SRĪ SATIGURŪ JĪ DE MUHAIṄ DĪĀṄ SĀKHĪĀṄ,i.e, witnesses or instructions from the lips of the venerable Gurū himself, is the title of a manuscript, preserved in Gurdwārā Mañjī Sāhib at Kīratpur in the Śivaliks by the granthī Bābū Siṅgh, who claims descent. from Bībī Rūp Kaur, adopted daughter of Gurū Har Rāi, Nānak VII (1630-1661). The manuscript is said to have been transcribed by Bībī Rūp Kaur and given her as a gift by the Gurū at the time of her marriage. It has now been edited and published, with five additional sākhīs, by a young scholar, Narindar Kaur. Of the thirty-three sākhīs in the original manuscript, one is common with MS. No. 1657 (AD 1661) and two with MS. No. 5660 (n.d.), both preserved in the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar (since destroyed). Similarly, MS. No. 19 (AD 1700) in the Punjab Languages Department, Paṭiālā, has six; MS. No. 2571 (n.d.) in the Central Public Library, Paṭiālā, has sixteen; and the Ādi Granth associated with Bhāī Paindā has nine sākhīs common with those in this manuscript. Of the additional five which find place in the printed version, four sākhīs have been taken from MS. No, 5660 in the Sikh Reference Library and one from the Ādi Granth associated with Bhāī Paindā. The manuscript at Kīratpur comprises 559 folios and was compiled probably in AD 1661. Folios 1-492 (a) contain hymns from the Gurū Granth Sāhib, followed by sākhīs on folios 492(b) to 524 and 528 to 532, with intervening four folios containing the hymns of Gurū Arjan. Folio 533 is blank, followed by hymns from the Vaḍahaṅs musical measure covering folios 534(b) to 549(b). Again folio 550 is blank, followed by some more hymns from rāgas Bihāgaṛā and Gauṛī. At the end of the manuscript are inscribed dates of the demise of the Gurūs and of some of their descendants, but these folios are not numbered. The date of the passing away of Gurū Har Krishan is recorded in a hand different from that of the writer. The name of the compiler is nowhere mentioned.

        The sākhīs included in the work lay stress on moral and spiritual values and are, in a way, precursor to the corpus of literature which nowadays goes by the name of rahitnāmās. They adjure the faithful to shun adultery, gambling, backbiting, cheating and falsehood and to cultivate the virtues of honesty and simplicity.

        On the spiritual level, they impress upon the devout to cherish His Name, seeking the Gurū's guidance and discarding empty ritualism and superstition. Couched in pithy phrase, the sākhīs provide glimpses into the ethical and spiritual aspects of Sikh life. Linguistically, they mark a distinct transition from the Braj-laden Hindavī prose of the Janam Sākhīs to the simple speech of the central districts of the Punjab. Only some of the sākhīs are credited to the Gurūs whose utterances they are supposed to be.

Piār Siṅgh