"History of Sikh Gurus Retold" by Surjit Singh Gandhi: Review

Complete Collection of Hardback Volumes 1 and 2

Scholars of Sikh history won't want to be without this must have reference book History of Sikh Gurus Retold by Surjit Singh Gandhi in two hardback volumes. This historic perspective retold in the English language offers insights into the history of Sikhism, and biographies of the ten gurus. Each chapter is fully referenced citing multiple modern and ancient sources of Punjabi and Persian origin, many of which include translated quotations. References also include English interpretations of passages from Gurbani. Dates given include Eastern Indian Calendar (Bk / Bikram Samvant) and Common Era Western calendar (C.E.)

History of Sikh Gurus Retold Volumes 1 and 2 are authored by Surjit Singh Gandhi, published by Atlantic Publishers & Distributors and printed at Nice Printing Press of Delhi, India. Copyright 2007.

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"History of Sikh Gurus Retold" Volume 1

History of Sikh Gurus Retold Volume 1
"History of Sikh Gurus Retold" by Surjit Singh Gandhi Volume 1. Photo © [S Khalsa]

History of Sikh Gurus Retold Volume 1 by Surjit Singh Gandhi covers the time period between 1469 to 1606 C.E..

  • Preface = 12 pages
  • Acknowledgements = 1 page
  • Table of Contents (volumes 1 and 2) = 3 pages
  • Illustrations = 3 glossy pages
  • Chapters one through six with five appendices = pages 1 - 470

Chapters:

  • Chapter 1 Perspective offers a comparative perspective of 15th century Muslim and Hindu societies which includes descriptions of various ethnic and religious elements.
  • Chapter 2 Guru Nanak Dev offers an overview including the childhood and ministry of First Guru Nanak. This biography of Guru Nanak's mission tours examines elements of the emerging Sikh faith as compared to contemporary religious beliefs prevalent in the 15th century.
  • Chapter 3 Guru Angad Dev biography of second guru includes contributions to developments of the Budding Sikh faith.
  • Chapter 4 Guru Amar Das biography of third guru and contributions, includes mission tours, challenges to succession, and establishments of protocol.
  • Chapter 5 Guru Ram Das brief biography of fourth guru includes contributions to scripture and establishment of Masands.
  • Chapter 6 Guru Arjan Dev biography includes contributions to scripture and architecture, as well as factors of the fifth guru's martyrdom.

Appendices:

  1. Date of Birth Guru Nanak discusses discrepancies of dating.
  2. Guru Amar Das's Mother's Name discusses discrepancies of more than a dozen variations and pronunciations.
  3. Date of Birth of Guru Amar Das discusses discrepancies comparing references from five major sources and various dissertations.
  4. Twenty Two Manjis includes biographies of 22 missionaries of the Sikh faith appointed by Guru Amara Das.
  5. Baba Mohan's Birth and Death Dates discusses obscurities in dating of birth and bid to claim the Guru's throne. Quotes suppositions of various authors and supportive scripture. 

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"History of Sikh Gurus Retold" Volume 2

History of Sikh Gurus Retold Volume 2
"History of Sikh Gurus Retold" by Surjit Singh Gandhi Volume 2. Photo © [S Khalsa]

History of Sikh Gurus Retold Volume 2 by Surjit Singh Gandhi covers the time period between 1601 to 1708 C.E..

  • Preface = 5 pages
  • Contents (volumes 1 and 2) = 3 pages
  • Illustrations - 5 glossy pages
  • Chapters seven through 22 with six appendices = pages 471 - 1170 (700 pages)

 Chapters:

  • Chapter 7 Guru Hargobind  biography and contributions of sixth guru.
  • Chapter 8 Guru Har Rai brief biography and contributions of seventh guru.
  • Chapter 9 Guru Harkrishan brief biography and contributions of eighth guru.
  • Chapter 10 Guru Tegh Bahadur biography of ninth guru,
  • Chapter 11 Guru Gobind Singh biography of tenth guru's early life.
  • Chapter 12 Manifestation of Khalsa establishment of Sikh warriors society.
  • Chapter 13 Khalsa Battles Against Islamic Imperialism and Hindu Conversion, historic Sikh struggle against tyranny and oppression.
  • Chapter 14 Damdama Period establishment  of Sikh scholars, scribes, preachers and teachers.
  • Chapter 15 Through Rajasthan, Agra to Nander includes mission tours of tenth guru.
  • Chapter 16 Guru Granth Sahib, the Eternal Guru brief biography and significance of scripture in Sikhism.
  • Chapter 17 Sikh Religious Orders various divisions and denominations relating to Sikhism and Sikh society.
  • Chapter 18 Important Sikh Structures includes important tenets of Sikh faith.
  • Chapter 19 Sikh Polity addresses the governing structure of  the sovereign Sikh nation.
  • Chapter 20 Sikh Social Ethics includes important life events, rites, and rituals.
  • Chapter 21 Some Eminent Sikhs of the Guru includes brief biographies of Baba Buddha, Bhai Mardana, Bhai Gurdas, Bidhi Chand, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Nand Lal, Mai Bhag Kau, Bhai Jaita, and Makhan Shah.
  • Chapter 22 Muslim Devotes of the Gurus includes brief biographies of Pir Budhu Shah, Mia Mir Hazrat, and Saifud-din Mahmud.

Appendices:

  1. Important Places Visited by Guru Hargobind Sahib
  2. Martyrs of Chamkaur Sahib.
  3. Poets, Writers, and Men of Parts of the Darbar of Guru Gobind Singh
  4. Sermon Given by Guru Gobind Singh of the Bhaisakhi of 1699 includes original Persian, Punjabi script and English translation.
  5. Places Visited by Guru Tegh Bahadur
  6. Sikhs of the Guru as Recorded by Bhai Gurdas excerpts of pauris 13 through 31 translated into English.

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