Sacramento, CA (KP) – In response to imprudent campaigns that have arisen in different parts of the world to malign the bani of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, California Sangat recently organized the first ever International Seminar on Dasam Granth Sahib in Sacramento. The seminar was held to create awareness of the magnitude and richness of the sacred scripture written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
The seminar, held on Saturday February 23rd, featured several renowned scholars from different parts of the world. S. Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, Editor Sant Sipahi, and Prof. Harpal Singh Pannu, Punjabi University Patiala, and Gurinder Singh Mann of UK, were amongst the main speakers at the program.
The seminar started with ardas and the recitation of Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s hukamnama at 9:30 AM. Kirtan of verses from Chandi Di Vaar was sung by the Hazoori Ragi Jatha of Bhai Manjit Singh Ji. Bhai Baljeet Singh Kathavachak began the first speech and shed light on the reasons Guru Gobind Singh Ji decided to write a separate Granth.
Bhai Manjit Singh Ji’s Ragi Jatha
Hazoori Jatha reciting verses from Chandi-di-Vaar
Dr. Gurtej Singh Ji, Sacramento
Dr. Gurtej Singh Ji commencing the seminar
Bhai Baljeet Singh Kathavachak
Bhai Baljeet Singh Ji discussing the need for Dasam Bani
Singh Sahib Giani Savinder Singh Ji
Singh Sahib Giani Savinder Singh, ex-Jathedar Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib, talked about the relation between banis in Guru Granth Sahib Ji and in Dasam Granth Sahib Ji. Singh Sahib acquainted the Sadh Sangat with the current controversies that have been uselessly stirred by mischievous persons. In addition, he spoke of various historical aspects of Dasam Granth Sahib’s composition and mentioned important timelines associated with it. (Note: In the spirit of journalism, Panthic.org is presenting the video of Giani Savinder Singh as is, however we do not necessarily agree to Giani Ji's interpretation of the Charittar of Bibi Roop/Noop Koer as being directly attributed to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.)
Gurinder Singh Mann (UK)
Renowned Dasam Granth Sahib researcher – Gurinder Singh Mann from Leister University, London, did a presentation on the 300 year old history of Dasam Granth Sahib. He presented pictures of various old saroops of Dasam Granth Sahib, and shared information about the different banis that are included in Dasam Granth Sahib. The main focus of Mann was to prove that most old saroops of Dasam Granth Sahib are very similar in content while the controversies that have been stirred to denounce the status of Dasam Granth Sahib are fairly new.
Recording of Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindrawale and Gatka Demonstration
The first session of the seminar was concluded by playing an audio-visual presentation of Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindrawale doing katha of Dasam Granth Sahib Banis. It is interesting to note that along with Baba Jarnail Singh Ji, all prominent Panthic personalities shared the same opinion on Dasam Granth Sahib. This was in response to those mischievous individuals who often try to confuse Sangat by showing their past association with Baba Jarnail Singh Ji, but at the same time denigrating the sacred Dasam Bani he openly propagated.
Gatka demonstrations by members of various California Dals took place after a brief langar intermission. Gatka is an integral component of the temporal ideology of the miri-piri aspect of Gursikhi. It also complements bani of Dasam Granth Sahib in many ways as the scripture contains ‘yudh-mai’ bani written to influence Sikhs to take stand against oppression.
Prof. Harpal Singh Pannu
After a short langar break, a short video of Giani Sher Singh Ambala from Dasam Granth Sahib Samvaad which took place at Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib was played to the Sangat. Prof. Harpal Singh Pannu was then asked to take stage and share his research on Dasam Granth Sahib.
Prof. Pannu heads the Department of Religious Studies at Punjabi University, Patiala in Punjab. He holds deep knowledge in several world-religions and their scriptures. He spoke about the controversy that has been ingeniously associated with Dasam Granth Sahib. Furthermore, he shared some very fascinating and interesting parts of Dasam Granth Sahib, and talked about how Guru Gobind Singh Ji re-narrated parts of various ancient scriptures and gave them a new meaning.
Prof. Harpal Singh Pannu also spoke openly against the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) organization and its motives of defying the status of Dasam Granth Sahib within the Sikhs. Prof. Pannu explained the purpose of Dasam Granth Sahib in context with Guru Granth Sahib Ji being the spiritual light of the Khalsa Panth, while Dasam Granth Sahib is the fortress which not only preserves the structure (body) of the Panth but also the spiritual light (soul).
Sardar Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba
Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, editor of Sant Sipahi magazine and coordinator of International Human Rights Organization, with his rich and affluent vocabulary and knowledge was one of the most captivating speakers of the seminar. Sardar Lamba shared vital information about Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s own compositions and those of his Darbari Kavis (poets). While many mistakenly state that the compositions in Dasam Granth Sahib were penned by poets of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Sardar Lamba stated otherwise and held that the compositions of the poets are significantly different from the bani in Dasam Granth Sahib. He stated that the works of Guru Sahib’s Darbari Kavi’s are well documented by researchers and available for reference in various research institutes.
Sardar Lamba also lashed out at the RSS organization and the Arya Samajists who are undoubtedly the main instigators behind many of the controversies that are affecting the Panth. Sardar Lamba stated that although the mischievous elements try to claim that Dasam Granth Sahib is a pro-RSS Granth, the bani of Dasam Granth Sahib actually critically denounces Hindu mythological figures and historical characters. The scholar also questioned that if the Dasam Granth Sahib’s message is directly in counter to the ideologies of right-wing Hindu organizations, how it can be proclaimed as a pro-RSS Granth?
The seminar was concluded with ardas and Hukamnama from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Siropas (robes of honor) were presented to the speakers who shared their research and knowledge on the subject of Dasam Granth Sahib. Dr. Gurtej Singh Ji of Sacramento, who eloquently conducted the proceedings from the stage throughout the seminar, announced that this function was the first in a series of programs that would continue to take place internationally. The Sikh Sangat also passed several resolutions calling for the boycott of anti-Dasam Granth individuals and organizations. In particular, the boycott of Rozana Spokesman and the writings of Principal Harbhajan Singh and pro-Kala Afghana Missionary Colleges was sought.
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