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Manuscript Birs of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Afghanistan

A brief description of where they are present

There are many gurdwaras, shrines, dharamsalas and deras in Afghanistan where there are many manuscripts of Sri Guru Granth Sahib(SGGS).  These Birs were marked in 1952 by Dr. Ganda Singh during his visit to Afghanistan. Here, we will try to give some brief information about those Birs.

 GHAZNI:  Suthrian's Dharamshala is in Shikarpuri Bazaar. There is a handwritten Bir of Guru Granth Sahib which is a copy of Bhai Banno's Bir.

Big Dharamshala, Shikarpuri Bazar: There is an ancient Bir of Guru Granth Sahib on which the date is Samat 1725 Ahar Sudi 5,San 1668 AD. It is written in the time of Guru Tegh Bahadur. It has 500 Pages. The circumstances of Guru Sahib's passing away in this Bir are as follows:

Guru Nanak Sammat 1596,Asu Vadi 5

Guru Angad, Sammat 1609 Chet Sudi 4

Guru Amardas, Sammat 1631 Bhadan sudi 3

Guru Ram Das, 1638 Bhadon Sudi 3

Guru Arjan Mal 1663 Jeth Sudi 5

Guru Hargobind Chet 1701 Chet Sudi 5

Guru Har Rai 1718 Katak Vadi 9

 Guru Har Krishan 1721 Chet Sudi 14

Guru Tegh Bahadur 1732 Maghar Sudi 5

 Chhoti Dharamshala Shikarpuri Market: In this Dharamshala there are two written Birs of Guru Granth Sahib, Ghazni had 60 Sikh households and a population of 300 in 1952. There is an old Gurdwara Sahib in which the ancient hand written Birs of the Guru Granth Sahib  and one to the Dasam Granth. The Sammats on the four Birs are given as 1811, 1814,1821 and 1825 Bikrami. Here at the end of the Bir of Dasam Granth Sahib the Zafarnama and Hikayat are written in Persian letters.

KABUL: 

Bhai Gurdas Gurdwara :This Gurdwara is the oldest and dates back to the time of Guru Hargobind Sahib, when Bhai Gurdas came to Kabul and was established at Kabul . Here is the written Bir of Guru Granth Sahib on which Sammat 1769 (1712 AD) is written. The beginning contains five sheets of table of contents.

Gurdwara Baba Sri Chand: Gurdwara Baba Sri Chand was established by  Baba Almasat Ji of Kashmir. There are two written Birs of Guru Granth Sahib on which Sammat 1918 Jeth 25 is written.

Gurdwara Ganj Baksh: This  Gurdwara is named after the eminent saint of Gurdaspur. During the time of Guru Amar Das, he became a Sikh and continued to preach Sikhism . There are three volumes of Guru Granth Sahib in this Gurdwara. One of which is written on the same date, 1806 Katak Vadi Panchami Thursday ( 1749 AD ). Here are the pen pictures of Guru Angad, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan.

 Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop, Lahori Darwaza : In this Gurdwara Akhand Jyoti is constantly burning here, hence the name Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop. In this Gurdwara Sahib, there is a written Bir of Guru Granth Sahib, on which is inscribed " 1904 Asu day ten" before the table of contents. On the back of the first leaf, in front of the opening leaf is a picture of Shri Guru Nanak Sahib, Bhai Bala and Mardana are with him and are sitting under the tree.

Gurdwara Baba Gurbakhsh Singh, Kandhari Kucha Hindu Gujar. Here is a written Bir of Guru Granth Sahib.

Gurdwara Bhai Pirana Sarai Lahoria: Bhai Pirana was a devout sikh of Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Guru Hargobind Sahib. 

He was a famous warrior, eminent  preacher. There is also a written Bir of Guru Granth Sahib. 

Gurdwara Shri Guru Har Rai Sahib Manji Asthan Bhai Goinda: There are two written volumes of the Guru  Granth Sahib, one of which, after the table of contents, contains the illumination of Chalitra Jyotijot on the Page 34. 

Sammat 1695 Varkhe Mahu Chet Sudi 9 Sri Satguru Baba Gurditta Ji Samaane

Sammat 1701 Chet Sudi 5 Aitwar Nau Ghadi Raat Jandi to Sri Satguru Karan Samarth Karta Purakhu Nirankar Nirvair Akal Murti Karta Purakhu Sri Hargobind Ji Samane Kirtipur. 

Sammat 1718 Katak Vadi 9 Sunday Hours 6 Days Remaining Sri Satguru Har Rai Ji Samane

Sammat 1721 Chet Sudi 14 Wednesday Sri Satguru Harkrishan Ji Samane. 

Satguru Tegh Bahadur Ji Samane 

Samat 1732 Miti Maghar Sudi 5 Thursday at 2 o'clock in the morning Sri Satguru Tegh Bahadur Ji Samana in Delhi Samane. 

 Samat 1765 Katak Vadi 5 Sri Satguru Gobind Singh Ji Samane Thursday Dakhan desh Nanded. 

The other side of this sheet is blank, the leaf number is 21. Leaf 22  is missing . On 24 leaf  (which On the other side) is a beautiful vine with the signature of Guru Gobind Singh Ji written in the middle.

" Ik Oankaar Satguru 

Sat Naam Karta Purakh "

On the next leaf is a picture of Guru Nanak, Bale and Mardane.

 Gurdwara Bhai Mansa Singh: Mansa Singh was a devout Singh in Kabul. He built a small gurdwara. Later Baba Chet Singh Ji, who has passed away very proudly, took more land from the nearby and  enlarged the Gurdwara.

There are four Birs of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and two of Dasam Granth Sahib. A written Bir of Sri Guru Granth Sahib but it is written that " Sammat 1795 mitti Sawann din 2 likh pounchey vartman khalse ke vich likhia. Khalsa Wahe Guru ji ka ji ka Vartiya." 

According to Dr. Ganda Singh"This inscription is of great historical significance which proves that by the time of Sammat 1795 Bikram( 1738 AD) , the word of the Khalsa had become popular in the Punjab and its fame had spread to Afghanistan."

This is the writing at the end of the Bir written by Sammat 1860

"Sammat 1860 mitti Sawann diney 20 Ramdas vich Amolik Ram Likhari putt…. Singari Kabul de wassi da vadda ghatta saudd ke parna. Wahe guru Wahe guru Wahe guru Wahe guru Wahe guru Ram Ram Wahe guru. " who was eighteen and the date was twenty-seven

  Bhai Kartar Singh, son of Bhai Ram Singh, grandson of Bhai Basant Singh, Hindu Gujar.In their house is Guru Granth Sahib in which starting couplet is as:

  " Ik Oankaar Satgur Parsaad Sat Naam ............ Parsaad." 

After the table of contents, there are dates of heavenly abodes:

Sambat 1695 Varkhe Mahu Chet Sudi 9 Shri Satguru Baba Gurdita Ji Samane Sambat 1701 Chet Sudi 5 Sunday Shri Satguru Hargobind Ji Samane

Sambat 1718 Varkhe  Mahu Katak Vadi 2  Sunday Shri Satguru Karta Purakh Hari Rai Ji Samane 

Sambat 1732  Chet Sudi Chaudas 14 Wednesday at Shri SatGuru Harkrishan ji samane Delhi vich. 

  Sambat 1732 Maghar Sudi 5 Thursday Shri Satguru Tegh Bahadur Dev Ji Samane Delhi vich. 

   From the next leaf, on the other side of which there is no number, the original text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib begins.

 The house of Bhai Kartar Singh also has a commemorative robe which is said to be of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

     Sangats from Kabul, Ghazni or Kandahar used to come to Punjab in caravans. Some years some families came, some years some. Due to family circumstances or financial constraints, many families have been visiting for only 20 years. The Birs inscribed in the gurdwaras for the purpose of Barjamu were brought with them by the assembled sangats of the place, but the Birs inscribed for keeping at home were brought by the devout Sikhs only when they themselves came for Darshan. Therefore, Guru Sahib's signatures were sometimes placed on them after a long time. 

Bhai Jyot Singh, Moti Singh son of  Bhai Jawahar Singh Grandson Bhai Bhag Singh, Lahori Darwaza Juba. In their house, the Bir of Guru Granth Sahib  is of great historical significance on  which  "Sammat 1747 katak sudi 9 written. Nisan Dastkhat Shri Guru Mahala 10 Jap Guru Ramdas ji ke Nakal ka Nakal." 

  On the pages of this Bir water scattered along with ink. It's said that during the time of atrocities of Gazis, the assassination of Major Sir Cavanari, an English resident, at Qila Bala-Hisar, including all the staff, on 9 September 1879 AD. After the demolition of houses in Kabul, the elders of the family wrapped the Bir in handkerchiefs and cloths, tied a rope and hung it in a well. When peace was restored, they preserved the Bir. 

      Bhai Gurmukh Singh, son of Bhai Sawan Singh,  Hindu Gujar, also had a Bir of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, but no date of writing was given.

Many gurdwaras were later martyred in the civil war and fighting in Afghanistan. The Birs described above are in those places today or in private homes. Sikhs and Nanak Naam Leva are taking care of so many and in what condition. Nothing can be said. Only Sikhs or Sahajdhari Veers from Afghanistan can give information about these Birs.It's  duty of our religious organisations to do digitalization of these birs as soon as possible to preserve for future generations. 

 

Jasbir Singh Sarna

Native of Kashmir, Independent historian, poet, Journalist. A well known writer with 56 published books in Punjabi and English. Retired Agriculture Officer

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