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Varied views --- compiled by Captain Yashpal Singh

FOR HAPPINESS, PEACE OF MIND AND EVERLASTING BLISS READ GURU GRANTH SAHIB -----------------------------------------------Guru Granth Sahib is a source book, an expression of man's aspirations, his longings, his yearning for communication with the Divine being. I have studied the scriptures of great world religions, but I do not find elsewhere the same power of appeal to the heart and mind as I find in these volumes. They are compact in spite of their length and are a revelation of the vast reach of the human heart, varying from the most noble concept of God to the recognition and indeed the insistence upon the practical needs of human body. There is something strangely modern about these scriptures and this puzzled me until I learnt that are in fact comparatively modern, compiled as late as in the 16th century, when explorers were beginning to discover that the globe, upon which we all live, is single entity divided only by arbitrary lines of our own making. Perhaps this sense of unity is the source of power I find in these volumes. They speak to the person of any religion or of none. They speak for the human heart and the searching mind. -------- Mrs.Pearl S.Buck The more I dug into the pages of Guru Granth Sahib more I fell in love with them. Among the world's scriptures few, if any, attain so high a literary level or so constant a height of inspiration. In it there is little of explicit philosophy or ethics. Both can be deduced from countless scattered references.... It is enough for us to take as it comes to us, to hear the lovely music in the truths he sang, to try to live the life of inspired service and practical devotion he taught. For these things the world will always be in debt to Guru Nanak and to those through whom he spoke in the succeeding generations. ------------- Duncan Greenlees The living spirit of Gurus speaks today in the words of this ever-living Book the inspired Testament of the saints, which the Tenth Nanak (Guru Gobind Singh) with the last benediction of his earthly life, left to his disciples as their Enlightener. -------------- Sadhu T.L.Vaswani The Guru Granth is a part of mankind's common spiritual treasure......It is important that it is brought within the direct reach of as many people as possible. Guru Granth is remarkable for several reasons. Of all the known religious scriptures, this book is the most highly venerated. It means more to Sikhs than even the Koran means to Muslims, the Bible to Christians and the Torah to Jews. The Guru Granth is the Sikh's perpetual Guru (spiritual guide)....Mankind's religious future may be obscure; yet one thing can be foreseen. The living higher religions are going to influence each other more than ever before, in the days of increasing communication between all parts of the world and branches of human race. In this

coming religious debate, the Sikh religion and its scripture, Guru Granth, will have something of special value to say to the rest of the world. ----------- Arnold Toynbee We find in Guru Granth, a wide range of mystical emotions, intimate expressions of the personal realization of God and rapturous hymns of divine love. The borders of seas and mountains will give way before the call of eternal truth which is set forth with freshness of feeling and fervour of devotion in Guru Granth. -------------- Dr.S.Radhakrishnan Guru Granth Sahib is an ocean full of pearls of divine thought. The more efficient and better trained a diver is, the more he can fetch and better he can value the sea bed. ---------- Harbans Singh For Guru Nanak there was no such thing as a god for the Hindus, a god for the Muhammedans, and a god or gods for the outer heathen. For him there was but one God, not in the likeness of man, like Rama, not a creature of attributes and passions, like the Allah of Mohammed; but one sole, indivisible, self-existent, incomprehensible, timeless, allpervading--- to be named but otherwise indescribable and altogether lovely. Such was Nanak's idea of the Creator and Sustainer of the phenomenal world, and it was conception which at once abrogated all petty distinctions of caste, and creed, and sect, and dogma and ceremony. The realization of such God shatters the sophistries of the theologians and the quibbling of the dialecticians. It clears the brow from the gloom of abstruse ponderings over trifles and leaves the heart free for the exercise of human sympathies. -------------- Fredric Pincot

One who reads the Divine Book--Guru Granth--- is undoubtedly stirred to the depth by the spirit which pervades the holy poetry. There is no human chord that is not struck; there is no depth which is not stirred. It imparts the spark of life that kindles the "extinguished ones" and makes whole the "broken ones". ---------- Ranbir Milap It is the scripture of all nations, for it is the lyric of Divine Love and all the people of the earth submit on such a glowing lyrical prayer. Guru Granth is one song, one idea and one life. Immensity is the substance of the sublime. ------------- Prof. Puran Singh The Sikh religion is a universal world faith; a message for all men. This is amply illustrated in the writings of the Gurus. Sikhs must cease to think of their faith as just another good religion and must begin to think in terms of Sikhism being the religion for this New Age...... The religion preached by Guru Nanak is the faith of the New Age. It completely supplants and fulfills all the former dispensations of older religions. Books must be written proving this. The other scriptures contain the truth but Guru Granth contains the fullness of

truth.....Guru Granth, of all the world religious scriptures alone states that there are innumerable worlds and universes other than our own. The previous scriptures were all concerned only with this world and its spiritual counterpart. To imply that they spoke of other worlds as does the Guru Granth is to stretch their obvious meaning out of context. Guru Granth is truly the answer to the problems of modern man. ------------- Prof.H.L.Bradshaw Sikhism is a strikingly original phenomenon in the long cultural history of India, as it is the only movement which is forward - looking and not merely re - interpretative, renascent or retrograde, as all other cultural or religious movements in India during the last millennia have been. Thus Sikhism alone has the potency and the will to grapple with the future and come to terms with it. ------------- Sir Aurbindo Ghosh In its conception and composition the Guru Granth is different from certain other scriptures known to the people. In the Bible, both Old testament and New Testament, there is a great deal of history. In the Guru Granth sahib there is an oblique reference here and there to few historical incidents, but for the overwhelming part it is hymns of devotion and ethico philosophical import. In the Koran there is history, mainly on the pattern of the Old Testament, but a great deal is revelation and exhortation to faith. The Ramayana and Mahabharata are obviously epics, but tucked in among the incidents are moral disquisitions. According to the Sikh doctrine, all the Gurus in spirit are held identical. Therefore, in the hymns composed by them, each adopted the name "Nanak". ------------ Gurbachan Singh Talib The contents of Guru Granth do not resemble the Vedas. The object was not to lay down any specific system of philosophy or to place before us clear-cut rules for rituals or social behaviour. The Guru Granth aimed at only spiritual peace and mental solace.......The Guru's aim was to provide a book of universal religion, for everyone and everywhere. He ( fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan Dev; compiler of Guru Granth) wanted to generate all types of men. It is a thing which one cannot afford to neglect. ------------- Surinder Singh Johar Guru Granth is a Cathedral of Universal Faith and Experiences of Truth, in which every human being and every seeker of Truth can seek inspiration and divine wisdom. Members of all spiritual families can imbibe the eternal values of this scripture without giving up their racial, national and cultural individuality and be illumined by the splendours of God's Existence and Truth -------------- Dr.Trilochan Singh The compilation of Guru Granth formed an important landmark in the history of Sikhs. It became the sacred book of the new faith, and created consciousness among the Sikhs of their being a separate community. It served as a source of divine wisdom, felicity and bliss. Its fascinating hymns chanted in deep reverence and devotion inspired the minds of listeners to

lofty ideas of plain living and high thinking........The Guru Granth is like the holy water of Ganga. Everybody, man or woman, rich and poor, high and low, Brahmin and Shudra, white and black people can have a dip without any restriction. The Ganga water washes dirt, cools body and refreshes mind. Similarly Guru Granth purifies heart, stimulates mind and animates soul. ----------- Dr.Hari Ram Gupta The Guru Granth runs to 1430 pages and it is a scripture of Praise to the Lord. It is a scripture of song and praise, because here it is the ecstatic and devotional mode which is viewed as the most appropriate way to the God which is "both beyond Hindu and Muslim”. This God can be celebrated and praised but He cannot be contained within the boundaries of any tradition ------------ M.D.Brayant The poetry of holy Granth is a mine of philosophic thought. It is highly revealing and reflects a way of life which is as simple as it is ennobling. Every word of it inspires and elevates. It has equal appeal for the erudite scholar as for the least literate reader. What is needed is an attitude of devotion. It must however be understood that paper and the printed word are not the Guru. They are only a vehicle. The Guru is what is contained in it; what one imbibes by reading the text, the revelation, the ecstasy, the vision. However, the fact remains that while the container that holds nectar may not be nectar itself, it is no ordinary container. ----------------- Kartar Singh Duggal

And by conferring Guruship on Guru Granth, Guru Gobind Singh emphasized two points. First, that the Guruship was not embodied in any person but in the principle and the spirit he enshrined. And secondly, that it was the ideology that mattered and not its source. Because, the hymns of the other saints (both Hindu and Muslim) incorporated in Guru Granth were to be as sacred to the Sikhs as the hymns of the Sikh Gurus themselves. ---------------- Jagjit Singh It is impossible to describe the poetry of Guru Granth Sahib, except by stating that it is as grand, simple and varied as Nature itself. In its verse, the sunshine laughs, the birds sing, the chatrik, the koel (cuckoo) warbles the plaintive notes, rivers dance, snow sparkles; Basant (spring), the king of all seasons, comes in gala dress; mountains give forth their ebbs and flows; the man, the estranged bride, is once more in the arms of the Beloved, the Supreme Spouse. All the gold of the Indian daybreak is there! All the perfume of the Indian sandalwoods is there! All the pellucid purity of the Indian pearls is there. Such is the Guru Granth, the very quintessence of all essence divine. ------------ Bhai Sher Singh To attempt a treatise on the holy works of the great Sikh Gurus is very much like measuring the depth of the ocean by a boatman's rudder! It is beyond man's comprehension. Only a

person completely dedicated to the Infinite can relish the sublime thoughts of these divine personalities. ----------- Vivek Ranjan Bhattacharya Today, the modern psychologists talk much about humanism, and I want to motivate modern psychologists to dive into the sayings of Guru Granth, in which they will find all the humanistic principles laid down 500 years ago by Guru Nanak, a prophet, seer and guide of humanity. Most of the sages of the meditative order led their followers, disciples and students on the path of renunciation. Guru Nanak being a householder, established that anyone leading a householder's life and conducting all the duties in the world could meditate (remember & love God) and thus be useful for himself and others. This vivid theme marks the marks the difference between Guru Nanak's teachings and the teachings of other sages. He gave hope and security to householders and common people, recommending that meditation be practised by all. He discouraged renunciation and said that householders are not inferior to any renunciate.Such teachings should be forcefully propagated and spread far and wide. ------------ Swami Rama Concerned with "now and here", the Sikh way of life leads us straight to our goal--- the realization of God within us. We can find God and be united to him not after death in some unknown region but "now and here", in this very life. There will be no more delusion, no more sin. We get celestial peace, bliss and joy ever-lasting "now and here", in this very life......Sikhism is thus a world affirming and a not world denying philosophy and religion. -------- Dr. Edward A. de Bittencourt Sikhism differs as regards the authenticity of its dogmas from other great theological systems. Many of the great world teachers the world has known have not left a line of their own composition, and we only know what they taught, through tradition or second-hand information. We know the teachings of Socrates only through the writings of Plato and Xenophan.Buddha has left no written memorials of his teachings.Kung-fu-zu, known to Europeans as Confucius, left no documents in which he detailed the principles of his moral and social system. The founder of Christianity did not reduce his doctrines to writing and for them we are obliged to trust the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Arabian Prophet did not himself reduce to writing the chapters of Koran. They were written or compiled by his adherents and followers. But the compositions of the Sikh Gurus are preserved and we know at first hand what exactly they taught. They employed the vehicle of verse, which is generally unalterable by copyists and we even in time become familiar with their different styles. No spurious compositions or extraneous dogmas can, therefore, be represented as theirs.........As we shall see hereafter; it will be difficult to point to a religion of greater originality or to a more comprehensive ethical system. ----------- Max Arthur McAuliffe Pure Sikhism is far above dependence on Hindu rituals and is capable of a distinct position as a world religion as long as Sikhs maintain their distinctiveness. The religion is also the one

which should appeal to the Occidental mind. If judged from the pragmatical standpoint, which is a favourite point of view in some quarters, it would rank almost first in the world. Of no other religion can it be said that it has made a nation in so short a time........ A reading of the Guru Granth strongly suggests that Sikhism should be regarded as a new and a separate world religion rather than a reformed sect of Hinduism. ------------- Dorothy Field The entire Sikh legend is an exposition of their Gurus' masterly art by which they faced fanaticism and malice without leaving the road to love i.e. God. It was a sublime attempt made perhaps for the first time in human history to fight forces of evil without losing the human soul. Much I try to see into history of mankind, I find no parallel to this great upsurgence of the Sikhs. The point of beauty in it was the central adherence to human vitrues. -------- Nirmal Kumar Jain

Among the sacred scriptures of the world, Guru Granth is unique from others in that it acquired scriptural status by a formal investiture of scriptural authority at the hands of Guru Gobind Singh, whereas the holy books of other religions attained this distinction only gradually through building up of tradition in the long course of time. ------------ Jasbir Singh Guru Granth is purely monotheistic. It accepts only one God and rejects all other deities, spirits, angels etc. Only God is immortal. All other deities are mortal and prone to death....... Guru Granth being free from inhibitions of any kind regarding the way of life and its adaptability in all the regions of the world vouches its universality. It is not a religion of the chosen people, but instead, it is the religion of the entire humanity. It rises above all the regional barriers. ----------- Surinder Singh When things are getting out of control, the barrenness and emptiness of secularism is no remedy. Something positive needs to brought in. The universal religion of Guru Granth is not refutation, but enrichment of secularism, as it gives equal respect to fundamental parts of all religions. ------------- Ishar Singh Here is a religious and spiritual discipline or yoga of the simplest and yet the most difficult kind, a discipline of self-purification, of love and devotion, of concentration and meditation on God, the one and the only ultimate reality, without a second. By laying down his discipline and this objective, Guru Nanak saved the Indian world of medieval societies, and religions from decay and disintegration and gave back to the world a much purer form of religious and spiritual quest. -------------- Dr.Niharanjan Ray

Besides what could be more lasting to the cause of languages and literature than the inclusion of compositions in the Guru Granth from almost all the languages that counted in contemporary India. Not only this. In order to popularize the universal appeal of the Granth, he (Guru Arjan, compiler of Guru Granth) advised, “the hymns be translated into Indian and foreign languages so that the gospel be known to the entire humanity. ----------- D.N.Khosla Guru Nanak's teachings have been compared with Hinduism and Islam, and it is believed that they are a mixture of Hinduism and Islam, as Urdu language is a mixture of Persian and Hindi. I do not agree with this logic. Just because Guru Nanak was born in Punjab, where there were Hindus and Muslims whose way of life and thought needed reform, it does not follow that he took something from Hinduism and something from Islam and made a new religion. I am firmly convinced that Guru Nanak drew his spiritual knowledge from the source, from the True Creator...... Guru Nanak's teachings are as simple as they could be and if we consider the pattern of life he projected it would seem he made the journey of life as easy and as fruitful as possible. ---------------- Prof.M.Mujlees The poetry of the Sikh Gurus, so spontaneous and precise with varying richness and strength and with a universal significance, is a deep moral consciousness and reflective vitality. It contains that all-pervasive sense of truth which bestows upon cultures a supreme spiritual insight and a unique refulgence of creative heroism in decadent ages...... There is a wonderful dignity and beauty in the hymns of the Gurus. They proceed from a unity of spiritual experience and hence they are expressly lyrical, sincere, sublime and effortless. The noteworthy feature of the hymns of Gurus is that they are written under the name of Nanak. According to the Sikh tradition, the same spirit worked in all the ten Gurus, and that the light that illumined their minds was the same, the light of Guru Nanak. We may interpret it psychologically by saying that the Gurus succeeding Guru Nanak had merged their identities with the identity of Guru Nanak, and consequently their minds were completely attuned with Guru Nanak's creative vision. Their poetic selves carried out their functions without a strain of dualism between their empirical and spiritual selves. And it is this potential identity which is the distinguishing mark of the spiritual poetry of the Sikh Gurus. -------------- B.S.Gupta Unlike the Koran and the Bhagwat Purana, the Guru Granth did not become a source of spiritual controversy. Conflicting commentaries did not obscure its meaning or promote sectarianism. From the very beginning its sanctity was insisted upon. Guru Arjan, the fifth Nanak (himself compiler of Guru Granth), told the Sikhs that the Granth was "the embodiment of the Gurus, and should therefore, be held in extreme reverence "..... The fourth Nanak (Guru Ramdas) had already used Word (Shabad) and Guru as interchangeable terms. There can however be no doubt at all about the extreme reverence in which the Guru Granth was held from the day of its installation at the Hari Mandir, Amritsar. Guru Har Rai excluded from succession to Guruship his eldest son Ram Rai for the offence of altering a line in a

hymn of Guru Nanak to please the Emperor Aurangzeb..... The Granth brought to the humble villager not only great ideas beyond his comprehension, but also sympathetic references to his little joys and sorrows. In so far as the scripture came down to the common man's level it left for historians primary materials which they could not draw from other sources. -------------- Anil Chandra Banerjee The Sikh Gurus said only what they believed, and lived what they said. Therefore the safest course is to apply to every description, narration or notes, the touchstone of the Gurbani (i.e. Guru Granth), wherever that is possible and then arrive at conclusions. The spurious and the exaggerated, in the over-enthusiasm of the devout and faithful, as also the venomous and vitriolic of the prepossessed and malicious, is to be separated as chaff from the grain and only the remaining accepted. For this purpose, only barren intellect, though keen and searching, would not suffice. If the touchstone is to be Guru's word, then thorough understanding of Gurbani and faith in the identicality of the preaching and practices of the Gurus would be the first essentials. ------------ Hukam Singh Certainly more and more people all over the world are becoming aware of the message of Sikh Gurus as embodied in the Guru Granth, and it is significant that this is coming at a time when materialism, sustained by the growing production of goods that cater to the material welfare of man, made possible by scientific and technical progress, threatens to deny altogether the spiritual needs of man. ------------ H.S.Malik I experienced a deep impression of Japji (opening composition in Guru Granth) Even in my dreams I was thinking of the sayings of Guru Nanak.The inner meanings of these sayings can be known by deep contemplation thereof. The more the contemplation the more clear are the meanings. I have a wish that people of India may experience this deep impression of Japji. -------------- Vinoba Bhave

Ever since the volume of Adi Granth was compiled by the fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan Dev, the process commenced to enhance and sublimate the importance of the teachings or word of the Gurus, the Gurbani contained therein, and correspondingly to reduce and finally to eliminate the importance of the physical bodies of the Gurus themselves. The fifth Nanak used to sit at a much lower seat than the one, on which the Granth was placed with all possible respect and reverence. Similar practice of utmost reverence of the Granth continued with the successor Gurus, until the tenth and the last Guru, with a physical body, made this final declaration. This was that all value deserving reverence had passed on to the Teachings contained in the Granth which became the Guru for all times to come while the last Guru's physical body had ceased to have any importance whatsoever. The poetical compositions contained in the Guru Granth are the original, the authenticated words from hearts where God had taken abode. They constitute the Great Call

of God. There is nothing sectarian or any exclusiveness in this Call. It is addressed to all children of God and humanity as a whole. ---------------- Ishar Singh Hence the wonderful creed preached by Guru Nanak is comely creed of unity and universality, love and fraternity, bliss and beauty. At a time, when due to external social and political exigencies, real religiosity was being gradually dried up in the scorching heat of bombastic scholasticism, and empty ritualism, Guru Nanak's nectarous message of universal love, universal fraternity, universal peace brought new life and new hope, new joy and new strength, new enlivenment and new enlightenment to all alike, to their very good, great fortune, very great fulfillment, very great felicity. --------- Dr.Roma Chowdhary The hymns given in Guru Granth are found to be a happy blend of charming poetry, deep mysticism and profound philosophy. The central theme of Sikh scriptures is the spiritual unity and solidarity of all existence. The hymns are all in praise of God and in begging His Grace. All the concepts are related to this central theme. --------------- Pritam Singh The Guru Granth Sahib, unlike the scriptures of other religions, contains not only the holy words of the Gurus alone, but also the sacred words of Bhagats of various castes, including Muslim Sufi saints and other godly persons who lived from 1170 A.D. to 1675 A.D. So, the Guru Granth contains the wisdom of spiritual thought of about five centuries. It is thus a unique Granth in the world, for the fact, that it is the only Granth of "spiritual synthesis" that could promote emotional integration and co-existence. And there is no denying the fact, that these are the rare qualities of head and heart, so badly needed today for this world of greed, selfishness, hatred and distrust. Verily, if a man is to escape from the threat of total annihilation, he must choose the broad and all-embracing humanitarian path of love, equality and sacrifice, preached and practised by Guru Nanak and his nine successors. It is the way that unifies man to man, and makes him tread the way of truth, love, peace and prosperity i.e. way of God. ------------- Harbhajan Singh To the Granth Sahib of Guru Arjan Dev, the tenth Nanak (Guru Gobind Singh) merely added the hymns of his own father, Guru Tegh Bahadur(Ninth Nanak).Also, before his death, he installed the scripture as Guru, thus completing a process which had been developing for well over a century. At Kartatrpur, it was the hymns (of Guru Nanak) which were given place of pride in the worship of the community, being already regarded as divinely inspired. At Amritsar, the fifth Guru housed the Guru Granth in the newly built Darbar Sahib and bowed before it. The recognition which the tenth Guru gave the scripture made "de jure" which was in a sense already "de facto".The distinction between the human Guru and the Gurbani now became complete with his decision to appoint no human successor. ------------ W.Owen Cole

If a fascinated reader were to understand the import and subtlety underlying these compositions, he would float rapturously on the crest of the cadence of their rhythm. -------------- J.J.Karam It is difficult to do justice to the contents of Guru Granth in few lines. Its goal is of the ideal man, who attains perfection by linking himself with God. The Guru observed that the divine spark in human being is strengthened through prayer and public service. Frequent remembrance of the Holy Name will produce godly qualities and rid man of selfishness and vice. The Guru Granth rejects the old methods of spiritual attainment such as fasting, pilgrimage, penance and ritual sacrifice. It supports normal family life and social commitment. It promotes the freedom and equality of all human beings and universal brotherhood. It recommends leading of pure life whilst fighting temptations and imperfection s of this world. Keeping company with holy persons is of great value to a disciple because he learns from them how to conduct himself. -------------- G.S.Mansukhani What is new in Sikhism is not its bits and pieces of which it is made but the form or the whole in which these pieces are synthesized. Such a synthesis in this form never existed before.....Never has the concept of Maya combined in itself both reality and unreality of the world. Never before did the Karma become absolutely extinguishable by the Grace of God, never before the Divinity of God and humanity of man were conceived in every human being, never before hell and heaven were abolished from the sphere of religion, never before was the pessimism of India replaced by a high optimism in this world of misery and mirth, never before on the soil of India had such a complete metamorphosis taken place, so that jackals were turned into lions and sparrows were emboldened to face the falcons. ---------- Dr.Sher Singh

As the repository of the Sikh ideology, Guru Granth explains the basic relationship between human consciousness and social imperatives. Guru Nanak perceived the world as Dharamsal --- the arena of duty, an opportunity for social and moral activism, which eventually sublimated in the Khalsa ideal, the saint-warrior in the service of God. Sikh activism lays great store by the dignity of labour and the need for sharing. Indeed the 1430 pages of the Holy Scripture encompass the eternal quest for such an ideal society. Its hymns of rare beauty and lyricism constantly return to the theme of light, love and life of altruism and participation. ------------- Saran Singh

It has those centripetal forces of universality, equality and freedom which can pull the nations and faiths of the world closer together and bind them in a common interest of peace and harmony, prosperity and fearlessness. History as we know has countervailing forces--tribalism, nationalism, ancient animosities that smolder through the centuries, the urge to

group around a strong leader. Human society has been rent many times in the past by the eruption of such forces. Imaginary lines that appear on maps, Dividing humans with yawning gaps. Let not them come in way. For universal weal we should pray. Without nationality is Lord Ever-kind. Time and again Guru Granth does remind. --------- Captain Yashpal Singh