Who was Kankan Kavi?
Kavi Kankan is a lost (less-known) poet of Punjab. Manuscript found of ’10 Gur Katha’s poetry seems to be written around 1700 CE. Work is an amalgamation of the Braj and Punjabi languages.
When we search for Kavi Kankan in Mahan Kosh by Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Ji, It tells about the Kankan that his poetry is a part of Hanuman-Natak created by Poet Hridyaram.
तब जानकि को हरि कानन टेरि
गए सर तीर त्रिखा जल की
कहि कंकन नैकु भए दृग शीतल
संपति देखि रतोपल की।
When we do a little search about the Poet Hridyaram, we’ll find out that he belonged to Punjab. Contemporary to Kavi Tulsidas, his Poetry Drama ‘Hanuman-Natak (हनुमन्नाटक)’ had a considerable reputation in northern India.
Hridyaram – Hanumannatak
Hridyaram was the son of Krishna Das. Born and brought up in Punjab, he was a devotee of Lord Ram. He wrote Hanuman-Natak in 1623 on the basis of the Sanskrit Natak of the same name. His other works include ‘Sudama-Christ’s and ‘Rukmini Mangal’.
Historian says that Hridyaram’s Hanuman-Natak was so popular that Guru Gobind Singh himself used to keep it with him. Hanuman-Natak was not actually a tale of only Hanuman but a complete story like Ramayana.
Kankan could have been a Pen-name of Hridyaram, as it appears in the poetry of Hanuman-Natak. But then 1623 CE is too early for Kankan to write about Gurus after Guru Hargobind Singh. In Das Gur Katha, the ending of Dohira concludes with Kankan’s love for Hanuman, so either he is the same Kankan mentioned in Hanuman-Nama or is someone closely linked to Hridyaram.
ਦਸੋ ਰੁਦ੍ਰ ਪਾਛੇ ਭਏ ਹਨੂ ਇਕਾਦਸ ਜਾਨ
ਤਿਓਂ ਪੀਛੇ ਦਸ ਗੁਰਨ ਤੇ ਸਿਖ ਜਾਨ ਹਨੁਮਾਨ
ਜੇਤਾ ਬਲ ਹਨੁਵੰਤ ਮੈਂ ਸੁਈ ਪੰਥ ਕੇ ਮਾਂਹਿ
ਕਵਿ ਕੰਕਨ ਬੀਚਾਰ ਕਹੁ ਯਾ ਮੇਂ ਸ਼ੰਕਾ ਨਾਹਿ।
10 Gur Katha
The Sarbloh Scholar Publications have digitized Das Gur Katha in Gurmukhi script, which is available on our website.
Alongside the short history of the Ten Gurus, Kankan has provided elaborate descriptions of Guru Hargobind’s concept of Miri-Piri and the revelation of the Khalsa by the 10th Guru.
This manuscript references the Bani of Guru Gobind Singh as well as contains a rare Rahitnama (Code of conduct), so it is of much importance if it is a verified and approved manuscript.
Was he a poet in the court of Guru Gobind Singh? We discussed it with a historian but He said 52 Poets of Guru Gobind Singh Ji are mere imagination of Poet Santokh Singh and later Piara Singh Padam. ‘Whole the topic of this discussion is false propaganda by Nirmala Sect’, He added. But we can’t leave research on the comments of one just historian, more research needs to be done on his existence and works. Please add in comments if you know something relevant.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
Kavi Kankan's Das Gur Katha
Because of the Battles and Wars, Khalsa was unable to take care of the manuscripts and other historical artifacts. Das Gur Katha's manuscript was discovered very late though it is dated back to 1700 CE. You can download it from the link given below for free.