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to ensure that the wisdom and the knowledge as contained in the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib was given its proper respect and admiration by various Samprayadas and noted scholars. The second scripture of the Sikhs, the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib has always played a vital part in the Sikh tradition of the Nitnem banis and the Khande de Pahul ceremonies. The Sri Dashmesh Durbar on January 3rd 2009 was undertaken to celebrate the Gurpurb of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Durbar took place at Gurudwara Baba Sang, Smethwick, Birmingham, UK. Following on from the Barsi of Sant Baba Takhur Singh, Damdami Taksal on December 22nd to the 24th whereby a Sehaj Path of Sri Dasam Granth took place in Leicester, UK. This event was specifically advertised as a celebration of Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s Bani.
The main Durbar was flanked by two Sikhs either side holding Nishan Sahibs (Sikh flags/battle standards). The Sikhs themselves carrying shields on their backs and swords on their sides like the times of old. This was a great attempt to mirror the Durbar of the Guru with great effect. We can only envisage what the Durbar of the Tenth Guru would have looked and felt like, where the Kavis (poets) would listen to the Guru recite his bani. This endeavour brought visions to the sangat. On the recital of the Ardas the Nagara or battle drum were beaten to great effect. This was followed by Hukumnamas from both Granths Sri Guru Granth Sahib and then the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. Recitations from Sri Dasam Granth including the last 2 Hikayatan of Zafarnama, Jaap Sahib, Shabad Hazare Patshai 10, Misar Prat / Khalsa Mehma, Shastar Naam Mala and Chaupai Sahib were undertaken.
After certain recitations a bell could be heard and then a narial or coconuts were seen and heard being chopped. In modern times Nihangs and the Damdami Taksal perform chatka on Coconuts or sugarcane when the bell is sounded. This was then followed by Arti Arta a special recitation this is which is normally undertaken as a province of Sikh Samprayadas like the Nihangs. This was according to the Dal Panth Maryada of the Akali Nihangs who have always held Sri Dasam Granth in the highest of esteem over the past three centuries. Kirtan of Sri Dasam Granth shabads began with Tum ho sabh rajan ke rajah in Raag Darbari by Satpal Singh (Student of Ustad Ajeet Singh Matlashi ji). Katha was undertaking by Bhai Ranjit Singh (Damdami Taksal/Student of Sant Kartar Singh Ji) who gave discourses on Sikh philosophy, the Bana and farla (scared attire of the Nihang Singhs) and how Sri Dasam Granth ties in with it. He also detailed the maryada of Bir Ras Bani with chatka of coconuts. Bhai Ranjit Singh Rana (Sahib Magazine) spoke about the significance of Chaubis Avatar and why Guru Gobind Singh wrote the bani. He stated that people were misguided on the meaning of what Guru Ji was saying. He stated the Chandi Di Var whilst being a smaller bani than others described 6 battles, and hence Sri Dasam Granth was a Yudh Granth. Bhai Manmeet Singh talked about prakash of Sri Dasam Granth taking place at the Takhts and commented on the fact that the Prakash at the Akal Takht was only stopped relatively recently. He stated that there is no Khalsa Panth no Nitnem and no Ardas without Sri Dasam Granth. He dispelled the myths on Arti Arta and the chatka of coconuts. He also gave anecdotes from Sikh History with regards to whom and where the Sri Dasam Granth was mentioned. He then re-iterated the intellectual/philosophical and physical challenge of Buddha Dal to those who talk bad about Sri Dasam Granth.
The stage secretary, Bhai Daljeet Singh, Nirmala scathed Ragi Darshan Singh, the former Akal Takht Jathedar, for creating controversy on the Sri Dasam Granth. Bhai Manmeet Singh also condemned Ragi Darshan Singh for his double standards; once he sang from Sri Dasam Granth and now he insults Dasmesh Pathshai’s Bani. Giani Balbir Singh (Damdami Taksal) maintained that a nonsensical approach was being taken by some Sikhs on trying to understand Charitropakhyan. He also spoke on the nature of Krishna Avatar. He also spoke on why the bani was important to Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderwale, who regularly took Hukumnamas from Sri Dasam Granth. Bhai Sukha Singh spoke on the Kala Afghana supporter and missionary Inder Ghagga who has been pouring scorn on the Sikh Gurus. He also stated that that the Sri Dasam Granth detractors first started on Sri Dasam Granth then they will turn on Guru Granth Sahib next. He stated that everybody should learn more about banis like Bachitra Natak.
Further Kirtan was undertaken by Gursharan Singh and Hari Singh. Bhai Harjinder Singh Lallie performed Bir Ras Raag kirtan using classical Tanti Saaj and the daughters of Bhai Amrik Singh (Damdami Taksal) and Bhai Sukhwinder Singh (Birmingham). Bhai Manmeet Singh and Bhai Harjinder Singh Lallie talked about the various text messages allegedly sent by certain individuals of organizations/groups trying to sabotage the event. This was not the first time that a Sri Dasam Granth event was trying to being derailed, the International Sri Dasam Granth Seminar Series in California in 2008 also witnessed phone calls by pseudo scholar Dr Jasbir Singh Mann to participants and organisers. Bhai Harjinder Singh Lallie stated that these detractors had done the event a favour by confirming the organiser’s belief that this event was important to the Panth and was very much needed.
The Durbar and Sri Dasam Granth Sehaj Path was given the internet treatment with viewers being able to see the proceedings live all over the world with many people tuning to see the coverage and to participant online with discussions on the event. It was also stated by the Gurudwara that regular recitals of Akal Ustat would start to take place every week and further events promoting the bani of Guru Gobind Singh would be undertaken in 2009. Siropas were given to the event organisers at the end. The event ended with the Ardas being with the Nagara being beaten again intermittently. Hukumnamas were again taken from both Granths, firstly Guru Granth Sahib Ji and then Sri Dasam Granth. Sukh Asan (posture of rest) was conducted of both Granths and Guru Granth Sahib lead the way and Sri Dasam Granth followed as they both made their way to Sachkhand. The organisers are very thankful to all those who attended and showed their support for Sri Dasam Granth and to all the Panthic Jathebandia such as Nihang Singhs, Damdami Taksal, Nanaksar and Nirmaley Samparda for their support.
For more photos visit: www.sridasamgranth.com