MIHARBAN JANAM SAKHI
MIHARBAN JANAM SAKHI takes its name from Sodhi Miharban, nephew of Guru Arjan and leader of the schismatic Mma sect. Miharban`s father, Prithi Chand, was the eldest son of Guru Ram Das and as such had greatly resented being passed over as his father`s successor in favour of a younger brother. He set himself as a rival to the Guru. He and his followers who supported his claims were stigmatized as Mmas or hypocrites and out castes.
Succeeding his father as leader of this sect in 1619, Miharban guided it until his death in 1640. Later, the sect declined into insignificance.A belief, however, survived that Miharban had composed a janam. sdkhi of Guru Nanak. Until well into the twentieth century, no copy of this Janam Sdkhi had come to light. The prologue to the highly respected Cyan Ratandvali specifically declared that the Mmas had corrupted the authentic record of Guru Nanak`s life and teachings.
The lost Miharban Janam Sdkhiha.d accordingly been branded spurious and heretical, and but for the Cyan Ratandvali reference it would probably have been forgotten completely.In 1940, however, a Miharban manuscript was discovered at Damdama Sahib and subsequently acquired by Khalsa College, Amritsar. Upon examination this substantial manuscript turned out to contain only the first half of the complete Miharban Janam Sdkhi. According to the colophon, the complete work comprised six volumes (pothis}. The manuscript itself consisted of the first three volumes, Poihi Sachkhand, Pothi Hariji, and Pothi Chaturbhuj, respectively.
The three missing sections were entitled Keso Rdi Pothi, Abhai Pad Pothi, and Prem Pad Pothi. In 1961, the Khalsa College acquired a second and much smaller Miharban manuscript which provided a text for folios missing from the Damdama manuscript. It is, however, limited to a portion of Pothi Sachkhand, and thus provides no material from the three missing volumes.
The only portion to survive from this latter half of the Miharban Janam Sdkhi is its account of the death of Guru Nanak. This has been incorporated in a recension of the Bald Janam Sdkhi tradition. From the extant volumes of the Miharban janam Sdkhi, three important conclusions may l)e drawn. The first of these is that the work can scarcely be described as heretical. Objections grounded in orthodox doctrine may certainly be raised at a few points, but the same can be said of
1. Kirpal Singh, ed., Janam Sakhi Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Amritsar, 1962
2. __, Janam Sakhi Parampara. Patiala, 196.9
3. McLeod, W. H., Early Sikh Tradition. Oxford, 1980