- 21 Videos
- 2.0 hrs
The course “Divine Names,” discusses 20 major titles appearing in the Guru Granth Sahib for the Divine Being.
As the Gurbani reminds us that, “the tongue utters Your (Divine) many made names, but Nam, your Being is true and is existent from the beginning (and beyond designates).” This informs us that the names appearing in the Gurbani are only adjectival that relate to one certain quality of the Divine Being among the infinite; these are only based on the experience or a context of a particular passage.
The purpose of the course is to gain familiarity with and appreciate the usage of major Divine names appearing in Gurbani, and try to understand the qualities they symbolize. Some names are easy to recognize because of their affinity to the contemporary colloquial vocabulary. But not all the words are easily recognizable; many words are not common in our vocabulary due to their roots grounded in the larger south-Asian religious and cultural traditions.
The course will discuss the etymology of each word and its connotations. It will also discuss possible background of such words, if any, which may have their roots in the prevailing religious tradition of the time, since Gurbani was revealed as a dialogue with the already existing systems, be they religious, social or political. The course will also explore how Gurbani uses, defines or interprets these words in Gurmat perspective, if identifiable and clearly articulated within the Guru Granth Sahib.
Surender Pal Singh is a researcher in Sikh studies. He works at the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI), where he develops curriculum, presentations, and research papers on Sikh history and culture. He teaches a course on Gurbani at Sidak, an annual leadership program by SikhRI. He is the co-author of Gurbani linguistics book Guru Granth Sahib – Its Language and Grammar and Workbook Gurbani Language and Grammar. He has over seven years of experience in teaching Gurbani linguistics and fifteen years of experience in teaching Sikh theology and culture. He received Master of Arts in English and Religious Studies. He lives in Panjab.