(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)
I humbly present this subsection to the visitors of www.amritworld.com under the title of ‘The Pages Of Guru-History’.
While working on this subsection, the biggest problem to deal with was fixing the correct dates of different events during the Guru-History. The different writers have given different dates of birth, marriages, ‘Gurgaddi Divas’ and ‘Sachkhand Gaman’ of different Gurus. It is not easy to find out correct dates.
We can say that the birth date of the first Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, is the first date of Guru-history. There is no unanimity on this date either. Many writers wrote that he was born in the month of ‘Kattak’; others wrote that it was the month of ‘Vaisaakh’.
Because, I have just introduced this subsection and my intention is to give the description of events, and not when they happened; I have decided not to go in depth with dates/years. For the start, I preferred the dates/years given by Bhai Kesar Singh Chhibbar in his book ‘Bansaavali-naama Dasaan Paat-shaahiyaan Ka’, which was written in 1769 AD. On the other hand, it does not mean that I did not care about dates given by other writers. I have tried to tally the dates given by different writers, but most of the time, these differences do not bother me a lot. (Some time, it becomes necessary to find out of the accurate date).
I will try to make a chart of these differences of dates and will add it in this subsection in future.
The second problem is finding the source of a ‘Sakhi’ or occurrence. There are many incidents in Guru-History, which are not written in many books. Some events are mostly known by everybody, because they have been written in many-many books. A description given in a single book can be true, and a description given in many books can be false one. To find out the truth, one needs to work hard on different points.
There are many sources of Guru-History. I prefer the ‘Sikh’ sources, to be exact the books written by ‘Puratan’ Sikh writers/devotees. The Gurbani itself is a great and doubtless source of Guru-History. The poetry by Bhai Sahib Gurdas Ji is another reliable source.
In my list of other ‘Puratan’ sources, there are some books, which must be analyzed before writing on any point of Guru-History. The ‘Gur Sobha’ is the book written by poet Sainapati, which is a good source to know the history of tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji. The ‘Gur Sobha’ was written in 1711 AD, just three years after Guru Gobind Singh Ji left for his heavenly abode. The ‘Gur Bilaas Pat-shaahi 10’ written by Bhai Kuyer Singh Ji is also a valuable source to know this period of Guru History.
Then, comes the ‘Bansaavali-naama Dasaan Paat-shaahiyaan Ka’ written by Bhai Kesar Singh Chibbar. He was the person, who had the chance to live in company of Mother Sundri Ji (wife of Guru Gobind Singh Ji), Bhai Kirpal Singh Ji (maternal uncle of Guru Gobind Singh Ji), Bhai Mani Singh Ji (priest of Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar Sahib Ji) etc. this makes his work more valuable. The ‘Mahma Prakash’ written by Saroop Daas Bhalla, and ‘Gur Bilaas Pat-shaahi 10’ written by Bhai Sukha Singh are the sources, which cannot be ignored by any historian or researcher.
The ‘Gur Partaap Sooraj Granth’ and ‘Sri Nanak Prakash’ are two such great books, which have widely been accepted in the masses. Since long, the ‘Granthis’ have been doing the ‘Katha’ of Guru-History using these books. Bhai Santokh Singh Ji, a great poet, wrote these books.
The ‘Guru Keeyaan Saakhiyaan’ is considered a ‘Puratan’ source, though I believe that there is major ruination in this book. Even then, this book can be used after very careful analysis.
The major part of ‘Panth Prakash’ written by Ratan Singh Bhangu describes the history of Punjabi Sikhs and Misals, but some information has been given in this book on Sikh Gurus. The new ‘Panth Parkash’ and ‘Twareekh Guru Khalsa’ written by Giani Gian Singh are another famous sources, though he sometimes is considered a ‘controversial’ writer. ‘Janamsakhi Bhai Bala’, and ‘Puratan Janamsakhi’ also are important sources.
This is just a beginning of this subsection of ‘The Pages Of Guru-History’. In the beginning, preference will be given to write on those Sikhs, who have been ignored by many writers. I hope that in future, I will be able to add more and more pages in this section, by the Grace of the Guru.
Waiting for your feedback and suggestions,
– Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’