God of the Dasam Granth – Part 1

Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.

Who is the God of Dasam Granth (DG)? This is the primary question that will be examined in this article.

A cursory study of the Dasam Granth (DG) brings forth obeisance of its authors to two primary entities – Mahakaal and Durga. Both have a plethora of names. Mahan Kosh author Kahn Singh Nabha on pages 201 and 674 describes Durga as the consort of Shivji (the devta of death) and provides more than a dozen names for her including Kalka, Shera Walee, Maha Mayee, Chandika, Seetla, Parvati, Chandee, Shiva and Jug Maata.

Mahakaal is another name for Lord Shivji. Readers can gain further insights on the philosophy here:

Linking Mahakaal and Durga
The Shiv Puran depicts two primary forms of Shivji. This concept of duality is defined as Ardh Narishvar Saroop. The right side of Shivji is male and the left is female. Mahakaal represents the Male component and Kalika the female. A cursory look at the three pictorial depictions of Shivji below – taken from three different sources capture this connection. In the first Shivji rides a bull while Durga rides a tiger. In the second, one destroys by fire, the other by weapons. In the third, the power of one is signified by the trishul and the other by multitude of limbs.

The Vaam Margee Sect of Shivji
This sect accepts that its primary Deity is the left side of Shivji namely Kalika, Chandee, Durga. And that the origin of creation is the right side namely Mahakaal.

The names Raam, Syam & Nul appear hundreds of times in a variety of places in the DG. They are thus believed to be the writer poets of a vast majority of DG. Their obeisance to Mahakal and Durga suggests that they are staunch (albeit deviant) members of the Vaam Margee sect.

The biggest Vaam Margee Mandir is called Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple and is located in the holy city of Ujjain, Madh Pardes India. Mahakaleshwar is a combined term from Mahakaal and Eshwar. Meaning Mahakaal is their God.

The following pictures – taken from within the Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple (centre) make the point that the artefact of worship of Shivji – namely the lingam is adorned with a picture of Mahakaal. This means that the lingam is the base artefact but Mahakaal drawn onto the lingam is the primary object of worship.

Mahakaal in Dasam Granth
The primacy of Mahakaal – above all other Hindu Gods is captured on page 309 as follows:
ਚੌਪਈ॥ ਮੈ ਨ ਗਨੇਸਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮ ਮਨਾਊ। Chaupayee. Mein Na Ganeshey Pritham Manaun.
I do not accept Lord Ganesh as my primary God.

ਕਿਸ਼ਨ ਬਿਸ਼ਨ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨਹ ਧਿਆਊ Kishen Bishen Kabhu Neh Dhiayu
I will not ever worship Krishen and Vishnu

ਕਾਨ ਸੁਨੇ ਪਹਿਚਾਨ ਨ ਤਿਨ ਕੋ Kaan Suney Pehchaan Na Tin So
I hear of them with my ears, but I recognize them not.

ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੀ ਮੋਰੀ ਪਗ ਇਨ ਸੋ। ੪੩੪। Liv Lagee More Pug En So.
My contemplation is on the feet of the following.

ਮਹਾਕਾਲ ਰਖਵਾਰ ਹਮਾਰੋ Mahakaal Rakhvaar Hamaro
MAHAKAAL is my protector.

ਮਹਾਲੋਹ ਮੈ ਕਿੰਕਰ ਥਾਰੋ। Mahaloh Mein Kinker Tharo
Its on Mahaloh (another name of Mahakaal) that I place my obeisance

ਅਪਨਾ ਜਾਨ ਕਰੋ ਰਖਵਾਰ। Apna Jaan Karo Rakhvaar
Accept me as you own and protect me

ਬਾਹ ਗਰੇ ਕੀ ਲਾਜ ਬਿਚਾਰ। ੪੩੫। Bah Gahe Kee Laaj Bichar.
Hold my arm and protect my honor.

Mahakaal Defined and Described in the Dasam Granth

The charactreristics of Mahakaal are found in pages 41 and again in 810 of the DG
ਮੁੰਡ ਕੀ ਮਾਲ ਦਿਸਾਨ ਅੰਬਰ ਬਾਮ ਕਰਯੋ ਗਲ ਮੈ ਅਸਿ ਭਾਰੋ। Mund Kee Maal Disaan Amber Baam Kareyo Mein As Bharo

ਲੋਚਨ ਲਾਲ ਕਰਾਲ ਦਿਪੈ ਦੋਊ ਭਾਲ ਬਿਰਾਜਤ ਹੈ ਅਨਿਗ਼ਾਰੋ। Lochan Laal Karal Dipey Dou Bhal Birajat Hai Aneyaro

ਛੁਟੇ ਹੈਂ ਬਾਲ ਮਹਾ ਬਕਿਰਾਲ ਬਸਾਲ ਲਸੈ ਰਦ ਪੰਤ ਉਜਯਾਰੋ Chutey Hai Baal Maha Bikral Bisal Lasey Rud Pant Ujeyaro

ਛਾਡਤ ਜਵਾਲ ਲਏ ਕਰ ਬਯਾਲ ਸੁ ‘ਕਾਲ’ਸਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਤਪਾਲ ਤਹਾਰੋ॥ Chadat Jawal Laye Kar Byaal So Kaal Sda Pritpaal Tiharo

In totality the depictions contain the following descriptions: Necklace of Skulls, Nude, Sword in hand, Eyes like burning charcoal on his forehead, Frightening braids, Dangerous teeth, Breathes Fire.

A variety of other names are used for Mahakaal in DG. Examples are Sarab Kaal, Kaal, Astujh, KharagKet, Asket etc. Readers may want to note that NONE of these names appear for the usage of God in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Their individual meanings (weilder of the sword, the strong armed, the muscled one etc) go against the primary concept of the God of the SGGS to be of a non human nature.

Given the descriptions found of Mahakaal in the DG – where his primary function is to fight the demons, protect Durga, and bring forth death and destruction the following images within the Vaam Margee sect fit the description.

Mahakaal and Durga as the primary Gods of DG.

The following verse on page 73 of DG esblishes
ਸਰਬਕਾਲ ਹੈ ਪਤਾ ਅਪਾਰਾ॥ ਦੇਬ ਿਕਾਲਕਾ ਮਾਤ ਹਮਾਰਾ॥ Sarabkaal Hai Pita Hamara. Dev Kaalka Maat Hamara
Sarabkaal (Mahakaal) is my father. Devi Kalika (Durga) is my mother.

In Chandee (aka Durga / Kalika) Kee Vaar the writers of DG make clear that the Sub God of DG is indeed Durga.
ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਤਸਯਾ ਕੋ ਕਰਿਉ, ਜਾ ਸਮ ਅਵਰ ਨਾ ਕੋਇ। ਜਿਹ ਨਮਿਤ ਕਵ ਨੇ ਕਹਿa ਸੋ ਦੇਹ ਚੰਡਕਾ ਸੋਇ। Para 233. Granth Satsya Ko Karo, Ja Sum Avar Na Koe. Jeh Namet Kav Ney Kaheo, So Deh Chandika Soe.

This seven-chapter granth is now complete, none other is equal to it. The object of this poet’s narration is the wondourous Chandee (Duga / Kalika/ Shiva).

In Bachittar Natak, the writer makes clear that the primary object of his spirituality is none other thatn Mahakaal and Kalika (Durga). DG Page 54-55.

ਤਹ ਹਮ ਅਧਕਿ ਤਪਸਆਿ ਸਾਧੀ॥ Teh Hum Adhak Tapasiya Sadhee
There I undertook dificult penance

ਮਹਾਕਾਲ ਕਾਲਕਾ ਅਰਾਧੀ॥ ੨॥ Mahakaal Kalika Aradhee
I meditated / prayed to Mahakaal and Kalika (Durga).

ਇਹ ਬਧਿ ਿਕਰਤ ਤਪਸਆਿ ਭਯੌ Eh Bidh Karat Tapaseya Bhayo
Doing so I performed penance.

ਦਵੈ ਤੇ ਏਕ ਰੂਪ ਹਵੈ ਗਯੋ॥ ….॥ ੩॥ Dvey Tay Ek Roop Havai Gayo.
I became one form with them.

In Durga Kee Vaar (later name changed to Chandee Kee Vaar and changed again to Bhagautee Kee Vaar) the writer makes clear that the object of
Durga Paath Banayea Sabhey Paureea. Fer Na Junee Aiya Jin Eh Gaiya.
All the paurees of this vaar (55 in total) are composed in praise of Durga. One who sings this composition will not come into the cycle of births and deaths (will attain salvation).

It is clear that the key to salvation in DG lies at the hands of Durga.
The cloisng para of the entire DG pays obeisance to its God for making the completion of DG permissable as follows:
ਕ੍ਰਪਾ ਕਰੀ ਹਮ ਪਰ ‘ਜਗਮਾਤਾ॥ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਕਰਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਸੁਭਰਾਤਾ॥ …॥ ੪੦੨॥ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਸਧੁਜ ਜਬ ਭਏ ਦਇਆਲਾ॥ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਰਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਤਤਕਾਲਾ॥ . .॥ ੪੦੩॥ Kirpa Karee Hum Pur Jug Maata. Granth Kra Puran Subhrata. Sri Astujh Jub Bhae Dyala. Puran Kra Granth Tatkala.
The Jug Maata (Durga/ Kalika) blessed me and this granth is now complete. When Sri Astujh (Mahakaal) became benevolent, this granth was completed.

The Sources of Compositions in the DG
Given the fact that Mahakaal and Durga are found to be the two primary entities of sprititual obeisance and focus at every turn of the DG, there should be no confusion that the God of DG is the God of the Vaam Maragee Sect of Shivji followers. Mahakaal and Durga are the two intergral and inseparable parts of Lord Shivji.

The dual combination of Mahakaal and Durga in the DG is easy to understand because large portions of DG are lifted from Markanday Puran and Shivji Puran. These two and others are the primary sources of the compositions of DG. The following is the standard verse at the end of virtually every compostion in the DG:

Et Sri Markandey Puraney Sri Chandee Chhritar Ukat Bilas Dev Suresh Sahit Jaikar Shabad Kra Astmo Dhiaye Sampurnang Masta Subh Masat.
Thus completed as the life of revered Chandee narrated through wondorous narratives as translated from the eighth chapter of the revered literature of devta beings from Markandey Puran’s wondorous of wonders.

Markandey was a devotee of Mahakaal, Durga and Shivji. He is highly revered amongst the Vaam Maragee sect devotees. The Markandy Puran is one of the 18 texts of Snatan and is authored by him.

Mahakaal is clearly described within DG (page 41 and 840 as mentioned above). His Vaam Maragee devotees define MAHA as great. His other name Sarabkaal. Sarab translates as ALL. So Sarabkaal is one who is in ALL time or ALL death. But MAHA and SARAB are both still within the framework of time and death – hence physical.


The God of SGGS

The God of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is AKAAL. Since kaal means time and death; the use of the prefix ‘A’ before Kaal by Guru Nanak suggests that the Sikh God is BEYOND time and death. That is why other traits such as AJOONI (beyond life forms) and SAIBHANG (self created) come into play.

AKAAL is NOT within the framework of time and death. It is BEYOND. It is NOT physical.

There is therefore a world of a difference between AKAAL and Mahakaal.
The words Maha and Kaal appear as two separate words just once in the entire 1430 page SGGS. They do NOT refer to God, but to ultimate death.

ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਜਪਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਲਾਲੁ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਤੂ ਜੀਵਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਨ ਖਾਈ ਮਹਾ ਕਾਲੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ GGS 885
Ramkli Mehla 5: Jup Gobind Gopal Lal. Ram Nam Simar Tu Jeveh Fir Na Khayee Maha Kaal. Rahao.
Realize God the Loving Protector. By remembering the Omnipresent’s virtues, you will obtain spiritual life; and be liberated from (the fear of ) ultimate death.