April 13, 2010 4:12:30 pm
Divisions among two groups of Sikhs in Canada over the authenticity of holy scripture Dasam Granth have come out in the open with violence breaking out in a gurudwara in which three people were injured.
The scuffle broke out after Darshan Singh,a former Akal Takht head priest,now-excommunicated from the faith claimed that the writings are inconsistent with Guru Gobind Singhs teachings.
Last week,three people were injured when a crowd of about 150 protesters gathered outside the Sikh Lehar Centre,Brampton,where Singh was invited to speak.
The management cancelled the talk,but a scuffle broke out and three people were injured,including the centres president,the Toronto Star reported.
There is nothing to prove that Guru Gobind Singh wrote most of the verses, Singh said.
Singh,who lives in Brampton,is one of the most vocal critics of the Dasam Granth. Singh,who has brought the controversy to the forefront,maintains the Dasam Granth is inconsistent with Gobind Singhs other teachings and could not have been written by him.
The debate was dormant ¿ people quietly believed one way or the other, a newspaper said,quoting Harbans Lal,president of Academy of Guru Granth Studies at Arlington,Texas. This open fighting is relatively recent … it started about 15 years ago. Now its blowing up in everyones face. Dasam Granth ¿ 1,428 pages long and mostly in Braj Bhasha,a dialect of Hindi spoken widely in many parts of India. A part of the scripture talks about promiscuity and consuming intoxicants,Singh added.
It says there shouldnt be any boundaries. No guru would ever preach that, he said.
Some verses in the Dasam Granth also freely talk about cutting hair,considered taboo for any practicing Sikh.
Hair is one of the important tenets of Sikhism,as said by the gurus, said Singh.
Since the scripture is mostly in Braj Bhasha,a language no longer spoken,only its translations have been widely read. Many verses are long and mystical,and there is room for misinterpretation,Lal,president of Academy of Guru Granth Studies said.
But Darshan Singh has no such qualms. I challenge you to read it and decide on your own if this could have been written by the guru, Singh said. Read and decide. Thats all, he added.
The scriptures were compiled after the gurus death in 1708 by Mani Singh,one of his disciples. Singh took nine years to gather the gurus writings from various followers.
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