This the part 5 of our conclusive section of the introduction to Charitropakhyan. This part
has generally remained neglected by the so called 'commenters'. Dialogues of minister ‘Bhoop’ concludes the Charitar 403 and the composition begins under a new title ‘ਸਬੁਧੀ ਵਾਚ’ (Sabuddhi Vaach). The word ‘ਸਬੁਧਿ’ is shortened form of ‘ਸਦ-ਬੁਧਿ’ which means ‘ਚੰਗੀ ਬੁਧੀ’ (good intellect). The metaphorical meaning is that King Chitr Singh eventually came to his senses with persistent inspiration from his wise ministers. A more comprehensive and global meaning is, when wise and responsible people present before society the dangers of crimes originating from lust (karma) in a proper manner, people become prudent and pleasing atmosphere is then created. The writer of Charitropakhyan tells that with the advent of prudence, Sat Yug-like age dawned again. Negating the age of Sat Yug as given in Shastars, it has been described as an age where expansion of positive reasoning takes place, ending society’s seemingly inexhaustible preoccupation with bad habits. The pitch black night of Kal Yug in which inexorable sexual misconducts take place is pleasantly transformed into Sat Yug by the light of positive intellect. In fact, this ideology is in complete harmony with that of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, who tell us that it is not time that influences good or bad behaviour in society, rather it is human conduct that make time appear good or bad. With the end of Kal Yug and rise of Sat Yug, a character named ‘ਸਤਿ ਸੰਧਿ’ (Sat Sandh) appears in the story. Word ‘ਸਤਿ ਸੰਧਿ’ (Sat Sandh) is a combination of two words – ਸਤਿ meaning ‘truth ‘and ਸੰਧਿ, which means ‘union’. Thus, ‘ਸਤਿ ਸੰਧਿ’ is someone who has merged and become one with truth. Because Sat Sandh is a truthful person, as such he is king of Deities (Devtas). He ruled as a righteous king for long time but then a monstrous demon took birth and clashed with him. Many horrific battles were fought between them, with battlefields drenched with blood of thousands of perished soldiers. In Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji, wherever war scene are described, reader is also provided rendezvous with horrors of war. We are also told that, even if one faction might decide to fight out of sheer desperation to defend its faith, sadistic souls will always look to find cheap pleasures out of misery of others. Devils, foxes, dogs, vultures, etc.. are only satisfied when they see rivers of human blood flowing in front of their eyes. This important trait can be seen prevalent in almost every episode of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji and the message delivered is universal: aftermath of war is never positive. Righteous men of faith have to pick up their swords in self-defence, a beautiful example of which is by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji in his eternal composition “Zafarnamah”:
ਚੁ ਕਾਰ ਅਜ਼ ਹਮਹ ਹੀਲਤੇ ਦਰ ਗੁਜ਼ਸ਼ਤ ॥ ਹਲਾਲ ਅਸਤ ਬੁਰਦਨ ਬ ਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੀਰ ਦਸਤ ॥੨੨॥
Meaning –“When an affair is past every other remedy, it is righteous, indeed to unsheath the sword.” Contrary to this, evil forces tirelessly make efforts to create atmosphere of discontentment and unrest in society.
For twenty long years and through day and night, the torch-bearer of righteousness king Sat Sandh kept fighting with ‘ਦੀਰਘਦਾੜ੍ਹ’ (Deeragh Daarh), the king of demons. Eventually, both armies clashed with each other one final time and ended up wiping each other out. Thirty thousand Khoohni soldiers got killed (Khoohni is a unit used to measure size of an army – 1 Khoohni = 21,870 elephants, 21,870 chariots, 65,610 horses and 109,350 foot soldiers, it totals to 218,700 units. Multiply this number by 30,000 = 6,561,000,000 total soliders killed). After that, both kings ferociously clashed with each other. Horrifying battle ensued and there were flames of fire everywhere. Out of these flames, a girl named ‘Baala’ was born. Dictionary meanings of word ‘Baala’ are – girl, female younger than 16 years of age, youthful girl. Baala’s emergence from fire has a special metaphorical meaning – With the advent of Sat Yug, man became ‘Sat Sandh’ (pure, virtuous), and consequently, woman abandoned her corruptness (as depicted in Charitars) and took birth in a new, pure form. When virtuous Baala stepped into the battlefield with arsenal of weapons in her hands, she started slaying enemies, as:
ਚਾਰਹੁ ਦਿਸਾ ਫਿਰੀ ਜਬ ਬਾਲਾ ॥ ਜਾਨੋ ਨਾਗ ਰੂਪ ਕੀ ਮਾਲਾ ॥ ਐਸ ਨ ਕਤਹੂੰ ਪੁਰਖ ਨਿਹਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਥ ਕਰੈ ਜਿਹ ਆਪੁ ਸੁਧਾਰਾ ॥੩੦॥
Meaning – When Baala ran about in all four directions (it appeared as if she was) like a garland of snakes. There was no such male in sight, who could make her his own.
This is the ultimate aim of the creator of Sri Dasam Granth – to bestow women with power, to raise them from pits of helplessness and sexual exploitation and establish them at a level of power much higher than that of men. From this revolutionary successful attempt of Guru Ji, brave and powerful women like Mai Bhago, Bibi Harsharan Kaur, women like those who lived in brutal conditions of the prisons of Mir Mannu, those who kept their devotion unwavering for Guru Ji even while having garlands of chopped babies around their necks, those who braved strenuous labour in captivity chanting ‘Satnaam’, were born in Gurughar out of the bright flames of Chandi. By referring to women by names like Chandi, Bhagauti, Tulwar, Teer, Guru Ji blessed them with form of Maha-Chandi. In Guruji’s composition “Sabudh Baach”, protagonist ‘Baala’ has only one objective – to marry the lord of universe – Waheguru Ji. There is absolutely no affect of sexual urges on her body, mind and spirit. She has become like the soul whose only aim is to be one with The Supreme-Purity. The following verse shows her eagerness to obtain the Lord:
ਫਿਰ ਜਿਯ ਮੈ ਇਹ ਭਾਤਿ ਬਿਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਬਰੌ ਜਗਤ ਕੇ ਪਤਿਹਿ ਸੁਧਾਰੀ ॥ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਕਰੌ ਦੀਨ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਸੇਵਾ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਨ ਕਾਲਿਕਾ ਦੇਵਾ ॥੩੧॥
Then she considered in her heart – I will marry the lord of this universe. Now how do I serve her so that Kaalka Deva is pleased (with me)
This Kaalka Deva is not Mahakaal, but the creator of ‘Kaal’ – Akal Purakh Himself. The story gets immensely deep and absorbing from here on. Akal Purakh said to Baala that you will be able to attain me when the demon ‘ਸ੍ਵਾਸ ਬੀਰਜ’ (Swas Beeraj) gets killed by you.
ਅਰਧ ਰਾਤ੍ਰਿ ਬੀਤਤ ਭੀ ਜਬ ਹੀ ॥ ਆਗ੍ਯਾ ਭਈ ਨਾਥ ਕੀ ਤਬ ਹੀ ॥ ਸ੍ਵਾਸ ਬੀਰਜ ਦਾਨਵ ਜਬ ਮਰਿ ਹੈ ॥ ਤਿਹ ਪਾਛੇ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਮੁਹਿ ਬੁਰਿ ਹੈ ॥੩੫॥
Meaning –After midnight had passed, lord command – when demon Swas Beeraj gets killed (by you), after that you will be able to marry me
The verse means that when lustful tendencies get destroyed from the breath (Swas) of society (i.e when even minute dormant urges are eliminated), woman’s only motive would be to attain Akal Purakh. According to the story, Baala fought ferociously and as a result many infamous demons got killed.
She has been given the name ‘ਕਾਲਕਾ’ (Kaalka) in verse no. 52, i.e. woman has been depicted as competent Devi. At this stage, ‘Kaal Purakh’ manifests himself in front of Baala, who bows in reverence and requests his help to eliminate demonic forces. Kaal Purakh agrees and they both join hands together in destroying the demons. It is worthy to note that in almost all episodes of Sri Granth Sahib Ji where Devi is mentioned, the prime motive is to provide befitting veneration and infuse such self-determination in woman so that she could even outperform men in the destroying the evil, i.e. men and women could be of assistance to each other. Guru Ji is not in favour of any sort of imbalance in society; he neither favours male-dominant nor female-dominant social structure. He is staunch supporter of absolute equality and fair justice to everyone. The plan to uproot sexist attitudes and gender discrimination comes to fruition in ‘Sabudh Baach’. If these stories appear to have Puranic connotations, it is simply because during the time of Guruji’s social revolution, Puranas and their contents were deeply imbibed in society’s psyche for centuries. The only motive of Puranic references in Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji is to infuse passion for Dharam Yudh in minds of people. In the story, when Shiv (the Mahakaal of Shaakatpanthis) witnesses formidable alliance of Kaal and Baala proving relentless in war, his throne starts to shake:
ਮਹਾਦੇਵ ਆਸਨ ਤੇ ਟਰਾ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਤ੍ਰਸਤ ਬੂਟ ਮਹਿ ਦੁਰਾ ॥ ਨਿਰਖਿ ਬਿਸਨ ਰਨ ਅਧਿਕ ਡਰਾਨਾ ॥ ਦੁਰਾ ਸਿੰਧ ਕੇ ਬੀਚ ਲਜਾਨਾ ॥੮੦॥
Meaning –Mahadev (shiva) got scared and left his throne; Brahma got scared and hid in his lotus; Vishnu also got petrified; (and) hid under the ocean.
The poet has also exemplified ‘Kaal Purakh’ in the following verses, as:
ਤੁਮ ਹੋ ਸਕਲ ਲੋਕ ਸਿਰਤਾਜਾ ॥ ਗਰਬਨ ਗੰਜ ਗਰੀਬ ਨਿਵਾਜਾ ॥ ਆਦਿ ਅਕਾਲ ਅਜੋਨਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਭੈ ॥ ਨਿਰਬਿਕਾਰ ਨਿਰਲੰਬ ਜਗਤ ਮੈ ॥੯੧॥ਨਿਰਬਿਕਾਰ ਨਿਰਜੁਰ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ॥ ਪਰਮ ਜੋਗ ਕੇ ਤਤੁ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸੀ ॥ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਨਵ ਨਿਤ੍ਯ ਸੁਯੰਭਵ ॥ ਤਾਤ ਮਾਤ ਜਹ ਜਾਤ ਨ ਬੰਧਵ ॥੯੨॥ਸਤ੍ਰੁ ਬਿਹੰਡ ਸੁਰਿਦਿ ਸੁਖਦਾਇਕ ॥ ਚੰਡ ਮੁੰਡ ਦਾਨਵ ਕੇ ਘਾਇਕ ॥ ਸਤਿ ਸੰਧਿ ਸਤਿਤਾ ਨਿਵਾਸਾ ॥ ਭੂਤ ਭਵਿਖ ਭਵਾਨ ਨਿਰਾਸਾ ॥੯੩॥ਆਦਿ ਅਨੰਤ ਅਰੂਪ ਅਭੇਸਾ ॥ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਭੀਤਰ ਕੀਯਾ ਪ੍ਰਵੇਸਾ ॥ ਅੰਤਰ ਬਸਤ ਨਿਰੰਤਰ ਰਹਈ ॥ ਸਨਕ ਸਨੰਦ ਸਨਾਤਨ ਕਹਈ ॥੯੪॥ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੈ ॥ ਧਰਿ ਧਰਿ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਫਿਰਤਿ ਅਨੇਕੈ ॥ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਕਹ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਭਰਮਾਯਾ ॥ ਆਪੇ ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ਦਿਖਾਯਾ ॥੯੫॥ਘਟ ਘਟ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਇ ਪੁਰਖ ਬ੍ਯਾਪਕ ॥ ਸਕਲ ਜੀਵ ਜੰਤਨ ਕੇ ਥਾਪਕ ॥ ਜਾ ਤੇ ਜੋਤਿ ਕਰਤ ਆਕਰਖਨ ॥ ਤਾ ਕਹ ਕਹਤ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਜਗ ਕੇ ਜਨ ॥੯੬॥ਤੁਮ ਜਗ ਕੇ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਰਤਾਰਾ ॥ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਜਾਨਨਹਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਨਿਰਵੈਰ ਨਿਰਾਲਮ ॥ ਸਭ ਹੀ ਕੇ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਤੁਹਿ ਮਾਲਮ ॥੯੭॥ਤੁਮ ਹੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਿਸਨ ਬਨਾਯੋ ॥ ਮਹਾ ਰੁਦ੍ਰ ਤੁਮ ਹੀ ਉਪਜਾਯੋ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਹੀ ਰਿਖਿ ਕਸਪਹਿ ਬਨਾਵਾ ॥ ਦਿਤ ਅਦਿਤ ਜਨ ਬੈਰ ਬਢਾਵਾ ॥੯੮॥ਜਗ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਰੁਨਾਨਿਧਿ ਸ੍ਵਾਮੀ ॥ ਕਮਲ ਨੈਨ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੇ ਜਾਮੀ ॥ ਦਯਾ ਸਿੰਧੁ ਦੀਨਨ ਕੇ ਦਯਾਲਾ ॥ ਹੂਜੈ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨਿਧਾਨ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲਾ ॥੯੯॥
Like the theme of compositions like ‘Krishnavtar’, in Subudh Baach too, characters like Khan, Mughals, Sayyed, and Sheikhs enter into battlefield to contend against Kaal Purakh. From the fire of Demons khans are born; and Mughals are born out of the fire from mouths of Pathans. Similarly, from the raging breath of Mughals, angry Sayyeds and Sheikhs are born. The opposers of Sri Dasam Granth find these descriptions meaningless while the fact is, these metaphorical statements exquisitely portrays similarities between the monstrosities of Mughals in India and evil Demons of Puranas. When Pathans invaded India, they burnt the Hindustanis with their fuming rage; when Mughals invaded, they put entire sub-continent into despair and turmoil. Similarly, Sayyeds and Sheikhs showered the locals with their extreme anger and hatred. No one came to India to establish peace and prosperity amongst the population. Just as like Nahar, Khan, Jharajhar Khan, Nihang Khan, Bharangh Khan, Jharangh Khan, Bairam Khan, Bahadur Khan, etc. fight against Mahakal, Mughals kept launching vitriolic attacks against religious beliefs of the people of India.
In the story, Mahakal has been portrayed in contemporary context, which provides clear hints that this Mahakal is certainly not Mahakal of Shaakats, because there is absolutely no references to wars between Mughals and Mahakal in any earlier historical or mythological episodes. This Mahakal is the One who has been constantly battling against unholy and impious forces right from Satjug to Kaljug, the present time of Guruji. Therefore, the Mahakal of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji is none other than the ever-omnipresent Akal Purakh Waheguru. In the story, Mughals do not get scared when Mahakal first destroys Pathans. However, they flee when He starts annihilating them too. Then, He wipes out the Sayyeds and next in line are the Sheikhs. The word Sheikh refers to those sufis who had a definite, albeit implicit, religious agenda of initiating massive wave of conversions in India. They had totally different methodology of converting people than someone like Aurangzeb, nevertheless motives were the same. Descriptions of Mahakal destroying the very existence of all ‘Turks’ represents Guru Ji’s wish to eradicate the process of conversions, because they were inhumane and downright ugly. The opposers of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji should never forget that someone who can turn any war episode to fit contemporary issues most certainly cannot be a Pandit of Puranas. He can only be a far-sighted leader whose aim is to break free the people of india from shackles of contemporary problems. There is another important facet to be kept in mind about Sabudh Baach – The protagonist Baala, who fought with immense courage on the advent of Sat Yug does not appear anywhere in this present episode for a long time. This, again, is a subtle hint that the present social order has rendered the otherwise capable woman absolutely powerless. However, she reappears in the form of Bhawani and joins Kaal Purakh again in war efforts once all the ‘Turk’ Demons have been destroyed. (A clear inspiration delivered through this event is, if women of today get up to fight against oppressors, they can also put an end to evil regimes.) In the end, the following verses appear, which we read daily in Chaupai Sahib:
ਪੁਨਿ ਰਾਛਸ ਕਾ ਕਾਟਾ ਸੀਸਾ ॥ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਸਿਕੇਤੁ ਜਗਤ ਕੇ ਈਸਾ ॥ ਪੁਹਪਨ ਬ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਗਗਨ ਤੇ ਭਈ ॥ ਸਭਹਿਨ ਆਨਿ ਬਧਾਈ ਦਈ ॥੩੭੫॥
ਧੰਨ੍ਯ ਧੰਨ੍ਯ ਲੋਗਨ ਕੇ ਰਾਜਾ ॥ ਦੁਸਟਨ ਦਾਹ ਗਰੀਬ ਨਿਵਾਜਾ ॥ਅਖਲ ਭਵਨ ਕੇ ਸਿਰਜਨਹਾਰੇ ॥ ਦਾਸ ਜਾਨਿ ਮੁਹਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਉਬਾਰੇ ॥੩੭੬॥
Based on the above, we can fairly conclude that the composition of Chritropakhyan addresses the most vital issues that influence from an individual to a society in large which develops the culture and practices. We would appreciate that the virtues has to be maintained to keep the principals rooted deep into the human mind. The perception of life has to be seen as a contribution towards a better world and sustain its stability. The ideal human life has to be balanced between desires and the aim of life in light of truth. Last but not not the least, we as a civilised world should appreciate and be grateful for the invaluable gift of this composition by our great Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.