For the first time ever a searchable collection of millions of rare pages, on Sikhs and the region of Panjab has been made available. Panjab Digital Library (PDL) will include texts of manuscripts, books, magazines, newspapers and photographs and will be available to anyone with Internet access at www.panjabdigilib.org. This launch was made possible in part by the Nanakshahi Trust and the Sikh Research Institute.
Panjab Digital Library has been in development since 2003, charged with a mission to select, collect, preserve, digitize and make accessible the accumulated wisdom of Panjab. Texts were included without distinction as to script, language, religion, nationality, or other human condition.
Definitely a cool and worthy project that I’ll be keeping my eye on in the future.
If you’re not aware, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was this pretty cool guy who lived an amazing life and started this whole thing called “Sikhism.” In this book, Dr. Kirpal Singh explores the entire breadth of history surrounding the Janamsakhis – literally stories about Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life. Where they came from, who put them together, who wrote which parts, and how the sikhs came to keep them in the form they are now. Here’s an excerpt to wet your tongue:
Janamsakhi literature; produced essentially to preserve the tradition of Guru Nanak, defies classification. The Janamsakhis are neither hagiographies1 nor biographies. In fact it is implicit within the word Janamsakhi that these are no more than compilations of anecdotes about the life of Guru Nanak. At best they can be called “anthologies of the stories told of his life.”2 One is sometimes inclined to place them at par with the four gospels, appearing at the beginning of the New Testament. The Sikh multitude revered the Janamsakhi as “good news” (Sakhis) of Guru Nanak. Like the four ‘Gospels’, the various Janamsakhis were initially not looked upon as rivals of each other but as parallel versions of the anecdotes concerning the life of Guru Nanak and were not written primarily in the interest of history in the modern sense of the word.
If you’ve read Macleod and Macaullife, you should check out this book by Khushwant Singh. Now I have to admit, I haven’t read it myself yet, but it looks pretty interesting so I thought I should share it with the world! If you’ve read it, or if you do download and read it, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
First – If you have never read any of Cynthia Mahmood’s books, go do that. I suggest this book:
You can check out a nice preview of this book at google books
Second – set aside a good half hour of quite time and read this article on Sikh Chic wherein she explains the amazing motivation behind her Sikh Studies. This could possible be one of the best articles I’ve ever read, and it’s one of the most moving stories I’ve heard in a long while.
*whoosh* <– What’s that sound you ask? Well that’s the sound of another cool book and worthwhile read flying your way. Compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Professor Sahib Singh (translation by Sardar Dalip Singh) is a really interesting and quick read about how the Sri Guru Granth as we know it today came to be.
Why the venerated Professor wrote this:
One day we, the members of faculty, were sitting in a verandah opposite to the’ staff room, a Professor told me that he had read first three chapters of my book on Gurbani te Itihas Baare – Gurus’ Compositions and the related History”, and’ the maximum one could say was that Guru Amar Das had with him some of the Compositions of Guru Nanak Dev. It could not, however, be established that Guru Amar Das had with him all the compositions.
Any other person after reading those three chapters could form the same opinion. People could still have the misconcept that it was. Guru Arjan Dev, the 5th Guru, who collected the Compositions of all the preceding Gurus. In order to solve this intricate problem, I undertook to compare all, the Compositions of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Amar Das and wrote the book “Adi Birh Bare – About Compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib” during 1949 A.D.
This really is a very interesting read, and I highly suggest all of you guys check it out