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Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: Harcharan Singh (IP Logged)
Date: May 29, 2008 03:00PM

[www.tribuneindia.com]

PUNJABI REVIEW

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Wale Sheikh Farid di Bhal
by Prof Pritam Singh. Singh Brothers, Amritsar. Pages 368. Rs 650.

THE book is a research treatise on Baba Sheikh Farid, the 12th-century savant of the Chishti order of Sufis. He flourished about three centuries earlier than the advent of Guru Nanak. When the first recession of the holy Guru Granth Sahib was compiled and edited by Guru Arjan Dev in 1604, Baba Farid figured among 15 saints whose compositions found place of honour in the Granth, along with the contributions of the Gurus. Evidently, the verses of Farid were in circulation during the lifetime of Guru Nanak and his successors. Two of Farid’s compositions in Raag Assa and another two in Raag Suhi and Suhi Lalit besides 712 short verses (shalokas) are available in Guru Granth Sahib. Apart from these, numerous compositions authored by Farid in various dialects, some with slight differences in orthography have been discovered by scholars.

The main problem tackled by Pritam Singh in the book pertains to the identity of Sheikh Baba Farid. Is Farid one person or the name ‘Farid’ applies to more than one? Several of Baba Farid’s progeny and successors might have adopted the designation Farid in their respective poetic works. Dr Lajwanti Ram Krishna, who had her PhD from Paris, expressed the view that Farid Bani had been authored by one of Farid’s successors, Sheikh Ibrahim. Pritam Singh, facing such puzzles, started his search for the real identity of Baba Farid in 1950, and has published his magnum opus in 2008, at the age of 90.

The present volume is divided into five parts, plus 11-page foreword and a few supplements. The first part discusses the identity of Baba Farid Shakarganj, who is rated to be ‘Punjabi’ and ‘Sheikh’ meaning Darvesh, a Sufi leader, or Pir, authorised to enrol disciplines. Based on the testimony of his own verses, Farid is believed to have led a life of over nine decades. As for his poetic compositions, extensive documents in states other than Punjab had to be explored, particularly Rajashtan of the 17th century and Maharashtra of the 14th century.

Two followers of Dadupanth, namely Rajab and Gopaldas, preserved in their ‘Sarvangi’ handwritten accounts in Rajasthani, alluding to Farid’s verses which were found to be similar to several of the shalokas contained in Guru Granth Sahib. Similarly, a number of sheets written in Persian script, nicely imprinted in the present volume, eloquently speak of Baba Farid’s Punjabi verses making their way into Maharasthra. The conclusion thus emerges that Farid Shakarganj of Pak Pattan was the exclusive author of Farid Bani.

Other important features of the book are: the Persian sources, such as Fawaid-ul-Fuad, Khairul Majalis and Siarul Aulia, outlining Farid’s life-history, etc. A sketch of Faridkot’s relation with Baba Farid, supported by lively pictures of the shrines associated with his name. And the listing of fulsome literature published on the life, writings and teachings of the poet in Punjabi (Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi), Urdu, Hindi and English. All this transforms the book into a virtual Mahaan Kosh, an encyclopaedic reference book on Baba Farid.

This large-size volume indeed has ornamental value for the reader’s personal collection as well as libraries of colleges, universities and other institutions.

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: kulbir singh (IP Logged)
Date: May 30, 2008 06:40AM

It would be interesting to read this publication by Pritam Singh where he has tried to prove that the baani written in Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee under the name of Farid belongs to Farid Shakarganj of Pakpatan.

All Janamsakhis including Suraj Prakash agree that this baani belongs to Sheikh Ibrahim, the successor of Farid Shakarganj and a contemporary of Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee.

It's absurd to believe that Farid Shakarganj was a poet. His own desendents don't believe that he wrote any baani in even Persian, let alone Punjabi. Giani Gurdit Singh has already published a monumental book on this subject, and no scholar to this date has been able to refute the truth written by Giani jee.

Kulbir Singh

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: Harcharan Singh (IP Logged)
Date: May 30, 2008 07:24AM

Veer Kulbir singh Ji,

Could you provide some root sources backing the below stated comments:

1 - "It's absurd to believe that Farid Shakarganj was a poet."

2 - "His own desendents don't believe that he wrote any baani in even Persian, let alone Punjabi."

Dhanvaad.

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: kulbir singh (IP Logged)
Date: May 30, 2008 08:01AM

Please refer to Giani Gurdit Singh jee's book on history of Bhagat Baani in which he has detailed the back for the above stated claims. Baba Farid Shakarganj's own descendents have stated on numerous ocasions that Baba jee never wrote any kalaam in Punjabi.

Kulbir Singh

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: Harcharan Singh (IP Logged)
Date: May 30, 2008 02:01PM

Pritam Singh Ji is a respected academic who has researched this subject for a very long time. If he has physical evidence as his research claims, then the tables have been turned on Gyani Gurdit Singh Ji's works.

Baba Farid Ji's various factions - relgious and academic claim that he wrote kalaam in Punjabi language and Arabi script.

Faridkot, the Pakpattan school and numerous other institutions/places which have been set up and named have been done so in memory of the original Baba Farid.

The notion of a 'Sufi' (and the most famous and respected one in Punjab) not being a poet is little over the top.

Macauliffe's study of Baba Farid,was based on four manuscripts (three Persian and one Urdu) which in those days were 'preserved at Baba Farids memorial.

Does Suraj Prakash not say that Baba Farid ji's bani was collected by Guru Nanak Dev Ji from his decendant Ibrahim?

Lets see what comes of Pritam Singh Ji's extraordinary effort.





[www.punjabheritage.org]

The search for original Baba Farid ends after 60 years
Written by Varinder Walia, Tribune News Service, Amritsar
Saturday, 01 March 2008

Pritam Singh (90), a recipient of President and Bharatiya Sahit Academy awards, after 60 years of research has established that Punjabi language is more than seven centuries old.

The research, “Search of the original Baba Farid of Guru Granth Sahib”, has also challenged the research done by European and Indian scholars who believed that the hymns of Baba Farid were actually authored by Sheikh Brahm (Ibrahim). It was Farid, the second, whom Guru Nanak Dev met on two occasions.

The noted scholar has concluded that the hymns of Baba Farid were included in Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Arjan Dev, 333 years after the former’s death. He says the rare verses in Persian script supplied by US-based scholar helped in “clearing up one of the most troublesome problems in Indian literary history, the problem of the authorship of the Baba Farid verses in Guru Granth Sahib”.

Earlier, Max Arthur Macualiffe and some other scholars had stated that the hymns ascribed to Baba Farid were compositions by the latter, whereas others ascribe them to Farid Shakarganj. There are others who believe that the hymns were composed by different Sufis of the Pak Pattan Centre, all using the poetic name Farid.

The recent research, which runs into 368 pages and brought out by Singh Brothers, Amritsar, has pronounced that Baba Sheikh Farid Shakarganj is actually the founder of Punjabi literature and pioneer of modern Punjabi culture and concept of Punjabiat.

This research also makes Punjabi culture older than other languages of current times. Pritam, who has quoted rare Persian and Indian language primary sources in his voluminous research, said the search for the actual Baba Farid stood completed with the new findings. He has also reproduced some transcriptions to corroborate his painstaking research.

In the foreword of his research, Pritam claimed that the finding of the frescos on the tomb of Baba Farid at his birthplace - Multan (Pakistan) and hymns/couplets of Baba Farid in Persian scriptures had set at rest all speculations about the authenticity of his hymns incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib. It is for the first time that Pritam published some parts of the rare manuscripts, which were in the personal library of the author.

Pritam, who retired as head of the Department of Guru Nanak Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, in 1981 had started his research on Baba Farid in 1950 when he was teaching postgraduate classes at Mohindera College, Patiala. He said the book of Mohan Singh Diwana, “A History of Punjabi Literature (1933)”, became a source of inspiration for him. In his DLit thesis Diwana had claimed that Patpatan-born Baba Farid was the actual founder of Punjabi language whose hymns were incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib.

However, Macauliffe was the first foreign scholar, who in his research book “The Sikh Religion” had concluded that it was Sheikh Brahm who had composed the hymns bearing the name of Baba Farid in Guru Granth Sahib, though he used the name of the founder of the spiritual line. Another foreign scholar from Paris Denis Matringe also endorsed the view of Macauliffe. However, Pritam established contact with US-based Carl W. Ernst, who gave him some invaluable references of some rare manuscripts in Persian kept in Maharashtra purportedly belonging to Baba Farid.

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: Sukhdev Singh (IP Logged)
Date: June 01, 2008 03:51PM

I think this claim by Pritam singh that he has found rare manuscripts in Persian belonging to Baba Shakarganj will be very hard or impossible to prove. What source would you compare these new manuscripts to, as the claim is that there is no source from Shakarganj.

Like Bhai Kulbir Singh has said, his followers accept the fact that shakarganj did not compose any material. A book written in 1354-55 by Mulana Hamid Shayer has stated this many times that Shakarganj did not compose any works nor did his Successor Nizamudin.Even the name attributed to Shakarganj has changed over time this will inevitably give way for other changes and attributes to him.

Khalik Nizami a scholar of the House of Nizamudin has written" Masood Shakarganj used to call himself Mehaz Masood". In fact Masood is his real name but unlike Bhai Ibrahim who used be called Shaiek Farid Sani, Masood went by the name Mehaz Masood. Therefore if he was to compose any works it would mention the name he went by.Shakarganj was a nick name given to Masood because of the story related to his mother giving him Shakar for doing Bhagthee.

Masood was born in 1265-66 his Grandfather was an Iranian and so was his mother with that background and the strong influence of farsi it is hard to see him being the founder of Punjabi literature. It is one thing to learn a different language but to claim he founded the punjabi language is by far a long shot.

To further prove that Masood did not compose Gurbanee a scholar by the name of Professor Khalik Ahmed Nizami has written a book in English called "Life & Times of Shaiek Faridudin Gange-Shakar" published in 1955 he has written " Shaikh Nizam-u-d-din Auliya and his successors have given interesting details about the Shaikh, his literary tastes, his daily life, etc.Had it really been a work of the great saint they could not possibly have ignored it. It is, therefore, futile to attempt a decision on external evidence (He is talking about so called alleged works by Masood by certain people). The matter must be considered in the light of internal evidence.
He further goes onto say “Linguistic analysis of these Shaloks reveals that they contain idioms and expressions of a much latter date. The more deplume used in these Shalokas in Farid, but the Shaikh used to refer to himself, as Mas'ud, not as Farid. That these Shalokas are not the actual compositions of the great saint seems almost certain, but the fact cannot be denied that they contain some traditional sayings of the Shaikh" "Shaikh Ibrahim, a contemporary of Guru Nanak, is probably the real author of these Shalokas".

Having said all this the strongest evidence to claim who wrote the Fareed Bani is the meanings of Fareed Banee which point to the fact that they could only be written on meeting Siri Guru Nanak Dev Jee. A number of Janam sakhi accounts, Giani Gurdit Singh, Professor Sahib Singh all focus on this point in their writings.

I have one question for my veers who believe that Guru Nanak Dev Jee did not meet Shaiek Fareed Jee( or any other Bhagat) and that is who do they think wrote the mangalcharan in this case "IK Oankar Sat Gurparsad" do they beleive it was Shaiek Fareed Jee.
If so then it will be easy to come to a conclusion.
If they think it was someone else then who? what would be the reasoning for the addition was it not perfect in its present form. Even the most extreme will not suggest that it is only for decorative reasons.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2010 01:57PM by admin.

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: kulbir singh (IP Logged)
Date: June 05, 2008 08:46AM

Excellent points Veer Sukhdev Singh jeeo.

There is another interesting point that Gursikhs should note. We all know that language evolves over time and changes a bit over time. It is impossible to believe that the language used in Baba Farid jee's saloks is 300 years prior to the time of Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee. Just read Punjabi at the time of Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee as compared to today's Punjabi. Look how different it is. But if you look at baani of Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee and Baba Farid jee, you notice that the language used in both baanis is contemporary. I quote one shabad of Baba jee from Soohi Raag, in response to which Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee wrote a shabad:


ਸੂਹੀ ਲਲਿਤ ॥ ਬੇੜਾ ਬੰਧਿ ਨ ਸਕਿਓ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੀ ਵੇਲਾ ॥
ਭਰਿ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਜਬ ਊਛਲੈ ਤਬ ਤਰਣੁ ਦੁਹੇਲਾ ॥1॥
ਹਥੁ ਨ ਲਾਇ ਕਸੁੰਭੜੈ ਜਲਿ ਜਾਸੀ ਢੋਲਾ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਇਕ ਆਪੀਨ੍‍ੈ ਪਤਲੀ ਸਹ ਕੇਰੇ ਬੋਲਾ ॥
ਦੁਧਾ ਥਣੀ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਫਿਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਮੇਲਾ ॥2॥
ਕਹੈ ਫਰੀਦੁ ਸਹੇਲੀਹੋ ਸਹੁ ਅਲਾਏਸੀ ॥
ਹੰਸੁ ਚਲਸੀ ਡੁੰਮਣਾ ਅਹਿ ਤਨੁ ਢੇਰੀ ਥੀਸੀ ॥3॥2॥


ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ 1 ॥ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ਬੇੜੁਲਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਲੰਘਹਿ ਵਹੇਲਾ ॥
ਨਾ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਨਾ ਊਛਲੈ ਐਸਾ ਪੰਥੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ॥1॥
ਤੇਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੰਜੀਠੜਾ ਰਤਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਚੋਲਾ ਸਦ ਰੰਗ ਢੋਲਾ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਸਾਜਨ ਚਲੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਕਿਉ ਮੇਲਾ ਹੋਈ ॥
ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਗੰਠੜੀਐ ਮੇਲੇਗਾ ਸੋਈ ॥2॥
ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਵੀਛੁੜੈ ਜੇ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹੋਈ ॥
ਆਵਾ ਗਉਣੁ ਨਿਵਾਰਿਆ ਹੈ ਸਾਚਾ ਸੋਈ ॥3॥
ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਨਿਵਾਰਿਆ ਸੀਤਾ ਹੈ ਚੋਲਾ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਹ ਕੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬੋਲਾ ॥4॥
ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਸਹੇਲੀਹੋ ਸਹੁ ਖਰਾ ਪਿਆਰਾ ॥
ਹਮ ਸਹ ਕੇਰੀਆ ਦਾਸੀਆ ਸਾਚਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥5॥2॥4॥



Baba jee writes:

ਬੇੜਾ ਬੰਧਿ ਨ ਸਕਿਓ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੀ ਵੇਲਾ ॥


Siri Guru jee replies:

ਜਪ ਤਪ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ਬੇੜੁਲਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਲੰਘਹਿ ਵਹੇਲਾ ॥

Baba jee writes:

ਭਰਿ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਜਬ ਊਛਲੈ ਤਬ ਤਰਣੁ ਦੁਹੇਲਾ ॥1॥


Siri Guru jee replies:

ਨਾ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਨਾ ਊਛਲੈ ਐਸਾ ਪੰਥੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ॥1॥



Baba jee writes:

ਹਥੁ ਨ ਲਾਇ ਕਸੁੰਭੜੈ ਜਲਿ ਜਾਸੀ ਢੋਲਾ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Siri Guru jee replies:

ਤੇਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੰਜੀਠੜਾ ਰਤਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਚੋਲਾ ਸਦ ਰੰਗ ਢੋਲਾ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Baba jee writes:

ਇਕ ਆਪੀਨ੍‍ੈ ਪਤਲੀ ਸਹ ਕੇਰੇ ਬੋਲਾ ॥

Siri Guru jee replies:

ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਹ ਕੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬੋਲਾ ॥4॥

And while Baba jee says that 'ਸਹ ਕੇਰੇ ਬੋਲਾ', Siri Guru jee says 'ਸਹ ਕੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬੋਲਾ'. Siri Guru continues to say that Vaheguru's is extremely pyara - 'ਸਹੁ ਖਰਾ ਪਿਆਰਾ'


Just note the language in baanis of Baba jee and Siri Guru jee. Do you think that the Punjabi used by Baba jee above is 300 years older than what Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee used? The answer is clear. As the matter of fact, it seems clear that Siri Guru jee is answering spiritual questions of Baba jee. The conversation is taking place at one time. Baba jee is stating his spiritual avastha with great sorrow - ਬੇੜਾ ਬੰਧਿ ਨ ਸਕਿਓ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੀ ਵੇਲਾ ॥ but Siri Guru jee's words encourage him and solve the spiritual riddly Baba jee was facing at that time.

If you read these two shabads side by side, you can conjecture what kind of conversation took place between Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee Maharaj and Baba Sheikh Ibrahim also known as Farid Saani, in their two meetings recorded by Sikh history.

Baba jee was thrilled after meeting Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee because his spiritual riddles were resolved and if you read the following shabads of Baba jee in Soohi Raag, you can tell he is talking about Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee:

ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਿ ਮੇਲੀ ॥
ਜਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਦੇਖਾ ਤਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਅਲਹੁ ਬੇਲੀ ॥3॥

Just open the eyes of your Bibek Budh and see whom Baba Farid jee is referring to ‘saadh’ in the above quote. Could Baba Farid Shakarganj of 12 century, who was a migrant from Iran and who’s mother tongue was not Punjabi, say that when he met the Sadhu (Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee) by the grace of Prabhu, he then realized that Allah had become his friend. Muslims don’t believe in meeting Sadhus and then realizing God. Even the Sufis who existed much later don’t call their Gurus Sadhu. They call them Murshids. It is clear that Baba Farid jee met Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee and become his Sikh. In our Janamsakhis it is clearly written that Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee went to see Farid Sani two times, second time to check his spiritual progress.

Daas,
Kulbir Singh

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: Harcharan Singh (IP Logged)
Date: June 05, 2008 02:41PM

Veer Kulbir Singh Ji,

"Could Baba Farid Shakarganj of 12 century, who was a migrant from Iran and who’s mother tongue was not Punjabi, say that when he met the Sadhu (Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee) by the grace of Prabhu, he then realized that Allah had become his friend."

Baba Sheikh Farid Ji was born was born in Kothiwal, near Dipalpur in West Punjab. Therefore Punjabi must have been his mother tongue.

It is a well known fact that true Sufi/Bhagat make no distinction between religion or even culture and language. It is no surprise that a Bhagat of the legendary status and world following such as Sheikh Farid Ji, who was known for meeting and spending time with holy men all over his travels would make reference to a Sadhu.

Regarding the Puratan Janam Sakhis, Professor Sahib Singh Ji is of the opinion that Guru Ji visited Baba Ji's shrine at Pakpattan and spoke to Baba Ji's 11th generation decendant and follower Sheikh Ibrahim. He collected Baba Ji's bani from Ibrahim Sahib and composed bani to 'enhance' and give futher clarification/direction to Baba Ji's already holy words. Guru Amardas Ji later did the same - "not on meeting Baba Ji", but on responding to his collected bani.

The rate of progress in all material fields in the last few hundred years far exceeds the rate of progress beforehand, so the language evolution theory is not so relevant.

Like I said, lets see what Pritam Singh Ji has to add to the discussion - may I point out, the above discussion simply reflects viewpoints and research (biased in some areas), not 'facts'.

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: kulbir singh (IP Logged)
Date: June 05, 2008 04:19PM

Bhai Harcharan Singh jeeo,

-------
It is a well known fact that true Sufi/Bhagat make no distinction between religion or even culture and language. It is no surprise that a Bhagat of the legendary status and world following such as Sheikh Farid Ji, who was known for meeting and spending time with holy men all over his travels would make reference to a Sadhu.
--------

It is extremely unlikely that a first generation migrant from Iran, in 12th century would refer to his murshid as Sadhu. Please inform, whom Farid, actually known as Masaud, is referring to Sadhu? It is clear that whoever had been Farid's mentor, must have been a Muslim. Why would he refer to him as Sadhu? Even Bulle Shah who lived 400-500 years later did not refer to his Murshid Inayat Shah as Sadhu, to the best of my knowledge. You cannot ignore this very important point. Sadhu is definitely Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee here. When reading Farid Shakarganj's history, we don't find a single non-Muslim Mahapurakh in his life. To a Muslim Mahapurakh, he would never refer to as Murshid. Then whom is he calling 'Sadhu'?

Why do you want to ignore what our history says i.e. that Siri Guru jee met Farid Saani two times? What is the problem in Guru Nanak Sahib meeting Farid Saani and Farid Saani's baani being included in Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee? Why does this baani have to be of Masaud Shakarganj, who never used the name 'Farid' when referring to himself?

--------
The rate of progress in all material fields in the last few hundred years far exceeds the rate of progress beforehand, so the language evolution theory is not so relevant.
---------

Not true. We see that even from Pancham Paatshaah to Siri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, the language used in Gurbani is different. How can you say that language did not evolve in the 300 years from Farid Shakarganj to Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee? I think this statement was not based on facts.

Above all, I don't under stand how Farid Shakarganj, who did not meet Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee, managed to reach Sachkhand level and bring Dhur kee Baani from there? If someone does not have the true Guru, how can he or she reach the spiritual level required to utter Gurbani? I realize that this is a separate topic and hope this discussion does not get hijacked by this remark.

Kulbir Singh

 



Re: Search for Sheikh Farid
Posted by: admin (IP Logged)
Date: June 02, 2010 07:51AM

Bump

 





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