GURU NANAK BANS PRAKASH, by Sukhbasi Ram Bedi (c. 1758C.1848), an Udasi saint and a descendant of Guru Nanak, is a versified biography of Guru Nanak with considerable detail about his descendants as well. Two manuscript copies of the work are extant one at the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and the second in the Central Public Library, Patiala. Of these, the former which is dated 1886 Bk/AD 1829 was copied by one Achhar Singh. The work has since been published (1986) by Punjabi University, Patiala. The author, according to his own statement (pp. 50613), was the son of Kabali Mall, seventh in the line of descendants of Lachhmi Chand (LakhmT Das), the younger son of Guru Nanak (1469-1539).

He was the disciple of Anandghana about whom he writes with deep reverence and whom he had first met at Tahli, near Dera Baba Nanak, and got initiated into the Udasi sect. Sukhbasi Ram journeyed through the Indian countryside preaching Sikli tenets, but he spent a major part of his life at Dera Baba Nanak where he was born and at Kashi where he studied Indian philosophy and poetics. It was on his return to the Punjab that he wrote this book. It is said that Maharaja Ranjit Singh rewarded him with a gift of five villages in Sialkot district and Raja Ranjit Dev of Jammu with fifty acres of land in the Kathua area.

This latter jdgir was confiscated by the British. This 4,500 stanxa long work which was written with the aim of eulogizing Guru Nanak and his family and preaching the Sikh way of life, opens with the Mul Mantra, followed by an invocation to various gods and goddesses. In presenting the life of Guru Nanak which covers more than half of the book, the author has depended upon the family tradition as well as upon works such as BdldJanam Sdkhiand Purdlan Janam Sakhi. He emphatically departs from the Bald tradition in that he places the birth of Guru Nanak in the month of Baisakh instead of Kartik.

The text contains references to certain events about which history has remained silent. The author, for instance, refers to Guru Arjan`s arrest under the orders of Jaharigir and his release at the intervention of Baba Sri Chand. This arrest may have preceded the one which ended in the Guru`s martyrdom. Dohira and Chaupai are the metres commonly employed by the poet though use has also been occasionally made of Soratha, Savaiyya and Aril. The language is Sadh Bhakha, with a predominant admixture of Punjabi.

References :

1. Gurninkh Singh, ed., Guru Nanak Bans Prakash. Patiala, 1986