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Pracheen Panth Parkash


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Just a quick thing i found this translation of the scripture, only a smal amount has been done so far.

Thought i would share what i have found

Professor Gurtej Singh, formerly of the I.A.S., has undertaken the task of translating Prachin Panth Prakash of Ratan Singh Bhangu (d. 1846) - a descendant of Mahtab Singh (who had, along with young Sukha Singh, assassinated Massa Ranghar, the tyrannical Zakariya Khan’s deputy, in 1740, as punishment for desecrating the precincts of Harimandir Sahib). We publish here the Introduction, in the hope that the book can be serialized ahead of its publication. - Ed. S.R.

The Significance of Bhangu

An introduction to Bhangu’s Sri GurPanth Prakash

The book was born out of the desire of the 19th Century British colonisers to examine whether the Sikh political power in Punjab was legitimate. It was not an academic question for them. The use of the then popular theory of sovereignty as an aid to expansion of the British East India Company controlled territory, was the obvious motive. Sensing that danger, Rattan Singh took upon himself the task of proving that the Sikh political power was perfectly legitimate. He begins by reiterating the basic Sikh theory of polity. It must be considered authentic because it is in accord with the religious text and coming from Bhangu, who himself belonged to the ruling aristocracy, it perhaps also represents its thought on the subject.

Ratan Singh Bhangu’s explanation is that all power belongs to God who is the True Sovereign. God entrusted it to Guru Nanak. In certain historical circumstances, Guru Nanak entrusted it to the Mughal Babar. The pact with him was that he would rule justly. Certain markers for ruling justly were settled. The pact included terms that when the rulers took to oppression, the power to rule would be withdrawn from them. Markers for oppression were again fixed. It included the martyrdom of the Gurus and their followers. This is precisely the theory which has been expressed by another powerful myth of Sikh history about the grant of seven handfuls of cannabis leaves to Babar, signifying rule for seven generations. Bereft of the myths spun by the early Sikh historians, the basic theory presented by Bhangu is that oppression, particularly when it crosses all limits, takes away the justification to rule completely. This accords the same importance to the concept of human rights, the right of unhindered self development and freedom of faith as the modern day concept of legitimacy does.

In relating the story of Guru Nanak, Bhangu seeks to establish that the Guru was indeed a special representative of God. He thinks that he was the essence of all incarnations and had an edge over them all. This theory is in accord with the one propounded in the compositions of bards which forms an epilogue to the Guru Granth. His interpretation of the mission of Nanak, which he propounds in the context of Guru’s travels, is nearest to the original and depicts Sikhi as the faith of a modern person. The basic concern of Nanak, according to him was, to seek adherents to Truth and God alone and to eliminate the worship of ‘pretender gods’ and abjuring belief in false faiths. The universal concerns of Nanak are emphasised by him. In comparison, he consciously rejects the Hindu faith, though he continues to use the term Hindu for the Sikhs.

His interpretation of the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur is equally significant. He is clear that the martyrdom was for the freedom to practise religion. The first reaction of the Hindu priests was to execute the prescribed rituals and get their numerous gods and goddesses to intervene. They were not successful. He indicates that there was a pact with the representatives of Hinduism that after the Guru had made the supreme sacrifice entire Hindu India would join the Sikhs in overthrowing the Mughal rule. That was in nature of a solemn undertaking by the Hindus. In the subsequent pages, throughout his work, he makes it a point to bring out that instead the Hindus joined the Mughals in eliminating the Sikhs root and branch. In the story of Banda Bahadur, he lets it be known that they were absolutely hand in glove with the Mughals. This observation is confirmed on reading the contemporary historical record. Any Hindu who possessed any political weight in Mughal India was present with the Mughal army seeking to exterminate Banda.

Particularly in the section dealing with the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, he propounds the Sikh theory of martyrdom, According to it, martyrdom must be for a general cause, it must be voluntary and its aim should be to bring about a far reaching political change. A martyr should be of exceptionally high moral character. After being martyred, he goes to the True Court and appeals to God to withdraw the sanction to rule to the oppressive group. The mode of affecting change is the religious preceptors of the ruling oppressive people on earth are dismissed from the True Court and are relegated to some obscure corner at the back of the Court. It is thereafter the duty of the God-oriented followers of the martyr to strive in every way to overthrow the regime which has lost the mandate to govern. It is required to act God in mundane affairs and to responsibly implement His decree for change. In this context he declares the Order of the Khalsa to be God itself. He will complete his theory of martyrdom, with reference to more martyrs including the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh and others later in the book.

His description of the creation of the Khalsa has several significant features. Whatever the Guru has to say to the disciples, is said openly in a loud voice and in the presence of a huge congregation. There are no secret magical words or formulae of esoteric significance that are imparted on the occasion, as was the practise of several religious orders in India. The Khalsa is ever to strive for political freedom and as an assertion of that resolve it must assert the right to use weapons. This is symbolised by the injunction not to part with the kirpan. Strict code of conduct is prescribed so that the use of force is minutely governed, controlled and directed towards higher spiritual aims of humankind. These are the first lessons in open diplomacy imparted by the Guru to the Khalsa.

Bhangu understands the Order of the Khalsa as successor to the Guru, also therefore divine in nature and hence politically sovereign. Those who join the voluntary Khalsa force renounce all notions of caste, give up previous faith, abandon all superstition, ritualism and cant, undertake to live for general welfare of creation and intensely pursue moral values perceived as attributes of God. He believes that the Tenth Guru accepted Order of the Khalsa to be his Guru on the same analogy as Nanak accepting Guru Angad as Guru.

Rattan Singh’s history of the rise and spread of the Khalsa Panth, is a unique description and compares with nothing else in Sikh historical writings. On this supposedly ‘darkest period of Sikh history’ Bhangu throws a flood of light. It is a pity that his information has not been fully used. According to him the Sikh society was consciously divided into three sections. One part was to consist of the normal householders whose only duty was to provide food and clothing to the political elements. They were expected to strictly live by the sweat of their brow and to share the surpluses with the militant Sikhs. The second part consisted of the Sikhs in services. They were to maintain faith intact and to remain neutral in political affairs. They were to be regarded as full-fledged members of the panth, except that they were to be subjected to token punishment (tankhah) and had to wait outside the panthic gathering before being asked to participate as equals of all others and fully entitled to give opinion on the common welfare of the entire panth. The third part consisted of the fighting Sikhs always on the move. They were entitled to extract articles of bare subsistence from the householder Sikhs according to their capacity. For the purchase of other essential commodities (presumably military hardware) they were entitled to exclusive use of gurdwara funds. For this purpose there was a section of them, consisting perhaps of the elderly, which was to act as caretakers of the gurdwaras. In addition the militant Sikhs were allowed to loot and plunder the state treasuries, to levy taxes and to extract tributes from those known to be enemies of the Sikhs. The fighting section apparently had at least two brigades of efficient striking force. One, most admired brigade consisted of the supple and powerful young knights of exceptional courage and well trained in guerrilla warfare. They were to be efficient and deadly and to always remain ready to deliver the death dealing sting. In dare-devilry they were to be equal to the deadliest anywhere. These were perhaps known as the Bhujangi Dal. Bhujang of course, is a ‘deadly cobra in a striking posture.’ The remaining warriors went under the collective name of Nihangs or the Alligator Brigade, clad in blue. They were presumably little elderly soldiers less mobile but equally courageous and core of the main Khalsa voluntary army. This arrangement appears to have persisted until the Sikhs organised themselves into the Taruna and Buddha Dals and eventually into misls.

The rest (in first section) is descriptive with a greater part going to describe the battles of the Tenth Guru. Except where he depends upon Sukha Singh’s Gurbilas, his depiction of Sikh history appears to have a distinct ring of authenticity.

[To be continued]

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Firstly, a story of the first appearance of the Khalsa

[Guru’s striving for the Panth]

Tr. & analysis by Prof. Gurtej Singh*

PART II

NOTE Since Sri Gur-Panth Prakash (by Bhangu) is in poetic form, the numbers at the end of sentences are couplet numbers and not reference numbers.

* 742 Sector 8, Chandigarh. 160008. Email: akalsahaigurtejsingh@yahoo.com

Couplet: Bowing at the feet of Guru Nanak and invoking Guru Gobind Singh; I write about the origin of the Khalsa, may they help me.1

Quartet: I now write the story of the Singhs, as it was told by our ancestors. I also heard it from other elders who were many faceted Sikhs.2 I relate this according to my understanding. Love inherent in soul and body destroys fear and favour. As I had related it to the English people, I will retain the same general pattern and the context.3

[Page 34]

Dhabai (Count Benoit de Boigne) was a French foreigner, employed by the Marathas as military servant. One brigade was entrusted to him. He remained their servant for many years.4 When he became old he longed to go to his native land. He sold all he had and departed. Peru (General Pietre Perron) was his sister’s son. The rest he entrusted to him.5

Couplet: This Perron increased his strength from one camp to three or four. He settled on the territory he occupied on the Ganges between Agra and Delhi.6

Quartet: Marathas became apprehensive and desired to occupy his territory. Perron struck upon a plan. He sold the country to the English and went.7. He departed in 1860 (1803 CE) after ruining the Marathas. The British occupied the area. Gloom spread over the house of Marathas.8

[Page 35]

Colonel (David Ochterloney) entered Delhi. The Singhs marched and laid siege to Delhi. They loosened the English grip over it.9 The English commander was angry at heart as he could not prevail against the Singhs. The English inquired from the King, ‘who has assigned territory to the Singhs?’10

Couplet: ‘What enemy have they killed? What job have they accomplished? The king may name the favour.’11.

Words of the king of Delhi:

Quartet: The king replied, ‘no king has written assignment to them. They have rendered no service, they have killed no enemy.’12 ‘Nizmal Mughal (Nizam-ul-Mulk Mansur Ali) invited Nadir Shah. He had Delhi destroyed. Rouhella Nazibudaullah invited Ahmed Shah and had the power of (Sadashiv) Bhau, the Maratha destroyed.’13. ‘He became tired and returned on his own. Like this the country remained rebellious against him.’ Like this, firing a salvo against the Singhs, the wicked king uttered a falsehood.14. He characterised the Singhs as ‘subjects’ and did not reveal that they were the Khalsa Panth.

[Page 36]

He gave no information about the Gurus, or of the struggle that persisted between the Gurus and the kings.15

Couplet: Retaining spite in his mind, he did not say anything about how the respected Guru Nanak emerged, how his glory increased further and how he had been kind to Babar.16

Quartet: The wicked person did not relate: how the Mughals tormented Hind, how they bothered the Gurus, or of how the Gurus made a firm resolve and gave their heads but did not give up the determination, how enmity between the kings and the Gurus prevailed and how the Panth was created on the Gurus’ orders. To aid the Panth the sword was invoked and sons were sacrificed to it.18 Their own bodies were sacrificed to the sword, to the damnation of the rulers. These strivings of the Gurus for the sake of the Panth, were not related by the wicked man.19

Couplet: The infant sons of the Guru were sinless and guiltless. He did not relate their plight. Innocent children were arrested and their heads were cut off.20

Quartet: Then Bahadur Shah pleased the Guru. He showed his strength and helped him to become the king. Eventually Banda was sent who snatched it from him. Sovereignty devolved upon the true (essence of) Khalsa.21

Couplet: He stated nothing about the Gurus, about the Panth, or about the many years of intense and protracted struggle between the Kings and the saintly Gurus.22

Inverted couplet: Scalps of the Sikhs were removed and they were hacked to pieces joint by joint. Stakes were erected in every village. That is how the Mughals lost their strength.23

Quartet: He did not relate the entire story of Nadir. He had sacked and massacred Delhi. He himself was plundered by the Singhs on his way to Kabul and Kandhar.24

[Page 37]

Then Ahmed Shah Abdali settled occupying Lahore and also entire Delhi and Agra. He was ousted by the Singhs. The Singhs occupied his province.25

Couplet: His son Taimur was forced to retreat on the road littered with dead bodies. He departed after cautioning his descendants never to come this way again.26

Quartet: Then came his grandsons who were beaten back by the Khalsa. Ever since its inception, the Panth has been struggling to resist, the wicked king spoke of them as his subjects.27

Couplet: A wicked person will not give up wickedness as a snake does not give up its venom. Even if often treated to milk, it does not refrain from biting.28

Quartet: He did not relate a single fact. He told deliberate lies on purpose. The general wrote down whatever he was told without sifting falsehood from truth. Hindus and Muslims were enemies right from the beginning due to original religious contentions. If telling a lie could kill an enemy, a Muslim would not avoid telling it against the Hindus.30

[Page 38]

Couplet: Soak the arm in oil and stick sesame seeds (sesamum orientale) to it, violate as many oaths and kill the Hindus, these are the Prophet’s instructions to them. 31. Rattan Singh has written properly whatever he had heard. Listen attentively, O Saints, as I elaborate it further.32

Now is written the context of the second story

[‘how the Khalsa appeared’..]

Couplet: The king said, that none had bestowed sovereignty upon them, but that ‘they are my subjects who became rebellious after the invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah.1

Quartet: The English then recorded, as it such. No one passed on the right to rule to the Singhs. They do not have a document, no one has bestowed sovereignty upon them.2 As the Delhi king told them they wrote in a book, compiled hurriedly on instructions. ‘If the Sikhs have no document and no one has bestowed the right to rule on them, how can subjects be allowed to remain in rebellion? They will be divested of the territory’. When the English committed this to writing, the wicked Mughal was filled with happiness.4

Couplet: Why should not the Turk be happy, why should he refrain from falsehood, Turks and Hindus have always been (locked) in religious conflict.5

Quartet: Several years went by like this. Ranjit Singh troubled the people. They brought over the English. They were established at Ludhiana.6

[Page 39]

Couplet: Eighteen hundred years and sixty-four (1807 CE) more had passed. They expelled Ranjit Singh’s forces from this to the other side (of the Satluj).7

Inverted couplet: It was solemnly settled that, ‘we will not look (covet territory) beyond the Satluj.’ To assure the people it was written that this country was a protectorate. 8 Couplet: Ochterloney, the military commander, remembered what had transpired. When he came andmet the Singhs at Ludhiana, he asked the same question.9 [Quartet] A thought about the information given by the king, occurred to the general. The general was assisted by Captain Murray, whom everyone knows.10 The general called him, seated him near and instructed him thoroughly. ‘Write about the origin of the Singhs, of how the Khalsa first become sovereign.’11. ‘Are the matters truly as the king of Delhi had related or has the Mughal deceived us’?

[Page 40]

‘Hindus and Turks have nothing in common, why would the Muslim tell the truth?’ 12 ‘How did these Jats kill the king’s governors and why did the king lose to his subjects? The Mughals possessed twenty-two provinces and many islands in the ocean.’13 ‘The entire Hind was with them. What calamity did destroy them? Subjects are sheep and rulers are lions, rulers hawks and the subjects are quails.’14 Couplet: ‘How did the sheep kill the lion or how did the quail kill the hawk? The defeat of rulers at the hands of the subjects is a miraculous happening.’15. ‘Are they indeed miraculously empowered or is it a Panth of someone powerful? Write about all this accurately, so that the ultimate truth is known’.16. Murray said to the general as the king of Delhi had stated. ‘Let the same version may be written and sent to the king London.’17.

Quartet: The English general was a learned person. He did not accept Murray’s advice. ‘If the king has related falsehood, it will lead to my being dubbed a liar.’18. He also took note of the other aspect. He was older and more cautious. That general had observed the enmity prevailing between the Singhs and the kings.19 If what the king said is true, then all the people will support it. If the king has uttered falsehood, then truth must be sifted from falsehood.20 He asked, ‘locate some old manuscript. Like this I must be convinced. Let a writing in which there is not even a grain of untruth, be sent to London.’21.

Couplet: ‘Let the year-wise account of occupation of territory by the Singhs be compiled after evaluating the account of their battles and the general condition of the country.’22.

Quartet: Murray made efforts on obtaining instructions. He summoned Maulvi Bute Shah and asked him to write a book depicting the origin of Singhs.’23 ‘Write for me as it actually happened do not adulterate it with any untruth.’

[Page 41]

‘The book will go to the king at London and will be published in other continents also.’ 24

Couplet: After so instructing him and explaining every thing to Bute Shah, he asked him to write the true story of the progress of the Singhs. 25

Quatrain: I had gone to that gathering and became worried on hearing the discussion. This Maulvi is a Muslim, he will not relate the glory of the Sikhs.26 I discussed it over with Murray and requested him to seek my opinion on his writing. On seeing it his remark was ‘he has not stated the whole Khalsa story’.27

Couplet: So Murray became my friend. He sent for me again and requested, ‘write an account of the origin of the Khalsa, as it happened.’28

Quatrain: Then I said, ‘hear this Captain Murray, you are relying on a Muslim. Enmity prevails between the Turks and Hindus right from the beginning. It is in the nature of a protracted ongoing feud.’ 29 ‘Turks censure the Hindus and the Hindus constantly condemn the Turks. Captain Murray replied, `we, the English, are clever and knowledgeable.’30 ‘Just as a swan can separate water from milk, we can sift the truth from falsehood. You may write the truth without hesitation. If it is untrue, we do not write it.’31 ‘When the English people go to alien lands, they compose and bring back their entire history. Whatever of it is particularly accurate, that alone is sent to the king of London’.32

Couplet: Then Murray said to me, ‘just tell me this, how did the Singhs acquire territory and which king bestowed it upon them?’33

Quatrain: My reply to him was like this, ‘kingship was bestowed upon the Singhs by the True King’. ‘Who is the True King’, asked Murray. I said, ‘King Nanak of course’.34

[Page 42]

Murray said, ‘Nanak was a fakir, what had he to do with procedures of sovereignty?’ I replied, ‘he was the king of kings, the true sovereign in the mundane as well as the spiritual world.’35 ‘He had caused many fakirs to become kings. He elevated several fakirs to higher spiritual status. He himself remained unaffected by it all. This is how he became the king of kings.’36 ‘Those who touched the feet of King Nanak, became so powerful, that their sparrows killed hawks and their goat-kids did tear up the lions.’37

Couplet: ‘Those who had a hundred thousand cavalry, and thousands of heavy guns, they who sat on thrones exercising sovereignty, were destroyed by the servants of Nanak.’38. ‘Those, whom his servants condemned by striking with a cannabis-waste ball in absentia, could not stand up to them and were immediately destroyed’.39

Thirty-two line verse: ‘Dear (reader), Murray then said to me the words, `describe the method by which Nanak attained sovereignty’. Hear O! saints, friends and brothers, this is what I told him: God Himself summoned him and persuaded him saying, ‘assume sovereignty, through you alone will I exercise power,’ embraced him and said, ‘you must now go, be named Nanak, be born amongst the Bedi social group. Protect those who seek refuge in you and destroy the wicked with a vengeance’.40

Quatrain: Murray said, ‘relate to me the circumstances in which God invested Nanak with sovereign power’. Hear accomplished saints, as I had replied to him: great strife arose in the dark-age (Kalyug), ir-religiousness had increased, and religion had declined. Lured by lucre, the kings had lightly abandoned all kingly duties.’42

[Page 43]

Those who had come into the world as originators of ‘paths,’ even their followers had wavered from the path. Money and attachment had beguiled them all. Losing sight of broader spirituality, they sought to benefit only their own clans.43

A couplet from the respected holy mouth

‘Kalyug became the knife wielded by the kings turned butchers. Religion acquired wings and flew away. The dark night of untruth descended. The moon of truth was nowhere rising.’

Writing the life story of the one upon whom the Spirit of God First descended

(‘those amongst whom Nanak was born’)

Couplet: Then Murray again said, ‘tell me everything about the year, the era, the country and the place.’ 1

Statement of Rattan Singh:

Quatrain: Listen! the year was 1526 of king Bikramajit (1469 CE) and the place was Talwandi of Rai Bular. It is near Lahore, in the direction of Kasur.2 The clan was of Khatris called Bedis, into this clan he had descended. That clan into which Nanak took birth was deeply religious.3. An appropriate occasion had arisen in the Age of Truth the ‘half-man-half-lion incarnation’ had taken birth in this clan. In the Second Eon when the time came Rama was born in the same clan. 4. In the Third Eon, Krishna was born to them on such an occasion. In the same process, this clan was allotted for Nanak’s birth. His father’s name was Kaludas and Tripta was his mother’s.5

[Page 44]

Couplet: Religiously, they were amply endowed but were deficient in wealth. In part because of the clan and because of their meritorious deeds, he came and took birth.6 At an auspicious time, under the auspicious constellation, in the auspicious house of the twelfth astrological segment, on an auspicious lucky occasion (he was born).7 On his birth, the glory of his parents was enhanced much. The earth itself yielded nine kinds of wealth along with all kind of occult powers and accomplishments.8

Quatrain: When the earth was dug up to bury the placenta there the wealth was discovered. Happiness of the parents increased much. Particularly knowledgeable astrologer was invited to make predictions.9

Couplet: Astrologer wrote out the birth-chart feeling much gratification at heart. On seeing the beauty of the child, he smiled profusely again and again.10

Quatrain: The birth chart was written out by him. It was explained at length to mother and father. The astrologer said, ‘let him be revered. A perfect man has arrived. Glory appears to attend his person. He is the blemish-less person’. He drew out and placed ‘N’ before them as first letter, from the word Nehkalank (blemish-less). He was named Nanak after Nehkalank. 11.12. Anyone who came to see him felt happy and was greatly charmed. He would long to see him many times and would not be satiated with looking at him.13

Couplet: Some said say he was a wielder of miraculous powers, some said he was an incarnation. Yet others asserted he would be a king under the imperial umbrella.14

Couplet: Rich felt like offering wealth to him and the poor found wealth in serving him.

[Page 45]

Some tested him by rendering service. They made wishes and received boons and their fulfilment.15 As the Guru revealed steady growth, people came to see him in every waxing phase. He would tell them what was in their minds and would tell them of the unknowable and unfathomable.16 Kalu loved him as a son and wished he would take over work. He went wherever he was sent and would never disobey his father.17 He would always utter (true name) Satnam and would ever talk of God, the Doer. This he preached to all the children and made them call upon the True Final Cause.18

Couplet: He made a stringed musical instrument out of reeds and handed it over to Mardana. They would sit playing and singing the word with all the children in choir.19

Quatrain: Should all the childhood stories be related, the book will increase endlessly. So I must exercise restraint and relate only the seminal ones.20 (I relate) how he played with children, of how he ruined the crop and made it whole again and of how Balwand Rai Bular saw the Baba when a cobra was casting the shade of its hood over his face.21 Many other miraculous happenings took place. The Rai heard of some and some he saw with his eyes. Because of them Rai’s heart was captivated. He sent for him and honoured him.22

Couplet: Balwand invited him and honoured him, offering his son as playmate. Inside the harem and outside it Nanak ran around and played.23

[Page 46]

Inverted Couplet: Just as a touch of the philosopher’s stone turns iron into gold, Rai became elevated. Murray was told that the Rai found a ministerial post at Delhi.24

Quatrain: When Babaji came of age, he was sent at the teacher’s door to study. I told Murray the story of how the Baba instead imparted instructions to the teacher.25 He exhibited many other miraculous happenings. Describing them all here would make the book too large. When Baba was married, he had two sons. He himself gave them names.26 Kalu wanted him to run the shop to earn much and accumulate a large wealth. Baba would not tread that path and was much pestered by mother and father. Baba was detached and would sing sabads holding the rebec. He and Mardana thus remained content and would not indulge in sale and purchase.28

[Management of Stores and entry into the Vein]

Couplet: On hearing that he is irresponsible, Jairam came. He was the husband of the True Guru’s sister and lived at Sultanpur.29

Quatrain: One of the nobles of the empire lived at Sultanpur. He was called Daulat Khan. He (Jairam) sponsored Nanak with the governor, who entrusted the granaries to him.30 Should all stories of that be told, many books will have to be looked up. He who needs to know these, can refer to other religious books. 31 I will write their essence as I related to Murray. At that place the Baba became detached at heart. He became detached and put his heart into divinity. Always accompanied by a servant, he would go every day to the river to bathe. There he dived into the river and did not come out for several hours. 33

[Page 47]

Couplet: The servant lost hope and started shouting, saying, ‘he is drowned.’ On hearing it Daulat Khan rushed there. 34

Quatrain: On reaching there he caused nets to be cast. He would have been located had he been there. People suggested, ‘he might have gone across.’ He had search conducted by on the other side.35 Tracers and soothsayers failed to locate him. People accepted, that he has ‘been washed away afar.’ Traditional mourning commenced at Jairam’s house and Daulat Khan was filled with grief.36 One or two days were spent like that. On the third day the Guru emerged. He was carrying the same cloth on his shoulder and was wearing (an unstitched cloth) dhoti around his waist. He stood like a scarecrow and would not speak. 37 News spread and the people came. They surrounded him and wanted to talk to him. On hearing of it, Jairam at once rushed there and Daulat Khan was wonderstruck.38

Couplet: Daulat Khan went there and brought him along. The Baba showed no emotion, the Khan tried to be affectionate.39

Quatrain: Then Daulat invited medical persons lest Nanak be tormented by illness. Baba satisfied the medicine person, much to the relief of Daulat.40 Islamic priests and jurists argued with Baba, they accused him of being a magician resorting to blocking people’s vision. Daulat did not believe what they said. He came to have faith in Baba.41 ‘He is completely a divine incarnation.’ He became a follower along with his family. Hindus and Turks (Muslims) were equal for Baba that is how they had turned acolytes.42 He would instruct both into Truth and would forbid both from inflicting cruelty. As the fame of his power spread, many people from afar came to him on hearing of it. 43

[Page 48]

Couplet: Daulat had two wives both were without sons. They performed service and both begot two lion-like sons each.44

Quatrain: They were called Ghazi Khan, Gajmast Khan, Mir Khan and Zol Khan. These women initiated much discussion by saying that the Baba ‘has given the pairs to us.’45

Couplet: Baba had it in mind to remain unknown in the world as yet. But he became known throughout the world. It woke up to thought of him.46

Quatrain: Sun once arisen, cannot remain hidden, even if a hundred thousand clouds want to cover it. As Baba came to be discussed, his fame spread far and wide in short time.47 A person whom cold has overpowered, why will he not desire to go towards fire? Multitudes were much troubled. On looking at him they felt comforted.48 Saints and holy-men of Hindu and Muslims who still had some spark in them, on hearing of the surprising happening, came to investigate. They looked, probed and went back subdued.49

Couplet: He would honour those seeking honour and would inform those seeking knowledge. With whatever desire the seekers came, he satisfied them.50

[To be continued]

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Firstly, a story of the first appearance of the Khalsa

[Guru’s striving for the Panth]

Tr. & analysis by Prof. Gurtej Singh*

PART III

[Odyssey undertaken; the debate with Siddhas]

Quatrain: Baba grew detached and set his mind on foreign travel. He recruited Mardana as companion. He slung the rebec across his shoulder.(51). Wherever it pleased him, he would cause the rebec to be played and would sit and sing the Word (Sabad). Accomplished Hindu holy persons, Muslim holy men, seekers, he would engage all, assess and keep walking on.(52). To whatever countries the Baba went, he would preach and promote adherence to the True Name.

[Page 49]

He put a stop to the worship of holy-men, prophets, gods and goddesses.(53). So also of mythical warriors. He discouraged miracle workers, magical formulae and charts (tantra and mantras). He neither heard nor recited them and characterised them as snares. He eliminated regard for Gugga, Lanj, ghosts and demons.(54).

Couplet: Wherever he travelled, to the countries of Hindus or those of Muslims, he preached, that what rightfully belongs to others is like ‘cow’s meat to one and pig’s meat to the other.’(55).

Quatrain: On these lines he preached the truth and made both follow it. He read the Koran to Muslims and the Vedas to the Hindus and revealed their truths to both.(56). Once, Baba went to Achal (Batala) where the Siddhas were holding a fair. He held a religious debate with them and won them over although they worked miracles to exhaustion.(57). The ‘perfect ones’ (Siddhas) went to Balgodai and made pathetic appeals. After the rout, the accomplished ones went and complained, ‘one Nanak has arisen as a new ‘perfect person’ and has humbled us all.’(58).

[Page 50]

On hearing it the Siddhas were arrogant, ‘if he comes here, he will return defeated.’ Hearing this, the respected Baba went there. The Guru continued the journey after defeating him.(59).

Couplet: At Pattan with Farid and with other holy-men at Multan up to Uchh, he held religious discussions. He left no one’s reputation intact.(60.)

Quatrain: How far can we go in counting the likes of them? He went to every place where he heard of a ‘perfect person.’ After seeing their miracles, he weaned them away from untruth and made them adhere to Truth. (61).

Couplet: Like this he toured the Punjab and won the trust of the people. At places he built beautiful Dharamsalas and acquired adherents to his religion. (62). The entire history of that will not be written here. Those wish to, may go and see the Puratan Janamsakhi. (63).

Parable concerning the discussion of Baba with the Dark Age

(Anxiety of the Dark Age)

Couplet: I will look up what has been written earlier about the story of the discussion between the True Guru and the Dark Age (Kalyug).(1).

Quatrain: In part I relate the essence of Guru’s word after consulting respected Granth. Kalyug desires to fill the hell with sinners, but the True Guru wants to see them taken out of it.(2). The ‘dark age’ wants to throw the sinners into hell but the respected True Guru wanted to take them out.(2). Kalyug wants to see the sinners drowned whereas Baba wants them to swim over (to salvation). Baba, does not abandon his innate nature. He wanted the whole world to swim across.(3).

[Page 51]

The Kalyug felt aggrieved, ‘Nanak has snatched my court. I want my justice to prevail. Nanak wants his religion to prevail.’(4). `I and he have no meeting ground.’ Kalyug came playing with this idea. He who has the need to hear the story may look up other books. (5).

Now begins the southern account

(The southern Odyssey)

Couplet: Then the Guru started walking in the southern direction on the southern tour. He took along Mardana to read religious stories and to sing the Word.(1).

Quatrain: Wherever he visited places of pilgrimage, temples, he saw them all desecrated by Turks. Temples had been destroyed and Mosques erected in their midst. The images established within had their noses broken.(2). On seeing this, the Baba uttered a revelation in poetic form. This I am quoting in this book. “You have blessed Khorasan with a leader and have terrified Hindustan. No Mughal went blinded and no holy-man met the challenge.’ (3).

Inverted Couplet: Kalyug had left no power in any god. All places worshipped by the Hindus had been desecrated. (4).

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Now starts the eastern narration

(Odyssey towards the east)

Couplet: The Baba bore in his mind a thought of tour to the east. Where ever untruth had enveloped truth. He wanted see how it could be revealed. (1).

Quatrain: First of all the True Guru had a bath at the Ganges and visited the places of the learned at Rishikesh. He crossed to Vallabhi land beyond. All the people there had adopted the dress of Jogis.(2). This place was dedicated to the eighty-four accomplished holy-men (Siddhas). Its name was Gorakhmatta. The ‘dark age’ (Kalyug) held sway there although the Siddhas made intense efforts.(3). There the Baba preached the True Name and Gorakhmatta came to be called Nanakmatta. He saw Badri(nath), Kidar(nath), Jagannath in the Orrissa country and went further.(4).

[Page 53]

Just as asafoetida (hing) makes the bag leather scented, the Truth like hing, (makes skins scented) but even on search cannot be detected. Sajjan the Thug was known as a great devotee. He used to slit people’s throats under the camouflage of devotion.(5).

Couplet: The True Guru went, imparted true knowledge to him and made him a follower. Many such persons were made followers, who can count all of them.(6).

Quatrain: He persuaded the thugs to abandon thugge. All were diverted from the wrong path and brought them on to the right path again. He made them adherents of Truth, the Word and the truthful tales. ‘Places for practise of religion’ (dharamsalas) were constructed at many places.(7). He brought Sikhs together in congregations (sangat) and made them adherents of the True Name. They were so set on the road to compassion and religion; that they would serve others before eating themselves.(8). The same persons would praise the Baba. The Guru praised them. They would affirm, `he saved us from untruth and has made us adherents of the Sabad and Truth.’(9). He went to the Bengal country, to the Assam (Kamrup) country and crossed over to the country where woman ruled (matriarchic society prevailed). Some say, Shivnabh was said to be a king of some country. The True Guru made many people followers (Sikhs) there. (10).

Couplet: Baba went to those countries where the dishonest dominated. They became Sikhs, congregations were formed, They came to recognise God.(11).

Quatrain: Kalyug departed from there. I am not writing all but few condensed accounts. Were I to write all incidents, the book would increase, without my finding an end. (12). Then Baba went ahead somewhere and entered the sea.

[Page 54]

He traversed Ceylon. From there he went to many other places of which I do not know.(13). Baba alone knows of what he did. How can I describe his capabilities? How can a son describe father’s birth?(14). To that country he certainly went, where misguided, foolish and untruthful ones were many. Wherever he set his foot, he spread religious faith and right conduct.(15). He established places to practise religion there, created acolytes and adherents to compassion. He who came seeking glory was so satisfied by the Guru.16.

Now the Western Story

(Mecca, Medina)

Couplet: Mardana Said to Baba, ‘Craving in the mind still remains. We travel around much but have not seen the Kaaba.’(1).

Quatrain: Then the Baba spoke to him and said, ‘why did you not say this to me earlier? What was this delay for? I would have shown it to you on your asking.’(2). Then the True Guru made him close the eyes. On opening they stood in Kaaba the place of (pilgrimage) haj. Firstly he took him on pilgrimage to Roza (Mecca) and afterwards to other places.(3). Baba camped on the rear side at a place where the road had been sealed. It had been closed for the reason that it would open up on its own, on the approach of a pir (holy man).(4). Such was the Guru’s impact that it opened up wide even without a key. This astonishing incident was witnessed by the custodians and they realised that a holy man (pir) had arrived. (5).

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Couplet: To begin with the custodians assumed that a (Muslim) holy man of wali’s rank must have come since the strong door had opened up. ‘Let us try to locate him.’ (6).

Quatrain: They searched but failed to locate a wali. All touched (the gate) but were unable to open it. All of them tried hard collectively but instead the other gates there also remained firmly shut.(7). There with the Baba’s spiritual power, it opened up effortlessly although it had remained shut to all. The custodians were much worried. This was a new and unusual happening.(8).

Couplet: The custodians mentally accepted that a Hindu must have come. ‘He will perform some magic and go back humbling us all.’ (9).

Quatrain: They looked around and saw the Baba. They saw him in a Hindu’s garb. Baba was resting with his feet out stretched. They dragged his feet to another direction.(10). The doors in that direction opened up. Those in the direction from which Baba was removed, remained shut. The custodians were extremely angry on seeing this. They threw the Baba out nearby. (11).

Couplet: Then all the doors shut themselves up, though everybody tried hard. There were Hajis from Punjab there. They recognised and introduced (the Guru). (12).

Quatrain: They said, ‘He is Nanak the fakir acknowledged as a holy person both by Muslims and Hindus. He recognises Hindus and Muslims on an equal footing. Similarly they equally acknowledge him.’(13). He preaches hak under the name of ‘truth.’ He has made the world traverse the path of truth. He encourages Turks to express devotion in the Islamic manner and the Hindus in the Hindu tradition. He dissuades both from irreligion (kufar) and arrogance.’(14).

Inverted Couplet: ‘Unless his feet touch, the locked doors will not open. If he expresses condemnation, there is no knowing what more may happen.’(15).

[Page 56]

Then they thought, ‘no door opened even at our intense bidding. Our holiness thus departed.’ (16).

Quatrain: The custodians resolved like this ‘make him lay his hands on the doors. If the door opens upon his touching it, then he is the religious preceptor and we his acolytes.’(17). ‘If, he cannot open the door, we will kill him. Let us now talk to him with a sweet tongue. Let us test his powers in this manner.’(18). They stood with folded hands and spoke to him in Arabic. The Guru replied to them in the same language. He politely invited them to sit with him. (19). With folded hands they prayed ‘forgive us for the indiscretion committed by us. Please cause the door to open with the touch of your hand, enable the pilgrims to perform the Haj.’(20).

Couplet: The respected True Guru then spoke to Mardana asking him to do that. On receiving the Baba’s permission, he got up and opened the door.(21).

Quatrain: Like this, he took Mardana to see Medina and thereafter the Guru travelled beyond. They crossed all the countries commonly designated as ‘West.’ They went beyond these. (22). They went on ahead and somewhere further entered the ocean. There a meeting with (Poseidon) Varun took place. He only he knows what he does.(23). The Turks call him Khwaja Khizar, this is what they call him in their language. There Mardana became apprehensive and persuaded Baba to return to the native land.(24).

[Page 57]

Now the northern story

(Northern odyssey)

Couplet: The True Guru then heard of big good country to the north of the mountain (range). (The land of) many accomplished persons, saints, gods, goddesses and greatly acknowledged spiritual masters.(1).

Quatrain: To tour that country, to verify the truth or untruth about it, to assess the loss or benefit, the Guru ascended the foothills first and then the ridges. Leaving behind the black he proceeded to the white ranges.(2). I apprehend that if I give a place by place account of all places, the book will increase much. Those who need to hear about these, may hear from other books.(3).

Couplet: Where the Guru reached then, he saw no one who was proper. Everyone there was worshipping gods, goddesses, graves, residences of saints and phallic symbols.(4).

Quatrain: To whichever country the respected Baba went he would promote true preaching and adherence to (God’s) Name. Then this is what I said to Murray, ‘No one has seen the end of Baba’s story.(5). Baba’s story is very profound, perfect beings, saints and Muslim holy men have failed to fully write it. Baba went on many odysseys. I cannot describe them all. (6). Baba travelled across the sky. Baba travelled much on land. Only Baba knows where all he went or those who went with him would know it. (7). Were, I to give all geographic locations, the book would increase much and much will have to be written. Had it not been described elsewhere, I would have done so in a variety of ways. (8). So I present a brief mention. I would have laboured if they did not exist earlier. The stories which have not been related earlier must of necessity be written.(9).

Couplet: Those which were in great detail, I have abridged them. I will reveal those stories which have remained hidden earlier.(10).

[Page 58]

End of Part III

(To be concluded)

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Firstly, a Story of the first appearance of the Khalsa

[Guru’s striving for the Panth]

Tr. & analysis by Prof. Gurtej Singh*

PART IV

NOTE: Since Sri Gur-Panth Prakash (by Bhangu) is in poetic form, the numbers at the end of sentences are couplet numbers and not reference numbers.

* 742 Sector 8, Chandigarh. 160008. Email: akalsahaigurtejsingh@yahoo.com

Story of the king of Delhi starts

(Now your death beckons you)

Couplet: Hear further, the story is as follows: Pathans were kings in Delhi. I will tell how the Guru became annoyed with them and the throne went to the Mughals.1.

Quatrain: When Ibrahim Lodhi was the king, bad times followed in his accession. He arrested accomplished Jogis, Hindu saints and Muslim holy men. Hand mills were given to them to sit and grind.2. ‘You have misled and looted the world. None amongst has exhibited a miracle to me.’ There these Muslims and Hindus (said to Guru Nanak) ‘only you have the capability to have us released.’3. ‘You are the one who respects the declared conduct. You are the preserver of the religious garb. The entire army is not composed of the equally brave and there is only one lion in the jungle.’ 4.

Couplet: The true Guru was pleased and replied, ‘you grant this honour to me although you are all capable of defending yourselves. The situation will change for the better tomorrow’.5.

Quatrain: By making the hand-mills turn themselves for all and by exhibiting the baskets far above their heads (he) saved the honour of all holy men. True Guru’s glory increased much because of it. 6.

Couplet: The True Guru revived the elephant driver’s dead elephant. The mahout had served the saints, so the Guru was kind to him.7.

Quatrain: The king became angry with the Guru on hearing of it. ‘These are magical tricks of the Hindu. Banish him from the city and ensure that he is not able to enter Delhi again.’8. True Guru said ‘I will enter again. I will establish a king at Delhi.’

[Page 59]

‘Your death is proclaiming that the year will be 1878 (actually 1578).’ 9.

Couplet: The respected Guru admonished him. He was as good as dead on the spot. The Chugtai captured Delhi after accepting to follow Baba’s Sikhi. 10.

The story of the king Karun (Korah)

(‘There was a King called Korah’ —)

Couplet: On hearing this Murray said to me, ‘all doubts are cleared; the discussion with Korah has not been related, there certainly are doubts there.’1.

Quatrain: ‘He existed thousands of years ago, when did he hold discussion with the respected elder’ (Baba). I then replied to him, ‘there is doubt about the discussion.’2. ‘Baba never himself related that story. The scribe recorded it as a discussion. Further, his successors were worse than him. They further added many more words.’ 3. ‘They never found out the year or the age and never understood the intricacies of the incident. There were discussions with holy men and Siddhas, on that analogy someone wrote the discussion.’4.

[Page 60]

‘The foolish did not understand the import of a debate or a story. Those who are called foolish friends, they must be counted amongst them. They confused the kernel of a beehive with a worn out moon and an oil press with Allah’s eye-shadow bottle.’5.

Couplet: ‘From the prophet to the Baba a thousand years have elapsed. These people have been citing Korah’s forty great units of treasury.’6. ‘Baba has referred to him saying `there was one king Korah who collected forty piles in his treasury (forty ganj) and still went empty handed’. 7. One saint, an immortal prophet, had met Korah and enlightened him. This discussion was referred to by the foolish ones as one with the Baba.’8.

Story of the True Guru’s Dynasty

(As a lamp is lit by a lamp)

Couplet: Then Murray asked me, ‘reveal another mystery. Tell about the successor Gurus coming after Guru Nanak.’1.

Quatrain: Then I gave him the details. ‘After Guru Nanak came Angad. Should his story be discussed the book will increase endlessly.’ 2. ‘Next to Angad, Amardas was the Guru who laid claims to a sovereign status. He organised twenty-two provinces under himself and claimed kingship over them.’ 3. ‘Thereafter, Ramdas who was completely one with him, succeeded. His successors were all Sodhis.’4.

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Then came Arjun Guru and Guru Hargobind who took up the sword and killed Painda Khan.’ 4. ‘He assumed both, the mundane and the spiritual leadership. He defeated Shah Jahan. Commanders Lalla Beg and Kambar Beg were killed; thereafter he improved relations with the king.’5.

Couplet: ‘After that Har Rai and Har Krishan, similarly became the godly Gurus. They granted boons to the Sikhs and the Sikhs served them.’6.

Quatrain: ‘Then Tegh Bahadur became the Guru. He sacrificed his head for the welfare of others. He performed a great feat in the Dark Age. He saved religion and the Hindu way of life.’7. ‘The mighty Guru Gobind Singh came thereafter. He increased the worth of the panth by granting it sovereignty. Just as a lamp is lighted by another so one Guru further succeeded the other.’8.

Couplet: There were ten respected True Gurus. I have told you their names. He asked Bute Shah to write accordingly in his book. 9.

[Page 62]

I write the story of king Nauranga’s (Aurangzeb’s) oppression

(— for the interest of others he sacrificed his head —)

Couplet: Then Murray again said, ‘reveal this secret also, how enmity between the Gurus and kings came about?’1.

Quatrain: Then I revealed to him how they harboured (enmity) for the Gurus. They were cordial sometimes and at other times hostile. They kept this pace never bringing matters to a head. 2. When Nauranga succeeded to kingship, he took fancy to a great sin. On one side was Naurang and on the other Guru Tegh Bahadur. Both of them drew the world’s attention.3.

Couplet: At the time of ascending the throne, Nauranga had promised to locate and convert every Hindu to Islam in all the twenty-two provinces.4.

Quatrain: The whole world recognised Tegh Bahadur as a great repository of power. Whosoever was troubled by a pain sought refuge at his feet and became happy.5. The whole world is motivated pleasure. He who was terrified would take refuge with him. It became known to the entire world that he who seeks refuge at his feet, at once becomes happy.6.

[Page 63].

Couplet: The axiom became known throughout the world, that he was a true incarnation. He who takes shelter with him, crosses over suffering.7.

Quatrain: At that time the Turks exerted greatly, they started identifying Hindus and converting them to Islam. The Hindus became worried and decided upon the following solution: 8. ‘Let us put the responsibility on the heads of Brahmins. The emperor might listen to then in some measure. Poor harassed Hindus folded their hands and stood before Nauranga.9. `We are all subservient to Brahmins. Bring them first to Islam. We will convert ourselves to their religion.’ This is the stratagem that the poor Hindus used.10. They won respite for themselves and deflected the evil on to the Brahmins. Then they summoned the Brahmins. ‘Become Muslims,’ they were told.11. ‘Come and take from me whatever you want. You will get maintenance at par with Muslims. Otherwise you can emigrate to the beyond. If you remain in my country, I will kill you.’12.

Couplet: All of them turned back on hearing this as if they had already lost their families. If there were a direction in which to go they would migrate, where could they migrate to from the world? 13.

Quatrain: Brahmins were in great difficulty. No solution suggested itself during the day or the night. As an excuse for postponing (the decision), the Brahmins asked for more time.14.

[Page 64]

They commenced praying and undergoing austerities. They exhausted themselves but the gods did not wake up. Then the backbiters conveyed that the Brahmins are attempting a magical solution.15.

Couplet: On hearing this king Nauranga became furious and made the religion of Hindus disappear from Kashmir.16.

Quatrain: He despatched messengers towards Kashmir. They received the orders and left without delay. Hindus were forcibly rounded up and were all converted to Islam.17. Hindus tried hard to save themselves by hiding. All others were converted to Islam. On hearing this, fear paralysed the entire world. Then the Brahmins came to the True Guru.18.

Couplet: They came from Kanshi, from the Ganges, from Kurukhsetra and other places. All of them gathered together and came to Guru Tegh Bahadur with an appeal.19.

Quatrain: All the Brahmins who came, pleaded, ‘we heard you to be the True Guru and have come to your door. You are a warrior, the clear manifestation of Brahma. You sustain the Brahmin and the cow.’ 20. ‘We are now in a heavily stressful situation. Please save us now. You are the True Guru Nanak the powerful; please preserve the Hindus in Hind (India).’21

[Page 65]

King Nauranga has decreed that Hind is to be render seedless of Hindus. Brahmins are to be converted to Islam first of all and the remaining Hindus thereafter.’22. ‘Brahmins are their leaders, the general masses will follow them into Islam. This is the plan of Nauranga. Being in sudden extreme fear, we have come to you.’23. ‘If you are the brave True Guru then save the entire Hindu system from drowning. Or you convert first to Islam and we will follow you into it. You are a warrior, pick up your sword. Comfort all the Hindus. You receive a lot of wealth and are a master of countless kinds of power.’25.

Couplet: ‘Hindus are ten times the number of Muslims in Hind. Should you take up the double-edged sword to resist they will all come and join you.’ 26.

Quatrain: ‘Guru Nanak’s word had not sanctioned the use of sword to the Turks. It had prophesied that when he is killed, the Muslim rule would be destroyed. This was the True Guru’s blessing.’ 27.

Couplet: ‘Should it benefit you, I would not delay to offer my head. I will immediately go and pull up its roots from God’s Court.’28.

Quatrain: The Brahmins then thought, ‘when will he die and when will the roots be pulled out? They will convert us to Islam this year, when will you die and save us?’29. ‘A boat is useless after a person has drowned; milk is of no consequence after one has starved to death. Thirst of one, who dies of it, cannot be quenched even if one is bathed in water.’ 30.

[Page 66]

Couplet: Then the True Guru said to the Brahmins, ‘say this and save yourselves: convert the Guru to Islam and then we will all join him.’31.

Quatrain: The Brahmins then went and did exactly as the True Guru had instructed them. ‘First convert the Guru and the whole world will follow him.’32. This was suggested by the Brahmins and was accepted as sound by the Muslims. Nauranga started pursuing the Guru. He sent officials to search for him.33. On the other side the True Guru prepared himself as he had committed to the Brahmins. The Guru himself travelled and reached Delhi. He had himself arrested at the home of the Turks.34.

Couplet: Standing at the gate of Delhi, he sent his shawl. It was offered at a confectioner’s shop in order to reveal himself. 35.

Quatrain: The word went around that the Guru had been arrested. The person they were looking for was discovered at home. This is how he fell into the hands of Nauranga; this is how the True Guru voluntarily courted arrest.36. After imprisonment, he was tortured much. A Mughal was sent to him. He spoke rudely and threatened torture. ‘Convert to Islam,’ he ordered.37. `Come, show a miracle. Give tangible proof of your claim to Guruship; because of which you call yourself the True King and condemn us as a pretender. Either show some strength or else convert to Islam. Show us a miracle and come to an understanding like Ram Rai.’39.

Couplet: The true Guru then spoke like this: ‘Ram Rai did not do well. He walked off with adulation but has unleashed the devil for those coming after him.’ 40.

[Page 67]

Quatrain: ‘Since he showed you a miracle, you demand the same from me. To the holy men it sticks like a sin. He has ruined everybody.’41. ‘Everybody does not have the capacity for miracles. You do not release anyone without performance of miracles. I will not exhibit a miracle. It will condemn those coming after me.’42. ‘Miracles are a calamity for holy persons and for kings. Both are created to obviate catastrophe. Holy men strive to eliminate it.’43.

Couplet: ‘Miracle is another name for cataclysm. I do not perform them. Should you inflict disaster upon me, God will ask you to answer.’ 44.

Quatrain: Then Nauranga became angry, ‘you want to live by mere talk? Either you embrace Islam or accept to die.’45. ‘I will kill you by sealing you up in raw hide and leaving you in the sun. As the sun dries up the leather, you will receive your punishment.’46. ‘You have exploited the world by proclaiming yourself a Guru. Now how will you not convert to Islam? You maintain distance from us, are the Muslims not as good as the Hindus?’47. The True Guru realised, ‘my time had come. The time I was looking forward to, has arrived. One may worry about an uncommon happening. No one lives permanently in this world which is but a pathway.’48.

Couplet: Then the True Guru realised that the time had come. Delay now was improper. The head must now be laid down to assign blame to him.49.

[Page 68]

Quatrain: Then the True Guru spoke like this: ‘you will see that He, whom I worship, is Great. I will show you this miracle that you will not be able to get my head.’ 50. ‘The miracle will be that the sword will strike my head but will not cut it. Bring an exceptionally sharp sword, which has always cut on striking.’51.

Couplet: Having said words to that effect, the Guru took bath, came and sat on the low platform. By employing this strategy, he caused his head to be decapitated.52.

Quatrain: He gave his life but did not abandon the firm resolve. He preserved his tradition and religion. He saved his body from the raw hide. He assigned the responsibility for beheading him on the Turk.53. Those fools did not discover the strategy, ‘he is determined to place the responsibility of his beheading on the State.’ This is how the Guru performed the great happening and accepted to die for the welfare of others.54.

Evidence (of the) Bachittar Natak

Couplet: On the head of the king of Delhi, he broke his mud-vessel and departed to God’s place. None who came to the world has performed the act like the one that Tegh Bahadur performed. On Tegh Bahadur’s departure the world was plunged into grief, cries of sorrow arose from the earth and those of victory from the land of gods.

Couplet: Such was the conduct of the Guru that it brought shame to the Turk. Nauranga was disturbed, ‘I could not understand the scheme.’55.

[Page 69]

Quatrain: Nauranga was terror stricken at heart. He stopped atrocities on the Hindus. Matters settled down everywhere as cry for help reached the Master’s door.56.

Couplet: The cry of distress was heard at the True Court. The Master pondered over it. He expelled the holy men, prophets of the Turk from His Court.57.

Quatrain: They were immediately expelled from The Region of Truth and were assigned camp behind the Court. Since then the Delhi Kingdom became progressively weaker, it is since then that the Muslim power begun its decline.58.

Story of the Tenth King is written

(‘Sikhs empowered, the evil doers eradicated’)

Couplet: Then from the time of the Tenth King, enmity with Mughals increased. People of mountains struck the initial spark by backbiting and it became a widespread (fire).1.

Quatrain: Qazis incited the Mughals, Turks and made them forget the solemn promise of Babur. ‘When did the Hindu give the Hind?’ they said and concocted that it was given by the prophets.2. On hearing this Guru Gobind Singh became angry and organised a panth for destroying the Mughals. He suffered destruction of all four sons. For the sake of the panth, he sacrificed his lineage.3.

Couplet: Then Murray asked me, ‘how is it that he did not maintain both descendants and inheritance’? (Reply) ‘if lineage is maintained then inheritance would not have come to harm.’4.

Quatrain: Accomplished Gorakhnath and Dattatreya did not maintain descent but preferred to preserve the followers.

[Page 70]

Muhammad also sacrificed lineage but maintained (followers) the better part of lineage. 5. Murray said, ‘how do you blame the Turks if that was the deliberate intention of the True Guru?’ I replied to Murray that the responsibility for killing the princes was accepted by them.6. The Guru wanted to destroy the Turks and that is why the blame came upon them. The panth was organised for this reason, to liberate the Sikhs and to destroy the evil doers. Even the responsibility for his own murder came upon the Turks. His intention was to increase the number of his followers. Lineage or followers can be maintained in exclusion. Even Ram and Krishan did not try to preserve both.8.

Couplet: Sri Ram and Krishan preserved their progeny and passed on inheritance out of love in the tradition of kings. The Guru passed inheritance on to the followers as that was the superior tradition.9. If one’s own progeny is around, one does not cultivate love of the descendants of others. The land which abounds in weeds, in the form of sons, cannot produce food grains.10.

Additional context

(—Khalsa is God Incarnate—)

Couplet: Then Murray said to me, ‘explain to me in detail, how the panth was created by the True Guru and where that happened.’1.

Quartet: ‘The Turks had an extensive empire. Their orders were obeyed in twenty-two state units. In addition they ruled over many islands in the ocean and inclusive of mountains in the north as well as the south.’ 2. ‘The entire country was subject to them. How did the Singhs then increase in numbers and influence? How were the subjects able to rise in revolt? Where had their armies gone?’ 3. ‘Did they receive no news of Singhs? Did the Turks have no enmity with the Gurus? Had the Turks and the Singhs patched up? Or did they not consider the panth to be a third entity?’4.

[Page 7I]

‘Or was there no one wise enough amongst them to realise the implication of (creation of ) Singhs? Did the panth not lay claims to sovereignty or did the panth remained hidden from them’?5.

Couplet: O Sikhs of the Guru! Hear how I answered him: ‘this Panth was not born in secrecy. The panth of Singhs cannot remain hidden. Singh panth was created for the struggle. Singhs took birth armed with weapons.’7. ‘Singhs received initiation of the double-edged sword. It was their first meal. Singhs wear the quoits (charka), miniature knives on their heads how can they remain concealed like those who wear tiger-claws?’8. ‘The perfect Guru created the panth essentially for the struggle. Sovereignty cannot be obtained without resistance. At the very inception, the Guru invoked the method of warfare for the purpose.’9.

Couplet: ‘Enmity between the Gurus and kings had increased. As Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his head, his Sikhs would not compromise.’10.

Quartet: ‘Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed himself at Delhi. He had pulled out the roots of the king of Delhi. Guru Gobind Singh perceived that by now the roots of the Turks had dried up.’ 11. ‘Still the tree would not fall if it was not cut down. Or it would fall only in a strong breeze. He created the storm of the double-edged sword, by this method to strike and fell it.’ 12. The True Guru raised his own sword to finish off the political power of Turks. In his heart the True Guru reasoned thus: ‘of what use is unbeneficial sovereignty to me?’13.

[Page 72]

‘I occupy the seat of Nanak at whose feet sovereignty resides. What do I care for sovereignty? I will bestow it on my servants.’14.

Couplet: The True Guru gave thought to entrusting political power to the Rajas: ‘let me make all the kings of the mountains wield the double-edged sword.’15.

Quatrain: Eventually the True Guru realised that they would never offer to follow him. Why should, greatness be thrust upon them gratis. It will be like kissing someone else’s son.16. They worship stones and would not be wetted by water. They were the confirmed original ungrateful people in the neighbourhood of the Guru. ‘They call themselves Rajputs soldiers. They will never accept that the Guru gave them sovereignty. Now let sovereign power rest among the poor Sikhs. They will acknowledge that the Guru has given it to them.’18.

Couplet: Political power should go to the poor so that the contrast is complete. This is the compassionate house of the Guru known for elevating the deprived.19.

Quatrain: Seven of the lowest castes and the twelve just above them know nothing of politics, and are addressed as ‘rustics and weeds’ by the world. They are called, petty traders, peddlers. Ironsmiths and carpenters are the lowest castes. Mercy be on the lowly tailors and wine sellers. Traders in milk, the uncouth, herd grazers, low caste Kamboj and sudras count for nothing with anyone, (so also the) water carriers, barbers, Aroras, pot makers, Sainis, gold-smiths, outcastes, leather dressers.

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The bards and Brahmins who lived by begging, actors, salt traders and clay workers; ‘on these poor Singhs, I will bestow the sovereign power so that they consider the Guru as their benefactor’. Then the True Guru summoned and exhorted the Sikhs, ‘hold weapons and defeat the Turks.’23.

Couplet: The Sikhs did not agree. They were afraid of the Turks. ‘They have a huge army. They are not likely to abdicate political power or to vacate the lands.’24.

Quartet: The Sikhs did not agree to the proposition: ‘how can we get rid of the Turks? We are to the Turks what sparrows are to huge hawks or what sheep are to wolves.’25. ‘How can you make the deer kill the lion? How could the mountain stream water flow up the mountain. `These Mughals and Pathans are born soldiers and we are mere humble Jats, barbers and carpenters.’26. ‘You have located all those who belong to the low castes. They are also disarmed. Call upon the Rajput kings they will serve your purpose better.’27.

Couplet: The true Guru regretted, ‘what have these Sikhs done? I desire to entrust political power to the Sikhs. They have refused it.’28.

Quatrain: The respected Guru was all knowing. He discerned the real causes. The (prevailing) mode of initiation, drinking water touched by the Guru’s feet, inspires peaceful nature. It does not contain wonderful courage.’29.

Couplet: ‘They wear the saintly knotted woollen strings and humble caps on their heads. (A word meaning) slave is a proper name for them. Infinite compassion is a part of their personalities. It does not allow them to hold weapons.’30.

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Quatrain: ‘Now the Sikhs must be physically transformed. They must exude power, and inspire fear. They must be given striking names. The form of initiation must sharpen them up.’ 31. This is what the True Guru decided upon and thoughtfully followed it up with action. A knight’s appearance, with long head hair and turban tied on head, would look extremely handsome. 32. Name ‘Singh’ was in the tradition of knights. The respected Guru considered this to be best. In his mind he decided upon initiation of the double-edged sword. ‘This will make the Khalsa determined to prevail.’33. ‘This is how they will acquire kingly habits and every individual in every saddle will aspire to kingship. Reeds must be beaten into steel and the initiation of the double-edged sword will make them habitually hold the double-edged sword.’34.

Couplet: ‘The Khalsa must imbibe the attributes of God and aspire to attain complete Godliness. They must never accept subservience of another than the One True King.’35.

Quatrain: They must not pay homage to ghosts, phantoms, Gugga or Sakhi Sarvar. They must not wear the saffron mark, the sacred thread or wear their loose waist cloth. They must eat from one vessel as people of one caste.36.

[Page 75]

(End of Part IV)

- To be continued

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Story of the birth of the respected Khalsa Order at Kesgarh

(Initiation ceremony) [Five Young persons come into existence].

Couplet: By this thought process, the True Guru discerned what should happen. He sat at the ‘blessed fort of uncut hair’ and made that effort.1. He called the greatly learned astrologers and had the auspicious moment identified with much fanfare. He selected five young persons from five different castes. 2.

Quatrain: He inspired five young men to rise. He fused the four varnas into one brotherhood. First amongst them was Daya Singh Sobti by caste. He was known to be living in Lahore.3. Second was Dharam Singh resident of Hastanapur, he was a Jat born of Shiva’s matted hair. Third was Mohkam Singh born at Dwarka. He was the incarnation (caste) of Namdev (weaver).4. Fourth was the barber Sahib Singh. He lived at the place of Sain Bhagat. Fifth was Himmat Singh the water carrier. Five castes yielded five young people.5. Pahul of the double-edged sword was prepared. Sweets were added to water. In the middle of it was planted and maintained the sword. The True Guru kept the dagger on the sharp edge.6.

Couplet: The respected True Guru, invoking the Primary Cause, uttered the True Name. Invoking the Deathless One sought His mercy.7.

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Quatrain: The first quatrain of the Vaar of the sword, composed by the True Guru was first read. Citing remembrance of the earlier nine Kings, the Tenth invoked their help. After that he recited well the thirty-two swayyias from his sacred mouth. Into the pahul he read the fast moving, well sculpted verses.9.

The Thrice-bent Composition:

The Destroyer of the cobwebs of Nescience,

Decimator of the hosts of Evil,

Hero of the Armageddon,

The Mighty one!

Of invincible might,

The Nova of blinding Light,

Invested with solar Effulgence,

The Refuge of the good and the godly,

The Dispeller of Misknowing,

Expiator of the Original Sin,

Of that pure steel Sword I seek protection.

Hail, hail to You, the ultimate Cause of Creation!

Hail, hail to You, the Sustainer and Protector

Of the Universe,

Hail to You, my helper and support.

Glory be to the Sword! Hallelujah to the sharp-edged Emblem of Justice, Authority and Power.

[This very perceptive translation of the verse is by Sirdar Kapur Singh. See Prasaraprasna, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, 1988, 112]

[Page 77]

Couplet: The respected True Guru filled the first palm-full and calling upon them aloud sprinkled it in their open eyes in front of him.10.

Quatrain: He made them remember God by the ‘Deathless’ epithet and the Guru caused them to repeat the ‘Victory to God’ greeting. He then poured five hand-full each of it (amrit) on their heads and made them drink another five each.11. In one vessel he made them one and obliterated all differences of all sorts. He made them discard the sacred threads and auspicious marks, (also the concepts of) four colours (varnas) and the ‘four stages of life.’12. The True Guru thereafter instructed them to have no social relations with (mean followers of Pirthi Chand) minas and masands (a priestly order) and their followers. ‘Those who maintained social relations with killers of female children, hookah smokers and followers of Ramrai, will come to a sad end.’13. According to their capacity they were to contribute to the Guru’s treasury (common fund) and were to treat the Khalsa to the butter-wheat flour-sugar pudding. They were to wear turbans on their heads and the short breeches. They were to heed to the word of Guru Granth only.14.

Couplet: Saying this, the respected True Guru put swords around their necks. Miniature swords and the quoits (chakra) were placed on their heads. He made them to repeat the name of God in ‘Deathless’ attribute.15.

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Quatrain: He further instructed: ‘always read the Guru’s (bani) compositions. Meditate and recite the Japuji both in the morning and in the evening. Anand Sahib and Rehras must be recited and the word regarding the sword must be recited in the standing posture.16. Both in the morning and evening you must tie the turbans afresh. At all times be fully alert and keep the weapons handy. Take amrit and go hunting.17. Eat goat’s meat, prepared by sudden killing do not even go near dead animal killed by halal. Maintain hair, and never cut them with razors.18. Abandon the religious practices of ancestors. Contemplate consistently on the Guru’s feet. Impose tankhah (token fine) on those who revert to the base path.’19.

Couplet: By the same method as the True Guru had administered it in the beginning, he himself received pahul from the five young men he had initiated.20.

Quatrain: The same procedure was followed by the young men; the Guru became known as both Guru and the disciple. This tradition had always been followed from the earliest times, just as Guru Nanak had accepted Guru Angad as Guru.21. On taking the pahul and by living according to the Guru’s word, the Khalsa was liberated and attained to greatness and glory. The year was 52 more than 1700, it was Wednesday of the month of Baisakh when the panth was inaugurated. 22

[Page 79]

Story of the spread of the Khalsa panth

(this is how the Khalsa Panth was born –)

Couplet: From that very day the Khalsa started spreading. Everyday Singhs in fives, fifties and hundreds joined it.1

Quatrain: The True Guru entrusted everything to the Khalsa. At all places the Khalsa was made responsible. To the East, West, North and South, he sent the Khalsa.2

Couplet: To Amritsar, Patna and wherever the Guru had establishments and institutions, young Khalsa was especially and carefully despatched with words of encouragement and cheer.3

Quatrain: Permission was given to every establishment of the Guru, to dispense pahul of the double-edged sword in accordance with the prescribed method. Wherever there were five young Khalsa, the place was deemed to be equal in status to the Guru’s residence.4 Wherever five young Khalsa assembled they without doubt had the authority to prepare and administer pahul. Have the five young persons pray and obtain what ever is desired. 5 The Singhs alone used the offerings at gurdwaras. ‘Only surpluses are to be sent to me.’ Letters were sent to congregations. ‘Come over and obtain the pahul of the double-edged sword.’6. Take the pahul of the double-edged sword and become the bearers of light. ‘Now defeat the Turks.’ Pahul of the double-edged sword is now the repository of power. The Turk will runaway yielding to the immortal panth.7

Couplet: Whatever the True Guru commanded, people of the midlands (Majha region) complied with. All others who accepted them, too attained blessedness.8

Quartet: This is how the Khalsa Panth was born. The True Guru was very happy on seeing it. The True Guru gave training in weapons and prescribed uniforms of various kinds.9

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The Guru would seat himself on a cot amidst them and all around him would stand armed Singhs. The True Guru would look elegant amongst them as Krishan would have looked amongst the milk-maids.10 He would ask the Singhs to execute parade and to run. Some would be asked to stand around for inspection. Some would be seated, made to get up. Some would be asked to stand and yet others would be made to run.11 Some would be given heavy staffs and asked to exercise in pairs. True Guru would go and stand in a ploughed field. The Singhs would have mock fights using mud lumps.12

Couplet: The Singhs played saunchi, they would strike, resist and wrestle. True Guru watched them pleased and assigned countries as grants.13

Quatrain: True Guru said, ‘ask for land assignments. You will get the lands and those very pastures. The places that catch your fancy those very places will be assigned to you.’14 On hearing these words they opted for nearby lands. They immediately wanted to occupy the Punjab. The True Guru said, ‘ask for better areas in the south, the north, east or the west.15 The Singhs said. ‘why should we go far. We will rule in the Punjab only.’ Repeatedly, many Singhs opted for the Punjab, preferring to be wasted in mutual quarrels.16 The True Guru said, ‘ask for extensive lands. Take possession of as much as you desire.’ The Singhs were obsessed with local relatives. ‘We want to justly avenge ourselves.’17 They only desired to occupy territory near about their own homes. They were born of the deprived and would not venture far reaching claims.’18

Couplet: Being engrossed in family feuds, they concentrated near about the Punjab. Guru encouraged them to think of far off lands but they had no desire for them.19

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Couplet: The respected True Guru told them ‘because of mutual quarrels you have confined yourselves to Punjab. Those Singhs who come after you will occupy other foreign areas.’20

Couplet: Much more is written in the Gurbilas. I have written a condensed summary. Whatever is briefed by Sukha Singh, I will elaborate it.21

Quatrain: Those who need to hear it all may look it up in the Gurbilas. As the mountain people battled, they earned the odium. He has said much in the Gurbilas about it. I will relate only what he has left out. This wonderful tale is profound and beyond my comprehension. How can I know it all? 23 Listen to me my Guru-oriented brothers, I will try to elaborate the same story further as I comprehend it. Now the tale has come to the point of talking about the Singhs.24

Couplet: Then, after instructing them carefully, the True Guru ordered the people of the middle country (the majha region, midlands), ‘first increase the numbers of the Khalsa and thereafter let resistance flare up.’ 25

Nihang Singhs

Quatrain: The initial initiated young men were sent towards the midlands. They were administered pahul and were settled in the Guru’s town (Amritsar). Thus the panth of the Nihangs (alligator) and of ‘cobras in striking posture’ (bhujangi) increased much. They held staffs in their hands and had double-edged swords around their necks.26

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Some became nomads, some settled down around the Gurdwaras and others built guest houses and living quarters. They invited the initiated young men and served them food and maintained no social relations with others.27 If some initiated young men required some subsistence he could take it from the house of the Singhs as a matter of right. After he had had his fill, the visitor was allowed to carry whatever he could of butter oil, wheat flour and salt.28 They uttered (announced themselves), ‘Sikh lady! Nihangs have come. Open the gate without hesitation.’ If it was a Sikh woman, she would present whatever they wanted.29.

Couplet: Like this the Sikhs went everyday after locating the houses of the Singhs. The Sikh house-wives enthusiastically provide whatever they asked for.30.

Quatrain: The panth then increased much and required much money (for subsistence). Those Singhs who were poor and had nothing at home would pick it up from the houses of others. 31 They would keep aside silver and gold and take food and clothes. This led to quarrels at many places as people of the locality raised objections.32 Most of the people then were followers of Sakhi Sarvar, and maintained a hostile attitude towards the Singhs. Amongst them there were the few houses of the Singhs. They wanted to expel the Singhs.33 ‘Because of you the Singhs come to our houses and bother us much.’ Enmity between the Singhs and followers of Sakhi Sarvar increased and many skirmishes took place between them.

[Page 83]

Couplet: Houses of the Singhs of the Guru were in want and followers of Sakhi Sarvar had a pile. They would not let the Khalsa enter. They entered at odd times.35

Quatrain: A few Singhs were not allowed to enter. The Singhs would send (rations) to them outside. So the young people organised themselves into a big army, ten to twenty of them formed a camp (dera).36 They went and camped near a village. If they were harassed much and were not given (supplies), they in turn bothered them much and vandalize wells and destroy crops.37 The Khalsa adopted this strategy and whiled away some time in this manner. When the panth increased much, the Singhs then decided to levy taxes.38 Every passing day the panth increased. Food and clothing became scarce. Then the panth resolved ‘felicitation cess (tax) must be levied on the villages.’ 39

Enmity between the Singhs and the Turks

Couplet: People would refuse to pay taxes and the Singhs would realize them by force. They went and appealed to the Mughal administration.40

Quatrain: A contingent of the Mughal army came and apprehended many Singhs. They were arrested and sent to Lahore where the Mughal governor had them killed.41 When this happened to the Singhs they too rose in revolt. The Singhs also killed smaller forces. When outnumbered, they merge with bushes.42 Quarrel between the Singhs and Mughals increased; when had they ever been friendly? Dishonest Hindus joined them. The majority became enemies of the panth.43.

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Worshippers of Sakhi Sarvar were half Muslims but the lying useless ones called themselves Hindus. They had the Singhs arrested by giving information. The Singhs would locate and eliminate the informers in their homes.44

Couplet: They killed the Singhs they could lay their hands on. This is how great hostility developed between the followers of Sarvar and the Singhs.45

Quatrain: Smaller numbers of Jats could not contain the Singhs, so they would bring in many Mughals. The Singhs would go and merge in the bush land. They harassed and plundered the Mughals at other times.46 When they were not able to prevail against the panth, they would locate and arrest the parents of the Singhs. They would also arrest and kill the householder and worker Singhs.47 Those Singhs who lived in Gurdwaras, in rest houses and in private homes, would be arrested and handed over to the Mughals. They would be killed by being beheaded.48 If the Sikhs were overpowered anywhere else, they too would be immediately killed. Even then they would not be tempted to convert; people of the middle-country were never afraid of dying.49

Couplet: Their conduct was wonderful so also was their ideology and they would read the Guru’s Word much. Seeing this, some would forsake the senseless followers of Sakhi Sarvar to come and join ‘those treading the path laid by the True Guru’ (panth).50

Quatrain: The panth continued to increase by day and by night. Many brought food from their homes for the Singhs. Some one’s son or grandson or some people themselves joined the Khalsa on seeing their moral grandeur.51 Some who were paupers without anything to eat or to wear, found solace in joining the Khalsa. He who was a land-tax defaulter or he who had gone bankrupt and owed money (also joined).52 Those who were oppressed, harassed and had no safe place to live anywhere, joined the Khalsa Panth where there was nothing to worry about.53

Couplet: Like this the people were born to the Khalsa everyday swelling its numbers from birth to birth. Like an ocean the panth was eternal. Who could dry it up.54

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Quatrain: The panth was small and had limited resources and had no capacity to establish control. Mughals were far more numerous, administered the whole country and had a especially large standing army.55 They had big forts, a large artillery park and the Singhs had no such equipment. Followers of Sakhi Sarvar joined them thus increasing the harassment of the Singhs. The Singhs deserted their homes and merged with the bushes.56

(End of Part V)

- To be continued

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The incident at Anandpur

(‘Masands put to the sword’)

Quatrain: Now listen to the story of Anandpur. It remained to be told and is now tending that way. If I write everything about how enmity with the hill people developed, the book will become voluminous.1 The Gurbilas has said much about it. It is proper to state the portion neglected by it. So I will not elaborate much. Too much elaboration will make the book heavy.2 He who desires to hear more can consult the Gurbilas. I will state a seminal part of that also, so as to connect what has been related to what is yet to come.3

Couplet: When the True Guru took up the sword as a solution to making the panth more powerful, he cultivated affection of the Khalsa to the neglect of all others.4

Quatrain: The True Guru developed great affection for the Khalsa. The Guru gave whatever was best to the panth. Wherever there were Masands and Mewras (Guru’s representatives), in their places the True Guru despatched the Singhs.5

[Page 86]

At the Gurdwaras and in his presence, he entrusted all communication, supplication to the Khalsa. He entrusted all estate, treasury and public relations, to the Khalsa.6 Errand-runners (mewras) and the local heads of congregations (masands) were instructed to either become Singhs or shed all respectability and even life. The masands resented this, as a dagger struck at heart.7 They went and complained to mother that the Guru had become disoriented. He was scattering everything valuable among the Singhs, desiring that they somehow come to possess the country.8 ‘How can lowly Jats, be made kings? He wants sheep to tear up lions. If sparrows can kill hawks, then political power can come to the lowly Jats.’9

Couplet: ‘If on hearing this, the kings send their armies, the Guru will find no place to hide and all will be arrested and killed’.10

Quatrain: The mother accepted, ‘what you have said is true.’ She summoned all the financial advisors and managers and all stated that the Guru had become possessed.11 Ever since he has invoked the sword, it has reacted angrily. He is supporting enmity with kings. They will lay siege and kill everybody.12 Now all gathered to find a solution. Jujhar Singh was designated to succeed him. The True Guru became angry on hearing this and said, ‘a sort of madness had affected them all.’13 When the ‘wind’ struck the masands, they set fire to the Guru Granth. They had a cenotaph built on that spot. They pledged villages to the place.14

Couplet: They weaned away a large number of Guru’s followers into new allegiance to this place. On hearing such things, the masands were eliminated. 15

[Page 87]

Quatrain: The True Guru’s order to the Khalsa was, ‘put the masands to the sword.’ Some were eliminated with weapons, some by making them pull the plough, some were dragged to death and some others were fried in oil.16

Couplet: If I write other things, the book will become bigger. Those who want to satisfy themselves may look up the Gurbilas. 17

The battle of Anandpur

(—‘we will not let Sikhi be lost’— )

Couplet: Mata Gujri also then forbade the True Guru ‘why have you entrusted everything to the panth of the Khalsa’?

Quatrain: ‘These quarrelsome people fight much. We will bear responsibility for their bad deeds. The ones you call your very own Khalsa in adversity they will not stand by you.’2 ‘You have discarded those born to you. These sons of others will be of no use’. Mother’s words were not heeded to. Then the True Guru spoke, 3 ‘Hear mother Gujri, on listening to the people’s complaints, you are uttering denigration of the panth. This will reflect on your house. You have been misled by back-biters, pay no heed to calumny against the panth.’4

Couplet: Then the True Guru ordered the respected Khalsa like this: ‘entertain no fear of anyone. Grab food wherever you find it.’5

Quatrain: Many times the Singhs raided the permitted territory like Kamlot and other areas. They subdued the villages of Kamlot, Jhakkhi and harassed the Doon hill areas.6 People of the mountains came and initiated war. The Singhs forced the kings to retreat. They were embarrassed and went back home. The Singhs levied taxes in their territory.7

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The king of Kahlur, taking along other people of the mountains, went to Delhi to complain. These were the kings of the twenty-two ridges among them were the seven of Jalandhar ridges.8 These twenty-two kings had invaded Anandpur, initiated battle, lost it and had retreated. All those kings were embarrassed. They fell in arrears in respect of tribute to the King of Delhi.9 They said, ‘either you help us or we pay taxes to them. They have recruited a strong army and much money is flowing to them.’10 ‘He calls himself the Guru of all Hind and has the life and death power over the kings. He calls himself the True King and designates you ‘a pretender.’11 ‘He has wealth in millions and many alchemists live in his camp.’ Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur represented. King Nauranga became worried on hearing it. 12 ‘He may attack me some day. This unripe evil must be suppressed now.’

Couplet: The king of Delhi maintained a million strong army at the Kabul mountain pass. He wrote an order for it to fall rapidly upon the Guru.14

Quatrain: From all four sides and in a great hurry the army converged. Ordered late, it came running fast. There were Sikhs with them. They conveyed the information that they picked up in conversation.15 On hearing this, an exodus took place at Anandpur. The fleeing people couldn’t find a street to leave. True Guru tried hard to pacify them. ‘the True Guru (God) will come and help.’16 People ran without stopping to enquire. They did not stay at the respected Guru’s bidding. The True Guru said, ‘be brave. God will come to our help’. 17 Cry from all sides was, ‘it is coming, it is coming’, no strong measures could be taken. Twenty-two Dogra kings rushed and so also the twenty-two from Jalandhar. 18

[Page 89]

Couplet: The forces from Sarhind and the Malerkotla blocked the Ropar road. Doaba was blocked by forces from Lahore and the hill forces blocked the mountains.19

Quatrain: They laid a siege on all four sides and did not let in either food or fodder. It was a great hardship for the people. The people then decided to run away.20 Then the True Guru spoke thus to the people, ‘even if you run away you will not save yourselves. God will find a way of eliminating you. It may even rain fire.’ 21 ‘We have four thousand Singhs with us and even four lakhs cannot attack us. Their lives will be dear to them. We can attack on the way out.’22 The people then requested the mother (Mata) to intervene, ‘make up with the rajas.’ On hearing this, the True Guru replied, ‘hill rajas are treacherous people, they will only loot and kill you’.23

Couplet: ‘Treachery is their trait from the beginning of time, do not rely upon them. They will arrest everyone and put them in prison’.24

Quatrain: Mother replied, ‘they swear by their stone gods, they will not be treacherous towards us.’ The True Guru said, ‘you test them using things of no value as decoy.’25 Broken and valueless articles were prepared to test their behaviour. Transport convoy was loaded and despatched. ‘Treasure has been despatched’, the Guru publicised.26 The rajas heard this rumour. They attacked and pillaged everything. The tricksters were thus exposed by a trick. They abandoned their religious vows for the sake of worn out slippers. They snatched old mattresses and shoes. They were ashamed to find that money eluded them. Even then the mother did not agree and said, ‘I will be marching off at dawn.’28

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The people had persuaded the mother and she was firm on leaving. People had persuaded the mother to say. ‘I will be in the forefront of those leaving.’29 The True Guru heard this and knew within him that none of the runaways would survive. ‘The world will raise accusing fingers at me.’30 ‘What could be done the Guru did not agree! On all four sides there were enough escape roots.’ So the True Guru decided, ‘let them give it in writing.’31

Couplet: Give this to me in writing, ‘The True Guru persuaded us much, repeated it to tiring, but we did not accept his advice’.32

Quatrain: ‘And secondly, write this, that you do not accept me as your Guru and neither do you consider yourselves as my Sikhs.’ The people wrote down exactly as the Guru had demanded.33 Servants, employees and attendants, the whole world of them turned their backs on him. Such was the illusion created by the True Guru that the people faced the worst of times.34 People repudiated their solemn commitments. Such was the effect of bad time. More the True Guru asked them to be patient, the more readily they ran away. (35).

Couplet: When the True Guru asked the Singhs to write it, the respected Khalsa did not write it. ‘By our own orders, we will not destroy the nation.’36

Quatrain: ‘We are the very storehouse of commitment’, said the Khalsa, ‘we will not give up commitment for the sake of life. Even to save our lives a hundred times we will not throw away Sikhi.’37 ‘Where you order us to stay, there we will stand as long as we breathe, without even lifting a foot.’ The Singhs appeared endearing to the respected True Guru. Moved to happiness the Guru spoke: 38 ‘Blessed is the Khalsa and blessed is the panth of the young. They have preserved the seed of Sikhi, deeming it to be more valuable.’ Then the Khalsa asked him, ‘please point to us where the siege is the thickest.’39. Then the True Guru ordered, ‘you be wherever I am’. The Khalsa accepted the instructions. On hearing this, the people broke into a disorderly retreat. 40

[Page 91]

Couplet: Taking all his sons with him he prepared himself. At the time of sunset he marched from Anandpur in the direction of Ropar.41

Quatrain: Of the well-known ones, the dearest ones of the Guru, some Singhs were asked to march at the rear. Similarly some were asked to march in front. Some were placed on the flanks.42 To help the families (non-combatants), the True Guru concealed them in the middle of it and despatched them. The hill people attacked them from behind but the Singhs repulsed them. 43 In front, water rose in the Sarsa rivulet, disaster lurked in both directions. The people lost patience. Some went elsewhere and the non-combatants somewhere else.44 He who turned back was looted by the hill people. Those of them in front, who entered the river were swept off by the current and lost.45

Couplets: Water subsided at day-break and the river became passable. They lost patience and made a haphazard entry.46 Only two sons remained with the True Guru. It so happened that the younger ones went with the elder (Guru’s) mother. 47

Quatrain: It was a time of extreme difficulty for everyone. They went in several directions. The situation there was the same as had had been faced by Sri Krishan.48

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As after the defeat at the hands of Kalyavan, the god had to take shelter in the cave of Muchkand. Pahari armies attacked in great numbers. Every foursome was separated.49 Gunpowder and guns became wet and failed to fire. Nobody was left with shoes on his feet. Such was the calamity which struck everyone.50 The rivulet flowing in front drowned whatever was left. In front lay Ropar, stronghold of the Turks where many Pathans had been killed.51 Most of them had joined the True Guru’s service and had received countless gifts from him including horses and fine clothes. They became faithless and served no purpose. 52

Couplet: The True Guru had bestowed expensive dresses on them. In their skirmishes with the hill people, the Guru had helped them.53

Quatrain: The Guru went to their houses. On being called upon, they turned their faces away. These people had built a strong mansion. The Guru wanted to give a fight from within it.54 They shut the doors and did not let him enter. The river swept away this very mansion. All the Pathans and Lodhis became faithless. The True Guru had said that their houses would not remain (intact).55 Then the Guru turned towards Kotla (Nihang Khan). They readily opened their doors for inspection. The Guru did not like it. It was not a mansion suitable for giving a battle.56 The True Guru went further and looked in the distance. He saw minarets on high ground at Chamkaur. The True Guru rode in that direction. He reached and saw a sprawling mansion.57

[Page 93]

(End of Part VI)

- To be continued

q

Martyrdom of the elder princes – Battle of Chamkaur

Couplet: The owner was apprehended from outside, he caused the doors of the mansion to be opened. Some Singhs entered along with the Guru, both the princes were amongst them.1.

Quatrain: The Malerkotla forces came and laid siege. There was no grain in there. They had no strategy of warfare. The entire army stormed the walls.2 The Khalsa met the attack with those hand held weapons that still remained with them. Pathans were beaten and repulsed. In the meanwhile Nahar Khan attacked.3 He came enquiring, ‘is there Guru somewhere? Point him out to me and I will reach there.’ The True Guru then spoke to him and said, ‘defend yourself; the arrow is coming in your direction.’4 The arrow pierced his armour and struck him in the chest going right through him. He swung and fell to the ground. Some of his men carried away his body.5.

Couplet: Majority of those who had come with Nahar Khan were killed, some by the True Guru, some by the Khalsa and the rest by the blows of the princes.6

Quatrain: His brother Khwaza Khizar came to know the news. He was well known as a brave person. He came like an intoxicated elephant but his face turned yellow on seeing the dead body.7 He saw the True Guru in the image of a lion. He shamefully hid his head behind a wall. The True Guru challenged him much, ‘let me and you fight it out.’ 8

[Page 94]

On seeing the True Guru’s arrows, he was overcome by fear. He himself remained sitting behind the wall. He ordered others to attack.9 Then Wazir Khan suddenly came there. He also came and joined battle. Thereafter the hill people came there. They also exerted themselves much.10

Couplet: All became tired of exertion but could not breach the place. They laid siege and settled down after suffering many casualties.11

Quatrain: Now, I relate the story of those inside. There were no grains anywhere inside. The wall itself was not well built and had no ramparts 12, behind which the defenders could save their heads and freely wield their weapons. There was not even a grain to roast. Had it been there, where was the time to eat?13 Gunpowder and lead were exhausted and not an arrow was left in the quivers. No water could be found for the injured. Such was the difficulty that they faced.14 Their arms became tired of wielding weapons. The bodies became tired. There was no strength left in them. Still the Singhs did not relent. They ran to wherever the attack was more determined.15

Couplet: Then the True Guru told the Singhs, ‘lead and gunpowder are exhausted. Hold your swords and walk briskly around the mansion.’16

Quatrain: The Singhs agreed to it. They circumambulated the mansion in pairs. Such was the strategy adopted there that more would come when the first died.17 Many Singhs met death thus sallying forth. The true Guru noticed that only few more were left. He then said, ‘do not now venture out. Holding your swords, stand near the wall.’18 The Turks realised that the gunpowder and lead had finished inside the building. All of them from all sides attacked together making loud noises.19

[Page 95]

Some were on foot and others were mounted, dust arose and fog ensued. They placed ladders and grabbed the wall. The Singhs cut off their hands.20

Couplet: As they climbed from all sides and reached the wall with their hands, the Singh cut their hands off. Their strategy did not pay and they fell to the ground.21

Quatrain: They had one or two shots each. They fired them when they came too near. They fell the Turks singly and in twos and threes. Many bodies of the Turks piled up there. When such pandemonium was prevailing there, Prince Jujhar Singh made a decision in his mind. Such life is not worth living, where father dies fighting and the son lives on.23 Abhmanyu died while his father Arjun was living and so also Meghnath died while Ravan lived. This is the known tradition of knights that we renounce the breath within the sight of fathers.24 He grabbed the sword and sallied out. He killed and fell whosoever resisted him. That side was devastated. It appeared to the enemy that an entire army had come and attacked.25.

Couplet: Amidst the dust and low visibility prevailing there, no distinction between enemy and friend was possible. There was much confusion which caused killing own forces.26 After killing many Turks there, respected Jujhar Singh attained martyrdom. After him came Zorawar Singh, he was seen striking like a lion.27

[Page 96]

Quatrain: On seeing the brother he could not bear the grief. Holding the double-edged sword rushed to follow him. He went and employed weapons like his brother, dealing death to those who resisted.28 Some he touched with his sword and some with the shield. Whosoever was touched was cut up. None stood against him. They were killed with guns.29 Like this both the brothers attained martyrdom there against the Pathans. This is what happened to both the children of the Guru in the year 1762 (1705 CE).30

More about the situation at Chamkaur

(….I returned my sons)

Couplet: Fighting thus continued until the time of sunset arrived. The leaders retreated to the camps after setting up watch posts all around.1

Quatrain: They arranged intense vigil all around with man standing next to man. More with more men were posted. In between them, none could penetrate at night.2 One would surmise, ‘the Guru will not be contained’ and then again, ‘how will he fly off?’ In all four directions are his would be captors. A hundred thousand surrounded him.3 Neither can he grow wings and fly away to some place, nor can he enter into the earth. Very rightly, the Guru was in real difficulty. It was as the people had speculated.4 The True Guru could think of nothing viable. He had no fighting forces left. The princes had attained martyrdom. It was a matter of serious concern for the True Guru.5

Couplet: ‘I have returned my sons’ thought the True Guru. ‘There appears to be no escape for me and others. Whatever happens is His Will.’6

Quatrain: However, it is well that the Turks are responsible for our deaths. The words of our ancestors have been fulfilled. Now let me bestow Guruship on the Khalsa. He placed the mark of Guruship on the Khalsa.’ 7

[Page 97]

Where the Guru himself was sitting, he ceremoniously installed Sant Singh. He himself carefully tied his own turban on the head of Sant Singh.8 His own aigrette he put on his head and made him wear his own dress. The Singh was made to sit in the position of a Guru, as Guru Nanak had anointed Angad.9 The Khalsa was asked to come and pay ceremonial respects. The True Guru bestowed sovereignty upon the Singhs. Sant Singh was instructed thus: ‘do not be captured. Become a martyr.’10

Couplet: Jeewan Singh Ranghreta, who was known for wielding the gun well, was seated in another tower in the middle. He was all alone.11

Quatrain: Others were seated at other crucial places though the gunpowder was exhausted. Of all the Singhs there were forty here. They were tired and tormented by sleep. The Guru was much concerned about those who lay wounded and dead. There was Ghani Khan a Pathan with the Guru. His brother reached there.13 He called upon the Guru, ‘come out we will look after you.’ This call reached the Guru’s ear. He called the Pathan and explained matters to him.14 `Take me with you and I will make you eternally happy.’ The Pathan was complete in faith and replied, ‘I certainly will take you along.’15

Couplet: There was a concealed passage in a tower. The Guru had it opened. He wore a short sword around his waist and held another in his hand. He put some gold coins in his pocket.16

Quatrain: As the True Guru emerged and plunged forward, he could not proceed further because of the stationed guards. The True Guru then shouted within their hearing, ‘the Hindu has escaped.’17 `Escaped!’ cried everyone all around. The True Guru repeated (the cry) in the same manner. Asking the Pathan to march ahead, the Guru penetrated the Turks and rapidly advanced towards the river.18 Advancing and attacking, he reached the tall grass. Going further, he spotted a person grazing buffaloes.

[Page 98]

He had recognised the Guru and had started announcing loudly.19 The True Guru handed him gold coins. Upon he shouted all the more. The Guru saw that he might succeed in the attempt to get him captured. He would not be mollified by any means.20

Couplet: The Guru lunged forward and thrust his dagger into his stomach. He grappled much but was released only when his breath flew away.21

Writing about the happening at Machhiwara

(‘… accepted after purifying with the all steel dagger)

Quatrain: When the True Guru went further, he reached near Machhiwara. After settling the True Guru, the Pathan went and brought along Gulaba the Khatri.1

Couplet: Listen to the story of Machhiwara of how the Guru stayed at the house of a Khattri and of how the Sayyad Pathans served him by carrying him on their heads.2

Quatrain: He served some food. The Guru ate while remembering (God). At sunset he brought him inside. The mansion became his abode.3 One or two Singhs walked to the place. The Guru ordered them to conceal themselves. One day the Guru ordered a goat. He had it slaughtered by the Singhs. As the True Guru ate meat, bones were thrown into the house of the Turk. On seeing the bones the Turk remonstrated and abused the Khattri, ‘you throw bones into my house!’5

Couplet: Then the Khattri approached the True Guru saying, ‘ I am an extremely weak person. I will be killed should the Turk comes to know.’6

Quatrain: The True Guru threw money. The Qazi took the bribe and kept quiet. Like this the Guru stayed here for ten days and then desired to march on.7

[Page 99]

The Pathan persuaded the Sayyid to collaborate and they had a dress prepared for the True Guru. They assumed the appearance of hajis, let the hair loose and put on blue dresses.8 They had similar dresses prepared for the Sikhs. Pathans held the ritual prayer water containers and started on the journey.9 They went announcing (the Guru) as the holy man of Uchh. Their names were Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan. Thus they went lower in the direction of Multan and reached the village Kanech.10

Couplet: There lived a masand there whose name was Fatta. The True Guru called him and said, ‘somehow help me in the onward journey.’11

Quatrain: ‘Give me the mare you have. I will give you plenty of money instead.’ Bad times then descended upon him. He refused, ‘for giving the mare to you I will hang.’12 Then the True Guru said to him, ’you will not escape death by hanging even now.’ He was later taken to Lahore and hanged. The effect of the True Guru’s word on him could not be negated.13 When the True Guru was marching rapidly ahead, the Turks surrounded him at Doraha public rest house. They said, ‘let the holy man stay here overnight and accept our hospitality.’14 The Sayyid Pathans wriggled out of the situation saying, ‘the holy man is on perpetual ritual fast. He speaks little, tells beads and breaks fast with only a grain of barley.’15 The other acolytes will accept your feast’ this is the arrangement they came to.

[Page 100]

Couplet: The Singhs were now afraid, ‘what will now happen to us? How will we be able to retain our commitment to faith, to the Guru and the world?17

Quatrain: The True Guru then advised them, ‘stir it with the all steel dagger.’ No one ever stands converted by force and intimidation. One is converted (to Islam) only by companionship of a Muslim woman.’18 ‘You may also find justification in another manner. Conceal some food and bring it along. If some doubt still lurks in your minds, immerse yourselves five times in the tank at Amritsar.’19 The Sikhs did as suggested. The Turks enquired, ‘why did you touch it with the dagger?’ The Pathans replied, ‘a new religious law (shariat) has been promulgated. To do that is now lawful for the hajis. When in the morning, they uncovered the tray and looked at the food, their minds were at rest on seeing sweet-butter pudding and rice. From there they travelled to Mohi, Lamma Jattpura and camped at Bhagta. 21

(End of Part VI)

- To be continued

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Martyrdom of the elder princes – Battle of Chamkaur

Couplet: The owner was apprehended from outside, he caused the doors of the mansion to be opened. Some Singhs entered along with the Guru, both the princes were amongst them.1.

Quatrain: The Malerkotla forces came and laid siege. There was no grain in there. They had no strategy of warfare. The entire army stormed the walls.2 The Khalsa met the attack with those hand held weapons that still remained with them. Pathans were beaten and repulsed. In the meanwhile Nahar Khan attacked.3 He came enquiring, ‘is there Guru somewhere? Point him out to me and I will reach there.’ The True Guru then spoke to him and said, ‘defend yourself; the arrow is coming in your direction.’4 The arrow pierced his armour and struck him in the chest going right through him. He swung and fell to the ground. Some of his men carried away his body.5.

Couplet: Majority of those who had come with Nahar Khan were killed, some by the True Guru, some by the Khalsa and the rest by the blows of the princes.6

Quatrain: His brother Khwaza Khizar came to know the news. He was well known as a brave person. He came like an intoxicated elephant but his face turned yellow on seeing the dead body.7 He saw the True Guru in the image of a lion. He shamefully hid his head behind a wall. The True Guru challenged him much, ‘let me and you fight it out.’ 8

[Page 94]

On seeing the True Guru’s arrows, he was overcome by fear. He himself remained sitting behind the wall. He ordered others to attack.9 Then Wazir Khan suddenly came there. He also came and joined battle. Thereafter the hill people came there. They also exerted themselves much.10

Couplet: All became tired of exertion but could not breach the place. They laid siege and settled down after suffering many casualties.11

Quatrain: Now, I relate the story of those inside. There were no grains anywhere inside. The wall itself was not well built and had no ramparts 12, behind which the defenders could save their heads and freely wield their weapons. There was not even a grain to roast. Had it been there, where was the time to eat?13 Gunpowder and lead were exhausted and not an arrow was left in the quivers. No water could be found for the injured. Such was the difficulty that they faced.14 Their arms became tired of wielding weapons. The bodies became tired. There was no strength left in them. Still the Singhs did not relent. They ran to wherever the attack was more determined.15

Couplet: Then the True Guru told the Singhs, ‘lead and gunpowder are exhausted. Hold your swords and walk briskly around the mansion.’16

Quatrain: The Singhs agreed to it. They circumambulated the mansion in pairs. Such was the strategy adopted there that more would come when the first died.17 Many Singhs met death thus sallying forth. The true Guru noticed that only few more were left. He then said, ‘do not now venture out. Holding your swords, stand near the wall.’18 The Turks realised that the gunpowder and lead had finished inside the building. All of them from all sides attacked together making loud noises.19

[Page 95]

Some were on foot and others were mounted, dust arose and fog ensued. They placed ladders and grabbed the wall. The Singhs cut off their hands.20

Couplet: As they climbed from all sides and reached the wall with their hands, the Singh cut their hands off. Their strategy did not pay and they fell to the ground.21

Quatrain: They had one or two shots each. They fired them when they came too near. They fell the Turks singly and in twos and threes. Many bodies of the Turks piled up there. When such pandemonium was prevailing there, Prince Jujhar Singh made a decision in his mind. Such life is not worth living, where father dies fighting and the son lives on.23 Abhmanyu died while his father Arjun was living and so also Meghnath died while Ravan lived. This is the known tradition of knights that we renounce the breath within the sight of fathers.24 He grabbed the sword and sallied out. He killed and fell whosoever resisted him. That side was devastated. It appeared to the enemy that an entire army had come and attacked.25.

Couplet: Amidst the dust and low visibility prevailing there, no distinction between enemy and friend was possible. There was much confusion which caused killing own forces.26 After killing many Turks there, respected Jujhar Singh attained martyrdom. After him came Zorawar Singh, he was seen striking like a lion.27

[Page 96]

Quatrain: On seeing the brother he could not bear the grief. Holding the double-edged sword rushed to follow him. He went and employed weapons like his brother, dealing death to those who resisted.28 Some he touched with his sword and some with the shield. Whosoever was touched was cut up. None stood against him. They were killed with guns.29 Like this both the brothers attained martyrdom there against the Pathans. This is what happened to both the children of the Guru in the year 1762 (1705 CE).30

More about the situation at Chamkaur

(….I returned my sons)

Couplet: Fighting thus continued until the time of sunset arrived. The leaders retreated to the camps after setting up watch posts all around.1

Quatrain: They arranged intense vigil all around with man standing next to man. More with more men were posted. In between them, none could penetrate at night.2 One would surmise, ‘the Guru will not be contained’ and then again, ‘how will he fly off?’ In all four directions are his would be captors. A hundred thousand surrounded him.3 Neither can he grow wings and fly away to some place, nor can he enter into the earth. Very rightly, the Guru was in real difficulty. It was as the people had speculated.4 The True Guru could think of nothing viable. He had no fighting forces left. The princes had attained martyrdom. It was a matter of serious concern for the True Guru.5

Couplet: ‘I have returned my sons’ thought the True Guru. ‘There appears to be no escape for me and others. Whatever happens is His Will.’6

Quatrain: However, it is well that the Turks are responsible for our deaths. The words of our ancestors have been fulfilled. Now let me bestow Guruship on the Khalsa. He placed the mark of Guruship on the Khalsa.’ 7

[Page 97]

Where the Guru himself was sitting, he ceremoniously installed Sant Singh. He himself carefully tied his own turban on the head of Sant Singh.8 His own aigrette he put on his head and made him wear his own dress. The Singh was made to sit in the position of a Guru, as Guru Nanak had anointed Angad.9 The Khalsa was asked to come and pay ceremonial respects. The True Guru bestowed sovereignty upon the Singhs. Sant Singh was instructed thus: ‘do not be captured. Become a martyr.’10

Couplet: Jeewan Singh Ranghreta, who was known for wielding the gun well, was seated in another tower in the middle. He was all alone.11

Quatrain: Others were seated at other crucial places though the gunpowder was exhausted. Of all the Singhs there were forty here. They were tired and tormented by sleep. The Guru was much concerned about those who lay wounded and dead. There was Ghani Khan a Pathan with the Guru. His brother reached there.13 He called upon the Guru, ‘come out we will look after you.’ This call reached the Guru’s ear. He called the Pathan and explained matters to him.14 `Take me with you and I will make you eternally happy.’ The Pathan was complete in faith and replied, ‘I certainly will take you along.’15

Couplet: There was a concealed passage in a tower. The Guru had it opened. He wore a short sword around his waist and held another in his hand. He put some gold coins in his pocket.16

Quatrain: As the True Guru emerged and plunged forward, he could not proceed further because of the stationed guards. The True Guru then shouted within their hearing, ‘the Hindu has escaped.’17 `Escaped!’ cried everyone all around. The True Guru repeated (the cry) in the same manner. Asking the Pathan to march ahead, the Guru penetrated the Turks and rapidly advanced towards the river.18 Advancing and attacking, he reached the tall grass. Going further, he spotted a person grazing buffaloes.

[Page 98]

He had recognised the Guru and had started announcing loudly.19 The True Guru handed him gold coins. Upon he shouted all the more. The Guru saw that he might succeed in the attempt to get him captured. He would not be mollified by any means.20

Couplet: The Guru lunged forward and thrust his dagger into his stomach. He grappled much but was released only when his breath flew away.21

Writing about the happening at Machhiwara

(‘… accepted after purifying with the all steel dagger)

Quatrain: When the True Guru went further, he reached near Machhiwara. After settling the True Guru, the Pathan went and brought along Gulaba the Khatri.1

Couplet: Listen to the story of Machhiwara of how the Guru stayed at the house of a Khattri and of how the Sayyad Pathans served him by carrying him on their heads.2

Quatrain: He served some food. The Guru ate while remembering (God). At sunset he brought him inside. The mansion became his abode.3 One or two Singhs walked to the place. The Guru ordered them to conceal themselves. One day the Guru ordered a goat. He had it slaughtered by the Singhs. As the True Guru ate meat, bones were thrown into the house of the Turk. On seeing the bones the Turk remonstrated and abused the Khattri, ‘you throw bones into my house!’5

Couplet: Then the Khattri approached the True Guru saying, ‘ I am an extremely weak person. I will be killed should the Turk comes to know.’6

Quatrain: The True Guru threw money. The Qazi took the bribe and kept quiet. Like this the Guru stayed here for ten days and then desired to march on.7

[Page 99]

The Pathan persuaded the Sayyid to collaborate and they had a dress prepared for the True Guru. They assumed the appearance of hajis, let the hair loose and put on blue dresses.8 They had similar dresses prepared for the Sikhs. Pathans held the ritual prayer water containers and started on the journey.9 They went announcing (the Guru) as the holy man of Uchh. Their names were Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan. Thus they went lower in the direction of Multan and reached the village Kanech.10

Couplet: There lived a masand there whose name was Fatta. The True Guru called him and said, ‘somehow help me in the onward journey.’11

Quatrain: ‘Give me the mare you have. I will give you plenty of money instead.’ Bad times then descended upon him. He refused, ‘for giving the mare to you I will hang.’12 Then the True Guru said to him, ’you will not escape death by hanging even now.’ He was later taken to Lahore and hanged. The effect of the True Guru’s word on him could not be negated.13 When the True Guru was marching rapidly ahead, the Turks surrounded him at Doraha public rest house. They said, ‘let the holy man stay here overnight and accept our hospitality.’14 The Sayyid Pathans wriggled out of the situation saying, ‘the holy man is on perpetual ritual fast. He speaks little, tells beads and breaks fast with only a grain of barley.’15 The other acolytes will accept your feast’ this is the arrangement they came to.

[Page 100]

Couplet: The Singhs were now afraid, ‘what will now happen to us? How will we be able to retain our commitment to faith, to the Guru and the world?17

Quatrain: The True Guru then advised them, ‘stir it with the all steel dagger.’ No one ever stands converted by force and intimidation. One is converted (to Islam) only by companionship of a Muslim woman.’18 ‘You may also find justification in another manner. Conceal some food and bring it along. If some doubt still lurks in your minds, immerse yourselves five times in the tank at Amritsar.’19 The Sikhs did as suggested. The Turks enquired, ‘why did you touch it with the dagger?’ The Pathans replied, ‘a new religious law (shariat) has been promulgated. To do that is now lawful for the hajis. When in the morning, they uncovered the tray and looked at the food, their minds were at rest on seeing sweet-butter pudding and rice. From there they travelled to Mohi, Lamma Jattpura and camped at Bhagta.21

(End of Part VII)

- To be continued

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Happenings at Deena, Kangar of Tapa

[Camp with Lakmir; martyrdom of the younger Sahibzadas]

(‘This is how the two young ones were murdered’)

Couplet: Walking on, the respected True Guru reached Kangar of Tapa. Lakhmir was the headman there, in a village near Deena.1.

Quatrain: The True Guru went and sat in the upper room of his house. Lakhmir came and touched his feet. The True Guru blessed him with happiness and related the facts to him like this: 2. ‘If you can arrange for me to stay, I would like to spend some days here.’ Folding his hands, Lakhmir said this, ‘yes! as long as my head remains intact.’3. There the True Guru announced himself. On hearing of it many Singhs came to the place. And listen now to what happened to the stragglers and what befell the younger princes.4.

[Page 102]

Most of the disorganisation happened at the Sarsa. Thereafter, the people took their personally preferred directions. The True Guru looked after them up to Ropar. The True Guru brought along also the non-combatants.5.

Couplet: There many armies came from all directions and met. The elder mother, taking along her grandsons, went in a different direction and was separated.6.

Quatrain: Now I tell the story of other Singhs. The True Guru brought them along up to Ropar. They occasionally stopped, fought, and fell martyrs. Their desire was, ‘somehow the Guru should continue smoothly going on.’7. The hill people troubled them much at the Sarsa. Like this they reached Ropar. The people of Ropar opened their doors saying, ‘the Guru is staying with us.’ 8. They accosted them in twos, fours, looted and killed them there. Some Singhs who entered Kotla (Nihang Khan) were neither robbed nor killed.9. Wounded Bachittar Singh entered there and was restored to health by Pathan Khan. Other injured Singhs who went there were also restored.10.

Couplet: Many times this Pathan had gone and stayed in the Guru’s presence. The holy presence had bestowed happiness, horses and good clothes on him.11.

Quatrain: Now listen further to the story of how Wazida (Wazir Khan) murdered the ‘un-weaned’ children. There was an evil and low minded Brahmin cook who manoeuvred mother’s separation at Ropar.12. He was consumed by greed at heart. He had seen what the mother had picked up. There were diamonds, pearls, emeralds and turquoises. The Brahmin was consumed by the enormity.13.

[Page 103]

He took the mother with him to his village. Its name was Saheri. He made the mother camp in the wilderness and took all her belongings in his own possession.14. He told the mother, ‘I have buried it. Do not worry at all.’ The mother replied, ‘my anxiety is life. Provide an isolated house for our stay.’15.

Couplet: At nightfall the Brahmin sheltered the mother in his own house. But he said to the Ranghars of Morinda, ‘go and arrange for me to meet the governor.’16.

Quatrain: ‘I will get the Guru’s sons arrested. Secure me a reward.’ The Ranghars did not act as subordinate landlords. They immediately took the Brahmin in their custody.17. The Brahmin was made to return in haste and to point them out. They arranged alert vigil. Jani and Mani, the two Ranghar brothers, returned and placed them in custody at their own house at Morinda. One remained to keep watch, the other went to Sarhind so that Wazida could arrest and incarcerate them. ‘Give me a reward for getting the Guru’s sons arrested. I am thereby aiding you in spreading Islam.’19. Hearing this, the governor sent a detachment of cavalry to arrest them. He had them brought near Sarhind. He arrested Mata Gujri along with them and secured them atop a tower. 20. There was a Khattri named Sucha Nand who had at one time sent a marriage proposal to the Guru’s household. He remembered that the Guru had not agreed. He understood that quarrel in these terms.21. He advised the governor, ‘they are poisonous snakes who, whether small or big, will certainly bite. But should they condemn, the stigma will be unbearable for you.’22. ‘Now hand them over to the Malerkotla people, several of whose brothers have been killed. Let them be responsible for their killing’. Wazida then sent for them.23.

[Page 104]

Sher Muhammd was the eldest of them. He came accompanied by Khizar Khan. ‘The Guru killed your Nahar Khan. You can execute his sons.’ 24.

Couplet: Sher Muhammad did not agree. He shook his head and said, ‘if we kill these ‘un-weaned’ children we shall earn odium in the world’.25.

Quatrain: ‘They died in war, in battle. It is not honourable to kill small children.’ They did not agree but openly expressed sympathy with thechildren. So the slighted governor thought of alternative ideas. 26. Both children were called up, seated and were ordered to ‘convert to Islam.’ ‘If you do not come within Islam, you will be killed just as your father was made to suffer and was killed.’ 27. The children became angry on hearing this. ‘Who can get our father killed? Our father maintains big weapons and kills those who come to kill him.’28. On hearing this, the governor gave his judgement, `these boys deserve to be slaughtered. If they do not become Muslim, they must be killed by slitting their throats.’29.

Couplet: When the wicked man said this much, the Turks became happy. They pounced upon them, dragged them and felt no mercy at heart.30.

Quatrain: They had there a person with a dagger. He pressed them under his knee and slit their throats. Life left them after painful convulsions. Thus both the small children were murdered.31.

[Page 105]

When the elder mother heard this account, she fell off the tower and her breath flew away. This momentous happening took place there. A cry of anguish emanated from the world on hearing of it. 32.

Couplet: What then can be said of the extreme cruelty perpetrated there? The sky should have fallen off and the earth should have been rent asunder. 33.

[Zafarnamah]

Couplet: Now hear what the Guru heard when he sat near Rai. Coming from the direction of Sarhind, he spoke amidst sobbing and crying. 1.

Quatrain: The True Guru calmed him and asked, ‘say Sikh! From where have you come? Have you brought any news of the mother or of the cruelty perpetrated on the princes?’ 2. The Sikh picked up dust and threw it on his head, `the Turks have paved their own destruction. What shall I say? What transpired with the princes cannot be described by speaking.’ 3. ‘He perpetrated the deed in a session of the court without fear of God, the Sustainer.’ The Guru remained silent for a while. Then the respected Guru spoke, assuming firmness.4. ‘There were many Sikhs present in the court. Did none of them dissuade the Turks at that time? We were not liable for any crime against the state. Nobody would have harmed them (for it).’5.

Couplet: ‘The Sikhs used to stake their heads for the welfare of others. There was Masand Sulakhana, representing a congregation of fourteen hundred.’6.

Quatrain: ‘He from Raipur was there at the court. Did not even Bulaki from Chinarthal stall the proceedings? What justification did they have to kill children? None can be scorched without fire.’ 7. ‘He who suffers, knows the pangs, others express an untruth.’ Saying this, the Guru shed a tear. At which the Sikhs presented a prayer.8.

[Page 106]

‘You are a completely knowing person in the mould of the Creator. Even you have shed a tear from the eye?’ Then the True Guru spoke words like these: ‘pluck and bring some leaves off a green tree’. 9. As leaves were plucked, water oozed out. The Sikhs were satisfied on being shown this. Water oozes out of even the inanimate trees. A human is conscious and a feeling body. 10.

Couplet: Then the True Guru asked the same Sikh, ‘was there none who openly expressed sympathy?’ The Sikh then replied, ‘there was one, a Pathan from Malerkotla’.11

Couplet: Then the True Guru’s blessed mouth spoke, ‘he is the one who earned firm rooting. The Guru’s word will save him. He is absolved of sins. Others will be responsible.’12.

Song of the Tenth King (in Khayal mode)

To the Beloved Friend recite the travails of His worshipper

Without You, comfort of quilts is affliction, and

Life, an existence in a snake pit

Decanter is but a spear and the cup a dagger

One suffers as with head on the butcher’s twig

Friend, You are Joy, even in deepest mourning

The city life (sans You) is a burning oven.

Couplet: Sitting at Deena, the Guru wrote the considered opinion in the poetic mode. It is a mixed account of war, of prudence, of complaints, with facts to support.13.

Quatrain: This he sent to Nauranga. Daya Singh carried it and reached him. He had heard a small part of it and the most still remained when Nauranga died at night.14.

[Page 107]

Hear more about the True Guru and of why he departed from Deena. One day, the True Guru, desiring to bless, took out and gave some eatables from his tray.15. Lakhmir took them to his house and handed them to his wife. His wife buried the eatables in a corner, ‘we worship Sakhi Sarvar and how can we live if we eat it?’16. ‘We would immediately perish from the roots.’ She misguided Lakhmir. He then came to the True Guru and told him, ‘my family has eaten it.’17.

Couplet: The True Guru was all knowing: ‘Lakhmir you have spoken a lie.’ The True Guru was distressed and mentally drifted apart.18.

Quartet: ‘Oh Lakhmir! What have you done? Why did you wipe out what was written on your forehead? I had come to give you complete felicity and to imprint sovereignty on your forehead.’19. A saint must not sit next to a hypocrite. So now I desire to depart from here’. He neither gave him any weapon nor a dress article and neither did he accept his offering.20.

Story of the Brars and of the grape trees

(..Kapura died at the gallows…)

Couplet: Having said that, the Guru got up and departed towards Fort of Kapura. I will tell the story of how he was hanged.1.

Quatrain: When the Guru reached the very fort, Kapura met him with deceitful mind. The True Guru asked him, ‘let me camp inside. Let me discard the battle dress here. Since the day I left Anandpur, I have not discarded battle readiness. I have destroyed the sovereignty of the Mughals. You become a Khalsa and attain to sovereignty.’ 3. Bad times hovered over Kapura’s head. It made him utter a perfidy. ‘I am a servant of the Turks. They will immediately arrest and hang me.’ 4.

[Page 108]

The True Guru heard and responded, ‘Kapura the cur becomes worthless. Your obsession with gallows will certainly lead you to death on the gallows.’5.

Couplet: Having said that, the Guru marched off in the direction of the next wilderness. Kapura died on the gallows at the house of Isa Manjh.6.

Quatrain: Listen to the story of how the ignoramus Kapura died at the gallows. Kapura had sold horses to Isa against a written surety of payment from Doaba.7. He went to Rauni village and committed a murder. Isa killed Kapura by hanging. The Guru’s word did not go in vain. Kapura was hanged as a faithless person.8. Hear further, more news about the Guru. Marching further he reached the wilderness. He deployed his forces there amidst rumours of the arrival of Turks.9. He settled a rupee per horseman in cash, and a quarter to men on foot who accompanied him. Besides, there were the Brar Jats on inferior local mares. They plucked spears, javelins and accompanied the Guru.10.

Couplet: Sikhs sent money from other lands and the True Guru paid it to them. Whenever there was some delay in arrivals, they would immediately resort to rioting.

Quatrain: In anticipation of the arrival of Turks, he would keep his forces moving from place to place. He visited Ablu, Mehma, Doda, Matta, Kauni and Jhanda Patti.12. He visited the villages of the Bhais, but no one said, ‘stay at this place.’ He visited many villages in the wilderness, the names of which I do not know.13. Wherever he would go and camp, the people would make no offerings but would expect to receive. Everyone had a water bag each. They would not give water to anyone, not even if the Guru himself asked for it.14. As rumours (of the arrival of pursuing forces) persisted, they demanded payments in advance and then joined him. 15.

Couplet: In the same wilderness, one day, the True Guru was thirsty. The True Guru sent for water from Khana Brar.16.

[Page 109]

Quatrain: Khana did not give water. He refused saying ‘I do not have water.’ The Guru took out and sent two gold coins. He gave four cups full of water.17. The True Guru sent for Khana and told him, `Khana, you gave water in exchange for two bones; you have become thinner than water,’ thus putting him to shame.18.

Couplet: As the Guru saw the people of the Midlands arriving, he hurriedly disbanded the Brars. Seeing them arrive, they said. ‘it is bad that these Midlanders have come.’19.

Quatrain: On hearing this, the True Guru told them ‘how have you called the Midlanders bad? Never again dub them inferior. The people of the Midlands are bridegrooms in your households.’20. Brar had another brother, Sooma. He desired to test the Guru’s miraculous powers. Everyday he brought milk from a brown buffalo. Then he brought that of a jet black one.21. The True Guru rubbed his hand on his head and admonished him, ‘have you come to the world just to see a miracle performed?’ O! Sikh! What sort of an engagement is this? You want to trace the very end of the Guru’s power?’22.

Couplet: The Sikhs folded their hands (sought forgiveness) and said, ‘our women tricked us into this deception.’ The True Guru said, `I forgive you this time, don’t do it again.’23

- End of Part VIII

(To be continued)

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Writing the happening at revered Muktsar

(If it pleases you, let the relationship be repaired)

Quatrain: Kapura the cur comes again for mention. He sent a message to the Turks, ‘you can arrest the Guru. I did not help him in any way.’ 1. On hearing this, the Turks came ready to attack. Message was sent to the other side also. When talk of the attack became frequent, the Brars made preparations for running away. 2. They filled the skins with water with intentions of a long journey into wilderness. The middle country people became more patient and conditioned their minds to face death. 3.

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The Brars advised the True Guru, ‘proceed towards the lengthier side of the wastelands.’ The True Guru said, ‘how will the people and these foot-soldiers with me cope with that?’ 4.

Couplet: Then the Brars said to the Guru, ‘you want to remain attached to the Sikhs. Those following the footsteps will find the way on the great descent.’ 5.

Quatrain: Then the midland people advised, ‘we will preserve the bond with the True Guru. If all of us follow you, all the Turks will advance after you.’ 6. ‘Wherever we go they will come. They will not retreat until repulsed in battle.’ 6. The people of the jungle will not face battle. Singhs of the midlands have experienced battle’. 7. ‘Allow the midland Panth to fight and die to make them abandon pursuing you.’ Upon which the Guru said, ‘advance further, to take position at a (strategically) proper place.’ 8. They spent the whole night in discussion. The advance guard brought the news, ‘the Pathans of Kasur are camping nearby. They will probably come following us.’ 9.

Couplet: On hearing this all the Brars, who called themselves, ‘young camels,’ ran away. They consulted their own interest. They deserted even the respected True Guru. 10.

Quartet: They fled and hid in any direction in which they could arrange pretence for the flight. Some went away saying ‘we will bring firm news.’ While others pretended to be serving as advance guards. 11. True Guru’s water vessel remained unattended near him. Some departed in one, some in the other direction. The entire army of the Brars, who received rupee a day as daily wages, dispersed unceremoniously. 12. The midland people were foot soldiers. They demanded no wages and subsisted on fruits of (humble) jand (prosopis specigera). With folded hands they stood before the Guru, ‘may the Guru point out the strategy.’ 13. ‘We will give battle here, so that you may ride on into greater wilderness. They will not leave us alone unless repulsed. We will wrestle with the Turks in this wilderness.’ 14.

[Page111]

Couplet: The respected True Guru accepted that very suggestion which the Khalsa gave. After looking around in front as well as behind, the Brars also returned to the Guru. 15.

Quatrain: They came and picked up the cot, ‘there is no time to rest. The forces have almost reached.’ The Guru sent for his horse. Remembering Him ‘Whose Name is Truth,’ mounted it. 16. The sun emitted some light as he departed towards the wilderness. The visible raised dust indicated that the enemy had located the Guru and was fast approaching. 17. Then the Khalsa folded hands, ‘let us take a stand at this very place.’ The Guru nodded consent with a shift of the eyebrows, ‘this is where you want to obtain martyrdom.’ 18. The Khalsa immediately took positions and planted the battle colours. They struck the battle drum and created a sharp noise by firing their guns.’ 19.

Couplet: The Turks heard the noise and they swooped down like an eagle. (The Sikhs) spread clothes over the shrubs to give appearance of tents. 20.

Quatrain: On seeing tents they became apprehensive. They had heard that the Guru was an excellent archer and his arrows could find a target at three kilometres. Some say, ‘he is a magician.’ 21. Many join the march but drop off on the way or retreat. They executed many a poor deserter found to be hiding. 22. Now hear about the True Guru; of where he took position on leaving the Singhs. There was a sand dune at a distance of three miles. His companions took up position just below it. 23. The Guru himself climbed and stood on top. There he stood watching those on this side. Now listen to the story of those Singhs. Much larger numbers descended upon them. 24.

Couplet: There were altogether only forty Singhs. They decided to fall one by one to keep the person of the Guru at a distance. 25.

Quatrain: As the Khalsa had decided, one by one they came out to battle unto death there. There was a mild slope downwards there. There stood some Singhs behind outspread undergarment curtains. 26.

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A lone person with a drawn sword, would fall like a lion, would kill many and die. On seeing the sword, the Turks would retreat to a distance and kill with arrows and bullets. 27. Those Singhs who had serviceable guns, loaded them with two balls each and fired. They could not know the secret of the number of Singhs. They took the Singhs to be in hundreds. 28. They perceived the Guru to be amidst them. Because of this they remained greatly hesitant. When they had inflicted injuries and had identified all of them, they then attacked and fell upon the pond. 29.

Couplet: Whosoever had remained alive, they killed him. They also took their weapons, clothes and armour. 30.

Quatrain: They felt the fierce sun and were bothered by thirst. They then retreated hastily. Listen to the story of the other side. The Guru stood atop the sand dune. 31. The Brars said, ‘Guru let us go further. After killing the Singhs they will come after us.’ The True Guru then said, ‘the Turks have run away. They have suffered a defeat.’ 32. The Turks ran away, suffering dust in the eyes, dumbfounded with mouths sealed. With the Guru’s permission, an advance party was despatched. They brought the news that the Turks had departed. 33. The True Guru came back again. He came and dismounted near those Sikhs. Taking a handkerchief the Guru wiped their faces. Expressing happiness he showered choicest blessings on them. 34.

Couplet: The Guru had the distance of the dead body from the central place, measured. He assigned as much land to them as the steps they had travelled. 35.

Quartet: Some had fallen at twenty steps, some died at thirty, forty or fifty paces. Some had fallen at a hundred or two hundred paces. They had all died while advancing and without turning their faces backwards. 36. Many lay also at five or ten paces. The Guru created them into commanders of as many thousands. Among them were found two live Sikhs. They had been with the Guru at Anandpur. 37.

[Page 113]

When the True Guru wiped their faces, these Singhs partly opened their eyes. The true Guru poured water into their mouths and breath somewhat returned to them. 38. The True Guru said, ‘Sikhs! Ask for something. I am extremely pleased and will give what you ask for.’ They represented, `if you are pleased, repair our bond with you.’ 39.

Couplet: The respected True Guru agreed. He threw out the paper from his pocket. He generously praised the Guru’s Sikhs, ‘you have shown concern and done a favour to all others.’ 40.

Story of the Sabo and Sado country and of the Talwandi of Brars

[Dalla at Talwandi, Bhatinda exorcized]

(This is our Kashi)

Couplet: When the True Guru came to know that this deed was perpetrated by Kapura, he abandoned Jalanwal, Beeghar and marching on reached impregnable Sabo. 1.

Quatrain: The True Guru rode off towards Sabo. He came and camped at Talwandi. On the assurance of the chief, Dalla, he dismissed the Brars previously engaged. 2.

Couplet: ‘If the True Guru comes to us, we will become his retinue. We will remain with him every day and will not desert him.’ 3.

Quatrain: ‘To the best of our capacity we will serve him. We will dedicate our minds, bodies and wealth to his service.’ He brought along his entire family and made everyone a disciple of the True Guru. Some of his people offered gold coins, some silver coins, some hand-woven shawls, some cows, some buffaloes, and some the best mares. Some brought grain some worked in the common kitchen and others contributed clarified butter and salt. 5.

[Page 114]

Dalla summoned all the people of Sabo so as to deter a possible attack by the Turks. They were to assemble at a moments notice. Like Kapura they did not sleep at home. 6.

Couplet: The entire Jungle Country came and bowed to the True Guru who blessed everyone with happiness. They all came with presents and went back taking happiness. 7.

Quatrain: One day a large congregation gathered. They all gathered and made a request to the Guru. Truly is it said that the mouth of the Jat is too large because the throat was at one time opened up with an axe. 8. They said to the Guru, ‘the Guru has come to our house, why should our suffering persist? We work hard and strive much, but prosperity does not abide in our homes.’ 9. ‘A devil resides at Bhatinda. It intercepts all the service we render.’ On hearing this, the True Guru sent for Dalla. He administered pahul and made him a Singh. 10. And asked him, ‘arrange for me to see Bhatinda. The devil should be expelled and the people should live happily.’ Dalla Singh repeated the orders and set up camp at Bhatinda. 12.

Couplet: He camped at Bhatinda. The devil looked it up. A great dust storm with whirlwinds arose, unnerving many people. 13.

Quatrain: Some had fever, others had a headache and some others started uttering nonsense. ‘Why have you come to bother me? I had provided myself a permanent place,’ he said. The True Guru told him, ‘these people have become my Sikhs. Leave them alone and go off somewhere further. Otherwise I will hand you over to the martyrs who will insult and kill you.’ 14. He was imprisoned in the body of a person, tied up and tortured. ‘You, along with your sons and grandsons will be set on fire and killed,’ said the Guru. He replied, ‘I am the brother of Makha, like him, send me also somewhere else. Or else let me become a Sikh and I will serve you with enthusiasm.’ 16.

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Upon this the True Guru ordered him, ‘go to Sarhind and reside in the middle of it. See Sarhind destroyed by the roots and depopulated. You may eat or spare anyone as you like.’ 17.

Quatrain: He bowed his head and immediately took the road to Sarhind. Dalla Singh then said to the True Guru, ‘permit a he buffalo to be given to Bhawani.’ 18.

Quartet: Dalla Singh had one brought. Slaughtered it and had the (blood) spilt all around. The Guru then camped inside (the fort). The land of domestic animals became prosperous. 19. Bhais Dial Singh and Fateh Singh were sent for and administered pahul of the double-edged sword. The two carpenters were the grandsons of Bhai Rupa. Param Singh and Karam Singh his maternal grandsons also accepted the pahul of the double-edged sword. A Sodhi of Kotha village known as Kaul was called to him. He brought along the son of Abhey Ram. The True Guru was kind to him and retained him after administering pahul of the double-edged sword. 21. This is the remark the True Guru made: ‘(the human body) is a vessel and contains what is put in it’. He would call Sodhi Kaul to him every morning. He (the Sodhi) beheld him every morning. 22.

Couplet: The True Guru sat at the temporary resting place, and carving reed pens, threw them around. ‘This place will be known as my Kanshi, even the low-witted will become learned here.’ 23.

Quatrain: All the descendants of Mehraj came. They brought buffaloes, horses and the tenth part of their income. Both the sons of Kaul became Singhs and were named Ram Singh and Tiloka Singh. 24.

- End of Part IX

(To be continued)

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  • 1 month later...

Rain and the Story of the Malwa

{‘I will make the Malwa land (productive)’}

Couplet: At one time in that country rain was needed. The entire congregation came to the Guru and stood around him with folded hands.1.

[Page 116]

Quatrain: All came and said, ‘the congregation has come to beg for rain’. The Guru led the congregational supplication and it started raining heavily at once.2 The True Guru came and sat at the temporary resting place. The Guru told them that he was clearly seeing it happen. ‘See, a river will come flowing here. The Malwa land will become productive.’3 People of the jungle retorted, ‘by tomorrow the water will go to its own place.’ Then the True Guru said the pleasant words, ‘I want Malwa to progress.’4 ‘I want sugarcane, wheat and rice sown here. It will become as productive as the land of Sarhind.’ Upon which Dalla Singh said sharply, ‘we find growing (coarse grain) barley and moth (aconitifolius phaseolus) more pleasant.’5

Couplet: The True Guru then disapproved: ‘You have delivered a death blow to the people of the jungle. I wanted to see Malwa flourishing and you contented.’6.

Episode of the march to the Deccan

(‘…Nauranga took the road to hell’)

Couplet: The True Guru was at Talwandi and was in deep contemplation. A Sikh coming from the Deccan stated, ‘Nauranga had taken the road to hell.’1.

Quatrain: On hearing this, the True Guru said, ‘he has left his sons to die fighting. It is now time to go to the Deccan.’ The Singhs heard the Guru speak like this.2

Couplet: The True Guru said, ‘Dalla Singh come with me and I will make you a sovereign of Delhi after destroying the prestige of Delhi.’3

Quatrain: His younger brother was standing near Dalla. He turned his face to Dalla and said, ‘he will give you the kind of sovereignty he has given to his sons.’ 4 The (earlier Guru’s son) heard this, and spoke to the Guru, remorsefully shaking his head, ‘I have always tried to explain, conversing with Jats is inviting inappropriate remarks.’5

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‘These Jats of the Jungle expect new favours everyday and yet indulge in denigration’. The Guru said ‘when did I provoke the Jats?’ The Purohit said, ‘he scoffed at you over the death of your sons.’ The True Guru said, ‘my sons, the Sikhs are alive and are attending to me. His sons are dead.’ As he said this, Dalla’s son died immediately. After that the Guru lifted camp.7

Couplet: He remained at Talwandi for nine months and nine days. Abandoning the big place of the Turks, he proceeded towards the Deccan.8

Quatrain: Dalla turned his face away from the Guru. He accompanied him for two or three journeys and returned immediately. Other people of the Jungle who went along with him, also became faithless and turned back. 9. When Kaul Sodhi of Kotha, heard that his son was accompanying the Guru, he sent his ministers after him. They picked him up along with his cot and brought him back. 10. When the True Guru sent for the Sodhi, the people reported that his camp was deserted. Like that many people forsook him. The Guru saw those of the jungle running away. 11. The four houses of Mohan, Bhagtu, Behlo and Rupa remained in his presence for a long distance. They returned only when the Guru himself pleasantly dismissed them.12

First the story of Banda is written

(Meets mahant Jait Ram at the shrine of Dadu)

Couplet: When the Guru reached the Deccan where existed Dadu’s shrine, he camped at an appropriate place with his five to seven thousand Singhs.1

[Page 118]

Quatrain: Drums were struck, flags were unfurled, recitation of the ‘word’ was commenced without any fear of restriction. Chandi Chariter, Chandi ki Var and Akal Ustat were recited. 2. As it rains in the burning heat of June, and the relieved frogs let out contented cries, as peacocks shriek with joy on hearing the rumbling clouds; so the Sikhs recite the ‘word.’3

Couplet: Some were reading books, others the Guru’s own word in the Granth. Some musicians were singing holding the rebec. The splendour of Indra’s seat was seen reflected.4

Swayia: At one place the sound of ankle-trinkets could be heard, at another it was that of the long drum, and elsewhere it was the rebec or the clapping sounds. The melodious water flute, the three stringed sitar and tanpura were being played by masters. Yaksha, attendants of Kuber, Kinnars the heavenly dancers, Narad and Uluk the divine musician seem to be singing the four line verses with beautiful instruments. Such was the splendour spread before the Guru, that the court of Indra saw it and was ashamed.5

[Page 119]

Quatrain: Many people came and bowed at the True Guru’s feet; some sought his permission to camp. Some walked around the Guru with burning incense, like stars revolving around the North Star. 6. Some would fall face downwards at his feet, as divine beings prostrating in the ‘stick at rest form’ to Indra. Some stood holding the tent, the canopy, as if trees had struck roots, (7) just like grouted pillars, not wavering in wind or sunshine.8

Couplet: Just as the sunflower turns to the sun, fans fan at the speed of lightning. The umbrella sways like a cloud and the huge tent was like the heavily clouded sky.9 Resembling Indra, sat the Guru holding the bow like a rainbow. The peacock feathers being waved over him seemed like dancing peacocks.10

Quatrain: People of the town were wonderstruck. Lakhs of people came to have a glimpse. A look at the Guru soothed minds, the whole town turned up with offerings.11

Couplet: On seeing the great splendour, the world was awe-struck. Abandoning Dadu’s shrine they flocked to have a look at the True Guru.12

Quatrain: News reached the Shrine of Dadu that, he who is the Tenth Nanak, had come. The head priest came with his followers and threw open the doors of the shrine to him.13 He paid much respect to the True Guru as was the tradition of saints and mendicants. He saw the Guru, interacted with him and was happy. ‘You are Nanak, you are the glorious Guru,’ he proclaimed.14 The True Guru said all saints are one, and on meeting, like milk and water they renounce distinction. The name of the mahant was Jait Ram and he was a good person.15

[Page 120]

Couplet: He stood up with folded hands and prayed, ‘we are fortunate and blessed that you have come to us.’16

Quatrain: ‘Have a meal with us. Protect the tradition of saints and congregations. The True Guru was pleased, but said this, `you may not be able to serve us all. I have many with me who eat meat. How will their hunger be fully satisfied?’ So he replied saying, ‘on the spiritual strength of Dadu they will eat sorghum.’18

The second mention of Baba Banda

Couplet: The Guru was invited to Dadu’s shrine. He was pleased on seeing the institution. Because of the spiritual influence of the meeting of saints, hawks ate sorghum.1

Quatrain: Thus was the Dadu’s shrine shown to the Guru. The True Guru caused flowers to rain. He commended the spiritual influence of saints and wished destruction to their detractors.2 He also recited the portion of the respected Sukhmani which described the glory of saints. All kinds of discussion and exchange of information took place in an atmosphere of cordiality on both sides. 3. The mahant related his new experience, ‘somehow I had gone to that place. His name is Narayandas. His establishment is aligned to a Bairagi (mendicant) sect.’4

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‘He had prepared a well-decorated cot. He seated me on it. I thought he was honouring me but that wicked man was full of mischief’.5

Couplet: ‘He seated me on the couch and then overturned it. He made much fun at my expense and let out peels of uncontrollable laughter.’6

Quatrain: ‘He makes fun of all the six Hindu schools of thought and is not afraid of any Hindu or Muslim holy man. He is a slanderer of saints, is an acolyte of none and regards himself a person holy for Hindus and Muslims.’7 The mahant said, ‘do not venture that side. Maintain distance from him on your journey.’ The True Guru replied, ‘whatever is willed by the True Guru will happen. It does not behove me to avoid him.’ 8 ‘Point out the way to his place. Let me know the name of the village and location of the place. I will go and see his miraculous powers and to know the teacher on account of whom he has prospered.’ 9 ‘If he confronts me I will destroy his miraculous powers; if he is reconciliatory, I will put him on the true path. I will make him a servant of the Truthful Nanak, and the most favoured of my Sikhs’.10

Mahant’s words:

Couplet: ‘On the banks of the Godavari, there is a town named Nanded. In the nice southern corner of the town is his place.’11

Quatrain: ‘He was a pauper who joined a saint on a journey. Initially, he travelled around much. Eventually he met an accomplished master of mantra.12 He served him much. He imparted complete knowledge to him. He passed on the booklet and revealed the secret, making him an equal to himself.’13

[Page 122]

On handing over the booklet he instructed him, ‘do not publicise the matter to the world. If it remains a secret, it will remain with you. If you make it known, your breath too will depart along with it.14

Couplet: A fort, a woman, wealth, a horse, a weapon, a philosopher’s stone, an effective medicine and supernatural power inducing magical formulae (mantras) are usurped by kings.15

Quatrain: Kings and emperors do not leave off pursuing and inflict a terrible death. They believe that the wielder of miracles will obtain political power over the world.16 They are afraid of being killed easily. This fear drives them to harass (the wielder). Kings desire to control such a person, like rivals to the throne they eliminate them.17 Now listen to the name of the book. It was Sidh Annunian Mantran. The author was a prominent acolyte of Gorakh himself, called Mehat, so the elderly were heard to say.18 The book contained all the knowledge, which is rare in the world. It contained magical formulae, the essence of magical secrets (tantra), knowledge for casting mystical diagrams and an account of days and auspicious time.19 It had chemicals useful for locating the philosopher’s stone, anti-dotes for snake poison and the essence of all miraculous powers; methodology of erecting delusions to ensnare Shiv and Indra and wonderful tricks from Orissa.20 It had knowledge of dissolving in water, rising above, of the skies, mode of starting or dousing miraculous fires and methods for dousing them and expertise for standing and eating flames. 21

Couplet: There were words on mastering which, everything commanded, materialised. One could grant milk, male progeny or wealth to whosoever one pleased.22

Quatrain: The ability to see everything underground, to immediately summon whatever is hidden or covered there; to converse with woods, vegetation and formulae for creating philosopher’s stone (were all there). 23

[Page 123]

It could turn males into females and females to males. It had method of knowing well hidden thoughts of others and the power to attract, beguile and sow differences. 24 The evil-doers could be eliminated, followers saved and stars plucked from the sky; the stubborn fort reducing formulae and those for winning in battlefields.25 Wind, rain, hailstones, blizzard and lightning could be commanded and directed from any direction to any direction. Boons or curses would not be wasted.26

Couplet: (All supernatural beings like) ghosts, pret, jogans, siddhas, birs, yakshas, rakshas, dancers at Kuber’s court would attend on being summoned by one who patiently studies it.27

Quatrain: The knower could determine who would win and who would lose. He could order amicability with lions, snakes, scorpions, mosquitoes, large bees and also with kings and their subjects.28 Words for comforting those robbed, deceived or those bitten by venomous insects (were there). He who reached alive could be cured and even one dead by snakebite who reached, could live.29 A person bitten by a mad dog or jackal would overcome all poison on hearing words; a lion, a tiger or a wolf would not be able to open its mouth or use its claws. 30 (It contained) methods of growing trees on land, and extracting chemicals for causing loss of memory, for curing the effects of arsenic, opium, bhang, alcohol or poison.31.

Couplet: (There were) all eight miraculous powers, (namely,) the power to increase or decrease in size, to become excessively heavy or excessively light, to gain whatever is desired, to merge into the earth and to re-emerge, to control inanimate objects and to create objects. 32.

Couplet: It was described how the happenings of the past, the present and the future could be told.33

[Page 124]

Couplet: O! Friend! Writing everything there was in the book, will increase the volume of this work. It could facilitate sight of God or bring about salvation.34

Quatrain: Such, such was the book that Banda had received. He could not retain its secret but made it known. He who puts saints to test is in fact one who denigrates them.35 The Mahant repeated it many times, ‘you must certainly not venture in his direction.’ The True Guru said, ‘I will not desist at all. I will certainly go and see him.’36 `As you have seen the hawks eat sorghum. You returned defeated from his place. Send one of your followers with me so that he can witness our meeting.’37 ‘If the spiritual power of the Truthful Nanak is ever increasing, then he will bow at my feet’. After saying this and after inquiring about the residential address of Banda, the True Guru departed. 38

Couplet: The True Guru went there and camped on seeing the place. The Persian wheel over the well there was revolving without bullocks to the surprise of the world.39

Quatrain: He had created a very pleasant place, one enchanting to the mind. Inside it was a great cot with a cushion and a pillow placed over it. 40 It was suspended in the air one and quarter yards above the ground. It was for Narayandas to sit on. He overthrew anyone else who sat on it. He had made such arrangements.41

Discourse about the meeting with Banda

(Then he stated, ‘I am your servant’)

Couplet: The time at which the True Guru reached, Banda had gone elsewhere. On seeing the bed spread out luxuriously, the Guru sat upon it spontaneously.1

Quatrain: His he goats were slaughtered by the Singhs, were processed and consigned to the cooking pots. His followers went and called out to him, incited him to rage and brought him along.2

[Page 125]

He became terribly angry on seeing the bed (occupied) and gave orders to the vexed Birs (supernatural attendants). The Birs went to lift up the bed. The True Guru pressed it with an arrow.3 Then (the supernatural) Mokals exerted themselves. It was not raised even to a finger’s width. 4 On seeing the bed unmoved, he was consumed like a coal. In rage he spoke to the Mokals, ‘make his life depart immediately. Why do you take so long?’5

Couplet: The Mokals then replied, ‘we have spared no effort. Whatever pain we inflict upon him reverts back on to us.’ 6

Quatrain: ‘The quantity of pain that we want to inflict on him, we suffer it at heart, increased by a quarter more. If we try to get near him we are scorched by a furious fire’.7 Then the Mokals said, ‘we stand defeated against him. When we come near him, we are singed by our own fury.’ 8 ‘We are relieved only when we bow our heads. Then we become contented and extremely joyous’. On hearing such words from them, he was shocked and much terrified. 9 When he looked into the eyes of the True Guru, he saw much more power than he himself had. Then he directed his Birs against the Sikhs who had slaughtered his goats.10

Couplet: Then the Birs came near the Singhs, they were found protected by an arrow encircling, like the Sudarshan Chakra.11

Couplet: When the Birs turned back from the Sikhs, then he was convinced, ‘he is the complete True Guru and I am not even an equal of his followers.’12

Quatrain: Then he accepted subservience and fell at his feet. Then the True Guru spoke, to ask, ‘to what order do you belong? Who is your mentor? Why do you ridicule saints?’ 13 ‘Is there none like you in the world? Are you alone the repository of great skills?’

[Page 126]

Couplet: ‘He who ridicules saints, is degraded. It is the legitimate preserve of jokers, jesters, street magicians and the kind.’ 15

Quatrain: Then he said, ‘I am your slave. I am your Singh and you are my Guru. Forgive me for what happened in the past. If it happens again, treat me as it pleases you to.’ 16 ‘I have now become your servant. I will carry out the particular orders that you give me. Accept me as a servant and keep me with you as a servant.’ 17

- End of Part X

(To be continued)

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  • 1 month later...

i m taking santheya of prachin panth prakash these days its very good granth .... but its originality is the issue the orignal nihang granth of sardar raatan singh bhangu is different from sgpc prepared granth .... many puratan mareyadas have been removed in sgpc version .... from which i m learning

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jassa singh, please could you outline what "puratan maryadas" have been removed...also, when you get further in your santhiya, perhaps we can discuss the episode described by Rattan Singh Bhangoo about the Jats and Guru Tegh Bahadur's Shaheedi.

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i m learning from sgpcs version ... and our ustad ji use to tell us thats its been edited by sgpc singh sahibans at many places ... example in orignal version at many places it comes singhs drinking sukha and roasting meat ... and in what i m learning these days it comes only at once when nawabi come in khalsa panth .... other main thing which is edited in sgpc version which is their in orignal text is havvan singhs did before taking own ahmed shah abdalis army .... these are few things i have been told ... i not read or seen orignal text yet ...

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What exactly has Bhai Vir Singh edited from the Panth Parkash or Suraj Parkash Granths - please provide some tangible evidence of the supposedly edited parts? From what I have seen of the Suraj Parkash, Bhai Vir Singh has kept the original intact and simply provided his comments in the form of footnote annotations...

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is panth parkash edited by bhai veer singh which is used in sgpc ???? as far as i know edited version is accepted by damdami taksal .... as taksalis say .... so there must be some edition some changes done by bhai veer singh ji that why its said edited version ....

recently its being forced by few singh sahibans to remove how guru gobind singh ji went to sachkhand from suraj parkash by kaviraj santokh singh ji .... they are saying it should also be edited ....

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Gurfateh !

That's a good question Niranjana and tSingh - and one I 've often wondered about.

The 'Sanatan' group of websites always quoted Bhai Vir Singh's version giving page references etc. but then would also say rather archaically that they had been "expurgated" by Bhai Vir Singh - how could they quote them if they had been expurgated ?

Anyway here is the oft quoted Sukha and roasting 'Maha Prashad' passage.

The version in Bhai Vir Singh, the Buddha Dal version and a translation from the 'Sanatan' websites (sarbloh.info I think ?) - looks pretty much the same to me.

*From- Bhangoo Rattan Singh Shaheed Kirt - Pracheen Panth Prakash - Sanpadit, Bhai Sahib Dr. Vir Singh - Bhai Vir Singh Sahit Sadan N. Delhi - (1998 edition) (originally published 1914 Vazir Hind Press Amritsar)

page 211-212

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*From - Pracheen Panth Prakash , Steek , Shaheed Bhai Rattan Singh Ji Bhangoo Vala (Bhag 2) - Teekakar - Singh Sahib Baba Santa Singh Ji 'Akali' - Jathedar 96 Crori Buddha Dal Panjan Takht - Shromani Panth Akali Buddha Dal Panjavan Takht Chalda Vahir, Punjab Hindustan - 2000

Vol 2 page 31-32

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English Translation from the websites

Subegh Singh, is acting as a Moghal agent and has gone to meet the Khalsa Singhs:

'Where the Khalsa had made its base, battle drums played and battle standards fluttered in the air.

He [subegh Singh] arrived where the Singhs were.

Ahead the Khalsa was gathering.

Scriptures were being read and musical instruments played.

Cannabis was being ground and meat roasted.

Some Singhs massaged the horses, while others cleaned their weapons.

Some fired their arrows, some their muskets and others were spinning chakars [quoits].

Some Singhs massaged other Singhs while some fanned the congregation.

Others fetched water from far which helped the Singhs to bathe.

Some were sharing [food] others not [i.e. eating alone].

Running around, the Singhs did service.'

('Pracheen Panth Prakash', by Shaheed Rattan Singh Bhangu, Expurgated by Bhai Vir Singh, , Pa.212)

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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What has been edited out?

Well according to that punjabi scholar bloke who also did the book on all the gurbilas literature...I cannot for the life of me remember his name, he's not Balwant Singh Dhillon, but someone like that... he did an article back when comparing the original and the Dr. Vir Singh edited versions, and he reportedly took out a few bits and pieces even including the details of Bidhi Chand bit about stealing horses..did he get the men drunk before hand or something? the article and some of the editing is mentioned in Lois Fenech's Martyrdom book. the original bloke is hardly a satan santana type as his conclusions on the gurbilas stuff are pretty crap in my humblest of non-scholarly opinions. But when it comes to comparing two granths for differences I trust him.

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