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The Goindval Pothis

The Goindval Pothis

The Earliest Extant Source of the Sikh Canon

Gurinder Singh Mann

ISBN 9780674356184

Publication date: 01/01/1997

This volume explores the earliest available version of the Sikh canon. The book contains the first critical description and partial edition of the Goindval Pothis, a set of proto-scriptural manuscripts prepared in the 1570s. The manuscripts also contain a number of hymns by non-Sikh saints, some of them not found elsewhere.

Through a meticulous analysis of the contents of these rare manuscripts, Gurinder Singh Mann establishes their place and importance in the history of Sikh canon formation.

The book will be of great interest to scholars of comparative canon studies and of medieval Indian literature.


  • Mann is clearly of the new generation of academics in Sikh studies who do not share the mindset of ‘established’ scholars in the subject. He also combines a deep understanding for his faith, and its traditions, with the need for outstanding academic rigour. This is a fine volume that has been long overdue. Mann has rendered extremely useful service in making the sacred literature readily available. Let us hope the publishers of this volume recognise the need to make it accessible to an audience beyond Sikh specialists.

    —Gurharpal Singh, Asian Affairs [UK]


  • Gurinder Singh Mann is Kundan Kaur Kapany Chair in Sikh Studies, Professor in the Global & International Studies Program and the Department of Religious Studies, and Director of the Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Book Details

  • 233 pages
  • 7 x 10 inches
  • Harvard University Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies