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Harjinder Dilgeer and his nonsensical assertions

- another spat and yet another failure-


Bakshi Atamjot Singh

Figures won’t lie, but liars will figure — Charles H. Grosvenor

For some time now, Harjinder Singh Dilgeer has been flaunting all the characteristics of a
turncoat and a sacrilegious traitor. It had become quite obvious that Dilgeer, once on a pay-roll of
the premier Sikh body SGPC, who was writing as per Sikh traditions and scriptures, had
become the pallbearer of the anti-Sikh forces and mutated into a Sikh adversary when he started
questioning the same traditions and scriptures which he once vouched for. This change was so
sudden that an external hand in this transformation could not be ruled out.

Just a few years ago he was quite active in the process that culminated with the
excommunication of Kala Afghana from the Panth and was attending and addressing meetings
for this purpose. And how, only after few years, he jumped into the same band-wagon of this
notorious club of Kala Afghanis, which he himself vehemently once opposed, is quite amusing.
Earlier he was writing about Rehat Maryada, Sikh traditions, philosophy and now all of a sudden
he started writing against his own beliefs.

A few months ago Dilgeer made headlines when he printed and distributed a booklet which he
named ‘nitnem’, from which he mischievously removed ‘Jaap Sahib’, ‘Tve Prasad Savaiye’ and
‘Chaupai Sahib’. His anti Sikh stance was getting clearer from the company he was keeping. It
was from Dilgeer’s stage that excommunicated-Sikh Joginder Sahni of Spokesman newspaper
declared in a lecture that Guru Nanak Sahib was not in favor of bestowing Gurgaddi to any other
Guru after him.

Towing the line of turncoat Darshan Singh Ragi, Dilgeer also became critical of Sri Dasam
Granth, the second most respected Granth of the Sikhs, and the source of
Khalsa nitnem, amrit and ardas. Ironically, like Ragi, Dilgeer too had lots of respect for
the banees of Sri Dasam Granth until few years ago. And like Ragi, Dilgeer too became a
renegade challenging his own writings and beliefs. Why he chose to become a sellout is quite
amusing if not surprising.

Recently a propaganda video has emerged where Dilgeer is being interviewed on Sri Dasam
Granth. With the contentions Dilgeer has presented in that interview it has become crystal clear
how intellectually bankrupt Dilgeer is when it comes to knowledge on the content and history of
Sri Dasam Granth. With half baked knowledge and tampering with the historic sources, Dilgeer
has tried to present himself as a scholar of Sri Dasam Granth. However he has not only failed to
present any substantiated claims, but also exposed himself with his nonstop jabbering against
Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s banees. He seems to be so occupied with his blabbering in the interview
that he doesn’t even realize that he is giving self contradictory statements. For instance at one
point during the interview he even criticizes Giani Gian Singh and Kavi Santokh Singh. And at the
end of the interview he concludes his argument by giving a quote from Giani Gian Singh’s work.
Dilgeer attending a Pro Akal Takhat and Anti Kala Afghana Seminar a few
years ago. Now he is a leading member of the Kala Afghana brigade

At one point he condemns Damdami Taksal and its Mukhis including Sant Jarnail Singh
Bhindrwanwale for propagating the compositions of Sri Dasam Granth. And at another instance
he blames RSS for propagating Dasam banee, which he argues is done, so that the Khalistan
movement could be derailed. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the embodiment of Sikh
sovereignty movement who sacrificed his life for it. He had immense shardha for Sri Dasam
Granth and regularly did katha from all its compositions. Hence Dilgeer’s above contention is not
only bogus and factually incorrect but it is also fabricated like rest of his claims.

Savior or an annihilator

In the beginning of his interview, Dilgeer, playing as a protector of Sikh Rehat Maryada, claims
that onlyJaap Sahib, 33 Sawaiye and Akal Ustat compositions are part of Khalsa nitnem. Then he
throws his salvo against the other banees of Sri Dasam Granth including Chandi Di
Var, Charitropakhyan andChaubees Avtar. For the information of the readers, the fact is
presented here: The first pauree of ourardas comes from Chandi Di Var. Benti Chaupee forms a
part of Charitropakhyan and is a part of ournitnem and amrit sanchar ceremony. And
the dohras from Chaubees Avtar compositions are a part of our Rehraas Sahib. This is how much
Sri Dasam Granth is a part of our nitnem, amrit and ardas. However Dilgeer, like Darshan Singh
Ragi, has the audacity to distort a fact and denigrate the Panthictraditions, and still claim to be
savior of the Panth.

How much Dilgeer has changed his views is clear from his own writings. Regarding Chandi Di
Vaar andBachittar Natak, Dilgeer states in his Sikh Reference Book:

"Benati Chaupai. It is a composition of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. The main theme of this hymn is
to invoke the Almighty to seek his Grace and Blessing for protection in every sphere of life." (p.
72, Dilgeer, Sikh Reference Book, 1997)
"Chandi di Vaar, written by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib- the theme of this ballad is a war between
"good'’ and "evil" written in a style that one who listens to it (will) become ready to participate in
the battle for righteousness. Chandi di Vaar presents the chivalry of valiant fighters who are ever-
ready to sacrifice their lives for righteousness." (p. 72, Dilgeer, Sikh Reference Book, 1997)

"Bachitar Natak (literally 'play marvelous') is the name of the poetic drama written by Guru
Gobind Singh Sahib." (p. 69, Dilgeer, Sikh Reference Book, 1997)

‘Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!’ is from Sri Dasam Granth

When asked by the interviewer if the source of ‘Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahguru Ji Ki Fateh’ is
from Sri Dasam Granth, Dilgeer again blabbers that ‘Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh’ finds its reference
in Rehatnamasand Guru Kian Sakhian written in 1780.

The motto ‘Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!’ is a gift given to the Khalsa by its father Sri Guru Gobind Singh
Ji. He was the one who coined it and propagated it through his writings. It’s a treachery to claim
that ‘Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!’ was not the creation of our father the Dasam Patshah. The
first banee where ‘Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!’ appears in Sri Dasam Granth is Jaap Sahib. And every
composition after Jaap Sahib starts with this motto.

All the compositions of Sri Dasam Granth, except Zafarnama, were written before 1698. Even in
his ‘Sikh Reference Book’ Dilgeer writes the exact dates when the different compositions of Sri
Dasam Granth were completed:

24.7.1688 - Guru Sahib completed writing Krishnaavtar (Dilgeer, Sikh Reference Book. Page
658)

25.8.1696 - Guru Sahib completed his book Charitropakhiyan (Dilgeer, Sikh Reference Book.
Page 658)

14.6.1698 - Guru Sahib completed writing of Ramavtar (Dilgeer, Sikh Reference Book. Page 658)

And now without any reference, rhyme or reason, Dilgeer in the interview declared that Dasam
Granth came into existence 100 years ago in 1797! It seems Dilgeer has issues not only with the
history of the Khalsa, but also simple mathematics and logic.

The primary source of ‘Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!’ is Sri Dasam Granth and is the creation of none
other than Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Only after its introduction in Sri Dasam Granth, it appeared
in other historical sources of the Sikhs.

If Dilgeer agrees that Jaap Sahib was written by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, then his claim, that
‘Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!’ was introduced in 1780, stands falsified. Throughout the interview Dilgeer
seemed to be caught in the web of his own errors.

Now under what external pressure Dilgeer is challenging his own work is something to ponder
upon.

Ironically some of Dilgeer’s own neo-associates have recently proposed that because ‘Waheguru
Ji Ki Fateh!’ is from Sri Dasam Granth, it should be denounced. The detractors should first sit
among themselves and decide where they stand.

Nitpicking Bachittar Natak

In the interview Dilgeer misquotes Bachittar Natak and claims that because the writer of Apni
Kathamentions that he was sent to the World by Akal Purakh, because everyone before him did
not comprehend the Supreme Lord, means that he is denigrating Guru Nanak Sahib along with
other Guru Sahibs.

Now how Dilgeer came to this conclusion is not clear. In Apni Katha which forms part of Bachittar
Natak(Wonderous Drama), Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, being a pronounced poet, dramatizes
the driving cause behind his coming to this World for the purpose of propagating Dharma. Guru
Sahib writes:

ਹਮ ਇਹ ਕਾਜ ਜਗਤ ਮੋ ਆਏ ॥ ਧਰਮ ਹੇਤ ਗੁਰਦੇਿਵ ਪਠਾਏ ॥


I have been sent into this world by the Preceptor-Lord to propagate Dharma (righteousness).

(Bachittar Natak, Sri Dasam Granth)

And before writing this, Guru Sahib meticulously and truthfully describes how those who were
sent byAkal Purakh failed to propagate His Naam and instead declared themselves as Lord.

ਸਭ ਅਪਨੀ ਅਪਨੀ ਉਰਝਾਨਾ ॥ ਪਾਰਬਰਹਮ ਕਾਹੂ ਨ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥


ਤਪ ਸਾਧਤ ਹਿਰ ਮੋਿਹ ਬੁਲਾਯੋ ॥ ਇਮ ਕਿਹ ਕੈ ਇਹ ਲੋਕ ਪਠਾਯੋ ॥੨੮॥

Everyone placed his own interest first and foremost and did not comprehend the Supreme Lord.
When I was busy in the austere devotion, the Lord called me and sent me to this world with the
following words.28.

(Bachittar Natak, Sri Dasam Granth)

And Guru Sahib has clearly written the names of those who didn’t follow the command of Akal
Purakhof engaging the mortals towards their destiny of following only one Lord. Hence, when
Dilgeer adds the name of Guru Nanak Sahib to that list, it’s basically him who is being a Guru
Nindak.

A few stanzas after that Guru Sahib in the same composition (Apni Katha) writes that
his Dharma is theDharma which was initiated by Guru Nanak.

ਚੌਪਈ ॥
ਿਤਨ ਇਹ ਕਲ ਮੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਚਲਾਯੋ ॥ ਸਭ ਸਾਧਨ ਕੋ ਰਾਹੁ ਬਤਾਯੋ ॥
ਜੋ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਮਾਰਗ ਮਿਹ ਆਏ ॥ ਤੇ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨਿਹ ਪਾਪ ਸੰਤਾਏ ॥੫॥
ਜੇ ਜੇ ਪੰਥ ਤਵਨ ਕੇ ਪਰੇ ॥ ਪਾਪ ਤਾਪ ਿਤਨ ਕੇ ਪਰਭ ਹਰੇ ॥
ਦੂਖ ਭੂਖ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਸੰਤਾਏ ॥ ਜਾਲ ਕਾਲ ਕੇ ਬੀਚ ਨ ਆਏ ॥੬॥

CHAUPAI

Guru Nanak spread Dharma in the Kaljug and put the seekers on the path.
Those who followed the path propagated by him, were never harmed by the vices.5.
All those who came within his fold, were absolved of all their sins and troubles,
Their sorrows, their wants were vanished and even their transmigration came to an end.6.

(Bachittar Natak, Sri Dasam Granth)

Following this, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib clearly writes in Apni Katha that all the Guru Sahibs
(from Guru Nanak to Guru Teg Bahadur) are from the same Jyot. And interestingly Bachittar
Natak is one of the primary sources after Sri Guru Granth Sahib where all the Guru Sahibs have
been described as being a part of one Jyot, stressing that “only saints comprehend this fact, and
fools don’t”.
ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਗਦ ਕੋ ਬਪੁ ਧਰਾ ॥ ਧਰਮ ਪਰਚੁਰ ਇਹ ਜਗ ਮੋ ਕਰਾ ॥
ਅਮਰਦਾਸ ਪੁਿਨ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਹਾਯੋ ॥ ਜਨੁ ਦੀਪਕ ਤੇ ਦੀਪ ਜਗਾਯੋ ॥੭॥
ਜਬ ਬਰਦਾਿਨ ਸਮੈ ਵੁਹ ਆਵਾ ॥ ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਤਬ ਗੁਰੂ ਕਹਾਵਾ ॥
ਿਤਹ ਬਰਦਾਿਨ ਪੁਰਾਤਿਨ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਅਮਰਦਾਿਸ ਸੁਰਪੁਿਰ ਮਗੁ ਲੀਆ ॥੮॥
ਸਰੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਗਿਦ ਕਿਰ ਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਅਮਰਦਾਸ ਅੰਗਦ ਪਿਹਚਾਨਾ ॥
ਅਮਰਦਾਸ ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਕਹਾਯੋ ॥ ਸਾਧਨ ਲਖਾ ਮੂੜਹ ਨਿਹ ਪਾਯੋ ॥੯॥
ਿਭੰਨ ਿਭੰਨ ਸਭਹੂੰ ਕਰ ਜਾਨਾ ॥ ਏਕ ਰੂਪ ਿਕਨਹੂੰ ਪਿਹਚਾਨਾ ॥
ਿਜਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਿਤਨ ਹੀ ਿਸਧ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਿਬਨ ਸਮਝੇ ਿਸਿਧ ਹਾਿਥ ਨ ਆਈ ॥੧੦॥
ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਹਿਰ ਸੋ ਿਮਲ ਗਏ ॥ ਗੁਰਤਾ ਦੇਤ ਅਰਜਿਨਹ ਭਏ ॥
ਜਬ ਅਰਜਨ ਪਰਭੁ ਲੋਿਕ ਿਸਧਾਏ ॥ ਹਿਰਗੋਿਬੰਦ ਿਤਹ ਠਾ ਠਹਰਾਏ ॥੧੧॥
ਹਿਰਗੋਿਬੰਦ ਪਰਭ ਲੋਿਕ ਿਸਧਾਰੇ ॥ ਹਰੀਰਾਇ ਤਿਹ ਠਾ ਬੈਠਾਰੇ ॥
ਹਰੀਿਕਰਸਨ ਿਤਨ ਕੇ ਸੁਤ ਵਏ ॥ ਿਤਨ ਤੇ ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਭਏ ॥੧੨॥

Nanak transformed himself to Angad and spread Dharma in the world.


He was called Amar Das in the next transformation, a lamp was lit from the lamp.7.
When the opportune time came for the boon, then the Guru was called Ram Das.
The old boon was bestowed upon him, when Amar Das departed for the heavens.8.
Sri Nanak was recognized in Angad, and Angad in Amar Das.
Amar Das was called Ram Das, only the saints know it and the fools did not.9.
The people on the whole considered them as separate ones, but there were few who recognized
them as one and the same.
Those who recognized them as One, they were successful on the spiritual plane. Without
recognition there was no success.10.

When Ramdas merged in the Lord, the Guruship was bestowed upon Arjan.

When Arjan left for the abode of the Lord, Hargobind was seated on this throne.11.
When Hargobind left for the abode of the Lord, Har rai was seated in his place.

Har Krishan was his son; after him, Tegh Bahadur became the Guru.12.

(Bachittar Natak, Sri Dasam Granth)

The confusion that the detractors like Dilgeer has, is that they know what they are proposing is
wrong. They understand that Sri Dasam Granth is an important source of history and tradition.
However they would continue concocting lies and myths and sugar coat it with emotions in order
to carry on with their divisive propaganda. However it’s not long before their assertions stand
exposed.

‘Dasama Padshah Ka Granth’

The most ludicrous and absurd assertion presented by Dilgeer in the interview is regarding John
Malcolm. Sir John Malcolm was a Scottish soldier, statesman, and historian. He held various
distinguished posts, including Ambassador to Persia, and Governor of Bombay. He was the
author of several books regarded as authorities, including one about Sikhs published in 1812,
called Sketch of the Sikhs, a singular nation in the province of Penjab. This book by Malcolm
is one of the rarest reference materials on Sikhs of 18th century recorded by a western historian.

After witnessing the tradition of Gurmatta at Akal Takhat Sahib, Malcolm writes in details on how
the Khalsa convenes the great national council (Gurmatta). Among other things that Malcolm has
written about this tradition, he notes that when the chiefs and leaders were seated in
congregation there were two granths which were placed in front of them, ‘Adi-
Granth’ and ‘Dasama Padshah ka Granth’. This is a rare eye witness account of the events at
Akal Takhat Sahib including its maryada.
Dilgeer in the interview agrees that what Malcolm saw and wrote was correct. However he claims
that the Dasama Padshah ka Granth that Malcolm refers to is actually Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
And Adi Granth that Malcolm talks about is the Kartarpuri Beerh of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Hence
according to Dilgeer the two beerhs which Malcolm writes about in his book are actually two
different beerhs of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Now one thing that is clear is that Dilgeer has not even seen Malcolm’s book. Had he seen the
book he would not make this outrageous claim.

Reference to ‘Dasama Padshah Ka Granth’ comes numerous times in Malcolm’s book. He has
not only made reference to this granth as the creation of the tenth Guru but has also given
translations from portions of Bachittar Natak. How much the ‘Dasama Padshah Ka Granth’ or Sri
Dasam Granth was important among Khalsa also becomes clear when Malcolm writes:

“Guru Govind inculcated his tenets upon his followers by his preaching, his actions, and his
works; among which is the Dasama Padshah ka Granth, or the book of the tenth king or ruler;
Guru Govind being the tenth leader of the sect from Nanac. This volume, which is not limited to
religious subjects, but filled with accounts of his own battles, and written with the view of stirring
up a spirit of valour and emulation among his followers, is at least as much revered, among the
Sikhs as the Adi-Granth of Arjunmal”. (Malcolm. Sketch of the Sikhs. Page 51)

This fact also collapses Dilgeer’s another assertion, copied from Jasbir Mann, that Sri Dasam
Granth was introduced in Punjab in late 1800s.

Dasama Padshah Ka Granth is the primary name of Sri Dasam Granth which was prevalent
among the Khalsa in the 17th and 18th century. This title even appears on some of the
oldest beerhs. Sri Dasam Granth was never addressed with the name ‘Bachittar Natak Granth’ as
is being falsely propagated now by Dilgeer et al. Those who propagate this lie don’t even have
any knowhow of the structure of Sri Dasam Granth which is the collection of various works by
Guru Sahib, ‘Bachittar Natak Granth’ being one of them. Hence ‘Bachittar Natak Granth’ is a part
of Sri Dasam Granth, but is not the old name of Sri Dasam Granth.

Renegades’ past-time

It has become a past time of some of the renegade Sikh writers and preachers to comment on Sri
Dasam Granth without even having thorough knowledge of its liturgy and study of its contents
and languages. Classical example is Darshan Singh Ragi who recently got excommunicated for
bad mouthing Guru Gobind Singh Sahib by concocting a story with the derogatory words that
don’t even appear in Sri Dasam Granth. He had to pay heavily for his half-baked knowledge, and
now Dilgeer is following the same track. Like an eye specialist would never perform a surgery of
the ear, Ragis and writers should avoid judging Guru’s creations and writings if they can’t
comprehend its meaning. There are candid scholars who have had years of study on various
aspects of Sri Dasam Granth. If Dilgeer had any serious contention he, as a genuine writer, and a
humble Sikh, could have contacted one of those scholars and cleared his confusion. But the fact
that Dilgeer, like Darshan, decided to go public with his half-baked knowledge, just to stir
emotions and confusion, only puts a big question mark on his main intent and agenda.

Dilgeer had the audacity to go public with his false claims via an interview and get himself fully
exposed. The story of Dilgeer is not different from renegade Darshan Singh Ragi. Both were
believers until some time ago, who turned out to be traitors and turncoats and fell from grace.
Only time will tell when, not if, Dilgeer will face the Panthic axe like Darshan Singh Ragi.

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*The author is a Panthic commentator who, over the years, has closely followed the modus
operandi of those Sikh writers and preachers who have ‘switched sides’ and transformed from
Panthic to anti-Panthic. He has thoroughly analysed those individuals who, for unknown reasons,
started denigrating the Sikh ethos and preaching against their own beliefs.

See also:

Hall of Shame – The Heretics in the Panth

The Line is Drawn: The Choice is Ours