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BRAHAM GIAN

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BRAHAM GIAN (Knowledge of the Divine), by a Sevapanthi saint Gopal Das, is a treatise in Punjabi on theology. The work is unpublished and the only extant copy of the manuscript is preserved in the private collection of Dr Tarlochan Singh Bedi at Patiala. It contains 219 folios and was written presumably in the first half of the eighteenth century. Another incomplete copy of the manuscript existed under MS. No. 1700 in the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, until it perished in 1984 in the Army attack on the Golden Temple premises.

The work can broadly be divided into two parts: the first defining the term brahamgian and setting forth the means of achieving this state of mind, and the second describing the state of mind of one who has attained brahamgian.In this sense, the work can also be called a free and detailed exposition of the eighth pauri or canto of Guru Arjan`s Sukhmani (q.v.). To fortify his argument, the author has quoted profusely from numerous Persian, Sanskrit and Punjabi sources which include the works of the Gurus and of several of the Bhaktas and Sufis, besides the Bhagavadgita and the Yoga Vasistha. The excerpts and examples quoted in the original from Persian and Sanskrit works are written in red whereas their explanation in Punjabi (Gurmukhi characters) is in black ink.

The issues like the nature of God, His creation and His relationship with that creation, and the role of Guru and sangat in realizing the Divine are discussed in the light of Sikh tenets and explained with illustrations from Sufi and Vedantic texts. The language of the work is an admixture of Punjabi and Sadh Bhakha, with a fair sprinkling of Braj, Persian and Sanskrit words. Western Punjabi vocabulary predominates which may be a clue to the locale to which the author belonged.

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