Why don’t all Gursikhs recite ‘Sampooran Rehraas Sahib’?

Gutka Sahib that is claimed to be written by Baba Deep Singh Ji and used to justify a particular version of Rehraas Sahib.

According to the Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada:

ਸੋ ਦਰੁ ਰਹਿਰਾਸ- ਸ਼ਾਮ ਵੇਲੇ ਸੂਰਜ ਡੁੱਬੇ ਪੜ੍ਹਨੀ। ਇਸ ਵਿਚ ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀਆਂ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹਨ:-
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਲਿਖੇ ਹੋਏ ਨੌ ਸ਼ਬਦ (‘ਸੋ ਦਰੁ’ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ ‘ਸਰਿਣ ਪਰੇ ਕੀ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਸਰਮਾ’ ਤਕ), ਬੇਨਤੀ ਚੌਪਈ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦ (‘ਹਮਰੀ ਕਰੋ ਹਾਥ ਦੇ ਰੱਛਾ’ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ ‘ਦੁਸਟ ਦੋਖ ਤੇ ਲੇਹੁ ਬਚਾਈ’ ਤਕ, ਸ੍ਵੈਯਾ (‘ਪਾਇ ਗਹੈ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਤੁਮਰੇ’) ਅਤੇ ਦੋਹਰਾ (‘ਸਗਲ ਦੁਆਰ ਕਉ ਛਾਡਿ ਕੈ’) ਅਨੰਦ ਦੀਆਂ ਪਿਹਲੀਆਂ ਪੰਜ ਪਉੜੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਅੰਤਲੀ ਇਕ ਪਉੜੀ’, ਮੁੰਦਾਵਣੀ ਤੇ ਸਲੋਕ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ‘ਤੇਰਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਤੋ ਨਾਹੀ।’Sodar Rehras – should be read in the evening after sunset. This Bani comprises of the following compositions:-

Nine Shabads written in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (beginning “So Dar”, up to “saran pare ki rakho sarma”), the Benti Chaupai of the tenth Guru (beginning “hamri karo haath dai rachha” and ending with “dusht dokh te leho bachai”), Svaiyyaa (“paae gahe jab te tumre”) and Dohra (“sagal duaar kau chhaad kai”), the first five and the last pauris (stanzas) of Anand Sahib, and the Munduvani & Salok Mahla 5 (“tera keeta jaato naahee”).

Extra shabads are recited before and sometimes at the end of this Rehraas Sahib, but the actual Rehraas Sahib stated is not adulterated. It is inappropriate to use such terms as “sampooran” (complete) or incomplete to this Rehraas Sahib. The standard Sodar Rehraas Sahib read at Sri Darbar Sahib is ‘complete’ and ‘sampooran’. Sometimes people inaccurately and disrespectfully call the Sodar Rehraas Sahib stated in the Sikh Rehat Maryada and recited at Sri Akal Takht Sahib and Sri Harimandir Sahib as incomplete and shortened.

Guru Ramdas Ji defines “Rehraas” as “the Praises of Waheguru”:

ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਸਖਾਈ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਹਮਰੀ ਰਹਰਾਸਿ ||੧|| ਰਹਾਉ ||
“Through the Guru’s Teachings, the Naam is my breath of life. The Lord’s Praise is my Rehraas (life’s occupation). ||1||Pause||”
(Ang 10)

The whole of the evening Sikh prayer is the Praise of the Lord.

The Chaupai Sahib read at Sri Darbar Sahib (Amritsar) during Sodar Rehraas Sahib is accepted in the Panth, it is also known as ‘Kabiyo Baach Benti – Chaupai’. This prayer is a “Benti”, which means ‘supplication’ or ‘plea’. It starts from “Hamri Karo Haath Dai Rachha….” and concludes at “Dusht Dokh Tai Leho Bachaaee”. Each of the 25 Pauris of the Benti Chaupai are “Benti”, supplications. However, the 26th Pauri is not a Benti, supplication. The rest of the lines pertain to the actual compilation of the Charitropakhiyan Granth (“pooran kara Granth tatkala…”) and describe the Granth (scripture) within which Benti Chaupai comes at the end.

Some Jathebandis (groups) read two more couplets after this. Some Nihang Jathas read two Chaupais in Sodar Rehras, the first one starts with “Dusht Daint Kach Baat Na Jaani || Mahakaal Tan Pun Ris Tthanee||…” In total there are 9 paurees (stanzas) in this complete Chaupai.  “Pun Rachhass Ka Kaatta Seessaa..” are actually the last two paurees of this, and some Jathas only read the last two in Sodar Rehraas Sahib, some don’t read them at all. According to Sikh Gurbani scholar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, the former Jathedar of Sri Akal Takth Sahib, the lines “Pun Rachhass Ka Kaatta Seessaa…” (“then killing head of the demon”…) refers to a story of demons (Raakash) and how they kill one another. This is the last story of Charitropakhiyan. Giani Ji states that to read this story as part of Rehraas does not make sense if you use the following Gurbani as the guiding principal that Rehraas Sahib is the pure praise of Waheguru.

…ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਹਮਰੀ ਰਹਰਾਸਿ ||੧|| ਰਹਾਉ ||
“….The Lord’s Praise is my Rehraas (life’s occupation). ||1||Pause||”
(Ang 10)

It is usually argued that the Rehraas Sahib that includes “Pun Rachhas Ka Kaatta Seessaa” and other Dohiras and couplets after Benti Chaupai Sahib is the Rehraas Sahib recorded in the Gutka Sahib of Baba Deep Singh Ji. According to Singh Sabha Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, a learned Gurbani scholar, the Gutka Sahib that is used as a reference, has three mistakes in Jaap Sahib. If one claims that the Gutka Sahib is Baba Deep Singh Ji’s then that means one is questioning Baba Ji’s accuracy in Jaap Sahib. If we believe Baba Deep Singh Ji knew Jaap Sahib and was a blessed scribe of Gurbani then that means that Gutka Sahib is not written by Baba Deep Singh Ji.

The Nihung Singh version of Chaupai Sahib, the Sri Hazoor Sahib version of Chaupai Sahib and the Nanaksar version of Chaupai Sahib are all different with inclusions of different Shabads etc. If the length of a Bani determines if it is ‘Sampooran’ then most likely Jatha Bhindran Taksaal version of Chaupai Sahib would not be considered Sampooran.

The Chaupai in Dasam Granth does not contain the Svaiyaa and Dohra we read in Sodar Rehraas Sahib. Those are verses found in other parts of the Dasam Granth.

If anyone wants to read more that is fine, but the Panthic Sodar Rehraas Sahib should not be called incomplete or inaccurate. Otherwise the 10 svaiyaas in Nitnem would be incomplete, since they are only a small extract from the larger Bani known as Sri Akaal Ji Ki Ustat (which comprises of 33 svaiyaas), but the 10 svaiyas in Nitnem are in themselves sampooran, just like the 6 pauris of Anand Sahib read in Sodar Rehras Sahib (regardless whether one is affiliated to a Taksaal, Nihung Singh dal, or Dera). Similarly, we only read the first verse of Chandi Vaar for Ardaas, not the complete Chandi Vaar – does this mean the Ardaas is not “Sampooran”?

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