The Sikh Religion - Its Gurus Sacred Writings and Authors
Max Arthur MaCauliffe
First Printed in 1909, this is published by S. Chand & Company in 1985. This is the complete, six volume set printed in three books - over 1500 pages. Hardcover USED books with dings, tears to cover jacket, and the third volume is in rough shape with water damage. Size: 9" x 6"
In 1909, after 16 years of dedicated work, Max Arthur Macauliffe completed his monumental work on Sikhism – The Sikh Religion – Its Gurus, Sacred Writings, and Authors. 1500 pages in six books, this work is considered to be the most comprehensive work on the early Sikh tradition in any language. The fact that it is in English is an incredibly fortunate boon for those of us today in the western countries. What makes Macauliffe’s work even more valuable is that he relied mainly on authentic and original sources including the Suraj Parkash Granth, Gur Bilas, Gur Sobha, Sri Guru Panth Prakash, Varan Bhai Gurdas, and more. Macauliffe respected and consulted the oral tradition of the Nihungs, interviewing the most revered and respected saints of his time. The majority of the information in his work comes from this respected source.
Max Arthur Macauliffe entered the Indian Civil Service in 1862, and arrived in the Punjab in February 1864. He was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Punjab in 1882, and a Divisional Judge in 1884. He resigned under pressure from the Indian Civil Service in 1893 because of his own conversion to Sikhism.
Macauliffe converted Sikhism in the 1860s, making him one of the first “western” Sikhs. Because of this, he was derided by his British employers for having "turned a Sikh”, and his book The Sikh Religion was denied publication for nearly 15 years as a result. It was finally published by the Sikh community ourselves in 1909 and it did not achieve recognition in England under the 1950s. Max Macauliffe died in 1913, brokenhearted that the beautiful and elegant Sikh philosophy was disregarded by his own countrymen. However, he found love and acceptance in the Sikh sangat, and his personal assistant remarked in his memoirs that on his deathbed, Macauliffe could be heard reciting the Japji Sahib, ten minutes before he died.
If you only own one book on Sikhism, the six volumes of The Sikh Religion has to be it. Although the writing style is now archaic and out of date, if you let these stories into your world, you can really understand the challenges, sacrifice, and triumphs of being a Sikh. For me, it is an unbelievable gift that this is written in English, and is the book I turn to again and again.