Dasam Granth – An Overview

Sangat Ji,

Apropos the discussion on primacy of Sri Guru Granth sahib, a short overview of Dasam Granth is presented below.

A brief overview of whether the compositions forming part of Dasam Granth are those of the tenth Guru is presented below.

The contents of Dasam Granth may be broadly divided into the following six categories:

  1. Devotional and inspirational. This includes Jaap Sahib, Akal Ustat, Gian Prabodh, Shabad, 33 Swayyay, Swayyay and Chaupaee.
  2. Historical – Zafarnamah.
  3. Dramas – Bachitar Natak, Chaubees Avtar.
  4. Praise of goddess – Chandi Charitra, Chandi Di Vaar.
  5. Shastar Nam Mala – description of weapons.
  6. Stories – Chritropakhan, Hikayatan.

Gurbani tells us that any wise person would say any thing with a purpose:

ਮਹਾ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਕਾ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਪਰਥਾਇ 

ਓਇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਭਰੇ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹਹਿ ਓਨਾ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਤਮਾਇ 

ਗੁਣਕਾਰੀ ਗੁਣ ਸੰਘਰੈ ਅਵਰਾ ਉਪਦੇਸੇਨਿ 

ਸੇ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਜਿ ਓਨਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਰਹੇ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਲਏਨਿ  ੩੭੫੫

Mahapurkha ka bolna hovai kitai parthaaey;

Oh amrit bharay bharpoor haih ona til na tmaaey. 8.

Gunkaari gun sanghrai avra updasayni;

Say vadbhaagi ji ona mili rahay andin naam laeyn. 9, (M: 3, p 755).

All great people say things with a purpose;

They are filled with ambrosia; they are selfless and expect nothing. 8.

Virtuous people gather virtues and teach others;

Those who come into their company are fortunate and ever remember God. 9.

This indeed is what Gurbani does. If some one has written some thing else, including stories about the past, it must be evaluated in the light of what Gurbani says:

ਬਾਬਾਣੀਆ ਕਹਾਣੀਆ ਪੁਤ ਸਪੁਤ ਕਰੇਨਿ 

ਜਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੁ ਮੰਨਿ ਲੈਨਿ ਸੇਈ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇਨਿ ੩੯੫੧

Baabaaneea kahaaneea put saput karayni;

Ji satgur bhaavai su mann laini sayee karam karayn (M: 3, p 951)..

Stories about ancestors make the offsprings better offsprings;

Those that are acceptable to the Guru should be accepted and acted upon.

Seen in the light of the above the Banis given at serials 1 and 2 above present no problem in their acceptance. It may be argued that in the light of the Khalsa being Saint Soldiers, Shastar Nam Mala at serial 5 is also acceptable.

However this is not the case with other compositions. Let us examine them one by one.

One of the major observations about the contents of Dasam Granth is that it advocates Brahminical rituals which Guru Sahiban had rejected. The Ragi Jathas profusely quote from the composition Bachitar Nantak which is believed to be the life story of the tenth Guru. The following verses are usually recited on the Parkash Divas or advent anniversary of the Guru:

ਮੁਰ ਪਿਤ ਪੂਰਬ ਕੀਯਸਿ ਪਯਾਨਾ ॥ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਕੇਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਨਾ 

Mur pit poorab keeyas(i) payaanaa|| Bhaant(i) bhaant(i) ke toorah(i) naanaa||

My father went east and bathed at many types of pilgrim centers;

ਜਬ ਹੀ ਜਾਤਤ੍ਰਿਬੇਣੀ ਭਏ ॥ ਪੁੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਦਿਨ ਕਰਤ ਬਿਤਏ

Jab hi jaat tribeni bhae|| Punn daan din karat bitae||1

When he went to Triveni (Allahabad),he passed his days in virtuous acts.1.

ਤਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਭਯੋ ॥ ਪਟਨਾ ਸਹਰ ਬਿਖੈ ਭਵ ਲਯੋ 

Tahee prakaas hamaaraa bhayo|| Patnaa sahar bikhai bhav layo||

I was conceived there and took birth at Patna.

That would mean the tenth Guru says that his father, the ninth Guru, believed in pilgrimages and went there to seek the benediction of a son and he got it.

On the other hand the ninth Guru says in his Bani:

ਤੀਰਥ ਕਰੈ ਬ੍ਰਤ ਫੁਨਿ ਰਾਖੈ ਨਹ ਮਨੂਆ ਬਸਿ ਜਾ ਕੋ 

ਨਿਹਫਲਧਰਮੁ ਤਾਹਿ ਤੁਮ ਮਾਨਹੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਕਹਤ ਮੈ ਯਾ ਕਉ ੯ ੮੩੧

Teerath karai brat phumi raakhai nah manooaa basi ja ko;

nihphal dharamu taahi tum maanhu saach kahat mai ya kau.

Only those go to pilgrimages and observe

austerities like fasts who have no control over their minds;

Let me tell you the truth: these are fruitless rituals (M: 9, p 831, line 3-4).

The above may be useful in considering whether Bachitar Nantak is the Bani of the tenth Guru?

Bachitar Natak and Chaubees Avtar at serial 3 are dramas, strange dramas. Bachitar Natak has certain portions which are according to Gurmat but plenty others which promote Hindu Mythology like in the case of creation as discussed earlier. The most important contrition of the Tenth Guru namely creation of Khalsa does not find place in Bachitar Natak purported to be his life-story. It shows anything that distinguishes Sikhs from Hindus is not included.

Chaubees Avtar  describes the twenty four incarnations of Vishnu of the Hindu trinity. It has been argued that these describe the victory of righteousness over vice and are therefore inspirational. These subjects have been covered in Gurbani and interpreted appropriately. Could the tenth Guru have therefore described them according to the Hindu belief system? Chaubees Avtar says about the birth of Krishna:

ਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੇ ਬਚਨ ਤੇ ਸੰਤਨ ਹੇਤ ਸਹਾਇ 

ਮਥਰਾ ਮੰਡਲ ਕੇ ਬਿਖੈ ਜਨਮ ਧਰਯੋ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇ 

Kaal purakh kay bachan tay santan hayt sahaaey;

Mathura mandal kay bikhai janam dhario hari raaey. 3.

By the order of the Kal Purakh and for the assistance of the devotees;

God was born in the area of Mathura.

According to Hindu mythology Krishna was born on Ashtmi, the eighth day on the lunar calendar. Gurbani talks on this subject specifically:

ਸਗਲੀ ਥੀਤਿ ਪਾਸਿ ਡਾਰਿ ਰਾਖੀ 

ਅਸਟਮ ਥੀਤਿ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਜਨਮਾ ਸੀ 

ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਨਰ ਕਰਤ ਕਚਰਾਇਣ 

ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ੫੧੧੩੬

Sagli theeti paasi daari raakhi;

Astam theeti govind janma si.1.

Bharam bhoolay nar karat kachraayin;

Janam maran tay raht narayan. Pause. (M: 5, p 1136).

Putting all other days of the lunar calendar aside;

Govind, the creator was born on the eighth;

Mislead by delusion people say half baked things;

But the Lord is beyond birth and death.

As may be seen Gurbani unequivocally rejects the story about the birth of Krishna as the incarnation of God which Chaubees Avtar says. In fact Gurbani rejects the very concept of divine incarnations thus:

ਕਿਸਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਅਵਤਾਰੀ ਰੂਧਾ ਕਿਤੁ ਲਗਿ ਤਰੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ 

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤੇ ਜੁਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚੂਕੈ ਮੋਹ ਗੁਬਾਰਾ  ੩੫੫੯

Kisan sadaa avtaari roodha kitu lagi tarai sansaara;

Gurmukhi giaan ratay jug anatar chookai moh gubaara. 3. (M: 3, p 559).

Vishnu is ever busy incarnating; in whose sanctuary can the world be saved?

Those who understand the guru’s teachings get out of this ignorance and attachment.

The fifth Guru further saying that the gods are subject to death prays:

ਸਿਵ ਬਿਰੰਚਿ ਅਸੁਰ ਸੁਰ ਜੇਤੇ ਕਾਲ ਅਗਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਜਰਤੇ 

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਰਨਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲਨ ਕੀ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਨ ਡਾਰਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਰਤੇ  ੫੧੨੬੭

Siv Biranch asur sur jaytay kaal agan mahi jartay;

Nanak saran charan kamlan kit um na daarhu prabh kartay. 3. 4. (M: 5, p 1267).

Siva, Brhama, demons, gods all burn in the fire of death;

I have sought the sanctuary of Your lotus feet, O lord; please do not send me away.

As may be seen Gurbani specifically rejects the concept of incarnations. The tenth Guru could not therefore have promoted Avtarvaad i.e. the phenomenon of incarnations.

Chaubees Avtar also says that Vishnu was asked by God to take birth as the sun and then the moon.

Chaubees Avtar at serial 3 above cannot therefore be the Bani of the tenth Guru.

Now about the goddess at serial 4. The description of Chandi, the goddess in Dasam Granth is according to the Hindu belief. Here is an example from Chandi Chritar wherein the author praises the goddess as the killer of demons and also as the Creator:

ਜੋਤ ਜਗਮਗੈ ਜਗਤਿ ਮੈ ਚੰਡ ਚਮੁੰਡ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ 

ਭੁਜ ਦੰਡਨ ਦੰਡਨਿ ਅਸੁਰ ਮੰਡਨ ਭੁਇ ਨਵ ਖੰਡ 

Jot jagmagai jagat mai chand chamund prachand;

Bhuj dandan dandani asur Mandan bhui nav khand. 3.

The powerful light of Chand-Chamunda shines in the world;

With strong arms she punishes the demons and is the creator of the nine khands(world).

The goddess is referred to as Shakti. The third Guru says:

ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਊਧਾ ਕਉਲੁ ਹੈ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਨਾਉ 

ਸਕਤੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੈ ਉਪਾਉ  ੩੫੧੧

Manmukh oodha kaul hai na tisu bhagati na nau;

sakti andar vartada kooru tis ka hai upaau (M: 3, p 511).

A self oriented person is like a drooping lotus flower, one who is afflicted;

He has neither devotion nor remembrance of God;

He works under the influence of Shakti and his efforts are based on falsehood.

Whether it is the gods or goddess their root is Maya says Guru Amardas:

ਦੇਵੀ ਦੇਵਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ੩੧੨੯

Devi deva mool hai maya (M: 3, p 129).

Maya is at the root of belief in gods and goddesses.

The above should leave no doubt that Gurbani tells us not to get into believing in gods and goddesses. Attributing compositions like Chaubees Avtar to Guru Gobind Singh Ji would mean he did not believe in what Gurbani teaches. This cannot be the case as he had the same Guru-jot as Guru Nanak and successor Gurus, all his predecessors.

Chritropakhyan at serial 6 describes the Character of women and all that goes with it. These are story translations and cannot be treated as the Bani of the tenth Guru. The same applies to Hikayatan. These have also been discussed earlier.

Some people have translated Pakhyan as story coming out of a story. Pakh really means ‘side’ as in ‘taking sides’. That means the collection describes the ‘Character angle’. Other scholars have translated ‘Chrirto Pakhyan’ as ‘wiles of women’ which means it is the character trickery by women which the composition is about. One wonders what purpose Guru Sahib may have in mind to write such a thing.

The Shiromni Gurduara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had clarified in 1973 that Charitro Pakyan is not the Bani of the tenth Guru:

In a reply No. 36672 dated 3rd August 1973 to S Santokh Singh (Chandigarh) the Asst. Sec. religious preaching sub-Committee of S. G. P .C. S. Gurbakhsh Singh wrote,

In regard to your inquiry of 6th July 1973 the views of Singh Sahibs of

Darbar Sahib and Akal Takht Jathedar are being sent to you. “Chritro

Pakhyan in the Dasam Granth is not Guru Gobind Singh’s Scriptures. These are

copies of the primitive Hindu mythical tales from Prans.”

Signed, Gurbakhsh Singh, Assistant Secretary,

Dharma Perchar Committee, S. G. P. C. Amritsar(copied from web page ‘Excommunication of Sikh Scholars’).

All in all it would be noticed that while some compositions in Dasam Granth may be attributed to the tenth Guru there are others which are completely against Gurmat and cannot be his Bani.

On Wednesday, 25 January 2017 6:48 PM, “Perminder Jolly perminderjolly1970@gmail.com [learning-zone]” <learning-zone@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
Veer Gurmukh Singhji,
I don’t belong to any of the Sikh Organisations but I am in total agreement with Lord Inderjit Singhji re. the primacy of G.G.S. I was very surprised to read your response indicating your reluctance to take a stand on  this issue considering your alliance with the Sikh Missionary society and other bodies. I am slso shocked that all the other Sikh organisations professing to be representing Sikhi have remained silent? Is it because they are all in agreement with the idea of introducing Dasam Granth into Sikh fold or fear of reprisals? Please read Dasam Granth snd then make up your minds. Let us know if you want your mothers, wives, sisters and daughters to be accepting the teachings of such a book?
Perminder Kaur (London UK)

Posted by: Perminder Jolly <perminderjolly1970@gmail.com>

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Posted On
Jan 31, 2017
Posted By

Great article. Dasani Granth is a forgery with some of gobind singh s bani mixed in. Majority is fake. You guys who know need to work out ways to sort the Sikh religion out. It’s being destroyed by all the elitist Brahmin manipulations. Sarbloh granth is totally fake in addition.

Posted On
Mar 08, 2017
Posted By
Supreet Kaur

Very happy to see a post like this!

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