NĀNAK SŪRAJODE JANAM SĀKHĪ, by Gaṇeshā Siṅgh Bedī, is an account in verse of the life of Gurū Nānak, founder of the Sikh faith. The metaphor of the rising sun (sūrājode = sūrya/sūrāj meaning sun and udāyā/ude meaning rising) in the title has been used for Gurū Nānak whose birth as says Bhāī Gurdās heralded daylight dispelling the darkness of night. The work, running into 560 pages in printed form, was completed in 1906 Bk/AD 1849 at Jammū and first published at the Raghunāth Press, Jammū, under the patronage of Rājā Harī Chand and reprinted in 1952 Bk/AD 1895 at the Chashmā-i-Nūr Press, Amritsar. It was also published in Devanāgrī script, in 1956 Bk/AD 1899 (Bhārat Jīvan Press, Kāshī), under the patronage of Rājā Bijai Chand of Bilaspur. The book is divided into two parts-first part comprising sixty-five sākhīs (anecdotes) and the second fifty-eight. The prologue alludes to the prophecy in the Skanda Purāṇa concerning the appearance of Gurū Nānak in the kaliyug (the dark age) as an incarnation of God. Almost all the details of Gurū Nānak's life given in the Sūrajode coincide with those in the Bālā Janam Sākhī which is in prose. A few sākhīs included in this book, but which do not occur in the Bālā text have been borrowed from Giān Ratnāvalī and Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh's Nānak Prakāsh.

         The language of the work is Sādh Bhākhā, but the script is Gurmukhī. Verses of Gurū Nānak are frequently quoted in the text. Several different metres such as kābitt, dohirā, nishānī and chaupāī have been employed by the poet. The style is dramatic as every now and then the writer uses the phrase: "Thus spake Bālā Sandhū." Bālā Sandhū, supposed to have been a life-long companion of Gurū Nānak, was meant to be narrating these sākhīs in the presence of Gurū Aṅgad while Bhāī Paiṛā Mokhā was recording them.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Manī Siṅgh, Bhāī, Giān Ratnāvalī. Lahore, 1947Bk
  2. Vīr Siṅgh, Bhāī, ed., Purātan Janam Sākhī. Amritsar, 1982
  3. Kirpāl Siṅgh, Janam Sākhī Srī Gurū Nānak Dev Jī. Amritsar, 1962
  4. Ganeshā Siṅgh, Mahant, Srī Gurū Nānak Sūryoday. Amritsar, 1895
  5. Jagjit Singh, A Critical and Comparative Study of the Janam Sakhies of Guru Nanak Dev up to the Middle of the Eighteenth Century. Chandigarh, 1967

Jagjīt Siṅgh; Ropaṛ