Garb Ganjni Teeka

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Garab Gajani Tika by Bhai Santokh Singh, is an exegesis in the Nirmala tradition of Guru Nanak's Japu. The commentator, a celebrated poet and chronicler and author of the monumental Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, completed the work, his only one in prose, in 1886 Bk/AD 1829. Whereas all his poetic works are written in Braj, this one is in Sadhukari. Santokh Singh undertook the writing of this commentary at the behest of his patron Ude Singh (d. 1843), the ruler of Kaithal, who, dissatisfied with an earlier tika by an Udasi sadhu, Anandghana, had wished a fresh one to be prepared. The original manuscript of Garab Ganjani Tika is preserved in the Dr Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra at Dehra Dun. It was first published in AD 1910 and again, with certain corrections and punctuations, in 1961. The latter edition comprises 184 printed pages. The work opens with an invocation to God, followed by couplets eulogizing first the Ten Gurus and then Sarasvati, the goddess of learning. The poet salutes his mentor Giani Sant Singh whom he had in his younger days heard expound this text. This also explains how he had come to launch on this Tika. He brings out the majestic sublimity of the Japu and alludes to its general popularity. These explanations occupy all of the first four pages; the exegesis proper begins at page 5. Towards the end of the work, there are four couplets explaining the title of the work: Garab Ganjam Tika is Tika or exegesis that dispels and eradicates (ganjam = that which eradicates) arrogance (garb = pride). The exegesis is proffered in the form of a gosti. The Sikh, herein called mumokhi, i.e. one who is a seeker of mokh or release, puts questions to the Guru as to how he can attain liberation and the Guru answers those questions. Since the author himself belonged to the Nirmala tradition, Vedantic colouring in his explanations predominates. He believes that the Guru's hymns can be expounded only on the basis of the exegesis already attempted of the Vedas. He regards Guru Nanak as an incarnation of the God Almighty the manifestation of Nirankar, the Formless One. The language of the work is Sadhukari, overladen with Braj and Sanskrit vocabulary.