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If I recall correctly, a few months ago I put up a post on this forum highlighting some of the discrepancies in the Suraj Prakash. A mod took it down because he felt it would offend a majority of the forum. I, however, feel that Sikh Sangat is not emulative of it's much maligned reputation i.e. a forum full of fanatics. In the latter spirit, then, I ask that can someone then explain the following passage from another traditional text- Chibber's Bansavalinamah:

 

'Kahan Singh Trehan from Goindwal and a descendent of Guruji.

As a Sardar (chief) Sikh sat at the Bunga (Akal Bunga, Akal Takhat) himself.

Sikhs came to the fair (organised by) local residents circumabulating (the Harimandar).

A Sikh going in front of them met these Sikhs and embraced them. (4)

These Sikhs also hugged him lovingly.

They loved him very much.

After hugging each other when they departed.

Kahan Singh ji saw that particular sikh when all those Sikhs separated. (5)

He (Kahan Singh) sent a man to bring that Sikh to him.

Kahan Singh ji asked,”O Sikh! Which Sikh are you, what caste are you called by?”

Sikh stood there hugely embarrassed.

Then Singh ji again said,”What Sikh are you known as?” (6)

Then he said, “Sir, I am a Mazhabi Sikh (a sikh originally from a low caste)”.

Then Singh ji ordered those other Sikhs to be brought in as well immediately.

Those local Sikhs all arrived,

The ones who had embraced and hugged this other sikh lovingly. (7)

(Singh ji) spoke thus, “Bhai Sikhs, do you know this sikh?”

All those said.”Yes sir”.

(Singh ji) spoke thus, “Which sikh is he, what is his caste?”

They said, sir, landowner sikh and he is known as ‘Sandhu’ (8)(usually a jat surname but occasionally lower castes also may have this surname)

Then he was asked in front of these Sikhs.

“Bhai Sikh! What is your caste? He mentioned, ‘Mazhabi’ (sikh from low castes )

The local Sikhs were surprised on hearing this.

These Sikhs said, “Sir, he has eaten food with us” (9)

All of us Sikhs have served him food making him sit in our own kitchen.

(persons of lower castes were not allowed to enter kitchen of higher caste persons)

Food in (our) plate and water in the bowl was given to him to drink.

This sikh (had) said ‘I am landowner sikh and am a local resident of Amritsar”

All Sikhs have served him with food in their own homes one by one. (10)

Singh ji asked (the ‘Mazhabi’ Sikh), “Why Bhai! Why did you do this?”

He said,”Sir, I am sorry. I forgot (went astray)”.

(Bhai Kahan Singh)Spake thus,”It is not you who forgot (went astry), it is these (Sikhs) who forgot (went astray).

They only saw Guru’s insignia, didn’t see your body (person).” (11)

Bhai Sikha! How could you forget?

Why didn’t you check for your mother, father, brother, sister or relatives?

Those in whose family you were born, grew up and had food together and socialise. How did you forget that (you are from that) family? (12)

It is these Sikhs who got misled by just recognising Guru’s symbols.

Why did you forget? You seem to be fairly knowledgable.

You have done this intentionally.

It is these Sikhs who got misled who saw only Guru’s symbols. (13)

Following just the Guru’s symbols these Sikhs got misled.

So that nobody may repeat this mistake (in the future).

A barber was called and his hair were shaved.

Making him sit on a donkey was taken around the town. (14)

He was hanged by the side of Tunda Sar (a water pond )

And (Kahan Singh) asked this to the local resident Sikhs.

“You arrange a Yag (a sacred purification Hindu worship), do Gurpurab, and prepare Parsad”.

“You were misled by Guru’s symbols, so you are not stigmatised by this”. (15)

“Do not talk about this in the township”

“Keep the tenets of Sikhism in your mind”.

“The Turks (muslim rulers) are eager to find faults lest some trouble arises”

“There should not be any gossiping about this in the township at all”. (16)

All the Sikhs said,”Sir, you did the right thing that you punished him”.

None would repeat such a thing again.

It created such a fear and respect for Sikhism.

That even if someone dropped a thing somewhere, it would continue lying there, and no one would take it away. (17)

(Fourteenth Chapter of “Bansavalinama Dasan Patshaheean Ka” “Genealogy of ten patshahis”) 

I don't claim any expertise on Sikh literature/historicity, but Chibber's narration does not fit in with an already established chronology regarding Baba Kahan Singh Ji. The Baba (let's get over his differences with Baba Banda Singh) is said to have catered to the lower castes and raised them to the levels of the higher castes. Initially I asked a Taksali Singh to explain this passage to me. The most he could say was that the text dealt with telling lies although it is evident that Baba Kahan Singh Ji, for Chibber, has the Singh executed for refusing to follow traditional Caste norms. 

Has the text been corrupted? Dr. Ganda Singh, utilizing the Suraj Prakash as a case study, had the following to say regarding the corruption of historic Sikh texts:

 

'Some writers allege that the reason for the rejection of Ram Rai was that he was born of a handmaid (Cunningham, p. 62). It would have been preposterous for him, as Narang says. to prefer this claim, if he had been born in that way. Really he had the same mother as Har Krishan. The story of Guru Har Rai having married seven wives, who were all sisters, is found only in one MS of Suraj Prakash and is written on unpaged leaves which are clearly an interpolation. Unfortunately this copy became the basis of the editions nowadays in vogue. Other copies mention only one marriage. Mahima Prakash, which is much older than this book, also mentions only one wife. See on this point the annotation of Bhai Vir Singh on Suraj Prakash.'

-Dr. Ganda Singh, Baba Teja Singh; 'A Short History of the Sikhs,' vol. i, pg. 48.

The mod in question informed me, last time, that the other thread would only be resurrected when he/she established the veracity of my post. Obviously by begging the question no veracity can be established much less manifested; I pray, then, that this thread be left open for some constructive debate on Sikh literature and/or it's authenticity on some points.  

Edited by 13Mirch
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Interesting to say the least, cause this sakhi is pretty similar to sikhs of that time. In reality up until sant gurbachan singh ji’s time mazhabhis werent allowed to take amrit in the same bata amd this is still happenening in nihang dals as well. 

So what do we make of the 1699 amrit samchar? If this sakhi happened in the 1700s etc then that means that what happened in 1699 was different and we interpreted it differently.

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1 hour ago, Singh123456777 said:

Interesting to say the least, cause this sakhi is pretty similar to sikhs of that time. In reality up until sant gurbachan singh ji’s time mazhabhis werent allowed to take amrit in the same bata amd this is still happenening in nihang dals as well. 

So what do we make of the 1699 amrit samchar? If this sakhi happened in the 1700s etc then that means that what happened in 1699 was different and we interpreted it differently.

Bhai Jaita's 'Gur Katha,' Sainapati's 'Gur Sobha,' the works of Bhai Band Lal, 'Gurbilas' all refute Caste and its Vedic roots. Prior to Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, Gyani Bhagwan Singh, Akali Giana Singh, Phula Singh, Baba Sahib Singh Bedi all administered Amrit to mazhbis from same bata. Tragic to see you implying that the tenth master was a Casteist when himself burnt Bhai Alam Shah's Janeu.

The Nihangs of today, with a few exceptions, are all nangs.

This saakhi is prior to 1700s. Chibber calls himself a child when this transpired. He chronologically contradicts himself on these points.

Edited by 13Mirch
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5 hours ago, 13Mirch said:

Bhai Jaita's 'Gur Katha,' Sainapati's 'Gur Sobha,' the works of Bhai Band Lal, 'Gurbilas' all refute Caste and its Vedic roots. Prior to Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, Gyani Bhagwan Singh, Akali Giana Singh, Phula Singh, Baba Sahib Singh Bedi all administered Amrit to mazhbis from same bata. Tragic to see you implying that the tenth master was a Casteist when himself burnt Bhai Alam Shah's Janeu.

The Nihangs of today, with a few exceptions, are all nangs.

This saakhi is prior to 1700s. Chibber calls himself a child when this transpired. He chronologically contradicts himself on these points.

Im not implying that the guru was a castist but that sikhs after the guru maybe have lost the plot

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14 hours ago, Singh123456777 said:

Im not implying that the guru was a castist but that sikhs after the guru maybe have lost the plot

Chibber and Chaupa Singh had already lost the plot prior. 

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On 19/11/2017 at 8:15 AM, 13Mirch said:

If I recall correctly, a few months ago I put up a post on this forum highlighting some of the discrepancies in the Suraj Prakash. A mod took it down because he felt it would offend a majority of the forum.

 

Can you pm me the article please?

 

On 22/11/2017 at 6:58 AM, 13Mirch said:

Tragic to see you implying that the tenth master was a Casteist

 

Do you know the history of the Singh who was shaheed in a battle during 10th Gurus time?  His Gurdwara is right next to Lohgarh Qilla at Anandpur Sahib. I have been there but can't remember the name unfortunately.

Edited by chatanga
Spelling errors.

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Chibber's narrative should be read in a context. He was born in a family which was held in great respect and esteem by the Sikh community; several prominent members of this family being treasurers, constant companions or martyrs of the Guru's house. The last notable Chibber in the community was Chaupa Singh who was executed in the 1720s. It seems that the Chibber influence within the community diminished in the coming decades, bolstering envy and rage amongt the Chibbers who had seen their parivaars influence wane over the decades. Hence there were several attempts in Chibber literature of the mid 18th century to infer a preferential ranking of Chibber Brahmins and introduce casteist practises once again (see Rehatnama Chaupa Singh for example). This a theory I have developed myself so can not quote scholars who advocated this theory but all the facts can be double checked.

We always have to read into an authors background and motives for writing a certain text. The sect that manipulated Guru Nanak Dev's Janamsakhis saying the Guru married a Muslim woman did so to cover the defect of their own leader who had married a Muslim lady (and was thus viewed as an outcaste by the larger society). Similarly several writers have tried to link Mani Singh to their own lineage or caste (Gyani Gian Singh 'Dullat' made Bhai Mani Singh a Dullat as well despite the lack of proof in 18th century literature of any such claim).

Therefore I do not believe the Sakhi posted by the OP to be true, Chibber had a vested agenda to promote casteism and more specifically the preferential ranking of the (Chibber) Brahmins. Ever noticed how the Chibber literature cleverly says a Chibber put Patasey in the first Khandi Di Pahul ceremony, were the first to take amrit and so on? (historically contradicted by all existing written sources) [Bansawlinama Chapter 10 I believe]. Similarly the Rehatnama (oldest copy 1765, written by Kesar Singh Chibbers father Gurbaksh Singh Chibber) asks Sikhs to give preferential treatment to Chibber Brahmins.

Edited by HarfunMaula
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Another point I would like to mention for fellow history lovers like is that generally if we look at all non Sikh sources mentioning Sihs and their practises we get a clearer picture than reading our Granths. The Granths were written from a certain mindset, schooling, 'sect' influence and sometimes even vested interests. While non Sikh authors usually wrote after observing Sikhs from several places and often even contrasting, comparing the behaviours of Sikhs across India. While narrow minded non Sikh narratives exist, a dozen sources can be found which clearly imply that Sikhi of the 18th century was more devoid of anti-Gurmat influences than that of the 19th century or Sikh literature (written mostly by Nirmalas who did not represent a majority of the Sikh dharam). Lots of non Sikh sources clearly mention that Sikhs generally did not observe casteist practises.
 

“When a person is once admitted into that (Sikh) fraternity, they make no scruple of associating with him, of whatever tribe, clan or race he may have been hitherto; nor do they betray any of those scruples and prejudices so deeply rooted in the Hindu mind.”
– Mir Ghulam Hussain Khan (Siyar ul mutakherin, 1783)

Edited by HarfunMaula
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On 11/24/2017 at 10:10 AM, HarfunMaula said:

Chibber's narrative should be read in a context. He was born in a family which was held in great respect and esteem by the Sikh community; several prominent members of this family being treasurers, constant companions or martyrs of the Guru's house. The last notable Chibber in the community was Chaupa Singh who was executed in the 1720s. It seems that the Chibber influence within the community diminished in the coming decades, bolstering envy and rage amongt the Chibbers who had seen their parivaars influence wane over the decades. Hence there were several attempts in Chibber literature of the mid 18th century to infer a preferential ranking of Chibber Brahmins and introduce casteist practises once again (see Rehatnama Chaupa Singh for example). This a theory I have developed myself so can not quote scholars who advocated this theory but all the facts can be double checked.

We always have to read into an authors background and motives for writing a certain text. The sect that manipulated Guru Nanak Dev's Janamsakhis saying the Guru married a Muslim woman did so to cover the defect of their own leader who had married a Muslim lady (and was thus viewed as an outcaste by the larger society). Similarly several writers have tried to link Mani Singh to their own lineage or caste (Gyani Gian Singh 'Dullat' made Bhai Mani Singh a Dullat as well despite the lack of proof in 18th century literature of any such claim).

Therefore I do not believe the Sakhi posted by the OP to be true, Chibber had a vested agenda to promote casteism and more specifically the preferential ranking of the (Chibber) Brahmins. Ever noticed how the Chibber literature cleverly says a Chibber put Patasey in the first Khandi Di Pahul ceremony, were the first to take amrit and so on? (historically contradicted by all existing written sources) [Bansawlinama Chapter 10 I believe]. Similarly the Rehatnama (oldest copy 1765, written by Kesar Singh Chibbers father Gurbaksh Singh Chibber) asks Sikhs to give preferential treatment to Chibber Brahmins.

Do you have sources for this?

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On 11/19/2017 at 12:15 AM, 13Mirch said:

If I recall correctly, a few months ago I put up a post on this forum highlighting some of the discrepancies in the Suraj Prakash. A mod took it down because he felt it would offend a majority of the forum. I, however, feel that Sikh Sangat is not emulative of it's much maligned reputation i.e. a forum full of fanatics. In the latter spirit, then, I ask that can someone then explain the following passage from another traditional text- Chibber's Bansavalinamah:

 

'Kahan Singh Trehan from Goindwal and a descendent of Guruji.

As a Sardar (chief) Sikh sat at the Bunga (Akal Bunga, Akal Takhat) himself.

Sikhs came to the fair (organised by) local residents circumabulating (the Harimandar).

A Sikh going in front of them met these Sikhs and embraced them. (4)

These Sikhs also hugged him lovingly.

They loved him very much.

After hugging each other when they departed.

Kahan Singh ji saw that particular sikh when all those Sikhs separated. (5)

He (Kahan Singh) sent a man to bring that Sikh to him.

Kahan Singh ji asked,”O Sikh! Which Sikh are you, what caste are you called by?”

Sikh stood there hugely embarrassed.

Then Singh ji again said,”What Sikh are you known as?” (6)

Then he said, “Sir, I am a Mazhabi Sikh (a sikh originally from a low caste)”.

Then Singh ji ordered those other Sikhs to be brought in as well immediately.

Those local Sikhs all arrived,

The ones who had embraced and hugged this other sikh lovingly. (7)

(Singh ji) spoke thus, “Bhai Sikhs, do you know this sikh?”

All those said.”Yes sir”.

(Singh ji) spoke thus, “Which sikh is he, what is his caste?”

They said, sir, landowner sikh and he is known as ‘Sandhu’ (8)(usually a jat surname but occasionally lower castes also may have this surname)

Then he was asked in front of these Sikhs.

“Bhai Sikh! What is your caste? He mentioned, ‘Mazhabi’ (sikh from low castes )

The local Sikhs were surprised on hearing this.

These Sikhs said, “Sir, he has eaten food with us” (9)

All of us Sikhs have served him food making him sit in our own kitchen.

(persons of lower castes were not allowed to enter kitchen of higher caste persons)

Food in (our) plate and water in the bowl was given to him to drink.

This sikh (had) said ‘I am landowner sikh and am a local resident of Amritsar”

All Sikhs have served him with food in their own homes one by one. (10)

Singh ji asked (the ‘Mazhabi’ Sikh), “Why Bhai! Why did you do this?”

He said,”Sir, I am sorry. I forgot (went astray)”.

(Bhai Kahan Singh)Spake thus,”It is not you who forgot (went astry), it is these (Sikhs) who forgot (went astray).

They only saw Guru’s insignia, didn’t see your body (person).” (11)

Bhai Sikha! How could you forget?

Why didn’t you check for your mother, father, brother, sister or relatives?

Those in whose family you were born, grew up and had food together and socialise. How did you forget that (you are from that) family? (12)

It is these Sikhs who got misled by just recognising Guru’s symbols.

Why did you forget? You seem to be fairly knowledgable.

You have done this intentionally.

It is these Sikhs who got misled who saw only Guru’s symbols. (13)

Following just the Guru’s symbols these Sikhs got misled.

So that nobody may repeat this mistake (in the future).

A barber was called and his hair were shaved.

Making him sit on a donkey was taken around the town. (14)

He was hanged by the side of Tunda Sar (a water pond )

And (Kahan Singh) asked this to the local resident Sikhs.

“You arrange a Yag (a sacred purification Hindu worship), do Gurpurab, and prepare Parsad”.

“You were misled by Guru’s symbols, so you are not stigmatised by this”. (15)

“Do not talk about this in the township”

“Keep the tenets of Sikhism in your mind”.

“The Turks (muslim rulers) are eager to find faults lest some trouble arises”

“There should not be any gossiping about this in the township at all”. (16)

All the Sikhs said,”Sir, you did the right thing that you punished him”.

None would repeat such a thing again.

It created such a fear and respect for Sikhism.

That even if someone dropped a thing somewhere, it would continue lying there, and no one would take it away. (17)

(Fourteenth Chapter of “Bansavalinama Dasan Patshaheean Ka” “Genealogy of ten patshahis”) 

I don't claim any expertise on Sikh literature/historicity, but Chibber's narration does not fit in with an already established chronology regarding Baba Kahan Singh Ji. The Baba (let's get over his differences with Baba Banda Singh) is said to have catered to the lower castes and raised them to the levels of the higher castes. Initially I asked a Taksali Singh to explain this passage to me. The most he could say was that the text dealt with telling lies although it is evident that Baba Kahan Singh Ji, for Chibber, has the Singh executed for refusing to follow traditional Caste norms. 

Has the text been corrupted? Dr. Ganda Singh, utilizing the Suraj Prakash as a case study, had the following to say regarding the corruption of historic Sikh texts:

 

'Some writers allege that the reason for the rejection of Ram Rai was that he was born of a handmaid (Cunningham, p. 62). It would have been preposterous for him, as Narang says. to prefer this claim, if he had been born in that way. Really he had the same mother as Har Krishan. The story of Guru Har Rai having married seven wives, who were all sisters, is found only in one MS of Suraj Prakash and is written on unpaged leaves which are clearly an interpolation. Unfortunately this copy became the basis of the editions nowadays in vogue. Other copies mention only one marriage. Mahima Prakash, which is much older than this book, also mentions only one wife. See on this point the annotation of Bhai Vir Singh on Suraj Prakash.'

-Dr. Ganda Singh, Baba Teja Singh; 'A Short History of the Sikhs,' vol. i, pg. 48.

The mod in question informed me, last time, that the other thread would only be resurrected when he/she established the veracity of my post. Obviously by begging the question no veracity can be established much less manifested; I pray, then, that this thread be left open for some constructive debate on Sikh literature and/or it's authenticity on some points.  

Bansawalinama is seen as a source of general history.  Scholars use and cite it in regards to dates, chronology, and certain events. No one accepts every detail of the text.  Cross referencing and evaluation of each part of the text is employed when dealing with such books.  

 

Many of the authors of such Granths were from a hindu background, so adding a brahminical flavor to their narrations is of no surprise.  

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On 11/22/2017 at 7:45 PM, 13Mirch said:

Chibber and Chaupa Singh had already lost the plot prior. 

Bhai Chaupa Singh didn't lose the plot.  The copies of his Rehatnama that we have so far were interpolated by Gurbaksh Singh, Balakha Singh, and a fourth person. Certain injunctions were written in, others removed.  From the manuscripts extant today, we find three to four different handwritings. 

 

Edited by akaltaksal

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On 11/19/2017 at 1:45 PM, 13Mirch said:

In the latter spirit, then, I ask that can someone then explain the following passage from another traditional text- Chibber's Bansavalinamah:

Speaking as a supporter of our traditional granths (in addition to Guru Granth Sahib ji), I do acknowledge the deficiencies in them, and this is an example of that. The punishment supposedly meted out to the Mazbi Sikh is atrocious. On the other hand, the brotherly love shown in the first part of the story (without regard for caste) is, I believe, an example of true Gursikh spirit as infused by Guru Gobind SIngh ji into the Panth, and is in accord with Guru Sahib's commands regarding caste in the Muktinama (from Suraj Prakash).

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3 hours ago, akaltaksal said:

Bhai Chaupa Singh didn't lose the plot.  The copies of his Rehatnama that we have so far were interpolated by Gurbaksh Singh, Balakha Singh, and a fourth person. Certain injunctions were written in, others removed.  From the manuscripts extant today, we find three to four different handwritings. 

 

Do you have evidence supporting this? 

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3 hours ago, BhForce said:

Speaking as a supporter of our traditional granths (in addition to Guru Granth Sahib ji), I do acknowledge the deficiencies in them, and this is an example of that. The punishment supposedly meted out to the Mazbi Sikh is atrocious. On the other hand, the brotherly love shown in the first part of the story (without regard for caste) is, I believe, an example of true Gursikh spirit as infused by Guru Gobind SIngh ji into the Panth, and is in accord with Guru Sahib's commands regarding caste in the Muktinama (from Suraj Prakash).

 

Edited by 13Mirch

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On 11/29/2017 at 10:48 PM, 13Mirch said:

Do you have evidence supporting this? 

Piara Singh Padam, last paragraph of Bhai Chaupa Singh's Rehatnama (In the two complete printed versions of today.)

Edited by akaltaksal

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