Secular Thoughts of the Sikh Gurus
|Author:||Dr. Vivek Ranjan Bhattacharya|
|Publisher:||Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi|
|Other Details||8.90 X 5.90 inch|
The Sikh Gurus also taught mankind that the soul is immortal; this physical form is the result of one's actions. All one's actions without remembering Him are futile as decorations on a dead body. Man will have to render an account of his deeds. Life devoid of goodness is all in vain. Futile are distinctions based on caste and pedigree. Anyone having conceit of his caste is ignorant of His ways.
Guru Nanak the first in the lineage of Ten Masters said that he would go with the lowliest of the low, as he does not know of any difference in men on the basis of caste or birth. The rich and the poor are all brethren. Guru Nanak advocated renunciation of luxury, anger and lust, but not of one's kith and kin. Instead of escaping to the forests and loneliness, one should lead a normal life of worldliness with one's family and exist like a lotus that stands above its roots which are in mud.
Guru Nanak was born in 1469 AD at a time when India was in utter confusion and crisis. Babar's invasion had created a turmoil. and accompanied by atrocities of caste system coupled with social injustice, the people were caught in a web of cruelty and chaos. It was then that this great seer, a tremendous spiritual force tried to put balm on the wounds of a bruised humanity with his divine message of love and compassion. He tried to extricate humanity from the morass of parochialism and superstition.
He travelled far and wide in the company of Bala, a Hindu, and Mardana, a Muslim, to spread his teachings of universal love, tolerance, amity and social justice. Guru Nanak and the other Sikh Gurus emphasized the virtues of hard work, honest living, simple and quiet life, sympathy for the needy and the poor and contentment, Greed, avarice and high-handedness are the sins difficult to wash.
The Sikh Gurus in their divine utterance have repeatedly mentioned the Vedas and other ancient scriptures. Many times in the Adi Granth have the names of Vishnu, Brahma, Shiv, Rama, Krishna and other gods and goddesses been included in the Gurubani. Apart from six of the ten Gurus, the utterances of nineteen non Sikh saints and many Bhatts form part of the Holy scripture. Notable among these are Kabir, Namdev, Ravidas, Farid, Surdas, Jaidev, Dhanna and Bhikhan. It is a universal Book of Divinity in the true meaning of the word. Dr. Vivek Ranjan Bhattacharya in his brilliant work has thrown great light on the works of Guru Nanak and the other Gurus. He does not forget to mention the contribution of non-Sikh saints of India and Islamic sects. He also feels that the teachings of Guru Nanak had their influence on the writings of poet Rabindranath Tagore.
I have known Dr. Bhattacharya for over a decade and his dedication to the Indian religious thought and culture is really remark able. He has tried to bring out in his book the spirit and the ethos of the Sikh Gurus and their impact on humanity.
The Gurus taught devotion to noble ideals of truth and sacrifice. The fifth and the ninth Gurus gave supreme sacrifice for main training high values of the freedom of conscience and the right of every one to profess his own faith. The tenth Guru sacrificed all his four sons and his mother in the righteous cause of justice and equity. He created Khalsa for the significant purpose of obliterating all distinctions of caste and narrow loyalties and to eradicate fear of the unjust and the cruel.
But it is equally necessary to bring at least glimpses of the great spiritual experiments and experiences of such great Saints to the doorsteps of the public, because they need spiritual awakening. It is all the more necessary in a multi-religious nation, where mutual understanding stands on basic concepts of the religious teachings and preaching’s of such great dedicated preceptors. The author owes a personal commitment. His first five years, the pleasant days with thousands of brethren in the Gurdwaras at Raw alpindi has left an impression that will sustain him to have greater faith in the Gurus than anything else.
I was dedicated to the Guru by my mother, who hailed from Nanakganj, Sipri Bazaar, Jhansi, and who could attend the pray ers in Gurdwaras from her childhood. I do not know whether it is still there. On Guru Parabs there used to be huge processions there with not only well-dressed band players, but with beautifully decorated elephants and the Panj Payaras being carried on them. Or it might have been the sacred Granth Sahibji, which used to be carried on the decorated elephants.
In Rawalpindi, being the only Bengali Sikh, I got most affection ate VIP treatment. I would attend the prayer every day. The devo tees would wait for me. I would enjoy their hospitality from lap to lap. I had all the five K's. As it was difficult for a child to handle a heavy chimta (the musical instrument), a specially made small one was supplied to me. Even the musical Guru, who would lead the choir, the Guru Vani, would get me a seat next to him. There was no microphone there. I do not remember to have missed the Shabad Kirtan even for a day.
With the kind and affectionate touch of the brothers of the faith in my whole career, it really sometimes deeply so deeply ingrained in my motivated criticism of the faith. I must hurts me, when I find some motiv confess public, I am proud of being a Sikh in the early for motive stage of my life. My father, who followed Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and believed equally in all the religious faiths, called me by the Sikh name till his last day. The name was Situ Singh. Even now some old Bengali Military Officers from Rawalpindi call me only by the Sikh name. It has sweet memories echoing the sounds of music by the religious Gianis, many of whom must have left the world by now.
The world is a temporary stage of a short life's drama. We foolish people do not know how to make best use of it. There is even limited time to enjoy such a great opportunity as that of a human being. That by itself is a great blessing of God. So when I hear any voice being raised against such a great group, it touches quickly my sensitive mind. I feel deeply hurt. If some few misled urchins make noise somewhere, the mud-sling should not be ascribed to a whole group.
The contribution of the Sikhs in the mainstream of the socio economic-cultural life has been unique. The Sikhs are the most hard-working people in the world. For a mere eking out a living, they have spread themselves all over the world. They are deeply religious and patriotic. Shaheed Bhagat Singh apart, who does not know that the Indian National Army (INA) was started by General Mohan Singh before it was handed over to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose? Who does not know the contribution of Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai? His mother was a Sikh lady. It is not the proper forum to discuss the role of Sikhs in our freedom movement. That by itself needs a detailed study in depth. The role of Sikhs in the freedom struggle would, I am sure, be written by some scholar one day in letters of gold.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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