Note: Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the eternal Guru of the Sikhs and no other granth can ever take the place of the King of Kings. The historical evidence provided here is to simply show how in Puratan times the parkash of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Dasam Granth was done side by side which is still continued at Sri Patna Sahib and Sri Hazur Sahib.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh listening to the ‘Granth’ being recited near the Golden Temple. Painting by August Schoefft (1809-1888), Vienna – from a sketch made by Schoefft in Amritsar – Princess Bamba Collection. Picture date 1841
The following is an excerpt from a book, Sketch of the Sikhs, a singular nation in the province of Penjab,written by Sir John Malcolm in 1812. John Malcolm’s work is one of the rarest firsthand information recorded by a western historian on the lifestyle, belief systems and traditions of the Sikhs in Punjab during the 18th century.
When Gurmata or great national council, is called, (as it always is, or ought to be, when any imminent danger threatens the country, or any large expedition is to be undertaken) all the Sikh chiefs assemble at Amritsar. The assembly, which is called the Guru-mata, is convened by the Acalis; and when the chiefs meet upon this solemn occasion, it is concluded that all private animosities cease, and that every main sacrifices his personal feelings at the shrine of the general good; and, actuated by principles of pure patriotism, thinks of nothing but the interests of the religion, and commonwealth, to which he belongs.
When the chiefs and principal leaders are seated, the Adi-Granth and Dasama Padshah ka Granth are placed before them. They all bend their heads before these scriptures, and exclaim, Wa! Guruji ka Khalsa! Wa! Guruji ki Fateh! A great quantity of cakes, made of wheat, butter, and sugar, are then placed before the volumes of their sacred writings, and covered with a cloth. These holy cakes, which are in commemoration of the injunction of Nanac, to eat and to give to others to eat, next receive the salutation of the assembly, who then rise, and the Acalis pray aloud, while the musicians play. The Acalis, then the prayers are finished, desire the council to be seated. They sit down, and the cakes being uncovered, are eaten of by all classes of Sikhs: those distinctions of original tribes, which are, on occasions, kept up, being on this occasion laid aside, in token of their general and complete union in one cause.”
“The Acalis then exclaim: “Sirdars! (Chiefs) this is Guru-mata!” on which prayers are again said aloud. The chiefs, after this sit closer, and say to each other: “The sacred Granth is betwixt us, let us swear by our scripture to forget all internal disputes, and to be united.” This moment of religious fervor and ardent patriotism, is taken to reconcile all animosities. They then proceed to consider the danger with whcih they are threatened, to settle the best plans for averting it, and to choose the generals who are to lead their armies against the common enemy. The first Guru-mata was assembled by Guru Govinid; and the latest was called in 1805, when the British army pursued Holkar into the Penjab.(pages. 120-123)”
This excerpt clearly shows the existence and acceptance of two different Granths by the Sikhs, the author specifically names “Adi-Granth and Dasama Padshah ka Granth”, it’s clear he’s not using Dasam Patshah da Granth to mean a recession of Guru Granth Sahib created by the 10th master.
Some Sikhs with rudimentary knowledge such as Dr. Jasbir Singh Mann want us to believe that the British or someone else tampered and introduced the Dasam Granth in the 19th century. This just is not true, Dr. Mann would have us believe that the British would first write spurious sketches like the above, introduce the Dasam Granth, and then fool the Sikhs by pointing to those sketches as proof of Dasam Granth’s acceptance, it just does not add up. Remember the British were not in charge of the Punjab until 1812 and the evidence of parkashe’s of the two Granths is well before this. Finally, why would the British want to write a Granth that encourages their opponents (the Sikhs) to bear arms? If anything, they would want to suppress it and thereby neuter the Sikh threat.
A historic painting from Gurudwara Ramsar, circa 1800s, depicting the divine respect accorded to both Adi Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth. Note* how the latter is placed on a lower pedestal
The Khalsa army Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s tyar bar tyar fauj
Sikh religious ceremony for new recruits to the Sikh Regiment, 1947
The Pahul was a Sikh baptismal ceremony that symbolised the full acceptance of the faith. Many Sikh Indian Army units insisted that all new recruits undertake the ceremony which harked back to the old Sikh army, the Khalsa, which consisted only of those soldiers who had taken the Pahul and embraced all the laws of Sikhism.
Notice there is only a Granthi doing sewa of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and no granthi where the Dasam Granth Bir is present.