Wednesday, 4 June 2014

An entry sent for the Royal Asiatic Society Tod 121: Dasam Granth Sahib

The Dasam Graṅth was written by the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Gobind Singh. Over time the name of the Graṅth has changed from simply Graṅth Sahib of Guru Gobind Singh (Dasam Pātshāh kā Graṅth), to simply Dasam Graṅth. The scripture is written in Gurmukhi verses following the tradition of the previous Gurus. However the language is mainly Braj Bhasha, with small sections in Persian, and rustic Punjabi. The main leitmotiv of the Dasam Graṅth is righteous war or dharma yudh, with a few devotional sections, mainly translated from the Sanskrit Purāṇas. The poetry is rhythmic and heroic, and intended to rouse the martial spirit of the reader.
            The structure of MSS TOD 121 is as follows:-
The contents folio begins with:
Ik Oaṅkār Srī Bhagautī jī Sahāi ‘The contents of the Scripture of the Wonderous Tales, spoken by the Tenth King’.
1.      Jāpu – ‘Recitation of God’s Attributes’ – folio 1-6
2.      Akāl Ustati – ‘Praises of the Timeless Lord’ – f. 6-20
3.      Bachitra Nāṭak – ‘Wonderous Tales’ – f. 20-36
4.      Chaṅḍī Charitra – ‘Tales of Chandi’ – f. 36-49
5.      Chaṅḍī Charitra II – ‘Tales of Chandi II’– f. 49-58
6.      Vār Srī Bhagautī jī kī – ‘Battles of Chandi’– f. 59-63
7.      Giān Prabodh – ‘Explanation of Wisdom’– f. 63-77
8.      Chaubīs Avatār – ‘The Twenty-Four Incarnations of Sri Vishnu’– f. 77-127
9.      Krishnā Avatār – ‘The Incarnations of Sri Krishan’ – f. 127-308
10.  Brahmā Avatār – ‘The Incarnations of Sri Brahma’ – f. 308-321
11.  Rudra Avatār – ‘The Incarnations of Sri Rudra’– f.  321-358
12.  Shastra Nām Mālā – ‘Rosary of Ancient Weapons’– f. 358-404
13.  Svaiye – ‘Stanzas of the Khalsa’ – f. 404-407
14.  Jo Kich Lekh – ‘Reply to Brahmin Priest by the Guru’– f. 407
15.  Re Man Aiso Kar – ‘Shabads in Rāgas’– f. 407-408
16.  Pakhiyān Charitra – ‘Tales of Deceit’– f. 408-686
17.  Zafarnāmā – ‘Letter of Victory to Emperor Aurangzeb’– f. 686-705
Contains Hikāyāts ‘Tales.’
18.  Asfotak Kabitt – ‘Miscellaneous Poetry’– f. 705-708
Includes Mājh of the Tenth Guru
The colophon reads Saṅmat 1895 Bikramī/ 1828/29 ad. In the binding a glued note reads:-

‘The Grunth’ a sacred book of the Sikhs, to the object of their worship. Presented to Lieut Col. His C.M Wade by Jawahir Singh, a descendent of the one of the Priests of the Sikhs.’ A loose folio reads, ‘This is not the Adi Granth but the Dasama Padshah Ka Granth’, ‘the book of the 10th King’ Gur Govind. Presented to the Royal Asiatic Society in Nov 1842 by Mr Wade (folio 1a). Compositions or portions of 1, 2, 6 and 16 are used in daily Sikh liturgy.

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