Sunday, December 11, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Bhai Mani Singh was born on the 10th March, 1644 A.D., at village Alipur, district Muzaffargarh. He came for a glimpse of Guru Har Rai to Kiratpur with his father Mai Dass for the first time and stayed back for service of the Guru's institution. He was married at fifteen to Bibi Sito, the daughter of Bhai Lakhi Rai. After the battle of Nadaun of 1690 A.D., Guru Gobind Singh entrusted him with the service of Diwan. At the time of leaving Anandpur on the night of December 20-21, 1704 A.D., the Guru entrusted him to take the Guru's consorts to Delhi. In May, 1705 A.D., at the call of the Guru he reached Talwandi Sabo where the Guru got him to write the original manuscript of the Holy Granth and prepare some copies. In 1708 A.D., Mother Sunder Kaur sent him from Delhi to Amritsar for service of the Harmandir Sahib.

In 1735 A.D., Zakria Khan, the Governor of Lahore, ordered village headmen and landlords to finish Sikhs of their areas. He also appointed Diwan Lakhpat Rai, an enemy of the Sikhs, the administrator of Amfitsar and Qazi Abdul Razak as the police chief. One day the Governor asked them, 'What is the reason that no matter what the number of Sikhs we kill more are created ?" The Qazi replied, "Their Guru had put the elixir of life in the pool at Harmandir Sahib. Whosoever bathes in that pool, gains eternal life." Hearing this, the Governor ordered the filling up of the pool with sand and turned Bhai Mani Singh out from the service of Harmandir Sahib.

Having been turned out from Harmandir Sahib, Bhai Mani Singh took up residence at the Sultan Wind's well. one evening Qazi Abdul Razak came to Bhai Mani Singh and said, "My children are very ill. Medicines of local physicians and doctors are having no effect. Children wake up with nightmares." Bhai Mani Singh went with him to his house. He sprinkled water from the pool of Harmandir Sahib over the children and said to them, "Be not afraid during the night." As the Lord would have it, the children stopped having nightmares. Qazi Abdul Razak stopped silting up the pool.

With the help of the Qazi, Bhai Mani Singh got permission from the Governor to allow Sikhs to have free access to Harmandir Sahib for ten days on the occasion of Diwali of 1737 A.D., on the condition to pay tax of Rupees five thousand and so he wrote letters to invite the Sikhs. The Governor and Diwan Lakhpat Rai secretly planned to kill the Sikhs coming for the pilgrimage. Bhai Mani Singh came to know of their plan in time. He sent messages to Sikhs not to come and so no fair was held.

The Governor called Bhai Mani Singh to Lahore and demanded the tax money. Bhai Mani Singh said, "What for should I pay the money when the fair was not held ?" Then the Governor asked Bhai Mani Singh to embrace Islam. He refused. Qazi Abdul Razak ordered that Bhai Mani Singh be cut joint by joint. On the 14th June, 1738 A.D., he was martyred at Nakhaas Chowk by cutting him joint by joint.

Excerpts taken from these books.
Bed Time Stories Written by Santok Singh Jagdev.
Published by SGPC

 

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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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