BOOK ~ The Sikh View on Happiness

Guru Arjan's Sukhmani

The Sikh View on Happiness
Guru Arjan’s Sukhmani
By: Kamala Elizabeth Nayar, Jaswinder Singh Sandhu


Sukhmani (The Pearl of Happiness) is a popular Sikh text by Guru Arjan, which inculcates the Sikh religious ethos and philosophical perspective on wellbeing and happiness. The book features a new translation of this celebrated Sikh text and provides the first in-depth analysis of it. The Sikh View on Happiness begins with an overview of the nature of suffering and the attainment of happiness in Indian religions. This provides the foundation for the examination of the historical, social, and religious context of the Sukhmani and its contribution to the development of the Sikh tradition. In addition to exploring the spiritual teachings of the Sukhmani, Nayar and Sandhu draw upon the Sikh understanding of the mind, illness, and wellbeing to both introduce key Sikh psychological concepts and illustrate the practical application of traditional healing practices in the contemporary context. In doing so, they highlight the overlap of the teachings in the Sukhmani with concepts and themes found in Western psychotherapy, such as mindfulness, meaningful living, and resilience.

Table of contents

Note on Translation
Chapter 1 The Pursuit of Happiness in Indic Religions: Introduction
Chapter 2 Guru Arjan's Life, Work and Martyrdom
Chapter 3 The Ritual Function of the Sukhmani
Chapter 4 The Sukhmani: Teachings and Practice
Chapter 5 A Path towards Meaningful Living
Chapter 6 Understanding the Sukhmani: Summary and Conclusions
Translation The Sukhmani: The Pearl of Happiness
Appendix 1 Summary of the Four Watches of the Day (Astapadis 1-12)
Appendix II Summary of the Four Watches of the Night (Astapadis 13-24)

“An interesting text that situates the Sukhmani prayer in a historical, social and religious context and demonstrates its applicability to psychotherapy.” –  Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, Senior Lecturer in Sikh Studies, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Birmingham, UK

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