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Compilation Of Dasam Granth - Analysis By Dr. Kuldip Singh And Rejoinder By Late Baldev Singh

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This analysis is divided in two parts. Part One is the original articles by Dr. Kuldip Singh and Part Two is a rejoinder to this article by Late Dr. Baldev Singh.

Part One:

COMPILATION OF "DASAM GRANTH"
(A Scientific Analysis by Dr. Kuldip Singh)

Controversy about origin of "Dasam Granth" is about 250 years old and thinking of scholars is so diverse that some think that the whole of "Dasam Granth" is the work of the Tenth Master and others consider that even JAAP SAHIB is not the work of Guru Sahib.

There is a glut of articles and even books are being written on this topic. With the ever-increasing ego, jealousy, and personal promotion among Sikh scholars, it is doubtful if any conclusion can be arrived at by holding Seminars on the Subject. Even the successive Jathedars of Akal Takhat have not been able to decide as to how they should proceed in the matter. It is pertinent to mention here that under the presidentship of Bhai Ardaman Singh Bagrian two long discussions on the problem were held at Delhi in which 41 scholars and prominent Sikhs had deliberated at the initiative of S. Mann Singh "Mansrovar" on 6-7 October 1973 and on 4th March 1974. They could arrive at only the following two conclusions:

1. The Parkash of "Dasam Granth" be not performed in any Gurdwara along with the Parkash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

2. We should separate the Bani written by Guru Gobind Singh ji and that composed by poets from the "Dasam Granth" ("Dasam Granth Nirney" – Panjabi, Giani Bhag Singh, pp.28-32).

Earlier Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee Amritsar, after consultation with Jathedar Sri Akal Takhat, Head Granthi Sri Harmandar Sahib and other Granthi Sahiban (Panj Piaras) had very clearly given the verdict in writing vide letter No.366672 dated August 3, 1973 addressed to Sardar Santokh Singh of Chandigarh. The Assisstant Secretary of the SGPC, S. Gurbax Singh, wrote

"The Charitro Pakhyan" which are incorporated / included in Dasam Granth are not the composition of Guru Gobind Singh. This is a copy of the Hindu Mythology".

Based on the above, the Panjabi University Patiala have produced a Shabadarth of "Dasam Granth" in three volumes deleting the Charitro Pakhyan. It is clear, however, that a lot more in the remaining Dasam Granth is not the Bani of Guru Gobind Singh ji.

Compilation of Bachitar Natak

The following Historical Events are offered for consideration by the scholars which have a bearing on this topic.

1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji left this world in 1539. There is no doubt that Guru Nanak Dev Ji is the inventor of the complete Gurmukhi script, as it exists today. When Guru Nanak Dev Ji appeared here, the people of Punjab had been speaking Punjabi at least for 1000 years, but no book or even writing on the walls displaying the script was present anywhere. For about 500 years the Muslims had occupied Punjab and most of India and their Court language was Persian. Anybody interested in Govt. jobs had to learn the Persian Language and script. The Hindu religious books were written in Sanskrit and only Brahmins used to study and learn this script to explain the religion to the Hindus. The Muslims were interested to learn Arabic for reading Quran. The Householders and shopkeepers of Punjab were using a crude incomplete script called "Landa" or "Takri" or "Mahajni" for their day-to-day work. This script had only 27 letters without any "Maatras". Guru Nanak Dev ji completed and reshaped the prevalent scripts for writing Panjabi. Guru Arjan Dev ji had given this clear indication when he wrote on page 432 of A.G.G.S. : Raag Aasa Mohalla Pehla "Patti Likhi" or the written alphabet. In this Bani composed by Guru Nanak Sahib all the 35 letters of the "Gurmukhi Alphabet" are written along with their pronunciation but not in the alphabetical order in which they are written in the Panjabi Primers. Guru Nanak Dev ji composed an appropriate aphorism or spiritual truth for each letter of the alphabet. The first line of this Bani commences from the letter "Sassai" and Guru Sahib writes "Sasai Soey Srishat Jin Saaji, Sabhna Sahib ek bhaiya" meaning that "the letter S denotes that personality which created this universe and who is also the one sahib for all of us". We can contemplate that this may be the first line which the child Nanak uttered when the teacher was trying to teach him the alphabet and Nanak had asked the meaning of "sassa" from his teacher. The next letter mentioned is "eewari" and the next one is "oorha"... "hahai" is the 34th letter and "airha" is the 35th letter. It has come to us that Guru Nanak only sang Gurbani every morning and evening during his last years at Kartarpur. We have accepted that Guru Angad Dev ji commenced teaching the "Gurmukhi" alphabet and made the Sangat write Gurbani. It is likely that Guru Angad Dev ji wrote the alphabetical order of the 35 "Gurmukhi" letters, as it exists today. It may be mentioned here that the appropriate name of this alphabet should have been "Nanki" script. "Gurmukhi" name should have been given to the language of Guru Granth Sahib which is not Panjabi but mixture of large number of languages and dialects which Guru Nanak Sahib came across during his travels and the same language was adopted by the successor Nanaks.

2. Before the compilation of Pothi Sahib in 1604 no other text had been written in the "Gurmukhi" script as it exist today. Thus, pothi sahib happens to be the first volume ever written in this complete script formalised by Guru Nanak Sahib.

3. During the same period Bhai Gurdas ji, the scribe of Pothi Sahib wrote his own voluminous poetry in the form of Vaars and Kabits during 1600-1620 in this script.

4. "Puratan Janam Sakhi" which came to the notice of the scholars in the beginning of the 20th Century has been dated by them as being written in 1634. This contains only some anecdotes from the life of Guru Nanak Sahib only. Some feel that this could be from an earlier edition whose manuscript is not available now and for this reason the scholars have hypothesized that the Janam Sakhi was written at the instance of Guru Angad Dev ji. To make it appear plausible they invented Bhai Bala being the author or scribe of this Janam Sakhi and also that Bhai Bala accompanied Guru Nanak Dev ji during his travels. Even painters painted Guru Nanak with his two companions Bala and Mardana. Bhai Gurdas ji does not mention the name of Bala in the list of Sikhs of Guru Nanak given by him in his 11th Vaar. Thus Bala may have been the figment of imagination of some "scholars".

5. It is a strange fact that no other author or writer wrote anything else in this "Gurmukhi" script during 136 years i.e. from 1539-1675, when Guru Gobind Rai Ji became the tenth Nanak. It was obvious to him that from 1539 onwards the Sikhs had been writing Gurbani at the instance of Guru Angad Dev ji and successive Gurus but neither the Sikhs nor the Panjabi speaking Hindus and Muslims wrote any other literature in the "Gurmukhi" script. The Official Court language was Persian and all records were kept in this language and script. "Ram Charit Manas", the Hindi Version of the Sanskrit text of Ramayan by Balmik, was written by Tulsi Das around 1600 but had not reached Panjabi Hindus. Panjabi Hindus used only Landay or Mahajni script for keeping their personal accounts and sending simple messages. No text has been discovered written in these crude scripts. The Hindus and Muslims had absolutely no incentive to learn this script. No poem, anecdote or "Kissa" or any event from the ancient Hindu and Muslim texts were written by anybody in this "Gurmukhi" or "Nanki" script up to 1675.

6. We have no idea what was the population of Sikhs when the tenth Nanak came on the scene in 1675. We can surmise that during the Muslim domination since the year 1001 the population of Punjab from Peshawar to Delhi was distributed as under: Muslims 50%, Hindus 40% or more, Sikhs about 10%. At the advent of Guru Nanak about 90% of population West of Lahore and Amritsar had embraced Islam. Thus, 90% of Panjabi speaking Panjabis were keeping themselves away from the Gurmukhi or Nanaki script.

7. Worldly Histories of the Gurus: It is stated in the Guru Granth Sahib "Jot Roop Her Aap Guru Nanak Kahaiyo" (page 1408). "The embodiment of the Light of the Lord Himself was called Guru Nanak". We all believe that the same Light was transferred to successive Nanaks, because it has been repeatedly asserted in the Guru Granth Sahib as well as in the Vaars of Bhai Gurdas. "The Light of the Lord Himself" had come for a specific purpose and mandate. To save the Sikhs from not getting themselves involved in the mundane worldly history of our Gurus, the Gurus saw to it that their personal histories were not written between 1469-1708. It is very clear from two prominent historical episodes:

1. – Bhai Gurdas was a poet of a high calibre. He sat in close proximity to Guru Arjan Dev ji for 1-2 years to write the Pothi Sahib under supervision of Guru Sahib. Pothi Sahib was installed in Darbar Sahib in 1604. Guru Arjan Dev ji's martyrdom occurred in 2-3 days during 1606. This was the first stunning event for the Panth. It happened when the Panth was undergoing all-round development and the Sikhs were in very high spirits:

o Completion of Darbar Sahib along with its sarover.

o The expansion of Amritsar town which was becoming a fast growing trading and industrial centre.

o Taran Taran Gurdwara, Sarover, Town and Leper home; coming up of Chheharta, Kartarpur (Jalandhar) and commencement of Sri Hargobindpur.

o The Sikhs had taken up the trade of bringing army horses from Central Asia in a big way. Large number of groups of Sikhs were travelling West from Amritsar and passing through 2000 miles of pure Muslim areas showed their physical and mental prowess. Coming from the West, Mohsin Fani must have found groups of Sikhs in Bagdad, Shiraz, Tehran, Kandhar, Kabul etc. which made him remark that there was hardly any town of the world in which some Sikhs were not found. Mohsin Fani had met Guru Hargobind Ji and Guru Har Rai Ji.

o Making Daswandh or payment of 10% of one's income as tithe for the Guru compulsory by Guru Arjan Dev ji was enriching the Guru's treasury making him undertake all-round development projects.

o Guru Arjan Dev ji had commenced holding of Royal Darbars in the morning and the Sikhs were addressing him as Sachcha Patshah. In this context news of Guru Arjan Dev ji's Shahidi with Guruji undergoing torture was a bolt from the blue. This must have shaken the Sikhs. Not only that poetry would have welled up like a fountain in the mind of Bhai Gurdas, the profolic poet but he does not mention the fact of Guruji attaining Martyrdom in his Vaars.

o It is a strange fact that Bhai Gurdas was born about 20 years after the ascension of Guru Nanak Dev ji but gives details of 7 important historical events from the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

o Bhai Gurdas's life span extends from the Guruship of Guru Amar Das Ji, Guru Ram Das Ji, Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Guru Hargobind Ji but he does not give any detail about any historical events which happened in front of him during his life time.

o We have no reason not to accept that Bhai Gurdas not writing details of historical events happening during his lifetime was due to the Gurus ordering him not to do so. Our Gurus had the "Light of the Lord" in them and Bhai Gurdas writes about this fact 7 times in his Vaars that this light was transferred during the life span of Guru Nanak to Guru Angad and the other Gurus did the same. He repeatedly asserts that there was no difference between the Primal Lord (Akal Purukh) and our Gurus.

o Our Gurus did not want us to involve ourselves in the day-to-day activities of the Gurus but imbibe the teachings of Gurbani and lead our lives accordingly. They did not want to create a "Ramayan" of the Sikhs.

o Sikhs had become convinced that where as the Hindus and Muslims were slaves of the Mughal King of Delhi, the Sikhs were members of a sovereign state under their Sachcha Patshah or True King. It is for this reason that the non-Sikh writers G.C. Narang, Dr Hari Ram Gupta and Toyanbee accept that the Gurus had created a state of their own in the Mughal Kingdom. Payne even gives this development of a separate state power within the Mughal State as the possible reason for Jahangir wanting to eliminate Guru Arjan Dev ji. Guru Gobind Rai made a short but notable comment about the Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji but did not inspire any of the 52 scholars with him to write about the full details of Guru Tegh Bahadur's Martyrdom or for that matter give detailed history of his very eventful life including Martyrdom of his four sons and details of battles fought by him. Bhai Nand Lal wrote a number of texts in beautiful Persian poetry eulogizing all the Gurus and specially the Tenth Nanak but does not write a single line about the worldly life of any Guru and does not mention any event from the life of Guru Gobind Singh ji. We must accept that this was a deliberate plan of our Gurus that they did not want the Sikhs to waste their time and energy in relating the day-to-day activity of our Gurus but wanted us to study in depth the teachings given in the Gurbani. Bhai Gurdas writes this in great length that Gurmukhs have to control and rise above the five vices of lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego and lead lives in utter detachment in this world. Our Gurus had created a body of people whom they regarded truly an "Army of Akal Purakh" or "Khalsa of Waheguru" (Primal Lord). This unique body of men ever ready to lay down their lives for upholding truth and for creating a Utopian State in the world where the poor, downtrodden would be uplifted and amity would be brought about between different ethnic groups and classes was given a distinctive uniform by the Tenth Nanak. Our Gurus wanted the Sikhs not to get themselves involved in any "Ramayana" of Sikhs and they did not want to take any risk that the Sikhs may then evolve any "Shariat" type rules for the Sikhs from this "Sikh Ramayana".

+ Guru Gobind Rai's scientific Plan for encouraging or stimulating Hindus to learn the Gurmukhi Script.

It was apparent to Guru Gobind Rai that the Hindus were deeply attached to relate, recount and listen or watch enactment of the Mythological Stories just as they are even today. The most popular T.V. Serials in India are those which are based on the Mythological Stories of the past and now these serials can be created easily with the help of computers Guru Gobind ji utilized this love of mythology for which the Hindu public was dependent upon the Sanskrit knowing Brahmans. He encouraged the large number of scholars with him to write in "Gurmukhi" script and easily understood local language all the mythological stories. He sent 5 Sikhs to Varanasi to learn Sanskrit and details of mythology. It was very easy for Panjabi speaking Hindus to learn the scientific script of this language and write not only mythology but any other compositions in it. It is for this reason that two poets wrote two "Chandi Charitars" and another "Chandi di Vaar". Other poets recorded under the broad heading of "Chaubees Avtars" or "The twenty four incarnations" several mythological stories from Ramayana and Mahabharat. Soon this literature became voluminous and a major portion of this was lost in the last battle of Anandpur but the objective of Guru ji was achieved. Various writers wrote in Gurmukhi script several pieces of literature and also translated from other language texts. Some other writings in other languages and scripts were written as such in this "Gurmukhi" script. S. Gurtej Singh's English book "CHAKRAVYUH'S first topic is about "Amar Nama". This "Amar Nama" was written by a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh ji and is dated 8th October 1708. This contains account of the ascension of Guru Sahib on 7th Oct. 1708. The point of interest for us is that this text of Persian language is written is Gurmukhi Script. This showed that now Hindus considered writing of Persian easier in Gurmukhi Script. Although many Hindus were speaking Persian but Persian being a difficult script they had learnt to write Persian in "Gurmukhi" Script.

o Dr. D.S. Gupta wrote an article in Panjabi Tribune on 11-5-1997 on the topic of "Hand written Manuscripts in Gurmukhi Script" According to the author many 300-year-old manuscripts in Gurmukhi script are present in the DAV College Chandigarh Library. In these manuscripts are Bani of Guru Gobind Singh ji, Chandi Charitar, Vaars of Bhai Gurdas, Texts of Guru Gobind Singhs' Poets, Ashawamedh, Sukh Sagar, Ram Charit Manas, Bhagwat Puran etc. Grierson 1918 (L.S. of India Vol 9 Part I Page 624) writes that it is true that many texts of different languages were written in Gurmukhi script in the 17th & 18th Centuries.

o Guru Gobind Singh's successful plan for inducing Muslims to write in Gurmukhi Script. If we compare the "Jaap Sahib" and "Akal Ustat", the two well known Banis' of the Tenth Master with the Urdu version of "Quran", then we can draw this conclusion immediately that not only Guru ji wrote these Banis on the pattern of Quran but the subject matter of these is very similar to that of Quran. Mohammad Sahib wrote about 100 qualities of Allah or Akal Purkh and Guru ji has used all these words in his Bani. When the Muslims listened to the Banis of "Jaap Sahib" and Akal Ustat then on the one hand they became ardent admirers of Guru Gobind ji that the ideology of Guru ji was akin to that of Quran and it appeared to them as if Guru ji was writing translation of Quran. On the other hand, the Panjabi speaking Muslims realised that they can propagate Quran through the Gurmukhi Script and can even write Persian in this easy to learn script as compared to the difficult Persian Script. If the Sikh scholars of the time had given the name of "Nanki" to this script then this script would have remained popular among all Panjabi speaking people even today. The name "Gurmukhi" denoted that this was the religious script of the Sikhs and hence the cause of aversion of non-Sikhs to learn and use it. Guru Nanak was equally popular amongst all the Panjabi Speaking population. We can change the name of the script even today.

o "Ub Maien Apni Katha Bakhano..."(And Now I Relate My Own Story):

It is strange that learned scholars have ignored the obvious and staring truth that this so called autobiographical poetry can never be the writing of the Tenth Nanak. Guru Gobind Rai was the Tenth Nanak and the "Light of the Lord Himself" which was given to Guru Nanak ji or about which Guru Nanak ji became aware when he had emerged from "Bein" stream was passed on to him by Guru Tegh Bahadur ji at Anandpur Sahib before Guru Tegh Bahadur ji had commenced his journey to Delhi for his Martyrdom. What is this so called "autobiographical" poetry? This is a very well planned attack on Sikhi of Guru Nanak to create a wedge between Sikhs of Guru Nanak and "Sikhs of Guru Gobind" and to create utter confusion in the minds of simple Sikhs. Guru Nanak Dev ji had made it very clear to the Sidhs at Achal Vatala and had recorded the same in his "Bani Sidh Goshat" while decrying asceticism and penance had stated:

"What is the good of wandering about? It is through contemplation of the Lord that the man is rendered pure". "As a lotus flower remains unaffected in water, as also a duck swims against the stream's current and becomes not wet, so with fixed intent on the Guru's word and uttering the Name, O Nanak, the dreadful world ocean is crossed." (Page 938).

According to this autobiographical note in the Bachittar Natak Guru Gobind Singh is made to write:

"Mur Pit Poorab Keeus Piana

Bhaant Bhaant ke Tirath Nahna

Jubb he Jaat Tribeni Bhayae

Punn Daan Dinn Karat Bitayae

Tahi Parkash Hamara Bhaiyo

Patna Shehar Vikhey Bhav Layio."

This means, "that to fulfill his desire for begetting a son, my father journeyed towards the East visiting and bathing at the various pilgrimage Centres. When he reached Tribeni (confluence of Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati at Alahabad) be spent many a day giving alms and making donations where in we entered the womb. Ultimately I entered this world at Patna." Guru Nanak had said clearly about bathing at Pilgrim Centres:

1. "Teerath Nahwan Jey Tiss Bhaavan, Vinn Bhaney Key Naahey Kari." When I earn his pleasure that becomes my bathing at holy place. Without pleasing Him what is the value of such a bath." Japji page 2.

2. "Teerath Nahwan Jao Teerath Naam Hai. Teerath Sabad Beechar, Antar Gian Hai" shall I go to bathe at a pilgrim centre? Contemplating God's Name is the real place of Pilgrimage (Dhanasri, M.I, p.687).

Guru Nanak had castigated Sidhs for remaining away from the public contemplating God and had stated:

"Raheh Ikant eiko mann vasiya Aasa Mahai Niraso.

Agamm Agochar dekh dikhaye Nanak taaka Daaso."

"Living detached in the world, enshrining the One Lord in the mind, shorn of desires in the midst of desires, seeing and showing to others the inaccessible Lord, of him Nanak is slave" Sidh Gosht, p.938. on the other hand, the author of Bachittar Natak writes that "Guru ji spent years & years contemplating in snow at Hemkunt worshiping Mahakaal and Kalika and submitted to the Lord with bowed head that Panth would be formed with Your assistance." Now Guru Nanak had commenced Panth and Bhai Gurdas ji had remarked in the First Vaar "Nanak Nimal Panth Chalaya" and all the successive Nanaks were contributing and consolidating the same. The writer of "my own story" was confident that this would create a wedge and with this the Khalsa Panth along with Guru Gobind Singh would become a separate entity from the Nimal Panth of Guru Nanak. This story was written soon after the ascension of Guru Gobind Singh ji to create this rift. The reason was that while creating Khalsa in 1699 Guru Gobind ji had removed all the disgruntled elements from the Panth, all those who had been creating fissions i.e. Ram Raiyas, Meenas and Masands and thus had created one unitary Panth. It was indeed a plan of our Gurus to show us that these Masands had become totally corrupt even in the Guru period and hence Guru Gobind Singh ji had asked the Khalsa to send their compulsory Daswandh directly to him. Guru Gobind Singh ji meant clearly that this Daswandh after him would create a Central Treasury of the Panth. This move of the author of my story was a clever plan to undo the edict of Guru Gobind Singh ji at the time of Creation of Khalsa.

Random Remarks of Guru Gobind Singh ji in the "Dasam Granth".

The various court poets would recite their compositions in front of Guru Gobind Rai and Guru Sahib would utter a few lines to make his personal philosophy very clear:

* At the end of "Ram Avtar" chhand No.863 & 864 are the comments of Guru Sahib:

Savaiya


"Pahein gahay jabtay tumray, tab tay kou aankh taray nahi aanyo.

Ram Rahim Puran Qoran anek kahay mut ek na maanyo.

Simarat Shastra Bed sabai bahu bhed kahai hum ek na jaanyo.

Sri Aspaan kripa tumri kar mai na kahyo Sabh toh bakhaanyo."

Ever since I have grasped Your feet, I have not thought of anybody else.

I do not accept the doctrines enunciated by various faiths, believing in Ram, Rahim, Puranas and Qoran.

The Simritis, Shastras and Vedas mention different concepts but I do not subscribe to any of them.

O God, the Sword-bearer (of justice)! With Your Grace, all that has been uttered by me has been done under Your command.

Dohra!

"Sagal duar kao chhad kay, gahiyo tuharo duar

Baahen Gahey ki laaj us, Gobind dass tuhar."

I have shunned every door and have entered Your door

Please hold my arm and keep my honour, Gobind is ever Your slave.

* At the end of the long poem entitled "Krishna Avtar" Guru ji writes his own Savaiya:

"Dhan jio tih ko jag mai, mukh tay Har, chit mai judh beechaarai.

Deh anit na nit rahay, jus naav charay bhav saagar taarai.

Dheeraj dhaam banai ihai tan, budh su deepak jiu ujiaarai.

Gianeh kee badhni manaho haath lai, kaatartaa kutwaar buhaarai."

Blessed is the life of that person in the world who recites the Holy Name with his mouth and contemplates fight against evil in his mind.

He regards the body as a temporary vesture and uses the boat of the Lord's Name to cross the rough world-ocean.

He makes a closet of patience in his body and illumines the mind with the lamp of divine knowledge,

He takes up the broom of (spiritual) wisdom in his hands and sweeps away all cowardice and falsehood.

Adulteration of Akal Ustat

In the Akal Ustat authored by Guru Gobind Singh ji, a clever poet has inserted 20 Chhands under the heading of "Deeragh Tribhangi Chhand" from Canto 211-230. These 20 cantos are not in praise of the Primal Lord like the whole Bani of Akal Ustat, but are in praise of Goddess Durga.

Other Compositions of Guru Gobind Singh ji in "Dasam Granth":

* "Shabad Hazare Patshahi Dasween."

In these 10 Shabads, 9 Shabads are clearly in accordance with the Bani of Guru Granth Sahib but the 6th Shabad: "Mittar Piare Noo...n....." is very different. Its language also is very different from all the other compositions of Guru Gobind Singh ji and may be a later interpolation.

* 33 Savaiyas.

This composition has been accepted by the Panth to be the Bani of Guru Gobind Singh ji. The first Savaiya of this Bani describes the life pattern to be adopted by the Khalsa and thus is the core Rehat of the Khalsa Panth

* Zafarnama.

This is without doubt the writing of Guru Gobind Singh ji. This composition is unique. Having last thousands of his Sikhs in the last battle of Anandpur and later losing all his four sons and running as a fugitive from the Mughal army hunting him, Guru ji writes this letter of victory to Aurangzeb. Guruji castigated Aurangzeb for his behaviour which was totally unbecoming of an avowed Muslim. "What if I have lost my four sons when thousands more have been created by me. I have won a moral victory for my ideology". This was an abject lesson both for the Mughal King as well as the Sikhs. This Zafarnamah had made a lasting imprint on the Sikh Psyche responsible for the undaunted spirit of the Khalsa.

Bhangani Yudh and Nadaun Yudh

The battles of Bhangani and Nadaun are described briefly by Guru Gobind Singh ji in beautiful Braj Bhasha. These compositions were specifically written by him to portray that he and his Sikhs fought like ordinary mortals without invoking special supernatural powers. This was in complete contrast to the battle scenes described in Chandi Charitars, Chandi Di Vaar and Chaubees Avtaar. In these battle scenes of Hindu Mythology, the Gods and Goddesses are shown fighting after having obtained supernatural powers from God. Thus Guruji is showing his personal philosophy being "Maien Hoon Param Purakh Ko Dasa, Dekhan Aiyo Jagat Tamasha" meaning that Guruji was a slave or servant of the Primal Lord who had come into this world to witness the great drama being enacted here.

No previous Nanak had written any personal anecdotes in the Guru Granth Sahib and hence this was another good reason that Guru Gobind Singh ji did not include any of his personal writings in the Guru Granth Sahib. He only added the Bani of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji in the Pothi Sahib which had been compiled by Guru Arjan Dev ji and had bestowed the Eternal Guruship to the Pothi Sahib converting it into "The Guru Granth Sahib" – The Eternal Guru.


DR. KULDIP SINGH
M.S. (Pb.) F.R.C.S. (Edin), D.M.R.T. (London)
F.R.C.R. (England), M.A.M.S. (India)
Ex. Prof. & Head Radiotherapy CMC Ludhiana (1973-76)
Retd. Professor & Head (1982-87)
Department of Surgery
PGIMER, CHANDIGARH Telefax : 772980
Ex President Institute of Sikh Studies Chandigarh (1992-98)
Founder Trustee: SatyaMev Jayate Mission Trust Regd.



Part Two:
Compilation of "Dasam Granth" (A Scientific Analysis): A Rejoinder

by Late Dr Baldev Singh
(316 R Glad Way, Collegeville, PA 19426, USA)

Dr. Kuldip Singh’s article: Compilation of "Dasam Granth" (A Scientific Analysis) is well reasoned and thought provoking. However, I don’t agree with the following statements.

On page 54, he says that Guru Gobind Singh sent five Sikhs to Varanasi to learn Sanskrit and details of Hindu mythology.

I would like the author or any other Sikh scholar to shed light on the following questions this story raises.

First of all it is abundantly clear from Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS) and the Banis attributed to Guru Gobind Singh that Gurus Nanak Dev, Arjan Dev and Gobind Singh had sound knowledge of Sanskrit and Hindu mythology. It is also known that they did not go to Varanasi or any other Hindu center to learn Sanskrit and mythology, they learnt it where they grew up in Punjab. This means that Sanskrit teachers were available in Punjab. So what was the particular need for Guru Gobind Singh to send five Sikhs to Varanasi?

Second, there were scholars in Guru Gobind Singh’s court, who translated Sanskrit texts into Braj Bhasa. Were they not competent enough to teach Sanskrit to Sikhs? The Guru Had 52 scholars and poets in his court, couldn’t he hire few Sanskrit teachers for the Sikhs?

Third, if the Guru did send the Sikhs to Varanasi then what were their names and where did they come from?

Is there any biographical information available about them?

What did those Sikhs do with their knowledge of Sanskrit? Did they teach Sanskrit to Sikhs or translated Gurbani into Sanskrit? Did they translate Sanskrit texts into Braj Bhasa or Punjabi?

On page 56, he says, "The battles of Bhangani and Nadaun are described briefly by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in beautiful Braj Bhasa."

Had the author used the same logic which he used in the analysis of "Ub Main Apni Katha Bakhano (Now I Relat My Own Tory)," he would have arrived at a similar conclusion that in no way Guru Gobind Singh is the author of the "Battles of Bhangani and Nandaun."

There are many statements in the "Battles of Bhangani and Nadaun," which are not consistent with the teachings of AGGS. For the sake of briefness, let us examine few statements from the "Battle of Bhangani." In this composition the writer narrates the heroic exploits of Guru Gobind Singh’s cousins, his maternal uncle and others. The writer is caste-conscious and lineage-conscious as 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 Shiv Ji) and sidhs (people with supernatural powers)— came to the battle arena to enjoy the scene.

qutI qyg iqRwKI kZy jwmdwZM ] hTI rfKIXM lwj bMsM snwZM ] hiTXo sfihbM cMd KyqM KiqRXfxM ] hny Kfn KunI Kurfsfn BfnM ] zkI zfkxI BUq pRyqM bkfry ] hsy bIr bYqfl aO suwD iswDM ]

(These verses and their meanings are from "Bachittar Natak Steek" by J. P. Singh).

Now compare these verses to Guru Gobind Singh’s Nash Doctrine, he issued as an edict to the Khalsa:

"From now on you are free from varan-ashrarm dharam (caste based religion), karm kand (Hindu rituals and ceremonies), bharam (superstition), kul (family lineage) and krit (caste based occupation restriction."

Can any Sikh believe that Guru Gobind Singh did not believe in what he preached?

Then there are other verses in this composition, which repudiate the essence of Sikh ethics, humility, forgiveness and compassion.

jy jy nr qwh n iBry dIny ngr inkfr ] jy iqh TAur Bly iBry iqnY krI pRiqpfr ]

"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 death of his father, Guru Arjan Dev. Sikhs also know that Guru Gobind Singh forgave Emperor Aurangjeb, 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 in his right mind believe that Guru Gobind Singh forced people to leave the town simply because they did not help him in the battle?

tFg tFg kir hny indfnf ] kUkr ijim iqn qjy pRfnf ]

"(The wicked) ones were tortured and they died like dogs."

Now compare these verses with the story of Bhai Kanhyia. When Sikh complained to Guru Gobind Singh that Bahi Kanhyia was helping the wounded enemies, 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?

Moreover, according to historians, a Muslim divine, Pir Budhu Shah lost two sons and many followers in the battle of Bhangani. The Pir was following in the footsteps of Guru Teg Bahadur who sacrificed his life to uphold the "Truth" and the "freedom of conscience". He sacrificed his life to protect the right of Hindus to practice their religion without coercion from the government. Pir Budhu Shah stood shoulder to shoulder with Guru Gobind Singh in his fight against the oppression and bigotry of Mughal rulers and the tyranny of caste system. Can any Sikh believe that while lauding the heroic exploits of his cousins, uncle and other Sikhs in the battle of Bhangani, Guru Gobind Singh would not have made any mention of the sacrifice of Pir Budhu Shah? Was Guru Gobind Singh that ungrateful?

For anyone to suggest that Guru Gobind Singh is the author of the "battles of Bhangani and Nadaun" or "Bachittar Natak" amounts to heaping insults on Guru Gobind Singh and the repudiation of Sikh philosophy.

In the last paragraph of the article on page 56, he says, "No pervious Nanak had written any personal anecdotes in the Guru Granth Sahib and hence this was a good reason that Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not include any of his personal writings in the Guru Granth Sahib."

Here the author is confusing "personal Bani" with "Bani about personal life." The Banis composed by the Gurus were their personal Banis, however, in the Banis of Gurus included in the AGGS, there is scant reference to their personal lives. Similarly, some of the Banis attributed to Guru Gobind Singh, cited by the author in the article, which are consistent with Add Guru Granth Sahib, do not contain any reference to Guru Gobind Singh’s personal life. However, there is one major difference between the Banis attributed to Guru Gobind Singh and the Banis of other Gurus. All the six Gurus, the first five and the ninth, whose Banis are included in the AGGS, wrote their Banis under the name of "Nanak" whereas the Banis attributed to Guru Gobind Singh are under his name. Three Gurus, Hargobind Sahib, Har Rai and Harkrishan Ji did not write any Bani.

When Guru Gobind Singh prepared the Damdami Bir by incorporating Guru Teg Bahadur’s Bani in the text of Pothi Sahib*), he did not add his own Bani. I am not going to speculate why Guru Gobind Singh did not add his Bani, but the fact is that he didn’t. This should not cause any confusion and misunderstanding among the Sikhs. Before his death, Guru Gobind Singh in his infinite wisdom invested Guruship jointly on the teachings enshrined in the Damdami Bir and the collective will of the Sikh community. The present Bir (AGGS) is a copy of Damdami Bir. Thus, AGGS is the "eternal spiritual Guru" and the Sikh Panth is the "temporal Guru."

A Sikh should never loose sight of Guru Gobind Singh’s edict that "spiritual Guru" is the Bani enshrined in AGGS. Any extraneous Bani or writing should be respected as literature and must be tested on the touchstone of AGGS before it is accepted as Sikh literature. Anyone, who equates extraneous Bani with the Bani enshrined in the AGGS, violates Guru Gobind Singh’s edict.

The statement "He only added the Bani of Guru Teg Bahadur in the Pothi Sahib, which had been compiled by Guru Arjan Dev" is not correct.

Pothi Sahib was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev and installed in Harimandiar Sahib in 1604. After the death of Guru Hargobind Sahib, it came into the possession of Dhirmal, older brother of Guru Har Rai. Dhirmal refused to give it to Guru Gobind Singh. It is still in the possession of the descendents of Dhirmal at Kartarpur. Therefore, Guru Gobind Singh most likely used a copy of Pothi Sahib when he prepared the Damdami Bir.

In the end I have my own question for Sikh scholars. What happened to the original Damdami Bir? Does it exist?

* Kartarpuri Bir, Aad Bir and Aad Granth are other names of Pothi Sahib.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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Aman ji Thanks so much.

Here is one reaction on my part. Both Singhs are in essential agreement that vast portions of the so-called Dasam Granth are not the work of Guru Gobind Singh. Dr. Kulbir Singh has proceeded very systematically and has given an analysis of the fraudulent nature of so many claims that 10th Nanak is the author. The critique offered by the late Dr. Baldev Singh is also convincing. He too, when one reads his work, is systematic and methodical in his approach. Dr. Baldev Singh however tears right into the analysis of Dr. Kulbir Singh -- in spite of areas where they agree. Their disagreement is about specifics that are clear and easy to spot.

I have learned a lot from both of them. When scholars are basically on the same side of an argument, it is important to affirm some kind of academic kinship, and then go on to explore disagreements and individual reservations. Failure to do this leaves fragments of understanding here and there for novices to try to piece together.

The cost has already been huge, because the "other side of this story" is very well-organized and very well funded. The disciples of McLeod have created a critical mass of literature that is heavily influenced by sanatan theory. They hit the ground running years ago, and run together on and off the Internet. For that reason their writing appears to dominate the discussion of Sikhism if one does not know where to look. The scholars within sant samaj, and their fellow travelers, are similarly unified. Their web sites proliferate. When a friend or colleague or student tells me they plan to spend some time during the summer break learning more about Sikhism, my heart sinks. I panic a little inside. Which sites will magnetize them? What impressions will they carry away? And finally there are the numerous and ever growing number of beautifully produced web sites full of Puranic mystique that appeal to the citizens of the Age of Aquarius. They are attracted to kathas of bir raas and kundalini rising which they claim to find in the mesage of our gurus. This has its own special cache. And it is all backed by political funding.

"On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.".(Sun Tzu) When allies quarrel they lose ground. That is my concern. I think that some learned forum members need to go through each author's writing here and show where there is common ground between these two brilliant men. And why they differ when they do.
 
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