Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Gurudwara Narankari at Rawalpindi

This historical Gurdwara is in Narankari Bazaar of Rawalpindi. In fact the Narankari sect was born in this very place. Bhai Dayal Singh was the founder of this sect. Bibi Ladki, daughter of the treasurer of Deshmesh (Tenth Guru), gave him birth on 15th Visakh Samvat 1840 (1783 AD). His father was Ram Sihai who was a resident of Peshawar.
Bhai Dayal Singh went to live with his maternal uncle Mulakkha Singh in Peshawar after his mother Bibi Ladki had died at the age of thirty. He was married again to Mula Devi of Bhera, and had 3 sons from her namely Darbara Singh, Bhara Singh and Ratta Singh. Dayal Singh used to recite the word "Narankar" and opposed idol worship. His companions too were Narankari as such his followers came to be called Narankari.
This Gurdwara became the centre of Narankaris. Bhai Dayal Singh died on 18th Magh, Samvat 1911. The samadh of Baba Ji is on the left side of the darbar. There is a small foyer in front of the Samadh and room adjacent to it is Manji Sahib, built in marble, where Palki (carriage) of Guru Granth Ji was kept. The Kesari (saffron) Nishan Sahib (flag) used to be hanging beside it. Prakashasthan is in a spacious hall facing Manji Sahib. Langar is close to it. There are many rooms for the residence of Sangats. It is a 3-storeyed building with a big courtyard. There used to he a volume of Granth Sahib in this Gurdwara written in Samvat 1842. This volume had one extra verse (Shabd) of Namdev Ji whose first line read:
"Sat Sainandar Jandi hey Karni dhrt Jaka baito"
The marriage ceremony of Bhai Bhola Singh and Bibi Nihal Kaur was solemnised in 1855 in this Gurdwara with great pomp and show.
A Sikh by the name ofBoota Singh used to perform Kirtan here. Once he started Kirtan' after drinking wine and he was physically pushed out of the darbar. He went to Murree and Astablished a new darbar. Boota Singh belonged to Attock. He died in Murree due to leprosy. Autar Singh of Peshawar, a baker by profession was his follower. The wave of fake Narankaris initiated from him. A battle between Fake Narankaris and Guru's Sikh took place at Amritsar in Visakhi on 13th April 1978. 13 Sikhs died in it. Khalistan movement led by Sant Jarnayl Singh Bhindranwala emerged from the waves of this blood. This war is still going on and it is estimated that 160,000 have already laid down their lives for this movement. The Indian army attacked Harmandar Sahib with tanks, guns and air force. As a result of this Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi was killed as a consequence' of the attack.
At present a boy's school is functioning in this Gurdwara. The building is in a dilapidated condition and can become a heap of dust any moment.

Acknowledgements:

Text and photographs:Historical Sikh Shrines in Pakistan : Iqbal Qaiser

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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