Thursday, December 08, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Baba Deep Singh Jee

CHUNKAR AZ HAMA HEELTE DARGUZASHST, HALAL AST BURDAN SHAMHER DAST.
à When all peaceful means of settlement are exhausted, it is justified to take up the sword (against tyranny for justice) – Guru Gobind Singh ji

Baba Deep Singh was a Sikh belonging to the village Pahuwind in the District of Amritsar. He was tall, strong, and uncommonly brave. He had received baptism from the hands of Guru Gobind Singh Jee himself. He was a bold and fearless Sant-Sipahi (saint-warrior).

Besides being a strong and fearless warrior, he was a great scholar and practiced Bani regularly. In fact he was one of the most scholarly Sikhs of his time. Along with Bhai Mani Singh ji, he spent lot of his time preparing copies of Guru Granth Sahib. Some he wrote with his own hands. Others he got written under his direct supervision. Copies of the Guru Grath Sahib ji written by his own hands or issued by him with his approval were accepted as most authentic.

At the time that we are talking of, Ahamad Shah Abdali was in India on his fourth invasion. On his return from Delhi, he stayed for sometime in Lahore. He had experienced a good deal of trouble at the hands of the Sikhs. Hence, while staying at Lahore, he sent out a force to punish the Sikhs at Amritsar. The city was plundered. The sacred places, including Sri Harmandir Sahib, were demolished. The sacred tank (sarovar) was filled up.

The news of what had been done to the holy places at Amritsar soon reached Damdama Sahib. On hearing it, Baba Deep Singh Jee felt as if an arrow had pierced his heart. At once, he decided to go to Amritsar and avenge the insult to the sacred places there. He started immediately. Many brave Sikhs with whatever weapon they had with them collected at Damdama Sahib. Baba Deep Singh drew a line on the ground with his double edged Khanda, weighing 18Kgs and addressed the gathered Sikhs, "Only those should cross this line who are prepared to die but not turn back to the enemy in the battlefield

A band of five hundred Sikhs volunteered to accompany him. He announced the coming Diwali festival gathering would be celebrated at Amritsar. Sikhs went on joining him as he went along. By the time he reached Tarn Taran Sahib, he had about five thousand men with him.
"O Lord, of Thee this boon I ask,
That I never shun a righteous deed.
Let me be fearless when I go into battle,
Give me faith that victory will be mine.
Let one directive guide my mind,
That I may ever sing Thy praise,
And when comes the time to end my life,
I should die heroically fighting on the Battle field."
– Guru Gobind Singh ji

The news of march of these brave Sikhs determined to take revenge for desecration of their holiest shrine and to restore its sanctity, reached the rulers in Lahore. Jahan Khan commanding an army of 20,000 soldiers proceeded towards Amritsar. Five miles from Amritsar, the two opposing forces confronted each other. The Sikhs fought with such bravery that soldiers of Jahan Khan's army ran for their lives. Hundred of soldiers of either side fell dead in the battle field. Bhai Dayal Singh, companion of Baba Deep Singh leading a posse of 500 Sikhs, attacked Amir Jahan Khan's force and succeeded in cutting Amir Jahan Khan's head.

After this victory, the sikh forces arrived at Ramsar. By then Atai Khan came with a large army and artillery. His arrival turned the odds against the Sikhs. A fierce battle began. The Sikhs, with Baba Deep Singh Jee at their head, went on fighting and advancing towards Amritsar. Near Ramsar, Baba Deep Singh Jee received a mortal wound in the neck. Baba Deep Singh, more than seventy-five years of age at that time, started to lose his footing under the impact of the blow, when a Sikh reminded "Baba Jee, you had prayed that you should fall a martyr in the precincts of Sri Harmandir Sahib. But you seem to be departing here."

On hearing this, an inhuman energy suddenly took over and Baba Deep Singh Jee rallied at once. He supported his head with is left hand. With the right hand he went on wielding his heavy khanda cutting down his enemy.

Thus fighting, he reached the precincts of Sri Harmandir Sahib. His vow was fulfilled. He fell there to become a martyr. This happened in the year 1757.

At the place where he was wounded stands a Gurdwara "Shaheed Ganj Baba Deep Singh".

sUrw so pihcwnIAY ju lrY dIn ky hyq ]
s oo raa s o peh i chaa n eeai j lar ai dhee n k ae h ae th ||
He alone is known as a spiritual hero, who fights in defense of religion.

purjw purjw kit mrY kbhU n CwfY Kyqu ]2]2]
p u rajaa p uraj aa katt marai kabeh oo n shh aa ddai kh aeth ||2||2||
He may be cut apart, piece by piece, but he never leaves the field of battle. ||2||2||

Acknowledgement: http://tuhitu.blogspot.com/

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