GARAB GAÑJANĪ ṬĪKĀ, by Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, is an exegesis in the Nirmalā tradition of Gurū Nānak's Japu. The commentator, a celebrated poet and chronicler and author of the monumental Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj 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 Sadhūkaṛī. Santokh Siṅgh undertook the writing of this commentary at the behest of his patron Ude Siṅgh (d. 1843), the ruler of Kaithal, who, dissatisfied with an earlier, ṭīkā by an Udāsī sādhū, Ānandghana, had wished a fresh one to be prepared. The original manuscript of Garab Gañjanī Ṭīkā is preserved in the Dr Balbīr Siṅgh Sāhitya Kendra at Dehrā Dūn. 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 Gurūs and then Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning. The poet salutes his mentor Gīanī Sant Siṅgh whom he had in his younger days heard expound this text. This also explains how he had come to launch on this Ṭīkā. 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 Gañjanī Ṭīkā is ṭīkā or exegesis that dispels and eradicates (gañjanī = that which eradicates) arrogance (garb=pride) . The exegesis is proffered in the form of a goṣṭi. The Sikh, herein called mumokhī, i.e. one who is a seeker of mokh or release, puts questions to the Gurū as to how he can attain liberation and the Gurū answers those questions. Since the author himself belonged to the Nirmalā tradition, Vedantic colouring in his explanations predominates. He believes that the Gurū's hymns can be expounded only on the basis of the exegesis already attempted of the Vedas. He regards Gurū Nānak as an incarnation of the God Almighty --- the manifestation of Niraṅkār, the Formless One. The language of the work is Sadhūkaṛī, overladen with Braj and Sanskrit vocabulary.

Gurdev Siṅgh