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Guru Nanak: If you ponder it

Guru Nanak: If you ponder it
Photo: Gurudwara Dera sab at Lahore, Pakistan.
​If you ponder it,
     there is mindfulness, wisdom of mind;

If you ponder it,
     the whole of the universe is known;

If you ponder it,
     you will never face harm;

If you ponder it,
     you will never walk the way of death.

That name--
     so immaculately clear--
     only the mind that ponders it
                    can truly be aware.

(Guru Nanak)
Source and Recommended Reading:

'Songs of the Saints of India'
By John Stratton Hawley (Author), Mark Juergensmeyer  (Author)

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The six poets presented here -- Ravidas, Kabir, Nanak, Surdas, Mirabai, and Tulsidas -- have contributed more to the religious vocabulary of Hinduism in north India today than any voices before or since. In worship, in education, even in politics, modern Hinduism sings their tune. For half a millennium, these saints' poems have circulated from the banks of the Jumna to the rice fields of Bihar and back to the deserts of Rajasthan, providing a language for many of life's most vivid concerns -- cruelty and loneliness, status and intimacy, hope and infatuation, and the maddening transitoriness of it all. With a biographical and interpretive essay on each poet and a selection of representative verses in original translation, this book offers a complete introduction to a literature that transcends the boundaries we associate with religion and those of India as well.

"Wonderful background essays, with movingly translated 'songs of the saints'. Good introduction--for those students who already have some background on India."

(F.W. Blackwell, Washington State University)

"One of those rare and wonderful books that makes first rate scholarship immediately accessible to the non-specialist....Lively....An excellent book for the classroom."

(Religious Studies Review)

"Hawley and Juergensmeyer have produced an introduction to North Indian devotion of very broad appeal. For undergraduates, it provides attractive translations; for specialists, it presents up-to-date discussions of textual sources; and for generalists, it offers an insightful handling of diversity in tradition."

(History of Religion)

"In creating Songs of the Saints of India, Jack Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer have filled a longstanding need....A fascinating and enlightening presentation of the bhakti tradition of North India. Its extensive glossary and notes as well as its lucid presentation make it ideal for teaching or reading at the introductory level. Its innovative, authoritative approach to long-standing issues in the Hindu tradition make it compulsory reading for any scholar of religious traditions. The poems themselves make delightful and provocative reading for anyone; thanks to their introductions, their richness is more accessible than ever."

(Center for the Study of World Religions)

"Between the covers of this book live six extraordinary North Indian saint-poets. Hawley tells their lives in his flowing good-humored prose that gracefully conceals his great care and scholarship....[and] offers us a generous selection of each saint-poet's poems, translated in verse forms that are fluent, sparkling, vivid, never far from the tones of speech....We have waited long for an anthology of Hindi bhakti of this range, authority, and literary excellence."

(A.K. Ramanujan, University of Chicago)

"An excellent balance of critical analysis and sensitive, readable translations of the most popular saint-poets of Northern India. A key resource for both literature and religion courses."

(Barbara N. Ramusack, University of Cincinnati)

"Superb anthology."

(Richard B. Barnett, University of Virginia)

"Perfectly fills a need....I will certainly use it."

(Richard Davis, Yale University)

"[The authors] are eminently qualified to translate the poetic songs of the saints of India....The present volume, dealing with six saints, has widened the boundaries we associate with the religions of India. The quality of the printing and binding is excellent."

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