Dr. Trilochan Singh: Scholar and Historian of the Sikhs

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Friday, March 26, 2010, 10:46 (4227 days ago)
edited by Gursant Singh, Monday, June 13, 2011, 09:06

Below you will find an important piece of work on the history of Sri Dasam Granth by Dr. Trilochan Singh, an authoritative exponent of Sikh history, theology, philosophy and culture. This work, in four parts, was published in The Sikh Review in 1955. And up till now this remains a benchmark work on the history and compilation of Sri Dasam Granth - Admin

The entire work can be found at this link.

The History and Compilation of the Dasm Granth (Part 1)

Dr. Trilochan Singh
Guru Gobind Singh's mind was a towering Himalaya of light from whose teeming caverns there flowed a mighty river of songs in whose placid depths he set the reflected image of all the tragedy and bliss of life.

His imagination was a seraph, which sounded all depths and measured all heights. It touched the intangible, it saw the invisible, it heard the inaudible and it gave body and shape to the inconceivable. It gathered gems from all mines, gold from all sands, pearls from all seas and songs from every battle of dharma.
Guru Gobind Singh bequeathed to mankind a literary, historical and philosophic estate which time cannot destroy. He breathed into the nostrils of the heavenly Muse the breath of a new immortality. He sang of his God and his soul. He sang of creation and the rise and fall of civilization. He sang of the wars of dharma, of the heroes of the glorious past of India and of the figurative gods and goddesses of mythology. He sang of the lovers and martyrs of truth.

The fever of the age, the misery of the people, the degradation of the country and its culture, the mute appeals of the oppressed became the problems of his life which he solved with the pen, the sword, the mind and his godlike spirit.

Guru Gobind Singh's mind was a resistless flood which deluged everything that came into contact with it with glory, strength and spiritual glow. He desired that his Sikhs should develop all sides of their personality. He himself developed on all sides the exhuberance of his powers without losing himself in their multiplicity.


It is, however, to be regretted that writers on Guru Gobind Singh have been led away by their just admiration for one aspect of his life to an unjust and even ignorant depreciation of various other equally important aspects of his life.

It becomes impossible for some devout Sikhs to understand that the Guru who was the creator of the Khalsa and who in many fundamental ways parted radically from Hinduism could write such secular writings as life stories of the avtars of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva such as his Triya Charitar and Chandi Charitar. It becomes equally difficult for non-Sikh writers to understand that a Guru who has written glowing accounts of Chandi, Lord Krishna, Buddha and the great ascetics Dattatreya and Paras Nath was not a worshipper or a devotee of any of these. While he had a profound respect for these personalities who were gifted with special, divine qualities, he condemned the worship of these heroes and sages of our country as deities and godheads.

There is another class of writers who do not understand Guru Gobind Singh's use of the sword of dharma and the great social and spiritual significance he attached to it. His autobiography explains the circumstances under which he had to use the sword in actual battles. When hordes of aggressors, generally numbering more than ten times his men, attacked his home and hearth without rhyme or reason, he had no other way out but to resort to the sword Extremist non-violence at such juncture had kept India in slavery century after century.[1]

Another negative argument, though without much grounds, is that since Guru Gobind Singh was always preoccupied with battles and conflicts with the rulers, how was it that he had so much time to write such monumental works. Such people should know that out of five of a Sikh's morning prayers three compositions are by Guru Gobind Singh. Such is the importance he attached to his poetic works.

Guru Gobind Singh was far more conscious of being a poet than being a warrior, or a prophet. The title of the prayer composed by him reads: Kabio ach Benti Chaupai, which means, The Prayer of the Poet in Chaupai Metre. In his autobiography, Apni Katha, the chapter describing his birth in the first person is entitled Ath Kabi Janam Kathnan.

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