SRĪ JASSĀ SIṄGH BINOD, manuscript dealing with the career of Sardār Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā (1718-83), a prominent Sikh warrior of the eighteenth century and founder of the erstwhile state of Kapūrthalā in the Punjab, was written by Rām Sukh Rāo at the instance of Sardār Fateh Siṅgh, ruler of Kapūrthalā from 1801 to 1836. The manuscript, formerly the property of Kapūrthalā state, is now held in the Punjab State Archives, Paṭiālā, at MS. accession No. M/772. It consists of 250 folios, size 22x16 cm, each containing 16 lines.

        Not much is known about the author, Rām Sukh Rāo, except that he was a Brāhmaṇ, who had worked as a tutor in the Kapūrthalā family and who was rewarded with a jāgīr, i.e. land grant, after his ward Fateh Siṅgh's accession to the throne. He claims himself to be a poet of renown who had written commentaries on some well-known literary texts as well as two treatises on poetics.

        Srī, Jassā Siṅgh Binod, after the customary invocatory verses, gives the genealogy and brief accounts of the ancient Hindu kings, Muslim rulers and the Gurūs of the Sikh faith, and then assumes the narration of the life story and exploits of the great Sikh hero ending with his death in 1840 Bk/AD 1783. The chronology of events as recorded in the manuscript is somewhat arbitrary and the author often digresses into philosophical and religious reflections. His language, a mixture of Hindi, Persian and Punjabi, is loaded with Sanskrit vocabulary and becomes at places obscure. The script used is Gurmukhī.

B. S. Nijjar