«AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION O thou that buttest the high mountain, seeking to dislodge it with thy horns, take pity, not on the mountain but on thy head ...»
13. Long before this controversy appeared in the Press I had already paid tribute to my friend Dr C.H. Loehlin, in Chapter 16 of this book. Whenever he passed through Ludhiana he always stopped to spend a few hours with me. My son and daughters still remember him with great respect and affection. He sent me all his books and papers. Now even the Executive Director of Preslyterian Retirement Community Center Santo Domingo, Ave Duarte has confirmed that he never wrote this article which was 376 cooked up by Hew McLeod Group and published after his death in Sikh Courier and Sikh Review. Dr C.H. Loehlin’s views are clearly expressed in his last book from which I have quoted extensively.
14. Pashaura Singh’s Thesis p. 25
15. Kesar Singh Chhiber: Bansavalinama: Ch. 5
17. Mira is derived form the word Mir (Sovereign) out of which Miri and Piri doctrine is derived. We find the word Mira in Guru Nanak’s Bani a number of times.
18. Muhabbale is defined by Cyprian Rice as the mystical state of Love, consumated in vision or in union as it is the final goal of the wayfarer. All other stages are but preludes or consequences and effects of Love (The Persian Sufis p. 59).
19. The word man means mind, heart and soul.
DR PIAR SINGH’S BOOK: GATHA SRI ADI GRANTH
and by similar services of translating books of Vice Chancellors in good Punjabi, he acquired an enviable position in University administration.
It was a mystery to me till last week (January first week) how Pashaura Singh’s thesis came to be linked with Dr Piar Singh’s book Gatha Sri Adi Granth. But now after reading the book and the thesis, the nexus between the two is quite clear. Dr Piar Singh admits in his book with considerable pride that it is he who persuaded the University to buy GNDU MS/ 1245 as a rare Bir (recension) of Adi Granth in 1987. Sikh Intelligentsia working on the sources of Pashaura Singh’s research, report: “Pashaura Singh starts research in 1987 in Toronto, he comes to India in 1990 only. How could he, sitting in Toronto, work on GNDU MS/1245 on which no one had published any article and submit his thesis in 1991.” It is known to very few persons in the University administration that but for Hew McLeod’s views and comments and his full moral support, Dr Piar Singh’s book might have gone unnoticed and a major part (more than half) would have carried forward objective research on old recensions of Adi Granth. For this major portion Dr Piar Singh leans exclusively on 378 the published and unpublished works of others; but his troubles and undoing begin when he gives his original research work and comments on Goindwal Pothis and GNDU MS/1245.
He out-Herods Herod when he surpasses Pashaura Singh’s research comments with his detailed and well documented comments. Whether Dr Piar Singh owes his comments to Pashaura Singh or Pashaura Singh got the moral courage to present Dr Hew McLeod’s views from Dr. Piar Singh becomes a moot point.
Before we discuss these documents as presented by Dr Piar Singh, we must discuss the main sources of Dr Piar Singh’ s book some of which were con troversial and I happen to be involved in the controversy. We must also discuss the unpublished sources, and labour of scholars which have been tactfully used by Dr. Piar Singh.
G.B. SINGH’S BOOK SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB
DIAN PRACHIN BIMNThe year 1944 was virtually the beginning of my liter-ary career at Lahore. I contributed to almost all Punjabi magazines.
The literary atmosphere was very inspiring. Harkrishan Singh, editor of Punjabi Sahit published this book. Reviews and opinions appeared in Akali Patrika and Punj Darya and there were quotations from the book which were highly inflamatory but were not in the book. Bhai Jodh Singh joined the agitation on the Ragmala issue and so also Principal Teja Singh. Most of these critics were actually attacking the publisher. There was a hue and cry for banning the book. I am even now deadly against banning of books. G.B. Singh as Post-Master General travelled a lot and in 1915 had written good articles. Now he became an atheist and wrote on the virtues of materialism, theism in Preet Lari. There were serious flaws in the book, particularly his disrespectful language, but I expected that some one should criticize his findings and debunk his research. After two months of fiery agitation the book was about to be banned when I wrote a long article to defend the book against banning. The article entitled “Ilat da nau chowdhary:” become a leader in mischief making.” I criticized all critics by name, starting with Mubarak Singh, Panj Darya, Bhai Jodh Singh, all friends.
Copies of the magazine were widely distributed. The agi-tation died down in a matter of days. The book was saved.
Later on, I found that G.B. Singh had not been either’ factual or honest in reporting. I met Harkishan Singh in London in 1976. God alone knows how I found courage to face the whole Sikh Press, when I was in my mid-twenties.
This is one book on which Piar Singh leans heavily.
SWAMI HARNAM DAS’ PURATAN BIMN TE VICHAR 2 PARTS.
(UDASI CULT-WRITER) Swami Harnam Das was scholar of Dasm Granth and Sarb Loh Granth. He was an angry and embittered man and felt that the Sikh leaders were not giving him an opportunity to work freely and that they were paying too much attention to Adi Granth studies. He met me almost regularly every three or four months. When I read his book I frankly told him that he has done considerable damage to his own prestige and reminded him that no sampardaya had respected and propagated the teachings of Guru Granth as did Udasis. He should not be a stigma on his own sampardaya. I urged him to work on Dasm Granth and Sarb Loh Granth. We were not able to find a good copy of Sarb Loh Granth. At last we found one at Nanded prepared by Baba Mit Singh, a great scholar. The Nihang leaders helped him and he not only prepared an annotated copy but also published three large volumes. It is a work of great scholarship. is work on Adi Granth is quite unreliable and has a negative approach. Dr Piar Singh leans on him heavily and at places works on his lines.
GIANI GURDIT SINGH’S ITIHAS GURU GRANTH
SAHIB: BHAGAT BANI BHAGGiani Gurdit Singh first life-secretary and then life-president of Singh Sabha Shatabdi Committee, who had ac-cess to a good deal of material which he was expected to use presen ts some new facts. He does not know English 380 and has been unable to tap non-Punjabi sources. In this finely printed book with traditional approach Giani Gurdit Singh lands himself in blunder land of his own making.He makes Sheikh Farid, Jayadev, Kabir, Ramanand, Namdev contemporaries and disciples of Guru Nanak. He even ignores Bhai Gurdas’s historical statements which place these Bhagtas in proper historical perspective. It is an attempt to make Sikh readers believe fantastic sugges-tions. Giani Gurdit Singh appears to ignore the fact that dozens of books have been published on the positive dates of the lives of Jayadev, Namdev, Kabir, Farid, Ravidas in English and regional languages. Dr Piar Singh depends on the material provided by this book also.
For reasons best known to him Dr Piar Singh ignores some of the important views of Bhai Vir Singh, Prof. Sahib Singh and other scholars who have devoted a life time to Guru Granth studies.
BHAI RANDHIR SINGH, RESEARCH SCHOLAR, S.G.P.C. :
SHABAD-VIGAS (UNPUBLISHED) Bhai Randhir Singh spent years in studying various recensions. He spent three weeks studying the two MSS of Adi Granth which I have. His book was kept by Punjabi Bhavan, Ludhiana for five years for publication where Prof.
Pritam Singh and Dr Piar Singh were all in all. Mter his death a copy of the manuscript passed to the hands of Prof. Pritam Singh who was Head of Department of Guru Nanak Studies for many years. The other copy has been tactfully used by Dr Piar Singh in his book.
Dr Piar Singh can certainly have considerable claim of original research and even more original and startling comments on one Goindwal Pothi (known as Ahyapur, now Jullundur-Pothi). He has given even more detailed and astonishing appreciative comments on GNDU MS/1245. I have not studied the Goindwal Pothis, though I had been looking forward to getting a copy of both and study them in detail. So I will confine my comments and observations to Dr Piar Singh’s euphoric comments on this Manuscript / 1245 and his observations on the compilation of 381 the authentic version of Adi Granth.
1. A collection of hymns is even today called a Pothi while a copy of complete Adi Granth as compiled by Guru Arjun and later canonized by Guru Gobind Singh with his father’s hymns included in them is called Adi Granth Bir or Guru Granth Bir, a complete recension. Dr Piar Singh calls GNDU MS/1245 a Vilakhan or unique Bir. Canonized Scripture. He tells us that it is through his efforts that it was acquired.
2. Dr Piar Singh devotes two pages to the appreciation of the decorated pages and the fake handwriting attributed to Bhai Buddha. He apears to believe that it is the handwriting of bazurg, aged Sage, Bhai Buddha. He calls it a mahurat shloka (auspicious benedictory Shloka).
3. Pashaura Singh reports (Thesis P. 27) “The Introductory note written in the beginning of the manuscript claims that “there is a benedictory autograph written in Guru
Hargobind’s blessed hand on the fourth leaf:
Dr Piar Singh avoids referring to it. Both Dr Piar Singh and Pashaura Singh have rightly reported that an autograph in the form of Mul-Mantar written by Guru Tegh Bahadur is pasted on it on a different piece of paper much later.
4. Dr Piar Singh then draws the attention of the reader to what I have proved is Mina-Cult Mul-mantar. Even though the correct Mul-mantar is before him in the hand-writing of Guru Tegh Bahadur he does not hesitate to suggest that MinaCult Mul-mantar is older than the one used by Guru Arjun and all other Gurus.
5. Just as Mina-Cult Mul-Mantar is used in this Manuscript the corrupted Handalya version is recorded in Jullundur) Goindwal Pothi along with other extraneous material, beautified with ornamental decoration. Piar Singh considers this also an older form and has written many pages on the intellectual exercise Guru Arjun must have undergone to improve the Mul-mantar. I have proved by quoting from Meharban’sjanam Sakhi edited by Dr. Kirpal Singh and Pothi Harji and Pothi Chaturbhuj that this is Mina-Cult MulMantar. It is worthwhile refreshing Dr Piar Singh’s 382 memory, and reminding him that out of the fourteen ‘Forewords’ written to the janam-Sakhi one of them is by Dr Piar Singh. Out of the twelve Forewords written to Harji Pothi and Chaturbhuj Pothi one is in English and that is by Dr Hew McLeod eulogizing Meharban’s Janam Sakhi. Both Dr Piar Singh and Dr McLeod have known that this Mul-mantar used in GNDU MS/1245 was exclusively concocted by Mina-Cult rivals of Guru Arjun and is found only in later Mina-Cult Manuscripts. The same Manuscript with this Mul-mantar is now made the first draft of Adi Granth. Both of them have known since 1962/ 1969 that this is a Mina-Mulmantar rejected by the Sikh Gurus and the Sikhs.
6. Dr Piar Singh admits that Bhagat-Bani is not in-cluded in the GNDU MS/1245 even though it is found in Goindwal Pothis. To call a collection having no Bhagat Bani and the Raga Chapter sequence made topsy-turvy an Adi Granth recension (Bir) is a blasphemous statement. In order to please the upper caste Hindus the Mina-Cult completely removed Bhagat-Bani. Any cult or any group who removes BhagatBani is ex-communicated from the Sikh Panth. This tradition has been repeatedly established in Sikh history. Guru Hari Rai refused to see the face of his otherwise talented son Ram Rai when he distorted one line of a hymn of Guru Nanak for fear of offending Aurangzeb. Dr Piar Singh and Dr Pashaura Singh wan t Sikhs to believe that for five generations the Gurus could not finalize even the Mul-Mantar and all the ten Gurus could not prepare an authentic version of Guru Granth which was to be their Living Guru.
7. Dr Piar Singh now comes to Guru Nanak’s compo-sition Jap. He admits that Shloka adi Sach jugad Sach has been removed. He gives almost Pashaura Singh’s arguments that the Shloka was inserted by Guru Arjun in a later and revised version of Japji. He wants all Sikhs to believe that Guru Nanak was such a poor poet and prophet that he could not even finalize Jap during his life of 70 years. I have quoted from Bhai Gurdas Var 39, Pauri (Ap-pendix pp 354-355) proving that Mul-mantar was in the 383 form which we find in authentic and published recen-sions.
The last lines of this Pauri also indicate that this Shloka was
inseparable part of Jap:
Akwl mU r iq prqK so i e nwau N AjU n I sY B M BwieAw gu r prswid su Awid scu ju g h ju g M q r AwieAw hY B I ho s I scu nwau scu drSx siqgu r idKwieAw
This Pauri and a number of other Vars clearly indi-cate that the Mul-mantar and this Shloka were inspired creations of Guru Nanak and were inseparable part of jap(u) of the Founder of Sikhism.
8. Dr Piar Singh then gives the difference between the authentic Jap Sahib in authentic recensions and the distorted innovation in the GNDU MS/1245. In the foregoing pages I have given a few examples from the first six Pauris of Guru Nauak’s lap. Piar Singh has given thirty-five differences, and he calls them beshumar te bare adhibhut path-bhed, countless and quite wonderful differences in the readings. He writes two full pages to prove that the Mina-Cult distortions are grammatically correct, poetically more appealing. But he forgets that this dis-torted version ceases to be poetry worth the name.
It is surprisng that he goes into ecstasy over the changes, and mutilated lines of Jap