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Historical notes on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji
Posted by: Harcharan Singh (IP Logged)
Date: April 28, 2008 06:17AM


Descriptions of the Dasam Granth - GS Mann

Descriptions of the Dasam Granth from the “Sketch of the
Sikhs” in view of Sikh History

Gurinder Singh Mann*

In this paper we are going to look at the descriptions of the Dasam Granth or
“Granth of the Tenth Master” from the 19th Century book entitled Sketch of the Sikhs1 written by Lt. Col. Malcolm. The Dasam Granth which was written by the tenthpreceptor, Guru Gobind Singh is something which in recent times has hese students formed into a branch of knowledge which would give discourses on Sikh thought7. So part of what Malcolm was being told was the exegesis of the Sikh scriptures by a very informed authority and the other was a first hand account of the rituals, practices of the Sikhs.

The descriptions of the Dasam Granth within the Sketch, are highly detailed, and
give us accounts which fit in with other practices taking place in the Punjab which was being ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh8. It is also important to see what kind of importance if any was being accorded to the Dasam Granth by the Maharaja to corroborate if Malcolm’s account holds any validity. Even more importantly is to see how Malcolm refers to the Akali Nihangs, the vanguard of Sikh defence created during the times of Guru Hargobind9 but refined under the leadership of Guru Gobind Singh. The interactions of Ranjit Singh, the Akali Nihangs and what Malcolm, witnessed sets the scene of what he wrote at the turn of the 1800’s.

The status of the Dasam Granth is the first area we need to concern ourselves with and according to Malcolm the Dasam Granth is part of the Sikh scriptures and that it was written by Guru Gobind Singh himself. He states,

"Dasama Padshah Ka Gran'th10, or book of the tenth King, which was
written by Guru Govind, is considered in every respect, as holy as the Adi
Granth of Nanac, and his immediate successors11."

He further describes the purpose of the Guru writing the Dasam Granth,

"Guru Govind inculcated his tenets upon his followers by preaching his
actions, and his works; among which is the Dasama Padshah ka Granth, or
the book of the tenth king or ruler; Guru Govind being the tenth leader of the
sect from Nanac. This volume which is not limited to religious subjects, but
filled with accounts of his own battles, and written with the view of stirring up a spirit of valour and emulation among his followers, is at least as much
revered among the Sikhs, as the Adi-Granth of Arjunmal12."

We can infer from this that Malcolm explains that the Granth is composed of religious and other discourses. The interpretation of the Granth in the context of battle is clearly seen by Malcolm. It is because Malcolm is a political officer and has knowledge of the army that he sees the importance of Dasam Granth as a battle text. The purpose of the Granth is indeed to stir up this valor amongst his followers.His account concurs with that of 18th Century writers who interpret the Dasam Granth in the context of battle13. The significance of Guru Gobind Singh’s battles also adds to the stirring energy that the Granth represents14. The respect and veneration that the Granth receives equals that of the Adi Granth. The recitation of the Dasam
Granth should take place twice daily together with the Guru Granth Sahib15. With
regards to the initiation process to the Khalsa the, “first chapters of the Adi-Granth, and the first chapters of the Dasama Padshah ka Granth, are read”16. The contents are also important to Malcolm and he states the following,

"The Dasama Padshah ka Granth of Guru Govind appears from the
extracts which I have seen of it, to abound in fine passages. Its author has
borrowed from the Sastras of the Brahmens and the Koran. He praises Nanac
as a holy saint, accepted of God; and grounds his faith, like that of his
predecessors, upon the adoration of one God; whose power and attributes he
however describes by so many Sanscrit names, and with such constant
allusions to the Hindu mythology, that it appears often difficult to separate his purer belief from their gross idolatry17.""

Malcolm interestingly puts the Granth into context and also solves the problem that many modern day scholars have regarding the attributive names for god whether it is Bhavani, Chandi, or Ram etc18.

The history of Guru Gobind Singh’s battles is all narrated on the testimony of the Bachitra Natak. This composition is referred to as being written by Guru Gobind Singh and then put into the Dasam Granth19. The Bachitra Natak gives an, “impression which Guru Govind gave his followers of his divine mission”20. The role of the Bachitra Natak has been extensively used by Sikh writers in the 18th Century and Malcolm also makes the same connection regarding the works importance21.

The translations of the Bachitra Natak seem very complete and hence begs the
question did Malcolm undertake these himself or did he obtain them from another
source. A perusal of the book tells us the answer to that. Malcolm testifies that he has obtained a number of translations from his friend Dr Leyden. Malcolm states,

"This slender stock of materials was subsequently much enriched by my
friend Dr Leyden, who has favored me with a translation of several tracts
written by Sikh authors in the Penjabi and Duggar dialects22."

The translations which Malcolm used were recently discovered in England23. His
learned friend Dr Leyden was indeed capable of translating various oriental texts as he was trained in various dialects and languages of India. The translations of these key texts in my opinion are the first English translations of any Sikh texts which make the work even more significant. The importance of Sikh religion can only be enriched by looking to the valuable contributions that were made by all visitors and observers in the Punjab, whilst most Punjabi, Hindi and to some extent Persian sources have been fully documented but there is scope for more work24

The use of Bachitra Natak within the Sketch is central to the way it is written.
Malcolm also undertakes analysis of the Bachitra Natak throughout his book. He
quite correctly notes that at the end of the Bachitra Natak that the composition
forms part of a larger text namely the Dasam Granth25.

Whilst the use of the Bachitra Natak is significant in portraying the past glory of the Khalsa it is the useful practice of the Dasam Granth which is of far more importance to us. It is now imperative at this stage to look at the role of the Akali Nihangs during this time period. Malcolm describes the vanguard army of the Sikhs in an interesting way and gives us an important assessment of their practices. Looking at the Sketch, the place of the Nihangs is given as “The Acalis, or never-dying (the most remarkable class of devotees)”26, the attire and physical make up is summed up by, “The disciples of Govind were required to devote themselves to arms, always to have steel about them in some shape or other; to wear a blue dress”27. The Akali Nihangs were the Sikhs who defended against the innovations of Banda Bahadur28. In veneration to Akal Purkh, they are continuously, “exclaiming Acal! Acal!”29. The term Akal is central to their thoughts and they “wear blue chequered clothes, and bangles or bracelets of steel, round their wrists30”. As a result they recite verses in praise of steel namely from the Akal Ustat of the Dasam Granth31. The Akali Nihangs
are not only the warrior vanguard but also the priestly class as well, they have, “sole direction of the religious ceremonies at Amritsar32”, and they are, “leading men in a council which is held at that sacred place, and which deliberates under all the influence of religious enthusiasm33”. What is the name of this sacred Place? It is in Amritsar but most importantly it is at the Akal Bunga (Takht)34 where the Akali Nihangs assemble. So who is the chief of this visible and strong contingent of warriors? Malcolm does not elaborate on this but we know from other sources that it was one Akali Phula Singh. The descriptions given seem to suggest that the Akali
Nihangs held great power in the Punjab and hence must be the rulers but this is not the case. At this time the ruler of Punjab is one Maharaja Ranjit Singh who holds the Akali Nihangs in great esteem and to some extent is subject to their directions and even punishments35.

Akali Phula Singh

The Khalsa was devised to be a commonwealth of sorts and hence the formation of
the Panj Pyare36 which set in motions a committee to resolve common problems and
issues. The best term to describe this is probably a Gurmatta where all the Sikh
heads would meet to resolve there differences. According to Malcolm this Gurmatta was a significant event in the Sikh calendar,

When Guru-mata or great national council, is called, (as it always is, or ought to be, when any imminent danger threatens the country, or any large expedition is to be undertaken) all the Sikh chiefs assemble at Amritsar. The assembly, which is called the Guru-mata, is convened by the Acalis; and when the chiefs meet upon this solemn occasion, it is concluded that all private animosities cease, and that every main sacrifices his personal feelings at the shrine of the general good; and, actuated by principles of pure patriotism, thinks of nothing but the interests of the religion, and commonwealth, to which he belongs

"When the chiefs and principal leaders are seated, the Adi-Granth and
Dasama Padshah ka Granth are placed before them. They all bend their heads
before these scriptures, and exclaim, Wa! Guruji ka Khalsa! Wa! Guruji ki
Fateh! A great quantity of cakes, made of wheat, butter, and sugar, are then
placed before the volumes of their sacred writings, and covered with a cloth.
These holy cakes, which are in commemoration of the injunction of Nanac, to
eat and to give to others to eat, next receive the salutation of the assembly,
who then rise, and the Acalis pray aloud, while the musicians play. The Acalis,
then the prayers are finished, desire the council to be seated. They sit down,
and the cakes being uncovered, are eaten of by all classes of Sikhs: those
distinctions of original tribes, which are, on occasions, kept up, being on this
occasion laid aside, in token of their general and complete union in one cause.
The Acalis then exclaim: "Sirdars! (Chiefs) this is Guru-mata!" on which
prayers are again said aloud. The chiefs, after this sit closer, and say to each
other: "The sacred Granth is betwixt us, let us swear by our scripture to
forget all internal disputes, and to be united." This moment of religious fervor
and ardent patriotism, is taken to reconcile all animosities. They then proceed
to consider the danger with which they are threatened, to settle the best
plans for averting it, and to choose the generals who are to lead their armies
against the common enemy37.

This information enriches our understanding of how the Akali Nihangs called these Gurmattas and the purpose for doing so. More importantly the Adi Granth and Dasam Granth are placed together and the entire congregation bows down to
them38. All the previous animosities are to be forgotten and the Sikhs are to be
united, the resolutions are taken in the presence of both Granths. This description may suggest that the Ardas of the Sikhs is taking place and in some ways reflects the modern day practice with the major exception being that in the past both Granths were present. The discussion as to why this practice is no longer the case deserves more attention and is beyond the scope of this paper but suffice to say that when the Akali Nihangs held sway over the Sikh institutions the Dasam Granth was an integral part of the Sikh psyche.

After the Anglo Sikh wars the Nihangs were deposed of their military and priestly position which led to the Dasam Granth also suffering a decline in its role39. The advent of the Singh Sabha movement also sidelined the prominence of the Dasam Granth preferring a more Christian approach to Sikhism under the influence of the British. It is more interesting to note that Takhts Patna Sahib and Hazhur Sahib
where the recitation and veneration of both Granths takes place there has been very little change in the way of practice of upholding the values and precepts contained within the Dasam Granth. In fact one of the earliest western sources on the DasamGranth refers to the recitation of the Dasam Granth at Patna40.

Recital of Adi Granth, Dasam Granth and Sarbloh Granth at Damdama41

Malcolm does not refer to Ranjit Singh being at the Gurmattas but the examination of how the Maharaja saw the Dasam Granth is also important. Ranjit Singh was keen to be seen as a patron of the arts within his court and this included the preparation of illustrated versions of the Guru Granth Sahib and the Dasam Granth. Many manuscript copies of the Dasam Granth and various Pothis, Gutkas exist from the 18th Century but preparation of Illustrated Guru Granth and Dasam Granth manuscripts starts taking a different formation during Ranjit Singh. Looking at several manuscripts created during this time period we see that the Granths were beautifully prepared for various patrons in India and abroad. On particular recension is the MS Or. 6298, which is now in the British Library. The opening folios of this text fits in with many manuscripts created during this time where illustrations are arranged in the form of a lotus around a central portion of text with floral decoration between the pictures42. This clearly shows the veneration and respect that was accorded to the Dasam Granth. It should be made clear that the Dasam Granth was an integral part of the Sikh psyche as mentioned earlier and another source tells us how it was not just the Akali Nihangs who drew inspiration from having both Granths
together but the whole political and social system of Ranjit Singh’s Khalsa rule. One source tells us the way in which the Granths received prominence at this time,

"The maharaja maintained an elaborate establishment of Bhais (Sikh
priests), one or two of whom held the charge of every Sikh shrine in the
Punjab. There was a separate estate attached to every shrine, the produce of
which was enjoyed by the incumbent. He was always attended on his tours by
a priest with a volume of each of the two chief scriptures [Adi Granth and
Dasam Granth]. They were wrapped up in rich pieces of silk, placed in a cot
under a big canopy, and thus borne from one place to another. A special
military escort was provided, each member of which carried a Sikh banner.
The procession was often followed by a number of priests on elephants.
Besides this, every regiment had its own volumes of the Granths and religious
insignia. Even the ministers of state carried separate copies of the Granths on
their journeys43."

The patron of arts, Ranjit Singh was also patron of the Granths as can be seen
above. The respect given to the Granths in terms of them wrapped in silk, carried in a cot and a military escort showed the prominence of the Granths. The idea of taking both Granths on journeys indicated that they were an integral part of Ranjit Singh’s entourage and the number of Bhais employed also shows us the lengths the Maharaja went to ensure that the words of the Guru was an inspiration to all concerned.

Another interesting anecdote is a painting drawn by visitor to the court of Ranjit Singh. The European traveler August Schoefft44, was present at the court for many years. The picture shows what looks like two Granths sitting next to each other and bani from them being read by a Granthi. The Maharaja is depicted in the scene listening to the bani. Harimandir Sahib can be seen in the background and there are members of the Akali Nihang also depicted in the scene as well.

Ranjit Singh listening to the Granths.(Picture in harmandir sahib)

In isolation the Sketch by Malcolm, may not have not seemed consistent with other reports but by considering other information on the Akali Nihangs and the reports of Ranjit Singh we can see the accuracy of it. Malcolm has made a good assessment of the Sikhs and in terms of the Dasam Granth has outlined much for researchers to consider. He is aware of several compositions of the Dasam Granth as well of the importance of the scripture in the Khalsa rituals and practices. As a person Malcolm who was able to broker treaties and also write candidly and fairly about the Sikhs which showed his true intentions. The descriptions of both the Adi Granth and the Dasam Granth mirrored what was taking place within Amritsar with the Akali Nihangs who were custodians of the practices since Guru Gobind Singh and Ranjit Singh who was a loyal Sikh and patron of the arts. The Sketch sets a precedent for other writers to follow but this was not taken up by other writers. Whilst other writers may have shown their distaste of the Sikh Scriptures and attempted to show the Granths as being inferior to the bible, Malcolm showed that by careful analysis of the scriptures
and by looking at the practice of the Sikhs a truthful sketch was possible. It was not a difficult task for Malcolm to understand the messages of the Guru but something which poses a goliath task for Sikhs in modern times.\

1 Here on referred to as the Sketch.
2 Bhai Mani Singh was not only the first Jathedar of the Harimandir Sahib but was responsible for setting up various schools for disseminating Sikh thoughts this includes the Sato Wali Gali Taksal, in Amritsar.
The Dasam Granth recension attributed to Bhai Mani Singh is now in the house of Gulab Singh Sethi, New Delhi. Baba Deep Singh was instrumental in the setting up Guru Gobind Singh Kashi in Damdama Sahib, where some of the manuscripts were stamped with a certain seal. The Baba Deep Singh Gutka is kept at
Takht Damdama Sahib.

3 See information related to Guru Arjun Dev’s martyrdom by Jerome Xavier in, A Jesuit Account of Guru Arjan’s Martyrdom, 1606, See Warrior Saints, Parmjit Singh and Amandeep Madra, (1999), London, p3-8.

4 Western Image of the Sikh Religion- A sourcebook, Ed, Darshan Singh, (1999), New Delhi, p xv

5 The Sketch of the Sikhs: A Singular nation who inhabit the provinces of the Punjab situated between the rivers Jamnu and Indus, Lt Col Malcolm, (1812). The sketch first appeared in Asiatick Researches: Or,
Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal, 11th Volume, Asiatic Society, (Calcutta, India), 1812.

6 Sketch, p2
7 The Nirmala’s eventually branched out to different parts of India including Haridvar, Allahabad and Varanasi, where they established centres of learning that exist even today — Kankhal, near Haridwar;
Pakki Sangat at Allahabad; and Chetan Math and Chhoti Sangat at Varanasi. Their present head is Sri Mahant Nam Dev Singh. They also revere the Dasam Granth as the work of Guru Gobind Singh.

8 Maharaja Ranjit Singh was head of the Sukkarchakkia Misl and in 1802 after fending off competitors for the Punjab lands was declared Maharaja.

9 Recent research suggests that the Sikh army created during the time of Guru Hargobind was named Akal Sena or Immortal Army however the formation of the an arming the Sikhs was created by Guru Arjun. See
Warrior Saints, Parmjit Singh and Amandeep Singh, (1999), London, p 5. When Guru Hargobind became the 6th Guru the practices of the Sikhs took a different outward turn. The term Budda Dal (Akali Nihangs) is attributed to Baba Budha a veteran Sikh who survived many Gurus’ and is credited for devising the
martial training for Sikhs. It was also during the religious reign of Guru Hargobind which first saw several battles with the Mughal authorities. The Martial tradition was recreated at the time of the Khalsa with the
Sikhs having a unique relationship with weapons. The Nihangs Sikhs were the elite Sikhs who adorned themselves with weapons. The corpus of literature created by Guru Gobind namely the Dasam Granth and
the Sarbloh Granth tells us the following 1) Weapons are equated with Akal Purakh 2) The role of weapons
in warfare 3) The compositions are to be recited in battle. The imprint of the term Akal is profusely used in the Dasam Granth and its variation Kal, Sarb kal, Maha Kal, Kal Purakh.

10 Some writers have pointed out that the Dasam Granth as a scripture poses a problem due to its changing name. The Granth was composed as the Bachitra Natak Granth and additional compositions namely Jaap, Akal Ustat etc were added to the Dasam Granth as we now see. The Bachitra Natak Granth, Dasven
Patshah Ka Granth, Dasam Granth and Dasam Guru Granth mean the same thing just as Pothi Sahib, Granth Ji, Adi Granth and Guru Granth Sahib means the same thing. Interestingly some 18th Century Dasam Granth recensions bear the title of Granth Ji which is the name that was given to Guru Granth
recensions as well. Malcolm on page 31, states that the term Adi was added to Granth to distinguish it from the Dasam Granth.

11 Sketch, p173. This is asserted again on page 55.
12 Ibid, 51
13 It is probable that Malcolm never read 18th century accounts of the Sikhs like Gursobha (written by Sainapat, 1711), Bansavalinama (written by Chibber Singh, 1769), and Guru Kian Sakhian (written by Bhat Sarup Singh Kaushish, c 1780). These texts interpret the compositions of the Dasam Granth in view of
warfare and battle. There is no mention of these texts within the Sketch.

14 The idea of the compositions creating this kind of effect is referred to as Yudh Mai Bani. The Akali Nihangs define the Dasam Granth as 1) Sansar Mai Bani 2) Amrit Mai Bani and 3) Yudh Mai Bani.

15 Ibid, 185. Either Malcolm is stating that the recitation of both Granths should take place every morning and evening or more likely that composition from both Granths should be read twice a day.

16 Ibid, 182
17 Ibid, p 188

18The attributive names of god with Hindu names are not only a feature in the Dasam Granth but in the Adi Granth as well.
19 Sketch, p54
20 Ibid, 179. Malcolm clearly picks up the verses which refer to the Guru as having his mission ordained by god and the words he writes are not his but god ordained as well.

21 Sainapat the author not only quotes profusely from the Bachitra Natak but the style of writing mirrors that of the Bachitra Natak. In fact the most vivid details of Guru Gobind’s battles can only be obtained from this composition.
22 Sketch, p 3

23 The works of Dr Leyden were recently discovered by Parmjit Singh of the UKPHA (United Kingdom Punjab Heritage Association) in 2003 whilst researching for his book Siques, Tigers and Thieves (2004).
The works can be found at the British Library, held under the McKenzie Collection., Eur MSS Mack xl. The McKenzie collection contains 1) Parts of 41st Var of Bhai Gurdas, 2) Parts of Bhagat Ratnavali attributed to Bhai Mani Singh; 3) Gian Ratanwali( Sikhan De Bhagtamala) attributed to Bhai Mani Singh,
4) Kurka of Guru Gobind Singh, attributed to Nand. However Parmjit Singh did not make any analysis of the works as this was beyond his scope at the time. These translations were passed to me in 2004, in the
same year I located in the British Library other works by Dr Leyden including a translation of the Prem Sumarag Granth together with verses of Jaap Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh. A clear examination of Leyden’s works tells us that Dr Leyden had spent much time translating not only Sikh texts but other
oriental texts as well. For further information on Dr Leyden, see Dictionary of Indian Biography, p251, by CE Buckland, (1971)
24 The UKPHA in England is doing valuable a job in preserving Sikh heritage. The many projects in their
seven year history includes 1) Scanning many tracts from the 19th century and making them available on
the internet- www.punjabarchive.org 2)A News blog which catalogues articles on the Internet related to
Sikh Heritage- www.punjabheritage.org. The digitization and cataloguing of Punjabi Manuscripts held in Private and Public collections in the UK-which is forthcoming. The author of this article has been involved in projects No 2 and 3.

25 Sketch, p63
26 Ibid, p50
27 Ibid, p48
28 Malcolm is referring to the Tat Khalsa Sikhs (Real Sikhs) as Akali Nihangs. The tensions between the Tat Khalsa and the Bandeis, (followers of Banda) were resolved by Bhai Mani Singh.
29 Sketch, p 116
30 Ibid,p117
31 Ibid, Malcolm quotes lines from the Akal Ustat.
32 Ibid
33 Ibid,p116. This assertion is also made by other writers as well. “A Sikh wishing to become a Singh finds no difficulty in accomplishing his proselytism. He goes to the Akalees, or priest of the sect, at Amritsur
….after the performance of certain ceremonies he is given to drink a sherbet made of sugar and water, from the hand of an Akalee. This extract is taken from Tour to Lahore,” The Asiatic Annual Register, vol. XI — for the Year 1809. London: printed for T Cadell and W Davies, etc. (1811), pages 421-440.

34 Ibid, p118. Malcolm refers to it as Akal Bunga or ‘” Immortal abode”, which is the original name of what we now call the Akal Takht. There was at the time of Malcolm writing many Bungas around the Harimandir Sahib he refers to particularly to the Shaheed (Baba Deep Singh) and Nirmala Bungas. There is
one estimate that there was around 80 different Bungas at the end of the 19th century. The abodes were to accommodate visitors but also places of elucidating the Sikh scriptures by different Sampradaya (The Udasis, Nirmalas, Sewapanthis and the Akali Nihangs). Also see Madanjit Kaur, The Golden Temple Past
& Present. Amritsar,(1983), p180

35 The famous anecdote given in Sikh history is that of Ranjit Singh marring a dancing girl. As a result of this act the Mahahraja was subjected to lashings by Akali Phula Singh. It should also be noted that Akali Phula Singh as well as being the deliverer of justice was also one of the finest Commanders in the
battlefield. The Maharaja on numerous occasions turned to the Alkali Nihangs to further his campaigns.

36 At the formation of the Khalsa on Baisakhi 1699 the Guru created the Sikh Baptismal ceremony whereby he baptized five Sikhs called the Panj Pyare. It was at this time he stated that when five Sikhs sat together
and proclaimed an edict this should be seen as being the same as if the Guru was there.

37 Sketch, p120. According to Malcolm the first Guru-mata was assembled by Guru Gobind Singh; and the latest was called in 1805, when the British army pursued Holkar into the Punjab.

38 Whilst the presence of both Granths being together may not seem a norm for the Sikhs these days it is a practice which is followed by many. The Akali Nihangs to this day in there Gurudwaras house the two
Granths, together with the Sarbloh Granth. The School of Hermeneutics, the Damdami Taksal also houses both Granths in their principal locations. The two Takhts of Sikh polity Patna Sahib in Bihar and Hazhur Sahib in Nanden also continue this original practice. The recitation and taking Hukumnama’s from the
Dasam Granth also takes place there as part of their maryada. The Akal Takht also housed the Dasam Granth until it was forcefully removed in the 1940’s. There has been also been Dasam Granth Akhand Paths held at the Akal Takht in the last century.

39 A clear timeline can be drawn between the practice of the Dasam Granth and the position of the Akali Nihangs. As the role and strength of the Akali Nihangs diminished so did the position of the Dasam Granth
in the religion. With the advent of the Singh Sabha Movement and the SGPC the Dasam Granth was viewed with suspicion due to the predominately Hindu themes within in it.

40 Charles Wilkins, The Sicks and their college at Patna, 1st March 1781, Transactions of the Asiatick
Society. Calcutta: 1788), vol 1, pp 288-294.

41 Photo taken by author at Nihang Gurudwara, Damdama in 2006.
42 This manuscript belonged to Diwan Mulraj, the Governor of Multan and was obtained by the British in the cities siege in 1849. The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms, Edited by Susan Stronge, London, 1999, p209, See
notes by Dr Jeevan Deol regarding MS Or.6298 who states its creation was between c1825-1840.
43 Ibratnama, by Mufti 'Ali ud-Din, Quoted from The Punjab as a Sovereign State (1799-1839), Gulshan
Lall Chopra, (1928), Lahore, p 204.

44 August Schoefft (1809-1888), was from Hungary. His famous paintings formed part of the Princess Bamba collection at the Lahore Fort. The picture was recreated from a sketch he made in 1841. The Bamba
collection consists of 18 oil paintings, 14 water colours, 22 ivory paintings, 17 photographs, 10 metallic
objects and 7 miscellaneous articles.

* Bio
Gurinder Singh Mann is the first western writer on the Sri Dasam Granth and has a MA in South Asian Religions from De-Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He recently showed his knowledge on the Subject at the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib: International Seminar Series at Sacramento, USA. Where he undertook a
presentation on the “300 year History of the Dasam Granth”. He is presently writing a book on the Maryada of Hazur Sahib together with his colleague Kamalroop Singh. They are also writing a book on the Sri
Dasam Granth which will be in-depth history of the Granth showcasing the manuscripts and other important accounts to be released late 2009.


Re: Historical notes on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji
Posted by: Khalsaspirit (IP Logged)
Date: April 28, 2008 10:20AM

Waheguru ji ka kahlsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh

Khalsa jio,

"More importantly the Adi Granth and Dasam Granth are placed together and the entire congregation bows down to them38".

Now jagat jot, chaur, shatar, takhat de malik dhan Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib has respect as "Adi Granth". Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru do not what this chaal is?????

ਚਲੇ ਥੇ ਇੱਜਤ ਬਨਾਨੇ ਕੋ
ਉਲਟਾ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਹੀ ਉਤਾਰ ਆਏ।

Guru Mehar Karay

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh


Re: Historical notes on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji
Posted by: Harcharan Singh (IP Logged)
Date: April 28, 2008 01:26PM

Khalsa Spirit Ji,

Please stop playing the senasationlist, it's an academic article - Adi Granth is an historic term (as shown above) which was used by Sikhs - which is why people like Col. Malcolm above have reflected this practice of the early 1800's.

The reference/term Adi is also of a highly respected nature - meaning original/1st/primal. As far as I can remember, the term 'Guru' became more popular later on, and Granth or Adi Granth (alonside Guru in rarer cases), continued to be used by Sikhs (as seen in rehitnamai and historical writings) after Dasam Patshahs ascension.

Try and learn from the evidenced Panthic culture of the old times, specifically with the issue of the veneration and ineffability of Sri Dasam Sahib Ji - which has seen it's status change since the Sikh reforms in early 1900's.

If you think this is a 'chaal', then you better start off with correcting the 'guardians' of Sikhi in the 1st instance, rather than attacking academics who continue to coin the same terminology as had been used in writing over the last 300 years.



Re: Historical notes on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji
Posted by: Khalsaspirit (IP Logged)
Date: April 29, 2008 10:51AM

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh

Harcharan Singh Ji,

Quote "Please stop playing the senasationlist, it's an academic article"

What academics are trying to tell us that they are allowed to manipulate respect?????

Quote "Adi Granth is an historic term (as shown above) which was used by Sikhs"

You said it all it WAS USED BY SIKHS not now. After 1708 exact 300 years ago it changes its name from Adi Granth to Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. So, yes when referred back before 1708 it was named as mentioned but not after that.

Quote "the term 'Guru' became more popular later on"

Completely wrong, Singh jio, to refresh your memory in 1708 this is what Guru Sahib said:


The term GURU is not became popular later on it was HUKAM (order) of Guru Sahib who used utmost respect as GURU and JEE before and after the Granth. Now how come 300 years later so called Sikhs ACCEPT IT to be ok to call "ADI GRANTH"? This is completely disobeying Dasam Patshah and complete manmat. We would like to remind here when Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s s own son changed one word of from Musalman to Baeeman of Guru Granth Sahib Jee when Guru Granth Sahib were not even at the status of Guru ship and he changed with so called academic manner then he was ex-communicated right way then how come Guru Sahib accept a Sikh who is changing the name of Guru Granth JEE to Adi Granth or etc when it has the status of a complete GURU.

Quote "continued to be used by Sikhs (as seen in rehitnamai and historical writings) after Dasam Patshahs ascension."

Following are few quotes see where ever that term is used it is always with respect:

ਸਿਖਾਂ ਨੇ ਪੂਛਾ, "ਜੋ ਅਬ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕਹਾਂ ਕਰਹਿ।" ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਦੀਨ ਦਿਆਲ ਬਚਨ ਕੀਆ, " ਦਸ ਸਰੂਪ ਪੂਰਨ ਭਏ, ਅਜ ਮੇਰਾ ਜਾਹਗਾ 'ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ' ਕੋ ਜਾਣਨਾ। ਜਿਸ ਨੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਸੇ ਬਾਤ ਕਰਨੀ ਹੋਇ ਤੋ ਆਦਿ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕਾ ਪਾਠ ਕਰਨਾ। ਮੇਰੇ ਸੇ ਬਾਤ ਹੋਵੇਗੀ"
-ਮਹਿਮਾ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਭਾਵਾ ਸਰੂਪ ਦਾਸ ਭਲਾ

ਤੀਨ ਰੂਪ ਹੈ ਮੋਹਿ ਕੇ ਸੁਨੋ ਨੰਦ ਚਿਤ ਲਾਇ॥
ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਸਰਗੁਣ 'ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ' ਕਹੋਂ ਤੋਹਿ ਸਮਝਾਇ॥
ਏਕ ਰੂਪ ਤਿਹ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਪਰੇ॥ ਨੇਤਿ ਨੇਤਿ ਜਿਹ ਨਿਗਮ ਉਚਰੇ॥
ਦੂਸਰ ਰੂਪ 'ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ' ਜਾਨੋ॥ ਇਨ ਕੇ ਅੰਗ ਮੇਰੋ ਕਰ ਮਾਨੋ॥
-ਰਹਿਤਨਾਮਾ ਭਾ: ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ, ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਨ ਉਤਰ

ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਅਸਤ। ਦਰਮਿਆਨੇ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਾ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੇਚ ਫ਼ਰਕੇ ਨੇਸਤ।
ਅਜ਼ ਦੀਦਾਰਿ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਮੁਸ਼ਹਿਦਾਨਿ ਦੀਦਾਰਿ ਫ਼ਰਹਤ ਆਸਾਰਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਬਾਇਦ ਨਮੂਦ॥
(ਅਰਥ-'ਗੁਰੂ' ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਹਨ। ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਅਤੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਵਿਚਕਾਰ ਕੋਈ ਫ਼ਰਕ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੈ। ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਦਰਸ਼ਨਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੇ ਅਨੰਦ-ਭਰਪੂਰ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਹੋਣਗੇ।)
-ਉਮਾਦੁਤ-ਤਵਾਰੀਖ਼ ਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਮੁਨਸ਼ੀ ਸੋਹਣ ਲਾਲ

In reference to SGPC website's article for use of Adi Granth. In contrast to your thinking that article is much better. They referred to this term during the time period of Guru Arjan Dev jee, Bhai Gurdass Jee yet through out article they kept repeating Guru Granth Sahib Jee and above all they maintained the parkash of jagat jot dhan dhan Sahib sri Guru Granth Sahib jee in all Gurudwaras and other Takhats including SRI HARMANDIR SAHIB AND SRI AKAAL TAKAHT SAHIB.

In last but not least it is a duty of an each and every SIKH to maintain the utmost respect for Guru Sahib as Guru Sahib did in human roops. And we also believe respect never comes out by forceful means it always comes from one's heart when he/she is filled with love and ਭਉ.

ਖਾਲਸਾ ਜੀ ਜੀ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ a quick glance on this:
Quote "is at least as much revered among the Sikhs, as the Adi-Granth of Arjunmal12."

Here Guru Arjan Dev ji's name is changed to Arjunmal. We hope and do ardass that it should be a typo not a HISTORICAL TERM for fifth Guru.

Guru Mehar Karay

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh


Re: Historical notes on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji
Posted by: Khalsaspirit (IP Logged)
Date: April 29, 2008 01:27PM

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh

Khalsa jio,

Khima for typo:
Should be read as Sri Guru Har Rai Ji's son instead of Guru Arjan Dev ji's.

Guru Mehar karay

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh


Re: Historical notes on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji
Posted by: Harcharan Singh (IP Logged)
Date: April 29, 2008 03:04PM

Dear Khalsa spirit,

Vaheguru ji ka Khalsa Vaheguru ji ki Fat-heh

Question for you, when you refer to Muhammed Sahib, do you say "Sallallaahu Alaehe Wa Sallam"? Non-Sikhs (particularly in the academic field) are not bound by our traditions and customs.

Your arguement against Adi-Granth is silly and your example incomparable - are you implying Guru Arjun Dev Ji never accorded respect to Gur-shabd when giving it the highest respect by naming it Adi-Granth? May be you should look into the meaning of Adi. Guru, Granth Ji Manyo - the 'Granth Ji' should be accepted as Guru. Granth Ji is Guru. If some people say Granth Ji or Adi-Granth Ji, doesn't take away the fact that it is Guru saroop. Many Sikhs even today say 'Granth Sahib', whilst others say Jagdi Jyot Ad Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. It's a matter of love, respect, personal devotion and expression.

History shows both terms were used over time - this does not challenge the fact that Gurbani is jagdi jyot of Guru Nanak Dev ji Maharaj.

It's a matter of opinion, whether or not one wishes to make a drama out of this,
in any case, I digress.

Re your concern about the name Arjun-Mal - Guru Hargobind Sahib's contemporary Mohsin Fani would know what Guru Arjun Dev Ji's original name was better than you or me. Read Dabistan-e-Mazahib to clear your doubts.


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