JAPU PARAMĀRATH, by Bhāī Rām Kishan, is an unpublished manuscript of the exegesis of Gurū Nānak's Japu. The only manuscript copy is available at Acc. No. 612 in the Dashmesh Library, Anandpur -- the other two in the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, and the Khālsā College Library, Paṭiālā, having since been destroyed or lost. The exegete was a known Sevāpanthī saint, and he completed the work, as per the internal evidence in Amritsar manuscript, on Maghar sudī 2, 1853 Bk/22 November 1796: the date given in the Anandpur manuscript (Jeṭh sudī 6, 1856 Bk/27 May 1799) is obviously the one when the scribe copied it. According to Sevāpanthī tradition, Bhāī Rām Kishan was born in 1845 Bk/AD 1788, but an analysis of the contents of this work reveals that he might have compiled it in maturer years.

         According to Śambhū Nāth's Japu Paramārath, Gurū Nānak gave an exegesis of Japu to Gurū Aṅgad on his asking, but Giān Ratanāvalī says that Gurū Nānak's exegesis of, Japu helped him overcome the siddhas. On the other hand, Bhāī Rām Kishan says that Gurū Nānak made the exegesis for the benefit of his two sons, Srī Chand and Lakhmī Chand, and his successor, Gurū Aṅgad.

         The work begins with an invocation, in verse, to Gurū Nānak followed by a eulogy to nām. Thereafter begins the exegesis which is in prose. The author has first given meanings (sometimes more than one) of difficult words followed by the central theme of the verse which is supported by profuse examples from gurbāṇī and various Hindu scriptures. Quotations from Indian mythology also abound. Two prominent characteristics of this work are its exegesis in the Vedic tradition and treatment of different pauṛīs as a unified single whole. The language of the work is Sādh Bhākhā with significant influence of Braj. It is not brief and compact like its predecessors in the genre; rather a de-tailed prolix explanation is provided.

Trilochan Siṅgh Bedī