Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd)
10, Featherstone Road. Southall, Middx, U.K. UB2 5AA
Tel: +44 020 8574 1902
Fax: +44 020 8574 1912
Reg Charity No: 262404
by Kulwant Singh Khokhar
ContentsKey to the Book
Sikh Theology, its Originality
Truth is Ever Constant
Ensign of Dignity
Name of my Lord
Essence of the Faith
Between the Lines
Main Stay of the Faith
Bird’s Eye View
Festival of Lights
Man of the Era
Ruby in Rags
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 -
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.
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.
|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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.