This work contains the complete baani (compositions) of Guru Tegh Bahadur, compiled from the translations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib by the late Dr. Gopal Singh. The original text in the Gurumukhi script along with its transliteration in the Roman script reinforce the renderings in the English language.
The work includes an introduction to the life of the Ninth Guru, taken from Dr. Gopal Singh's A History of the Sikh People, and an article on the compositions of Guru Tegh Bahadur by P.S. Bawa.
Of the six gurus whose compositions are included in the Adi Granth, the contribution of the Guru is minimal, if Mahalla Nawan is to be considered as one composition. The' compositions are in 15 ragas. In addition there are 57 slokas that include one dohra, under the title "Slok Mahalla Nawan".
Whereas there is a continuity of themes in the Adi Granth, the issues dealt with by the Guru are close to the daily life of an individual. These are highly pragmatic and not only give sustenance to the faith of man but also serve as a guide to his life. The Guru's compositions make some bold and valid statements on existential themes. It is thus pertinent to study these and appreciate their relevance to daily life.
The themes' touched by the Guru fall in two parts. One is the belief in God, and the recitation of His name as a panacea for all ills. The second segment relates to matters of direct concern for the individual.
Dr. Gopal Singh (1917-1990) was a mystic, poet, writer and philosopher of world repute. His first-ever English translation of the Guru Granth Sahib was described as a "superb piece of work" by Pearl S. Buck. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan described the work as an "extremely valuable contribution to the study of Sikhism as well as comparative religions".
He was compassionate, human and generous, both in word and deed. He was nominated to India's Parliament (1962-1968) as a distinguished man of letters. Later, he also served as India's Ambassador (1970-76) in Eastern Europe and South America. He was appointed Chairman of the Commission on Minorities & the Weaker Sections (1980-84). He was Governor of Goa from 1984 to 1989 and Governor of Nagaland upto 1990.
He also served on many high-powered political, literary, educational and cultural bodies. He was honoured both by the Pope and the World Council of Churches for his contribution to inter-religious understanding.
He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, degrees, gold medals and citations from cultural and literary societies and universities throughout the world.
Inderjeet Gopal Singh is Chairperson of Dr. Gopal Singh Memorial Trust. She was Honorary Magistrate in Delhi, and had been on the executive committee of Bhai Vir Singh Sadan. She was also associated with activities of Bal Bhawan, Red Cross, and "Women's Welfare Association. She is now engaged in charitable work of the Trust.
P.S. Bawa retired from the IPS as Director General of Police. He was a member of the Prison Reform Committee, and worked as Consultant to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
This book has been inspired by. Shrimati Inderjeet Gopal Singh, wife of Dr. Gopal Singh who has translated the holy Guru Granth Sahib (GGS) into English. She expressed that the slokas of Mahalla Nawan by Guru Tegh Bahadur, along with an English rendering, be published.
During the course of our discussions we felt that instead of only the slokas, the complete baani (compositions) of the Guru in the holy Granth be compiled.
Keeping in view the fact that some of the devotees of the Guru cannot read Gurumukhi, the script of the holy Granth, we prepared a Roman script of the same. Care has been taken to ensure phonetic purity. Both the Gurumukhi and the Roman renderings are placed one after the other. Incidentally this can help the initiates to learn Gurumukhi through practice.
The compilation thus contains the compositions of the Ninth Guru, translated from the main text in four volumes titled Sri Guru Granth Sahib (English Version), as well as a chapter on the life of the Guru, taken from Dr. Gopal Singh's A History of the Sikh People, both published by Allied Publishers.
The inclusion of an article on the compositions is considered appropriate. This has been done in order to provide an overview of the oeuvre of the Guru. The article in this volume, with slight modifications, was Published in Studies in Sikhism and Comparative Religion, Guru Nanak Foundation, New Delhi. We are grateful to the Editor for permission to reproduce this article in the present volume.
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