DAS GUR KATHĀ, by Kaṅkaṇ, one of the poets in attendance on Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, is a versified account, in an admixture of Braj, Hindi and Punjabi, of the events of the lives of the Ten Gurūs. The only known manuscript of the work is present in the Pañjab Public Library at Lahore, a copy of which was obtained for the Library of the Khālsā College at Amritsar in 1956 and which was published with annotation in book-form, in 1967, by the Khālsā Samāchār, Amritsar. The colophon indicates the author's name, but not the year of composition which from internal evidence is reckoned to be around AD 1699. The work deals with events up to the creation of the Khālsā which took place during this year. The Kathā comprises 234 stanzas and is written in different poetical metres such as Dohā, Savaiyyā, Chaupaī, Pauṛī, Soraṭhā and Aṛill.

         The poet attributes the popularity of Gurmukhī characters to Gurū Nānak who, according to him, communicated his message in a much easier language and form than those of the Vedas. Succession in Gurū Nānak's line was determined by qualities of humility and dedication and not by ties of blood. Gurū Nānak's spiritual successor was Gurū Aṅgad, his own devoted disciple. Especially detailed is the account of Gurū Hargobind, Nanak VI, comprising 84 stanzas. The poet hails him as one who combined the spiritual with the temporal and describes the battles he had to engage in. Among other details is the enumeration of Mughal provinces under Emperor Shāh Jahāṅ. The poet panegyrizes Gurū Tegh Bahādur's martyrdom which, as he says, he voluntarily embraced to uphold righteousness. The concluding twenty-one stanzas describe the cremation of Gurū Tegh Bahādur's severed head brought from Delhi to Anandpur by a disciple, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's investiture as successor to Gurū Tegh Bahādur and creation of the Khālsā. Events are described with considerable embellishment, and no dates are given. Certain factual errors such as ascription to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh worship of the goddess Durgā have also crept into the work.

Kirpāl Siṅgh