Gur Shabad Ratanakar Mahankosh by Kahan Singh Nabha, popularly known as Mahankosh is a not only the first dictionary of Sikh Scripture and books on Sikh Religion on western concept of lexis but also a classical reference book of Sikh History, Philosophy and contemporary Sikh States . Even after a century of its compilation, it still remains a unique reference document.
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GurShabad Ratanakar Mahankosh
It was first published in 1930 after many years of painstaking research from 1912 to 1927. Mahan Kosh as it is generally called is a model encyclopaedia. It modestly claims in it subtitle to be an encyclopaedia of Sikh literature, but it is, in fact, much more. Its remarkable coverage and exemplary accuracy has a multitude of entries ranging from brief definitions of difficult words from the scriptures and tradition, through descriptive notes on various doctrines, individuals and institutions to accounts of the Gurus. It gives careful treatment of ter-minology, which has dropped out of usage or changed its meaning.
The Mahan Kosh is indispensable for any serious student of Sikh studies, its qualities undimmed by over half a century which has passed since it first appeared in print. Bhai Kahn Singh ranks as one of the modern world's greatest encyclopaedists. The fact that he chose to present all his work in Punjabi has limited his contribution to those who are able to read Punjabi, and although his reputation extends much farther, it is largely confined to the general area of Sikh studies. This does him less than justice. The range of his coverage, the meticulous care with which he collected and arranged his material, a scrupulous concern for accuracy and the succinct nature of his presentation, distinguishes his work. These are the qualities of a great encyclopaedist and their manifest presence in the works of Bhai Kahn Singh qualifies him as one of the truly great theologians.