This book has been out of print for several years. The pressure of demand is perhaps the cause behind the second edition. I
am grateful to the readers who wrote me about this book. The insight shown by some of the readers has strengthened my belief
that when God inspires some body to write something he also gifts the inspiration to many readers to receive it. Such readers
will receive this revised book not much as a gift from the author as by then it will have already appeared in their hearts in
The wise say truth is the most common thing available. It is all around us. Yet truth is called a rare thing, since
we see it and do not receive it. It is so mixed with worldly noise that we cannot separate and contain it exclusively. It
comes and goes with the changing din of daily chore. It is only when the faculties of the heart and the mind and their
powers-intuitions, thoughts, emotions and visions-get strung properly, like the players and the musical instruments in an
orchestra, that the Divine, sometimes, plays the note that revives the lost memory in the soul of its existence in God,
before creation. Then its sleeping ability to separate the milk of truth from the water of worldly noise awakens. The worldly
noise is with us much more now than it was with Wordsworth when he had lamented: "the world is too much with us."
We pine for miracles. Isn't it a miracle that in certain hearts the milk of truth does not spill in the water of
worldly noise? Perhaps political theories and social formulas cannot do what this little miracle can. It is as much a miracle
as would be the staying of the scent of a rose in the surrounding air long after it had withered.
Amidst the many great achievements of the ten Gurus, this often ignored little achievement of their-to have awakened
with their music the lost memory of the childhood that we all had spent before creation in Him-is to me the greatest. It was
nothing short of a miracle that they could help ignorant people, thousand at a time, to keep their hearts and minds strung to
listen to the Divine whisper of love so well that they could keep the noise of daily life away from it. It was this whisper
of love that ultimately proved stronger than the armed might of those who ruled over the waves of medieval times. It was a
miracle that the Gurus could impart 'this soundless melody' (nad anahad) to the hearts and minds of millions. Another miracle
is that those millions could stay strung for years without tension and fatigue.
Wisdom was never so widely published as nowadays. What is lacking is the soundless melody that alone has the ability
to grasp and retain it, and keep the water of worldliness away from the milk of truth, in spite of being served in the same
beverage. The soundless melody (nad anahad) is like the rebellious dance of a fragile wave of a river in a tumultuous ocean,
even after the river had merged in it. I pray that modern people may hear it, for then no matter how loud the worldly noise,
they will not miss this whisper of God's love that has ever been and that shall ever be in every heart.
In translating the Divine songs of the Gurus I have tried to catch their noble emotions, the divine music and the
sublime spirit behind the words far more than translating their words verbatim.
I am thankful to Pragye Kisslay for proofreading, and giving me the joy of seeing the radiance that the Gurus' ideas
might have imparted to youthful faces in their days.
I wanted to add a couple of chapters to the second edition, but circumstances would not let it. The text has been
revised and updated to incorporate current research and suit modern needs. If God wills, even this little book should be able
to convey all that needs to be known, because wisdom is not locked in book. The best books only knock at the heart of the
reader to awaken the treasure already hidden there by God. Keats said: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all ye know
on earth, and all ye need to know." To know the oneness of truth and beauty is enough. I hope this little piece of knowledge
has the key that will unlock the wisdom that is already hidden in every heart.
From the Jacket
This book strikes an intimate note in the contemporary mind as it relates the message to the evolved modern consciousness,
and does not pull the reader backwards in medieval times. It answers some of its deepest questions, born of modern philosophy
and theology, and provides the weary mind a feeling of tranquility in the lotus-feet of the Sikh Gurus. With simplicity and
brevity the author brings out the magic and music of their universal spirit. The Gurus had to face bigotry at its extreme.
This book presents their solution, i.e. 'active love, devoid of haumey', to the problem of bigotry that is most disturbing to
the modern people. The author relates the ideas of the holy Gurus to the ideas of the western thinkers with as much honesty
and spontaneity as he relates them to the ancient visionaries of India. He shows that the power of the Gurus had grown out of
their definition of truth truth is out of their definition of truth truth is truth if it is beautiful and good too.
It is a sage of triple freedom the freedom of the mind, i.e. reason, of the heart i.e. love, and of the body i.e.
self-sacrifice. There are very few philosophical works that express with such clarity and precision, the profound questions
about God, immortality and love.
The book contains the 11th Guru Nanak Memorial Lectures to Punjabi University Patiala, delivered in the winter of
1977. They were hailed as "a turning point in the study of the Gurus' message." This book has been a source of joy and
inspiration to scholars and students in India and the West ever since its first publication. Its global popularity rests on
its simplicity, clarity and profundity. Perhaps the readers find it closer to the spirit of the Gurus.
Nirmal Kumar is a modern thinker and creative writer. He has created original works like Philosophy of Being Human,
Burning Sands of Sind, Stream of Indian Culture, tao of Psychology Cloud Carrier of Kalinga, Psychology beyond Freud, Culture
and Mathematics and others.
The western readers find his writings as near their experiences as the eastern readers. The rishis have said that originality
of ideas in such abundance comes only by divine grace. And such genius comes only to one who realizes the oneness of all
life. The feeling of being the smallest of the small (akinchanatva) is a prerequisite for it. Each of his works is a history
of the soul of man. He has indeed seen humanity's variety as different notes of the same song.
Besides novels, short story collections, dramas and poems, he has written on a variety of subjects, like history, philosophy,
culture, science and psychology. He has given new ideas in each succeeding book, without repetition.
He has published 30 works in English and Hindi.
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