Yesterday on 5th August 2020, during an event at the site of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, said in a speech that "even Guru Gobind Singh Ji wrote the Ramayan which he called 'Gobind Ramayan'".
So did Guru Gobind Singh Ji really write 'Gobind Ramayan'?
There is no writing of Guru Gobind Singh Ji that is titled 'Gobind Ramayan'. Guru Gobind Singh Ji wrote 'Chaubis Avtar', which means 'The Twenty-Four Incarnations (Avtars)'. This composition is made-up of compositions describing each of the twenty-four incarnations of Vishnu. It is noteworthy that they are not incarnations of Akaal Purakh (Timeless God), but Vishnu. Within this large composition, there is a chapter titled, 'Ram Avtaar' in which Guru Gobind Singh Ji re-tells the story of Ram, the son of King Dashrat, along with his commentary.
Two verses make-up the epilogue (closing) of the chapter of titled 'Ram Avtar'. These verses are read daily by Sikhs when they pray (except for the last line, which is specifically related the composition of 'Ram Avtar'). The epilogue reads:
ਸ੍ਵੈਯਾ ॥svai-yaa.Svaiyya (poetic verse):ਪਾਇ ਗਹੇ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਤੁਮਰੇ ਤਬ ਤੇ ਕੋਊ ਆਂਖ ਤਰੇ ਨਹੀ ਆਨਯੋ ॥paa-e gah-e jab te tum-re, tab te ko-oo aa(n)kh tar-e nehee aanyo.O Lord! Since I have held on to Your Feet, I have never looked at any other person (for their support).ਰਾਮ ਰਹੀਮ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਕੁਰਾਨ ਅਨੇਕ ਕਹੈਂ ਮਤ ਏਕ ਨ ਮਾਨਯੋ ॥raam raheem puraan kuraan, aneyk kah-ai(n) mat eyk na maanyo.The Puraans and the Quran, deities like Raam and the Prophet Raheeem preach various beliefs, but I do not follow of any of them.ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬੇਦ ਸਭੈ ਬਹੁ ਭੇਦ ਕਹੈ ਹਮ ਏਕ ਨ ਜਾਨਯੋ ॥simrit shaashtr beyd sabh-ai, bahu bheyd kah-ai ham eyk na jaanyo.The different Hindu scriptures (Simritis, Shastars and Vedas) show different religious approaches. But I do not recognise any of these different approaches.ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਸਿਪਾਨ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਤੁਮਰੀ ਕਰਿ ਮੈ ਨ ਕਹਯੋ ਸਭ ਤੋਹਿ ਬਖਾਨਯੋ ॥੮੬੩॥sree as-paan kripaa tum-ree kar, mai na kah-yo sabh tohi bakhaanyo. (863)O Lord of the Sword! This is all Your Grace. It is You who has spoken all of this, not me.ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥dohraa.Dohra (couplet):ਸਗਲ ਦੁਆਰ ਕਉ ਛਾਡਿ ਕੈ ਗਹਯੋ ਤੁਹਾਰੋ ਦੁਆਰ ॥sagal du-aar ko chhaad kai, gah-yo tuhaaro du-aar.Having abandoned all other doors, I have chosen to come to Your door.ਬਾਹਿ ਗਹੇ ਕੀ ਲਾਜ ਅਸਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਦਾਸ ਤੁਹਾਰ ॥੮੬੪॥baahi gah-e kee laaj as, gobind daas tuhaar. (864)O Lord! Holding my arm, protect my honour; for Gobind (Singh) is Your servant (alone).ਇਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਰਾਮਾਇਣ ਸਮਾਪਤਮ ਸਤੁ ਸੁਭਮ ਸਤੁ ॥et sree raamaa-enn samaap-tam, sat subam sat.This is the end of the narrative (about the) Ramayan.
(Note: The last line of the epilogue is not read as part of Nitnem.)
From the above it is clear that Guru Gobind Singh Ji's objective of writing 'Ram Avtar' is not to worship or venerate King Ram. The beginning verses of Chaubis Avtar composition, further re-emphasise that Guru Gobind Singh Ji in no shape or form believes that these incarnations of Vishnu are God nor objects of worship.
ਜੋ ਚਉਬੀਸ ਅਵਤਾਰ ਕਹਾਏ ॥jo chau-bees avtaar kahaa-e.Those who are called twenty-four incarnations (of Vishnu); O Lord!ਤਿਨ ਭੀ ਤੁਮ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤਨਿਕ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥tin bhee tum prabh tanik na paa-e.They couldn't realise You, even in the slightest.(Chaupai 7, Chaubis Avtar)
It is interesting how the Indian Prime Minister, leading Hindu figures and even the judges in India in favour of Ram Mandir are attempting to legitmise the claim to building the Ram Mandir through distorting Sikh history and scripture in the absence of archaeological proofs. Sikhs must remain alert of such attempts and remain true to the teachings of the Great Gurus.
Sikh24: Janam Sakhi does illustrate Guru Nanak Sahib’s visit to Ayodhya but not to Ram Mandir, says Dr. Harpal Singh Pannu