Bachittar Natak: A Strange Drama

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Bachittar Natak: A Strange Drama
by Late Baldev Singh Ji
Introduction
Many learned Sikhs from the time when Dasam Granth first surfaced in the last quarter of the 18<sup>th</sup> century have pointed out that most of its contents are contrary to the teachings of Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS), only a small portion could be the composition of Guru Gobind Singh.<sup>1, 2, 3,4</sup> Bachittar Natak (BN) is one of the nine books of Dasam Granth. Professor Harinder Singh Mehboob<sup>5</sup> and Gurbakhash Singh Kala Afghana<sup>6</sup> have analyzed the contents of Bachittar Natak on the touchstone of AGGS and have found them to be contradictory to the core of Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat) and Sikh history.
However, not only country preachers but also others like Jaswnat Singh Neki,<sup>7</sup> Patwant Singh,<sup>8</sup> Darshan Singh Mani,<sup>9</sup> Kapur Singh,<sup>10</sup> Gopal Singh,<sup>11</sup> Piara Singh Padam,<sup>12</sup> Harnam Singh Shan,<sup>13</sup> Noel Q. King,<sup>14</sup> Sangat Singh,<sup>15</sup> Gurbhagat Singh,<sup>16</sup> Jodh Singh,<sup>17</sup> Bhai Veer Singh<sup>18</sup> and Saran Singh<sup>19</sup> consider BN as the autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh, without providing any evidence while at the same time maintaining that Guru Gobind Singh conferred Guruship on the AGGS before his death.
Have these writers / scholars ever given a thought to the implication of their stand? Does it make any sense that Guru Gobind Singh first repudiated the teachings of AGGS and then before his death declared AGGS as the eternal Guru of the Panth (corporate body of the Sikhs)?
I have often heard people say that religion is a matter of faith and perception (anbhav), it can’t be questioned or analyzed? But a Sikh is a “learner” and a learner can’t learn without asking questions. The quest for learning continues until a Sikh becomes satisfied. Besides, according to my understanding, Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat) is based on science and logic. It implores the use of common sense in the affairs of daily life and it lays stress on the importance of deliberation and research of subject matter in order to understand it in its true perspective.
In the very beginning of his composition Japu, which is the essence of Gurmat, Guru Nanak describes God as the Everlasting Universal Truth (Reality). The True One (Sachu) is primordial as well as primeval. It exists now and will exist forever (AGGS, M 1, p 1). Then in the first stanza of this composition he asks in a dramatic way: How could one become Truthful (Sachiara)? How could one get rid of ignorance and falsehood? “By living in harmony with the Divine Law (Hukam),” asserts Nanak (AGGS, M 1, p 1). How could one get rid of ignorance and falsehood? Through knowledge based on Truth. When the yogis asked Guru Nanak, “Who is your Guru or whose disciple are you?” “Word (Universal Truth) is the Guru and my mind, which comprehends the Word is the disciple,” replied Guru Nanak (AGGS, M 1, p 942- 943).
To understand Hukam, True knowledge is essential. So a Sachiara is one who understands the Hukam. Let me ask if it was Galileo or the Pope who understood the Hukam. In my opinion it was Galileo who understood it, which makes him a Sachiara. The primary objective of human life is to become a Sachiara. First evaluate a substance before you buy it (AGGS, M, 1 p 1410). In other words try to understand the meaning of a statement before you accept it. Read the contents of Bachittar Natak or any other literature on Sikhism very carefully and find out if it is consistent with the teachings of AGGS.
Furthermore, the Guru tells us:
Use wisdom and reason in the worship of God and practice of charity. One learns by intelligent reading and earns respect by exercising wisdom (AGGS, M, 1, p 1245).
One who applies discerning intellect can understand the subject in its real perspective (AGGS, M, 5, p 285).
One who is endowed with discerning intellect is indeed a wealthy person (AGGS, M, 5, p1150).
It is a rare God-centered being (gurmukh), who deliberates on the Bani. The Bani is the Divine Word, one who imbibes it becomes one with God” (AGGS, M 1, p 935).
The most meritorious achievement is the deliberation on the Word whereas other discussions are useless (AGGS, M 1, p 904).
O my Creator I am sacrifice to you! Through deliberation on the Word, I meditate on You and sing your praises. One who searches finds You whereas the one who is argumentative is wasted (AGGS, M 1, p 1255).
Extensive research of the Hukam and submission to the Hukam brought me in union with God (AGGS, M 1, p 71).
Discussion
This article is prompted by a statement by Jaswant Singh Neki at a seminar sponsored by the Institute of Sikh Studies held in Chandigarh, September 2003 that those who question the authorship of the Dasam Granth should first read it. Hence, this article analyses the central theme of BN in light of AGGS and Guru Gobind Singh’s nash doctrine.
God
Among the numerous attributes of God described in the AGGS some are - Infinite, Ineffable, Unknowable, Sovereign, Enlightener, Bounteous, Loving, Unassisted, Self-Sufficing, Self-Existent, Unborn, Everlasting, Without-Animosity, Transcendent, Immanent, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Creator and Controller of the cosmos.
Nash Doctrine of Guru Gobind Singh for the Khalsa
The doctrine stresses freedom from varanasrarm dharma (caste based religion), karm kand (Hindu rituals and ceremonies), bharam (superstition), kul (family lineage) and krit (caste based occupation restriction).<sup>20</sup>
While evaluating any literature on Sikhism, one must keep in mind the following two points:
First, Sikh Gurus rejected the essentials of Hinduism and Hindu scriptures as source of moral inspiration,<sup>21, 22, 23, 24, 25</sup> and secondly, there is unity of thought in Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat). In other words the nine successors of Guru Nanak preached and taught his philosophy by enriching and strengthening it by introducing innovative practices in the Sikh community over a period of two centuries without changing the fundamentals. That all the Gurus were one in spirit like ten lamps emitting the same light, is supported by AGGS and Sikh literature.
Nanak established his spiritual kingdom on the firm foundation of Truth. Nanak bowed before his disciple Lehna and installed him on the spiritual throne. Due to the greatness of Nanak, Lehna’s fame spread far and wide. They were one and the same in spirit, only different bodily (AGGS, Balwand and Satta, p 966).
Professor Grewal has explained this point very lucidly. “Before his death at Kartarpur in 1539 Guru Nanak chose his successor from amongst his followers, setting aside the claims of his sons. Nomination of a successor from amongst one’s own disciples was not a new thing; it was known to many an ascetical order of the times. But the nomination of Lehna by Guru Nanak was regarded as unique because Guru Nanak himself installed Lehna in his office. His name too was changed from Lehna to Angad, making him “a limb” of the founder. This nomination was important not merely because it enabled Guru Nanak to ensure the continuation of his work but also because it served as the basis of the idea that the positions of the Guru and the disciple were interchangeable. Closely linked with this was the idea that there was no difference between the founder and the successor, they represented one and the same light.”<sup>26</sup>
Bhai Gurdas expressed a similar opinion about the succession of the Guru Hargonind Sahib after his father, Guru Arjan Dev who was tortured to death by the government authorities. In contrast to the first five Gurus, the sixth Guru, Hargobind Sahib (openly proclaimed spiritual and temporal sovereignty by donning two swords and royal dress). However, his message was the same as if his predecessor, Guru Arjan was speaking through him (Varan Bhai Gurdas, p 19).
Professor Chahal has elaborated on this point further by quoting from Gurbilas Patshahi 6 that Guru Hargopbind Sahib imbibed the teaching of Guru Nanak and he asked his successor, Guru Har Rai to do the same.<sup>27</sup> The teaching, which was imparted by Guru Nanak is immensely blissful. Guru Har Rai was asked to imbibe this teaching in his heart, as it is the Word of the Infinite Being (Chapter 21, p 796). Serve the Sikhs of the Guru and accept the guidance only of Guru Nanak (Chapter 21, p 796). The tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh ordained the AGGS as his successor¾ the Eternal Guru of Sikhs.<sup>28</sup>
On the other hand Bachittar Natak is written by a person with an objective to mislead and confuse the Sikhs in order to separate Guru Gobind Singh from Nanakian philosophy. The writer asserts in the beginning of the book, “Guru Gobind Singh uttered these words,” thus making Guru Gobind the author of BN. Secondly, he has added passages and statements here and there, which are consistent with AGGS. So, when a Sikh reads BN, his or her attention is drawn towards the contents which are consistent with AGGS and away from the contradictory material. Even when readers notice this contradiction, they are reluctant to ask questions due to reverence for Guru Gobind Singh, as the writer has led them to believe.
It should be noted that no Guru, whose Bani (composition) is in the AGGS, has used the expression “from the mouth of.” Moreover, all of Guru Nanak’s successors, who uttered Bani, recorded it under Guru Nanak’s name to emphasize the unity of thought. Why would Guru Gobind Singh break the tradition? Besides, Guru Gobind Singh did not incorporate his composition in the Adi Granth, when he incorporated his father Guru Teg Bahadur’s Bani to prepare the Damdami bir. It was Damdami bir that was declared Eternal Guru of the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Arjan Dev incorporated his Bani when he compiled the Adi Granth. Why did not Guru Gobind Singh do it?
The first chapter, the longest, comprising one third of the book, is devoted to the glory and greatness of Kal, emphasizing his destructive power and invincibility. At the outset the writer says that this is from the mouth of Patshahi 10 (Guru Gobind Singh) and then he invokes the blessing of the sword (kharag) for the successful completion of the manuscript. It is replete with Hindu mythology. Most of the attributes ascribed to Kal are the attributes of God described in AGGS.
The next three chapters are about the ancestors of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh. Both Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh are described as descendents of Sri Ram Chander, the mythical god who was a king in the mythical age of Treta. His sons, Lav and Kush, founded the City of Lahore and Kasur in Punjab, respectively, and ruled over there for a very long time. Later, there was a war between their descendents. It was a long war. Shivji with his army of ghosts and goblins witnessed the battle scenes. The Lavis, who were then called Sodhis, defeated their rivals, the Kushis, who then ran away to Kashi. The Kushis were called Bedis after they learned to recite the four Vedas (sacred Hindu scriptures). Later, a Sodhi king sent an emissary to them with the message, “Let us forget the past; come back to Panjab.”
The Bedis came back and recited the Vedas to the Sodhi king. All his sins were washed away after listening to the Vedas. The Sodhi king was so much pleased that as an act of gratitude he donated his kingdom to the Bedis. This made the Bedi clan so happy that in return the head of the Bedi clan granted a boon to the Sodhi ex-king. “O pious one, when I will take birth in the age of Kaljug, I will make you worthy of world-wide veneration. As you first listened to the first three Vedas and then donated your kingdom while listening to the fourth Veda, so I will transfer the Guruship to you after I have become Guru three times, consecutively.”
This absurd story is an affront to commonsense. The writer implies that Guru Nanak (Bedi) and the six Gurus (Sodhi), Ram Das to Gobind Singh became Gurus because their ancestors were very pious Hindus, who studied Vedas or were very generous to those who recited Vedas to them. In other words, it was due to the blessing earned through the study of Vedas or the donation of kingdom to the reciter of Vedas, which was responsible for the reward of Guruship.
On the contrary, Guru Angad Dev and Guru Amar Das acquired Guruship after they gave up their Hindu faith that includes the study of Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. No wonder, the writer does not mention their lineage or they earned the Guruship? The writer does not know that belief in caste and lineage contradicts Guru Gobind Singh’s own edict of Kul Nash (freedom from lineage). Besides, the first three Gurus did not come from a Bedi family, only Guru Nanak was born into a Bedi family, Guru Angad Dev and Amar Das were born in Trehan and Bhala family, respectively. The writer also implies that Guru Angad Dev was the reincarnation of Guru Nanak and Guru Amar Das was the reincarnation of Guru Angad Dev, but the first three Gurus were contemporaries and reincarnation takes place after the death of a person. Moreover, Nanakian philosophy rejects the concept of reincarnation. Furthermore, AGGS does not agree with the teachings of the Vedas.
It is the teachings of Vedas, which has created the concepts of sin and virtue, hell and heaven, and karma and transmigration. One reaps the reward in the next life for deed performed in this life – goes to hell or heaven according to the deeds. The Vedas have also created the fallacy of inequality of caste and gender for the world (AGGS, M 2, p 1243).
I have searched many Shastars and Simrtis; their teachings do not show the way to God, but the dwelling on God’s attributes is invaluable (AGGS, M5, p 265).
Many a Brahma got tired of studying the Vedas, but they could not estimate even an iota of God’s greatness. Ten incarnations of Vishnu and the famous ascetic Shiv who got tired of smearing his body with ashes, could not fathom God’s extent (AGGS, M 5, p 747).
O brother, Simrti is the outcome on the Vedas. It has brought the chains of the caste system and the ropes of liturgy to entrap you (AGGS, Kabir, p 329).
I shall not sing the endless songs and poetry of Vedas, Purans and Shastars. I shall play a steady tune on the flute of love for the Formless One Whose abode is Eternal (AGGS, Namdev, p 972).
If one determines good or bad actions on the basis of Vedas and Purans, one’s mind is filled with doubt and worry. These scriptures do not tell how to cure self-conceit (AGGS, Ravi Das, p 364).
Additionally, the Lav / Kush story is contradicted by Goswami Tulsi Das, the author of Ramayan, who was a contemporary of Guru Nanak. He has described the incidents from Sri Ram Chandher’s life in great detail. According to him, Sri Ram Chander or his sons never extended their rule beyond U. P. in the direction of Punjab. He does not mention any relationship between Sri Ram Chander and Guru Nanak Dev or Guru Gobind Singh. There is no evidence that he ever met Guru Nanak. Furthermore, Bedis or Sodhis never ruled over any part of Punjab in the recorded history of this region.
The writer has described the war between the ancestors of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh going back thousands of generations. However, he makes no mention of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev and the victories of Guru Hargobind Sahib over Mughals and Khatris, who were Guru Gobind Singh’s great grandfather and grandfather, respectively. The writer also does not say what happened to the ancestors of Gurus Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh during the Duaper age when lord Krishna of the famous “Krishna Lila” was supreme. Maybe the writer does not like Sri Krishna because he was a devotee of Shivji.
For the sake of argument, let us assume that Sri Ram Chander was a real person and his sons, Lav and Kush, were born near the end of Treta age. And their descendents continued propagating through the Duaper age while enjoying Krishan Lila and continued propagating in the Kaljug age to produce Sodhis and Bedis. According to Mahan Kosh the duration of Duaper is 864,000 years.<sup>29</sup> According to modern science, the ancestors of modern man evolved not more than 250,000 years ago in Africa. There were no human beings in India during Treta. So the story that Lav and Kush lived in India more than 864,000 years ago is baseless.
In the sixth chapter in “his own story,” the writer talks about his previous life and his communication with God. “I was meditating on Mahankal (Shivji) and Kalika (goddess) on a snowy mountain called Hem Kunt while my parents were praying to Alakh (Formless, God) and perfecting their Yogic discipline. When God was pleased with them, He ordered me to take birth in the age of Kaljug. I did not want to come to the world; however, God persuaded me by expressing His helplessness and frustration…Whatever I have created and whosoever I have sent to the world so far, did not bring Me glory. Son, all my hopes are on you, go there, straighten out the world and spread My glory.”
After this God narrated the story of creation: “After creating the world, I created the demons, who turned out to be unfaithful. These tyrants stopped My worship. So I got angry at the demons and destroyed them in a moment and replaced them with Shiv Ji, Vishnu, and Brahma. They too turned out to be untrustworthy; as they refused to recognize Me and instead proclaimed themselves to be God. Then I created eight witnesses to monitor the actions of living beings. But they too proclaimed that there is no one else other than them worthy of worship. Instead of worshiping Me, stupid people started worshiping gods, sun, moon, air, and fire. Many of them started worshiping stones and performing rituals. Then I created human beings, who got enchanted by the material world (maya) and started worshiping idols.”
Here, the storyteller is confused. If human were the last in the sequence of creation then who was worshiping sun, moon, fire, air and stones and performing rituals? Were they not human? Did they belong to another kind of human species? Besides, why did God choose the writer of “his own story,” who was also a worshiper of Maha Kal and Kalika, to glorify His name?
Continuing the story God said, “After this, I sent ascetics and saints with supernatural powers, who turned out to be *******. They started their own sects and did not recognize Me. Then I sent Gorakh Nath followed by Rama Nand and Prophet Mohammed, who like their predecessors, established their own sects and led people astray and ignored Me.”
Here the writer displays his ignorance of history and the teachings of Ramanad and Prophet Mohammed. Prophet Mohammed was born several hundred years earlier than Gorakh Nath and he believed in “One and only God” he called Allah. And Rama Nand was a monotheist who adored God that is why his composition is in AGGS. Moreover, the followers of the Prophet Mohammad (Muslims) controlled vast territory in Asia, Africa and Europe. On the other hand Gorakh Nath’s followers believed in millions of gods and goddesses and their country was ruled by Muslims. Besides, Gorakh Nath’s followers were free loaders, they made living by exploiting others through trickery and witchcraft. The description of circumcision is vulgar, ling bina (without *****) instead of the proper Arabic word, sunat used in the AGGS.
It is noteworthy that in this story the writer makes no mention of Guru Nanak and his successors or the other Semitic prophets, Moses and Jesus Christ.
Moreover, the God described in “my own story” is helpless, frustrated and confused. He is more like an incompetent manager without control over his subordinates. Now let us compare the God described in “my own story” to the God described in AGGS, Who is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, Creator and Controller of every thing in the creation and is happy and content watching it.
Nanak says, “The Self-Exitent God created nature and manifested Itself as Naam (Immanent) therein to enjoy it... God created the world of life and manifested Itself as Naam therein to promote righteousness” (AGGS, m 1, p 463).
God creates all, fills all and is yet the Infinite Creator is unattached (AGGS, M1, p 937).
O God, You are the creator of all and every thing happens according to Your Will. There is no second one equal toYou. You continuously take care of them according to their needs (AGGS, M 4, p 11-12).
It is God’s Hukam (Divine Law), which controls the working of the creation and it is immutable… Every thing is created according to the Hukam (Divine Law), but the Hukam is in explicable. Every thing is subject to Huakm and nothing is beyond it (AGGS, M 1, p 1).
It is heard and explained that the Transcendent One is everywhere and Its Hukam is immutable and every thing happens according to it (AGGS, M 1, p 1091).
My own story” raises some questions. How could any body survive up on a snowy mountain in that severe cold weather sitting in meditating posture for a very long time as the writer of the story claims to have done? Moreover, the type of mediation described in “my own story” is rejected by Nanakian philosophy. It has no spiritual merit whatsoever.
Pilgrimage, austerity, compassion and charity alone earn very little spiritual merit (AGGS, M 1, p 4).
If celibacy leads to salvation then why doesn’t a eunuch realize God? (AGGS, Kabir, p 324)
If one were to become a great ascetic by practicing extreme austerity or were ready to offer his body in the sacred fire or were to give gold, horses, elephants and land in charity or were to practice many Yogic techniques or were to practice self-mortification like Jain monks or were to sacrifice his body piece by piece, still he wont’ be free from haumain (self-centeredness) (AGGS, M, 5, p 265)
On the other hand, one who makes honest living through hard work and practices charity recognizes the righteous path (AGGS, M 1, p 1245).
Finally, AGGS rejects the concept of past life or life after death and urges again and again that present life is the only chance to realize God, which is the primary objective of human life.
This is your opportunity, this is your turn to meet God, ponder and seek within (AGGS, Kabir, P 1159).
Take advantage of your human birth, as this is your opportunity to meet God (AGGS, M, 5, P 378).
“Don’t look to the past, make efforts to move ahead. This is the only chance to meet God because you won’t be born again,” says Nanak (AGGS, M, 5, P 1096).
Guru’s teaching is like nectar that imparts immortality, one who imbibes it receives Divine grace. Why should one, who wants to have a glimpse of the Beloved bother about paradise through salvation (AGGS, M I, P 360).
These verses clearly emphasize that one’s current life is the only chance to realize God. On the other hand, according to the theory of karma and transmigration, there could be many chances to meet God - theoretically unlimited number of chances.
In the next chapter the writer claims, “My parents went on a pilgrimage to the eastern country to bathe at holy places and give charity. As a consequence thereof, their prayers were answered and my mother was blessed with me in her womb.” Here the writer contradicts his earlier statement: “When I was meditating on Mahankal (Shivji) and Kalika (goddess) on a snowy mountain called Hem Kunt, my parents were praying to God and perfecting their Yogic discipline. When God was pleased with them, He ordered me to take birth in the age of Kalijug.”
Here again the writer does not know that Sikh Gurus had rejected the essentials Hinduism. So, their going to sacred Hindu centers to perform rituals to seek the boon of a child does not arise. The latter chapters, eighth to thirteen are devoted to battles between Guru Gobind Singh and his adversaries, the Rajput rulers of Shivalak hills and the Mughal.
It is strange that the writer makes no mention of the establishment of the Khalsa, the martyrdom of Baba Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, the battle of the forty immortals, the cruel death of two younger Sahibzadas, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, and the painful death of grief stricken Mata Gujri. Also there is no mention of the betrayal of Gangu Brahmin, the culpability of Sucha Nand in the cruel death of younger Sahibzadas and the protest by Nawab of Malerkotla against the killing of young ones. Additionally, there is no mention of the sacrifice of Pir Budhu Shah in the battle of Bhangani and the help by Khan brothers, Rai Kalah and others to Guru Gobind Singh.
In chapter five the writer says that Guru Teg Bahadar sacrificed his life for protection of the frontal mark and the sacred thread of the Brahmins. This is a very narrow and sectarian interpretation of Guru Teg Bahadar’s unique and unparalleled martyrdom. Guru Teg Bahadar sacrificed his life to defend human rights of all subjugated Indian people. It was a sacrifice in the defense of religious tolerance and freedom of worship and conscience and against bigotry. It is a historical coincidence that Kashmiri Brahmins sought his help to protect their religion. If the circumstances had been reverse, he would have done the same for Muslims. Guru Hargobid Sahib built a mosque called “Guru ki Maseet” for Muslims. It is preserved as a historical monument in the district of Gurdaspur, Punjab.<sup>30</sup>
Besides, there are statements in Chapter 8 (Battle of Bhangani), which are not consistent with the teachings of AGGS. The writer narrates the heroic exploits of Guru Gobind Singh’s cousins, his maternal uncle and others but ignores the sacrifice of Pir Budhu Shah. He extols the honor of Sodhi clan, and the bravery and the chivalry of Khatris. The writer also says that witches, ghosts, evil spirits, bir baitaal (agents of god Shivji) and sidhs (people with supernatural powers) came to enjoy the scene of the battle. These statements are in direct contradiction of the nash doctrine of Guru Gobind Singh.
Then there are other statements at the end of this chapter, which repudiate the essence of Sikh ethics -- humility, forgiveness and compassion.
je je nar tah na bhire deene nagar nikar.
je teh thaur bhale bhire tinai karee paritpar.
“Those who did not participate in the battle (to help us) were forced to leave the town, whereas those who did were rewarded.”
Sikhs know that Guru Har Gobind Sahib forgave Emperor Jahangir, who was responsible for the cruel death of his father Guru Arjan Dev. Sikhs also know that Guru Gobind Singh forgave Emperor Aurangzeb, who was responsible for the death of his father, mother, four sons, and hundreds of Sikhs. Sikh Gurus were the embodiment of humility, compassion, and forgiveness. How could any Sikh believe that Guru Gobind Singh forced people to leave the town simply because they did not help him in the battle?
Talking about the treatment of enemies, the writer say: “The wicked ones were tortured and they died like dogs.”
tang tang kar hane nidana.
kookar jim tin the prana.
Now compare this statement with the story of Bhai Kanhyia. When Sikhs complained to Guru Gobind Singh that Bahi Kanhyia was helping the wounded enemy soldiers, he hugged Bhai Kanhyia and honored him by calling him a true Sikh. How could any Sikh believe that Guru Gobind Singh degraded his enemies to the level of dogs and tortured them to death?
In Chapter 13, the writer implies that the Gurus approved of Mughal rulers and as quid pro quo the latter respected and supported the former. “God Himself created the successors of Baba Nanak and Babur. Recognize the former as spiritual and latter as temporal sovereign. The successors of Babur punished and looted the property of those who failed to tithe the house of Nanak. When these penniless wretched ones begged Sikhs for help, the Mughals looted the Sikhs who helped them. The Guru also shunned them. The Mughals punished and killed those who turned their back on the Guru, but those who remained faithful were saved by the Guru.”
From the above it is quite obvious that the writer was an apologist for the Mughals, one of those who used to sing paeans to the rulers “Eeshvro va Dilishvro va (The emperor of Delhi is as great as God).”<sup>31</sup> Moreover, either he was ignorant of Babur Bani (Guru Nanak’s composition about Babur’s invasion) and Sikh history or he indulged in gross distortion of both. For example, Guru Nanak denounced the invasion and atrocities committed by Babur’s forces: “O Lalo, Babur the bride-groom has invaded with a marriage party of sin from Kabul and demands the surrender of India as a bride by force. Shame and morality have disappeared and falsehood has overtaken. Instead of Qazis and Brahmans the devil is performing the marriage ceremony” (AGGS, M 1 p 722).
Moreover, Guru Nanak denounced the rulers of his time very forcefully.
The rulers are like ferocious tigers and their officials as wild dogs, who harass and persecute the innocent subjects (AGGS, M, 1, p 1288).
Unless the petitioner bribes, even the king does not accept the petition. If someone petitions only in the name of God (justice), no body listens (AGGS, M 1. P 350).
The Gurus opposed the tyranny and bigotry of Muslim rulers and took up arms against them. Guru Gobind Singh’s great grandfather, Guru Arjan Dev was tortured to death on the orders of Jehangir,<sup>32</sup> his grandfather Guru Hargobind Singh fought against Shah Jahan, and Auragnzeb was responsible for the death of his father, mother, four sons and hundreds of Sikhs. From the time of Jehangir, the Mughal rulers tried to destroy the movement started by Guru Nanak.
Thus, the analysis of the contents of BN described above demonstrates unequivocally that BN is not the autobiography of Guru Gobid Singh. Furthermore, I would like those who regard Dasam Granth as the work of Guru Gobind Singh to ponder over the following questions.
If Guru Gobind Singh authored Dasam Granth he must have some purpose in mind for writing such a big manuscript? What did he do with it? And what did he want the Sikhs to do with it? We know for sure that before his death, Guru Gobind Singh in his infinite wisdom invested Guruship jointly on the teachings enshrined in the Damdami Bir (AGGS) and the Sikh Panth.<sup>28</sup> If Dasam Granth is that important for the Sikhs, as its proponents want us to believe, then why didn’t Guru Gobind Singh issue any instructions to the Sikhs about it? How could any Bani, which is not included in AGGS be a part of Nit Nem (daily prayer) for the Sikhs? Isn’t it a violation of Guru Gobind Singh’s edict “All Sikhs are hereby ordered to accept the Aad Guru Granth Sahib as the Eternal Guru?”
Conclusion
The author of Bachittar Natak was grossly ignorant of Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat) and Sikh history. His purpose was to subvert Sikhism by separating Guru Gobind Singh from the Nanakian philosophy. He was quite successful in misleading ignorant and gullible Sikhs. For anyone to suggest that Bachittar Natak is an autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh is an affront to common sense, insult to Guru Gobind Singh and the repudiation of Nanakian philosophy.

REFERENCES
<sup>1 </sup> Singh, B., Dasam Granth Darpan – Dasam Granth Nirnai (Punjabi), 2001, p 11-14.
<sup>2 </sup> Singh, D., Dasam Granth – its History, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1994, p 81-95.
<sup>3 </sup> Singh, J., The Historical Identity of Dasam Granth, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1994, p 95-99.
<sup>4 </sup> Singh, H., Dasam Granth: A Historical Perspective, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, January – March 1999, 59-64.
<sup>5 </sup> Mehboob, H. S., Sehje Rachio Khalsa (Punjabi), 2<sup>nd</sup> ed., 2000, p 666-722.
<sup>6 </sup> Kala Afghana, G. S., Bachittar Natak Gurbani Di Kasvatti Te (Punjabi), 1999.
<sup>7 </sup> Pilgrimage to Hemkunt by Jaswant Singh Neki, reviewed by W. O. Cole, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50 (7), 79-80.
<sup>8 </sup> Singh, P., Guru Teg Bahadur: The Miracle of Martyrdom, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50 (12), 21-25.
<sup>9 </sup> Mani, D. S., Guru Gobind Singh, The Tribune, December 2002.
<sup>10 </sup> Singh, K., Prasaraprasana, edited by Piar Singh and Madanjit Kaur, 1989, p 36.
<sup>11 </sup> Singh, G., Guru Gobind Singh, 1966, p 7.
<sup>12 </sup> Padam, P. S., Rehatnamae (Punjabi), 5<sup>th</sup> ed., 1991, p 43.
<sup>13 </sup> Shan, H. S. Concept of Martyrdom with special reference to the Sahidi of Guru Teg Bahadur, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50(2), 42-49.
<sup>14 </sup> King, N. Q. Sikhism and theDivine Processes in World History, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50(50), 9-13.
<sup>15 </sup> Singh, S., The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 64.
<sup>16 </sup> Singh, G., Dasam Granth, Punjab Heritage (online), 2002.
<sup>17 </sup> Singh, J., Dasam Granth, Punjab Heritage (online), 2002.
<sup>18 </sup> Bhai Veer Singh was the inspiration behind building of Hemkunt shrine.
<sup>19 </sup> Like Jaswant Singh Neki, Saran Singh, editor of the Sikh Review is the promoter of Hemkunt shrine.
<sup>20 </sup> Editorial: Nash Doctrine or Five Freedoms, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1995, p 1-7; July-September 1996, p 1-13; October-December 1996, p 1-9.
<sup>21 </sup> Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4<sup>th</sup> ed., New Delhi, 2001, p 19.
<sup>22 </sup> Grewal, J. S. The Sikhs of the Punjab, New Delhi, 1994, p31.
<sup>23 </sup> Singh, J. The Sikh Revolution, New Delhi, 1998, p 105.
<sup>24 </sup> Singh, B. Misinterpretation of Gurbani by W. H. McLeod, Part I, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, 2003, 5 (2), p 72-80.
<sup>25 </sup> Singh, B. Misinterpretation of Gurbani by W. H. McLeod, Part II, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, 2003, 5 (3), p 66-78.
<sup>26 </sup> Grewal, J. S., The Sikhs of the Punjab, 1994, p 41.
<sup>27 </sup> Chahal, D. S., Sabd Guru to Granth Guru – a study, Undersatnding Sikhism Res J., 2003, 5 (1), p 19-27.
<sup>28 </sup> Grewal, J. S., The Sikhs of the Punjab, 1994, p 80.
<sup>29 </sup> Chahal, D. S. Sikhism: Scientific and logical religion for the third millenium and beyond, Understanding Sikhism Res. J., 2000, 2(2), p 7-23.
<sup>30 </sup> Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4<sup>th</sup> ed., 2001, p 46.
<sup>31 </sup> Narang, G. C. The Transformation of Sikhism, 5<sup>th</sup> ed., 1960, p 98.
<sup>32 </sup>Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4<sup>th</sup> ed., 2001, p38.


Copyright©2003 Baldev Singh.
 

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Aman ji

There are some new ideas in this article - new to me that is. Very interesting how a comparison of Aadi Granth and Dasam Granth. A daring article.
 
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