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Harinder Singh Mehboob's Essay On The Dasam Granth


Nov 28, 2009
Please see Harinder Singh Mehboob's Essay on the Dasam Granth

Dasam Granth: The Question of Authenticity
Harinder Singh Mahboob

When the earthly sojourn of the Tenth Master was nearing its end at Nanded, he gathered the small bunch of his devout followers around him, and declared in an emphatic but revelational tone, “I am soon leaving my visible abode of divine law [Drmswl in the jpujI], but I will not leave you in utter loneliness. I entrust to the ambrosial reservoir of immortal Word,
the finality of which is preserved by my super insight in the Damdami Bir. I bestow the divine gift of Gurgaddi upon the Guru Granth Sahib—an everlasting spirit of the Ten Guru-Prophets."

These echoes of divine Faith made a powerful tradition, which had appeared in all channels of history of the Khalsa, facing no obstruction in its continuity. The Sikhs have been making solutions to their great Scripture, and thus paying their obeisance to no other Scripture as
their Guru, since the physical departure of the Tenth Master. No student of history witnesses any gap, any contradiction and any obstruction in the endless flow of this divine practice.

Thus the prophetic faith of Guru Gobind Singh, transcending all illusory forms of knowledge and rejecting all false masks of poesy, but embracing none but the Supreme Word revealed his final commitment to the Guru Granth Sahib as the only eternal Guru of the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh never mentioned existential validity as well as the historic
whereabouts of the Dasam Granth anywhere.

1. The tenth Guru didn't give any clue of a single volume of the Dasam Granth as revealed or compiled by him. Sainapat (the author of the Sri Gur
Sobha) and Koer Singh (author of the Gur Bilas Patshahi Das) were, undoubtedly, influenced by some unauthentic but contemporary poetic compositions such as the Bachitar Natak (the fabulous autobiography of the 10th Guru) and the Chandi Charitars (I and II) which were
incorporated in one of the so-called Dasa Granths (actually voluminous collections of different "Bachitar Nataks") near the first half of the eighteenth century, but these two famous poets didn't give any trace of the existence of a single volume of the Dasam Granth in their epics. So I
conclude, in all humility, that the title of the Dasam Granth is a misnomer.
1 All references that follow are from Srī Dasam Granth Sāhib, 2 vols. (Amritsar: Bhāī Jawāhar

Singh, Bhāī Kirpāl Singh and Sons, 1967).

2. Guru Gobind Singh was not the author of the bulky part of the Dasam Granth. I ascribe only a slim part of it to his genuine authorship. Even this slim part, which includes the Jap, the Akal Ustat, the Shabad Hazare, the Swayyas and the Zafarnama, does not become a single whole,
displaying and contemplating its structural beauty. The arrangement of compiling of these highly socio-metaphysical compositions of the master is arbitrary. Therefore, we see that these true Dasam Guru-Banis are scattered in a haphazard manner in the Dasam Granth. There
is an exception also. We witness an absurd intrusion of Brahamanical reflexes in the Akal Ustat.

The devotee finds 20 Kiratas (numbers 210 to 230) eulogizing Chandi (other names Durga, Bhagwati and Siva). Thus even here the purity of genuine text is impaired by the false compilers.

I divide this paper in the following sections to justify my analytical conclusions, long cherished poetic experiences and meditations on the metaphysical Sikh literature.

I. The Dasam Granth vs. the Guru Granth Sahib
The blessed status of an eternal spiritual preceptor granted to the Guru Granth Sahib in his final meeting with the Khalsa shows that Guru Gobind Singh's contemplative understanding of Gurgaddi to his scripture was perfect. It proves that he was in an absolute command of plunging deeply into the far reaching mysteries of the Guru Granth Sahib. It means
the tenth master would never betray his distinct religious cause as envisioned in the Guru Granth Sahib like Minerva—insights awakening the age-long human ordeals of truthful struggles. How could he contradict the unique transmutation of rare Guru-inspiration of his Guru Scripture by incorporating in the Dasam Granth the stale, stereotyped and static
descriptions of mythological characters of feeble symbolical significance and artificial combinations of explosive sounds?

a. The Gods, Goddesses and Avtars in the Dasam Granth: The authors of the Dasam Granth in the Chandi Charitars (Parts I, II) shower praises on Chandi and her other manifestations in profusion, bring forth twenty four incarnation of Vishnu in the Chaubis Avtar, give seven mythological descriptions of Brahma in the Brahma Avtar and describe two forms of Rudra (Siva) in the Rudra Avtar in such a manner that these
Brahamanical gods, goddesses and avtars inevitably tend to become the center of worship for the devotees of other religions. Thus these heroes of Hindu Mythology create a hotchpotch situation in the pure conceptual centers of Sikhism also.

The Dasam Granth concludes in some scattered lines that the purpose of these poetical narrations of mythological gods/goddesses is to intensify the religious felicity in the hearts of devotees (i.e. the Khalsa) to escalate lawful battles against the opponents of God. In my humble opinion this statement should would prove to be a wrong hypothesis as the bulky size of the descriptions of Brahamanical Gods doesn't justify their declared purposes of holy war. The reader is caught in the meshes of ritualistic
worship of these Hindu Gods, and as a result of the dense mythological atmosphere will never allow the devotees to realize the sanctity, faith and fervor of the religious mission as propounded in the concluding sections of these gods and goddesses. The declared pious mission becomes meaningless and stands isolated. It is in reality a misguiding hallucination. The poetical presentation of the fables of gods, goddesses and avtars are a shrewd device to prepare the Khalsa-consciousness to surrender itself
to the mythological heroes and heroines of the Brahamanical cult. Thus the declared missionary slogans in the poetical compositions of the Dasam Granth are false temptations. The dominating Brahamanical atmosphere in these fables becomes an arbitrary movement which ensnares ultimately the natural freedom of Khalsa-mind.

The pious manifests of religious battles as mentioned in the Bachitar Natak and other poetical compositions of the Dasam Granth becomes null and void when it is followed by the paraphernalia of inert tales. The brief but sacred claims made in these pansanic kathas find themselves enveloped in the superstitions contents, false assumptions and disconnected visions.
The gods, goddesses and avtars of Indian mythology along with ancient Hindu scriptures are not used in the Guru Granth Sahib as full fledged, exuberant and selfdependent personalities of super-status transmitting themselves into independent worship centers. They are merely used in the Adi Granth as literary illustrations of some higher truth, symbols, metaphors, similes or sole references. Their role doesn't
move beyond the main/dominating contents of the Guru Granth Sahib. They never aspire to establish the limited sovereignty of their divinity over the vast devotional system of the Guru Granth Sahib. Their existence serves the solitary purpose of enhancing their literary genres. Vishnu, Shiva, Ram, Krishna and devis and so many other manifestations in their line never transcend the spiritual fabric of the Guru Granth Sahib, posing themselves as free spiritual preceptors.

As far as vision of God is concerned, the Dasam Granth, with the exception of five Banis, presents a perspective that is contrary to the vision and total sensibility of the Guru Granth Sahib. Leaving aside the question of Supreme Reality without any substitute, it gives priority to the worship of countless godly existences. In human thought and imagination they move freely in their supernatural realms, but practically they descend on earth in their solid, stagnant and shrunk forms as idols for worship. The flat and single layered consciousness of mythological forms doesn't make proper
harmony with abstract realms of divinity of the Guru Granth Sahib. The result is that anthropomorphic existences in their super frenzy dominate the bulky sections of the Dasam Granth. The dense and nebulous pageants of the haphazard dramas (nwtk) of Indian mythology-cum-history do not allow a free entry into the spheres of divine realization of one God of the Guru Granth Sahib. With the exception of five banis, the Dasam Granth doesn't present a harmonious vision that leads the prayers of man to the
Region of Eternal Truth (sc KMf in the jpujI ), where only the bliss of One God burgeons forth. In the Dasam Granth, the isolated poetic sensibilities of heterogeneous contents, structural deformity and hotchpotch compilations dominate. The unbalanced literary genres of the Dasam Granth do no prove the credibility of their declared purposes and unified vision. The bulky size of its dominating material convinces the reader definitely of its original impulse relating to avtar-worship. It shows a world of difference between the Guru Granth Sahib and the Dasam Granth.

b. Religious Battles, Explosive Sounds, and Worship of Weapons: According to numerous religious commentators of Sikhism, the battles, described in the different poetical compositions of the Dasam Granth are not flat descriptions of a fabulous turmoil that is supposed to be enacted in the supernatural world of gods and goddesses. Many Sikh commentators believe that those battles being fought between Good and Evil on
the different planes of universal Existence are symbolical, justifying the radiant struggles of divine forces and their final victory against the intriguing arrogance of super devilish agencies.

Now I take liberty to disagree with the learned scholars on this point. The holy battles envisioned in the contents of the Bachitar Natak, the Chaubis Avtar and other stories of avtars do not transcend the hegemony of Brahamanical reflexes, the pretensions of human pride, the pettiness of mundane interests of man, exaggerative heroism, and above all the boastful attitude of godly/religious crusaders. Therefore, holy battles
being sung in poetic compositions of the Dasam Granth seldom qualify to plunge deeply into blissful experience of oceanic depths of one God, enjoying eternally his absolute freedom in the Guru Granth Sahib. The holy battles belong to the limited but repeated exercises of Brahamanical instincts that enjoy the dominance of their priest-savagery,
freely enacted and highlighted in these dramatic battles of the Dasam Granth. If the reader tries to enhance other meanings of the said battles, the results will be forced interpretation of the text. For example, Dr. Gurbhagat Singh, without giving any satisfactory perspective of "religio-martial texts" explains in his Sikhism And Postmodern Thought the purpose of using "the explosive language" full of "binaric tensions" in the following words:

  1. The sharpened binaric sounds arranged in their fierceness to clank like swords, to twang like arrows or to pierce like bullets were intended to shatter the decadent environment and at the same time create a new person of a different bio-consciousness.
  2. The meta-intention behind this was to affect the biology of the reader, to give a new nervous system.
  3. By creating his martial infra-structure of language, the Guru was certainly trying to reverse the bio-functioning of his reader, who was obviously either the decadent Muslim or the exhausted Hindu of his times….
I disagree with the learned scholar's viewpoint on the following logical grounds:

a. The texts upon which the learned scholar draws his formulations are unable to produce sufficiently the thematic integrity of their literary visions, the harmonious wholeness of their cosmic logic, the creative continuity of their intrinsic virtues and the invisible profundity of a balanced universal Truth.

b. The learned scholar totally insolates his main ideas, speculations and philosophic flights from the intrinsic experience of those texts upon which he seems to concentrate his theory. A thinker cannot create "a new person of a different bio-consciousness" in the absence of proper context of life-material and without the multifarious support of the complete and flawless cosmic vision. The visionary attempts to create the "binaric
tensions", "explosive sound-combinations" and "a new nervous system" would lead the human consciousness to a blind alley without the timely help of proper material and without the participations of a same guiding spirit.

c. There is no possibility in the “mortal structure of language” of the Dasam Granth to infuse an inspired collection courage or an enlightened spiritual bliss into the minds of oppressed classes—whether Muslims or Hindus—in the absence of an idea text fulfilling the cosmic needs of a multi-layered lyrical genius of the Guru Granth Sahib. Otherwise the attempt to create the collective fervor of social victory would prove to be an artificial assumption or the short-lived mirage of intellect.

Indeed, sensing the futility of his impracticable ideology and unconsciously building up its defense, Dr. Gurbhagat Singh says:

If these explosive sound-combinations are flaming red without the context, they are blind; but within the context they are directed". In my opinion, the context is very much there, but its poor structure is without the breath of creativity. Its lethargic body (form) never throbs with vibrant intensity. So this theory that shows "how the martial sound becomes haloed and telic" is baseless and doesn't give any definite clue or
creative proof of the authenticity of Dasam Granth to the seekers.4
d. It is an irony of uncreative/mechanical knowledge that the "martial infra-structure of long age, "eulogized profusely by the author of Sikhism And Postmodern Thought ultimately degenerates into the ritualistic worship of lifeless arms in the Shastra Nam Mala. These arms producing the artificial music of chanting swords, flaming flashes of dazzling speed and the boisterous joy of fighters are related to the celebrated characters of Hindu Mythology such as Ravana, Karan, Krishan, Meghnad, Bali, and Arjana in the rhymed composition of the Shastra Nam Mala. The divine arms in the
Dasam Granth, producing light and speed and looking haloed and sanctified, become dead objects of mechanical worship in their ending point. They deteriorate themselves into the absurd petrifactions of human consciousness. We cannot claim these static arms to be the symbols of some higher life. The manifestation of great truths need also
a vast perspective of universal dimensions. "The martial red poem"6 envisioned by Dr. Gurbhagat Singh in the Dasam Granth, is without proper context and no multidimensional artistic harmony supports its intrinsic hypothesis. The arms of the Dasam Granth take the devotees to a stagnant point of idol-worship. This process negates mercurial human consciousness and meditative joy of the Guru Granth Sahib.

II. The Question of Scriptural Authenticity of the Image of Woman in the
Dasam Granth The texts of the Charitrapakhyan and the Hakayats incorporated in the Dasam Granth remain at a far-off distance from the sublimest point of scriptural experience of the Guru Granth Sahib. The vast vision of the Damdami Bir, which encompasses the metaphysical dimensions of timeless bliss, apical grandeur of multifarious truth, mystical nuances of divine thrill, handsome proportions of universal life and a serene union of visible-invisible spiritual perspectives is absent from the enormous text of the Charitrapakhyan. The experience of the Charitrapakhyan and the Hakayats is shallow, disproportionate and extravagant. It does not add
any aesthetic serenity to the mystical/spiritual existence of the woman-image of the Guru Granth Sahib. The descriptions of the Charitropakhyan bring out the lewdness of a corrupt society. These compositions are unable to explore any deep psychology. The Charitropakhyan versifies particularly in an immoral vein the fantastic manners of unchaste woman. When the reader applies literary canons to valuate the Chartiropakhyan, its text remains below the mediocre genres of fine literature. The reader finds no visionary quest of the Guru Granth Sahib
in the pages of the Charitropakhyan, which present an obscene drama of monstrous libidinous containing more than four hundred pageants of degenerate humanity. There are, undoubtedly, the lyrical illustrations of the role of unchaste woman in the Guru Granth Sahib, but these literary genres never break the sanctity of its supreme woman-image. The
uncontrollable and intriguing sexual impulses of the women in the Charitropakhyan shatter the scriptural balance/harmony and natural poise of sublime aspects of woman-image of the Guru Granth Sahib, which give her a permanent place or existential naturalness in the spiritual fabrics of society. So I conclude that the contents of the Charitropakhyan are anti-Guru Granth Sahib. The tenth Guru would never disown his final commitment by creating such a mundane and inartistic voice against the metaphysical canons of the Guru Granth Sahib—the everlasting
spiritual light of the Khalsa.

III. Authorship of the Bachitar Natak Ascribed Wrongfully to Guru Gobind
Singh After probing into the multiplicity of historical facts of Guru-Times and studying the profound socio-spiritual values of the Guru Granth Sahib I formulated this firm opinion in the Sahije Rachio Khalsa that a man of true Sikh psyche cannot ascribe the authorship of the Bachitar Natak to the tenth Guru. I cite some cardinal points of my logical conviction regarding the authorship of the Bachitar Natak below:

a. Ignorance of the most conspicuous fact of Guru Arjan's martyrdom: Guru
Arjan's martyrdom was not known to the unknown author of the Bachitar Natak. While composing his poetic narrative the poet got an appropriate opportunity to grasp the most significant moment of history, but the ignorance of fifth Guru's martyrdom failed him. His mind was too blank to mention it. I, indeed, admit that the poets often take liberty with their subject matter or contents in the form of so many poetic licenses and
artistic devices in the process of their creations. While creating poetic signs, symbols, metaphors, similes and above all multi-layered socio-cultural semiotic, the art of poetry enjoys enough freedom transmitting its raw material into fresh myriad forms. I also admit that in the process of poetic creation the given objective reality offers a vast scope of change and there remains every possibility that the given contents may blossom forth into new metamorphic spectrums of life. If the essential material of
poetic compositions contains the distinct features of history, geography and the presence of heroic person in the center of historic happenings, the art of poesy in spite of its generous acceptance and flexibility cannot avoid the basic and most representative feature of a particular historic fact.
In the canto V of the Bachitar Natak, the poet mentions the pious row of first nine Gurus. There is only a brief space of four lines between the names of Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur. The poet devotes twelve lines to the nostalgic description of Guru Tegh Bahadur's martyrdom. He highlights, though purely in his Brahamanical way, this marvelous sacrifice in a nostalgic vein and lavishes praises in profusion on the exemplary perseverance of the ninth Guru. It seems unnatural that the Bachitar Natak
does not bring even a far-fetched hint to recollect the martyrdom of the fifth Guru. When there exists a short span of four lines between the two names of said Gurus, such a lapse on the part of the poet shows that there shimmers no glorious sign of intense past in his memory. The poet of the Bachitar Natak treats the physical disappearance of the fifth Master like the general demise of human beings. Had Guru Gobind Singh been
the author of the Bachitar-Natak, he would have, in the present context, given at least a reverential hint of his great grandfather's splendid sacrifice.

b. The Absence of Pir Budhu Shah's role in the Battle of Bhangani: All the
historical details and collective oral traditions are of the opinion that Pir Budhu Shah
was the most prominent character of the Bhangani Battle. Even the naive poetic logic
of the Bachitar Natak cannot ignore the blessed presence of the Sufi Saint-Soldier who
stands inevitably in the very center of the famous historic battle of Bhangani.
Defending the noble cause of the tenth Master, he sacrificed his two sons and many
pious followers in the bloody battle, which was fought against the mountainous chiefs
by the tenth Master. Pir Budhu Shah received abundant blessings, deep affection and
personal relics from Guru Gobind Singh. Thus he became a forerunner, signaling
beforehand the heroic martyrdom of Guru's four sons and great sacrifices of
innumerable Sikhs. Only an immature author would forget to mention the conspicuous
role played by a man of destiny like Budhu Shah in a very crucial battle of Guru's life.
The obscure author of the Bachitar Natak had not the least inkling of the solitary
existence of Pir Budhu Shah, otherwise, he would have mentioned his role in the poetic
annals of Bhangani battle. Guru Gobind Singh would never envision the battle of
Bhangani without referring to the immortal role of illustrious Pir.
c. Dull Approach towards the Family History of Gurus: The author of the
Bachitar Natak exhibits gross ignorance regarding the family histories of both the
second the third Gurus. He was nourishing this mistaken idea that first three Gurus
belong to the Bedi sub-caste, because his ignorance supported his stupid hypothesis
declaring that Bedis would hand over the Guruship to Sodhis in their next birth. The
author did not know that the sub-castes of Guru Angad and Guru Amar Das were Tehan
and Bhalla, respectively. The names “Bhalla” and “Sodhi” are used in the Guru Granth
Sahib to hint at worldly identity of the Gurus. These names signifying the sub-castes of
Gurus also serve the purpose of establishing the distinctive features of their family
histories by having no spiritual context. The name “Bhalla” is used in connection with
the sub-caste of Guru Amar Das in the “Bhatt Swayas.” The final version of the Guru
Granth Sahib was prepared under the supervision of Guru Gobind Singh who bestowed
eternal Guruship upon it at his eleventh hour. I, therefore, bring this fact to the kind
notice of my readers: if the author of the Bachitar Natak is Guru Gobind Singh, he must
have known at least the sub-caste of the third Guru, because the name Bhalla, with its
elaborative context, exists in the Sikh Scripture. Indeed, the knowledge of the name
Tehan, the sub-caste of the second Guru before his Gurgaddi, would also not betray the
memory of the Master.
d. Wrong Chronological Order of Relating to the Spiritual Preceptors: In the
sixth canto of the Bachitar Natak the poet presents a rhymed list of religious seekers
along with some vague comments, but he disobeys the right historic sequence
concerning the advent of two religious personalities. According to the chronological
order of the Bachitar Natak, prophet Muhammad (Mahan Din) appears on the canvas of
history after Ramanand. There arises no inevitable need of literary form, no creative
demand of symbolism, no powerful momentum of life experience, no irresistible call of
the mysterious circles of Time and no exuberant movement of visionary semiotics,
which might dictate the essential poetic logic to change the normal course of objective
history. In spite of that the author of the Bachitar Natak creates a wrong chronological
order, placing Mohammad after Ramanand, out of his blind ignorance. Guru Gobind
Singh, who was well versant scholar of Islamic History, could not have committed such
a gross error.
e. An Estranged Image of Anandpur Without the Full-Fledged Historic
Presence of the Tenth Master: While the seventh canto of the Bachitar Natak
mentions that the tenth Master was brought to the Panjab from Patna in his childhood,
in this context, the author does not allude to the existence of Anandpur. After the
martyrdom of his father he spent many meditative years there. The prophetic
experience of the tenth Master passed through many phases of divine enlightenment at
Anandpur, but the poet never reveals the name of the town and remains silent about its
existence in the seventh canto of the Bachitar Natak. In eighth canto, the author
informs the reader that the tenth Prophet proceeded to Patna, won the battle of
Bhangani after some years, visited Kahloor and established a town called Anandpur.
This brief statement is a self-evident proof that the author has misplaced all significant
historical situations associated with Guru Gobind Singh. Even a common reader of
history knows that Guru Tegh Bahadur laid the foundation stone of Anandpur and Guru
Gobind Singh received the divine status of Gurgaddi there. By releasing such a
distorted image of Anandpur that annihilates the right perspective of Gurus presence
related to it, the author of the Bachitar Natak cannot claim himself to be Guru Gobind
f. The Immature Vision of Religious Crises and Unjustifiable Criticism of
Islam: The author of the Bachitar Natak is too immature to judge the historical
processes of religious crises. He is unable to understand the subtle wholeness of a
particular religion, which distinguishes it from its small sects. When the decline of
Hinduism appears on its historical surface, he passes harshly sweeping judgments on its
disruptive segments. The author is ignorant of the fact that in spite of the ritualistic
tendencies leaving behind the perfection of its moral values, those Hindu sects also
positively contian many divine element. An adamant egoistical tone of the Bachitar
Natak is not justified to brush aside the importance of those sects by making their
followers look like atheistic nincompoops. Again, such a harshness rooted in illogical
prejudices builds up no justification of the advent of the tenth Master. India had been
creating the subtlest patterns of religious thoughts of infinite variety since the birth of
the Vedas. The vast vision of history and a true realization of abstract channels of life
make this natural demand from a serious poet of prophetic consciousness to present
wonderful realistic pageants of the rise and fall of the universal religions manifesting
the logical culmination of the Khalsa. In the sixth canto, the poet of the Bachitar Natak
gives some common place illustrations of religiously misguided characters of
mythology basing his analysis on false assumptions. He creates a mazy narration of
Mahander, Bisham, Brahma and general category of idolaters who alienated themselves
from the true path of God in remote past. His declarations regarding the betrayal of
gods are based on common hearsay without any authentic scholarly information. As
the author doesn't understand the difference of mythology and the history of concrete
facts, he fails to draw a convincing line of the different evolutions of the subtlest
branches o f religious ideologies. Again, he makes a poor choice of theological
characters to delineate his point of view. For example, Datta-Tray and Gorakh look like
insignificant dim dots of meditative reflections of spiritual journey amidst the vast
panorama of varied religious paths of ancient times. The religious experience of the
author of Bachitar-Natak is too shallow to deserve its comparison with the
poetical/philosophic analysis of varied religious branches, revealed specially in the first
Var of Bhai Gardas. We find no justification to place the fresh manifestation of the
Khalsa at the end of that line of immature presentations of spiritual preceptors as
visualized by the author of the Bachitar Natak.
The obscure author of Bachitar-Natak gives a shocking treatment to the Prophet of
Islam when he reaches the ending point of his tizada of condemnation against the
certain religious paths and their crises. He underestimates the Prophet Muhammad in
a disrespectful manner by declaring him simply the King of Arabia. Then he denies him
indirectly the elevated status of Prophet and openly condemns him in an obscene
language for circumcising all the kings.
Mahadin tab prabhu upraja ||
Arab des ko kino raja ||26||
Tin bhi ek panth upraja ||
Ling bina kiney sabh raja ||
Sabh te apna naam japao ||
Satnam kahoon na dhirao ||27||
How ridiculous! What an absurdity! What an insulting manner to denounce a fellow
religion! Is circumcision meant for Kings only? Did the common folks of Islam not
adopt this symbolic ritual? Does circumcision mean for the Muslim Kings to be without
copulative organs?
The author of the Bachitar Natak is bereft of the knowledge that the ritual of
circumcision was in vogue in the Jewish world before the advent of Islam. Again he is
too naive to understand the spiritual meaning of circumcision suggested by Guru
Guru Nanak in his Majh Ki Var. The version of the Zafarnama, the historic epistle addressed to
Aurangzeb and his highly metaphysical composition entitled the Jap, prove that Guru
Gobind Singh respected the holy Qur’an, understood the value of faith and accepted the
prophetic magnanimity of Muhammad. Had the tenth Guru been the author of the
Bachitar Natak, he would not have contradicted his own message, conveyed so
beautifully in his Jap Sahib, the most musical poem of metaphysical dimensions.
The collective genius of Sikhism in her powerful faith, encompassing the living
memories of Time and her undisputed historical traditions bows to this general
agreement that Guru Gobind Singh established the Guru Granth Sahib on the eternal
throne of socio-spiritual values belonging to the ten Gurus. Again, it is a fact that the
Guru Granth Sahib accords the reverential serenity to the holy Qur’an and Islamic prayer
in its contents, but the tone of Bachitar Natak is totally different in this context. So its
authorship will remain alien to Guru Gobind Singh.
The commentators who claim that Guru Gobind Singh is the author of the entire Dasam Granth
base their belief on two false assumptions, which are as follows:
a. They believe that it was the prophetic mission of the Dasam Guru to create in the
Khalsa consciousness an invincible euphoria of religious battles against the
contemporary Hindu feudal systems and mainly against the despotic Mughal empire.
Dr. Gurbhagat Singh develops a modern philosophic viewpoint of transcendental fervor
of Guru's battles as manifested in his "religio-martial texts". The radiant enthusiasm
"was meant as a cultural weapon to transform and restore the needed vitality." I object
to this "notion of battle" which according to the zealous supporters of the Dasam Granth
functions as a pivotal force in its Chandi Charitars (including the Chandi Di Var) and the
Chaubis Avtar. The said battles of gods, goddesses and demons are not symbolical in a
profound creative sense, because they do not lead us to a new plane of reality higher
than the visible surface of this life. Those battles simply place the reader (or the
devotee) amidst the crude turmoil of gods and demons. The flat and single layered
descriptions of battles follow the slavish imitation of the bombastic style of
compositions such as the Pirthvi Raj Raso in the Bachitar Natak. It is sufficient to prove
that the said battles contain no "talic semiotic" as envisioned by Dr. Gurbhagat Singh.
The idealism regarding the fights between good and evil is relegated to a stale moral
precept of secondary place, but the supreme purpose of the Dasam Granth remains to
highlight the Brahamanical Guru-Status of gods and goddesses. The concluding two
lines of the Chandi Di Var invite the attention of the devotees to worship Durga:
Durga path banaya sabhey paurian ||
Fer na juuni aya jin eh gaya ||õõ||
The goddess Durga has composed the recitation of
all the stanzas (of Chandi Di Var).
Every worshipper who recites it will attain
freedom from the cycles of birth and death). ||55||
I conclude that all the battles of gods and goddesses leave us with no other choice
except tilting to the message of worshipping them. It is, therefore, impossible to
associate the authorship of the complete text of the Dasam Granth with the tenth
b. The commentators who believe Guru Gobind Singh to be the sole creator of the entire
Dasam Granth delineate its second purpose saying that the tenth Prophet wanted to
acquaint his Sikhs with the colorful religiocultural heritage of India through his
manifold poetic compositions compiled in the Dasam Granth. I think this viewpoint is
not valid enough in deciding the authenticity of authorship of the Dasam Granth. I
reject this clumsy idea of the impassioned votaries of the Dasam Granth by advancing
the following five arguments:
i. It has never been the role of any prophet before Guru Gobind Singh to educate
his followers in such a mechanical sense like an educational plan of prosaic
times. The blessed movement of a prophetic genius is more awe-inspiring,
creative and winning than offering the sluggish genre of degenerating literary
forms, such as the Charitropakhyan and the Hakayats.
ii. Even if we were to suppose that it was the thoughtful scheme of the tenth Guru
to instruct his followers by producing various poetic compositions of the Dasam
Granth, in no case would he make a wrong choice of literary specimens. The
bulky size of literature contained in the Dasam Granth is not even a dim shadow
of those sublime, pure and aesthetic dimensions of literature which belong to
the real and first rate heritage of South Asia. Here we see that the Chandi
Charitars are brimming with bombastic verbosity, mechanical devices of
reverberating word, pictures and conventional expressions of heroic feats. The
Chaubis Avtar and other stories of gods/avtars present the grotesque pictures of
mythological heroes with a mixture of heretics of shallow nature without
origins. Furthermore, the contents of the Charitropakhyan are pregnant with
obscene details of neurotic minds reflecting the one-sided, anti-aesthetic,
degenerate activities and vices of sexually perverted women of Vam Marag.
Will the tenth Prophet impose on the consciousness of the Khalsa this
superfluous and thoroughly anti-Gurmat material of disintegrated spirit to undo
those healthy traditions of Gurmat balanced poise of Sahij and majestic victories
of spirit which were brought about and then established by the previous nine
Gurus and finally by the undisputed Scripture of the Khalsa?
iii. With the exception of the Jap, the Akal Ustat (excluding 20 kabits mentioned
above) and the Swayyas, the reader (devotee) observes that the Dasam Granth
changes its stand again and again in relation to the worship of One God. In the
ending Swaya of the Ramavatar the author declares in somewhat rude tone that
being a votary of one God, he would not assign any divine status to Ram along
with the religious ideas contained in the shastras and the simaratis. In the
composition of the Krishanavatar, the Dasam Granth asserts rather in an
unsophisticated idiom of language that the stories of Ganesh, Krishan and
Bishan are known to the poet in a mechanical sense only, but in reality those
characters stand alien to his unshakable faith in one God (stanza 434).
Again, in the first canto of the Bachitar Natak, the author while claiming to be
the champion worshipper of the Timeless Being, denies Ram, Krishan, Brahma,
Shiv and Muhammad as the saviors of mankind. In spite of these denials and
emphatic declarations the fundamental faith of the author expressed in the said
poetic texts of the Dasam Granth, there is an unquestionable tilt towards the
worship of avtars, goddesses (specially Durga, Parvati and Chandi) and gods.
Even a part of the Gyan Prdodh, after revealing a dim reflection of the spiritual
image of one eternal Being of the Guru Granth Sahib, shifts its visionary ground
in part II of the text by adding to it a stereotyped Mahabharata-based history of
religions to confuse the spotless wholeness and originality of the Khalsa. Here
in the Dasam Granth, the devotee witnesses a faithless drama of the divided
loyalties of the fickle-minded author(s) who fluctuate(s) from the worshipping
point of Timeless God to the obeisance of secondary functioning agents of this
mysterious universe. Amidst this chaos created by the chameleon-like nature of
the worshippers, Guru Gobind Singh cannot be imagined to be the solitary
author of the entire Dasan Granth.
iv. The author of the Bachitar Natak in the fourteenth canto declares in an artificial
humility, like a telepathist, that he had seen all the wonderful feats of avtars and
Chandi (Kalka) in the previous ages. Again he claims (boasts?) that being a
divine witness he has revealed all their miraculous deeds in his granths. In other
words he states that he is the author of the Chandi Charitars (Part I & Part II) and
the Chaubis Avtar along with the pageants of other incarnations of the gods.
Now, here arises a significant point, as already argued by me: Guru Gobind Singh
is not the author of the Bachitar Natak. Therefore, the statement of the author in
fourteenth canto emerges as an ample proof in favor of our transparent view
assessing that the Chandi Charitars and the Chaubi Avtar are also not authored by
Guru Gobind Singh.
v. The Dasam Granth in one volume was an outcome of post-Guru period. It didn't
exist in the period of tenth Guru. The Master under his benign supervision
prepared the authentic version of the Guru Granth Sahib and at the last hour of
his physical departure he conferred on it the honor of Guru-Scripture of the
Khalsa. However, in his apical span of life, he never thought for a moment to
get his bani compiled in a single volume. Even Bhai Mani Singh, the last scribe
of the authentic Damdami Bir, did not make any suggestion to the Guru to
compile his bani in one volume. It is equally important that he did not receive
any direction in this matter from the Master. This fact of creative history is
known to the common Sikhs of today that members of the Khalsa-fellowship of
Guru-period generally committed to their memory the banis of the Dasam Guru,
entitled the Jap Sahib, the Akal Ustat and the Sawayyas. It was easy to preserve
them in their written form on loose sheets or in their bound copies, and
therefore, the Sikhs faced no indispensability to incorporate them in a bulky
volume such as the Dasam Granth. Then why did this passionate desire to create
the Dasam Granth out of a mass of anti-Gurmat literature enter Bhai Mani Singh's
mind at Amritsar after 1725 C.E.?
I do not recognize the authenticity of the Bir associated with the name of Bhai Mani Singh
because of the obscure history of its coming to light 83 years after the Bhai’s martyrdom in
1818 C.E.; its unmarked travels from Amritsar to Multan; its usurpation in mysterious
circumstances from the concealed center of its origin; its respectful preservation in the house
of an unknown Pathan at Multan; the secrecy of it name and mystery of its first location at
Amritsar or near Amritsar. Again, the Dasam Granth associated with the name of Bhai Mani
Singh includes in it the voluminous contents of Adi Granth in addition to the supposed Bani of
the Dasam Guru. Now, Bhai Mani Singh could never commit such an act of betrayal by
desecrating the original form of the undisputed Scripture of Khalsa Panth after it was installed
as their ageless Guru. How could Bhai Mani Singh play such a faithless role against the intense
friendly dictates of his beloved Master after being constantly submerged into the enlightened
experience of the Guru Granth Sahib in his presence for nine months? So the said Bir is spurious,
and it looks more spurious after emergence of the forged letter of Bhai Mani Singh. The
disclosure of fake Khas Dastkhati Patre in Gyan Singh's Panth Parkash and the logical conclusion
of spurious Hukamnamas in my book, the Sahije Rachio Khalsa, put a question mark against the
genuineness of the Dasam Granth. The unsymmetrical body of the Dasam Granth enveloped in
unbalanced superstitious beliefs, repulsive camouflages, hearsays and boastful utterances
during numerous encounters is not acceptable to me as the real word of Guru Gobind Singh's
luminous Gurmat vision.
Singh, Gurbhagat. Sikhism and Postmodern Thought. New Delhi: Ajanta, 1999.
Srī Dasam Granth Sāhib. 2 vols. Amritsar: Bhāī Jawāhar Singh, Bhāī Kirpāl Singh and Sons, 1967.
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Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.

More and More Sikhs worldwide are getting to know the reality of this granth...see video attached where the imported Granthi begs forgiveness form local sangat for singing shabads from this granth.....AWARENESS and AWAKENING !!

Gyani ji,

Guru Fateh.

This shows that a Sikh should never be ashamed of his/her ultimate mission, which is to learn,unlearn and relearn daily. By doing this, a Sikh becomes stronger in him/herself and is not afraid to admit any mistakes. Prof. Darshan Singh ji was brave enough to do that either although he could have easily kept quiet but not admitting one's shortfalls is not a Sikhi way. It impedes the learning process which in result makes one a make believe Sikh, a student, a learner.


Tejwant Singh

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
So apart from Jaap Sahib, Chopai Sahib, Tva Prasad Suvaiye and Akaal Ustat; which Baanis can be attributed to Guru Gobind Singh?

Kanwaljit singh ji..

the JURY is still OUT..chiefly because the very people entrusted by the Panth to settle matter shave CHICKENED OUT....in 1930..and even more brazenly in the post 1984 Ghallughara....the Sikh INSTITUTIONS at the APEX are in the RSS Bag .....so no hope of any settlement....especially since they are blatantlly DISREGARDING the only agreement we have in the 1930 SRM (slightly flawed). The SRM is being brazenly broken in the very Gurdwaras that are supposed to UPHOLD it 100%...the SGPC Gurdwaras and the Takhats...so while the NEROS at the takhats and SGPC play their flutes..the SCHISM widens....:swordfight-kudiyan::swordfight-kudiyan::swordfight-kudiyan: