Sikh Research and Education Center
Sikh Research and Education Center
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Sikh Research and Education Center
About Compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Sikh Research and Education Center: Publications: Adi Birh Barai:



From each generation from Guru Nanak Dev ji onwards the Sikhs have preserved and conserved with critical skill the integrity and purity of their Scriptural Tradition. Major architects in the process were Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Gobind Singh Maharaj and Bhai Gurdas Ji, but always the community played an appropriate part. At various times some scholars have shown themselves to be prepared to study methods learned from other traditions of scholarship, but the mainstream has always been natural, indigenous, growing organically out of the community, based on reason, common sense and the consensus of Sangat life, past, present and still to come.

Professor Sahib Singh, who died in 1977, was one of the greatest proponents of this naturally based form of the study of Sikh Scripture and Tradition. He was one of those scholars, who came up the hard way from an educationally disadvantaged background. His family were not the kind who could send him off to an expensive British type boarding school and certainly higher education of the British University type was hard to get. Again he was not able to receive much education of the high falutin Sanskritic or Farsi type, but he made the most of the best solid education that the Punjab could provide. Above all, he had a brilliant clear brain with a gift for asking deeply penetrating questions. This was coupled with a single minded self discipline and devotion to the truth of the Sikh Scripture. His writings are part of the heritage of Sikh studies that as time passes will remain closed not only to those who chose to ignore it but also to foreign scholars of good will, who have a modicum of Gurmukhi, but cannot read it quickly, without the help of a Punjabi friend. Sikhs of the second and third generations born in New Zealand, North America and Britain and other parts of the world-wide Sikh Diaspora will increasingly find themselves in this group.

It would be a major tragedy if the Sikh Community were to neglect the asset they have in the writings of Professor Sahib Singh. It is amazing how little use has been made of it during recent years, when the discussion of Sikh Scripture and Tradition has been taking place on a world-wide scale. It would have certainly saved us a lot of trouble and side-tracks had we followed Professor Sahib Singh’s guidance and methodology even if we differed from details of his work. Alas, it may never be possible for there to be a full scale English translation of his magnificent Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darapan (ten volumes, Jullundur, 1962-64). But in the meantime Sardar Dalip Singh has translated a shorter work, which presents the basic method of Professor Sahib Singh Ji in perfection. Not only is it a teacher to us of method, its contents guides us into the true spirit of understanding of Sikh Scripture and Tradition with the Gurus themselves taught us.

Sardar Dalip Singh who has devoted many years to the study of the Holy Book and the traditions and has thorough acquaintance with the language of the original and English usage is greatly to be thanked and praised for this excellent translation. He has done us and the cause of Sikh Studies a signal services. I greatly hope other translations and extracts from the intellectual grants of our past will be made available. It is one of the most important task and challenges any community can face.

Professor Emeritus of History and Comparative Religions,
University of California,
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Copyright (©)2004 by Dalip Singh and Amarpreet Singh Munde.
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