The unifying theme in the life of Guru Gobind Singh was confrontation with the Mughals, which culminated in a struggle for political power. This fact is brought into sharp focus when we consider the Guru's life and legacy simultaneously in the contexts of the Mughal Empire, its feudatory states in the hills, and the Sikh movement. The creation of the Khalsa in 1699 as a political community with the aspiration to rule made conciliation or compromise with the Mughal state almost impossible. Their long struggle ended eventually in the declaration of Khalsa Raj in 1765.
Using contemporary and near contemporary sources in Gurmukhi, Persian, and English, J.S. Grewal presents a comprehensive study of this era of Sikh history. The volume elaborates on the life and legacy of Guru Gobind Singh and explores the ideological background of the institution of the Khalsa and its larger political context. Grewal, however, emphasizes that the legacy of the Khalsa was also social and cultural.
This authoritative volume on the tenth Guru is a significant addition to the field of Sikh studies.
- 316 pages
- Publication date: February 2020
You can also read my book review of this title here.
They really helpful.
J.S Grewal does an exceptional job at keeping the reader hooked throughout the book as he details the life of the 10th Nanak and the formalization of the Tisar Panth.
Not only does the author provide the reader with different variations of the same events sourced from several Sikh and non-Sikh contemporary and near-contemporary sources, he also provides a full list of sources used at the end of each chapter. The author also does not shy away from pointing out where fellow historians are misguided or where they have misinterpreted certain sources while providing ample sources to back his claims. The bibliography is a great tool to have as it contains contemporary and near-contemporary sources organized by their language, while secondary sources are organized based on their format (i.e books, dissertations, etc). The glossary is another great resource as it provides thorough translations for Sikh and Mughal terms used throughout the book.
This book is priceless as it not only provides a detailed account of the life of the 10th Guru and the significance of the Khalsa, but also gives the reader a near endless list of other books and articles that one can read to further their understanding and knowledge of both the 10th Guru and the beginning of a new era in Northern India. This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in learning more about Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the impact that their life had on not just Sikhs, but the entire political landscape of Mughal India.