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Concise Encyclopaedia of Sikhism - Book By Harbans Singh


The Encyclopaedia of Sikhism till this day stands out as one of the prestigious publications of this University. The idea for the compilation of this Encyclopaedia was conceived and kick-started by Professor Kirpal Singh Narang, one of my predecessor Vice-Chancellors. Prior to this, the absence of any such authentic work in English was deeply felt by students as well as scholars working in the field of Religious/Sikh Studies. It is heartening that ever since its publication, the Encyclopaedia has been very well received in the world oflearning and has gone a long way in the dissemination of reliable information on Sikhism.

The University decided to bring out in a single volume a concise version of the four­volume Encyclopaedia to make it handy for use by those who solicit quick and precise information on Sikhism. Professor Dharam Singh had a long association with Encyclopaedia project. He had grasped the understanding of Encyclopaedic technique, having worked with the late Professor Harbans Singh, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopaedia. I am glad that he has acquitted himself creditably by having accomplished the job well before his retirement. I also appreciate that post-retirement he looked through the proofs twice and facilitated publication.

I am confident that this endeavour of the Punjabi University will be well received by scholars.


Punjabi University                                                                             Dr. Jaspal Singh 

Patiala                                                                                                 Vice-Chancellor





The idea for the preparation of a concise version of the Encyclopaedia of Sikhism was originally conceived by Professor Prithipal Singh Kapur after he joined as Editor-in-Chief in the newly-created Department of Encyclopaedia of Sikhism in 1998. After the approval of the project by appropriate authorities of the University, the undersigned, then a Reader in the Department, was asked to work on it under the overall supervision of Professor Kapur. Somehow the project did not make much headway during his short tenure. However, after Sardar Swam' Singh Boparai took over as Vice-Chancellor, he evinced interest in this project and, reposing confidence in me, entrusted me the task of preparing a single-volume concise version of the Encyclopaedia.

As originally planned, I was expected to abridge the information in the given entries keeping all the required information and facts in tact and also without losing the grace and grandeur of the original diction and the idiom. The job which apparently seemed quite simple proved to be quite arduous and demanding when it came to encompassing the entire range of information and facts stated originally in a very terse and tight writing while still retaining the fund of formation and intelligibility required of an Encyclopaedia. The entire exercise required a clear understanding of the subject matter and restating it in tight writing while keeping it close to the original.

I have worked on it diligently with all earnestness to retain the best of the original. I place on record my best thanks to Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor, for his interest and encouragement. He very kindly desired its publication with the best possible get-up. I am thankful to Professor Gurpreet Singh Lehal of the Department of Computer Sciences who helped us in devising the diacritical signs used in the text. I must also thank Mr. Gurpreet Singh and Ms Baljit Kaur who ungrudgingly typed out the draft, working hard on the job of putting diacritical signs.


Professor & Head (Retd.)                                                                                          Dharam Singh

Department of Encyclopaedia of Sikhism

Punjabi University, Patiala

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