BĀṆĪ BIRDH PRATĀP is a collection of religious and devotional poetry in a mixture of Braj and Punjabi, written in Gurmukhī script by Bābā Rām Dās, a Dīvānā sādhū. The volume is preserved with reverence due to a religious scripture in the ḍerā or monastery of the Dīvānā sect established by Bābā Rām Dās himself when he arrived in 1800 Bk/AD 1743 at the head of a group of sādhūs and settled on the eastern outskirts of the town of Paṭiālā. According to the Dīvānā tradition, Rām Dās blessed Mahārājā Sāhib Siṅgh that a very lucky son will be born to him, and accordingly when a son was born to him in 1855 Bk/AD 1798, the Mahārājā named him Karam (karam = luck or fortune) Siṅgh, and donated to the ḍerā 500 bighās of land further eastwards of the town. The work, completed on Chet sudī 12, 1859 Bk/23 April 1802, was published in 1981 by the then custodian of the ḍerā. The volume contains hymns under different musical measures such as Sirī, Gūjarī, Kedārā, Tilaṅg, Bilāval, Rāmkalī, Prabhātī, Gauṛī, Jaijāvantī, Dhanāsarī and Bhairau. Poetical metres used include couplets, triplets, octets, etc. The volume begins with verses eulogizing the gurū whom the author identifies with God Himself (p. 45). The author pays homage to the Ten Gurūs of the Sikh faith whom he regards one in spirit sharing the same spiritual light (pp. 40-43). There are verses on themes such as the importance of repeating the Divine Name, truthful living and devotion to the gurū. The volume also contains līlās of Bālmīk and Draupadī as well as hymns lauding gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology and the bhaktas. It concludes with the Rāgamālā reproduced from Sikh Scripture, the Gurū Granth Sāhib.

Dharam Siṅgh