“Religion is a beautiful thing, if presented beautifully. Religions that plays a vital role in providing people with the worldly knowledge and teaches the art of living to the common mass. Well, to enhance our knowledge it is important for us to dive deep into the religious teachings and understand the meaning of life from a different perspective!”
This book, “REALITY And IT’S Manifestations” by Author Nirbhai Singh is written with an aim of promoting religious bonds and tolerance among the people of different faiths and cultures. Well, through this book, the author makes a brilliant attempt to present the world with the basic ‘Philosophies of Sikhism’ and highlights the beauty of the ‘Sikh Culture’ and the role that Sikhism played in the history of India.
Author’s Background: Author Professor Nirbhai Singh (born in 1935) retired from the Punjabi University, Patiala, as Professor and Head Department of Philosophy. He specialized in Philosophy of Religion and Comparative Religion. He is known as original thinker of Sikhism and has sound understanding of the Western philosophy and philosophical hermeneutics. He has developed deep understanding of the sacred scriptures. He is good at the art of deciphering the revealed meanings of the sacred texts. His works are radical departure from the traditional exegetical and literal explanations of the Guru Granth. He has used tools of hermeneutics for culling out hidden meanings of the sacred scriptures. He has contributed some original research work. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the journals of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala and Editor-in-Chief of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla. Moreover, he had been Senior Research Fellow of Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla and Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi.
Book’s Introduction: This book, “REALITY And IT’S Manifestations” by Author Nirbhai Singh is a Sikh Philosophical title and comes under the category of “Religious Studies!” The book deals with the central philosophical problem of the transcendent and the empirical dimensions of the reality. Earlier works on the ‘Guru Granth’ were primarily exegetical explanations based on literal meanings and etymologies of the texts. The present work is a philosophical attempt to probe metaphysical and epistemological foundations of the Sikh worldview. It tries to reconcile the perennial philosophical issue of the transcendent and the immanent by encompassing both into the concrete mystical unity of the Ik Onkar.
The problem of reconciling the transcendent and the immanent in the prevalent Indic and Islamic traditions provided intellectual milieu. For this reason, the third chapter has been exclusively devoted to both traditions. Simultaneous self-transcendence from the worldly entices with disinterested involvement in the mundane world is the sui generis contribution of the Sikh onto-theology. The ideal man of Sikhism is to be in the world and not of the world. This present work expounds an objective philosophical coeval interpretation of the sacred scriptures of the East and the West. It is primarily concerned with culling out the original revealed meanings of the sacred scriptures.
After introductory chapter, the second chapter on philosophical hermeneutics provides principles of interpretation of the religious texts for understanding the hidden meanings of the texts. The study is an independent metaphysical system of the Guru Canon that is based on the original text. Though in the emergence and development of the Sikh worldview, the Indic (Shramanic and Vedic) religions and Islam provided an intellectual environment, yet articulation of the Sikh metaphysics anchors on the personal singular mystic experiences of the contributors of the Sikh Canon. The Guru Granth was meticulously edited and canonized within the non-dual metaphysical framework of the Mool-Mantra, which is the cardinal principle of the Sikh philosophy.
In the medieval times, the world and the life negations were prevalent. Sikhism rejects the mythical otherworld (heaven and hell) and restores reality of this-world and historical action. Societal involvement is a logical necessity of the Sikh philosophy. Hence, householder’s lifestyle and struggle for justice and freedom are the central linchpins of Sikhism. Fourth and fifth chapters focus on Sikh metaphysics and sixth and seventh chapters concentrate on singular contribution of Sikh epistemology that is exclusively based on sabda-surata-yoga.
Readers’ Connect: Now, this is something important to discuss since the very title and introduction of the book makes it seem to be only for those who are interested in religious studies. Whereas, the book has much more to offer and that too to all kinds of the readers. The books throws light upon the very basic Philosophies of Sikhism, which we Indians need to know as Sikhism is very much an Indian Religion and has made a great contribution in the history of the nation. Moreover, the description of the Sikh Beliefs & Culture by the author in this book proves to be a great source of forming a bond of communal harmony among the people of different faiths!
Book’s Verdict: Well, a book like ‘REALITY And IT’S Manifestations’ could be described as a wonderful attempt to promote religious harmony. This book is for sure a Must Read, since it is a great source of knowledge and the way author has penned down the philosophies of his culture is truly incredible. Author Nirbhai Singh is a promising author, who specializes in this subject matter of ‘Sikh Philosophy’ and has very honestly presented a Reading Worthy work, which the readers must pick up and give it a read.
Book Link: https://www.amazon.in/dp/9354464920/