by Harnaak Singh 30-Dec-2016
Gur Sikh Jio. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
In this article we will analyse the Sikh Rehat Maryada in relation to the installation of the SGGS Ji. We will show that the installation of Dasam Granth can be done at the same place as the SGGS Ji on the proviso that it is not installed in a like or equal or matching manner as the SGGS Ji.
Further we will show that Guru Gobind Singh Ji clearly stipulated the relationship between the SGGS Ji and the Dasam Granth as “two brothers ਦੋਨੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਭਾਈ” and the “older being the Guru ਵਡਾ ਹੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਗੁਰੂ”. This is what the Sikh Rehat Maryada is based on.
Then we will show using pictures that installation of both the SGGS Ji and Dasam Granth has been the practice for few hundred years and the “paranoia of the Dasam Granth taking over the SGGS Ji” has not eventuated for such a long period and the possibility of this eventuating is zero.
This issue is just in the “fancies and imagination” of some ill-informed individuals or organisations who probably are misguided by some extreme elements.
There have been some elements who have been spreading false rumours about the installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS Ji) in relation to Dasam Granth (DG). One body for example makes a statement “Dasam Granth Prakash in Kuala Lumpur – serious transgression of Maryada”. Others state that “it is the end of reverence of SGGS” by bringing the Dasam Granth into the Darbar Sahib and even go on to say that “I can foresee that soon there will be a special Darbar for the followers of DG in Malaysia”.
Such comments are a clear indication of the lack of understanding and knowledge of the Sikh Rehat Maryada from the Akal Takath, Guru Gobind Singh’s edict on the SGGS Ji and the Dasam Granth, as well as what has been the case historically.
We will look at the Sikh Rehat Maryada, what Guru Gobind Singh intended and what the case is historically; from this perspective.
Installation of SGGS Ji
The Rehat Maryada is a LEGALISTIC document NOT a SPIRITUAL document, unlike the SGGS Ji, Dasam Granth (DG), compositions of Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Nand Lal. Therefore it must be interpret as such.
The clause in the Akal Takath Sikh Rehat Maryada Section 4 Clause (ਹ) (Page 9) relating to the Installation of SGGS Ji is as follows.
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਵਾਕਰ (ਤੁੱਲ) ਕਿਸੇ ਪੁਸਤਕ ਨੂੰ ਅਸਥਾਪਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਨਾ।
ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰੇ ਵਿਚ ਕੋਈ ਮੂਰਤੀ-ਪੂਜਾ ਜਾਂ ਹੋਰ ਗੁਰਮਿਤ ਦੇ ਵਿਰੁੱਧ ਕੋਈ ਰੀਤੀ ਜਾਂ ਸੰਸਕਾਰ ਨਾ ਹੋਵੇ, ਨਾ ਹੀ ਕੋਈ ਅਨਮਤ ਦਾ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਮਨਾਇਆ ਜਾਵੇ।
ਹਾਂ, ਕਿਸੇ ਮੌਕੇ ਜਾਂ ਇੱਕਤ੍ਰਤਾ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਮਿਤ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰ ਲਈ ਵਰਤਣਾ ਅਯੋਗ ਨਹੀਂ।
The first sentence is the key sentence. Let us look at the meaning of the words
- ਵਾਕਰ means ਵਾਂਗਰ which means in English “like, same as”
- ਤੁੱਲ means “matching, equal, comparable”
- ਪੁਸਤਕ means book
- ਅਸਥਾਪਨ means installation (note installed means “set up for use”)
(meanings from Punjabi English Dictionary Punjabi University Patiala)
Note: Book (ਪੁਸਤਕ) is a generic term which includes story book, holy book, spiritual book, ਗਰੰਥ, sakhian, teeka (translation), dictionary etc. Generally a bound document will fall under the generic term book.
Why does the SRM use book (ਪੁਸਤਕ) and not the word ਗਰੰਥ (Granth) or some other word. This ensures that any document which can be classified as a book will have to meet with the requirements as per SRM. With the ingenuity that people can use to circumvent what should be the case, it is important that the word used covers as wide as possible an interpretation. This is the case with the use of word book (ਪੁਸਤਕ).
The meaning of the word ਗਰੰਥ (Granth) is as follows.
- is a sanskrit word meaning book, book in prose or verse, literary production (online Sanskrit dictionary)
- means ਪੁਸਤਕ or ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਪੁਸਤਕ as per Sri Guru Granth Sahib Kosh Dr Gurcharan Singh)
Translating the key sentence from Punjabi into English we get
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਵਾਕਰ(ਤੁੱਲ) ਕਿਸੇ ਪੁਸਤਕ ਨੂੰ ਅਸਥਾਪਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਨਾ।
There shall be no other BOOK INSTALLED in a LIKE or EQUAL or MATCHING manner to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
The SRM does not say that any other ਪੁਸਤਕ (Granth or Book) cannot be installed but that it CLEARLY stipulates that if installed, the installation CANNOT be LIKE or EQUAL or MATCHING with the SGGS Ji.
However the SRM CLEARLY states what CANNOT BE DONE i.e. statues, or any activities not according to Gurmat, or activities of other religious practices in the second sentence.
The last sentence states that it is not improper to conduct a Gurmat related activity for any occasion or gathering.
So clearly the SRM, as a legalistic document, has listed what SHOULD BE DONE and what ARE THE EXCEPTIONS and we stress the exceptions do not include DASAM GRANTH, the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh.
This is the reason that it has been the practice to install the DASAM GRANTH on a palki on the left side or it may be lower than used for SGGS Ji (though the SRM does not explicitly stipulate this).
Historical Evidence on relationship of SGGS Ji and DG
Historical evidence of the relationship is listed by Kesar Singh in Bansavalinama written in 1769. (source: http://sarbattkhalsa.weebly.com/can-parkash-of-sri-guru-granth-sahib-ji-and-sri-dasam-guru-granth-shaib-ji-be-done-together.html)
Some related verses are presented. In Bansavalinama Kesar Singh writes on page 244
ਸੁਣੋ ਭਾਈ ਸਿਖੋ । ਐਸਾ ਸੰਤ ਬਾਬਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਜਾਨੋ । ਦਸੇ ਮਹਲ ਇਕ ਬਾਬਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀ ਪਛਾਨੋ ।
Listen Sikh Brothers! Recognize Baba Nanak as a true Saint, this is truth. In the ten forms [10 Guru’s], recognize Baba Nanak in all of them.
ਦਸਵਾਂ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਗੱਦੀ ਗੁਰਿਆਈ ਦੀ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੂੰ ਦੇ ਹੈ ਗਿਆ । from stanza 264
The tenth King has given the Guruship to the Granth Sahib.
ਸੰਮਤੁ ਸੋਲ੍ਹਾ ਸੈ ਅਠਵੰਜਾ ਸੇ ਗਏ । ਤਬ ਆਦਿ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਲਏ ।
In 1658 Bikrami the Adi Granth took birth [was created].
ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜਨ ਜੀ ਕੇ ਧਾਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਧਾਰਾ । from stanza 266
In the house of Guru Arjan Dev Ji the Granth Sahib took its birth.
ਛੋਟਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ, ਜਨਮੇ ਦਸਵੇਂ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਕੇ ਧਾਮ ।
The smaller [brother] Granth, took birth in the Tenth King’s house.
ਸੰਮਤੁ ਸਤਾਰਾਂ ਸੈ ਪਚਵੰਜਾ, ਬਹੁਤ ਖਿਡਾਵੇ-ਲਿਖਾਰੇ ਨਾਮ । from stanza 267
In 1755 Bikrami [it was born], [Guru Ji wrote it] under many names.
ਸੋ, ਦੋਨੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰ ਕਰ ਜਾਨੋ ।
So, recognize both Granth Sahib’s as Guru and brothers.
ਵਡਾ ਹੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਗੁਰੂ, ਗੁਟਕੇ-ਪੋਥੀਆਂ ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਪੋਤ੍ਰੇ ਕਰਿ ਪਛਾਨੋ । from stanza 268
The larger [Adi Granth] received the Tika [Guruship], the smaller gutka-pothian recognize them as sons and grandson.
On page 161 Kesar Singh explains another incident where a Sikh requested to Guru Gobind Singh to put Adi and Dasam Granth together.
ਸੰਮਤੁ ਸਤਾਰਾਂ ਸੈ ਪਚਵੰਜੇ, ਸਿਖਾਂ ਬਿਨਤੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਅਗੇ ਸੀ ਕੀਤੀ ।
In 1755 Bikrami, Sikhs had done a plea in front of Sahib [Guru Gobind Singh].
“ਗਰੀਬ ਨਿਵਾਜ ! ਜੋ ਬਚਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਾਂ ਦੋਹਾਂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥਾਂ ਦੀ ਜਿਲਦ ਇਕ ਚਹੀਐ ਕਰਿ ਲੀਤੀ ।”
“Oh protector of the poor!, If you make the commandment, we shall put both Granths in one cover [one Granth].”
ਸਾਹਿਬ ਬਚਨ ਕੀਤਾ: “ਆਦਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ । ਇਹ ਅਸਾਡੀ ਹੈ ਖੇਡ, ਜੁਦਾ ਰਹੇ ਮਨ ਮੰਥ ।”
Sahib [Guru Gobind Singh] said, “Adi Granth is Guru, this [Dasam Granth] is my play, they should remain separate, but recognize them as the same light”
Guru Gobind Singh has clearly stipulated the relationship between the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the Dasam Granth. Guru Gobind Singh said that we should take the SGGS Ji and the Dasam Granth as “two brothers ਦੋਨੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਭਾਈ” and the “older being the Guru ਵਡਾ ਹੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਗੁਰੂ” (older here means the SGGS Ji).
This, without doubt, is the basis for the stipulation in the Sikh Rehat Maryada that Dasam Granth is not installed in a like or equal or matching manner as the SGGS Ji.
Therein lies the Miri-Piri or the Soldier-Saint concept in Sikhi. We would say that the attack on the Dasam Granth is an attack on the concept of Miri-Piri started by Guru Hargobind.
Historical and modern practice of installation of both SGGS Ji and the DG in pictures
There has been a practice of installation of both the SGGS Ji and the Dasam Granth for a few hundred years meeting with the conditions described in the Sikh Rehat Maryada. In fact it was Guru Gobind Singh who was the impetus to this requirement.
This has been happening for the last few hundred years and the paranoia that someone can “foresee that soon there will be a special Darbar for the followers of DG in Malaysia” is an IMAGINATION and FALSE and may we add is possibly mooted by a hidden agenda.
This paranoia definitely points to a lack of understanding and knowledge of the Sikh Rehat Maryada, what Guru Gobind Singh stated and the practice of installation of both SGGS Ji and DG historically up to now by those who proclaim this cannot be the case.
The probability of the installation of another book, against the Sikh Rehat Maryada and what Guru Gobind Singh stated, eventuating is zero.
However such a scenario may eventuate if those who are promulgating “the falsehood of this happening” come into “power” by some stealth means. These people do not have the proper understanding and knowledge of the Sikh Rehat Maryada and what Guru Gobind Singh stated and hence can take any action to their “whims and fancies” to suit their agenda. They can act against the precepts of the Sikh Rehat Maryada and Guru Gobind Singh and they are probably misguided by some extreme elements.
Prakash of both SGGS Ji and the DG has been done throughout history from Guru Gobind Singh’s time. The pictures below depict this.
Here is an image of Maharaja Ranjit Singh listening to the two sacred Granths being recited near Sri Harimandir Sahib. It is from a painting by August Theodore Schoefft (1809-1888), made in Amritsar, from Princess Bamba Collection. It shows clearly that two granths, Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Dasam Granth Ji we parkashed (reverently opened) next to each other back in the eighteen hundreds. (source: http://www.info-sikh.com/PageKnowDG1.html)
A close up of the above picture is shown below.
The Khalsa army Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s tyar bar tyar fauj. A historic painting from Gurudwara Ramsar, circa 1800s, depicting the divine respect accorded to both Adi Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth.
Sikh religious ceremony for new recruits to the Sikh Regiment, 1947. Notice there is only one Granthi doing sewa of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and no granthi where Dasam Granth Bir is present/
Parkash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Sri Dasam Granth Sahib at Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib. Even the shape, size and structure of the palkis are conspicuously different and symbolise the embodiment of Sant Sipahi concept of the Khalsa.
Dasam Granth is always placed on left hand side of Sanctum sanctorum at Takhats or at the left hand side of Guru Granth Sahib ji at Taksal or Nihang Chaunis, this is for respect of Guru Granth Sahib ji , showing superiorty of Guru Granth Sahib ji.
It is evident from the analysis of the Sikh Rehat Maryada in relation to the installation of the SGGS Ji that the installation of Dasam Granth can be done at the same place as the SGGS Ji on the proviso that it is not installed in a like or equal or matching manner as the SGGS Ji.
Historical evidence that Guru Gobind Singh clearly has stipulated the relationship between the SGGS Ji and the Dasam Granth as “two brothers ਦੋਨੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਭਾਈ” and the “older being the Guru ਵਡਾ ਹੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਗੁਰੂ”.
Also it has been shown using pictures that this has been the done for the few hundred years and that the paranoia of the Dasam Granth taking over the SGGS Ji has not happened for the last few hundred years and the possibility of this happening is practically zero.
We must be wary of those misguided elements, who do not have proper understanding and knowledge of the precepts in Sikh Rehat Marayda and the edicts of Guru Gobind Singh.
Thank You for listening/ reading. ਗਲਤੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਖਿਮਾ.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
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