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Bachittar Natak (or Bachitar/Bichittar) (ਬਚਿੱਤਰ ਨਾਟਕ, literally Resplendent Drama) is from Dasam Granth, ang (page) 94 to ang 175 of the 2326 ang. It is generally attributed to the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
Although the word "Natak" means "drama" in Punjabi, this is no drama. The Guru has outlined the circumstance and history of the time and how great courage and strength was required to overcome the many hurdles that were upon the community.
It starts with a praise of the Akal Purukh. It then gives a genealogy starting from King Surya, King Raghu, King Aja, King Dasrath to Lord Rama and his two sons Lav and Kush. It gives the author's own biography and includes the Battle of Nadaun, Husaini battle and the arrival of prince Muazzam in the Punjab. It continues up to AD 1696.
The life's story of Guru Gobind Singh is further told by the court-poet Sainapat, who is also believed to have translated the Chanakya Niti at the Guru's behest. Sainapat finished his Sri Gur Sobha in AD 1711, three years after the death of the Guru. Other early sources are Koer Singh's Gurbilas Patshahi, written in 1751 and the Bansawalinamah by Kesar Singh Chhibbar (1767).
There is some controversy regarding the authorship (whether this was really written by Guru Gobind Singh) since some of the content and style does not match his views or the views of Sikhism in general as defined by the Guru Granth Sahib (refer to analysis in the external links section).
Outline of Bachittar Natak
Bichitra Natak (or Bachittar/Vichitra) (Gurmukhi ਬਚਿਤਰ ਨਾਟਕ (meaning Resplendent Drama)) is the a beautiful composition, a memoir of Guru Gobind Singh, which he added in Dasam Granth, commonly known as his Brief Autobiography. It is a part of the Dasam Granth and is the name given to the third Bani in the second holy scriptures of the Sikhs. This text spans from page 94 to page 175 of the 2326 pages of this holy book of the Sikhs at www.srigranth.org. (Original text is over 1428 pages) This Bani is an autobiographical narrated by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh for the first 32 years of his life. Although the word "Natak" means "drama" in Punjabi, this is no drama. The Guru has outlined the circumstance and history of the time and how great courage and strength was required to overcome the many hurdles that were upon the community. It starts with a praise of Akal Purakh. It then gives a genealogy of Bedis and Sodhis starting from Lord Rama and his two sons. It gives the author's own biography and includes the battle of Nadaun, Husaini battle and the arrival of prince Muazzam in the Punjab. It continues up to AD 1696.The chapters are numbered at the beginning, but the title of each chapter is given at the conclusion, following the traditional Indian convention.
- Chapter 1: Eulogy of Akal Purakh, the ultimate being.
- Chapter 2: My Story. Opening statements and mention of Lava and Kusha, the two sons of Rama.
- Chapter 3: Descendants of Lava and Kusha and emergence of the Bedi and Sodhi clans (in which 8 of the 10 Sikh Gurus were born).
- Chapter 4: The Recitation of the Vedas and the Offering of Kingdom. The interaction of the two clans.
- Chapter 5: Description of the Spiritual Rulers, i.e. of the nine Sikh Gurus preceding Gobind Singh himself, from Guru Nanak to Guru Teg Bahadur (father of Guru Gobind Singh).
- Chapter 6: The Command of Supreme Lord to Me be born into the World. Includes an account of Gobind Singh performing "tapa" at Hemkunt in the Himalayan mountains, in a previous birth.
- Chapter 7: Description of the Poet. Starts with his birth in Patna, and arrival in the Madra desh (i.e. Punjab region).
- Chapter 8: The Battle of Bhangani. Includes his settlement of the Anandpur sahib, which was to be the center of his spiritual and literary activities.
- Chapter 9: Description of the Battle of Nadaun.
- Chapter 10: Description of the Expedition of Khanzada and his flight.
- Chapter 11: Description of the fight with Hussaini and loss of his associates Kirpal, Himmat and Sangatia.
- Chapter 12: Description of the battle of Sahibjada Jujhar Singh ji.
- Chapter 13:Arrival of the Mughal Prince and his officers.
- Chapter 14: The Supplication to the Lord, Destroyer of All.
The autobiography terminate here abruptly. Apparently the Guru became engaged in other affairs. The next book in the Dasam Granth is Chandi Charitar. This composition is thought to have occurred just prior to the founding of the Khalsa order by the Guru.
The text contains Genealogy of Bedis and Sodhis among which Sikh Gurus were born. The genealogy traces back from King Surya. The Khalsa Tradition, as per Dasam Granth, is considered as part of this dynasty:
- Surya (Suryavansha)
- Raghu, born in Suryavansha Dynasity, (Raghuvansha)
- Aja, son of Raghu
- Rama, Laxman, Bharath and Shatrugan - All born to Dasrath
- Luva and Kusha - born to Rama.
- Many (Not named by Guru Gobind Singh to prevent scripture length)
- Kalket and KalRai
- Sodhi Rai, born to Kal Rai (Sodhivansha)
- Kalket (Bedi Vansha)
First three Sikh Gurus of Sikhs born in Bedi Vansha and last 7 Gurus Born in Sodhisvansha. Guru Gobind Singh adopted Khalsa as Son of him and Mata Sahib Kaur, the reason Khalsa call itself from Sodhi Bansa.
There is an ongoing dispute about the authorship of Bachittar Natak. Some scholars of Sikhism like WH Mcleod consider it to be a work of one of Guru Gobind Singh's followers rather than his own.
According to the modern researchers: Gurinder Singh Mann, Leicester UK and Dr Kamalroop Singh, London, the whole of the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib was written by the Tenth Guru. They show the proof of this in their book: Sri Dasam Granth Questions and Answers: London: Archimedes Press, 2011. These authors have received their University degrees on the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.
- Bachitar Natak, Dasam Granth
- The Sikh Struggle in the Eighteenth Century and Its Relevance for Today, W. H. McLeod, History of Religions, Vol. 31, No. 4, Sikh Studies (May, 1992), pp. 344-362, The University of Chicago Pressquote: "Although Bachitar Natak is traditionally attributed to Guru Gobind Singh, there is a strong case to be made for regarding it as the work of one of his followers (see Surjit Singh Hans, A Reconstruction of Sikh History from Sikh Literature [Jalandhar:A BS Publications, 1988], p. 229)"
- Different approaches to Bachitar Natak, Journal of Sikh studies, Volume 10, 66-78, Guru Nanak University. Dept. of Guru Nanak Studies