This publication is different from the books generally produced on the Guru Granth Sahib. It analyses the compositions of the Gurus in terms of their awareness of contemporary social order, polity and religious traditions. It discusses the conception of liberation-in-life in relation to their conception of God. The author shows that the Gurus themselves reflect on the emergence of the Sikh Panth as a new social organization, and its role in universal redemption. One chapter discusses the structure of the Guru Granth Sahib and its significance. With a wide catholicity of outlook, combined with the profound conviction of its unique and universal message, the Guru Granth Sahib is seen here as the most relevant scripture for 'interfaith dialogue'. The last chapter of the book gives a meaningful selection from those compositions of the Guru Granth Sahib which are read, recited or sung by thousands of Sikhs every day, followed by a simple and clear translation in English. Remarkable for its range, depth and clarity as a brief introduction to the Sikh Scripture, this book is addressed alike to the Sikh and non-Sikh peoples of the world.
A Padamshree awardee, J.S. Grewal served the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla as its Director and Chairman of its Governing Body after serving Guru Nanak Dev University at Amritsar as its Vice-Chancellor and Professor of History. He has written extensively on Historiography, Medieval India, the Punjab and Punjabi Literature, and the Sikhs. His publications on Sikh history include Guru Nanak in History (Panjab University, 1969); The Sikhs of the Punjab (Cambridge University Press, 1990); Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity (Punjabi University, 1997); Contesting Interpretations of the Sikh Tradition (Manohar, 1998); Sikh Ideology, Polity and Social Order (Manohar, 2007); and The Sikhs: Ideology, Institutions and Identity (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Professor Prithipal Singh Kapur suggested to me that I should write a book on the Guru Granth Sahib in commemoration of the tercentenary of the vesting of Guruship in the Granth Sahib in 1708. I mentioned this to Professor Indu Banga and Professor Gurinder Singh Mann and they liked the idea. I started thinking about the possible content of the book and discussed the possibilities with Professor Kapur. Six themes appeared to be the most relevant and I prepared on them a typescript of about 150 pages. Apart from Professor Kapur, I requested Professor Balkar Singh to read this typescript for suggestions. The revised draft was read by Professor Gurtej Singh, Professor Gurinder Singh Mann and Professor Indu Banga as well. I am thankful to them for their suggestions.
The most familiar composition of the Gurus have been used for selection and translation because of their peculiar significance. The glossary reflects my own understanding of the terms included, which in some instances may be different from the sense which is generally attached to them. There is no overt debate with others but the contents of this book do contradict or modify the views expressed by some other scholars. This book is meant to be a positive introduction to the Guru Granth Sahib. It is not possible to comprehend the whole range of the Guru Granth Sahib, and this book reflects one understanding among others. Though short, it is comprehensive in its scope.
S. Radhakrishnan, the philosopher President of India, says that the Sikh Gurus had the noble quality of appreciating 'whatever was valuable in other religious traditions'. They did not claim to teach a new doctrine. Indeed, Guru Nanak simply 'elaborated the views of the Vaishnava saints'.' However, several scholars have pointed out that the Gurus claim to have uttered the divine word. The visionary Puran Singh was convinced that no book for the Sikhs is equal to the Granth Sahib.3 Arnold Toynbee, the historian of world civilizations, observes that the Adi Granth means more to the Sikhs than even the Qur'an to Muslims, the Bible to Christians, and the Torah to Jews. It is a heritage of special value for the world.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (811)
Emperor & Queen (492)
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend