POTHĪ SACH KHAṆḌ, by Soḍhī Miharbān (also written as Miharvān),is the first of the six pothīs or volumes which are said to have comprised the first detailed janam sākhī or biography of Gurū Nānak. Soḍhī Miharbān (1581-1640) was the son of Bābā Prithī Chand and grandson of Gurū Rām Dās, Nānak IV. Of the six pothīs he is believed to have written only three are extant today. They are Pothī Sach Khaṇḍ, Pothī Harijī and Chaturbhuj Pothī. Pothī Sach Khaṇḍ is available in manuscript form, both individually and bound together with the other two pothīs. Gurū Nānak Dev University, Amritsar, has a manuscript copy of Pothī Sach Khaṇḍ (accession No 83; undated) and another of all the three pothīs bound together (accession No. 954). The Sikh History Research Department of the Khālsā College, Amritsar, also has a manuscript copy (accession No. 927) of the three pothīs bound together. Another manuscript copy existed in the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, which got lost in the cataclysmic events of 1984. The manuscript at the Khālsā College, Amritsar, is a copy made in 1885 Bk/AD1828 from another manuscript bearing 1837 Bk/ AD) 1780 as its date, whereas the one at Gurū Nānak Dev University, Amritsar (accession No. 954) is a copy dated 1837 Bk/AD 1780. The first manuscript of these pothīs came to light when Khālsā College, Amritsar, acquired it. The manuscript was then edited and published (1962) in two volumes under the title Janam Sākhī Srī Gurū Nānak Dev Jī, with a lengthy introduction bringing out its literary, historical, linguistic and exegetical significance.

         The colophon at the end of the Khālsā College manuscript states that the six pothīs together comprised 575 goṣṭis. The Pothī Sach Khaṇḍ, which originally had 167 goṣṭis, has here a total of 153 : the fact of the loss of goṣṭis was noted by the copyist as well. Maybe, they had been lost by the time the manuscript reached him. The colophon does not give any date of composition of the first copy of Pothī Sach Khaṇḍ, though this information is available about the other two volumes, Pothī Harijī and Chaturbhuj Pothī, which, according to the copyist were completed in 1707 Bk/AD 1650 and Bk1708/AB 1651, respectively. Evidetldy, Pothi Sach Khaṇḍ which comprises as much matter as the other two put together, might have taken two to three years to complete. According to Harijī, Goṣṭ Srī Satgurū Miharbān Jī kī, the goṣṭis pertaining to all the Gurūs and Bhaktas, were composed during the lifetime of Miharbān. The copyist seems to suggest that the basic or original copy of these pothīs was prepared at Muhammadīpur at the behest of Harījī and Chaturbhuj and that the whole corpus comprised discourses given by Miharbān and put to pen by one Keshodās Brāhmaṇ (vachani srī gurū miharvān de likhāī jī likhī bhāī kesodās brāhmanu sevaku Gurū dā...gulām chatur bhoj kā...gurū de hukam nāli pothī sodhī).


  1. Piār Siṅgh, ed., Ādi Sākhīāṅ. Ludhiana, 1983
  2. A Critical Survey of Seventeenth Century Punjabi Prose" (unpublished thesis). Chandigarh, 1968
  3. McLeod, W.H., Guru Nānak and the Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1968

Piār Siṅgh