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Raag Asa Patshahi 10

By Aspiring Khalsa
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Image taken from @soverignpanth
Image from SovereignPanth

Background

Attributed to Guru Gobind Singh around the time of Vaisakhi, Raag Asa Patshahi 10 is found in the Patna Sahib Bir — dated 1698. This short and relatively unknown Bani was left out of the standardized edition of the Dasam Granth today as decided by the Sodhak committee in the late 1800s. The reasons for this and it’s potentially flawed methodology are best explained by Kamalroop Singh and Gurinder Singh Mann. Their book The Granth of Guru Gobind Singh is a great source for learning about this Bani among others that were left out of the standardized Dasam Granth. This Shabad is especially fascinating as it seems to be Guru Gobind Singh’s written account on forming the Khalsa. A thematic link can also be drawn between this text and the later precolonial accounts on the creation of the Khalsa.

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Image of Raag Asa Patshahi 10 from the Patna Sahib Bir

What immediately becomes apparent from Raag Asa Patshahi 10, is Guru Gobind Singh’s attempt to form the Khalsa’s martial order and philosophy. This transformation involved the physical attributes of course, with the command of bringing Shastars (weapons), kesh (hair), and the Kamarkasa (waistband for holding weapons). But it also alludes to changing the inner identity of the Sikhs, adding to their saintly qualities a new warrior ethos.
Similar to from the Sarbloh Granth, there is reference to the saints and warriors merging with the Guru, illustrating the concept of Guru Panth. The mention of taking heads in this transformation process is explained, a theme that goes all the way back to Guru Nanak. There is also the bold proclamation to defeat the Mughals and any other worldly army. Finally, at the end, Guru Gobind Singh as one with Nanak, calls to set forth the third path, the Khalsa (two others being Hinduism & Islam). These are just a few, among many, interesting notes to observe while reading this short but rich text.

Raag Asa Patshahi 10

The Gurmukhi and translation (from Kamalroop Singh and Gurinder Singh Mann’s book) are below. Please correct any spelling mistakes.

ੴ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤੇ॥
One Universal Creator, victory belongs to Waheguru

ਰਾਗ ਆਸਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ੧੦॥
Rag Asa by the 10th Sovereign

ਆਜ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਸੰਤ ਕਾਜ ਹੈ ਸਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਾਂਧ ਦਰਿ ਆਵਉ ਰੇ॥
Today the Saints have been commanded to come to my door adorned in weapons

ਹਮਾਰੇ ਸੰਗ ਪੰਜ ਬੀਰ ਹੈ ਬਚਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਲੈ ਜਾਵਉ ਰੇ।।੧।। ਰਹਾਉ।।
My friends are the five warriors who have lived the commands of the Guru. Pause.

ਸੰਤ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਭਾਈ ਬੀਰ ਹੈ ਰੋਮ ਰੋਮ ਸਮਾਵਉ ਰੇ।।
The Saints are my brothers and warriors who are merged into my very fibre (hair).

ਭੀਰ ਪਰੀ ਸੰਤ ਸੰਗ ਹੋਇਆ ਆਪਨਾ ਰੂਪ ਦਿਖਾਵਾਉ ਰੇ।।੧।।
There is a crowd of Saints who are showing their form.1.

ਸੰਤ ਖਾਜ ਜਗਤ ਹਉ ਆਯੋ ਨਾਵਾਂ ਰੂਪ ਦਿਖਾਵਹੁ ਰੇ ॥
The affairs of the Saints are shown in new ways

ਸੰਗ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਸੰਤ ਮੰਡਲੀ ਇਹ ਸੀਸ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੈ ਲੈ ਜਾਵਉ ਰੇ।।੨।।
In my company are a collection of Saints who have given their heads to the Guru.2.

ਸੀਸ ਕਾ ਰਨ ਜਗਤ ਹਉ ਆਇਓ ਲਾਇ ਬਦਲਾ ਅਸੁਰ ਖਪਾਵਹੁ ਰੇ ॥
The head is needed for the battle of the Earth, it is time to fight the demons.

ਏਕ ਸੀਸ ਕਾ ਬਦਲਾ ਮਾਗਉ ਸੀਸ ਚਾਰੇ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਮਗਾਵਉ ਰੇ।।੩।।
For each head we will take a head, and request four more heads.3.

ਸੰਤ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਸੀਲ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਕਮਾਵਉ ਰੇ।।
The Saints are my sons and friends who cultivate contentment and patience.

ਜਤ ਸਤ ਸੰਜਮ ਬਚਨ ਹਮਾਰੇ ਰਹਿਤ ਬਚਨ ਕਮਾਵਉ ਰੇ।।੪।।
They are restrained, truthful, and disciplined, they live the way of life that has been commanded.4.

ਔਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਦੇਖਉ ਬਿਨਾ ਕੇਸ ਕੇ ਹਮਰੀ ਸੈਨ ਸਬਲ ਤੇਜ ਹੈ ਸਰਬ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਮਾਇਓ ਰੇ ॥
Look at those that do not keep kesh, in my army, they (ones with kesh) are the form of power and the Guru.

ਸਭ ਸਾਕ ਸੈਨ ਤੋਰ ਜਗਤ ਕੇ ਇਹੁ ਸੀਸ ਗੁਰੂ ਪੈ ਲੈ ਜਾਵਉ ਰੇ।।੫।।
They will break the other armies of this world, for they lay their heads at the feet of the Guru.5.

ਆਗਿਆ ਕੀਨੀ ਅਭਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨੈ ਹੁਕਮ ਕੇਸ ਲੈ ਆਯੋ ਰੇ।।
The Immortal Lord commanded that kesh be kept.

ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਹੋਨ ਕੇ ਦਿਨ ਸੁ ਦੂਰ ਥੇ ਤੁਰਕ ਅਨੀਤ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਇਓ ਰੇ।।੬।।
It will be known from this day that the Turak will be defeated.6.

ਜੱਹ ਜੱਹ ਦੇਖਉ ਤੱਹ ਤੱਹ ਸੰਘਰਾਉ ਬਚਨ ਪਾਇ ਮਜ੍ਹਬ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਰੇ।।
Wherever you shall look they shall be defeated.

ਅਨਿਕ ਹਨਵਤ ਰਾਮ ਹਮਰੇ ਹੈ ਕੀ ਤੂ ਕਿਸਾ ਬਿਧ ਦੇਖ ਬੁਲਾਇਓ ਰੇ ।।੭।।
There will be many as strong as Hanuman, who will be reminded by Ram to awaken.7.

ਖ਼ਬਰਦਾਰ ਹੁਇ ਆਯੋ ਕੇਸਾਧਾਰੀ ਖੜਗ ਰੂਪ ਝਮਕਾਇਓ ਰੇ।।
It is my strict order you keep kesh and glisten like the form of the sword.

ਹਮਰੋ ਨਾਮ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇਸਾ ਧਾਰੀ ਹਮ ਆਪਣੀ ਸੈਨ ਬੁਲਾਇਓ ਰੇ।।
My name is the Guru adorned with the hair, I will carry my army.

ਆਯੋ ਵਕਤ ਸਿਤਾਬ ਸੈਨ ਕਾ ਸੰਤਨ ਕਮਰ ਬੰਧਾਵਾਉ ਰੇ ॥੮॥
Come quickly the armies will come, Saints tie your kamarkasa.8.

ਨਾਨਕ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਏਕ ਕਰ ਦੇਖਉ ਹਮ ਤੀਜਾ ਮਜ੍ਹਬ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਰੇ।।
See Nanak Gobind as one, I will start the third way.

ਜਾਤਿ ਪਾਤਿ ਕਛੁ ਰਹਣ ਨ ਦੇਵਉ ਕਰਿ ਏਕੰਕਾਰ ਬੁਲਾਇਓ ਰੇ ॥੯॥੧॥
Caste will not remain, as this is the call of Ik Onkar.9.1.

Historical Analysis

Early Sikh historians Rattan Singh Bhangu, Kavi Santokh Singh, and Giani Gian Singh, in their descriptions of the creation of the Khalsa Panth, write something very similar to what is described here. Rattan Singh Bhangu in Panth Parkash tells the story of the Khalsa’s creation and Guru Gobind Singh’s reasoning for doing so. Rattan Singh writes this at the height of the Sikh Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh (early 1800s), and claims the establishment of their sovereignty as direct causation from that moment in time (1699) when the Sikhs had undergone a transformation. He explains that Guru Gobind Singh fundamentally changed the Sikh’s physical form, imbuing them with courage and strength, and sent the Khalsa Panth off to build their own takhts (thrones). A passage and translation of this historical text can be seen below and one can draw the connection with Raag Asa Patshahi 10.
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Sources

Singh, K., and Gurinder Singh Mann. The Granth of Guru Gobind Singh Essays, Lectures and Translations. Oxford University Press, 2016.

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Bunga Azaadi — Institute for Azadist Studies

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