Humility has always been a subject of confusion and contradiction for me. If I were to be approached by a random stranger on the street and asked what my take on humility was, I would have said, “Being humble means lying about how capable you really are because apparently religion thinks that beating down on yourself is okay.” What Bhupinder Singh does is not only give a logical and clear definition of what humility is, but builds a strong case for why practicing humility is relevant in regards to our way of life and our way of thinking.
First off, the covers for this book (both front and back) are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and are well put together. I especially love the picture of the sakhi regarding Guru Nanak putting a flower on top of the bowl of milk. And after reading the book, I now understand why it’s on the cover. I definitely would not change anything about it.
Secondly, out of all the books that have been given to me by people, this book probably has one of the best (if not, the best) structures. The progression of the chapters and their topic flow naturally and logically (like a construction worker building a house from the ground up). Very good indeed. There were two things in particular that stood out to me regarding the structure of the book, and were of help to me personally when reading it. The first was that at the end of each chapter, he does a summary or conclusion. If only more books and textbooks would do this (since I often forget what I just read). Very well done on his part. The second thing that stood out to me are the charts on pages 69, 92, and 93. Not only do they make it easier for an adult to digest what a Shabad is trying to portray, but I feel that even a kid would be able to understand it.
And lastly, here are some quotes I loved from the book.
“When ego takes charge humility vanishes. However, when humility takes charge, ego does not vanish; it simply takes a back seat. From that back seat it is always attempting to stage a comeback.”
“Look ahead; don’t your face backwards. O Nanak, be successful this time, and you shall not be reincarnated again.” (SGGS, Ang 1096)
“Cultivating humility requires the sacrifice of the pride, with a complete departure from self-centeredness and selfishness.”
“When we start cultivating humility, it will be beginning of our own spiritual journey.”
I also love the “Quotes From Other Sources” section in the back. I personally believe that there are pieces of truth within all the major world religions and in the secular ways of thought. So to see that put in there makes me happy 🙂
In summary, I encourage everyone who is interested in what Sikh philosophy has to say on the subject of humility to get a hold of and read this book. “Bo” Singh can be contacted on Sikhnet by clicking on this link.