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Guru Arjan Dev - The Poet Prophet - Book By Dr. Harbans Lal Agnihotri, Chand R. Agnihotri

Publisher: Nanak Singh Pustak Mala
Authors: Chand R. Agnihotri, Dr. Harbans Lal Agnihotri
Page: 191
Format: Hardbound
Language: English
Product Code: SGE185
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Preface Of The Book 'Guru Arjan Dev - The Poet Prophet' By Dr. Harbans Lal Agnihotri, Chand R. Agnihotri

The series of volumes on the Sikh Gurus, contemplated a decade back, had their genesis in the need, poignantly felt by us, to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals  enshrined in the composite culture of Panjab and also to educate the younger generations settled away from the land of their inheritance. As such, the present book is not a dissertation tailored to a specific topic or frame of references; nor is it a routine biography detailing facts or events in a soulless manner.

The composite culture of Panjab which ensures the freedom of faith and dignity of individuals finds its expression in the Sikh way of life, as espoused by the Gurus. Prof. Puran Singh pays a tribute to this legacy when he writes that the gospel of the Gurus has sustained the community life in the Panjab : "Panjab sara jeeonda guru de nam te."

First of its kind in English, the present full-length study is a labour of love, undertaken over the years, that reconciles the biographical details of the Fifth Master with his soulful compositions, as recorded in the Granth Sahib.

We make no claim to learning or scholarship, nor do we pretend to have discovered anything original, hitherto unknown, from the labyrinths of records and manuals. An earnest attempt has, however, been made to present the life  and Bani before the modern reader exposed to the cross-currents of cultures and thoughts. Guru Arjan Dev: The Poet-Prophet is a part of a bigger project that modestly seeks to transmit the universal message of the Gurus and their Banis to the readers in the language and idiom they understand.

Suggestions for further improvement of the book will be gratefully acknowledged.

'Sakoon' Harbans Lal Agnihotri
732/5, Bank Colony, Chand R. Agnihotri
HISAR - 125001  
Introduction to the Book 'Guru Arjan Dev - The Poet Prophet' By Dr. Harbans Lal Agnihotri, Chand R. Agnihotri

Guru Arjan Dev : The Poet-Prophet offers biography and analytical introduction to the Guru's compositions spread over almost 650 pages out of the total 1430 pages of the Adi Granth. We propose to share with the reader the outline and plan of the study.

Chapter One presents an outline of the Sikh thought and institutions, as evolved during the holy ministeries of the first four gurus. It forms the heritage of the Fifth Master. The second chapter is based on the text of the Bachitra Natak wherein Guru Gobind Singh traces the origin of the Sodhi clan to the descendants of Lav and Kush, the two warriors sons of Lord Rama who was the most celebrated hero of the Raghuvansha clan of the Suryavanshis.

Then follows an account of succession and challenges encountered by Guru Arjan Dev. Chapter Three deals with formative years of the Fifth Guru--birth, childhood, education and marriage. Care had been taken to examine divergent opinions and issues rationally and historically. Chapter Four recapitulates Guru Arjan Dev's elevation to the Gurugaddi and hostilities faced by him before and after the succession. Relying primarily on Gurbani, due notice has been given to the traditional sources of Sikh history. The strain of intrigues and active hostility engineered by Pirthi Chand continues in Chapter Five.

Chapter Six introduces the reader to Guru, the versatile genius as a poet of exceptional merit and sensibility. It offers a study of Bara Maha, Bavan Akhari, Thitti, Ruttin, Din Raen and Pahrei. Chapter Seven recapturs the lyrical sublimity of Guru, the poet. Hymns in Sri Rag, Ashtpadis, Sri Rag, Chhants, Chaupade Majh Rag, Birharhe, Dev Gandhari hymns, Maru Solahe and Autobiographical Touches figure prominently in this chapter. The spiritual Vars of Guru Arjan Dev have been examined in depth in Chapter Eight-----Gauri ki Var, Var Gujri , Var Jaitsri, Var Ram Kali, Var Maru Dakhne and Var Basant. Chapter  Nine offers a study of Sukhmani Sahib in details and depth.

The consolidation of the Sikh brotherhood is taken up in Chapter Ten and Eleven. The compilation of the Adi Granth receives an analytical treatment in respect of its sources, compilation  and contents. The tradition of raising cities, shrines and tanks was taken up by Guru Arjan Dev vigorously. He conducted missionary tours and brought upon an effective inflow of greater resources to the Guru's treasury. The concluding Chapter Twelve unfolds the saga of martyrdom that proved to be turning point in Sikh history.

The Authors
From the Frontcover Of The Book 'Guru Arjan Dev - The Poet Prophet' By Dr. Harbans Lal Agnihotri, Chand R. Agnihotri

A full-length study of Guru Arjan Dev and his Bani, Guru Arjan Dev : The Poet Prophet is an attempt to reconcile the biographical details of the Fifth Master with his soulful compostitions, as recorded in the Granth Sahib.

First of its kind in English, the book traces the rich and varied contribution of Guru Arjan Dev towards the community life of the people. The first martyr to the Sikh cause and religious tolerance, Guru Arjan Dev compiled the Adi Granth, raised shrines and sarowars (holy tanks), founded new towns and consolidated the base of Sikh brotherhood in his message and martyrdom.

Beginning with a brief reference to the heritage of ideals and institutions, the book presents an analytical account of the origin of the Sodhi dynasty (Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru, was Sodhi by birth) from Raghuvansha, as stated by Guru Gobind Singh in the Bachitra Natak and examines the challenges faced by Guru Arjan Dev before and after his succession to the Guru gaddi.

Besides dealing with the compilation of the Adi Granth, the consolidation of the Sikh brotherhood and martyrdom separately, the authors have made a comprehensive reading of the poetic versatility, lyrical sublimity, Vars and Sukhmani Sahib in independent chapters.

About the Authors 'Harbans Lal Agnihotri' and 'Chand R. Agnihotri' of the Book 'Guru Arjan Dev - The Poet Prophet' 
Dr H. L. Agnihotri (born 1937) taught English at graduate and post-graduate level in Panjab and Haryana. After doing his Master's degrees in English and Panjabi languages, Professor Agnihotri earned his Ph.D. on Indian-English Novel and the Gandhian Struggle for Freedom from Panjab University, Chandigarh. A keen student of literature, Principal Agnihotri is a dedicated student of Sikh history and thought. He has produced readable works on Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.

Chand R. Agnihotri (born 1944) teaches English language at the Senior Secondary level. Currently engaged in writing monographs on the Sikh Gurus in collaboration with Professor Agnihotri, Chand, an M.A. in English and Hindi, is an insightful reader of religion, literature and history.


Table of Contents of the Book 'Guru Arjan Dev - The Poet Prophet' By Dr. Harbans Lal Agnihotri, Chand R. Agnihotri

  C O N T E N T S  
  Preface 9
  Acknowledgements 11
  Introduction 13
1 The Beginnings 17
2 The Raghuvansh and the Sodhi Padshahian 24
3 Formative Years 37
4 Succession to the Pontificate 45
5 Pirthi Chand, the Relentless Challenge 51
6 Guru Arjan Dev : The Poet-Prophet 65
  ----Bara Maha 66
  ----Bawan Akhari 73
  ----Thitti 87
  ----Ruttin Slokas 82
  ----Din Raen 85
  ----Pahrei 87
7 Lyrical Sublimity 90
  ----Sri Rag 90
  ----Astpadi Sri Rag 93
  ----Chhant Sri Rag 95
  ----Chaupade Majh Rag 96
  ----Chhant Asa Rag 101
  ----Dev Gandhari 103
  ----Maru Solahe 105
  ----Autobiographical Touches 111
8 Vars of Guru Arjan Dev 116
  ----Gauri Ki Var 116
  ----Gujri Ki Var 119
  ----Var Jaitsri 123
  ----Var Ram Kali 126
  ----Var Maru Dakhne 129
  ----Var Basant 133
9 Sukhmani Sahib 135
10 The Compilation of the Adi Granth 153
11 The Consolidation of the Sikh Brotherhood 165
12 The Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev 175
13 Select Bibliography  
  ----English 186
  ----Panjabi 187
  Index 189


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