‘This is being published in general of Sikh Studies-Guru ‘Nanak Dev University Punjab

And this monotheistic basis was fortified so to say to put them after in a simple form by “Bhakti” or Faith as inculcated in later Puranic Hinduism; The Sikh Panth was nothing but a reformed and simplified ‘Sanatana Dharma’ of medieval times.”

It is a pity that a well-established Sikh scholar Dr. Tirlochan Singh and the well-established Sikh in situation Gurdwara Parbandhak ‘Committee Delhi failed to notice and allowed to be published the above pro fanatory and derogatory statements about Guru Nanak and Sikhism in the “Forward” written by Dr Suniti Kumar for the above ‘book of Dr. Tirlochan Singh.

But according to M.A Macauliff such chauvinistic tendencies seems to be calculated ones to ‘amalgamate Sikhism into Hinduism as is apparent from his following observations:

Truly wonderful is the strength and vitality of Hinduism It’s like the boa constrictor of the Indian forests. When a petty enemy Pears to worry it   winds round its Opponent crushes it in its folds and finally causes it to disappear in its capacious interior. In this ‘way many centuries ago Hinduism on its own ground disposed of Buddhism which was largely a Hindu reformation; in this way in 8 prehistoric period it absorbed the religion of the Scythian invaders of Northern Indi; in this ‘way it has converted uneducated Islam in India into a semi-paganism; and in this way it is disposing ‘of the reformed and once hopeful religion of Baba Nanak. Hinduism has embraced Sikhism in it folds; the still comparatively ‘young religion is making a vigor’s struggle for life butts ultimate destruction is it is apprehended inevitable without State support.”

M.A Macauliffe 1978 (1893). The Sikh Religion S. Chand & Company Lid New Delhi page lVii)

The brief survey on the definition of Sikhism also showed that there is a general tendency to equate it with Hinduism Why it is 30? One good reason could be a pointed out by Khushwant Singh in the Abingdon Dictionary to Living Religions (page 688) is a follows: “Since all the Sikhs’ gurus are the vast majority of those ‘who accepted their teachings were Hindus the influence of Hindu is morn the development of Sikhism ‘was preponderant.” Here I would like to point out that had the Hindu followers of the 10 Sikh Gurus followed their teachings in its reality and entirety then there would have not been preponderant influence of Hinduism on Sikhism

Now it becomes very clear that the causes of such misrepresentations are due to the fact that those followers who did not follow the real Sikhism and those writers who did not represent Sikhism in its proper perspective were unable to understand and interpret the Gurbani of Sikh Gurus in its reality and entirety. Moreover it is also assumed that they did so because they could not free their minds from the shackles of Hinduism.

Defining “Sikh” and “Sikhism” Definitions fore we define any term we should bear in mind what is a definition? Definition is a word ‘or phrase expressing the essential nature (characteristics) of a person ‘or thing. If we look back to the previously discussed definitions lacked the essential characteristics of Sikhism and ‘were also composed of misrepresentations and distortions of the reality. Therefore these definitions are not only incomplete but incorrect also

Bases for Defining “Sikh” and “Sikhism For defining these terms we have to base our views ‘on the Gurbani (“Sabd” hymns of ‘Sikh Gurus) embodied in the Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGS) by the Fifth Nanak Gura Arjan Sahib ‘and the Tenth  Nanak Guru Gobind ‘Singh and its interpretation in its reality and entirety. And we have to follow this rule very strictly because any other publication or information would create serious problems to portray the real concept of these terms. There is already such an example Bhagwant Singh Sidhu advocate General Punjab has tried to prove that the Sikhs are Hindus and there is no difference between Sikhism and Hinduism in his book Chorahe” Te’ Khlote’ Sikh (1985) (in Panjabi) Dhanwant Singh and Co. 26 Yadevindra Colony Patiala. He based this concept by using bani which was not incorporated into the AGGS by using bani not written by the Sikh Gurus and also by misrepresenting the Gurbani of Sikh Gurus.

“The Sikh Gurus have clearly defined and explained what the Gurbani is.

That is why I confined myself for defining these terms by been incorporated into the AGGS by the Fifth Nanak Guru Arjan ‘Sahib and the 10th Nanak Guru Gobind Singh. Moreover while Quoting the Gurbani from the AGGS we should be very diligent to interpret its real philosophy. To do so we should keep our mind free from the old and strongly rooted convictions and. keep in view the knowledge of all sciences known today.

I may add here that there were very few Sikhs even during the time of the Sikh Gurus who could interpret the Gurbani in its reality and entirety as conveyed by them Guns) It is evident from this verse of Gurbani:

‘Macauliffe also made a similar observation as early as 1893 in his ‘book on page Vi as follows: “The dialects and languages of the Gurus are now largely forgotten. There ‘are no readable or trustworthy ‘commentaries or translations of their composition in any language and the Sikhs find it difficult or ‘impossible to understand them.”

‘Therefore it is very important that the Gurbani should be interpreted properly before defining or ‘writing on Sikhism.

Origin of Word “Sikh”: Before defining the terms “Sikh” and “Sikhism” we must trace the origin of the word “Sikh.” The word “Sikh is a very old one which has been extensively used in the Gurbani. It means the one who follows the advice of Sikh Gurus.

The Sikh Gurus did not use Sanskrit for writing their bani instead they used the language which was spoken by the people so that they Could easily understand what the and meanings during the time of Buddha (5637-4837 B.C.) as was Sikh” was in use at least about centuries before the birth of Chris ‘When the Buddhists wrote the sacred book in the language book as “Pali” Consequently the language used in their sacred boo became 10 be known as “Pal Keeping this fact in view I shall call that language as “Ancient Panjabi” because it was the same language which was spoken in the erstwhile Punjab with various dialects at the time of Buddha an is being spoken in the divide Punjab at present still with various dialects. The “Ancient Panjabi word “Sikh” is still being used i both the Punjab’s (India and Pakistan) in the same form and meaning as it was used before and during the time of Buddha and then during the time of Sikh Gurus.

It was very recent that the language spoken by the people of the ‘erstwhile Punjab started 10 be called as “Panjabi”. The Muslim: started to penetrate into the Indian subcontinent through Persia by 700 AD and by 1030 AD they extended their rule over the Indus valley and the whole of the Punjab (The last Two Million Years (1974) The Reader’s Digest Association NY). Therefore it i evident that the name “Punjab” (panj = five + ab = rivers wales) a Persian word was given to the “Land of Five Rivers” by the new settlers Persians not very long ago time ago i.e. around 700 AD.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996