Kahey Poot Jhagrut Haon Sang Baap.

ਕਾਹੇ ਪੂਤ ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ


ਕਾਹੇ ਪੂਤ ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ ॥

Kahey Poot Jhagrut Haon Sang Baap.

Karminder Singh, Phd.

This deeply spiritual and divine shabd is composed by Guru Ramdas ji and is contained on page 1200 of the SGGS.

The literal translation of the first verse is: O Son, Why Do You Argue with Your Father. It is a Sin to Argue with The One Who Fathered You and Raised You. (Sant Singh MD Khalsa)

The common interpretation of the shabd is that it was composed by the fourth Guru both as a reprimand as well as advise to his elder son Prithi Chand. Professor Sahib Singh, in his Darpan writes the following towards the end of his translation of this shabd.

ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜਨ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਿਆਈ ਮਿਲਣ ਤੇ ਬਾਬਾ ਪ੍ਰਿਥੀ ਚੰਦ ਨੇ ਪਿਤਾ-ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਵਿਰੋਧਤਾ ਕੀਤੀ । ਤਦੋਂ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਇਹ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤਾ । Translation: Prithi Chand opposed his Father-Guru upon the conferment of Guruship to Guru Arjun. This (shabd) was the advice given to him at that point.

The origin of this story is a book titled ਉਥਾਨਕਾ Uthanka. The meaning of the word ਉਥਾਨਕਾ Uthanka is “introductory information.” According to Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha’s Mahan Kosh (Encyclopaedia) Uthanka is a book whose author is unknown and it contains the “reasons and circumstances” behind the composition of selected shabads.

There is no denying that Prithi Chand opposed Guru Ramdas ji’s decision pertaining to the transition of Guruship to Guru Arjun because he wanted the position for himself.

He had been entrusted with major responsibilities by Guru Ramdas ji pertaining to the finances, logistics and administration of the Ashram of the fourth Guru at Amritsar. He had thus expected that the Guruship would be handed down to him.

He turned on his father after the announcement that his youngest brother Arjun was appointed Guru instead.

The issue that needs examination is whether this deeply rich and spiritually meaningful shabd has anything to do with the behaviour of Prithi Chand; and whether it is addressed to him.


The following SIX points will help us decide if the interpretation of the shabd as being one that is related to Prithi Chand holds any water.

FIRST, the quarrel that Prithi Chand created was after Guru Ramdas ji had made the official announcement that Arjun would become the successor Guru. Once such an announcement is made, the Guruship and Gurbani pothis – including the one in which the preceding Guru wrote his own bani – are passed on to the succeeding Guru.

The preceding Guru – Guru Ramdas ji in this case – would NOT be composing any more bani for inclusion into the pothis AFTER the transition.

SECOND, Gurbani, when composed by a Guru, can ONLY be composed and accepted as Gurbani, in the duration that the personality has been installed Guru.

For example, Gurus Angad, Amardas and Ramdas became Guru at age 35, 73 and 40 years respectively. What, if anything, each of them wrote before becoming Guru is not considered Gurbani. It follows therefore that once Guruship has been transitioned to the succeeding Guru, the preceding one does not compose any Gurbani anymore.

It is crucial to note that at the time Prithi Chand kicked up his quarrel with his father – Guru Arjun was the reigning Guru. Ramdas pathsah was not the Guru as he had already made the official announcement.

So while it is natural to assume that Guru Ramdas would have explained his decision to both his sons – Prithi Chand and Mahadev both of whom wanted to be Guru – as to why they were not chosen and requested them to comply; it is against the tenets of Guru behaviour to compose such explanation and advise as GURBANI and then have it INCLUDED in the pothi that has already been handed over to Guru Arjun.

From transition point onwards, only Guru Arjun has the spiritual authority to compose Gurbani.

THIRD, all our Gurus –including the ones who wrote bani in the SGGS faced a litany of setbacks at the personal and family level including torture and death. But NONE of them have narrated any of these incidents in Gurbani.

This is because Gurbani is Creator-connecting and spiritual at its core. It is not a personal account of the writer’s temporal challenges.

This is also because the Gurus were well above and beyond these kind of setbacks to be affected by them. It is therefore inconceivable that Guru Ramdas was so affected by the behaviour of Prithi Chand that he composed the account in the form of Gurbani to be read in perpetuity by us Sikhs.

The Guru would never want his Gurbani-reading Sikhs to be burdened by a temporal narrative of bad behaviour of his son towards him.

FOURTH, the Rahao verse contains within it the assertion: ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਜਣੇ ਬਡੀਰੇ ਤੁਮ ਹਉ Jin Kay Janney Bdirey Tum Ho; meaning the “One Who Created and Sustained you.” If this is indeed being said to Prithi Chand, then Guru Ramdas is in effect saying that “he Created and sustained Prithi Chand.” Our Gurus would never claim such. They tell us that creation and sustenance is the job of the Creator.

On page 476 of the SGGS we have this verse: ਬਲਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਾਪੈ ਜਿਨਿ ਹਉ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੰਚਾ ਤੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੰਗੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥ Bal Tis Bapey Jin Hao Jaiya. Pancha Tey Mera Sang Chukiaya. Meaning: I am a Sacrifice to the Father Lord Who Created Me and Liberated Me from my Five Vices.

FIFTH, IF we assume the shabd was indeed composed for Prithi Chand; it had zero effect on him. In fact, his subsequent behaviour was in the form of unbelievable treachery, betrayal and disloyalty towards the Guru household. He ended up contributing towards the torture and killing of his own brother Guru Arjun.

In this regard then, isn’t the unknown author of ਉਥਾਨਕਾ Uthanka (and all the rest of us who accept this story) saying – in effect – that Guru Ramdas ji gave futile advice? That the Guru gave ineffectual counsel? Or that the Guru’s guidance was fruitless? Aren’t we denigrating the Guru and his bani indirectly then?

SIXTH, Gurbani in its essence is spiritual. It is the narrative of a spiritual journey undertaken by the writers (Gurus and Bhagats). It is a first-hand, experiential and personal journey of the writers that is being shared with us Sikhs who are desirous of walking the same spiritual path and traversing the same divine journey.

Gurbani is therefore NEVER composed as addressing a particular individual, occasion or location. Gurbani is never person-specific. It is also never occasion-specific. It is further never location-specific.

The notion that shabd A was composed for person A or that shabd B was narrated for the purposes of occasion B etc. is the subject matter of our sakhis and Nirmala concocted literature such as ਉਥਾਨਕਾ Uthanka, Suraj Parkash, Sakhi Parman and others.

Such a notion is prevalent and perpetuated by our clergy because of their own need to give non-existent and irrelevant “backgrounds” to the shabds.

It is a clergy notion that we “need” shabds for a child’s birth, anniversaries, birthdays, engagements, marriages and funerals. Our clergy have thus compartmentalised Gurbani into imaginary boxes that are labelled “occasions.”

Since Gurbani was not meant to be fitted into such boxes – the only way to make it fit would be to either distort its meanings or create sakhis to that effect.

This is a great dis-service to the messages of Gurbani that are for the entirety of mankind, for all situations, all occasions, and all locations. This verse on page 747 of the SGGS captures the UNIVERSAL targets of Gurbani.

ਖਤ੍ਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਸੂਦ ਵੈਸ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਚਹੁ ਵਰਨਾ ਕਉ ਸਾਝਾ ॥ Khatree Brahmin Sud Ves Updes Chou Varna Ko Sanjha. The counsel of Gurbani is COMMON and SHARED (Sanjha) for the ENTIRETY of MANKIND (as represented by the all-encompassing four so called classes of mankind – Brahmin, Khatri, Sudar and Veys).

So the claim that this shabd was composed for Sajjan Thugg, that one for Prithi Chand, this one for Kaoda Rakshash and the other for Bhai Lalo etc goes against the tenets of Sarb Sanjhi Gurbani.

It further raises the question – why am I asked to read, understand and follow its advice when it was meant for someone else in the first place?


The root cause of linking this shabd with the derangement of Prithi Chand seems to be the use of these three words BAAP ਬਾਪ, POOT ਪੂਤ and JHUGRUT ਝਗਰਤ – all in one statement by Guru Ramdas ji. Such usage is a trap that is all too easy to fall into especially for those who would not want to go beyond literal meanings.

Had the shabd been composed by Guru Nanak, the sakhi creators would have tied to Sri Chand instead. If it carried the titled of Mehla 2, it would be connected with his son Datu. Sri Chand and Datu did exactly what Prithi Chand did.

Why did the sakhi creators not connect it to Mahadev, instead? After all, as the son of Guru Ramdas, he too lay claims to the Guruship.


The following verses from within the pages of the SGGS – composed by a variety of authors – make clear the meanings of the words Baap and Poot.

Guru Nanak: ਬਾਪੁ ਦਿਸੈ ਵੇਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ Baap Dissey Veyjat Na Hoe. SGGS 796.

Meaning: Realising the Creator Father My Spirituality is no Longer Without a Protector. (Veyjat is an orphan child).

Guru Amardas: ਬਾਬਾਣੀਆ ਕਹਾਣੀਆ ਪੁਤ ਸਪੁਤ ਕਰੇਨਿ ॥ Babania Kahaneya Putt Saputt Kareyn. SGGS 951.

ਪੁਤ Putt is converted to ਸਪੁਤ SaPutt by the addition of a prefix. The Sa prefix is added to add positivity. The Ka ਕ suffix is added to add negativity ਕਪੁਤ Kaputt. ਪੁਤ Putt – literally child. ਸਪੁਤ SaPutt – literally good/beautiful child. ਕਪੁਤ Kaputt – literally bad / ugly child.

Meaning: The Messages and Narratives of my Guru Has Sculptured my Vice filled Mind (ਪੁਤ Putt) into a Vritue filled one (ਸਪੁਤ SaPutt).

Guru Ramdas: ਹਉ ਤੁਧੁ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਬਾਪੁ ॥ 1 ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Hao Tudh Salahi Tu Mera Prabh Baap SGGS 1134

Meaning: I Praise You as My Omnipresent Lord Creator.

Bhagat Namdev: ਮੈ ਅਜਾਨੁ ਜਨੁ ਤਰਿਬੇ ਨ ਜਾਨਉ ਬਾਪ ਬੀਠੁਲਾ ਬਾਹ ਦੇ ॥ 1 ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Mein Ajaan Jun Tarbey Na Jano Baap Beethla Bah Deh. SGGS 873

Meaning: Show me the Way of Lord Creator Being; for I Know Not How to Traverse my Spiritual Journey.

Similarly, the following verses from within the pages of the SGGS – composed by a variety of authors – make clear the meanings of the word ਝਗਰਤ Jhagrut.

Guru Nanak: ਜਹ ਜਹ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਹ ਤਹ ਸਾਚਾ ॥ ਬਿਨ ਬੂਝੇ ਝਗਰਤ ਜਗੁ ਕਾਚਾ ॥ 4 ॥ 224. Jeh Jeh Dekho Theh Theh Sacha. Bin Bujhey Jhagrut Jug Kacha.

Meaning: I have come to Realize the Omnipresent Creator Within. Sans this Realization, my Spiritual World was one of Defiance / Denial of the Creator.

ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਿ ਮਰਣਾ ਕਿਆ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਪੂਰਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੇ ਸੋ ਝਗਰੁ ਚੁਕਾਵੈ ॥ 6 ॥ Hao Hao Kar Marna Kya Pavey. Pura Gur Bhetey So Jhagur Chukavey.

Meaning: My Spirituality was Dead on Account of my Ego. The Complete Enlightenment of the Shabd’s messages Has Eliminated my Denial / Defiance of Him.

Guru Ramdas: ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਮਿਲਿ ਝਗਰੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਦੂਤ ਸਭਿ ਵਸਗਤਿ ਆਇਆ Gur Purey Mil Jhagar Chukayea. Panch Doot Sabh Vasgat Aiya.

Meaning: The Enlightenment of My Guru Dispelled My Defiance of the Creator; My Vices Have Fallen in Line.

ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਨਿਤ ਝਗਰਤੇ ਝਗਰਾਇਆ ॥ 984 Kam Krodh Lobh Moh Nit Jhagrtey Jhagrayea.

Meaning: My Denial of the Creator is on Account of the Constant Defiance of My Vices.

Bhagat Namdev: ਨਾਮੇ ਕੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਲਾਹਿ ਲੇ ਝਗਰਾ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਰਸਾਇਨ ਪੀਉ ਰੇ ਦਗਰਾ ॥ 3 ॥ Namey Chey Suami Lahe Le Jhagra. Ram Rasayan Pio Rey Dagra. 486. Dagra – stone hearted, stubborn.

Meaning: My Stubborn Mind Has Realized the Omnipresent Lord Master; its Defiance / Denial has been removed.

Bhagat Kabir: ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰ ਪੰਚ ਕੋ ਝਗਰਾ ਝਗਰਤ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ Keht Kabir Pach Ko Jhagra Jhagrut Janum Gvaeya. SGGS 482

Meaning: Kabir, the Denial of the Creator is on Account of my Vices; my Spirituality is being lost in such Defiance.

It is clear that Father and Offspring (Baap and Poot) are metaphorically being applied to mean “Sikh and The Creator.” In the realm of SPIRITUAL PRACTICE, the Sikh is one whose Mind is sculpted in Gurbani. Poot therefore is used to mean the MIND as the abode of Realization of the Creator (Baap).

That then is the ਭਾਵ ਅਰਥ spiritual meanings of Baap and Poot.

Equally clear is the fact that JHAGRUT which literally means to quarrel, has a specific spiritual meaning. It refers to the MIND that is in DEFIANCE of the Creator; and in DENIAL of REALIZATION of the Divine Virtues of the Creator on account of our vices.

This then is the ਭਾਵ ਅਰਥ spiritual meaning of JHAGRUT.


ਸਾਰਗ ਮਹਲਾ 4 Sarang Mehla 4

ਕਾਹੇ ਪੂਤ ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਜਣੇ ਬਡੀਰੇ ਤੁਮ ਹਉ ਤਿਨ ਸਿਉ ਝਗਰਤ ਪਾਪ ॥ 1 ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Kahey Poot Jhagrut Haon Sang Baap. Jin Kay Jnney Bddirey Tum Hao Tin Sio Jhagrut Pap. Rahao

Kahey – Why. Poot – Mind. Jhagrut Haon – In Denial , in Defiance. Sang –With. Baap – Creator. Jin Kay – Whose. Jnney – Created. Bddirey – Sustained. Pap – Impiety, Vice.

Why Be in Defiance of the Creator O Mind. Denial of the One Who Created and Sustained Your Existence is an Impiety (Vice).

ਜਿਸੁ ਧਨ ਕਾ ਤੁਮ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੋ ਧਨੁ ਕਿਸਹਿ ਨ ਆਪ ॥ Jis Dhan Ka Tum Garub Kart Haon So Dhan Kisey Na Aap

Dhan – Wealth, Resources, Abilities. Garub – Pride, Ego. Kisey – No one, none. Aap – Self, claim.

This Defiance is on Account of the Pride of Your Abilities; None of Which Are Yours to Claim in Spirituality


ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਛੋਡਿ ਜਾਇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਰਸੁ ਤਉ ਲਾਗੈ ਪਛੁਤਾਪ ॥ 1 ॥ Khin Meh Chod Jaye Bikhiya Rus Tao Lagey Pachtap

Khin Meh – In short period of time; instantly. Chod – Discard. Bikhiya – Toxic, Poisonous, Noxious, Lethal. Rus – Essence of Spirituality. Lagey – Inflict. Pachtap – Remorse, Regret.

This Pride of Your Abilities Inflicts Instant Toxicity Within the Essence of my Spirituality; this is Regrettable.


ਜੋ ਤੁਮਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਹੋਤੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਹਰਿ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਜਾਪਹੁ ਜਾਪ ॥ Jo Tumrey Prabh Hotey Suami Har Tin Kay Japho Jaap

Tumrey – Yours. Prabh – Creator. Suami – Master Lord. Har – Omnipresent. Japho- To Be Realized. Jap– Realize

O Mind, Realize that the Omnipresent Creator Who is My Master is to be Realized Within.


ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਕਰਤ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨ ਤੁਮ ਕਉ ਜਉ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਤਉ ਜਾਇ ਸੰਤਾਪ ॥ 2 ॥ Updes Kart Nanak Jun Tum Ko Jao Sunho Tao Jaye Santap.

Updes – Advice, counsel. Kart – Undertake, perform. Jun – Humble. Humility. Sunho – Lit. listen; abide. Jaye – Remove, Eliminate. Santap – Agony, anguish, woe.

Nanak, Counsel Yourself in Humility O Mind; Abiding by it Will Eliminate the Anguish of Defiance of the Creator on Account of Your Pride.



The following FIVE conclusions can be drawn from the shabd as translated above.

1.The shabd is deeply spiritual and divine.

2.The First Verse (Rahao) states the PROBLEM: The Mind is in a State of Denial and Defiance of the Creator. (ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ JHUGRUT HAO SANG BAAP).

3.The Second Verse states the ROOT of the PROBLEM: This Defiance is on Account of the Pride Within the Mind. ਜਿਸੁ ਧਨ ਕਾ ਤੁਮ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰਤ ਹਉ …Jis Dhan Ka Tum Garub Kart Haon)

4.The Third Verse states the CONSEQUENCE of the PROBLEM: It Inflicts Instant Toxicity Within the Essence of my Spirituality. ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਛੋਡਿ ਜਾਇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਰਸੁ… Khin Meh Chod Jaye Bikhiya Rus.

5.The final two Verses jointly present the OUTOME and CURE of the PROBLEM: Go into a state of Humility (ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਕਰਤ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨ ਤੁਮ ਕਉ…Updes Kart Nanak Jun Tum Ko), Eliminate the Anguish of Defiance of the Creator (ਤਉ ਜਾਇ ਸੰਤਾਪ ॥ Tao Jaye Santap) and Realize the Creator Within (ਹਰਿ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਜਾਪਹੁ ਜਾਪ …Har Tin Kay Japho Jaap).

These divinely spiritual messages would be completely lost if we went along with the author of ਉਥਾਨਕਾ Uthanka and accepted that the shabd was about Guru Ramdas ji pleading with Prithi Chand to stop quarrelling with him.




Dr. Karminder Singh Dhillon

Simran and Sikhi

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD (Boston)


SIMRAN ਸਿਮਰਨ is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as remembrance. Its Punjabi equivalents are ਯਾਦ Yaad and ਚੇਤਾ Chayta. The evening Sikh prayer Sodar (ਸੋਦਰ) contains a verse that uses the word simran to denote remembrance.

ਊਡੈ ਊਡਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੈ ਕੋਸਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਪਾਛੈ ਬਚਰੇ ਛਰਿਆ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਕਵਨੁ ਖਲਾਵੈ ਕਵਨੁ ਚੁਗਾਵੈ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਕਰਿਆ ॥

Udey Uud Avey Seiy Kosa Tis Pachey Bachrey Chariya. Tin Kavn Khalavey Kavn Chugavey Mun Meh Simran Kareya (SGGS page 10).

Guru Arjun uses the illustration of the florican – a migratory bird which flies out long distances in search of food; leaving its young behind. Despite the distance, separation and the continually arduous task of finding food that the bird has to perform, remembrance of its offspring remains a constant. (ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਕਰਿਆ Mun Meh Simran Kareya).

The spiritual equivalent of remembrance is contemplation.

Sikhi places primary importance on contemplating the Creator at all times. Guru Arjun says in SGGS page 263


Continue reading “SIMRAN and SIKHI”

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The Sabha is OUT of ICU – For Now

The Sabha is Out of the ICU – For Now

Karminder Singh Dhillon, Phd (Boston)

SOME ONE HUNDRED members of Sikh Naujwan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) turned up at its AGM on 29th June 2019 to bear witness to events that the youth organization has never seen before.

They bore witness to an attempt to drag the Sabha into two ugly controversies. They also bore witness to an attempted power grab disguised as an exercise in panthik unity.

The orchestrated attempt to grab control of the Sabha by forces bent on using the organization for their specific agendas reared its ugly head some months ago when a WhatsApp post by a group of 13 people (DG-13) calling for an EGM to “remove the Jathedar” came to light For an analysis of this EGM call see article titled “Sabha is in ICU: You are Invited to the Funeral” at

Saturday’s AGM saw the tabling of FIVE resolutions by the DG-13 Group. The resolutions were signed by Suret Singh and seconded by Master Daljit Singh. These same individuals tabled these resolutions at the AGM.

These resolutions lay bare the real agenda of the DG-13. They also expose the real beneficiary and the real hand behind it all. All in all, these resolutions uncover the dangerous and devious plot to drag the Sabha into two separate and ugly controversies.

It was an attempt to burn the house down. How so? Read on.


Continue reading “The Sabha is OUT of ICU – For Now”

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The Sabha AGM – The Winners and The Losers

The Sabha AGM – The Winners and Losers

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD (Boston)

Here is a quick look at the Winners and Losers of the recent Sabha EGM held on the 29th of June, 2019.


1. SNSM, Jasbir Singh and his Exco. All three came out clear winners on grounds of allowing the DG-13 an opportunity to test the support for their pro Dasam Granth position. The DG-13 and their Sponsors had been relentless in their condemnation of all three. Venom – particularly of personal nature – was spewed against Jathedar Jasbir especially – in blatant abuse of the social media for personal attacks.

What better way to call their bluff than to say “OK let’s put your matter to a vote in an AGM.” This is accountability and it is transparency. It is also a sign of responsible and courageous leadership. It is also about empowering the members of SNSM to have a say in the future of their organization. Well done, all three.

2. The Members of SNSM. For turning up in larger numbers than ever, speaking out and making it clear that they understood and rejected the real agenda of the DG-13, the ordinary members of SNSM are winners too. You elected to keep Sabha out of the mud that is the DG controversy and the dera maryada dispute and that is commendable.

3. The Coffers of SNSM. The approval by the floor for the Sale of two Sabha properties worth RM 6 million to free up funds for other priority uses means the Sabha can operate more independently.


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The Bhagat Maal Debacle

The Bhagat Maal Debacle.

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD

The Sikh Scripture – Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (SGGS) contains the Bani of 15 bhagats. A total of 725 saloks and shabds; including three full banis2 written by the bhagats were retrieved by Guru Nanak in person from them.3 These were all included in the Pothee Sahib by Guru Arjun and maintained in the SGGS by Guru Gobind Singh upon bestowing of Gurgadee to the SGGS in 1708.

All three independent acts – retrieval of the bhagat bani, their inclusion into Pothee Sahib and their retention in the SGGS – fortify the single principle that the spiritual philosophy of the 15 bhagats was completely in line with that of our Gurus. From their initial retrieval to eventual inclusion in the SGGS, all 725 saloks and shabds of the bhagats underwent benchmarking three times at the hands of three separate Gurus. Such scrutiny for spiritual alignment is perhaps avant-garde on its own accord.

An examination of the bani of the bhagats reveals that they were revolutionary spiritual seekers. Amongst the many facets of their ground shattering and innovative spirituality, four aspects stand out as stark reality of what the bhagats stood for: (i) the damning denunciation and rejection of the then existing clergy, (ii) the total refutation of all clergy sanctioned ritual, (iii) repudiation of the clergy sanctioned idol worship, and (iv) the wholesome rejection of the primary institution of the clergy – the mandir, dehora, maseet and temple as the “pathway to spirituality”.

In any case, the institution of the clergy was out of bounds by dogma to all but three of the bhagats – on account of their ‘low’ caste. The mandir’s doors were secured shut to the castes of weaver, cobbler, tailor and other shudras. The doors did not open for those bhagats who were not shurdras either – the mandirs were shut to them as well – as pay back for their stinging criticism of the custodians of these places as frauds and pretentious beings.


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Gurbani Shabad Vichar

Gurbani Shabd Vichar

Asa Bani Bhagat Dhanney Ki

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD


The shabd under discussion in this article is composed by bhagat Dhanna Ji – ਆਸਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਭਗਤ ਧੰਨੇ ਜੀ ਕੀ॥ Asa bani Bhagat Dhanney Ji Ki – and is contained on Page 487 of the SGGS.

Bhagat Dhanna ji has a total of 3 shabds in the SGGS ji. Two are found in Assa Raag on Page 487 and one in Jaistsri Raag on page 695 of the SGGS ji. This article looks at bhagatji’s shabd in Assa Raag.

Apart from discussing the selected shabd, this article serves a second task, namely to analyze the truth or otherwise, of a story about Dhanna ji that is commonly and widely narrated by our granthis, kirtanias, ragis and parcharaks.

The origin of the story is the Bhagat Maal – a book having its origins in the Vedic clergy at Benares. It was originally authored by Nabha Dass, a self-styled Snatn theologian based in the Punjabi village of Pathankot at Gurdaspur sometime in the 1600s – just about when the bhagat bani was being incorporated into the Pothi Sahib by GuruArjun. A Brej language version under the name of Swami Priya Daas came into existence in the late 1800s. Punjabi versions of this book pertaining to the 15 SGGS bhagats can be found under the names of Nirmla Keerat Singh and Nirmla Pandit Narain Singh. A Bhagat Maal under the name of Bhai Mani Singh – believed to be authored by Nirmla Surat Singh is also in existence.


Continue reading “Gurbani Shabad Vichar”

Articles · Gurbannee Videos - Sidh Goshat

Sidh Ghoshat Videos – Summary in English


By: Dr Karminder Singh Dhillon

Intro Outline:

I. Where and When was Sidh Gosht composed?

● Composed by Guru Nanak

● 1521 Guru Nanak returned to Kartarpur after his final travel journey

● For 18 years Guru Nanak spread his teachings in neighboring regions

● In Batala was a major Yogi Ashram called Achul where Yogis gathered for a yearly festival that takes

place in March (Shivratri Mela)

● Bani composed between March-September of 1539 (last 6 months of his life)

● Evidence: Bhai Gurdass Vars

● Guru Nanak becomes Joyti Joyt September 1539

● Sidh Gosht is 2nd to last Bani he wrote at the end of his life

● Sidh Gosht most complex Bani written by Guru Nanak for his disciples

● Japji Sahib was LAST Bani written

● Essence of Sidh Gosht is summarized in Pauree 28 & 29 of Japji Sahib

● Distillation of his primary spiritual philosophy

II. Who were the dialogue partners?

● Yogis had high status as religions group

● Highly elevated Yogis during travels (Shiva sect)

● Bhai Gurdas mentions Yogi Bhangar Nath at mela who confronts Guru Nanak and Guru responds with

showing Yogi his mindset is faulty

● Lohareepa (Son of Gorakh) & Charpat main leaders of Yogi group

● Yogis were misleading public

III. What are the Primary Questions (20)?


Continue reading “Sidh Ghoshat Videos – Summary in English”

Articles · Gurbannee Videos - Sidh Goshat

Bala reincarnate

Gurcharan Singh Jeonwala

Bala Reincarnate……

By Gurcharan Singh Jeonwala

It is regrettable that Patiala University academics are in the process of re-incarnating a new Bhai Bala. They want to create a fictitious Bala who will be the companion of Guru Nanak’s travels. The Bala that even Bhai Gurdasji did not know about because he heard nothing of any Bala from the third and fourth Gurus with whom he spent his life.

But miraculously, these academics seem to know about Guru Nanak than Bhai Gurdasji even.

Continue reading “Bala reincarnate”

Articles · Gurbannee Videos - Sidh Goshat

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Karminder Singh Dhillon, Phd (Boston)

Note: This article appeared as the Editorial of The Sikh Bulletin, USA, Jan –March 2019 Issue. The complete issue is available at Webmaster.


In the five and half centuries of Sikh spirituality, Sikhs have never been as disconnected from the spiritual messages contained in Gurbani as they are in the 21st Century. The root cause of such spiritual decline is clear: Sikhs have steadily distanced themselves from the understanding of the spiritual messages contained within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).

Such distancing from the messages of Gurbani is despite the deep physical connections that Sikhs have nurtured with the physical embodiment (saroop) that is the SGGS – in forms including but not limited to making precious offerings; according splendour to its installation; donning it under palkis made of gold; parading it around in ostentatious displays called nagar kirtan; multiple continuous readings in the style of Akhand and Sehej Paths; and other physical forms of reverence in the name of religious ritual and dogma.

But Sikhs have remained disengaged from the messages contained within.

Continue reading “Lost in Translation”

Articles · International Media Reports

Tribute to Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Ji of Village Kala Afghana- 21st Century’s Most renowned Reformer and SGGS Purist

The Sikh world has lost one of its most illuminated minds in the passing of Gyani Gurbax Singh Kala Afgana. 

 He contributed immensely to  Tatt Gurmat while exposing the corruption of Sikhi by our depraved clergy – deras, sants, babas and Taksalees.  He influenced a great many minds – Sikh parcharaks, writers and thinkers. He wrote profusely and his revolutionary ideas will live on. 

There is no doubt that Kala Afgana stands as the leading reformer since the founders of Singh Sabha movement  Gyani Gurditt Singh and Prof Gurmukh Singh. His loss to the Sikh world is unparalleled. 

The clergy and our corrupted institutions including the AT left no stone unturned to lock his soul up – they excommunicated him in exile, harassed him, threatened him and    prayed profusely for his death. 

The old warrior who in his final stage of life so terrified the false pujarees and jathedaars that they cowed out of a video call discussion with a sick old man of integrity. 

He has passed on but not before creating uncountable thinking and questioning minds. He will live on in their minds and in the minds of many more to come. 

The corruptors and hijackers of Sikhi are naturally overjoyed that they have one less threat to deal with. It’s a reflection of their small mindedness. 

The SGGS linked Sikh world will feel blessed in the enlightenment that Kala Afghana shared with all. His loss will be deeply felt but the passion for Sikhi truths  that he ignited will burn bright for generations to come. 

The best service to his memory is to have copies of all his 12 books and read them thoroughly


May Guru ji bless strength to his loved ones to bear his loss. 


Karminder Singh Dhillon PhD (Boston) 

Gyani Jarnail Singh Arshi. 

Jan 10th 2019 


Bhai Gurbaksh Singh ji deaan abhull yaadan – Bhai Gurcharan Singh jeonwallah ਨਿਧੱੜਕ ਤੇ ਬੁਲੰਦ ਅਵਾਜ਼ ਸਿਰਦਾਰ ਗੁਰਬਖਸ਼ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾਲਾ ਅਫਗਾਨਾ ਦੀਆਂ ਯਾਦਾਂ

ਨਿਧੱੜਕ ਤੇ ਬੁਲੰਦ ਅਵਾਜ਼ ਸਿਰਦਾਰ ਗੁਰਬਖਸ਼ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾਲਾ ਅਫਗਾਨਾ ਦੀਆਂ ਯਾਦਾਂ

ਅੱਜ ਸਵੇਰੇ ਆਖਰ ਓਹ ਘੜੀ ਆ ਹੀ ਗਈ ਜਦੋਂ ਇਸ ਮਨੁੱਖੀ ਮਸ਼ੀਨਰੀ ਨੇ ਰੁਕ ਹੀ ਜਾਣਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਤਕਰੀਬਨ 98 ਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਲੰਬੀ ਉਮਰ ਭੋਗ ਕੇ ਸਿਰਦਾਰ ਗੁਰਬਖਸ਼ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾਲਾ ਅਫਗਾਨਾ ਇਸ ਫਾਨੀ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਅਲਵਿਦਾ ਆਖ ਗਏ ਅਤੇ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਬੇਸ਼-ਕੀਮਤੀ ਕਿਤਾਬਾਂ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾ ਦੀ ਗਿਣਤੀ 13 ਹੈ, ਸਿੱਖ ਕੌਮ ਦੇ ਪੱਲੇ ਪਾ ਨਾਮਣਾ ਖੱਟ ਗਏ। ਮਾਰਚ 2018 ਵਿਚ ਗੁਰਬਖਸ਼ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਨਾਲ ਆਖਰੀ ਮੁਲਾਕਾਤ ਹੋਈ ਤੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾ ਇਤਰਾਜ਼ ਜਤਾਇਆ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਜਲਦੀ ਜਲਦੀ ਮਿਲਣ ਕਿਉਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਆਉਂਦਾ। 97 ਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਉਮਰ ਵਿਚ ਵੀ ਉਨ੍ਹਾ ਨੂੰ ਸੱਭ ਕੁੱਝ ਯਾਦ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾ ਇੰਟਰਨੈਸ਼ਨਲ ਕੈਨੇਡਾ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਅਤੇ ਸਿੱਖੀ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰ ਵਿਚ ਜੁਟ ਜਾਣ ਦੀਆ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਜਾਂ ਸਕੀਮਾਂ ਅਸੀਂ ਸਿਰਦਾਰ ਹਰਦੇਵ ਸਿੰਘ ਸ਼ੇਰਗਿੱਲ ਦੇ ਰੋਜ਼ਵਿਲ ਗੁਰਦਵਾਰੇ ਵਿਚ ਬਣਾਈਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਸਿਰੇ ਚਾੜੀਆਂ। ਉਹ ਇਹ ਸੁਣ ਕੇ ਬਹੁਤ ਹੀ ਖੁਸ਼ ਹੋਏ ਕਿ ਹੁਣ ਤਕ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾ ਨੇ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਬਾਰੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਜਨਤਾ ਨੂੰ ਸੁਚੇਤ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ 58 ਹਜ਼ਾਰ ਮੈਗਜ਼ੀਨ, 50 ਹਜ਼ਾਰ ਅਖਬਾਰ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਵਿਚ ਅਤੇ 50 ਹਜ਼ਾਰ ਹਿੰਦੀ ਵਿਚ ਛਾਪ ਕੇ ਵੰਡਿਆ ਹੈ। ਜਦੋਂ ਮੈਂ ਛਾਪਾਈ ਦਾ ਸਾਰਾ ਹਾਲ ਬਿਆਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਿ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਵੱਖਰੇ ਮਜ਼ਬੂਨ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਹੁਣ ਤਕ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾ ਤਕਰੀਬਨ ਸੱਤ ਲੱਖ ਅਖਬਾਰ/ਮੈਗਜ਼ੀਨ ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜ ਲੱਖ ਡੀ.ਵੀ.ਡੀ.& ਸੀਡੀਜ਼ ਵੰਡ ਚੁੱਕੀ ਹੈ ਤਾਂ ਮੰਜੇ ਵਿਚ ਲੰਮੇ ਪਏ ਸਿਰਦਾਰ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਇਤਨਾ ਜੋਸ਼ ਅਇਆ ਕਿ ਇਕ ਦਮ ਖੜਾ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਜੱਫੀ ਵਿਚ ਲੈ ਲਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਗਦ-ਗਦ ਹੋ ਗਏ। ਕਹਿਣ ਲੱਗੇ ਕਿ ਹੁਣ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਪੂਰਾ ਯਕੀਨ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਸੱਚ ਉਜਾਗਰ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਹੀ ਰਹੇਗਾ। ਸਿੱਖੀ ਵਿਚ ਆਏ ਨਿਘਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਦੂਰ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ 1872 ਵਿਚ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾਵਾਂ ਬਣਾਈਆਂ ਗਈਆਂ, ਗਿਆਨੀ ਦਿੱਤ ਸਿੰਘ, ਪ੍ਰੋ. ਗੁਰਮੁੱਖ ਸਿੰਘ, ਭਾਈ ਕਾਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਾਭਾ, ਭਸੌੜ ਵਾਲੇ ਪੰਚ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਦੀਵਾਨ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਗੁਰਮੁੱਖ ਪਿਆਰਿਆਂ ਨੇ ਤਨ ਦੇਹੀ ਨਾਲ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਲਾ ਕੇ ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਜਮਾਤ ਦੇ ਸਿੱਖੀ ਵਿਚ ਪਾਏ ਹੋਏ ਢੇਰ ਸਾਰੇ ਗੰਦ ਨੂੰ ਸਾਫ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੀਤੀ। 1962 ਵਿਚ ਮਿਸ਼ਨਰੀ ਕਾਲਜ਼ ਖੁਲਣੇ ਸੁਰੂ ਹੋਏ ਤੇ ਉਸ ਚਲਾਈ ਹੋਈ ਲਹਿਰ ਨੂੰ ਹੋਰ ਹੁੰਘਾਰਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਹੁਣ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਲੱਗ-ਭਗ 110 ਪਿੰਡਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰ ਸੈਂਟਰ ਖੁਲ੍ਹ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਹਨ। ਇਹ ਸਾਰਾ ਹਾਲ ਸੁਣ ਕੇ ਬੁੱਢੇ ਸ਼ੇਰ ਦੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਤੇ ਲਾਲੀ ਚਮਕਣ ਲੱਗ ਪਈ ਅਤੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਪ੍ਰੀਵਾਰ ਦੇ ਜੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਅਵਾਜਾ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਨ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਚਾਹ-ਪਾਣੀ ਅਤੇ ਬਰਫੀ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਆਓ।


Continue reading “Bhai Gurbaksh Singh ji deaan abhull yaadan – Bhai Gurcharan Singh jeonwallah ਨਿਧੱੜਕ ਤੇ ਬੁਲੰਦ ਅਵਾਜ਼ ਸਿਰਦਾਰ ਗੁਰਬਖਸ਼ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾਲਾ ਅਫਗਾਨਾ ਦੀਆਂ ਯਾਦਾਂ”


Guru Nanak Ji Sahib’s Birthday – April or October ? Two scholarly articles on this topic

Guru Nanak’s Birthday – April or October?

Guru Nanak was born on Baisakhi Day – April 15, 1469. But Sikhs have continued to celebrate it on Katak Dee Puranmashi – the month of October / Novemnber. A recent article by Prof Harbans Lal has suggested that both days are relevant – Guru Nanak was born in April 1469 but obtained “Parkash” in October of 1496 at age 27.

Dr. Karminder Singh disagrees, arguing that accepting such a dichotomy is deeply problematic, unsupported by Gurmat and Gurbani, and an attempt to justify the continued practice of celebrating Guru Nanak’s birthday on the wrong date.

We publish below two competing views on the issue. The first by Prof Harbans Lal and the second –a critique of the same – by Karminder Singh, Phd (Boston).

Both articles, by courtesy of The Sikh Bulletin ( where both first appeared in the November – December issue of 2018. Webmaster Sikhi Vichar Forum.






By Harbans Lal, Ph.D.; D.Litt. (Hons) and Ek Onkaar Kaur Khalsa Michaud.

Vaisakhi – Guru Nanak’s Birth Day

Through much of Sikh history and the Sikh world, Vaisakhi (April 1469) has been recognized as the Day of Celebration for Guru Nanak’s birth. On this day, Nanak was born to his parents, his father Kalyan Chand Das Bedi, popularly shortened to Pita Kalu and his mother, Mata Tripta.

There has been no eye-witness record of the date of Guru Nanak’s birthday. However, Gyan Ratnavali (1712) of Bhai Mani Singh and Mehma Parkash (1776) of Sarup Das Bhalla, recorded April as his date of birth. Further, recent historians have calculated Guru Nanak’s birthday from his death records.

The date of Guru Nanak’s passing is inscribed on the stone memorializing his death, and it was recorded in other historical documents. The number of days Guru Nanak lived on this earth is also known. Bhai Santokh Singh, a highly learned Sikh biographer, recorded the total age of Guru Nanak as 70 years, five months and 7 days. From this data, the distinguished contemporary Sikh historian, Karam Singh, calculated Guru Nanak’s age from the date of his death and established mid- April as Guru Nanak’s birthday.

Presently, prominent historians such as Giyani M.A. Macauliffe, Hew McLeod, Kahn Singh Nabha, Indu Bhushan Banerji, Khushwant Singh, Kirpal Singh, Ganda Singh, Harbans Singh, H.R. Gupta, Principal Satbir Singh, and others accept April as the date of the birth of Guru Nanak. Thus, April 2019 will be Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. The global Sikh community is preparing in various ways to celebrate this auspicious day.








Karminder Singh, PhD (Boston)


The basic argument of Prof Emeritus Harbans Lal Ji in “Is Guru Nanak’s Parkash Day different from Guru Nanak’s Birthday, Yes it is, in The Sikh Bulletin Volume 20 Number 11&12, Nov – Dec 2018 can be summarized in the following two points:

  1. The BIRTHDAY refers to a physical event; namely the birth of Guru Nanak on April 15, 1469.
  2. The “PARKASH DAY” refers to the date of “enlightenment” of Guru Nanak on Kathik, 1496 (or 1499) when Guru Nanak was 27 (or 30) years of age.

The primary basis for point (ii) above is the sakhi contained in the Janam Sakhis that Guru Nanak disappeared in the Kali Vein River for three consecutive days; believed to have drowned and yet come out alive after three days. At the crux of the sakhi is the claim that Guru Nanak was summoned by the Creator; and upon his appearance before the Creator, Guru Nanak was given both enlightenment (Parkash) and a mission for the world (Sikhi).



Shiv Shiv Kartey Jo Nur Dhiavey ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Shiv Shiv Kartey Jo Nur Dhiavey

Corrupted Clergy, Corrupted Spiritualties.

Karminder Singh, PhD (Boston).

This Shabd is found on page 874 of the SGGS ji.

First, the CONTEXT.

The systematic corruption of spirituality by the clergy is a phenomenon that cuts across all major spiritual thought systems. Within the parameters of traditional Indian spiritualties, the clergy-created corruption can be seen to have taken place along three basic lines.

FIRST, the clergy aspired to convert spiritual philosophy into religious dogma to be led by him and for followers only. He thus created the “us versus them” separation where none existed. SECOND, the clergy created and propagated rituals that were unrelated – and oftentimes contrary to the original philosophy. In this way the clergy put itself as the custodians of these rituals. THIRD, the clergy adulterated the original spiritual philosophy by replacing it with false, unsubstantiated, cooked up and self-serving mythological narratives that were oftentimes derogatory to the founders of the original philosophies.

The end result is a mockery of the original spirituality and its founders. The outcome is a “religion” that is totally divorced from the original spirituality.

The objective of the clergy is fivefold. One, to put itself in the epi-centre of the corrupted and adulterated religious dogma. Two, to exercise control over the adherents of the spiritual seekers mostly through fake narratives of fear and reward in the clergy-concocted afterlife. Three, to make a living off the misled and confused followers largely though the performance of complex rituals. Four to become the upholders of the corrupted spirituality. And Five, to place themselves as agents of the clergy-concocted “gods” – “gods” who were corruptible and subservient to the clergy.

Gurbani offers a stinging critique of the clergy-initiated corruption with an equally robust rebuke of the clergy in question. The bhagats of the SGGS are particularly strident in taking on the clergy (the Pundit, Brahmin, Bippar) in exposing their misdeeds.

Readers of Gurbani will note that the reprimand and telling-off is for the clergy, and the clergy created dogma, narratives and ritual – and NOT the philosophy per se. Any discourse on the original philosophies is conducted on a different plane altogether.

Guru Nanak and Guru Arjun – in selecting and including these shabds of bhagats within the SGGS respectively, did so on three primary grounds. FIRST, there is clear truth in the bhagats’ critique. SECOND, the Gurus agreed with the critique – adding their own where necessary. THIRD, the critique against the clergy was in line with a basic principle of Sikhi in that Sikhi rejects the need for clergy. Our Gurus did not want Sikhi to be corrupted by clergy, even if they called themselves “Sikh clergy.”

Continue reading “Shiv Shiv Kartey Jo Nur Dhiavey ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥”