One of the oldest dated Rahitname is the 'Prem Sumarag Granth', the oldest manuscript copy I have seen of it is from 1701 AD, therefore in the lifetime of Guru Gobind Singh ji. The Nihang Singhs, and Sant Khalsa i.e Nirmale and Namdharis, consider this Granth to be very important. Dr Leyden was the first person to translate the Prem Sumarag Granth into English, he travelled to India in the 18th Century, and his translation is in the British Library.
The 'Tat Khalsa' Singh Sabha found this Granth to be quite controversial and side-linded it. The purpose of this note is not to talk about those sections, but concentrate on others of profound beauty and depth. You can see an original copy of the first chapter on the Panjab Digital Library.
The following was translated by the ex-Christian priest, the scholar W. H. McLeod, Prem Sumarag, :
[My] son, I have fashioned you from my own being [ and I have created] a Panth to serve as witness to the world. What kind of Panth [ have I created]? One in which dharam has made its abode, [one in which], error is destroyed and true wisdom exalted. I am the Supreme one. Know none save me, for I have set forth the Panth [as a witness to the truth]. To the people [of the world] I have delivered the message of the divine Word through succession of 10 incarnations. To the shame of all who inhabit the world error still remains. That which I have performed I have imprinted on [every] person. I, the Supreme One, dwell within every heart. Is anything hidden from me?
The next section can be summarised as. the first rahit is to wake up at Amritvela, to relieve one's self, bathe, then do nam simran and the second rahit is to read Gurbani. The third rahit is Rahiras Sahib and the forth is read bani from both the Adi Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth Sahib in the evening, recite Kirtan Sohila, then:
'Breath Vahi from your navel as you inhale and Guru as you exhale.'
Then you will repeat Vahiguru and your deep consciousness will remain ever awake.
A Singh should be humble but always with his weapons! Accept the Guru's bani as Guru.
Let those who are Sikhs of the Khalsa show affection towards each other. Let them remain united, regardless of the good or evil each may perform. If any Sikh is attacked all others should be prepared to join in his defence. Thus shall they earn the merit conferred on those who believe in the Sikh Faith and they will see Guru Baba Sri Akal Purakh come to their instant aid.
A man must not keep the company of another man's wife. Do not act possesively. Do not act out of anger and pride. Do not be attached to mundane concerns and avoid vilifying others. Do not lie - but do not speak the truth that will harm another. Act graciously remembering this human body will one day perish. Live in the awareness that this very breath may be your last. Do not waste your breaths idly. Harm no one. Speak to bring happiness. If your are abused do not take it to heart. Let nothing grieve you, see respect and insults as the same. Do not live of charity, work your dharam ki kirati. The only giver is Guru Baba Akal Purakh. To fulfill your desires do not visit tombs, temples of deities (gods/goddesses), fast, idol worship, magic, or ritually bath. Do do not go to the Brahmins. Do not follow empty ritualism. Instead meditate on the Lotus Feet of Sri Akal Purakh.