I’m excited to announce SikhNet’s release of a new printed 5 volume set of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib with English Translation by Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa.
Having the Siri Guru Granth Sahib available in translation allows many seekers around the world to connect to Gurbani in a personal way to experience and understand the Guru’s teachings. I remember entering a Gurdwara in Mexico City where Siri Guru Granth Sahib with Spanish translation was available for anyone to sit and read. I saw everyday people, non-Sikhs, enter, bow and read. Then I watched them emerge with tears streaming down their shining faces filled with inspiration and the radiance of their opened hearts. It’s more important now than ever that the growing spirit of Sikhi touches the hearts of those who may not have been born to know Punjabi/Gurmukhi, but who nonetheless feel the call of the Guru in their lives.
Many of us have used the 1960 Manmohan Singh English translation of the Guru Granth Sahib for doing paath. With the advent of this translation, Sikhs all around the world had access to a very practical resource for understanding the Word of the Guru. Over the years, and before the availability of SikhiToTheMax, it was common practice in all parts of the world to have the eight volume set in Gurdwaras, and read out the Hukam in both Gurmukhi and English, and sometimes in Punjabi as well.
While a dedicated effort for which we are grateful, the Manmohan Singh translation includes a large number of antiquated, idiosyncratic expressions more common to 19th century British India. Most people are confused up by words like ‘mammon’ (for Maya), ‘myrmidon,’ ‘collyrium,’ ‘mumper,’ ‘gnosis’ (for spiritual knowledge – gyan), ‘apostates,’ ‘sans’ (French for without), etc. Much of his grammar is so dated as to be distracting and even confusing to the modern ear.
Here’s an example:
“Raising the embankments of my mind’s field, I gaze at the high sky or mansion. When Divine devotion enters bride’s mind-home, the Friendly Guest pays her a visit. He, who slanders Thy attendant, him Thou chrusheth and destroyest”.
Neither an easy read, nor easy to understand.
The modern English translation by Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa is a more successful attempt to improve the English translation, while still cleaving as close as possible to the original meaning and intent. This translation is an original work; It was not derived or adapted from anything else. It was done over a period of 15 years, defining each word, and carefully translating each line. Read a comparison about the existing English translations.
Printing of the Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa translation has been long awaited. You have probably already read many of these translations if you view Gurbani in electronic form on your computer or mobile apps. This translation is the most widespread online, used at sites including SikhNet.com, Sikhitothemax.com and SGPC.net. Also, If you have seen Gurbani with translation projected on a screen at your Gurdwara; that is the same same translation. We have found it to be much easier to read and understand than the Manmohan Singh translation.
SikhNet has now released this new printed edition in a five volume set designed above all to be easy to read. Large, clear fonts are used. Each line of Gurbani is in alignment with the English translation, so it’s easy and intuitive to know exactly what is the translation for the line you are reading. This also makes it easy to switch fluidly from English to Gurmukhi and visa versa during Sahaj Paath or Akandh Paath.
I think you will find reading from this new edition a distinctly easier and more flowing experience than using any of the older translations. These are high-quality hard cover volumes decorated with original artwork in gold design and printed on high-quality, acid free paper. The set is sold “on-demand” through Lulu.com. That means each volume is only printed when you order it. Although this makes the cost of printing higher, it reduces overall costs, and makes it easier to publish & have available to you online. The quality is far better than similarly published books from India. The printing quality is similar to a full color hard cover college text book. The volumes are priced at $49 each so it would cost about $245 for the 5 volume set.