The Tausif-o-Sanâ composition is written in classical Persian but also employs Arabic vocabulary at times. It consists of two parts with the second part having the title ‘Khatima’.

The Tausif-o-Sanâ is full of difficult and high level terminology of both languages. It is the only Sikh text in prose written by the poet and compared to the remaining Persian works this is probably the shortest. There are indications in the text that it is a summary of the longer Zindagînamâ.

The composition opens with praises of God through the sophisticated terminology of Sufism that has also been employed in the other writings of Bhai Nand Lal. It then shifts to a praising of the Gurmukhs, the God-centered devotees, by describing their actions, virtues and qualities as has also been seen in the Zindagînamâ. Though the composition is short, dozens of literary and poetic devices are utilized such as dynamic rhythm, metaphors and visual terminology as can be seen in the following example:

They [The Gurmukhs] are like specks of sand dust out of which each speck becomes like Brahma. Those specks each become like highly reflective jewels that brilliantly reflect the virtues of Brahma. They look like rare shiny rubies that have been found in the most remote regions. These jewels seem as if they have been founded in the deepest and widest oceans of knowledge. They trump the 18 Puranas, and appear larger than the 9 modes of grammar, and are more expansive than the knowledge in the Vedas. You can not even remember one letter from that knowledge and one can’t capture that ray of sunlight that goes dancing on the waves of creation that extends from this ethereal region to the next.

As can be seen, the descriptions of the Gurmukhs are abundant in praise and metaphors while they take up a cosmic scale.

The second part of the Tausif-o-sanâ is known as Khatima. It too follows the same theme as the other writings of the poet, - praise of God and praise of the devotees using Sufi terms. Towards the end it shifts to a more recognizable and Indic theme wherein the Khalsa is praised, - this being the only Persian composition where the Khalsa is mentioned specifically by name. The universe and everything it contains is poetically interpreted as servants of the Khalsa Panth, - ‘The heavens are the slaves of the Sangat; Verily, the Gods and goddesses are servants of the Khalsa’. The composition continues to praise the sway of the Khalsa that includes historical and mythological beings, the various scriptures and regions of the world as well as all natural phenomenon etc. In the concluding part all aspects of the universe and life is mentioned and described as servants of the eternal Khalsa panth waiting and hoping for its blessings.

In the final line, Bhai Nand Lal makes a prayer that he may ever live to serve and glorify the Khalsa Panth while placing his head at their lotus feet.

Back to top