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Sikh Research and Education Center: Articles on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib:

Chandi Charitter Editorial by Sardar Tharam Singh


Chandi Charitter

Tharam Singh’s article on “Chandi Charitter” was published in the Spokesman Weekly’s Monthly Issue – October 1999.

Observations of Tharam Singh on Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, Chapter One

He writes, “Chapter 1. In the opening lines of this strange life story of the goddess Durga or Chandi, the writer makes an appeal to the Almighty who made the deities and the demons, to bless the bard’s effort to relate this story of Chandi. Verse 3 says: ‘She who killed the demons Chand and Mund, whose light is shining bright; Whose club like arms punish devils, and who adorns the nine divisions of the earth.’”

He continues to state – “In the 6th verse, the Brahmin author reveals the source of the whole story: ‘I will now relate in easy language the strange story of Chandi as related in the Markande Puran and other sacred books.’” The writer then mentions a King Surath losing a battle and retiring to the woods, where he reaches the Ashram of Mehdas Muni . This rishi begins the story of Maya Maya, the goddess Bhagwati, or Chandi, who ensnares all, young and old, foolish and wise men, in her wiles of attachment to lust and greed.

He then relates briefly the tale of the great deluge, and shows the deity Vishnu asleep on the waters. From his navel springs a lotus flower out of which arises Brahma. At about the same time, out of the wax from Vishnu’s right ear are born two demons, Madu and Kitabh. It took Vishnu 5000 years to bring these demons under control. (It was only 2000 years since the Mahavharat battle had taken place, and the Purans were written at about 500 A.D).

Indra and other gods were driven out of Amravati and came up to Kailash where Shivji was still in a trance. His consort Chandi was commissioned by Vishnu to go out to fight the demons. She used her well equipped eight arms to kill off the demons. There were rivers of blood and birds and animals of prey had a great feast. Only a few demons who fled the scene escaped, and Indra was re-installed in Amravati. Here the bard says:’Here ends the first Chapter of of the Chandi Charitter, as given in the Markunde Puran, with the death of Mdhu and Kitabh.”

Reply:

First I shall deal with the words “Ukat Bilas.”
Ukat – arguments, wisdom or wonderful
Bilas – description
Comments on Chapter 1 of Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, Sri Dassam Granth Sahib are given hereunder, which will prove how poorly our so called scholars have translated three treatises of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji on CHANDI appearing in Sri Dassam Granth Sahib, and came to the bias, motivated and senseless conclusions.

First of all let us read the last Chapter 14 of Bichittar Natak, which is very Important to Note. This Chapter precedes Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas. Herein Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji stated -

“Chaupai – The Ever Existent Lord liberated all the Saints, while all the malevolent persons were done to death by undergoing sfferings. O Lord, Your doings are Wondrous whereby You have saved Your devotees from all the troubles. (1)
You have saved the saints from all the troubles; while all the trouble makers have been crushed just as tiny thorns are crushed. Considering me as Your servant, You have helped me and saved me by Your Grace. (2)
Whatever spectacles I have witnessed , I narrate them. You, O Lord, if You shower Your Grace upon me and enable me, this servant will narrate them. (3)
As and when whatever I have seen various things, I desire to narrate them Whatever I have witnessed in my previous existences, I will with Your Grace, narrate them all. (4)
The Ever Existent Lord (Sarabkal) is my Father and the same Master of all the Times is my Mother. The Enlightened Mind is my Guru and mental tendencies , which have made me do good deeds, are my Mother. (5)
When the Enlightened Mind became full of thoughtfulness only then it became my Teacher (Guru) and told everything to me in clear form. Whatever events I have witnessed in my previous lives, now I wish to narrate them. (6)
When the Ever Existent Lord out of His Compassion showered Grace upon me, all those previous births were recollected by me. (7)
I could get so much Wisdom, by His Grace only. The Ever Existent Lord became kind to me and all in the times becoming Protector like All Steel, He defended us all. (8)
I have the Protection of the Supreme Lord in all the times. O Almighty, All Steel, You Alone is my Protector in all the times. Having realized Your Grace on me, I have become Fearless, assuming myself to be the leader of the people, I at times feel pride in this. (9)
As and when the previous births of mine came to my memory, I have described them in the Granth. As I have seen in the Satyuga, I have related the tale of the goddess. (10)
Earlier also the stories of Chandi have been told and the descriptions from top to bottom have been made. Putting aside the stories told previously, now again I desire to eulogize the Lord. (11)”
The purpose of giving chapter 14 of Bichittar Natak here is Three fold,
  1. To prove the authenticity of Sri Bichittar Natak, where previous births of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Sri Guru Ram Das Ji have been given, and also the Origins of BEDI DYNASTY and SODHI DYNASTY, etc. Earlier I have given the Guru’s Wondrous description of the Creation Myth, etc.
  2. This vividly proves that Sri Guru Gobind Singh was the author of all the Three Versions of CHANDI, NONE ELSE.
  3. The Guru Praised all along God Alone none else, saying in the end, “Putting aside the stories told previously, now again I desire to eulogize the Lord.” (11)
The Guru begins Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas with Swaiyya, followed by two Doheras, in Praise of God Alone –

Swaiyya -

“God is the Primal Being, Unfathomable, Inexpressible, Desireless, Not Limited to any Expression or any Specific Garb and Indestructible. Such a Lord created Two Forces (1) Siv [God’s Light in all, SGGS describes this as SAT GURU POORA – The Vital Life Force – The Spiritual Force. In Sri Anand Sahib, Pauri 26, it is stated, “Siv sakat aap opaey kai, karta aapai hukam vartai.” In Sri Guru Granth Sahib, this phrase has been used more than 30 times.; as siv sakti ka male ] (2) Sakat or Sakti [Material Force], the Four Vedas and Three Gunas (Three Modes of Matter or Maya), Pervades all the Three Spheres. God created Day and Night, Sun and Moon as lamps to provide Light. From the Five Elements of Matter (Maya), which are Space, Air, Water, Heat and Earthly Material, (Rocks, Mud, etc), He created polemic feelings ( Moral and Evil), thus made the persons (Saintly and Evil Minded ) named as gods and demons respectively, fight against each other; and HIMSELF sits apart to witness the entire Play. (1)”
Doheras –
“O Lord, Ocean of Mercy, if Your Grace is on me, then I can compose the narrative of Chandika and with Your Blessings my description be beautiful. (2)
O God, Your Light is Resplendent in the entire manifest phenomenon. You are the Power of Akalpurkh (Sat Guru Poora or Chandi) to chastise CHAND and CHAMUND. You punish the demons with the strength of Your Upper Arm and You are the Creator of all Nine Realms. (3)”
Such a devotion to GOD ALMIGHTY, SRI AKAL PURKH we do not find in Markande Puran or in any other Hindu Scriptures.

If we understand this opening Swaiyya and two Doheras of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, then understanding of the treatise on Chandi becomes absolutely clear. In the description of CHANDI, the functioning of Three Forces are described -

  1. GOD ALMIGHTY, THE CREATOR, WHO Sheds His Light from which He creates the Universes, both Life and Matter; This Divine Light (Sat Guru Poora) is also called SIVA OR CHANDI, The IMMANENT GOD, verily GOD HIMSELF, THE DOER.
  2. Human Moral Self or Higher Part of Mind, is personified as gods, Indra, etc.
  3. The Human Instincts and Passions, the Lower Part of the Human Mind, These are Wild Animal Instinctual Powers, become Uncontrollable, run amuck and make persons DEMONS. These Instinctual Animal Powers in Chandi Charitters have been Personified by the Different names of DEMONS.
The struggle begins between the Higher Part of the Human Mind (Moral Self), personified as gods on the one hand, and the Instinctual Animal Powers on the other. As the Animal Power in Persons is much stronger, the Moral Self in Persons (gods) are vanquished in the struggle. The weakened Moral Self prays to God (Sat Guru Poora or Chandi) for help to restore peace in persons and their supremacy in controlling the demons. God answers the prayers, now there begins the fighting between the Divine Force in persons God or Sat Guru Poora or Chandi and the Animal Instinctual Powers, the Demons – The Divine Force (Chandi) annihilates these Demons. Again the Moral Persons reign supreme in their domain by virtue of the Divine Intervention. In realiy, it is not Persons who fight to overcome the Instictual Poweful enemies, but God fights, and helps persons. This is amply and clearly described in Sri Guru Granth Sahib also.

Tharam Singh has drawn our attention to verse 3, given above. In this connection it may be clarified that Demons CHAND in Chandi Charitteras denote GREED, and CHAMUND OR MUND denotes INFATUATION. God Alone is the Creator of these Instincts or Passions, and their adverse effect can be destroyed by Him Alone. This fact has been stated in SGGS repeatedly, and also in Chandi Charitteras.

On what basis has Tharam Singh assumed that the author of this treatise is a Brahmin, not Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji? Verse 6 makes no such assertion. Whereas in verses 10 and 11 of Chapter 14 of Bichittar Natak quoted above, it was clearly stated by Guru Gobind Singh Ji that Chandi Charitteras were his writings.

Observation of Tharam Singh on Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, Chapter One

“Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji narrates the story of King Surath, who turned Rishi - In Swaiyya (7) the Guru states, “A Rishi named Surath renounced his home and made forest his dwelling place for fear of his family and kins and for having developed a sense of detachment. He put on the vestures of an ascetic and sat, along with his companion Rishi Samadh, in a posture of deep meditation. The Invincible Chandika who protects the gods (Moral Persons) and annihilates the demons (human wild instincts and passions) appeared on Earth. He asked the fellow Saint to tell what the Five Tale is.”

Reply

Myth -

Muni Samadh narrates –
har (Braham or God) soey rehe suj sain taha, jal jal karal bisal jaha. Bhio
nabh saroj tai bis karta, sarat mail tai dant rachai jugta. (8)
God was sleeping on His bed at a place where there was water spread dangerously far and wide. From the lotus of His navel was born Brahma, maker of the World, and two demons were created with His Power from the dirt in the ear. (8)

These demons were named Madhu and Kaitabh. They had very huge bodies. On seeing them, Brahma was greatly terrified and he meditated upon the World-Mother in his mind. (9)

Dohera – chuti chund jagai braham, kio judh ko saj, daint sabhai ghat jio budhai devan raj. (10)
As God (Braham) woke up, He made preparations for a war against them (demons). God wanted the demon power (Animal in Man) to diminish so that the kingdom of gods (Morality) be flourished. (10)

Swaiyya.
Judh kaio tin so Bhagwant, na mar sakai ati daint bali hai. Sal bhey tin punch hajar doho latai na ba tali hai. Daitan reejh keho bar mang krho har seesan daih bhali hai. Dhar ooro par chakar so kat kai jot lai aapnai aung muli hai. (11)
God (Bhagwant) fought against the demons but He could not kill them. The fighting continued for five thousand years, both the sides went on fightng without ever feeling that their arms tired. The demons were pleased at the endeavors made by God and told Him to ask for a boon/ God demanded their heads to which they agreed. God put their heads on His thigh, cut them with His Wheel and merged their Light into His Own. (11)

After killing Madhu and Kaitabh, the gods (Moral abiding persons) established their own kingdom. Then God made His way homeward to Heaven. (12)”

The Myth has been translated, and where necessary the original has also been given to remove any misunderstanding.

The Myth is given below -

“When there was no creation, God alone was there and lying asleep (latent state) on the cushion of Hydra Serpent in a vast frightful ocean. God first created Brahma (the Creative Power in the Universe) from His navel. He then created the demons from His ear wax. He named the two demons (one man and one woman) as Madh and Kitab. The demons developed their bodies in huge dimensions. Brahma was terrified on seeing them and prayed for the help of the Divine Mother (Chandi or God's Light). God was then awakened from sleep and hastened to make the war preparations in order that the demons could be eliminated and the rule of gods (righteousness) be established. God then engaged Himself in fighting battle with the two demons but could not do away with them, as they were very powerful. (judh kio tin so bhagwant na mar sakain aat daint balie hai). It is God Who has created the Instinctual Passions, which are undying till death. In this way, they went on fighting for five thousand years and none of them felt tired. The demons were greatly power intoxicated and told their Creator to ask for a boon from them. God asked for their heads. He then cut their heads with the Disc Wheel by placing them on His knees and thighs, and incorporated their light within Himself. In this way, God established the rule of gods by killing the demons, and handed over the Kingdom of the Earth to gods, and Himself took the way to homeward in Heaven. (devan thapio raj, Madh Kitab ko mar kai, dino sakal samaj, baikunth gami har bhai.)”
According to the myth, the Universe was in the state of dissolution, or in a state of rest. God alone was there. His Powers of Creation were in the latent state or in the form of seed, away from the soil. God then lay Himself in the Cosmic Womb. He then brought into Being His Inner most Self, the Immaculate Lotus of Pure Consciousness from which is born all Wisdom and Knowledge. In Vedic literature, God is said to have created from His navel, the thousand petalled Lotus Flower, depicting this Universe, and Brahma (the Creative Power of God was at the center of all existence.) Brahma, the part of the Creative Power of God felt that the instinctual powers in man were too great and had apprehensions of that it may not lead to his total destruction. Brahma is said to have prayed to "Chandi", the Light of God or the Life Force, to annihilate the forces of darkness, which hindered the creative process. This Vital Energy or the Creative Force or Chandi is identified with God. It is God's Light and is God, just as there is no difference between the qualities of the Sun and its rays of light. It is God, Who came to the rescue of man and harnessed the Creative Energy from the Animal Power in man. The Beast in Man is indeed very Powerful (aat daint balie hai). “jin mil marai punch soor bir, aiso kavan bali re” (Guru Arjan Dev, Rag Asa, p 404, SGGS). God in order to control the wildness of Man directed his surplus energies toward the process of procreation. He is said to have caused the killing of Madh and Kitab, i.e. engaged Man and Woman in sexual union, thus removing the wildness in them. After thus establishing Peace, God in the Myth is stated to have made His Way homeward toward Heaven. In Symbolic Language, the Killing signifies involvement in a sexual inter-course of man and woman in all cultures. Placing of a person on thighs is universally accepted symbolism of coitus. God thus removed the chaos in Man, which was shattering his peace. He harnessed man's surplus energies into creative channels and evolved something sublime out of this slush perpetuating the creative process in him. Guru Arjun in one of his verses said that "countless Brahmas are being engaged in the creation of this Universe." (kehi kot brahmain jag sajan lagai), There is the Brahma in every living being - God's Creative Force. The sex potential in humans is the Divine endowment. Its sacredness or its offensive and sinful nature leading to destruction, entirely depends upon observance of the Laws of God.

It is of great importance to note that in this myth, the Supreme Creative Power, the Light of God or the Vital Force, called Goddess Chandi and God are completely identified. In Sikh Scriptures God's Light in Man is completely identified with Him and is called "Sat Guru", verily God Himself. It is quite clear to us that Chandi, God's Light is Sat Guru, Who is being defined in this myth.

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in adopting the Mythical Story of Chandi, in a modified form as given in Markande Puran has not compromised the Sikh Essentials, rather strengthened GURMAT, in depicting the differences.

Above it has already been established that all the Three Versions of Chandi Charitter were authored by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji(refer to the Bachittar Natak). The Guru all through in his writings had Praise for God alone, None Else. The theme of the treatise is the Perpetual Struggle in Man against his own Evil Instincts and Passions; and overcoming of this Evil with the Divine Support. This was the end of Chapter 1 of Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas.

Observations of Tharam Singh on Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, Chapter Two

With regard to Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, Chapter 2, Tharam Singh writes “A new demon Mehkhasur with head of a buffalo, and more powerful than any other, now came up abd drove Indra and his pleasure loving deity friends out of Devpuri again. When Chandi rushed to the battle this time, she faced 45 million, trillion demons. She killed them all(it is difficult to swallow this picture of so many corpses. There could have been no standing room for the fighters in the first place). This time when Chandi returned victorious from the battle, there was rejoicing in Devpuri, with the showering of flower petals on her. “The celestial singers placed their stringed instruments, Cymbals clashed and the heavenly maidens danced to the music.”

Until a few years back, the verses of this Arti, verses 54-56, used to be sung along with some hymns from the Adi Grath, in some Gurdwaras, at the end of an Akhand Path, and the ritual of raining flower petals used to be enacted by the assebbled sangat.”

Reply

The Conflicts in Man between the Divine Powers of Truth, Light and Immortality on the one hand and the instinctual drives leading to darkness, untruth and death, on the other, is the theme of Chandi Chritra. The Victory of the Divine element over the irrational impulses has been glorified. The demons represent the lower part of the mind, the gods Vishnu, Indra, etc. represent the real self in man. We learn from this treatise that the Animal in Man is Very Powerful, and the Animal Power has to be Reckoned With. The Animal Forces invariably vanquish the gods (our real self), who in turn looks to the Supreme Power for help in restoration of the lost authority. In most of the Hindu mythical stories, severe conflict is depicted between the beast in man and his real self, and the latter not being equal in strength loses the battle and the supplication for the Divine Support, is made, and then the animal forces are eliminated restoring the right place of the real self in man. These three layers in man's thinking are accepted in the Sikh Teachings. Sikhs daily make supplication to God to establish the Spiritual and mental harmony in them so that they may subordinate their instinctual desires to the dictates of the intellect, which in turn be guided by the Divine Power. One must know his real Self, must seek enlightenment through knowledge, integrity and activity by identifying with the highest ethical values. The Sikhs daily pray - sikhan da mun nivan, mat oochi, mat pat ka rakha akal purkh Wahiguru.

The story of Goddess Chandi has been divided into the following three parts:

  1. Conflict with Madh and Kitab
  2. Conflict with Mehkhasar
  3. Conflict with Sumbh and Nisumb and the following subsidiary demons:
I will now discuss the Conflict with Mehkhaser and thereafter answer Tharam Singh’s observations given above.

Conflict with Mahkhasar

Mahkhasar means a buffalo-headed. In the first part, the fight is between the sex instinct in Man and his Real Self (Devas), in which the latter are completely routed. As our Real Self and the Sex Instinct here have been personified as Devas and Mehkhaser, respectively. In the Chandi Charitter great fighting between the two parties is stated to have been fought. The armies of Demon Mehkhaser came out victorious, and the gods (our Real Self) were robbed of their kingdom, as well as their wealth by the demons. They were ousted of their land, and they now made Kailash Mountain as their residence. In Vedic Symbolism, white bull represents "Sun" (Heat) identified with God, while buffalo symbolizes dark regions of 'Varuna' or the water element. The Bull loves Heat and the Buffalo loves water. The Heat in Buffalo is to be extinguished or consumed by the water, which means a craving for sex desire.

The 2nd part of this Conflict. Many days passed for Devas had been residing at Kailash Mountain The vanquished gods or devas (Real Self) seek the support of God for Moral Strength. The Self surrenders to the Divine Power in us (God's Light in us) and tries to live upto His dictates, and thus gains strength. One day Chandi came out to have a bath. All the gods or Devas or our Real Self paid their obeisance to her. The Devas narrated their entire story to Chandi that Mehkhaser had usurped ther kingdom, and You help us. Listening to these words, goddess Chandika got infuriated and said, “I shall kill all the demons and so long you can live peacefully here on Kailash Mountain.”

[It is understood that according to the Markandya Puran, (not Chandi Charitter): "from the forces of God, Brahma and Shiva sprang forth Fierce Heat, and from the bodies of other devas also, headed by Indra issued forth a resplendent luster. All this light became unified into one. The devas saw in front of them a pile of light blazing like a mountain whose flame filled the whole space. Then that matchless light born from the bodies of all gods gathered into a single corpus and turned into a woman enveloping the three worlds by her luster." This part has not been accepted by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and has not been included in the Chandi Charitter. Who can add to the Virtues of God, or take out any? God and His Light (Chandi) are One. (Small wonders, the originators of the fallacious story that Guru Gobind Singh performed the yajna and poured into the fire pit all the combustible material in one lot thus causing a pile of light blazing like a mountain, must have got the inspiration from this account given in the Markandya Puran. Needless to say that the Sikh history has been written by half wits, totally biased persons, who had no sense whatsoever what they were writing about. They could not decipher the myth, but gave the literal meaning of the myth only. O we Sikhs are so impoverished in scholarship that we defame our Great Gurus and Sikhism!!)].

Chandi then got possession of a conch (war bugle), a lion to ride and various types of weapons including Sword. The Guru has described in great detail how this battle was fought by Chandi with demon Mahkhasar, his numerous commanders and men. Be it remembered this Life Force has been personified as Chandi, and the powerful sex instinct as Mahkhasar and his men. As a result of the fierce fighting by the men of Mahkhasar with Chandi, the former were defeated. A man then rushed to report to Mahkhasar about the complete devastation of his army by Chandi. Mahkhasar was then greatly enraged and came to fight with Chandi. Mahkhasar was then killed along with all of his men. The devas (Real Self) then again became supreme in their region and began to praise the Goddess in all humility.

note:
Mahkhasar stands for sex instinct, Chandi is God's Light or the Life Force. Taking bath, fighting and killing, means channelling the sex instinct in a socially acceptable way based on ethical principles. This is how man attains victory over his Self (instincts or the animal forces within him) in union with God. This is the way how character is build up.

More Observations by Tharam Singh and the Reply

Tharam Singh has raised two observations -
(1) When Chandi rushed to the battle this time, she faced 45 million, trillion demons. She killed them all(it is difficult to swallow this picture of so many corpses. There could have been no standing room for the fighters in the first place.)
(2) Until a few years back, the verses of this Arti, verses 54-56, used to be sung along with some hymns from the Adi Grath, in some Gurdwaras, at the end of an Akhand Path, and the ritual of raining flower petals used to be enacted by the assebbled sangat.

Reply

(1) Tharam Singh must realize that this is a Mythical Lesson Giving Story and not an historical event, in which the Divine, our Higher Self and Our Instincts and Passions of Lower Mind, have been personified, and depicted as the Real Persons were fighting.

The relevant portion of Chandi Charitter, as translated by Dr. Jodh Singh of Punjabi University is given below –

“The demons numbered forty five Padam. This huge contingent comprised four categories [chariots, elephants, horses and foot me]. Some of them marched with the king, whle others marched on both the left and right side of the king. (30)
The forty five padam strong contingent split itself into three – ten, fiftenn and twnty sections. Fifteen padams were on the king’s right, ten on the left, while twenty were with him. (31)”
This distribution of troops cannot be as large as Tharam Singh interprets. It cannot be said with certainty what word padam is here meant.

(2) This writer does not see any thing wrong in singing the said verses in Gurdwaras at the end of Akhand Path and making a shower of flower petals on SGGS. The verses are in praise of Chandi, Who is God’s Light or Sat Guru, verily God Himself.

Further Observations of Tharam Singh on Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, Chapters Three to Seven

Tharam Singh wrote - “Chapter III Then come two more demons, Sumb and Nisumb. This shows how the bard’s mind wanders, reviving the demons after their slaughter in the hands of Chandi. Another frightful battle is described in the same crude language of a common story teller. The fight ends with the defeat of the deities, who again run upto Kailash and do their weeping and wailing there, on hearing which, Chandi comes out in great rage. The next 10 verses describe the devi’s glamorous beauty. The demon king Sumbh hears about her charms and sends one Dhoomar Nain to challenge her. After his defeat in this small scale fight, we read: Here ends the 3rd Chapter of the Markande Puran….”

Chapter IV:
“In the same style, we read about the description of two demons Chand and Mund: Here ends the 4th Chapter of the Markande Puran …..”

Chapter V:
“The fable is made more exciting with the introducton of a special demon, Rakat Bij, whose every drop of blood on falling on the ground , turns into another demon. To counter this emergency, Chandi blew out a flame from her mouth to conjure a blood drinking goddess Kali, who drinks up every drop before it falls to the ground. Rakat Bij is thus killed and: Here ends the 5th Chapter of the Markande Puran, with the death of Rakat Bij.”

Chapter.VI:
“King Sumb then sends his brother Nisumbh with large army and here a little more excitement is added by showing Chandi sustaining a spear thrust into her mouth. Thebard compares the flow of blood to the fluids from the betel palms thrown out by a pretty maiden; and he adds that he cannot help appreciating this pretty sight – what crude sense of beauty! “Here ends the 6th chapter of the Markande Puran, with the death of Nisumbh.”

Chapter VII:
In the last Chapter, we read how the demon King Sumbh takes to battle. The whole earth shook, Shivji’s trance was broken, his necklace of snakes dried up in fright. But the mighty arms of the devi brought Sumbh down to the ground, from where his body flew up into the sky, to be followed there by the devi for the final death blow.

Reply

The story of Goddess Chandi has been divided into the following three
parts:
  1. Conflict with Madh and Kitab
  2. Conflict with Mehkhasar
  3. Conflict with Sumbh and Nisumb and the following subsidiary demons:

Conflict with Sumbh and Nisumbh

After killing of demon Mehkhaser (Wildness of Sex Instinct), the glory of gods (Higher Self in Man) increased, and thus peace was established. Thereafter two more most powerful demons appeared. They were called Sumbh (Pride) and Nisumbh (Anger). Sumbh (pride or Homain) is the Basic Human Malady, the root Cause of all disorders in character traits. Sumbh is therefore described as the King of all demons. Next to Sumbh, demon Nisumbh (Anger) has been described as the Brother to Sumbh (Pride or Homain).

Both the demons, Sumbh and Nisumbh made a most powerful invasion on the territory of Indra (Conscious Self). The devas led by Indra gave a stiff resistance to the titans but to no avail. A lengthy account of this fighting between Sumbh (Pride or Homain) and his brother Nisumbh (Anger) on one side and gods led by Indra (Our Higher Self) has been decribed. The devas were expelled from their territory and the demons took possession of all the three regions.

Devas (Real Self) again went to the domain of Shiva at Kailash Mountain (Meaning at the top of the body, HEAD, where abides God in all) for restoration of their Kingdom. Chandi again heard the story of the Devas (Higher Self in Man) and promised to help them. She then engaged herself in a war with the demons. All of a sudden Chandi's fore-head burst open and from there another goddess, black in color, sprang up, who was named Kali or Kalika. She is the symbolic of Wisdom coming out of head of Chandi (Life Force). According to the Greek Mythology, goddess Athene (Wisdom) was born from the head of god Zeus. On Chandi's direction, the daughter goddess Kali incorporated herself back into her mother's body. “Looking at Kali, Chandi spoke these words to her: “O my daughter, Kalika! You may merge into me.” (Verse76) For full details please read Verses 74 – 77.

Chandi appeared full of youth and beauty, climbing down the hill. A demon came to that place on some purpose. On seeing Chandi, the demon became unconscious, and on regaining consciousness he saw the perfect beauty of Chandi. Then with folded hands he told her that he was a brother to the great King Sumbh, who was then the Supreme Sovereign of three worlds and that she should marry him. Chandi replied that she would marry Sumbh, provided the demon defeated her in a battle.(Verses 81 – 84) The demon, on hearing this, went to Sumbh and told him that there was a surprisingly beautiful woman, a jewel among women, whom he should marry as he had everything in his house except a wife. Sumbh was greatly allured and became impassioned to conquer her. The brother described the beauty of Chandi to Sumbh as an exceptionally beautiful woman. A beautiful description of Chandi’s beauty is given in verses 85 – 89, which are matchless in poetry, which only the Guru could do.

Sumbh despatched a demon, called "Dhoomar Lochan" (Cloudy Vision) toward Chandi. Dhoomar Lochan was to persuade Chandi to accept the proposal and to bring her to him. If Chandi were to resist and insist on a fight, then she should be captured forcibly and brought to him. Dhoomar Lochan advanced toward Chandi with his army, and on reaching at the foot of the mountains shouted at her to either marry Sumbh or to fight with him. On hearing this, Chandi climbed down, rode on her tiger and rushed toward Dhoomar Lochan. (In Markande Puran it is Dhoomar Lochan, and not Dhoomar Nain as stated by Tharam Singh. It was in Chandi di Var, the Guru translated it as Dhoomar Nain. However, both mean the same thing, Cloudy Vision). After a long fight, the demon was killed along with his army. (Verses 91 – 100). End of Chapter 3.

Sumbh on hearing this sad news of the death of Dhoomar Lochan, sent forth Chand (Greed) and Mund (Attachment) to fight with the goddess. Chand and Mund have also been described as "wavering mind and infatuation respectively". A good deal of fighting with these demons took place. In verse 112, it is stated, Mund took sword in hand, made another blow at the tiger Chandi was riding, then wounded the goddess also. As he demon was about to retract after injuring the goddess, she pulled out an arrow of her quiver. She shot the arrow and killed many. Then she cornered Mund and slayed his head. With the same spear she also cut off the head of Chand. End of 4th Chapter.

Sumbh and Nisumbh became greatly concerned over the losses and decided to send demon "Rakat Bij" (rumors and also hearing ill of others) along with selected army to fight with Chandi. Guru Gobind Singh has further elucidated "Rakat Bij" by describing the demon as "Sarnvat Bij". The word "Sarnvat" means, hearing.

Sarnvat Bij along with his army fought heroically with Chandi and her army. The demon's most of the army was killed and the remaining took to flight. The demon again assembled his men and brought them back to the field.

A dreadful battle was then fought. Sarnvat Bij felt unconscious but again stood up on regaining the consciousness and resumed fighting. There was now an unusual phenomenon, which was that on falling of blood drops of Sarnvat Bij on the ground a number of demons began to rise up to fight with the goddess. As the demons began to multiply in this way, they all the more felt more proud of their might. This refers to the auto-plastic action of the human mind to fabricate stories, imagine things and spread rumors. Rumor is a queer belief which is passed along from person to person without any evidence of the happening whatsoever. The rumors spread on account of importance of the thing and their ambiguity. At each stage the rumors are fabricated on the basis of one's prejudices. The rumors create wrong beliefs and more often unnecessary conflicts. The weakness can be overcome by acquiring knowledge and wisdom. Chandi then again from her fore-head produced Black goddess Kali (Wisdom) carrying skull topped staff. Mow Chandi began to kill the demons and Kali began to drink their blood and did not allow any drop of blood to fall on the ground. In this way Sarnvat Bij and his army was routed. Those who could save their lives went to Sumbh and told him of their fate. End of Chapter 5.

Sumbh and Nisumbh were then filled with exceeding rage. Giving vent to their indignation they rushed forward with their army, by reassembling those who had fled from the field earlier, to fight with Chandi and Kali. The fighting was most dreadful. God then considered of providing more strength to Chandi, hence all other powers were merged in her. After forceful fighting, the entire army of demons fled away from the field.

Fighting with NISUMBH. Sumbh then told Nisumbh to go forth with his army and fight with the goddess. The demons regrouped their forces and took up positions. Most of the army of Nisumbh got killed. Then began a duel between Nisumbh and Chandi. Chandi pierced a spear through the forehead of Nisumbh. The demon pulled out the spear and thrust it at Chandi, hitting her face. After killing many powerful demons, Chandi again attacked Nisumbh with her Sword and severed his head from the body. End of Chapter 6.

FIGHTING WITH SUMBH (PRIDE). On hearing the death of Nisumbh (Anger), Sumbh (Pride) came to the battlefield with his army in great rage. This was the most devastating battle ever fought. Chandi at the end thrust her Sword on Sumbh, who was seriously injured and weakened. She sprang forward, seized him, lifted him up and threw him down with great force. Sumbh then like a bird went high up in the sky and Chandi followed him there and fought with him. The goddess with the lightening stroke of her Sword cut Sumbh into twain and the parts of his body fell on the ground. Sumbh, the Pride hath its fall. End of Chapter 7.

Further Observations of Tharam Singh on Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, Chapter Seven

Tharam Singh has raised the following observations at the end of Chapter 7 of Chandi Chariter Ukat Bilas -

“The gods then celebrated this victory with a rain of flowers on the victorious devi. Earthen lamps were lit and arti was sung. The poet Shyam then exhorts us to hear or read the Chandi Charitter to obtain all our worldly needs. Book one ends with an invocation to the goddess Siva – the consort of Shiv Ji thus – “deh siva bar mohe eihai, subh karman tai kabho na taron.” The writer candidly admits that he has based the whole poem on the Markande Puran. He has been all praise throughout this poem, of his idol, the goddess Durga, Chandi, Kali, Bhagvati, Parwati etc. etc. The only meaning that can be given to ‘Siva’ is therefore the same: Shiv Shakti or Chandi.

The Poem based on the Markande Puran can only be written by a Brahmin worshipper of the Devi. By no stretch of imagination can we associate the name of Guru Gobind Singh with this ChandiCharitter. By the same argument the song “deh siva mohe eihe …” is authored by by the Brahmin poet Shyam or his associates who thought up the scheme of composing the ‘Bachitter Natak Granth’ after the demise of Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru who declared: ‘ram rahim puran koran anaik kehai, mut eik na manyo.’ Could never be expected to waste his time on such a cheap fairy tale.

A further argument for disassociating Guru Gobind Singh from this appeal to Siva, is the use of the word “bar” a special boon to do good deeds. The Guru who instructed his Sikhs to only ask for God's Grace in the form of His Naam, did not need any special boon for himself. Doing good came naturally to him. Regardless of success or failure, we are urged to remain always thankful and happy to His Will. The question of of the Guru asking for special boons from Siva is simply ridiculous.” End of Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas.

Reply

Also, Tharam Singh in his observations under Chandi Charitter, Book Two, stated, “Both Book One and Book Two begin with the Guru’s greeting, ‘eik onkar waheguru ji ki fateh’. And this has been sufficient to have led the Sikhs astray all these years.” We have already proved beyond any doubt by quoting Chapter 14 of Bichittar Natak, which immediately precedes Chandi Charitter Ukat Bilas, that the Guru stated in no uncertain words that he was the author of Bichitter Nantak and all the Three Versions of Chandi Charitter.

While explaining Swaiyya in Verse 1, it was explained at length that the word ‘Siv’ stands for God’s Light or Spiritual Force as frequently used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Chandi is God’s Light, verily God Himself. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji states in Verse 29, Introduction to 24 Avtars –

“God is the Creator of the whole Universe. From God emerged the Tremendous Amount of Light, which shed its rays everywhere and in all. This Light became the Cause of Creation of everything in the Universe, and became to be known by the Name of Bhavani.”
pritham kal sabh jug ko tata, ta tai bhio tej bikhiata. Soei bhavani nam kahaei, jin sagri ye sirast opaei. (29)
Bhavani is also known as Durga, Chandi, Kali, Bhagwati, Parbati, and many other names. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib, God’s Light is defined as Sat Guru Poora, verily God Himself.

Tharam Singh’s other observation is, that the Guru who instructed his Sikhs to only ask for God's Grace in the form of His Naam, did not need any special boon for himself. Doing good came naturally to him. Therefore, he could not accept when the Guru asked for grant of boon of doing good actions from God. Therefore, the Swaiyya appearing at the end of Chandi Charitter, “deh siva bar mohe eihe, subh karman tai kabon na taro…”, and the Chandi Charitters are not of Guru Gobind Singh, but were authored by some Brahmin named Shyam. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib there are many prayers to do good actions, such as Slok with Astpadi 6 in Sukhmani Sahib -

“May my lust, anger, avarice, attachment and the ego depart: O Lord, I seek Thy Refuge. Bless me with Thy Grace.”
kam karodh ar lobh moh binas jaey aumaiv. Nanak prabh sarnagti, kar parsad gurdev.
(Translation by Dr Gopal Singh)


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Further Observations of Tharam Singh on Chandi Di Vaar pauri 50

Tharam Singh wrote last but 1, 4 sentences of Pauri 50 of Chandi di Var - “sabas slonai khan ko. Sada sabas terai tan ko. (Devi’s). Tareefa pan chaban ko. sada rehmat kaifa khan ko. Sada rehmat turai nichan ko. (I have added last sentence to complete)

Tharam Singh translated as under – “This is high admiration for her chewing of betel leaves, and indulging in opium or other drugs. Is there any Sikh prepared to believe that Guru Gobind Singh authored this ballard of Chandi?”

I have with me Translation of Sri Dassam Granth Sahib by Dr, Jodh Singh and Dr. Dharam Singh. These authors have done no justice in rendering translation of the Holy Book, as they have done the literal translation. I, however, give below their literal meanng of the whole of Pauri 50 of Chandi di Var -

“Again the drums were sounded and both the armies clashed against each other. Then Nisumbh put armour on his steed and made it dance in the field. He sent for a huge bow on a special request from the king of Multan. Durga on her part, moved forward in the field to fill the entire field with blood and flesh. Durga took a step forward and made a blow of sword at Nisumbh. The blow was so strong that the sword sawed Nisumbh’s body, cut through the armour of horse, slayed the horse into two and touched the earth. The brave Nisumbh fell down the horse bowing to Sumbh. [Impressed by the bravery and prowess of Nisumbh, the poet appreciates him saying :]

“Worth appreciaion is he; and worth appreciation is his prowess; the fearless way he chews beetle leaf also deserves appreciation. His way of taking stimulants is wonderful. Equally worth appreciation is the way he faced the arrows and the way he made his steed move swiftly. 50.”

The last 5 sentences are in appreciation of Nisumbh, who met his end while fighting with goddess Chandi, and are NOT for the goddess, as stated by Tharam Singh.

It is a matter of great surprise and pity that neither the translators nor the reviewers of this treatise cared to know who was goddess Chandi and who were the demons she fought with and for what? Why this was made a religious text, and why Sri Guru Gobind Singh was attracted to it and what modifcations he made in the Puranic text?

I may add here this much for the convenience of the readers, that this is the Great Fight between Goddess Chandi (God’s Light in us – The Vital Life Force in us – we call SAT GURU POORA verily God Himself) on one side and the Demons (The Unconquerable Instinctual Passions) on the other side; the Devas are our Moral Self (Higher part of our Mind or Self), who makes supplication to the Divine for help, and the consequent fight.

Pauri 50 is the last phase of this Great Fight between goddess Chandi and Demons Sumbh and Nisumbh. Of all the Demons these two are most powerful. Sumbh is Self Pride and Selfishness; Nisumbh is Anger. In Pauri 50 is described the end of Mighty Demon, ANGER. In the subsequent 4 Pauris is described the fight between goddess Chandi and Sumbh (Self Pride), our Mghtiest Enemy, the root cause of all human ailments.

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