Sikhism Continuity of Indian Culture

Sikhism Continuity of Indian Culture

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAN914
Author: Nirbhai Singh
Publisher: Kalpaz Publications
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788178359427
Pages: 320
Other Details 8.80 X 5.80 inch
Weight 520 gm

Book Description

The book, Sikhism: Continuity of Indian Culture, is a philosophical exposition of Sikhism as a continuation of Indian culture. Guru Nanak reinterpreted Indian culture in the medieval context without digressing from the core of Indian philosophy. The attempt has been to put philosophical concepts in modern idioms for scholars who have sound background of Indian and Western philosophical terminology. The author with his maturity of philosophical understanding successfully cleansed the shoddy concepts in modern phrases with clarity of expression. The work is not loaded with quotations. It is the fruit of the author's creative and original reflections. Nonetheless, the author carried forward the pristine meanings and put them in modern philosophical terminology. This is the merit of the book, which will focus attention of the readers who are interested in Sikhism and Indian culture. The book will cleanse dross of misunderstandings of the Indian culture, which has been distorted by the alien scholars and the orthodox exegetes. It is an objective analytical attempt in the coeval context for churning out the religious and the philosophical concepts, which are locked up in the sacred scriptures.

It resuscitates the illuminations of the ancient rishis, Gurus, Sufis, and Bhaktas. The paradigm of the interpretations is in the Indian cultural context. The book mirrors the essence of Indian culture through Guru Nanak's ecstatic vision. It reconciles eternity and temporality, and restores historicity of human action and societal realities of the phenomenal world, which were lost in the medieval ages.

Nirbhai Singh (b.1935) specialized in comparative religious philosophies of the East and the West. He retired as Professor-Head, Department of Philosophy, Punjabi University, Patiala. He had been a Senior Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), Shimla and Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi. The HRD Minister twice nominated him as member of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), New Delhi. He enjoys reputation as an original thinker of Philosophy of Comparative Religion and has sound understanding of the Western modern, medieval and ancient philosophies of the East and the West. He is of the view that Sikhism assimilates Islamic ideology within its dynamic philosophy.

His works are radical departure from the existing exegetical explanations of Indian philosophies. He has to his credit more than ten original philosophical research works of high standard. His innovative books are Bhagata Namadeva in The Guru Granth, Sikh Dynamic Vision, The Sikh Vision of Heroic Life and Death, The Philosophical Perspective on Sikh View of Martyrdom, Philosophical Contributions of Bhaktas, and Gurus to Indian Culture, et al.

He was editor of the prestigious journals: The Journal of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, and The Humanities and Sciences, Shimla. Besides, he has contributed more than fifty research papers to the leading research journals and periodicals.

The present book focuses attention on the Indian culture. that waded through chequered historical epochs retaining its dynamic ontic essence. It has been written from the Indian and philosophical standpoints which mirrors global cultures. Culture is, often, misunderstood and confused with its manifest forms of traditions, rituals, customs, etc. From the philosophical perspective it is concerned with consciousness (mind) that mirrors inner selfs of the persons. Culture is always concerned with societal life for the good of people. Thus, culture is mainly concerned with ideals and values which create their own space independent of the phenomenon world. The values are not God given gifts. These are created by the creative thinkers. Once they are created, they become eternal.

Indian culture is action oriented. The central value of Indian culture is enshrined in Dharma (righteous action). This idea we find in the Indian epics (the Ramayana and the Mahabharata). The concept was carried forth in the teachings of the Gurus which are found in the Sikh scriptures. An endeavour is made to work out that Sikhism is a continuity of Indian culture. There is no departure from the fundamental philosophical doctrines of Indian culture though some now dimensions are added to it. Indian culture has been philosophically reinterpreted in the medieval context. It is hoped that critical insights of the readers will appreciate the philosophical interpretations based on 'simultaneity of the non contemporaneous'.

It follows that there is no absolute truth. It is relative to time and context. It is the modern meaning of truth. Modern Austrian philosopher Wittgenstein asserts that there is no Platonic ontological base of reality or truth. And there is no Kantian dichotomy between the transcendent and the phenomenon. It has been argued in the book passim that the time is stretched into eternity with spiritual discipline. Thus, the phenomenon and the transcendental realms are reconciled into non-dual. Truth is activity that is knitted into logical space. It goes on changing with the changing conditions. Hence thread of arguments in the book is that Sikhism in essence is Indian culture revivified in the medieval time. And the present work is presented in modern idioms of philosophical hermeneutics. Contributions of Sikhism to Indian culture have been highlighted.

Underlying concept of Indian culture is at once transcendence from entices of this world and disinterestedly involve in it. India's cultural world view is built on myths and traditions or ethos, Our forefathers deified traditions and legends, but the Gurus demythicised the Indic and the Semitic religious traditions and historicized them with a view to reviving reality of human action. Notwithstanding, ancient rishis had historical sense, but they considered the empirical world delusive because it is short-lived/ephemeral albeit, there are references of the otherworld, but these erode their ontic existence. The Gurus did away the medieval prevalent concept of the otherworld and restored historicity of karmas dominated with spirituality. The undercurrent of historicity was crystallized. They reconciled theory and praxis. They lived unto this ideal. There is no contradiction in their saying and doing. Nevertheless, historical action necessarily follows from their dynamic onto-theology. Their central emphasis was discharging disinterested action (nishkama karmas) for restoring peace and justice in society. It was recycling of the central message of the Bhagavata Gita. Realization of Indian ideal was processed in history from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh It was consummated with the creation of the Khalsa, even though decadence dominated in the Misl (Sikh confederation) period. In the present scenario spiritual (piri) is overshadowed by temporality (mire). Simultaneity of spirituality and temporality with dominance of the former is the central linchpin of Indian and Sikh concept of culture. The Indic and the Semitic cultures are blended without suppressing ontic non-duality or identity and otherness of either one. The present book is logically articulated to synthesize identity and otherness.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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