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Prem Sumarg Granth


Kam1825
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I have heard many people refer to this granth unfortunatly i know nothing about this.

Could someone please enlighten me on;

as to who is the author?

when was it created?

what is it about?

what is its relevance with sikhi?

where can i read it on the net?

most important where can i buy it from?

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  • 4 years later...

I have heard many people refer to this granth unfortunatly i know nothing about this.

Could someone please enlighten me on;

as to who is the author?

when was it created?

what is it about?

what is its relevance with sikhi?

where can i read it on the net?

most important where can i buy it from?

It is yet another Granth attributed to Guru Gobind Singh. No clear date is known. In Satguru Ram Singh's Hukamnamas from Burma it is mentioned that the Prem Sumarag Granth Should be referred to when making any official/political decisions that are not covered by Sri Adi and Dasam Granth Sahib Ji. It is a book of Maryadas in a way. There are certain variations around as well just like all Granths, certain things are conflicting, i.e. Maryada with regards to vegetarianism etc. Amardeep, weren't you reading it some time back?

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McLeods work on this Granth is excellent.

No matter what people think of him, he has been the only person to bring this and many other rehit works to the English speaking world.

It was only because of McLeod that I ever found out this work existed. It truely does give a unique and rare insight into early 19th C Sikhi.

And when one reads the Granth - it becomes clear why Neo-modernist-revisionist Sikhs have never brought it to the public eye.

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Just digressing a bit and concentrating on McLeod.

If it wasn't for him most of the early hukamname, rehit namas, and guru-signed documents, granths etc that were kept at the Sikh Library, Amritsar would have been lost for good. He was the only one who had the foresight to go and make copies of these treasures circa 1970/80.

Says a lot about Sikhs preserving their own history.

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Mcleod’s whole point of writing books is to paint Sikhi as part of Hinduism instead of a separate religion. In his books he always ignores the vast amount of evidence from Gurbani and Vaars which advocate Gurmat as a separate Panth. He suggests that Guru Sahib was influenced by Bhagti movement or Sufism. Prem Sumarag had been published before Mcleod even heard about it. I suggest reading the text yourself rather than relying on Mcleod’s translation. His argument that Bhai Kahan Singh and Teja Singh are wrong about the date of this text because they were Tat Khalsa is simply irrational. Bhai Randhir Singh was also Tat Khalsa yet he dated it in late 18th century. Prem Sumarag does have many Hindu practices which cannot be justified from Gurbani and Vaars. It cannot be held as 100% correct. Mcleod has been refuted many times and instead of giving sound reasoning he defends himself by saying “my approach is different”. One who questions authenticity of Guru Granth Sahib and calls Gurbani a “revised/edited” work of Goindval Pothis cannot be trusted as a scholar of Sikh studies.

http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Ernest_Trumpp.pdf

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Mcleod’s whole point of writing books is to paint Sikhi as part of Hinduism instead of a separate religion. In his books he always ignores the vast amount of evidence from Gurbani and Vaars which advocate Gurmat as a separate Panth. He suggests that Guru Sahib was influenced by Bhagti movement or Sufism. Prem Sumarag had been published before Mcleod even heard about it. I suggest reading the text yourself rather than relying on Mcleod’s translation. His argument that Bhai Kahan Singh and Teja Singh are wrong about the date of this text because they were Tat Khalsa is simply irrational. Bhai Randhir Singh was also Tat Khalsa yet he dated it in late 18th century. Prem Sumarag does have many Hindu practices which cannot be justified from Gurbani and Vaars. It cannot be held as 100% correct. Mcleod has been refuted many times and instead of giving sound reasoning he defends himself by saying “my approach is different”. One who questions authenticity of Guru Granth Sahib and calls Gurbani a “revised/edited” work of Goindval Pothis cannot be trusted as a scholar of Sikh studies.

http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Ernest_Trumpp.pdf

I agree with you brother. Unfortunately it seems very fashionable now days for people to just jump on the "we hate anything that isn't puraatan" bandwagon and just dismiss everything that was not written before a certain time period. Mcleod's approach is that of a western academic. I can understand for westerners who have no knowledge of Sikhi to read his books and beleive them, but sad thing is when our own people accept his books as some sort of standard authority on Sikhi.

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You are all getting melodramatic for nothing.

He is entitled to his views and he is not part of RSS or any Christian propoganda machine - his views are simply based on his research and findings, whether you agree with them or not. As has been noted, his efforts to research, translate and preserve are simply excellent - and put the majority of the Panthic 'Sikh' scholars to shame, their is no skipping over that fact. One does not have to agree with his views in order to enjoy his work and learn from his work.

And that he believes the Adi Granth is derived from the Goindval Pothis and Gur Harsahai Pothis before that isn't exactly a new OR non-Sikh academic theory is it? End of the day the man is an atheist, of course he is going to look for the non-divine roots of Gurbani, big deal. He still has utmost respect for Guru Sahiban and recognises them as exceptional and extra-ordinary beings.

Just because we don't understand something, or there are no logical or complete answers for it, we should not right the ideas off.

Why can't we just agree to disagree on points and celebrate the underlying work instead i.e. translatory... I suppose that would encompass a sense of civil behaviour which has obviously been problematic for the many cowards who have sent this now frail old man dying from cancer numerous death threats.

Typical.

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And when one reads the Granth - it becomes clear why Neo-modernist-revisionist Sikhs have never brought it to the public eye.

It isn't just the "neo-moderninst-revisionists" who have a problem with it. Firstly, it has no author, but most importantly, many of the practices described in it are contrary to Gurbani and known puratan rehits and rehni-behni of the Sikhs. Some old Nihang Singhs just dismissed it outright when asked for their thoughts on it.

Anybody could have written it. Imagine Sikhs 200 years from now getting hold of Bahadur's writings or Kala Afgana's rehit maryada........

Also, there are a few different Granths all called "Prem Sumarag".

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I suppose that would encompass a sense of civil behavior which has obviously been problematic for the many cowards who have sent this now frail old man dying from cancer numerous death threats.

If that's true its very sad and unfortunate indeed. Those people who have sent him dead threats should be ashamed of themselves instead of thinking as a amritdhari "mobs" they should refute this person in academia if they have problem with his approach. Even kala afghana types don't deserve this type of treatment and guru maharaj wouldn't have never approved it.

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I wouldn’t call his work a research or findings. Have you seriously not read his books? Do you know how he obtained his so-called PhD? His work is not based on facts but simply conjectures and no serious student of Sikh history can learn anything truth from his nonfactual work. He can call himself a “non believer” or whatever but the fact remains that his hostility towards Sikhism is well known. He worked for Christian Missionary College that is well known to write against Sikhism in vulgar language. He joined the team of Nehru to promote the “national” policies. His books “The Sikhs”, “Evolution of Sikh Community”, “Who is a Sikh” etc were widely criticized by Sikh and non-Sikh scholars and to this day he has not answered back in a reasonable and rational manner. He discredits puratan jamansakhis, rehatnamas and always ignores Gurbani and Vaars. Wherever he referenced Vaars, he mistranslated and twisted facts. For example, he suggests that Guru Amardas Ji changed teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Hargobind Ji introduced Miri-Piri because of Jat influence and overall Sikhism is nothing but a sect of Hinduism and Guru Nanak Sahib Ji was a Hindu reformer greatly influenced by Hindu Bhakti movement. His knowledge of Brij, Punjabi dialects, Persian, Arabic and Hindi/Urdu words used in Gurbani and by Bhagats especially Fareed Ji is less than zero. So how reliable is his work and translation? He is no different than Trumpp. He suggests that Goindval Pothis is an early draft of Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Arjan Dev Ji changed many of the words, lines and Shabads in the final volume to make it better. Simply ridiculous. He is calling Guru Granth Sahib not a dhur-ki-bani but a revised version of the original. This is something no true Sikh would accept.

Prem Sumarag was published by Bhai Randhir Singh before him. Some of Gurbani was translated and published by Dr. Trilochan Singh in 1960. Just because he translated some works doesn’t make him a scholar. His translation is wrong. He knows nothing about Sikhism and his method of studying and researching is simply unethical. His arguments have to be based on authentic Sikh scriptures and historical documents, which he always overlooks and discredits, in order for anyone to say “agree to disagree”. Read the works of Dr. Fauja Singh, Dr. Trilochan Singh, Dr. Amarjit Singh Ball and other scholars that have refuted every conjecture of Mcleod.

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Can someone tell me. The Bhai Randhir who originally edited the version of Prem Sumarag that McLeod translated. Is that the same Bhai Randhir who was the head of the AKJ (who did all the time for his anti British activity) or was it someone else?

Much appreciated.

FTR: I read the translation and found it fascinating. It is the only manual on statecraft/goverence from Sikh quarters I am aware of.

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No it wasn't that Bhai Randhir Singh.

Bijla Singh, you are entitled to believe the opinions of those that vehementaly oppose him. I have communicated with McLeod personally, read his works, read the insulting/accusing refutes and hold a different view to you.

I would ask people to read McLeods works themselves and make up their own mind.

Thanks.

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Thanks for the information Shaheediyan.

Do you know anything about the Bhai Randhir Singh who edited thr original? (anyone?)

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Thanks for the information Shaheediyan.

Do you know anything about the Bhai Randhir Singh who edited thr original? (anyone?)

He was an SGPC historian whose works were probably never read because his punjabi version of prem sumarag granth actually puts ambiguities on which bani's were initially read during amrit sanchar. He uses old rehitnamay as his source. He puts the actual rehit into question. He had said that this was the oldest rehitnama he'd seen and that he had seen one that was dated to 1711. J.S Grewal had agreed with hans that it was from the 1840's etc...but then he reverted back to what Randhir singh had said.

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In what way is it sanatan? When i read it I had a hard time finding places that would freak a singh sabha sikh out. It does'nt promote devti pooja or any hindu festivals. Nothing about ganges, avatars, strict adherence to caste and vedas etc.

I would say the rehitname attributed to bhai nand lal and others are much more dodgy

i have a theory that prem sumarag is the original and first rehitnama book and all others are extracts and summaries of this. I think all rehitnamas have their origin in prem sumarag somehow..

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I would say the rehitname attributed to bhai nand lal and others are much more dodgy

i have a theory that prem sumarag is the original and first rehitnama book and all others are extracts and summaries of this. I think all rehitnamas have their origin in prem sumarag somehow..

My copy has the following on the last page: "sammat 1931" which is 1874. I'm more inclined to believe this date, because of the style of dress mentioned in the granth, the levels of fines etc which indicate a devalued currency in comparison to the early 1700s and a few other factors.

What did you find dodgy in Bhai Nand Lal's rehitnamae?

I think the Rehat that we're given during Amrit Sanchar's is not far off the original. Think about it - there are only minor differences of Rehat across all the Sampardas (Bhai Daya Singh Samparda and Taksal rehat is virtually identical and Nihang rehat is very similar too). Furthermore, it's only been 300 years since 1708, that's not many generations of people, which lends more weight to the argument that rehat was preserved in deras, outside the influence of the rajas etc.

In cases such as ours, where we've had many wars and a tumultuous history, oral sources can be more accurate than written (with respect to documents that were in possession of individuals rather than the panth) also, a large part of Rehit can be found within GUru Sahib, Sri Dasam Granth and Sarbloh Granth, which often contraduct Prem Sumarag etc. Like Sant Jagjit Singh Ji Harkhowal wale say in one of the recordings by N30, many of our written Rehitnamae have been tampered with, so always compare their contents to Gurbani.

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Thing with Prem Sumarag is that is is obviously written by an educated SIkh and parts of it are directed towards high level officials indicating that at least those sections were compiled/written when Sikhs were in a position of relative ascendency.

I too found no blatant "sanatan" flavour to the work other than statement about reading some Hindu religious texts alongside Sikh religious texts.

The section on marriage was very enlightened even for today's standards. There was strange stuff like promoting the keeping of nautch girls by rajay (even if they are justified as testing mechanisms for holy men).

Parts of it date to the very early part of the 1800s, if McLeods statement that he found translated and dated extracts from that time in a British archive, are to be believed. The case may be that sections are old like this and some are more recent (i.e during the hey day of Sikh rule) as writers added bits to clarify emerging areas of concern for the Sikh ruling classes, once they had established themselves.

It is unlike other rehats namas which are generally terse. This one goes over and explains things in more detail.

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