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Poetics of Dasam Granth


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Has anyone read a book called "Poetics of Dasam Granth" by Dr Darshan Singh?


Dr Sahib has written this book from a poet's perspective and has given some valuable insights in the compositions of this Granth, and some of the revelations in this book are quite profound. One of the things he says at the beginning of the book is the fact that people have been looking/approaching this granth only from an academic point of view, without actually reading and understanding it from a poet's viewpoint.

It made me think that there are an increasing number of nindaks, and their fanclubs (as we have seen on this forum very recently) who are not very aware themselves of the content of the granth but are quite happy to parrot anothers views because it fits in with their visions of what Sikhi is. Certainly I haven't looked at Sri Dasam Granth from this viewpoint either, but reading this book, it has given a new dimension on the contents of this book and how they are looked at by the missionaries.

I am just cross-referencing some of the points made by Dr Darshan Singh with my own teeka of Sri Dasam Granth and will share some of it's content soon. If anybody has read this book please share your thoughts.



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In this book the author Dr Darshan Singh has written :

1. Almost all the stanzas containing the name "Sham" are in "Krishanavtar" excepting 3 which are in Charitropakhyan.

2. The name "Shyam" appears first on Pg 155 then it's next appearance is on Pg 265. Then is becomes more regular, about 200 times in this text. This text is majorly the more "amorous" exploits of Shri Krishna.

3. "Shyam" spells his names in at least 3 different ways, which is odd if it were the author writing it.

4. The poet "Ram" is also mentioned in "Krishanavtar" but to the author it seems strange to have two authors creating one artistic piece of work. Sometimes both Ram and Shyam come up in the same stanza.

5. Dr Darshan Singh says that there are 4 translations of the same word "Shyam" other than authorship in Krishanavtar" : God, Avtar, hero, dark, and that in some places the translation has been given as the poet where it could mean God.

6. Poet "Ram" only occurs about 15 times, in "Krishanavtar" and Charitropakhyan.

7.These names only occur in "Swaiyyas" and no other form of metre of poetry.


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Looking at this from the point of the translated passages from Mehma Parkash, what do you guys think?

I am thinking that these people Ram and Shyam were real scholars who shared the teachings of the sanskrit granths on Guru Sahib's request. They were subsequently reworded in Brij by Guru Sahib and recorded in Gurmukhi by a Sikh. Guru Ji has used in some instances the poets names in the rewording, possibly to honour them, as this seems befitting to those who have performed the task required, or as the poet has spoken, it could be a straight word for word rewording.


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  • 6 months later...
On 29/02/2016 at 4:29 PM, amardeep said:

What does it say about Charitro Pakhyan?


It talks about the essence of Sri CharitroPakhyan. What was the Guru's motive for writing the literature? Who did Guru Sahib want to read it? What did Guru Sahib choose the main characters and why their status' were important in the whole theme etc.

I haven't seen it for sale in the UK (it doesn't have an ISBN number on it) but anyone going India should definitely get it.

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