Brahma Avtar

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Sri Dasam Granth Sahib
(ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ)

Dasam Granth.jpg

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Jaap - Akal Ustat - Bachitar Natak - Chandi Charitar Ukat(i) Bilas - Chandi Charitar 2 - Chandi di Var - Gyan Parbodh - Chobis Avatar - Brahm Avtar - Rudar Avtar - Sabad Patshahi 10 - 33 Swaiyey - Khalsa Mahima - Shastar Nam Mala - Ath Pakhyan Charitar Likhyate - Zafarnama - Hikayats
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ਕਈ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਪਾਨਪਹਾਰ ॥ ਕਈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੇਦ ਉਚਾਰ ॥

Many indras are in His service, many Brahmas recite the Vedas,
ਕਈ ਬੈਠਿ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਮਹੇਸ ॥ ਕਈ ਸ਼ੇਸ਼ਨਾਗ ਅਸੇਸ ॥੯॥

Many Shivas sit at His Gate and many Sheshnagas remain present in order to become His bed.
((Brahma Avtaar))

Brahma Avtar is a informative composition which was composed by Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib, which is included in Sikh Scripture called Dasam Granth. The Brahma Avtar contains 343 verses. Following the Chaubees Avtar are 2 ballads: Brahm Avtar (343 verses) and Rudra Avtar (498 verses). The first of these described the egotism within Brahma and how excessive vanity lead to his 7 incarnations on Earth: Valmiki, Kashyap, Shukra, Brahaaspati, Vyas, Khat, and Kalidas.

  • Mangal : ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ i.e The Lord is One and He can be realized through the Grace of the true Guru
  • Title : ਅਥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਅਵਤਾਰ ਕਥਨੰ ॥ i.e Now being the description of Brahma Incarnation
  • Verses : 343
  • Language : Braj

These are seven in number so also called Saptrishi working under the guidance of the highest creative intelligence i.e Almighty or Akal Purakh. These souls bring down the divine wisdom through utterances or writings.

It is often misinterpreted that Guru Gobind Singh was worshiper of Lord Brahma but in commencement of this composition he considered him worshiper of Akaal and all Brahma Avtar worked under Akaal and those who gone against Akaal remained entangled. These compositions are for information purposes. Neither writer nor follower of writer believe Brahma avtars as god

Concept of Avtar in Gurmat

  • Meaning of Avtar: In, Gurmat defines 'avtaar' as The soul who has taken birth onto this mortal earth. In Adi Gur Granth Sahib, the state is mentioned as
    ਅਵਤਰਿ ਆਇ ਕਹਾ ਤੁਮ ਕੀਨਾ ॥
    it says that O Soul(Councious Mind) what have you done after taking avtaar/birth?
    Every being whether a snake or donkey, etc.:
    ਸਰਪਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਕੈ ਅਉਤਰੈ ਜਾਏ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਖਾਇ ॥੧੦੭॥
     :shall be reincarnated as snakes, and eat their own offspring. ||107||
    The words ਅਵਤਰਿ, ਅਉਤਰੈ denotes mortal.
  • Difference with Hindu Belief: This is opposite to Hindu belief which says Avtar to be deliberate descent of any of Supreme Being(i.e., Vishnu for Vaishnavites) and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation". Sikhism does not believes that Akaal Purakh takes form the reason it is called Ajooni. In Gurmat, Soul is a Formless entity and when it takes form, the state is termed as Avtar or appearance. Such soul is also called Raam Ki Ansh or Anshavtar. In this state, Soul forget it's divinity and supreme entity for that Gurmat, the spiritual knowledge, is given for divine awakening, i.e to turn into Supreme/Original state but Akaal Purakh does not take form. The superiority of Avtars is rejected in Dasam Granth Sahib and Adi Granth Sahib
ਦਸ ਅਉਤਾਰ ਰਾਜੇ ਹੋਇ ਵਰਤੇ ਮਹਾਦੇਵ ਅਉਧੂਤਾ ॥ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਭੀ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਤੇਰਾ ਲਾਇ ਥਕੇ ਬਿਭੂਤਾ ॥੩॥ (Guru Granth Sahib)

ਜੋ ਚਉਬੀਸ ਅਵਤਾਰ ਕਹਾਏ ॥ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਭੀ ਤੁਮ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤਨਿਕ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥ (Dasam Granth)

Details of Brahma Avtar

Brahma Avtars were considered as:

  • Divine Origin,
  • Supreme Poets,
  • Skillful Writers,
  • Composed major Holy Books like Ramayana, Shrutis, Raghuvansa etc.
  • Supreme Guide (Helped Kings)

The Brahma Avtar starts with Ustati of God:

ਜੇ ਤਾਸ ਨਾਮ ਜਪੰਤ ॥ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਭਾਜ ਚਲੰਤ ॥ ਨਹਿ ਤ੝ਰਾਸ ਤਾਕੋ ਸ਼ੱਤ੝ਰ ॥ ਦਿਸ ਜੀਤ ਹੈ ਗਹਿ ਅਤ੝ਰ ॥੫॥
Those who remember His Name, never run away; they do not fear their enemies and wearing their weapons and other arms, they conquer all the directions.

ਤਿਹ ਭਰੇ ਧਨ ਸੋ ਧਾਮ ॥ ਸਭ ਹੋਹ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਜੇ ਝਕ ਨਾਮ ਰਟੰਤ ॥ ਤੇ ਨ ਕਾਲ ਫਾਸ ਫਸੰਤ ॥੬॥
Their houses are filled with wealth and all their tasks are fulfilled; those who remember the Name of one Lord, they are not entrapped in the noose of death.

Brahm Avtar also includes the lines:

ਕਈ ਕੋਟ ਕ੝ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥ ਕਈ ਰਾਮ ਬਾਰ ਬ੝ਹਾਰ ॥ ਕਈ ਮੱਛ ਕੱਛ ਅਨੇਕ ॥ ਅਵਲੋਕ ਦ੝ਆਰ ਬਿਸੇਖ ॥੧੧॥
Many Krishna and Rama incarnations sweep His Door, many Fish and Tortoise incarnations are seen standing at His special gate.

It also mentioned that God is formless, having no Roop, no Rekh and no Rang:

ਜਿਹ ਰਾਗ ਰੰਗ ਨ ਰੂਪ ॥ ਸੋ ਮਾਨੀਝ ਸਮ ਰੂਪ ॥
ਬਿਨ ਝਕ ਤਾਕਹ ਨਾਮ ॥ਨਹਿ ਜਾਨ ਦੂਸਰ ਧਾਮ ॥੧੬॥
Only that Lord should be adored consistently, who is beyond attachment, colours and form; none other except the One Lord should be kept in view.

Incarnations Descriptions

It is cleared from these lines that the incarnation which sikhs misunderstood are of brahma are actually of Brahm (God), and these incarnations know the God so they are called brahma. Dasam Bani itself states that millions of brahma are there in world and so gurbani:

ਗਨਿ ਚ੝ੳਬਿਸੇ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥ ਬਹ੝ ਕੈ ਕਹੈ ਬਿਸਥਾਰ ॥ ਅਬ ਗਨੋ ਉਪ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਮ ਧਰੇ ਰੂਪ ਮ੝ਰਾਰ ॥੨੦॥
All the twenty-four incarnations have been enumerated in detail and now I am going to enumerate the smaller incarnations how the Lord assumed the other forms.

ਜੇ ਧਰੇ ਬ੝ਰਹਮਾ ਰੂਪ ॥ ਤੇ ਕਹੇ ਕਾਬ ਅਨੂਪ ॥
Those forms which Brahma assumed, I have narrated them in poetry.

Brahma were those who used to write books, vedas or puranas etc. God send such kind persons so called brahma, to give the message of god. The whole Brahma Avtar is about them.

Seven Brahma Avtars in Dasam Granth

  • Valmiki
  • Kashyap
  • Sukra
  • Baches
  • Vyas
  • Khat
  • Kalidas

External links