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Dasam Granth (Punjabi: ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ) or Dasven Patshah Da Granth (Punjabi: ਦਸਵੇਂ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਦਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ) is a scripture of Sikhism, containing much of the texts attributed to tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Dasam Granth is separate granth and should not be confused with the Guru Granth Sahib. W. H. McLeod has noted that while the Guru Granth Sahib has a religious focus on "liberation through meditation", the focus of the Dasam Granth has "little to do with religious belief". Scholars are not in agreement as to the work’s total authenticity, and it may represent a bringing together of Guru Gobind Singh’s own writings with those from other sources, such as his court poets. Though some compositions of the Dasam Granth like Jaap Sahib, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, and Benti Chaupai are part of daily prayers (Nitnem) of the Sikhs and also part of Sikh baptism (Khanda di Pahul). It is written in the Braj Bhasha language with the Gurmukhi script.
There are three major views on the authorship of the Dasam Granth:
- The historical and traditional view is that the entire work was composed by Guru Gobind Singh himself.
- The entire collection was composed by the poets in the Guru's entourage.
- Only a part of the work was composed by the Guru, while the rest was composed by the other poets.
In his religious court at Anandpur Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh had employed 52 poets, who translated several classical texts into Braj Bhasha. Most of the writing compiled at Anandpur Sahib was lost while the Guru's camp was crossing the Sirsa river before the Battle of Chamkaur. There were copiers available at Guru's place who made several copies of writings. Later, Bhai Mani Singh compiled all the available works under the title Dasam Granth. The traditional scholars claim that all the works in Dasam Granth were composed by the Guru himself, on the basis of Bhai Mani Singh's letter. However, some others dispute this claim, saying that the some of the compositions included in Dasam Granth (such as Charitropakhyan) are out of tune with other Sikh scriptures, and must have been composed by other poets.
Following is in brief about Historical books after Demise of Guru Gobind Singh which mention that Compositions in present Dasam Granth was written by Guru Gobind Singh:
- Rehitnama Bhai Nand Lal mentioned Jaap Sahib is an important Bani for a Sikh.
- RehitNama Chaupa Singh Chibber quotes various lines from Bachitar Natak, 33 Swiayey, Chopai Sahib, Jaap Sahib.
- In 1711, Sri Gur Sobha was written by Poet Senapat mentioned Conversation of Guru Gobind Singh and Akal Purakh, and written three of its Adhyay on base of Bachitar Natak.
- In 1741, Parchian Srvadas Kian quoted lines from Rama Avtar, 33 Swaiyey and mentioned Zafarnama with Hikayats.
- in 1751, Gurbilas Patshahi 10 - Koyar Singh Kalal, mentioned Guru Gobind Singh composed Bachitar Natak, Krisna Avtar, Bisan Avtar, Akal Ustat, Jaap Sahib, Zafarnama, Hikayats etc. This is first Granth mentioned Guruship of Guru Granth Shahib.
- In 1766, Kesar Singh Chibber mentioned history of Compilation of Dasam Granth by Bhai Mani Singh Khalsa on directions of Mata Sundri, as he was first who wrote history after death of Guru Gobind Singh.
- In 1766, Sri Guru Mahima Parkash - Sarup Chand Bhalla, mentioned about various Banis of Guru Gobind Singh and Compilation of Dasam Granth
- In 1790, Guru Kian Sakhian - Svarup Singh Kashish, mentione Guru Gobind Singh Composed, bachitar Natak, Krishna Avtar, Shastarnaam Mala, 33 Swaiyey etc.
- In 1797, Gurbilas Patshahi 10 - Sukkha Singh, mentioned compositions of Guru Gobind Singh.
- In 1812, JB Malcolm, in Sektch of Sikhs mentioned about Dasam Granth as Bani of Guru Gobind Singh.
The Dasam Granth has 1428 pages and contains Jaap Sahib, the Akal Ustat or praise of the Creator, the Bachitar Natak or Wonderful Drama, in which gives an account of his parentage, his divine mission, and the battles in which he had been engaged.
Then come three abridged compositions of the wars of Durga with demons, (Chandi Chritras: Chandi Chritra I, Chandi Chritra II, Chandi di Var). These were written to instill the spirit of war among Sikhs. The first stanza of the Sikh ardaas, an invocation to God and the 9 Guru's preceding Guru Gobind Singh Ji, is from Chandi di Var.
Then follow the Gyan Parbodh, or awakening of knowledge; the Shabad Hazare; quatrains called Sawaiyas, which are hymns in praise of God and reprobation of idolatry and hypocrisy; the Shastar Nam Mala, a list of offensive and defensive weapons used in the Guru's time, with special reference to the attributes of the Creator; the Kabiovach Bainti Chaupai will "absolve the suffering, pain or fear of the person, who will even once recite this Bani"; the Zafarnamah, containing the tenth Guru's epistle to the emperor Aurangzeb; and Hikayats, several metrical tales in the Persian language.
The Contents of the Dasam Granth are:
- Jaap Sahib (Meditation)
- Akal Ustat (praises of God)
- Bachitar Natak - autobiography of the Gobind Singh including Lineage history.
- Chandi Charitar Ukati Bilas - Character of Chandi, On base of Markandeya Puran
- Chandi Charitar II (the character of Chandi)
- Chandi di Var (a ballad to describe about Chandi)
- Gyan Prabodh (The Awakening of Knowledge)
- Chaubis Avtar - Narrative of 24 incarnations of Vishnu, as ordered by God Almighty.
- Brahma Avtar - Narrative of 7 incarnations of Brahma, as ordered by God Almighty.
- Rudra Avtar - Narrative of 2 Incarnations of Rudra, as ordered by God Almight
- Sabad patshahi 10 - Ten hymns
- 33 Sawaiye (33 stanzas)
- Khalsa Mahima
- Shastar Nam Mala Purana - a Purana on spiritual weapons
- Charitropakhyan (various character of men and women [details both negative and positive]): Includes Chaupai (Sikhism) (hymn of supplication)
- Zafarnamah (epistle of victory, a letter written to Emperor Aurangzeb, includes Hikaaitaan)
Language and literary quality
The Dasam Granth is written in rhymed poetry. It was designed to be heard, so there is considerable repetition, and a variety of meters to hold the attention. The language of most of the Dasam Granth is largely Braj Bhasha veering towards Sanskrit at one extreme and simple colloquial Hindi at the other, although conventional Hindi is used marginally. The Braj dialect is a variety of medieval Hindi with a mixture of Sanskrit and Arabic words. The Zafarnamah and the Hikayats are in Persian using Gurmukhi characters and several passages in other works are in Punjabi. The 'author(s)' not only used this melange of languages but also coined words half Arabic half Sanskrit. Some of this kind of writing has great power and beauty.
From A Short History of the Sikhs, Ganda Singh & Teja Singh:
"In Hindi he developed a style, which for martial cadence, variety of form and richness of imagination...has remained unsurpassed since his times. In lines ranging from monosyllabic verse to long and multiplied swayyas and kabits, we seem to hear the torrential flow of hill streams or the galloping sweep of cavalry on the march. His intellect quivers in emotion and breaks out against superstition and hypocrisy into humour, irony or banter. His emotion...is raised to the highest pitch of ecstasy when he communes with God."
From Sikhan de Raj di Vithya (History of the Sikh Rule):
"This Granth is very difficult, and is composed in the Gurmukhi dialect in several kinds of verses. In it there is the description of several weapons of warfare, the rules of warfare, the shortcomings in the character of men and women, and some information on worship and religious knowledge. The descriptions of scenes of battle are couched in extremely vigorous staccato rhyme often reduced to lines of one word each. The battles waged by Chandi encounters with the hill chiefs at Bhangani and Nadaun are among the most stirring that exist.
Giani Gian Singh claims that the full copy of the Dasam Granth was in possession of the Budha Dal, an 18th century Sikh army, at the Battle of Kup and was lost during the Second Sikh Holocaust (1762)
The earliest surviving full manuscript of the Dasam Granth dates to 1713, although it appears not to have been publicly available. In 1721, Mata Sundri commissioned Bhai Mani Singh with compiling a volume of the Dasam Granth. He completed his manuscript after collecting and sifting through material collected from a number of Sikhs. "Minor textual variation" exist between the early manuscripts. During the 1890s the text was standardized into its current two-volume 1,428 page print version.
- McLeod, W. H. (1990-10-15). Textual sources for the study of Sikhism. University of Chicago Press. pp. 6â7. ISBN 978-0-226-56085-4. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- McLeod, W. H. (2005-07-28). Historical dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-8108-5088-0. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
- Amaresh Datta, ed. (2006). The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume One (A To Devo), Volume 1. Sahitya Akademi. p. 888. ISBN 978-81-260-1803-1.
- Rehitnama Bhai Nand Lal
- Rehitnama Chaupa Singh Chibber
- Sri Gur Sbha Granth, Poet Senapat, Piara Singh Padam
- Parchi Sevadas Ki, Poet Sevada, Piara Singh Padam
- Britannica, Inc Encyclopaedia (2009). Encyclopedia of World Religions. Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 279. ISBN 978-1-59339-491-2. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- Giani Kirpal Singh (samp.), Sri Gur Panth Parkash, Vol. 3 (Amritsar: Manmohan Singh Brar, 1973), pp. 1678–80, verses 61-62
- Mansukhani, Gobind Singh (1993). Hymns from the Dasam Granth. Hemkunt Press. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-81-7010-180-2. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- www.sridasamgranth.com: Articles, Videos, manuscripts on Guru Gobind Singhs compositions
- Panjab Digital Library - Digitally preserving manuscripts of Dasam Granth
- Resource on Dasam Granth
- Dasam Granth translation online
- Dasam Granth at SearchGurbani.com
- Bachitter Natak - A Strange Drama
- Dasam Granth History - Daljeet Singh
- Compilation of Dasam Granth -A scientific Analysis