«AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION O thou that buttest the high mountain, seeking to dislodge it with thy horns, take pity, not on the mountain but on thy head ...»
Bhai Sahai Singh took with him his leading devotees and went to every dervish and yogi living in that region. He prostrated before them and told his followers that they were all greater than him and they should not be neglected. The same night a Muslim dervish knocked at his door and fell at his feet saying: “O Master, why did you humiliate yourself by prostrating yourself before a hypocrite and worthless creature like me?” Bhai Sahai Singh replied, “I see the face of Baba Nanak in the person of all holymen. Guru Gobind Singh respected all Muslim and other non-Sikh divines so greatly that they were all given place of honour in his durbar. Who are we petty Sikhs who can dare to disregard or dishonour dervishes and fakirs wandering in search of Truth?” Throughout Sikh historical and religious literature I have not seen a single essay written by any Sikh in Punjabi or any other language against Christ, Mohammed, Buddha and Hindu Rishis, Munis, when the votaries of many other prophets of peace and harmony, have been writing producing the most vicious and hostile literature against the Sikh Gurus and their great disciples.” Many of the eminent saints, scholars and early politicians of these centuries, I have known, were educated in Christian Mission Schools and Colleges. I have never heard a word of disrepect from them for Christ or Mohammed.
336 Paul Carus says, “Comparison is the best method of acquiring comprehension and comprehension involves both discrimination of contrasts and recognition of similarities.
Differences are upon the whole at once apparent while similarities are hidden, but the import of indifference can at the same time not be appreciated until the similarities are seen.
Every religious man should study other religion in order to understand his own religion, and he must try to trace, consciously and lovingly the similarities in the various faiths in order to acquire the key that will unlock to him the law of religious evolution of mankind. “45 The comaprative study appeal is also upheld by Pro-fessor Geoffrey Parrinder who has spen t a life time bring-ing out the universal ethical and spiritual unicity in the profound depths of higher religions.
Professor Parrinder who has written some scholarly essays on Sikh ism says, “The comparative study of reli-gions, then can be practised, and religion is such an important and universal phenomenon that it deserves serious attention. Yet after the interest in primitive and curious phenomena in the past, many scholars and politicians today, and they are oddly at one in this, act as if religions do not matter. If the Christian and their missions often had an arrogant attitude to the religions of Asia, regarding them as hopelessly in the wrong, the modern attitude of the secular world is just as arrogant, regarding them as unimportant. Asian religions are often thought of as past superstitious hinderances to progress and their religious and philosphic classics, at least as profound as Greek philosophy are totally ignored. This is true of political ecclesiastical or university circles.”46 There is an attempt to study a highly developed reli-gion like Sikh ism purely from anthropological or socio-logical point of view, picking up for their objective study a section of uneducated society of backward region. Such attempts to present Sikhs as uncivilized tribals are not only misleading but also destructive.
337 Professor Geoffery Parrinder rightly remarks, ‘The most subtle foe of religion today is not the physicst or chemist, who may often be a practising Christian, but the anthropologist who very rarely is.”47 He quotes Evans Pritchard, Professor of Social Anthropology at Oxford, who speaking on religion and social anthropology declares “that practically all social anthroplogists have been agnos-tics. From the utilitarians and evolutionists of the last century down to this day, they have studied religion, in its primitive forms and as under a microscope, but they did not believe a word of it themselves.
How then could they understand it, for religion is not a thing, to be coldly analysed but a faith of passions.”48 I know personally and have participated in many Interfaith-Dialogues where scholars of Christianity, Islam and Judaism have shown immense genuine perceptions of Sikhism.
I also know Sikhism will continue to reveal its inner strength and power, and it will be a bridge builder amongst divergent faiths.
In this book the author has clearly attempted to pin-point the perimeters of falsehood constructed around Sikhism by a small group of so-called Western academics in the last decade.
The sinister forms it has taken today in the Corridors of Power and even in Sikh Institutions and universities of Punjab, where the mischief of corrupt poli-ticians and individuals is visible to the naked eye, is now awaiting shocking explosion.
In conclusion, I must state with conviction and certainly, that if a million Trumpps backed by Imperialistic power and a million Hew McLeod backed by missionary groups, try to wipe out the slate carrying the facts and truth of Sikh history and doctrines and dreams of re-inscribing it with malicious assumptions, absurd conjectures, and utterly false statements, they cannot succed. Truth cannot be erased by any falsehood;
Light cannot be over-shadowed by darkness, Life cannot be displaced by the ugliness of death.
Guru Gobind Singh has inscribed the truth of his 338 Faith, founded by Guru Nanak not on any brittle mate-rial, which its hostile critics are using as a slate, but on the pure and illumined hearts of millions and millions of seekers of God and Truth, Sikhs or seekers of Sikhism. He has not inscribed it with ordinary ink, but he has dipped his Pen in his own lifeblood. Before Guru Gobind Singh writes even a verse, he invokes his Beloved: ‘With Thy Grace and Power I Write.” He has recorded his life briefly in his autobiography and letters.
He has put his doctrines in his immortal works. His oral messages which failed to be recorded have been recorded by his contem-poraries and eye witnesses of his durbar who lived for over thirty years after his passing away. His message reveals that the humblest man on this earth is the lamp of God’s eternal Light. He is superior to his external conditions and must rise up and realize the tremendous power of his hidden light and recognize as well as assert his divine dignity in society and the world. A Spider living in the dark corner of its cobweb may challenge the Sun, but it can neither trap it nor wipe it out.
We may end by an optimistic note from Professor Arnold J. Toynbee who sums up the historic destiny of Sikh religion thus: “Of all known religious scriptures this book (Adi Granth) is the most highly venerated. It means more to Sikhs than even Quran means to Muslims, the Bible meas to Christians, and the Torah to the Jews. The Adi Granth is the Sikh’s perpetual Guru (Spiritual Guru). It was formally invested with this functions by the last in the series of the human Gurus that began with the Founder of Sikh religion, Nanak.”49 “But the Adi Granth is a Catholic anthology. It also includes hymns written by earlier Indian seers in whom Nanak and his successors recgonized kindered spirits; and some of these contributors to the Granth are Hindus, whilst others are Muslims. Their writings have found a place in the Adi Granth because the compilers of it held, and this surely with good reason, that these seers were Sikhs in fact, though they lived and wrote before the Sikh religion 339 took institutional form. They were Sikhs because they brought out and emphasized the universal spiritual truths contained in their respective religious traditions: and those truth belong to all ages and to all faiths.”50 “Mankind’s religious future may be obscure, yet one thing can be foreseen: the living higher religions are going to influence each other more than ever before, in these days of increasing communication between all parts of the world and all branches of the human race. In this coming religious debate, the Sikh religion, and scriptures the Adi Granth, will have something of special value to say to the rest of the world. This religion is itself a monument of creative spiritual intercourse between two traditional religions whose relations have otherwise not been happy. This is a good augury.”51 From the inspiration derived from Guru Granth the Sikh history has produced great illumined saints of the calibre of St.
Francis and St. John of Cross. They have produced nearly a thousand well known martyrs, and many more unknwon ones, who have allowed themselves to be tortured to extinction in the most inhuman and barbaric manner even in recent history.
To attempt to wipe out the history and glorious achievements of such people by mere propaganda and malicious campaigns is an exercise in which the Mughals failed, the Afghans failed, British Imperialistm failed, and a glaring ignominious failure is writ large on the forehead of those who have been trying to wipe them out in recent years.
and Repression of the Sikhs between 1982-1986.
(i) Oppression in Punjab, Citizens For Democracy Report, Amya Rao, Aurobind et al.
(ii) “Who are the Guilty” PUDR on Delhi Riots.
(iii) Anny Action in Punjab and After. S. Sinha et al.
(iv) Report of Citizens Commission. justice Sikri.
(v) Panjab :The Fatal Miscalculation. Ed. Palwant Singh & Malik.
7. Will Durant, The Mansions of Philosophy, p. 566.
8. Romesh Chander Dutt, Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. Ill, p. 318.
9. A.R. Wadia, Social Philosophy of Radhakrishnan : Paper published in “The Philosophy of Radhakrishnan”, ed. Paul Arthur Schilpp, New York, p. 773.
10. Leo Moulin, Socialism of the West. London, p. 23.
11. Arnold J. Toynbee, East to West, p. 122.
12. ibid., p. 123.
After seeing Prof. Arnold Toynbee off to Lahore Mr & Mrs William jones stayed at Ludhiana for two days. They told me that Professor Toynbee was profoundly impressed by the Golden Temple, about the fact that this was the only temple he saw in India where he could see the services being conducted with reverence and devotion both in the day time and at nightfall.
This was the only temple which radiated peaceful and devotional atmo-sphere and Sikh religion in active service could be seen. I conducted Mr and Mrs Williamjones to all the colleges in the city and rural area. He was anxious to help them with books on behalf of the British Council.
13. Christopher Shackle, An Introduction to the Sacred Language of the Sikhs. Heritage Publishers, Delhi, 2.
14. C. Shackle, A Guru Nanak Glossary: Heritage Publishers, Delhi- 2.
15. ibid., p. V.
16. All these learned papers have been published in BSOAS (Bulletin
of the School of Oriental and African Studies) as follows:
(i) South-Western Ewments in the Language of the Adi Granth : BSOAS XL, I, 1977, 36-50.
(ii) Approaches to the Persian Loans in the Adi Granth, BSOAS XLI, 1, 1978, 73-94.
(iii) The Sahisakriti Poetic Idiom in the Adi Granth, BSOAS, XLI, 2, 1978, 297-313.
17. Noel Q. King, Critical Scholarship and Sikhism. Essay on Perspectives on the Sikh Tradition: Edited by justice Gurdev Singh : p. 51.
18. ibid., p. 49-50.
20. Dr james R. Lewis, Some Unexamined Assumptions in Western 341 Studies of Sikhism.journal of Sikh Studies: Vol. XIII No. n August 1985 published by G.N.D.U. Amritsar : p. 48
21. ibid., p. 51.
22. Dr John C.B. Webster : Sikh Studies in the Punjab. Article contributed to “Sikh Studies” : Edited by Mark juergenmeyer and N.G. Barrier.
23. James R. Lewis, Some Unexamined Assumptions in Western Studies of Sikhism, journal of Sikh Studies: Vol. XIII, No. n, August 1985, p. 47.
24. ibid., p. 48.
25. ibid., p. 54.
26. ibid., p. 54.
27. ibid., p. 55.
28. ibid., p. 56.
29. ibid., p. 57.
30. ibid., p. 58.
31. C.H. Loehlin, The Christian Approach to the Sikh: Edinburgh, 1966, p.29.
32. ibid., p. 30-31.
33. ibid., p. 32.
34. ibid., p. 35.
35. ibid., p. 42.
36. Arnold J. Toynbee, Foreword: The Sacred Writings of the Sikhs, (UNESCO Collection). Tr Trilochan Singh et al p. 9.
37. C.H. Loehlin. The Christian Approach to the Sikhs, 1966, ibid., p. 45-46.
38. ibid., p. 22.
39. ibid., p. 25.
40. ibid., p. 51.
41. ibid., p. 28-29.
42. ibid., p. 59.
43. ibid., p. 72-73.
44. Tara Chand, Infuence of Islam on Indian Culture, p. 69.
45. Paul Carus, Buddhism and Its Christian Critics, p. 5.
46. Geoffrey Parrinder, Comparative Religion, p. 15.
47. ibid,, p. 17.
48. ibid,, p. 17.
49. Arnold J. Toynbee, Foreword to “The Sacred Writings of the Sikhs” (UNESCO Collection) Tr : by Trilochan Singh et al. p. 9.
50. ibid., p. 10.
51. ibid., p. 11.
I had seen the first proofs of this book when news came about the controvesrial thesis of Pashaura Singh guided by Dr Hew Mcleod in the University of Toronto. The learned Guide has induced his docile and abjectly submissive student to project, rationalize and uphold his crude, irresponsible and unsubstantiated views about Adi Granth in the hope of getting respectability and credibility for his views in U.S. - Canadian academic world. Pashaura Singh, a willing victim of Dr McLeod’s indoctrinated propaganda machinery has been pushed into the pit of ignominy and humiliation he is unfortunately fac-ing now). He succeeded in persuading Pashaura Singh to write in McLeodian language and idiom what even Dr McLeod did not dare to write in any of his books.
I received a copy of Pashaura Singh’s thesis from U.S.A.