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Sikhs of the Khalsa: A History of the Khalsa Rahit

W.H. McLeod (Author)
Synopsis The Rahit is the code of belief and conduct laid down by the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, for all Sikhs who join the Khalsa. In this important new volume, W.H. McLeod examines how the Rahit came into being, how it developed in response to the current historical circumstances, and why it still retains an unchallenged hold over all who regard themselves as Khalsa Sikhs. The common view amongst Sikhs is that the Rahit has descended unchanged since its first promulgation. McLeod argues that the Rahit evolved according to the conditions of the time, producing significantly different patterns as the circumstances of the Sikh Panth changed. The book traces the development of the Rahit through the last three centuries and shows how the modern Rahit, in some respects, is different from the original one. It also provides an insightful discussion on the nature of the Khalsa Rahit and the fundamental criteria by which one could be identified as a Sikh. McLeod’s meticulous and masterful analysis is supplemented by selected translations of original Punjabi rahit-namas in the second part of this volume. This study, the first of its kind, is a result of the author’s lifetime’s work in the field. It will be of great interest to scholars and students of religious studies especially Sikhism, Indian history and sociology, as also general readers and practising Sikhs.
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About the author

W.H. McLeod

William Hewat Mcleod, Professor of History at the University of Otago, New Zealand, has interests in Sikh history, textual studies and Sikhs overseas. His major works in Sikh studies are Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion (Clarendon Press, 1968), The Evolution of the Sikh Community (Clarendon Press, 1976) and Early Sikh Tradition: A Study of the Janam-sakhis (Clarendon Press, 1980). He has also published a volume of translations entitled Textual Sources for the Study of Sikhism (Manchester University Press, 1984).

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Bibliographic information

Title Sikhs of the Khalsa: A History of the Khalsa Rahit
Author W.H. McLeod
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195659163
length xvi+482p., Glossary; Appendix; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.