History of Dasam Granth

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Dasam Granth
Dasam Granth - (ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ)


Jaap Sahib - Akal Ustat - Bachitar Natak - Chandi Charitar Ukat(i) Bilas - Chandi Charitar 2 - Chandi di Var - Gyan Parbodh - Chobis Avatar - Brahm Avtar - Rudar Avtar - Sabad patshahi 10 - 33 Swaiyey - Khalsa Mahima - Shastar Nam Mala - Charitropakhyan - Zafarnamah - Hikayats
Other Related Banis
Ugardanti - Bhagauti Astotar - Sri Kaal Chopai - Lakhi Jungle Khalsa - Asfotak Kabits - Sahansar Sukhmana - Vaar Malkauns Ki - Chandd - Chaupai Sahib - Tavparsadi Savaiye
Historical sources - Memorials
Various aspects
Idolatry Prohibtion

The History of Dasam Granth is related to the time of creation and compilation of various writings by Guru Gobind Singh in form of small booklets. After 1708, a combined form of those booklets, the present-day granth or single volume, was compiled by Mani Singh Khalsa, contributed by other Khalsa armymen under direct instructions of Mata Sundari and this volume is recognized as Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] Present day Dasam Granth includes Jaap Sahib, Akal Ustat, Bachitar Natak, Chandi Charitar Ukati Bilas, Chandi Charitar II, Chandi di Var, Gyan Prabodh, Chaubis Avtar, Rudra Avtar, 33 Sawaiye, Khalsa Mahima, Shashtar Nam Mala Purana, Ath Pakh-yaan Charitar Likh-yatay and Zafarnamah

However, the historic authenticity of Dasam Granth was and is questioned by many scholars and self made scholars like Babu Teja Singh Bhasod, W.H. Mcleod, Bhag Singh Ambala, Professor Darshan Singh, and Gurbaksh Singh Kala Afghana. Their prevalent views are that Dasam Granth was written either by British people or Nirmala scholars or Hindu Pundits or Saktas scholars. According to them 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.[8][9]

Ram Raiyas of Payal were first recorded critic in Sikh history who attacked on Ragi Bulaki Singh for reading hymns of Dasam Granth.[10]

Historical evidences about compositions of Dasam Granth[edit]

Following are early Sikh references of historical books and manuscripts mentioning different compositions and poetry from Dasam Granth:

17th century resources[edit]

Sri Gur Katha, Bhai Jaita[edit]

Sri Gur Katha is work of Bhai Jiwan Singh, composed in the last decade of the seventeenth century,[11] does not mention about Dasam Granth but does mention Chopai(Charitar 404), Savaiyey(Akal Ustat) and Jaap Sahib recitation during creation of Khalsa Panth.[12]

18th century resources[edit]

Rehitnama, Bhai Prehlad Singh[edit]

This booklet contains short poem having 38 couplets written by Bhai Prehlad Singh in early 18th century, whose hymn, Sab Sikhan ko Hukam hai Guru Maneyo Granth, is heavily quoted among Sikhs.[13] This Rahitnama mentioned first composition of Dasam Granth i.e. Jaap Sahib, a Sikh liturgy. Following is quote from the same:
ਬਿਨਾ 'ਜਪੁ' 'ਜਾਪੁ' ਜਪੇ, ਜੋ ਜੇਵਹਿ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ||
One who is spending life(doing religious activities) without Understanding of Japuji Sahib and Jaap Sahib,
ਸੋ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕਾ ਕਿਰਮ ਹੂਇ, ਜਨਮ ਗਵਾਵੈ ਬਾਦ ||
he is living insect of excreta and will lose this birth.

Rehatnama Hazuri, Bhai Chaupa Singh[edit]

This Rehitnama is the most elaborate statement of rules of conduct for the Sikhs which is traditionally ascribed to Bhai Chaupa Singh Chhibbar concluded AD 1702/1706.[13] This rehitnama states various lines from different Banis of Dasam Granth.

Sri Gur Sobha, Poet Senapati[edit]

This historical book was completed by Senapati, The court poet of Guru Gobind Singh, after his demise in 1711.[14] The source does not mention about Dasam Granth as granth was compiled later to this source by Mani Singh. Though, this source mentioned about content of Bachitar Natak and Kalki Avtar.

The main topic is stated with the Akal Purkh’s declaration of the purpose for which Guru Gobind Singh was deputed to take birth in this world. This is reminiscent of ‘Akal Purkh’s Bach’ of Bachittar Natak. The book ends with poet’s wishful thinking that the Master will come again to Anandgarh to redeem the world by defeating the evil-forces and protecting and caring for the holy persons. This is on similar lines as Nihkalank Kalki Avtar described in Dasam Granth [15] which indicates presence of Bachitar Natak during that period. This book is written not only in the style and language of the Sri Dasam Granth but some verses are similar to the verses found in Sri Bachitra Natak, most notably the battles of Guru Gobind Singh.

Letter to Mata Sundri, Bhai Mani Singh[edit]

The letter was written by Bhai Mani Singh to Mata Sundri, after 5 years of demise of Guru Gobind Singh.[16] This manuscript provides evidence of existence of 303 Charitars, Shastar Nam Mala and Krishna Avtar compositions.[17] Among critics Gyani Harnam Singh Balabh believes that only 303 Charitars were written by Guru Gobind Singh among 404 Charitars in Charitropakhyan.[18]

Parchi Gobind Singh - Bava Sevadas[edit]

This manuscript was finished sometime in the first quarter of the eighteenth century(around 1741) by Seva Das, an Udasi.[19] This book mentioned two shabads of Rama Avtar[20] and from 33 Swaiyey.[21] It also mentioned that Guru Gobind Singh had written Zafarnamah and stories in Hikaaitaan during his lifetime.[22] This serve as evidence of existence of these hymns and composition during early 18th century and it's spread among scholars and common people of that period.

The source does not mention about Dasam Granth as it contains events of Guru's lifetime but it evident existence of 4 compositions in early 18th century.

Gurbilas Patshahi 10, Bhai Koer Singh Kalal[edit]

This book mentioned about serve as evidence to Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib, written in 1751 after 43 years of Guru Gobind Singh demise also mentioned most of compositions of Dasam Granth. Though, this book does not cover events happened after demise of Guru in much detail.

This book confirms writing of Chobis avtar, Jaap Sahib and Akal Ustat at Paonta, Bachitar Natak, Chandi di Var[23] It mentioned that Hikaaitaan was embed at end of Zafarnama by guru Gobind Singh and sent it to Aurangzeb.[24]

Mahima Parkash, Sarup Das Bhalla[edit]

This book was completed by Sarup Das, who belong to lineage of Guru Amar Dass, in 1776. He had access to whole Dasam Granth and mentioned that 404 Charitars and Chaubis Avtar was written by Guru Gobind Singh. He also mentioned various chapters of Bachitar Natak. He mentioned that Guru Gobind Singh did translation of various other Sanskrit Books.

Guru Kian Sakhian, Sarup Singh Kaushish[edit]

Guru Kian Sakhian is a historical piece of information about lives of Sikh Gurus written by Bhatt Sarup Singh Kaushish completed in 1790 AD at Bhadson[25] and it is most referred book as it contains dates and events are sketchy and brief. This book does not mention about compilation of Dasam Granth but it does refer to writings inside dasam granth which includes Bachitar Natak written at Anandpur, Krishna Avtar written at Paunta Sahib.[26] The book mentioned various lines from 33 Sawaiyey,[27] Shastarnam Mala and terminology used in Dasam granth.

19th century resources[edit]

Dasam Granth frontispiece ca. 1825-1850

Sketch of Sikhs, JB Malcolm[edit]

Among several valuable works John Malcolm completed Sketch of Sikhs in 1812 and mentioned about Dasam Granth which converted many to Sikhism to fight against thranny. Following is quote from his book:
Guru Govind Singh, in the Vichitra Natac, a work written by himself, and inserted in the Dasania Padshah ka Granth, traces lhc descent of the Cshatriya tribe of Sondi, to which he belongs, from a race of Hindu head, and throw it into the fire, he would he resus- citated to the enjoyment of the greatest glory. The Guru excused himself from trying this experiment, deelaring that he was content that his descendants should enjoy the fruits of that tree which he had planted. [28]

Shaheed Bilas Bhai Mani Singh, Poet Seva Singh[edit]

Shaheed Bilas Bhai Mani Singh is historical account of Bhai Mani Singh completed by Poet Seva Singh before 1846.[29] He mentioned about writing of Krishna Avtar at Paunta Sahib shown here under:
ਬਾਵਨ ਕਵੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਢਿਗ ਰਹੈ । ਮਨਿਆ ਉਨ ਮਹਿ ਗੁਨੀਆ ਅਹੈ ।
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖ ਤੋਂ ਕਲਗੀਧਰ ਆਪੈ । ਬੀਰ ਰਸ ਕੀ ਕਥਾ ਅਲਾਪੈ ।
ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਚਰਿਤਰ ਮਧ ਹੈ ਜਾਨੋ । ਖੜਗ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾ ਯੁਧ ਪਛਾਨੋ ।
ਜਿਸ ਤੇ ਸੁਨਤ ਕਾਇਰਤਾ ਭਾਗੈ ।ਧਰਮ ਜੁਧ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਈ ਅਨੁਰਾਗੇ ।
(ਚੋਪਈ 47, ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਬਿਲਾਸ ਕਵੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਿੰਘ)

Compilation history[edit]


Name of Composition Written at Verses Timeline
Jaap Sahib Paunta Sahib 199
Akal Ustat Paunta Sahib 271.5
Bachitar Natak Paunta Sahib 471
Chandi Charitar Ukati Bilas Paunta Sahib 233
Chandi Charitar II Paunta Sahib 266
Chandi di Var Paunta Sahib 55
Chaubis Avtar Paunta Sahib, Anandpur Sahib 5571
Brahma Avtar Paunta Sahib 348
Rudra Avtar Paunta Sahib, Anandpur Sahib 855
Shabad Patshahi 10 Anandpur Sahib, Machiwara 10
33 Sawaiyey Anandpur Sahib 33
Khalsa Mahima Kapal Mochan 4
Gyan Parbodh Anandpur Sahib 336
Shastar Nam Mala Purana Paunta Sahib 1317
Ath Pakhyan Chairtar Likhyate Paunta Sahib, Anandpur Sahib 7569
Zafarnama Dina Kangar 868

History of scripture's name[edit]

Guru Gobind Singh written various booklets and had title on each of them. As per internal references, the scripture comprises following major booklets:

  1. Bachitar Natak Granth
  2. Shastarnam Mala Purana
  3. Charitropakhyan Granth
  4. Gyan Prabodh Granth
  5. Zafarnama: A letter to Aurangzeb

Acc. to early Sikh historical resources, the scripture was not named as Dasam Granth and each composition within this scripture are named separately by various authors like:

  • Bhai Koer Singh states Pratham Pehar Satgur Aise, Krishna Charitar Gavat hai jaise
  • Bava Sewa Dass states Keteyan Rubaiyan likhiyan keteyan badhshahaan ki sakhiyan likhiyan, aur apni haqiqat bhi likhi

Later, In Bansavali Nama Patshahi 10, Kesar Singh Chibber named this granth as Chota Granth' '(The Small Granth).[30]

In 1812, JB Malcolm called this scripture as Dasvein padhshsh da granth (The Scripture of 10th Ruler).[28]

Later, Khalsa accepted the name Dasam Granth, for the reason that it contains compositions of 10th Guru of Sikhs.


  1. ^ Sri Gur Sobha, Poet Senapat
  2. ^ Gurbilas Patshshi 10, Koer Singh Kalal
  3. ^ BansavaliNama Kesar Singh Chibber
  4. ^ Mahima Parkash, Sarup Dass Bhalla
  5. ^ Guru Kian Sakhian, Sarup Singh Kausish
  6. ^ Sketch of Sikhs - Sir JB Malcolm
  7. ^ Giani Gian SIngh, Twarikh Guru Khalsa
  8. ^ McLeod, W. H. (2005-07-28). Historical dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-0-8108-5088-0. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ ਏਸ ਸਮੇ ਇਕ ਬੁਲਾਕੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਮਸ਼ਹੂਰ ਰਾਗੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਬੰਦੇ ਪਾਸ ਸਿੰਘਾਂ ਦੇ ਦੀਵਾਨ ਵਿਚ ਆ ਕੇ ਫਰਿਆਦ ਕੀਤੀ ਤਲਕੇ ਪਾਇਲ ਘੁੜਾਣੀ ਪਿੰਡ ਵਿਚ ਠੈਹਰ ਕੇ ਜਦ ਮੈਂ ਰਹੁਰਾਸ ਪੜਦੇ ਹੋਏ ਨੇ ਦਸਮ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਚੋਪਈ ਪੜ੍ਹੀ ਤਾਂ ਉਥੋਂ ਦੇ ਰਾਮਰਈਏ ਲੋਗਾਂ ਨੇ ਦਸਮੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਬਾਨੀ ਪੜ੍ਹਨੇ ਬਦਲੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਭੀ ਗਾਲਿਆਂ ਦਿੱਤੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਭੀ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਰੰਦਾ ਭੀ ਭੰਨ ਦਿੱਤਾ, ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਦੇਣੀ ਚਾਹੀਦੀ ਹੈ ? ਇਹ ਗੱਲ ਸੁੰਨ ਕੇ ਸਿੰਘਾਂ ਨੇ ਬੰਦੇ ਨੂੰ ਨਾਲ ਲੇਕਰ ਪਾਇਲ ਪਰ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਈ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ, ਪਾਇਲ ਨੂੰ ਲੁੱਟ ਮਾਰ ਕੇ ਰਾਮਰਾਇਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਜਾਏ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਤੇ ਬੁਲਾਕਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੂੰ ਉਥੇ ਦਾ ਥਾਨੇਦਾਰ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਆਪ ਇਕ ਦਸਤਾ ਫੌਜ ਅਤੇ ਕੁਝ ਤੋਪਾਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਮਲੇਰ ਕੋਟਲੇ ਕੀ ਤਰਫ਼ ਕੂਚ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ।
    (Page-28,29-Shamsher Khalsa, Giani Gian Singh)
  11. ^ Bhai Jaita’s epic Sri Gur Katha: a New Milestone in the Sikh Literature, Raj Kumar Hans, MSU Baroda Paper for the Conference on Sikhi(sm), Literature and Film, Hofstra University, 19-21 Oct 2012
  12. ^ Line 118, Page 73, Sri Gur Katha, Bhai Jaita
  13. ^ a b Category: Eighteenth century Literature (2012-04-14). "thesikhencyclopedia-Rehitname". Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  14. ^ Category: Eighteenth century Literature (2012-04-14). "Sri Gur Sobha - Kavi Senapati". Thesikhencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  15. ^ "Abstract by Gurbachan Singh on Sri Gur Sobha". Sikhinstitute.org. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  16. ^ ....ਭਾਈ ਮਨੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਸੰਪਰਕ ਦੇਸ਼ ਦੀ ਰਾਜਧਾਨੀ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਨਾਲ ਨਿਰੰਤਰ ਬਣਿਆ ਸੀ ਅਤੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਪੱਤਰ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਜੋਤੀ-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਉਣ ਤੋਂ ਵੀ ਕੋਈ 4-5 ਸਾਲ ਬਾਅਦ ਦਾ ਹੈ।.....Sri Dasam Granth Krtitv, Dr. Harbhajan Singh
  17. ^ ...ਭਾਈ ਮਨੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਸੁੰਦਰੀ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਇਕ ਪੱਤਰ ਉਪਲਬਧ ਹੈ, ਜਿਸ ਵਿਚ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ 303 'ਚਰਿਤਰ ਉਪਾਖਿਆਨ' ਅਤੇ 'ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਅਵਤਾਰ' ਦਾ ਪੂਰਬਾਰਧ ਮਿਲ ਜਾਣ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਦਾ ਉਤਰਾਰਧ ਅਥਵਾ 'ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਨਾਮ ਮਾਲਾ' ਨਾ ਮਿਲਣ ਦਾ ਜ਼ਿਕਰ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ...Sri Dasam Granth Krtitv, Dr. Harbhajan Singh
  18. ^ ...ਇਹ ਵੀ ਸੋਚਣ ਦੀ ਗਲ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਜੇ ਇਸ ਚਿੱਠੀ ਦੇ ਅਸਤਿਤ੍ਵ ਦੀ ਖ਼ਬਰ 'ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ' ਦੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਉਤੇ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਤੋਂ ਮਿਲਦੀ, ਤਾਂ ਇਹ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਪੂਰੇ 'ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ' ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰੂ-ਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਦਸਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਫ਼ਰਜ਼ੀ ਚਿੱਠੀ ਬਣਾਈ ਹੈ। ਪਰ ਸਥਿਤੀ ਇਸ ਦੇ ਉਲਟ ਹੈ। ਜਿਸ ਗਿ. ਹਰਨਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ 'ਬਲਭ' ਨੇ ਸ. ਕਰਮ ਸਿੰਘ 'ਹਿਸਟੋਰੀਅਨ' ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰੁੇੁਰਨਾ ਨਾਲ ਇਸ ਪੱਤਰ ਨੂੰ ਖੋਜ ਕੇ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰਿਆ ਸੀ, ਵਾਸਤਵ ਵਿਚ ਉਹ 'ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ' ਦਾ ਵਿਰੋਧੀ ਸੀ। 'ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨਾਵਤਾਰ ਬਾਣੀ', ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਜ਼ਿਕਰ ਇਸ ਪੱਤਰ ਵਿਚ ਹੈ, ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਹਰਨਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਿਸੇ ਕਵੀ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹੈ। ਉਸ ਦੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ 'ਚਰਿਤਰੋਪਾਖਿਆਨ' ਦੇ ਕੇਵਲ 303 ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਗੁਰੂ-ਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਹਨ। ...Sri Dasam Granth Krtitv, Dr. Harbhajan Singh
  19. ^ Category: Eighteenth century Literature (2012-04-14). "Parchi and History". Thesikhencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  20. ^ Sakhi 50, Parchi Guru Gobind Singh Ki, Sevadas
  21. ^ Sakhi 87, Parchi Guru Gobind Singh Ki
  22. ^ Sakhi 13, Parchi Guru Gobind Singh Ki, Bava Sewadas
  23. ^ ਦੇਵਿ ਚਰਿਤਰ ਸਰੀ ਮਖ ਗਾਵੈ। ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਮੋਦ ਮਨ ਭਾਵੈ। Page 156, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, Bhai Koer Singh
  24. ^ ਜਫ਼ਰਨਾਮ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਜਾਨੈ। ਲਿਖੀ ਹਿਕਾਯਤ ਦਵਾਦਸ ਤਾ ਮੈ। Page 199, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, Bhai Koer Singh
  25. ^ Category: Eighteenth century Literature (2012-04-14). "Guru Kian Sakhian". Thesikhencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  26. ^ Sakhi 43/65, Guru Kian Sakhian, Sarup Singh Kaushish
  27. ^ Page 125, Sakhi 60, Guru Kian Sakhian, Sarup Singh Kaushish
  28. ^ a b Page 51, Sketch of Sikhs, JB Malcolm
  29. ^ Category: Nineteenth century Literature (2012-04-14). "Shahid Bilas Bhai Mani Singh". Thesikhencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  30. ^ ਛੋਟਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਜਨਮੇ ਦਸਵੇਂ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਕੇ ਧਾਮ। ਸੰਮਤ ਸਤਾਰਾਂ ਸੈ ਪਚਵੰਜਾ ਬਹੁਤ ਖਿਡਾਵੇ ਲਿਖਾਰੇ ਨਾਮ। ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੂੰ ਸੀ ਪਿਆਰਾ। ਹਥੀਂ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਖਿਡਾਇਆ। ਸਿਖਾਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਜੀ ਅਗਲੇ ਨਾਲਿ ਚਾਹੀਏ ਰਲਾਇਆ। ਬਚਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਹੈ ਉਹ ਏਹ ਅਸਾਡੀ ਖੇਡ ਹੈ। ਨਾਲ ਨ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਆਹਾ ਪਿਆਰਾ, ਕਉਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਭੇਦ। ਸੋ ਦੋਨੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੋ ਵਡਾ ਹੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਟਕੇ ਪੋਥੀਆਂ ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਪੋਤ੍ਰੇ ਕਰਿ ਪਛਾਨੋ।