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Harbans Singh Doabia


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Dear members,

Because i am unable to understand the various languages that were used to compose Sikh scriptures and prayers in their original form i have to rely solely on English translations and side commentaries to understand the prayers and philosophy of the Sikh Guru's.

I have a copy of Nitnem, Asa Di Var and the sacred Sukhmani by Harbans Singh Doabia which i purchased from a publisher in Amritsar.

However, i got this problem. Unfortunately, there is no unity among the Sikhs, and i see little uniformity in many books published on the same topic as it relates to Sikh history, and even Sikh philosophy. The Sikh resources on the net are even more terrible with little or no consistency or agreement with eachother. On top of that, we have external enemies who spread propaganda and misinformation about anything and everything to do with our religion.

Basically, i need the opinion of members here on the credibility of Harbans Singh Doabia as an author and as a scholar. Like i said, because i rely on English translations and commentaries to understand what was originally written in Gurmukhi i am at risk from learning and believing something which may be distorted, interpreted incorrectly, or something that is just a bull sh*t.

I am paranoid and sceptical nowadays about virtually anything i read on Sikhism and Sikh history, and i have good reason for being apprehensive.

At the moment, i find the works of Harbans Singh Doabia to be very valuable and they have been of great use to me. Although, one thing i have to say is that Harbans Singh Doabia has suggested quite clearly that Sikh scriptures are divinely revealed from God himself. I assume then, that Harbans Singh Doabia suggests that Guru Nanak was a Prophet no different from how Abraham, Moses and Mohammed were. Although there is no doubt that Guru Nanak must have had some forms of realization or even direct revelations, i had never quite seen this as how it is shown in the Jewish or Islamic faiths. I could of course, be wrong.

Anyway, please help this brother out and give me your thoughts and opinions of the credibility of Harbans Singh Doabia's translations (if you are familiar with his work). How authentic are they? And how accurate are his commentaries?

Or, if you know better authors, please share there names and i will get myself copies of their works on Sikh scriptures and prayers.

Thanks,

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gurfateh veerji,

I find harbans singh doabia's translations to be subpar. I have found some of his work to have innaccuracies in translation.

In terms of equating guru nanak devji to abraham, mohammed etc...you must remember that they brought down laws as ordained from god. Guru nanak's baani is more of an exhibition of love, and the poetry etc was from god...as it was a marag of the highest calibre. (my view).

best of luck, if you do have certain issues that you are uncertain about, please share :)

take care

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There is a nitnem published by Chitar Singh Jiwan Singh by Dr. Gurmukh Singh or something, in english, which is OK (better than Doabia). But it still has flaws with some words simply being seriously incorrectly defined. The glossary is more extensive than doabia from what I remember. I find it useful to run through every know and then to refresh my memory a little.

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I have the nitnem and sukhmani gutkas by Harbans Singh Doabia. I have english gutkas from two other authors aswell, And I must say Harbans Singh is much better. I think he has done the best translation/transliteration so far.

Don't expect every author to have the exact translations. There are literally hundreds of different translations of Japji sahib, and as Sant Singh Maskeen said, they are all correct in their own way. If the translation doesn't contradict gurmat, then it should be valued.

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Guest Javanmard

Harbans Singh Doabia's English is absolutely horrible! I do find the translations of separate banis by the Panjab University Patiala scholars to be very nice even though I have still to find one entirely satisfying translation.

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Harbans Singh Doabia has the best pronounciation. You can do nitnem without even reading Gurmukhi, if that's what you need. Some of the other english gutkas use old english and use overly complicated words. Comparing his translations with Prof Sahib Singh ji's Punjabi steek( one the best so far), I would say it is one the best translations. I actually tried this. Read the Punjabi translation and then read the english translation.

I would say that Harbans Singh ji is very good.

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Doabia may not be much but he's good for begginners. As you progress through the gurmukhi script you will realise that Doabia's work is somewhat bare, and that his translations do not do the true meanings of gurbani justice.

But can anyone truly translate gurbani?

Gurbani is beant....

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