In this episode we sit down with Sikh scholar and historian Jvala Singh to discuss the history of yoga within Sikhi, the topic of his upcoming Yogic Studies course YS 116 | Sikhism and Yoga. Jvala tells Seth how he met his teacher, his work translating tales of the ten Gurus from the 19th century Sūraj Prakāś, the joys of podcasting, and the publication of Jvala's recent book 54 Punjabi Proverbs (2019, Tattva). They also discuss the legacy of Yogi Bhajan within the Sikh community.
Jvala Singh is a lecturer for UC Berkeley at the Institute for South Asia Studies. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of British Columbia, where he is examining pre-colonial Sikh historical narratives. His research explores literature in Punjabi and Brajbhāṣā from the 18th and 19th centuries, building off his previous M.A. research completed at the University of Toronto, where he focused on Sikh Brajbhāṣā versions of Sanskrit epics, such as the Rāmāyaṇa.
In furthering the accessibility of pre-colonial Sikh Brajbhāṣā texts, Singh runs the Suraj Podcast, where each episode is a chapter summary in English of the voluminous Sūraj Prakāś (1843 CE)—a historical narrative covering the lives of the ten Sikh Gurus written by Santokh Singh (1787-1844).