The Sikh Encyclopedia The Sikh Encyclopedia Encyclopedia of Sikhism

Sikh Scriptures & Literature

Search Now!


(0 votes)

SASTRA NAM MALA PURAN is a versified composition, included in the Dasam Granth. It is acknowledged to be the work of Guru Gobind Singh. The poem lists weapons of war, which are praised as protectors and deliverers. It runs to 1318 verses and covers 98 pages in the Dasam Granth (24point 1934 edition). Patshahi 10 is mentioned, although the usual inscription Sri Mukhvak, i.e. from the Guru`s own lips, is absent. 

The Sastra Nam Mala, was completed in mid1687, thus making it one of the earlier compositions, possibly a prelude to the clash of arms that took place at Bhangani the following year.The opening section of 27 verses is an invocation to Sri Bhagautiji for assistance. Here the Sword (BhagautT), is personified as God. God subdues enemies, so does the sword; therefore the sword is God, and God is the sword.

In the following arsenal, the weapons of the day are presented under fanciful names, such as for the arrow, bowroarer, skinpiercer, deerslayer, Krsnafmisher; for the mace, skullsmasher; for the combatlasso, deathnoose ; the gun is the enemy of the army, the tigerfoe, the enemy of treachery. Many of the weapons are listed in the form of riddles so dear to the Punjabi heart.These are often abstruse, and must be resolved in devious ways." For example : Think hard and take the word tarangam (stream) They sayJa char (grasseater), Then think of the word naik (lord), At the end say the word satru (enmy) Lo ! Good friend, you have thought of the word meaning tupak (gun), (verse 811) The reasoning seems to be that each thing mentioned is the enemy of its predecessor ; the grasseater is the deer (ja is what is produced by the moisture of the stream ; char is to graze) ; the lord and master (naik) of the deer is the tiger; the enemy (satru) of the tiger is the gun (tupak).

About 25 verses deal with swords of various types, followed by verses concerning spears and quoit (chakra). There are 178 verses (75252) on the bow and arrow; on the noose, or combatlasso, 208 (253460) ; on the gun or musket, 858 (4611318), indicating, possibly, an interest in the more modern weapons. Time and again the weapons are referred to as the instruments of God`s deliverance, and they are addressed as personifications of God. This is sometimes shown in their very names, as when the dagger is called sristes.

Lord of Creation. Adoration is reserved for the weapons only when they are used by the righteous. Thus, what might have been merely a gory account of destructive weapons becomes a sharpening of the moral purpose in waging war. The language of 5astra Nam Mala is Braj, with much lower frequency of PersoArabic words than in most of Guru Gobind Singh`s other compositions. Sanskrit vocabulary, in tatsama form, is in abundance. The style is fanciful, and the reader is amazed by the opulence of linguistic innovation.

References :

1. Loehlin, C.H., The Granth of Guru Gobind Singh and the Khalsa Brotherhood. Lucknow, 1971
2. Ashta, Dharam Pal, The Poetry of the Dasam Granth. Delhi, 1959
3. Padam, Piara Singh, Dasam Granth Darshan. Patiala, 1968
4. Jaggi, Rattan Singh, Dasam Granth Panchaya. Delhi, 1990
5. Randhir Singh, Bliai, Sabadarth Dasam Grantli Sahib. Patiala, 1973

Leave a comment

All About Sikhs

AllAboutSikhs is a comprehensive web site on sikhism, sikh history and philosophy, customs and rituals,sikh way of life, social and religious movements, art and architecture, sikh scriptures,sikh gurudwaras. Based on the belief in One God, the Sikh religion recognizes the equality of all human beings, and is marked by rejection of idolatry, ritualism, caste and asceticism. This website serves to heighten the awareness of Sikhism and hopefully can be of some use to seekers of knowledge.


Search Gurbani

SearchGurbani brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas. You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.


World Gurudwaras

World Gurudwaras will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.



Get Latest Updates