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.
Historical Evidences of compositions of Dasam granth
18th Century (1701-1800)
Guru Gobind Singh left his holy abode of Nanded, India in 1708. In the late 17th Century (particularly after 1670 onwards) was the time when the Sikhs had to hide in jungles due to the constant attempts by the Mughal empire to eradicate them though various acts of persecution. There were very few attempts of writing Sikh history in this period in the 17th Century. Many of the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh were spread across India by Sikhs and a few more were shared by Mata Sundri at Delhi. Sikhs had access to various pothis (booklets) of Guru Gobind Singh’s writings. These were available from contemporary historians and writers who wrote about Guru Gobind Singh’s life.
Sri Gur Sobha – Poet Senapat(1711)
The following are conclusive points reached about the Dasam Bani while studying Sri Gur Shobha:
- Poet Senapati had access to the Bachitar Natak Granth.
- Poet Senapati has narrated the conversation of Guru Gobind Singh and Akal Purakh, which is a part of Bachitar Natak.
- Poet Senapati has written history of religion in the same way and style as in the Bachitar Natak Composition.
- Poet Senapati used words like Sri Kaal, Chandi Sudhari in his poems which means, that these words were part of Sikh hymns of that time.
- Poet Senapati used the language in futuristic accent as used in Kalki Avtar of Dasam Bani.
Following is a detailed explanation, which shows that the Bachitar Natak Granth was present up until 1711:
This was one of the first book to illuminate the writings in the Sri Dasam Granth. This book is written not only in the style and language of the Sri Dasam Granth but some verses are similar to the verses found in Sri Bachitra Natak, most notably the battles of Guru Gobind Singh. It is clear that the court poets wanted to emulate the writings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji as these were read in the Guru’s darbars and gatherings.
Rehitnama Bhai Chaupa Singh (Early 18th Century)
This Rehitnama was written in early 18th Century. As per Prof. Ganda Singh, Prof Piara Singh Padam, this was written in early 18th Century after the demise of Guru Gobind Singh. The Rehitnama contains many couplets from Bani of the 10 Patshahi (tenth Guru).
Following facts about Guru Gobind Singh’s compositions are present in this text:
- Chaupa Singh quoted various couplets from Bachitar Natak Bani written by Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib.
- Chaupa Singh also quoted various lines from Swaiyeys writen by Guru sahib.
- Chaupa Singh also elaborated on the knowledge that Guru Gobind Singh had about Puranas (Hindu holy volumes) and Gurmukhi Lipi (alphabet).
This Rehitnama is available in the market in a book “Rehitnamey: Piara Singh Padam”, published by Singh Brothers.
Rehitnama/TankhahNama Bhai Nand Lal(Early 18th Century)
TankhahNama/RehitNama – Bhai Nand Lal (Early 17th Century): These were written by this famous Court poet of Guru Gobind Singh and he is well known to Sikhs. He mentoined the following parts of Guru Gobind Singh’s compositions in his writings:
- Jaap Sahib was present and was part of Daily Liturgy. It was read along side Japji Sahib, the first composition by Guru Nanak found at the beginning of the Guru Granth Sahib.
- Bhai Nand Lal also believed that one should “Not blindly share important things and not to trust “blindly” anyone, especially sly women”. This was as a warning to naive Sikhs to be vigilant and to be aware of people who act deceptively to trap them and violate their trust and their rights. This issue was first addressed by Guru Ram Das and then Guru Gobind Singh explained this with help of stories. This fact is acceptable in almost all Rehitnamas and historical books. Some people consider this text to be degrading to women folks but this is due to a misunderstanding of the intention of these writing.
This Rehitnama is also available in the market in a book “Rehitnamey: Piara Singh Padam”, published by Singh Brothers.
Rehitnama Bhai Prahlad Singh
Rehitnama Bhai Prahlad Singh contains a line which says that Jaap Sahib is a Sikh Litergy. Bhai Prahlad Singh states:
ਬਿਨਾ ‘ਜਪੁ’ ‘ਜਾਪੁ’ ਜਪੇ, ਜੋ ਜੇਵਹਿ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ || ਸੋ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕਾ ਕਿਰਮ ਹੂਇ, ਜਨਮ ਗਵਾਵੈ ਬਾਦ ||
One who is spending life(doing religious activities) without Understanding of Japuji Sahib and Jaap Sahib, he is living insect of excreta and will lose this birth.
This Rehitnama is available in the market in a book “Rehitnamey: Piara Singh Padam”, published by Singh Brothers.
Guru Mahima – Poet Chand Svarankaar(Early 18th Century)
Poet Chaand Svarkaar was Court Poet of Guru Gobind Singh. The Poet mentioned in his composition that Guru Gobind Singh meditated on Kalika. Guru Gobind Singh mentioned this in Bachitar Natak.
ਕਲਿ ਮੈ ਹੈ ਝਕ ਮਰਦ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੈ ਨਾਮ ਜਾ ਕੋ || ਤਾ ਤੇ ਭਝ ਆਠ ਮਹਿਲ ਨਾਵਾਂ ਕਹਾਇਓ ਹੈ ||
ਤਾਤੇ ਗਰ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾਲਕਾ ਮਨਾਈ ਹੋਈ || ਕਾਲ ਗਈ ਮਹਿਲ ਦਸਵਾਂ ਕਹਾਇਓ ਹੈ||
Chandd Narbad Singh Bhatt(Early 18th Century)
Narbad Singh Bhatt was a Court poet of Guru Gobind Singh. He mentioned that GUru Gobind Singh told him the real wisdom and real meaning of Saarda which Gobind Singh told in Akal Ustat and Krishna Avtar. Poet Said
ਸਿਮਰੂੰ ਸਾਰਦ ਮਾਤਾ ਦੇਵੀ ਸਤਗਰ ਸਚੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਬਤਾਇਆ ||
ਰਦੂਤ ਜਲਹਾਨੇ ਸਾਤੋ ਭਜਾ ਤਮਹਾਰੀ ਸਾਤੋਂ ਕਾ ਜੱਸ ਚੋ ਕੰਟੀ ਛਾਇਆ ||
Guru Gobind Singh told:
ਰੇ ਮਨ ਭਜ ਤੂੰ ਸਾਰਦਾ ਅਨਗਨ ਗਨ ਹੈ ਜਾਹਿ ॥
O mind! Remember the goddess Sharda of innumerable qualities;
ਰਚੌ ਗਰੰਥ ਇਹ ਭਾਗਵਤ ਜਉ ਵੈ ਕਰਿਪਾ ਕਰਾਹਿ ॥੬॥
And if she be kind, I may compose this Granth (based on) Bhagavata.6. (Krishna Avtar, Guru Gobind Singh)
Parchi Gobind Singh Ki – Bava Seva Dass (1741)
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- Parchian Prove this that the though process of Dasam Bani was prevelent during that time.
- Parchian Quote a verse from Ram Avtar and 33 Svaiyey.
- Parchian also mention presence of Zafarnama with Hikayats.
- Parchian also include words like Bhagauti Sri Kaal etc.
Gurbilas Patshahi 10 – Koer Singh Kalal(1751)
The First ever authentic History book mentions incident of Guruship to Shri Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh, was written 43 years after the Death of Guru Gobind Singh, includes the direct names of Compositions of Guru Gobind Singh, the same compositions that are found in the present Dasam Granth. The most detailed History of Guru Gobind Singh is mentioned in this Book.
Key Facts regarding history of Dasam Guru’s Compositions are:
- Gurbilas mentions Krishna Charitar was written in Paonta Sahib, including Bisan Charitars.
- Gurbilas Mentions Bachitar Natak granth was writrten By Guru Gobind Singh at anandpur
- Gurbilas Mention that Chandi Di Vaar was written by Guru Gobind Singh.
- Gurbilas mention that Jaap Sahib, Akal Ustat was written by Guru Gobind Singh.
- It also mentions that all 11 Hikayats were written by Guru Gobind Singh and source of these persian tales are Charitropakhyan.
It is believed that he must collected this all material for more then 5-10 years which give us lighten that Compositions of Guru Gobind Singh was available before 1740. As verses mentioned in Sri Gur Sobha(1711) and Parchian Sevadas(1741), which gives us strong belief about it’s Creation.
BansavaliNama Dasan Patshahi Ka – Kesar Singh Chibber (1769)
This is first attempt to write history post Guru Gobind Singh demise at large scale thats why it is target of Anti Dasam People to degrade this text as it mentions Dasam Bani was collected and made in form of Granth. It is called “”Chotha Granth””. This source mention all events of creating and purpose of creating Dasam Granth.
Sri Guru Mahima Parkash – Sarup Chand Bhalla (1776)
Guru Mahima Parkash contains :
- All Bachitar Natak History.
- 404 Charitar was written by Guru Gobind Singh.
- Chaubis Avtar was written by Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Kian Sakhian – Svaroop Singh Kausish (1790)
The most referred book by any historian is Guru Ki Sakhian, which is too followed during Making of Nanakshahi Calendar.The books gave us so many versions about Compositions of Guru Gobind Singh. After Studying we get following facts.
- Guru Kian Sakhian says that Bachitar Natak was written by Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur.
- Sakhian mentions about writing Krishna Avtar which was written by Gobind Singh at Paunta.
- Sakhian quotes various portions of 33 Swaiyey.
- Sakhian quotes various terminology of Guru Gobind SIngh like Mahakaal, Chandi etc.
- Sakhian quotes various lines from Shastarnaam mala and Bachitar Natak.
Gurbilas Patshahi 10 – Giani Sukkha Singh (1797)
Giani Sukkha Singh was Priest at Patna. He wrote about Gurbilas Patshahi 10.
- Sukkha Singh mentioned about Hemkunt, but he haven’t mentioned Hemkunt in geographical Location.
- Sukkha Singh mentioned Akal Purakh and Guru Gobind Singh discussion.
- He explained the use of Shastarnaam Mala he got in his life
- Sukkha Singh mentioned about Zafarnama written by Guru Gobind Singh.
Das Guru Katha – Kavi Kankan(Late 18th Century)
Kavi Kankan was believe to lived during time of three Gurus and was one of Poet of Guru Gobind Singh’s Darbar. In his book he mentioned history of 10 Gurus. He ended his narration of Guru’s history upto Khalsa Panth creation. Scholars fixed Das Guru Katha, is to be Creation of 1699, but some affix it to be of late 18th Century. About Bani of Dasam Patshah, following facts comes out from his COmposition:
- He mentioned Many lines from Bachitar Natak
- He Mentioned that Guru Gobind Singh was not worshipper of Idol Chandi but his chandi is something else.
19th Century (1801-1900)
Sketch of Sikhs – JB Malcolm (1812)
In 1812, JB Malcolm collected account of Sikhs and mentioned about Dasam Granth at various pages. During his time the collection of GUru Gobind SIngh’s composition is called Dasama Padshah da Granth. He added many things into sikhism with this granth. Acc. to him he established this war like granth to fight against tyranny. He also added translations of Some shastras for people to study.
Following are some of extracts from his book:
- Page 51 – Guru Govind Singh, in the Vichitra Natac, a work written by himself, and inserted in the Dasania Padshah ka Granth, traces lhc descent of the Cshatriya tribe of Sondi, to which he belongs, from a race of Hindu head, and throw it into the fire, he would he resus- citated to the enjoyment of the greatest glory. The Guru excused himself from trying this experiment, deelaring that he was content that his descendants should enjoy the fruits of that tree which he had planted.
Shaheed Bilas Bhai Mani Singh
In Shaheed Bilas Bhai mani Singh, Kavi Seva Singh has written that Krishna Avtar was written by Guru Gobind Singh in Paonta Sahib. He wrote: ਬਾਵਨ ਕਵੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਢਿਗ ਰਹੈ ।
ਮਨਿਆ ਉਨ ਮਹਿ ਗੁਨੀਆ ਅਹੈ ।
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖ ਤੋਂ ਕਲਗੀਧਰ ਆਪੈ ।
ਬੀਰ ਰਸ ਕੀ ਕਥਾ ਅਲਾਪੈ ।
ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਚਰਿਤਰ ਮਧ ਹੈ ਜਾਨੋ ।
ਖੜਗ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾ ਯੁਧ ਪਛਾਨੋ ।
ਜਿਸ ਤੇ ਸੁਨਤ ਕਾਇਰਤਾ ਭਾਗੈ ।
ਧਰਮ ਜੁਧ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਈ ਅਨੁਰਾਗੇ ।
(ਚੋਪਈ 47, ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਬਿਲਾਸ ਕਵੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਿੰਘ)
Gurpartap Suraj Granth – Kavi Santokh Singh
Max Arthur Macaliffe
Giani Gian Singh’s Writings
Giani Gian Singh (1822-1921), poet and historian, was born of a Dullat Jatt family on 5 Baisakh 1879 sk/15 April 1822, at Laungoval, a village in present-day Sangrur district of the Punjab. The Panth Prakash and Twarikh Guru Khalsa are the most important but not the only works of Giani Gian Singh. About Dasam Banis he was believer of Whole Dasam Granth Sahib. Panth Parkash is started with Manglachara of Gurus and Chandi. Following are facts of Dasam Bani present in his literature:
- He mentioned that Guru Gobind Singh has written Chandi Charitars and Vishnu Avtaar.
- He mentioned that Guru Gobind Singh at paunta written Jaapu Sahib, Akal Ustati etc.
- He Mentioned that Guru Gobind Singh wrote zafarnama with 12 HIkayats.
- He mentioned about all birs of Dasam Granth.
Giani Ditt Singh’s Writings
The Great Sikh Scholar and a known part of Singh Sabha Movement was strong believer of Dasam Guru’s Banis. He explained and quotes various things from Dasam guru’s Bani.
- He written a huge writing called Durga Parbodh in which he tried to clear every aspect of Durga in a the form of dialogue between Durga Bhagat and Tat Khalsa.
- He has written Raaj Parbodh Natak which contains various aspects of Triya Charitar. he compose a poetry with many couplets base of on Dasam bani. for eg. matey matang jare jar sang, bhur bictar natak mahe, khtan kara satgur jo vahe etc.
With this one could easily think that Singh Sabha Movement beginners were all believers of Dasam granth. For Ditt Singh’s writings one may contact Pritam Singh, a resident of Mohali who collected all writings(70+) of Ditt Singh.
20th Century (1901-2000)
* The Stub will be updated slowly
- Kahn Singh Nabha’s writings
- Bhai Randhir Singh’s Writings
- Bhai Randhir Singh Research Scholar’s Writings
- Bhai Veer Singh’s Writings
- Sirdar Kapur Singh’s Writings
- Historian Karam Singh’s Writings
- Joginder Singh Talwarha’s Writings
- Giani Haribas Singh’s Writings
- Dr. Trilochan Singh’s Writings
Professor Sahib SIngh’s Writings
Professor Sahib Singh was great Sikh scholar who did interpretation of Guru Granth Sahib and mentioned in his writings about Dasam Granth as writings of Guru Gobind Singh. He quoted various aspects of Dasam granth in his teekas and writings.
- He did teeka(interpretation) of Jaap Sahib. To read Click here
- He had written an article in 1941 to prove Guru Gobind Singh was not worshipper of Lady/Idol Chandi. He quoted varuious banis of Dasam Granth like Bhagauti Astotar, Chandi Charitar, Shastarnaam Mala, Triya Charitar 1, Bachitar Natak etc. To read Click here
Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale
Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, was a head of Damdami Taksaal who was MartyredIn 1984 at the Akal Takhat. He was great supporter of Dasam Granth. He gave various lectures on Dasam Granth and did katha of Bachitar Natak, Jaap Sahib and Other Banis .
Less Researched comments on Dasam Guru’s Bani
From starting of 1900, Teja Singh Bhasaur where started speaking against Bhagat Bani/Bhatt Bani/Gursikh bani present in guru granth sahib, he also spoke against Dasam Guru’s Bani. His movement was continued and arose again in end of 20th century and beggining of 21st century on wide range, though all the logics given are rejected by various scholars, the followers of this movement continued spreading false knowledge due to lack of Historical Knowledge and less deep study of Guru Granth Sahib. Regarding history :
- A Scholar, Daljeet Singh, commented in his book, Dasam Granth – It’s History that Contemporary Historians of the period of Guru Gobind SIngh like Senapat, Bhai Nand Lal, Chaupa Singh, Sevadas, Koer Singh and Bhai Mani Singh make no mention of Dasam Granth or any such writing of that period which is totally wrong as all above historians quotes various Banis and lines of Various Banis of patshahi 10. (One can go through above references and images attached to it.)
- A Historian, Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, in a interview claims that there is no reference of Dasam Bani in Gurbilas Koer Singh, Gurbilas Sukkha Singh and Guru Kian Sakhian, which itself is a fake claim as all of three contains wide description of Guru Gobind Singh’s Banis.
Some question too asked which was answered well by Sikh Scholars and Gurmukhs:
Did British Write Guru Gobind Singh’s Compositions?
Acc. to Dr. Jasbir Singh Mann, British introduced Dasam Granth tostrip the Sikhs of the spirit of independence and warfare which is a baseless claim that without any hard historical evidence. If the British aimed at stripping the Sikhs of their military might theywould have rather wanted the Sikhs not to read and revere Sri Dasam Granth which clearly contains the Bir Ras banee. Sri Dasam Granth also has details of the wars which Guru GobindSingh Sahib fought, and elevated the weapons to the same level as the embodiment of AkalPurakh. Hence by giving a detailed description of weapons and their usage and warning theKhalsa of the moral challenges it might face, Sri Dasam Granth prepares the Khalsa forwarfare, both physically and mentally.
In his paper:Descriptions of the Dasam Granth From the Sketch of the Sikhs in View of Sikh History, Gurinder Singh Mann shows that Malcolm was an eye witness to the prakash of Sri Dasam Granth at the Akal Takht. He also states during the Ranjit Singh period the Sri Dasam Granth continued to be seen as a Sikh scripture same as that as the 18th century. He shows categorically that the British did not create the Sri Dasam Granth.
All Sources Before British Mention about Guru Gobind Singh’s Compositions, which are mentioned above.
Did Nirmalas write Guru Gobind Singh’s Compositions ?
Acc to Anti Dasam People, All banis were written by Nirmalas after 1790, which is false according to above evidences. All Banis are Recorded in previous Histories from 1711 ownwards.
First Anti Dasam Compaign Said that, Nirmala priest Atma Ram of Calcutta worked with Mahants at Patna to create, compile and promote this Gurmukhi Granth titled “Dasmi Patshahi Ka Granth” in Devnagri to which Harpal Singh Pannu Replied In the numerous texts of the 19th century there is no mention of any Atma Ram working withany Mahant at Patna. One important 19th century text is Sri Gur Panth Prakash, the main Sikhtext of this period, which was written by Rattan Singh Bhangu a descendent of Bhai MehtabSingh Bhangu (who beheaded Massa Ranghar). There is no mention of any Atma Ram in thisimportant source of Sikh history. The Granthi of Patna Sahib, Baba Sumer Singh makes nomention of any Nirmala priest in his book.After Sri Dasam Granth was written it was then also transcribed in different languagesincluding Persian, Urdu and Devnagri. There is one copy of Sri Dasam Granth kept in theBritish Library that was written in Devnagri in the 19th century, over 100 years after thecreation of Sri Dasam Granth by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. There is however a mention of anAtma Ram in Malcolm’s ‘Sketch of the Sikhs’, who helped in deciphering the meaning of SriGuru Granth Sahib and other works for Malcolm (see p.9). And it appears that the same personhelped Malcolm understand the Indian judicial system (see p.128). There is no mention of anyGranth created by Atma Ram in this book and there is no mention of any Atma Ram workingwith Mahants from Patna.
Why Dasam Granth is not mentoned by Parchi Sevadas, Koer Singh, Sukkha Singh, Guru Kian Sakhian, Senapat?
All the above mentioned Sikh Scholars or chronicler (Historians), who had written about Guru Gobind Singh’s life Birth to death (1666-1708) do mentioned about his compositions, and picked various verses/lines from Guru sahibs compositions in their own narration but haven’t mentioned about the word “Dasam Granth” in any form. It is true, because the word “Dasam Granth” was coined later as Granth contains only the bani of Dasam Guru sahib, the khalsa first name it as “Dasvein Patshah ka Granth” later on the understood part “Patshah ka” eliminated because of short naming habit of human and the name “Dasam Granth” has been coined. The collection of Dasam Guru’s Bani was done later by Khalsa Bhai Mani Singh under supervision of Mata Sundri from the devotee sikhs who took all these writings earlier from Guru sahib. More than 35 writers or copier were appointed by Guru sahib along with more than 50 Poets (Scholars) at Anandpur sahib. The main work of these writers/copiers were to copy writings of Guru Sahib and circulate among the sikhs for spreading message. All chronicler (historians) who mentioned events after Demise of Guru Gobind Singh also mentioned about Dasam Granth naming Chotha Granth, Bachitar Natak Granth or Dasvein Patshah ka Granth etc. How could chronicler (historian),who was just including lifetime of Guru Gobind Singh in his composition could mention the event which had’t happened, during his lifetime and How a writer can go beyond the scope of his work? Yes, all mentioned the direct/internal references of Dasam Bani as discussed above, that was within the scope of chroniclers. 
Source: Sikhi Wiki