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Bhai Bala Janamsakhi

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File:Bhai Bala Janamsakhi Maincover.jpg

Bhai Bale Vali Janamsakhi is the most popular and well known Janamsakhi, in that most Sikhs and their Janamsakhi knowledge comes from this document. This work claims to be a contemporary account written by one Bala Sandhu in the Sampat year 1592 at the instance of the second Guru, Guru Angad.

This janamsakhi has had an immense influence over determining what is generally accepted as the authoritative account of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life. Throughout the nineteenth century the authority of the Bala version was unchallenged. An important work based on the Bahi Bala janam-sakhi is Santokh Singh’s Gur Nanak Purkash commonly known as Nanak Parkash. Its lengthy sequel, Suraj Parkash carries the account up to the tenth Guru and contains a higher proportion of historical fact, this was completed in 1844.

  1. In the first journey or udasi Guru Nanak Dev Ji left Sultanpur towards eastern India and included, in the following sequence : Panipat (Sheikh Sharaf), Delhi (Sultan Ibrahim Lodi), Hardwar, Allahbad, Banaras Nanakmata Kauru, Kamrup in Assam (Nur Shah), Talvandi (twelve years after leaving Sultanpur), Pak Pattan (Sheikh Ibrahim), Goindval, Lahore, Kartarpur.
  2. The Second udasi was to the south of India with companion Bhai Mardana. Delhi, Ayodhya, Jagannath Puri, Rameswaram, Sri Lanka, Vindhya mountains Narabad, River, Ujjain, Saurashtra, Mathura
  3. The third udasi was to the north : Kashmir, Mount Sumeru, Achal
  4. The fourth udasi was to the west. Afghanistan, Persia, Mecca, Madina, Baghdad

Chapters

Some Important Chapters of Guru Life:

  • Birth Of Guru Nanak
  • Playing With Kids
  • Sakhi with Moolas
  • Sakhi with Family Pundit
  • Sakhi of Cow Grazing
  • Sakhi of Snake Shadow
  • Sakhi with Doctor
  • Sakhi of Saccha Sauda
  • Sakhi of Modikhana
  • Sakhi of Guru Nanak's Wedding
  • Sakhi of Mecca and Medina
  • Sakhi of Himanchal, Una, Sumeru, Nanakmata, Tanda
  • Sakhi of Panipat, Delhi Ruler
  • Sakhi of Mathura, Gaya, Ayodhya, Paryagraj, Kirhi, Assam
  • Sakhi of Duni Chand Khatri
  • Sakhi of Sheikh Brahm
  • Sakhi of King of Arabia
  • Sakhi of King Babar
  • Sakhi of Baghdad
  • Sakhi of Calcutta
  • Sakhi of Kandhar and Wali Kandhari
  • Sakhi of Kabul Mosque
  • Sakhi of Ajita Randhawa
  • Sakhi of Rameshwaram
  • Sakhi of Sri Lanka
  • Sakhi of Multan, Naushera.
  • Sakhi of Abdul rehman, Dawood Weaver
  • Sakhi with Brahm Khan Lodhi
  • Meeting Guru Angad Dev
  • Tests of Guru Angad Dev
  • Death of Guru Sahib

There are around 188 Sakhis(As per 36th Edition) which covers life of Guru Nanak which includes historical and mythological aspects. THere is no proper arrangement of sakhis, it feels like what sakhi comes in authors mind that is written. No proper Geographical accounts.

Criticism

According to the author, he was a close companion of Guru Nanak and accompanied him on many of his travels.

There are good reasons to doubt this contention:

  • Guru Angad, who is said to have commissioned the work and was also a close companion of the Guru in his later years, was, according to Bala's own admission, ignorant of the existence of Bala.
  • Bhai Gurdas, who has listed all Guru Nanak's prominent disciples whose names were handed down, does not mention the name of Bala Sandhu. (This may be an oversight, for he does not mention Rai Bular either.)

Bhai Mani Singh's Bhagat Ratanwali, which contains essentialy the same list as that by Bhai Gurdas, but with more detail, also does not mention Bala Sandhu.

  • It is only in the heretic janamsakhis of the Minas that we find first mention of Bhai Bala.
  • The language used in this janamsakhi was not spoken at the time of Guru Nanak or Guru Angad, but was developed at least a hundred years later.

Some of the hymns ascribed to Nanak are not his but those of the second and fifth Gurus.

  • At several places expressions which gained currency only during the lifetime of the last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), are used e.g Waheguru ji ki Fateh. Bala's janamsakhi is certainly not a contemporary account; at best it was written in the early part of the 18th Century.

Most scholars and Gursikhs now agree there is no prove to his existence. Most historians agree that “Bhai Bala Janamsakhi” is the work of Hindalias (also known as Niranjanias), who were the bitter enemies of Sikhs. There are several flaws in his version of Janam Sakhi about Sri Guru Nakan Dev Ji which he claims that Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji asked him to write.

  1. Bhai Bala never existed. He was a fictious character pushed into our history to destroy us.
  2. The name of Bhai Bala is not mentioned in other Janamsakhis (biographies).
  3. In his Janam Sakhi, he clamis that Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a great Hindu, but lower in spirituality than Bhagat Kabir and Baba Hundal. Also he tries to prove that Guru Nanak Dev Ji did not come to the world to liberate the world, but because of his own karma and liberate himself. There are countless other anti-gurmat sakhis and things written in his janam sakhi that are hard to believe.
  4. The language of this Janam Sakhi is very modern and is not of the period of Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji, which proves that someone wrote this Sakhi long after by creating a fictious charactyer, Bala and linked him with Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji's companion.
  5. In that Sakhi, Bala also writes that whatever he is writing is all truth becuase all the things he is writing he has seen them with his eyes because he was with Guru Nanak Dev Ji ALL the time, which is totally wrong, becuase if that were true then why didn't Bhai Gurdas Ji mention his name in his Baani. Bhai Sahib mentioned only Bhai Mardana as Guru Nanak Dev Ji's companion.
  6. In Bhai Gurdas's eleventh var, the names of all the known Sikhs up to that time have been mentioned but there is no direct reference to the name Bala.
  7. Bhai Mani Singh has, in his Bhagat Ratnawali, repeated nearly the same list but Bhai Bala, who could have narrated the Janam Sakhi as such, does not exist there either. There are a number of other anomalies, which Dr.Kirpal Singh has explicated in his Punjabi work `Janam Sakhi Parampara.'
  8. Handalis sect played a very active role along with other Hindus in the extermination of Sikhs during the time of Zakria Khan and his minister Lakhpat Rai. Therefore, Bhai Bala was either a member of the Hindalia sect, or a fictitious character, not a companion of Guru Nanak as claimed by Lal.
  9. Bala Janam-Sakhi denigrates Guru Nanak and his family and friends. In his analysis of this janam-sakhi, Professor Surjit Hans writes:
    The first clue to grasping the true character of the Bala Janamsakhi is the fact that the persons related most closely to Guru Nanak are presented in uncomplimentary light. His father, Kalu, for instance, is a cruel man; he is greedy and ill spoken; he blames Mardana for spoiling his son; and Guru Nanak is rather chary of meeting him. Guru Nanak’s wife regrets marrying him, she is hot-tempered and full of anger. His mother-in-law is quarrelsome and hardhearted. His father-in-law curses his fate to have a son-in-law like Guru Nanak. The Guru’s constant companion, Mardana, is pleased with counterfeit coins and cast off clothes; he is all the time hungry.

The Bala Janamsakhi has never even CLAIMED to be divine revelation by any Sikh. Serious doubt has been cast on this work and the research some may present is that which Sikh scholars themselves have tabled. This Janamsakhi isn’t and has never been read in Sikh congregations.

Important Aspects

Still, Bhai Bala Janamsakhi covers very important aspects of Guru Nanak's life. It Covers the travels did by Guru Nanak. It have various Sakhis which we do not find in other sakhis and it really happens. The Writer of Janamsakhi covers historical aspects with mythiological aspects.

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