Front cover image for The cherished five in Sikh history

The cherished five in Sikh history

Louis E. Fenech (Author)
"For Sikh the two most important delimited groups within the tradition are the Ten Sikh Gurus and the Cherished Five (the Panj Piare). Although there are many scholarly works on the first, the second has to date none. The Cherished Five were five disciples brought together by Guru Gobind Singh to form the nucleus of the Sikh Khalsa in 1699 or so tradition claims. The story of the Five's origin resounds with the most important values of the Sikh tradition, courage, selflessness, love, benevolence, compassion, and trust in the divine; its importance is underscored by the fact that the institution of the Cherished Five is recreated daily as it plays an essential role in the Sikh ritual universe, ushering new initiates into the Khalsa and casting out those who have violated Khalsa precepts. This text provides the first sustained study of the Five by tracing the history and the evolution of this institution from its origin in the later eighteenth century until today. In the process it challenges much of the traditional narratives and accepted wisdom in regard to the Panj Piare, revolving in part around three elements with which the institution is regularly aligned in early manuscripts: caste, karma, and place"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2021
Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2021