The God of Dasam Granth – Part 3

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

In Part One and Two of the series aimed at examining the God of Dasam Granth (DG); the following facts were established from within the compositions of DG:
1. The primary God of the Dasam Granth (DG) is Mahakaal and the secondary God is Durga.
2. The authors of DG (Raam, Syam and Nul) belong to the Vaam Maragi SECT of Shivji; it is therefore natural that they attempt to portray their God as supreme.
3. Subjugation of other / rival deities is evident from within the rachnas of DG. Bhrama, Vishnu (and his 24 incarnations) including Ram, Krishen and also others such as Rishi Valmeek, Sita and the Gopis of Krishen are shown praying to to Durga and Mahakaal.
Continue reading “The God of Dasam Granth – Part 3”

The God of Dasam Granth – Part 2

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

In Part One of the series aimed at examining the God of Dasam Granth (DG); the following facts were established from within the compositions of DG:
1. The primary God of the Dasam Granth (DG) is Mahakaal and the secondary God is Durga.
2. The writers of a vast majority of DG are poets named Raam, Syam and Nul. Poet Syam’s name as the writer appears across 151 pages of DG while Ram’s appears across 14 pages. Their names also appear jointly across 15 pages of DG suggesting that they worked together. Poet Nul is the writer of one composition. Readers would note that the word “Nanak” as writer does NOT appear even ONCE in the entire DG.
3. The obeisance of these three writers to Mahakal and Durga (the male and female forms of Shivji) suggests that they are adherents of the Vaam Margee SECT of Shivji.
4. Large portions of the core rachnas o DG are lifted from the Markandey Puran and Shiv Puran. Both Purans are written in obeisance of Shivji. Markandey, a devotee of Mahakaal, Durga and Shivji – is highly revered amongst devotees of the Vaam Maragee SECT. The writers of DG have acknowledged such lifting, even mentioning the chapters that are lifted, at the end their rachnas.
5 . These purans – acting as the primary sources of DG – thus provide the LINK and CONTINUITY between the God of these purans (Shivji) and that of DG being the one and same. Shivji is the God of the two purans, and Mahakaal and Durga (two halves of Shivji) are the Gods of DG.
It is worth reiterating that the method of deriving the above mentioned facts relied on using the DG as a primary source. Such a choice of method is not dismissive of secondary sources. It is to allow the reader direct access to the verses within DG where the ideas of these series of essays are coming from.
Continue reading “The God of Dasam Granth – Part 2”

God of the Dasam Granth – Part 1

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

Who is the God of Dasam Granth (DG)? This is the primary question that will be examined in this article.

A cursory study of the Dasam Granth (DG) brings forth obeisance of its authors to two primary entities – Mahakaal and Durga. Both have a plethora of names. Mahan Kosh author Kahn Singh Nabha on pages 201 and 674 describes Durga as the consort of Shivji (the devta of death) and provides more than a dozen names for her including Kalka, Shera Walee, Maha Mayee, Chandika, Seetla, Parvati, Chandee, Shiva and Jug Maata.

Mahakaal is another name for Lord Shivji. Readers can gain further insights on the philosophy here:
Continue reading “God of the Dasam Granth – Part 1”

Dasam Granth – Miter Pyare Nu

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

This composition is sung in Gurdwaras by ragis and kirtanias as kirtan.

We have been told that  Miter Pyare Nu depicts a prayer Guru Gobind Singh ji made to God during his moments alone in the jungles of Machiwara.

We have also been told that the terms “Miter Pyara” (my beloved friend) refers to “God” and that the “tenth Guru is narrating his solitary situation in Machiwara after the final battle of Chamkaur.”

Pictures such as the following, showing Guru Gobind Singh ji resting alone on the floor, barefooted, and injured are normally found printed with verses from Mitar Pyare Nu .  The   four verses of this composition are said to describe this situation.

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Dasam Granth: Plucking “Moral” Messages from Thin Air.

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

In both my previous articles in this series, I and many of those commenting have asked two simple questions.

  • WHAT are the so called “moral messages that are found in each Chritar” as claimed by Gurmukh Singh.
  • WHERE exactly WITHIN the Charitar are these messages to be found.

Not a single verse from any Chritar containing any “moral message” has thus far been produced. Loud and repeated claims of “Yes, there are moral messages, IF you read beyond the literal,” is code for “there are no messages, really.”

The inability to answer this first question has led  Gyani Jarnail Singh Arshi to ask “IF indeed there ARE moral messages, why are they BURRIED under a heap of dung?

A very un-palatable word indeed.
Continue reading “Dasam Granth: Plucking “Moral” Messages from Thin Air.”

Dasam Granth: Twisting Bones Till They Snap

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

Reading Gurkukh Singh’s response to my “Father’s Day and Dasam Granth” article brought Fiction Factory lyrics to my mind: Twisting the Bones Till they Snap.

Trying to justify 404 Chritars  or tales of sexual debauchery that are written in crude, graphic and often times vulgar detail; presented as abhorrently derogatory to women; and based on accounts as immoral and decadent as one can imagine; does indeed require one heck of a lot of twisting.

Especially because such repulsive tales sit as the central core of the Dasam Granth (DG) – occupying one third of this book under the title of Chitro Pakhyaan (CP) and spread over a full 578 pages from page 809 till 1386.

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Father’s Day and Dasam Granth

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

What do the two have in common? Nothing of course. But some people have a way of creating connections where none exist. Hence this commentary.

I am referring to the following Father’s Day message that found its way into my mail box Sunday.

The couplet comes from the Dasam Granth (DG), and appears on page 842.

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Nagar Kirtan and Sikhi

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

Nagar Kirtan (literally: neighbourhod kirtan) has over the past few decades become standard fare for Gurpurabs. As more and more gurdwaras rush to jump on the bandwagon of taking the Guru Granth Sahib (and accompanying kirtaneas) on a display ride on the streets of their townships, and as more and more sangats compete to make their processions larger, longer, grander, and more entertaining, it may be worth weighing this concept from the point of view of Gurmat and Gurbanee.  What are we trying to achieve? What, if any are the tangible benefits of the investment of time, money and energy into this moving exhibition of our Guru, the broadcasting of kirtan onto the streets of the city’s commercial districts, and the display of our accompanying sangat at popular/ tourist designated places? Is this “parchar” in form only and devoid of substance? And most important, what, if any is the spiritual basis of this “kirtan on wheels” practice? Have Sikh leaders in general and gurdwara  parbhandaks in particular become so debased in Gurmat that it does not matter anymore so long as they latch on to the latest trend, satisfy the entertainment needs of their sangats, and contribute to their local council’s hunger to create events for their tourists? 

This article attempts to discuss the above questions and related issues.
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Akand Path – Ritual or Spiritual?

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

THE SIKH REHAT MARYADA (SRM) stipulation for the akhand paath begins as follows:

  • ਅਖੰਡ ਪਾਠ ਕਿਸੇ ਭੀੜ ਜਾਂ ਉਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਵੇਲੇ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਂਦਾਂ ਹੈ।[[1] This stipulation provides the two conditions during which an akhand paath is to be done – ਭੀੜ  and ਉਤਸ਼ਾਹ.  The Punjabi University at Patiala’s dictionary defines BIV as “multitude, swarm, stampede, and crisis.”[2] The same dictionary defines auqSwh as “zeal, enthusiasm, ardour, verve, avidity.” It is clear that both terms (ਭੀੜ and ਉਤਸ਼ਾਹ) thus denote two extreme ends of sorrow and happiness respectively.  Using the vocabulary of the Punjabi University, it can be surmised that an akhand paath is to be done when one’s sorrow is akin to being “swarmed or stampeded with a multitude of crisis,” or when one’s joy is one of “enthusiasm, ardour, verve and avidity”. Given the modern world we live in, sorrow and happiness are very subjective indeed. Yet such subjectivity cannot take away primary rationale and basic logic from our attempt to make sense of the above mentioned SRM stipulation.  And in doing so the one thing that comes across clear is that this is a limiting The purpose of using the terms (ਭੀੜ and ਉਤਸ਼ਾਹ) as derived from two extreme ends of the spectrum of human emotions is twofold.  The first is to seriously narrow the scope of both the emotions of happiness and sorrow that are applicable for an akhand paath. The second is to limit severely the circumstances under which an akhand path is to be undertaken.

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Gurdwara Sahib Menglembu Ipoh Message on use of Gurdwara Diwans

Waheguruji Me Khalsa
Waheguruji Ki Fateh

Please be informed that Gurdawara Sahib Menglembu Committee has only agreed to have a programme on 11.03.2017 (Saturday) from 5.00 pm to 8.30 pm in conjunction of Baba Deep Singh Sheedi Diyara whereby there will be a Sukhmani Sahib, Rehraas, Sabad Vichar by our Gianiji, Kirtan Sohela and Semapti. Guru Ka Langgar will be served after that.

This is what had been planned and this is what will be carried out. The committee has never athorised anyone to talk about any wrong doings by Ashby Road Gurdwara.

Please ignore message that is currently being circulated by an unauthorized person.

We do not want to be a platform to condemn other Gurdawaras.

If any person wishes to put his point of view about what had happened over there, the best place will be a private gathering either in the person’s house or a club where Gurdwaras can stand neutral until the dispute of who is right and who is wrong is over.

We do not want the sanggat to break.
We do not want the bad experience repeated in Gurdwara Sahib Menglembu.

President of
Gurdwara Sahib Menglembu
Sardar Pritam Singh

The Sikh Nishan Sahib Demystified

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

The Kesri (Xanthic) coloured flag that Sikhs respectfully call the Nishan Sahib and seen flying at Gurdwaras is to the Sikh place of worship as Sikh Dastaar or Turban is to Sikh identity.

A few points on its origin, function and manner of respect may be as useful to the reader as much of some commentary on worship-like rituals that have sprung up in recent times in relation to the Sikh flag.

Sikh scholar cum historian Kahn Singh Nabha writes that the Nishan Sahib was originally called Jhanda (flag) Sahib and that it was founded by Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.  Folks who get offended when someone refers to the Sikh flag as “Jhanda” can take note of this fact.

In the village of Fagwara in Punjab, there is a historic Gurdwara marking the transit of the seventh master Guru Har Rai Ji during one of his travels from Kartarpur to Kiratpur, called Gurdwara Jhanda Sahib, lending credence to the fact that the term “Jhanda Sahib” had come into existence then.

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Who Laid the Foundation Stone of Darbar Sahib?

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

The Darbar Sahib is the centre of the universe of Sikhism; distinctive in its existence, unique in its function, matchless in its form, inimitable as a representation of Sikhism and above all, only one of its kind, even in name. In more ways than one, the story of the Darbar Sahib is the story of Sikhi; glittering in resplendence, non-stop reverberation of the song of God, unbroken charity in its service to mankind and an unexplainable pull for anyone seeking peace on earth. The Golden Temple is to Sikhi what gold itself is to the meaning of value.  It is only natural therefore that the Sikh psyche contain a collection of historical, spiritual, sacred and sacrosanct minutiae that hold this Temple of Spirituality as the Golden standard of what Sikhi stands for.

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Defining a Sikh

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

One of the first things a student of philosophy (or  most social sciences, for that matter) discovers regarding definitions of concepts  is that they are rarely, if ever, universally accepted (read perfect). The definition of a Sikh is no exception and should not be. Anyone who expects to crystallize, in a few universally acceptable statements called a definition –  a spiritual process that took ten Gurus two and half centuries to construct – is bound to be disappointed. So staggering is the diversity of our most basic text – 1430 pages, 5,867 shabads by more than two dozen authors who lived over a period spanning half a century and come from different faiths – that defining Sikhi based on the Guru Granth Sahib alone is a daunting task.  To some, it may seem that the nature of Sikhi and the SGGS and by extension that of a Sikh is so spiritually inclusive that it was intended to defy a universal definition. Yet none of these has stopped or should stop the attempt. After all, we live in a world where definitions matter.
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