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where is our Literature??

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This post is an eye opener. It really make me where exactly is our literature?

Please everyone discuss about this. What can we do to perserve the books? We discussed what can we do to preserve our heritage. Lets talk about what can we do to perserve the books???

Sadhsangat JI,

Waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fatey!

Today i went to buy a book "The Sikhs in History by Prof Sangat Singh" by local bookshop in Delhi.i searched for this book and i am not able to find it in "RELIGION" section of book store.Then i asked the owner about that perticular book and he said "no,we dont have it". i asked why its so popular book?? he answered "they are not able to find many books on Sikhism". This surprises me but also hurt me internally that why its not there. we are so rich in Literature and culture but its not available in book stores. Why????? it must be everywhere so that people can read about us anywher,Atleast in India.

Sadhsangat, i dont know whether its already discussed in this forum regarding our literature but my question is

1.why dont we our literature in written so that we can distribute it and let people know who we are??

2. why dont we make organisations that will promote or write books on Sikhism,Punjabi literature,our rich culture.if any exists and in what way we will contribute to them like My Uncle is the president of organisation "UNITED SIKH FEDERATION" that is founded recently in Canada. They hired some professional Punjabi writers in Amritsar that will do field work like going door by door and collecting information regarding person who contributed in Punjabi culture, Sikhs and Sikhism. they are providing one motorbike with petrol expenses and i myself bought Laptops for them so that they can work and write where they are whether in some village or city. then they will publish that literature.

3. Is it better to donate money to some of these organisations rather then giving to some Gurudwara (they most probabily used them for enhancing the Gurudwara structure).

4. i remember some punjabi lines written on the wall of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Delhi "Pehlan Sikh san Pakey tey Gurudwarey san Kachey, Hun Gurudwarey han Pakey per sikh han Kachey". My question : if we make them read our rich Literature then will it help them to be 'pakey'(strong) "?? i suppose Yess !!

5.i remember some volunteer most of the time distributing literature about JESUS in Jalandhar,chd and Delhi itself thats free!! but our Literature where ever we find it, its expensive then normal??

6. one step ahead about our literature, As we know our children basically growing abroad or in India. they used to play video games on Computers. Cant we make Video Games based on ideas of sikhism so that by the end of game they should have moral after killing the dragon at the end. As a Network Administrator i will give my full support.(Software Engneers ...??) Is there any organisation developing computer applications(like Games) on Sikhism??

Saghsangat ji, education and our literature are the key areas where we can support and promote sikhs, sikhi literature and ofcourse our culture.

its a big issue lets solve it as early as possible coz Sikhi is going down day by day.we are the one who will full fill the dreams of Guru Gobind Singh "Raj karega Khalsa" thats only possible when we are literate and our literature is easily available.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa , Waheguru ji ki Fatey

Mangaldeep Singh Sandhu

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If Mangaldeep Singh Sandhu really has interest in Sikh literature then he needs to spend sometime. There is no nutshell sikhism learning shop and this nutshell expectation of Sikhs have brought so many flaws within Sikhism even though there is not even one exist.

Following is list given by Amrit veerji on this forum during one of the discussions and if he really has any interests then go ahead follow the knowledge.

What he needs in order to learn about Sikhism?

learning Braj Bhasha, Pali, Sanskrit, Punjabi and basic knowledge of Persian otherwise it's impossible to analyze Sikh old Texts for the right research of Sikhism.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib, Bhai Gurdas's Vaaran and Kabit, Bhai Nand Lal's compostions, Sri Sarabloh Granth, Sri Gur Prataap Sooraj Granth, Naanak Prakash, Gurbilas Paatshahi 6, Gurbilas Paatshahi 10 (Kuyer Singh), Gurbilas Paatshahi 10 (Sukha Singh), Panth Parkash (Bhangu), Panth Parkash (Giani Gian Singh), Twareekh Guru Khalsa, Rahatnamas, Mahma Parkaash, Sri Gur Sobha, Sri Gur Pur Parkash, Bansaavalinama, Sau Sakhi, Bijai Mukat, Janamsakhi Gur Nanak Shah Kee, Gur Nanak Soorajodai Janamsakhee, Janamsakhi Bhai Bala Ji, Puratan Janamsakhi, Janamsakhi Bhai Mani Singh, Meharbaan Vaalee Janamsakhi, Pothi Har ji, Pothi Chaturbujh etc.

learn Braj Bhasha, Pali, Sanskrit, Punjabi and basic knowledge of Persian otherwise it's impossible to analyze Sikh old Texts for the right research of Sikhism.

Encyclopedia of Sikhs


Also, here is list of books from Amazon.com for Sikhism.


And here is the largest resource of Sikhism books http://www.maboli.com/nahal/

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Here is evaluation of Dr. Sangat Singh's work.

Historical writing is generally of two kinds. There are those who paint with broad-brush strokes looking for patterns, lessons, morals and directions emerging out of the past. The search for meaning in historical events dates back to Plato and Herodotus; notable examples are The Outline of History by H.G. Wells, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbons and Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer.

Source: http://www.sikhe.com/gsdno/articles/bookre...hsinhistory.htm

Then there are the historians who debate, parse and document individual events, but without attempting to recast them into morality plays.

Sangat Singh's work is ambitious and epic in its proportions, but does not fit neatly into either category. His encapsulation of the first 300 years or so of Sikh history is not really the painting of broad-brush strokes because he cannot resist debating individual events, at times without supportive documentation. The most useful part of his book, however, concerns the past fifty years of Sikh history, especially the last decade or so.

As the author notes, this work is like an "inverted pyramid." Of the 478 pages of text, Sikh history from Guru Nanak to the arrival of the British and disintegration of the Sikh Empire - almost 400 years - takes about 100 pages; the next 100 pages are devoted to Sikhs under British rule (about 100 years), another 100 pages cover the first 39 years of independent India. The period of Indira Gandhi and the few years following her rule (1975-1994) receive the most intense scrutiny - almost 150 pages.

There is a consistent underlying theme - the "perfidy" of the Brahminical way of thinking which pervades, shapes, colors and controls, even now, the values and direction of Indian society. Sangat Singh makes a persuasive argument that the aim of this prolonged and unrelenting attack has been nothing less than to uproot Sikhism and erase Sikh identity because the fundamental postulates of Sikhism - universal brotherhood and equality of all - undermine the very basis of traditional Hindu society.

Thus the egalitarian message of the Gurus, and of Sikhism, was always opposed by the Brahmins - the leaders of the predominant Hindu society - and remains an anathema to them even now. The modus operandi has been, what Sangat Singh terms, Chankya-niti, a la Machiavelli, which calls for subversive activity as well as direct attacks. Sikhism today, he contends, is in a position not much different from that of Buddhism at the close of the ninth century when it faced annihilation in India. At times, this war has been waged with conventional weapons, at other times the weapons have been more subtle such as distortion of Sikh doctrine, misrepresentation of Sikh struggle for autonomy, undermining Sikh society from within. The goal has never changed.

This is a thesis that has emerged in recent years, but has not claimed the attention of many serious historians yet. Sangat Singh's work is the first of its kind to follow and explore this view consistently and at length.

In a brief introduction that sets the stage, Sangat Singh recounts how the Sikhs were marginalized and "pushed out of the national mainstream" which enabled Indira Gandhi to launch her Sikh war. It makes grim reading.

Contrary to expectations, from the time that India became independent in 1947, Sikhs have been on a collision course with the rulers in Delhi. The earliest sign of impending trouble was a memorandum by the first Governor of Punjab, in independent India, which branded Sikhs as a lawless people. Amazing that a people could be so categorized in their own country! The straw that broke the camel's back was probably the storming by the Indian Army of the Golden Temple and 40 other historical gurdwaras across Punjab in June 1984.

Perhaps because this history is so recent, but largely in view of political realities in India, the plight of the Sikhs in independent India has received only scant attention. Khushwant Singh has added a chapter on it in his two-volume work on History of the Sikhs and Harbans Singh deals with this period briefly and tersely in his Heritage of the Sikhs and Encyclopaedia of Sikhism. Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon's India Commits Suicide (1992) and the present work by Sangat Singh constitute the most detailed treatment and accumulation of data on issues that impact on the survival of Sikhs and Sikhism in present-day India.

The message is important, but sometimes tends to be drowned in the cacophony of Dr. Sangat Singh's writing. Major areas of concern about his work must be pointed out. Some pertain to language and style; others have to do with facts and their interpretation or documentation.

The book could have used an eagle-eyed editor. Errors of syntax and spelling are too numerous to recount. Inelegant and awkward prose, such as "Guru Nanak's mission was not a goody-goody one" (page 15) does not help. This is not an isolated example.

Witness some samples: "Guru Nanak launched on four odysseys to search for the saints" (page 14) - this quote is footnoted but a reference is lacking in the notes. Was Guru Nanak "searching for the saints?" See page 18 for "---Dabbi Bazaar, Lahore which had been got constructed by Guru Angad."

Writing about Guru Hargobind, he says (page 33), "His presence made a big dent in the area which followed Sakhi Sarwar." What does this mean? Or page (47), "---where he got dug a tank." See page 33 for "Guru Hargobind was not straightaway itching for a fight. To begin with, discretion was considered better part of the valour." Was he later, or ever, "itching" for a fight? Was any Guru?

On page 43: "During the war of succession between the sons of Shahjehan in 1658, Guru Har Rai was not involved, notwithstanding some chroniclers mentioning that he rendered some unspecified assistance to Dara Shikoh." Based on what evidence? Here are two statements, and a conclusion, with no reference to support either. On page 44 Sangat Singh implies that "Guru Har Rai died of poison administered by Aurangzeb's agents." Is that really true. If so, based on what evidence?

As example of language that obscures more than it clarifies, witness this on page 46: "Guru Tegh Bahadur who had the silent communion with the spirit of Guru Har Krishan put a veil over his unique experience of the transparent light, the resplendent soul of Guru Nanak entering and illuminating his inner self."

Page 47 catches you with: "The acceptance of Guruship by Tegh Bahadur without obtaining the approval of the imperial government was considered am affront by Aurangzeb." What evidence justifies such a conclusion? Surely, Sangat Singh does not wish to imply that the earlier Gurus had either needed or sought Royal permission before assuming the office.

Pages 49-50: "Gangu Brahmin was appointed cook to cater to the needs of the delegation of Kashmiri Brahmins who came to request Guru Tegh Bahadur's help" presumably because the Brahmins would not eat in the langar. The reference cited does not speak of this matter but of Kirpa Ram's conversion and, later, martyrdom. Also, it implies that the Guru, to accommodate the Brahmins, rejected and turned upside down the teaching of prior Gurus and the continuous tradition of Langar and Pangat. Did the Guru compromise his principles to the caste needs of his guests? Sangat Singh then seeks reassurance from Khomeini's words to echo the Guru philosophy of "fear not, frighten not." This makes no sense.

With the caveats mentioned above the chapter on the Guru period (pages 11-67) is a straightforward account with which most Sikhs are familiar. There is little that is new here, but for most non-Sikhs it is difficult to grasp. It presents a complex landscape and a vast cast of characters. Names come and go in one-liners, without much to relate them to. It is confusing, except to those who know the broad outline and can follow the script.

The third chapter - "Rise and Fall of Sikh Raj" - chronicles the boldness with which Sikh Raj came into being and the Machiavellian Brahminical infiltration that destroyed it.

The bulk of the book (pages 213-460) deals with the post-independence period, since 1947. Mostly well documented, it lays bare, in systematic detail, the dishonesty of Mahatma Gandhi, the so called "Father of modern India" and leaders of the Congress Party, particularly Pundit Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi, who governed India for most of these 50 years. Although not without problems, this is the best part of the book. It is most incredible that citizens of a free democratic country could be treated so inhumanely by its own government.

In this section, too, sometimes statements are made by Sangat Singh that appear to have no visible means of support. For instance, he states (page 351) that before he was gunned down by the Indian Army, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale said, "Tell Indira Gandhi that she is the daughter of a admin cut." Sikhs worldwide who are seething at Indira may find an echo of their own feelings in this statement, but its veracity needs independent corroboration. When, and to whom, was this statement made? No witnesses have surfaced - neither his Sikh associates, none of whom seem to have survived, nor Army personnel who found his bullet-ridden body, as most reports allege.

Sangat Singh categorically states (page 362) that R.K. Dhawan (an aide to Indira Gandhi) told Beant Singh (one of the assassins of Indira Gandhi) the broad outlines of Indira's planned anti-Sikh pogrom. The inquiry commission that explored this "pointed a needle of suspicion at Dhawan" but drew no definite conclusion. Where is Sangat Singh's evidence?

The last chapter "Future of the Sikhs" is a nice, trenchant summary of what Sikhs have been through, and what minefields to expect in the years to come. It is not very kind to the present leadership of the Sikhs and rightly so.

No publisher is listed. The book was privately published in New York, with financial support of the Sikh community. It is a noteworthy book. We hope there will be a revised second edition.

Dr. Inder Jit Singh is Professor & Co-ordinator in Anatomy, New York University. Among other publications, he is the author of two books: 'Sikhs and Sikhism: A View With a Bias' and 'The Sikhs Way: A Pilgrims Progress'.

I.J. Singh is on the editorial advisory board of 'The Sikh Review', Calcutta and 'The Encyclopedia of Sikhism', Punjabi University, Patiala.

Feedback is welcome: ijs1@nyu.edu.

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