Understanding Sikhism, The Research Journal, is available in paper (printed) form. To subscribe, please contact Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Articles of some of the issues and Table of Contents for the past issues are available in electronic form.
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INAUGURAL ISSUEProf. Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD
Why this research journal?Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD
It emphasizes the need of the research journal to interpret Gurbani and represent Sikhism in their real perspective.
False is taken to be true.Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD
During the 15th century Guru Nanak founded a scientific and logical religion in the world for the benefit of the humanity. In the past, Sikhism has been wrapped in a cocoon woven with the silken fibers of ancient writings where some false information was taken as true by the writers of that time. Now Sikhism is being interpreted by many scholars and preachers along the lines of these ancient writings without looking into their authenticity and validity according to Gurbani, science, and logic - the touchstones of truth.
System for referencing Bani from the Granth: The Sikh Holy Scriptures.Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD
As is clear from the wording used in knitting the caption itself, the pinpointed purpose of this research – based article is twofold. Firstly, it presents historical verifiable and demonstrable evidence to confirm the postulate that even up to the present time, we have not been able to develop a perfectly agreed system for referencing of Bani from the Granth, the Sikh Holy Scriptures. Secondly, it aspires to work out that type of system which will have to be employed uniformly by all the prospective writers who will like to contribute their valuable research articles for this Journal or for any other.
New Nanakshahi Calendar.S. Pal Singh Purewal
A new Nanakshahi Calendar has been prepared. The Calendar Reform Committee under the aegis of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, recommended some changes. In this article these changes and why they were necessary are discussed. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar has decided to implement the new Reformed Nanakshahi Calendar from 1999 CE. For ready reference the New Nanakshahi Calendar has been tabulated in such a way that all important events can be easily figured out .
Sikhism: The scientific religion for the mankind.Prof. Hardev Singh Virk
Religion and science are both engaged in the exploration of truth. Religion explores consciousness while the science explores material aspects of Nature. Sikh religion has the distinction of combining the material and spiritual aspects of Nature. Reality has dual nature in science and religion. Sikh cosmology as enunciated in the Aad Guru Granth Sahib has been found to be most scientific and compatible with the modern theories of science. Guru Nanak used both inductive logic and rationality in preaching his mission.
Nanakian philosophy for world peace.Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD
The peoples of our globe hate each other, because of their region or religion and of differences in their economy. Science has contributed a lot for the betterment of human life but played insignificant role to keep peace in the world. Although the religions are much older than the science, they have also failed to bring peace for the humanity. I envisage that if science and religion are put together peace can be established on this globe. The Nanakian philosophy, having universal acceptability, has much to add to bring peace on this tiny planet, the earth.
Guru Nanak’s pathway to spirituality.Dr Jasjit Singh Walia
It is natural for us, the human beings, to ask two fundamental questions. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? We feel a spiritual vacuum inside ourselves, and are, therefore, longing to become enlightened so we can find meaning and purpose of the life. We yearn for a supernatural connection to some superior divine power. We want to be at peace with ourselves. To accomplish this goal we try to seek out the most effective and the best available philosophical path so that we may be able to lead mentally and spiritually satisfying life. This communication describes a simple, convenient, effective, and divinely inspired pathway of right philosophy for righteous living, spiritual growth, and inner Enlightenment, as delineated by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion.
Who is a Sikh? Definition of Sikhism.Dr Bikram Singh Dhillon, MD
There is not now, nor has there ever been any single definition of a Sikh, if such definition is bound within any particulars of time or place. The basis of all devotion to that which is Infinite is the sense of simultaneous wonder and humility at the human condition. Within it lie the paradoxes of our physical and spiritual identity, our limitations and our limitlessness. When we define, we wish to contain that which is being defined within the scope of those words. When we choose to define Sikhism based upon our limitations, we invariably divide and exclude whole parts of the community based upon certain dogmas that recognize parts of the truth but neglect other truths. When we choose to define based upon our limitlessness, we align our own true nature with the limitless nature of Akal Purakh (The Timeless Being). This is the path of inclusion, the path of love and the path of undivided truth. Such a definition is much more difficult to arrive at, for it demands, not a definition of words but one of individual transformation and action. In the end, this is the only definition, which serves us to act with, rather than against, the Hukm (Law) of Akal Purakh. I say this because it evolves from unconditional love and seeks all truth. It is this perspective alone which can return us to an awareness of our true spiritual nature in ascendance over our physical state. This was the message of our Guru.
Sehjdhari Sikhs and Vaisakhi of 1699.Prof. (Bhai) Harbans Lal, PhD, D. Litt. (Hon.)
Distinction between the Sehjdhari Sikhs and the Amritdhari Sikhs owes its historical origin to the day of the historic Vaisakhi of 1699 CE. Although Sikhs practicing Sehj have existed since the days of Guru Nanak, it is in reference to the Vaisakhi day that Sehjdhari Sikhs today are distinguished from other Sikhs primarily for not being initiated (baptized). They often do not wear some of the five kakkars and not use "Singh" as their last name. A substantial part of the Sikh community continued to be Sehjdhari Sikhs after the Vaisakhi. Guru Gobind Singh and his successor, Guru Panth, continued to love them as their own. Further, Sehjdhari Sikhs continued to play a critical role in the Sikh history. More recently, in September 1997, Sehjdhari Sikhs joined their other kin at the World Sikh Convention to reaffirm their place in the Panth and its destiny in the next century.
The taboo of halal for the Sikhs.S. Baldev Singh
There are different opinions about eating of meat in Sikhism. Many scholars in favour and against eating of meat by the Sikhs have discussed this topic. This paper discusses the ignored and misinterpreted aspect of eating of Halal meat in Sikhism.
Astrology and Gurbani.Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD
Gurbani recorded in the Aad Guru Granth Sahib does not support any belief in astrology and future prediction by the astrologers.
Rehit Maryada and Vaak Laina.S. Nirmal Singh Kalsi
The procedure for taking Vaaks and the code of the Sikh Rehit Maryada of the SGPC is discussed.
EDITORIAL NOTE: It has been noticed that a verse read at random at the end of the Diwan in Gurdwara or of any ceremony is commonly called Vaak by some Sikhs while the others call it Hukm or Hukmnama. The Sikh Rehit Maryada published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar is using ’Vaak laina’ (taking of word), ’Hukm laina’ (taking of order or command), and ’Awaaz laina’ (taking of sound or voice) indiscriminately. Let us find out what is it? Vaak, Hukm or Awaaz. S. Manmeet Singh reported his observations on the Internet on this topic. Those observations are reproduced here. In this connection I requested S. Nirmal Singh Kalsi to give his academic views on this topic.
Devinder Singh Chahal, Editor-in-Chief.