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Literature Has Anyone Read: "The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings And Authors"

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Literature Has Anyone Read: "The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings And Authors"

RD1

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Sep 26, 2016
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Today I was in a Chapters (large book store). I was actually quite surprised that in the huge section on religion, with hundreds and hundreds of book, there was only one book currently in stock about Sikhism. I was not expecting to find tonnes of literature on Sikhism, but just 1 book? Wow.

Anyways, I am currently reading "The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors" by Max Arthur Macauliffe. It was published back in 1909, where the author, along with other Sikh scholars at the time, spent over 20 years writing the 6 volume set! The Guru Granth Sahib has been translated, and a biography of each Guru is written. It is fascinating. Apparently, it is supposed to be one of the most accurate works on the Gurus' lives...Has anyone else read this?
 

Original

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Today I was in a Chapters (large book store). I was actually quite surprised that in the huge section on religion, with hundreds and hundreds of book, there was only one book currently in stock about Sikhism. I was not expecting to find tonnes of literature on Sikhism, but just 1 book? Wow.

Anyways, I am currently reading "The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors" by Max Arthur Macauliffe. It was published back in 1909, where the author, along with other Sikh scholars at the time, spent over 20 years writing the 6 volume set! The Guru Granth Sahib has been translated, and a biography of each Guru is written. It is fascinating. Apparently, it is supposed to be one of the most accurate works on the Gurus' lives...Has anyone else read this?
Good morning RD1,

I must confess, I have in possession the said volumes and skim read in part the juicy bits. That too, if task at hand would deem it necessary, but otherwise, seldom do I read for leisure or as an informative historical account to further knowledge. I treat it as an overview, insofar, reconstructing the human past. Bearing in mind of course that compression and selection are the historians [MAM] prerogative that are not always self-evident, in that, remote centuries may be ignored on account 'current affairs has a decided priority'. That is not to say, MAM hasn't done justice to Sikh History, he has to the best of his ability, but there is much more. The fact that he rounded-up a good number of scholars, prominent personalities at the time and in general, himself an over enthusiastic who had fallen in love with Sikhi deserves credit, regardless.

History as an academic discipline has a subjective element compounded by theoretical reasoning, emotional framework therefore is indispensable for correct reconstruction. Who'd be more befitting to tell it as it really was, he who is alien to culture and society of an era under construction or he/she who is an inhabitant of the culture and society to be reconstructed ? Your call, enjoy the read !

Sikh writers such as bhai Vir Singh and Santokh Singh might snatch your fancy for a near-perfect account of the "Singh that was, is and will be the King" in this so called social society. They spike it up as it really was and is - a nation of soldier-saints, God fearing social species.

Good day !
 
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RD1

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Sep 26, 2016
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That is a good point. I agree, someone who is alien to a culture/society, will not be able to grasp certain things and ideologies about it. In this case, since the author did consult with other Sikh scholars from the culture, and did invest 20 years into creating the work, it is hoped that things have been depicted in an accurate cultural frame. Thank you for providing the names of the other two Sikh writers, who certainly will be able to provide a rendition that is more in-tune with the culture and society at the time!
 
By the way, do you know if the works of bhai Vir Singh, and Santokh Singh were written in english, or have been translated into english? Thanks.
 

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By the way, do you know if the works of bhai Vir Singh, and Santokh Singh were written in english, or have been translated into english? Thanks.
...I've only read Gurmukhi versions, English translations might be tricky ! Let me find out. Personally speaking, it's Bhai Gurdas Ji's vars that does more justice in terms of authenticity and clarity of subject matter. His account is non-biographical insofar the lives of the gurus' are concerned, but more their teachings to bring out the doctrinal Sikhi in a historical setting. Saying that, who needs historical perspectives when the nucleus around which everything subsequently pans out is still present, meaning, SGGSJ ? As a literary source, it is generally regarded as the Heritage of Sikhi.

Speak soon - good day !
 
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