Response to Arguments
Argument: The Sikh Rehat Maryada is not correct. The so called Sikh Code of Conduct was originally published in the early 20th century after the leading Gursikhs of the time came together to try and agree a standard code of conduct. Many of these Gursikhs left the original meeting as it was obvious that some unscrupulous individuals would want to include things within this code that were obviously against Gurbani. Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh Jee and Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale are just two of these Sikhs that didn’t agree and that didn’t actually sign to the final draft of the Code (which coincidentally took many years of deliberation to form and proof of who actually agreed the final version has never been provided those who published the document).
Response: Dasam Pita Ji put the Guru-Jyot in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the Jugat in the Khalsa Panth. The Guru gave guruship to Guru-Granth, and also the Guru-Khalsa to decide corporate matters in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and perform Amrit ceremony as ‘body-guru’.
How can one claim to accept the decision of the Guru, without accepting the Guru conferring Guruship to the Khalsa Panth on Vaisakhi 1699?
The Khalsa Panth asked Guru Gobind Singh Ji to leave Garhi of Chamkaur and Guru Gobind Singhji accepted the Hukam. The Khalsa decided to punish Maharaja Ranjit Singh for issuing a coin in the name of dancing girl.
Now, if the same Khalsa, collectively decided and ordered the Panth that Raagmala is not Gurbani, and later gave Hukam that if someone wishes to read it they can to ensure the Panth doesn’t splinter into divisions, then how can any faithful Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh Ji challenge this?
The fact that someone doesn’t read Jit Dar Lekh Mohammada, Siahi Di Bidhi, Ratanmala, Hakeekat rah mukam, Praan Sangli, Rab Mukam Ki Sabk, and Baye Atisb (16 saloks) etc. which are contained in old handwritten copies of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, shows that they have accepted the decision of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib that these Banis are spurious. Now, when it comes to Raagmala, we decide not to follow the same Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. Isn’t this hypocrisy?
The Sikh Rehat Maryada clearly states that complete reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji can end at Mundavani or Raagmala in accordance to local practice.
Giani Lal Singh of went to Giani Gurbachan Singh in 1945 to ascertain as to whether he would be abiding by the decree of Akal Takhat Sahib on Raagmala prior to the Rehat Maryada being finalised. Giani Lal Singh returned after a week’s stay at Bhinder Kalan, with a written message that Jatha Bhindran bows before the decree of Akal Takhat Sahib. The veracity of the said message can be gauged from the fact that as long as Giani Gurbachan Singh lived the issue was never again raked up by him or by Shaheed Jarnail Singh Ji while he was at Akal Takht Sahib. In fact, even though Shaheed Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale was a firm believer in Raagmala, he did not try to change the Maryada of Akal Takht Sahib and Samapti of Guru Granth Sahib was always done without reading Raagmala.
Argument: In 1945 the SGPC set up a sub-committee to investigate whether Raagmala is included in the original Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee Saroop that was compiled by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee. The following is from their findings: “We can most definitely say that nobody other than Bhai Gurdas Jee who was the scribe, included Raagmala in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. Ragmala is an ang of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.”
They also stated that they the ink paper and handwriting of Raagmala was consistent with the rest of the saroop. When this first saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee was compiled, many had made supplications to Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee to include their writings but Guru Jee rejected many only those who had merged with God could utter Gurbani as it is the word of God Himself.
Response: The above argument is mere fabricated lies made in desperation to prove Raagmala is Gurbani and influence the opinions of the Sangat who lack information on the topic.
Firstly, evidence of Mundaavni being the closing Baani in a lot of Beers is provided in the Facts section.
Secondly, in the Beers that have Raagmala present, it is observed that the following discredited baanis appear before Raagmala in the Beers. (in both the index and actual placement). Pictures of multiple Beers has been provided to prove this point.
- Salok Mahalla 1 Jit Dhar Lakh muha(n)madha…
- Salok Mahalla 1 Bia aatas aab
- Rag Ramkali Ratan Male
- Hakikat Rah Mukam Raja Sivnat Ki
SGPC findings in 1945
The SGPC sub-comittee did not conclude that Raagmala is written by the Sikh Gurus and if that was the case, the Sikh Rehat Maryada would have been changed to state that everyone should read Raagmala and there would be no issue left.
This committee of 1945 was appointed by Dharmik Salaahkaar Committee of SGPC. They visited Kartapur on 27 May 1945. Following the examination of the Kartarpuri Beerh,
the committee concluded that
- Raagmala was written on page 974/2, i.e. on 4th page after Salok Mehla 5 with all intervening pages being empty. There is no decorated border on all pages following Salok M: 5.
- This Beerh did not have So Purakh Baani in it.
- This Beerh had more than 1000 errors like ਤਤਨਾ ਬੁਨਨਾ ਸਭੁ ਤਜਿਓ ਹੈ ਕਬੀਰ ॥in place of ਤਨਨਾ ਬੁਨਨਾ ਸਭੁ ਤਜਿਓ ਹੈ ਕਬੀਰ ॥
- It has the following shabad added in Asa Raag by Bhagat Kabir Ji which is not present in any other Beerhs. This is a very objectionable shabad which tries to show that Kabeer Ji considers himself to be the father of God.
- Also, the Tatkara has reference to discredit baanis ‘ਰਾਗਮਾਲਾ ਤਥਾ ਸਿੰਘਲ ਦੀਪ ਕੀ ਰਾਜੇ ਸ਼ਿਵਨਾਭ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ’ (See Sri Kartarpuri Beerh de Darshan by Bhai Jodh Singh, Punjabi University Patiala).
- The committee did conclude that Raagmala is written in the same ink and same writing but did not answer why there are so many empty pages and why there is discrepancy with the Tatkra (contents page).
- There is another addition on page 21/2 which is not given in Tatkara. This is ‘ਪਾਰਾ ਮਾਰਨ ਦਾ ਨੁਸਖਾ’ written by some Granthi. Page 25/2 gives date of Jyoti Jot of Baba Gurditta. Also, page 28/1 is written in different writing about ‘Will’ of Bhav Singh about Niranjan Rai who was the great great-grandson of Dhir Mall.
The committee observed that there is tampering on the pages that are outside Gurbani. This casts doubt if Raagmala was written by Bhai Gurdas ji or by someone else later impersonating the handwriting of Bhai Gurdas ji after leaving a number of pages as blank. Hence this Beerh was not considered authentic.
These facts were presented before SGPC in discussions chaired by President SGPC and Akaal Takhat Jathedar Giani Mohan Singh Nagoke in 1945. The committee concluded that Raagmala was not Baani. To avoid splitting the Panth, reading of Raagmala was made optional. However, it was decided that Raagmala will not be read at Akaal Takhat Sahib.
Also notable are the following observations regarding the Kartarpuri Bir.
- Sant Gurbachan Singh has written that there are more than 1500 Paath-Bheds (Paath differences) between Damdami Bir and Kartarpuri Bir. How do you explain this?
- There are many Shabads in Kartarpuri Bir that are not considered Baani and are not in the Damdami Bir. This includes Mirabai's and Soordaas' Shabads on which later on Hartaal has been applied.
Such a Bir that has such obvious and huge number of mistakes cannot be considered as the Aad Bir of Siri Guru Arjun Dev Ji as Guru Sahib or Bhai Gurdaas Ji couldn’t have left mistakes in the Beerh.
Argument: The final Saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee as we know it today was compiled by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee and Baba Deep Singh Jee compiled 4 other Saroops of this final version and they were sent to all Five Takhats. All these Saroops have Ragmala in them again it is written in the same handwriting ink and upon the same paper. The above-mentioned works are not present in any of these Saroops and they unanimously accepted not as the writings of the Guru and only few Saroops have these works in them.
After careful study, Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara and Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, a former student of Damdami Taksaal and former Akal Takht Jathedaar, could not find any such saroop that they felt was authentic to be scribed by Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji since none matched the other.
No academic scholar has ever said there existed any such beerh which they have been able to find.
Some groups and individuals within the Panth have made public claims that certain saroops are handwritten by Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji or have the stamp and signature of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in order to assert their claim that Raag Mala is Gurbani and included by Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The normal public, who has little knowledge of scriptures, are lured to believe such claims, which usually have either financial motives or an agenda.
Firstly, the word ‘puraatan’ means ‘old.’ A fifty years old written or printed copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji could be classified ‘puraatan’. Similarly, a 100 years old copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji would be called the same. Therefore, to state a saroop is puraatan does not mean much when researching the saroop.
Saroops written in the period of Guru Arjan Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji are saroops that can be identified as ‘Guru-Kaal’, the period of the Guru. Then are saroops written post Guru Gobind Singh Ji period, followed saroops written in the Misls period in the mid to late 18th century. The majority of old saroops were written during the Sikh Raj and commissioned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The saroops from this particular period are decorated with gold and include paintings and illustrations.
To validate the authenticity of any saroop you would have to carbon date the paper first, and then the ink. However, nowadays, without any carbon dating some mischievous individuals make claims of puraatan saroops in order to justify that Raag Mala is Gurbani.
Dr. Mohinder Dhillon writes in his book “Blue Star Ghalughara” (1991) about the Sikh Reference Library that was ransacked by the Indian army in June 1984. He states:
“There were many copies of Guru Granth Sahib which were extremely valuable. There also was a manuscript which was prepared by Guru Gobind Singh five years after the martyrdom of Guru Teh Bahadar Ji. He himself added the Bani of the Ninth Guru in that manuscript at Damdama Sahib. The date of this copy of Guru Granth Sahib was 1739 Bikrami. In addition, there was rare copy of Guru Granth Sahib that was obtained with great difficulty by S. Gian Singh, Chief Minsiter of Patiala from Damadama, Talwandi Sabo. This version of Guru Granth Sahib did not have Ragmala at the end. All of this was reduced to ashes in Operation Blue Star.”
The Damdami Beerh which was reduced to Ashes in 1984 which had no Raagmala at the end
The recently discovered Anandpuri Beerh of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has had its ink and paper carbon dated to the period of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Not only this, it includes the stamp and signature of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and researchers have matched the ink and handwriting of the beerh to the Zafarnamah. This particular beerh was discovered some years ago, does not contain Raag Mala.
Similarly there is a Beerh present at Hazoor Sahib Nanded which has no Raagmala in it.
Please refer to the Facts section for Photos of Puratan Beerhs at the Takhts including Takht Patna Sahib without Raagmala in them.
Argument: A poet named Jodh wrote Madhvanal Kamkandla in 1583 AD
Response: There is no evidence of the evidence of the existence of any poet called Jodh who is said to have written the Madhav Nal story, among the Sanskrit poets, and for reference, ‘History of Sanskrit Literature’ may be consulted. This Kavi has been created by only those who believe Raagmala is Gurbani.
Argument: Raagmala or anything even resembling it is not present in the original version of this book.
Response: Please find below evidence from various Sikh and Non Sikh scholars of many centuries that Raagmala was taken by from Madhvanal Kamkandla written by Kavi Alam
Evidence 1: Taken from Mahan Kosh by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha
Evidence 2: Taken from Gur Partap Suraj Granth written by Maha Kavi Santokh Singh in the 18 th and 19 th Century
Evidence 3: There are many references to Alam being a contemporary of Emperor Akbar in various books of Indian literature present in Allahabad, Varanasi, Baroda (Vadodara), Lucknow, Jaipur, Bikaner etc.
Evidence 4: Scholars of Hindi Literature unanimously agree that Raagmala is Poet Alam’s original work and has been included at the end of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. They consider it to be the good fortune of Poet Alam.
- Renowned Literature scholar Pandit Parshuram on page 94-95 of his book “Madhkaalen Shingarik Pravitiaan” says that the Raagmala at the end of Guru Granth Sahib is written by Poet Alam
- Hindi Scholar Pandit Vishwanath Prasad on page 693 of his book “Hindi Sahitya Ka Ateet” mentions that Raagmala is written by Poet Alam as a part of Mudhavnal Kamkandla. He also goes on to state that Raagmala was not an original part of Guru Granth Sahib but added later
- In the quarterly Hindi journal “Shodh Patrika” on page 76 it is mentioned that Mudhavnal Kamkandla was written by Poet Alam at the age of 50. A few paragraphs of the poem are included in Guru Granth Sahib in the form of Raagmala.
- In the Encyclopedia of Hindi Literature has an entry regarding Poet Alam.
- There are many other references to Poet Alam being a contemporary poet of thet ime of Emperor Akbar. They also list him as the author of Mudhavnal Kamkandla. There references are found in various publications by Ashok Kumar Mishra, Munshi Devi Prasad, Ram Ker Tripathi, Padma Bhushan Ram Kumar Verma, Dhirendar Verma, Pitambar Datt Badthawal, Hazari Prasad Diwedi etc. This list is quite long. Each of these authors have no relation with Sikh religion and represent a totally neutral viewpoint.
Argument: The poet Alam lived from 1655 to 1717 AD. He was a poet in the court of Guru Gobind Singhji
Response: Yes. The poet Alam/Aalim lived from 1655 to 1717 AD. He was one of the 52 Kavis of Guru Gobind Singhji as mentioned below (Poet No 6 on the list) by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha.
But there was another Poet Alam as mentioned by various sources of Sikh and Non- Sikh History as mentioned in the points above.
Argument: After listening to/reading Raagmala he (Poet Alam) wrote a book called Madhvanal Sangeet that was mostly copied work from other poets including Jodh. There is also a poem in this compilation which doubters of Raagmala believe is Raagmala, but it is actually very different to Raagmala.
Response: The Raagmala that has been at the end of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is 98% similar to the one composed by Poet Alam. The two Raagmalas are given below and we leave it to the Sangat to decide how different the Raagmala that has been placed in Guru Granth Sahib is from the one written by poet Alam.
Raagmala as in Madhav Nal Kam Kundala
Raagmala as in Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Argument: In the past century, people have mistakenly linked the work of these poets’ as one and the same because Alam plagiarized much of his work from Jodh and they try to prove that Raagmala is not Gurbani with this mistaken line of argument. Historically there are 11 different versions of Raagmala they all differ from the original which is in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, different writers over time have gained inspiration from Raagmala in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and then gone on to write their own versions of Raagmala.
Response: It is claimed by the Raagmala followers that the Poet Alam who was the Darbari Poet of Guru Gobind Singh Ji wrote Madhavnal Kamkandla and plagiarized Raagmala from Guru Granth Sahib. This argument more questions than provide any answers as given below.
- Madhavnal Kamkandla is an erotic and sexually explicit composition. Is it possible that the Darbari Poet of Guru Gobind Singhji Poet Alam after having stayed in Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s sangat engage in such activities?
- If he stole Raagmala from Guru Granth Sahib Ji and added it to the erotic composition Madhavnal Kamkandla, why did Guru Gobind Singh Ji not stop him from stealing the composition or punish him for his activities.
- Did Poet Alam’s activities of adding Holy Gurbani to erotic poetry not make any difference to the Sikhs? Why is there no mention of any action being taken by Sikhs to resolve this Beadbi of Gurbani in the entire Sikh History?
Argument: It would be very easy to make a list of Gursikhs who were held in high regard that believed Raagmala is Gurbani. The list would include great scholars freedom fighters, spiritualists and selfless servants of the Khalsa Panth.
Response: Prominent personalities who did not believe in Raagmala include
- Great Poet Bhai Santokh Singh
- Pandit Tara Singh Nakool
- aGiani Dit Singh of the Singh Sabha Movement
- Professor Gurmukh Singh
- Giani Gian Singh
- Sadhu Gobind Singh Nirmala
- Pandit Basant Singh
- Pandit Tara Singh Nirotam
- Giani Nahar Singh Principal Dharam Anant Singh
- Principal Teja Singh
- Principal Ganga Singh
- Pandit Hazara Singh
- Prof. Dr. Ganda Singh
- Basant Singh
- Prof. Dr. Sahib Singh
- Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha (Author of Mahan Kosh)
- S. Shamsher Singh Ashok
- Bhai Randhir Singh
- Pandit Kartar Singh Dakha
- Master Mota Singh
- Bawa Harkishan Singh
- Giani Sher Singh
- Prof. Kartar Singh
- Baba Teja Singh
- Prof. Gurbachan Singh Talib
- Master Mehtab Singh
- S.Randhir Singh Research Scholar
- Master Tara Singh
- Giani Hira Singh
- Dr Tarlochan Singh
- Shahid Bhai Anokh Singh Babbar
- Shahid Bhai Fauja Singh
- Shahid Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar
It is clear that in modern history, there have been great Sikh martyrs, saints and scholars who have read Raagmala and those that have not believed and read Raagmala. All these Gursikhs are respect worthy and cannot be mocked or degraded for reading or not reading Raagmala
Argument: The other point to note is that most Sikhs throughout the world read Raagmala and it is only a minority who question or doubt it’s authenticity, there are only a few Gurdwaras throughout the world where Raagmala is not recited and it is recited at Sri Akhal Takhat Sahib and Sri Harimander Sahib (Golden Temple).
Response: The vast majority of Sikhs do not even know of Raagmala, let alone the controversy behind its authenticity. If Raagmala is printed in all modern saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji then it is natural that someone who does not know of the controversy of Raagmala (which is the majority) would read it. Furthermore, pro-Raagmala preachers in modern times have made provocative attacks in the Sangat against those who don’t read Raagmala and scare-mongered people into reading it with baseless stories. Just because the majority read it is not a sound argument that it’s Gurbani. The majority of those that claim to be Sikhs cut their hair and indulge in alcohol and meat – is this argument for its acceptance? No would be the answer and these people would need educating. The question is never about majority or minority believing in Raagmala Guru Sahib says
Jag Meh Uttam Kaadhieh Virle Kei Kay (In the midst of the world, they who are known as the most pious – they are rare indeed)
Raagmala was not recited at Akal Takht Sahib till the 1990s. In fact, even Bhai Jarnail Singh Ji (Head of Jatha Bhindran) did not change this maryada while he was at Akal Takht Sahib.
In the original Sikh Rehat Maryada of 1936, Raagmala was not considered as being Gurbani and therefore it stated that Sadhaaran and Akhand Paaths should conclude at Mundaavani. This Maryada of concluding Bhog at Mundaavani and not read Raagmala, was historically observed by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.
1936 edition of Sikh Rehat Maryada, taken from www.Punjabdigilib.org
Jathedar Bhai Mohan Singh Nagoke summoned a joint meeting of the saints and scholars in 1945 AD at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib with the sole objective of resolving the issue once and for all. Jathedar Nagoke himself performed the initial ardas (prayer) and affirmed that if it is proved after mutual discussion and debate that Ragmala is not Gurbani, it would never be read at the Akal Takhat Sahib.
The pro-Ragmala group could not give clear cut proof to establish that Ragmala is Gurbani. They walked out in disgust. Thereupon Jathedar Nagoke declared that in the interest of maintaining Panthic unity the reading of Ragmala was to be optional. Those who want it read after Mundavani may, but after this decree from Takhat Sahib nobody should raise the issue for or against it. He also declared that henceforth it would not be recited at the Akal Takhat Sahib. Accordingly, in 1945 amendments were made by the Dharmik Salaahkaar Committee (Religious Advisory Committee) of the S.G.P.C., that relaxed the ruling to make the reading of Raagmala at the completion of reading Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji acceptable as well. The concessions for allowing the reading of Raag Mala were made in the spirit of panthic harmony, and to avoide the Panth splintering into factions:
1950 edition of Sikh Rehat Maryada, taken from www.Punjabdigilib.org
Most of the Gurdwara management committees do not ever think why they read Raagmala. It is no issue for them and they let the Paathis do what they like. However, the more informed sections of the Panth do not read Raagmala being a spurious Bani. So there is diversity in the Panth with some reading Raagmala and others not reading it. This is perfectly in line with Sikh Rehat Maryada.
Argument: Giani Sobha Singh, who lived at Takhar Dyal Singh’s Dharamsala in Amritsar, was one of the first Sikhs to start the debate over the authenticity of Ragmala over a 100 years ago. He even compiled a Saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee without Ragmala in it and he took it to Sri Akhal Takhat Sahib for approval. The senior Sikhs of the day decided to offer an Ardas to Guru Jee in which they said:
“If Bhai Sobha Singh has done right then nothing should happen but if he has done wrong then punish him accordingly.”
After just a week he became ill and his mouth was full of ulcers and he was in much pain to the extent that he could not even speak. He wrote a letter begging for forgiveness and brought it to Sri Akhal Takhat Sahib and he said that no-one should ever make the same mistake again.
Response: Giani Sobha Singh Ji was not amongst the first Sikhs to mention that Raagmala is not Gurbani. In fact, as given above, even Maha Kavi Santokh Singhji who was born about 80 years after Guru Gobind Singh Ji said that Raagmala is not Gurbani.
Secondly, no such record or letter from Giani Sobha Singh is available. It is a false story created to confuse the Sikh masses. This type of fear creating (curse-oriented) contention is against Sikhi spirit, and follows a Brahmnical system that is typically dear to saints. In Brahmnical system where a person commits sins he is cursed by gods. However, according to Sikhi, God and Guru are ever so kind and see no difference in a friend and foe.
Further, during the later meetings at Akal Takhat Sahib, it could not be proved that Raagmala was written by the fifth Guru and was stopped from reading. Why the then Jathedar did not suffer from such a curse and why all Granthis who did not read Raagmala afterwards escaped Guru’s wrath. Clearly this argument does not hold ground.
Also, a few historical incidents are worth mentioning here:
After the times of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Sikhs were divided into 2 groups.
- Bandai Khalsa (Those who believed that Baba Banda Singhji Bahadur was the Guru after Guru Gobind Singhji)
- Tat Khalsa (Those who believed that Guru Granth Sahibji was the Guru after Guru Gobind Singhji)
This was resolved by Bhai Mani Singhji in 1721 AD. After doing Ardaas, 2 chits were placed in the Sarovar at Harmandir Sahib and the chit of Tat Khalsa came out. This indicated that Guru Granth Sahib Ji was appointed the Guru of the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singhji.
Similarly, another incident like this occurred in 1860 AD. Prior to printing presses being available, the only way a Gursikh could obtain a Beerh of Guru Granth Sahib Ji was by requesting a Beerh writer. The Beerh writer would make a copy of an existing Beerh. Writing a Beerh was a very time consuming process. Also, the waiting period for getting a writer to write a Beerh was very long as not many Beerh writers were available.
To resolve this issue, Lala Harsukh Rai – the owner of Kohinoor Printing Press Lahore approached Akal Takht Sahib with a request that he wanted to do the Sewa of printing Guru Granth Sahib Ji. For this purpose, he asked the Panth which Beerh should he print: Bhai Gurdaas Ji’s Beerh or Bhai Banno Ji’s Beerh or Damdami Beerh. These were the most commonly available Beerhs of that time. The primary differences between these three Beerhs was
- Bhai Gurdaas Ji’s Beerh had no Raagmala and no Baani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.
- Bhai Banno Ji’s Beerh had no baani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and Mundavni was followed by Jit Dhar Lakh muha(n)madha, Salok Mahalla 1 Bia aatas aab, Rag Ramkali Ratan Mala, Hakikat Rah Mukam Raja Sivnat Ki and Raagmala
- The Damdami Beerh had no Raagmala and but the Baani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was present.
There was a discussion in the Panth but no decision could be reached. Hence, it was decided that Ardaas should be done and 3 chits should be put into the Sarovar with the names of the 3 versions of the Beerhs. The chit that would float and come up first would have the name of the Beerh that should be considered as authentic. After Ardaas, the three chits were put into the sarovar at Har Ki Pauri (Harmandir Sahib). After about 2 hours a chit came out of the Sarovar and it had Damdami Beerh written on it.
There were a lot of arguments about Raagmala in the year 1917 at Lahore. It was decided to keep 2 chits in the Hazoori of Guru Granth Sahib. On one of the chits, “Raagmala is Not Baani” was written while on the other one, “Raagmala is Baani” was written. The Singhs did Ardaas before Guru Granth Sahib Ji and after the Hukamnama, 1 Chit was picked up which had “Raagmala is Not Baani” written on it. The Singhs expressed great happiness that Guru Sahib had resolved this issue and given them guidance. An account of this incident was published in the Panth Sewak newspaper on 5th Sept 1917 as below.
Argument: Bhai Bhagat Singh Ji, under the Guidance of Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh Ji, has told us of the greatness of reading Raagmala in Gurbilas Patshahi 6 (written on July 22, 1718, within ten years of Guru Sahib’s departure): “ਪਾਵਹੁ ਭੋਗ ਰਾਗਮਾਲਾ ਪੜ੍ਹ | ਛਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਜਾਹਿ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਸੜ |” (“Conclude the Bhog with the reading of Raagmala. With which in an instant sins are removed”)
Response: The same Gurbilas Patshahi 6 says
This means that Raagmala needs to be read at the Bhog of Japji Sahib and not at the Bhog of Guru Granth Sahib. This is not referring to the Raagmala added to the end of Guru Granth Sahib Ji but rather it means that read Japji Sahib with Raag or love. With regards to the Bhog of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Gurbilas Patshahi 6 says
So it is clear even from Gurbilas that Guru Arjan Dev ji did Bhog at Mundavani and the meanings of Gurbilas Patshahi 6 are being twisted to show that the Samapti of Guru Granth Sahib Ji should be done at Raagmala.
A point to be noted here is that according to Gurbilas Patshahi 6, the first Hukam Vaak was read by Baba Budha with Guru Arjan standing beside him with folded hands, was “Santa Ke Karaj Aap Khaloya, Kaar, Kaar Kadhan Hith Kama Hoya”. This is a distortion of Bani. The actual lines were “Santa Ke Karaj Aap Khaloya, Har Kam Karavan Aya Ram. Besides this, there are many other disrespectful reference to the Gurus in this book like Guru Hargobind Ji made Kaulan elope, the Gurus masterminded robberies, Guru Nanak was born twice with a white beard and a Seli Toppi (a brahmin cap) and Guru Tegh Bahadur committed suicide while in custody of the Moguls. Hence it is obvious that current version of Gurbilas Pashahi 6 is not authentic or written by Bhai Mani Singh Ji as claimed by some.