BY Harsimran Kaur ON Aug 05 , 2021 IN BOOK REVIEWS, The Story of the Sikhs (1469-1708)/Sarbpreet Singh/Non-Fiction
Sikhism is an inspiration to live life with an indomitable spirit of courage and parity. It is a commitment to ward off the vulnerabilities the oppressed are subjected to, and is an endowment of a magnanimous largesse of the revered Bani enshrined in the sacred scripture of the Sikhs “Guru Granth Sahib.” The Bani is a compendium of words of wisdom breathed by the ten Gurus to lay a foundation of a faith which promulgates the oneness of God and its concomitant omnipresence and omniscience.
Sikhism started with Guru Nanak, who during his peripatetic travels, propagated the message of the divine to the hoi-polloi. But less is known about the other Gurus and their indispensible contribution to make Sikhism a faith for all. The book “The Story of the Sikhs” is a commendable effort by the author Sarbpreet Singh to bring to its readers the diversification Sikhism went through during the reign of all the ten Gurus.
Guru Nanak accompanied by his associate Mardana wandered areas less known to spread the message of egalitarianism and rebuff the path of superstition and misbeliefs. The author supports Guru Nanak‘s tendentious beliefs with parables eliciting realistic living over a personified façade of charlatans and condescension. The author has left no stone unturned to provide an authenticated research material, assiduously gardened and saluted eloquently to depict the journey of upheavals and sacrifice of all the ten Gurus. The Gurus noble aim was to fight against the Mughal tyranny and insolence. The journey ended with Guru Gobind Singh, the last Sikh Guru, who compiled the teaching all the Gurus in a sacred book, “Guru Granth Sahib” and bequeathed it to the Sikh faith, decreeing to bow its head in humility to the only Divine present in the Bani.
The hymns selected for the book talk about righteousness, honest living and acceptance to the Divine will. Some of the hymns unflinchingly talk about women liberation and the essence of womanhood. The poetic parlance expatiates the sublime beauty of the Divine and its creation.
The book gives an honest account of the despotic acts of Mughal Emperors Jahangir and Aurangzeb to subjugate the oppressed to convert them into Islam. The Gurus gave their life to protect their honour and the sanctity of the Hindus hard lined by the Mughal tyranny. This resulted in an epoch of self-awakening and self-defence.
Contemplating the Gurus works is not the task of the faithful. The ulterior motive is enlightenment from reciting the words of wisdom sewn impeccably to form a sheath of pearls knotted with the Divine blessings. From Guru Nanak’s noble teachings to sublimating the martial spirit among the Sikhs led by Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind, Sikhism decrees its Sikhs to be a humanitarian and oppose any kind of repression and intolerance. The book is a message to the progeny to learn from the sacrifices of the Gurus to create a society replete with tolerance and righteousness.