The 24 Manifestations of Vishnu is a 78 page publication translated by Kamalpreet Singh Pardeshi from the Dasam Granth Bodh Part 2 by Jathedar Giani Mal Singh. The book summarises the various manifestations of Vishnu as described by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Contrary to other publications, this book is a reference text rather than a descriptive narrative, and therefore it is a useful additional text when one is reading the writings of the 10th Guru. It sets out the 24 manifestations of Vishnu in small chapters, accompanied by references and sources from Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s writings. Some chapters contain explanations from Kamalpreet Singh to enhance further understanding.
The writings of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji are often misunderstood, mistranslated or not read by the masses at all. This breeds ignorance within the Sikh Panth. One has to read and absorb the message of the Guru, and this book provides the reader with the opportunity to do just that. The reader is taken on a journey in which the Guru’s understanding of Vishnu is described.
Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji comments on the fact that manifestations cannot fully comprehend their true creator, and throughout the description of the 24 manifestations the Guru maintains that the One Divine reigns supreme. There are gems of highly relevant wisdom which intersperse the descriptions of Vishnu. For example, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji specifically states that he is not condoning worship of Vishnu, and has steered clear of the debate as to who or what is a saint. The Guru highlights that enmity amongst different faith groups prevents people from being dyed in the Lord’s colour.
Ultimately the Guru pays homage to the Supreme Oneness and similarly to Death which engulfs all eventually. The death of a true martyr is described along with the spirit needed for true success on the battlefield. Kamalpreet Singh guides the reader through the rationale of the descriptions, indicating the reasons why the Guru has elaborated on some Avtars but not others. Too often we are misinformed and confused about the writings of the Guru in reference to Avtars, and the Guru provides an answer to these doubts as the reader continues their journey.
As an introduction to the concepts within Dasam Bani, this book provides the reader with a glimpse into the style and thoughts behind Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s writings. As a reference text the book is also suitable for more advanced readers who are looking for a summary of the 24 manifestations of Vishnu. Bhai Kamalpreet Singh’s book provides a unique opportunity for both groups of readers to gain a deeper understanding of the relevance of the Avtars today and gives readers a greater appreciation of the Guru’s thought-process behind the descriptions.
The book can be purchased here.