Bani Birdh Pratap

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BANI BIRDH PRATAP is a collection of religious and devotional poetry in a mixture of Braj and Punjabi, written in Gurmukhi script by Baba Ram Das, a Divana sadhu. The volume is preserved with reverence due to a religious scripture in the dera or monastery of the Divana sect established by Baba Ram Das himself when he arrived in 1800 Bk/AD 1743 at the head of a group of sadhus and settled on the eastern outskirts of the town of Patiala.

According to the Divana tradition, Ram Das blessed Maharaja Sahib Singh that a very lucky son will be born to him, and accordingly when a son was born to him in 1855 Bk/AD 1798, the Maharaja named him Karam (karam = luck or fortune) Singh, and donated to the dera 500 bighas of land further eastwards of the town. The work, completed on Chet sudi 12, 1859 Bk/23 April 1802, was published in 1981 by the then custodian of the dera.

The volume contains hymns under different musical measures such as Siri, Gujari, Kedara, Tilang, Bilaval, Ramkali, Prabhati, Gauri, Jaijavanti, Dhanasari and Bhairau. Poetical metres used include couplets, triplets, octets, etc. The volume begins with verses eulogizing the guru whom the author identifies with God Himself (p. 45). The author pays homage to the Ten Gurus of the Sikh faith whom he regards as one in spirit sharing the same spiritual light (pp. 4043). There are verses on themes such as the importance of repeating the Divine Name, truthful living and devotion to the guru. The volume also contains lilas of Balmik and Draupadi as well as hymns lauding gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology and the bhaktas. It concludes with the Ragamala reproduced from Sikh Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib.