APOCRYPHAL COMPOSITIONS, known in Sikh vocabulary as kachchī bāṇī (unripe, rejected texts) or vādhū bāṇī (superfluous texts) are those writings, mostly in verse but prose not excluded, which have been attributed to the Gurūs, but which were not incorporated in the Gurū Granth Sāhib at the time of its compilation in 1603-04. Since the Sikh Scripture was compiled by one of the Gurūs and the text as approved by him has come down to us intact, compositions not included therein must be reckoned as extra textual and spurious. Moreover, the contents of the Gurū Granth Sāhib have been so arranged and numbered as to leave absolutely no scope for any extraction or interpolation. Still there are compositions which some attribute to the Gurūs. Most of them are attributed to Gurū Nānak, at least one śabda to Gurū Tegh Bahādur, and some to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. "Nānak" was the nom de plume the Gurūs used for their compositions, and the custom was appropriated by some of the contemporary saints or religious poets. Some schismatists or those who had otherwise set themselves up as rivals to the growing faith adopted this pseudonym to benefit from its popularly accepted authority.

        Apocryphal writings attributed to Gurū Nānak fall into three categories, viz. (i) hymns addressed to the yogīs on the subject of true yoga; (ii) hymns addressed to the various Hindu sects on the ideal form of religion; and (iii) compositions generally called nāmahs (epistles or addresses) addressed to Muslims, expounding the true meaning of sharā' (Islamic laws) and the spirit of Islam. Writings falling in categories (i) and (ii) seem to have been collected in course of time, in one volume popularly called Prāṇ Saṅglī, the best known among Sikh apocrypha on account of its spiritual insight, and closeness to Gurū Nānak's own diction and style. Besides Prāṇ Saṅglī, Kakār Vichār and Bihaṅgam Bāṇī (guidance from birds about auspicious and inauspicious omens) are other apocryphal compositions attributed to Gurū Nānak, but which go against his teachings and have thus never been owned by the Sikhs. Verses by Bābā Miharbān (q. v.) and his successors which they composed using the nom de plume 'Nānak' under the title of Mahallā VI, VII and VIII are also apocryphal. Another category of the apocryphal literature comprises hymns written in Persianized Punjabi and addressed to the Muslim divines and kings. These compositions are available in Chapters LXXVII to LXXVIII of the Prāṇ Saṅglī also. Other compositions in this category are Nasīhat Nāmah or Epistle of Admonitions; Hāzar Nāmah or a discourse on the importance of being alert; Pāk Nāmah or an address on pure living; and Karnī Nāmah or an address on the importance of good conduct. The śabda attributed to Gurū Tegh Bahādur reads : chit charan kamal kā āsrā chit charan kamal saṅg joṛīai/mana lochai buriāīāṅ guru sabadī ih mana hoṛīai/bāṅh jināh dī pakaṛīai sir dījai bāṅh nā chhoṛīai/gurū Tegh Bahādur boliā dhar paīai dharam nā chhoṛīai. Among the apocryphal writings attributed to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh are Sarbloh Granth and Prem Sumārag.

        Since Sikh Scripture was compiled by Gurū Arjan himself and its first copy was inscribed under his personal supervision and care and its contents were meticulously authenticated, arranged and numbered, the genuineness of the text is beyond question. As such, the apocryphal texts pose no serious problem. Compositions which do not form part of the acknowledged recension are therefore not genuine. It is only some portions of the Dasam Granth, the Book of the Tenth Master, which have been engaging the attention of scholars with regard to their authorship, but this work does not have scriptural status. As for Scripture, the Gurū Granth Sāhib, the original volume prepared by Gurū Arjan, is still extant, preserved in a descendant family at Kartārpur, in Jalandhar district of the Punjab.

Tāran Siṅgh