Elisabeth Meru’s Open Letter To the SGPC

Elisabeth Meru’s Open Letter To the SGPC

Open Letter to Dalmegh Singh, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar

SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ in German translation as vicarious agent ???

Dalmegh Singh!

It’s enough! Seeing no other way, I’m choosing the way of publicity because the sorrow and pain on behalf of the degrading german translation won’t let me come to rest.

I am angry with you, Dalmegh Singh. Very angry. All of my letters to you never got a response – as if I was but some little girl who should better be playing with her dolls instead of interfering with the affairs of important men and who shouldn’t be concerned in the least with the restoration of the honour of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ in Germany, because this comes under the suzerainty of Sikhs. But – nothing is done about it!

To refresh your memory:

On the 20th of June in 2009 I wrote for the first time a letter to Singh Bros. concerning the calamitous translation of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ and sent the SGPC a copy of it.

Both remained without an answer. (The letter is enclosed as attachement.)

On the 13th of November 2009 you greeted me in your ofice in Amritsar. You told me, if I understood correctly, that in in German-speaking regions, no Gurdwara would be allowed to issue SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ to anybody.

On January the 9th in 2010 I wrote again a letter to Singh Bros. in Amritsar and sent you, Dalmegh Singh, a copy of this letter.

Both remained without an answer. (The letter is enclosed as attachement.)

Dalmegh Singh, it is the duty and the task of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee in Amritsar, to ensure worldwide that the honour of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ remains basically unaffected.A lousy translation affects the honour of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ.

The statement of a Sikh living in Germany concerning the lousy translation was shortsighted and not comprehensible:

“The German translation of GURŪ GRANTH is not important to me. After all, it is not the original.”

Of course it is not the original – and the holiness and the spiritual nobility of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ in Gurbanī will forever remain unmatched.

So, a German translation can be as good as it wants – it will always remain only the try of an explanation of the spirituality of Sikhism, because our German language has a completely different structure. But a good translation for the better understanding of Sikhism is mandatory.

But a pathetic translation – like in this case – isn’t stringently associated with its translators but first of all with Sikhism because many people are not able tho think differentiated.

Dalmegh Singh, I have got German friends who accompany me on my way as a Sikh and who can’t understand the casualness towards GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ on your part as well as on the part of Sikhs living in Germany.

Above all because the Sikhs say about SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ:

It is the most holy book containing the word of GOD.

That it consists of three parts and has got the following meaning:

Gurū – the ultimate teacher, GOD, VAHIGURŪ

Granth – a holy book

Sāhib – the epitome of reverence

Please explain why this souldn’t be significant for a German translation, as well.

Recently, a German said to me:

„I read up about Sikhs in Germany. They seem to be politically quite active in their places of worship whereas they don’t seem to pray much. This makes it understandable that they don’t care about an embarassing translation of their holy book. What matters the most to them is that there is anything at all they can show as an alibi. Do you know what I mean? They quasi made their religion public via the German translation of the Granth and let the Granth sort of go along as a vicarious agent.”

SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ – as a vicarious agent!!!

That is not a desirable statement, is it?

Dalmegh Singh, if it is spoken like this only a single time about SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ it is countless times too much.

Dalmegh Singh, with this comes the unbelievable and bottomless brazenness that Singh Bros. in Amritsar dare to palm a book off to my German compatriots that abounds in mistakes and flaws. For 390,00 Euro! That’s an affront to my German compatriots. That’s another reason Singh Bros. should be pommeled with the book.

The spiritual damage caused by the catastrophic translation of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ is huge. In addition, there is the laughter one can’t avoid, caused by many simply too funny mistakes in translation (I mention this not for the first time).

An important additional point: I want to stress here expressively that I take Dr Jarnail Singh who is named responsible as “translator” of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ in German for a gentleman. Dr Jarnail Singh can’t speak German and had the misfortune to fall for two lousy, irresponsible-acting translators who bear German names but who can’t be German native speakers. I feel sorry for Dr Jarnail Singh for what happened here from the bottom of my heart.

Dalmegh Singh, act finally! Make finally sure that the free-circulating faulty copies of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ are bought up and at least attempt the try that this translation of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ is put on the index in Germany.

Because:

Nothing matters more than

SĀHIB ŚRI GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ.

Elisabeth Meru

The letter at hand was translated by a friend because my English is not sufficient

Elisabeth Meru’s Letter To the Singh Brothers, Sri Amritsar Sahib, dated 09.01.10

Elisabeth Meru

München – Deutschland

emeru@t-online.de

SINGH BROTHERS
Bazar Mai Sewan, Near Golden Temple,

Amritsar-143 006
S.C.O. 223-24,City Center, Amritsar-143 001

Panjāb – India

Munich, 09.01.10

Translation of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ in German

Putting a stop to the borrowing from the German National Library

Dear Singh Brothers Publishers,

if I understood the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee correctly when I visited Amritsar on November 13th 09, it is not allowed any more to give out SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ for reading in German Gurdwaras.

That is a wonderful succes for the reestablishment of the honour of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ. But it is not enough.

1.

In the German National Library in Leipzig SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ is

still available for borrowing for common amusement. This has to be stopped. Concerning this aim, I did some preparations for you:

1. The German National Library will not give away any book they already got. Their system works like this.

2. But it is possible to put SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ on the Index by starting a lawsuit with the help of a lawyer.

3. To achieve this, all copies available for borrowing have to be checked to ascertain the grave mistakes (e.g. “Gurū Nānak Dev Jī preached the Gospel“) contained therein.

4. The books are located in Leipzig and have either to be inspected locally or have to be sent via interlending to any library in Germany to be inspected there.

5. Furthermore, a virtual catalogue research via the University Karlsruhe should be undertaken. This is a way to find out if this copies of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ are also available in other libraries or worldwide.

2.

There are German translations of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ for sale on

the German book market. They should be bought out by represantatives who

are appointed by you. To achieve this is it essential that you inform your representatives about the number of books that reached the German book market. This number wil serve as a guideline.

This is connected with much work and high costs. But:

Nothing matters more than SĀHIB ŚRI GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ.

3.

It has to be checked if translators Christa Zeller Thomas and Jutta Ohlmann are keeping a list of references on which they mention, amongst others, the translation of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ.

If this should be the case it has to be barred because the translators inflicted a grave spiritual damage on Sikhism. A grave financial damage, too, if your publishing house wants to undertake further activites for the rehabilitation of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ.

Just in case, I enclosed again the pages of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ I proofread.

Furhtermore, I enclose my correspondence in German with the German National Library for you. You can hand the entire process, as I described and arranged it above, some representative assigned by you. He can give this documents exactly like this to the assigned lawyer.

This is all I can do for SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ. On the one hand, I’m lacking financial means. On the other hand, in Germany, I am confronted with the situation that neither any Gurdwara in German-speaking countries nor any Sikh want to have dealings with me. At the time I asked ca. 30 Gurdwaras in German-speaking countries for help concdernig SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ. All but one Gurdwara remained silent. And the one who contacted me only insulted me in the worst way possible. Because I am a woman and, even worse, because I am a German.

All of this is not easy for me, but for the sake of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ and for the sake of Sikhism, I am enduring it.

If the situation wasn’t like this, I gladly would have inspected the copies of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ and I would have been available as intermediator for the lawyer and the court.

The fate of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ in Germany rests now in your hands.

Regards

Elisabeth Meru

Distribution list:

Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar, E.G.P.S., Secretary, Dalmegh Singh

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr. Gursharan Jit Singh

Elisabeth Meru’s Letter To the Singh Brothers, Sri Amritsar Sahib, dated 20.06.09

Elisabeth Meru

München – Deutschland

emeru@t-online.de

SINGH BROTHERS
Bazar Mai Sewan, Near Golden Temple,

Amritsar-143 006
S.C.O. 223-24,City Center, Amritsar-143 001
Panjāb – India

Munich, 20.06.09

Translation of SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ from English to German

from Nationalbibliothek, Frankfurt am Main

SAT SRĪ AKĀL dear Sirs,

my English is very baf but I try so good as I can.

At first I introduce myself: I´m a German woman, a Sikh and also a writer. For three years ago I had written with 8 Sikhs in Munich the book “Sikhs und Sikhismus, Religion, Riten und der Goldene Tempel”. And now you can see at the flyer that I had wrote a new book about/for Sikhism.

You are the publisher for SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ translated by Dr Jarnail Singh for the German market. And you don´t understand German hai na?

In march 2009 German visitors of the Munich Gurdwara are telling me that they were given GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ to read. And that they get a schock because it was full of nonsense. So I let the first book of GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ come from the Nationalbibliothek, Frankfurt am Main, and get also a schock.

The forerunner always has the most difficult work to do, and Dr. Jarnail Singh has done excellent pioneering and foundational work with a great amount of love. But –

what in the world made him employ the two incompetent translaters? And so I´m sure that Dr Jarnail Singh don´t understand German language and he had trust the two German woman. Jutta Ohlmann and Christa Zeller Thomas. One does not need to be able to do translation work, but one does need to know that he or she cannot do this work – that is what I reproach the two translators with. Even more: Where did the two woman learned their German? It is the level of very very uneducated people.

But let me explain one thing after the other:

The preface by Professor Joseph T. O`Connell is horrible. He should know that German neither write nor speak German like that.

I glad to see young Sikhs and those interested in Sikhism being given the chance to gain access to the SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ, but I cannot imagine the price of 280,00 Euro (by www.amazon.de the price is 390,00 Euro – sometimes is that an other and better translation?) being conductive to that end.

And for the universities who could pay that exorbitant price, the translation is woefully inadequate, as one knows its subject, but

1. one cannot quote from it, because much of it is nonsense
2. there is not a trace of diacritic markings
3. the Sikh terminology has been Christianized: LORD, GOD
4. what happened to SATGURŪ JĪ. To PRABŪ or IŚVĀR? To HARĪ or

HARKĀNĀM? With this Christianization of the Sikh terminology any

dialogue with Sikhs having access to the soucres is bound to fall. Or one

has to read two texts at two levels: The small children are given one inauthentic text to read, the older children are given the authentic text.

Dr Jarnail Singh

has entrusted the translation to two totally incompetent translatros who

donot have the slightest idea of Indology and are therefore unable to take the Gurmukhī and the Hindī into account, and who know nothing whatever about Skhism.

Dr Jarnail Singh has failed to check and proofread the translators´work, had be done so, he would have found that they

treat the Gurūs without respect in writing, e.g.,

“Nānak”, Rām Dās”, “Hargobind” as if they were the boys next door,

instead of Gurū Nānak Dev Jī, Gurū Rām Dās and so on.

The Gurū… without a name would be appropriate.

write “Herr”, which is “Mister” in German, instead of the appropriate

“HERR”, which is “LORD” in German. So it means Herr Miller – Mister Miller, but the LORD isn´t Herr Miller = Mister Miller isn´t he?

write “du” (you) instead the correct capitalized “DU”. You can´t write it so in German.

keep writing “God” instead of the capitalized GOD.

fail to capitalize “he”, “his” and so on when referring to GOD.

do include the word Bhagat.

insert modern words like “piety”, “interest”, “continuity”, “frustrated”, “employee”, “information”, flatulence” (nobody in Germany know the last word) into an old work.

use the word “angel”.

use the phrases “apostolic seat” and “Nānak preached the Gospel” – this is pure Christianity.

All this is imposible in a translation for German readers.

SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ should be taken off the German market as this translation shows Sikhs ridiculing Sikhism. I will phrases it strongly: If you suffer from depression, you will become well reading the SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ because you must to much laughing. If you do not suffer from depression, you will after reading the translation because you must so much weeping.

I think the translation is from English to German. That is not rigth. If SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ is to be translated into German, it needs to be a translation from the original soucres and using the help of Indologists and Linguists – we German are used to reading very carefully. This is a work for two or four years and for this it need a lot of money.

Dear Sirs –please you will phone to the Gurdwara Munich that they never given SRĪ GURŪ GRANTH SĀHIB JĪ for reading? The head of the Gurdwara is Tarsem Singh. The number mus´t be 0049 / 89 / 324 40 04. I can´t do it by myself because I had since 05-07 stay away order from the Gurdwara. Tarsem Singh hunting me during the part because I don´t want to by politically instrumentalized by man and his fellows. Shaayad he wants to tell you the whole story.

But you can also ask Roop Singh, Personal Secretary from the SGPC in Amritsar about me.

Sādar namaskar

Elisabeth Meru

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