GURŪ KĪĀṄ SĀKHĪĀṄ containing stories from the lives of the Gurūs, was written by Bhaṭṭ Sarūp Siṅgh Kaushish, of Bhādsoṅ, in Parganah Thānesar. As recorded by the author, the manuscript was completed in 1847 Bk/AD 1790 at Bhādsoṅ itself. The original manuscript was written in Bhaṭṭāchchharī, a script used by the Bhaṭṭs or family bards for recording genealogical details concerning their clients. It was later transliterated into Gurmukhī script by Bhaṭṭ Chhajjū Siṅgh Kaushish in 1925 Bk/AD 1869. The work has since been published (1986) in book form. The manuscript contains a total of 112 sākhīs connected with the lives of five of the Gurūs -- Gurū Hargobind to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. Four of these sākhīs relate to Gurū Hargobind, nine to Gurū Har Rāi, four to Gurū Har Krishan, 16 to Gurū Tegh Bahādur and 79 to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh.

         The first Gurū to have Bhaṭṭs in attendance was Gurū Arjan. A few of them became devout Sikhs. They wrote hymns in praise of Gurū Arjan and his predecessors which are preserved in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. They and their descendants took part in Gurū Hargobind's battles against the Mughal forces. They put down in their vahīs, genealogical records, some of the events connected with the lives of the Gurūs. The entries in the Bhaṭṭ Vahīs are thus historically very important.

         The Gurū kiāṅ Sākhīāṅ is based upon these Bhaṭṭ entries. But the description of historical events in the Gurū kiāṅ Sākhīāṅ is different in style from accounts in the Vahīs. Entries in the latter mainly confine themselves to giving details with regard to the ancestry, gotra, clan, etc., of the persons concerned and mentioning the year, month, tithī (dark or moonlit part of the lunar month), day and sometimes even the exact time of a particular happening. The description of the episode itself is sketchy and brief. The Gurū kīāṅ Sākhīāṅ is, on the contrary, narrative in character.

         The Gurū kiāṅ Sākhīāṅ, discovered recently by Giānī Garjā Siṅgh, brings to light some new facts, especially in relation to the lives of Gurū Tegh Bahādur and Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. Likewise, it provides crucial evidence on certain historical points. Of special significance is the Sākhīāṅ version of Gurū Granth Sāhib having been apothesized as Gurū by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh before he passed away. The manuscript also records the fact of Bandā Siṅgh receiving the rites of the Khālsā at the hands of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. In any case, the manuscript is increasingly attracting the notice of modern historians.

         The language of the Gurū kiāṅ Sākhīāṅ is a mixture of Punjabi and Hindi with frequent use of the Bhaṭṭ patois. At a couple of places we find English words. This is plainly anachronistic explained by some as errors on the part of copyists.


    Padam, Piārā Siṅgh, and Giānī Garjā Siṅgh, eds., Gurū kīāṅ Sākhīāṅ. Patiala, 1986

Giānī Garjā Siṅgh