There is a word that is used for a person (which I will not use here) who bites the hand that feeds him. All his life Professor Darshan Singh has sang shabads from Dasam Granth Ji to earn his living. He is now trying to suppress this fact by claiming copyrights on videos that show him reciting the pavitar bani of Dasam Granth. Now that his hair has turned grey, and for an Buddha he should know better, he has turned his back to his Guru.
The astonishing aspect of this whole affair is that Darshan Singh makes the most rudimentary of mistakes in his argument, ones that a high school pupil would be embarrassed to own up to.
The title of ChritraPukhyan, Pakhayan means a story coming out of an existing story. That means the stories were already in existence in skeletal form and are being retold. These stories already existed, some in the Hindu Rig Vedas, others in ancient scripts, so what is being told here is a retelling or already established tales - these are not historical events. The purpose is to give moral lesson in local flavour. Guru Ji writes in the beginning of this composition" Ath sri Charitro pakhayan likhayte." That means " Now I am writing character stories that are already existing ."
The second most important thing to know is that these stories are being recited in the 3rd person, to a King Chittar Singh of an ancient era by his minister. That is obvious when one reads charitra two. The other charitras are continued recitals to the King, so they have nothing to do with Guru Ji period.
So now let us examine the Charittras in detail.
At the start of charitropakhayan Guru sahib writes :
ਅਥ ਪਖ੍ਯਾਨ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਲਿਖ੍ਯਤੇ ॥
अथ पख्यान चरित्र लिख्यते ॥
Pakhayan means Story coming out of existing story.
ਲਿਖ੍ਯਤੇ = writing
In charitra 2 where the plot of charitra starts, it is Raja Chittar Singh of town Chittarwati
ਚਿਤ੍ਰਵਤੀ ਨਗਰੀ ਬਿਖੈ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਨ੍ਰਿਪ ਏਕ ॥ ਤੇ ਕੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਸੰਪਤਿ ਘਨੀ ਰਥ ਗਜ ਬਾਜ ਅਨੇਕ ॥ ੧॥
चित्रवती नगरी बिखै चित्र सिंघ न्रिप एक ॥ ते के ग्रिह स्मपति घनी रथ गज बाज अनेक ॥१॥
ਏਕ ਅਪਸਰਾ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਕੇ ਜਾਤ ਸਿੰਗਾਰ ਬਨਾਇ ॥ ਨਿਰਖ ਰਾਇ ਅਟਕਤਿ ਭਈ ਕੰਜ ਭਵਰ ਕੇ ਭਾਇ ॥ ੩॥
एक अपसरा इंद्र के जात सिंगार बनाइ ॥ निरख राइ अटकति भई कंज भवर के भाइ ॥
The word ‘Rai’ that is used means ‘king’ and not Guru, how can it mean Guru when it has already been established that this is a tale in the third person about a King Chittar?
It is important to understand that at the end of every charitra is written: :
ਇਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਖ੍ਯਾਨੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਯਾ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰੇ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੀ ਭੂਪ ਸੰਬਾਦੇ ਦੁਤਿਯ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਮਾਪਤਮ ਸਤੁ ਸੁਭਮ ਸਤੁ ॥ ੨॥੭੮॥ਅਫਜੂੰ॥
इति स्री चरित्र पख्याने त्रिया चरित्रे मंत्री भूप स्मबादे दुतिय चरित्र समापतम सतु सुभम सतु
That means that a story from an existing story is being told by a minister to king Chittar singh whose setting is ancient period and that the charittra is now coming to an end.
Then in the charitra we come across
ਏਕ ਬਿਮਾਤ੍ਰਾ ਭਾਨ ਕੀ ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਪੁਰ ਬੀਚ ॥ ਬਹੁ ਪੁਰਖਨ ਸੌ ਰਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਊਚ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਨੀਚ ॥ ੨॥
एक बिमात्रा भान की रामदास पुर बीच ॥ बहु पुरखन सौ रति करै ऊच न जानै नीच ॥२॥
ਭਾਨ ਕਰੋ ਕਰਤੇ ਬਡੋ ਸੁਪਨ ਦਿਯੋ ਪਤਿ ਆਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਹੌ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇ ਕੇ ਜਰਤ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਪੁਰ ਜਾਇ ॥ ੮॥
भान करो करते बडो सुपन दियो पति आइ ॥ ता ते हौ हरि राइ के जरत कीरति पुर जाइ ॥८॥
In the above charitra name of Ramdass pur( Amritsar) is mentioned. It is also mentioned that lady brought her son to kirtapur.
When Guru ji writes that now i am going to write pakhyan that itself says that it is a story coming out of another story.
Secondly the story is being recited by a minister to his king. That itself proves that settings are fictional. It is art of storytelling to take story to greater height. Story is a tale and not history.
now coming to charitra 21 it is written
ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬੰਦ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਮਾਝ ਨ੍ਰਿਪ ਪੂਤ ਡਾਰਿਯੋ ॥ ਭਈ ਭੋਰ ਬਹੁਰੌ ਨਿਕਟ ਕੋ ਹਕਾਰਿਯੋ ॥ ਤਬੈ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਯੋ ਰਾਇ ਸੋ ਬੈਨ ਭਾਖ੍ਯੋ ॥ ਚਿਤਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਕੇ ਪੂਤ ਕੌ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਰਾਖ੍ਯੋ ॥ ੧॥
बहुरि बंद ग्रिह माझ न्रिप पूत डारियो ॥ भई भोर बहुरौ निकट को हकारियो ॥ तबै मंत्र यो राइ सो बैन भाख्यो ॥ चितर सिंघ के पूत कौ प्रान राख्यो ॥१॥
See the word Rai used for King chittra Singh and the story is being told to him.
Coming to word ‘sikh’ in charitra 21, the word 'sikh' has multiple meanings. Here sikh is translated to servant. It has to be servant as the same word is used for the servants of lady Noop Koer. see below :
ਸੁਨਤ ਰਾਵ ਕੋ ਬਚ ਸ੍ਰਵਨ ਤ੍ਰਿਯ ਮਨਿ ਅਧਿਕ ਰਿਸਾਇ ॥ ਚੋਰ ਚੋਰ ਕਹਿ ਕੈ ਉਠੀ ਸਿਖ੍ਯਨ ਦਿਯੋ ਜਗਾਇ ॥ ੫੯॥
सुनत राव को बच स्रवन त्रिय मनि अधिक रिसाइ ॥ चोर चोर कहि कै उठी सिख्यन दियो जगाइ ॥५९॥
It also must be noted that the Lady Noop Koer is a wealthy lady of stature so cannot be a prostitute as asserted by Prof. Darshan Singh, infact the word prostitute is not mentioned once in the charitars.
Just to give a background oft his statement,in Charitra 21 it is written
Ik triya dhanwant ki taun nagar main aan
wife of a rich person came to reside in that town
Now Darshan singh has changed a rich married woman into a prostitute. In the same vein Prof. Darshan Singh has stated on more than one occasion that the word for pimp – Bharau is used, again if a detailed examination of the text is made this word or any similar word does not appear at all. Professor darshan singh has also made an illiterate mistake in judging the 3rd person as 1st within the chitrapakhian bani for Rai. One must come to the conclusion that 1. Darshan Singh is really not worthy of the title Professor or 2. He is going senile.
The essence of understanding these stories is given at concluding part of Charitropakhayan, after Benti Chaupai Sahib, where Guru ji writes
ਸੁਨੈ ਗੁੰਗ ਜੋ ਯਾਹਿ ਸੁ ਰਸਨਾ ਪਾਵਈ ॥ ਸੁਨੈ ਮੂੜ੍ਹ ਚਿਤ ਲਾਇ ਚਤੁਰਤਾ ਆਵਈ ॥
सुनै गुंग जो याहि सु रसना पावई ॥ सुनै मूड़्ह चित लाइ चतुरता आवई ॥
The dumb, who will listen to it, will be blessed with the tongue to speak; the fool, who will listen to it attentively, will get wisdom;
It is sheer ignorance to infer our own meanings when at end of every charitra it is written that story is being recited by a minister to his king. There are many other stories where the names of towns such as Lahore, Sialkot, bank of river Sutlej as used, but it does not follow that these are historical incidents.