Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh is Crawford Professor and Chair of the department of Religious Studies at Colby College in the USA. Her books include The Guru Granth Sahib: its Physics and Metaphysics (1981), The Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision of the Transcendent (1993), The Name of My Beloved: Verses of the Sikh Gurus (2001), now published in Penguin Classics as Hymns of the Sikh Gurus, The Birth of the Khalsa: (2005), Of Sacred and Secular Desire: An Anthology of Lyrical Writings from the Punjab (2012).
In this highly accessible and comprehensive biography, Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh deftly mines the available sources to construct a vivid and complex account of Guru Nanak's life and legacy, his personality and background, the pluralistic world he lived in, his teachings and philosophy, and even the manner in which he has been understood by believers and scholars over time. What emerges is a majestic and magisterial portrait of a great enlightener who not only founded one of the world's major religions but whose singular message of unity and hope has endured centuries after he first walked the earth. The First Sikh unites rigorous scholarship with a deep love for the subject, offering fascinating insights into Guru Nanak's life and times even as it explores key facets of Sikhism. Moreover, it shows us how Guru Nanak continues to remain relevant in a twenty-first-century reality.
Singh weaves together the various sources of the story of Guru Nanak with true interdisciplinary finesse-reading the earliest sources with aesthetic, philosophical, historical, and textual sensitivity and skill.Guru Nanak's pluralism, humanity and teachings find great resonance in the 21st century in Nikky Singh's lucid work. The First Sikh is an important book for our troubled times.Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh presents rare insights into Guru Nanak's personality and teachings . . . Truly admirable.The First Sikh is a splendid celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. It will go a long way in deepening the world's understanding of this unique spiritual master and enlightened being.