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The Sikh World - An Encyclopaedic Survey Of Sikh Religion And Culture - Book By Ramesh Chander Dogra, Urmila Dogra

Publisher: UBS
Authors: Ramesh Chander Dogra, Urmila Dogra
Page: 514
Format: Hardbound
Language: English
Product Code: SIK109
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From the Frontcover of 'The Sikh World - An Encyclopaedic Survey of Sikh Religion and Culture' By Ramesh Chander Dogra and Urmila Dogra

The Encyclopaedia of Sikh Religion and Culture was first published in 1995, and the response from the Press, students and readers far exceeded our expectations. This prompted us to revisit the old text, revise and enlarge it, and the result is the new second edition titled The Sikh World: An Encyclopaedia Survey of Sikh Religion and Culture that makes an attempt to cover the entire field of the Sikh religion.

The title of the second edition includes a reference to Sikh religion includes and culture because the adherents of Sikhism regard all the ten gurus as founders of their faith-the first five being builders of the faith and the last five being its defenders. Before his death, Guru Gobind Singh appointed Banda Badadur as head of the Sikh army and, for the first time in Sikh history, he brought the country between Lahore and Jammu under the control of Sikhs. Sikh misals (clans) tried to capture Panjab, but they became the sovereign power in that part of the country during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839). The study of Sikhism needs to involve a study of their faith in its original form, which would include a systematic study of the writings, teachings and culture in which they grew and propagated their beliefs. This second edition makes an attempt to do that.

Though the first edition is the foundation on which the present volume is based, the entire text has been revised and corrected wherever necessary. The second edition has many  new articles on culture, music, people connected with Sikhism, tribes, castes and folklore, and a chronology of Sikhism from Guru Nanak to modern times. It goes further than that-all the flowers, animals, birds, rivers and places mentioned in the Holy Granth find a reference in the volume.

The Sikhs are men of action, with spirit and energy. Their religion is open to all castes and creeds. They belief that God is always there with an individual to help and guide him. This belief makes them adventurous, bold and fearless. They can undertake anything honourable in the name of God, Guru and the Holy Book. The present volume gives a fairly complete picture of their religion, history and culture.

 

About the Authors Of 'The Sikh World - An Encyclopaedic Survey Of Sikh Religion and Culture'

Ramesh Chander Dogra received his MPhil at the University of London and has written eleven books and twenty-five articles on many South Asian topics, particularly in the fields of Indology, Sikhism and Bhutan. He retired as Librarian (South Asian Studies), at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in September 2002. In January 2003 New Year's Honour List, in the UK, he was awarded MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his contribution to South Asian Studies.

Urmila Dogra, a retired Civil Servant in London, has been associated with the research projects of Mr Dogra since 1986. She is a co-author of four books.

 

Preface To 'The Sikh World - An Encyclopaedic Survey Of Sikh Religion And Culture' By Ramesh Chander Dogra & Urmila Dogra

The first edition of this book entitled "Encyclopaedia of Sikh Religion and Culture", by R. C. Dogra and G. S. Mansukhani, was published by Vikas, New Delhi in 1995, and received a very encouraging and generous reception from the Press as well as students and readers interested in the subject. The appreciation of the first edition by the readers exceeded our expectations, and we have spared no pains to make it more useful by revising the old material and adding a lot of new material into the second edition. The second edition has been thoroughly revised and enlarged, and grown enormous in its comprehensiveness. There are some reference books on some aspects of Sikhism, but there is no single work that covers the whole field, and Sikh World is the first attempt to do so.

In the title of this edition a reference to the Sikh religion and culture has been included because the adherents of that religion quite rightly regard all ten gurus as founders of their faith and culture. The first five gurus were the builders of the faith and the last five gurus were defenders of the faith. Before his death Guru Gobind Singh appointed Banda Bahadur as head of the Sikh army and for the first time in Sikh history he brought the country between Lahore and Jammu under Sikh control. Misals (Sikh clans) tried to capture Panjab, but the Sikhs became the sovereign power in the Panjab during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839). For this reason a study of Sikhism must involve a study of their faith in its original form. The study involves a systematic statement of their writings, teachings and culture in which they grew and propagated their beliefs. An attempt has been made to enter as fully as possible into the life, faith, beliefs, culture and history of the Sikhs.

In the introduction of the first edition, it was mentioned that suggestions for improvements would be welcomed  with an intention to write an expanded and revised second edition. Upon the foundation of the first edition we have added in many more articles, and it may be pointed out that the entire text has been revised , enlarged and corrected wikth a view to clarify its information and enrich its factual contents. All the entries on the Gurus and many other articles of the first edition have been deleted and rewritten. In the second edition there are many new articles on culture, music, people connected with Sikhism, foreign historians on Sikhism, tribes, castes, folklore, Adi Granth, Dasam Granth, Sikh - Muslim relations, marriage ceremonies and customs, Sikh women, wives of Gurus, Muslim devotees, Hindu-Muslim relations and chronology of Sikhism from Guru Nanak to modern times.

Dr K. S. Duggal, the famous writer on Sikhism reviewed the first edition on 28 February 1995 in The Hindu, p. 19 and mentioned that he could not find the word Kasumbha/Kusumbha (safflower)-a flower mentioned in the Holy Granth. We were grateful to Dr Duggal about the suggestion, and in the second edition all the flowers, animals. birds, rivers and places mentioned in the Holy Book are included.

In this edition some changes have been made in the text and mistakes of facts have been corrected. The Sikhs are very interesting people in India. They are people of action, their spirit and great energy has given them, great respect. Sikhism is a religion open to all castes and races. Of these, by far the most important and numerous are Jats. No account of the Sikhs would be complete without some informative on Jats. Information on Jats has been expanded considerably in this edition.

In Sikhism it is believed  that God is always present with an individual to help and guide him. This feelings makes them adventurous, bold and fearless. They can undertake any honourable thing in this world in the name of God, Guru and the Holy Book. The Sikh Gurus believed in raising the family by living in the family as the Vedic rishis  propagated it.

The Holy Book of the Sikhs or Adi Granth was originally named Bani Pothi or Pothi Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh gave it the name Granth and finished the human Guruship. It is not known why Guru Gobind Singh did not want the Guruship to continue. No one has written about it. It may be presumed that all the children of the Gurus were dead and therefore he did not want the Guruship to go into wrong hands. The name Granth is a combination of two words, Gur and Ant (Eternal Guru). Later on the Sikhs named it Adi Granth (the first or original book). After the death of Guru Gobind Singh the Holy Book was known Guru Granth Sahib. Sahib is an Arabic word meaning Lord or Master, but it is used by the Sikhs to denote anything which is revered or holy, for example, Darbar Sahib (the Holy Sikh temple at Amritsar), Granth Sahib (the Holy/Sacred Book of the Sikhs). Guru Gobind Singh's compositions were called Dasam Granth (Tenth Book or Book of the Tenth Guru). Adi Granth signifies Bhakti tradition of religion  and Dasam Granth signifies Shakti or living force of Sikhism.

The second edition has been thoroughly revised and enlarged due to new researches and information received from various sources. We express our gratitude to many scholars who have written on Sikhism. For preparing this edition we have consulted their books and gathered material from these sources and made such appraisals as are within our competence. The names of these scholars are added in the bibliography at the end of the book.

The book does not pretend to cover everything available at our disposal. It is a reference book concerning religion, history, society, castes, culture, tribes, political affairs, etc. There are interested entries on Sikh value system and Sikh way of life. It is a record of various stages through which the Sikhs passed and the changes which they underwent before they became the sovereign power in the Panjab during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is expected that the book will give a fairly complete picture and prominent features of Sikh religion, history, culture and tribes.

Our thanks are due to our son Rahul Dogra for sparing time and reading our manuscripts and making very useful comments, and to our daughter Ambika Dogra for reading a part of the manuscript and making some comments. Ramesh Chander Dogra is also thankful to Mr. K. Webster, Librarian of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), for allowing him some time off to complete the book.

Books
Author Ramesh Chander Dogra. Urmila Dogra
Pages 514
Cover Hardbound
Language English

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