GURMAT GRANTH PRACHĀRAK SABHĀ, an association aiming at propagating Sikh religion through publications, was established at Amritsar on 8 April 1885 by Giānī Sardūl Siṅgh to continue the work started by his father, Giānī Giān Siṅgh (d. 30 March 1884), the first secretary of Srī Gurū Siṅgh Sabhā, Amritsar, established in 1873. Āgiā Siṅgh Hakīm of Amritsar was elected secretary of the Gurmat Granth Prachārak Sabhā. On his death in April 1887, his son, Mannā Siṅgh Hakīm, succeeded him as its secretary. The Sabhā undertook to sponsor research and publish authentic texts of the Gurūs' compositions and of other works such as Janam Sākhīs and Gurpraṇālīs. Already at the initiative of Giānī Giān Siṅgh had been published the Gurpurb Prakāsh, the Gurū Parīkhiā and the Srī Gurū Kripā Kaṭākhya. The first publication under the auspices of the Prachārak Sabhā was Gur Sikkhāṅ de Nitt Karam, the daily duties of the Sikhs, based on the first chapter of an earlier work, Sikh Dharam Shāstar. Other titles published included Sad Sidhānt (1887), Gurmat Sidhānt va Pañchāṅg va Prashnāvalī ke Uttar, Thittāṅ Vār Bārāṅmāh, Gur Mahimā Prakāsh, Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib Jī de Pāṭh dī Vidhī, Gurpurb Patrikā (1893), Gurpranālī (1894), Sudhāsar Satak Pachīsā, Gur Pranālī Vidyārthīāṅ de Kaṇṭh Karan Vālī (1894) and Yatrā Hazūr Abchalnagar Sāhib Jī Dī (1897). The Sabhā also discovered and printed an old manuscript Gur Bilās Dasam Patsāh Kā, an account in verse of the life of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, completed by Bhāī Sukkhā Siṅgh in 1797. Another important task undertaken by the Sabhā was the preparation, at the instance of the Amritsar Siṅgh Sabhā, of an authentic recension of the Dasam Granth. Funds for the project were provided by the Sabhā secretary, Bhāī Mannā Siṅgh Hakīm, himself. Thirty-two different recensions were collected and several prominent scholars and theologians were invited to study them. They met at the Akāl Takht at Amritsar, and held formal discussions in a series of meetings between 13 June 1895 and 16 February 1896. A preliminary report entitled Report Sodhak (revision) Committee Dasam Pātshāh de Granth Sāhib Dī was sent to Sikh scholars and institutions, inviting their opinion. A second document, Report Dasam Granth dī Sudhāī Dī was brought out on 11 February 1898. Basing its conclusions on a study of the old hand-written copies of the Dasam Granth preserved at Srī Takht Sāhib at Paṭnā and in other Sikh gurdwārās, this report affirmed that the Holy Volume was compiled at Anandpur Sāhib in 1698. Another point of importance taken up by the Prachārak Sabhā related to a controversy raised in 1893 regarding the administration of amrit of the double-edged sword to women. While the Lahore Khālsā Dīwān entrusted the decision to a committee of five scholars Bhāī Kāhn Siṅgh of Nābhā, Giānī Ditt Siṅgh, Giānī Ṭhākar Siṅgh of Amritsar, Giānī Bhagvān Siṅgh of Paṭiālā and Bābū Tejā Siṅgh of Bhasauṛ -- the Gurmat Granth Prachārak Sabhā discussed the matter at its general meetings which were open to the public. As a result of these deliberations, Bhāī Mannā Siṅgh Hakīm published in 1900 a pamphlet entitled Māī de Jāme nūṅ Amrit Chhakāvan dī Vidhī (Manner of administering the rites of amrit to women). This was the last important publication of the Guramat Granth Prachārak Sabhā. The Sabhā fell into oblivion as two new associations, the Khālsā Tract Society (founded 1893) and the Chief Khālsā Dīwān (founded 1902), expanded the scope of their activity.


    Jagjīt Siṅgh, Siṅgh Sabhā Lahir. Ludhiana, 1974

Jagjīt Siṅgh