Concept Of Kaal Purakh In Sri Dasam Granth Sahib – Dr Harbhajan Singh

The meanings of word ‘ਕਾਲ‘ (Kaal) in Sanskrit language are – black, ‘black or blue’ in colour, time, appropriate or determined time, a fraction of time, one out of nine types of fluids as specified in Vaisheshik Shastar, Yama – Devta of death, the Destroyer Akal Purakh, a division of something, black pupil in eye, koel (bird), Shiv, the planet Saturn, Iron, present time, etc. It is important to mention here that in Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji, Shiv is not a principle meaning; rather it is just another synonym of Kaal. The root meaning of Kaal here is focussed on the word ‘Kaalakh’ (ਕਾਲਖ) which means blackness, darkness, smudge or blemish. Like Kaal, Kaalakh also appears with the creation of material world and disappears with the imperceptibility of everything materialistic, that is why an inseparable relation exists between the two. Kaal and Kaalakh are not indestructible, both are perishable. Similarly, not only are they alike, they also come from only one source – Akaal is the creator of both of them. He gives birth to both from within Himself and also manifests in both of them, yet remains clandestine and as such is indestructible and blemish-less. Kaal has its origin from Akaal, its existence depends on Him and becomes one with Akaal in the end, that is why Kaal and Akaal both are different manifestations of the same form. In the very beginning of Sri ‘Japji Sahib’ too, we are told that Akaal is both manifested in and yet independent of Kaal.

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥
True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages

Kaal is associated with history. Because of this, the Kaal form of Sri Waheguru Ji is associated with His manifestations in history. The temporal or historical manifestations of Waheguru make Him revered deity of faiths, with which He takes on leadership of certain faiths and also becomes the biased destroyer of opposing faiths. It is this Maya-like manifestation of Sri Waheguru Ji that has been named as Kaal. It is because of this, Kaal has been devoid of the honour given to Akaal Purakh, as in ‘ਸਭੇ ਸਾਝੀਵਾਲ ਸਦਾਇਨਿ ਤੂੰ ਕਿਸੈ ਨ ਦਿਸਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਜੀਉ ‘ (All share in Your Grace; none are beyond You). If Kaal is not made revered deity of faiths, neither concrete footing takes place for growth of these religious organisations, nor enough zeal is awakened amongst people to rise up and become martyrs for righteous causes. However, if it becomes deity of all faiths, then it cannot be ‘ਸਭਨਾ ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਇਕੁ ਦਾਤਾ’ – (There is but one Bestower for all the beings). Universal commonality can only originate from Akaal Purakh, while collective zeal for ‘ਚੁਨ ਚੁਨ ਸ਼ੱਤ੍ਰੁ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਮਾਰਿਯਹਿ’ (may all my enemies be singled out and killed) cannot propagate without having faith in the existence of Kaal. The Vedic faith as a religious movement was fully capable of fighting demonic forces so long as Kaal-Purakh was in command of leadership in the form of the Rig Veda’s Indra, Ramayana’s Sri Ram, and Mahabharata’s Sri Krishna, but all these manifestations could not find refuge under the blanket of Akaal Purakh and offshoot movements took birth with different ‘Kaal-Purakhs’, and as result, the once strong, united religious movement broke into several pieces and eventually became feeble and dysfunctional. There were attempts to stop this disintegration by giving ‘immortal leader’ status to Vishnu but then they also established two other Devtas parallel to him (Brahma and Mahesh) and formed the ‘Great Trinity’, a philosophy which ‘divided’ the supremacy of one Akaal Purakh and thus was unable to stop the movement’s downfall. Those who remembered only ‘Akaal Purakh’ in their hearts and minds could not do any active work for the movement, while others who believed in only His temporal manifestations got devoid of His capable guidance. As a result, Arya Samaj – the staunch believer of Vedas, could not free itself from religious narrow-mindedness and also failed miserably to provide continuous encouragement to its followers. Bhai Gurdas Ji has given exquisite disquisition of this degradation in his first Vaar.

Sikh religion, on the other hand, not only gave birth to order that has a balanced faith on both ‘Akaal’ and ‘Kaal’ forms of Sri Waheguru Ji, but also arranged them according to their purpose. The ‘Akaal’ form of Sri Waheguru is common to entire humanity; that is why this form has been given the principle position in the faith. Good virtues are possessions of human beings, and ‘Akaal Purakh’ is the root of everything virtuous.
Therefore, it is the ultimate objective of all human beings and their faiths to attain the common emancipator Sri Waheguru Ji. That is why, the path of attainment of this all-virtuous ‘Akaal Purakh’ in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has been kept common for everyone. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not only the spiritual leader of the Sikhs, but also of entire humanity. They also channelise divine qualities in the heart of every human being. Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has universal message for people of all faiths, that is why an image of vice-free spiritual man can be seen in the ‘Shabad Guru’, but not that of sturdy Khalsa kaum, because only ‘Kaal Purakh’ can be the only source of inspiration for it. Because ‘Akaal Purakh’ is the everlasting, unshakable, and primal form of Sri Waheguru Ji, Sikh Gurus established association with this form first so that the foundation of religious movement could be built on the roots of pure spirituality. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji played an unparalleled role by giving the strong form of ‘Khalsa’ to such people of clear conscience. Even though Khalsa was to be created out of the Gurmukhs created by the previous Guru Sahibs, it is Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who came up with the plan of integrating the religious movement in the form of Khalsa. To give necessay inspiration to this faction of Gurmukhs, he paid special interest in writing extensive parables illustrating the characteristics of ‘Kaal Purakh’. He had a unique task in front of him and as such the Bani he gave us while completing this task imperatively had to be little different of the Bani of previous Gurus. Therefore, it was natural and necessary to keep the parables of ‘Kaal Purakh’ completely separate from the divine praises of ‘Akaal Purakh’. In this way, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has nothing but pure praises of the divine ‘Akaal Purakh’, the message which is universal in nature and can be received by anyone, regardless of their affiliations with other religious orders. Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji contain descriptions of various manifestations of ‘Kaal Purakh’ in history, which become the source of enthusiasm, pride and generate inspiration for religious struggles for the Khalsa Panth.

‘Akaal’ and ‘Kaal’ are two different forms of the same primal being Sri Waheguru Ji, thus there are many places in Sri Guru Granth Sahib where His ‘Kaal’ form has been depicted, even though it has not been explicitly termed as ‘Kaal’ anywhere. For instance:

ਸਤਰਿ ਸੈਇ ਸਲਾਰ ਹੈ ਜਾ ਕੇ ॥
He has 7,000 commanders,
ਸਵਾ ਲਾਖੁ ਪੈਕਾਬਰ ਤਾ ਕੇ ॥
and hundreds of thousands of prophets;
ਸੇਖ ਜੁ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਕੋਟਿ ਅਠਾਸੀ ॥
He is said to have 88,000,000 shaykhs,
ਛਪਨ ਕੋਟਿ ਜਾ ਕੇ ਖੇਲ ਖਾਸੀ ॥੧॥
and 56,000,000 attendants. ||1||(Ang 1161,SGGS Ji)

ਪਾਖੰਤਣ ਬਾਜ ਬਜਾਇਲਾ ॥
Playing on the instrument of the feathered wings,
ਗਰੁੜ ਚੜ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਆਇਲਾ ॥੧੫॥
the Lord of the Universe came, mounted on the eagle garura. ||15||
ਅਪਨੇ ਭਗਤ ਪਰਿ ਕੀ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲ ॥
He cherished His devotee,
ਗਰੁੜ ਚੜ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਆਏ ਗੋਪਾਲ ॥੧੬॥
and the Lord came, mounted on the eagle garura. ||16||
ਕਹਹਿ ਤ ਧਰਣਿ ਇਕੋਡੀ ਕਰਉ ॥
The Lord said to him, “”If you wish, I shall turn the earth sideways.
ਕਹਹਿ ਤ ਲੇ ਕਰਿ ਊਪਰਿ ਧਰਉ ॥੧੭॥
If you wish, I shall turn it upside down. ||17||(Ang 1166,SGGS Ji)

ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਭੈਆਨ ਰੂਪੁ ਨਿਕਸਿਆ ਥੰਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਉਪਾੜਿ ॥
In an instant, the Lord appeared in a dreadful form, and shattered the pillar.
ਹਰਣਾਖਸੁ ਨਖੀ ਬਿਦਾਰਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਹਲਾਦੁ ਲੀਆ ਉਬਾਰਿ ॥੪॥
Harnaakhash was torn apart by His claws, and Prahlaad was saved. ||4||(Ang 1133, SGGS Ji)

ਜਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਤੇਗ ਵਗਾਵਹਿ ਸਿਰ ਮੁੰਡੀ ਕਟਿ ਜਾਵਹਿ ॥
When it pleases You, we wield the sword, and cut off the heads of our enemies.(Ang 145,SGGS Ji)

ਕਾਢਿ ਖੜਗੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਭੈ ਕੋਪਿਓ ਮੋਹਿ ਬਤਾਉ ਜੁ ਤੁਹਿ ਰਾਖੈ ॥
Harnaakhash thundered with rage and threatened to kill Prahlaad. “”Tell me, who can save you?””
ਪੀਤ ਪੀਤਾਂਬਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਧਣੀ ਥੰਭ ਮਾਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਖੈ ॥੪॥
Prahlaad answered, “”The Lord, the Master of the three worlds, is contained even in this pillar to which I am tied.””||4||||5||11||21||(Ang 1165,SGGS Ji)

ਸੁਥਰ ਚਿਤ ਭਗਤ ਹਿਤ ਭੇਖੁ ਧਰਿਓ ਹਰਨਾਖਸੁ ਹਰਿਓ ਨਖ ਬਿਦਾਰਿ ਜੀਉ ॥
For the sake of the pure-hearted devotee Prahlaad, You took the form of the man-lion, to tear apart and destroy Harnaakhash with your claws.
ਸੰਖ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਗਦਾ ਪਦਮ ਆਪਿ ਆਪੁ ਕੀਓ ਛਦਮ ਅਪਰੰਪਰ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਲਖੈ ਕਉਨੁ ਤਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ ॥
You are the Infinite Supreme Lord God; with your symbols of power, You deceived Baliraja; who can know You?(Ang 1402,SGGS Ji)

ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਣਾਖਸੁ ਨਖੀ ਬਿਦਾਰਿਆ ਅੰਧੈ ਦਰ ਕੀ ਖਬਰਿ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥੫॥੧੧॥੨੧॥
O Nanak, Harnaakhash was torn apart by the Lord with His claws; the blind demon knew nothing of the Lord’s Court. ||5||11||21||(Ang 133, SGGS Ji)

Sri Akaal Ustat of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib is a similar bani but both ‘Akaal’ and ‘Kaal’ forms of Sri Waheguru have been saluted and praised. (ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੀ ਰਛਾ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ The non-temporal Purusha (All-Pervading Lord) is my Protector. ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਦੀ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ The All-Steel Lord is my Protector. ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ The All-Destroying Lord is my Protector. ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਸਦਾ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ The All-Steel Lord is ever my Protector). This ‘Kaal Purakh’ has been discussed in detail in the Bani. ‘Kaal’ cannot have less qualities than that of ‘Akaal’ for they both are two forms of the same Sri Waheguru. In reality, it is just Him repeatedly manifesting in different temporal forms:

ਸਤਜੁਗਿ ਤੈ ਮਾਣਿਓ ਛਲਿਓ ਬਲਿ ਬਾਵਨ ਭਾਇਓ ॥
In the Golden Age of Sat Yuga, You were pleased to deceive Baal the king, in the form of a dwarf.
ਤ੍ਰੇਤੈ ਤੈ ਮਾਣਿਓ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਘੁਵੰਸੁ ਕਹਾਇਓ ॥
In the Silver Age of Traytaa Yuga, You were called Raam of the Raghu dynasty.
ਦੁਆਪੁਰਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ਕੰਸੁ ਕਿਰਤਾਰਥੁ ਕੀਓ ॥
In the Brass Age of Dwaapur Yuga, You were Krishna; You killed Mur the demon and saved Kans.
ਉਗ੍ਰਸੈਣ ਕਉ ਰਾਜੁ ਅਭੈ ਭਗਤਹ ਜਨ ਦੀਓ ॥
You blessed Ugrasain with a kingdom, and You blessed Your humble devotees with fearlessness.
ਕਲਿਜੁਗਿ ਪ੍ਰਮਾਣੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰੁ ਅੰਗਦੁ ਅਮਰੁ ਕਹਾਇਓ ॥
In the Iron Age, the Dark Age of Kali Yuga, You are known and accepted as Guru Nanak, Guru Angad and Guru Amar Das.
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਰਾਜੁ ਅਬਿਚਲੁ ਅਟਲੁ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖਿ ਫੁਰਮਾਇਓ ॥੭॥
The sovereign rule of the Great Guru is unchanging and permanent, according the Command of the Primal Lord God. ||7||
(Ang 1390,SGGS Ji)

This is how characteristics of ‘Kaal Purakh’ can also be seen in ‘Akaal Purakh’. In broad terms, these two forms of Sri Waheguru are unique in their own way and are also inseparable from each other. Sikh faith has kept the representative Sri Granths of these two forms in two seperate Saroops. It is traditionally said that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji had explicitly forbidden to merge the Bani of these two Sri Granths and when someone like Bhai Mani Singh attempted to join the Bani of two Sri Granths together, the entire Sikh faith had condemned it by calling it a heinous sin. Although Kaal and Akaal are two unique forms, still it is hard for the common man to differentiate between the two. Barring the common man, it is really disappointing when we hear intellectual Sikhs say “Khalsa Akaal Purakh Ki Fauj”, that even learned people are also unaware of the concrete uniqueness between ‘Kaal’ and ‘Akaal’ forms of Sri Waheguru. There is absolutely no possibility of ‘Akaal Purakh Ki Fauj’ (The Army of Akaal Purakh), simply because the leader of religious forces and communities can only be some temporal manifestion the ‘Kaal Purakh’, and not the formless ‘Akaal Purakh’. The highly conscious writer of Sri Sarbloh Granth has written it as ‘Khalsa Kaal Purakh Ki Fauj’ but those who decide to quickly quote it without understanding its meaning have corrupted its original form so much so that its ‘Akaal Purakh Ki Fauj’ that is heard and read everywhere. Due to ignorance of the philosophy behind this, even scholars can be seen committing the sin of corrupting the original verse.

In the banis of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji, ‘Kaal Purakh’ has been referred to by various names: ਕਾਲ, ਕਲਿ, ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ, ਸਤਿ ਕਾਲ, ਮਹਾਕਾਲ, etc. For instance:

ਕਾਲ ਸਬਨ ਕੋ ਪੇਖਿ ਤਮਾਸਾ ॥ ਅੰਤਹ ਕਾਲ ਕਰਤ ਹੈ ਨਾਸਾ ॥
The KAL (Destroyer Lord) scans the play of all, And ultimately destroys all.2.(Chaubees Avtar 2)

ਜੋ ਕਲਿ (ਨਾਇਕ) ਕੋ ਇਕ ਬਾਰ ਧਿਐ ਹੈ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਕਾਲ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨਹਿ ਐਹੈ ॥
Those who meditate even on the Supreme Destroyer, the death cannot approach them;(Kabeyo Baach Chaupai 22)

ਆਪ ਰਚੇ ਆਪੇ ਕਲ ਘਾਏ ॥ ਅਵਰਨ ਕੈ ਦੈ ਮੂੰਡਿ ਹਤਾਏ ॥
He creates Himself and destroys Himself; But He imposes the responsibility on the head of others;(Chaubees Avtar 6)

ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਤਬ ਭਏ ਦਇਆਲਾ ॥ ਲੋਹ ਰਛ ਹਮ ਕੋ ਸਬ ਕਾਲਾ ॥
My Lord, the Destroyer of all, then became Benevolent, At all times, I gave the Protection of at that steel-incarnated Lord.8.(Bachittar Natak 14/8)

ਮਹਾ ਤੇਜ ਤੇਜੰ ਮਹਾ ਜ੍ਵਾਲ ਜ੍ਵਾਲੰ ॥ ਮਹਾ ਤੰਤ੍ਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲ ਕਾਲੰ ॥
He is the Most Effulgent of all lights and Supreme Conflagration of all fires. He is the Supreme Spell of all incantations and Supreme embodiment of Death over all such powers.17(Bachittar Natak 1/17)

The disquisition of spirituality in the compositions of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji is par excellence. Every concept in this Sri Granth is so immensely deep that they appear impossible to grasp and fully comprehend by human intellect. These thoughts have emerged from divine contemplation and are so methodical that other literary techniques appear insignificant in comparison. No thought or concept is left unclear or incomplete; every idea is wrapped in many layers of religious texts of India. The dilemma is it is very hard to understand anything from this Sri Granth without any divine grace. Another perplexing trait comes forth when analysing the Bani of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji – The Shabads that are written in Raags by Sri Gururji eulogise ‘Akaal Purakh’ only, who is the principle form of eulogy in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. That Sri Waheguru, who appears as ‘Kaal Purakh’ in Raag-less banis like ‘Sri Jaap Sahib’, becomes ‘Supreme Being’ in Raag-based shabads. There is only one shabad that has ‘ਕੇਵਲ ਕਾਲ ਈ ਕਰਤਾਰ’ in the beginning, that too is probably written with the sole purpose of making sure that the ‘Kaal’ as mentioned in other Banis of Sri Dasam Granth does not appear any different to the ‘Supreme Being’ to the reader. At other places, ‘Kaal’ has been used for Shiv and at yet other places, it has been used for death. In these Shabads, the form of Sri Waheguru is the same as that of ‘Supreme Being’ (Akaal Purakh) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰਖ ਪਗਿ ਲਾਗੋ ॥
O Man ! fall at the feet of the supreme Purusha,(Ramkali Patsahi 10)

ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰੁਖ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਪਵਨ ਪਉਨ ਅਹਾਰੀ ॥
O Supreme Purusha! Supreme Ishwara ! Master of all ! Holiest Divinity ! living on air;(Sorath Patsahi 10)

ਤਬ ਹੀ ਆਤਮ ਤਤ ਕੋ ਦਰਸੈ ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰੁਖ ਕਹ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
Then you will visualize the supreme essence and realise the supreme Purusha.3.1. (Ramkali Patsahi 10)

In ‘Chaubis Avtar’ Bani, a hint is given that the supreme form of that Creator is the one in which all Avtars, Devtas and Demons get merged. Since ‘Kaal Purakh’ exhibits favoritism towards religious forces, that’s why a casual glance on this form might give the impression of partiality, unlike ‘Akaal Purakh’ who is impartial. The non-dualistic Sri Waheguru takes on the form of ‘Kaal Purakh’ in the universe, manifests Himself in different Avtar forms, and ultimately becomes One again by immersing in the Supreme Being. Sri Guruji says in this regard:

ਪਰਮ ਰੂਪ ਜੋ ਏਕ ਕਹਾਯੋ ॥ ਅੰਤਿ ਸਭੋ ਤਿਹ ਮਧਿ ਮਿਲਾਯੋ ॥੩੩॥
But whatever is the Supreme form of the Lord; Ultimately all merged in Him.33. (Chaubis Avtar 33)

The ‘Kaal Purakh’ of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji is Sri Waheguru Himself, and not some Rudra-Shiv like Devta. It is not His permanent form, being the ruler of Kaal (time), he manifests in physical form for intervention in its actions, and remains immersed in the Supreme Being in the absence of time. ‘Kaal Purakh’ is that form of Sri Waheguru in which the entire universe will eventually get immersed. He has divided his One form into countless forms and is omnipresent in all of them.

ਕਾਲ ਰੂਪ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਭਨੈਬੋ ॥ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਲੀਨ ਜਗਤਿ ਸਭ ਹ੍ਵੈਬੋ ॥੩੪॥
The Lord, Who is known as KAL; All the world will merge in Him.34

ਏਕਹਿ ਆਪ ਸਭਨ ਮੋ ਬਯਾਪਾ ॥ ਸਭ ਕੋਈ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਕਰ ਥਾਪਾ ॥੩੫॥
Only one lord pervades all; But appears to everyone as distinctly separate accofding to his discernment.35..(Chaubis Avtar 35)

The Lord above is no different from the formless Sri Waheguru of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The writer of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji has made it absolutely clear in ‘Nehkalanki Avtar’ that ‘Kaal’ Lord is also ‘Akaal’ because both have common source of existence. Thus, ‘Kaal’ is ‘Akaal’ and likewise, ‘Akaal’ is ‘Kaal’:

ਅਕਾਲ ਕਾਲ ਕੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਬਨਾਇ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਰਾਖਿ ਹੈ ॥
He composed this granth by the Grace of the Lord (Kaal, Akaal); (Brahmavtar 2/3)

‘Chaubis Avtar’ contains tales glorifying marvels performed by temporal manifestations of ‘Kaal Purakh’ in this world, that is why the Lord has been called ‘Kaal’ right from the beginning of this composition. The reason for this is made explicitly clear by the writer of Sri Dasam Granth – that because you are the Destroyer of this universe, people have named you ‘Kaal’:

ਅੰਤ ਕਰਤ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਕੋ ਕਾਲਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਾਲ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਜਗ ਡਾਲਾ ॥
At time Thou destroyest the universe; Therefore the world hath named you KAL (the Destroyer Lord);(Chaubis Avtar 9)

The word ‘Kaal’ in Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji has been used for God, Time, Death, Yama, etc. but the central idea is common in all these meanings. God is the creator, controller and destroyer of time, that is why He has been named ‘Kaal’. He remains established in time, and destroys all lifeforms within the boundaries of their specified lifespan. Death is inevitable at the prefixed time, thus there is an inseperable association between death and time. Death and Yama cannot be called different from each other. Therefore, Kaal, Death, Yama and Time are none other the creator Sri Waheguru Ji Himself. These various uses of the word ‘Kaal’ are exemplified by the following Tukks: 

1. ‘Kaal’ used for Sri Waheguru:

ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਹੈ ਪਿਤਾ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥ ਦੇਬਿ ਕਾਲਿਕਾ ਮਾਤ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥
He, my Lord is Father and Destroyer of all, the goddess Kalika* is my mother. (Bachittar Natak 14/5)

ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਕਰਣਾ ਤਬ ਭਰੇ ॥ ਸੇਵਕ ਜਾਨ ਦਯਾ ਰਸ ਢਰੇ ॥
Then my Lord, Destroyer of all, was filled with kindness and considering me as His servant, He was gracefully pleased. (Bachittar Natak 14/7)ਜਵਨ ਕਾਲ ਜੋਗੀ ਸ਼ਿਵ ਕੀਯੋ ॥ ਬੇਦ ਰਾਜ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਜੂ ਥੀਯੋ ॥ ਜਵਨ ਕਾਲ ਸਭ ਲੋਕ ਸਵਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਮਸ਼ਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਤਾਹਿ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩੮੪॥The Temporal Lord, who created Shiva, the Yogi; who created Brahma, the Master of the Vedas; The Temporal Lord who fashioned the entire world; I salute the same Lord.384. (Kabyo Baach Chaupai 8)
[* Kalika does not refer to tangible idol of any devi. On the contrary, it is the omnipresent force of the Creator in the universe. Hindu religion has termed this force as ‘Nature’ (ਪ੍ਰਕ੍ਰਿਤੀ). In ‘Chaubis Avtar’, there is description of two different elements in this temporal universe – One is the ‘Purakh’ and other is the Nature. ਤਾ ਤੇ ਜਗਤ ਭਯੋ ਬਿਸਥਾਰਾ ॥ ਪੁਰਖ ਪ੍ਰਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਜਬ ਦੁਹੂ ਬਿਚਾਰਾ ॥੩੦॥ There was expansion of the whole world, From the union of Purusha and Prakriti. (Chaubis Avtar, 30).]
2. ‘Kaal’ used for Time:

ਕਾਲ ਪਾਇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਪੁ ਧਰਾ ॥ ਕਾਲ ਪਾਇ ਸ਼ਿਵਜੂ ਅਵਤਰਾ ॥ ਕਾਲ ਪਾਇ ਕਰਿ ਬਿਸ਼ਨ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ਾ ॥ ਸਕਲ ਕਾਲ ਕਾ ਕੀਯਾ ਤਮਾਸ਼ਾ ॥੩੮੩॥
In due time Brahma appeared in physical form; in due time Shiva incarnated; In due time Vishnu manifested himself; all this is the play of the Temporal Lord. (Kabyo Baach Chaupai 7).

ਰੱਛਾ ਹੋਇ ਤਾਹਿ ਸਭ ਕਾਲਾ ॥ ਦੁਸ਼ਟ ਅਰਿਸ਼ਟ ਟਰੇ ਤਤਕਾਲਾ ॥੩੯੮॥
They remain protected at all times; their enemies and troubles come to and end instantly. (Kabyo Baach Chaupai 22)

3. ‘Kaal’ used for Yama:
ਏਕ ਬਾਰ ਜਿਨ ਤੁਮੈਂ ਸੰਭਾਰਾ ॥ਕਾਲ ਫਾਸ ਤੇ ਤਾਹਿ ਉਬਾਰਾ ॥
He, who remembered Thee even once, Thou didst protect him from the noose of death;(Kabyo Baach Chaupai 24).

4. ‘Kaal’ used for Death:
ਬਹੁਤੀ ਸਿਰੀ ਵਿਹਾਈਆਂ ਘੜੀਆਂ ਕਾਲ ਕੀਆਂ ॥
The last moments of death came over the heads of many fighters.(Vaar Durga Ki 43).
Any intellectual with sense of reasoning will be able to appreciate the fact that the writer of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji has immaculate command over every thought and the vocabulary used, that every word and every sentence has been uttered with utmost precision and care. When narrating creation of the universe in ‘RudraAvtar’ for instance, the writer of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji has referred to the Supreme Power as ‘Aad Purakh’ instead of ‘Kaal Purakh’. The ‘Aad Purakh’, the Primal Being, has created Good and Evil and He is the one who has created tensions between the two. Just like the Akal Purakh of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in the Tukk – ਜਿਨਿ ਉਪਾਈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਵਾਈ ਬੈਠਾ ਵੇਖੈ ਵਖਿ ਇਕੇਲਾ ॥ The One who created, and attached the mortals to pleasures, sits alone, and watches this., ‘Aad Purakh’ also immensely enjoys this worldly play but if religious forces go feeble, He intervenes in this play to restore equilibrium by manifesting in Avtar form; this is how ‘Aad Purakh’ of ‘RudraAvtar’ takes on the form of ‘Kaal Purakh’. Similarly, in ‘Bisan Avtar’, when earth becomes fed up with widespread evil, ‘Kaal Purakh’ instead of ‘Aad Purakh’ commands Vishnu to go destroy evil on earth because the ever-merciful Lord cannot see His devoteees in a sad state. Avtars like Vishnu and Rudra perform their divine duties and ultimately merge back in ‘Kaal Purakh’ again.

When Primal Purusha, the Lord reflected within Himself and visualized his own form himself, He uttered the world Oankaar, because of which the earth, the sky and the whole world was created..(Rudra -Paras 335).

ਦਾਹਨ ਦਿਸ ਤੇ ਸਤਿ ਉਪਜਾਵਾ ॥ ਬਾਮ ਪਰਸ ਤੇ ਝੂਠ ਬਨਾਵਾ ॥ ਉਪਜਤ ਹੀ ਉਠਿ ਜੁਝੇ ਜੁਝਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਬ ਤੇ ਕਰਤ ਜਗਤ ਮੈ ਰਾਰਾ ॥੧੦੯॥੩੩੬॥
He created truth from the right side and made falsehood on the felt; on taking birth both these warriors began to fight and since that time, they are opposing each other in the world.109.336.(Rudra -Paras 335).
Although ‘Kaal Purakh’ is the creator of both Devtas and Demons, He always supports righteous forces as only divine powers are going to merge in Him in the end while evil is going to end with the destruction of the physical world. The tukk ‘Khel Sakochai To Nanak Aekai’ from Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj verifies this concept. Since Oneness is His everlasting characteristic, the evil, the darkness will be surely destroyed. This is the reason why He supports good virtues and helps pious people:

ਏਕਹਿ ਆਪ ਸਭਨ ਮੋ ਬਯਾਪਾ ॥ ਸਭ ਕੋਈ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਕਰ ਥਾਪਾ ॥੩੫॥
At all times, Lord, Destroyer of all, protects me. That All-Pervading Lord is my Protector like Steel.(Bachittar Natak 14/9)
ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਸਭ ਸਾਧ ਉਬਾਰੇ ॥ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੈ ਕੈ ਦੋਖੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਰੇ ॥
At all times, the Lord protected all the saints and hath killed all the malicious persons, subjecting them to great agony.(Bachittar Natak 14/1)

‘Kaal Purakh’ of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji infuses incredible zeal for righetous warfare in valiant defenders of the faith. An person without weapons on him cannot call himself ‘Soorbeer’. That is why, ‘Kaal Purakh’ has been portrayed as a weapon-wielding Sarbloh Soorbeer, a form that reassures His followers of security under His sanctuary:

ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੀ ਰਛਾ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਦੀ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਸਦਾ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥
The non-temporal Purusha (All-Pervading Lord) is my Protector. The All-Steel Lord is my Protector. The All-Destroying Lord is my Protector. The All-Steel Lord is ever my Protector. (Akaal Ustat 1)
ਢਲਾ ਢੁਕ ਢਾਲੰ ॥ ਝਮੀ ਤੇਗ ਕਾਲੰ ॥ ਕਟਾ ਕਾਟ ਬਾਹੈਂ ॥ ਉਭੈ ਜੀਤ ਚਾਹੈਂ ॥੪੬॥_
The noises of the knocking on the shields and the blows of the swords are being heard, the daggers are being struck with clattering sound, and both the side are desirous of their victory. (Chaubis Avtar, 26)
ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਣ ਪਾਣ ਧਾਰੀਅੰ ॥ ਕਰੋਰ ਪਾਪ ਟਾਰੀਅੰ ॥ ਗਦਾ ਗ੍ਰਿਸਟ ਪਾਣਿਅੰ ॥ ਕਮਾਣ ਬਾਣ ਤਾਣਿਅੰ ॥੪੭॥…
He, who wields the sword in his hand, he is the remover of millions of sins. He hath caught hold of the big mace and hath fitted the arrow in his stretched bow…
ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਣ ਪਾਣ ਰਾਜਈ ॥ ਬਿਲੋਕ ਪਾਪ ਭਾਜਈ ॥੫੦॥…
The sword appears impressive in his hand, seeing which the sins run away…
ਕਮਾਣ ਬਾਣ ਧਾਰਹੀ ॥ ਅਨੇਕ ਸੱਤ੍ਰੁ ਟਾਰਹੀ ॥੫੧॥
The arrow is fitted in the bow, which causes many enemies to flee away. (Bachittar Natak 47-51)

Despite armed with weapons, His heart is full of compassion. His is emancipator by nature. His heart swells with pity whenever He sees virtuous people in pain:

ਕਰਤ ਪੁਕਾਰ ਧਰਣ ਭਰ ਭਾਰਾ ॥ ਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਤਬ ਹੋਤ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਰਾ ॥੨॥
Then the earth, pressed under the load of sins, calls for help, and then the destroyer Lord becomes kind. (Bisan Avtar 2)
ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਕਰਣਾ ਤਬ ਭਰੇ ॥ ਸੇਵਕ ਜਾਨ ਦਯਾ ਰਸ ਢਰੇ ॥
Then my Lord, Destroyer of all, was filled with kindness and considering me as His servant, He was gracefully pleased. (Bachittar Natak 14/7)

‘Kaal Purakh’ Himself is the destroyer of this world. Fights, Wars, etc. are simply His devices to destroy living beings. Even though He helps virtuous people and punishes those who hurt them, still warriors from both sides of the battlefield are killed in accordance with His Hukam, even though blame is levelled on others. He watches over this worldly play and then destroys everyone and everything to wrap up the show. He is the cause of destruction of all forms, but has created such devices to kill that one cannot accuse him of the killings:

ਕਾਲ ਨ ਕੋਊ ਕਰਨ ਸੁਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਬੈਰ ਬਾਦ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ਪਸਾਰਾ ॥
None could remember KAL and there was only extension of enmity, strife ego. (Bachittar Natak 2/36)
ਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਤਬ ਹੋਤ ਸਹਾਈ ॥ ਦੁਹੂੰਅਨਿ ਹਨਤ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਉਪਜਾਈ ॥੬॥
The Immanent Lord then helped Vishnu and in great fury, he destroyed both the demons.6. (Bisan Avtar 6)
ਉਠੇ ਬੀਰ ਜੇਤੇ ਤਿਤੇ ਕਾਲ ਕੂਟੇ ॥ ਪਰੇ ਚਰਮ ਬਰਮੰ ਕਹੂੰ ਗਾਤ ਟੂਟੇ ॥
All the warriors who arose, were destroyed by Kal. Somewhere their shields, armour and wounded bodies are lying scattered;(Chandi Charitar 2/88)
ਅੰਤ ਕਰਤ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਕੋ ਕਾਲਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਾਲ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਜਗ ਡਾਲਾ ॥
At time Thou destroyest the universe;Therefore the world hath named you KAL (the Destroyer Lord);(Chaubis Avtar 9)
ਕਾਲ ਸਭਨ ਕੋ ਪੇਖ ਤਮਾਸਾ ॥ ਅੰਤਹ ਕਾਲ ਕਰਤ ਹੈ ਨਾਸਾ ॥੨॥
The KAL (Destroyer Lord) scans the play of all, And ultimately destroys all. (Chaubis Avtar 2)

Another important thing to learn about ‘Kaal Purakh’ of Sri Dasam Granth is that, while ‘Mahakal’ is the Supreme Being in Tantrik faiths, he is just a maya-engrossed form of ‘Kaal Purakh’ in Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji. The word ‘Kaal’ is associated with black colour or blackness. This implies that it is not the purest form of the Supreme Being. ‘Akaal’ is the central, primal, supreme, and Maya-free form while ‘Kaal’ is the maya-engrossed form. This ‘Kaal’ form becomes ‘MAHAkaal’ when He acquires every ‘dark’ karam of this world. The addition of ‘Maha’ does not imply that this form has become the supreme divine form; rather, He has just taken an insignificant form that is absorbed in total blackness. In reality, its only the Supreme Being functioning in all these forms. Perhaps the opposers of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji believe that one half (good virtues, purity) is the creation of the Supreme Being while the other half (darkness, evil) functions independently of Him. The cause of this problem is their ignorant, dualistic reasoning and not Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji.

The adversaries doubt the objectives of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji by depicting ‘Kaal Purakh’ and ‘Mahakal’ as the deity of Tantrik faiths. Barring ‘Jaap’ and ‘Akal Ustat’, they dismiss all other Banis of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji as creations of Shakat-Panthi poets. Their intellect is not even willing to accept ‘Kaal Purakh’ of the ever-popular ‘Bachittar Natak’. These doubts are due to lack of proper understanding of the concepts. Proper, thoughtful analysis brings us to the definite conclusion that all the Banis have been composed by only one writer. If we look at the ‘Anaam’ (Nameless) God of ‘Jaap Sahib’, we can see He has unique characteristics as compared to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. For instance, the word ‘Anaam’ does not appear anywhere in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj while it has been used ten times in ‘Jaap Sahib’. Similarly, the word ‘Kaal’ has not been used for God even once in Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji whereas in ‘Jaap Sahib’ this form appears with great ferocity. Actually, using his infinite intellect, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji has very carefully and patiently presented ‘Kaal’ form of the Supereme Being before us. He very subtly directs us to the characteristics of ‘Kaal’ by depicting Him as the Lord of darkness and creator of evil actions, as in ਨਮੋ ਅੰਧਕਾਰੇ.. Salutation to Thee O Creator of pitch darkness! ਨਮੋ ਨਿੱਤ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੇ ਕ੍ਰੂਰ ਕਰਮੇ ॥ Salutation to Thee O Benign Protector Lord! Salutation to Thee O Heinous-actions-Performer Lord! . In the next Bani ‘Akaal Ustat’, Supreme Being takes on a more concrete Sargun form and many characteristics of ‘Mahakal’ are presented. And because Sikh faith firmly believes in both Akaal and Kaal forms of the Supreme Being, the next Bani ‘Bachittar Natak’ begins with eulogy of ‘Kaal Purakh’ in its longest chapter – ‘ਸ੍ਰੀ ਕਾਲ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਉਸਤਤਿ’ (Eulogy to Sri Kaal). One important and interesting fact needs to be carefully understood – In ‘Akaal Ustat’, Sri Guruji has decorated ‘Kaal Purakh’ with many temporal Sargun qualities and has also associated Him with Nirgun qualities of Akaal. The prime reason for this explicit and deliberate effort is to convey the message that both the forms are not principally different from each other, that they both originate from the same source – the Supreme Being. It would be appropriate to provide brief summary of ‘Kaal Purakh’ as it appears in these two Banis, so that proofs can be established for the above statements.

In ‘Bachittar Natak’, the saroop of ‘Kaal Purakh’ has been described as: Unborn, Lord of Shiva, Great Ruler, Formless, Colourless, Raagless, Infinite, Garbless, Eternal, Beyond desires, Primal Power, Sword wielding, Beyond any defects, Nameless, Great, free of mischief, free of attachments, Pure, omnipresent in three ‘Guns’, omnipresent in both Devtas and Demons, Free from effects of time. This ‘Kaal Purakh’ has warrior form too – He is the Maha-Mantra, Mahakal and is decorated with magnificent swords. He beats his drums to inspire righteous forces to wage wars against the impious forces. He has got black and white umbrella over His head, which symbolises Bad and Good respectively. In battlefields, ‘Mahakal’ laughs hysterically by making ‘Ha-Ha-Hoo-Hoo’ sounds. This laughter is in fact an inspiration to look forward to Dharam-Yudhs with excitement and vigour. It illustrates that true warriors are fond of Dharam-Yudhs, that they keep their hearts and minds free of anger even while being in the battlefield. With this portrayal of ‘Kaal’, Sri Guruji has reassured the men of faith of complete security and at the same time has warned immoral people of Kaal’s wrath. Sri Guruji clarifies with the following Bachan:

ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਸਭ ਸਾਧ ਉਬਾਰੇ ॥ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੈ ਕੈ ਦੋਖੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਰੇ ॥
At all times, the Lord protected all the saints and hath killed all the malicious persons, subjecting them to great agony. (Bachittar Natak 14/1)

The above saroop of ‘Mahakal’ in ‘Bachittar Natak’ is totally unacceptable to Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji’s adversaries. This saroop is present in ‘Jaap Sahib’ in a sutble form and fully established in ‘Akaal Ustat’. This concept will become clear after a brief analysis of ‘Kaal Purakh’ in these two unanimously accepted Banis:

1. The God described in ‘Jaap Sahib’ is ‘Kaal Purakh’, which is why He has been repeatedly called ਕਾਲ ਕਾਲੇ (Death-Destroyer Lord), ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲੇ (Annihilator Lord), ਕਾਲਾਨ ਕਾਲ (Death of Deaths), etc. It is ‘Kaalan Kaal’, the Death of Deaths, that has been called ‘Mahakal’, there is no difference between the two.

2. The God described in ‘Jaap Sahib’ is Annihilator – He has been called ਸਰਬ ਖਾਪੇ, ਸਰਬ ਸੋਖੰ (Destroyer Lord), ਸਰਬ ਘਾਲਕ ਸਰਬ ਕੋ ਪੁਨਿ ਕਾਲ (Destroyer of all), ਦੁਸਟ ਭੰਜਨ (Vanquisher of tyrants), ਸਰਬ ਭੰਜਨ, ਸਰਬੰ ਦਲੀ, ਸਰਬੱਤ੍ਰ ਹੰਤਾ, etc.

3. That Mahakal is the destroyer of enemies and evil forces. He has been called ਗ਼ਨੀਮੁਲ ਸ਼ਿਕਸਤੈ (Conquereror of mighty enemies), ਕਲੰਕੰ ਪ੍ਰਣਾਸ (Destroyer of blemishes), ਖਲ ਖੰਡ ਖਿਆਲ (Destroys the tyrants instantly), ਅਰਿ ਘਾਲਯ (Destroyer of enemies), ਖਲ ਖੰਡਨ, ਖਲ ਘਾਇਕ (Destroyer of evil persons), ਅਰਿ ਗੰਜਨ (Conqueror of enemies), ਰਿਪੁ ਤਾਪਨ (Causes suffering to enemies), ਕੁਕਰਮੰ ਪ੍ਰਣਾਸੀ (Evil destroyer), ਗਜਾਇਬ ਗਨੀਮੇ (Calamity for enemies), ਦੁਕਾਲੰ ਪ੍ਰਣਾਸੀ (Destroyer of hard times). 

4. He has been called ‘ਕਲਿ ਕਾਰਣ’ and ‘ਕਲਹ ਕਰਤਾ’ (Cause of strife) to show that He is the one who is the source of all tensions in the world. This thought is further elaborated upon in ‘ਸਿਰਜੇ ਦਾਨੋਂ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਤਿਨ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਬਾਦ ਰਚਾਇਆ’ in 2nd Pauri of ‘Vaar Durga Ki.’

5. Opposers of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji object to the highly decorated, ‘armed-to-the-teeth’ image of ‘Kaal Purakh’ but Sri Guruji has saluted this weapon-carrying form in Sri Jaap Sahib with ਨਮੋ ਸਸਤ੍ਰਪਾਣੇ ॥ ਨਮੋ ਅਸਤ੍ਰ ਮਾਣੇ ॥ Salutation to Thee O Weapon-wielder Lord! Salutation to Thee O Weapon-user Lord!

6. Adversaries of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji question the use of words like Jag Mata, Maye, etc.. claiming they have been used for devi-worship but in reality Sri Guruji has bowed in front of the maternal form of the Supreme Being by saying ਨਮੋ ਲੋਕ ਮਾਤਾ Salutation to Thee O Universal Mother Lord!, which conforms to Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s tukk: “ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ” (You are my father, you are my mother).

7. The opposition feels ‘Kaal Purakh’ is the Lord of Demons and bad souls. In Jaap Sahib, Sri Guruji has saluted the omnipresent Supreme Being by calling him the Lord of everyone, Good and bad: ਨਮੋ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਅਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਦੇਵੇ ਸੁਧਰਮੇ

8. The Lord of ‘Jaap Sahib’ is omnipresent in Jantra, Mantra and Tantra too. Sri Guruji has saluted this form as: ਨਮੋ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੰ ॥ ਨਮੋ ਜੰਤ੍ਰ ਜੰਤ੍ਰੰ ॥ Salutation to Thee O Supreme Mantra Lord! Salutation to Thee O Supreme Yantra Lord! … ਨਮੋ ਸਰਬ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੰ ॥ ਨਮੋ ਸਰਬ ਜੰਤ੍ਰੰ Salutation to Thee O Entire-Mantras-Knower Lord! Salutation to Thee O Entire-Yantras Knower Lord! 

9. The opposers judge the Banis of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji with Bani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as benchmark. The Bani of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the primal source of righteous, divine qualities. But theologists are faced with a perplexing question – Where does evil propagate from? Abrahamic religions have believed Devil is the source of evil. According to Sikh philosophy however, Creator is the Doer of everything; He is the cause of all causes. This means even apparent evil also comes from that Supreme Being. It is this non-dualist thought of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji that is beyond the understanding of believers of dualist ideology. That’s why, to them, anything dark appears independent from the Supreme Being. Their dualist mindset believes He is only present in light, not in darkness; that He is present only in Naam and not in Kaam. Their thought can be more persuasive only if they establish a parallel ‘Devil’ like force capable of functioning independent of the Supreme Being. Sri Guruji has made clear in ‘Jaap Sahib’ that the Monistic Lord is omnipresent in Darkness and Light, Virtuous and evil actions – ਨਮੋ ਅੰਧਕਾਰੇ ਨਮੋ ਤੇਜ ਤੇਜੇ ॥ Salutation to Thee O Creator of pitch darkness! Salutation to Thee O Light of lights.! … ਨਮੋ ਨਿੱਤ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੇ ਕ੍ਰੂਰ ਕਰਮੇ ॥ Salutation to Thee O Benign Protector Lord! Salutation to Thee O Heinous-actions-Performer Lord!

10. ‘Akaal Purakh’ in Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has been called the curer of illnesses. In ‘Jaap Sahib’, He is present in illnesses also, Sri Guruji has very respectfully called Him as ਸਰਬ ਰੋਗੇ O Universal Ailment Lord ! 

The title of second Bani Sri ‘Akaal Ustat’ suggests that the formless Lord has been eulogised, much like the Bani of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The subtle Nirgun Lord of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji , that had acquired Sargun solidness in Sri ‘Jaap Sahib’ now becomes more concrete in Sri ‘Akaal Ustat’ . The limitless Lord that came more closer to nature and life in Sri ‘Jaap Sahib’ now manifests and appears in every tangible element of Nature in Sri ‘Akaal Ustat’.

Sri Guruji describes the Formless Lord in first Chaupai, who takes on the form of ‘Kaal Purakh’ in ending quatrain:

ਸਭ ਕੋ ਕਾਲ ਸਭਨ ਕੋ ਕਰਤਾ ॥
ਰੋਗ ਸੋਗ ਦੋਖਨ ਕੋ ਹਰਤਾ ॥
ਏਕ ਚਿੱਤ ਜਿਹ ਇਕ ਛਿਨ ਧਿਆਇਓ ॥
ਕਾਲ ਫਾਸਿ ਕੇ ਬੀਚ ਨ ਆਇਓ ॥੧੦॥
He is the Destroyer of all and Creator of all.
He is the Remover of maladies, sufferings and blemishes.
He Who meditates upon Him with single mind even for an instant;
He doth not come within the trap of death. 10
In the following Swayiyas, He takes on an even more Sargun form, as:

ਕਹੂੰ ਜੱਛ ਗੰਧ੍ਰਬ ਉਰਗ ਕਹੂੰ ਬਿਦਿਆਧਰ ਕਹੂੰ ਭਏ ਕਿੰਨਰ ਪਿਸਾਚ ਕਹੂੰ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਹੋ ॥
ਕਹੂੰ ਹੁਇ ਕੈ ਹਿੰਦੂਆ ਗਾਇਤ੍ਰੀ ਕੋ ਗੁਪਤ ਜਪਿਓ ਕਹੂੰ ਹੁਇ ਕੈ ਤੁਰਕਾ ਪੁਕਾਰੇ ਬਾਂਗ ਦੇਤ ਹੋ ॥
ਕਹੂੰ ਕੋਕ ਕਾਬ ਹੁਇ ਕੈ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਕੋ ਪੜਤ ਮਤਿ ਕਤਹੂੰ ਕੁਰਾਨ ਕੋ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਜਾਨ ਲੇਤ ਹੋ ॥
ਕਹੂੰ ਬੇਦ ਰੀਤ ਕਹੂੰ ਤਾ ਸਿਉ ਬਿਪਰੀਤ ਕਹੂੰ ਤ੍ਰਿਗੁਨ ਅਤੀਤ ਕਹੂੰ ਸੁਰਗੁਨ ਸਮੇਤ ਹੋ ॥੨॥੧੨॥
O Lord! Somewhere Thou art Yaksha, Gandharva, Sheshanaga and Vidyadhar and somewhere Thou becomest Kinnar, Pishacha and Preta.
Somewhere Thou becomest a Hindu and repeatest Gayatri secretly: Somewhere becoming a Turk Thou callest Muslims to worship.
Somewhere being a poet thou recitest the Pauranic wisdom and somewhere Thou recitest the Pauranic wisdom and somewhere Thou comprehendest the essence of Quran.
Somewhere Thou workest in accordance with Vedic rites and somewhere Thou art quite opposed to it; somewhere Thou art without threee modes of maya and somewhere Thou hast all godly attributes. 2.12.

He is the ever-powerful ‘Mahakal’ who destroys the evil forces on this earth:

ਅਘੌ ਦੰਡਣ ਦੁਸਟ ਖੰਡਣ ਕਾਲ ਹੂੰ ਕੇ ਕਾਲ ॥
He, the Merciful Lord of the lowely, He is the punisher of the sinners and destroyer of the tyrants; He is the decimater even of death.

He indiscriminately destroys everyone and assigns appropriate punishments:

ਸਰਬ ਖੰਡਣ ਸਰਬ ਦੰਡਣ ਸਰਬ ਕੇ ਨਿਜ ਭਾਮ ॥
He is the Destroyer and Punisher of all and also their personal Abode.

Watching His horrifying form, all three worlds shake with fear:

ਜੈ ਜੰਪਹਿ ਜੁੱਗਣ ਜੂਹ ਜੁਅੰ ॥ ਭੈ ਕੰਪਹਿ ਮੇਰੁ ਪਯਾਲ ਭੁਅੰ ॥
Gather ye together and shout victory to that Lord, in whose Fear tremble the heaven, nether-world and the earth.

In ‘Akaal Ustat’, Kaal Purakh manifests in everything good and bad, including divine words and inappropriate language:

ਕਹੂੰ ਦੇਵ ਬਿਦਯਾ ਕਹੂੰ ਦੈਤ ਬਾਨੀ ॥ ਕਹੂੰ ਜੱਛ ਗੰਧਰਬ ਕਿੰਨਰ ਕਹਾਨੀ ॥੧੯॥੧੦੯॥
ਕਹੂੰ ਅਦ੍ਰ ਸਾਰੰ ਕਹੂੰ ਭਦ੍ਰ ਰੂਪੰ ॥ ਕਹੂੰ ਮੱਦ੍ਰ ਬਾਨੀ ਕਹੂੰ ਛਿਦ੍ਰ ਸਰੂਪੰ ॥੨੨॥੧੧੨॥
Somewhere Thou art the learning of gods and somewhere Thou art the speech of demons. Somewhere Thou art the episode of Yaksha, Gandharva and Kinnar. 19.109.
Somewhere Thou art iron and somewhere Thou art splendid gold. Somewhere Thou art sweet speech and somewhere Thou art sweet speech and somewhere Thou art critical and fault finding. 22.112.

That omnipresent Lord is the producer of all good and bad thoughts also:

ਕਤਹੂੰ ਬਿਚਾਰ ਅਬਿਚਾਰ ਕੋ ਬਿਚਾਰਤ ਹੋ ਕਹੂੰ ਨਿਜ ਨਾਰ ਪਰ ਨਾਰ ਕੇ ਨਿਕੇਤ ਹੋ ॥
Somewhere Thou discriminatest between good and bad intellect, somewhere Thou art with Thy own spouse and somewhere with another’s wife.

In conclusion, we can say that ‘Akaal Purakh’ takes on the form of ‘Kaal Purakh’ when He transforms from state of Sunn-Samadh into active, Sargun state. Since His ‘Kaal’ form comes into being from ‘Akaal’ and merges with Him in the end, thus He is not any different to the Supreme Being, rather He is only temporal manifestation that is unlike other living forms in the universe and most importantly, is inseparable from the ‘Akaal’ form. That ‘Kaal Purakh’ sends Avtars on this earth from time to time to maintain religious decorum, even though the demons opposing it is also created by Him. These Avtars manifest on this earth with His permission, exist in His contemplation and get destroyed by Him and ultimately merge back in Him in the end. The worshipper of ‘Kaal Purakh’ becomes free from the fear of ‘kaal’ (death), remains ready to sacrifice everything for defending the faith and always prays for ‘ਅਤਿ ਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੋਂ May I die fighting in the battlefield’. By praying to ‘Kaal Purakh’, he himself becomes ‘kaal’ (death) for impious forces. Thus, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Dasam Guruji are manifestation of ‘Kaal Purakh’ who came to restore righteousness in this dark age.

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