Vachitra Natak

Part of The Vachitra Natak meaning 'The Wonderous Drama' by Guru Gobind Singh, Chapter V narrates the succession of the first nine Gurus preceding Guru Gobind Singh. It emphasizes that all the Gurus were the same spirit and praises the great martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur who died to preserve the concept of freedom of religion. The Vachitra Natak is a very detailed account of the life of Guru Gobind Singh written by Himself, it appears in the Dasam Granth and is the only existing autobiography of any Guru.


In the house of the Bedis was born Nanak, the king of kings,

Who brought joy to his followers and become their Refuge, both here and in the Hereafter. (4)


He established Religion in this Dark age,

And showed the Path to all men of Faith.

He who accepted His Way,

Was afflicted not by Sin. (5)


He who followed in his footsteps,

Him affected neither Sin nor Sorrow.

He was delivered of Pain and Hunger,

And was trapped not thereafter by Death. (6)


Then, Nanak assumed Angad’s form,

And spread this Religion far and wide.

Then he was known as Amar Das,

As one light lights another. (7)


And when came time for the fulfillment of his blessing,

He called Ram Das, the Guru.

It was in fulfillment of the age old decree of God.

And then, Amar Das repaired to the heavens. (8)


It was Nanak, the venerable, who was known as Angad.

Thereafter, it was Amar Das who assumed the form of Ram Das.

All this is known to men of Faith; but the fools know not the Mystery. (9)


They distinguish and separate one from the other.

And rare is the one who knows that they, indeed were one.

They who realized this in their hearts, attained Realization of God.

But they who understood it not, were fulfilled not. (10)


Ram Das, then merged in God.

Appointed Arjun as the Guru.

And when Arjun ascended to the heavens,

He established Hari Govind in his place. (11)


When Hari Govind proceeded to the Abode of God,

It was Hari Rai who was seated in his place.

After him came Hari Krishna, his son,

And then it was Tegh Bahadur who succeeded him. (12)


It was for the sake of the sacred thread and the frontal mark of the Hindus,

That he performed a great act of chivalry.

To protect the holy, he offered all he had.,

And lo, he offered his head, but uttered not a sigh of regret. (13)


He suffered martyrdom for the sake of Religion.

His head he gave, but not his honour.

God’s men are, indeed ashamed to act

Like showmen and perform tricks! (14)


Having broken the (body’s) earthen pitcher

On the head of the king of Delhi,

He departed to the world of God.

Nay, not one has performed the Deed

That Tegh Bahadur had. (15)


The whole world mourned his loss:

And cried, Alas, alas, but the domain of gods

Resounded with the shouts of Victory, Victory,

Victory be to the Man of God. (16)