- Category: 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.
The last one has its name recorded in the colophon as Chatrabhoj Pothi, the author's name is recorded as Chatar Bhoj, a variation on Chaturbhuj (lit. with four arms as Visnu is usually shown in images). Chaturbhuj's pothi contains 74 gostis or discourses and was completed in 1651. It has the same language, style and format as do the other two pothis the first by his father and the second by his brother. Each discourse in the Pothf commences with a general statement of the situation in which Guru Nanak supposedly delivered it.
Someone poses a question or expresses a doubt pertaining to some religious doctrine or practice, and Guru Nanak proceeds to explain by quoting and expounding one of his hymns.The author, Chaturbhuj in this instance, rounds off the discourse with a sloka, usually a couplet, from Guru Nanak's banf or of his own composition. The Pothi is, as is the Miharban Janam Sakhi as a whole, essentially exegetical rather than biographical, although the opening setting in each gosti does contain references to some specific location and to the person or persons addressed.
The primary concern, however, remains doctrinal nature of God, nam simran, meditation on the Name, importance of the true Guru, and so on. While Hariji chose for his exegesis the longer compositions of Guru Nanak such asJapu, Pat.tf, Sidh Gosti and Oankar, Chaturbhuj took up, besides chaupadasand astpadis (4stanza and 8stanza hymns, respectively), pauris from Vars in Majh and Malhar measures and slokas.