. Introduction to Sri Guru Granth Sahib 116
8. A Conceptual Study of the Sikh Scripture 119
9. The Five Khands of Guru Nanak's Japji 126
10. The Conception of Polity in Sikh Religion 128
11. Sri Akal Takht 136
12. The Nature and Role of Organization in Sikhism 143
13. A Critique of the Attempts at Destroying the  
                  Sovereign Self-Identity of Sikhism 150
14. Sikhism and Marxism 158
15. Sikhism and the Challenges of Contemporary  
  Modes of Thought 175
16. Sikhism : A Recapitulation 190
17. The Sikh Problem Today 207
18. The Challenges : A Retrospection 217
19. Ideologicall Problems of the Third  
                     Millennium Civilization 225
20. Sikhism and the Third Millennium Civilization 236
21. The Dialectics of Ethnic and   
                     Ethno-religious Consciousness 249
22. A Critique of Interreligious Dialogue Today 257
  Select Bibliography 263
  Index 267


Preface To Book 'The Sovereignity of The Sikh Doctrine' By Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia

Dr. Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, an eminent Sikh thinker and writer, has done me a signal honour by inviting me to do a Preface to his well-argued, though controversial, thesis on the Sovereignty of the Sikh Doctrine.

In the first place, I must congratulate the perceptive author on his high scholarship, in depth study of the Sikh ethos and the comparative study not only of religions, both ancient and modern, but also of secular thought-patterns which have, from time to time, and more so recently in the present century, moved and shaken to the roots vast multitudes in both Europe and Asia.

Religion as a denomination, politico-social group, and even as a ritualistic behaviour-pattern, is under attack at the hands of not only the non-believers, but also the discerning believers themselves, who want to extract some kiind of inner fulfilment and illumination, non-verbal experience and spiritual elan from the religious idea, rather than an affirmation of their socio-political identity. The Sikhs, even more than the others, are called upon by history, time and again, to justify their existence in view of their limited appeal and numbers as well as their sovereign self-assertions both in appearance and socio-spiritual peculiarities. The Sikhs themselves, for historical or some other inexcusable reasons, have, by and large, refused to accept this challenge, and have so far either interpreted their ethos in the accepted idiom of the ancients which is unacceptable to the modern mind, or abandoned the search for identity, and unquestioningly accepted the dialectical materialistic interpretation of history as the true manifestation of their own ethos. It, thus, needed a man of very high scholarship, deep commitment to the basics of the Sikh faith and to history, who could make out a case for locating the genesis of the Sikh identity. In my opinion, Dr. Ahluwalia has redeemed Sikh scholarship which hitherto has remained reduced to delineating only the obvious, the customary, the usual, and hence the least controversial. Dr. Jasbir Singh is, thus, both a pioneer and a challenger in this field.

I would be the last person to admit that I endorse or approve of every word of What is enunciated in this thesis with such brilliance of presentation and marshalling of facts and ideas.  I would most certainly point to some other, and in my mind equally valid and authoritative basis, for determining the Sikh identity---for instance, the creation of  a common spiritual denominator for men of every denomination to gather around; a universal platform for fighting aggression, both spiritual and social; a minority of God-directed but earth-aware people who fight and suffer on behalf of the listless and dehumanised majority torn by the factors of caste, creed, colour, sex or nationality; Sikhism as an idealistic adventure of the spirit rather than of statecraft, etc. It must not be forgotten that while history has oftentimes condoned the success of the sword, the inner man has registered within his soul the moral defeat of mankind at the hands of the history. The sikh Gurus and Perceptors were not unmindful of this age-old dilemma, and hence tried their best to sift, carefully and with deliberate thought, the temporary ebb and tide of the history, and its needs and compulsions, from the perrenial spiritual sources which sustain mankind in all vicissitudes of the history. This is not a plea for quietism, or refusing to accept the socio-economic challenges that man is confronted with at every step in his day-to-day living. This is only a plea for placing the Sikh ethos in the proper modern perspective of disillusionment both with the victories of science and the imperial conquest of territories.

However, this book will throw a challenge to all those who have anything better and more comprehensive to offer in defining the Sikh identity. Hence, I welcome its publication.

Dr. Gopal Singh


Introduction To Book 'The Sovereignity of The Sikh Doctrine' By Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia

Dr. Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading Sikh scholar and Punjabi writer, with over three dozen books, in Punjabi and English. He has been recognized in the history of Punjabi literature as a pioneer of a literary era known as the modernist phase.

His seminal book The Sovereignty of the Sikh Doctrine is considered an authoritative text on Sikh philosophy. Byword---a prestigious journal in English---commented that the role of Dr. Ahluwalia in interpreting Sikhism in modern idiom and perspective is comparable to that of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in respect of Hinduism. Angela Dietrich of University of Heidelberg, West Germany, hailed this book as "The most significant contribution to date to the sociology of Sikhism, a field of academic inquiry which has so far been sorely neglected, " Dr. Gopal Singh wrote, "It needed a man of very high scholarship, deep commitment to the basics of the Sikh faith and to history who could make out a case for locating the genesis of the Sikh identity. In my opinion, Dr. Ahluwalia has redeemed Sikh scholarship which is now reduced to delineating only the obvious, the customary, the usual, and hence the least controversial. Dr.Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia is thus both a pioneer and a challenger in this field."

Dr. Ahluwalia has extensively lectured abroad on Indian Philosophy, Sikhism and Punjabi Literature since 1973 when he represented India at the P.E.N.'s International Writers Conference in Moscow. The University of California, Berkeley, invited him for a series of lectures in 2000. He was deputed as one of the two observers from Punjab, to participate in the Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the U.N. headquarters in 2000. He served on the International Editorial Board of WORLD FAITHS ENCOUNTER, a journal of the World Congress of Faiths (U.K.), and has the distinction of being the only Indian taken on the panel of International Consultants for International Interfaith Centre. Oxford.

Dr. Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia has been playing leading ideological role in contemporary Sikh praxis. He served as member-secretary of the Drafting Committee, notified by the State Govt. in 1986, for preparing, afresh, the Draft of All India Sikh Gurdwaras Legislation.

Dr. Ahluwalia a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, is presently President of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, Chandigarh, and Member Secretary, Sri Guru Granth  Sahib Fourth Centenary Memorial Trust (a unit of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar) created for establishing Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University.

This is the first system-building exercise in presenting the Sikh Doctrine in the form of a logically consistent conceptual framework for an integral image of Sikh metaphysics, Sikh ethics, Sikh polity and Sikh praxis in general.

Dr. Ahluwalia has brought under focus, in the unifying context of the Doctrine, the essential Sikh identity on the philosophical, theological and sociological levels. According to the author, the quest for the Sikh identity, which has become so accentuated in recent decades as a result of Sikh religion's encounter with the dynamics of modernism, postmodernism, globalization as an ideology symbolizes the historical process of Sikhism becoming self-conscious for the first time in its history after the Guru period in the course of its self-development. The new problems and challenges thrown up by this unprecedented process have been studied by Dr. Ahluwalia in an ideological perspective in tune with contemporary realities.

Dr. Ahluwalia holds that Sikhism being essentially a religion of spirit can and should play significant role in the making of the third millennium global civilization of which, according   to him, the foundational category would be spirit in the same way in which reason (in its Enlightment sense) served as the foundational principle of the modern Western civilization now on the way out. For such a role, the Sikh community would have to update its contemporary praxis (now fast becoming obsolescent) and re-orientate its mindset.

On publication of the first edition (now expanded with addition of new essays towards the end). The Times of India in a leading article described this seminal book as representing "a new level of critical excellence" deserving "close attention of all those concerned with the intellectual developments in India."

Author Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia
Pages 272
Cover Hardbound
Language English

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