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Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh religion, is the first in a line of ten enlightened gurus, or teachers, whose writings form the sacred scripture of Sikhism. Born into a humble Hindu family, Nanak was an extraordinary child who from a young age questioned the rituals of religion and the ways of the world around him. At the age of twenty-seven, he embarked on an inspired mission that took him from the sacred Himalayas in India, Nepal, and Tibet to the holy city of Mecca in Arabia. Throughout his twenty-five-year travels, Guru Nanak preached a message of one God, sincere worship, and of peace and equality for all. Today the Sikh religion numbers as many as 25 million followers worldwide and Guru Nanak is revered by Hindus and Muslims alike. Award-winning author, Demi, recounts his spiritual journey, showing how the essential teachings of Sikhism are expressed through Guru Nanak's remarkable life and in his poetry.
Bhai Gurdas Bhalla (d. 1636 CE) is widely considered the most important non-canonical poet in Sikh history, having shaped the theology and ethics of the tradition for centuries. His poems, which offer an authoritative illustration of Sikh life in the early seventeenth century, defined Sikh identity during a tumultuous period of upheaval. In Drinking from Love's Cup, Rahuldeep Gill brings together for the first time a collection of the revered poet's early work, masterfully translated into English, alongside the original Punjabi text. The magic of Gurdas's poetry, says Gill, is the fusion of Islamicate narrative with Indian heroic literature to speak about death, martyrdom, and the spirit's absolution in love. Gill challenges the traditional scholarship surrounding the dates of Gurdas's writing, suggesting that Gurdas wrote his poetry to console the Sikh community when it was in mourning over the execution of the fifth of the Sikh founders, Guru Arjan (d.1606), by agents of the Mughal Empire. Gurdas in his verses immortalized the fifth Guru's role as a martyr and encouraged the faithful to stay involved in the community, resist hegemony, and reinforce Sikh beliefs during the sectarian upheaval. Rhythmic, elegant, and lucid, the poems weave Sikh scripture into the lyrical fabric of Sikh spirituality. Gill brings a contemporary flair to Gurdas's moving stanzas and in his commentary unearths fresh insights about his life and context.
This volume brings together leading scholars of Sikhism and of Sikh art to assess and interpret the remarkable art resource known as the Kapany Collection, using it to introduce to a broad public the culture, history, and ethos of the Sikhs. Fifteen renowned scholars contributed essays describing the passion and vision of Narinder and Satinder Kapany in assembling this unparalleled assemblage of great Sikh art, some of which has been displayed in exhibitions around the globe. The Kapanys' legacy of philanthropic work includes establishing the Sikh Foundation (now celebrating its 50th year) and university endowments for Sikh studies. Through this profusely illustrated book's chapters, scholars examine the full range of Sikh artistic expression and of Sikh history and cultural life, using artworks from the Kapany Collection.