Weapons - Shastar Nam Mala Poem
A poem attributed to Guru Gobind Singh, the Shaster Nam Mala, in praise of God uses various weapons as metaphors. It is an important record of the large diversity of weapons in use and known to the Sikhs during the 17th and early 18th century when the poem was composed.
Part of the opening section of the 1318 verses of the poem are presented below:
The Lord is One and the Victory is of the True Guru.
Shastra-Nama Mala Purana (the Rosary of the Names of weapons) is now composed
With the support of the primal power by the Tenth King.
O Lord ! Protect us by creating Saang, Sarohi (sword), Saif (straight sword), As (curved sword), Teer (arrow) tupak (gun), Talwaar (curved sword), Satratak (sword – destroyer of the enemy), Kavchantak (armour piercing sword) (all these weapons kindly) protect me. 1
O Lord ! Create As (curved sword), Kripan (sword), Dharaddhari, Sail, Soof (trident), Jamaadh (two blade dagger), Tegh (broad and straight sword), Teer (saber), Teer (arrow), Talwar(curved sword), causing the destruction of armours and enemies. 2.
Guru Gobind Singh on horseback with Tulwar, Katar and Bow & Arrows
c. 1800, Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh
As, Kripan (sword), Khanda (double edge straight sword), Khadag (sword), Tupak (gun), Tabar (battle axe), Teer (arrow), Saif (straight sword), Sarohi (sword)and Saihathi (spear), all these are our guide. 3
You are the Teer (arrow), You are Saihathi (spear), You are Tabar (battle axe), and Talwaar (curved sword); he, who remembers Your Name crosses the dreadful ocean of life and death. 4
You are death and you are the destroyer of death, Kali. You are the saber and arrow, You are the emblem of victory today and You are the bravest of warriors in the universe. 5
You are the Sool (trident), Saihathi (spear) and Tabar (battle axe), You are the Nikhang (quiver) and Baan (arrow), You are the Kataari (dagger), Sel (lance), and all and You are the Kard (small knife), and Kripaan (sword). 6
You are the arms and weapons, You are the Nikhang (quiver), and the Kavach (armour); You are the destroyer of the armours and You are also all pervading. 7
You are the cause of peace and prosperity and the essence of learning; You are the creator of all and the redeemer of all. 8.
You are the day and night and You are the creator of all the beings, causing disputes among them; You do all this in order to view Thy own sport. 9
O Lord ! Protect us by smashing the armour with the blows of Your hands with the help of As (curved sword), Kripaan (sword), Khanda (double edge straight sword), Kharag (sword), Saif (straight sword), Tegh (broad and straight sword), and Talwaar (curved sword). 10
You the Chhurri (knife), the enemy-killing karad (small knife) and the Khanjar (dagger) are Your names; You are the adorable Power of the world, kindly protect me. 14
You are Kataari (punch dagger), Jamdaadh (two blade dagger), Bichhuaa (crooked dagger) and Baan (arrow), O power ! I am a humble servant of Thy Lord’s feet, kindly Protect me. 11
You are Baank (sword), Bajar (mace), Bichhuaa (crooked dagger), Tabar (battle axe), and Talwaar (curved sword), You are the kataari (punch dagger), and Saihathi (spear); Protect me. 12
You are Gurj (club), Gadaa (mace), Teer (arrow) and Tufang (matchlock musket); protect me ever considering me as Thy slave. 13