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Sects Working Bibliography Of Serious Scholarship On Sects Within Sikhism


1947-2014 (Archived)
Randip ji

You began this sub-forum asking posters to provide serious scholarship on the subject of sects, cults and groups within Sikhism.

Given the requirement of serious scholarship, the task becomes quite difficult, if seeking this information on the world wide web.

Here are some immediately evident difficulties:

1. The study of Sikh identity has occupied the talents of a broad spectrum of scholars, both Sikh and non-Sikh; however those scholars writing in the tradition of Hugh McLeod outnumber those from other traditions. I am thinking of scholars who write about Sikh Identity.

2. Other traditions of scholarship on the subject are more often writing in journals that make them less accessible, and copies of their works demand fees.

3. There are sites for many sects that do not qualify as scholarship but rather as informational and public relations websites, promoting the aims and goals of the sect, group, etc.

3. Other kinds of resources include ongoing conversations in Internet forums by individuals who more often that not do not qualify as scholars.

So my mood has been gloomy. But I have been noticing more and more information. I want to start posting some of these resources, but as you know from today's email conversations, sometimes all that will be possible is a bibliography of scholarly writings. Sometimes these postings will be links to Google books, where by the way, there is a large and growing collection of electronic/digital versions of scholarly work.

The postings will be dry and interesting perhaps only to those with a strong geek streak.


1947-2014 (Archived)
So here is the first entry in what is going to be the trudgingly slow and very dry results of my bibliographic research.

Bakshi, S.R. and Lipi Mahajan, Eds. Religious sects in India. Vol .4 of the Encyclopaedic
history of Indian culture and religion. New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications, 2000.

Barstow, A.E. Sikh sects and the sub division of Jat Sikhs. In his Sikhs: An ethnology. New

Delhi: Low Price Publications, 1993.
Puran Singh. Sikh sects in the eyes of late Prof. Puran Singh. Sikh Review, 50(12), Dec 2002, 54–56.

Samra, Mandeep Kaur. Evolution of the Nihang sect of the Sikhs. Punjab History Conference Proceedings, 26th session, 1994, 159–63.

Sulakhan Singh. Heterodoxy in Sikhism: An exposition of some sectarian development
(Nirmalas, Udasis, Namdharis, Nirankaris and Radha Swamis) and their impact on mainstream Sikhism—A critical analysis. Paper presented at the ‘International Conference on Sikh Studies’ (Surrey, BC, Canada), May 2000.
Sulakhan Singh. Heterodoxy in the Sikh tradition. Jalandhar: ABS Publications, 1999. 212p.

Teja Singh. Are there sects in Sikhism? Amritsar: Sikh Tract Society, n.d. 24p.

Teja Singh. Are there sects in Sikhism? Panjab Past and Present, 12(1), 1978, 130–41.

Some of the references may be free and all one may need to do is write to the authors. The list comes from a book, in fact is the first section of the bibliography of a book entitled, Sikh Sects, published by the International Bibliography of Sikh at Springer. The entire book can be purchased in pdf format for 25.00 US, at this link:

SpringerLink - Book Chapter


1947-2014 (Archived)
A portion of the bibliography on Namdhari Sikhs from the same publication mentioned above,

18.1. Namdhari Sikhs (Kukas)

Ahluwalia, M.L. Baba Ram Singh (1816–1885). In Harbans Singh, Ed. Encyclopaedia of
Sikhism. Patiala: Punjabi University, 1997. Vol. 3: 365–67.

Ahluwalia, M.L. Gurcharan Singh (a Kuka leader). In Harbans Singh, Ed. Encyclopaedia of Sikhism. Patiala: Punjabi University, 1996. Vol. 2: 137–38.

Ahluwalia, M.L. Kukas: The freedom fighters of Punjab. Bombay: Allied Publishers, 1965.

Amarjit Singh. Maharaj Ram Singh: The harbinger of social and political awakening. Sikh
Review, 40(2), Feb 1992, 24–28.

Anajana, Tara Singh. Shahid Baba Lahina Singh (Biography of Lahina Singh, 1838–1871,
religious leader of the Namdhari sect in Sikhism). New Delhi: Satiguru Paratap Singh Awatar Shatabadi Kameti, 1992. 82p.

Arora, A.C. The Kukas, Patiala Maharaja and the British. Punjab History Conference Proceedings, 20th session, 1986, 238–44.

Bajwa, G.S. The new Namdhari sect at Naushehra Majha Singh. In John C.B. Webster, Ed. Popular religion in the Punjab today. Delhi: ISPCK, 1974.

Balbir Singh. Impact of the Namdhari movement. Panjab Past and Present, 13(1), Apr 1979, 188–92.

Bali, Yogendra and Kalika Bali. The warriors in white: Glimpses of Kooka history. New Delhi: Har Anand, 1995. 191p.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Following up on this, I will be posting references from Google Books. As I said, a slow process.

Here is the link to a Google book for the International Bibliography of Sikh Studies

International bibliography of Sikh ... - Google Books

and the following link takes you to a bibliography of scholarly works on Sants and Bhagats (for example Bhai Nanad Lal or Sant Avtar Singh. You have to plug away, because some of the references are available in pdf format or as articles in journals that have gone online.

International bibliography of Sikh ... - Google Books


1947-2014 (Archived)
I found this to be a very good book, a kind of roadmap. The main link to this Google book is Sikh identity: an exploration of ... - Google Books

These are the contents:

  • Who is a Sikh? Historical Perspe...
  • Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha
  • Namdharis
  • Ravidasis
  • Valmlkis
  • Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemis...
  • Conclusion
  • Illustrations and literature fro...
More to come from my pdf collection and Google books.

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