|Karminder Singh Dhillon,
PhD (Boston), Kuala Lumpur.
Reading Gurkukh Singh’s response to my “Father’s Day and Dasam Granth” article brought Fiction Factory lyrics to my mind: Twisting the Bones Till they Snap.
Trying to justify 404 Chritars or tales of sexual debauchery that are written in crude, graphic and often times vulgar detail; presented as abhorrently derogatory to women; and based on accounts as immoral and decadent as one can imagine; does indeed require one heck of a lot of twisting.
Especially because such repulsive tales sit as the central core of the Dasam Granth (DG) – occupying one third of this book under the title of Chitro Pakhyaan (CP) and spread over a full 578 pages from page 809 till 1386.
GURMUKH SINGH’S JUSTIFICATIONS SUMMARIZED.
Gurmukh Singh provides three justifications for the 404 Chritars as follows:
- The Chritars are educational in nature. He writes: “Each Chariter has a moral message.”
- The depictions of the repulsive Chritars are reflections of the sexual deviations that occur in society on a wide level. He writes “All of the “despicable” or objectionable scenarios which virtuos (sp) men like yourselves object to, are a given ..a norm today.”
- Thinking Sikhs must rise above the literal meanings of the Chritars. He writes “You will not appreciate this (Chitro Pakhyan) if you suffer from an inability to read beyond the sexual content. Rise above your baser senses……..Rise above literal and simplistic translations and you will truly appreciate the deeply caring and holistically educative Father, that is Guru Gobind Singh.”
The argument that the Charitars have moral messages or are educational or spiritual is a common one; albeit dubious in my view – advanced by those who support CP in particular and the DG in general.
Even those who do the “parkash” and “akhand paath” of the DG switch to silent mode when they come to Chritro Pakhyan. The “hukumnama”- if it comes from CP – is “taken in silence.”
Consequently then, my question is simple. How can a Chritar that cannot even be READ out due to its decadent language have a moral MESSAGE? How does one talk about, expound, or discourse on morality using a narrative composed in the language of vulgarity?
The next question then – for those who advance the “moral message” argument” is – Are you hiding behind the “non-readability” of the Chritars to make your argument?
If so, then your argument is dubious. It is dubious because what cannot be read cannot be moral. What is dishonourable to read cannot have an honourable message.
What is objectionable to read cannot contain an acceptable message. What is vulgar in language cannot be spiritual in content.
What is immoral in narrative cannot be moral in its message.
BUT TEST WE MUST.
- With apologies for offending the moral conscience of SVF Webiste readers, I append below two couplets taken from
Chritar number 68 which appears on page 899 of DG. The Punjabi Translation is taken from Dr Rattan Singh Jaggi’s Teeka of DG, Vol. 4 page 242.
In feeble defence of my choice of Chritar
- , I can only say that it is perhaps among the LEAST offensive since it does not, at least, involve a woman.
Dohra. Ya Ghoree Ko Bhug Bikhey, Jeebh Dayee Sau Baar.
- I inserted my tongue into the
Bhug of the female horse one hundred times.
- Note: The Punjabi-English dictionary published by Punjab University Patiala on page 633 defines the Punjabi word “Bhug” as “genital organs of females, vulva, pudendum, vagina, anus.
Turat Rog Hamro Kateyo, Suno Baed Upchaar.
- Listen, O Baed (medicine man), with this treatment my disease was cured in an instant.
Chaupayee. Tabey Baed Sou Kriya Kamayee. Ta Ko Bhug Mein Jeebh Dhasayee
- Then the
Baed performed the same act. He thrust his tongue into the horse’s Bhug
NOW MY QUESTIONS.
- So pray, someone tell me what is the moral message of this repulsive, repugnant and disgusting Chritar?
- Gurmukh Singh argues that “All of the “despicable” or objectionable scenarios which virtuos (sp) men like yourselves object to, are a given ..a norm today…… what is written in Charitropakhyan whence the various permutations expressed therein are today’s happenings.
My question then is this. Is the “permutation” expressed in Chritar 68 – namely sticking a tongue into the behind of a horse one hundred times – a “given, a norm today, today’s happenings”?
Or was it even a “norm” when the author(s) of CP were taking up the burden of providing “moral messages” in the 404 Chritars”? How many people go around sticking their tongues into animals?
- Gurmukh Singh writes: “Thinking Sikhs must rise above the literal meanings of the Chritars. You will not appreciate this (Chitro Pakhyan) if you suffer from an inability to read beyond the sexual content.”
My questions then are: Is Dr Rattan Singh Jaggi’s translation guilty of providing a “literal meaning” of Chritar 68? Is the Punjab University of Patiala also guilty of providing a “literal” translation of the word “Bhug.” After all the word is neutral and is just the name of a body part.
And in accepting the meanings provided by the above two authorities am I guilty of understanding only its literal meanings as well?
Do we all (Dr Jaggi, Punjab University and I) suffer from an “inability to read beyond the sexual content”? Pray tell us, what exactly is “beyond” the repulsive sexual content of sticking one’s tongue into wherever it is being thrust into in this Chritar.
HAVE GURMUKH SINGH’S JUSTIFICATIONS FAILED THE TEST?
The argument that CP is “holistically educational” and contains “moral messages” that are to be found “beyond the literal” is therefore phony.
It is bogus because it only works for those who have NOT read the 404 Chritars and don’t know of the depraved content. The sham of this argument disappears the moment one gets down to reading and understanding the 404 Chritars.
The 404 Chritars mention a total of some 200 woman; many by name. A search in Kahn Singh Nabha’s Encyclopaedia of Sikhism Mahan Kosh reveals no entry for any one of them; except for two women who share the same name by pure co-incidence.
It is obvious therefore that the Chirtars are the work of fiction. Sexual fantasies in other words. The term “holistically educational” would have to be given a mother of all twists to make it applicable to any one of these raunchy Chritars.
So to those who want to use the argument that “Each Chariter has a moral message,” I ask that they (1) write out the entire Charitar (2) provide the meanings in accordance with either Dr Jaggi’s, Dr Jodh Singh or Pandit Narain Singh’s Teeka. (3) most importantly: Provide the EXACT verses WITHIN the Charitar which contain the so called “moral messages.”
BRINGING SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB INTO THE TWISTED JUSTIFICATIONS
Gurmukh Singh writes “A virtuos lady is a Suchejji. The opposite is termed Kuchejji. The attributes of both are found in SGGS ji & in elaborate detail in Dasam Granth. You may have also come across Shabads such as Kusudh; Kulakhni; Kunaar in SGGS ji. Tria Chariter is but an exposition of this.”
Using Gurbani and the SGGS to support the content of CP is wrong. I don’t accept the validity of the comparisons, but since the matter has been raised, clarification becomes necessary.
The SGGS is written largely from the feminine perspective. Thakur Ek Sabai Naar. (SGS:933). The Lord Master is one (and male). The rest of us (male and female) are all females. Even Guru ji puts himself in the category of females.
When Guru ji says “Avho Milho Saheleyo”(GGS: 38) he is not calling upon his female friends (saheliyo). He is calling all seekers of spirituality – male and female.
When Guru Nanak ji says “Galeen Aseen Changeeyan, Acharee Bureyan” (SGGS: 85) the gender of Changeeyan (good) and Bureyan (bad) is feminine but all males are included in equal measure within both terms. By using the word Aseen (We), the Guru also puts himself in the category of females.
So the terms Kucheji, Ksudh, Kulakhnbi, Kunaar etc in the SGGS are NOT used for women with negative character. They are meant to refer to ALL Sikhs- male and female – who are deficient in their spiritual behaviours towards God.
On the other hand, ALL the women who are the main characters of Chitro Pakhyaan are morally corrupt, sexually deviant, cheaters, cunning, vile, two timers, liars, murderers and deficient in character. And they are ALL physical women in female gender, with female names.
The CP and DG is thus NEVER an “elaboration” or an “exposition” of any of the terms in the SGGS.
NO COMPARISON TO SGGS POSSIBLE.
In fact the CP is NEVER an elaboration of anything that is found in the sacrosanct SGGS. The CP is in reality a repulsive and abhorrent contradiction of all that the SGGS stands for.
The message of SGGS in relation to woman is “So Kio Munda Aakhyeay Jit Jamey Rajaan” (GGS: 473); namely that Woman is the birth-creator of every single human being that is Kingly in his or her accomplishments.
The ultimate message in relation to woman of Chirtrpo Pakhyaan sits on page 1267 of DG at the close of Chritar 312 as follows:
Ant Triyan Ko Kahu Na Payo. Bidhnaa Sirraj Bahur Pashuttaayo. Jin Eh Keyau Sakkal Sansaaro. Vhai Pashaan Bhaidd Triyyah Haaro
He who created the entire creation regretted having created woman. Even He failed to understand the trickery of woman. (Translation from Dr Jaggi’s DG Teeka, Vol 5 Page 389).
This immoral message is an insult to women. It is an insult to mankind – half of which constitutes woman.
This immoral message is also an affront to the core messages of SGGS which deploys the female gender as the chosen gender within its spiritual compositions.
The same immoral message is a slur to the Sikhi of Guru Nanak till Guru Gobind Singh Ji which gave prominence to women from Bibis Nanaki, Khivi, Bhani,Gujri ji and countless others right down to Maee Bhago.
At the very crux of it, to say that God “regretted having created woman” is to utter an ultimate insult to the Creator Himself.
Taken as a whole, this then is what Chirtro Pakyaan of DG is all about – an insult to the morality of humanity and to the humanity of its Creator.