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Searches in Sikhism - Thought , Understanding , Observance - Book By Nirmal Singh

Table Of Contents For 'Searches in Sikhism Thought , Understanding , Observance' by Nirmal Singh



Page No

  Preface vii
  Introduction x
1. Hun Hukam Hoa Mehrvaan Da: Now the Beneficient Lord has Ordained Guru 1
  Arjan's thought on Halemi Raj  
2. Militant or Compassionately Resolute? Exploring Culture of Resistance in 18
  Sikh Thought  
3. Dharti, Dharam & Dhur: Nanak's Vision of Eternal Human Quest 61
4. The Kul Connection: Associate Multiplier in Prayerful Living 78
5. Song, Dance & Sikh Worship 91
6. Guru Ram Das & His Bani 101
7. The Universal & Inclusive in Guru Granth Sahib: From Celebrating to Sharing 119
8. Contenment in Search of Inner Peace: A Look at Sikh & Muslim Thought 135
9. Societal Peace & Harmony - Sikh Precepts & Some Reflections on Sikh Enga- 151
  gement with Neighboring Pakistan  
10. Diversity or Conformity Internal Sikh Tensions 172
11. Seva: Sikh Precept & Praxis 218
  Appendix 1: Seva in Practice A Brief on Activities by Some Sikh Voluntary  
  Organizations 254
  Appendix 2: Gurdwara Pahariwala, New Delhi Mata Gujri Medical Aid & Res-  
  earch Centre & Mata Gujri Public School 280
  Glossary 291
  Index 300


Preface To Book 'Searches in Sikhism Thought , Understanding , Observance' By Nirmal Singh

This book is the product of several years of intermittent work mostly ruminating with spurts of occasional writing. The motivation in all cases came from an inner urge to grasp at least the drift of the sublime message that our Gurus left in words and metatphors that are so captivating and yet as is expected with the mystic thought about the imponderables beyond the span of our finite understanding, so intriguing. The trigger about the choice of the topics was mostly external stimulus - conferences, classroom interactions, inter-faith discussions, experiences in the Gurdwara settings and conversations in some of our active Internet forums.

 The setting is today's Sikhi from a vagrant vantage - rooted in India with its paradoxical variety of richness of understanding of the faith, pride in its tradition and yet its complex internal interpretive divisiveness and drift in observances even as the ritualistic seems to be gaining ground in our praxis. The contrast if at all it can be called that, is the Sikhi as I saw in neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan and the far away UK, USA, Canada and the down under land Australia - all tempered by diverse interactions, with my fellow Sikhs, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists of all shades of opinions, levels of understanding, but all engaged in their own search for the elusive Truth.

I have to thank a lot of people for truly what I may be saying in the book is not all mine own - it is an expression of my understanding as it developed in their association. Some how it starts with the 'Kul' - the family - not out of narrow loyalties, because rightly or wrongly they are the strongest influence. I have to single out Veena, my companion of almost forty-eight years, who has been patient, helpful, critical yet fully supportive. Our daughters Simran,Harleen and Cherry and their families who have facilitated many of the  mundane details do deserve my thanks.

Our sangat in Connecticut and now in Central Pennsylvania has been a source of sharing the Guru's blessing and a rich, variegated experience of Sikhi in the American setting. I also greatly benefited by listening and talking to so many of our eminent scholars and thinkers at various conferences. This had great learning value and in rare situations even catalyzed strong urge to revisit for my self some of the conventional understandings being passed around.

There are several persons and organizations that I would like to acknowledge. My fellow devotees at the Blue Mountain Gurdwara in PA - Onkar Singh Grewal, Gursharan Singh, Neena Grewal, the actively involved youth and volunteers quietly and assiduously working to keep the institution continue to function in harmony. I want also to recognize Bhupinder Singh Sahi and Navtej Singh Grewal my co-incorporators of Sikh Society of Harrisburg, and our other enthusiastic and supportive members who are working diligently to create a visible and active Sikh sangat in the capital town of PA. Jasbir Singh Bhatia at Orlando, FL and Dr Atamjit Singh at San Jose State University and Dr Noel King among several others who have always been supportive and encouraging. I also want to mention some Sikh organizations like Sri Hemkunt Foundation, Sikh Foundation, United Sikhs, Gurmat Learning Zone, Sikh Diaspora and Mata Gujri Trust whose work and activities I found interesting and are reflected in what I have written.

My association with several of my friends from the other faith traditions has helped me learn so much more about our own. Particular mention may be made by Dr Ibrahim Abu Rabi at Hartford Seminary; Dr Paul Fullmer, Chaplain Lebanon Valley College; Late Dr Kuldip Gupta and Braham Agarwal at Hindu University of America; my fellow members on the advisory group for Educators Society for Heritage of India; Paul S Penner with whom I had extended exchanges as he worked through his book on the rise of Religious Fundamentalism during the 20th and 21st centuries covering the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish and Sikh traditions.

The inter-faith and multi-cultural organizations in Connecticut and Central Pennsylvania have been welcoming and provided opportunities to share understanding. Some of their initiatives, works and experiences are indeed praise worthy and did inspire thoughtful introspection about our community involvement.

In the end thanks are due to my publishers, Hemkunt Press who helped bring it all into a presentable form.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nirmal Singh

About The Author Of Book 'Searches in Sikhism Thought , Understanding , Observance'

Former Business Executive; was Principal, COO, CF&AO of a healthcare services provider in Connecticut. Earlier Management Educator and Consultant; Professor, Chair Operations Management & Dean Administrative Staff College of India and consultant to the UN and several multilateral organizations & Fortune 500 companies.

Been Head of Plainning  & Evaluation, Department of Defense Production: Leader Technology Mission High Commission for India in the UK; Colonel, Indian Army, Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.

He has been working for several years on sharing information about Sikh faith, culture and values with the larger American Community and has been associated with several educational, interfaith and multicultural activities & initiatives to promote wider understanding about Sikhs and Sikhism and is Adjunct Professor on Sikhism at Hindu University of America, Associate Sikh Chaplain at Lebanon Valley College, PA and reader and reviewer on Sikhism for Blackwell's Review in Religion & Theology.

Recipient of Indus Award 2004 awarded to "luminaries in the New England's South Asian community who shine at what they do ," the citation saying "through activism and writing, he is helping, in his way, to tip the scale of religious tolerance toward healing, inclusion and understanding." He has been profiled among Community Profiles at Sikh Foundation.

His earlier book "Exploring Sikh Spirituality & the Paradox of their Stereotyping in contemporary American Setting" was published by Sanbun in 2003.

Author Nirmal Singh
Pages 306
Cover Hardbound
Language English

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