Original name of the so called dasam granth is bachittar natak.
Chandi Charitar Ukti Bilas and Dey Shiva bar moye
The hymn known as Deh Shiva bar moye is a part of the Dasam Granth known as Chandi Charitar Ukti Bilas. It contains 233 couplets. The couplet number 231, which is an Ode to Shiva, is taken out of contest as an Ode to the God Almighty. Based on the internal evidence, and with reference to the context, I have discussed in the second part of this essay that the Shiva of this hymn is just a deity and not the Akalpurkh. Now, in the first instance, I delineate on the authorship of the whole of the Chandi Charitar Ukti Bilas.
Among the 233 stanzas, as many as eight times one comes across `IT SRI MARKANDEYA PURANA SRI CHANDI CHARITER UKATI BILAS – This Sri Chandi Charitar Ukti Bilas from Sri Markandeya Purana. This makes it quite clear that the whole hymn is part of some medieval composition known as MARKANDEYA PURANA.
What is Markandeya Purana?
Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha says:
A Purana in the name of Markandeya containing 9000 verses is famous. Apart from other renderings it includes the narration of Durga which is known as Chandi Paath and Durga *Shapatshati. Its independent translations known as Chandi Charitar and Chandi Dee Vaar is included in Dasam Granth.
`Markandeya, son of Markanda, was a sage and is reputed as the author of Markandeya Purana. He was remarkable for his austerities and great age, and is called Dirghayus, the long lived one…. `That Purana in which … everything is narrated fully by Markandeya as it was explained by holy sages in reply to the question of the Muni, is called the Markandeya, containing 9000 verses.’ This Purana is narrated in the first place by Markandeya, and in the second by certain fabulous birds profoundly versed in the Vedas, who relate their knowledge in answer to the questions of the sage Jaimni. It has a character different from all the other Puranas. It has nothing of a sectarial spirit, little of a religious tone; rarely inserting prayers and invocations to any deity, and such as are inserted are brief and moderate… The popular Durga Mahatmya or Chandipartha is an episode of this Purana. In the absence of any guide to a positive conclusion as to the date, it may conjecturally be placed in the ninth or tenth century… Professor Banerjee places it in the eighth century….’
It should be quite evident to the so-called protagonists of Dasam Granth that Chandi Charitar Ukti Bilas is not the `Baani of Dasam Patshah’ and any portion from this could not be accepted as the Sikh National Anthem.
However, in Dasam Granth, the verses being in Braj Bhasha create confusion as the original Purana may be in some medieval Indian language. Who rendered it into Braj Bhasha? It is made clear in the last couplet 233:
`Granth *Satseya was translated (kareyo) as there was none other like it.
`The aim, to attain which, the poet did it, Chandika may honour.’
This may be the work of some poet from Guru Gobind Singh Jees Darbar. In the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, could Dasam Patshah seek honour from a deity?
As mentioned in the first paragraph my deposition with regard to the Hymn itself is appended below:
Shiva, Akalpurkh or a Deity?
Oh, Shiva, shower this blessing upon me, that I may not hesitate partaking in noble deeds,
With no fear, and with fortitude I may enter the fight and seek the victory.
And then I enlighten my mind and be enticed to extol you.
As the life-end seems nearer, I may jump in the struggle and sacrifice.
The above eulogy appears nearly at the end of Chandi Charitar Ukat Bilas of (currently know as) Dasam Granth. As a piece of poetry it is magnificent. It, no doubt, inspires, infuses courage and motivates to sacrifice for righteousness. Since its splendid recitation, if I am not wrong, in the film Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai, it has been promoted in the Sikh Community as its National Anthem. Almost every Sikh Celebration commences with carolling of Deh Shiva… And Shiva is epitomized as the God, Almighty.
Till recently no one questioned the assertion of SHIVA as Akalpurkh, the God, Almighty. Suddenly a section of Hindu Society commenced to promote that Guru Gobind Singh `believed in gods and goddesses.’ Frequent quotes started to flourish from Dasam Granth to support this ideology and foremost among them is this hymn used by the Sikhs as National Anthem.
We cannot blame the anti-Sikh forces for labelling us as the believer of Shiva. Although the wording of the hymn is fascinating, still it is asking boon from Shiva, the deity. This is quite contrary to the spirit of Sikhism. A Sikh only prays for the benevolence of God, Almighty, the Akalpurkh.
I had the honour of attending “Interfaith Dialogue Lecture” at Punjabi University, Patiala on February 22, 2001. It was a matter of great satisfaction to see that the proceeding were commenced after the recitation of their own “National Anthem”, a Shabd from Guru Granth Sahib.
At the beginning of four-day “International Conference 2000 on Sri Guru Granth Sahib” at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar on February 25, 2001, “Deh Shiva bar moye…” was recited as the National Anthem. Inspired by the action at Punjabi University, I, at the beginning of my Paper, pointed out that it was un-Sikh to ask Shiva, a deity for benevolence. A couple of learned professors during their speeches criticised my assertion and stressed that Shiva in this hymn was addressed to God, Almighty, the Akalpurkh.
This hymn is taken nearly from the end of Chandi Charitar Ukat Bilas of Dasam Granth. From the text of the whole Charitar it is evident it is an adaptation into Braj Bhasha of some parts of Sri Markande Puran, a medieval granth. Whether the adaptation was conducted by Guru Gobind Singh himself or by some of his court poets, is matter of serious investigation and scholarship and I hope one day the Panth will be able to resolve the matter once for all.
To ascertain whether “Shiva” refers to God, Almighty or to “Shiva” the god or deity in this very hymn, we must study the `word’ in the whole text very closely with reference to the context.
Excerpts from Chandi Charitar Ukat Bilas
(1) The One who is Primal Being, unfathomable, implicit, deathless, non-committal, without specific garb and indestructible, who, through his might, created SHIVA and SHAKTI.
(4) You are the source of Shivas power, and also of Kamla, Har (Vishnu), Adrusta and wherever I see it is You.
(19) Who can count, how many were killed and those who ran away in fear, they contemplated on Shiva and headed for Kailasha Puri, (Shiva’s abode).
(43) The warfare was so intense that, on hearing this, the contemplation of the one at Kailasha Puri (SHIVA) was dissipated.
(52) Chandi disappeared at this place and reappeared on the site where Har (Shiva) was seated on the Har (lion)’s skin.
(65) Then, on both sides, fighting developed and no one remained in delusion. On hearing the news (of war) many jackals and the vultures came forward and the Shiva’s companions felt pleasure too.
(68) Dead bodies got piled over one another; the jackals and vultures started to feed themselves on their flesh. The white fat gushed out of the hair on the heads and sharply flowed on the ground, which epitomised the (river) Ganga flowing out of the matted hair of Jatadhari (Shiva).
(73) Indra, Sun and Moon, they all came to and took abode in Shivepuri (the home of Shiva) and, in decayed condition, they hid there.
(116) Annihilated the whole army, as Chandika had a fight with Chund devil in such a way. She took a spear, hit so hard that the head of the enemy was cut off, as if Shiva had severed the head of Ganesha with a trident.
(166) The Sumer Mountain was shaken, the heaven was terrified, and the mountains began to fly about in all the ten directions. When the confusion prevailed in four realms, then, even Brahma (the Creator) was put in doubt. Jati (Shiva)’s contemplation was subdued, and the earth caved in when Kali took the sword of death.
(193) Holding spear in her hand, took courage and thrust it in the head of the enemy. Piercing the steel cap, it shattered the forehead and went straight through. The blood stream spurted above, how could that be narrated, as it seemed like the flame coming out of Shiva’s third eye.
(212) When all the four armies were annihilate, then Sunbh confronted from the front. On all sides the earth shuddered and Har (Shiva) sprinted away from his Har-aasan (the seat of the lion skin). The garland (snake) around Har (Shiva) shrank and, in his heart, he trembled with fear and it (snake) hung around the neck like the thread.
(231) O, Shiva, shower the blessing upon me…
Now we must consider the position of Shiva logically through these instances. He has been created through the might of a Primal Being who is the source of Shiva’s power. Shiva is not omnipresent but resides in a particular place called Kailasha Puri. Shiva’s companions, like the vultures, feel pleasure on seeing the dead bodies for flesh. It was Shiva who cut off the head of the Ganesha, another deity. In the stanza 166, two entities are distinctly mentioned, Brahma, the Creator and Shiva, whose contemplation was shuddered. Nowhere, Shiva is depicted as God.
From the foregoing, it is quite evident that the Shiva, in the above hymn, does not represent God, Almighty. It is just a Hindu god or deity.
Except Akalpurkh, Sikhism does not believe in any Davies, Devtas, gods and goddesses. To adopt this hymn as the National Anthem of the Sikhs is the infringement of the thought and philosophy promoted by Ten Masters through Guru Granth Sahib. I hope the sense will prevail and, under the guidance of Akal Takht a Shabd of Gurbani with universal approach will be fostered as the Sikh National Anthem.
Pritpal Singh Bindra
Mississauga. Ontario, Canada
(Published on: Jan 10, 2011 @ 19:21 Post Bumped today)