Where To Start Learning About The Sikh Religion And Philosophy

Kahuna

SPNer
Hi,

I'm interested in learning about the Sikh religion and philosophy. The very limited amount of information I've read has led me here and I'd like a guiding hand as to what to read and who to talk to?

Thanks

Ben (link is to my facebook if anyone wants to add me).

(About me: 31, M, Uk. Brought up as a Roman Catholic, lived in Saudi Arabia as a kid as an ex-pat and I am white. I strongly believe in concepts of equality re: race/gender etc...).
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
I recommend this book

Sikhism: An Introduction
Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (author)

Almost from the moment, some five centuries ago, that their religion was founded in the Punjab by Guru Nanak, Sikhs have enjoyed a distinctive identity. This sense of difference, forged during Sikhism's fierce struggles with the Mughal Empire, is still symbolised by the 'Five Ks' ('panj kakar', in Punjabi), those articles of faith to which all baptised Sikhs subscribe: uncut hair bound in a turban; comb; special undergarment; iron bracelet and dagger (or kirpan) - the unique marks of the Sikh military fraternity (the word Sikh means 'disciple' in Punjabi). Yet for all its ongoing attachment to the religious symbols that have helped set it apart from neighbouring faiths in South Asia, Sikhism amounts to far more than just signs or externals. Now the world's fifth largest religion, with a significant diaspora especially in Britain and North America, this remarkable monotheistic tradition commands the allegiance of 25 million people, and is a global phenomenon. In her balanced appraisal, Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh reviews the history, theology and worship of a community poised between reconciling its hereditary creeds and certainties with the fast-paced pressures of modernity.

She outlines and explains the core Sikh beliefs, and explores the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus in Sikhism's Holy Scriptures, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (more usually called just the 'Granth'). Further chapters explore Sikh ethics, art and architecture, and matters of gender and the place of women in the tradition. The book attractively combines the warm empathy of a Sikh with the objective insights and acute perspectives of a prominent scholar of religion.
 
If you wish to explore the emotional aspects of sikh divinity, Bhai Vir Singh's writings in Punjabi are words which have come out of true heart. For a start, Guru Nanak Chamatkar, Asht Guru Chamatkar and Dashmesh Chamatkar.
 

Kahuna

SPNer
If you wish to explore the emotional aspects of sikh divinity, Bhai Vir Singh's writings in Punjabi are words which have come out of true heart. For a start, Guru Nanak Chamatkar, Asht Guru Chamatkar and Dashmesh Chamatkar.

I really appreciate your help, thank you. I only speak english though (sorry), I'll have a look for it translated into english after I've read 'Sikhism: An Introduction'. I will have a look :)
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
I would myself take caution when reading Bhai Vir Singh. He has promoted sanatan leanings in several areas, and also stands behind the notion that Bacchitar Natak is an authentic work, and that Helmkunt Sahib is the realization of that work. This is only one example.
 
I would myself take caution when reading Bhai Vir Singh. He has promoted sanatan leanings in several areas, and also stands behind the notion that Bacchitar Natak is an authentic work, and that Helmkunt Sahib is the realization of that work. This is only one example.

Thank you spnadmin ji for your thoughtful observation. You might be correct. I did not realize that this might be a point of concern.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Thank you spnadmin ji for your thoughtful observation. You might be correct. I did not realize that this might be a point of concern.


Thanks to you. It is not always ...so much of Bhai Vir Singh contributed to building a cultural and spiritual heritage among us. Like everything else it is important to read with a keen eye. And read a lot in order to have points of comparison and contrast. :)
 

Kahuna

SPNer
So am I best off starting with "Sikhism: An Introduction Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh"?

I got paid today so will be buying one of them.
 
Al long time ago I read Gopal Singh's book on Guru Gobind Singh ji, published by National Book Trust, India (it is in English). I would recommend that. In fact he wrote another one on Guru Nanak Sahib too, published by NBT again.
These are simple books but good for getting acquainted with lives of Gurus.
 

Kahuna

SPNer
So "Sikhism: An Introduction Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (author)" is the book I should buy now that I've been paid? I'll order it today but just checking...
 

Kahuna

SPNer
Id just like to thank everyone who has added a comment to this thread. I am finding you all very helpful and good natured. What is the situation with white Sikhs? You ever have a white Sikh? Just curious, I think education is whats imporant but would be curious to know if you ever have any people convert.
 
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