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About Compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Sikh Research and Education Center: Publications: Adi Birh Barai:

Guru Granth Sahib and Compositions of Satta and Balwund

Guru Granth Sahib and Compositions of Satta and Balwund

In the book “Satgur bin hor kachi hai Bani - Except Sat Guru, Utterances of all others, lack Maturity”, the authors (leaders of Panch Khalsa Diwan, headed by Taja Singh Bhasaur) tried their hard to prove that it were Baba Prithi Chand (the eldest brother of Guru Arjan Dev) and Chandu, who intrigued for inclusion of the Compositions of the Bhagats in Guru Granth Sahib, after the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev. We have clarified that Guru Arjan Dev had received the Compositions of the preceding Gurus and of the Bhagats at the time of his succession as Guru and later, along with his own Compositions compiled them in the form of Guru Granth Sahib. These people invented the story that after Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom the authorities took hold of the Holy Book. They write about the Swiyyas of Bhatts and Ode of Satta and Balwund, as below -
“Emperor Jehangir made a pact with Prithia and his party. This was the most critical time for the Khalsa. At this time, the compositions of Hindus, Muslims and Muslim musicians were incorporated in the Holy Book along with the Gurus’ Compositions, thus evolving a strange admixture.”
The organizers of Panch Khalsa Diwan also made an appeal in this book that “they have full confidence that the Sikh scholars will consider this grave problem with perfect calmness.” But they themselves used utmost rough language. At page 149 of their book, while making mention of Satta and Balwund, they wrote -
“It is likely that the greedy Muslim musicians had to suffer from leprosy when they spoke ill of the Guru. ...... It can be said with certainty that the two Muslim musicians took refuge of the Guru with an objective of material gains only .... They always worked for monetary gains alone, that was their only religion.”
At the end of their book they give the following opinion about the “Ode of Satta and Balwund” -
“All the Eight Stanzas of this Ode, are their apology. By submitting this Apology, they received redemption from their sin. As such this composition cannot be equated with Gurus’ Compositions. This is only a decision of a dispute, which should have been kept as a record in the Court of the Khalsa. Admitted, it is a part of history. But to treat this as Guru’s Word or to mention it as Guru’s Word, is against the tenets of Sikhism.”
We have to see whether the ‘Ode of Satta and Balwund’ during the time of Guru Arjan Dev, formed part of Guru Granth Sahib or not. If it formed part of the Holy Book, then the question of not paying reverence to it, does not arise at all, as we make obeisance to Sri Guru Granth Sahib in its entirety, our Guru (God Manifest).

Sardar G B Singh, the author of book, “Pracheen Birhan - Old han-written Holy Books”, used to take great interest in the examination of the old hand written volumes of the Holy Book. As already stated that he had no sympathy for Sikhism. He had no faith in the Gurus, as at many places he gave most derogatory remarks relating to them. This man considered Bhai Banno’s recension of the Holy Book as the real one. He tried his utmost to prove that the original Holy Book at Kartarpur was the copy of Bhai Banno’s recension.

It would have been noted that G B Singh in his book has mentioned about a number of hand written copies of the Holy Book and has also mentioned the dates when they were written. Bhai Banno’s recension and the copy of Holy Book of village BOHAT, these two volumes were written during the time of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The Holy Book of village BOHAT, except for its last 26 pages, has been written, in one hand only. G B Singh saw this for himself, and testified it. The extra spurious compositions, which were incorporated in it at the end of the Holy Book, were in different hand added after more than 70 years, about which G B Singh wrote with great emphasis. Had he found that the Compositions of Bhagats, Swaiyyas of Bhatts and the Ode of Satta and Balwund had been written in different hand in the Holy Book, he would have made this known to all with greater emphasis than the spurious matter included at the end of the Holy Book. Why should he have hidden this fact? A Research scholar, after Truth, could not hide it! He had no faith in Sikhism, and was out to inflict injury to it in every possible way. He was such a Research scholar, who was making mockery of Sikh Teachings and the Gurus’ history at every step.

Sikh historians have written that Bhai Banno’s recension was written on way to village Mangat. ( they believed that the Original Holy Book was taken by Banno to Lahore and then to his village Mangat). We have proved it beyond any doubt that it is fictitious story. The copy of the Holy Book (now known as Banno’s recension) was written at Amritsar, under the supervision of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Bhai Gurdas. There was no possibility of inclusion of any spurious composition in it. Guru Arjan Dev and Bhai Gurdas were fully aware that so many spurious compositions in the name of Guru Nanak were wide spread. Bhai Gurdas, therefore, took special care to see the correctness of the copy made from the Original Holy Book. At that time the Holy Book, now known as Banno’s recension, and the copy of the Holy Book of village BOHAT were written. This was done during 1662 Bikrimi (1605 A. D.), when Guru Arjan Dev Ji was alive. The Holy Book of village BOHAT was also written by one person only. As such, this witness is considered sufficient that no one could tamper with the original copy of the Holy Book. The story of Prithi Chand, Chandu and Jehangir, has no basis. All the Compositions of Bhagats, Swaiyyas of Bhatts and the Ode of Satta and Balwund, were included in the Holy Book by Bhai Gurdas under the directions of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji.

As regards reverence to the Ode of Satta and Balwund, we have the solid proof that it was under the direction of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji that the Ode of Satta and Balwund was included in the Holy Book, and is to be read with same reverence as the Compositions of the Gurus. There should be no dispute about this.

Bhai Gurdas’ name is well known to the Sikh people. He was a nephew to Sri Guru Amar Das. From the time of Guru Ram Das, he was asked to preach Sikhism to the people in different parts of the country. The preaching could only be on the basis of Gurus’ Compositions. He was, therefore, thoroughly well versed in the understanding of the Gurus’ Compositions. Bhai Gurdas himself has written two books - “Vars” and “Kabits”. Vars have been written in Punjabi language and Kabits in Brij-bhasha. His compositions are considered to be the key to the understanding of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. While writing his own works, Gurdas has very often used the same phraseology as is found in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, especially the phrases occurring in the Ode of Satta and Balwund.

Professor Sahib Singh quoted a large number of phrases from Guru Granth Sahib, which Gurdas also used, especially from the Ode of Satta and Balwund. As this portion is not directly related to our subject of “Compilation of Guru Granth Sahib”, we have, therefore omitted this portion. Suffice it to say that Gurdas used many of phrases occurring in the Holy Book, in his own works.

In the book of Panch Khalsa Diwan, one objection raised against the Ode of Satta and Balwund, is that they used word “Lehna” for Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji. Page 151 of the book reads -

“They committed great mistake in writing “Lehna” as Guru Angad’s name. Guru Nanak by bestowing Guruship on Baba Lehna, made him Guru Angad Dev. As the Muslim musicians were ignorant of Philosophy of Sikhism, therefore they might have written so. But from the Sikh point of view it is a mistake.”
In this context we draw their attention to the following verses in Bhai Gurdas’ Var number 24 -
  1. babanai ghar chanan lehna - Pauri 6 - In Baba’s house, Lehna was the LIGHT.
  2. put soput babanai Lehna Pauri 7. Lehna was the Beloved Son of the Baba.
They called Satta and Balwund as “greedy Muslim musicians”. What epithets they would give to Bhai Gurdas, is to be seen!
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