Updated: May 30, 2021
‘Parasaraprasna’, originally authored by Sirdar Kapur Singh in 1959, follows the formalisation of the Khalsa and brings to light specific ideological elements of the Khalsa. This particular edition was published by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar in 2017. The work consists of eight chapters, where topics range from the historical events of Baisakhi 1699, the philosophical and ideological aspects of the Khalsa and its formalisation as well as the meaning of the ardas.
The conception of this book is directly related to its title, ‘Parasaraprasna’, which can be translated to ‘The questions of Parasara’. During 1949, Kapur Singh spent time with his friend Sri Sardari Parasara and the pair would discuss aspects of the Sikh faith during long walks. In turn, these discussions would form the foundation of Kapur Singh’s work.
Kapur Singh spends time discussing the actual process behind administering amrit, where he outlines specific practices that should be adhered to. Further to this, chapter II concludes with translations of the five compositions recited when amrit is administered.
Chapters X and XI relate to the ‘The Church and the State’ and ‘The Sikh Raj’ respectively, where Kapur Singh links both temporal and spiritual elements of the Sikh faith. The message implied by these chapters is that the Khalsa is not just a spiritual and religious order, it is in fact an order that is immersed in both spirituality and stately affairs. ‘The Sikh Raj’ brings about an incredible link between the formalisation of the Khalsa and the Sikh empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Kapur Singh discusses the differences between the two, as well as the similarities.
‘Parasarapransa’ is a philosophical masterpiece, where Kapur Singh is able to influence Sikhs even into the twenty-first century. I recommend this book for any wishing to understand the coming of the Khalsa in 1699 AD and the contextual relevance throughout history.