DERBY, UK—The World Sikh Parliament alongside Khalsa Foundation, British Organisation of Sikh Students (BOSS) and United Sikhs amongst other Sikh organisations launched a new book on the Sikh Rehat Maryada that has been written by UK-born Bhai Manvir Singh. This book is the first book of its kind written by a Western-born Sikh that explores and expands upon the official Sikh Code of Conduct document in English that was originally published in 1936.
Bhai Manpreet Singh, General Secretary of the World Sikh Parliament, said: “This book by Bhai Manvir Singh is a thoughtful and research-based text, a progressive Sikh Rehat Maryada guidebook designed to help Sikh generations understand and the follow the key tenets of Sikh way of life, citing historical evidence and findings.
“It’s a must-read for all practicing Sikhs and those aspiring to walk the Sikhi path.”
Talking about the objective and purpose of the book, Bhai Manpreet Singh added: “Sikh Rehat Maryada was written by the Sikh scholars to propagate oneness and unity within the Panth and this book is a manifestation of the same spirit of unanimity.”
The Sikh Rehat Maryada document has been observed and used as an official reference point for over 80 years by Sri Akal Takht Sahib and Panthik institutions. The 388-page hardcover book, called ‘The Sikh Rehat Maryada: History, Guiding Principals, and a Contextual Translation’ not only provides a fresh modern contextual translation of the original Sikh Rehat Maryada document, but also includes subsequent editions over time.
Birmingham City University PhD student, Jaspreet Singh, from British Organisation of Sikh Students (BOSS) said: “I really enjoyed reading the book. The evidences and the notes given in the book were great. I really enjoyed reading chapters ‘Janam te Naam Sanskaar’ and ‘Anand Sanskaar’ from Shakshi Rehni, perhaps because of my age.
“Before reading I use to believe the thing which I use to listen from other people but now after reading this book I feel really happy and well prepared, which means I can research the evidence which is given in the book by myself and share them with the sangat around myself too.
“Being a researcher myself I will use a of material which is provided in this book for my own written work in the future.”
The book launch was attended and supported by Khalsa Foundation, British Organisation of Sikh Students (BOSS), United Sikhs, Akaal Channel, Singh Sabha Gurdwara Derby, National Sikh Museum and Sikh academic, Dr Gurnam Singh of Coventry University.
The book is the result of over a decade of research by author Bhai Manvir Singh. When Sikh24.com spoke with him, he said: “I start by thanking The True Guru, Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, for blessing me with this Seva, without Guru Ji’s Kirpa this would not have been possible.
“I thank everyone for their encouragement throughout the years, helping me during the research and with the understanding of how certain Maryada’s came to be formed, which I have shared with the Sangat within the book.
“I would like to also thank Khalsa Foundation and Namastwang Publishers for supporting this project.”
Asked by Sikh24.com about the importance of the book and why he felt the need to write it, Bhai Manvir Singh, said: “I have always been interested in the Sikh Rehat; what governs Sikhs; what are the do’s and don’ts. I wanted to know more about how the Panth came together to develop such a unique and historical document. As someone who is born and brought up in the UK, when I was reading some of the translations, I saw they all used Old English which was difficult to understand and didn’t translate well enough to truly capture what was being said in the Punjabi version of the Sikh Rehat Maryada.
“For me it is important that everyone has the opportunity to better understand the Sikh Rehat Maryada, as this is the base from which any Sikh should be starting from, and therefore the need for the translations to be more up-to-date made sense.
“Hopefully that is captured in the book and the Sangat, especially generations growing up outside of India, are able to gain a better understanding of what is contained within this historic and fundamental document.”
Asked what were the future plans for the book, he said: “The next step is to get the book published in Punjabi. The Punjabi version of the book is currently being prepared and we are looking to launch it in the new year, as well as a second edition of the original book later in the new year.”
This book is published by Namastwang Publishers and is available to order on in the UK currently via KhalsaShop.com.