The 3 granths in Sikhism & the debate surrounding Sarbloh Granth & Dasam Granth
The Nihangs, apart from venerating the Guru Granth Sahib, also hold in reverence the Sarbloh Granth and Dasam Granth. ThePrint explains the distinction between the three granths.
CHITLEEN K SETHI 21 October, 2021 11:37 am IST
Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi. | Nicolás Pérez/Wikimedia Commons | Representational image
Text Size: A- A+
Chandigarh: The brutal killing of 35-year-old Lakhbir Singh at the Singhu border last week by a group of Nihangs as “punishment ” for allegedly trying to desecrate their holy book —the Sarbloh Granth — has triggered a fresh debate around Sikh scriptures and literature.
The Sarbloh Granth is distinct from the Guru Granth Sahib, which is considered to be a living guru of the Sikhs.
However, the Nihangs, apart from venerating the Guru Granth Sahib, also hold in reverence the Sarbloh Granth and Dasam Granth.
ThePrint explains the distinction between the three granths and the controversy surrounding the Dasam Granth and Sarbloh Granth.
The three granths
While it is said that the Dasam Granth, another holy text of the Sikhs, is a compilation of various writings attributed to the tenth Guru —Guru Gobind Singh — the claims have been disputed. However, some of its contents like the Jaap Sahib are part of the daily prayers of the Sikhs — the Nitnem.In 2010, two groups of Sikhs clashed over the authenticity of the Dasam Granth at a gurdwara in Canada.
Last year, a protest was staged at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi over a discourse from the Dasam Granth.
The Sarbloh Granth, meanwhile, contains the famous Khalsa Mahima or the praise of the Khalsa, a composition attributed to the tenth Guru.
The Sarbloh Granth was first published in the mid-19th century by Baba Santa Singh — jathedar of the Budha Dal Nihang order — and has been their revered text ever since.
While in traditional Sikh gurdwaras only the Guru Granth Sahib is placed, the Nihang Sikhs place all the three granths in their gurdwaras.
Explaining the significance of the Sarbloh Granth, Dr Jaswant Singh, assistant professor at University College, Dhilwan, said the Sarbloh Granth was discovered in a period later than the Gurus but it is composed in almost the same style as the Dasam Granth. “It’s a narration, a story of a battle between the good and evil forces which ends with the manifestation of the Sarbloh avatar.”
“Though its contents reflect the puranic tradition, yet it is a transformed version. Its most significant content is the Khalsa Mahima or the praise of the Khalsa attributed to Guru Gobind Singh. The oft-heard and quoted ‘Khalsa mero roop hai khaas…khalsa mein hi ho karo nivaas,’ is from the Sarbloh Granth,” added Dr Jaswant.
Dr Jaswant also said that apart from the Nihang gurdwaras where the Dasam Granth and Sarbloh Granth are placed along with the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sarbloh Granth is also placed in the Mai Bhago Gurdwara at Nanded Sahib (in Maharashtra).
Talking toThe Print, Sikh scholar Dr Dharam Singh, who was also the editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Sikhism, said the Guru Granth Sahib is the compilation of the ‘word’ of the Sikh Gurus. “Guru Gobind Singh ordained that the Guru Granth Sahib be considered a living guru by the Sikhs. In all Sikh gurdwaras the Guru Granth Sahib is placed with great respect, bowed and prayed to,” he said.
“The Guru Granth Sahib is a revelatory scripture while the Dasam Granth and the Sarbloh Granth are part of Sikh literature. As the name suggests, the Dasam Granth is attributed to the tenth Guru but there is a huge debate over it. Some scholars agree that some portions might have been authored by the tenth Guru but others reject the claim completely. Some parts of the Dasam Granth are included in the Nitnem (Sikh daily prayers) like the Jaap Sahib and Sewaiye,” added Dr Dharam Singh.
“The Dasam Granth also includes the Bachhiter Natak, Chandi di Vaar which have resonance with Puranic literature. The only gurdwara where the Dasam Granth is placed like the Guru Granth Sahib is at Nanded Sahib,” said Dr Dharam Singh.
Also read: Who are Nihang Sikhs? Sect accused of Sikh man’s ‘sacrilege’ lynching at Singhu
‘Sarbloh pothi is not sacred text’
Even as the debate over the Sikh holy scriptures continues, in a sermon delivered Monday, Sikh preacher Ranjeet Singh Dhadrianwale said Lakhbir was killed for no reason at all. “What is the proof that he committed a desecration? They killed him saying that he intended to desecrate their Sarbloh Granth. The Sarbloh Granth pothi is not a sacred granth,” said Dhadhriwale.
Dhadrianwale, who was at the forefront of 2015 protests against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Bargaari, further said: “When we utter the words Guru Granth Sahib our heartbeats increase. We have so much respect. He is our real Guru whom we adore and worship. But in this case the desecration which was attempted was of a pothi (book) of the Sarbloh Granth which half the Sikhs don’t even consider (as sacred). Before getting agitated over someone harming your father, you should know clearly that your father is the Guru Granth Sahib and not the Sarbloh Granth.”
His remarks came after the Nihangs justified the killing, saying that just as the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sarbloh Granth was like their “father” and if anyone tries to harm their father “it is their duty to defend him”.
Also read: Punjab govt sets up SIT to probe if Lakhbir Singh was ‘lured’ to Singhu border
What Nihangs claimed
Nihang leaders, meanwhile, claimed that Lakhbir had come to their “dera” some days ago and allegedly entered the bus where the granths were placed and removed the cloth in which the Sarbloh Granth was wrapped.
The Nihangs camping at the Singhu border had housed the three granths in a bus near their living area.
“He ran away with the Sarbloh Granth and we caught him with it. There were boxes of matchsticks lying there and we suspect that he had come to do something big,” said Nihang leader Baba Raja Raj Singh during a press conference at the Singhu border Sunday.
Also read: ‘Devil & deep blue sea’: Why Punjab’s politicians are silent on Singhu Dalit lynching
As the security scenario in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, Sikhs -- a community that was already in a dire situation before the collapse of the government -- practically have to make a choice between options of "converting to Sunni Islam or run away" from Afghanistan, said a report.The community, which once numbered in the tens of thousands, has been ruined and devastated by years of emigration and death, driven by both systemic discrimination and an uptick in fanatical religious violence
Alec Baldwin: What are prop guns and why are they dangerous?
4 hours ago
IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
On a film set, a real-life tragedy has happened.
Police say US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on a film set in New Mexico. They were working on the film Rust.
Tributes have been paid to Ms Hutchins, 42, while Mr Baldwin is said to be distraught. One local paper found him in tears outside Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office.
An investigation is under way and we don't yet know what went wrong. A spokesman for Mr Baldwin said there had been an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.
Such incidents are rare and the news has stunned the film industry. The use of firearms on set is subject to stringent safety standards.
"On the film I recently made, even my plastic gun, I had to sign out, sign in every day," said Australian actor Rhys Muldoon. "So that's why this particular case is so incredibly baffling."
Despite sounding innocuous, both prop guns and blanks can be dangerous. Here's what we know about them.
What is a prop gun?
Blanks are used in the film industry to imitate live ammunition.
The reason they are so convincing is that blanks are essentially modified real bullets.
While the term "bullet" is commonly used to describe what is loaded into weapons, more properly it is a cartridge that is loaded: a self-contained ammunition package made up of a casing holding an explosive powder that when fired, blasts out a projectile, or bullet.
Blanks differ because although they use explosive they don't use a projectile.
A prop gun could mean a range of items, from non-functioning weapons to cap guns.
But it can also mean a real weapon, or one adapted for firing blanks.
Together they add authenticity to productions - fire a blank using a prop gun and you'll get a loud bang, a recoil and what's known as a muzzle flash, the visible light created by the combustion of the powder.
Has this kind of incident happened before?
Yes. You may remember Brandon Lee, the actor son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
Brandon Lee died aged just 28 in 1993 while filming The Crow, when a prop gun which mistakenly had a dummy round loaded in it was fired at him.
Dummy rounds contain no explosive charge and in this case were used to film a close-up. When blanks were loaded part of the dummy round remained in the gun.
After Lee was shot, the cameras kept rolling. It was only when he did not get up at the end of the scene that those on set realised something was wrong.
In another incident, in 1984, US actor Jon-Erik Hexum started joking around on the set of a television show after being frustrated by delays in filming.
He loaded a revolver with a blank, spun the chamber, put the gun to his temple and fired.
Unlike Lee, he was not killed by a projectile, but rather the force of the blast was strong enough to fracture his skull. He died days later in hospital.
How can blanks and props be used safely?
Hexum's death highlights a problem with blanks - even without a projectile they pack enormous power.
Adding to the risk, some film sets use extra powder to make the visual impact stronger.
Film sets usually have strict rules about the use of prop guns. Specialists provide weapons for use on film sets and advise on their use.
"There's basic safety measures on every set," said Mike Tristano, an armourer who has worked with Alec Baldwin in the past.
"You never point a gun, even if it is not a firing gun, at anyone else. I'm at a loss how this could have happened and how it could have done that much damage."
A common shot in film shows an actor firing into the camera and Steven Hall, who has worked on films such as Fury and The Imitation Game, says it only happens with safeguards.
"If you are in the line of fire... You would have a face mask, you would have goggles, you would stand behind a Perspex screen, and you would minimise the number of people by the camera, " he said.
"What I don't understand in this instance is how two people have been injured, one tragically killed, in the same event."
Others working in film wondered why, at a time when gun effects can be cheaply added using computers, blanks are still being used at all.
"There's no reason to have guns loaded with blanks or anything on set anymore. Should just be fully outlawed," tweeted Craig Zobel, an actor and director whose credits include Westworld and Mare of Easttown.
"Prop guns are guns," TV writer David Slack tweeted. "Blanks have real gunpowder in them. They can injure or kill - and they have. If you're ever on a set where prop guns are treated without proper caution and safe handling, walk away.
"No show or shot is worth risking people's lives," he added.
Gurbani tells parents not to impose on their children this way. Perhaps somebody knows the location or I'll see what I can find. It's either in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or Varaan Bhai Gurdas Ji.
Once they know you are able to leave and have the backing of Gurmat perhaps you will find you have new bargaining power for the behaviors that are acceptable in your family. You don't have to be the man of your house just be a man of your house, who sticks to his guns, backs with Gurbani, and speaks the truth for Sarbat Da Bhala.
You are not beholden to them. If they want that extra icing in life called multigenerational support of extended family they have to create an environment for all three of you to joyfully have families there. And earn your consent. It is a great thing to do, provide for the elders...when they respect you and help you create your own joyful life.
I am only now rekindling certain familial relationships after being brainwashed my whole life that I was a man at birth, responsible for my mother, and going to be her retirement. It's sick and deranged. I actually want to do all those things. They way people twist it into slavery is disgusting though, and I will have no part in one sided contracts honored only by me. A big turning point is when I realized they all expected that to be at the expense of me having my own life, family, etc. And that as a larger family none of them were worth anything. A bunch of shallow, nindaks, assimilated into white supremacy before my eyes. No thanks. Hypocritical. Lying. Scheeming. Next.
Family is a team. It's everyone playing the same game, by the same rules, and working together or it's not. Either we all win or it's not working right.
Bro. You can move. You can take a sibling with you. The flamingos leave their babies do they not? Guru Nanak Dev Ji took off on foot did he not? You can stay too and lay it down bro. Calm, cool, calculated, chardikala and correct.
They get rude, bring in Sangat to witness and support you. It's your family business, be a pro. The parents don't listen and learn something off you go. If you respect your parents, respectfully tell them what they need to do to have the life they want. If it includes you.