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Poetics of Dasam Granth - Book By Dr. Darshan Singh
Preface Of The Book 'Poetics of Dasam Granth' By Dr. Darshan Singh
For working on and analyzing the poetics of Dasam Granth, I have found suitable amongst all available versions and worthy for my present study, the one veted by sodhak committee constituted by Sri Akaal Takht Sahib in sammat 1952 Bikarmi. It was published by Bhai Jawahar Singh, Kirpal Singh and Co. Bazar Mai Sewan, Amritsar, in Sammat 2024 Bikarmi.
It consists of 1428 pages.
History is not my area of specialization, so I am not competent to identify, study and establish historicity of the events, characters or places mentioned in this granth. Similarly I did not let myself indulge in comparing the different available versions of the granth, nor I have found it necessary to exercise on the identity of the poet, the creator of this volume. Such issues I have left for the readers to assess as much and in the way his/her mental equipment permits him/her. At the same time, I do hereby humbly submit before the reader that honesty in understanding and sincerity for the purpose should rule over and above his/her subjective approach. Then his/her judgement will not falter and the conclusions shall be in the right direction, appealing to his/her sensitivity. I am conscious of the fact that some differences in opinion shall come up, but then it is the prerogative of the reader to resolve them. Keeping this in view I have concentrated upon the poetics of the granth. For this purpose, I have used only those texts which are essential for this study. For example, alongwith many other texts, I could not pick up Zafarnama also. I know and understand that it is exceptionally excellent work in the bulk of Persian poetry written in India, but I am also conscious of my limitation, to go into it and to select it for the present study.
All the page numbers, quoted in present work are from the above said version, in two volumes.
Excepting a small portion and other than in Persian language, the whole of Dasam granth is in Braj Bhasha, the literary vehicle of that time. The structure of this language is such that it becomes difficult even to read correctly, what to talk of understanding it. Therefore for a common reader particularly for one born in Panjab it is a very tough text, difficult to read and understand. Moreover whole of it is a work in poetry, which requires an intelligent mind, rigorous training in this art form and deep and sharp sensibility just for penetrating into the soul of the word, for understanding and decoding the words, metaphors, images used and created by the poet. Therefore it is not difficult to make out that it is not an easy occupation. Commenting upon its use and significance is yet more demanding. Then without reading and knowing the art of poetry, its sensibility, it is unfair to comment. Keeping such essentials for understanding it, in mind, I confess I may also not have been able to justify its poetics in full appreciation, therefore this treatment may be accepted with open heart, forgiving my lapses and suggesting me the measures for improvement.
Diversity in theme, in any piece of art, is never rare and pinching, rather it becomes a source of thrill and mystic ecstasy. At the same time it is very difficult for the reader to comprehend in totality. This exactly is the position of Dasam Granth. The diversity in its content and form is larger than expected in quality and quantity both. For example, even the names for God, the central theme, are uncountable. Variety in characters, in mentioned places, in poetic artifice is beyond human consumption. Then the thematic thread running from the above, the highest to the lowest, even the depiction of life in palace is a miracle in itself. The poet himself has indicated unambiguously that this granth is not one, to begin and end, but it is collection of more than one works. The above stated facts also support this argument. Therefore, it seems that the poet has written many texts, with many dimensions. But the compiler has combined them all in one granth. The reasons for this may be historical compulsions, which are understandable. But this granth is again de-meaned by the interpolators and obviously is disassembled and then assembled in the present form. This vicious mind has made the things a puzzle for the readers and therefore they are at a loss to understand the importance of the work. Second, this mind in inferno, is a success in its mission, by spoiling the mind of the reader, dividing the opinion hence power of those, who inherited the sanctity of the work, by creating controversies.
What is important for me and I think it should be for the reader also, is that it is a granth (book) and I am trying to analyse its poetics. It is the poetics of theme (themes) myth and history, characterization, language, words, metaphors etc, which has engaged the poet's mind and I think same should attract the mind of a reader.
Darshan Singh (Dr.) Professor Emeritus Panjab University, Chandigarh.