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Guru Gobind Singh Ji and intercaste marriages - Chaupa Singh rehit

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by dalsingh1zero1, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. dalsingh1zero1

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    Jan 26, 2012
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    I found this text fascinating. It’s an extract from an old rehatnama which is commonly referred to as the Chaupa Singh rehatnama today. The form is which this document reaches us today is not without its own complexities (like many/most Sikh manuscripts of older provenance). The stark contradictions in various rehat instructions within strongly suggest interpolations so, in its current form, it appears to be the work of more than one hand. That being said there is still a very strong possibility that some of the surviving text does actually originate from the time of dasmesh pita himself and were written by a man in a position of great responsibility and trust within the latter Sikh Gurus innermost familial circles. The reputed author of the rehat (Chaupa Singh Chibber) was a carer and teacher of Guru Gobind Singh during his childhood.

    Whether the extract below accurately reflects events in Guru ji’s darbar is a matter requiring further research, however this doesn’t diminish its value – especially as the topic it covers (inter-caste marriages) is one that is very pertinent to the community today. The picture it broadly paints of Guru ji’s darbar is one where certain Sikhs appear to have distinct roles (preaching and scribal activity are highlighted) within. It appears to depict some interaction between the Sikh sangat and members of the personal retinue or of Guru ji. There are the muktay (liberated) Singhs who take on the role of teaching Sikh precepts to the wider sangat and then there are those referred to as ‘musdee’ Sikhs. The word ‘musdee’ in Punjabi Universities Punjabi-English Dictionary is translated as ‘clerk, scribe or writer.’ It’s well established that Guru ji was a patron of literature and poetry (as well as being a prolific writer himself), and we need to understand that writers or scribes would commonly be hired for activities such as copying and transcribing hukamnamas, preparing copies of prayers, as well as the poetry, composed at the Sikh court. Other functions may have included keeping ledgers and accounts of financial transactions. Such people are the ones most probably being referred to as the musdee Sikhs here? As ever, any comments towards improving the brief translation are welcome. The text is taken from Piara Singh Padam's book Rehitnamay and I have added speech and question marks to help make reading easier, generally adapting the form employed by Amritpal Singh 'Amrit' on his blog.


    Further reading in Panjabi can be found at: http://www.amritworl...ter_of_rbcs.pdf
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