Understanding Sikhism, The Research Journal, is no longer available in paper (printed) form. You may contact Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal by emailing at sikhism@iuscanada.com. Articles and Table of Contents for the past issues are available in electronic form.

 

2017

Table of Contents and Abstracts
January - December 2017, Vol. 19, No. 1

PREAMBLE

REFLECTIONS ON GURU GOBIND SINGH'S VISION
WHERE WE STAND AFTER 350 YEARS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES
IUS SEMINAR 2016
Held at Library of Gurdwara Sahib Greater Montreal
December 10, 2016

Prof Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD
Prof Harjeet Singh Bhabra, PhD
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INAUGURAL ADDRESS

PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF GURU GOBIND SINGH:
WHERE WE STAND AFTER 350 YEARS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES

Prof Harjeet Singh Bhabra, PhD
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ARTICLES PRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE

DO WE, THE SIKHS, KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT GURU GOBIND SINGH?
Prof Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD

ABSTRACT
Discovering the facts about the life of Guru Gobind Singh and his contributions to evolve a "Nation for Justice" is like finding a lost ring in murky water. More than hundreds of thousands of rupees have been spent to celebrate his 350th Birthday during January 2017 at Patna Sahib, Bihar, India; it is still not apparent how much truth about his above mission has been revealed to the humanity. Nevertheless, this short article discusses how his life and his mission have been misrepresented in Bachitar Nantak, called Dasam Granth, Sikh history, and literature. It also discusses plight of Hindus in India during 350 years of Muslim rule and the association of Guru Gobind Singh with Muslim society. This was the time, when Guru Nanak appeared to promulgate a universally acceptable philosophy, termed "Nanakian Philosophy". About 197 years after Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh appeared on the scene to evolve a "Nation for Justice" based on Nanakian Philosophy. It is ironic that he met great opposition to his mission by his own brethren, the Hindus, Brahmins (priestly class) and the Hindu Rajas. Misrepresentations in writings of Bhai Gurdas II, Bachittar Natak (Dasam Granth) and Sikh literature have been exposed by comparing the facts embodied in the bani (word) in the Aad Guru Granth Sahib. It is hoped that this short research article will prove a stepping stone for further study to bring out the facts about the mission of Guru Gobind Singh.
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EQUALITY IN HUMANITY -DOCTRINE OF GURU GOBIND SINGH
Avtar Singh Dhaliwal, MD, FACS

ABSTRACT
Guru Gobind Singh signified fundamentals of the Sikhi for EQUALITY in every aspect of the humanity by practical creation of an armed unit called Khalsa. By comprising the Khalsa with every high and low caste people in it, the discrimination due to casteism and indifference prevailing in India during 18th century; was eliminated in the Sikhi. The paper will look into socio-political and religious indifferences impacting human lives and the transformation by Sikhi fundamentals of equality and respect initiated by Guru Nanak and succeeding Sikh Guru Sahiban and perfectly perpetuated by Guru Gobind Singh.
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GURU GOBIND SINGH JI - HIS MISSION AND VISION
Dr Devinder Pal Singh

ABSTRACT
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, was a divine preceptor and crusader for noble cause of human welfare. He was a great religious leader, a poet and a mystic, a true scholar and philosopher. He was also a fearless warrior and a military commander, who always fought against tyranny and oppression, to establish a just and benign state. In his hymns of 'Bachitar Natak', he proclaimed his mission as 'to protect the righteous, oppressed and downtrodden people and to destroy the evil-doers'. He stressed on the unity of humankind, rejected all sorts of discriminations and preached equality and goodwill.
Being a prolific writer and a poet of rare sensibility, Guru Gobind Singh greatly enriched the literary heritage of India. His poetic vision depicts the glorious epitome of medieval Indian literary traditions. Through his compositions, he enunciated a doctrine of armed struggle for the protection of truth and justice. The fusion of the devotional and martial, of the spiritual and the heroic ethos is the most important feature of his literary work and his charismatic leadership.
With his spiritual dynamism, he attempted to reconcile the transcendent with the immanent through his creation of the Khalsa. The commonwealth of the Khalsa was founded based on all round equality and total dedication to one Supreme Reality. Guru Gobind Singh was a pioneer Indian leader to introduce republican set up and democratic institutions. His teachings have great relevance for the modern man to build a global society with a commitment to peace and goodwill across all sorts of constraints and geographical boundaries.

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SIKH AND KHALSA
Dr Sukhraj S Dhillon, PhD

ABSTRACT
As part of his future vision, Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru ended human Guru-ship by declaring Guru Granth Sahib (GGS) as the eternal Guru for the future generation of Sikhs. The Holy Scripture Guru Granth Sahib is revered by the Sikh people as the ultimate truth and a guiding light to realization of God and to live a spiritual life. However, the greatest contribution of Guru Gobind Singh is the creation of Khalsa to fight against the cruelty of Muslim rulers of 17th century; but not Muslim people. A Khalsa carries a unique appearance. Neither men nor women cut their hair. The men wear full beards and wrap their long hair in turbans. A Khalsa also wears a steel bangle, a sword and unique underwear. A Khalsa also carries a small comb in the hair. The uniform of Khalsa is described by five Ks in Punjabi (Kes, kangha, kara, Kachha, kirpan). This uniform is centered towards readiness of Khalsa as a soldier to fight for the right. Sikhs do not believe in terrorism and killing of innocent and they are commonly identified as "Saint Soldiers", because they lead a pure saintly life and fight against the injustice and to defend the weak and oppressed. A Sikh may belong to Khalsa through receiving baptism or initiation (Amrit/khande de pahul). Therefore, every Khalsa is a Sikh but every Sikh is not a Khalsa unless he/she receives baptism. Baptism of the double-edged sword was voluntary for the Khalsa even in the lifetime of Guru Gobind Singh. Today, the Khalsa is respected by the entire Sikh nation; however, there have never been more than 15% of the Sikhs who were or are amritdharis. Rahit (code) that covers only the Khalsa has caused divisions among the Sikh community. It is proper understanding of Guru Gobind Singh's vision to create Khalsa that can bring harmony among the Sikhs.

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REFLECTIONS ON GURU GOBIND SINGH'S VISION
Where We Stand After 350 Years and Future Challenges

Dr Sarjeet Singh Sidhu

ABSTRACT
Given the paucity of written material directly attributable to Guru Gobind Singh this paper attempts to discern the vision of the Guru from his actions and from Sikh traditions associated with him. It starts with the Vision and Mission of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, as evinced by the institutions started by him and through concepts such as Ek Jyot (One Light). The paper follows through with the deeds of Guru Gobind Singh, his achievements, and what his vision for the future might have been. The vision is finally linked to the concept of sant-sipahi (saint-soldier) and concludes that this vision has only been partly fulfilled.

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gurU goibMd isMG jI dy lwswnI jIvn vwry sMKyp vIcwr
Dr Gurdev Singh Sangha

ABSTRACT
Not available

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CONTRIBUTIONS OF INSTITUTE FOR UNDERSTANDING SIKHISM
Prof. P.S. Bhandari

ABSTRACT
Not available

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Editorial Board

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