SRI SATIGURU Jl DE MUHAIN DJAN SAKHIAN, i.e. witnesses or instructions from the lips of the venerable Guru himself, is the title of a manuscript, preserved in Gurdwara Manji Sahib at Kiratpur in the Sivaliks by the granthi, Babu Singh, who claims descent from Bibi Rup Kaur, adopted daughter of Guru Har Rai, NanakVH (1630-1661). The manuscript is said to have been transcribed by Bibi Rup Kaur and given her as a gift by the Guru at the time of her marriage. It has now been edited and published, with five additional sakhis, by a young scholar, Narindar Kaur. Of the thirty-three sakhis in the original manuscript, one is common with MS. No. 1657 (AD 1661) and two witli MS. No. 5660 (n.d.), both preserved in (lie Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar (since destroyed).

Similarly, MS. No. 19 (AD 1700) in the Punjab Languages Department, Patiala, has six; MS. No. 2571 (n.d.) in the Central Public Library, Patiala, has sixteen; and the Adi Granth associated with Bhai Painda has nine sakhis common with those in this manuscript. Of the additional five which find place in the printed version, four sakhis have been taken from MS. No, 5660 in the Sikh Reference Library and one from the Adi Granth associated with Bhai Painda. The manuscript at Kiratpur comprises 559 folios and was compiled probably in AD <1661. Folios 1492 (a) contain hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, followed by sakhis on folios 492 (b) to 524 and 528 to 532, with intervening four folios containing the hymns of Guru Aijan.

Folio 533 is blank, followed by hymns from the Vadahans musical measure covering folios 534 (b) to 549 (b). Again folio 550is blank, followed by some more hymns from ragas Bihagara and Gauii. At die end of the manuscript are inscribed dates of the demise of the Gurus and of some of their descendants, but these folios are not numbered. The date of the passing away of Guru Har Krishan is recorded in a hand different from that of the writer. The name of the compiler is nowhere mentioned.

The sakhis included in the work lay stress on moral and spiritual values and are, in a way, precursor to the corpus of literature which nowadays goes by the name of rahitnamas.They adjure the faithful to shun adultery, gambling, backbiting, cheating and falsehood and lo cultivate the virtues of honesty and simplicity. On the spiritual level, they impress upon the devout to cherish His Name, seeking the Guru`s guidance and discarding empty ritualism and superstition. Couched in pithy phrase, the sakhis provide glimpses into the ethical and spiritual aspects of Sikh life.

Linguistically, they mark a distinct transition from the Brajladen Hindavi prose of the Janam Sakhis to tlie simple speech of the central districts of the Punjab. Only some of the sakhis are credited to the Gurus whose utterances (hey are supposed to` be.