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Sikhism Hukamnamas of Guru Tegh Bahadhur - A Historical Study

Discussion in 'Book Reviews & Editorials' started by Randip Singh, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Hi All,

    I just received this book today and have been flicking through it. It contains translations of Guru Tegh Bahadhurs Hukamnama's or Edicts.

    Interestingly it also contains a section of UN-authentic Hukamnama's but these are hard to make out and are untranslated.

    Has anyone else read this book?
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    randip ji

    I am going to love this discussion. Can't wait for it to get started. Where did you get the book?
     
  4. dalsingh

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    Sounds interesting! What have you found?
     
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    yes Randip Ji..begin to put these hukmanams on line...we will discuss...lets separate the wheat from the chaff..
     
  6. Randip Singh

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    OK will do. May take some time.

    The majority of the Hukamnama's are to give money to so and so and do so and so task. Will start reading soon. I still haven't read the Hazoori Sikh book :p. I am getting slow in reading . :D
     
  7. Randip Singh

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    Ok, just read the first few pages.

    The author seems to criticise Gandha Singh's book on the collection of Hukamnama's in saying that some may have been written by scribes, or other people eg Bhai Gurditta.

    He is analysing styles and the ways in which people are addressed.
     
  8. spnadmin

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    But that is a good observation because consistency of style -- handwriting and tone -- are ways to understand the authenticity of texts.
     
  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Yes now that there is newer "linguistic/handwriting recognition/forensic etc "types of knowledge available...such studies can take place. There is no need to "place blind faith/complete trust"...in anything just because for Example....Dr. Ganda Singh wrote so..he must be correct....He could be wrong as well ( genuinely mistaken due to his limited resources etc )
    Daily I come across mails stating.."THIS MUST be absolutely CORRECT..because..so and so wrote it in his book..so and so Dr said so in his PHd Thesis.......and so on...
    Never the less..today the Internet/IT/WEB/ Printing technology is so widespread and CHEAP..that almost anyone can write even an "ENCYCLOPAEDIA"....or a Book....and publish it so cheaply and instantly...thus there is widespread "dubious" sources available...we need to become even more discerning and use our own judgments by casting the net ( for knowledge) as wide as possible..compare widely.

    2. The Gurus had a vast "empire" to administer....First Guur nanak ji travelled almost the entire Globe..and made Sikhs everywhere..then Guru Amardass Ji established 22 Manjis/Peerhis (Centres of administration) spread as fars as Kabul..Orrissa..Dhaka...Guur Teg babhdur Ji also traveleld as far as Bengal.. I mean to say the GURUS must have despatched "Letters of Administration" on a Daily Basis..mundane subjects like those mentioned..like''Give this amount to so and so..Bhai so and so..buy me a few Arabian Horses from so and so..etc etc. ALL such are called "HUKMnamahs"....not necessarily religious HUKMs..or Spiritual Edicts as such...

    3. Most of the HUKMnamahs seek to "JOIN"...bring in people to the GURU...( Unlike the HUKMnamahs that are issued from our Takhats TODAY...that seek to BAN/EXCOMMUNICATE/REMOVE people from the GURU !!) Thus in present day context..a "HUKMnamah" should only apply to a passage from the GURU - that is SGGS.

    I am sure this book will be very interesting..
     
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  10. spnadmin

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    Gyani ji

    Don't you think this is a fascinating field of study. That is how in the end they caught the "Unibomber" -- his brother recognized his brother's style of writing when his manifesto was published in a newspaper. Then a linguistics expert did a content analysis of the grammar and expressions of the manifesto and some personal writings. There was a match. Same thing with the scholars who find "manuscripts by William Shakespeare" bound up in the cover of a new book.

    The handwriting could differ if hukamnamas were dictated by a Guru to one of several scribes. Then there could be various writing styles. But the style of the text itself would carry the signature expressions of a Guru. If I were a lot younger this would definitely be what I would dig into.
     
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  11. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Antonia Ji..
    I agree.
    Previously attempts were made to study the ink - its consistency, colour, paper quality, handwriting etc in Mnuscripts, example the Kartarpuri Bir was studied by experts in this manner.
    Later even the Language/vocabulary/grammatical evidence/certain phrases..etc were also used to arrive at conclusions. This is how the various handwritten manuscripts of the dsm granth were found to contain "English derivative words"....rasing the question whether the author (Guru Ji) also knew English ?? or is thsi proof of later writing wehn English words were common enough.
    The Fallacious Bhai Gurdass the II Vaar 41 was also "found out" through the study of the language/and subject matter..
    Bhai Bala janamsakhi has been found to contain English derived words...somethign a so called Bhai bala accompanying Bhai Mardana and Guru NANAK JI in the 15th century COULDNT be USING..it is definitley a 17th century production written by the Hindalis to discredit Guru NanaK Ji.
    The infamous "letter of Bhai mani Singh to Mata Sundri ji" is another case in point....

    Now that we also have Carbon Dating technology..Manuscripts real age can be found easily..
    BUT then again MODERN FORGERS also have the best inks/paper aging technology/tech to forge handwriting etc at their command as well...especailly when you have the "real Manuscript" and only need to adulterate a few things ( This is why Most of the Manuscripts "lost" in 1984 from the Sikh ref Library ) pose a threat....with such expertise and 24 years ( still counting) to do a good job..anything can surface...whatever the "Forger" decides needs surfacing...
     
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  12. dalsingh

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    I think the newer textual analysis approach is very valuable myself. However they may be limited in that the writings of the past seem to adhere to strict conventions that do not seem to have much room for flexibility. From the little I have read of Dasmesh Pita's hukums many are simply requisitions (mainly to prepare for war).

    Scribes are also used by important people to make copies of hukums so that would explain handwriting differences.
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    There is another area that lends to some uncertainty. The question of interpolation. I am reading a book by a scholar of the Bhagatveda (very slowly reading this book). He has used his knowledge of interpolation to determine that there are only 60 verses in the original veda. His hypothesis is that the remaining 13 or so verses were written much later by Bhramins to introduce more caste-driven meaning to the veda than was originally there. In fact it wasn't there at all in the "original 60." By removing these interpolations the moral guidance of the veda changes completely.

    Interpolation is a probable concern with the Banno bir.
     
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  14. dalsingh

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    Good point! Again this is one area tht may benefit from the modern approach. It may well be possible to identify some interpolations based on stylistic (e.g. handwriting and writing style) contradictions within a manuscript.

    I find the Prem Sumarag absolutely fascinating and I think it could do with such an analysis.
     
  15. spnadmin

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    Wish I could read Punjabi -- and the people who do this are reading in ancient languages. Think how smart they are. :star:
     

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