MAHIMĀ PRAKĀSH, known as Mahimā Prakāsh Vārtak (prose) to distinguish it from another work, in verse, bearing the same title, Sarūp Dās Bhallā's Mahimā Prakāsh, is an unpublished manuscript containing anecdotes from the lives of the Gurūs. The manuscript, copies of which are now available in the Khālsā College at Amritsar, Languages Department of Punjab at Paṭiālā and Bhāī Vīr Siṅgh's collection at Dehrā Dūn, was first discovered by Akālī Kaur Siṅgh (1886-1953). None of the manuscripts bears the name of its author, nor the date of its compilation, though it is commonly believed to be the work of Bāvā Kripāl Dās (or Siṅgh) Bhallā written in 1798 Bk/AD 1741.

         Mahimā Prakāsh Vārtak contains in all 164 sākhīs or anecdotes dealing with the Gurūs as follows: Gurū Nānak, 20; Gurū Aṅgad, 10; Gurū Amar Dās, 27; Gurū Rām Dās, 7; Gurū Arjan, 15; Gurū Hargobind, 20; Gurū Har Rāi, 17; Gurū Har Krishan, 1; Gurū Tegh Bahādur, 4; and Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, 43. With respect to Gurū Nānak the work follows in the main the older janam sākhīs such as the Purātan. For example, like the Purātan Janam Sākhī, it places the birth of Gurū Nānak in the month of Baisākh and like the Purātan, it does not mention the name of Bhāī Bālā. The structure of the work is episodic. Each sākhī is independent in itself and has its own motif. Some of the stories are didactical, some interpret gurbāṇī in the style of Miharbān Janam Sākhī, while some others deal with historical events.

         Mahimā Prakāsh Vārtak, is the earliest known work dealing with the lives of all the ten Gurūs. Its influence is traceable in at least two other accounts, both written in the 18th century — Sevā Dās Udāsī's Parchīāṅ (1741) and Sarūp Dās Bhallā's Mahimā Prakāsh (1776). Some of their stories are apparently drawn from this source.


  1. Trumpp, Ernest, The Adi Granth. London, 1877
  2. Teja Singh and Ganda Singh, A Short History of the Sikhs. Calcutta, 1950
  3. Sevā Dās, Parchīāṅ. Patiala, 1963
  4. Gurū Amar Dās Srut Pustak. Amritsar, 1986

Kirpāl Siṅgh