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Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature (26)
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
ADI SAKHIAN (adi = first; sakhian, plural of sakhi = anecdotes, stories, discourses, parables) is one of the early compilations but not the first of the extant janam sakhi traditions to evolve. The manuscript, dated 1758 Bk/ AD 1701, and copied by Shambhu Nath Brahman was first located by Dr Mohan Singh Diwana. While teaching at Panjab University, Lahore, prior to the partition of India in 1947, Mohan Singh Diwana discovered in the University`s library a janam sakhi manuscript which differed from other extant Janam sakhis and bore an earlier date. Dr Diwana believed it to be a version of the earliest of all janam sakhi traditions and bestowed on it the name Adi Sakhian.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
ARDAS, supplication and recollection, is the ritual prayer which Sikhs, individually or in congregation, recite morning and evening and in fact whenever they perform a religious service and at the beginning and conclusion of family, public or religious functions. The word ardas seems to have been derived from Persian `arzdasht, meaning a petition, a memorial or an address to a superior authority. The Sikh ardas is rendered to God Almighty in a supplicatory mood standing in front of the Guru Granth Sahib or, where the Guru Granth Sahib is not present, standing in a similarly reverential posture.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
APOCRYPHAL COMPOSITIONS, known in Sikh vocabulary as kachchi bani (unripe, rejected texts) or vadhu bani (superfluous texts) are those writings, mostly in verse but prose not excluded,which have been attributed to the Gurus, but which were not incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib at the time of its compilation in 1603-04. Since the Sikh Scripture was compiled by one of the Gurus and the text as approved by him has come down to us intact, compositions not included therein must be reckoned as extratextual and spurious. Moreover, the contents of the Guru Granth Sahib have been so arranged and numbered as to leave absolutely no scope for any extraction or interpolation.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
BALA JANAM SAKHI. The Janam Sakhis of the Bala tradition owe both their name and their reputation to Bhai Bala, a SandhuJa^ from Guru Nanak`s village of Talvandi. According to the tradition`s own claims, Bala was a near contemporary of Guru Nanak who accompanied him during his period in Sultanpur and during the course of his extensive travels. If these claims are correct and if in fact the eponymous tradition records the authentic narrative of such a man, it must follow that the Bala Janam Sakhis provide an essentially trustworthy account of the early life of Guru Nanak.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
BEDAVA, lit. disclaimer (be=without + dava = claim). The term came to be used by Sikh chroniclers in reference to an episode Kelating to the last days of Guru Gobind Singh *s battle at Anandpur during the winter of 1705. As, in consequence of the protracted siege of Anandpur, hardships of the besieged Sikh garrison increased, a few of the Sikhs wavered in their resolution and asked the Guru`s permission to leave the Fort.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
BHATTVAHIS, scrolls or records maintained by Bhatts, hereditary bards and genealogists. According to Nesfield as quoted in W. Crooke, The Tribes and Castes of the North Western India, 1896, Bhatts are an "offshoot from those secularised Brahmans who frequented the courts of princes and the camps of warriors, recited their praises in public, and kept records of their genealogies." These bards constantly attended upon or visited their patron families reciting panegyrics to them and receiving customary rewards.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
CHATURBHUJ POTHI, which forms the third part of what is known as the Miharban Janam Sakhi, is the work of Sodhi Chaturbhuj, the youngest of the three sons of Sodhi Miharban (1581-1639), son of Guru Arjan's elder brother, Prithi Chand (1558-1618). The only known MS. of the pothi (book) preserved in the Sikh Historical Research Department of Khalsa College, Amritsar, forms part of a single work divided into three parts, Sachkhand Pothi by Miharban, Pothi Hariji by Miharban's second son and successor, Hariji (d. 1696), and Chaturbhuj Pothi.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
HAZARNAMAH, an apocryphal composition in verse attributed to Guru Nanak. The work is a discourse on the control of five lusts. It commends virtues of honesty, dutifulness, humility, truthfulness, justice, contentment and faithfulness.
Bhai Gurdas and the early Sikh literature
HUKAMNAMA, a compound of two Persian words hukm, meaning command or order, and ndmah, meaning letter, refers in the Sikh tradition to letters sent by the Gurus to their Sikhs or sangats in different parts of the country. Currently, the word applies to edicts issued from time to time from the five takhis or scats of high religious authority for the Sikhs tlie Akal Takht at Amritsar, Takht Sri Kesgarh at Anandpur Sahib (Punjab), Takht Harimandar Sahib at Patna (Bihar), Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib at Nanded (Maharashtra) and Takht Damdama Sahib at Talvandi Sabo (in Bathinda district of the Punjab).

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