GURŪ GOBINDA SIṄGHA, by Basanta Kumār Banerjee, is a biography in Bengali of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, the tenth spiritual teacher of the Sikh faith. According to the author's statement, the book is an enlarged version of a chapter on the Tenth Gurū in his book Sikh Gurū. However, neither the Sikh Gurū nor the Sikh Charitra which he claims to have written is extant today. Gurū Gobinda Siṅgha, first published in 1909 and later translated into Hindi and English, begins with a general review of the political and religious conditions of the Punjab on the eve of the rise of Sikhism. According to the author, Gurū Nānak preached the message of Hindu-Muslim amity, but the Mughal policy of systematic religious persecution made the Sikhs a nation of soldiers. The birth of the Khālsā is described as an event which "paved the way for the foundation of a new state for the Sikhs and provided them a new rallying point to protect their faith in face of the fiercest persecution." In spite of the battles he had to engage in, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, says the author, lived the life of a hermit and "never touched an article of luxury" even in his hour of success. The book presents an elaborate exposition of the Gurū's character and of his influence on the history of India, but the Hindu predilections of the author impair his analysis. The narrative also suffers from factual errors.

Himādrī Banerjee