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Title: Prem Sumarag: The Testimony of a Sanatan Sikh
Author: McLeod, W H
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2006
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780195671520
Volumes: 1; Pages: 138
List Price in Cloth: $24.95 Our price: $19.99
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This translation of Randhir Singh's text of the Prem Sumarag (or Param Sumarag) deals with the history of the Khalsa Rahit. The importance of the Prem Sumarag lies in the fact that it is a Sanatan product, part of a tradition which has been over time overshadowed by the more dominant Tat Khalsa version of the Rahit. This text provides an extended Sanatan account of Sikh ceremonies and the Sikh way of life. It gives us a detailed account of Sikh ideals and what was conceived to be noble practice by the anonymous persons who wrote it. The style of the Prem Sumarag differs dramatically from that of other rahit-namas. There has long been a dispute about the dating of the Prem Sumarag. While some say that it was composed in the eighteenth century, others maintain that it was a nineteenth-century work. Two features stand out in this important text: one is the belief in the gods of the Hindu tradition, and the other is the apocalyptic setting. In this important work, Hew McLeod provides an insightful look at this classic text that presents an accurate ideal of the Panth during the opening decades of the nineteenth century.