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'Compassion is the Crown of Dharma' - Vichar Sagar


Writing more than a century after Guru Gobind Singh, the renown Dadupanthi scholar, Nishchal Das explains his motivation in writing the Vichar Sagar. Although fluent in all Vedanta Sanskrit literature, Nishchal Das chose to write in Braj Bhasha, the poetic language of the layman, so the knowledge could be proliferated through the people and not just held within scholarly elite circles. Similarly, Guru Gobind Singh largely wrote his compositions in Braj Bhasha, even though historical sources speak of His proficiency in Sanskrit.


ਤਿਨ ਯਹ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਕਿਯ ਰੰਚ ਨ ਉਪਜੀ ਲਾਜ ॥ ਤਾ ਮੈਂ ਯਹ ਇਕ ਹੇਤ ਹੈ ਦਯਾ ਧਰਮ ਸਿਰਤਾਜ ॥

Without any shame I have written this work in the vernacular, with the one motivation in mind, Compassion is the crown of Dharma.


ਬਿਨ ਵਿਆਕਰਣ ਨ ਪੜਿ ਸਕੈ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸੰਸਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਮੰਦ ॥ ਪੜ੍ਹੇ ਯਾਹਿ ਅਨਯਾਸਹਿ ਲਹੈ ਸੁ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ॥

Without understanding grammar, the works of Sanskrit could not be read by lay people. [however the laymen can], read this work with ease, and attain the Highest Bliss.

- Vichar Sagar, Chapter 7, verse 113

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