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Essays on Sikh Values
 
Essays on Sikh Values
by Kulwant Singh Khokhar

 
A Sikh believes in one God and prays only to Him, has faith in Ten Gurus, and follows the dictates of Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Book the Guru).
An Outline of Sikh Doctrines

Contents

Key to the Book
Prologue
The Manuscript
Neo Faith
Sikh Theology, its Originality
Truth is Ever Constant
Ensign of Dignity
Hair
Name of my Lord
Attainments
Congregation
Essence of the Faith
Invocation
Between the Lines
Main Stay of the Faith
Bird’s Eye View
Festival of Lights
Baisakhi 99
Man of the Era
Sahibzadae
Ruby in Rags

Thanks

The author is grateful to the following for their active participation in getting this book printed and published -

Dedication

This book is dedicated to the cherished memory of revered Sardar Shivram Singh Dhingra

MY DAD AND ME

“Shiv Bau” as my Dad was known in the Sirsa District of Haryana, and as I heard him being fondly called by his friends and acquaintances, was known for fairness and honesty. He was regularly called upon to mediate in disputes, and was a great source of inspiration to me. My life is shaped after his ideas and ideologies. Before I tread through his thoughts and principles, I feel honored to put down a few words on his life.

He was born in 1936 at Lahore. At the time of partition he was a student of D.A.V. School, there. During the partition of India in 1947, he lost his visible symbol of the Sikh faith i.e. his kaes - hair.

After the partition of India in 1947, he settled down in Sirsa, Haryana, India. Later, he ventured into the business of transport. He got married to my respected Mother Veena in AD 1953.

He joined Haryana Roadways when the private road transport business in Haryana was nationalized. In 1982, he moved to Delhi, and set up a factory manufacturing PVC Compound, and managed it till his death in 1993. I never had any interest in business and after his death, I disposed off the factory.

Throughout his life, my Dad followed certain principles, and naturally these got instilled into me. I would like to share some of these -

Revered Shivram Singh was an institution of learning, and even after his death, I still remember his valuable thoughts. I fully share his views that this world is as good or as bad as we are, and to make it good be good and help others in becoming good to their own selves and to the others.

Ashok Dhingra


Ashok Dhingraa

In the year 2000, Mr. Ashok Dhingra, visiting Richmond, Virginia, USA, from New Delhi, India, was impressed by the devotion of the author to his work and got his articles keyboarded at New Delhi. It is due to dedication of Mr. Ashok and his wife Mrs. Rachana, that this book could be published and printed.

Ashok is a God-fearing, compassionate gentleman, regular in his  Nit-Nem - routine prayer, and takes out Dasvandh - tithe: one tenth of his income for charity. He has broad-minded approach to the faith. He inherited his principles of life, honesty, charity, God-orientation and other qualities from his father.

He is a member of the management committee of the local Gurdwara, contributes liberally for good causes, and is ever ready to help the needy. His wife Mrs. Rachna, liberally shares his views and qualities.

Ashok was born at Delhi in 1955. He did his Higher Secondary in Sirsa - Haryana, B.Sc. with science subjects (Biology) from Delhi University, and completed L.L.B. from C.C.S.  University, Meerut. He cleared the prescribed exams, and was selected in the Customs and Central Excise Department.

Ashok and Rachna had been studying together since childhood, and they got married in 1979. Rachna did MA (Economics), and presently is an associate of the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

Ashok shifted to Delhi in the year 1982, when his father also set up a manufacturing unit there. Now, he lives in Surya Nagar, Ghaziabad. In 1999, he resigned from Government service and joined a global consulting firm. In the year 2000, he opted for Arthur Anderson which merged in 2002 with another global consulting and accounting firm: Ernst and Young. Ashok’s area of expertise is Indirect Tax Laws of India. It includes Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax, and Export Import Policy of the Government of India etc.

Ashok has two sons Madhur and Sachin. They both are doing law. His one daughter Meeta, is studying Fashion Design and Information Technology from the National Institute of Fashion Technology.

Vijay Dhingra


Key to the Book

Hints regarding references attached to the quotations

The following plan has been adhered for giving references -

First Column - for the Author.
Second Column - for the Page Number.
Third Column - for the Line Number on the given page.

A.   Quotations from Guru Granth Sahib - the Sikh Holy Book

For Gurbani - Holy Hymns, number have been used for the Gurus as authors. Numbers indicate their sequence in Guruship. For example -
 
Guru Nanak Dev (1) Guru Angad Dev (2) Guru Amar Das (3)
Guru Ram Das (4) Guru Arjun Dev (5) Guru Tegh Bahadur (9)

Where nothing is indicated, the reference is presumed to be from Guru Granth Sahib.
For authors besides the Gurus, their names have been affixed. Example is -

5-77-3 This quote is by the 5th Guru, at page 77, line 3, of Guru Granth Sahib.
Kabir-453-7    This quote is by Bhagat Kabir, page 453, line 7, of Guru Granth Sahib.

B.   Quotations from Dassam Granth

10 (Ten) - has been used for Guru Gobind Singh.  In the place of 10, Dassam Pateshah, Guru Gobind Singh, 10th Master etc. might have been given. In Guru Granth Sahib, there is no Hymn of the Tenth Master Guru Gobind Singh. His Hymns are in ‘Dassam Granth’ - Book of the Tenth Master. Its page numbers, and number of lines on a fully written page have not yet been standardized. Therefore, usually a more elaborate reference is given.

C.    Quotes from other books

Name of the book and other information has been attached.

Repetitions. Repetitions in the write-ups have been retained to preserve originality, individuality and completeness of the articles. The repetitions may have added information.
Historical Facts. In this manuscript, every thingis a fact from the books of history indicated in the bibliography and nothing is fiction.
Non English Words. Upper case has been used for such words and not roman. Such non-English words may slightly vary in their spellings.
Roman. Roman Characters and spellings by Dr. K.S. Thind, and the author, may not exactly be the same.


Prologue

The contents of this book, dealing with individual subjects, have been  written at intervals. To maintain individual independence of the write-ups, repetitions have not been deleted. A repetition preserves completeness of an article. It is possible that a repetition may have its own individuality by saying the same thing in a different way, or by having some new ideas, or a few updates, as well as some modified contents.

As the time passes, thoughts and experiences undergo modifications, and an author may get evolved in his thoughts on the same topic due to expanding mental environment. But still, writings at different times may preserve the development of history of those periods.

Most of the subjects in this manuscript evolved around the facts. The passage of time did not effect them much, and is expected not to do so soon, at least in an abrupt way.

It is very important to know the basic realities of a religion.  This manuscript is full of limited but specific information on different topics of the Sikh faith. It will enrich the existing knowledge, and will add to information of the novice. Reading this manuscript will likely  be of benefit. This is an important contribution to the literature on the Sikh faith, and it will fulfill a crucial need especially of the English oriented people.

The literature in English is an important demand particularly of the youth in the West. They need to get information on every topic related to the Sikh faith, but they have very limited resources. We may write in the Gurmukhi script, but for the West, religious literature in English is very important. We have to realize that for them, learning Punjabi-Gurmukhi is not easy, and as well there is shortage of help for this. We can attach them to the Sikh faith through their own medium in the West, English. We have to get together to seriously work for them.

Dr. Bhai Harbans Lal, a well-known scholar of the Sikh faith, lays great stress on this need. Dr. Kulbir Singh Thind is earnestly working on this project through the electronic media. So fa,r he has distributed free or almost free, about 35,000 Gurbani-CDs. This is a great tool for search. Mr. Jasbir Singh Brar, N. Carolina, is also, dedicatedly working to fulfill this need. In the same category falls the work of Dr. Kulwant Singh Khokhar.

P.S. Khokhar
New Delhi


The Manuscript

History, however neutrally written may be elusive at least to a certain extent. A government historian will not go out of the interests of the prevalent rule. A faithful will keep immersed in his sentiments and emotions. Such factors may lead to exaggerations, or the truth may get minimized or disappear totally.

The history may be pleasant and as well it be painful. A reader should be careful to stay free from bias, prejudice and keep as an observer. He or she should have in the mind the real facts.

In this manuscript, some historical episodes are there. Going through them, we should be aware that these belong to history, are not a fiction, and they should not elate or hurt anyone in any way.

At the time of writing the articles on Nishaan Sahib (The Sikh flag), Ardas - invocation, and Yoga, a very limited reference material was available. The write-up on the Sikh flag took about two years to collate the information. The author had talks with Dr. Man Singh Nirankari, Dr. Madanjit Kaur, Dr. Bhai Harbans Lal, Dr. Shamsher Singh Puri, other scholars and Sant Balwant Singh of the village Hasanpur Khurd, Post Office Batala, District Gurdaspur, Punjab. He was also  helpful in writing on Ardas - invocation. From time to time, the author had short talks on various topics with Dr. Harcharan Singh, Retired Head and Professor of Medicine, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab.

These articles make a treasure of information related to the Sikh faith and its history. This much material in a couple of hundred pages is an awe inspiring feat. The write-up “Gurdwara” dealing with discipline and procedures in the sanctified place, is very valuable for the West, as well as for the East. This book makes an important document. I personally feel, every library, Gurdwara, and home, should have a copy of it. Coming generations can be given the right direction by such valuable books. The author has already written several books on  important topics related to the Sikh faith.

Atma Singh Dhillon Ph.D.


Epilogue

Originality in the Sikh faith was instrumental in promoting it, and the masses adopted it with eagerness. Equality, indiscrimination, justice, and woship only of One God, gave the world a simple and universal faith. Today (AD 2002), hardly 538 years old, it has more than twenty two million followers, and is the fifth largest faith in the world.

For the Gurus, all human beings were one and the same, and they were above discrimanations. Muslims were eqally dear to them as Hindus, or any others. Mardana a Muslim, spent his life with Guru Nanak, accopmanying him with a Rabab as his musician. The foundation of Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, was laid by a Muslim saint Mianmir. Guru Arjun  Dev incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib - the Sikh Holy Book, hymns of God-oriented saints - Hindus as well as  Muslims. Hymns of any saint that found a place in this Holy Book, are honored like those of the Gurus, and everyone bows equally to all of them.

The Sikh faith is the faith of preaching, and not of conversions. I am pleased that the author has succefully attempted to share with the people heritage of the Sikhs. It will enlighten the readers about the mainstay of this religion. This is a successful step towards the interfaith understanding essental for peace in the world.

Arvinder K. Barot, M.D.
Ghanshyam .C. Barot, M.D.
30 March 2002

Bibliography

A history of the Sikhs Vol. I, Khushawant Singh, 7th impression,1987, page 304.
Adi Beerr Baaray, Prof: Sahib Singh, 1991 edition, pages 5 to 276.
Advanced Studies in Sikhism, Jasbir Singh Maan and Harbans Singh Sraon, 1989, page 121.
Autobiography of a Yogi (Parmhansa Yoga Nanda), Ramana Maharishi Rama Krishna Paramhans, Swami Viveka Nand, and other saints.
Bachitar Natak, S.G.P.C. Amritsar, 3rd edition, 1978, pages 68 and 75.
Bhattan De Sawaiyae, Prof: Sahib Singh, Imprint 1990.
Books by Dr. Kulwant Singh - Anhad Ki Dhun, Wahu Wahu, Mansrovar, Academy of Guru Granth Studies, Arlington TX, USA.
Books by Swami Shivananda - Bliss Divine, Sadhna, Concentration, Meditation, Shivanandanagar, Tehri Garhwal, U.P. Mind Its Mysteries and Control, Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi, Patna, etc.
Books on Kundalini, Pranayam and Yoga, by Swami Vivekanand and others.
Conceptual Encyclopedia of Guru Granth Sahib, S.S. Kohli, 1992.
Guide Book - Sikh Youth Camp of N. Carolina,1991.
Gurbani Paath Darshan, Giani Gurbachan Singh Khalsa, edition 1988.
Gurmatt lectures, Giani Partap Singh, 1986 edition, pages 190 to 203. Guru Granth Sahib - An Analytical Study, Surinder Singh Kohli, 1992, pages VII to XVIII and 1 to 26.
Gurshabad Rattan Prakash by Akali Kaur Singh.
Guru Granth Sahib Sainchees, its Shabdarath, and translation by Adv. Monmohan Singh - S.G.P.C. Amritsar.
Hand Book on Sikhism, Surinder Singh Johar, 1977, page 47 to 59.
Life stories of Saints e.g. Sant Suraj Singh, Sant Atar Singh, Sant Teja Singh, Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh and others.
Mahan-Kosh and Gurmatt Martand by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha.
Mini Encyclopedia of Sikhs, H. S. Singha, 1989.
Pamphlets - various.
Punjabi English Dictionary and English Punjabi Dictionary, Punjabi University, Patiala.
Punjabi English Dictionary, Singh Brothers, Amritsar.
Sada Itihas part I - Satbir Singh, New Book Company, Mai Hiran Gate, Jalandhar, third print 1971.
Sada Itihas part II - Satbir Singh, New Book Company, Mai Hiran Gate, Jalandhar, third print 1970.
Sikh Itihas Part I - Kartar Singh M.A., S.G.P.C. Amritsar, 1977. Sikh Itihas part II, 1981 edition, pages 206 to 211.
Sikh Reht Maryada, Dharam Parchar Committee, S.G.P.C. Amritsar,  History of the Sikh People, Dr. Gopal Singh, 1979, pages 84 and 184.
Sri Kartarpuri Beerr De Darshan, Bhai Jodh Singh, pages ‘ a ‘  to ‘ k ‘ and  1 to 3.
The Encyclopedia of Sikhism - Harbans Singh, Editor in Chief. Punjabi University, Patiala, 1992.
Sant Harnam Singh - Life of the saint.
Sant Hazara Singh -  Life of the saint.
The Sikhs - Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, W. Cole and P.S.  Sambhi, 1978, pages 45 to 46.
Twareekh Guru Khalsa - Part I, Bhai Gian Singh Ji Giani, Bhasha Vibhag Punjab, 1970.


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