Q. What is the identity of names ‘Shyam’ and ‘Ram’ that appear in some compositions of Dasam Granth?

Answer. This misunderstanding about the appearance of names ‘Ram’ and ‘Shyam’ in the Dasam Bani was first created by the self-styled puritans called the bhasurias. They tried to prove that most of the Dasam Granth was written by the poets Ram and Shyam, names which occur in one or two compositions in the Dasam Granth. There is more than sufficient internal and external evidence in every composition to show that all the writings in the Dasam Granth were the works of Guru Gobind Singh. The names Ram and Shyam are used in some places as pen names. Actually speaking, they were not pen names but poetic translations of Guruji’s names. Guruji’s name Gobind is an attributive name of God; so also are Ram and Shyam. In Sikh theology the three words govid, ram and syam mean the same thing as the following quotations from the Guru Granth prove:
siyam sundar taj nind kiun ai [Guru Arjan: Suhi]
siyam sundar taj an jo cahit jio, kusti tun jok [Surdas: Sarang]
govid govid govid har govid guni nidhaan….
govid govid govid jap mukh ujhal pardhan [Guru Ram Das: Var Kanra]
ram ram kirtan gae ram ram ram sada sahae [Guru Arjan: Rag Gond]
In all the above quotations from the Guru Granth the words ram, syam and govid mean the same thing; and so also they do in the Dasam Granth where they stand for Guru Gobind Singh. That is why two or sometime all three of these names occur in the same composition.* This practice of writing a synonym for the proper noun in the Dasam Granth applies not only to his own name but to many other names also. iln the Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh writes Netra Trung for Naina Devi, Satdrav for Satluj, Dasampur for Anandpur, Shah Sangram for Sango Shah, and Madra-desh for the Punjab. Even in our own times Bhai Sahib Vir Singh’s maternal uncle Pandit Hazara Singh wrote his name Hazoor Hari while his father Dr. Charan Singh wrote his name Charan Hari. Sardar Dharma Anant Singh, in his book Plato and the True Enlightener of Soul, writes the name of Sant Attar Singh as Mrigindus Atrus. So Ram, Shyam and Govind are synonymous names of Guru Gobind Singh.
*In the Guru Granth the name Gobind is written both as ‘Govind’ and ‘Gobind’. But in Guru Gobind Singh’s writings it always occurs with “b” as ‘Gobind’. Guru Gobind Singh spent most of his life in the Doaba area of the Punjab where the words with “v” are pronounced “b”. Guru Gobind Singh Used it very often in his writings. He writes ‘bade bade’ for ‘vade vade’; ‘maru bajia’ for ‘maru vajia’; ‘abigat’ for ‘avigat’; ‘Bishnu’ for ‘Vishnu’; ‘barn’ for ‘varn’, and innumerable other cases. So Guruji preferred to write his name as Gobind and not as Govind.
(Adapted from Dr. Trilochan Singh’s historic article ‘The History and Compilation of the Dasm Granth, published in 1955)

Leave a Reply