Historical Dimension
The Utterance of Anand Composition: A Contextual Reference
The first reference to the revelation of this composition is found in ‘Gosti
‘Gosti’ is a traditional and interactive literary form. The word ‘gosti’ is used to refer to a conversation, dialogue, or discussion among people sitting together. The origin of writing Gosti in Panjabi is believed to be from Guru Nanak Sahib’s composition ‘Sidh-Gosti.’ -Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi, Sikh Panth Vishvakosh, part two, page 816.
Guru Amardas’
‘Gosti Guru Amardas’ is believed to be the work of Meharban, nephew of Guru Arjan Sahib and son of Pirthi Chand. -Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi, Sikh Panth Vishvakosh, part two, page 811-812; One manuscript of this work is present in the Central Public Library, Patiala (No. 676). According to this copy, ‘Gosti Guru Amardas’ is a work dating 1683 CE. This work has three gostis in it. The places where these gostis were written are Wadali and Goindwal. In this gosti, the interpretations of some of the Sabads by Guru Amardas Sahib in rags Sarang, Malar and Prabhati are given. Another manuscript of this ‘gosti’ was with Prof. Pritam Singh (probably now at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, as Prof. Pritam Singh’s personal library was handed over to Guru Nanak Dev University). In it, the interpretation of ‘Anandu’ Sahib is also given along with the selected Sabads from Guru Granth Sahib under Rag Bilaval and Ramkali. -Raijasbir Singh (editor), Guru Amardas: Sarot Pustak, page 44.
which was written by Hari Ji.
Hari Ji was the grandson of Guru Arjan Sahib’s (1563-1606 CE) elder brother Pirthi Chand (1558-1619 CE) and the second son among the three sons (Karan Mal, Hari Ji and Chaturbhuj) of Sodhi Meharban (1581-1640 CE). After the demise of his father Meharban, Hari Ji succeeded. Among Sikhs, this sect is identified as Mine, Meharbani sect and Chota Mel. He composed under the signature of Mahala 8. He died in the year 1696. -Prof. Pritam Singh and Dr. Joginder Singh Ahluwalia, Sikhan Da Chota Mel: Itihas Te Sarvekhan, page 98-99.
According to it, one day, while Guru Amardas was in Goindwal (Panjab), a baby boy was born in the house of his son Mohri.
Mohri was the younger son of Guru Amardas Sahib and Mata Mansa Devi. He was born in 1539 CE in the village Basarke Gillan, district Amritsar Sahib. In the composition ‘Ramkali Sad’ in the Guru Granth Sahib, Baba Sundar has mentioned Mohri. When Guru Amardas Sahib gave the Guruship (in 1574 CE) to his son-in-law Sri Ramdas Sahib (1534-1581 CE), Mohri was the first to bow down: moharī putu sanmukhu hoiā rāmdāsai pairī pāi jīu. -Dr. Kirpal Singh (editor), Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth Vichon Sri Guru Amardas Ji Da Jiwan-Birtant Krit Mahankavi Bhai Santokh Singh Ji, page 465.
He was named ‘Anand.’
Anand was the father of Baba Sundar, who recorded the last teaching of Guru Amardas Sahib in ‘Ramkali Sad’ (page 923-924). -Dr. Taran Singh, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Da Sahitak Itihas, page 339; At the time of Anand’s birth, Guru Amardas Sahib had uttered the composition ‘Anandu’ under the title ‘Rag Ramkali Mahala 3,’ due to which he was named ‘Anand.’ -Shamsher Singh Ashok, Sri Guru Amardas Ji Te Goindwal, Panjabi Duniya: Sri Guru Amardas Vishesh Ank, Rajnish Kumar (editor), page 171.
At that time, the women started singing the song, ‘raṇ jhujhaṭṛā merī māe. hasanu khelaṇu kar āe.’ The Guru asked, “What are these women singing?” He was told that since a son was born in Mohri’s house, the women were singing ‘raṇ jhujhaṭṛā.’ The Guru asked, “What is ‘raṇ jhujhaṭṛā?’” He was told that “this song is sung during weddings or happy occasions. Here it is being sung to celebrate the birth of the child.” The Guru then said, “Let us sing the joyful song of praise (Anand) of the One who has sent this child and becomes completely blissful.” The Guru said, “Call the rababis.”
Those who sing compositions in the prescribed musical modes (rags) from the Guru Granth Sahib and other texts mentioned in the Sikh Code of Conduct.
The Guru asked the rababis, “In what rag are these women singing ‘raṇ jhujhaṭṛā?’” They replied, “O Sovereign, you are the knower of everything; this is in Rag Ramkali.” Guru Amardas Sahib then said, “The ‘Guru’ has sent Ramkali ‘Anandu;’ sing that ‘Anandu’ only.” He asked Kalai Mithde
Raejasbir Singh (Guru Amardas: Sarot Pustak, page 175) has alluded to ‘Kale Mithde’ being ‘Kalsahar Bhat’ (whose Composition is recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib), but he has also added a question mark (?) there. It means that he is doubtful about this information. We have not been able to confirm from any other source whether ‘Kalsahar Bhat’ is the same one as ‘Kale Mithde.’
to play the rabab. After singing the Guru’s salok in alap
The opening section of a Hindustani Music performance. It is a form of melodic improvisation that introduces and develops a rag.
form, the Guru Amardas Sahib sang ‘Anandu’ in Rag Ramkali: anandu bhaïā merī māe...satigurū mai pāiā. -Guru Granth Sahib 917.

In ‘Mahima Prakash,’
‘Mahima-Prakash’ (poetry) is a work by Sarup Das Bhalla on the history of the Gurus. It was written in 1776 CE. In this book, anecdotes related to Sikh history from Guru Nanak Sahib to Banda Singh Bahadar are presented in a poetic form. The language of this text is ‘Braj,’ with some elements of Panjabi in it. Mythological elements are predominant in this work. -Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi, Sikh Panth Vishvakosh, part four, page 1564.
Sarup Das Bhalla, the ninth descendant of Guru Amardas Sahib and Bhai Santokh Singh
Bhai Santokh Singh was born to Mata Raji (Raj Dei) in the house of Bhai Deva Singh in village ‘Nur Di Saran’ (Amritsar, Panjab) in 1787 CE. He received education from Bhai Sant Singh at Amritsar. Raja Udai Singh of Kaithal patronized him as a state-poet. He passed away in 1843 CE. He composed Nam Kosh, Guru Nanak Prakash, Garab Ganjani Tika and Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, etc. -Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi, Sikh Panth Vishvakosh, part one, page 421.
in ‘Gur Pratap Suraj Granth’
This is the main work of Bhai Santokh Singh. He completed it in seven years (1836-1843 CE) at Kaithal. According to the name of this text, it represents the sun of Gurus’ brilliance or glory. The plot in it is divided according to the movement of the sun into twelve months (rashi), six seasons (ruti), two houses (ain) and eleven-hundred and fifty-one rays (ansu). In it, the poet has extensively used earlier Sikh textual sources: Dasam Granth, Gur Shobha, Gur Bilas, Mahima Prakash and Parchi literature. In this text, the Gurus’ lives have been portrayed as divine incarnations and historical events are presented with a shade of mythological contexts. -Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi, Sikh Panth Vishvakosh, part two, page 753-755.
have also linked the revelation of this composition to the aforementioned narrative with a slight variation. But the Sanatan
Literally it means traditional, but here it refers to the Hindu religion and its traditions.
influence on these narratives is clearly visible. According to the narratives recorded in ‘Mahima Prakash,’ an old Sidh came to visit Guru Amardas Sahib. He requested, “O Guru, since the time you sat on the seat of Guru Nanak Sahib, I have had the desire in my heart to visit you. Today, meeting you I am exalted.” Speaking about his life, he said, “I have attained supernatural powers through several yogic practices and various penances, due to which people submit and worship me. Despite this, my mind is not at peace. Have mercy on me, bless me with anand (bliss). The Guru listened to his request and said, “You will have to give up your body, adopt a new body, and then come to me. Then you will attain anand.” He accepted the word of the Guru and gave up his body and took birth in the house of Baba Mohri as the grandson (Anand) of Guru Amardas Sahib.

When his grandson was born, the Guru asked his Sikh Bhai Balu (who had become a Sikh during Guru Angad Sahib’s time and later remained in the service of Guru Amardas Sahib) to bring him the child who was born in the house of Mohri. Bhai Balu brought the boy to the Guru. The Guru held his newborn grandson and said, “This child has been born as a great saint and has come to our house to attain anand. So, I will reveal one composition and name it ‘Anandu.’ Through this composition, all desires of the seekers will be fulfilled.” In this way, while holding his grandson in his lap, the Guru revealed this composition.

After revealing the composition, the Guru asked Bhai Balu to sing it aloud to the beat of a dholki.
A South-Asian percussion instrument.
The entire Sangat entered a state of bliss upon listening to the singing of this composition. In the end, the Guru stated that this composition is the bestower of devotion and liberation. One who listens to it will have all their desires fulfilled and whoever reads it regularly will receive the rare thing.
Sarup Das Bhalla, Mahima Prakash, part two (section one), Dr. Uttam Singh Bhatia (editor), page 226-230.

Elaborating on the above narrative, Max Arthur McAuliffe,
Max Arthur McAuliffe, the author of Sikh history and translator of Gurbani, was born on 10 September 1841 CE in Newcastle West, Ireland. He came to Panjab in 1864 CE. In 1880 CE, on seeing the Diwali celebrations at Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, and on coming in contact with Prof. Gurmukh Singh of Oriental College Lahore, his interest in Sikh history and Gurbani was kindled. First, his three detailed articles on Sikhism were published in the three issues of the ‘Calcutta Review’ in 1880-81 CE. In 1883 CE, he asked Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha to stay with him and studied Gurbani from him for two years. After retiring from service in 1893 CE, he devoted his entire time to the study of Sikh history. In 1909, he published his research work, ‘The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors’ in six volumes from Oxford University Press. In about half of this voluminous text of 2500 pages, the history of the Gurus has been recorded and in the other half, the English translation of Gurbani. He passed away on 15 March 1913 CE, in his home ‘Sinclair Gardens,’ situated in West Kensington, London. It is said that he recited the Japu composition ten minutes before his death. -Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi, Sikh Panth Vishvakosh, part four, page 1567-1568.
in his book ‘Sikh History’ has written that the sidh
An accomplished Yogi.
had expressed his desire to be born within the lineage of the Guru. The Guru bestowed him the boon of being born in the house of his son Mohri. The name of the elder son of Mohri was Bhai Arth Mal and that of the younger was Sidh Yogi. The Guru named Sidh Yogi ‘Anand.’
Max Arthur McAuliffe, Sikh History, part 1 and 2, page 278.

Regarding the narratives in the Mahima Prakash and Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Giani Haribans Singh is of the opinion that, “Such narratives make Sikh history interesting but associating ‘Anandu’ composition to the name of the Guru’s grandson ‘Anand’ is not in line with Gurmat principles as no evidence substantiating this fact is found anywhere in Gurbani.”
Giani Haribans Singh, Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darshan Nirnai Satik, part nine, page 339.

Regarding the revelation of this composition, Dr. Mahinder Kaur Gill has written: “According to the Sikh tradition, Guru Amardas Sahib uttered this composition after the birth of his grandson Anand, who was born in the house of Mohri in the year 1544 CE. Among all, this could be one of the motivating factors for uttering this composition, but not the main motivating factor, ... According to me, the original motive of the composition ‘Anandu’ can only be to clarify the concept of anand (bliss) as per the Gurmat. In short, it can be concluded that during the joyful occasion of the birth of his grandson, the Guru as an elder advised the family members that in life even simple occasions that bring joy should be considered a Divine gift.
Mahinder Kaur Gill, Anand Sahib: Sahitak Mahanta, Panjabi Dunia: Guru Amardas Vishesh Ank, Rajnish Kumar (editor), page 98-99.

Even though the revelation of this composition is associated with the birth of Guru Amardas Sahib’s grandson Anand, the message of this composition is very deep, and it would be inappropriate to associate it only with a worldly context. In it, Guru Amardas Sahib has spoken about spiritual bliss which is attained through the eternal Wisdom (Guru).

Regarding the Revealer of Anand Composition
In Mahima Prakash, Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Satik (Faridkot Wala Tika) and Shabdarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Amardas Sahib has not been considered the revealer of the entire ‘Anandu’ composition. Sarup Das Bhalla writes in ‘Mahima Prakash:’
bānī anand gur kīā ucār. paüṛī aṭhatīs bānī sukhsār...
ānand-mūl bānī gur karī. ik pauṛī cauthe mahal tahā dharī.
ānand mahātam ustat kī pauṛī. srī satigur mahal panjave joṛī.
Sarup Das Bhalla, Mahima Prakash, part two (section one), Dr. Uttam Singh Bhatia (editor), page 227-228.

Bhai Santokh Singh also gives a similar view in Gur Pratap Suraj Granth:
anand mūl bāṇī subh karī. bhagati virāg gyān soṁ bharī.
caturth pātshah jabi bhae. ik pauṛī tinhuṁ raci kae.24.
ik srī arjan tih saṅg joṛī. anand mahātam cālis pauṛī.
Dr. Kirpal Singh (editor), Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth Vichon Sri Guru Amardas Ji Da Jiwan-Birtant Krit Mahankavi Bhai Santokh Singh Ji, page 454.

Same views are also recorded in the Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Satik (Faridkot Wala Tika). In Shabdarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji too, the same idea has been presented by referring to the old traditions.
“The fourth Sovereign [Guru Ramdas Sahib] has uttered this pauri (thirty-ninth pauri) regarding the significance of Anandu composition... The fifth Guru Sovereign [Guru Arjan Sahib] states the significance (fortieth pauri) while completing the composition.” -Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Satik (Faridkot Wala Tika), volume 3, page 1894-1895; “It is an old belief that this thirty-ninth pauri is composed by the fourth Sovereign [Guru Ramdas Sahib] and the fortieth pauri by the fifth Sovereign [Guru Arjan Sahib].” -Shabdarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, part three, page 922.
Thus, in all these sources, Guru Amardas Sahib has been considered the composer of only the first thirty-eight pauris. According to these sources, the composer of the thirty-ninth and fortieth pauris are Guru Ramdas Sahib and Guru Arjan Sahib respectively. But these opinions are not based on any authentic source.

Contrary to the above views, in ‘Gur-Pranali,’
A composition in which the lineage of the Gurus is described sequentially. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru-lineage of the five Gurus has been mentioned in the Savaye of the Bhats (couplets of the bards). Bhai Gurdas has mentioned the Guru-lineage of the six Gurus in his ‘vars.’ In Bachitra Natak, Guru-lineage up to Guru Teghbahadar Sahib is found to be recorded. The scribes of the Gurus’ court, the poets during the Sikh rule and many others after that have written about the Guru-lineages in detail. -S. Randhir Singh (editor), Babani Pirhi Chali: Gur-Pranaliyan, page (ha).
which is composed by the poet Gulab Singh, Guru Amardas Sahib has been considered the sole revealer of all forty pauris of ‘Anandu’ composition.
“kātik kī caudhavīṁ mai mohirī ko sut bhayo, rākhayo ‘anand’ nām devat badhāī hai. dāik anand cālī pauṛīāṁ ‘anand’ jī kī, tis prathāi sāhibaṁ ne pragṭāī haiṁ.” -S. Randhir Singh (editor), Babani Pirhi Chali: Gur-Pranalian, page 175.
Refuting Bhai Santokh Singh’s view, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha also believes that the revealer of the entire composition of ‘Anandu’ is Guru Amardas Sahib: “Composition of Anandu contains forty pauris. Bhai Santokh Singh writes that thirty-eight pauris are of Guru Amardas, one is of Guru Ramdas, and one is of Guru Arjan, but this is not correct, the entire composition is of the third Guru.”
Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, Mahan Kosh, page 1124.
Scholars like Bhai Vir Singh, Prof. Sahib Singh, Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara, etc., also agree with the opinion of Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha.

Giani Haribans Singh points out that “Bhai Santokh Singh has not quoted reference from any text as to where from and how he got this information? ...If we examine this opinion and apply the test of touchstone, it becomes evident that the last two pauris have been composed by Guru Amardas Sahib himself because, in this composition, the Guru has already mentioned ‘sohilā’ in the sixteenth pauri as ‘ehu sohilā sabadu suhāvā.’ Then, the same ‘sohilā’ has been reminded of in the thirty-ninth pauri as ‘ehu sācā sohilā sācai ghari gāvahu.’ Guru Amardas Sahib has also used the word ‘sohilā’ on page 770 in the Guru Granth Sahib. This proves that the last two pauris have been composed by Guru Amardas Sahib himself.
Giani Haribans Singh, Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darshan Nirnai Satik, part 9, page 414.

Similarly, Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi also believes Guru Amardas Sahib to be the sole revealer of the entire ‘Anandu’ composition. According to him, “wherever Guru Arjan Sahib added his own Sabads/saloks to the compositions of some other composer, he gave the required information regarding this in the beginning. For example, in the var composed by Guru Nanak Sahib in Rag Malar, the twenty-eighth pauri has been written by the fifth Guru. An indication regarding this has been given at the beginning: ‘pauṛī navīṁ m:5.’”
Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi, Panjabi Sahit Da Sarot-Mulak Itihas, part two, page 67.

Mahinder Kaur Gill too, while acknowledging the above opinion, believes Guru Amardas Sahib alone to be the composer of the entire ‘Anandu’ composition. According to her, as per the editorial approach of Adi Granth, the term ‘mahala’ (which indicates authorship of a composition) should have appeared at the beginning of these two pauris. This is because, wherever an exception has occurred in the vars recorded in the Adi Granth, a clear indication has been given through ‘mahala-number.’
Mahinder Kaur Gill, Anandu Sahib: Sahitak Mahanta, Panjabi Dunia: Guru Amardas Vishesh Ank, Rajnish Kumar (editor), page 98.

Thus, the references regarding the revealer of this composition in Mahima Parkash, Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Satik (Faridkot Wala Tika), and Shabdarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji do not seem to be valid as per the internal textual arrangement in the Guru Granth Sahib. Based on the similarity in the literary style of the last two pauris with the previous pauris of Anandu composition and the editorial approach of the Guru Granth Sahib, it is proven that the revealer of the entire ‘Anandu’ composition is Guru Amardas Sahib.

The title of this composition is ‘Ramkali Mahala 3,’ which proves the fact that all the pauris of this composition are revealed by the third Guru, Guru Amardas Sahib. If any of these pauris belonged to Guru Ramdas Sahib and Guru Arjan Sahib, they would have been marked with ‘Mahala 4’ and ‘Mahala 5.’ Because wherever Guru Arjan Sahib has added a Sabad or even a stanza of his own or any other contributor, he has added information regarding the same at the beginning:
  • gaüṛī kabīr jī kī nāl ralāi likhiā mahalā 5 (Guru Granth Sahib 326)
  • If Guru Arjan Sahib has recorded even a single pauri of his own in the vars revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib and Guru Ramdas Sahib, then also he has indicated that: paüṛī mahalā 5 (Guru Granth Sahib 316) or paüṛī navīṁ m: 5 (Guru Granth Sahib 1291).
Thus, based on the above discussion, it is clear that Guru Amardas Sahib alone is the revealer of the entire composition of ‘Anandu.’