Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed

Bloomsbury Publishing
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Sikhism's short but relatively eventful history provides a fascinating insight into the working of misunderstood and seemingly contradictory themes such as politics and religion, violence and mysticism, culture and spirituality, orality and textuality, public sphere versus private sphere, tradition and modernity. This book presents students with a careful analysis of these complex themes as they have manifested themselves in the historical evolution of the Sikh traditions and the encounter of Sikhs with modernity and the West, in the philosophical teachings of its founders and their interpretation by Sikh exegetes, and in Sikh ethical and intellectual responses to contemporary issues in an increasingly secular and pluralistic world. Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed serves as an ideal guide to Sikhism, and also for students of Asian studies, Sociology of Religion and World Religions.
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About the author

Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair is an Associate Professor and holder of the S.B.S.C. Endowed Chair in Sikh Studies at the University of Michigan, USA. His earlier books include: Religion and the Specter of the West: Sikhism, India, Postcoloniality and the Politics of Translation (2009), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus (with Christopher Shackle, 2005), Secularism and Religion-Making (2009). He is a founding editor of the journal Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture and Theory.
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Additional Information

Bloomsbury Publishing
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Published on
Jun 6, 2013
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Philosophy / Eastern
Philosophy / General
Religion / Sikhism
Social Science / Sociology / General
Social Science / Sociology of Religion
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Five hundred years ago, Guru Nanak founded the Sikh faith in India. The Sikhs defied the caste system; rejected the authority of Hindu priests; forbade magic and idolatry; and promoted the equality of men and women -- beliefs that incurred the wrath of both Hindus and Muslims. In the centuries that followed, three of Nanak's nine successors met violent ends, and his people continued to battle hostile regimes. The conflict has raged into our own time: in 1984 the Golden Temple of Amritsar -- the holy shrine of the Sikhs--was destroyed by the Indian Army. In retaliation, Sikh bodyguards assassinated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Now, Patwant Singh gives us the compelling story of the Sikhs -- their origins, traditions and beliefs, and more recent history. He shows how a movement based on tenets of compassion and humaneness transformed itself, of necessity, into a community that values bravery and military prowess as well as spirituality. We learn how Gobind Singh, the tenth and last Guru, welded the Sikhs into a brotherhood, with each man bearing the surname Singh, or "Lion," and abiding by a distinctive code of dress and conduct. He tells of Banda the Brave's daring conquests, which sowed the seeds of a Sikh state, and how the enlightened ruler Ranjit Singh fulfilled this promise by founding a Sikh empire.

The author examines how, through the centuries, the Sikh soldier became an exemplar of discipline and courage and explains how Sikhs -- now numbering nearly 20 million worldwide -- have come to be known for their commitment to education, their business acumen, and their enterprising spirit.

Finally, Singh concludes that it would be a grave error to alienate an energetic and vital community like the Sikhs if modern India is to realize its full potential. He urges India's leaders to learn from the past and to "honour the social contract with Indians of every background and persuasion."
This prayer book is the kind manifestation of Waheguru ji’s  grace. It is aimed to assist all, especially the young and those who do not understand Gurmukhi yet, to do Nitnem.

Prayer is an essential part of Sikhism. As food nourishes and strengthens the body, prayer purifies the mind uplifts the soul.

Sikhs are ordained to rise in the morning and meditate on the Name of God ‘Waheguru’.

They are also expected to do ‘Nitnem’ which literally means ‘Daily Routine’.

Nitnem is composed of a collection of five prayers to be done during different periods of the day.

Morning  (3 prayers) Japji Sahib, Jaap Sahib and Sawaiye.

Evening (1 prayer) – Rehras Sahib

Night (1 prayer) – Kirtan Sohila

Ardaas should be done after every prayer session.

I have included Ardaas for the reader in this book too.

The person who forms the habit of doing Nitnem daily, ultimately experiences bliss and peace.

While the best experience would be derived from reading the prayers in Gurmukhi, there should be no hindrance for anyone who does not know the Gurmukhi script, to do Nitnem

While every effort has been made to simplify the transliteration, I encourage the reader to read the prayers while listening to them in audio format a couple of times.

This will help them grasp the correct pronunciation.

There is a section for links to the individual prayers in YouTube. This will help to get the correct pronunciation, or if you wish to just listen to the prayers.

This prayer book is perfect to carry around in one’s device, so the prayers can be performed from anywhere.

It is also a wonderful gift to offer to friends and family.

After doing prayers regularly, one can look for translation books to assist in helping understand the Bani.

I am certain that by Waheguru ji’s grace, the reader will eventually seek to learn the Gurmukhi script.

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