SOHJI changes the Dohra recited at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and other Gurdwaras. This is an ALTERATION of the long held practice of the Sikhs since our Gurus times.
Figure 1: Harinder SIKHRI (top) and Harinder at Global Sikh Council Conference in Jakarta (bottom)
An article at SCRIBD see Figure 2 by (see LINK for article) the Sangat have highlighted some concerns with the Sojhi syllabus.
Figure 2: Article at SCRIBD
NOTE: Our comments to the content are in green italics.
The issue of the Dohra recited after Ardaas is similar to to the Gurmantar controversy – the Sojhi syllabus calls Sikhs who refer to Guru Granth Sahib Ji as ਦੇਹ or body of the Gurus to be equivalent to ‘idol worshippers.’
This type of rhetoric goes beyond presenting multiple viewpoints and instead only serves to create further dubidha and divide in the Panth.
Furthermore, the argument that Sojhi presents – which is to use Bhai Prehlaadh Ji’s Dohra which states –
ਗੁਰੁ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਮਾਨੀਅਹਿ ਪਰਗਟ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਜੋ ਸਿਖ ਮਿਲਬੇ ਚਹਿਹ ਖੋਜ ਇਨਹ ਮਹਿ ਲੇਹ ॥
Gur Khalsa Maaneeyah Pargat Guru Ki Deh. Jo Sikh Mo Milbay Chahey Khoj Eeneh Mah Leh
This means that Sohji is professing that Gur Khalsa (Khalsa of the Guru i.e. the Sikhs of the Panth who follow the Guru’s teachings) is the PARGAT GURAN KI DEH.
instead of prevalent Dohra recited at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, which states –
ਗੁਰੁ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਕੋ ਮਆਨੀਓ ਪਰਗਟ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਕੀ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੋ ਮਿਬੋ ਚਹੇ ਖੋਜ ਸਬਦ ਮੈਂ ਲੇਹ ॥
Guru Granth Ko Maaneeo Pargat Guru Ki Deh. Jo Prabh Ko Milbo Chahey Khoj Shabad Ma Leh
is tenuous at best.
This means that Guru Granth Sahib is our living Guru and those who wish to meet (realise) God shall find God in the Shabad.
The teaching from the times of our Gurus is totally altered in what Sojhi professes.
The arguments presented by proponents of Sojhi hinge on the quote
ਆਤਮਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚ, ਸ਼ਰੀਰ ਪੰਥ ਵਿਚ
Aatma Granth Vich, Shreer Panth Vich
which they attribute to Guru Gobind Singh Ji. But Sojhi syllabus never gives any reference about this quote. When they claim that it is written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Nanded, it would be appropriate to give the proper reference to where this quote can be found.
Initially, we were unable to find the source of this quote. In fact, after doing some fact finding we were only able to find it in one book, written by Principal Satbir Singh.
Principal Satbir Singh quotes some text written by a Hindu Brahmin, and immediately after those quotes has written the aforementioned lines. Principal Satbir Singh does not give a reference for these lines either, and it is possible that these are written by the same Hindu Brahmin. If this is not the case, then “Sojhi” writers should give a proper reference, instead of just attributing the quote to have been written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Nanded.
Another argument Sojhi proponents bring up is that the current dohra was written by Giani Gian Singh Ji in response to the rise of dehdhari gurus in the nineteenth century and since this is no longer a problem it is okay to change to the one written by Bhai Prehlaadh Ji.
Firstly, it is important to realize that the problem of dehdhari gurus is even more prevalent today with the Sacha Sauda cult, Piara “Singh” Bhaniarawala and many others. Secondly, this view point ignores the voluminous amount of evidence which clearly labels Guru Granth Sahib Ji as being the physical body of the Guru. Therefore it is no surprise that when Guru Arjan Dev Ji assembled Pothi Sahib, Guru Sahib rested on the floor while placing the Pothi Sahib on the bed. From here it is clear, that respect for the physical form of Gurbani as the physical representation of the Guru is not idol worship.
Turning to the question of whether or not Guru Gobind Singh Ji designated Guru Granth Sahib Ji as being the physical Guru, we can answer this question by looking at the writings of Bhai Nand Lal Ji. In Bhai Nand Lal Ji’s Rehitnama, he quotes Guru Gobind Singh Ji as saying:
ਜੋ ਸਿੱਖ ਗੁਰ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕੀ ਚਾਹਿ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕਰੇ ਗ੍ਰੰ ਜੀ ਆਹਿ ॥
The Sikh desirous of Guru’s Darshan, should go and have Darshan of Granth Ji.
All Sikhs believe that Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave Gurgaddi to Sri Guru Granth Sahib as both the physical and spiritual Guru at Nanded, without any conditions or strings attached. Fortunately, we still have a primary source that shows Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave Gurgaddi to Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Nanded in 1708. Bhatt Narbad Singh, who was Kesho Singh’s son, was present at Nanded in 1708 on day when Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave Gurgaddi to Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Bhatt Narbad Singh’s account can be found in the book “Guru Kia Sakhia,” the account is as follows:
“Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Tenth Guru, Son of Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji, place Nanded, country South India, Samat 1765, 4th day of Katak month, day Wednesday, said to Bhai Daya Singh, bring Granth Sahib.
Obeying order, Bhai Daya Singh, brought Granth Sahib.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji bowed before Granth Sahib Ji with offerings of five paise and a coconut. Then he mentioned to the whole Sangat that it is my order, consider Granth Sahib as Guru in place of myself. I will be happy at the Sikh, who will believe this. I will help that Sikh. Firmly believe in this order.”
This episode was written on the day that the Gurgaddi was transferred to Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the book containing the account was completed in 1711. It is important to realize that this primary account never mentions that it is only Guru’s Atma and not body.
Bhai Nand Lal Ji has also written question-answers with Guru Gobind Singh Ji in prose in his book “Prashan-Uttar Bhai Nand Lal Ji.” According to his book, Bhai Nand Lal Ji asked Guru Sahib, “What is the significance of Granth Sahib?” Guru Sahib replied:
“Doosar Roop Granth Ji Jaan, Iske Ang Mere Kar Maan”
Consider Granth Sahib as my other Roop, and don’t think it has pages; these are the parts of my body (Ang).
The word “Ang” has also been used in rehatnamey to refer to Guru Granth Sahib Ji. From Bhai Gurdaas Ji and Bhai Nand Lal Ji, it is clear that Guru Granth Sahib Ji was always seen as the physical representation of the Guru and this view was prevalent amongst Sikhs.
Many of the Sikh Maryada practices which Sojhi labels as being idol worship can be addressed by looking at the writings of Bhai Mani Singh Ji. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji sent Bhai Mani Singh Ji to Sri Darbar Sahib to set up a maryada there, Bhai Mani Singh Ji not only implemented Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s instructions, he transcribed them as well. Bhai Sahib’s written maryada can be found in “Dastoor-e Amal Sri Darbar Sahib — Likh-tum Giani Mani Singh”. Bhai Mani Singh Ji’s writings show that Guru Granth Sahib Ji is to be recognized as the physical Guru as well as the spiritual Guru. This is seen with the following:
- 1. Bhai Mani Singh Ji has written that since Kings go in “Raths” on people’s shoulders, Guru Sahib should go from Darbar Sahib to Kotha Sahib and vice versa in the evening and morning in Raths on people’s shoulders, like a king. It is the Guru’s body which needs Rath and people’s shoulders, not “Atma”. “Atma” can fly.
- 2. When Guru Granth Sahib reaches Darbar Sahib, the rose petals are sprinkled by the Sangat, per instructions of Bhai Mani Singh Ji. The rose petals are sprinkled on somebody’s body not on their Atma.
- 3. Per Bhai Mani Singh Ji’s instruction, Asa Di Vaar is started in Darbar Sahib every day without Guru Sahib’s presence. When 13 out of 24 Chhand’s are completed, then Guru Sahib arrives from Kotha Sahib. Immediately Keertan is stopped and everybody gets up. Then Guru Sahib’s Parkash is done and Hukamnama is taken, only then Keertan resumes and the rest 11 Chhand’s of Asa Di Vaar are recited. Bhai Mani Singh Ji, per Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s instruction, tried to make a point here that Guru Sahib himself has arrived and everything must be stopped. The Sangat must listen to what Guru Sahib wants to say through the Hukamnama.
- 4. In every Gurdawara at the Sukhasan time, everybody bows when Guru Sahib is taken to Sukhasan place; making a point Guru Sahib himself (his body) is going to rest. It is the body which needs rest not the Atma. Then we sing “Jithe Jahe Bahe mera Satguru…..” “Bahe” means “sit down”. It is the body which needs to sit down not the Atma.
Bhai Mani Singh Ji’s transcription of Guru Gobind Singh Ji‟s instructions, again confirm that Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the physical representation of the Guru.
In the historical text Pra-cheen “Panth Parkash”, it is written that Jassa Singh and other Sikhs got together and did Ardaas in front of Guru Granth Sahib Ji in order to see whether they should proceed in defeating Usman Khan. Jassa Singh and Sikhs are shown deferring to Guru Granth Sahib Ji for advice. “Panth Prakash” mentions the words of the Ardaas by Jassa Singh were:
ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸੱਚੀ ਹੈਂ ਦੇਹ
Guru Granth Sahib Ji, You are the true eternal body
ਸਿਖ ਸੰਗਤ ਕੋ ਸਚ ਵਾਕ ਦੇ
Give the true direction (hukamnama) to the Sikh sangat.
Finally, it is important to realize that the physical representation of the Guru in the Panth is only achieved when according to the Sikh Rehat Maryada, all Amritdhari Sikhs are together. It is difficult to argue that in absence of such a large gathering there is no physical representation of the Guru. Instead, Sikhs were always granted a physical representation through Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Even when a Sarbat Khalsa is formed, it is incomplete without the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and a hukamnama is only passed after taking a hukamnama from Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
The “Sojhi” syllabus stresses that Guru Granth Sahib is not the physical form of the Guru and that calling Guru Granth Sahib Ji the physical body of the Guru is equivalent to “idol worship.”
It further states that it is inappropriate and “wrong” to do bhog for Guru Granth Sahib. In a 2nd grade chapter about Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Adi Granth, the syllabus mentions that “Granth” means “book” and then mentions that “The book itself is not my King”. This is in line with the Kala Afghan Ideology – see Figure 3.
Figure 3: Guru Granth Sahib is a book not a living Guru
This is a dangerous trend and needs to be stopped.
It is unfortunate that Sojhi takes the stance of presenting their Dohra lesson in a way that is inconsistent with Sikh history. It is also contradictory to the Dohra currently being recited at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and other Gurdwaras.