2nd Dohara: "As[i] Kripaan Dhaaraadharee..."

2nd Dohara: "As[i] Kripaan Dhaaraadharee..."
Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchal Nagar Sahib Nanded: how many shastars can you name?

Dhan Dhan Kalgidhar Maharaj, Chittey Baja Wale Paatshah, Neela-Ghorh Asvaar, Sarbans Daani, Dasmesh Pita Ji Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji Maharaj –
ਦੋਹਰਾ (Doharaa)
ਅਸਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨ ਧਾਰਾਧਰੀ ਸੈਫ ਸੂਲ ਜਮਦਾਢ ॥
As[i] Kripaan Dhaaraadharee Saif Sool Jamdhaatd
ਕਵਚਾਂਤਕ ਸਤ੍ਰਾਂਤਕਰ ਤੇਗ ਤੀਰ ਧਰਬਾਢ ॥੨॥
Kavachaa[n]thak Sathraa[n]thakar Thaeg Theer Dharbaatd

This is the 2nd Doharaa, please see previous sections for relevant context

The Arslantepe Mound Swords/Daggers: oldest known swords still available for us to see (From Taurus Mtns, present-day Turkey/3300-3000 BCE; made from Arsenic/Copper alloy; some of the swords have a silver inlay)


ਅਸਿ / Us[i]

Mehron Steek (same definition in Giani Bishan Singh Steek)

ਤਲਵਾਰ: Talwaar

Pandit Narayan Singh Steek and Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi Steek

ਖਮਦਾਰ ਤਲਵਾਰ: A Talwaar with a bend to it. 

Mahaan Kosh

ਅਸਿ/As[i]: ਕੱਟਣ ਦਾ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ: A Shastar that cuts.

 In the last section we mentioned that terms like Us[i], Talwaar, Kharag, Tegh, Shamshir, etc. can be general terms for swords. Maharaj repeats these names multiple times and this allows us to look at swords from all over the world. There are certain shastars mentioned in ancient theology which we do not unfortunately have access to today but also famous shastars which are known for their strength, design, or story related to it.

Sri Sahibs belonging to Maharaja Ranjit Singh (seated on Takht at Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded; taken by Brind on Flickr



Mahaan Kosh (similar definition provided by Bhai Vir Singh in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Kosh)

ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਯਨ. ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਦਾ ਘਰ, ਦਯਾ ਦਾ ਨਿਵਾਸ।
The home of blessing/grace; where compassion resides
ਤਲਵਾਰ/ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ/ਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੀਰ: Talwaar, Sri Sahib, Shamshir;

References Bhai Nand Lal Ji’s Q&A
ਕੱਛ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨ ਨ ਕਬਹੂ ਤ੍ਯਾਗੈ।
Kachh Kripaan n Kabahoo Tyaagai
Never let go of the Kirpan or Kachheraa
ਸਨਮੁਖ ਲਰੈ ਨ ਰਣ ਤੇ ਭਾਗੈ
Sanmukh Larai n RaN Thae Bhaagai
They fight facing the battle and never run from away from it

(ਪ੍ਰਸਨੈੱਤਰ ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ)

None of the steeks nor kathas mention Kirpaan, perhaps due to the name being common knowledge


There are multiple references to the term 'Kirpaan' in Gurbani. Dhan Guru Ram Das Ji give us updesh in Raag Kaanraa where we see the use of Kirpaan:
ਮਤਿ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ; ਸੁਨਿ ਜਸੁ ਕਾਨ ॥
Math[i] Gurmath[i] Sun[i] Jas[u] Kaan
Accept the Guru's Mindset as your mindset, listen to Vaheguru's Praises with your ears
ਹਰਿ ਹੋ; ਹੋ ਕਿਰਪਾਨ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Har[i] Ho Ho Kirpaan
Vaheguru is present & Vaheguru is the Graceful
(Ang 1297)

When the talwar comes into the hand of the Sikh, then it is referred to as a Kirpaan because the weapon is used as Kirpaa/Grace in Degh-Tegh Fateh! Protecting the defenseless and fighting wars of righteousness. Dhan Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj explain to us Vaheguru's destructive power:
ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਣ ਪਾਣ ਧਾਰੀਯੰ ॥
KripaaN PaaN Dhhaareey[ng]
Vaheguru adorns the Kirpaan
ਕਰੋਰ ਪਾਪ ਟਾਰੀਯੰ ॥

Karor Paap Taareey[ng]
Millions of sins are avoided!
(Bachithar Naatak)
 When you remember death and how precious human life is, then you avoid wasting breaths by committing bad deeds.
 Traditionally, Kirpaans are large swords not daggers as we see them today. So where did this change happen. In the line of historical events, the Khalsa was always shastardhari to the teeth. When the British Raaj took over Punjab from the remnants of the Sikh empire then the Khalsa was de-armed. There was a systematic means to remove them.
 The Indian Arms Act of 1878 (XI) made it so that no one could own arms unless permitted by the British Government. Under Section II.5, the following is written: "No person shall manufacture, convert or sell, or keep, offer or expose for sale, any arms, ammunition or military stores, except under a licence and in the manner and to the extent permitted thereby". Under the Section I.4 the definition of arms is provided as: " 'arms' includes- (i) clasp-knives the blades of which are pointed and exceed three inches in length; (ii) knives, with pointed blades rigidly affixed, or capable of being rigidly affixed, to the handle, and measuring in all over five inches in length which are not intended exclusively for domestic, agricultural or industrial purposes: provided that it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved that knives of this description are not intended exclusively for such purposes; (iii) knives of such other kinds as the President of the Union may, by notification, prescribe; and (iv) fire-arms, bayonets, swords, daggers, spears, spear-heads and bows and arrows, also cannon and parts of arms, and machinery for manufacturing arms" (Myanmar Law Library; laws still the same as rest of South Asia, can find this in Indian & Pakistani legal documents).
 There was a huge struggle after the 1878 act, Kirpan regulation differed in various regions of South Asia and the regulations relaxed. This changed in the 1920s: 'In February, 1921, the Deputy Commissioner of Jullundur issued an order requiring the local manufacturers not to manufacture Kirpans of greater length than nine inches'. There were Kirpaan factories raided during this time and a lot of Sikhs jailed for keeping a Kirpan. One hundred years later, we haven't moved forwards as a result of that legislation. To read more about the Kirpan Morcha, please see this 2016 Haryana State Court case file: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/178477505/.

This is a 1913 Hukamnama from Takht Sri Hazur Sahib about the Kirpan length: "... people wear smaller and smaller Kirpans as the days go on... keep a minimum of 1 ft long Kirpaan" (Aad Sikh te Aad Sakhiyan, Sikh National Archives of Canada)

  Over the last century, Kirpan legislation around the world is based off the British small dagger standard which devolved in the early 1900s.

When measuring the sharpness of a sword, we look at other factors such as metal quality, shape, the grain, among other things. This is a close-up of a Japanese Sword & its areas of inspection (Unique Japan)



Mehron Steek (similar definition in Giani Bishan Singh Steek, Pandit Narayan Steek, and Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi Steek)

ਤੇਜ ਧਾਰ ਤਲਵਾਰ: Sharp-edged Talwaar

Mahaan Kosh

ਤਿੱਖੀ ਧਾਰ ਰੱਖਣ ਵਾਲਾ, ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ: that which keeps a sharp edge, shastar

Giani Sher Singh Ambale Wale Katha translation (similar explanation in Giani Harbhajan Singh Dhudike’s Katha)

Giani Ji echoes what is said in Mahaan Kosh and the previous steeks while making a gesture with his hand drawing a curved edge on a talwaar

Maharaj refers to a large scale of different weapons here because Dhhaaraadharee refers to any weapon with a sharp edge. Outside of sharpening a blade, there are many things we should consider when obtaining shastars: the metal used, the shape of the shastar, and how it was forged.

Signature Damascus pattern

 Wootz steel is the most famous type of metal/alloy when it comes to puratan swords. It is a combination of just the right amount of carbon added to iron. This steel was used in swords by artisans in the Damascus region of the Middle East. The wavy pattern it produced, became known as the Damascus pattern. These shastars were known to be really sharp but still lightweight. Modern damascus can be defined in different ways. Sometimes, you will just see a cheap coating on top of a shastar just for aesthetics. In most proper Damascus shastars, the metals will be folded or twisted to create the signature wavy pattern design. With the help of technology, we have stronger metal alloys available to us today but the handcrafted way is preferred by many.

Scottish Claymore: an example of a broadsword (falls under the definition of a straight sword); British Museum; also the same type of sword used by Scot William Wallace (Braveheart film about him)



Mehron Steek (same definition in Pandit Narayan Steek, similar definition in Giani Bishan Singh and Dr. Rattan Singh Steek)

ਲੈਸ (ਦੋ ਧਾਰੀ ਸਿਧੀ ਤੇ ਲੰਬੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ ਜਿਸ ਦੀ ਮੁੱਠ ਪਿੱਛੇ ਲੰਬੀ ਹੁੱਕ ਕੜੇ ਨਾਲ ਅੜਾਉਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਲਗੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ):

Saif (written "Lais", believe to be typo): Double-Edged Straight and Long Talwaar which has a handle with a long hook to fix a Kara upon

Mahaan Kosh

ਸਿੱਧੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ

Arabic word for a straight sword

  Saif can be used as a general term for a straight sword. European Broadswords also fall into this category.

In the well-known shabad: Khyaal Paatshahi 10vi.. Maharaj says: "Sool Surahee Khanjar Piaalaa"



Mehron Steek (similar definitions in Pandit Narayan Singh Steek, Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi Steek, Giani Bishan Singh Steek)

ਨੇਜਾ ਜਾਂ ਤ੍ਰਿਸੂਲ: Neja (Spear) or Thrisool (Trident)

Mahaan Kosh (also referred to by Giani Harbhajan Singh Dhudhike)


Sanskrit origins Shool/Thrisool

ਨੇਜ਼ਾ. ਭਾਲਾ

Neja or Bhaalaa (Spear)

After leaving Anandpur Sahib & the Shaheedi of the Dhan Baba Ajeet Singh Ji, Dhan Baba Jujhar Singh Ji, Pyara Bhai Himmat Singh, Pyara Bhai Mohkam Singh, Pyara Bhai Sahib Singh and other respected Gursikhs – Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj slept on the thorn-filled, rocky terrain of Machhiwara Jungle. Maharaj refers to the Sool in terms of a pitcher made of spearheads:
ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੂ; ਹਾਲੁ ਮੁਰੀਦਾਂ ਦਾ ਕਹਣਾ ॥
Mithr Piaarae Noo Haal[u] Mureedhaa[n] Dhaa KahaNaa
Tell the Beloved Vaheguru, the State of His Disciples
ਤੁਧੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਰਜਾਇਯਾ ਦਾ ਓਢਣ; ਨਾਗ ਨਿਵਾਸਾ ਦੇ ਰਹਣਾ ॥
Thudh[u] Bin Rog[u] Rajaaeeaa Dhaa OtdaN naag nivaasaa Dhae RahaNaa
Without You Maharaj, it is like wearing blankets riddled with disease & living with snakes...
ਸੂਲ ਸੁਰਾਹੀ ਖੰਜਰੁ ਪਿਯਾਲਾ; ਬਿੰਗੁ ਕਸਾਈਯਾ ਦਾ ਸਹਣਾ ॥
Sool Suraahee Kha[n]jar[u] Piyaalaa Bi[n]g[u] Kasaaeeaa Dhaa SahaNaa
[Without You Maharaj] it is like having a pitcher made from spearheads and a goblet of daggers, tolerating the gestures of butchers
ਯਾਰੜੇ ਦਾ ਸਾਨੂ ਸਥਰੁ ਚੰਗਾ; ਭੱਠ ਖੇੜਿਆ ਦਾ ਰਹਣਾ ॥੧॥੧॥੬॥
Yaararhae Dhaa Saanoo Sathhar[u] Cha[n]gaa Bhatt Kherhiaa Dhaa RahaNaa
We prefer our Beloved's Earth [to sleep on] [rather than] living in the burning comfort of towns

Kataar of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji (Dal Baba Bidhi Chand)



Mehron Steek (similar definitions in Pandit Narayan Singh Steek, Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi Steek, Giani Bishan Singh Steek)

ਜਮ ਦੀ ਦਾੜ ਜਿਹੀ ਸਖਤ ਕਾਲ ਰੂਪ ਕਰਦ:
Like the molars of death, a hardened small dagger that comes as the form of death.

Mahaan Kosh

ਕਟਾਰ, ਜੋ ਯਮ ਦੀ ਦਾੜ ਜੇਹਾ ਹੈ:
Kataar: which is like the molars of death

2. ਬਿਛੂਆ, ਖਮਦਰ ਨੋਕ ਵਾਲਾ ਪੇਸ਼ਕਬਜ
Bichhooaa: Peshkabj with a bend to it

3. ਦੋ ਮੂੰਹਾਂ ਵਾਲਾ ਕਟਾਰ:
Kataar with two-faces (perhaps referring to double blade)

Giani Sher Singh Ambale Wale Katha Translation

Refer to Jamdharh as a Kataar.
Giani Ji makes a point to note that a lot of artisans making shastars today incorrectly label the Dhaiaa-Ainee Shastar as a Jamdharh.
The tooth of the death acts as a messenger of death. Just like a pistol is a common police weapon, the kataar was kept as a common emergency weapon

Jam-Dhaarh literally means the Molars of the Messengers of Death.
In a Kabitt in Akaal Ustat, Maharaj refers to the Spiritual Truth about our existence:
ਕਾਲ ਕੇ ਬਨਾਇ, ਸਬੈ ਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਚਬਾਹਗੇ ॥
Kaal Kae Banaae[i] Sabai Kaal Hee Chabaahgae
Being made of mortal [temporary 5 elements], everything will be chewed on by death [nothing can live forever in this manifestation]

Depiction of Sikh & Allies wearing chain mail armour



Mehron Steek (similar definition in Pandit Narayan Singh, Giani Bishan Singh, Dr. Rattan Singh Steek, Giani Sher Singh)

ਕਵਚਾਂਤਿਕ (ਜੋ ਸੰਜੋ ਨੁੰ ਕਟਕੇ ਉਸਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੀ): that which cuts/penetrates through armour/chain mail and thus, ends it

Giani Sher Singh also provides example of a peshkabz dagger that is pointed from the beginning and slowly gets wider it gets towards the grip (this allows it to first pierce through armour then proceed to make the gap larger and larger)

Mahaan Kosh

ਕਵਚ (ਸੰਜੋਏ) ਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਖੜਗ, ਤੀਰ ਨੇਜ਼ਾ ਅਤੇ ਬੰਦੂਕ:
The Kharrhag, Theer, Nezha, and Bandhook which ends the armour. (Kavachaant(i)/Kavachaant(i)kar are put together to have the same definition.
Kar by itself can mean hand; ie the hand which destroys armour)

100th Chhand from Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji's Letter: Zafarnama to Emperor Aurangzeb (Maharaj referencing their escape from the enemy)



Mehron Steek (similar definition by Pandit Narayan Singh, Giani Bishan Singh, Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi, Giani Sher Singh)

ਵੈਰੀ ਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੀ: That which brings an end to the enemy

 Guru Sahib refers to Aurangzeb & his army as the Enemy in Zafarnama. Akaal Purakh's Fauj still exists. The tyrannical Mughal government & army do not exist anymore. Vaheguru is the Shathroo-Anth-Kar: The One that ends the enemy. This refers to any weapon that can destroy the opposing force or the spiritual opposing force (5 Vices).

Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji has Tegh in Their Name. Both Brave while wielding the Tegh & accepting Shaheedi from the Tegh as well (Contemporary painting of Maharaj by Bengali Royal Painter Ahsan, 1668 CE)



Mahaan Kosh (similar definition in Bhai Vir Singh’s Kosh)

Farsi origin: Thaegg 

ਤਲਵਾਰ. ਖੜਗ; Talwaar/Kharrag

Giani Bishan Singh Steek

ਤਲਵਾਰ: Thalwaar

Thaeg/Teg is another umbrella term for swords (not to be confused with Teghaa, a specific shastar we will go over soon)

Khapraa Theer seated on Takht at Sri Hazur Sahib; This Arrow was placed on the Heads of Those Blessed Sikhs whom Kalgidhar Maharaj was Pleased with (Brind on Flickr)



None of the steeks nor Mahaan Kosh define Theer 

N/A; perhaps no definition is provided because it is a common punjabi word for arrow.

Sri Guru Granth Kosh by Dr. Gurcharan Singh

ਕਮਾਣ ਵਿਚ ਰੱਖ ਕੇ ਚਲਾਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਲੰਮਾ ਨੋਕਦਾਰ ਹਥਿਆਰ: A long pointed weapon that is fired by placing within a bow

Giani Sher Singh Ambale Wale Katha Translation

That which is launched (Giani Ji makes a gesture of pulling a bow while explaining this arth)

There are a lot of types of theers and a lot of history behind them. This will be discussed in the future.

The intricacy of Samurai Swordsmanship (via Smithsonian)



Mehron Steek 

The one that cuts and throws the person on the ground

Mahaan Kosh (ਧਰ and ਬਾਢ defined separately)

ਧਰ: refer to the torso or taking on something
ਬਾਢ: the act of cutting

Giani Bishan Singh Steek

ਬਾਢ ਦੇ ਧਾਰਨ ਵਾਲੀ ਭਾਵ ਵਾਢੀ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੀ:
The one that takes on the act of cutting meaning: the cutting weapon

Giani Sher Singh Ambale Wale Katha Translation (same explanation as Dr. Rattan Singh Jaggi)

Giani Ji says Baad refers to the same sharp edge [as in Dhaaraadharee]

Edo Period (1603-1867) Kanbun Shinto Katana from Unique Japan

 The famous Samurai swords are known for their strong yet sharp steel. Japanese steel is strengthened through a process of folding the metal until impurities are removed. Most people know the Katana sword but there are many others. Katana is a longer sword (about 23-28 inches long). The Wakizashi is 1-2 ft long. The Tanto is a small dagger size under 1 ft. All of these swords are made the same way and were used by Samurai.
If we reflect on this section, shastars have so many different aspects to love: Guru Sahib's History, Gursikh History, World History around Shastars, the technical aspects of making a shastar, location of the shastar, the action of using a shastar & it's power/strength, the aesthetics, among many other factors to love shastars!

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