Dr Gurinder Singh Maan. The book in hand was in the press when a friend of mine named S. Gurpal Singh Bhullar sent me a copy of ‘The Goindwal Pothees: the earliest Extant Source of the Sikh Canon,” a new publication of Harvard University in America. Another copy of this book I received through the grace of another friend Dr. Balwant singh from London while he was going from India to America. I had requested both the friends to procure and send to me a copy of the thesis of Dr. Maan for Ph.D. As indicated by the informer, Dr. Maan’s thesis contained a discussion regarding the Pothees from Goindwal. The book I received was not the thesis of Dr. Maan but it had a direct bearing on the subject of my research and therefore, I was greatly pleased to receive it. I expressed deep gratitude to my friends but I also felt that I might be obliged to suspend the printing of my book and revise it in the light of the research of Dr. Maan. Fortunately, after a casual glance through the book I found my fears unfounded. Except a slight repetition which cannot be avoided in case of the same subject, I found little common between me and him regarding either the presentation of the material or the conclusions derived therefrom. So, I decided not to hold back the printing of my book. If I had come by this book earlier I would have assessed it in the 7th chapter of my book .” Those who saw the Pothees with their eyes”, I would have given appropriate comments at places in other parts to reject or accept the book. But first because the printing my book had already been sufficiently delayed and secondly because the Laser Printer does not find the alterations in the the proofs likeable, Therefore, it was deemed proper that instead of entering into a long discussion I should give the main points of Dr. Maan’s research in a separate addendum. Complete acquaintance with the stages through which Dr. Maan and I have reached our respective conclusion can be attained only after the study of both the books; but the reader of my book should know that a new research book on this topic has reached the market. He should also know what Dr. Maan has discovered after this long investigation.
Dr. Maan has made a mention of me in 4Ist note [page.148] of his research book but his concluding sentence has made me feel like saying something about it. I have already stated that I have not been able to obtain the photo copies of all the leaves of the “Pothee”. Not to speak of any thing else I have not been able to get permission of even scrutinizing the two available Pothees for the research of the book in hand. That is why I have based my research on the photocopies which I procured from the Punjabi University, Patiala. As such I was in great haste that I should get all the photos of the original Pothee or have an opportunity of exchanging information with a scholar who has already scanned them. As I learnt that a person named Gurinder Singh residing in America was making the Pothees from Goindwal the subject of his research I started my efforts to establish contact with him. Finding his address I wrote a letter to him that I too had landed in the court of the Pothee and that I was desirous of exchanging information and views with him. When I got tired of waiting for the reply, I posted another letter but this time too I felt disappointed at not receiving a reply. After some time I learnt that Dr. Satinder Singh Noor of Delhi University had returned from America after participating in a Seminar at the invitaion of Dr Maan, When I talked to him I saw in his response the friendship of Dr. Maan. He promised to write a letter to him. After a passage of sufficient time when I met him I learnt that his letter too had failed to evince a reply. The time went on passing but it did not put an end to my desire. Sundenly, I learnt that Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki also counted Dr. Maan among his friends. I repeated the whole narration to him also, He was confident that he would get a reply form Gurinder Singh Maan but it did not take him long to realize that no American postal System delivered letters from India to this particular address. I happened to meet Dr. Callewaert, a scholarly friend from Belgium. During conversation I learnt that he was on corresponding terms with Dr. Maan. I informed him also of my needs. He said that exchange of views and documents on common problems was customary among the Western scholars, that he had to fetch certain things from Dr. Maan for his own use and that I could make use of the things if found useful. After some time Dr. Callewaert expressed regret for not sending the material provided by Dr. Maan because Dr. Mann did not want that material sent by him should be passed on to Pritam Singh. After the receipt of this reply my uneasiness came to an end. In the meanwhile Dr. Maan came to participate in a conference at the Punjabi University but he could not spare time from his occupations to see me. After this I directed my efforts to procuring a copy of his thesis instead of establishing any contact with him. But I learnt that the university had decided not to subject his thesis to any type of exposure for two years. Now justice demands that in the next edition of his book Dr. Maan writes “Pritam Singh’s efforts to meet me never materialized” instead of “My efforts to meet him never materialized”, or as an alternative he should expunge this sentence from his book. I have received his message expressing desire to meet me and I am grateful to him for his secret efforts to see me.
Dr. Maan is a young man and his book bears witness that he is one of the young scholars who do not hesitate to delve into the manuscripts. He possesses qualities of search-mindedness and criticism in a good measure and his capability to make a proper use of the language is proven. Therefore, I pray for him in absentia that along with a long life, his capability for research should be enhanced. Whether he wants to maintain a contact with me or not is his own job. It is none of my business to challenge this right of his or protest against it. But the first reaction which the study of this book has produced in me is that if I had come in contact with Dr. Maan earlier, both the sides were expected to gain. He might have gained or not, but I must have gained. For example in my book in the chapter of deletions I have written that “the writer of the Pothee does not go on strike”. But from Dr. Maan’s book I have come to know that the strike has been resorted to. This information has added to my knowledge and I am grateful to Dr. Maan for it.
Now I am equipped with everything to know whether or not Dr. Maan had to conceal anything from me. In this addendum I do not want to resort to any investigative criticism about his research. At the maximum I want to annex my conclusions with the main conclusions arrived at by Dr. Maan so that the scholarly readers realize why I did not interrupt the printing of my book
S.No. Dr. Maan’s conclusions My conclusions.
1. The Pothees had been written at the The Pothee from Ahiyapur
time of Guru Amar Daas Ji. At was written after Guru
one place there are hints to suggest Amar Daas Ji had expired.
The new research by Dr. Gurinder Singh which is full of scholarship and which has dazed the scholars of the West has not obliged me to change the conclusion which I derived. How can I not regret my blunt sense born in the East?
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