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Raagmala: A Spiritual Composition.

Kamalpreet Singh Pardeshi, (2009).

DTF Books

Reviewed by Gurinder Singh Mann, Leicester, UK.

The Raagmala or rosary of ragas appears in the final angs of

the Sikh scripture the Guru Granth Sahib.

The composition has seen some debate in recent times which is completely unfounded
due to the overwhelming manuscript evidence from the Puritan saroops from the time of
the Guru Arjan Dev to the saroops from the Durbar of Guru Gobind Singh. This includes
manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib with Guru Gobind Singh’s signatures.

The other main contention has been the composition lacks certain characteristics which
are allegedly mirrored in other parts of Guru Granth Sahib. This includes the composition
not containing the signature name Nanak at the start of the composition? Why is the
Raagmala not contained with in the seal of Guru Granth Sahib? Why are some of the
words in this composition different from other compositions in Guru Granth Sahib?
These are some of the questions that are answered by the author. The author also points
to the historical sources namely Gurbilas Patshahi Chevin showing how the composition
has been given authenticity from an early period of Sikh history.

The book contains the following chapters: Introduction to Raagmala, Puratan (Old)
Granths with Raagmala, Raagmala: Basic meanings, Raagmala: Spiritual intricate
meanings. The author has listened to many recordings from the Damdami Taksal school
of thought which he has interpreted into in the book as well. This includes audio
recordings from Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Bhindrawalae, Sant Giani Mohan Singh
Ji Bhindrawalae, Sant Giani Kartar Singh Ji Bhindrawalae and several other sants from
the Taksal order.

The book would have benefited from pictures from old manuscripts of Guru Granth
Sahib which feature the Raagmala within them. It is hoped that the author would make
this additions in future revisions of the book. There have been some mirror mistakes
which have occurred within the text as but these are small oversights.

This is the one of the first attempts to bring out the spiritual importance of the Raagmala
in the English language and the author needs to be commended for his efforts.
Kamalpreet Singh Pardeshi is an author born and living in the UK which adds to the
importance held by Sikhs in the diaspora regarding commentary and translation of Sikh
texts. The author also intends to bring out further interpretations on Sikh philosophy and
we look forward to these in the future.

The book is published by UK publishers DTF Books in Birmingham, UK.