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By Robin Rinehart

The Dasam Granth is a 1,428-page anthology of various compositions attributed to the 10th Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, and an issue of serious controversy between Sikhs. the talk stems from significant concerns: a considerable component to the Dasam Granth relates stories from Hindu mythology, suggesting a disconnect from normative Sikh theology; and a protracted composition entitled Charitropakhian tells a number of hundred really image tales approximately illicit liaisons among women and men. Sikhs have debated no matter if the textual content merits prestige as a "scripture" or may be learn in its place as "literature." Sikh students have additionally lengthy debated no matter if Guru Gobind Singh in truth authored the complete Dasam Granth. a lot of the secondary literature at the Dasam Granth makes a speciality of this authorship factor, and regardless of an ever-growing physique of articles, essays, and books (mainly in Punjabi), the controversy has now not moved ahead. The on hand manuscript and different ancient facts don't offer conclusive solutions concerning authorship. the talk has been so acrimonious from time to time that during 2000, Sikh chief Joginder Singh Vedanti issued a directive that Sikh students no longer touch upon the Dasam Granth publicly in any respect pending a committee inquiry into the problem. Debating the Dasam Granth is the 1st English language, book-length serious learn of this debatable Sikh textual content in lots of years. in accordance with examine at the unique textual content within the Brajbhasha and Punjabi languages, a serious studying of the secondary literature in Punjabi, Hindi, and English, and interviews with students and Sikh leaders in India, it deals a radical creation to the Dasam Granth, its historical past, debates approximately its authenticity, and an in-depth research of its most crucial compositions.

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Extra resources for Debating the Dasam Granth

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Of the several titles by which it may be known, Var Durga Ki is the one found in the oldest manuscripts (Jaggi and Jaggi 1999, vol. 29 It covers the same basic events as the two previous compositions about the goddess Chandi, although it is considerably shorter. The opening verses of this composition begin the Sikh prayer of ardas [ardās] (prayer or petition). This and the two preceding compositions concerning the goddess are discussed in chapter 3. Gian Prabodh [Giana Prabodha] (“Awakening of Knowledge”) This composition contains 336 stanzas of two to eight lines each.

45 Like Bansavalinama, therefore, Mahima Prakash does not in and of itself definitively prove or disprove anything in particular about the anthology that came to be known as the Dasam Granth, although there is a composition in it entitled “Twenty-four Avatars,” Charitropakhian does indeed have 404 episodes, and the name Syām or Siām does occur in some Dasam Granth compositions. It is also not clear whether the work entitled Bidiā Sāgar to which Sarup Das Bhalla refers might be related to or the same as the Samundra Sāgar mentioned in Bansavalinama.

There was diversity and conflict within Sikhism itself in terms of interpretations of the teaching of the Gurus, as well as different views regarding the leadership of the community; for example, Guru Gobind Singh’s father, Guru Tegh Bahadur [Gurū Tegh Bahādur], had been challenged in his position as Guru. While we thus can identify communities of Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims in the Punjab in Guru Gobind Singh’s lifetime, it is important to remember that the conceptions of community identity and boundaries in operation at the time—both within particular traditions and between them—were not necessarily the same as those that developed subsequently in colonial and postcolonial India.

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