CHATURBHUJ POTHĪ, which forms the third part of what is known as the Miharbān Janam Sākhī , is the work of Soḍhī Chaturbhuj, the youngest of the three sons of Soḍhī Miharbān (1581-1639), son of Gurū Arjan's elder brother, Prithī Chand (1558-1618). The only known MS. of the pothī (book) preserved in the Sikh Historical Research Department of Khālsā College, Amritsar, forms part of a single work divided into three parts, Sachkhaṇḍ Pothī by Miharbān, Pothī Harijī by Miharbān's second son and successor, Hartjī (d. 1696), and Chaturbhuj Pothī. The last one has its name recorded in the colophon as Chatrabhoj Pothī, the author's name is recorded as Chatar Bhoj, a variation on Chaturbhuj (lit. with four arms as Viṣṇu is usually shown in images). Chaturbhuj's pothī - contains 74 goṣṭis or discourses and was completed in 1651. It has the same language, style and format as do the other two pothīs - the first by his father and the second by his brother. Each discourse in the pothī commences with a general statement of the situation in which Gurū Nānak supposedly delivered it. Someone poses a question or expresses a doubt pertaining to some religious doctrine or practice, and Gurū Nānak proceeds to explain by quoting and expounding one of his hymns. The author, Chaturbhuj in this instance, rounds off the discourse with a ślokā, usually a couplet, from Gurū Nānak's bāṇī or of his own composition. The pothī is, as is the Miharbān Janam Sākhī as a whole, essentially exegetical rather than biographical, although the opening setting in each goṣṭi does contain references to some specific location and to the person or persons addressed. The primary concern, however, remains doctrinal - nature of God, nām simran, meditation on the Name, importance of the true Gurū, and so on. While Harijī chose for his exegesis the longer compositions of Gurū Nānak such as Japu, Paṭṭī, Sidh Goṣṭi and Oaṅkār, Chaturbhuj took up, besides chaupadās and aṣṭpadīs (4 stanza and 8 stanza hymns, respectively), pauṛīs from Vārs in Mājh and Malhār measures and ślokas.
G. N. Rājgurū