Book review by Bhajneek Kaur
This 53 page publication by Kamalpreet Singh Ji Pardeshi Nirmala contains a translation of selected excerpts from Sri Sarbloh Granth Sahib Ji. Sri Sarbloh Granth Sahib Ji was written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji themselves at Sri Sarbloh Bunga at Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib. Loh Parkash, was composed in 1925 by the head granthi of Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib Sri Man Akali Hajura Singh Nihung using selected passages from Sri Sarbloh Granth Sahib Ji. Kamalpreet Singh Ji Pardeshi has translated this text into English for the benefit of a wider audience.
The book begins with an engaging Foreword which describes the history and context of Loh Parkash. The importance of reading such texts is emphasised, given many mainstream Sikhs have attempted to distance themselves from the writings of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is only by reading that ignorance is shattered and illumination occurs.
The main part of the book then commences with the translation of Loh Parkash. Each Gurmukhi line is followed by the Punjabi translation by Sri Man Akali Hajura Singh Nihung. The English translation follows thereafter so that the reader can appreciate the original text as well as the English version. Wherever there are small edits, Kamalpreet Singh Ji Pardeshi takes note and helpfully explains the rationale for such edits to the reader in his footnotes. The footnotes also provide sources for further information if the reader is interested in exploring the concepts discussed in more detail. The English translations are succinct but with enough depth to prevent doubt within the reader’s mind as to the Guru’s meaning.
Among the many topics covered by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in Loh Parkash, the true nature of the Khalsa takes prominence. Of specific note, the distinction between the the Khalsa and the relationship of these elevated beings to other the other Sampardas within Sikhi is fully explored in the words of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji themselves. As such, this text is a direct message to and explanation for the Sikhs of today, who can struggle to comprehend the need for such distinctions.
A detailed description is included regarding the status of the Khalsa in relation to the 11 Gurus. The text describes the qualities and attributes of the ten Gurus and goes on to describe their relationship with the Khalsa. In fact Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji is specific that the Khalsa in their true form is essentially the 12th form of the Guru. The qualities and attributes of the Khalsa are listed and similarly a description of 10 positive and negative qualities indicate the attributes which should be adopted and discarded by the Khalsa. Types of attachment and pride are described. Again, here the reader glimpses the orders of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji from their true source rather than through hearsay.
Furthermore the Guru discusses the concept and meaning of the mantar Vaheguru, alongwith its origins and history. Included is a description of why the mantar is pure, why one should have faith in it, how it came to be manifest and over what period of time this took place.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji describes to us the path as to how to control the mind and merge with the Divine. In Loh Parkash Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji follows on by painting a picture of the reality of the Khalsa in words and poetry, illuminating to the reader the true nature of this elevated order. The translations by Kamalpreet Singh Ji Pardeshi allow English readers to get a glimpse of this divine wisdom. The footnotes and explanations provided maintain the reader’s connection to the author and translator, and one cannot help but experience a sense of affection for the author as he explains certain items in the footnotes. Kamalpreet Singh Ji Pardeshi’s translation of Loh Parkash will be regarded as one of the most significant publications within this generation, and will open the minds of Sikhs today as to the fundamental qualities and attributes of the Guru’s beloved Khalsa.
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