Contents and Purpose
An introduction to different banis in Sri Dasam Granth
Created with the aim of waging a war of righteousness the Dasam Granth is that unique and unforgettable offering to Indian culture which changed the very face of religion, society, infact the very nation. Guru Gobind Singh Ji made an appearance at that crucial point of Indian history when the glory of India had been debased by the bestial cruelties of foreign rulers and its own internal disputes. India, as one country, existed in name only.
In that terrible darkness, the tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was born at Patna in 1666 AD as the embodiment of incomparable might and glorious spiritual radiance. At that time, religion had got mired in hollow ritualism, myths, superstition and fantasmagoric creations of heaven and hell. True religion had ceased to exist.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had refuted and refused to accept all adynamic, parochial, and inhuman religious practices. In place of these he encouraged religious practices that upheld the universal good and well being. In order to preach and promote this reformation, he did not hesitate in sacrificing all he had. Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji started the tradition of offering their very lives.
Finally, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave manifestation to his goal for the well being of all humanity in the form of a religious war of righteousness which aimed at destroying the inhuman and cruel administrative system of times. It is through this great achievement that Guru Gobind Singh Ji emerges as one of the greatest Karam yogis in the chronicles of mankind.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a magnanimous soul. His vision, creation (the Khalsa) and his literary writing all have a common link that binds them together. He gave expression to the doctrinal ideology of Gurmat through his writings and as a further elaboration and extension of this ideology started a war for the freedom and upliftment of society. Thus devoting himself completely through mind, discourse and deeds Guru Ji totally transformed the very face of society.
With a view to create a society free from exploitation and tyranny, he spelt out his aim – “Dharam yudh ko chao” (Aspiration for a war of Righteousness) in the form of a literary masterpiece. And for the creation of such a society, the complete, ideal human being he envisioned was one who was imbued with absolute faith in the one and only Almighty God. His portrayal of the Khalsa is as follows.
Jaagat jot japey nis basur
Ek bina man nek na aaney
Pooran prem prateet sajey
Brat gor mari matt bhool na maney.
Tirath daan daya tap sanjam
Ek bina neh ek pachchaney.
Pooran jot jagey ghat main
Tab Khalas tahey nakhalas jaaney.
The complete literary works of Guru Gobind Singh Ji are compiled in the Dasam Granth. These were put together in the present form some time after the guru left this worldly form by Bhai Mani Singh and some other leading sikhs who were always present in the darbar (court) of the Guru and had complete knowledge of his writings. Although the manuscripts of these writings were lost in the River Sirsa, hand written copies of all these important works were collected and compiled in the form of the Dasam Granth, Initially the compilation was referred to as “Bachittar Natak Granth”, later it come to be referred to as “Dasvey Patshah da Granth”. Today, in short form it is called the ‘Dasam Granth’.