The Sikh religion originated in the late 15th century in the Punjab. Today it is the fifth largest religion in the world with about 25–30 million adherents worldwide. The religion was founded by Guru Nanak Dev (29 November 1469 -22 September 1539) who based it on the concept of a living Guru. Its evolution witnessed a succession of nine more Gurus till the tenth Guru Gobind Singh, before his death on 7 October 1708, decreed that the holy book of the religion, Guru Granth Sahib, would be the perpetual of the faith. Guru Granth Sahib is now the ultimate and eternal Guru of the Sikhs and has been denoted as a living Guru.
The book “The Nanaks: A chronicle of the Sikh Gurus” written by Colonel (Retired) Jaibans Singh traces the foundation and evolution of the Sikh faith through a delineation of the life and experiences of the ten Gurus of the Sikhs.
The lives of all the ten Gurus before they were anointed as the leaders of the Sikh faith, the circumstances which led to their anointing and their major contributions to the development of the faith in their position of Guru have all been dwelt upon in great detail in this remarkable book.
On reading the book one gets to know the major protagonists and leaders of the Sikh faith as well as the trajectory that the faith followed from the time of its spiritual foundation laid by Guru Nanak to the time that it was established as a distinct martial race by the tenth master Guru Gobind Singh.
Written in simple language it delivers the desired message in a succinct yet interesting manner. The narrative flows like a story and it becomes difficult to leave the book once the reading begins. The complexities have been made easier to understand through separate family trees of the Gurus, a dateline of their birth and death and lists of the prominent personalities and places associated with the Gurus.
“The book holds value for all who would want to be introduced to the history and the tenets of the Sikh faith, especially such people who are alienated from their roots and traditions and are more familiar with the English language than the Punjabi language and the Gurmukhi script,” S. Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman National Commission for Minorities.
Since the book touches only the basics of the life and times of the Guru, a detailed study would require more research and application. It can be said that the book tingles the imagination of the reader to gain more knowledge on the subject.
The author Col Jaibans Singh (retired), an Army veteran, strategic analyst , journalist, columnist and author, is a multi-faceted personality with varied experience in fields of defence, corporate management, communication, media and social work.
On retirement he has settled down in his homeland of Punjab and has immersed himself in contributing towards the development of the region through strengthening of its socio-cultural fabric.
The Nanaks: A Chronicle of the Sikh Gurus” is an attempt by him to give an insight into the rich tradition of spiritualism, service and sacrifice that has been laid down by the Sikh Gurus, who hailed from Punjab.