Poet Shyam

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Poet Shyam is how the author introduces himself in some of the compositions of Dasam Granth. This articles examines the two views that are prevalent on the identity of the writer. The traditional view of the Sikh community coming from generations is that this is the pen-name of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

However, there is resurgence of the need to re-examine this viewpoint. Some in the community believe that due to various inconsistency in the ideologies of Sikhism as perpetuated in the Guru Granth Sahib and historical dates and facts this stand point cannot be maintained without further detailed investigation.

There are some compositions where the author doesn't identify himself at all. It is upto oneself, if one wants to see Poet Shyam as the author of the whole Granth, or only of the compositions he mentions his name in (Poet Shyam is used as authors name in Gyan Parbodh, 24 Avtar and Charitropakhyan compositions).

Pro Dasam Granth views

  • Pro Dasam Granth people often say that the Poet Shyam, Ram and Kaal are the names of one person (Guru Gobind Singh), who used pennames while writing the compositions.
  • Other Sikhs are only pro Nitnem Banis, which have been sanctified by the Sikh Rehit Maryada.
  • Where the worldly matters are depicted their Shyam is used and where the Spiritual matters are depicted, Ram is used there

But the questions that arises then is that, If all of the Guru's from Guru Angad to Guru Tegh Bahadur wrote Bani under the name of Nanak, to show that all Gurus had Nanak Jot, then why didn't Guru Gobind Singh Ji write Bani using Nanak's name?

Pro Dasam people descibes Ram and Shyam to be part of soul of every human being. Ram and Shyam are used in one swaiya, which itself tells that it's written by Same person. When it comes to Ram, then Ram is one which talks about one and resides in saintly person, and same person contains Shyam when their brain speaks about temporal world. Bhagat Namdev clears Ram Shyam existence in all.

ਸੰਤਾਂ ਮਧੇ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ੝ ਆਛੈ ਗੋਕਲ ਮਧੇ ਸਿਆਮ ਗੋ ॥
The Lord of the Universe, Govind, is within His Saints; Krishna, Shyaam, is in Gokal.

ਨਾਮੇ ਮਧੇ ਰਾਮ੝ ਆਛੈ ਰਾਮ ਸਿਆਮ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗੋ ॥੪॥੩॥
The Lord, Raam, is in Naam Dayv. So here they are: Raam, Shyaam, Govind. ||4||3||

Anti Dasam Granth views

Some say that this is the poet of Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Darbar (Court) known only by the name Poet Shyam. This can be seen in Mahan Kosh of Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, under the entry 'Bawanja Kavi' and also in Kavi Santokh Singh's magnum opus Suraj Prakash Granth. Howhever, Poet Shyam of Dasam Granth does have influence of English, which seems out of place for a poet living in Guru Gobind Singh's time.

More research for Poet Shyam's life is needed. It is request to reader of article pls come forward.

Internal evidence

This has been proven by 'internal evidence', with the original text (including page and line number. Poet Shyam comes several times as the authors name in the compositions, Gyan Parbodh, 24 Avtar and Charitropakhyan. The name Shyam as author poet appears 641 times in Krishan Avtar only (section of 24 Avtar).

Lets see where Poet Shyam appears in Dasam Granth:

  • Page 413, Line 2: The poet Shyam is narrating it according or his own under-standing.1.
  • Page 431, Line 11: Both the gods and demons unitedly churned the ocean, which hath been narrated in verse by the poet Shyam.
  • Page 433, Line 4: All these names have been reckoned by the poet Shyam according to his own understanding; considering them in small number, poets requested not to slander me.8.
  • Page 492, Line 2: The poet Shyam knows him as fourteenth incarnation.4.
  • Page 563, Line 1: The poet Shyam has described this incident in the above-mentioned way.323.
  • Page 651, Line 12: Seeing the flying fireworks in the sky, the poet Shyam says this figuratively that it appear to him that the gods were flying the citadels of paper in the sky, seeing this miracle.33.
  • Page 666, Line 6: This vessels full of oil and ghee fell down from her hands on the earth; the poet Shyam visualized this scene in his imagination; on the other hand, hearing about the killing of Putna, there was great tumult in Braja country and the suffering of the earth ended.104.
  • Page 669, Line 4: Then sitting on the sand, all the children clap their hands and the poet Shyam says that all of them sing songs from their beautiful mouths.119.
  • Page 669, Line 9: The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna, the Lord of Braja, loves the streets of Braja and he is fully absorbed in the game of hide and seek with other gopa children.121.
  • Page 669, Line 11: The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says while mentioning this simile that in order to see this splendour, the sages engaged in various disciplines of yoga are also getting sacrificed.122.
  • Page 670, Line 3: They are offering the remaining butter to monkeys causing them to eat; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that in this way Krishna is annoying the gopis.123.
  • Page 672, Line 11: Then seeing the marks of sticks on the body of Krishna, the mother, in attachment, began to weep; the 'poet Shyam says that beating of such a saintly personality cannot be thought about, one should not even get angry before him.136.
  • Page 673, Line 2: There were small bells tightened over the girdle; the poet Shyam says that the charity and the glory of austerity cannot be described; the mother, in delight, is singing the songs about Krishna from her mouth.138.
  • Page 673, Line 13: Krishna kept running and his mother was exhausted; the poet Shyam says that when Krishna was caught, he the Lord of Braja was tied with the ukhal (large wooden mortar).143.
  • Page 676, Line 8:The voices of "Bravo, Brovo" were heard in the three worlds and there were supplications "O Lord ! Lighten the burden of the earth." Listen to this story attentively, as described by the poet Shyam.157.
  • Page 678, Line 9: Some of them, twisting the leaves began to play on them like musical instruments; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that seeing this wonderful spectacle, the wives of Indra felt embarrassed in heaven.166.
  • Page 685, Line 2

Speaking out his mind, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ gives this simile that the earth, clad in the garments of various colours in imagining herself becoming the chief queen of Krishna.196.

  • Page 690, Line 3

At the same time, one thousand golden-horned cows, sacrificing them on Krishna, were given in charity; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that in this way, extending their extreme attachment in mind, this charity was given to Brahmins.220.

  • Page 691, Line 1

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna did a very difficult task and with this his name spread in all the ten directions and all this work was done like a juggler, who chews and digests all, keeping himself out of sight.224.

  • Page 691, Line 6

Various colours were splashed on women and the women beat the men with staffs (with affection); the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna and beautiful damsels are together playing this tumultuous Holi.225.

  • Page 692, Line 10

All are singing there Jaitsri, Malsri and Sri Raga; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna, in pleasure, is playing several musical modes on his flute.231.

  • Page 693, Line 2

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that remembering that simile, he is composing the Kabit stanza in his mind and describing that the god of love has awakened in the body of all women and rolling like a snake.233.

  • Page 693, Line 7

Krishna, the son of Nand, is playing on his flute and the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that hearing the sound of the flute, the sages and the beings of the forest are getting pleased;

  • Page 694, Line 2

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ appears indecisive in his mind about his beauty and says that he has not been able to find a winsome person like Krishna though he has roamed from east to west in order to see one like him.239.

  • Page 704, Line 7

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says, "O goddess ! Thou art the death of the demons and lover of the saints and the creator of the beginning and the end;

  • Page 706, Line 1

Someone gives the simile of doe for the eyes and the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that like the soul pervading the bodies of the human being, Krishna pervades in the minds of all the gopis.292.

  • Page 706, Line 7

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that on one side the gopis are keeping awake and on the other side, Krishna does not get a wink of sleep at night, they are pleased to see Krishna with their eyes;

  • Page 721, Line 6

Krishna, the son of Nand, is the giver of comfort to all, enemy of Indra, and master of true intellect; the face of the Lord, who is perfect in all arts, ever gives its mild light like the moon; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the sage Narada also remembers him, who is the destroyer of the sorrow and anguish of the saints;

  • Page 723, Line 12

All repeat His Name; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says, that the Lord (Krishna) is the gretest of all; he, who saw him slightly with his mind, he was assuredly allured by his power and beauty in an instant.381.

  • Page 724, Line 4

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ has said about this spectacle that Krishna was standing like a warrior with his shield, not caring for the rain of arrows.383.

  • Page 725, Line 5

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ has said regarding his going away that he went repenting, like a serpent losing his glory after getting its jewel (Mani) plundered.388.

  • Page 728, Line 9

When Krishna and Indra were engaged in talk, there came Kamadhenu, the cow; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that she eulogised Krishna in various ways;

  • Page 734, Line 14

Seeing the signs of his eyes, the Bhils are getting terrified, the hearts of all the gopis are allured by Krishna; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that in order to give pleasure to all, the Lord (Krishna) has assumed the garb of a Thug.444.

  • Page 736, Line 14

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that amidst all the gopis, Krishna is looking impressive, with antimony in his eyes; his beauty is being seen like the pure beauty of the lotus-flowers;

  • Page 737, Line 11

Listening to the sound of the flute of Krishna, all the gopis lost their consciousness; they abandoned their house-work, having been absorbed in the tune of the flute of Krishna; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that at this time Krishna appeared like the deluder-lord of all and the duped gopis have completely lost their understanding;

  • Page 740, Line 9

He absorbed himself with the gopis who were blazing with lust; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that in this amorous play, it is beyond comprehension whether Krishan has created the gopis or gopis have cheated Krishna.472.

  • Page 741, Line 14

Whatever happened with the gopis, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ tells about it saying that they seemed like fish writhing after quarrelling and separating themselves from the sea.480.

  • Page 743, Line 9

He, who gave Lanka to Vibishana and in great fury, killed the demons; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that it was he who protected the saints and destroyed the wicked;

  • Page 746, Line 8

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the gopis are swimming the Yamuna` s water and seeing those women of the gait of the elephant acting according to the wishes of their hearts, the deer of the forest are also getting pleased.504.

  • Page 750, Line 2

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the gopis are playing with Krishna at nice places on abandoning the city in rainy season and moonlit nights.522.

  • Page 750, Line 3

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that gopis have played with Krishna at nice places and it seems that Brahma has created the sphere of gods;

  • Page 750, Line 5

On this side, Krishna was accompanied by his boy-friends and on that side the gopis gathered together and started; a dialogue ensued on various issues concerning pleasure; according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’:

  • Page 752, Line 5

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that in this way, the love between Krishna and the gopis continued. Krishna accompanied the gopis and leaving the amorous play came back home;

  • Page 752, Line 14

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that on hearing the story of the amorous play, Radha, the daughter of Brish Bhan came running; the face of Radha is moonlike and her body is beautiful like gold;

  • Page 756, Line 14

The gopis, adorning all their limbs with ornaments, applied antimony to their eyes; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that in this way, they stole the mind of Lord Krishna.557.

  • Page 757, Line 4

He, seeing whom the god of love and the moon feel shy, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the same Radha, adorning herself, is playing with Krishna;

  • Page 757, Line 9

While describing that spectacle, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ elucidated the glory of the ladies and says that their faces are like the power of the moon and their eyes are like lotus-flowers;

  • Page 757, Line 12

The lightning and the doe of the deer are feeling shy and shattering their own pride; narrating that story, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that all the women are allured on seeing the form of Krishna.562.

  • Page 758, Line 12

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that all the women are beautiful and seeing the beauty of Krishna, all have merged in him;568.

  • Page 760, Line 2

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ is appreciating him, whose beauty is unique; for having whose sight, the bliss increases and listening to whose speech, allsorts of sorrows come to an end;

  • Page 760, Line 5

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that all the gopis are playing together with Krishna and they have no consciousness abhout their limbs and raiments;

  • Page 761, Line 12

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ lauds him, who is wearing yellow garments; the women are coming towards him singing the musical modes of Sarang and Gauri;

  • Page 762, Line 1

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ praises him, who is the enemy of demons, who is a praiseworthy warriors, who is a great ascetic among ascetics and who is a great aesthete among men of taste;

  • Page 767, Line 12

He, who had killed the demon named Mur and had measue ed half the body of Bali; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the same Madhave is absorbed in amorous and passionate play with the gopis.613.

  • Page 771, Line 1

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says, "Saturated with the relish of music Krishna is dancing on that plane; he is wearing tightly the white cloth, dyed in saffron;

  • Page 771, Line 6

Seeing this spectacle even the gods are getting fascinated; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the image of flute-wielder god of love seems magnificent amongst the gopis.633.

  • Page 778, Line 4

The gopis began to sing their favourite song; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that they were extremely pleased and all the sorrow of their mind ended.673.

  • Page 778, Line 11

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says, "Now it will be talked among women that Krishna has forgotton Radha."676.

  • Page 780, Line 9

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna, standing on a beautiful spot, is playing on his flute. "I have been sent to you for this that I may run and bring you there;

  • Page 783, Line 13

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that with out seeing the amorous sport of Krishna, why do you persist in sitting here? My mind is eager to see his amorous sport.699.

  • Page 785, Line 5

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that messenger was telling Radha that she was impatient to behold her. "O beautiful damsel! I am a sacrifice to you; now you go quickly go Krishna."705.

  • Page 788, Line 7

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that this gopi (Radha) does not fear even slightly from Krishna, he is a sacrifice on her boldness when she says that Krishna be brought before her.722.

  • Page 789, Line 12

Now leave her and roam with these gopis; or you may go yourself and bring her after persuation;" hearing these words, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna went himself towards her.728.

  • Page 790, Line 12

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Radha said, "O Krishna! I was blissfully playing and roaming with you; I endured the ridicule of the people and did not recognize anyone else except you;

  • Page 792, Line 12

You are in love with Chandarbhaga and you had compelled me in anger to leave the arena of amorous play;" the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that on saying this much, that deceitful one heaved a long sigh.741.

  • Page 793, Line 13

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Radha became absorbed in the love of Krishna; she said smilingly to the Lord of Braja and the winsome luster of her teeth,

  • Page 796, Line 6

They were extremely delighted and all their sufferings ended; according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, this time is most fortunate for all of them.760.

  • Page 810, Line 14

Obeying the words of the king of Yadavas, that woman applied that balm on his body; seeing the beauty of Krishna, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ has attained extreme happiness;

  • Page 821, Line 10

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says, "Those very fortunate gopis are remembering Krishna; losing their consciousness, they are absorbed in the passionate love of Krihsna;

  • Page 823, Line 7

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that they learnt all the sciences in sixty-four days; on the sixty-fifth day they went in front of their guru and request him (to accept a religious gift);

  • Page 823, Line 13

According to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, this battle continued for twenty days; just as a lion kills the deer, in the same manner Krishna, the king of Yadavas, knocked down that demon.888.

  • Page 837, Line 1

Since the day on which Krishna left Braja, he has sent none other except you; whatever love he had extended to us, he has forgotton all that;" according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ he himself had been engrossed with the people of the city of Mathura,

  • Page 847, Line 4

By this act, there was so much approbation of Krishna, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that with this praise even uptil this day, the daytime appears white in the sphere of death.998.

  • Page 847, Line 12

He stays away from the sins and the savious of the people from all types of ailments; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the same Krishna is the Supreme Pundit who describes the mysteries of the four Vedas 1001.

  • Page 848, Line 13

And considered the small nephews as merely nephews and not the creator of the world. In this way, this story happened there, which has ben sung by the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ in praise of Krishna.1006.

  • Page 884, Line 14

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that they had not even the slightest fear in this dreadful war and rushed forward shouting "Kill. Kill"; it appeared that the clouds of doomsday were thundering.1185.

  • Page 886, Line 8

Someone is fighting with the girdles and someone is fighting by inflicting blows with his spear; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that only those people are fighting, who think of their family-traditions.1192.

  • Page 905, Line 11

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says, just as someone removes a grave ailment with the help of medicine or a good poet on listening to a poem of poetaster does not appreciate it in the gathering,

  • Page 912, Line 13

In this way, obtaining the boon, Krishna mounted on the chariot with pleased mind; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that on account of his repetition of the name, he obtained the boon of killing the enemy;

  • Page 915, Line 10

He died and fell down on the ground and according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ he might have committed the sin of killing many kings, then this arrows of Yama like a Cobra had stung him.1347.

  • Page 924, Line 8

Kharag Singh again ran forward killing seven horses and many soldier on foot in the war; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that at the same instant, Kharag Singh killed fifty other great warriors;

  • Page 975, Line 11

Twelve Suryas, Varuna, Chandra, Indra, Kuber etc. were struck blows; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that all other warriors struck blows; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that all other warriors who were standing there, were all put to shame.1679.

  • Page 990, Line 8

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, while describing that spectacle says that it appears to him that the `anger` had manifested himself apparently in order to see the war-scenes.1766.

  • Page 998, Line 2

Krishna killed the army rushing like clouds; a great part of the army was divided into fragments on seeing Krishna; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that there the hope of the warriors for victory ended.1805.

  • Page 1004, Line 5

He deprived many chariot-riders of their chariots and wounded ,many of them. The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that in this way Balram exhibited his bravery to the warriours.1835.

  • Page 1017, Line 7

His mystery has not been comprehended even by the sage Atri, Parashar, Narada, Sharda, Sheshnaga etc.; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ has described it in poetic stanzas; O Lord ! how can I then please Thee by describing THY glory?1902.

  • Page 1023, Line 12

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that surrounding the mountain from all the ten direction, it was set on fire; with the blowing of the powerful wind, the fire burst into flames;

  • Page 1024, Line 12

The warriors who came to fight with Krishna, they fought with extreme zest; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that before the strength of Krishna. No warrior can hold patience.

  • Page 1029, Line 7

Indra leaving his city alongwith the gods came to see this city and the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna had designed very nicely the outline of this city.1962.

  • Page 1030, Line 5

The marriage of Balram was solemnised with Rewati and in this way according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, this episode of the marriage was completed.1967.

  • Page 1033, Line 14

And others came alongwith the army in order to welcome him; according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, all the warriors were extremely pleased in their mind.1984.

  • Page 1042, Line 3

He did not run away from the battle and began to frighten Pradyumna in order to restrain him from fighting; according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, in this way, this battle continued there.2027.

  • Page 1049, Line 4

All the Yadavas were wonder-struck to see this anger of Krishna and the same story has been related by the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ in his Stanzas.2062.

  • Page 1058, Line 10

The ministers looking at Krishna, described him as the suitable match; then according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, the king of Oudh felt extreme happiness.2109.

  • Page 1067, Line 6

He said to those people," You may now go with me taking this tree to my home;" then all went with Krishna and all this has been narrated by the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ in his poetry.2150.

  • Page 1067, Line 8

Then Krishna related the whole story to his family members and the same has been described in totality by the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ in his poetry, with great pleasure.2151.

  • Page 1069, Line 6

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ has composed this complimentary story of Rukmani absorbing himself in it and what will happen now, please listen to it with interest.2159.

  • Page 1073, Line 7

Krishna also made them understand and came to his place taking his daughter-in-law with him; I, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, am relating the story and pleasing the listeners.2183.

  • Page 1079, Line 11

Any powerful warrior, taking his bow and arrows in his hands and in fury, fell upon him, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that he could not return alive.2216.

  • Page 1082, Line 6

He, who has praised Krishna, he has earned approbation in the world; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ has related the same virtues, according to his wisdom, by the grace of the saints.2230.

  • Page 1083, Line 12

And performing your aarti (circumambulation) by burning the incenses and blowing the conches; buy the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that without love one cannot realise God, the hero of Braja.2237.

  • Page 1093, Line 7

He had been adoring Shiva and Ganesha; according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’, he has wasted his precious birth in vain, withoutgetting any merit for this and the nest world.2284.

  • Page 1101, Line 13

They used to sleep at night and fight during the day and the story of the battle of both the warriors is related by the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’.2325.

  • Page 1102, Line 5

He took a straw in his hand and cleaved it and saw towards Bhima with mysterious look, Bhima likewise cleaved the king according to the saying of ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’.2327.

  • Page 1106, Line 3

The heroes like Arjuna and Bhima, sat silently with fear; the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that the poets are a sacrifice to his most charming figure.2343.

  • Page 1108, Line 4

In the war, fighting with the enemies, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says, these mighty heroes realised the tax and gave gifts in charity according to the Vedic injunctions;

  • Page 1109, Line 9

Yudhishtar was seated there alongwith his four brothers and Krihsna, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that that elegance was indescribable.2359

  • Page 1122, Line 6

Leaving the narration of the story of wonderful play, they are seeing Krishna with wonder and the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that Krishna instructed the gopis about knowledge.2425.

  • Page 1123, Line 9

The ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that then Devaki came to Krishna and considered him as the True Lord in her mind, as the creator of all the fourteen worlds,

  • Page 1127, Line 7

Narada also sings His praises on his Vina (lyre), but according to the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ without love none could realise Krishna as Lord-God.2452.

  • Page 1133, Line 7

Discuss in his mind about the Lord on listening about Him from others, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that he will not assume another body and transmigrate.2482.

  • Page 1134, Line 2

The frogs croak day and night, the birds always fly, but the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ says that inspite of repeating (the Name) and running hither and thither, none has been able to please Krishna without love.2486.

  • Page 1279, Line 7

In his way, the ‘‘‘poet Shyam’’’ has described the episode of the great sage Dutt; this chapter is now being completed hailing the Lord of the world and the mother of the world.498.

Poet Shyam: Darbari Kavi?

Some say that this is the poet of Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Darbar (Court) known only by the name Poet Shyam. Two of the most reputed books in Sikhi, Mahan Kosh (encyclopedia of Sikhi by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha) and Sri Gurpartab Suraj Granth (by Kavi Santokh Singh) give the name of the 52 Poets in Guru Gobind Singh's court. In both of which, Poet Shyam DOES appear.

Howhever many people that are anti Dasam Granth (Bhai Harmanjit Singh Akali, etc) don't share the view that it is the same Poet Shyam, as for them, it is not believable that even someone in Guru Ji's court could write such poetry. Poet Shyam of Dasam Granth does have influence of English, which seems out of place for a poet living in Guru Gobind Singh's time. Either the Poet Shyam is not one of the Darbari Kavi's OR he was a Darbari Kavi and wrote some/all compositions, and later some people under British rule edited passages in the text. More research for this, and Poet Shyam's life is needed.

Mahan Kosh

The list is from Mahan Kosh by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha under the phrase 'Bavanja Kavi' (Fifty two poets.)

1. Uday Rai 2. Ani Rai 3. Amrit Rai 4. Allu 5. Asa Singh 6. Alim 7. Ishavar Dass, 8. Sukh Dev, 9. Sukha Singh, 1 0. Sukhia, 11. Sudama, 12. Sainapat, 13. Shyam 14. Heer, 15. Hussain Ali, 16. Hans Ram, 17. Kallu, 18. Kuveresh, 19. Khan Chand, 20. Gunia, 21. Gurdas, 22. Gopal, 23. Chandan, 24. Chanda, 25. Jamaal, 26. Tehkin, 27. Dharam Singh, 28. Dhanna Singh, 29. Dhayan Singh, 30. Nannoo, 31. Nishchal Dass, 32. Nihal Chand, 33. Nand Singh, 34. Nand Lal, 35. Pindi Dass, 36. Ballabh, 37. Balloo, 38. Bidhi Chand, 39. Bulland, 40. Brikh, 41. Brij Lal, 42. Mathura, 43. Madan Singh, 44. Madan Giri, 45. Malloo, 46. Maan Dass, 47. Mala Singh, 48. Mangal, 49. Ram, 50. Rawal, 51. Roshan Singh, 52. Lakha.

Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth

Kavi Santokh Singh gives this as the list of the Bavanja Kavi's in his magnum opus Suraj Prakash.

1. Nand Lal, 2. Ratee Rai, 3. Amrat Rai, 4. Attu, 5. Asa Singh, 6. Balam, 7. Iswar Das, 8. Sukh Dev, 9. Sukha Singh Sukhia, 10. Sudama, 11. Senapati, 12. Shyam, 13. Haer, 14. Hussain Ali, 15. Hans Rao, 16. Kallu Kubresh, 17. Khan Chand, 18. Gania, 19. Gurdas, 20. Gopal, 21. Chandan, 22. Chanda, 23. Jamaal, 24. Dahkan, 25. Dharam Singh, 26. Dhanna Singh, 27. Dhyan Singh, 28. Nanu, 29. Nihchal Das, 30. Nihal Chand, 31. Nand Singh, 32. Uday Rai, 33. Bullo, 34. Bhudhi Chand, 35. Buland, 36. Brikh, 37. Braj Lal, 38. Mathura, 39. Madan Singh, 40. Madan Gir, 41. Mullo, 42. Maan Das, 43. Mulla Singh, 44. Mangal Ram, 45. Raval, 46. Roshan Singh Makhan, 47. Alam, 48. Lakhan, 49. Udai Rai


The identity of Poet Shyam is a big mystery. All we can say is that he was a poet living outside of Punjab who had some English influence. The English word 'near' and some others have been used in the poetry with the same meanings as in English.

Infosikh.com on Poet Shyam

Q. In Dasam Granth Sahib Ji there are a number of places where the name Shyam has been used and this confirms that the composition was written by a poet Shyam and not Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Guru Ji has varyingly used the pen-names of ‘Shyam’, ‘Ram’ , ‘Shah Gobind’ and ‘Gobind Das’ in his compositions according to the meter in which they fitted. This is not unusual, other poets like Ghalib, Zafar and Bhai Nand Lal have also adopted multiple pen-names, this should not therefore create any confusion in the minds of the readers of the Dasam Granth. ‘Shyam’ and ‘Ram’ were the nick names with which Mata Gujri Ji used to call Guru Gobind Singh Ji as a child. According to the customs prevalent at that time it was inappropriate for a woman to call out the name of her father-in-law. By calling the young Gobind Rai “Shyam’ and ‘Raam’ Mata Gujri Ji avoided saying the name Gobind, which occurred in the name of her father-in-law, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

This misunderstanding about the appearance of names ‘Ram’ and ‘Shyam’ in Dasam Bani was first created by the self-styled puritans called the Bhasurias. They tried to prove that most of the Dasam Granth was written by the poets Ram and Shyam, names which occur in one or two compositions in the Dasam Granth. There is more than sufficient internal and external evidence in every composition to show that all the writings in the Dasam Granth were the works of Guru Gobind Singh. The names Ram and Shyam are used in some places as pen names. Thinking a little deeper, they were actually not pen names but poetic translations of Guruji's names. Guruji's name Gobind is an attributive name of God; so also are Ram and Shyam. In Sikh theology the three words Govind, Raam and Shyam mean the same thing as the following quotations from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji prove:

dharasan ko lochai sabh koee ||
poorai bhaag paraapath hoee || rehaao ||
shyaam su(n)dhar thaj needh kio aaee ||
mehaa mohanee dhoothaa laaee ||1||

Everyone longs for the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan.
By perfect destiny, it is obtained. ||Pause||
Forsaking the Beautiful Lord, how can they go to sleep?
The great enticer Maya has led them down the path of sin. ||1||
(Guru Arjun Dev Ji Raaj Suhi ang 745)

siyam sundar taj an jo cahit jio, kusti tun jok. Bhagat Surdas. Raag Sarang

govid govid govid har govid guni nidhaan....
govid govid govid jap mukh ujhal pardhan Guru Ram Das Ji. Raag Kanara

ram ram kirtan gae ram ram ram sada sahae Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Raag Gaund

In respect to Guru Granth Sahib Ji calling God a poet there are many instances of such here is one;

ਕਬਿ ਕਲ ਸ੝ਜਸ੝ ਗਾਵਉ ਗ੝ਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਜ੝ ਜੋਗ੝ ਜਿਨਿ ਮਾਣਿਓ ॥ ੨॥
KAL the poet sings the Sublime Praises of Guru Nanak, who enjoys mastery of Raja Yoga, the Yoga of meditation and success. ||2|| Ang 1389

ਕਬਿ ਕਲ ਸ੝ਜਸ੝ ਨਾਨਕ ਗ੝ਰ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਇਓ ॥ ੧੦॥
Says KAL the poet, the Sublime Praises of Guru Nanak intuitively permeate each and every heart. ||10|| Ang 1390

In all the above quotations from Guru Granth Sahib Ji the words Raam, Shyam and Govind mean the same thing; and so also they do in Dasam Granth Ji where they stand for Guru Gobind Singh. That is why two or sometime all three of these names occur in the same composition. This practice of writing a synonym for the proper noun in the Dasam Granth applies not only to his own name but to many other names also.

If it really was a poet called Shyam who wrote Krishan Avatar as indicated by the name 'Shyam' appearing at the end of some shabads, then why did Shyam not start the composition with his own name? The composition actually starts with Guru Ji declaring himself as the author.

Here is the start of Krishan Avatar :


Je Je Krishan charitra Diakhai
Dasam Beech sabh bakh sunai
All the events that took place in the life of Krishna
Are contained in Tenth chapter of Bhagvata puranas

Giyaran sehas banvein chhanda
Kahe dasam pur baith ananda
It contains 1192 verses
All of which are adapted by the Guru at Anandpur Sahib

At the very beginning it is stated that this compsition has been written by the Guru of Anandpur Sahib, and that can only by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

In fact if one takes a little time to study all the compositions in Dasam Granth Ji, all start in a similar vein. Jaap Sahib Ji starts with "siri mukh vaak patshahi dasmi" - From the sacred lips of the tenth Guru. A compositions have Guru Gobind Singh Ji's stamp at the beginning -

This is the beginning of Vaar Bhagauti Ki.

Victory be to the Wondrous Lord. Invocation to Sri Bhaggauti. Vaar Sri Bhagauti Ki . The Tenth Master.

First and foremost I remember Bhagauti, and then set my mind on Guru Nanak. Then I seek the help fo Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das and Guru Ram Das. Arjan, Sri Hargobind and (Guru ) Har Rai be remembered. Sri Harkrishan be meditated upon whose mere glimpse removes all sorrows. (Guru) Tegh Bahadur be remembered as it causes the home to flourish. They all assist me at all places (1)

Firstly it states clearly that this is the composition of the Tenth master. Secondly only the Tenth Master could leave out his own name when remembering the previous Gurus, a poet in the court of Guru Gobind Singh Ji having recited the names of the nine previous Gurus would never leave out the Tenth masters name. This clearly indicates that the composition is of Guru Gobind Singh Jis pen.s that the composition is of Guru Gobind Singh Jis pen.

Here is the beginning of Gian Prabodh.

Realised through the grace of the True Preceptor. Invocation of Sri Bhagauti. Now begins the Gian Prabodh Branth The Tenth Master.

Sri Akal Ustat

Realized through the grace of the True Protector; Copy of the original in the hand of the Tenth Guru. Blessed am I with the protection of Akal; Available to me is the defense of Sarbloh (All Steel) Blessed am I with the shield of Sarbkal; Available ever is the protection of Sarbloh. Salutations to the Primal Ek Onkar, He permeates over the earth and sea. He is Primal Being, unmanifest and indestructible. His spirit pervades all the fourteen regions.

The opening passage of the Akal Ustat (eulogy to God) makes no mistake as to whose protection Guru Ji seeks.

In the Dasam Granth Ji, Guru Gobind Singh writes 'Netra Trung' for Naina Devi, 'Satdrav' for Satluj, 'Dasampur' for Anandpur, 'Shah Sangram' for Sango Shah, and 'Madra-desh' for the Punjab. Guru Ji has not stuck to a ridgid set of rules when composing gurbani and this should not cause confusion within the Sikhs. Even in our own times Bhai Sahib Vir Singh's maternal uncle Pandit Hazara Singh wrote his name Hazoor Hari while his father Dr. Charan Singh wrote his name Charan Hari. Sardar Dharma Anant Singh, in his book Plato and the True Enlightener of Soul, writes the name of Sant Attar Singh as Mrigindus Atrus.

Q. In Guru Granth Sahib Ji all shabads by the Gurus end in Nanak, yet Nanak very rarely appears in Dasam Granth. Why did all Gurus use Nanak? Because they were followers of Nanak’s philosophy. Was tenth Nanak against Guru Nanak's philosophy?

The anti-Dasam Granth brigade have really excelled themselves in the ignorance department. One cannot compare Guru Granth Sahib Ji with Dasam Granth Ji. They are two separate scriptures dealing with entirely differing areas, concepts and ideas.

Why did Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji create the concept of Miri – Piri?

Why did Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji create the Akaal Takhat opposite Sri Harminder Sahib? If there was already a seat of authority with Guru Granth Sahib Ji installed within it why did Guru Ji feel the need to create Akaal Takhat opposite ?

Why Did Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji erect two Nishan Sahibs at Amritsar?

The answer is quite simple, because each has a different role a different purpose. The two are neede to make a whole. A person cannot be just a sant he needs also to be a sapahi. In the same way Dasam Granth Ji cannot be compared with Guru Granth Sahib Ji as it deals with altogether different areas of human nature.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji starts with Ek-on-kaar, and this concept is explored in Mool Mantra. The Mool Mantra is expanded upon in Japji Sahib, and the whole of Guru Granth Sahib Ji explores and expands on the concept of God and how to reunite with him, emanating from Japji Sahib. Dasam Granth on the other hand, deals with concepts of chivalry, valor, honour, Bir ras, the various fascets of God, His creation and some darker sides of human nature. Since they are different in content and in style then there is no reason why they Dasam Granth should stick to the same rules. So to compare the two is just foolish.

The question can also be posed that why did not Guru Gobind Singh Ji add his compositions to Guru Granth Sahib Ji when Guru Ji created the final form? Guru Ji was the tenth Nanak yet decided not to include his compositions, the fact that he did not does not diminish them in any way, it is the glory of Guru Gobind Singh Ji that in all humility Guru Ji decided not to include his compositions. Yet where Guru Ji’s bani is required, as in the daily nitname of panj banis and in the preparation do Khanday-tha-amrit, then Guru Ji made is absolutely clear that his banis are to be recited. That is the hukam of your Guru, disobey it at your peril!