The History of Dasam (tenth) Guru’s compositions (bani) begins with the time when these compositions were verbally spoken, composed and compiled by Guru Gobind Singh. These compositions in the form of booklets and Granths were created over various periods of the Guru’s life. Later (after 1708), they were combined in the form of the present-day granth or single volume by Bhai Mani Singh Khalsa, with help of other Khalsa brothers. This was done on the direct instruction of Mata Sundri and this volume is presently recognized as Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.
From historical books, Rehitnamas, old manuscripts and oral traditions of various Sampardas (sections of Sikhs), it can be observed that the Sikhs had access to these compositions which they studied, discussed and understood these compositions during Guru Gobind Singh’s lifetime and after his demise in 1708.
These compositions include most of the important sections of the present-day Dasam granth namely, Jaapu Sahib, Akal Ustat, Bachitar Natak, Chandi Charitar, Chandi Di Var, Gyan Prabodh, Chaubis Avtar, Thirty-Three Swayyas, Sawaiye, Shashtar Nam Mala, Ath Pakh-yaan Charitar Likh-yatay and Zafarnamah.
Many historical sources from the early 17th century contain various lines, hymns and the same names used by the Guru in his compositions. Guru Gobind Singh’s voice, his personal style of poetry is clearly evident, as these authors composed their books using the same Chands and Meters in which Guru Gobind Singh composed his compositions.