SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB : THE SIKH SCRIPTURE
Sikhism is considered one of the major world religions. The first Prophet of Sikhism who founded the religion was Guru Nanak (1469-1539 CE). The last and tenth Prophet of Sikh religion was Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 CE).
The Scripture of Sikh religion is known as Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Sri Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Prophet of Sikhism, collected and compiled the sacred composiotions of the earlier Gurus and of fifteen Hindu Saints and Muslim Sufis, eleven Bhatts and four Gursikhs and with addition of his own holy compositions compiled Sri Adi Grinth, the first Prakash (Installation) of which was done b the Guru in Sri Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar, in the year 1604 CE.
Before merging his spirit with the timeless Divine spirit, at the end of his earthly journey, Guru Gobind Singh bestowed Guruship on Sri Adi Granth to which he added the holy compositions of Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Prophet of Sikhism, (one couplet in the holy Granth is believed to be of Guru Gobind Singh). Thus, Sri Adi Granth became Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the eternal Guru of th Sikhs, while the Khalsa Panth, founded by Guru Gobind Singh in the year 1699, was institutionalized by the tenth Guru as Guru Panth. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is, as such, the determinate form of the spriritual aspect of the divine sovereignty, while Guru Panth, Khalsa Panth, is the embodiment of the temporal aspect of the divine Sovereignty.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib contains holy hymns of 36 divine beings from the length and breadth of sub-continental India. The holy, sacred compositions in Sri Guru Granth Sahib are in 31 classical ragas (musical measures).
The Sikh Sripture is unique in many ways. It is the first religious Scripture, among the Scriptures of world religions, compile db one of the Prophets of Sikhism, Guru Arjan Dev, and institutionalized as the eternal Guru the tenth Prophet, Guru Gobind Singh. It is also unique in that it contains holy compositions of not only the Sikh Gurus but also of Hindu Saints and Muslim Sufis. Thus, it is , verily, the Scripture of Religion and a living example of religious pluralism; its message of inter religious dialogue and intercommunity understanding has tremendous significance for the present day world, which needs interfaith dialogue to resolve religious conflicts in different parts of the globe.
Right in the beginning of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak lays stress on gyan( enlightenments, knowledge ) as one of the three absolute virtues and values (categorical imperatives), and towards the end of the holy Granth, Guru Arjan Dev reiterates the same, using the expression vichar.
The emerging third millennium global civilization, it is believed, would have spirit as its foundational category in the same way in which the modern Western civilizations arose on the foundation of defied reason reigning supreme in nature, history and society, Sikhism with its basic category of spirit can and should play it due role in the evolution of the new global civilization.
RAISON D’ETRE OF THE UNIVERSITY IN RESPECT OF SIKHISM
AUTHENTIC INTERPRETAITON OF SIKHISM IN MODERN CONTEXT AND IDIOM
Contemporary Sikhism and Sikh Community need, today, authentic interpretation and projection of Sikh doctrine, Sikh ethics, Sikh history, Sikh way of life, as well as socialPhilosophy of Sikh religion. Though there are a large number of institutions and centersFor Sikh Studies, but with certain exceptions, these lack co-ordination, linkages and above all authenticity of interpretation, with the result that during the last five decades or more a lot of Sikh intellectual energy has been wasted on issues raised with a bias and tendentious orientation. Many international Sikh conferences arranged by the Sikh Community and scholars both in India and abroad, (particularly of North America) have brought out many doctrinal issues for debate, and presented authentic and clear evidence regarding independent doctrine and uniqueness of Sikhism. The proposed University would strive to project authentic doctrinal sovereignty, that is l, doctrinal originality and identity as new, distinctive ‘revealed’ religion.
ROLE OF FSIKHISM IN THE MAKING OF THE 21ST CENTURY SOCIETY AND THE THIRD MILLENNIUM CIVILIZATION
Since the last quarter of the 20th century, there has been unprecedented upsurge in the world’s religions in almost all countries, with stress on the role of religion in shaping society and state and its role in evolving the global civilization of the third millennium. New centers of religious studies and religious scholarship have come up relating to all great world religions. Sikhism being the only major religion in the world that arose in the second millennium has greater significance and relevance for the third millennium, with immense potential, still unrealized, for ushering in a new global order and contributing towards the emergence of multi-focal, multi civilizational, multi religious global dispensation- religious pluralism, marked by the inclusion of sacred compositions of Hindu Saints and Muslim Sufis in the Sikh Scripture, being a significant aspect of Sikh religion. The proposed University would strive to realize the potential of Sikh religion in this direction.
ADDRESSING CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS OF IDENTITY VIS-À-VIS FORCES AND PROCESSES OF GLOBALIZATION
The Sikh society is today facing unprecedented challenges arising out of its consciousness about its distinct self identity; this requires intellectual inputs for the Sikh society to ensure its significant place in the comity of the communities of the world; the requisite ideational inputs would be one of the imperatives of proposed University.
THE SIKH DIASPORA
The Sikh Diaspora throughout the world has thrown up new social, cultural and religious challenges confronting the Sikh abroad. Though there are Sikh institutions set up by the Sikhs in their respective counties but these institutions, with some exceptions, lack overall perspective and look for ideational guidance from here. This also requires the setting up a higher level institution in the form of World University continually addressing itself to the problems of the Sikh Diaspora and their adjustment to their respective environs, while keeping their roots and moorings back home.
SIKHISM AND GLOBAL INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
In the recent years inter religious movement has grown very strong on global level. Unfortunately, contemporary Sikhism is not well involved in this global inter religious movement. From this angle also, there is a need for a World University by the Sikh community which could serve as resource centre for Sikh organizations in India and abroad to play their due role in the global inter religious movement which is, day after day, having within its ambit social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental concerns also.
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