Guru Gobind Singh’s Bani
My more than 100 articles relating to socio-political aspect of Sikh Sidhant have appeared in various English, Punjabi magazines and on some Punjabi websites also during the last 12 years. It became a matter of great concern for me when one such website managed from Canada advised me not to ever refer to the bani of Guru Gobind Singh and also to Bhai Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala. The website is of the view that there is no bani of Guru Gobind Singh. Stung by this untenable stand I sent this article in Punjabi but it refused to entertain it. Since this is a very important matter I want to share this article with others especially with the Sikh Diaspora whom the website is purposely misleading because of their disdain for Dasam Granth considered to be maligning Guru Gobind Singh because of its Hindu mythological leanings. It may be so but we cannot ignore bani of Guru Sahib that transformed the history of India as well as of the common man. This website and others like it are misleading the Sikh Diaspora and are belittling the Meeri Peeri tenet of Sikhism to which Guru Sahib gave practical shape by initiating Khalsa, the defender of Sikh faith exhorting use of force when other means fail, ‘ਚੂੰ ਕਾਰ ਅਜ਼ ਹਮਾਂ ਹੀਲਤੇ ਦਰਗੁਗ਼ਸ਼ਤ, ਹਲਾਲ ਅਸਤ ਬੁਰਦਨ ਬ ਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੀਰੇ ਦਸਤ'।
Historical Proofs for the existence of Guru’s bani
1. After his return from Assam, Guru Tegbahadur ji brought to Anandpur Pandit Ganga Dhar and Pandit Kartik Parsad from Baba Bakala to help him and also Guru Gobind Singh to understand Hindu Shastras. Two of their descendents, namely late Pro. Chander Shekhar and Pro. Kuldip Chand Agnihotri, presently in the Himachal University, Simla have written two books in Hindi ‘ਪਾਂਡੂ ਲਿਪੀ ਅਨੁਸ਼ਾਸਨ ’and ‘ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾ ਵਿਅਕਤਿਤਵ ਏਵਮ ਕਰਤਿਤਵ’ respectively. Chander Shekhar writes on page 14 of his book that Baggar grass was brought from the jungle of Guru ka Lahore and paper was prepared with it. Hundreds of Kabir Panthis were engaged in this. To prepare colourful margins on the papers painters and book binders were brought from Kashmir. Dr. Agnihotri also confirms Guru’s love for poetry.
2. After Guru Tegbahadur’s martyrdom in 1675 Guru Gobind Singh deputed some Sikhs to Banares to translate Hindu Shastras who returned after seven years. Guru Sahib used to hold kavi darbars at Paonta as well as at Anandpur Sahib, during 1682 to 1695 in which as per websites about 52 poets including Bhai Nand lal, Pandit Sukhdev, Brind, Alim, Kanvresh and Kanshi Ram used to participate. Kavi Darbars are still held there.
3. Two bamboo pens whose pictures are with me, are on display at Gurdwara Sahib at Paonta, age of which can be determined by the Archaeology Department.
4. ‘Vidya Sar’ building was built in sixties by the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, Chandigarh of which I am the life member.
5. Bhai Kahn Singh of Nabha in his Mahan Kosh describes Guru Sahib as a man of great literary taste.
6. Prof. Sahib Singh says in his rendition of Nit Nem that there are five Banis in it including those of Guru Sahib.
7. S. Kapur Singh ICS in his article ‘ਸਿਖ ਧਰਮ ਵਿਚ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਦਾ ਸਥਾਨ’ (Jan.2007) writes as under:-
‘Although in Sikh Dharam Dasam Granth does not enjoy the status of Guru Granth Sahib still it is held with reverence to determine the Sikh rites and Sidhant. Banis namely ਸੁਧਾ ਸਵੱਈਏ, ਜਾਪ, ਬੇਨਤੀ ਚੌਪਈetc. which are by the Guru are recited while preparing Amrit.
8. Sikh Code of Conduct which was prepared with the help of various Sikh scholars and other Sikh institutions during the period from 1932 to 1945 and is held in high esteem by the Panth, contains the following banis under the head ‘ਨਾਮ ਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਅਭਿਆਸ':-
(ਸਿਖ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਵੇਲੇ ਜਾਗ ਕੇ) ਨਿਤਨੇਮ ਦਾ ਪਾਠ ਕਰੇ।ਨਿਤਨੇਮ ਦੀਆਂ ਬਾਣੀਆਂ ਇਹ ਹਨ:-
ਜਪ, ਜਾਪੁ ਅਤੇ ੧੦ ਸੱਵਯੇ (ਸ੍ਰਾਵਗ ਸੁਧ ਵਾਲੇ)
ਸੋ ਦਰ ਰਹਿਰਾਸ ਵਿਚ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਚੌਪਈ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦
(ਹਮਰੀ ਕਰੋ ਹਾਥ ਦੈ ਰ'ਛਾ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ 'ਦੁਸਟ ਦੋਖ ਤੇ ਲਹੁ
ਬਚਾਈ' ਤਕ) ਸਵੈਯਾ (ਪਾਂਇ ਗਹੇ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਤੁਮਰੇ) ਅਤੇ
ਦੋਹਰਾ (ਸਗਲ ਦੁਆਰ ਕਉ ਛਾਡਿ ਕੈ)।
(a) ਅਰਦਾਸ ਇਹ ਹੈ:-
ੴ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹ
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਜੀ ਸਹਾਇ॥ਵਾਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦॥
ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਕੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਈ ਧਿਆਇ॥
There is no doubt that some portions of this code of conduct are under attack but so long as these are not rectified it is undesirable in the interest of Panth not to accept it as it is.
9. Dr. Piara Singh Padam in his edited code of conduct writes on its page 62 that on page 55 of his code of conduct Bhai Nana lal says, “.....ਕਰ ਇਸ਼ਨਾਨ ਪੜੇ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੁ।੧।.....ਸੰਧਿਆ ਸਮੇਂ ਸੁਨੇ ਰਹਿਰਾਸ... ।੩।” which indicates that Jap Sahib was written before 1695 when Bhai Nand lal left Anandpur for his city.
10. a) Zafarnama was written at Dina in 1706 after the martyrdom of younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh. A Gurdwara at that village by the name of Gurdwara Zafarnama stands there.
b) Senapat also mentions Zafarnama in Gur Sobha, his historical treatise.
c) Eminent historian Dr. Kirpal Singh writes in Abstract of Sikh Studies April—June 2009 at pages 47-48 that Anayatullah Khan who was tutor of Zebulnisa d/o Aurangzeb and who later on occupied a senior position in king’s court writes in Ahkam-e- Alamgiri, a compendium of royal orders that Aurangzeb received a communication from Guru Gobind Singh and he asked his minister Munim Khan to tell Bhai Daya Singh, Guru’s messenger to persuade the Guru to meet the king. Anayatullah Khan was later on appointed as Governor of Kashmir by Emperor Jahandar. He died in 1726-27.
d) In Dasam Granth, Zafarnama has 868 couplets. The one published by the Punjab Government in April, 1973 contains 112 formulations beginning with ‘ਕਮਾਲਿ ਕਰਾਮਾਤ ਕਾਇਮ ਕਰੀਮ,ਰਜ਼ਾ ਬਖਸ਼ੋ ਰਾਜ਼ਿਕ ਰਿਹਾਕੁਨ ਕਰੀਮ' ਨਾਲ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋ ਕੇ 'ਅਰੇਖੋ, ਅਭੇਖੋ ਚੋਨਟaਨਿਸ, ਅਲੇਖੋ, ਅਭੰਗ।ਖੁਦਾਵੰਦ ਬਖਸ਼ੰਦ:ਏ ਰੰਗ ਰੰਗ'।As compared to it Dasam Granth has 115, with 61, 62, and 63 as surplus and some with changed versions. Alongside couplet 13 of the Government publication is written Dastan and there is no mention of any Hakayat as in Dasam Granth which contains 12 Hakayats, 11 being surplus. In Dasam Granth it begins with ‘<>ਹੁਕਮ ਸੱਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹ॥ ਜ਼ਫਰਨਾਮਹ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖਵਾਕ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦ ॥’ The words hukm s`q are not in consonance with Sikh lore and are meant to mislead the Sikhs. In my opinion Zafarnama by Punjab Government is the right version.
11. Prof: Kartar Singh, Khalsa College, Amritsar gives details of Zafarnama on pages 76 and 342 to 355 of his book ਜੀਵਨ ਕਥਾ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ’ published in 1935 and also writes about other verses of Guru Sahib.
12. Khalsa College, Amritsar, Lyalpur Khalsa college, Jalandhar and Punjab University, Chandigarh published special issues of their Journals in 1966 dedicated to the life of Guru Gobind Singh containing contributions of eminent scholars some of whose views are as below:
a) Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi opines that Guru Gobind Singh was a great poet of charismatic personality and had rare quality of writing blissful verses. While he prepared the Sikhs for battles with his war verses, he enthused in them wonderful self-confidence too. He was a saint soldier par excellence.
b) S. Gurmukh Nihal Singh writes there is irrefutable evidence of Guru’s Bani which are of Piri or Miri nature and which need to be published separately in a book after scrutiny by eminent scholars under the supervision of SGPC and Chief Khalsa Diwan. He quotes Macauliffe also as saying that translated material should not have been included in Dasam Granth.
c) Prof. Parkash Singh, Head of the Research Department, Khalsa College, Amritsar writes that Guru Gobind Singh was master of both pen and sword and he honoured immensely both the scholars and soldiers.
13. At pages xxi and 132 of his book Bipran Ki Reet part 10 Gurbax Singh Kala Afgana writes that no eminent scholar of Sikhism has doubted about ‘ਜਬ ਲਗ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਰਹੇ ਨਿਆਰਾ।ਤਬ ਲਗ ਤੇਜ ਦੇਊਂ ਮੈਂ ਸਾਰਾ। ਜਬ ਇਹ ਗਹੇ ਬਿਪ੍ਰਨ ਕੀ ਰੀਤ। ਮੈਂ ਨਾ ਕਰੂਂ ਇਨ ਕੀ ਪਰਤੀਤ।’ being of Guru Gobind Singh. Similarly Surjit Singh, Missionary Delhi on pages xiv, xviii and xx of this book admits that there is no difference of opinion in the Panth about five Bani’s namely ਜਾਪ ਸਾਹਿਬ, ਅਕਾਲ ਉਸਤਤਿ (ਕੁਝ ਭਾਗ ਛਡ ਕੇ), ਜ਼ਫਰਨਾਮਾ, ੩੩ ਸਵੈਯੇ, ਸ਼ਬਦ ਹਜ਼ਾਰੇ (except ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਿਆਰੇ) being of Guru Sahib. He suggests that the Bani of Guru Sahib which is identifiable like diamond should be taken out from Dasam Granth so as to end the controversy once for all.
14. Mohinder Singh Josh, pioneer of Missionary movement, has in his book ‘ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਨਾਟਕ ਦੀਆਂ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਾਤਾਂ’ rejected some compositions from Dasam Granth on the basis of their Hindu mythology colour. But he is silent about some other verses like Jap Sahib etc. which a large number of Sikhs believe to be of Guru Sahib. Similar is the position of his book ‘so dr’ where on page 47 while rejecting 11 Hakayats he remains silent about Zafarnama. Normally silence means agreement.
15. Sardar Kapur Singh ICS quotes Bhai Kesar Singh contemporary of Guru Sahib as under explaining why Guru Sahib did not enter his Bani in Guru Granth Sahib:
ਸਿਖਾਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਜੀ, ਨਾਲ ਚਾਹੀਏ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ।
ਬਚਨ ਕੀਤਾ; ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਹੈ ਉਹ, ਇਹ ਅਸਾਡੀ ਖੇਡ।
ਨਾਲ ਨਾ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਆਹਾ ਪਿਆਰਾ, ਕੌਣ ਜਾਣੇ ਭੇਦ।
16. Giani Bhag Singh, Ambala, in his book ‘Dasam Granth Nirnay’ while rejecting the Dasam Granth, writes on pages 29, 31 that in meetings of eminent scholars held on 1,7 October,1973 and 9 March, 1974 presided over by Bhai Ardaman ingh Bgrian decided that the bani of Dasmesh Guru and of other poets should be separated in Dasam Granth. On page 61 he writes, ‘In the entire Dasam Granth only Jaap Sahib, Akal Ust etc are few banis of Dasmesh ji, others are of other poets on not believing in Gurbani’. About Zaffarnama, he writes on page 136 that it was written in 111 formulations at Dina Kangar (Dialpur) in 1762 Bikrami Sambat and sent to Aurangzeb at Aurangabad through Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh.
17. Giani Harbhajan Singh formerly Principle Shaheed Missionary College, Amritsar and later on member Dharam Parchar Committee of SGPC while rejecting Dasam Granth records in the preface of his book ‘ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਬਾਰੇ ਚੋਣਵੇਂ ਲੇਖ’ that the writings of Guru Gobind Singh which are in accordance with Gurmat when testified by the Shabads in Guru Granth Sahib may be accepted as written by him. This bani covers about 70 pages of ‘ਸ਼ਬਦਾਰਥ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ’ published by Punjabi University and may be even less in Dasam Granth of 1428 pages.
On the basis of above records there is no reason why ਾਪ ਸਾਹਿਬ, ਅਕਾਲ ਉਸਤਤਿ, ਤਵਪ੍ਰਾਦਿ ਕਬਿ'ਤ, ਤਵਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਸਵੈਯਏ, ਚੌਪਈ, ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਬੋਧ, ਚੌਬੀਸ ਅਵਤਾਰ, ੩੩ ਸਵੈਯੇ, ਖਾਲਸਾ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਅਤੇ ਜ਼ਫਰਨਾਮਾ appearing in Dasam Granth should not be appraised afresh in the light of Gurbani so as to extricate them from the fold of Hindu mythology.
Guru’s Bani Hijacked
Because of the rising opposition from Mughal Empire and Hindu Rajas Guru Sahib had to face battles at Bhangani, Nadaun, Hussaini and Anandpur Sahib. With the initiation of Khalsa in 1699 the situation became more awry as a result of which Guru Sahib had to hastily abandon Anandpur. During this period of uncertainty Guru’s literature could not be taken care of. Much of it was washed away in Sirsa stream where Guru Sahib had to part with his family too. Enemies of Sikh faith were always on the prowl to grab his literature whenever they found time and this period was best for their nefarious intentions. Similarly after Banda Singh Bahadur’s martyrdom in 1716 when Sikh had to wage skirmishes from their hideouts in jungles much adulteration was done in the Sikh literature including that of Guru Gobind Singh ji.
Dasam Granth: A Mischief of the Inimical Forces
Taking advantage of the Sikh psyche that they at the first mention of any Devi Devta immediately fly into rage realizing that some mischief has been done to their faith, the inimical element started its mischief of kneading Guru’s Bani in the hotch potch of Hindu mythology in Dasam Granth in such a way that seeing references to Hindu Shastras like Markandey Puran, Shiv Puran, Parbati and Ram Shiam etc. they would not like to touch it even with a pair of tongs and run away from it as crow does on seeing the rubber-string pebble flier. They succeeded in their manipulations when self-acclaimed and half boiled scholars of Sikh faith behaved exactly the same way and rejected the Granth lock stock and barrel along with Guru’s Bani like the famous saying of ‘throwing the baby along the water of the bath tub’. Authors of Dasam Granth who had ruled the masses for centuries by doses of non-violence, karam kands and fate theories etc. expected this behaviour from the Sikhs as they saw grim danger to their tactics in the Miri Piri Sidhant right from the period of Guru Hargobind Sahib when he started propagating use of sword and then its use by Guru Gobind Singh also. They felt that it was at variance with the teachings of earlier Gurus. Those who reject Dasam Granth in Toto with Guru’s bani have become either victim of this propaganda or are in league with those people. They are harming the Panth and belittling the personality of Guru Gobind Singh by doing so. They have failed to apply the formula of Gurmat touch stone.
These naïve people argue that Jaap Sahib is based on the praise of Mahaan Kal as written in Shiv Puran. If we were to accept such arguments these forces will tomorrow come up with the plea that since ‘1’ in ikonkaar is copy of Mohamad Sahib when more than 1400 years ago he said that God is One. Similarly according to them ‘ਕੂੜ ਨਿਖੁਟੇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਓੜਕਿ ਸਚਿ ਰਹੀ॥’ (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 953) would become an imitation of Satya Mev Jaite. Thus they would one day start tirade against the Gurbani itself of which they clandestinely claim to be the custodian now. Guru period which ended in 1708 propagated equality and liberty which are also the basis of French Revolution in 1789 and Russian Revolution of 1917 when there were no means of communication and travel as we have today. These people ignoring that Truth prevails every where will negate the originality of these revolutions and claim that these were the outcome of Guru Nanak’s preaching? It is most unfair to reject Guru’s Bani as its merits have not been adjudged while rejecting formulations of Hindu faith in Dsam Granth.
Some points worth consideration:
1) It is believed that birds of the same feather flock together and Gurbani also says ‘ਕੂੜਿਅਰਿ ਕੂੜਿਆਰੀ ਜਾਇ ਰਲੇ ਸਚਿਆਰ ਸਿਖ ਬੈਠੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪਾਸਿ॥ (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 314) People also express it as ‘birds of the same feather flock together’. In view of this the very fact that Bhai Nand lal and other poets flocked to the company of Guru Sahib at Paonta shows that he himself was a great poet.
2) There were no printing presses in Guru Period. People remembered Bani by heart. That is the reason for assembling of thousands of people from far off places at Anandpur on Baisakhi of 1699 where five of them who had imbibed the spirit of Gurbani responded to the call of Guru for heads. My own grandmother born around 1865 was illiterate but she recited some Banis daily.
3) ‘Deh Siva Bar mohe ehe—-’ appears on page 99 of Dasam Granth and has been rejected by pseudo scholars as they think it is part of Markandey Puran. I asked one such scholar contributor to that website to let me know the page of this Puran on which it appears. He preferred to remain silent as it is actually not there. Anyone else of his thinking can give me this information.
4) According to Bhai Kahn Singh of Nabha and Bhai Sahib Singh ‘Siv’ means God and also ‘jIv Awqmw’. So also says Gurbani in Shabads ‘ਸਿਵ ਕੀ ਪੁਰੀ ਬਸੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਸਾਰੁ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1159); ‘ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ, ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੁਕਮ ਵਰਤਾਇ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 920) ਅਤੇ 'ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ ਘਰ ਵਾਸਾ ਪਾਇਆ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1026) [But some people are taking the plea that ‘Siv’ when written as ‘Siva’ becomes female and refers to Parbati wife of Shiv. Here I would draw their attention to Gobinda in ‘ਗੋਬਿੰਦਾ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਉ ਦਇਆਲਾ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 744) and Sajna in ‘ਸਾਜਨਾ ਸੰਤ ਆਉ ਮੇਰੈ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1301)[ explaining which Bhai Sahib Singh says the seeker by using Gobinda and Sajna addresses God as ‘O my Gobind’. Poets to maintain the burden sometimes twist the words a little which is permissible in poetry. In the same tone Guru Arjan Dev calling God as his friend says ‘ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਖਲ਼ੋਇੜਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਜਨੜਾ॥ਜਾਨੀਅੜਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਨੀਅੜਾ ਨੈਣ ਅਲੋਇੜਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਨੀਅੜਾ॥’ (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 924)
5) Those rejecting ‘Deh Siva bar mohe ehe—-‘ argue that in Hindu lore ‘br’ is sought from Devi Parbati. According to Bhai Kahn Singh br also means ‘power’, ‘courage’, ‘wish to do’ ‘desire’. Guru Arjan Dev expressing his desire to remain in the company of God says ‘ivsru nwhI dwqwr Awpxw nwmu dyhu]gux gwvw idnu rwiq nwnk cwau eyhu]’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 762) There are different ways to seek the blessings of God. By rejecting this shabad on the ill-conceived meanings of ‘Siva’ and ‘br’ these people play in the hands of Panth enemies who after some Sikhs rejected it started chanting it in their Mandirs. Do we do any service to the Panth by such actions or only enrich the heritage of our adversaries by such decisions? If such people claim to be friends of Sikhs, opponents need not seek ‘Panth-enemies’ anywhere else. This Shabad is very suitable to be prescribed as prayer in our schools as it was more than a century back.
6) As per the aim of Gurbani to produce the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 produced the Khalsa free from any fear and enmity ‘inrBau inrvYru’ with qualities mentioned in shabads ‘ਮਰਣੁ ਮੁਣਸਾਂ ਸੂਰਿਆ ਹਕੁ ਹੈ ਜੋ ਹੋਇ ਮਰਹਿ ਪਰਵਾਣੋ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 579); ‘ਗਗਨ ਦਮਾਮਾ ਬਾਜਿਓ,ਪਰਿਓ ਨੀਸਾਨੇ ਘਾਉ॥ਖੇਤੁ ਜੁ ਮਾਂਡਿਓ ਸੂਰਮਾ, ਅਬ ਜੂਝਨ ਕੋ ਦਾਉ॥ ਸੂਰਾ ਸੋ ਪਹਿਚਾਨੀਐ, ਜੁ ਲਰੈ ਦੀਨ ਕੇ ਹੇਤ॥ਪੁਰਜਾ ਪੁਰਜਾ ਕਟ ਮਰੈ,ਕਬਹੂ ਨ ਛਾਡੈ ਖੇਤੁ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1105) by administering Khande Bate Di Pauhal which enthused the Khalsa with the desire to ‘ਅਬ ਜੂਝਨ ਕੋ ਦਾਉ’ ever ready to embrace martyrdom for being one with God. Khalsa, learnt to ever remain in vibrant mood of life, Charhdi Kala and has made his presence felt all over the world. Compositions of Guru Sahib based on the concept of Meeri Peeri which prepare the Sikhs to lead such enviable life are not viewed favourably by the forces which think the Khalsa pursuing a path different from the non-violent teachings of earlier Gurus. These forces including the pseudo Sikhs wanting to rule at every cost are afraid of the people’s set up which Baba Banda Singh Bahadur had established in 1710.
7) Literature has two forms- prose and verse. Religious and revolutionary literature is always written in verse as it has miraculous effect on the mind of the listeners and remains part of their memory for long, long time. Such are the verse compositions of Guru Sahib which create desire of being blessed with the strength as expressed in ‘ਦੇਹ ਸਿਵਾ ਬਰ ਮੋਹਿ ਇਹੈ——’, prepare Sikhs for battles with courage, give birth to new desires in them for service of the humanity, induce high determination in them and with war cry of ‘ਬੋਲੇ ਸੋ ਨਿਹਾਲ ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ’ handful of his forces defeat the hawks giving practical proof of Guru Sahib’s wish ‘ਚਿੜੀਉਂ ਸੇ ਮੈਂ ਬਾਜ ਤੁੜਾਉਂ ਤਬੇ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਾਮ ਕਹਾਉਂ'। Should we call it miracle? No, Sikhs don’t believe in miracles. This was the work of Guru’s compositions which a handful of Sikhs with some misplaced thinking, are trying to obliterate from the memory of Sikhs. Do we not know the Sikh army achievements in both the World Wars and the one at Saragarhi where 10000 Pathans were kept at bay by a few Sikh soldiers? If Sikh soldiers and border peasants were not there to handle Pakistan forces in 1965 and 1971 they would have taken control of Punjab up to river Sutlej as non sikh soldiers had taken shelter in sugarcane fields and were looking for buyers to sell their arms to make fare for reaching their states. The valour shown in Darbar Sahib at Amritsar would ever remain fresh in Sikh minds. Only a few days back at Sahnewal Bhai Mandeep Singh flew at the throat of a Bihari right in the Police Station to kill him as he could not bear the insult to Guru Granth Sahib. This was the result of courage he got from Guru Gobind Singh’s Bani.
8) Punjab is known as the land of Sikh Gurus and someone has very rightly said ‘ਬਾਤ ਕਰੂਂ ਅਬ ਕੀ ਨਾ ਤਬ ਕੀ, ਅਗਰ ਨਾ ਹੋਤੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੁੰਨਤ ਹੋਤੀ ਸਭ ਕੀ'।This is the Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh who is the role model for Sikh youth who in the past few decades put their lives at stake to maintain the honour of Sikh faith and many of whom are still lingering in jails seeing their youth waning into old age. By refusing to accept the role of Guru Gobind Singh’s bani in moulding the youth character to such heights we are doing great disservice to him and playing in the hands of our enemies. Instead of taking proper custody of our heritage we are pushing it into opponent’s fold.
Some opinions discussed:
a) Some people not conversant with the Sikh Thought which aims at building high character, plead that non relishable Chritro Pakhyan has been written by Guru ji to amuse his forces that had been away from their families for long. What nonsense!
b) Some say Guru Gobind Singh’s verses cannot be given the status of Bani. What is bani? In general parlance anything uttered by anybody is bani. Apart from common man’s uttereances we have Bhagat Banis, of Kabir, Ravi Dass and others. If we turn to Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Amar Dass says ‘ਆਵਹੁ ਸਿਖ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਹੁ, ਗਾਵਹੁ ਸਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ॥ਬਾਣੀ ਤ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇਰੀ ਬਾਣੀਆਂ ਸਿਰਿ ਬਾਣੀ॥’ (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 920)[This shabad admits the existence of banis other than in the Granth. But Sikhs are ordained to sing only that included in Guru Granth Sahib. When we can give status of bani of Bhagats and Bhats why not to Guru Gobind Singh’s Bani whom we call Guru?
c) Some do not take the idea of Guru’s not recording his bani in the Granth because of his own will or humility or intention to give it the status of Guru. To scuttle this idea they plead that should we call Guru Arjan Dev ji as a man of no humility and of ego for his entering in the Granth his own more than 2200 shabads. I don’t think this way. Only Guru knows the cause of it as per earlier reference of Giani Kesar Singh Chhibar. Further to think otherwise we disbelieve ‘ਕਰਨ ਕਰਾਵਨ ਕਰਨੈਹਾਰ॥ਇਸ ਕੈ ਹਾਥਿ ਕਹਾ ਬੀਚਾਰ॥'(੨੭੯) ਅਤੇ 'ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੈ ਕਿਛੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਾਥਿ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 281)
d) In reply to the argument that non existence of Guru’s Bani may in due course obliterate him from the memory of the coming generations, pseudo scholars refer to 6th, 7th and 8th Gurus who are in our memory despite there being no bani of them, I would remind my friends that i) there is no controversy about their lives, behaviour and actions and ii) we are not depriving them of any of their achievements whereas in the case of 10th Guru we are refusing to accept his Bani which being in tune with Sikh Thought infused a spirit in the masses by sayings like ‘ਜਬ ਆਵ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਬਨੈ, ਅਤ ਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੇ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੂਂ' aਨਦ 'ਨਾ ਡਰੋਂ ਅਰਿ ਸੋਂ ਜਬ ਜਾਇ ਲਰੋਂ,ਨਿਸ਼ਚੈ ਕਰ ਅਪਨੀ ਜੀਤ ਕਰੋਂ’ Because of which handful of Guru’s forces pounced upon the overwhelming Mughal hawks and defeated them. Conservative people in their selfish interest under the influence of pseudo non-violence theory of ruling classes who are afraid of Meeri Peeri Sidhant, harbinger of socio-political mass revolution, are denying existence of Guru Sahib’s bani with a view to deprive the coming generations of this valuable heritage of Sikhs.
e) There is no doubt that Meeri Peeri Sidhant had been introduced by Guru Nanak when he warned the people to join him only if they accepted ‘jau qau pRym Kylx kw cwau]isru Dir qlI glI myrI Awau]’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1412) and called Babar a tyrant heading a marriage party forcibly demanding the hand of bride. Guru Amar Dass was also acting as a contemporary ruler when he refused to meet Akbar until he took meals in the Guru ka Langar. Till Guru Arjan Dev the stress was on building character and self confidence in the masses to prepare them for more onerous task. He while going to offer his martyrdom exercised the prerogative of a ruler when he asked Guru Hargobind Sahib to arm the Sikhs who for the first time defeated the royal army thrice. Again it was Guru Gobind Singh who completed the aim of Sikhism by initiating Khalsa in 1699 and blessed it to enjoy sovereign powers ‘ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਆਕੀ ਰਹੇ ਨਾ ਕੋਇ’ [It was this Khalsa in Banda Singh Bahadur who defeating more than 200 years old mighty Mughal Empire, laid the foundation of Government of the people for the people in 1710 which after a grim struggle of about 90 years for its existence lasted till1849 when quislings in the shape of Dogras played a treacherous game with the Dal Khalsa resulting in their defeat by the British forces. It was again the spirit of Khalsa that kept the Indian army at bay when it attacked Darbar Sahib Amritsar in June 1984. History has it on record that it was the valour of Sikh forces which helped the Allied camp to win the two World Wars. And again it was Guru’s Khalsa in General Mohan Singh and Gurbax Singh Dhillon under whose command INA made the British Government realize that it no longer could stay in India. ‘ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ’ trait of the Khalsa and the desire to maintain its sovereignty enshrined in ‘ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ’ are continuously disturbing the ruling combines in India where they leave no stone unturned to suppress the Khalsa. Denying the Bani of Guru Gobind Singh being responsible for the historical unparallel role of Khalsa is like bowing to the pressure of those forces which want religion to be separated from politics which voice has been repeatedly raised since Guru Hargobind Sahib attired sword of Miri with that of Piri.
f) In support of denial of Guru’s Bani some people say since Guru Sahib did not use in his compositions the Gurbani lore of Mahala 10 how can it be accepted as bani? These people do not know that this lore of Mahala was introduced by Guru Arjan Dev ji while compiling Guru Granth Sahib and no Guru had used it for himself. And then Guru Gobind Singh had no intention to record his bani in Guru Granth Sahib.
Conclusion: Guru’s bani is very much with us. We only need to sift it from the Hindu mythology ridden formulations of the so called Dasam Granth using the touch stone of Gurbani as Guru Nanak says ‘ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਉਹ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥(ਪੌੜੀ ੨੦) removing wherever necessary the Hindu mythology colour and prepare a separate Granth titled ‘ਬਾਣੀ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦’ like ‘ਪੰਜ ਗ੍ਰੰਥੀ’. This should preferably be done under the aegis of Akal Takht and SGPC by a group of distinguished Sikh Scholars leading the life of Gurmukhs as Kabir Sahib in such matters says ‘ਹਰਿ ਭਇਓ ਖਾਂਡੁ ਰੇਤੁ ਮਹਿ ਬਿਖਰਿਓ,ਹਸਤੀ ਚੁਨਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਈ॥ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ,ਕੁਲ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਾਤਿ ਤਜਿ ਚੀਟੀ ਹੋਇ ਚੁਨਿ ਖਾਈ॥’(Guru Granth Sahib, p. 972)
I am grateful to my learned friends both at home and abroad who have helped me in searching the historical sources of Guru’s Bani.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2012, All