Two Sikh groups attack each other with swords at Patna Sahib Gurdwara
Patna: At least three people were seriously injured when two groups clashed at the Patna Sahib Gurdwara here on Tuesday. According to initial reports, the clashes were reported between two groups – one representing the Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and the other Bal Leela Committee.
Violent clashes have taken place during the Guru Govind Singh birth anniversary celebrations in Patna. Members of two factions of the Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee attacked each other with swords and sticks.
Two people have sustained minor injuries in the incident. Though the situation is now under control, tensions still prevail.
It is being said that despite a huge celebration planned at the gurudwara, there was inadequate security at there. Soon after the incident, senior administrative officers reached the force. Additional force was also called in to bring the situation under control.
Senior officers are trying to speak to leaders of the two factions to come to an amicable solution.
This is not the first time that such clashes have took place in Patna. It is said that there is huge money involved in the Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee which both the factions want to get hold of. The two groups clashed over the election of a new Granthi.
The situation soon turned worse when the supporters of the two groups took out their swords and attacked each other. Patna Sahib Gurdwara Committee immediately informed the local administration and a police team was rushed to control the situation.
Some other reports claim that more people have sustained injuries in the unfortunate incident that comes on a day when Sikhs around the world are celebrating the ‘Prakash Parv’
It is as difficult and beyond imagination to express and narrate the spiritual spheres and virtues of a true saint, as if to capture the ocean in a bowl. The latter might be accomplished one day but the spiritual sphere of a saint will never be brought under limitation. Rare are the Divines who descend on this earth duly empowered and equipped with Divine Grace to shower the fragrance of the Holy Name. Invested with the Eternal Glory of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib, Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji arrived on this earth on Friday 5th August 1905, in Alowal, a village near Patiala, in the family of Baba Ram Singh Ji, who was the head of that village. Baba Ram Singh Ji,was always yearning for the company of saints. Incidentally there came a saint to that village who while leaving, gave a rose to Baba Ram Singh Ji and blessed him that he would have a son who would be worshipped by the rulers and kings. After sometime, a son named Sant Isher Singh Ji was born and was taken to the Gurudwara. After seeing Sant Ji’s hand, a pandit had made a horoscope and was aghast by seeing the ‘an eye’ like symbol in the sole of his foot. The symbol was read as a sign of being a great spiritual head or a king. Also, after the birth of Sant Isher Singh Ji, his father Baba Ram Singh Ji, started getting more and more respect and importance in society. Baba Ram Singh Ji was very keen in giving a good education to his son. After finishing primary education, Sant Isher Singh Ji was sent to Model School Patiala, a rare thing back in those days. Sant Isher Singh Ji did exceedingly well in school, and was an outstanding student in every field: games, studies, social work etc. All this made Sant Isher Singh Ji’s personality very outstanding. Sant Isher Singh Ji was always in search of the ‘Truth’. Eventually he started going to the Gurudwara in the mornings and evenings and also started doing ‘Kirtan’. Sant Ji then got the privilege of being in the company of Sant Atter Singh Ji, Mastuana Sahib and Sant Attar Singh Ji, Reru Sahib Wale. Later Sant Isher Singh Ji went to Sant Attar Singh Ji Reru Sahib Wale with S. Hira Singh Ji where he was bestowed with ‘Amrit’ and was blessed that he would go a long way in the search of ‘Truth’. Sant Isher Singh Ji returned back to Patiala with a totally changed personality. In July, 1922, Sant Isher Singh Ji left home and got totally involved in looking after Sant Attar Singh Ji, at Reru Sahib. After a short time, Sant Kishen Singh Ji joined Sant Isher Singh Ji to look after and to serve their ‘Guru’ Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji. Since then, both Sant Isher Singh Ji and Sant Kishen Singh Ji remained together.
The two principles that Sant Attar Singh Ji gave to Sant Isher Singh Ji and to Sant Kishen Singh Ji were:
1.) To be a firm believer of “Atam Marg” (the spiritual path), and to constantly practice and preach ‘Nam’.
2.) To be always upright and never to beg for anything.
Soon Sant Attar Singh Ji, Reru Sahib Wale, demised from this world. His two young students Sant Isher Singh Ji & Sant Kishen Singh Ji moved out of Reru Sahib and came near Rara Sahib in a small jungle. They both started meditating and their ‘samadhi’ would last for hours starting from midnight. Since this was a very tough practice of the long sittings of meditation that Sant Isher Singh Ji’s health started deteriorating and he became very weak. He was then taken to Delhi where Dr. Mukherjee treated him and S. Mohan Singh looked after him. Gradually Sant Isher Singh Ji started recovering and came back to Rara Sahib and started accompanying Sant Kishen Singh Ji.
In Rara Sahib, Sant Isher Singh Ji got immersed in deeper and deeper ‘sadhana’. More and more people joined the building of a Gurudwara for Sant Ji. Then Sant Kishan Singh Ji was responsible for looking after the entire Gurudwara set up: Langar, buffaloes, cows, schools etc. and Sant Isher Singh Ji was responsible for going from place to place in India and abroad doing Kirtan, answering the questions of the ‘Sadhaks’ and preaching Guru Nanak’s teachings. He changed thousands of people’s lives and there are plenty of incidents that seem to prove this. After doing all this, Sant Isher Singh Ji, laid off his body in England on 25th August 1975.
At the age of 16 a student went to Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji, gradually becoming his closest associate. This student has also touched the same pinnacles of spiritual heights like his mentor, Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji. That student is today known to the whole world as Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji Pehowa Wale, whom has dedicated himself in currently preaching Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s message to the world.
Sant Isher Singh Ji’s special qualities started coming to light at a young age. When three years old he used to tell the local kids to sit down cross-legged and recite ” Waheguru, Waheguru “, whilst he gave “parshad”. On another occasion Baba Ram Singh Ji and Mata Rattan Kaur were on their way to visit a local holy man “Vidoshe Wale Sant”, and Maharaj Ji, then four years old, insisted on going along. After bowing both Baba Ram Singh Ji and Mata Rattan Kaur, sat a respectful distance away, however Maharaj Ji went and sat next to the holy man in the same manner. On doing so he asked several times whose son this was, eventually and a little fearfully Baba Ram Singh and Mata Rattan Kaur owned up. The holy man laughed and told them they did not realize their son’s qualities, he told them that he would be a very holy person and people, many very influential, would come to him for advise and to be in his presence. By the inspiration of the latter, he got baptized and was renamed Isher Singh. Thus motivated by the life and teachings of Sant Attar Singh Ji, he adopted the path of devotion and from him received the boon of propagating Sikhism through “Kirtan” (singing of hymns).
Once a year on Sant Baba Karam Singh Ji’s barsi, Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji would go to Sehdu Sahib, there after having bathed in the extremely cold river Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji and Maharaj Ji would sit on the river bank and do path and meditate for many hours. On the first occasion, Maharaj Ji being unfamiliar with the cold fell ill but it was only with the permission of Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji that Maharaj Ji was taken and revived. As time went on Maharaj Ji attained a higher and higher spiritual level and eventually Maharaj Ji was bestowed a “kafni”, these being the outer garments to distinguish Maharaj Ji as a Sant. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji explained that although Maharaj Ji had already attained this state it was important for the Sangat and outside world to know his standing. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji further stated that Maharaj Ji would attain a very high spiritual level and many very important people from far and wide would come to be in his presence and for his advice. Maharaj Ji replied that he had no interest and relationship with these things since they would take him away from God and Maharaj Ji requested for Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji to bless him that he will never forget God. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji explained to Maharaj Ji the pitfalls that lay ahead on Maharaj Ji’s path and how to be very careful of these things. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji also told Maharaj Ji to keep increasing his knowledge and to learn how to do kirtan, so that Maharaj Ji will be able to impart some of that knowledge to the Sangat that would come to be in his presence. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji placed Maharaj Ji’s hand on a harmonium to signify this new phase in Maharaj Ji’s life. In 1926 Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji and Maharaj Ji went to Dumdama Sahib for Vasiakhi, there Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji met Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Mastuana Wale. When leaving Dumdama Sahib when Maharaj Ji paid his final respects to Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Mastuana Wale, he looked at Maharaj Ji and held him in his arms. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Mastauna Wale put his hand on Maharaj Ji’s head and stated he would attain a very high spiritual level and people would come to him for advice and to ask for Maharaj Ji’s time.
When on 21st January 1927 Sant Attar Singh Ji gave up his corporeal being. Sant Isher Singh Ji became sad and disconsolate. In order to overcome this despondency, he set out on pilgrimage. After visiting Machiwara, Kiratpur Sahib, Sri Anandpur Sahib, Sri Amritsar Sahib, Sri Nankana Sahib and Punja Sahib he came to Rara Sahib and settled here. By virtue of his devotion he turned this deserted place into a sacred place that has become famous the world over. “A saint remembers the God and helps others remembering Him” following this principle he devoted himself to worship and motivated the people to be ‘Gursikhs’ and to follow the path, shown by the Sikh Gurus. It is after they had settled at Rara Sahib did Sant Ji begin their life mission of preaching Sikhi. Maharaj Ji is universally acclaimed as one of the most charming and dynamic personalities of their day. Tall and majestic, sweet and warm hearted his heart over flowed with the milk of human kindness, Pious in thought word and deed he was the very image of Godliness. Blessed with the Divine light, he preached God’s truth and delivered Guru Nanak’s message of love and peace to every home in India and abroad. Continuously for 55 years he recited Gurbani and with his sweet and melodious kirtan put thousands of burning minds to rest. After the final Diwan of each location Amrit Sanchar would take place. By this fashion over 700,000 Sikhs received Amrit and entered the Khalsa Panth. In their duty of preaching Sikhi Maharaj went on a 13 months long mission to Africa in 1949. There he gratified the spiritual needs of the Sikh congregation with lucid explanation of the Gurbani, interspersed with his melodious, captivating and soul lifting recitals Dharnas, taken from Gurbani. The thousands of devotees that attended congregations in His holy presence world wide felt as if they had taken a dip in an Ocean of purity. Minds would be cleansed of all accumulated impurities of past sins and Karmas in His holy presence. From this Ocean of purity which Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji Maharaj was and is, beams out to the whole world all the blessings and bliss of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. There was no trace of ego, worldliness or materialism in His dwelling places. Purity was the keynote, main-stay, life-force in His congregations.After returning to Punjab, he continued his mission by holding annual congregations in towns and cities as far as wide as Meerut, Delhi as well as in Punjab. Maharaj Ji had three main Ashrams in India, firstly at Rara Sahib, secondly at Dabhlan, Patiala and thirdly at Hapur, in Uttar Pradesh. To these day all three location are preserved in Maharaj Ji’s loving memory. On this very mission, to propagate Sikhism he also visited England in 1974 and 1975. As Gurbani tells us, whoever comes onto this earth must eventually leave it. Maharaj Ji had started to give hints about the inevitable. At both his last diwans in Ludhiana and Delhi Maharaj Ji stated that they were going to England and they would again grace this county if their body allowed it. They arrived in England and after holding diwans in London they went to Wolverhampton.
Sadly on 26th August 1975, while sitting in meditation in Wolverhampton, England he left the world for heavenly abode. The necessary arrangements were made and Maharaj Ji’s holy body was brought back to India on the 31st of August where more than 20,000 devotees had gathered to have darshan of their most beloved master. The holy body was then brought back to Rara sahib, Maharaj Ji’s home of the last 55 years. The next day the holy body was taken to Gurdwara Bibhaur Sahib, where Guru Gobind Singh Ji composed ‘Chaupai’. Here over 50,000 devotees had gathered to bid farewell to their beloved master. After Ardas was performed by Sant Baba Mihan Singh Ji, Maharaj Ji’s holy body was taken out on a boat accompanied by Sant Baba Kishen Singh Ji Maharaj, Sant Baba Mihan Singh Ji, S.Daljit Singh Ji and S.Charanjeet Singh Ji Coca cola wale as well as other members of sangat. Here in the middle of the River Sutlej Maharaji Ji’s Holy Body was laid to eternal rest.
“Always, remember Waheguru to achieve salvation. Let your life be guided by the saying, Whatever God wills, is good. Be contented with the will of God. Remember Him both in pleasure & pain” - Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji.
Diwali – is the festival which Sikhs and Hindus celebrate on the same day but have different reasons.
Sikhs called Diwali – Bandi Chhorh Divas. The Sikhs celebrate this day as Bandi Chhorh Divas i.e., “the day of release of detainees”, because the sixth Nanak(Hargobind Sahib Ji) had agreed to his release on the condition that the other fifty-two detainees would also be released. These other fifty-two detainees were the vassal kings who had done something to annoy the emperor. Emperor Jahangir had imprisoned the sixth Nanak because he was afraid of the Guru’s growing following and power. The Sikhs on this day, which generally falls in october-November, hold a one-day celebrations in the Gurdwaras. So in the evening, illuminations are done with Deewé (earthen oil lamps) or candles and fireworks. The celebrations are held both in the Gurdwaras and in homes. The story of Diwali for the Sikhs is a story of the Sikh struggle for freedom. From the time of Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539), the founder of Sikhism, popular seasonal or folk festivals like the harvest festival of Vaisakhi, or ancient mythological festivals like Holi and Diwali, or worship rituals like Aarti, began to take on a new significance for the Guru’s students, the Sikhs. The Guru used these festivals and special days e.g. first day of each lunar month, as symbols or pegs for his teaching themes. And so the Sikhs were slowly diverted from darkness of superstitious ritualism based on fear and ignorance to an enlightened ideology based on reason and belief in One Creator. The enlightened ideology of Guru Nanak gave new significance to ancient festivals like Diwali and Vaisakhi
Hindus celebrate Diwali – the festival of lights when, according to Indian lore, Lord Rama returned home after destroying the demon god Ravana who had taken away Rama’s wife, Sita? The story, of course, has no significance in the Sikh tradition. However, in the Sikh struggle for freedom from the oppressive Mughal regime, the festival of Diwali did become the second most important day after the Vaisakhi festival in April.
The Sixth Guru Hargobind, was freed from imprisonment in the famous fort of Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir in October, 1619. The reason for the young Guru’s imprisonment was no more than religious bigotry. The Guru’s father, Guru Arjan, had been martyred for the same reason. According to Sikh tradition, the Guru agreed to be freed only if the other Indian chiefs (rajahs) imprisoned with him were freed. Jahangir was under pressure from moderate but influential Muslim religious leaders like Hajrat Mian Mir, a friend of the Guru. So he relented grudgingly and ordained, Let those rajahs be freed who can hold on to the Guru’s coat tails and walk out of prison. He had in mind no more than four or five being freed with the Guru. However, the Guru was not to be outmanoeuvred in this way. He asked for a special coat to be made with 52 coat tails – same number as the rajahs in prison with him! And so the rajahs were freed and the Guru became known popularly as the Bandi Chhor (Deliverer from prison). He arrived at Amritsar on the Divali day and the Har Mandar (now known as the Golden Temple) was lit with hundreds of lamps i.e. he was received in the same way as the Lord Rama and the day came to be known as the Bandi Chhor Divas (the day of freedom). Guru Hargobind reached Amritsar on the eve of Diwali, after his release from Gwalior fort, during the reign of Jahangir.The People illuminated the Golden Temple and the city splendidly to celebrate the return of their Guru to the city. Thereafter, Diwali is being celebrated at Amritsar with great pump and show, and also with a lot of religious fervour.
During the fair, religious congregations are held at Manji Sahib, Akal Takhat and Baba Atal which continue for three days. A large number of poets and singers also participate. Recitation of Granth Sahib is done at Darbar Sahib, Akal Takhat and various gurudwaras in the vicinity of Golden Tample
Early in the morning, pilgrims take a holy dip in the scared tank, while reciting Japji Sahib and thereafter, they go to the Golden Temple for paying their obeisance. They make offerings of various kinds both in cash and kind, such as flowers, candy-drops and parched-rice grains, but mostly the offerings are of karah parshad. which is prepared and sold to the pilgrims by the management. Circumambulation of the tank is considered sacred by the pilgrims.
Illuminations and pyrotechnic display are the unique features of the Diwali celebrations. A mammoth gathering in the parikarma and on the adjoining buildings witness to their great delight the multicolored lights thrown up in the sky and their reflections in the water of the tank. Chain of the electric lights hang along the causeway and on the Darshani Deorhi. Small earthen lamps lighted and fed with sarson oil are arranged in lines all around the tank. All buildings in the compound are bedecked with coloured lights. Candles and small earthen lamps fed with pure ghee are floated in the tank.
This fair is attended by people in the large numbers who come from far and near. A large number of visitors take shelter in the verandahs of the various buildings in the premises. All local inns, rest houses and other common places are packed to capacity. The free mess, called Guru Ram Dass Langar, remains open for all. The whole function is organised by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee. During the fair, qualified doctors render free medical service to the pilgrims.
Thenceforth, the Sikh struggle for freedom, which intensified in the 18th Century, came to be centred around this day. In addition to the Vaisakhi day (now in April), when Khalsa, the Sikh nation was formally established by the Tenth Guru Gobind Singh, Divali became the second day in the years when the Khalsa met and planned their freedom strategy.
Celebration Of Bandi Chorrh Divas:
On the occassion of Bandi Chorrh Divas, Sikhs observe a one-day celebrations in the Gurdwaras. In the evening, illuminations are lighted with Deewé (earthen oil lamps) or candles and fireworks are also bursted. Such celebrations are held both in the Gurdwaras and in homes.
Sacrifice of Bhai Mani Singh on the Occasion of Diwali:
Another important Sikh event associated with Divali is the martyrdom in 1734 of the elderly Sikh scholar and strategist Bhai Mani Singh, the Granthi (priest) of Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple). He had refused to pay a special tax on a religious meeting of the Khalsa on the Divali day. This and other Sikh martyrdoms gave further momentum to the Khalsa struggle for freedom and eventually success in establishing the Khalsa rule north of Delhi
Bhai Mani Singh was a great scholar and he transcripted the final version of Guru Granth Sahib upon dictation from Guru Govind Singh ji in 1704. He took charge of Harmandir Sahib’s management on 1708. Diwali was not celebrated in Golden Temple at that time. In 1737, he received permission from Mogul emperor of Punjab, Zakaria Khan for celebrating Diwali at Golden Temple for a massive tax of Rs. 5,000 (some authors say it was Rs10,000). Invitations were sent to the Sikhs all over India to join Bandi Chhorh Diwas celebrations at Harmandir Sahib. Bhai Singh thought he would collect the tax-money from the Sikhs as subscriptions who would assemble for the purpose of Diwali Celebrations. But Bhai Mani Singh Ji later discovered the secret plan of Zakariya Khan to kill the Sikhs during the gathering. Bhai Mani Singh Ji immediately sent message to all the Sikhs not to turn up for celebrations. Bhai Mani Singh could not manage to arrange the money to be paid for tax. Zakariya Khan was not happy about the situation and he ordered Bhai Mani Singh’s assassination at Lahore by ruthlessly cutting him limb-by-limb to death. Ever since, the great sacrifice & devotion of martyr Bhai Mani Singh Ji is remembered on the Bandi Chhorh Diwas (Diwali) celebration.
A great devotee of Sikhism, Baba Nand Singh Ji was born in 1870 A.D. at Sherpur Village, Jagraon, in Ludhiana District of Punjab. His father was Sardar Jai Singh while his mother was Sardarni Sada Kaur. Right from childhood days, he had an urge for devotion to God. His nature was that of a hermit, a “Yogi” but he had an extra glow on his face. Upon seeing the glow on his face, one could feel that he was a great soul sent by God into this world to deliver the message of Ultimate Truth. At the age of five, he often used to wake up in the middle of the night and go out for meditation. Once his parents on not seeing him in his bed got worried and started looking for him. They were surprised to see him sitting on the edge of the well with his eyes closed and in deep meditation. He was perched precariously and any slight movement due to his sleepiness/drowsiness would have resulted in his falling into the well. Upon seeing the glow on his face and the manner in which he was in deep meditation, the apprehension of the parents disappeared. The whole episode led them to believe that their child was a great soul who would one day become a great saint and who will show the way to Ultimate Truth to the world.
Baba Nand Singh Ji, in his youth, adopted the profession of his fore fathers, but in reality he was deeply devoted to God.
Baba Ji left his house and started to do “sewa” at Gurdwara Sahib in Ferozpur. There he met Sant Baba Harnam Singh Ji, Bhuchon Wale. Sant Ji observed that the young Baba Nand Singh had the characteristics that must have been acquired by long and deep meditation and devotion. He also seemed to possess the spirit of sacrifice and always ready to serve. This made Sant Harnam Singh Ji show the young Sant Baba Nand Singh the way to complete devotion and the correct path to divine knowledge leading to the ultimate Union with God. Sant Ji also made him realise that only that part of the life which was spent in the devotion and service to God was considered successful. He further stressed that one should do good deeds for the welfare of humanity and that the youth age once passed never returns in life while old age never leaves. Therefore youth should not be wasted but one should make the maximum use of it to do service to God and mankind.
The above advice and instructions changed the life of Baba Nand Singh Ji and made him to go to the forest for further meditation. He commenced his meditation without considering the local weather conditions. Furthermore he did not go anywhere for his food. He believed that He, “Waheguru” on whom he was devoting and meditating, shall definitely take care of all his needs. With this strong belief in mind, he sat in deep meditation. Somehow the food came from one source or other at the required times.
After a period of meditation, he returned from the forest and camped just outside the village and continued with his meditation irrespective of the local climatic conditions. The villagers upon observing this built a temporary house for him. After sometime the people from Kalera Village came and requested him to visit their village. He accepted their invitation and set out for Kalera. On the way he stopped at a well which was between Kaunke Village and Kalera and decided to camp there. The villagers over there made a small hut for Baba Ji and Baba Ji started his meditation.
Baba Nand Singh Ji later established his “Dera” (centre) near Kalera in Punjab. He led a simple life and continued with the same principles of deep meditation. The food for the “Dera” would come from different devotees though no cooking was done at the “Dera” itself. This practice is still continued by the “Dera” now popularly known as Nanaksar. The food, “langar”, is not prepared at Nanaksar but it is sent by the nearby villages and no matter how big the congregation, never ever has has there been a shortage. No monetary offerings are ever made in front of the Guru Granth Sahib at Nanaksar, as the usual practice is at other Gurdwaras, but never a shortage of funds has occurred there. Baba Ji did not use any money on himself. He always served the community with true love and affection. It is said that once Maharaja Bhupender Singh of Patiala came to offer one lakh rupees for the Gurdwara fund but Baba Ji politely refused the offer. This was the first time someone had ever declined the offer of accepting money for a religious place from a Maharaja and of course the Maharaja felt bad and told Baba Ji, “You will not find a donor like Bhupender Singh”. To this Baba Ji replied, “You will not find another person who is prepared to sacrifice everything and yet be fully committed like Nand Singh”. This made the Maharaja humble and respectful and he bowed his head before Baba Ji. Baba Ji left for his heavenly abode in 1943 (13 Bhadron Sanmat 2000) at the age of 73.
” Be True Sikh ” Do charity, speak truth and embrace humility ” Emphasized on Naam Simran (Meditation) ” Have faith on Akalpurkh alone ” Choose a charitable cause and pursue it with selfless devotion ” Have Love for all and every one ” Have faith and respect the Holy Body of Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the Living Sikh Guru. ” Praise only Guru Nanak Dev Ji and criticise and condemn only oneself. ” Pray before Guru Granth Sahib only for all blessings and effacing of sufferings.
HOW WAS THE PLACE OF NANAKSAR Takhat selected BY BABA NAND SINGH JI?
One day BABA JI asked S. Rattan Singh of Kaleran village (located a mile from Nanaksar Thath) to select a place where he can stay for a few days. BABA JI said that the place should be an open one, which should not have a road nearby and the area must be dry. S. Rattan Singh replied that such a place is “KARRARI KA THEH”. This place was surrounded by the boundaries of three villages (Galib Kalan, Galib Khurd, and Sherpura). Here a “Mathh” was erected in the memory of a childless, unmarried girl of the mahajans (karrarr); the people were emotionally attached to this place. Dhan Baba Ji refused to stay at this place. This led the followers to tell about a place near Gujran Di Patti, but again Dhan Baba Ji declined to stay there.
Then Baba Ji himself pointed to a place, where there was a well. This place belonged to Agwar Lopo of Jagraon. Baba Ji then brought a horse and road it to the newly discovered place, and his followers took spades and karahis and followed Baba Ji. The land was full of ant holes and recently diseased animal carcasses were scattered throughout the land. Snake holes were seen everywhere, and people began to suspect that this land was a place of ghosts. The herds of deer ran hither and thither. The wild cows ran amuck and at night wolves would howl for hours.
Nearby, there was a deserted well. They took some water out of it, but it was black in color. The followers drank some of it, and described it as being bitter like poison. But Baba Ji said that the water was good and ordered to take some buckets of water out of it, which prompted the villagers to immediately withdraw water. Suddenly, the water became very sweet and pure. Baba Ji did not want to move to another place even though it may be near a road. Baba Ji liked this place and decided to stay here.
What was the real reason to select this place? About a mile from this place is the historical gurdwara of Gurusar, where SAHIB SRI GURU HARGOBIND SINGH JI stayed there for some time. GURU SAHIB used to hunt in the forest there and GURU SAHIB himself took water from that well. The ANTARJAMI BABA JI selected this place for that special reason.
The villagers dug a deep pit about six feet in length and built a boundary wall about six feet high made of katcha (bricks). It was covered by local grass.
Baba Ji uttered this salok of Bhagat Kabir Ji ( ang 1376 ) :——–
‘Kabeer, why kill yourself for your love of decorations of your home and mansion? In the end, only six feet, or a little more, shall be your lot’
Then Baba Ji said that it was a royal palace and even there was no need of bread here.
Mai Bhago, also know as Mata Bhag Kaur, was a sikh woman who led sikh soldiers against the Mughals in 1705. Mai Bhago was born in village of Jhabal Kalan, now known as Amritsar district of Punjab. Mai Bhago was descendant of Bhai Pero Shah, teh younger brother of Bhai Langah a Dhillon Jatt, a chief of 84 villages who had converted to Sikhism during the time of Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563-1606). She had 4 brothers, who were also Staunch Sikhs. She was married to Bhai Nidhan Singh Varaich of Patti. Mai Bhago was a staunch Sikh by birth and upbrining. Her parents took her to Anandpur Sahib, when she was young to have glimpse of Guru Gobin Singh Ji.
Mughals and hilly chiefs had surrounded Anandpur and were demanding it be evacuated. They announced that any Sikh who would say that “he/she is not anymore a Sikh of Guru Gobind” will be left untouched while others will be done to death. A group of 40 Sikhs, led by Mahan Singh Brar told Guru Gobind Singh that they were not his Sikhs anymore. The Guru told them that they will have to write it in a document that says, “We are not your Sikhs anymore” and sign it. All forty Sikhs wrote their names on this document but one of then declined to sign; ‘Bedava’ and left Guru Gobind Singh. Mai Bhago was distressed to hear that some of the Sikhs of her neighbourhood who had gone to Anandpur to fight for Guru Gobind Singh had deserted him under adverse conditions. Hearing her taunts, these Sikhs were ashamed at their deed. She rallied the deserters persuading them to meet the Guru and apologize to him. she set off along with them and some other Sikhs to seek out the Guru, then travelling across the Malva region.
Meanwhile, Guru Gobind Singh had to evacuate the fort of Anandpur, his children were lost in the confusion. Two youngest one’s Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, went along with their grandmother (mother of Guru Gobind Singh). While elder one’s Ajit Singh and Jhujhar Singh were with their father. Then at battle of Chamkaur Guru’s elder sons attained martyrdom, Guru was saved by five Sikhs and he evacuated Chamkaur and was travelling in Malva region, being pursued by Mughal forces of Aurungzeb. Travelling day and night in the Jungles of Malva region, imperial Mughal forces were in constant pursuit of Guru. Guru Gobind Singh reached village of Khidrana, when Mai Bhago and the men, she was leading stopped near the dhab or pool of Khidrana where an imperial army in pursuit of Guru Gobind Singh had almost overtaken him. They challenged the pursuing host and fought furiously forcing it to retreat. All forty Sikhs attained martyrdom in this pitched battle, in which Guru himself was supporting them with a shower of arrows from a nearby high ground, found all the men except one Mahan Singh, killed when he visited the battlefield. Mai Bhago and Guru Gobind Singh ji were the sole survivors of this fiercely fought battle.
Mahan Singh, who had been seriously wounded, also died as the Guru took him into his lap. Guru Gobind Singh blessed those forty dead as the Forty Liberated Ones. He took into his care Mai Bhago who had also suffered injury in the battle. She thereafter stayed on with Guru Gobind Singh as one of his bodyguard, in male attire. After the death of Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded in 1708, she retired further south. She settled down at Jinvara, 11 km from Bidar in Karnataka where, immersed in meditation, she lived to attain a ripe old age. Her hut in Jinvara has now been converted into Gurdwara Tap Asthan Mai Bhago. At Nanded, too, a hall within the compound of Takht Sachkhand. Sri Hazur Sahib marking the site of her residence is known as Bunga Mai Bhago.
Warrior Princess Mai Bhago and the 40 Liberated Ones:
Guru Gobind Singh was joined by warriors of the Brar clan continued the fight against the Mughals who had mercilessly slaughtered his innocent children and countless other Sikhs. The Guru pressed westward pursued by the Mughals.
Bhag Kaur and her husband Nidhan Singh lived in the Majha region where the deserters of Anandpur had returned home. After hearing of the Guru’s plight, Bhag Kaur urged her husband to accompany her to the Guru’s side. Donning warrior’s attire, mounting her horse and raising her sword high, Bhag Kaur roused the sentiments of the deserters and rallied an eager army. Gathering forces along the way, Bhag Kaur was joined by many Sikhs including Mahan Singh, a Sikh deserter from the village of Sur Singh Wala, and a few influential leaders from Lahore who hoped to negotiate with the Mughals on behalf of the Guru. Bhag Kaur’s army met up with Guru Gobind Singh not far from Khidrana, a natural reservoir.
Forty of the former deserters joined the Guru in the ensuing battle. Greatly outnumbered, every one of Bhag Kaur’s regiment succumbed to the heavy combat and fell around her. The last one standing, Bhag Kaur fought courageously. She managed to procure a lance and speared several of her opponents until, overwhelmed by the enemy, she too fell. After the battle, Guru Gobind Singh found only Bhag Kaur and Mahan Singh alive. The Guru tended Bhag Kaur’s wounds and held Mahan Singh as he died, promising to pardon the deserters and tear up their papers of resignation.
The widowed Bhag Kaur stayed with Guru Gobind Singh’s army in his camp at Nanded attired as one his warriors. She was given a place in his personal body guard of ten soldiers, traveled as part of his entourage and was with him when he recruited Banda Singh Bahadar. Mai Bhago remained in Guru Gobind Singh’s service until the Guru’s death in 1708. She then made her home in Jinvara not far from Bidar of Karnataka where she lived in a humble dwelling.
Mai Bhago passed the remainder of her days in austere meditation living to an advanced age. Her place of residence in Jinvara has been converted into the shrine Gurdwara Tap Asthan Mai Bhago. In Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib of Nanded, the shrine, Bunga Mai Bhago, has been dedicated to her memory. Mai Bhago’s legacy of warrior princess continues to be an inspirations figure to Sikh women around the world. The deserters that she led in to battle are known as the Chali Mukte, or 40 liberated ones, who achieved spiritual emancipation from the ego based cycle of birth and death with their martyrdom.
Have you visited the historic gurdwara Tap Asthan Mai Bhago, Bunga Mai Bhago, or Muktsar shrines honoring the 40 liberated ones? We’d love to hear about your visit. Please share your experience and any photos you may have with our readers, and find out what others have to say about the historic shrines commemorating Mai Bhago and the Chali Mukti.
Bhai Satwant Singh Ji was one of the Jujharoo Babbar Sher (Freedom Fighting Mighty Lions) who kept the integrity, pride and Khalsa tradition in our history. History dictates that whoever looked at Amritsar, with an evil eye to destroy it, such as Massa Rangar, Ahmad Shah Abdali, General Dyer and Indria Gandhi, they themselves are destroyed.
Shaheed Bhai Satwant Singh was born in 1962 in the house of Sardar Tarlok Singh and Sardarni Pyaar Kaur, in the village Agwaan Kurd, district Gurdaspur. Village Agwaan Kurd is only 3km from the India – Pakistan border. Bhai Sahib had 2 elder brothers, Gurnam Singh and Waryam Singh, and a younger brother and sister, Swaran Singh and Ranjit Kaur. Bhai Sahib was educated to a higher secondary level at Dera Baba Nanak School.
In 1981, Bhai Satwant Singh moved from Burail jail in Uttar Pradesh to a new posting with the Delhi Armed Police. He was a very handsome young man, and an excellent sharp shooter. As a result he was later posted to the personal protection force of the Prime Minister. From the period of 1981 to 1984, he was the personal bodyguard of Indira Gandhi.
In 1983, Sarabjit Kaur, the wife of his elder brother Waryam Singh, asked her Massi (maternal aunt) for the hand in marriage of her daughter, Surinder Kaur, for Satwant Singh. Soon both of them were engaged. Both families had scheduled the wedding in 1984, but due to the fact that Satwant Singh could not get holidays, it was delayed.
In June 1984, the Sikh Nation witnessed the power-drunk Brahmin Indira Gandhi send the Indian Army, on the sacred day of the Shaheedi-purb of Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, to attack Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Akal Takht Sahib, and 40 more historical Gurdwaras. They used many battalions of Army and tanks, and attacked the thousands of innocent pilgrims who came to pay respects of the Shaheedi of Guru Ji, and many, many Sikh Sangat, Singhs, Singhnian, children and elders became Shaheed. Sri Akal Thakht Sahib was desecrated by tanks. This army action by Indira Gandhi burned in the heart of every Sikh. It was like a great challenge had been placed before the Sikh Nation.
The Sikh Nation was extremely angry at the action. As well as the genocide, Sri Harmandar Sahib had been dishonoured, Sri Akal Thakht Sahib had been desecrated. The times of Massa Rangar had returned, and the Sikh Nation required a Bhai Sukha Singh and Bhai Mehtab Singh.
Bhai Beant Singh Malowan went to see some of his relatives. His uncle (Phuffer ji) was called Kehar Singh and was very knowledgable of Sikh philosophy. Beant Singh was in a state of shame, mixed with anger and depression. He asked, “Phuffer ji, will Waheguru send a Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh to avenge this sin of desecration of Sri Darbar Sahib?” While handing him a book on Sant Jarnail Singh Bindranwale, his uncle replied, “do not grieve, if you have love with Sikhi, then learn that giving your head, and taking a head for Sikhi are equal. After all, someone has to be the sons of Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh. They took Khande de Pahul Amrit from Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh, and then went and took the head of Massa Rangar to stop the desecration of Sri Darbar Sahib and became legends in Sikh History. We need to remember them, and become like them.”
These words from his uncle were like a spear in his heart. Now Bhai Beant Singh was looking for a companion who would sacrifice all to avenge the action on Sri Darbar Sahib. Eventually Beant Singh’s eye fell on Satwant Singh, who was in Indira Gandhi’s protection force with him. When he carefully approached Satwant Singh, the young Singh responded “Elder brother, for this sacred task, not only this life, but even if I have to sacrifice several lives, I would to kill a brutal murderer like Indira Gandhi!”
First Beant Singh and Satwant Singh wanted to see with their own eyes what Indira Gandhi had done in Punjab, and at Amritsar. The three Singhs shocked at the scene at Sri Akal Thakht Sahib, made their minds up and went to Sri Darbar Sahib and did Ardaas, “Oh Akaal Purkh, give us strength!”
After seeing the state of Sri Darbar Sahib, both Satwant Singh and Beant Singh returned to Delhi back to their duty. On 24th October 1984, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh took Amrit at a Gurdwara in Delhi. Neither were particularly knowledgeable on Gurbani, but Operation Blue Star and the legend of Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh were foremost in their mind. This is what led them to take the blessing of Amrit.”
Satwant Singh always had the late shift, and Beant Singh always had the early shift. They had to work out a way to both be on duty together. On 31st October, Satwant Singh faked a stomach bug, and swapped duties with another guard. Now they had to decide how to do the task. They decided the best time was when Indira Gandhi was doing her walkabout.
On the morning of 31st October, 1984 at 9am as Indira Gandhi walked from her house to her office at Safardajung Road. Bhai Beant Singh shot her 5 times with his service revolver. Bhai Satwant Singh at the same time lifted his Thompson Staingun and shot 28 bullets. Seeing Indira Gandhi fall, all of her PA’s and ministers ran for their lives. The Indo-Tibetian Border Police commandos, who also guarded the grounds would not come close. Both Singhs shouted “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akaal!!”
The Singhs shouted, “We have done what we needed to, now you can do what you have to.” Then both placed their weapons on the floor. Only then did the other guards come and arrest them. Both Singhs were taken to a room, while they waited for a senior officer to interrogate them. While waiting the commandos started swearing at the Singhs. Not tolerating this, Bhai Satwant Singh slapped the commando, and a struggle ensued, in which Satwant singh grabbed the commandos handgun. The other commandos started shooting at the Singhs. Bhai Beant Singh died there from gunshot wounds. Bhai Satwant Singh was seriously injured.
On arrival of a senior officer, Bhai Satwant Singh was taken to hospital. The officers wanted to know who else was part of the conspiracy. They did not know that these Singhs were acting alone because of the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Akal Thakht Sahib, and the 40 Gurdwaras, the Sikh genocide of Singhs, Singhnias, children and elders, and the legend of 6th June 1740, when Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh took revenge on Massa Rangar. The Government had saved Bhai Satwant Singh’s life, but intentionally did not remove one bullet which was lodged near his spine continuously causing him great pain. Despite this and other interrogation torture, Satwant Singh always maintained that there was no conspiracy, and the two were acting alone. He said, “This is our Khalsa tradition to avenge those who try to desecrate our holy places. We were happy to take this task. The Sikh Nation will be proud of us.”
The Government did not accept this, and took two innocent Sikhs, Kehar Singh and Balbir Singh and framed them with the assassination case aswell. They were jailed.
Bhai Satwant Singh was kept in Tihar jail in Delhi. His family and his fiancé, Bibi Surinder Kaur were only allowed to meet him 3 times. The bullet near his spine was still causing him great pain. The authorities would not allow doctors to see him. So one day he used his own finger nail to cut his skin and remove the bullet. After the bullet was removed, he regained his health and was in a state of Chardi Kala!
The authorities witnessing his better health and shining face, thought of new methods to affect him and his family. They stopped his fiancé from visiting him, stating that she can only visit once they have married. Bibi Surinder Kaur decided she would marry a photo of Satwant Singh, so that they could not use this excuse. Their relatives were unhappy with this decision. Bhai Satwant Singh’s father, Sardar Tarlok Singh stated, “Dear daughter, we will marry you to our youngest son Swaran Singh. The Khalsa Panth has had to deal with this brutal Indian Government. How can you ever expect any justice from such a brutal regime? Even courts are just pawns in the hands of Rajiv Gandhi. There is no hope that Satwant Singh will ever be free!”
Bibi Surinder Kaur replied, “Bapu Ji, a woman only ever loves one man. I have already accepted Satwant Singh as my beloved husband. He is my husband, and I am his wife. That is how it shall remain. The brother of Satwant Singh, will be my brother.”
Bibi Surinder Kaur’s father, Sardar Virsa Singh said, “Daughter, if you do not change your decision to marry the photo of Satwant Singh, then I will commit suicide by taking poison!” Bibi Surinder Kaur replied, “Dear Father Ji, Gurbani states, Marran Lekiaee Mandal Mae Ayee, – every person has their death written by Akaal Purkh Waheguru before they are born on this earth. Waheguru has already written your last breath, and in the same way the decision on my marriage to Satwant Singh cannot change either. If it is written that he is going to die by hanging, then that will happen also. I am ready to face whatever comes my way in the future. Until my last breath, I will never let any stain come on respect due to the dastaar of Satwant Singh, your dastaar father, and the dastaar of my father-in-law.”
It was now the year 1988, the role of Sri Akal Thakht Jathedar was held by the dubious Jasvir Singh Rode. Due to the fact that Bibi Surinder Kaur would not change her mind to marry the photo of Satwant Singh, both families decided to take her to the Jathedar so he could convince her. Jasvir Singh said to her, “Bibi, do not rush to make such a big decision. There is no hope that the authorities will not give Satwant Singh a sentence of hanging. So do not make such a big life decision, without thinking it through…” Bibi Surinder Kaur replied, “Singh Sahib Ji, you are right. The authorities will give Satwant Singh the hangmans noose. Both our families had decided to marry me and Satwant Singh. Due to Satwant Singh not getting holidays, the wedding was delayed at the last moment. However if Satwant Singh killed Indira Gandhi after our marriage, then he would have been sentenced to hanging aswell. I, as Satwant Singh’s wife would have had to see every hard time in the future. My husband, Satwant Singh did a great and brave task! The integrity of the Sikh Nation, it’s dastaar, was ripped off by Indira Gandhi and she stamped on it with her feet in June 1984. My husband took the dastaar of the Sikh Nation and replaced it on its head. Even in my worst dreams, I could never turn my back on such a great man. It can never happen! I have accepted Satwant Singh as my husband. I will never let a stain come on his Dastaar. I will spend my whole life as the widow of Satwant Singh!”
Akal Takhat Jathedar Jasvir Singh Rode said to both fathers of Satwant Singh and Bibi Surinder Kaur, that due to the strength of will of Bibi Surinder Kaur, we should allow her to marry the photo of Satwant Singh, in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
According to the hukam of Singh Sahib, on 2nd May 1988, Satwant Singhs father, Bapu Tarlok Singh, his mother, elder brother and wife, left their house with a picture of Satwant Singh for the house of Sardar Virsa Singh. In the presence of Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, Bibi Surinder Kaur married the photo of Satwant Singh. In the afternoon, the Doli of Bibi Surinder Kaur left the residence of Sardar Virsa Singh for the house of Bhai Satwant Singh. Every court in the land, only gave the sentence that Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had wanted. In the Supreme Court, Bhai Satwant Singh made a statement. He said, “Let any part of my body, after my Shaheedi, be removed and used by anyone who may need. However if you need my eyes, let the authorities tell my parents. I have no hatred for any Hindu, Muslim, Christian, neither hatred for any religion. After my Shaheedi, let no Sikh throw any rock at any Hindu. I am not in favour of any retaliation or bloodshed over my Shaheedi. If we do create bloodshed, then there is no difference between us and Rajiv Gandhi. I am proud of the task that I did! I do Ardaas in front of Waheguru ! If I am blessed with a human life, then give me a death of the brave when I am hanged. Forget one life, if I could I would give up a thousand lives to kill dushts like Indira Gandhi, and laugh as I become Shaheed by hanging….”
His lawyer, Sardar Bhupinder Singh Sodhi was the last to meet Satwant Singh in Tihar jail. Sodhi said, “Beloved Satwant, I am so sorry I was unable to save you from the death sentence. Now this is the last time we will ever meet.” The lawyer said as he became emotional. Sardar Satwant Singh replied, “Vakeel Sahib, you should be making me strong. We will meet again. Promise me you will fight my case next time aswell!” Bhupinder Singh Sodhi replied, “Pyare Satwant, I do not understand what you are saying? All your appeals have failed. Tomorrow morning, 6th January, at 6am, both you and Kehar Singh will be hanged.”
Satwant Singh replied, “Vakeel sahib, whenever Waheguru gives me a human life, I will once again destroy the enemies of the Sikh Nation like Indira Gandhi. The again you will come and fight my case. Those who believe in truth and human rights, will always have to fight these brutal regimes. I will keep taking births! I will keep killing dushts! You will keep meeting me!”
Seeing Satwant Singh in such Chardi Kala, lawyer Bhupinder Singh Sodhi says, “Pyare Satwant, Great are you, Great is your Sikhi, so blessed am I who was able to fight a case of a Lionheart, brave warrior such as you. Waheguru Ji has blessed me just to have the darshan of you. Any nation that has warriors like you, Satwant Singh, brave, mard, soormas. That Nation can never be controlled, intimidated or suppressed.” On 6th January 1989, it was raining. Nature was giving Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh a blessing, like one gives a garland around a neck. The thoughts of the whole Sikh Nation were with Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh. They had taken this most important task, and with it all this heartache had come on them and their families. Both were in Chardi Kala as they walked towards the noose. It was like the blessings of the whole Sikh Nation were with them as they walked.
In the end, on 6th January 1989, early at 4am, the authorities walked them towards the noose, their voices could be heard from outside the jail, shouting, “Bole So Nihal ! Sat Sri Akaal !” Then a few moments silence…………… As both of them stepped forward and kissed the hangmans noose, a very heavy rainfall started……….
Their bodies were taken to Ferozpur, and cremated on the banks of the Sutluj river. Similarly, the Indian Government did not hand over the bodies of Shaheed Satwant Singh and Shaheed Kehar Singh to their next of kin. Their bodies were cremated within Tihar jail. When the cruel authorities started cremating the bodies, the rain suddenly stopped. Nature was doing its bit to respect the Shaheeds. As the bodies burned, the authorities did not have the heart to hand them back to the families. The lawyer, Sardar Bhupinder Singh Sodhi said to the authorities, I can understand you have hatred for those spirits who killed Indira Gandhi, but how can you even have hatred for their corpses?
Then to further insult the Shaheeds, the authorities dreamed up another stunt. The last wish of both Shaheed Satwant Singh and Shaheed Kehar Singh was that their ashes be taken to Sri Kartarpur Sahib. However the Police forced the families of these two Shaheeds into jeeps and vans and drove them to Hardwar. Throughout the whole journey to Hardwar, it rained heavily. Then at gunpoint giving the families no choice, the final ardas for the Shaheeds was done. Just as the Ardaas began, the rain stopped. It was like nature was also paying respect to the Shaheeds. Bhai Satwant Singh’s father, Bapu Tarlok Singh, and the son of Bhai Kehar Singh, Sardar Rajinder Singh, poured the ashes in to the river at Hardwar.
The thoughts of the whole Sikh Nation are with Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh. The brutal Indian regime may have killed Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh, but in the hearts of all Sikhs, they will forever live. They are immortalised in paintings on the walls of Sikh Gurdwaras, and they have recorded their names in the Volumes of Sikh History. They were the modern day Bhai Sukha Singh and Bhai Mehtab Singh. Bibi Surinder kaur passed away a few years ago from cancer. She was widely respected in the Panth for the dedication with which she stayed with Bhai Satwant Singh.
Mata Gujri was the wife of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the ninth Sikh’s Guru and the mother of Sikh’s Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Mata Ji was born in Sikh Gurjar family as the daughter of Bhai Lal Chand Subulikka of Kartarput, in Punjab.
Mata Gujri was married to Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji on 4 February 1633. The betrothal had taken place four years earlier when Tegh Bahadur had come to Kartarpur in the marriage party of his elder brother, Suraj Mall. Bishan Kaur, the mother, had been charmed by the handsome face of Tegh Bahadur and she and her husband pledged the hand of their daughter to him. After the marriage ceremony, the couple came to reside in Amritsar. Bride Gujari won the appreciation of everyone “Like bridegroom like bride” records Gurbilas Chhevi patshsahi. “Gujri is by destiny made worthy of Tegh Bahadur in every way ” In 1635, Mata Gujri left Amritsar with the holy family and went to reside at Kartarpur, in the Sivalik foothills. After of Guru Hargobind left this world in 1644, she came with her husband and mother-in-law, Mata Nanaki, to Bakala, now in Amritsar district of the Punjab. There they lived in peaceful seclusion, Tegh Bahadur spending his days and nights in meditation and Gujari performing the humble duties of a pious and devoted housewife. After he was installed Guru in 1664, Guru Tegh Bahadur, accompanied by Mata Gujri, went on a visit to Amritsar, travelling on to Makhoval, near Kiratpur, where a new habitation, named Chakk Nanaki (later Anandpur) was founded in the middle of 1665.
Soon after this,Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his mother, Nanaki, and wife, Gujri, set out on a long journey to the east Leaving the family at Patna, he travelled on to Bengal and Assam. At Patna, Mata Gujri gave birth to a son on 22 December 1666. The child was named Gobind Rai, the illustrious Guru Gobind Singh of later day. Guru Tegh Bahadur returned to Patna in 1670 for a brief stay before he left for Delhi, instructing the family to proceed to lakhnaur, now in Haryana.
Mata Gujri, accompanied by the aged Mata Nanaki and young Gobind Rai, reached, on 13 September 1670, Lakhnaur where she stayed with her brother Mehar chand, until she was joined by her husband. An old well just outside Lakhnaur village and reverently called Matta da Khuh or Mata Gujri da Khuh still commemorates her visit. From Lakhnaur the family proceeded to Chakk Nanaki where Guru Tegh Bahadur rejoined them in March 1671 after spending some more time travelling through the Malva region and meeting sangats. At Chakk Nanaki, 11 July 1675 was a momentous day when Guru Tegh Bahadur left for Delhi prepared to make the supreme sacrifice. She showed courage at the time of parting and bore the ultimate trial with fortitude. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed in Delhi on 11 November 1675, and, Guru Cobind Singh then being very young, the responsibility of managing the affairs at Chakk Nanaki, initially, fell to her. She was assisted in the task by her younger brother, Kirpal Chand
Mata Ji was with her family during 1705, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji refused to evacuate, starving Sikhs turned to his mother hoping too presuade her to leave knowing the Guru Ji would follow. Influenced by false promises made by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Mata Gujri was instrumental in making a decision to flee desperate circumstances. On the stromy eve of the flight from Anandpur, the 81 year old Mata Gujri took charge of her two younger gransons. They became separated from Guru Ji while crossing river Sarsa.
Mata Gujri and her younger grandsons Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh sought shelter with a priest by profession, called Gangu, as he offered their protection but betrayed them by telling the Mughals where Mata Gujri and Sahibzadey were staying. Mata Ji and Sahibzadey were arrested on 08 Dec 1705. They were detained in an open tower known as, Thanda Burj meaning ‘Cold Tower’, where they passed several days and nights without warm clothing and only little food. Mata Ji encouraged her grandsons to remain steadfast in their faith. Aurangzeb wanted them to convert to Islam but when they refused to convert to Islam but when failed then ordered to kill the Sahibzadey and Mata Ji. He ordered to lay Mata Gujri on an ice block and Sahibzadey were bricked alive, while younger Sahibzadey were being bricked alive by Mugals they were reciting The Japji Sahib.
At Fatehgarh Sahib, near Sirhind, there is a shrine called Gurdwara Mata Gujri (Thanda Burj). This is where Mata Gujri spent the last four days of her life. Ahout one kilometre to the southeast of it is Gurdwara Joti Sarup, marking the cremation site. Here, on the ground floor, a small domed pavilion in white marble is dedicated to Mata Gujri. The Sikhs from far and near come to pay homage to her memory, especially during a three-day fair held from 1113 Poh, Bikrami dates falling in the last week of December.
It is very sad to see the destruction and all the people suffering after the floods happened in India. We undertand that we have not got any control over Natual destuction but we should try to help the people who suffered with these unforseen situation, and the main thing is pray for them.
Devastating floods in India’s mountainous state of Uttarakhand damaged roads and destroyed buildings frustrating the efforts of relief workers. The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder took a journey into the mountains and found ghost towns and abandoned homes. Read More…..
Guru Arjan Dev Ji:
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji is Sikh’s fifth Guru. He was the youngest of the three sons of the fourth Guru, Guru Ram Das Ji and Bibi Bhani.He bacame Guru on 16th September 1581, born in Goindval, Punjab, india.
Guru Ji was born on 15th April 1563, he was the youngest of the three sons of Guru Amar Das ji.
Guru Ram Das had envisioned heavenly qualities in his youngest son Arjan. From his earliest childhood the Guru had found him to be imbued with the Name, and immersed in tranquillity. Almost since his birth it seemed that the Guruship was destined to be bestowed upon Arjan. One day baby Arjan had crawled up onto the Divine throne of his grandfather, Guru Amar Das the third Guru, and sat there comfortably. Seeing this the Guru Ji smiled and prophesied, “My maternal Grandson will ship the Name across.” But growing up Arjan was always well aware that despite his Grandfather’s prediction, it was the service to the Sangat, not their lineage that had bestowed Guruship on the previous preceptors, Guru Angad and Guru Amar Das. With this in mind, he indulged in Seva (service) most ardently. But his emotive intentions were always quite perceptible to his father, Guru Ram Das Ji and, all to apparent to his eldest brother, Prithi Chand, who suspecting the consequence of their Grandfather’s prophecy, indulged in numerous means to disrupt the life of Guru Arjan, that ended in bringing about what he had feared.
Guru Arjan Dev was married to Mata Ganga ji on 19 June 1589. Mata ji was the daughter of Bhai Krishan Chand of the village of Mau, 10 km west of Phillaur in the state of Punjab, India. The now famous historical town of Doaba (Bilga) is where the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji arrived the day before the wedding. He stayed in this village for two days to take rest while going to village Mau Sahib for wedding ceremony. The village now a town is famous as the holy clothes of Guru Arjan Dev ji are kept here in the memory of this wedding. The people of Bilga served the Guru heartily and Guru Ji was pleased and blessed them. Gurdwara Bilga Sahib stand in memory of the Guru’s visit. On his departure, the Guru presented the following personal item of his clothing: Saili (cap), chola, pyjama, Batva, Dushala, Simrana Mala and Chandan ki chawanki after taking bath. Every year on the occasion of marriage of Guru Arjan Dev and Mata Ganga ji, a great fair is held here over 3 days. On the last day of these celebration, the holy clothes of Guru Sahib are shown to general public before the closing ceremony of Diwan.
The Basics of the new religion had been defined by Baba Nanak, and the groundwork was carried out by three of his successors. Guru Arjan Dev Ji set upon a mission of putting it on a solid footing. As ordained by his predecessors, Guru Nanak through Guru Ram Das Ji, he took the task of the completion of the place where his father had constructed a clay tank of Nectar. In the true spirit of “I am neither Hindu, nor Muslim…” Guru Arjan Dev Ji invited Mian Mir, a Muslim Saint from Lahore to lay the cornerstone of the foundation of the Harmandar, the present Golden Temple. The doors on all four sides of the building signified its acceptance of all the four castes and every Religion. Contrary to the requests of the congregation, the floor of the Harmandar Saheb was kept lower than the surrounding area; as the water flows downward so would the seekers of God’s blessings. Along with God’s House came the existence of the City of Amritsar with all its reverence, amenities, and gaiety.
The preparation of the Holy Book is the most valuable achievement of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. With three things in his mind he initiated the compilation of the Holy Book, the present Guru Granth Sahib. Unfortunately the Hymns and teachings of the first four Gurus were being added to and even distorted by impostors. Seeing such things going on Guru Arjan wanted to preserve these original treasures. Not only fixing the path of the efforts of his predecessors, but also bestowing, on the Panth, an ever-lasting guiding light that was to serve as both a physical and spiritual phenomenon. And most of all he wanted to establish the credibility of the Sikh Religion as a casteless and secular society. Laced among the Hymns of the earlier Nanaks he added his own compositions as well as, the celestial utterances of Sheikh Farid and Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Ravi Das, Dhanna Namdev, Ramannand, Jai Dev, Trilochan, Beni, Pipa and Surdas. All of whom belong to different times, beliefs, sects, and Castes from high and low. The poetic revelations of Guru Arjan are of the greatest aesthetic calibre. More than half of the Guru Granth Sahib is constituted of his own holy renderings. The Granth Sahib is not only a collection of the revelations but also it throws considerable light on the contemporary political and social life; the physical being and spiritual awareness are fused into one. Among his other equally important accomplishments are the creation of new cities at Kartarpur, Tarn Taran with its magnanimous Tank of Salvation and the construction of the Baoli at Lahore.
Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar became the first guardsman in 180 years to parade outside Buckingham Palace wearing a turban
Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar became the first guardsman to parade outside Buckingham Palace wearing a turban instead of the bearskin.
A Sikh soldier yesterday became the first Guardsman for 180 years to parade at Buckingham Palace wearing a turban instead of the bearskin.
Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar, from West Bromwich, who is in F Company Scots Guards, said it was, “The best thing in my life”.
The 25-year-old said: “Conducting public duties while being a practising Sikh and wearing my turban is a great honour for me.
“I am very proud to be a member of the Household Division and to be the first Sikh Guardsman to mount guard in a turban will be the best thing in my life, especially as a member of the Scots Guards.
“The regiment is full of history, as is my religion.”
Guardsman Bhullar has just joined F Company Scots Guards – what is known as an “incremental company” of soldiers responsible for delivering ceremonial duties in London.
As a 5 K Sikh – someone who adheres to all five symbols that mark Sikh identify – he will also be distinguishable from his fellow soldiers on parade by his beard.
Sikhs in the Household Division have guarded the Queen many times before, but have always worn the bearskin.
Sikh Chaplain to the Armed Forces Mandeep Kaur welcomed the move.
“Sikhs have served Britain in World War One and Two with their turbans intact, confirming their commitment towards righteousness and serving others and living their identity till their last breath.
“I applaud the British Army for being appreciative and respectful towards diversity.”