Saboteurs ‘confirm value of Sri Dasam Granth’
In 2008, there was a real resurgence to ensure that the wisdom contained in the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib was given proper respect by various Samprayadas and noted scholars. The second scripture of the Sikhs, the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib has always played a vital part in the Sikh tradition of the Nitnem banis and the Khande de Pahul ceremonies.
Its importance was underlined on January 3 at Gurudwara Baba Sang in Smethwick, Birmingham, UK, when the Sri Dashmesh Durbar was undertaken to celebrate the Gurpurb of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Following the Barsi of Sant Baba Takhur Singh, Damdami Taksal, on December 22-24 where a Sehaj Path of Sri Dasam Granth was held in Leicester, the event was specifically advertised as a celebration of Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s Bani.
The main Durbar was flanked by two Sikhs holding Nishan Sahibs (Sikh flags/battle standards). The Sikhs themselves carried shields on their backs and swords at their sides as in times of old. It was an impressive attempt to mirror the Durbar of the Guru for the sangat, although we can only envisage what the Durbar of the Tenth Guru would have looked and felt like, with Kavis (poets) listening to the Guru recite his bani.
On the recital of the Ardas, the Nagara or battle drums were beaten to great effect. This was followed by Hukumnamas from both Granths, Sri Guru Granth Sahib and then the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. Recitations were given from Sri Dasam Granth including the last two Hikayatan of Zafarnama, Jaap Sahib, Shabad Hazare Patshai 10, Misar Prat/Khalsa Mehma, Shastar Naam Mala and Chaupai Sahib.
After certain recitations a bell could be heard and then narial or coconuts were seen and heard being chopped. In modern times Nihangs and the Damdami Taksal perform chatka on coconuts or sugarcane when the bell is sounded.
This was then followed by Arti Arta, a special recitation normally undertaken as a province of Sikh Samprayadas, like the Nihangs. This was according to the Dal Panth Maryada of the Akali Nihangs, who have held Sri Dasam Granth in the highest of esteem over the past three centuries.
Kirtan of Sri Dasam Granth shabads began with Tum ho sabh rajan ke rajah in Raag Darbari by Satpal Singh (Student of Ustad Ajeet Singh Matlashi ji). Katha was undertaking by Bhai Ranjit Singh (Damdami Taksal/Student of Sant Kartar Singh Ji) who gave discourses on Sikh philosophy, the Bana and farla (sacred attire of the Nihang Singhs) and how Sri Dasam Granth ties in with it. He also detailed the maryada of Bir Ras Bani with chatka of coconuts.
Bhai Ranjit Singh Rana (Sahib Magazine) spoke about the significance of Chaubis Avatar and why Guru Gobind Singh wrote the bani. He said people were misguided on the meaning of what Guru Ji was saying. Chandi Di Var was a smaller bani than others, he said, but it described six battles, and hence Sri Dasam Granth was a Yudh Granth.
Bhai Manmeet Singh talked about prakash of Sri Dasam Granth taking place at the Takhts and commented on the fact that the Prakash at the Akal Takht was only stopped relatively recently. He said there was no Khalsa Panth no Nitnem and no Ardas without Sri Dasam Granth and also dispelled the myths on Arti Arta and the chatka of coconuts. He also gave anecdotes from Sikh history with regards to whom and where the Sri Dasam Granth was mentioned and re-iterated the intellectual/philosophical and physical challenge of Buddha Dal to those who talk disparagingly about Sri Dasam Granth.
Stage secretary Bhai Daljeet Singh, Nirmala criticised Ragi Darshan Singh, the former Akal Takht Jathedar, for creating controversy on the Sri Dasam Granth. Giani Balbir Singh (Damdami Taksal) maintained that a nonsensical approach was being taken by some Sikhs on trying to understand Charitropakhyan. He spoke on the nature of Krishna Avatar and on why the bani was important to Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderwale, who regularly took Hukumnamas from Sri Dasam Granth.
Bhai Sukha Singh spoke on the Kala Afghana supporter and missionary Inder Ghagga, who has been pouring scorn on the Sikh Gurus. He forecast that that the Sri Dasam Granth detractors who first started on Sri Dasam Granth, will turn on Guru Granth Sahib next. He recommended that everybody should learn more about banis like Bachitra Natak.
Further Kirtan was undertaken by Gursharan Singh and Hari Singh. Bhai Harjinder Singh Lallie performed Bir Ras Raag kirtan using classical Tanti Saaj and the daughters of Bhai Amrik Singh (Damdami Taksal) and Bhai Sukhwinder Singh (Birmingham).
Bhai Manmeet Singh and Bhai Harjinder Singh Lallie talked about text messages allegedly sent by certain individuals in organisations trying to sabotage the event. He said this was not the first time that an attempt had been made to derail a Sri Dasam Granth event – the International Sri Dasam Granth Seminar Series in California in 2008 had featured phone calls to participants and organisers. Bhai Harjinder Singh Lallie said detractors had done the event a favour by confirming the organisers’ belief that it was important to the Panth and very much needed.
The Durbar and Sri Dasam Granth Sehaj Path were published on the internet with viewers able to see the proceedings live all over the world. Many people went online to join in discussions.
The Gurudwara has announced that regular recitals of Akal Ustat will take place every week and further events promoting the bani of Guru Gobind Singh will be undertaken in 2009. Siropas were given to the organisers at the conclusion of the event, which ended with the Ardas and the Nagara being beaten again intermittently. Hukumnamas were again taken from both Granths, firstly Guru Granth Sahib Ji and then Sri Dasam Granth.
Sukh Asan (posture of rest) was conducted for both Granths. Guru Granth Sahib led the way and Sri Dasam Granth followed as they both made their way to Sachkhand.
The organisers thank those who attended and showed their support for Sri Dasam Granth and to all the Panthic Jathebandia such as Nihang Singhs, Damdami Taksal, Nanaksar and Nirmaley Samparda for their involvement.
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