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The Singh Sabha and Other Socio Religious Movements in The Punjab - Book By Ganda Singh

Publisher: Punjabi-University-Patiala
Authors: Ganda Singh
Page: 300
Format: Hardbound
Language: English
Product Code: SHE198
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Introduction To The Book 'The Singh Sabha and Other Socio Religious Movements in The Punjab' By Ganda Singh

In view of the celebration of the centenary of the Singh Sabha movement in the country in 1973, this issue of the Panjab Past and Present is being devoted to it. In order to understand the historical background of this movement and to study its impact on the life of the people, articles on the Nirankari and Kuka movements, the Chief Khalsa Diwan and its Educational Committee, the Gurdwara Reform movement and some other allied subjects have also been included in this issue. Movements such as the Brahmo Samaj, the Arya Samaj, the Dev Samaj, the Chet Ramis and the Ahmadiyahs also belong to this period. Articles on these have been included in this volume as well.

Of these socio-religious movements, the Singh Sabha, the Ahmadiyahs, aslo known as the Qadiani or Mirzai, and the Chet Rami are the only indigenous ones, having been born in the Panjab. The Brahmo Samaj came here from Bengal. The founder of the Arya Samaj, Swami Dayananda, was born in Gujrat and has established his Samaj at first in Bombay. Pandit Shiv Narayan Agnihotri, renamed Dev Guru Bhagwan and Dev Atma, belonged to Uttar Pradesh. The state boundries within a country, however, can seldom hold back the · growth, development and spread of ideas. No wonder these movement soon acquired all-India character.

"Religion there is but one, the religion of Truth, if any one were to practise it with firmness," says Guru Nanak - Eko Dharm drirhai sach koi.' And the illimitable God prevades His creation all over, says he - Balihari qudrat vassia, tera ant na jae lakhia.2The differences that appear to divide one religion from the other are all due to historical, geographical and political factors that surrounded them at the time of their birth, development and expansion, and it was these factors which determined the attitudes of the followers of one towards those of the other. These attitudes had at their bottom egoism, self-conceitedness and self-assertiveness which have in all ages, and in all countries, been responsible for hatreds, tensions, bloodshed and wars resulting in the destruction of countless human beings in the name of religion. This irreligionism is the worst of crimes against God, religion and humanity.

Religion is not mere profession of some creed or observance of certain rites and rituals or adoption of some signs and symbols. Religion is the way of life of honest and truthful living with the service of humanity as the basic principle of conduct. The signs and symbols are aids to the maintenance of religious discipline. A religion appeals to people to the extent that its votaries live up to its teachings and are of service to their fellow beings without distinction of clime or creed. Of this we have the living example in Christians. They came from the far-off comer of Western Europe-from Spain and Portugal-to the coasts and interior of southern India, and, in due course of time, won with love and sympathy, thousands of suppressed and depressed people for Christianity from the homeland of the Brahmans who proclaimed the theory Of Eko Brahma dwitiya nastee-there is but one Creator and no other-while in actual practice they treated some classes of people as unapproachable and untouchable. This sort of hypocrisy has been responsible for distinctions and hatred between man and man in India and for the spiritual and social weakness, and political downfall of her people.

With the integrity of faith and practice, the followers of the great Prophet Muhammad could carry the message of Islam from Arabia to the land's end in Europe within eighty years of his death.


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