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Bachitar Natak Granth - An Excerpt


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Bachitar Natak Granth - An Excerpt

Bachitar Natak Granth - 6:1-33

Timeline of Creation (similar to Genesis of Old Testament) as recounted by the author (popularly believed to be the Tenth Nanak, but increasingly being questioned by Sikhs as some poet originally from a Rajput principality of Mughal era) of Bachitar Natak Granth [the translation has been done assuming that the "author" is Guru Gobind Singh and as a consequence, when the "author" talks of "my parents" he is talking of Guru Tegh Bahadur (the Ninth Nanak) and Mata Gujri ji]:

1. Now I (â€Guru Gobind Singhâ€) shall narrate my story, the way I was brought here from my meditative state (â€tap sadhatâ€) from where Hemkunt mountain is and where the seven other peaks are situated.

2. That place became known as “Sapatsring†where Pandvas had meditated according to the ways of “raj-yogaâ€. At that place I did tremendous amounts of tapasya and worshipped “Mahakaal†and “Kaalikaâ€.

3. This way I continued to do tapasya and in the end as a result I reached the state of non-duality (â€advaitâ€) from a state of duality (â€dvaitâ€). My father and mother (i.e., Guru Tegh Bahadur ji and Mata Gujri ji) worshipped God (â€Alakhâ€) and used many ways to do yog-sadhna.

4. The sewa that they (i.e., Guru Tegh Bahadur ji and Mata Gujri ji) performed of “Alakh†(God), pleased “Gurdev†(God?). So when God (â€Prabhâ€) gave me permission, I took birth in this “kalyugâ€.

5. I didn’t want to come here (i.e. be born in Kalyug) as my mind was immersed in meditating in God’s presence. Somehow (â€jio tioâ€) God made me understand and before sending me to this world told me the following:

Akal Purakh’s words to this lowly being (â€keetâ€) –

6. “When We (i.e., God) brought this whole creation in to being, first of all we created evil and tyrannical (â€dusht†and “dukh daayiâ€) giants (â€daintsâ€). They (daints) were maddened at the strength of their arms (â€bhuj-balâ€) and stopped worshipping God (â€Param Purakhâ€).

7. Enraged, We (God) destroyed all the giants in no time. In their place were created the demi-gods (â€devtaâ€). They too became absorbed in sacrifices (â€baliâ€) and worship (â€pujaâ€) offered to them. And started calling themselves Almighty (â€Parmeshvarâ€).

8. Mahadev (i.e., Shiva) announced himself to be infallible (â€achutâ€). Bisan (i.e., Vishnu) claimed himself to be God. Brahma called himself God (â€Parbrahmâ€). No one accepted God as God.

9. Then God (â€tab ..prabhâ€) created witnesses (â€sakhiâ€) [Moon, Sun, Earth, Polar Star, Fire, Wind, etc.] to prove His existence. They too started asking to be worshipped. And claimed that there was no other God besides them.

10. Those who didn’t comprehend the Supreme Element (â€param tatâ€) they accepted them (the sakhis) as God. Many became followers of Sun and Moon. Many started offering sacrifices to Fire (â€agnihotrâ€) and many recognised Wind as God.

11. Many started accepting stones as God. And many became subscribers of the bathing rituals. Many became fearful of actions (’karam kart darpaanaaâ€) [i.e. gave up this world and retired to jungles fearful that they might act wrongly]. And many started identifying Dharamraj as God.

12. Those who were sent here to bear witness to God’s existence (â€prabh saakh namitâ€), came here and started claiming themselves to be God. They forgot God’s instructions (â€baatâ€) and became absorbed in their own praise.

13. When these didn’t recognise God (â€Prabhâ€), then God (â€Harâ€) created these humans (â€in manuchhanâ€). They too fell pray to attachment (â€bas mamata huyeâ€) and started accepting idols as God.

14. Then God created Sidhs and Sadhs but they too failed to recognise God. In this world, anyone who had a bit of wisdom, started their own religion (â€panth†— literally, “Pathâ€).

15. No one was able to recognise God. Instead, they only increased enmity, strife, and ego. Just as the leaves of a tree dry up and start burning, [in the same way, these people burned in their own misdeeds] but no one walked the path of God (â€Prabh kay panthâ€).

16. Anyone who gained a little bit of “sidhiâ€, he started his own way. No one has recognised God. And became maddened with ego.

17. No one recognised God (â€Param Tatâ€), losing their way in selfishness. Then whichever Rajrishi I created, they too started publicizing their own Rule Books (â€simritâ€).

18. All those who started following these Simritees, gave up the meditation of real God (â€Brahmâ€). Those who focused their mind on God, did not follow the path prescribed by Simritees.

19. Brahma created the four Vedas and exhorted everyone to walk on the Veda-prescribed path of Karma. But those who were focused on God, gave up the Vedic ways.

20. Those who stopped following the wisdom of Vedas and Katebas (i.e., Hindu and Muslim scriptures respectively), became followers of God. Anyone who follows the deep wisdom of God, shall be rid of many kind of suffering.

21. All those who bear many pains/tortures (â€jaatanâ€) on their bodies, but do not give up God’s love, shall all go to His abode (â€param puriâ€). They become one with God (â€Har sio antar kichh naahiâ€).

22. All those who were frightened by pain/torture and gave up following God’s way, and started following other ways, shall all go to Hell (â€narak kundâ€). And shall be born again and again.

23. Then God created Duttatreya (â€Duttâ€), but he also started his own Panth. He grew his finger-nails and dreadlocks on his head (â€sir jataa svaariâ€) and didn’t ponder about God’s way.

24. Then God created Gorakh Nath. He was able to turn many great kings into being his followers. He started the way of piearcing his ears and putting “mundraan†in them, but he didn’t ponder upon God’s way.

25. Then God created Ramanand, who adopted the visage of a renunciant (â€bairagiâ€). He put on a necklace of wooden beads but he too didn’t ponder God’s way.

26. Whichever “Param Purakh†God created, they all started their own way (i.e., started their own religion). Then God created Prophet Mohammed and made him the King of Arabia.

27. He (i.e., Mohammed) too started his own religion. And circumcised all kings. He made everyone utter his name, but didn’t make anyone remember the True Name.

28. Everyone remained busy in their own philosophies. No one recognised God. While I (i.e., Guru Gobind Singh) was doing “tapâ€, God called me and sent me to this World with these words:-

Akal Purakh said:

29. “I (i.e., God) have honoured you as my son. And created you to spread the knowledge of my way. On reaching there, you are to start way of righteousness, and stop people from unwise (â€kubudhâ€) ways.

The poet says:

30. I stand with folded hands and say this with bowed head. God’s way (â€panthâ€) shall hold sway in this world, when You (i.e., God) extend a helping hand.

31. This is the reason why God sent me (i.e., Guru Gobind Singh) to this world and that is why I took birth. What He tells me only that shall I utter, and won’t indulge in enmity against anyone.

32. Anyone who calls me God, shall go to Hell (â€narak kundâ€). Understand me as a servant of God — and do not perceive any hidden meaning in this.

33. I am only a servant of God, and have come to witness the theatre of this world. I shall say what God has told me, and shall not stay silent for the fear of anyone.

It is clear from these 33 couplets:

1. That first beings to be created by God were the Daints. They were also the only beings to be destroyed in anger by God.

2. That God then created these beings in this order — devtas (including Shiv, Bisan, Brahma) -> Saakhis (including Moon, Sun, Wind, Fire, etc.) -> Humanity -> Sidhs & Sadhs -> Raj rishis -> Duttatreya -> Gorakh Nath -> Ramanand -> Mohammed -> Guru Gobind Singh

3. It is quite possible that this is the sequence in which God has been acting. But I find it rather strange as to why some personages have been omitted. Even if we ignore Abraham, Moses and Jesus (though it is difficult to do so, as Mohammed accepts all three as messengers of God), how do we explain the omission of Guru Nanak and his successor (and Guru Gobind Singh’s predecessor) Gurus?

4. And finally, what do these 33 couplets tell us about God? That He has been creating all kinds of beings, endowing them with all kinds of abilities, for the sole purpose of having His Name worshiped ! That flies in the face of what Gurbani says that we remember His Name not because it in any way benefits Him, but because it benefits us.

[Reproduced from a posting by Verpal Singh during a discussion on Orkut.]

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  • 4 months later...

32. Anyone who calls me God, shall go to Hell (â€narak kundâ€). Understand me as a servant of God — and do not perceive any hidden meaning in this.

I've said this in a different post (Bulleh Shah's Poetry - mentions of Dasam Patshah) + (And I think that one was by you to) so I'm going to Copy and Paste it - ONE misinterpretation in Bachittar Natak of 'Jo hum ko parmeswar uchare teh sab narak kund main par hai.' many people translate that as anyone who calls Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj God will go to hell. JO HUM KO - 'HUM' - those people who call themselves God, this body HUM. JO HUM KO PARMESWAR UCHARE, those people who call themselves god like Ram Rahim, Nirankari, TEH SAB NARAK KUND MAIN PAR HAI - it's them who are going to be filling up hell, not a Sikh who's got SHARDHA(faith) from Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.

And also................

7. Enraged, We (God) destroyed all the giants in no time. In their place were created the demi-gods (â€devtaâ€). They too became absorbed in sacrifices (â€baliâ€) and worship (â€pujaâ€) offered to them. And started calling themselves Almighty (â€Parmeshvarâ€).

There must be something wrong here because God aka Waheguru can't get angry this contradicts what the Guru's say about God - I'm going to check the translation again.

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I think it makes perfect sense, Guru Gobind Singh wasn't sent to reveal God or to provide naam or create a new movement, but simply to teach humanity how to uphold dharam

"29. “I (i.e., God) have honoured you as my son. And created you to spread the knowledge of my way. On reaching there, you are to start way of righteousness, and stop people from unwise (â€kubudhâ€) ways. "

The only lines being accredited to Gods own speech

In the same way the devtas were not created to start a new naam or religion but to engage in righteousness in their desires to establish a new naam righteousness became polluted with their own aims and objectives, in the same way Mohammed (PBUH) was not revealing anything new but ensuring that dharam played a part in what had already been revealed by previous prophets unfortunately after Mohammed (PBUH) the fight for succession created differing paths (panths) Sunni Shia etc..

In the same way Guru Nanak revealed naam (which always existed), whereas Guru Gobind Singh was all about dharam yudh, all about upholding dharam for humanity, unfortunately we also have in recent years forgotten the universal teachings of Guru Gobind Singh and and created our own paths

28. Everyone remained busy in their own philosophies. No one recognised God.

15. No one was able to recognise God. Instead, they only increased enmity, strife, and ego/quote]

Sound familiar, each promotes their own jatha increasing the enmity, strife and ego and has forgotten that the path of God is a path of One.

I love this line.. its like after creating the world first thing Akaal wanted was to watch a fight .. UFC... and have a party with some crazy folks. talk about priorities..

plus this proves God is not interested in his own name being worshipped, :P

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Be Name Khoda

This passage of the Bachitar Natak is to say the least extemely problematic. Before I actually move on I just wish to correct Nanakidarkangel when she writes that:

"JO HUM KO - 'HUM' - those people who call themselves God, this body HUM. JO HUM KO PARMESWAR UCHARE, those people who call themselves god like Ram Rahim, Nirankari, TEH SAB NARAK KUND MAIN PAR HAI - it's them who are going to be filling up hell, not a Sikh who's got SHARDHA(faith) from Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj."

Your interpretation is grammatically incorrect and hence invalid. The sentence clearly says: Whoever calls us the Supreme Lord will go to hell.

The presence of the dative particle "ko" renders your intrepretation impossible. Also for your version to be correct there would be the need of an indirect speech structure which would be like this:

Jo uchare "ham paramesar" teh ....

Those who say "We are parameshvara", they....

Now going back to the discussion this passage is highly problematic. In a previous article I had approached this passage as a sort of foreplay in heaven, quite typical of Indian plays. After a Natak is a play and many classical Indian plays have a foreplay in heaven with the devtas discussing different issues related to the fate of the human protagonists. BTW this is where Goethe got his inspiration for his Vorspiel im Himmel in the first section of Faust, as he was an avid reader of Kalidasa.

Now even IF we were to take the literary angle to this text there remain deep theological problems with it.

What do we read in this text?

We see a supreme God, supposed to guide humanity sending messengers who ALL fail except for the supposed author of these lines. Why is that problematic?

Because God never leaves humanity without a source of guidance or otherwise He wouldn't be God. A God who would send imperfect avataras and prophets to humanity would in fact misguide humanity and hence not be God.

If the author of these lines really had wanted to talk about the religious movements instead of the prophets themselves he would have called them differently. For example instead of Shiva he could have described a Shaiva representing his whole tradition. Shaivism in an of itself is a monotheistic system, especially its Kashmiri form. To accuse it to not worship God is pure nonsense. To this day the Rishi Muslims of Kashmir call Allah (swt) by the name Shiva. So accusing monotheistic systems such as Shaivism and Vaishnavism to worship any other but God is not factual.There is also the fact that the Mahadin passage is totally incorrect when it comes to facts.

If the aim was to criticise the religious movement and not their prophets then I am afraid the author has failed his purpose. The mention of Mahakal and Kalika is a hint pointing out to the possible ideological origin of this passage.

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Because God never leaves humanity without a source of guidance or otherwise He wouldn't be God. A God who would send imperfect avataras and prophets to humanity would in fact misguide humanity and hence not be God.

Do you consider Mohammed to have been 'perfect'.......

It is clear from Bachittar Natak that the avtars all started off on the right note but their position got to their heads. This doesn't mean their followers were all doomed - what matters is faith. In their minds, they were worshipping God, so their prayers would be answered etc etc. This is still true today and the sakhi of Bhagat Dhanna Ji is an example of this.

Do you have any sources for your statement about Kashmiri Muslims calling Allah by the name of Shiva?

We have discussed the Mahadin passage before, and there is no problem with it if you look at it in the right way.

Where did you have Santhiya of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Sri Dasam Granth and who was your teacher?

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Bachitar Natak says:

ਜੇ ਜੇ ਭਏ ਪਹਿਲ ਅਵਤਾਰਾ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਆਪੁ ਤਿਨ ਜਾਪੁ ਉਚਾਰਾ ॥

All the earlier incarnations caused only their names to be remembered.

Line 13

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਦੋਖੀ ਕੋਈ ਨ ਬਿਦਾਰਾ ॥ ਧਰਮ ਕਰਨ ਕੋ ਰਾਹੁ ਨ ਡਾਰਾ ॥੪੪॥

They did not strike the tyrants and did not make them follow the path of Dharma.44.

If this line is read litteraly it is indeed contradicting what comes later on the same composition with the various stories of Krishna, Ram and other avatars who fight tyrants and establish dharma. This, among others, is clear evidence that the natak should not be read literally

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Exactly Amardeep.

This shows us that the passage has a different connotation.

"If the author of these lines really had wanted to talk about the religious movements instead of the prophets themselves he would have called them differently."

This attitude is the exact problem - Gursikh spend a lifetime of study, meditation and vichaar in order to unravel the deeper arth of Gurbani, but comments like the above imply that a mere mortal, is able to totally understand and confidently state that he knows what the 'face of God' would or should have said.

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I have no problems with not taking it literally but the problem is that even so it is still contradictory. If the intention had been to criticse the movements then these should have been represented by a figure of a follower as it happens in plays.

Shaheediyan states that a mere mortal is not capable of understanding these lines. If that is the case then what is the purpose of revelation at all. If sacred scripture is just about God talking mysterious stuff to himself there is no point revealing it to humanity anyway.

When a verse says: all other prophets got their own name repeated over God's, it means all other prophets got their own name repeated over God's.

As for Matheen,

I worked with Kashmiri Rishis and yes they use the word Shiv when talkiing about God, in the same way as Iranian use the Zoroastrian word Khoda for God.

As for the Mahadin passage, what do you define as the "right way"?

The passage is blatantly historically incorrect and your scholars say it's the Prophet (pbuh).

Your idea that a person who follows a false prophet can still be saved is non-sense. In that case from your point of view there is no difference between an amritdhari and a Nirankari which of course does away with the very purpose of guidance. Why follow prophets if anyone can just do as they please and still get to God? It doesnt add up.

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in response to my above contradiction in the eyes of shaheediyan i shall state..

Ya WHat?? You questioning me.. !!! You know who I am... .... ...

My understanding is simple just because it always existed doesnt mean it existed because it was for Gods own ego, its like a beautiful women doesn't be beautiful she just is.. in the same way the naam always existed not to force God worship just because God worshipping is like a oogling at a beautiful woman.. and for those who are too holy to acknowledge beautiful woman then please replace with whatever you regard is worth oogling at..

and for women replace with whatever you lot oogle at.. shoes.. handbags etc

you guys can get back to ur discussion regarding intention of accuracy of Bachitar Natak..

Over and out. !

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"My understanding is simple just because it always existed doesnt mean it existed because it was for Gods own ego, its like a beautiful women doesn't be beautiful she just is.. in the same way the naam always existed not to force God worship just because God worshipping is like a oogling at a beautiful woman.. and for those who are too holy to acknowledge beautiful woman then please replace with whatever you regard is worth oogling at..

and for women replace with whatever you lot oogle at.. shoes.. handbags etc"

Where as the desire to oogle at a beautiful woman may come naturally to most men, the desire to simmar does not. One is an animal instinct and the other is blessing given to a few, by Parmatma (or an awakening of a pre-existence desire). The whole purpose of creation and this blessed form is to repeat his name - as per his kushi - this is stated over and over in Gurbani.

You are right about the dirty water in the glass lol!

If you could back up what you imply via Gurbani, it would be much appreciated Bhai Sahib.

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"plus this proves God is not interested in his own name being worshipped"

And

"In the same way Guru Nanak revealed naam (which always existed)"

This seems a bit contradictory, no?

I dont think theres any contradictions..........just giving my two cents worths, (well since im Angrejji, my two pence worth!!)

I dont believe God is "interested" in His own Name being worshipped, as such...........man is born, ultimatly through Sin, karam, avgun etc etc, God gives us a way out..........to repeat His Name, remember to to Big Himself up, so to speak but to save our sorry a$$'s from the mess we created ourselves.......:)

We do naam simeran, nitnem try to connect to God, untimatly simply to erase the filth of our own egos........God does "get" anything from this, like we do...........be he is Perfect, Complete...........but we untimatly need saving from ourselves, the self that is staring and fascinated by the painting without thinking of the painter who created it.....

Now with regards to Guru Nanak revealing Naam, well..........he had to...........when u sit down and say waheguru waheguru waheguru, what are you doing? u are calling God...........why u call God, is each persons own journey, and that is another topicall together........ask and ye shall recieve and all that...........and Guru Nanak basically not only gave the Naam........he clarified what we should be doing with it and what we should strive to realise.............Vin Tud Hoor Jeh Mangana, sir dukha teh dukh................the beauty of sikhi is its simplicity.............

so after all my ramblings above........basically, we need God alot more than he needs us! lol.........and without contemplating him.........we cannot get to him.............

:wink:

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Bhenji, its not about what God gets out of it, or about God entertaining his ego - it's about Gods instruction - he has manifested himself in the form of Guru Nanak (as well as others) and has asked us to repeat his name.

All you need to understand is that its his leela, and we are simply part of the khel. We don't need to be able to explain 'why' but simply know that this is his instruction/request to us.

This whole idea of hukum and us trying to question and understand the unfathomable, according to our own insect like knowledge, is brilliantly demonstrated in Sri Krishna Jis talks with the great Arjuna, when Arjuna has a dilemna regarding his opponents in the dharm yudh.

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totally agree...........i guess my response is heavily influened by the notion that some think, that God is in Ego and that God needs us...........

Even if someone is blessed with understanding God (Braimgyaan) its something that could never be communicated via words...............my apologies if my reply indicates that......

:)

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Dear Shaheediyan,

you asked for plays written in that region and that period. I am afraid Panjab doesnt have examples of classical natakas from the 17th century. But one could refer to the Prabodhachandordaya , an allegorical play in which virtues and vices fight against each other. So ignorance is called Ignorance i.e. the vice is personified by a charatcer bearing its name.

But from a literary pointz of view you have quite often the figure of the qazi and of the brahman who represent bigotry. Are all qazi and brahmins bigots? of course not but the character represents the misguided follower of that religion. It's a completely different thing when you say that prophet or avatara x y z misguided humanity.

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I have no problems with not taking it literally but the problem is that even so it is still contradictory.

It is not contradictory. Learn it from an Ustad and you will see for yourself. It's like other places in Bani where it says "Ek Hai, Anek Hai, Phir Ek Hai"....without understanding the context of this line it appear contradictory yet in reality it isn't.

Shaheediyan states that a mere mortal is not capable of understanding these lines.

Anyone can get Mukti but an effort has to be made - in most cases years and years of hard dedication. It's the same with Dasam Bani - until you study it and are able to interpret it correctly, in the right context, some things will seem incomprehensible.

I worked with Kashmiri Rishis and yes they use the word Shiv when talkiing about God, in the same way as Iranian use the Zoroastrian word Khoda for God.

I know about 'Khuda' but none of the Kashmiri muslims i've come across ever use 'Shiva'. How does this work with the 99 names in the Quran?

As for the Mahadin passage, what do you define as the "right way"?

The passage is blatantly historically incorrect and your scholars say it's the Prophet (pbuh).

You never proved it to be historically incorrect. We showed you how in the right context, it is perfectly correct. Guru Ji didn't shy from naming the Avtars/Prophet because as they wrote, they stated the truth without fear.

Your idea that a person who follows a false prophet can still be saved is non-sense.

In ordinary cases, yes. Even Gurbani says that the followers of blind gurus are blind themselves. However, if in the devotees's mind he is worshipping God then God listens - like your example of Kashmiri Muslims using 'Shiva' as a name for God. Guru Ji has explained why they had to come and start the third panth so I don't need to write a long essay.

I suggest you find one of Sant Gurbachan Singh ji's students and take santhiya /do veechar with them to grasp a deeper understanding of the poetry used in Dasam Bani.

There were audio recordings of Bachittar Natak Katha by Mahapursh but I can't find it.

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Bachitar Natak says:

If this line is read literally it is indeed contradicting what comes later on the same composition with the various stories of Krishna, Ram and other avatars who fight tyrants and establish dharma. This, among others, is clear evidence that the natak should not be read literally

You have to take the Bani in it's entirety and place events in the right context. As Guru Ji says, in most cases, it is only towards the end of their time here that they succumbed to haumai or forgot who was boss. Earlier in their lives, they usually did what they were sent to do.

Again, santhiya would really help - first (this is important) of Guru Sahib then of Dasam Bani. There is little point in jumping straight to Dasam Bani without having at least read Guru Sahib.

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Matheen wrote:

"It is not contradictory. Learn it from an Ustad and you will see for yourself. It's like other places in Bani where it says "Ek Hai, Anek Hai, Phir Ek Hai"....without understanding the context of this line it appear contradictory yet in reality it isn't."

Either God guides humanity by continuously sending sinless and immaculate prophets and avatars or else he leaves humanity in misguidance which means he is not God.

"Anyone can get Mukti but an effort has to be made - in most cases years and years of hard dedication. It's the same with Dasam Bani - until you study it and are able to interpret it correctly, in the right context, some things will seem incomprehensible."

If anyone can get mukti why the need of prophets and avataras and indeed your Gurus then`?

"I know about 'Khuda' but none of the Kashmiri muslims i've come across ever use 'Shiva'. How does this work with the 99 names in the Quran?"

Khoda, Khodavand, are not part of the 99 names and in fact there are more than 99 names listed in the duas of Imam Ali. If you haven't crossed any Kashmiri Rishi Muslims that is your bad luck.

"You never proved it to be historically incorrect. We showed you how in the right context, it is perfectly correct. Guru Ji didn't shy from naming the Avtars/Prophet because as they wrote, they stated the truth without fear."

The Prophet (pbuh) was not a king, never got crowned and never called himself a king. And indeed it is actually considered an insult. He never placed his name above God's. He never forced kings to be circumcised and in any case circumcision is a practise that already existed before the Prophet and was widely practiced in Arabia. The whole Mahadin passage is in fact a huge blasphemous lie.

"There were audio recordings of Bachittar Natak Katha by Mahapursh but I can't find it."

Well here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNXlPJmN1VE

Historically speaking all of what this foremost student of Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale is saying is nothing but lies without ANY historical proof.Not only that: it is utterly offensive and is from the point of view of Islamic jurisprudence a declaration of war against Islam which would classify the Sikhs who believe in that passage as muharib, people who wage war against the Islamic state.

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Know thy enemy!

The arguements in here are pathetically weak.

Bachittar Natak: A Strange Drama

by Baldev Singh

-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Introduction

Many learned Sikhs from the time when Dasam Granth first surfaced in the last quarter of the 18th century have pointed out that most of its contents are contrary to the teachings of Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS), only a small portion could be the composition of Guru Gobind Singh.1, 2, 3,4 Bachittar Natak (BN) is one of the nine books of Dasam Granth. Professor Harinder Singh Mehboob5 and Gurbakhash Singh Kala Afghana6 have analyzed the contents of Bachittar Natak on the touchstone of AGGS and have found them to be contradictory to the core of Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat) and Sikh history.

However, not only country preachers but also others like Jaswnat Singh Neki,7 Patwant Singh,8 Darshan Singh Mani,9 Kapur Singh,10 Gopal Singh,11 Piara Singh Padam,12 Harnam Singh Shan,13 Noel Q. King,14 Sangat Singh,15 Gurbhagat Singh,16 Jodh Singh,17 Bhai Veer Singh18 and Saran Singh19 consider BN as the autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh, without providing any evidence while at the same time maintaining that Guru Gobind Singh conferred Guruship on the AGGS before his death.

Have these writers / scholars ever given a thought to the implication of their stand? Does it make any sense that Guru Gobind Singh first repudiated the teachings of AGGS and then before his death declared AGGS as the eternal Guru of the Panth (corporate body of the Sikhs)?

I have often heard people say that religion is a matter of faith and perception (anbhav), it can’t be questioned or analyzed? But a Sikh is a “learner†and a learner can’t learn without asking questions. The quest for learning continues until a Sikh becomes satisfied. Besides, according to my understanding, Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat) is based on science and logic. It implores the use of common sense in the affairs of daily life and it lays stress on the importance of deliberation and research of subject matter in order to understand it in its true perspective.

In the very beginning of his composition Japu, which is the essence of Gurmat, Guru Nanak describes God as the Everlasting Universal Truth (Reality). The True One (Sachu) is primordial as well as primeval. It exists now and will exist forever (AGGS, M 1, p 1). Then in the first stanza of this composition he asks in a dramatic way: How could one become Truthful (Sachiara)? How could one get rid of ignorance and falsehood? “By living in harmony with the Divine Law (Hukam),†asserts Nanak (AGGS, M 1, p 1). How could one get rid of ignorance and falsehood? Through knowledge based on Truth. When the yogis asked Guru Nanak, “Who is your Guru or whose disciple are you?†“Word (Universal Truth) is the Guru and my mind, which comprehends the Word is the disciple,†replied Guru Nanak (AGGS, M 1, p 942- 943).

To understand Hukam, True knowledge is essential. So a Sachiara is one who understands the Hukam. Let me ask if it was Galileo or the Pope who understood the Hukam. In my opinion it was Galileo who understood it, which makes him a Sachiara. The primary objective of human life is to become a Sachiara. First evaluate a substance before you buy it (AGGS, M, 1 p 1410). In other words try to understand the meaning of a statement before you accept it. Read the contents of Bachittar Natak or any other literature on Sikhism very carefully and find out if it is consistent with the teachings of AGGS.

Furthermore, the Guru tells us:

Use wisdom and reason in the worship of God and practice of charity. One learns by intelligent reading and earns respect by exercising wisdom (AGGS, M, 1, p 1245).

One who applies discerning intellect can understand the subject in its real perspective (AGGS, M, 5, p 285).

One who is endowed with discerning intellect is indeed a wealthy person (AGGS, M, 5, p1150).

It is a rare God-centered being (gurmukh), who deliberates on the Bani. The Bani is the Divine Word, one who imbibes it becomes one with God†(AGGS, M 1, p 935).

The most meritorious achievement is the deliberation on the Word whereas other discussions are useless (AGGS, M 1, p 904).

O my Creator I am sacrifice to you! Through deliberation on the Word, I meditate on You and sing your praises. One who searches finds You whereas the one who is argumentative is wasted (AGGS, M 1, p 1255).

Extensive research of the Hukam and submission to the Hukam brought me in union with God (AGGS, M 1, p 71).

Discussion

This article is prompted by a statement by Jaswant Singh Neki at a seminar sponsored by the Institute of Sikh Studies held in Chandigarh, September 2003 that those who question the authorship of the Dasam Granth should first read it. Hence, this article analyses the central theme of BN in light of AGGS and Guru Gobind Singh’s nash doctrine.

God

Among the numerous attributes of God described in the AGGS some are - Infinite, Ineffable, Unknowable, Sovereign, Enlightener, Bounteous, Loving, Unassisted, Self-Sufficing, Self-Existent, Unborn, Everlasting, Without-Animosity, Transcendent, Immanent, Omnipresent, Omniscient and Creator and Controller of the cosmos.

Nash Doctrine of Guru Gobind Singh for the Khalsa

The doctrine stresses freedom from varanasrarm dharma (caste based religion), karm kand (Hindu rituals and ceremonies), bharam (superstition), kul (family lineage) and krit (caste based occupation restriction).20

While evaluating any literature on Sikhism, one must keep in mind the following two points:

First, Sikh Gurus rejected the essentials of Hinduism and Hindu scriptures as source of moral inspiration,21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and secondly, there is unity of thought in Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat). In other words the nine successors of Guru Nanak preached and taught his philosophy by enriching and strengthening it by introducing innovative practices in the Sikh community over a period of two centuries without changing the fundamentals. That all the Gurus were one in spirit like ten lamps emitting the same light, is supported by AGGS and Sikh literature.

Nanak established his spiritual kingdom on the firm foundation of Truth. Nanak bowed before his disciple Lehna and installed him on the spiritual throne. Due to the greatness of Nanak, Lehna’s fame spread far and wide. They were one and the same in spirit, only different bodily (AGGS, Balwand and Satta, p 966).

Professor Grewal has explained this point very lucidly. “Before his death at Kartarpur in 1539 Guru Nanak chose his successor from amongst his followers, setting aside the claims of his sons. Nomination of a successor from amongst one’s own disciples was not a new thing; it was known to many an ascetical order of the times. But the nomination of Lehna by Guru Nanak was regarded as unique because Guru Nanak himself installed Lehna in his office. His name too was changed from Lehna to Angad, making him “a limb†of the founder. This nomination was important not merely because it enabled Guru Nanak to ensure the continuation of his work but also because it served as the basis of the idea that the positions of the Guru and the disciple were interchangeable. Closely linked with this was the idea that there was no difference between the founder and the successor, they represented one and the same light.â€26

Bhai Gurdas expressed a similar opinion about the succession of the Guru Hargonind Sahib after his father, Guru Arjan Dev who was tortured to death by the government authorities. In contrast to the first five Gurus, the sixth Guru, Hargobind Sahib (openly proclaimed spiritual and temporal sovereignty by donning two swords and royal dress). However, his message was the same as if his predecessor, Guru Arjan was speaking through him (Varan Bhai Gurdas, p 19).

Professor Chahal has elaborated on this point further by quoting from Gurbilas Patshahi 6 that Guru Hargopbind Sahib imbibed the teaching of Guru Nanak and he asked his successor, Guru Har Rai to do the same.27 The teaching, which was imparted by Guru Nanak is immensely blissful. Guru Har Rai was asked to imbibe this teaching in his heart, as it is the Word of the Infinite Being (Chapter 21, p 796). Serve the Sikhs of the Guru and accept the guidance only of Guru Nanak (Chapter 21, p 796). The tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh ordained the AGGS as his successor¾ the Eternal Guru of Sikhs.28

On the other hand Bachittar Natak is written by a person with an objective to mislead and confuse the Sikhs in order to separate Guru Gobind Singh from Nanakian philosophy. The writer asserts in the beginning of the book, “Guru Gobind Singh uttered these words,†thus making Guru Gobind the author of BN. Secondly, he has added passages and statements here and there, which are consistent with AGGS. So, when a Sikh reads BN, his or her attention is drawn towards the contents which are consistent with AGGS and away from the contradictory material. Even when readers notice this contradiction, they are reluctant to ask questions due to reverence for Guru Gobind Singh, as the writer has led them to believe.

It should be noted that no Guru, whose Bani (composition) is in the AGGS, has used the expression “from the mouth of.†Moreover, all of Guru Nanak’s successors, who uttered Bani, recorded it under Guru Nanak’s name to emphasize the unity of thought. Why would Guru Gobind Singh break the tradition? Besides, Guru Gobind Singh did not incorporate his composition in the Adi Granth, when he incorporated his father Guru Teg Bahadur’s Bani to prepare the Damdami bir. It was Damdami bir that was declared Eternal Guru of the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Arjan Dev incorporated his Bani when he compiled the Adi Granth. Why did not Guru Gobind Singh do it?

The first chapter, the longest, comprising one third of the book, is devoted to the glory and greatness of Kal, emphasizing his destructive power and invincibility. At the outset the writer says that this is from the mouth of Patshahi 10 (Guru Gobind Singh) and then he invokes the blessing of the sword (kharag) for the successful completion of the manuscript. It is replete with Hindu mythology. Most of the attributes ascribed to Kal are the attributes of God described in AGGS.

The next three chapters are about the ancestors of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh. Both Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh are described as descendents of Sri Ram Chander, the mythical god who was a king in the mythical age of Treta. His sons, Lav and Kush, founded the City of Lahore and Kasur in Punjab, respectively, and ruled over there for a very long time. Later, there was a war between their descendents. It was a long war. Shivji with his army of ghosts and goblins witnessed the battle scenes. The Lavis, who were then called Sodhis, defeated their rivals, the Kushis, who then ran away to Kashi. The Kushis were called Bedis after they learned to recite the four Vedas (sacred Hindu scriptures). Later, a Sodhi king sent an emissary to them with the message, “Let us forget the past; come back to Panjab.â€

The Bedis came back and recited the Vedas to the Sodhi king. All his sins were washed away after listening to the Vedas. The Sodhi king was so much pleased that as an act of gratitude he donated his kingdom to the Bedis. This made the Bedi clan so happy that in return the head of the Bedi clan granted a boon to the Sodhi ex-king. “O pious one, when I will take birth in the age of Kaljug, I will make you worthy of world-wide veneration. As you first listened to the first three Vedas and then donated your kingdom while listening to the fourth Veda, so I will transfer the Guruship to you after I have become Guru three times, consecutively.â€

This absurd story is an affront to commonsense. The writer implies that Guru Nanak (Bedi) and the six Gurus (Sodhi), Ram Das to Gobind Singh became Gurus because their ancestors were very pious Hindus, who studied Vedas or were very generous to those who recited Vedas to them. In other words, it was due to the blessing earned through the study of Vedas or the donation of kingdom to the reciter of Vedas, which was responsible for the reward of Guruship.

On the contrary, Guru Angad Dev and Guru Amar Das acquired Guruship after they gave up their Hindu faith that includes the study of Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. No wonder, the writer does not mention their lineage or they earned the Guruship? The writer does not know that belief in caste and lineage contradicts Guru Gobind Singh’s own edict of Kul Nash (freedom from lineage). Besides, the first three Gurus did not come from a Bedi family, only Guru Nanak was born into a Bedi family, Guru Angad Dev and Amar Das were born in Trehan and Bhala family, respectively. The writer also implies that Guru Angad Dev was the reincarnation of Guru Nanak and Guru Amar Das was the reincarnation of Guru Angad Dev, but the first three Gurus were contemporaries and reincarnation takes place after the death of a person. Moreover, Nanakian philosophy rejects the concept of reincarnation. Furthermore, AGGS does not agree with the teachings of the Vedas.

It is the teachings of Vedas, which has created the concepts of sin and virtue, hell and heaven, and karma and transmigration. One reaps the reward in the next life for deed performed in this life – goes to hell or heaven according to the deeds. The Vedas have also created the fallacy of inequality of caste and gender for the world (AGGS, M 2, p 1243).

I have searched many Shastars and Simrtis; their teachings do not show the way to God, but the dwelling on God’s attributes is invaluable (AGGS, M5, p 265).

Many a Brahma got tired of studying the Vedas, but they could not estimate even an iota of God’s greatness. Ten incarnations of Vishnu and the famous ascetic Shiv who got tired of smearing his body with ashes, could not fathom God’s extent (AGGS, M 5, p 747).

O brother, Simrti is the outcome on the Vedas. It has brought the chains of the caste system and the ropes of liturgy to entrap you (AGGS, Kabir, p 329).

I shall not sing the endless songs and poetry of Vedas, Purans and Shastars. I shall play a steady tune on the flute of love for the Formless One Whose abode is Eternal (AGGS, Namdev, p 972).

If one determines good or bad actions on the basis of Vedas and Purans, one’s mind is filled with doubt and worry. These scriptures do not tell how to cure self-conceit (AGGS, Ravi Das, p 364).

Additionally, the Lav / Kush story is contradicted by Goswami Tulsi Das, the author of Ramayan, who was a contemporary of Guru Nanak. He has described the incidents from Sri Ram Chandher’s life in great detail. According to him, Sri Ram Chander or his sons never extended their rule beyond U. P. in the direction of Punjab. He does not mention any relationship between Sri Ram Chander and Guru Nanak Dev or Guru Gobind Singh. There is no evidence that he ever met Guru Nanak. Furthermore, Bedis or Sodhis never ruled over any part of Punjab in the recorded history of this region.

The writer has described the war between the ancestors of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh going back thousands of generations. However, he makes no mention of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev and the victories of Guru Hargobind Sahib over Mughals and Khatris, who were Guru Gobind Singh’s great grandfather and grandfather, respectively. The writer also does not say what happened to the ancestors of Gurus Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh during the Duaper age when lord Krishna of the famous “Krishna Lila†was supreme. Maybe the writer does not like Sri Krishna because he was a devotee of Shivji.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that Sri Ram Chander was a real person and his sons, Lav and Kush, were born near the end of Treta age. And their descendents continued propagating through the Duaper age while enjoying Krishan Lila and continued propagating in the Kaljug age to produce Sodhis and Bedis. According to Mahan Kosh the duration of Duaper is 864,000 years.29 According to modern science, the ancestors of modern man evolved not more than 250,000 years ago in Africa. There were no human beings in India during Treta. So the story that Lav and Kush lived in India more than 864,000 years ago is baseless.

In the sixth chapter in “his own story,†the writer talks about his previous life and his communication with God. “I was meditating on Mahankal (Shivji) and Kalika (goddess) on a snowy mountain called Hem Kunt while my parents were praying to Alakh (Formless, God) and perfecting their Yogic discipline. When God was pleased with them, He ordered me to take birth in the age of Kaljug. I did not want to come to the world; however, God persuaded me by expressing His helplessness and frustration…Whatever I have created and whosoever I have sent to the world so far, did not bring Me glory. Son, all my hopes are on you, go there, straighten out the world and spread My glory.â€

After this God narrated the story of creation: “After creating the world, I created the demons, who turned out to be unfaithful. These tyrants stopped My worship. So I got angry at the demons and destroyed them in a moment and replaced them with Shiv Ji, Vishnu, and Brahma. They too turned out to be untrustworthy; as they refused to recognize Me and instead proclaimed themselves to be God. Then I created eight witnesses to monitor the actions of living beings. But they too proclaimed that there is no one else other than them worthy of worship. Instead of worshiping Me, stupid people started worshiping gods, sun, moon, air, and fire. Many of them started worshiping stones and performing rituals. Then I created human beings, who got enchanted by the material world (maya) and started worshiping idols.â€

Here, the storyteller is confused. If human were the last in the sequence of creation then who was worshiping sun, moon, fire, air and stones and performing rituals? Were they not human? Did they belong to another kind of human species? Besides, why did God choose the writer of “his own story,†who was also a worshiper of Maha Kal and Kalika, to glorify His name?

Continuing the story God said, “After this, I sent ascetics and saints with supernatural powers, who turned out to be rascals. They started their own sects and did not recognize Me. Then I sent Gorakh Nath followed by Rama Nand and Prophet Mohammed, who like their predecessors, established their own sects and led people astray and ignored Me.â€

Here the writer displays his ignorance of history and the teachings of Ramanad and Prophet Mohammed. Prophet Mohammed was born several hundred years earlier than Gorakh Nath and he believed in “One and only God†he called Allah. And Rama Nand was a monotheist who adored God that is why his composition is in AGGS. Moreover, the followers of the Prophet Mohammad (Muslims) controlled vast territory in Asia, Africa and Europe. On the other hand Gorakh Nath’s followers believed in millions of gods and goddesses and their country was ruled by Muslims. Besides, Gorakh Nath’s followers were free loaders, they made living by exploiting others through trickery and witchcraft. The description of circumcision is vulgar, ling bina (without penis) instead of the proper Arabic word, sunat used in the AGGS.

It is noteworthy that in this story the writer makes no mention of Guru Nanak and his successors or the other Semitic prophets, Moses and Jesus Christ.

Moreover, the God described in “my own story†is helpless, frustrated and confused. He is more like an incompetent manager without control over his subordinates. Now let us compare the God described in “my own story†to the God described in AGGS, Who is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, Creator and Controller of every thing in the creation and is happy and content watching it.

Nanak says, “The Self-Exitent God created nature and manifested Itself as Naam (Immanent) therein to enjoy it... God created the world of life and manifested Itself as Naam therein to promote righteousness†(AGGS, m 1, p 463).

God creates all, fills all and is yet the Infinite Creator is unattached (AGGS, M1, p 937).

O God, You are the creator of all and every thing happens according to Your Will. There is no second one equal toYou. You continuously take care of them according to their needs (AGGS, M 4, p 11-12).

It is God’s Hukam (Divine Law), which controls the working of the creation and it is immutable… Every thing is created according to the Hukam (Divine Law), but the Hukam is in explicable. Every thing is subject to Huakm and nothing is beyond it (AGGS, M 1, p 1).

It is heard and explained that the Transcendent One is everywhere and Its Hukam is immutable and every thing happens according to it (AGGS, M 1, p 1091).

“My own story†raises some questions. How could any body survive up on a snowy mountain in that severe cold weather sitting in meditating posture for a very long time as the writer of the story claims to have done? Moreover, the type of mediation described in “my own story†is rejected by Nanakian philosophy. It has no spiritual merit whatsoever.

Pilgrimage, austerity, compassion and charity alone earn very little spiritual merit (AGGS, M 1, p 4).

If celibacy leads to salvation then why doesn’t a eunuch realize God? (AGGS, Kabir, p 324)

If one were to become a great ascetic by practicing extreme austerity or were ready to offer his body in the sacred fire or were to give gold, horses, elephants and land in charity or were to practice many Yogic techniques or were to practice self-mortification like Jain monks or were to sacrifice his body piece by piece, still he wont’ be free from haumain (self-centeredness) (AGGS, M, 5, p 265)

On the other hand, one who makes honest living through hard work and practices charity recognizes the righteous path (AGGS, M 1, p 1245).

Finally, AGGS rejects the concept of past life or life after death and urges again and again that present life is the only chance to realize God, which is the primary objective of human life.

This is your opportunity, this is your turn to meet God, ponder and seek within (AGGS, Kabir, P 1159).

Take advantage of your human birth, as this is your opportunity to meet God (AGGS, M, 5, P 378).

“Don’t look to the past, make efforts to move ahead. This is the only chance to meet God because you won’t be born again,†says Nanak (AGGS, M, 5, P 1096).

Guru’s teaching is like nectar that imparts immortality, one who imbibes it receives Divine grace. Why should one, who wants to have a glimpse of the Beloved bother about paradise through salvation (AGGS, M I, P 360).

These verses clearly emphasize that one’s current life is the only chance to realize God. On the other hand, according to the theory of karma and transmigration, there could be many chances to meet God - theoretically unlimited number of chances.

In the next chapter the writer claims, “My parents went on a pilgrimage to the eastern country to bathe at holy places and give charity. As a consequence thereof, their prayers were answered and my mother was blessed with me in her womb.†Here the writer contradicts his earlier statement: “When I was meditating on Mahankal (Shivji) and Kalika (goddess) on a snowy mountain called Hem Kunt, my parents were praying to God and perfecting their Yogic discipline. When God was pleased with them, He ordered me to take birth in the age of Kalijug.â€

Here again the writer does not know that Sikh Gurus had rejected the essentials Hinduism. So, their going to sacred Hindu centers to perform rituals to seek the boon of a child does not arise. The latter chapters, eighth to thirteen are devoted to battles between Guru Gobind Singh and his adversaries, the Rajput rulers of Shivalak hills and the Mughal.

It is strange that the writer makes no mention of the establishment of the Khalsa, the martyrdom of Baba Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, the battle of the forty immortals, the cruel death of two younger Sahibzadas, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, and the painful death of grief stricken Mata Gujri. Also there is no mention of the betrayal of Gangu Brahmin, the culpability of Sucha Nand in the cruel death of younger Sahibzadas and the protest by Nawab of Malerkotla against the killing of young ones. Additionally, there is no mention of the sacrifice of Pir Budhu Shah in the battle of Bhangani and the help by Khan brothers, Rai Kalah and others to Guru Gobind Singh.

In chapter five the writer says that Guru Teg Bahadar sacrificed his life for protection of the frontal mark and the sacred thread of the Brahmins. This is a very narrow and sectarian interpretation of Guru Teg Bahadar’s unique and unparalleled martyrdom. Guru Teg Bahadar sacrificed his life to defend human rights of all subjugated Indian people. It was a sacrifice in the defense of religious tolerance and freedom of worship and conscience and against bigotry. It is a historical coincidence that Kashmiri Brahmins sought his help to protect their religion. If the circumstances had been reverse, he would have done the same for Muslims. Guru Hargobid Sahib built a mosque called “Guru ki Maseet†for Muslims. It is preserved as a historical monument in the district of Gurdaspur, Punjab.30

Besides, there are statements in Chapter 8 (Battle of Bhangani), which are not consistent with the teachings of AGGS. The writer narrates the heroic exploits of Guru Gobind Singh’s cousins, his maternal uncle and others but ignores the sacrifice of Pir Budhu Shah. He extols the honor of Sodhi clan, and the bravery and the chivalry of Khatris. The writer also says that witches, ghosts, evil spirits, bir baitaal (agents of god Shivji) and sidhs (people with supernatural powers) came to enjoy the scene of the battle. These statements are in direct contradiction of the nash doctrine of Guru Gobind Singh.

Then there are other statements at the end of this chapter, which repudiate the essence of Sikh ethics -- humility, forgiveness and compassion.

je je nar tah na bhire deene nagar nikar.

je teh thaur bhale bhire tinai karee paritpar.

“Those who did not participate in the battle (to help us) were forced to leave the town, whereas those who did were rewarded.â€

Sikhs know that Guru Har Gobind Sahib forgave Emperor Jahangir, who was responsible for the cruel death of his father Guru Arjan Dev. Sikhs also know that Guru Gobind Singh forgave Emperor Aurangzeb, who was responsible for the death of his father, mother, four sons, and hundreds of Sikhs. Sikh Gurus were the embodiment of humility, compassion, and forgiveness. How could any Sikh believe that Guru Gobind Singh forced people to leave the town simply because they did not help him in the battle?

Talking about the treatment of enemies, the writer say: “The wicked ones were tortured and they died like dogs.â€

tang tang kar hane nidana.

kookar jim tin the prana.

Now compare this statement with the story of Bhai Kanhyia. When Sikhs complained to Guru Gobind Singh that Bahi Kanhyia was helping the wounded enemy soldiers, he hugged Bhai Kanhyia and honored him by calling him a true Sikh. How could any Sikh believe that Guru Gobind Singh degraded his enemies to the level of dogs and tortured them to death?

In Chapter 13, the writer implies that the Gurus approved of Mughal rulers and as quid pro quo the latter respected and supported the former. “God Himself created the successors of Baba Nanak and Babur. Recognize the former as spiritual and latter as temporal sovereign. The successors of Babur punished and looted the property of those who failed to tithe the house of Nanak. When these penniless wretched ones begged Sikhs for help, the Mughals looted the Sikhs who helped them. The Guru also shunned them. The Mughals punished and killed those who turned their back on the Guru, but those who remained faithful were saved by the Guru.â€

From the above it is quite obvious that the writer was an apologist for the Mughals, one of those who used to sing paeans to the rulers “Eeshvro va Dilishvro va (The emperor of Delhi is as great as God).â€31 Moreover, either he was ignorant of Babur Bani (Guru Nanak’s composition about Babur’s invasion) and Sikh history or he indulged in gross distortion of both. For example, Guru Nanak denounced the invasion and atrocities committed by Babur’s forces: “O Lalo, Babur the bride-groom has invaded with a marriage party of sin from Kabul and demands the surrender of India as a bride by force. Shame and morality have disappeared and falsehood has overtaken. Instead of Qazis and Brahmans the devil is performing the marriage ceremony†(AGGS, M 1 p 722).

Moreover, Guru Nanak denounced the rulers of his time very forcefully.

The rulers are like ferocious tigers and their officials as wild dogs, who harass and persecute the innocent subjects (AGGS, M, 1, p 1288).

Unless the petitioner bribes, even the king does not accept the petition. If someone petitions only in the name of God (justice), no body listens (AGGS, M 1. P 350).

The Gurus opposed the tyranny and bigotry of Muslim rulers and took up arms against them. Guru Gobind Singh’s great grandfather, Guru Arjan Dev was tortured to death on the orders of Jehangir,32 his grandfather Guru Hargobind Singh fought against Shah Jahan, and Auragnzeb was responsible for the death of his father, mother, four sons and hundreds of Sikhs. From the time of Jehangir, the Mughal rulers tried to destroy the movement started by Guru Nanak.

Thus, the analysis of the contents of BN described above demonstrates unequivocally that BN is not the autobiography of Guru Gobid Singh. Furthermore, I would like those who regard Dasam Granth as the work of Guru Gobind Singh to ponder over the following questions.

If Guru Gobind Singh authored Dasam Granth he must have some purpose in mind for writing such a big manuscript? What did he do with it? And what did he want the Sikhs to do with it? We know for sure that before his death, Guru Gobind Singh in his infinite wisdom invested Guruship jointly on the teachings enshrined in the Damdami Bir (AGGS) and the Sikh Panth.28 If Dasam Granth is that important for the Sikhs, as its proponents want us to believe, then why didn’t Guru Gobind Singh issue any instructions to the Sikhs about it? How could any Bani, which is not included in AGGS be a part of Nit Nem (daily prayer) for the Sikhs? Isn’t it a violation of Guru Gobind Singh’s edict “All Sikhs are hereby ordered to accept the Aad Guru Granth Sahib as the Eternal Guru?â€

Conclusion

The author of Bachittar Natak was grossly ignorant of Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat) and Sikh history. His purpose was to subvert Sikhism by separating Guru Gobind Singh from the Nanakian philosophy. He was quite successful in misleading ignorant and gullible Sikhs. For anyone to suggest that Bachittar Natak is an autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh is an affront to common sense, insult to Guru Gobind Singh and the repudiation of Nanakian philosophy.

REFERENCES

1 Singh, B., Dasam Granth Darpan – Dasam Granth Nirnai (Punjabi), 2001, p 11-14.

2 Singh, D., Dasam Granth – its History, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1994, p 81-95.

3 Singh, J., The Historical Identity of Dasam Granth, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1994, p 95-99.

4 Singh, H., Dasam Granth: A Historical Perspective, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, January – March 1999, 59-64.

5 Mehboob, H. S., Sehje Rachio Khalsa (Punjabi), 2nd ed., 2000, p 666-722.

6 Kala Afghana, G. S., Bachittar Natak Gurbani Di Kasvatti Te (Punjabi), 1999.

7 Pilgrimage to Hemkunt by Jaswant Singh Neki, reviewed by W. O. Cole, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50 (7), 79-80.

8 Singh, P., Guru Teg Bahadur: The Miracle of Martyrdom, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50 (12), 21-25.

9 Mani, D. S., Guru Gobind Singh, The Tribune, December 2002.

10 Singh, K., Prasaraprasana, edited by Piar Singh and Madanjit Kaur, 1989, p 36.

11 Singh, G., Guru Gobind Singh, 1966, p 7.

12 Padam, P. S., Rehatnamae (Punjabi), 5th ed., 1991, p 43.

13 Shan, H. S. Concept of Martyrdom with special reference to the Sahidi of Guru Teg Bahadur, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50(2), 42-49.

14 King, N. Q. Sikhism and theDivine Processes in World History, The Sikh Review, 2002, 50(50), 9-13.

15 Singh, S., The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 64.

16 Singh, G., Dasam Granth, Punjab Heritage (online), 2002.

17 Singh, J., Dasam Granth, Punjab Heritage (online), 2002.

18 Bhai Veer Singh was the inspiration behind building of Hemkunt shrine.

19 Like Jaswant Singh Neki, Saran Singh, editor of the Sikh Review is the promoter of Hemkunt shrine.

20 Editorial: Nash Doctrine or Five Freedoms, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1995, p 1-7; July-September 1996, p 1-13; October-December 1996, p 1-9.

21 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., New Delhi, 2001, p 19.

22 Grewal, J. S. The Sikhs of the Punjab, New Delhi, 1994, p31.

23 Singh, J. The Sikh Revolution, New Delhi, 1998, p 105.

24 Singh, B. Misinterpretation of Gurbani by W. H. McLeod, Part I, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, 2003, 5 (2), p 72-80.

25 Singh, B. Misinterpretation of Gurbani by W. H. McLeod, Part II, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, 2003, 5 (3), p 66-78.

26 Grewal, J. S., The Sikhs of the Punjab, 1994, p 41.

27 Chahal, D. S., Sabd Guru to Granth Guru – a study, Undersatnding Sikhism Res J., 2003, 5 (1), p 19-27.

28 Grewal, J. S., The Sikhs of the Punjab, 1994, p 80.

29 Chahal, D. S. Sikhism: Scientific and logical religion for the third millenium and beyond, Understanding Sikhism Res. J., 2000, 2(2), p 7-23.

30 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 46.

31 Narang, G. C. The Transformation of Sikhism, 5th ed., 1960, p 98.

32 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p38.

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I just don't understand how or why people try to use logic to explain God and his workings! Its not just Sikhs, but also 'scholars' of other religions who explain their supremacy and inferiority of others beliefs through their 'sciebtific logic and reasonings'. That theirs is a modern scientific religion.

Since when has the creator become bound to the laws of logic and reasoning? IS that not an attempt to humanise Him; the next step being to find faults with Him and His creation?

If we were to use logic then one easily explain the non-existance of God. Hell, I could even convince you guys that we live in a giant, green teapot!

Its a bit like my 7yo niece telling me off for speaking English wrong and not knowing anything. LOL

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