GURPRANALI, a distinct genre in Punjabi historical writing, providing in prose or in verse chronological information about the lives of the Gurus and of the members of their families. The genre records in the main dates of their birth, marriage and death. Occasionally, the dates of some major events are also mentioned. The genre gained vogue in Sikh times in the first half of the nineteenth century and has continued to claim adherents in the twentieth. For the history of early Sikhism, the gurprandlis along with janam sdkhis constitute serviceable source material.
Most of the earlier gurprandlis remained unpublished during the lifetime of their authors.It was only recently that Bhal Randhir Singh compiled an anthology of gurprandlis published by the Shiromam Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1951 under the title GurprandUdn. With the discovery of some more manuscripts, a new edition comprising fourteen gurprandlis was brought out in 1964. Among the nineteenth century ^ur^rana^ which are included in GurPrandlidn (1964) arc those ofSaundha`s Gur Ransdvafi, Kesar Singh Chhibbar`s Gurprandti and Gurprandli attributed to Seva Das Udasi, besides a few anonymous ones. Among the gurprandlis of the late nineteenth and twentieth century are those by Gulab Singh, Sant Narain Singh, Giani Gian Singh and GianI Sardul Singh.
The editor, Bhal Randhir Singh, also worked out his own gurprandli which he appended to the volume. The Chief Khalsa Dlwan published in 1934 a gurprandti of its own under the title Gurvans Darpan Paltar. Unpublished manuscripts turn up now and again. To mention two instances: Gurprandli (anonymous) in the Parijab University Library, Chandigarh, and Gurprandli (anonymous) in the Motlbagh Palace, Patiala. Dates given in the different gurprandlis arc more often than not contradictory, yet this source will continue to be of interest to historiographers.
GURPRANALI, by Gulab Singh, is a genealogical account of the Gurus beginning with Guru Nanak`s ancestors.The author, who was a Nirmala acholar, completed this work, according to internal evidence, at Amritsar in 1908 Bk/AD 1851. The language is simple Hindi written in the Gurmukhi script. For his information the author has depended on Janam Sdkhl and Gurbilds sources. He does not seem to have been particular about the accuracy of his dates.
He places the birth of Guru Nanak in the month of Kartik which obviously is the result of the influence of Bald account. The author correctly records 1661 Bk/AD 1604 as the year of the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib, though errs in recording the year of Guru Gobind Singh`s birth.The work has since been included in an anthology entitled GurprandUdn published in 1964 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar. B.S. GURPRANALI, by Kesar Singh Chhibbar, is a genealogical account of the ten Gurus. Written in simple Punjabi prose, this GurprandK is different from other works in this genre in that it gives dates of most of the events recorded. The author and his predecessors had close relations with the Gurus, his grandfather was in charge of the treasury of Guru Gobind Singh, and his great grand father, Dargah Mal, had been dwdn to Guru Tegh Bahadur.
He must have been a small boy at the time of Guru Gobind Singh`s departure from Anandpur in 1705. Kesar Singh seems to have had easy access to the records maintained in the Guru`s household.Kesar Singh`s GurprandU records many dates, but gives few biographical details. For his dates, the author made use of a scroll in the Guru`s records. The author traces the genealogy of each of the Gurus.
For example, it is recorded that Guru Nanak`s father Kaliari Chand was the grandson of Ram Narayan Bed! and son of Sivram. The author states that Guru Nanak was born on Kartik 18, Puranmashi, 1526 Bk. Guru Nanak was married to Sulakkhni, daughter of Mula Chona of village of Pakho ke Randhave on 24 Jeth 1544 Bk (AD 1487). He had two sons: the elder one, Sri Chand was born on 5 Savan 1551 Bk (AD 1494) and Lakhmi Das, the younger one, was born on Phagun 19, 1553 Bk (AD 1497).Guru Nanak died on Assu vadi 10, 1596 Bk (AD 1539) at the age of 70 years, 5 months and 7 days.
Similarly, all important dates in the lives of succeeding Gurus are duly recorded. The martyrdom of Guru Arjan took place on Jeth sudi4, 1663 of Bk (AD 1606), of Guru Tcgh Bahadur on Maghar sudi 5, 1732 Bk (AD 1675). However, these dates have to be used with great caution. This GurprandKhas since been published as part of Gurprandlidn (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar). GURPRANALl, by Giani Gian Singh, the well known Sikh historian, is a genealogical account of the Gurus.
The information contained refers to the dates of their birth, parentage, total period of their time and the dates of their death.Some of the dates recorded are faulty. The author is especially full of reverence describing the Harimandar Sahib and declares that ablutions in the holy water arc several times more auspicious and efficacious than those in the Ganges or at Gaya, Kashi or Paryag. The author also describes in certain detail Akal Buriga, Dukh Bharijani, Ramsar and Baba Atal. Written originally in 1866, the GurprandU is included in Bhai Randhir Singh GurprandUdn (1964) and published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar. B.S. GURPRANALI, attributed to Seva Das Udasi, is, like other similar titles in the genre, a calendar of dates pertaining to the lives of the Gurus.
The text, copied from a rare manu script preserved in the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, until it perished in 1984, was included in GurprandHdn, an anthology of gurprandlls first published by the Shiromam Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1951. Though there is no internal evidence to date the work, the language and style point towards the early nineteenth century as the probable period of its composition. Since the first page of the manuscript was torn, the date of Guru Nanak`s birth and the details of his life arc missing. What the text retains is the date of his death Assu vadi 10, 1596 Bk/7 September 1539. Then follow the dates of birth and death of the succeeding Gurus, along with the period for which each held the spiritual office.
Also included in the calendar are the names of the children born to the Gurus and the dates of several important events. Most of the dates from the lives of the Gurus given here tally with those generally acceptable in the established Sikh tradition. However, the author differs on some counts such as the date of the battle of Chamkaur in which two elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh fell17 Maghar 1762 Bk/16 November 1705 against the established 8 Poh 1762 Bk/7 December 1705, and that of the execution of the Guru`s two younger sons at Sirhind 2 Poh 1762 Bk/1 December 1705. The work of digging the Amritsar tank was completed on 13 Har 1634 Bk/lOJune 1577 and of bricklaying on 22 Har 1646 Bk/19Junc 1589.
After Guru Gobind Singh the guruship, according to this GurprandH, passed on to the Khalsa. BIBLIOGRAPHY Randhir Singh, Bhai, Gurpranalian, Amritsar, 1951 D.S. GURPRANALI, a chronology in verse of events relating to the lives of the Gurus, by Sardul Singh, son of Gian Singh of Amritsar. First published in 1893 and comprising sixteen pages, the Giirprandlt. was prepared at the instance of the Gurmat Pracharak Sabhawith a view “to familiarizing the Sikh youth with their history.” The author states that his dates are based on historical works scrutinized and revised under the auspices of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Amritsar, yet some of them do not coincide with those commonly accepted in the Sikh tradition.
For example, it records Assu vadi 10, 1596 Bk, as the date of Guru Nanak`s death against the current Assu sudi 10, 1596 Bk; Vaisakh sudi 1, 1561 Bk as the date of Guru Arigad`s birth against the current Vaisakh vadil, 1561 Bk;HariWn, 1652 Bk, the date of Guru Hargobind`s birth against the current Har vadi 6, 1652 Bk. Whereas almost all the earlier Gurprandds state that Guru Gobind Singh had passed on the guruship to the Khalsa, this one says that, though Khalsa is the son of Guru Gobind Singh, the status of Guru was bestowed upon Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib. The GurprandH lists some of the kurahits or misconducts, i.e. violations of the code of conduct a Sikh must avoid.Among them are mentioned smoking, shaving and social intercourse with the schismatic groups such as Minas and Dhlrmallias.
D.S. GVRPRANALI (The Gurus` genealogy), an unpublished manuscript in Punjabi of unknown authorship held under MS.no. 388 in the Parijab University Library, Chandigarh. Undated, but the product apparently of late nineteenth century, it comprises a bare six folios tightly written. It opens with an account, introducing some dates, of the origin of the Bed! clan into which Guru Nanak was born. The lineage is carried on to Sahib Singh (1756-1834), Bikram Singh (d. 1863) and his sons Surat Singh and Sujan Singh.Besides recording dates and places of birth and death of the Gurus, the manuscript provides similar information about some of the members of their families.
Certain events are also dated, not always correctly. Among the dates mentioned are those of the beginning of the digging of the bdolisit Goindval (Magh 21, 1591 Bk/20 January 1535), marriage of Bibi Bhani (Phagun 16, 1599 Bk/13 February 1543), founding ofRamdaspura (Thursday, Har 13, 1634 Bk/lOJune 1577), completion of the Guru Granth Sahib (Bhadon sudi 1, 1661 Bk/16August 1604), death ofKaulari (Har 1, 1619 Bk/29 May 1562), battle of Chamkaur (Thursday, Maghar 17, 1762 Bk/ 16 November 1705), battle ofMuktsar (Magh vadi 1, 1762 Bk/18 December 1705), death of Banda Singh Bahadur (Phagun sudi 9, 1774 Bk/27 February 1718), death of Bhai Buddha (Assu sudi 10. 1688 Bk/26 September 1631) and death of Bhai Gurdas (Bhadon sudiS, 1694 Bk/17 August 1637). The author has made use of some other gi^rprandKs as well, notably Amrilsan Prandlikd. l).S. GURPRANALI, an anonymous and still unpublished manuscript comprising a mere six folios and preserved in the Motibagh Palace Library, Patiala, gives a chronology of the events relating to the lives of the Ten Gurus.
The GurprandU can be divided into three parts. In the first part are given the dates and places of birth of all the Gurus along with the names of the children born to them. Tne following folios record the date and name of place where each of the Gurus departed this life. At the end is given the total duration of each Guru`s spiritual office. Following the Bald fanam Sdkhi tradition, Kartik (October-November) is mentioned as the month of Guru Nanak`s birth. Guru Gobind Singh is stated to have named the Khalsa as his successor and passed on to it the guruship before he passed away.
1. Randhir Singh, Bhai, GurpranaRan. Amritsar, 1951