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Oldest Surviving Rehat


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I thought this needs to be posted. I imagine most of us here would have seen it before. For those that haven't, it is a translation (by the notorious Hew Mcleod) of what is thought to be the earliest surviving rehat found by Jeevan Deol, which is dated 1718/1719 i.e. a decade after dasmesh pita's earthly passing.

He who utters the divine Word without understanding gains nothing.

He who neglects to bow after completing a reading from the sacred scripture will find himself cut off from God.

If he who distributes [karah] prashad is greedy (keeping a large portion for himself),

Or if he serves unequal portions, he will eternally regret his transgression

Hear now the method to be followed when preparing karah [prashad], how the three ingredients are to be mixed in equal quantities.

The place where this is to be prepared is to be swept and plastered, the cooking vessel to be scoured and then washed clean.

Bathe yourself so that you come to the task unpolluted, uttering nothing save ‘Vahiguru’.

Fill a new pitcher with water, confident that Guru Gobind Singh will bless the undertaking.

When it is ready place it on a four legged stool and sitting around it sing kirtan.

(Dohoray)

We who accepts a Turak [Muslim?] as his master or who touches iron with his foot,

Says Gobind Singh, ‘Hear me, [Nand] Lal (the manuscript seems to jump at this point, indicating some missing portion perhaps?)

Who takes prasad without reciting Japuji,

Who lets evening pass without joining in Rahiras,

Who retires at night without reciting Kirtan [sohilla],

Who disfigures his actions by slaundering others-

Such a person was born for disgrace, his duty ever neglected.

He who gives his word but fails to honour it ,

Shall find no resting place, says Gobind Singh.

He who eats meat prepared by Muslims (the word used in the original here is “Turakaan” or Turks).

Who sings songs other than what the Guru has composed,

Who delights in the songs which women sing,

Hear me, [Nand] Lal, to Yam’s kingdom he will go.

(Doharay)

He who calls himself a sadhu should never be trusted if he does not adhere to the Rahit.

To deceive people he keeps impressively silent

(Chaupai)

He who begins any undertaking without Ardas, who eats without setting aside a portion for the Guru,

Who consumes anything that is prescribed,

Who lies with any women other than his wife,

Who gives nothing when he sees someone in need-

Such a person will gain no honour [when he appears] before the divine Court

He who does not listen attentively to kirtan or katha,

Who speaks ill of a pious Sikh,

The slanderer, the gambler, the one who steals-

Kal will bring them great suffering.

Do not listen to anyone who defames the Guru;

Take a sword and slay [him]

(Dorahay)

He who does not keep a charity box (golak) or who conducts trade deceitfully,

Hear me Nand Lal, declares Gobind Singh, he shall suffer a thousand hells.

(Chaupai)

He who blows out a lamp [instead of extinguishing it with his fingers],

Who extinguishes fire from water from which he has been drinking

He who eats without saying Vahiguru

The Sikh who visits a prostitute,

Or shows affection for another wife,

Says Gobind Singh, I have no affection for that Sikh

He who seduces the Guru’s wife, he who is deceitful,

Know him to be a grievous offender [against the Rahit]

He abandons the Guru and follows another,

Who sleeps naked from the waist down ,

Who engages in intercourse while naked,

Or who bathes whilst naked {Let him be regarded as a grievous offender]

(Doharay)

He who streches himself out naked, who eats bareheaded,

Or who thus distributes karah prasad – treat any such person as a grievous offender.

(Chaupai)

He is a Khalsa who refrains from scurrilous talk;

He is a Khalsa who in fighting never turns his back

He is a Khalsa who gives gifts in charity

He is a Khalsa who slays Khans

He is a Khalsa who triumphs over the five (evil impulses) (kam, krodh, moh etc.).

He is a Khalsa who despises the rituals [of the Brahmans].

He is a Khalsa who abandons pride;

He is a Khalsa who disregards glory (Khālsā soì jo ān ko tiāgai)

He is a Khalsa who avoids another’s wife.

(Khālsā soì jo paratriā so bhagai)

Khālsā soì jo raini ko jāgai

Khālsā soì jo pradrisati tiāgai

He is a Khalsa who fights face to face

(Doharay)

He [is a true Khalsa] who recognizes that the creation is the Creator’s and for this reason does not cause it harm.

If anyone should cause harm to the creation, Nand Lal the creator is filled with wrath.

(Chaupai)

He is a Khalsa who supports the needy;

He is a Khalsa who destroys the oppressor

He is a Khalsa who repeats the divine Name

He is a Khalsa who fights his enemy

He is a Khalsa who is absorbed in the divine Name

He is a Khalsa who breaks free from that which binds him

He is a Khalsa who is always fighting battles

He is a Khalsa who carries weapons

He is a Khalsa who smites the Turks

He is a Khalsa who upholds his dharma

He is a Khalsa who bears a canopy over his head! (A signifier of royalty in line with Guru Ji’s attempt at exalting Sikhs)

(Doharay)

Akal [Purakh] cries, Let slander cease. Everyone will flee away, down rivers or into mountains, but he (who does not engage in slander) will cross over [the ocean of the world and find there liberation from the torments of human existence].

(Chaupai)

Hear this truth, Nand Lal.

I shall establish my rule

I shall merge the four castes into one

I shall have people repeat Vahiguru

[My Sikhs shall] ride swift horses and fly like hawks

Turaks (Presumably Moghuls) once sighted shall be defeated

One [sikh] will confront a host of 125,000 (sava lakh),

[spiritual] liberation awaits that Singh who fights [for me].

Banners shall wave, grand elephants [shall parade];

Music shall resound at every gate

The mighty host (sava lakh) shall discharge their guns.

When they do the Khalsa shall arise and all enemies of the truth be overthrown

(Dorahay)

The Khalsa shall rule, no traitor shall survive

(Today we say “Rāj karaigā Khālsā ākì rahe nā koi” but in the original it states “Rāj karaigā Khālsā yakì tikai nā koi”)

All who endure privation shall be shielded by the Guru’s protection

Here ends the manual of instruction (nasihat nama) which is issued from the mouth of the Tenth King.

Vahiguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vahiguru Ji Kee Fateh!

Edited by dalsingh101
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  • 3 months later...

Why "notorious Hew McCleod"?

Why act like there aren't plenty of Sikhs who viewed/view him as having ulterior motives and vehemently contested what he espoused?

Whatever the truth is, I think the label 'notorious' is one that is a pretty apt one given that his views did upset many Sikhs. Whether someone is a fan of his or not doesn't alter this fact.

Edited by dalsingh101
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Why act like there aren't plenty of Sikhs who viewed/view him as having ulterior motives and vehemently contested what he espoused?

Whatever the truth is, I think the label 'notorious' is one that is a pretty apt one given that his views did upset many Sikhs. Whether someone is a fan of his or not doesn't alter this fact.

Of course there are plenty of sikhs who dislike him and his work. But having not read his stuff just want to know why and how he has 'hurt the sikh communities sentiments'.

All I know is that if it was not for his foresight in preserving/copying documents, there would be no/little original record of sikh history left.

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Of course there are plenty of sikhs who dislike him and his work. But having not read his stuff just want to know why and how he has 'hurt the sikh communities sentiments'.

All I know is that if it was not for his foresight in preserving/copying documents, there would be no/little original record of sikh history left.

We went through this before. His contribution was making a handwritten copy of the Chaupa Singh rahit that was lost after the army attack in 1984. I don't know who put out the rumour that he has preserved/copied loads of 'lost' documents, because it is not true.

But yes, copying the Chaupa rehat was lucky for us.

Despite that, many Sikhs do feel his work is misinformation. You can tell this by the way so many people have written rebuttals to his theories.

This was all discussed before, when he died, no need to bring it up on this thread. We should try and focus on the contents of the rehat instead?

Edited by dalsingh101
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  • 4 months later...

Okay. Found this reconstruction and translation of the oldest surviving formal 'rehatnama' (as in a post 1699 Khalsa code of conduct). It claims to be more accurate than the McLeod one. It's from an essay entitled 'The earliest manual on the Sikh way of life' by Karamjit K. Malhotra.

Page 1 of the attachments given here describe how the author reconstructed the text i.e. what manuscripts she used (I presume it is a she from the middle initial?). For the khojees out there. (I've also posted the related endnotes).

Enjoy.

Taken without permission from:

5 centuries of Sikh tradition. Essays for Indu Banga.

Eds. Reeta Grewal & Sheena Pal.

Is this the closet known surviving rehat to Guru Gobind Singh ji's time?

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Edited by dalsingh101
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Some interesting points at first glance:

No reference to kesh.

No reference to proscribed groups (like Ram Raiya, Dhir Malis, Masands etc.)

Pre Khalsa Nitnem (Japji Sahib, Rehraas and Kirtan Sohila)

No direct reference to Pahul although the term Khalsa is widely used

No reference to drugs/drink prohibitions

No reference to bujjar kureits

Could this be a very early pre Khalsa rehat that has been adapted post 1699? It does appear to be a very early one?

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  • 10 years later...

Here's the Gurmukhi text of the Tankhahnama attributed to Bhai Nand Lal:

60179314-Tankhahnama-Bhai-Nand-Lal.pdf

 

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