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Gurmukhi Script - Question Regarding Origin And Gurbani Writings

Jul 13, 2004
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62
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Ssa ji to all,

I have a burning question regarding the script of guru Granth sahib and early gurbani. As far as I am aware guru angad ji created/standardised the Gurmukhi script and therefore any writings of gurbani before this would not have been in this script. If this is the correct then this begs the question, what script were the gurus using before this? I understand similar scripts were around such as landa but these were rarely used outside of mercantile contexts. These also had unwritten vowels in them. Then there is the possibility of shahmukhi but I hear this was the script of the upper classes.

(my knowledge is very limited in this area and I may be incorrect)

So my questions are:
What script was used to record gurbani before this?
Do we have the original forms written by the gurus of all of their gurbani in the guru Granth sahib kept somewhere?
Since other scripts were used, should the guru Granth sahib then be available in other scripts, or rather a multiplicity of scripts with each relevant sholka being printed in the script in which it was written (I understand this may not be practical but I am interested in hearing opinions regarding this)

Thanks,
CC
 
Jul 13, 2004
588
62
32
UK
hi thanks, this thread really helps a lot.

does anyone (or yourself) know where i can see (or see images of online) the original writings of guru nanak sahib jee?
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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The topic of original manuscripts of Guru Nanak Dev ji itself leads to serious controversy. In the first attachment you can read the entire article. The Har Sahai pothi or alleged original collection of Guru Nanak's bani, and the Minas tradition, will come up more than once in my reply.

MULMANTAR: VICTIM OF MINA TRADITION


Read more, as I have attached the pdf source, as an attachment, an article by Dr. Gurumel Singh Sadhu, who I believe passed about 2 years ago. He is challenging the arguments of Dr. Gurinder Singh Mann, heavily criticized within the ranks of Sikh scholars.

Professor Gurinder Singh Mann had made the claim that

that the original Mulmantar in the Bani of Guru Nanak is found in the Harsahai Pothi,
and Professor Gurumel Singh Sadhu explained

One should not forget that Harsahai Pothi had been a Mina heirloom. Instead of doing any analytical study, Mann uses the Pothi to prove his pre-conceived formulations. For example, he makes four assertions regarding Mulmantar in his thesis:



More can be said on that point. Dr. Gurumel Singh's background is such that he adhered strongly to the Kartarpur Bir as the only authentic manuscript (compiled by Guru Arjan Dev) and was thus in agreement with Professor Sant Singh, and at loggerheads with members of the McLeod school who have put forward various arguments in support of alternative manuscripts.

At next link we have Gurinder Singh Mann conducting his analysis. In the pages that should load immediately, you will see that he found a need to talk about the position taken by Professor Sahib Singh. A cursory glance also shows some errors of fact on the part of Dr. Mann.

http://books.google.com/books?id=PC4d-5xrysIC&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=original+Guru+Nanak+manuscript&source=bl&ots=5Jc4QXs_ap&sig=MnRxSlEhGY4KzTPCsxqDBfhACVY&hl=en&ei=XDNoTYzbHJDrgQfP-JDLCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&sqi=2&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=original Guru Nanak manuscript&f=false

I strongly recommend that you read Professor Sahib Singh's own analysis Compilation of the Adi Granth -- so you will have a clear grasp of the controversy regarding Guru Nanak's manuscripts. One school of thought is that Guru Arjan Dev "made editorial changes." Professor hotly disputed this. If there was any tampering it was by the Mina sect, disloyal the Guru Arjan Dev. See the attachment.

You see you are already walking into a minefield - perhaps you don't realize it. Many view this as part of an ongoing attack on the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

I will keep checking for you. In the meantime it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of how difficult a topic this is. Do read also the third attachment, Planned Attack on Adi Granth.

The role of the Minas is critical to understanding why the question of original manuscripts would lie at the center of this controversy.
 

Attachments

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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On the Mina tradition itself, this is a good analysis.

Here is part of the article

1.2 ... Public reading of pothis installed in the dharamsals had become an essential part of the Sikh liturgy.7 The Sikh sources are unanimous in their view that during the pontificate of Guru Arjan the Sikh scriptural tradition had come under a serious threat of interpolation at the hands of Minas, the rivals of fifth Master.8 The sources at our disposal point out that in order to purge the spurious writings as well as to prevent interpolation into the Sikh text Guru Arjan decided to compile and canonize the Sikh scripture into a volume popularly known as the Adi Granth which he duly installed in the Harmandir in 1604. According to the Sikh tradition the final canonization of Sikh scripture occurred in 1706 at Damdama, Talwandi Sabo when Guru Gobind Singh incorporated the hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur into it. The tradition holds that it was the Damdama volume which was invested with Guruship by Guru Gobind Singh upon his death in 1708 at Nanded in Maharashtra.

.... and also

3.2.1. GURU HAR SAHAI POTHI : The Pothi that was in the possession of Sodhi family of Guru Har Sahai, a village near Ferozepur in Punjab, had been claimed to be the original one entrusted by Guru Nanak to his successor, Guru Angad. It is said that Guru Arjan had inherited it through his predecessors and subsequently it remained in the possession of Prithi Chand and his descendents.15 Recently, it has been argued that even though Guru Har Sahai Pothi was not the original manuscript attributed to Guru Nanak, "it may have been a copy of the manuscript that represented the core of the Sikh scriptural corpus."16 Although the Pothi is no more available for examination, however, its characteristic features reported by the scholars who had an opportunity to examine it from close quarters point to the contrary.


and also...

3.2.2. On the basis of available evidence we can safely say that neither the text of the Pothi had belonged to the main tradition nor it was even remotely concerned with the sources of the Adi Granth. There are strong reasons to believe that in order to enhance their socio-religious clout as well as to appropriate maximum public offerings; the Sodhi family of Guru Har Sahai had circulated the Pothi in their possession as the original one belonging to Guru Nanak. Contrary to their claim, this Pothi's movement from Guru Arjan to Prithi Chand or his son, Miharban, is highly suspect.

.
 

Attachments

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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Now for the topping on the cake.

The ancient relic, Harasahai Pothi, went on a journey in 1970 by railroad and it fell victim to a train robbery en route. This means the "chain of custody" or provenance as literary experts would say was broken. So even if the pothi were to resurface, its authenticity today would be just as questionable as it has been in scholarly circles prior to that event.

Amongst the relics of Guru Nanak that survive today with his direct
descendants in Dehradun include the 'Padam' (a mystical stone) and Mala (rosary
beeds) - items indicating his involvement with esoteric movements of the day.
(the original manuscript of Guru Nanak called the Harasahai Pothi disappeared
during a train robbery around 39 years ago,
but photocopies of the same made
earlier in 1960's show that the first page started the scripture with Hindu
'Om', and not in the later 'Ek Omkar'
. The Pothi was in the Takkari script and
includes only the writings of Guru Nanak of course.
It was said to be the very
original manuscript, perhaps in the hand of the Guru himself).

http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/IndiaArchaeology/message/9059

Photocopies "Yes" but the original "No" because it disappeared in a train robbery. Quite odd.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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Ambarsaria ji

I have a second life collecting and reading these. But you know I never put 2 and 2 together on the articles I had already read (Compilation of SGGS and Planned Attack). It was only after finding the critique of Mulmantar that everything popped into place. Particularly as concerns the Harshahi Pothi and the Minas. It fell together, and at that point the discovery of the train robbery connected the dots. Thanks to CaramelChocolate ji for setting this hound on the trail.
 

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
SPNer
Dec 21, 2010
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5,687
Ambarsaria ji

I have a second life collecting and reading these. But you know I never put 2 and 2 together on the articles I had already read (Compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Planned Attack). It was only after finding the critique of Mulmantar that everything popped into place. Particularly as concerns the Harshahi Pothi and the Minas. It fell together, and at that point the discovery of the train robbery connected the dots. Thanks to CaramelChocolate ji for setting this hound on the trail.
spnadmin ji that is a wonderful endeavor. Make sure you don't take everything on AmTrack one daywinkingmunda

When one reaches the stage of connecting the dots it becomes either or both of the following,


  • A pleasant Garland for the Good:interestedmunda:
  • For the bad :angryyoungkaur:
    • The Crown of thorns
    • Or a noose
Please protect your work by sharing or other data security measures.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,206
spnadmin ji that is a wonderful endeavor. Make sure you don't take everything on AmTrack one daywinkingmunda

When one reaches the stage of connecting the dots it becomes either or both of the following,


  • A pleasant Garland for the Good:interestedmunda:
  • For the bad :angryyoungkaur:
    • The Crown of thorns
    • Or a noose
Please protect your work by sharing or other data security measures.

Sat Sri Akal.
:happykaur:

And


lollollollollollol

I will definitely not send an ancient relic for a ride on AmTrack--- especially if I use it to gain political clout from time to time. Unless of course there is a method to my madness.

As for sharing -- no problem -- someone shares with me and I share with someone else.
 

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