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Bani of Guru Gobind Singh

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This article is part of the series on the "Message of Gurbani"

Most of Guru Gobind Singh's bani is found in the Dasam Granth. The Dasam Granth (Punjabi: ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ), historically known as Dasven Padshah Ka Granth (Punjabi: ਦਸਵੇਂ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਕਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ) (Book of the Tenth Emperor), is the second most important scripture of Sikhism. It contains text composed by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The compositions of the Granth set out the ideas, thoughts and guidelines for the future of the Nanak panth as enshrined in the Khalsa. The Jaap Sahib, Tvye Prasad Sawaiye (Amrit Savaiye) and Benti Chaupai, all compositions from the Dasam Granth, are part of the daily prayers Nitnem of the Sikhs, which serve, as well, as a part of the Sikh initiation Khande di Pahul ceremony.

Translation of Quote from Bachiter Natak:

' I establish thee as my son, that you spread My Path. Go and instruct men in Righteousness and the Moral Law, and make people desist from evil.' I stood up, with joined palms, and bowing my head to Lord God, I said: Thy Path I shall spread only if Thou be at my back. For this was I born into the world, I utter only how and what God uttered to me, for I am the enemy of no one. He who calls me God will surely burn in the fire of hell. For I am only the servant of God: doubt not the veracity of this statement. I am but the slave of the Supreme Being come to witness His Play. I tell the world only what my God said to me, for I will not be silenced through fear of the mere mortals. I utter as is the Instruction of my God, for I consider no one greater than Him. I am pleased not with any religious garb, so I shall sow the seeds of the Unaccountable One. Nay, I worship not stones, nor am I attracted by denomintional coats. I utter only the name of the Infinite and so attain unto the Supreme Being. I wear not matted hair, nor ear-rings, nor have regard for any such ritual, and do only what God bids me do. I repeat only the Name of One God who fulfils us, at all places. No, I utter not another's name, nor establish another God. I dwell upon the Name of the Infinite One and so realise the essence of the Supreme Light. I give thought to none else, nor utter another's name. O God, with Thy one Name I am imbued. I have no other pride. Yea, I utter only Thy Name and eradicate my endless sins. It is important to note that Guru Gobind referred to God by different names, depending on the topic of the Shabad. Sikhs believe that God has infinite names, given to him by people of different faiths, languages and cultures. He worshipped only in ONE GOD and not any goddesses, gods or demigods. In fact in the Sikh morning prayer of Japji Sahib our Gurus tell us of innumerable gods, goddesses, saints, scholars, planets, continents, oceans, suns and moons but there is ONLY one God. Guru Ji stronly urged his folowers to worship only one God and none other.

Famous Shabads of Guru Gobind Singh

This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

  • ਸ੍ਵੈਯਾ ॥ SWAYYA
  • ਦੇਹ ਸਿਵਾ ਬਰ ਮੋਹਿ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਭ ਕਰਮਨ ਤੇ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਟਰੋਂ ॥
  • O God, grant me this that I may not hesitate from performing good actions.
  • ਨ ਡਰੋਂ ਅਰਿ ਸੋ ਜਬ ਜਾਇ ਲਰੋਂ ਨਿਸਚੈ ਕਰ ਅਪਨੀ ਜੀਤ ਕਰੋਂ ॥
  • I may not fear the enemy, when I go to fight and assuredly I may become victorious.
  • ਅਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਹੋਂ ਆਪਨੇ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਕੌ ਇਹ ਲਾਲਚ ਹਉ ਗੁਨ ਤਉ ਉਚਰੋਂ ॥
  • And I may give this instruction to my mind and have this tempotration that I may ever utter Thy Praises.
  • ਜਬ ਆਵ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਬਨੈ ਅਤ ਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੋਂ ॥੨੩੧॥
  • When the end of my life comes, then I may die fighting in the battlefield.231.

And a translation of the above Shabad:

“O God, grant me this boon, that I may never hesitate from righteous deeds.

Let me be fearless when I go into battle, Give me faith that victory will be mine.

Let one directive guide my mind, That I always sing your praise,

And when comes the time to end my life, I should die fighting on the Battlefield.”

"All men are the same though they appear different.
The bright and the dark, the ugly and the beautiful,
The Hindus and the Muslims have developed in accordance with their different surroundings;
All human beings have the same eyes, the same ears,
The same body build composed of earth, air, fire and water.
The names Allah and Abhekh are for the same God;
The same is referred to in the Puranas and the Quran.
All human beings are the reflection of one and the same Lord.
Recognise ye the whole human race as one."

"Extend Thy hand to shield me Lord, and all my heart's desires fulfil,
Ever may my mind dwell at Thy feet, deem me Thy own and work my weal,
Slay Thou my enemies one and all, save me from them by Thy hand,
May all the people peace, who serve and do as I command.
May Thine own hand be ever my shield, and all my foes forthwith destroy.
May all my hopes fulfilment find, ever may I crave rapport with Thee.
I may not worship other than Thee, when Thou canst grant me every boon.
Keep my disciples from all harm, and crush my enemies one by one,
Uphold me with Thine own strength, fear of the hotly of death annul.
Be ever Thou on my side O Lord. and take me under Thy banner of steel." (Benti Chaupai)

"Whoever was clever in the world established his own sect.
No one tried to unite people in the search for the Creator.
Enmity, contention and pride increased.
All, big and small, flared up and started perishing in their own rivalry.
And none of them tried my way.
They who obtained a little spiritual power struck out their own way.
None of them cared to recognise the Supreme Being,
But became mad, boasting of themselves.
They cared little to recognise the Real Essence.
But each became absorbed in himself and tried to establish his superiority over others." (Bachittar Natak)

"He who repeats the Name of Him whose light is unquenchable,
Who bestows not a thought on any one but the one God,
Who has full love and confidence in God;
Who puts no faith, even by mistake, in fasting or worshipping his ancestors.
Who only recognises the one God, puts no faith in alms, penance and austerities.
In whose heart the light of the perfect one shines,
Only he can be recognised as a pure member of the Khalsa."

"It is of no avail to sit closing both eyes and meditating like a crane.
This world is lost, and the next also, for those who go about bathing in the seas, desiring salvation.
They pass their lives In vain dwelling in the midst of sin.
I speak verily; hear me all - God is realised only through love." (Swayya 9)

"Some worship stones, put them on their heads or hang them round their necks.
Some insist that God is in the South, others bow their heads to the West.
Some fools worship idols, others waste their time with worshipping the dead.
The whole world is entangled in false ceremonies and has not found God's secret." (Swayya 10)

Without devotion one cannot realise the Lord

ਬਿਨ ਭਗਤਿ ਸਕਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਪਰਤ ਪਾਨ ॥ ਬਹੁ ਕਰਤ ਹੋਮ ਅਰੁ ਜਗ ਦਾਨ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਏਕ ਨਾਮ ਇਕ ਚਿਤ ਲੀਨ ॥ ਫੋਕਟੋ ਸਰਬ ਧਰਮਾ ਬਿਹੀਨ ॥੨੦॥੧੪੦॥

Without the power of devotion they cannot realise the Lord. Though they perform havens, hold Yagyas (sacrifices) and offer charities. Without the single-minded absorption in he Lord`s Name, All the religious rituals are useless. 20.140.

Only those who have loved shall attain the Lord

Dasam Granth online page 42

Guru Gobind Singh in the Dasam Granth in verse number 9 of Tav Prasad Saviaye puts a seal on the concept of Love leading to salvation. Tav Prasad Saviaye is one of the five Banis of a Sikh's daily Nitnem routine of reciting of the Guru's words. In this Bani, the tenth master covers many aspects of human living which one needs to inspect on a daily basic but the central message comes is the concept of "Love for the Lord and his creation" and the constant "remembrance of His Name". If you do not feel any love for God; you will not feel any love for His creation and vice versa; your heart will be barren and you will have no compassion or mercy. The Guru reminds us:

ਸਾਚੁ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਭੈ ਜਿਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕੀਓ ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪਾਇਓ ॥੯॥
Sach kahon sun leho sabai jin prem kio tin hee prabh paio.
I tell the truth; listen everyone. Only those who have Loved, will realize the Lord. (9)

The message of Love and longing is evident on all the pages of the Sikh scriptures. The Love for God and His creation is easy to see in Gurbani; the Lord is referred to as "Husband Lord", "Beloved", "Immaculate", "Great", "Merciful", etc. all affectionate words for a tender, caring and powerful being. However, God is not an external entity; God is said to be in all places; in every living things; literally everywhere. Gurbani tells us, "The Lord Himself is within the self, and outside as well...; the Lord Himself is fully pervading everywhere" and also "You are the Great Giver of all souls; You are the Life within all living beings."

Other Famous Quotes from Dasam Granth

Page 47

ਹਿੰਦੂ ਤੁਰਕ ਕੋਊ ਰਾਫਜੀ ਇਮਾਮ ਸਾਫੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਕੀ ਜਾਤ ਸਬੈ ਏਕੈ ਪਹਿਚਾਨਬੋ ॥ hi(n)dhoo thurak kooo raafajee eimaam saafee maanas kee jaath sabai eaekai pehichaanabo ||

  • Some are Hindus and others are Muslims; someone is lliifazi (ashiah=renouncer-follower of Ali) and another an Imam-Shafi (Sunni=adherent of the Prophet) but ye recognize all human race as one.

Page 137

  • Whosoever shall call me the Lord, shall fall into hell.
  • Consider me as His servant. 32.

Page 1471

  • When all other methods fail, it is proper to hold the sword in hand. (22)

Page 1475

  • Do not be rash in striking your sword on helpless, otherwise the Providence will shed your blood. (69)

See also

Dasam Granth

Jaap | Akal Ustat | Bachitar Natak | Chandi Charitar | Chandi di Var | Gian Prabodh | Chobis Avatar | Brahm Avtar | Rudar Avtar | Shabad Hazare | Swayyae | Khalsa Mahima | Shastar Nam Mala | Charitropakhyan | Zafarnama | Hikayats

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