A glimpse into the Unique Face of Sikhism: 20 Minute Guide to the Sikh Faith
A Review by Dr. Paramjit Kaur*
Book: 20 Minute Guide to the Sikh Faith
Author: Gian Singh Sandhu
Publisher: Bhalaee Foundations, Surrey, B.C. Canada
Year: 3rd Edition 2021; Pages: 86
The author is a well-known Sikh intellectual, author, thinker and founder president of the World Sikh Organization, Canada. He is a man who strives to promote Sikh sentiments and Punjabi heritage. His book: Twenty Minutes Guide to the Sikh Faith, expresses the profoundness of Sikhism in a meaningful and concise way, as if to fill the “Whole ocean in a Pot". This book informs the readers that Sikhism is the newest Religion of all the Religions in the world. This Religion is the guide to all humanity. The whole world is convinced of its uniqueness. Sikhism is a new path in the field of Indian spiritual practice, in which Sikh consciousness and thought have been highlighted. It depicts human life from a practical point of view. At the beginning of the book, the Sikh religious, political, cultural, social and economic aspects of the life are well presented. Guru Nanak Dev Ji started a new era and laid the foundation for the creation of a a new religious way of life, which was fulfilled by Guru Gobind Singh Ji by creating the Khalsa. This book provides a brief biography of the Sikh Gurus and their entire life from a new perspective. It states that the new and modern Sikh Religion established by the Sikh Gurus does not discriminate with any one of the basis of caste, creed, religion, colour. He conveys this message by highlighting the Guru Sahib’s Sangat and Pangat for eradicating heirachical differences, complete destruction of impediments which inhibit the communal harmony. Sikhism is a monotheistic, humanistic, idealistic and pragmatic religion. Its teachings are beneficial to all.
The book is an expression of valuable knowledge of Sikh philosophy, human values, Sikh traditions, beliefs and pragmatism. It reveals the divine meaning of Sikh slogans Sat Sri Akal and Waheguru ji ka khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh. In this book, universal teachings of Guru Granth Sahib are described in simple and clear terms, which have a profound effect on the readers.
The author is well-versed in Sikhism and highlights the importance of Sikh institution of Gurdwara and gives a scientific explanation of Panj Kakars. The various aspects of the Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh code of Conduct) are a valuable expression of the simple interpretation of Sikhism. The author also explains some others Gurmat and Sikh traditions such as Naamkaran Sanskar, Amrit Sanskar, Anand Karaj and Antim Sanskar (Last rites) and also highlights the basic concept of Sikh philosophy – kirat karna, wand chhakna, naam japna. Precious and unique perspectives have been presented. It is a valuable guide book of information about Sikhism. It enhances understanding about Sikhism. It is a handbook for every Sikh and non-Sikh to know the teachings of the Sikh Gurus in a short time.
Small tracts of informative literature on various facets of Sikhism like this twenty minute guide need to be prepared and distributed among the visitors to the historical Sikh shrines. It will go a long way in spreading the universal message of harmonious co-existence, service and love of mankind irrespective of differences of Caste, creed and colour and protection of environment on a sustainable basis. It is an easier and practical way of spreading the Sikh Gurus’ gospel among the masses than writing long philosophical books meant for scholars. It is a commendable effort indeed.