The Socially Involved Renunciate

Guru Nanak's Discourse to the Nath Yogis

By Kamala Elizabeth Nayar & Jaswinder Singh Sandhu

Subjects: Sikh Studies, Religion, India And South Asian Studies, Hindu Studies
Paperback : 9780791472149, 197 pages, June 2008
Hardcover : 9780791472132, 197 pages, September 2007

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Note on Translation
PART 1: INTRODUCTION

1. The Quest for Liberation in Indian Religions
PART 2: SETTING THE STAGE FOR SIDDH GOST
2. The Nath Tradition and Hath-Yoga
3. Guru Nanak: Doctrine, Hagiography, and History
4. The Context of Siddh Gost
PART 3: THE MEANING OF GURU NANAK’S SIDDH GOST
5. Guru Nanak’s Worldview: Theory and Practice
6. Renunciation and Social Involvement in Siddh Gost
PART 4: SIDDH GOST
Discourse to the Nath Yogis, an English Translation

I. The Meeting
II. The Path
III. A Gurmukh
IV. The Source
V. Truth
VI. Immersion
VII. Creation
VIII. EkOankar
IX. The Sacred Word
X. Grace
XI. Awareness
XII. Liberation

Notes
Glossary of Punjabi Terms
Bibliography
Index

A translation and analysis of Guru Nanak’s description of the Sikh path to spiritual liberation.

Description

The Socially Involved Renunciate is an in-depth analysis and an original English translation of the Siddh Gost, a fundamental philosophical text of the Sikh tradition. The work reflects the distinctive worldview of Sikhism, the only major Indian religion that does not regard asceticism as a legitimate path to liberation.

Composed by Guru Nanak, a medieval, north Indian saint-poet and venerated founder of the Sikh tradition, the Siddh Gost is a dialogue between Guru Nanak and several Nath yogis who had been pursuing a rigorous path of hath-yoga as renunciates of the material world. Through their dialogue, Guru Nanak teaches the Nath yogis a spiritual path that also includes involvement in the social world and offers a practical way to achieve liberation. In The Socially Involved Renunciate, Kamala Elizabeth Nayar and Jaswinder Singh Sandhu provide background on Sikhism, highlight the ethical teachings expounded in the Siddh Gost, and demonstrate how Guru Nanak reconciles the polarities of the ascetic and householder ideals.

Kamala Elizabeth Nayar is Lecturer in South Asian Studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia, and author of The Sikh Diaspora in Vancouver: Three Generations Amid Tradition, Modernity, and Multiculturalism. Jaswinder Singh Sandhu is a psychotherapist in British Columbia.

Reviews

"…the authors do an admirable job of contextualizing Guru Nanak both historically and religiously … The Socially Involved Renunciate is a welcome contribution to the small body of works on Guru Nanak. The sections on renunciation and the translation of the Siddh Gost in particular lend themselves to a comparative approach, and it is easy to envision this text being incorporated into a class on Indian religions." — International Journal of Hindu Studies

"The authors venture to examine an interesting and hitherto unexplored area of Sikh study in the English language and deserve critical encouragement for writing an important work in this newly emerging field." — Pashaura Singh, University of California at Riverside