AMARNĀMĀ, a Persian work comprising 146 verses composed in AD 1708 by Bhāī Natth Mall, a ḍhāḍī or balladeer who lived from the time of Gurū Hargobind to that of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, Nānak X. The manuscript of the work in Gurmukhī script obtained from Bhāī Fattā, ninth in descent from Bhāī Natth Mall, through Giānī Gurdit Siṅgh, then editor of the Punjabi daily, the Prakāsh, Paṭiālā, was edited by Dr Gaṇḍā Siṅgh and published by Sikh History Society, Amritsar/ Paṭiālā in 1953.

        The Amarnāmā opens with the words "ath Amarnāmā taṭ Godāvarī Srī Mukhvāk Pātshāhī 10" (This Amarnāmā was written on the bank of the River Godāvarī by the Tenth Lord, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh) and ends with the words "iti Srī Amarnāmā Mukhvāk Pātshāhī Dasam sati sampūran" (Thus this Amarnāmā of the Tenth Master was completed). In spite of these statements and in spite of the fact that the author at places uses the first person and directs the Sikhs, as Gurū, to follow certain rules of conduct, the work clearly is not the composition of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh but that of a poet who, with a view to imparting authenticity to it, attributed it to the Gurū. It seems that Natth Mall and his son had accompanied Gurū Gobind Siṅgh to the Deccan and entertained Sikhs at the afternoon assemblies reciting heroic poetry. From events narrated in the Amarnāmā it can easily be surmised that the author was an eye-witness to most of them.

        The Amarnāmā is not a work of any high literary merit. The author, a Punjabi, possessed very little knowledge of Persian and his verse is desultory. However, it is historically very valuable, not only because it is a composition coming from one of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's contemporaries and his companions but also because the author had personal knowledge of the events described in it. The work briefly refers to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's meeting with Bandā on 3 September 1708, on the occasion of the solar eclipse, the fighting between the Sikhs and Bandā's men, the lodging of complaints by Hindus against the Gurū before Emperor Bahādur Shāh, Bhāī Nand Lāl's presence in the Emperor's camp at Nāndeḍ, the Gurū's generous and lavish distribution of charity among the needy, and the dispatch of Bandā Siṅgh with five Sikhs to the Punjab. Among Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's precepts recorded in the text, primacy attaches to Sikhs receiving the rites of amrit, i. e. baptism of the double edged sword, disregarding Brāhmaṇical counsel (127-28). They must at all stages of their life, in childhood and in youth and before the end comes, seek to remain baptized (142-44). Animals must not be slaughtered in the Muslim way of halāl (132). As Sikhs engage in amusement and festivity, they must in the afternoon listen to bards reciting ballads (135).

Bhagat Siṅgh