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Nanakian Philosophy - Basics For Humanity - Book By Devinder Singh Chahal

Table Of Contents For 'Nanakian Philosophy - Basics For Humanity' By Devinder Singh Chahal



Page No

  Acknowledgments vii
  Foreword ix
  Author's Note xii
  Table of Contents xvii
1. Introduction 1
2. Nanak: The Guru 14
3. Philosophy and Religion 33
4. Nanakian Philosophy: The Term Defined 43
5. Nanakian Philosophy: Explained and Strengthened 55
6. Nanakian Methodology 64
7. System of Referencing Bani from the Holy Granth of the Sikhs 74
8. Misinterpretation of Gurbani 81
9. Commencing Verse of    
  The Aad Guru Granth Sahib 96
10. Commencing Verse of  
  The Aad Guru Granth Sahib 115
11. Commencing Verse of  
  The Aad Guru Granth Sahib 136
(iii) Different Forms of Commencing Verse  
12. Concept of God 141
13. Concept of God in Nanakian Philosophy 148
14. God Vs. Science 166
15. Origin of Universe 176
16. Hukm : The Laws of Nature 197
17. Astrology 216
18. Vedas and Yugas 223
19. Mantra Systems 239
20. Naam Japna and Naam Simarna 252
21. Ardaas (Prayer) 275
22. Life, Death and Soul 289
23. After Death : Heaven or Hell 315
24. Food Fads 323
25. Nanakian Philosophy and Science 336
26. Nanakian Philosophy for World Peace 351
  Glossary 369
  About the Author 379
  Institute for Understanding Sikhism 381


Foreword To Book 'Nanakian Philosophy - Basics For Humanity' by Devinder Singh Chahal

Religions has always played a prominent role in the lives of individuals, communities and nations. Today often one's religious beliefs conflict with new advances in science and technology causing confusion. This conflict can be resolved if science and religion are considered two different approaches to understand reality. Since their aim is the same, so there should be no clash between them. The two, understood properly, can supplement eac-xwh other.  Einstein truly says: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind". Hence enlightened persons apply scientific knowledge to give 'eyes' to religious wisdom. They re-interpret their religion to retain its contemporary relevance.

Prof Dr Devinder Singh Chahal has done this for Sikhism - the youngest among major religions. With his scientific training and firm religious faith, he is eminently qualified to do so. According to him the essence of Sikhism is Nanakian Philosophy which he defines as, "A philosophy promulgated by Guru Nanak that is embodied in his Bani and has been further explained and strengthened by the Sikh Gurus, who succeeded to the House of Nanak, in their Bani, which is incorporated in the Aad Guru Granth Sahib along with that of Guru Nanak."

Prof Chahal repudiates the views of earlier scholars who said Guru Nanak's teachings were based on Vedantic philosophy. He also disagrees with those who think that Guru Nanak merely syncretized Hinduism and Islam as did some saints of the Bhakti Movement. On the contrary, Prof Chahal argues that Guru Nanak propounded original and unique philosophy which can stand the test of scientific scrutiny. Nanakian Philosophy is perennial and universal and most suitable for the humanity of the Current Science Age.

Obviously, orthodox Sikhs object to Prof Chahal's interpretation of Bani. Some consider it even blasphemous. No wonder Prof Chahal remarks, "...what the Sikhs are doing today is exactly contrary to Nanakian Philosophy." Only bigots would question Prof Chahal's credentials and his right to interpret Bani according to his inner light. Prof Chahal, following the example of Guru Nanak, is trying to differentiate between the essence of religion and mere religiosity and rituals. He does not claim that his interpretation is absolute. In all humility like a true scientist he says he is open to reason and welcomes debate and discussion to settle the issue. In a way, he is following the method which Guru Nanak adopted during his dialogues with people of different faiths.

The vital questions which all religions have to deal with are: the concept of God, the creation of the Universe, the origin of life, the reality of death, the immortality of soul. The answers provided by different religions do not convince the inquisitive people of twentyfirst century. Prof Chahal proves successfully that answers given by Nanakian Philosophy are in consonance with the discoveries of modern science. This way he has rendered great service to bring out the valuable message Guru Nanak had for the world. His book, being in English will have a greater reach to the philosophers and research scholars of the world.

Sikhs have spread all over the world mainly for economic reasons. By adopting Prof Chahal's approach they can familiarize the communities of their adopted countries with Sikh religion and culture. This will enhance international understanding and make presence of Sikh Diaspora acceptable abroad. Moreover, this way Sikh Diaspora can pass on their rich religious heritage to their subsequent generations.

Paradoxically crusade and jihads of medieval times have resurfaced in twenty-first century. Terrorism is the greatest menace that the world is facing today. If humanity is to avoid collective suicide, it must avoid the clash of religions and civilizations. Knowledge about religious other than one's own can make one broad-minded and tolerant. The last Chapter in Prof Chahal's book highlights the value of Nanakian Philosophy for world peace.

Infact, there is nothing divisive and sectarian in Nanakian Philosophy. Understood properly and followed faithfully, it can turn this world into heaven which many other religions promise to their adherents after death.

I hope Prof Chahal's pioneering effort will receive serious attention from educated Sikhs, the theologians, research scholars of Sikhism as well as the theologians of other religions and philosophers of the world.

Amarjit Singh Hayre, PhD

About The Author Of Book 'Nanakian Philosophy - Basics For Humanity'

Prof Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD, retired on October 1, 1996 from the position of Professor of Applied Microbiology from the institut Armand-Frappier, Universite du Quebec, Canada. During his scientific professional life he has written many articles, three books, and two Laboratory Manuals in his field. He had presented his research work on various international conferences throughout the world. Now he has been working for the Institute for Understanding Sikhism since 1999, however, he has been involved seriously in the study of Sikhism since 1970s. He has written many articles on scientific and logical interpretation of Gurbani which were presented on various conferences in the world. His articles have also been published in various journals and chapters in various books on Sikhism and the current book is based on 30 years of experience on the critical analysis of philosophy of Guru Nanak embodied in Gurbani incorporated in the Aad Guru Granth Sahib.


Introduction To Book 'Nanakian Philosophy - Basics For Humanity' by Devinder Singh Chahal

It is generally accepted that Guru Nanak (1469-1539CE) is the founder of a new and modern religion, Sikhi. However, Sikhism being practiced today is quite far away from the philosophy promulgated by Guru Nanak. It is due to the fact that it is being presented under the shadow of Vedantic philosophy. And some Western scholars think Sikhism to be syncretism, a mixture of Hinduism and Islam. This is due to the fact, that Sikh and non-Sikh scholars have failed to understand the uniqueness and originality of Nanakian Philosophy. First few Chapters of this book prepare the minds of the readers how to understand Nanakian Philosophy and thereafter it discusses scientifically and logically the important questions often asked by the inqui-sitive minds. For example, Concept of God, Origin of Universe, Laws of Nature, Life, Death, and Soul, foodFads, Science and Nanakian Philosophy, and Nanakian for World Peace. The readers will find that the principles of Nanakian Philosophy are in consonance with the discovery of Current Science Age and have all the characteristics of universal acceptability. It is sincerely hoped that understanding of Nanakian Philosophy in its real perspective will lay a foundation for interpreting the Aad Guru Granth Sahib into a standardized English Translation of the Aad Guru Granth Sahib, which could serve as a role model for further translation into other languages of the world. Ultimately it would also help to construct an integrated and precise philosophy of Sikhism.

Author Devinder Singh Chahal
Pages 380
Cover Hardbound
Language English

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Nanakian Philosophy - Basics For Humanity - Book By Devinder Singh Chahal

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