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puzzled

Maharajah Ranjit Singh and the Sikh Scriptures

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Ranjit Singh the Maharajah of Panjab had full faith in both Scriptures: Guru Granth Sahib and Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. He undertook Vak from Guru Granth Sahib before undertaking his military expeditions. He also commissioned manuscript copies of the Sikh Granths by artisans in his court and beyond. He also ensured that the Granth Sahibs were carried on his expeditions. The following quote by Mufti ‘Ali’ ud-Din shows the respect that was paid to the Granth Sahibs in the Sikh empire:


The maharaja maintained an elaborate establishment of Bhais (Sikh priests), one or two of whom held the charge of every Sikh shrine in the Punjab. There was a separate estate attached to every shrine, the produce of which was enjoyed by the incumbent. He was always attended on his tours by a priest with a volume of each of the two chief scriptures [Adi Granth and Dasam Granth]. They were wrapped up in rich pieces of silk, placed in a cot under a big canopy, and thus borne from one place to another. A special military escort was provided, each member of which carried a Sikh banner. The procession was often followed by a number of priests on elephants. Besides this, every regiment had its own volumes of the Granths and religious insignia. Even the ministers of state carried separate copies of the Granths on their journeys.

Ibratnama, by Mufti 'Ali ud-Din, folio 356, Quoted from The Punjab as a Sovereign State (1799-1839), Gulshan Lall Chopra, (1928), Lahore, p 204

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Or he was canny enough to realise this very public show of religious obedience would ensure the religious bodies in the Akal Takhat would be convinced of his dedication and affiliation with Sikhi, and therefore their beady eye of inspection would give him the benefit of the doubt.

People who rise to such prominence and power are not innocent, straightforward souls. They are some of the most cunning, forward-thinking individuals ever to have lived. Cunning, yes, not evil. That's a clarification I unfortunately need to make for the simple-minded on here.

No doubt there was respect and dedication for Sikhi on his part, but I suspect it was as much the equivalent of a modern day political PR tactic where a Prime Minister enters a Gurdwara with a ramaal or a gaudy orange turban during electioneering to convince the feeble minded rabble that's he's their guy, than a straightforward display of shardaa. 

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52 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

Or he was canny enough to realise this very public show of religious obedience would ensure the religious bodies in the Akal Takhat would be convinced of his dedication and affiliation with Sikhi, and therefore their beady eye of inspection would give him the benefit of the doubt.

People who rise to such prominence and power are not innocent, straightforward souls. They are some of the most cunning, forward-thinking individuals ever to have lived. Cunning, yes, not evil. That's a clarification I unfortunately need to make for the simple-minded on here.

No doubt there was respect and dedication for Sikhi on his part, but I suspect it was as much the equivalent of a modern day political PR tactic where a Prime Minister enters a Gurdwara with a ramaal or a gaudy orange turban during electioneering to convince the feeble minded rabble that's he's their guy, than a straightforward display of shardaa. 

Well he wasn't a proper gursikh obviously lol, but that was a well known fact even during his time. In fact the Akali Singhs were not very fond of him, there are historical accounts of them openly insulting him in the bazaars of Amritsar and calling him things like "kana" blind because of his one eye lol. But he knew he needed the Akalis and Akal Takht Sahib on his side, at the same time the Akalis knew that he was loved by the people of Punjab and that he baught security, peace and prosperity to Punjab. 

As for his respect for Sikhi, I'm sure to a certain extent he had to put on a display, but at the same time, listening to bani, katha and have religious discourse was actually part of his daily routine, to have engaged in that for nearly 40 years I'm sure there was some true sharda from his part, you can't pretend every single day for 40 years, unlike the Badals who visit a Gurdwara now and then and get ptc to film the visit.

According to giani Sher Singh, mahapursh have told him that M.Ranjit Singh knew the entire Dasam Granth by heart, from the first ang to the last, despite him being a illiterate. You need some interest in Sikhi to be able to do that. 

When it comes to his public display of love for Sikhi, well I guess it comes down to ones interpretation, and that's what it is for most historical figures. Like when it was his grandsons wedding he got the finest jewellers to make a emerald sehra for his grandson, once it was made he felt it was too beautiful for his grandson and decided to place it before Guru Granth Sahib ji at Harmandir Sahib, it's still kept there. Whether this was an public show or genuine, I guess it comes down to how one judges it, as it is for most historical figures around the world ... 

What's interesting about him is that he was a very flawed man and he was quite open about his flaws and habits. 

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1 hour ago, shastarSingh said:

Great stuff, despite all the evidence that Dasam Bani was important for Sikhs for centuries, some still continue to show disrespect towards it and question authenticity. At this stage it seems to be personal agenda, even politics. 

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On 11/26/2020 at 12:47 PM, puzzled said:

Great stuff, despite all the evidence that Dasam Bani was important for Sikhs for centuries, some still continue to show disrespect towards it and question authenticity. At this stage it seems to be personal agenda, even politics. 

I think this clearly shows how nonSikh perspectives and attitudes have permeated through sections of our community since the colonial era, and how slow some of our lot are in grasping this.

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13 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

I think this clearly shows how nonSikh perspectives and attitudes have permeated through sections of our community since the colonial era, and how slow some of our lot are in grasping this.

It seems to be politics more than anything else, in real, I've personally never come across anyone who is against Dasam Bani, not here in the UK or in India. Only place that the small group of anti Dasam Bani people seem to appear is on youtube. 

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1 hour ago, puzzled said:

It seems to be politics more than anything else, in real, I've personally never come across anyone who is against Dasam Bani, not here in the UK or in India. Only place that the small group of anti Dasam Bani people seem to appear is on youtube. 

It seems to be mainly some perception (on part of the ignorant) that Dasam bani somehow turns us into 'Hindus'. It is (to me) clearly a misconception that stems from all the forced identity politics of the colonial era (as well as the introduction of outsider conceptual frameworks in the panth like the notion of 'erotica') still influencing minds. 

It's alien to Sikh thought, and should be a warning to all of the dangers of analysing and perceiving Sikh texts with foreign mindsets - as opposed to an interaction with the texts from a Sikh perspective that contextualises the bani culturally and historically.    

We are SO lucky with DG, as it gives a clear and in depth picture of what our ancestors were thinking and learning at a time when they had the most powerful, fanatical and extremely violent adversaries to contend with. It was obviously a source of strength for the panth in the most trying times and played a part in their later victory - no wonder colonialists (with their minions) made so much effort to alienate us from the bani! 

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47 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

It seems to be mainly some perception (on part of the ignorant) that Dasam bani somehow turns us into 'Hindus'. It is (to me) clearly a misconception that stems from all the forced identity politics of the colonial era (as well as the introduction of outsider conceptual frameworks in the panth like the notion of 'erotica') still influencing minds. 

It's alien to Sikh thought, and should be a warning to all of the dangers of analysing and perceiving Sikh texts with foreign mindsets - as opposed to an interaction with the texts from a Sikh perspective that contextualises the bani culturally and historically.    

We are SO lucky with DG, as it gives a clear and in depth picture of what our ancestors were thinking and learning at a time when they had the most powerful, fanatical and extremely violent adversaries to contend with. It was obviously a source of strength for the panth in the most trying times and played a part in their later victory - no wonder colonialists (with their minions) made so much effort to alienate us from the bani! 

It's all very political today. During Gurdwara elections they have Anti Dasam party vs pro Dasam party.

Singh from Delhi explains a bit how Gurdwara politics and Dasam Bani go hand in hand. He made this video in response to the recent Anti Dasam Granth protests in Delhi. He's been exposing fake parchaarks like Baljeet Singh Delhi who is quite similar to the missionary lot in Punjab. 

 

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