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Couplet ‘RAJ KAREGA KHALSA’– Was it Really Composed by Guru Sahib?



‘RAJ KAREGA KHALSA’– Was it Really Composed by Guru Sahib?

'Raj Karega Khalsa' or the khalsa shall rule which the Sikhs cry after their morning and evening prayers is the most important but controversial composition . This couplet has two vital aspects:

1. that henceforth the holy book i.e the Granth Sahib is the Guru of the Sikhs and
2. that Guru bestows self rule for the Sikhs thus it reflects collective aspiration of the Sikhs for their self rule the Raj.
India is a democratic republic where 'any group can have aspirations to rule, but through the constitutional means and obviously there was hardly anything wrong if the Sikhs made such loud cries. However, when on March 16,1948 the Akaii Dal merged itself in the Congress ,the first shot of the Congress through the Congressite Sikhs was that religion and politics were two different things. They declared that the couplet' Raj Karega Khalsa' was not the composition of Guru Gobind Singh and that it has been coined, long after the death of the Guru at Nanded. They  further argued that the Couplet does ' not form part of any recognised ' composition of the Guru. Sycophant or pro-Govt writer never lagged behind to toe the Govt line to say that the Dohira was not the Guru’s composition.
At this Master Tara Singh who felt , isolated made an attempt to tell the Sikhs that the Couplet was the creation of the Guru himself, Master's long statement on record is more of an emotional appeal than some argument , based work. On the other hand the Congressites claimed to have support 'of scholarly works of eminent : professors and writers, who had professed that the Couplet was a  creation of the 'Misal period' and had  'nothing to do with the Guru. So much so even the acknowledged historian Prof. (Dr.)I Ganda Singh also said, "lt forms, a part of the Tankhahnama of Bhai   Nandlal . lt was obviously sung by the  Khalsa during the days of Banda  Eahadur (1710-16)".
After the 'declaration' by Dr. Ganda Singh whose integrity towards objective presentation of history was well known and never suspected this issue was virtually settled in favour of Congressite version . After that a series of articles appeared every where to support that the Couplet was not composed by the Guru . As a result of which today any Sikh believes that the Couplet is not the creation of the Guru himself but is just the part of some Rahitnama This includes historians of the present period.
 During our study of the books & granths of post Guru Gobind Singh period we were startled to find that all (yes 100 % of them) writers pointed that the fact was on the contrary And we feel that Dr, Ganda Singh has not done justice to the issue and without examining from all sides he declared that the Couplet was not the creation of the Guru. lt appears he only saw it in the Tankhahnama and gave his verdict while rest of the writers like Dr. Gopal Singh were motivated and obviously we have nothing to say about them.
 The Couplet or Dohira
The Couplet has many forms but the initial three stanzas are common namely
(i)                lt is within the will of God that this religion was created and all the Sikhs are hereby called upon to accept Granth as the Guru here after.
(ii)               Accept the Granth Sahib as the body of the Guru and those with pious heart and soul will search through it and
(iii)              The Khalsa shall rule one day and all hostile rebels shall perish . ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ
ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ ਅਕਾਲ ਕੀ।
ਤਬੈ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਪੰਥ॥
ਸਭ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ।
ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ॥
ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਮਾਨਓ।
ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਕੀ ਦੇਹੁ॥
ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੋ ਮਿਲਬੋ ਚਹੈ।
ਖੋਜ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਮੇਂ ਲਹੁ॥
ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ।
ਆਕੀ ਕਹੇ ਨਾ ਕੋਇ॥
ਖਵਾਰ ਹੋਇ ਸਭ ਮਿਲੇਗੇ।
ਬਚੇ ਸ਼ਰਨ ਜੋ ਹੋਇ॥’’
Some unknown writers have however added more lines to it.
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਮ ਜ਼ਹਾਜ ਹੈ
ਚੜੈ ਸੋ ਉਤਰੇ ਪਾਰ
ਜੋ ਸ਼ਰਧਾ ਕਰ ਸੇਵਦੇ
ਗੁਰ ਪਾਰ ਉਤਾਰਨਹਾਰ
Like Waheguru name is like a ship and who so ever sails through it with complete faith and dedication shall cross the ocean of life.
Gurudwaras in Delhi read a few more lines from the baniof Guru which has reference to the martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur at Delhi.  
The Couplet doesn't form part of any of Guru's Writings?
The Couplet was cornposed by the Guru on the day he passed away. lt is thus absurd on the part of opponents of the Couplet to say that it does not form part of any of Gurus writings and is not therefore Guru's work.How can one expect a dying person to write a book?.
Guru Gobind Singh on the death of emperor Aurangzeb had gone to the Deccan along with Emperor Bahadur Slrah. The Guru was one evening resting in his tent at Nanded (in Maharashtra) when he was stabbed twice in the abdomen by a hireling of Governor of Serhind, Vazier Khan and sucumbing to the stab injuries three days later he passed away.
The Guru had then a few hundred of highly dedicated Sikhs with him while a few hundreds had earlier left for Punjab along with Banda Bahadur. On the third day of his injury wherr the Guru ded*red that he would be shedding the body to merge with God the Sikhs were crestfallen and raised wails. Guru's family including all the four sons has earlier been eliminated. The Guru calmed them down and reminded them that they were supposed to submit before the will of God . Everyone was worried, the Sikh's obvious querry was "who after you ?" lt was on this occassion that the Guru composed and read this Couplet before the Khalsa sangat. Telling that henceforth the spiritual Guru would be Granth Sahib he added that he woutd be symboilized through the collective body of the Khalsa. The Guru also bestowed the most sought after wish of the Khalsa i.e. the rule of some territory.
It may be noteced here that the Sikhs ' had in the past aspired',for some territory, especially on such occasssions when the forces of the Guru had won battles including at the time of Sixth Guru . The Gurus had then forbidden the Sikhs of annexing the territories of the defeated enemy.
A historian Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu author of Prachin Panth Prakash (1841 AD) was grand son of Sukha Singh (Sukha Singh  Mehtab Singh fame who beheaded Massa Ranger who had defiled the sanctity of Golden Tenrple and was indulging into orgies and intrigues in August 1740 ) According to late Dr. Gopal Singh, a Congress leader and a pro Indian Govt Sikh writer, "Bhangu's record of Sikh history is the most reliable about this period, being based on eye witness accounts." He writes that once when the Guru was pleased with the Khalsa he asked the Khalsa to seek any blessing and the Khalsa then sought the blessing of their rule in the Central Punjab. At which the Guru was surprised and said that they should have demanded more.
Thus to restore the crestfallen Khalsa to their original shape of ever remaining in high spirits the Guru blessed them of the rule. He had earlier on Vaisakhi of 1699 already bestowed the Khalsa with Guruship. The position in which he served from 1699 AD to 1708, the same status was Passed on to Granth Sahib. Gurbani thus became the Guru which was to he interpreted by the collective body of the Khalsa.
Now since it was composed on the last day of the Guru's life obviously it could not form the part of his writings. It will be interesting to note that there is big book called Dasam Granth which is ascribed to Guru Gobind Singh. This book is again very controversial as it contains the composition of various poets. The Guru had 52 Poets in his court at Anandpur. lnterestingly at places the name of the Poets also appear in the book 'Dasam Granth' also includes translations of Hindu scriptures.
 Kesar Singh Chhibbar (1769 AD) writes in his 'Bansawali Namah' that once Guru Gobind Singh was suggested that his writings be also clubbed with the Granth Sahib. Guru then replied that let the Granth remain in its pure form. My writings are my amusements. (mera khel aa) We mean to say that the Guru, a seasoned poet and thus composed the couplet himself which is verY communicative and effective and carries the rnessage without any ambiguity.
 Why it has different forms?
 After the demise of the Guru, only a few Sikhs stayed behind (only one or two and the rest moved to Punjab).. Reaching Punjab they spread the news that the Guru had passed away and that the tradition of the Guru in person stood abolished. They sung the Couplet before the congregations. Obviously most of the Khalsa was not literate. Thus they sung the Couplet as they learnt it by heart. Accordingly the Couplet which the people heard from Khalsa was adopted by the devoted Sikh writers. All the Sikh writers accept it as the creation of the Guru lnterestingly all the Sikh writers and poets of that time had accepted the Couplet as the composition of the Guru himself and used it in their compositions. lt is very simple that a writer would not use the stanzas of another competetor poet in his own compositions. Obviously these devoted contemporary writers used it in their own writings and some of them adopted it. (i) Bhai Nandlal (died 1712 AD), a devoted and dedicated Sikh used the Couplet thus :
ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਆਕੀ ਰਹੇ ਨਾ ਕੋਇ,
ਖਵਾਰ ਹੋਏ ਸਭ ਮਿਲੇਗੇ ਬਚਹਿ ਸਰਨ ਜੋ ਹੋਇ।
ਸੋ ਸਾਖੀ ਦੇ ਲਿਖਾਰੀ ਭਾਈ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਭੀ 1764 ਈ . ਵਿਚ ਐਨ ਇਨ ਬਿਨ ਹੀ ਲਿਖਿਆ।
(ii) Bhai Prahlad Singh who was a court poet of the Gurrt wrote :
ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੇ ਬਚਨ ਸਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਚਲਾਓ ਪੰਥ,
ਸਭ ਸਿੱਖਨ ਤੋ ਬਚਨ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਓ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ
(iii) Bhai Sahib Singh writer Gur Rattanmal (1734 AD) Sau Sakhi uses it,  in pure form without much changes.
(iv) Kuer Singh Kalal author'Gur Bilas Patshahi 10'(1751 AD) uses the couplet thus :
ਜਬੈ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਧਰ ਮੈ ਹੋਈ।
ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਦੁਖ ਪੇਖੇਗਾ ਸੋਈ।
ਪੁਨ ਜਬ ਰਾਜ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਮੈ ਕਰ ਹੀ।
ਪਾਵੈ ਸੁਖ ਸੋ ਅਕਾਲ ਉਚਰ ਹੀ।
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਫਤਿਹ ਬੁਲਾਵੈਂ।
ਸਸ਼ਤਰ ਅਸਤਰ ਪੂਜੇ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਵੈ (140)
ਨਾਲੇ ਅਗੇ ਲਿਖਦਾ ਹੈ।
ਤਾਹਿ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਕਰਹੈ ਰਾਜ।
ਸੀਸ ਲਗੇ ਜੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾਜ।
ਤਾਂ ਹਿ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਜਾਨਾ।
ਮਾਨੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰ੍ਰੰਥ ਭਗਵਾਨਾ।
(v) Kavi Senapati (1711AD) also a court poet of the Guru has also dealt the issue of transfer of the Guruship on Gurbani and Khalsa in the most ideal terms.
(vi) Kesar Singh Chhibber whose descendent is Mr. B.K.N. Chhibber the present Governor of Punjab, whose forefathers had been accompany the later Gurus quotes Guru as under at page 679.
ਬਚਨ ਕੀਤਾ . . . . ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਲੜ ਪਕੜੋ ਅਕਾਲ।
(vii) Sukha Singh, Head Granthi
Takhat Kes Garh Sahib, in his GurBilas Patshahi 10 (1797 AD ) has also given a somewhat similar accounts in his quality poetry'and advises that the Gurbani of the Gurus was the Guru itself. Though he had not referred to the other aspect i.e. Rule for the khalsa. .
(viii) Rahitnama by Bhai Daya Singh Sobti one of the Panj Pyaras (death 1708 AD) also uses the Couplet thus :
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੇ ਬਚਨ ਸਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਓ ਪੰਥ ਮਹਾਨ
ਗੁਰੂ ਪੰਥ ਗੁਰੁ ਮਾਨੀੲੈ ਤਾਰੇ ਸਕਲ ਕੁਲਾਨ।
(ix) Rahitnama or the Code of Conduct ascribed Chaupa Singh (Chhibber) who was Guru's teacher has been written in verse during the Guru's 'life times and obviously makes no mention of the Couplet. Though aspiration for kingdom stands there as well:- ‘‘ਸੋ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਉਪਰਾਂਤ ਹੋਰ ਕੋਈ ਰਾਜ ਹੋਣਾ ਨਹੀਂ। ਅੰਤ ਦਾ ਰਾਜ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੈ।’’
(x) Rahitnama Bhai Desa Singh was composed in 1783 AD and by that time some states had come into being and as such a code for the Sikh ruler is given while no aspiration of the Couplet for sikh rule.
(xi) A detailed book' Parm Sumarg' written in verse in the first quarter of l8th century and ascribed to the Guru though makes no mention of the passing of Guruship on Granth Sahib, gives a detailed code of conduct for the SIKH STATE.
(xii) Giani Gian Singh (1878 AD) in his Panth Prakash has reproduced the Couplet “in ditto” under the title that it is Guru Gobind Singh's own composition (page 353)
(xiii) Kavi Churhamani Santokh Singh's classic the Suraj Prakash  a monumental work on the Sikh history quotes Guru Gobind Singh that when he was asked about the future arrangements the Guru said ;
ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਤਬ ਧਰਿਜ ਦੀਨ,
ਹਮ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਕਰ ਲੀਨ
ਗੰਢ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਸੋ ਪਾਯੋ
ਸੌਪਨ ਕਰ ਅੰਚਰ ਪਕਰਾਇਓ
ਪਢੀਯਹ ਸਰਬ ਗੁਰਨ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ
ਰਖੀਯਹ ਰਹਿਤ ਜੁ ਹਮ ਬਖਾਨੀ
ਬਿਦਤ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਪੰਥ ਭਵਿਖਹ
ਅਵਨੀ ਰਾਜ ਕਰਹਿ ਮਿਲ ਸਿਖਯੇ
 (xiv) Joseph Devy Cunningham (death 1853) authored History of the Sikhs who also participated in the Sikh Wars has also translated the first part of the Couplet though he did not give the second part i.e 'Raj Karega Khalsa' for obvious reasons.
(xv) Rattan Singh Bhangu who has otherwise not dealtwith the Guru sahib 's death at Nanded, is very firm on the passing of Guruship on GranthPanth . As to the other aspect he quotes Guru sahib:
ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਹਯੋਂ ਮੰਗੋ ਦੇਸ਼, ਭਲ ਦਖਣ ਮੰਗੋ
ਮੰਗੋ ਪਹਾੜ ਔ ਪੱਛਮ
ਸਿੰਘ ਕਹੇਂ, ‘‘ਹਮ ਦੂਰ ਕਿਮ ਜਾਵੇਂ
ਮੱਧ ਪੰਜਾਬਹ ਰਾਜ ਕਮਾਵੈਂ
.ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੇਇ ਵਲਾਇਤਾਂ ਵਹ ਕਰੇਂ ਨਾ ਉਨਕੀ ਖਾਹਿਸ਼’’ (ਪੰਨਾ - 46)
Then he writes:-
‘‘ਇਨ ਗਰੀਬ ਸਿੱਘਨ ਕੋ ਦਯੇ ਪਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀਂ
ਏ ਯਾਦ ਰਖੇਂ ਹਮਰੀ ਗੁਰਿਆਰੀ।’’ (ਪੰ .41)
Guru bestows kingdom to these poor Sikhs.
(xvi)'Sikhan di Bhagatmala' (1715 AD) is based on the lectures of Bhai Mani Singh who has been with the Guru ji right from his childhood and held various responsibilities at Anandpur . He is the scribe of the most prevalent copy of the Granth sahib called 'Dam Dame wali beed' . ln 1727 he was appointed the Granthi of Golden Temple. He wrote many books during his tenure at Amritsar. ln 1737 he was martyred cutting limb by limb. Bhagatmala write:
‘‘ਤੈਸੇ ਹੀ ਸਹਿਬ ਨੇ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਰਾਜ ਭੀ ਗੁਰਿਆਈ ਭੀ ਦਿਤੀ ਹੈ।’’
Since ages Waheguru has been honouring his devotees. Accordingly Guru has blessed the Khalsa both with Guruship and rule."
Thus all the historical books written after the death of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708 AD carry the Couplet, in one form or the other, conveying in no uncertain terms the bestowing of Guruship on Granth and Panth and the rule for the Khalsa. We thus note with regret how the Congress or the successive governments in Delhi have been playing with the Sikh tenets. They have extended all possible help and support who so ever claimed guruship or saintlihood for himself. As a result of which there are about 300 'deras'of the so called gurus and saints. ln the recent past we have all noted how the arrow of Congress boomeranged on it, yet it had not yielded even an inch and continue to support the deras.
DOES THE COUPLET CONTRAVENES BASIC PHILOSOPHYOF STKHISM ?
From the above account it is established without any doubt that the couplet was composed by Guru himself. It would thus be sinful to say that it contravenes Gurbani as some of the people believe. Let us examine this aspect too:
Guru Khalsa : Guru Sahib bestowed GurushiP on Khalsa on the Vaisakhi of 1699 AD and action of Guru is in complete harmony with Gurbani or the philosophy of earlier Gurus. Guru Granth sahib is replete with such references which command that God can be attained through a Sikh congregation or 'sat sangat' which has gathered in the pursuit of God. So is the case with the 'Warran' or the ballads of Bhai Gurdas. So much so even a persian writer Zulifikar Ardistani alias Mohsin Fani who visited Punjab during the rule of Emperor Jahangir and Emperor Shah Jehan or Guru Arjun/Guru Hargobind had witnessed in his 'DabistaneMazahib' that in Sikhism, Sangat is most important and has the status equal to the Guru. lt may be noted that a mere assembly of the Sikhs cannot be termed as Sangat unless it is in pursuit of the God.
Guru Granth : SimilarlY the whole Granth is replete with such sermons that proclaim that it is the 'bani' the word or the knowledge given by the Guru which
is the real Guru and not the Guru's I physical form. ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ  ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਪਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਿਸਤਾਰੇ  (also see pages 25, 39, 307, 354, 515, 548, I 879, SGGS ).
 Similar is the stand of. Bhai Gurdas whose 'Warran' are an important source after Guru Granth Sahib.
Sikhism is a religion where "' follower has to participate in life to the maximum extent. lt denounces withdrawl (renunciating or hermitage)  from active life. lt lays down that the universe is a drama enacted by God himself and everything is happening within His will (hukme ander sabh ko) The Sikh is thus expected to submit before His will (hukam rajai chalna). Whatever is happening, a thug is murdering a noble soul, those massacres, accidents, wars and all natural calamities are whithin His will. A Sikh who is to participate in the drama he should do the role of righteousness i.e. 'a hero', and not 'a villain' The Gurmukh Sikh would oppose the forces of ego (haumen). A Sikh is thus to synchronise with the universal process and keep opposing the evil forces , never bothering of the consequences . Sikhism believes that those noble souls that are in complete harmony with His universal process would merge with Himself and become God itself, while the rest will continue revolving in the cycle. Now in this process of struggle if the Sikh is opposed to some tyrant state and as a consequence of struggle, if the state crumbles the Sikh would obviously establish his own rule of righteousness religion where there will be all around pursuit of 'naam' and 'sewa'; service. Establishment of this kind of state is thus a spontaneous action. It was under this principle that some Sikh states were formed in the 18th century when the Khalsa was struggling against the tyrant states of Delhi, Serhind and Lahore. Lives full of sacrifices of all the Gurus further illustrate this principle. The present so called saints and gurus have however neutralised this teaching of the Gurus where a Sikh is strictly prohibited to be egoistic or haumendhari and he is expected to accept what ever is bestowed on him.
 ln view of the above, it becomes amply clear that office of the Guruship was passed on the Granth Sahib and Khalsa bestowed with the rule. Approach of pseudo gurus and saints is unfortunate as also that of opponents of couplet who try to create confusions.
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