Dasam Granth: Plucking “Moral” Messages from Thin Air.
|Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.
In both my previous articles in this series, I and many of those commenting have asked two simple questions.
- WHAT are the so called “moral messages that are found in each Chritar” as claimed by Gurmukh Singh.
- WHERE exactly WITHIN the Charitar are these messages to be found.
Not a single verse from any Chritar containing any “moral message” has thus far been produced. Loud and repeated claims of “Yes, there are moral messages, IF you read beyond the literal,” is code for “there are no messages, really.”
The inability to answer this first question has led Gyani Jarnail Singh Arshi to ask “IF indeed there ARE moral messages, why are they BURRIED under a heap of dung?
A very un-palatable word indeed.
I suppose Arshi is referring to the contents of 404 tales of sexual depravity that are written in crude, graphic and vulgar detail; presented as abhorrently derogatory to women; and based on accounts as immoral and decadent as one can imagine.
Apologists however keep claiming that should one dig deep enough, a bunch of sweet smelling roses will eventually be found.
And those who choose to call the spade a spade or the heap as heap – such as DG Teekakaar Dr Rattan Singh are accused of undertaking “purely literal work (that) lacks credibility”!
At this point, one might ask: Why does one HAVE to suffer the sensory revulsions of a heap of dung to get to a rose; when gardens of roses abound? Must we all develop a penchant for dung?
One wonders what the state of the rose that comes out from under a dung will be, if one does indeed come out after all that digging.
Boisterous claims that “abstinence” and “injunction” are the moral messages of the Chirtars amount to plucking stuff from thin air to justify one’s support for the depravity of the 404 Chritars.
The question remains: Where does one find even one sentence with the word “abstinence” or “injunction” in any of the 404 Chritars?
Balabir Kaur has aptly asked if those who impose “non-existent” messages upon the Chritars are implying that they are “smarter” than the author(s) of the Chritars.
ABSTINENCE AND INJUNCTION IS ANTI THESIS TO CHRIITRO PAKHYAN
In fact the narrative of every sexual Chritar has thrown abstinence to the dogs.A maid sent to call the King for a sexual encounter by his 60th Queen (Chritar No 160 DG page 1048) ends up in her own night-long sexual rendezvous with the King.
Of the 48 verses in this Chritar; a full 39 are devoted to detailed descriptions of the multitude of sexual positions. Five verses provide the setting. And four provide the conclusion that the silly Queen never found out what really happened. Is such a story of abstinence?
A woman having sexual relations with her skinny lover (Chritar No 91 DG page 816) panics when her obese lover shows up at the door. She hides the thin one under the bed and continues her debauchery with the fat one. Abstinence?
A young girl caught by her parents in bed with her lover kills both parents, buries them with the help of her lover and continues her decadent activity. If this Chritar conveys a message of abstinence then one needs mental acrobatics to explain it.
The author of Chritar No 68 (DG page 899) thrusts his tongue 100 times into the rear orifice of a horse and declares he is instantly cured of his disease. He urges the medicine man to do likewise, who does the same and gets cured too.
Isn’t the “immoral message” inherent within the narrative – whosoever wants to be cured must do the same repulsive act? One might be excused for asking” What are CP apologists waiting for, then?
UNDERSTANDING THE GENERAL RULE OF MESSAGES WITHIN SHABADS.
Within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, EVERY Shabad has its own message. The message is contained within the Rahao verse and in its absence the final verse.
By definition the Rahao is the nucleus verse, the contemplative verse, the verse that contains the gist of the shabad and the verse that ties in all the other verses of the shabad.
Two points are worth noting here.
- It is the writer of the shabad that DECIDES the message. If there are multiple messages, there will be multiple Rahao verses. There are shabads in the SGGS that contain up to 4 Rahaos.
- The message is always WITHIN the shabad. No plucking from thin air is allowed or becomes necessary.
Gurmukh Singh, in his attempt to belabor the “literal versus deeper meanings” and perhaps to suggest that the CP paradox of no moral messages also applies to the SGGS; uses Kabir’s shabad “Pheel Rababi Baldh Pakhawaj Keuwa Taal Bejaway. Peher Cholna Gedha Nachay Bhaisa Bhagat Keravay” to pose the question:
Would you say that the meaning cannot be any other than …the Elephant plays the Rebab, the Bull the Pakhawaj…. You’d need to decipher the message if the same is not immediately apparent.
YES, one NEEDS to decipher the message. And to do that one DOES NOT make up one’s own “moral messages.” Or pluck them from thin air and claim “ABSTINENCE” or “ANIMAL RIGHTS” or “INJUNCTION” or “EXTINCTION”!
One goes to the RAHAO VERSE that Kabir HIMSELF wrote WITHIN THE SHABAD in question.
The Rahao Verse is: Raja Raam Kakureya Baney Pakaye. Kineey Bhujenharey Khayee. Rahao. Meaning: From being imbued in an out of tune / worthless worldly state, my mind has acquired he ripened state of Godly melodies / sweetness. Rare is such a blessing.
The music and dance of the animals mentioned depict an out of tune and worthless state of affairs of (Kabir’s) mind. Such needs to be changed. Message deciphered. From the Rahao.
WHY THE OBJECTIONS THEN?
Why then is it become so UNBECOMGING for anyone to ask: WHERE, WITHIN any of the 404 Chritars is the “Message Verse?”
Why is it also OBJECTIONABLE to request that the “moral messages” of CP to be neither plucked from thin air nor deciphered by acrobatic twisting?
In my Dasam Granth and Fathers Day article I had argued that the DG couplet in question could ONLY be attributed to nine year old Gobind Rai and Guru Teg Bahadur ji though twisting, extrapolating and adding things to the couplet that don’t exist.
Gurmukh’s assertion that the advice is one of spousal fidelity is defective because nine year old Gobind Rai had no spouse until a decade later.
But the Academy maintains it was about spousal fidelity and resorts to even more twisting. This time around however, they decided to twist Bhagat Namdev’s shabad from within the SGGS.
THE TWISTING CONTINUES
The following is the Academy’s response to my Dasam Granth and Father’s Day article.
“In relation to Fathers Day message in Chritro Pakhyan that was highly misinterpreted and published by some irresponsible people Bhagat Namdev Ji says the EXACT SAME THINGS as an adivice to us in the the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.”
There are more twists and fabrications that one could discuss, but four are definitely in order.
Frist, Bhagat Namdev’s shabad does NOT say the EXACT SAME things as the CP couplet. That CP (DG) couplet is about a father telling his son not to bed other women in his dreams. Namdev’s shabad is about spirituality as will be made clear in succeeding paragraphs.
Second, the prologue is plucked from thin air and self constructed. It says “Bhagat Namdev uttered the shabad after being informed that one of the devotee is (sic) having an affair with another woman.”
NOWHERE WITHIN this shabad is there any mention of ANY DEVOTEE or ANY AFFAIR with ANY woman, and ANY advice to that effect. Bhagat ji is talking about his OWN state of mind.
One wonders if reading too much of Chitro Pakhyan leads one to see nothing other than sexual affairs with another woman even where none exist. Worse, does CP condition one to see spiritually elevating Gurbani as being recited over sexual affairs of devotees?
Third, the words Ghalley Dhanda in the 2nd verse is translated as “having an affair.” Again seeing sex and woman where none exist. Prof Sahib Singh, in Darpan (page 4826) correctly translates these terms as “negative behaviours, lies.”
We use the term “Kum Dhanda” in our everday languate to explain work related behaviours.
Fourth, the Shabad is titled LOYALTY. Twisting again. The title of a shabad ought to come from the RAHAO verse. The Rahao Verse in this shabad is: Papee Ka Ghar Agney Mahe. Jalut Rahey Mitvey Kab Nahe. Rahao.
Translation: This sinful mind of mine (papee ghar) is overcome by greed. The fire of greed does not show signs of getting extinguished (meaning the mind does not want to be CONTENT).
Readers can see that the word LOYALTY does NOT exist in this Rahao verse. The issue is thus of CONTENTMENT or lack of it. Within the rest of the shabad, three examples are given by Namdev Ji in explaining the desire of NOT wanting to be CONTENT with things given to him by God.
In verse 1 Bhagat Ji tells his mind to be content with his God-given spouse. In verse 2 Bhagat Ji says be content with the spirituality into which God has placed you. In verse 3 Bhagat Ji says be content with the physique that God has blessed you.
In the final verse Bhagat Ji tells us So Bhaj Par Hai Gur Kee Sarna. Come into the Sharan of God. Coming into His sharan is being CONTENT with all that He has given.
The message therefore from the Rahao verse is that “greed, and not being CONTENT with all that is given to me by God” is the root of my spiritual problem.
To say therefore, that this shabad of Bhagat Namdev is saying the EXACT SAME thing as the CP couplet is utter nonsense.
The Chitro Pakhyaan of the Dasam Granth is decadence personified. What is wholly immoral in narrative can never be moral in its message. It is as plain and simple as this.
The only way to super-impose morality on the 404 tales of sexual debauchery that constitute the CP is by plucking “moral messages” from thin air, by twisting the sexual narratives or by intentional mis-translations.
No prophet of any faith would want his followers to suffer such depravity. No prophet could thus have authored any such abhorrent writings. Certainly not any of our spirituality elevated and Godly Gurus. Certainly not Guru Gobind Singh ji.