eGurbani is a term to describe the digital version of Gurbani, the word of the Guru, primarily referring to the Sikh Holy Scripture, the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Some interesting thoughts for you.
With the advent of digital mobile devices like the Kindle, the iPhone and the iPad, naturally eGurbani is becoming more accessible and available in a variety of digital formats. Although digital is the future, I think as Sikhs we would agree that nothing can replace the physical presence of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikh Holy Scripture, in the form of paper and ink. The physical presence of the Guru on a throne and in an environment which is full of sanctity, reverence, incense and serenity is irreplaceable.
However, we do need to make our Guru, our teacher more accessible to the world. The Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Bahais and Jews have very successfully done this with their own scriptures. The Sikhs are lagging way behind and have been very lazy and selfish in this regard, keeping the Guru to ourselves as if we own the Guru.
Many proponents of eGurbani think that the distribution of eGurbani should be controlled carefully and kept under close supervision – but this is an old mentality and against the principles of Sikhism, the modern era of openness and of the modern technological trend of Open Source community development. It is time for us to evolve as a community and realise that the word and teachings of the Guru are for the good of all, a concept known in Sikhism as “Sarbat Da Bhallah“.
The Sikh Holy Scripture contains within it many gems, rubies and diamonds that the world is crying out for. It contains the medicine that medicine cannot cure. It contains the love that is today is our greatest recession. It contains the peace that has eluded humanity for millennia. But most of all, it contains the secrets to the deepest parts of our psyche which can help to cure the deep depression that flows through society. It can help to temper the inner temper of the modern man and woman. It has a grace. It has an essence. It has a value beyond value itself.
The Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji can help to bring the broken world back together, if only people knew about it and could relate to it. The following would be method of creating a worldwide translation and transliteration project for Gurbani:
- Co-operation and partnership with Sikh temples or Gurdwaras
- The Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji can help to unite all the divisions we have within our religion today since all will agree that the Guru is the centre of our lives
- All members of the organisation contribute 1/10th of their earnings, called Dasvandth, to the cause and receive an equal amount of funding worldwide
- The aim of the organisation would be to make the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji available in a language that people can understand, at a price they can afford and in a form that they can use
- The Guru would be published in various formats such as audio, film, online (eBooks and websites), mobile, DVDs/CDs/Blueray and of course the traditional prayer book
- The world’s languages are currently 6,912 (according to SIL Ethnologue) and the project should initially target the macro languages, working its way to the micro languages including different forms of sign language and Braille
In order to create a revolution we must learn to think in a revolutionary way, to exceed and rise above all trends, to create our own trend. In order for us to survive as a human species we must evolve our hearts and minds and access the depths of our soul, our being, our way of seeing. It is only then we can survive the times. In this life there is nothing more revolutionary I have come across than the teachings of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib, which is a form of music, poetry and art that enters into the heart and transforms it completely whether a person understands the ancient sounds or not. The Guru transcends understanding of the mind to bring about understanding of the realm of heart. Only a true Guru can do this, only a Sat Guru, and which more eternal Guru exists than the Word of all word, the Shri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sat Naam – Truth Is Your Identity.