Charitropakhyan Part 1- Introduction

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy

This composition of Sri Dasam Granth – completed at Sri Anandpur Sahib
in Bikrami 1753 (1696 AD) – is the most loathed work by this Granth’s
adversaries. It mainly describes the characters of females trapped in
pursuits of pleasure; although there are few descriptions of male
characters too. The primary sources of these Charitars are the
Mahabharata, stories from Puranas, Brihat Katha, Saritasagar Katha, Alif
Laila, and Katha Granths etc.; but they also contain famous religious,
social and historical tales from local and international places. These
stories are associated with kings and queens, prince and princesses,
wealthy people, sadhus and sanyasis, prostitutes, etc.; with mostly
amatory stories being prominent. There is a moral message, in one form
or another, attached with each of these stories; a message that is
universally applicable to entire mankind. Those who are sceptical of Sri
Dasam Granth believe that, because indecent language flows in this
composition, it cannot be work of Guruji. They consider it to be work of
Shaakat poets (worshippers of Maya), because it is their belief that
it includes Shaakatpanthis characteristics of engrossment in Maya.
Although scholars like Bhai Kahn Singh ‘Nabha’ do not doubt that it is
the work of Guruji, they believe that, in the debate that followed
within the Panth after the compilation of Banis in Sri Dasam Granth by
Bhai Mani Singh Ji, some Sikhs were of the view that since it is
difficult to read this Bani amongst mothers and sisters, it should be
left in a separate pothi so that while responsible individuals can read
and recite such Banis, wider Sangat does not get to face any moral
difficulties of doing its paath. Even though the author of this Bani has
not divided it into sections, we could divide it in logical categories
for our purposes of in-depth critical analysis and disquisition.
This Bani begins in the following manner:

ੴ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਏ ਨਮ। ਅਥ ਪਖਯਾਨ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਲਿਖਯਤੇ। ਪਾਤਸਾਹੀ ੧੦।

For the sake of convenience of our readers, we take the liberty of dividing this Bani as follows:1. It begins with ‘Chandi Charitar’ comprising of 48 verses, in which the Devi has been eulogised.2. In the second part, ministers of King Chitr Singh
tell him 402 different tales of crimes originating from sexual desires
(Kaam), so that the dreadful veil of kaam could be lifted from his
mind.3. After 403 tales, there is a composition called ‘Sabudh Baach’ in which ‘Baala’ and ‘Kaal’ clash with demons.4. In the end, there is the ever popular ‘Kabeyo Baach Benti’ (Hamri Karo Haath Dai Raccha).
A brief analysis of the above four categories can help in clearing many misconceptions about this work:

In 48 verses, the character of ‘Chandi’ has been described, but here
Chandi is not a revered Devi of Hindu or any Tantric faith. Chandi is
that force of Akal Purakh which, from the beginning of time, has been
active in destroying impious forces. This force is also the sword, and
also the blade. It is one such sword, the rein of which is diverse and
widespread even in far off lands, in all four corners; therefore, it is
inappropriate to group and limit this maternal-force to India and its
religions. It is Jogmaya (the force with which the universe is created),
Saraswati (the Devi of knowledge) and mighty Bhawani. It has brought
about the existence of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, as per the following:
In 48 verses, the character of ‘Chandi’ has been described, but here
Chandi is not a revered Devi of Hindu or any Tantric faith. Chandi is
that force of Akal Purakh which, from the beginning of time, has been
active in destroying impious forces. This force is also the sword, and
also the blade. It is one such sword, the rein of which is diverse and
widespread even in far off lands, in all four corners; therefore, it is
inappropriate to group and limit this maternal-force to India and its
religions. It is Jogmaya (the force with which the universe is created),
Saraswati (the Devi of knowledge) and mighty Bhawani. It has brought
about the existence of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, as per the following:

ਤੁਹੀ ਖੜਗਧਾਰਾ ਤੁਹੀ ਬਾਢਵਾਰੀ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਤੀਰ ਤਰਵਾਰ ਕਾਤੀ ਕਟਾਰੀ ॥ ਹਲਬੀ ਜੁਨਬੀ ਮਗਰਬੀ ਤੁਹੀ ਹੈ ॥ ਨਿਹਾਰੌ ਜਹਾ ਆਪੁ ਠਾਢੀ ਵਹੀ ਹੈ ॥੧॥
ਤੁਹੀ ਜੋਗ ਮਾਯਾ ਤੁਸੀ ਬਾਕਬਾਨੀ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਆਪੁ ਰੂਪਾ ਤੁਹੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਬਿਸਨ
ਤੂ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਤੂ ਰੁਦ੍ਰ ਰਾਜੈ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਬਿਸ੍ਵ ਮਾਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਜੈ ਬਿਰਾਜੈ ॥੨॥
ਤੁਹੀ ਦੇਵ ਤੂ ਦੈਤ ਤੈ ਜਛੁ ਉਪਾਏ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਤੁਰਕ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਜਗਤ ਮੈ ਬਨਾਏ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਪੰਥ
ਹ੍ਵੈ ਅਵਤਰੀ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਮਾਹੀ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਬਕ੍ਰਤ ਤੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬਾਦੋ ਬਕਾਹੀ ॥੩॥
ਅਰਥ (ਗਿਆਨੀ ਨਰੈਣ ਸਿੰਘ) – ਹੇ
ਭਗੌਤੀ ! ਤੂਹੀ ਸਿਧੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ ਦੀ ਧਾਰ ਏਂ ਅਤੇ ਤੂਹੀ ਟੇਢੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ ਏਂ । ਤੂਹੀ ਤੀਰ,
ਤਲਵਾਰ ਕਾਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਕਟਾਰ ਏਂ । ਤੂਹੀ ਸ਼ਾਮ ਦੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਸ਼ਹਿਰ ਹਲੱਬ ਦੀ ਬਣੀ ਹੱਲਬੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ
ਏਂ ਅਤੇ ਪੱਛਮੀ ਦੇਸ਼ਾਂ ਦੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ ਏਂ । ਜਿਧਰ ਵੀ ਮੈਂ ਵੇਖਦਾ ਹਾਂ ਉਥੇ ਤੈਨੂੰ
ਬਿਰਾਜਮਾਨ ਪਾਉਂਦਾ ਹਾਂ ॥੧॥
ਹੇ ਭਗੌਤੀ! ਤੂਹੀ ਜੋਗ ਮਾਇਆ, ਸਰਸਵਤੀ, ਵਿਕਰਾਲ ਰੂਪ ਅਤੇ ਭਵਾਨੀ ਏਂ । ਤੂਹੀ ਵਿਸ਼ਨੂੰ, ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਮਾਤਾ ਦੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿਚ ਸਦਾ ਬਿਰਾਜਮਾਨ ਏਂ ॥੨॥
ਤੂਹੀ ਦੇਵ, ਦਾਨਵ, ਰਾਕਸ਼, ਤੁਰਕ ਤੇ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਇਸ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਵਿਚ ਪੈਦਾ ਕੀਤੇ ਹਨ । ਤੂਹੀ
ਸੰਸਾਰ ਵਿਚ ਵੱਖ ਵੱਖ ਮਾਰਗਾਂ ਦੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿਚ ਆਈ ਏਂ ਅਤੇ ਤੂੰਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦੇ ਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਚਰਚਾ
ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪੈਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ ॥੩॥

In above verses, we can see that this force manifests itself as the
source of creation of not only numerous Devis but also the three main
Devtas. In no way it is a Devi of Hindu faith, for it is the creator of
this entire universe and also of people of different faiths and
beliefs. Not only that, the spread of different faiths and religions is
its own expansion. All those who live in remembrance of Akal Purakh
are created by this very force. It has got extremely horrific
appearance and it is also like an extremely beautiful, virgin girl.
These paradoxical forms presented above are worth contemplating on.
Here, instead of being a Devi, the source of creation, or the Primal
Force, it takes on the form of a female. The protagonist of 403
Charitars is a nymph of ugly proportions whereas the protagonist
‘Baala’ of ‘Sabudh Baach’ is pure and chaste girl that is decorated
with pure qualities; she is someone whose chastity can never be
violated. This virtuous ‘Baala’ takes the position of ‘Kaur’ in Sikh
faith. It is a mistake to call ‘Kaur’ princess of the Guru. The word
‘Kaur’ (ਕੌਰ) is derived from ‘Kunwar’ (ਕੁੰਵਰਿ), which means ‘A chaste
female’ i.e. a female whose purity remains intact forever. Thus, its
ugly form is associated with a nymphomaniac, while its beauty is
associated with high moral character.
The Chandi of Charitropakhyan is the source of creation, the Devi,
the force of Maya, slayer of demons in the form of deadly weapons, and
in the form of cultured and virtuous woman too. Not only it is the
destroyer of demons like ‘Sumbh-Nisumbh’, ‘Chand-Mund’, ‘Rakhatbeej’,
etc.; it also is the source of the enunciation of all four Vedas. This
primal force is also the creator of all struggles and conflicts in this
world. It manifests as ‘Narsingh’ and destroys the demon ‘Harnakash’.
This force also takes on the form of brave men and courageous women. It
is creator of this universe and also its destroyer. It takes on the
form of Ram in order to destroy ‘Ravana’ and it also takes on the Avatar
of Krishna for the destruction of demon ‘Kans’. In these situations,
it does not remain the primal force of Shaakats and Tantriks; instead
it emerges as the constructive force of Akal Purakh Waheguru Ji, the
mention of which appears in ‘Anand Sahib’ Bani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Ji Maharaj:

ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਵਰਤਾਏ ॥

Similarly, there is also mention of this force in Guru’s Arjan Dev
Ji’s Bani ‘Maaru Di Vaar’. Here, we are told of Waheguru Ji’s dominance
and command over this force of creation. In ‘Devi Bhagvat Puran’ too,
the Devi is the force of creation – ‘Namō Devai Parkaritai’ (ਨਮੋ ਦੇਵਯੈ
ਪ੍ਰਕ੍ਰਿਤਯੈ). In reality, the Devi of Hindu Shaastras is both the force
of ‘Sankhai Shaastar’ as well as the force of God. It is present as the
force of Maya of God, above the forms of wife of Devtas and those of
numerous Devis. This quote from ‘Devi Bhagvat Puran’ verifies the above
stated fact – “Brahma asked: ‘Are you male or female?’ To this, Devi
replied: ‘The One and Only truth is Brahm, there is no difference
between us. Whatever He is, I am that. Due to ignorance, people
differentiate between me and Him. Only that Brahm is supreme, He is
indestructible and has been present even before the beginning of time
(Snatan). During the process of creation of this universe, it takes up
countless different forms and that is when we both appear different,
like a reflection in the mirror. At the end of the universe, I cease to
exist as a male or female…. “. This Devi, the force of Maya, is
definitely different from the Devi that is worshipped as the wife of
Devtas. In some areas of the Tantric faith, it appears to have
superiority over the male or Shiva. According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Ji Maharaj however, this force performs its actions as per the Hukam of
Akal Purakh Waheguru:

ਹਾਠਾ ਦੋਵੈ ਕੀਤੀਓ ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ ਵਰਤਾਈਆ ॥
ਸਿਵ ਅਗੈ ਸਕਤੀ ਹਾਰਿਆ ਏਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਈਆ ॥
(Ang 1096, SGGS Ji)

The girl ‘Baala’ of Charitropakhyan is also shown to perform her
actions within the sweet Hukam of Waheguru, although absolute victory
in ‘holy war’ initiated by the male is depicted to be impossible
without ‘Baala’ bursting into the battle scene. To win over
‘Kaal-Purakh’ in husband form is her penultimate goal. In this case,
she is the soul-bride and Kaal-Purakh Waheguru as husband. In contrast
to the indecent and ignominious union of male and female that was
mentioned in the dialogues of minister ‘Bhoop’, this establishes the
male and female union of limitless purity and pulls mankind out of the
sorry state of that disgraceful situation; and even though narrative
style may appear to be different from that of Bani of Sri Guru Granth
Sahib Ji, the similarity in the levels of purity depicted in its final
form is unparalleled and inseparable.
In this first Charitar, that primal force is in the form of Vishnu
resting comfortably on the bed of Shesh-Naag’s coil and that very force
is in the form of lion-riding Durga too. That force is also the
red-clothes-wearing Usha (in the form of red colours of Dawn) i.e. a
highly virtuous woman has the capacity to destroy darkness and deliver
new verve and freshness to life. It is also the wearer of white clothes
(in the form of bright light in high skies) and it is also the
yellow-colour-clad evening (in the form of pale yellow light of Dusk).
Thus, woman depicts limitless beauty in all three stages of life –
Childhood, Youth and Old age. Without any doubt, this Devi is Guru
Gobind Singh Ji’s vision of utopian virtuous woman, and is totally
different from the Devi mentioned in Puran-Shaasters. These sentiments
are in no way different from those depicted in the verses of universally
accepted ‘Akal Ustat’, where Waheguru has been described as
diversified in various forms of Devi:

ਕਹੂੰ ਦੇਵਬਾਨੀ ਕਹੂੰ ਸਾਰਦਾ ਭਵਾਨੀ ਕਹੂੰ ਮੰਗਲਾ ਮ੍ਰਿੜਾਨੀ ਕਹੂੰ ਸਿਆਮ ਕਹੂੰ ਸੇਤ ਹੋ ॥

In these verses of ‘Akal Ustat’, Waheguru has been referred to as
forms of Devi, because according to Sikh philosophy the force of
creation, Maya or primal-force is nothing but diversification of The
Brahm. In reality, upon reading descriptions of Chandi Charitars at
different places of Sri Dasam Granth, it appears as if Guru Gobind
Singh Ji, by saying ‘Only Thou!, Only Thou!’, is describing various
forms of Akal Purakh Waheguru and is seeing Him omnipresent in
everything around. The following verses of ‘Chandi Charitar’ exemplify
this state:

ਆਦਿ ਅਪਾਰ ਅਲੇਖ ਅਨੰਤ ਅਕਾਲ ਅਭੇਖ ਅਲਖ ਅਨਾਸਾ ॥
ਕੈ ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤ ਦਏ ਸ੍ਰੁਤਿ ਚਾਰ ਰਜੋ ਤਮ ਸਤ ਤਿਹੂੰ ਪੁਰ ਬਾਸਾ ॥
ਦਿਉਸ ਨਿਸਾ ਸਸਿ ਸੂਰ ਕੈ ਦੀਪਕ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਰਚੀ ਪੰਚ ਤਤ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸਾ ॥
ਬੈਰ ਬਢਾਇ ਲਰਾਇ ਸੁਰਾਸੁਰ ਆਪਹਿ ਦੇਖਤ ਬੈਠ ਤਮਾਸਾ ॥੧॥
Meaning – The one who is Primal, Infinite, beyond
any description, limitless, deathless, garbles, invisible, and eternal;
(who) created Shiv-Shakti, four Vedas, rajo-tamo-sato three modes of
Maya, and pervades in all three worlds; (who) created day and night,
the lamps of Sun and Moon, the whole world and the five elements; (who)
extended enmity and fight between the gods and demons and Himself
seated (separately) watches over it. [The author has made a
footnote here stating that original Gurmukhi translation of the verse
presented above is taken from Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi’s Steek (staunch
adversary of Sri Dasam Granth) so that no allegation of wrong meanings
could be levelled against him.]

ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥
ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਸਿੰਧ ਤੁਮਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਜੋ ਕਛੁ ਮੋ ਪਰਿ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਰਚੋ ਚੰਡਿਕਾ ਕੀ ਕਥਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਸੁਭ ਸਭ ਹੋਇ ॥੨॥
ਜੋਤ ਜਗਮਗੈ ਜਗਤਿ ਮੈ ਚੰਡ ਚਮੁੰਡ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ॥
ਭੁਜ ਦੰਡਨ ਦੰਡਨਿ ਅਸੁਰ ਮੰਡਨ ਭੁਇ ਨਵ ਖੰਡ ॥੩॥
Meaning – O Ocean of mercy! If Thy Grace is
bestowed upon me, (then) I may compose the story of Durga and my poetry
(Bani) could be the best |2| (whose) light is shining in the world,
(who) is the mighty destroyer of demons like Chand-Mund, (whose) mighty
arms punishes the demons and (who) is the creator of the nine regions
of this universe.

ਸ੍ਵੈਯਾ ॥
ਤਾਰਨ ਲੋਕ ਉਧਾਰਨ ਭੂਮਹਿ ਦੈਤ ਸੰਘਾਰਨ ਚੰਡਿ ਤੁਹੀ ਹੈ ॥
ਕਾਰਨ ਈਸ ਕਲਾ ਕਮਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਅਦ੍ਰਸੁਤਾ ਜਹ ਦੇਖੇ ਉਹੀ ਹੈ ॥
ਤਾਮਸਤਾ ਮਮਤਾ ਨਮਤਾ ਕਵਿਤਾ ਕਵਿ ਕੇ ਮਨ ਮਧਿ ਗੁਹੀ ਹੈ ॥
ਕੀਨੋ ਹੈ ਕੰਚਨ ਲੋਹ ਜਗਤ੍ਰ ਮੈ ਪਾਰਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਜਾਇ ਛੁਹੀ ਹੈ ॥੪॥
Meaning – It is you Durga, who ferries across the
people; you are the redeemer of earth and slayer of demons. You are the
cause of Shakti of Shiva – Parvati, and Shakti of Vishnu – Lakshami.
You are the Rajo-Tamo-Sato qualities essence of which is the poetry,
latent in mind of the poet. You are the philosopher’s stone in the
world, which transforms the iron that it touches into gold.
The same feelings are also seen in ‘Chandi Di Vaar’:

ਖੰਡਾ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੈ ਸਾਜ ਕੈ ਜਿਨ ਸਭ ਸੈਸਾਰੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥
ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਿਸਨੁ ਮਹੇਸ ਸਾਜਿ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਦਾ ਖੇਲੁ ਰਚਾਇ ਬਣਾਇਆ ॥
ਸਿੰਧੁ ਪਰਬਤ ਮੇਦਨੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਥੰਮ੍ਹਾ ਗਗਨਿ ਰਹਾਇਆ ॥
ਸਿਰਜੇ ਦਾਨੋ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਤਿਨ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਬਾਦੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥
ਤੈ ਹੀ ਦੁਰਗਾ ਸਾਜਿ ਕੈ ਦੈਤਾ ਦਾ ਨਾਸੁ ਕਰਾਇਆ ॥
ਤੈਥੋਂ ਹੀ ਬਲੁ ਰਾਮ ਲੈ ਨਾਲ ਬਾਣਾ ਦਹਸਿਰੁ ਘਾਇਆ ॥
ਤੈਥੋਂ ਹੀ ਬਲੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਲੈ ਕੰਸੁ ਕੇਸੀ ਪਕੜਿ ਗਿਰਾਇਆ ॥
ਬਡੇ ਬਡੇ ਮੁਨਿ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਕਈ ਜੁਗ ਤਿਨੀ ਤਨੁ ਤਾਇਆ ॥
ਕਿਨੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
Meaning – The supreme authority first created
Shakti in the form of double-edged sword; (then) created the entire
world. After creating Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, (then) created the
play of Nature. (You created) the oceans, mountains and land and
suspended the skies without support of any columns. (You then) created
Devtas and Demons and created strife amongst them. You also created
Durga and (through her) destroyed the demons. Ram Chander received all
his might from You, who then killed Ravana with arrows. Krishna received
the strength from You, who threw down Kans by grabbing his hair. Great
sages and Devtas practiced great austerities for many Yugas, (but out
of them) no one could find Your end.
Similar expressions can be seen in the beginning of Raas-Leela
(dance and celebration) episode of ‘Krishnavtar’. It is important to
explain here that progression and social development of women was Sri
Guruji’s first priority. At the end of ‘Bachitter Natak’, Guruji gives
hint of writing about tales associated with Avtars; however, he also
states that he will write ‘Chandi Charitar’ before ‘Avtar-Leela’. In
‘Raas-Leela’ of ‘Krishnavtar’, the amorous portrayal of Gopis was an
inseparable part in traditional puranic texts, and as such, its mention
was crucial for the poet. Before that description however, Guruji
writes about ‘Devi Di Ustat’ (eulogy to woman). The real puporse of
this narrative is to clarify that, although mention of sexuality of
Gopis was crucial, it is not the only facet of woman; rather, her true
form is that of a virtuous, brave, fierce (like edge of a sword), and
pure Devi. In the above narrative, Guruji, by saying ‘Only Thou! Only
Thou!’ creates such a majestic impression; it’s almost as if he is
praising Akal Purakh with each description of female form. In
concluding verses of ‘Devi Ustat’ in ‘Krishnavtar’, Guruji makes Akal
Purakh and Devi indistinguishable, just like in Gurbani, where all the
Avtars and their names point towards that one and only Akal Purakh

ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮੀ ਬੈਸ਼ਨਵੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਬਾਸਵੀ ਈਸ਼੍ਵਰੀ ਕਾਰਤਕਯਾਨੀ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਅੰਬਕਾ
ਦੁਸ਼ਟਹਾ ਮੁੰਡ ਮਾਲੀ ॥ ਤੁਹੀ ਕਸ਼ਟ ਹੰਤੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕੈ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲੀ ॥੪੩੦॥
ਤੁਮੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੀ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਹਿਰੰਨਾਛ ਮਾਰਯੋ ॥ ਹਰੰਨਾਕਸ਼ੰ ਸਿੰਘਣੀ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਪਛਾਰਯੋ ॥ ਤੁਮੀ
ਬਾਵਨੀ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਤਿਨੋ ਲੋਗ ਮਾਪੇ ॥ ਤੁਮੀ ਦੇਵ ਦਾਨੋ ਕੀਏ ਜੱਛ ਥਾਪੇ ॥੪੩੧॥
ਤੁਮੀ ਰਾਮ ਹ੍ਵੈਕੈ ਦਸਾਗ੍ਰੀਵ ਖੰਡਯੋ ॥ ਤੁਮੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਕੰਸ ਕੇਸੀ ਬਿਹੰਡਯੋ ॥
ਤੁਮੀ ਜਾਲਪਾ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਬਿੜਾਲਾਛ ਘਾਯੋ ॥ ਤੁਮੀ ਸੁੰਭ ਸੁੰਭ ਨੈਸੁੰਭ ਦਾਨੋ ਖਪਾਯੋ ॥੪੩੨॥
ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥
ਦਾਸ ਜਾਨ ਕਰਿ ਦਾਸ ਪਰਿ ਕੀਜੈ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਅਪਾਰ ॥ ਹਾਥ ਦੈ ਰਾਖ ਦੈ ਰਾਖ ਮੁਹਿ ਮਨ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਬਚਨ ਬਿਚਾਰ ॥੪੩੩॥

In Charitropakhyan, majority of the charitars written in dialogues of
ministers “Bhoop” present an amorous picture of females. The only
motive of writing ‘Chandi Charitar’ in the beginning of this
composition is to state that the real image of females in the mind of
the poet is not of a sexual nature. That form is only created by
wealthy people and pleasure-seeking libertines like King Chitr Singh.
In her true form, she adopts that active force which is fully capable
of eradicating all crimes and evils from this world. On one hand, there
is a social structure that gladly hands her the sword for the
destruction of tyrants, and also gives her equal opportunities to excel
and touch the peaks of success in all walks of life. On the other hand
however, there is that primitive male-dominated social order which
treats her like an object of sexual desire and keeps her confined to
the parameters of the house. Such social structure pushes her towards
destructive activities. Her extremely sharp intellect and limitless
strength is capable of breaching walls of the house; even in that
confinement, she has the capacity to destroy the biggest of kings,
wealthy and powerful people without using even a single weapon.
Therefore, it is up to the male society to decide whether it wants to
choose destruction or progression. The path of equality of men and
women leads to progression, while inequality will most certainly bring
about destruction and chaos. If male society chooses the road of
progression and gives her equal opportunities in constructive tasks,
evils, oppressions, and immorality will be destroyed. But, if she is
sidelined and forced to live under shadow of males, she will keep
reminding male society of her limitless force even while treading on
the path forced upon her. Male writes at length about her characters,
yet he is the one responsible for her destructive form. When male
society is aware of the fact that female intellect is capable of
transforming any impossibility into plausible situation, then why does
it look down on women? Why does it not use her peerless strength for
growth and betterment of humanity? In Charitropakhyan, she, with her
sharp intellectuality and limitless capability, destroys the enemies of
Faith with her fierce tigress bites; she also eradicates fears from
the minds of meek and oppressed Brahmins. Dasam Guru Pita Ji tells us
that this Devi, this force, has appeared in the form of Sri Krishna,
Lord Buddha and avatars like ‘Machh’ and ‘Kachh’. He describes some of
her capabilities in Charitropakhyan:

ਭਾਨ ਸੇ ਤੇਜ ਭਯਾਨਕ ਭੂਤਜ ਭੂਧਰ ਸੇ ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਤਨ ਭਾਰੇ ॥
ਭਾਰੀ ਗੁਮਾਨ ਭਰੇ ਮਨ ਭੀਤਰ ਭਾਰ ਪਰੇ ਨਹਿ ਸੀ ਪਗ ਧਾਰੇ ॥
ਭਾਲਕ ਜਯੋ ਭਭਕੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਭੈਰਨ ਭੈਰਵ ਭੇਰਿ ਬਜਾਇ ਨਗਾਰੇ ॥
ਤੇ ਭਟ ਝੂਮਿ ਗਿਰੇ ਰਨ ਭੂਮਿ ਭਵਾਨੀ ਜੂ ਕੇ ਭਲਕਾਨ ਕੇ ਮਾਰੇ ॥੧੮॥
Meaning – The demons were as radiant as the Sun,
and their bodies were mighty as the mountains. They were so full of ego
that they could not place their feet on the ground. They roared like
big, grizzly bears and fearlessly played horrific sounds on the
war-drums and Nagaras. These demons fell down spinning when Bhawani
attacked them with her arrows.
In reality, with Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji as base, an effort has
been made to inform the whole world that no other religion or
philosophy can match the praise and respect given to women in Sikh
faith. In Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji, the battlefields, in which even
king of men ‘Indra’ becomes unsuccessful in defeating the enemy, woman
comes out victorious. We get to see an exquisite descriptive example of
this in ‘Chandi Di Vaar’. The following appears in Charitropakhyan:

ਮਿਟੇ ਬਿਕਟੇ ਭਟ ਕਾਹੂ ਸੌ ਬਾਸਵ ਸੌ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਪਛੇਲੇ ॥ ਤੇ ਗਰਜੇ ਜਬ ਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਗਨ
ਭਾਜਿ ਚਲੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪੁ ਅਕੇਲੇ ॥ ਤੇ ਕੁਪਿ ਕਾਲਿ ਕਟੇ ਝਟ ਕੈ ਕਦਲੀ ਬਨ ਜ੍ਯੋ ਧਰਨੀ ਪਰ
ਮੇਲੇ ॥ ਸ੍ਰੋਨ ਰੰਗੀਨ ਭਏ ਪਟ ਮਾਨਹੁ ਫਾਗੁ ਸਮੈ ਸਭ ਚਾਚਰਿ ਖੇਲੇ ॥੨੯॥
Meaning – The horrible warriors could not be
destroyed; even ‘Indra’ could not manage to push them back. When they
roared in the battlefield, everyone except ‘Kali’ fled the scene. Kali
(whose form is stigmatised by society) got enraged and chopped the
warriors down; like forest of bananas trees chopped and spread on
ground. Their clothes got drench with blood; it’s as if everyone is
merrily dancing during Holi.
This is how woman’s valiant (constructive) form is depicted in the parable of ‘Chandi’ in the first Ang of ‘Charitropakhyan’.
We thank Khojee for the above enlightening article. Part 1 of 5