Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sri Dasam Granth Sahib at the Sri Akal Takht Sahib




An old engraving showing Granthis reciting from two Granths: this is similar to the painting created by August Schoefft. 


After discussing the important of Shastars at the Sri Akal Takht Sahib (See: The Throne of Akal and the Holy relics of the Khalsa). The importance and discussion of the Granth of Akal (Sri Dasam Granth Sahib) is not only warranted but is also a necessity.

Guru Gobind Singh's stay at various locations in the Panjab showed his majestic and regal presence. His poetic talents were carved and nurtured at Anandpur, Paonta and even Bhabour Sahib The creation and compilation of his bani was the continuation of the thought processes by the previous Guru's. Whilst Gurbani within Pothi Sahib had guided the Sikhs for many years, Guru Gobind Singh supplemented the Shant ras bani with his own Bir ras bani.

Just like the Harimandir Sahib which reflected the piri side of the Sikhs, the Sri Akal Takht Sahib represented the miri. The bani of Guru Gobind Singh represented the case for Sant to become Siphai. The bani was the blueprint for Sikhs to become Khalsa. In the Guru's Krishna Avatar he writes on the strengths and virtues of one Kharag Singh, this description is not a mere adventure in his poetic expression but a prediction of the wars and battles the Khalsa will fight. The Khalsa would need to be like Kharag Singh: victorious in mind and battle.

Bhai Mani Singh was given the task of ensuring Gurbani was properly understood in Amritsar. One early manuscript of the Guru's bani is referred to as the Anandpuri bir-reflecting the bir's creation at Anandpur, another bir(s) which are at Takht Patna Sahib-reflect how manuscript copies were sent there, the same case can be made for Damdama Sahib. At Takht Hazur Sahib, manuscripts were taken there, when the Guru and his Khalsa journeyed there.

With a number of manuscript copies of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib still available from an early date, it would also follow that Sri Dasam Granth was installed at the Sri Akal Takht Sahib. Recent research has indeed shown that early manuscripts were created for prakash at Sri Akal Takht Sahib. It was also seen that Bhai Mani Singh, custodian of the Takht would later create another recension(s) of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. The idea of his recension was that the Sikhs would understand the exegesis of Gurbani: hence why he combined the Guru Granth Sahib with Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.

After the installation of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib at Sri Akal Takht Sahib, many Gurdwaras around Amritsar would later follow the same model. History shows that the Gurdwara Ramsar, Akali Phula Singh Burj and others had prakash of both Granths. The idea of both Granths was in not an anomaly but a normal practice of the Khalsa. There is further evidence of this at Takht Hazur Sahib where the surrounding Gurdwaras all have prakash of both Granths.

In history we have evidence of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib at the Sri Akal Takht Sahib. (see my: Descriptions of the Dasam Granth from the “Sketch of the Sikhs” in view of Sikh History). It was at Sri Akal Takht Sahib when the Sodhak Committee clarified the prakash of both Guru Granth Sahib and Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. The report writers were aware that both Granths were ceremonially placed together in tradition, and as a result they stated,

On the seat of Guruship is Guru Granth Sahib and next to it is placed the Tenth Guru’s Granth Sahib hence it can be ascertained that it is orated by the Guru.


The report also refers to the Akhand Paths of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib taking place at Sri Akal Takht Sahib. It should be stated the notions of miri-piri dictate that the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib would not be installed at Harimandir Sahib, however to this day the Kirtan of Guru Gobind Singh's bani takes place. It was during the 1920's when the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib was removed from Sri Akal Takht Sahib but Akhand Paths still took place as late as the 1960's.

Researched appreciated by the Head Granthi of Sri Akal Takht Sahib

It was during my recent visit to the Sri Akal Takht Sahib that i met with the head Granthi of the Takht: Giani Gurmukh Singh. He invited me to discuss my research on the Guru Gobind Singh' bani after giving permission to look at the Shastars of the Khalsa. He immediately without hesitation stated that Sri Dasam Granth Sahib was the Granth of Guru Gobind Singh. I was especially pleased with Giani ji as he realised that the Internet was important aspect to understand and promote Sikhi. He stated there should be more internet resources on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.


 Head Granthi of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Giani Gurmukh Singh with Gurinder Singh Mann

I also explained to Giani Ji how Guru Gobind Singh ensured that his bani was proliferated on to objects like his Shastars, coins and other material heritage. Again he was appreciative of my research in this area. I presented Gyan ji with a copy of my book Sri Dasam Granth Sahib: Questions and Answers. Giani ji was pleased to hear of the evidence collected within the book and thanked me for taking on this important subject.


It was indeed a pleasure and privilege to show my research at the Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the same location where the strength of the Khalsa originates resounds from. Whilst we may have to wait some time for the return of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib at Sri Akal Takht Sahib at least the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Questions and Answers was appreciated within the Sri Akal Takht.

More information:
(see Granth of Guru Gobind Singh: Essays, lectures and Translations with Dr Kamalroop Singh Forthcoming)

The book Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Questions and Answers can be obtained from www.archimedespress.co.uk  for Western readers and from JSKS: for the Eastern market.

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