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The Scriptures - Dasam Guru Durbar
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To many modern mainstream Sikhs, the exact contents of Dasam Guru Durbar are a mystery. Indeed, the entire text itself has been actively surpressed by the S.G.P.C. and founders of various personality cults such as the A.K.J. over many years who have attempted to remove or negate portions of the text which does not appeal to their own narrow-minded puritanical thinking. The text comprises:

Jaap Sahib
A ballad of 199 verses that expounds the nature of the Almighty and the facets of the Almighty's greatness. The term "Jaap" itself translates to 'contemplate', and 'Sahib' refers to the Master, ie. Contemplation of the Master (Almighty). The universal appeal of this ballad makes it supreme in its expounding of the qualities of the Almighty. The text itself is read as part of the Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa daily recommended liturgy, and is also read at the Amrit ceremony to initiate new Nihang Singhs into the ranks of the Budha Dal.

Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Author of the ballad Jaap Sahib and other Hymns found within the
sacred Dasam Guru Durbar compiled by Bhai Mani Singh at the request of Mata Sahib Kaur

Akal Ustat
This is the second ballad of Dasam Guru Durbar is composed of 271 verses, and is largely devotional in nature. 'Akal' translates to 'Immortal' and 'Ustat' translates to 'praise of'. The text describes the many forms of the Almighty in nature, and how mankind perceives this great entity. The inherently paradoxical nature of this ballad makes it a favourite amongst the Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa. Many paradoxical questions are asked (see here for more details) and some answered. The ballad itself has been left unfinished (as the praise of the Almighty can never end).

Bachittar Nattak
This is the autobiographical work of Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh ji that is 'the great drama', is described in great depth over 471 verses. It describes 32 years of his life, and brief episodes of other great warriors and battles. The paradoxical nature of the Almighty, the emotions of a warrior, and the greatness of truth is praised. Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh ji also describes his lineage and his past lives, and why he came into being.

Luv and Khush
The beloved sons of Lord Raam (far left) to whom
Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh ji traces his family tree

Chandi Charitra (3 parts)
The aim of these ballads (1st one has 233 verses, the 2nd has 266 verses, the 3rd has 55 verses) is to inspire warriors to stand up for truth and righteousness in the face of tyranny and oppression. On a deeper level they deal with the internal struggle to control basic animal instincts. All 3 ballads are extremely metaphorical and deeply narrative in nature, and describe the battles of Durga (also known as Chandi, Bhawani, Kalika) against many demon warlords (such as Sumbh, Nisumbh, Chandh, Mundh, Domar Lochan and Rakt Beej). Based on the tales of Durga in Markandey Puraan, these ballads also weave in the intricacies of the higher power (Akal) that controls creation, yet is also within it. The 3rd ballad, Chandi Di Vaar is often read as part of the daily liturgy of the Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa, and is also the source of the 'Ardas' (an invocation read daily by all Sikhs).

A Persian painting depicting Maharaja Ranjit (left)
Singh paying his respects to the warrior goddess Chandi

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