Guru Granth Sahib – Social, Moral and Spiritual Code
A Review by Dr Paramjit Kaur*
Author: Dr. R.S. Bhalla
Publisher: Hemkunt Publishing, New Delhi
Pages: 160; Price: Rs. 175/-
In his book - Guru Granth Sahib - Social, Moral and Spiritual Code - author has succeeded in achieving his goal i.e. keeping the interest of the reader alive throughout the book. He has, in a simple and lucid style introduced the Sikh religion to the reader. He has brought out the essence of Sikhism when he says "Sikhism is a religion of simple living and high thinking which leads one to know the reality of the world". Equally impressive is he when he writes," Sikhism consists of purity of actions and recitation of Naam with sincere and honest intentions to attain unity with God," Another very apt definition by the writer is when he says "Naam need not be a lip service, nor is it a magical mantra to ameliorate human living, it is a mental state of perfection embedded in the attributes of God".
He has termed Guru Nanak as a social reformer "immersed in spiritual absorption. His mission was to lay foundation for a non discriminating and selfless society". His Skill is visible in his finding relevant and inspiring messages for the younger generation." Ego-centric attitude is the cause of all sufferings. Since it creates a gulf between human beings and God, it spoils the virtuous nature of a human being". While going through the book the reader cannot miss these expressive lines "to become God-centered one has not to become an ascetic or hermit. One can lead a normal social life and keep God in mind. The purity of mind will give modesty, reticence and contentment." Another wonderful thought is expressed by the writer when he says, "Sikhism though establishes cosmopolitan outlook……… though Sikhism is a minority religion but the symbols of Sikhism stand tall among the religions of the world." His deep faith can be seen when he writes," In Sikh faith there are no auspicious days and time-all days are auspicious, only that day and time is regarded as unauspicious when one does not remember God". A unique feature of Guru Granth Sahib has been brought out that though Guru Granth Sahib is written in Gurmukhi script, many languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, urdu, Persian, Marathi, Brijbasha and Punjabi have been used to convey the message, making it a valuable languastic respository.
As one reads, one gets more and more engrossed in the book. 'The concept of God in Sikhism' beautifully brushes away the cobwebs of one's mind which at times doubts 'His' existence. The writer rightly feels that "even by repeating Naam again and again one does not get deliverance & emancipation unless Naam enshrines in the mind, the dwelling place of Naam". With the help of Naam one can get over his ego, individuality and self-centeredness. A real Sikh is one who even in sorrow will not feel sad, all pleasures love and fear will not affect him-he learns to live in the world without any worldliness and totally immerses in God. This is called a state of God realization.
The author's explanation of 'Man-Mukh' and 'Gurmukh' is worth a read. He writes," Manmukh is one who lives a life of lies and his greed of money. Gurmukh on the other hand……leads a meaningful life praising God. The writer has taken all encompassing aspects of social code.
The author's emphasis on duality of personality as expressed in Guru Granth Sahib is worth going through. The words which he uses to impress upon the reader the futility of dual personality are aptly chosen. His writing "without cultivating moral qualities as taught in the Guru Granth Sahib one will not attain the status of a Gurmukh" inspires one to achieve those heights.
Throughout the collection one delights in the writer's wonderful ability of explaining the ideas enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib. The writer needs to be admirefor selecting those issues which touch a human cord with the beings, which plague the mind of a common man and those whose answers he is trying to find. The book certainly helps the readers in better understanding of Guru Granth Sahib.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2015, All