ON THE PATH OF BEGUMPURA
- Release of Sach Ki Bani-Universal Message for Peace
Edited by Swaranjeet Singh, Harvind Kaur Singh and Kulwant Singh Hundal,
Published by Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies
The Gurta Gaddi Tercentenary celebrations have stopped. The search for eternal peace, tranquility and soul-satisfaction continues. You are invited to participate in this ongoing journey, the path of which has been laid down by the Bani of the Gurus. To take you into the deeper realms of Gurbani, through practical experience and academic excellence, the editors of this new volume dedicated to the Tercentenary celebrations, Sach Ki Bani –Universal Message for Peace, have brought forth a unique rare fare in two languages –English and Punjabi.
Authors Swaranjeet Singh, Harvind Kaur Singh and Kulwant Singh Hundal, under the aegis of the Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies have compiled a compendium of especially written articles by scholars and Sikh practitioners far and wide, for they believe that “the current dissonance between those who claim to be experts in Sikhism and those who are immersed in the praxis must be confronted. This gulf is ever expanding; however, a true bridge between the two is necessary in order to more fully realize the essence of what Sikhism is and means to a wide spectrum of believer and non-believers.”
Like all Sikhs the editors are convinced that the truth contained in the writings as composed in Guru Granth Sahib are eternal. However, they have significantly pointed out that, “while many efforts at interpretation and understanding exist and assist in creating awareness, the true essence and meaning for each individual remains tied to their own effots at deciphering and realizing the truth within the sacred words.”
Acknowledging that there can be no studies without use and understanding of the Gurmukhi language, this is a bilingual volume combining the best of both the worlds, for as SS Ek Ong Kaur Khalsa says in her piece on Dharam Khand, the English language is perhaps inadequate to express the rich language and content of Gurbani while detailing human consciousness.
This unique volume starts with the extraordinary enunciation of the Japji by Sirdar Kapur Singh. It contains the amazingly mystical and magical journey into the cosmos through Gurbani, exploring the relationship between religious studies and natural sciences by Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh. New York University professor IJ Singh while dwelling on anthropology and the mystique of the Sikh scripture, clearly recalls the Guru’s words “that it is not the sight and idolization of the Guru Granth that is liberating, but engagement with the word therein.” Gurtej Singh explains the pluralism of the Guru’s word, Swaranjeet Singh, the executive director of the Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies goes through the role of Sikh women in religious texts and Sikh history and seeks full implementation of equality to women in Sikh society. Manjyot Kaur revels in the ecstasy of the company of Guru Granth Sahib, Jaginder Singh Ramdev details the contribution of Bhagats, Swaraj Singh and Ranbir Singh Sandhu extol the universality of the message of the Gurus, ace chronicler Raghbir Singh Bains emphasizes the need of Gurbani for democratic functioning and universal peace, while Kulwant Singh Hundal explores the shades of Maya and Gurbachan Singh Bachan traces the physical ecology from the pre-universe era to the creation of the present universe and this article should serve as an inspiration for scientists looking at the relationship between this aspect of science and the Sikh religion.
As always, the Panjabi section is laced with inspirational articles. In their respective articles, veteran Sikh writers Jaswant Singh Neki, Kulwant Singh Hundal and Niranjan Singh Dhesi take the reader on a spiritual journey on the path to Begumpura. The articles on Raagas by Dr. Gurnam Singh, the contemporariness of Guru Granth Sahib by Devinder Singh and the importance of Guru Granth Sahib in today’s ultra-modern age by Bhupinder Singh Khehra are a ready reckoner about the basic tenets of the Sikh faith and are of immense value to the lay reader. Swaranjeet Singh, Kulwant Singh Hundal and Darshan Singh have explored the social ramifications of Gurbani in their articles.
A common thread of peace, compassion and proximity to God and godliness runs through all the articles in this path-breaking 300 page reasonably priced volume which was released today in Chandigarh by Gurtej Singh -former IAS officer and National Professor of Sikhism, Dr. Darshan Singh –former Professor and Chairman of Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, Panjab University –and Rajinder Singh -the chairperson of the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat.
Perhaps the best way to commemorate the Tercentenary celebrations is to spread the Guru’s word, their teachings, philosophy and way of life to as many people as possible so that mankind can benefit can be inspired to the creation of Halemi Raaj and to seek and establish an equalitarian order on the lines of Begampura as enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib.
Undoubtedly, readers in Panjab, the Diaspora and elsewhere would immensely benefit from this work of the Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies, whose sole and primary motive is to provide a forum of free exchange of thought processes incorporating Gurbani whose reach is universal. This book will provide a stepping stone to social scientists and activists concerned about creating a new world order and also to those who would like to embark on a spiritual journey.