Sunday, September 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

10th September

 

1539 Gur Gadhi, Second Patshah, Guru Angad Dev Ji.

==> Guru ANGAD DEV (1504-1552): The mantle of the First Master fell on Angad, the second Sikh Guru, in 1539, and he graced the exalted position till 1552.

Born at "Mattae de Saran", a Punjab village, on Sunday, Vaisakh Vadi 1 sunmat 1561 (March 31, 1504) to father Pheru Mal and mother Dya Kaur, Guru Angad was originally known as "Lehna". In sunmat 1576, Guru Sahib married Khivi, daughter of Devi Chand. This marriage resulted in two daughters Bibi Amro and Anokhi and two sons Dassu and Dattu Ji. Lehna's parents were orthodox Hindus and worshippers of the goddess Durga. The most momentous and exulting moment in Lehna's life came around 1531 when he met Guru Nanak at Kartarpur. So powerful and profound was the Guru's divine spell on him that he wound up domestic affairs and devoted himself entirely to the service of the Guru and of fellow-men in whom the Lord constantly dwells. Because of his patient and unpretentious service, he endeared himself to the Guru who lovingly called him "Angad" (i.e., of my own limb) and elevated him to the Guruship on Hadh 17th sunmat 1596. However, Guru Angad actually assumed Guruship on Asu 23rd sunmat 1596 and started his work.

Imbibing the spirit of the First Master, Guru Angad began to disseminate the gospel of Guru Nanak to redeem the caste-worn and custom-ridden contemporary society. He denounced formalism and ritualism, and highlighted the edifying experience of the adoration of the Guru (Guru Bhakti), service of the Guru (Guru Seva), and divine meditation (Nam Bhakti). These tie regarded as the noblest means of God-realization. Guru Angad held service in high esteem. Indeed, he placed love of God and service of humanity on the same pedestal.

To consolidate and propagate the mission of Guru Nanak, the Second Master collected the celestial songs and teachings of his predecessor which, together with his own compositions, he transmitted to mankind. There are sixty-two hymns by Guru Angad in the Adi Granth.

Drawing on his own reminiscences and the accounts gathered from Bhai Bala and other disciples of the First Guru, the Second Master produced the first biography of Guru Nanak (in sunmat 1601), and this became the earliest published prose-work in Punjabi. The bastardized version of this biography is available today and known as Bhai Bala's version.

Guru Angad was also a great pioneer in education. He opened a School which, besides promoting the moral health of the students, organized wrestling exercises and manly sports. The Guru's system of education sought a harmonious development of the physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects of the human personality.

In sunmat 1598, the Second Master modified and improved the Gurumukhi script and made arrangements for popularizing it. Besides, he established his headquarters at Khandoor, and under his divine spell many embraced the Sikh religion. The Guru commended the significance of honest work and corporate kitchens. He exhorted the Sikhs not to take to renunciation or asceticism but to carry on the worship of God along with their worldly duties and obligations. Thus, he strengthened Guru Ka Langar or the Temple of Bread, an imaginative measure which helped enlist all men In a league of love.

Guru Sahib left for holy abode on Vaisak 3rd sunmat 1609 (March 29, 1552) at Kadur Sahib, after serving 12 years, 9 months, and 17 days as Guru. At the time of Joti Joot, his age was 47 years, 11 months, and 29 days.

-Ref. "Guru Granth Ratnavali," (pp. 142) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh
Mahan Kosh (pp. 111)

1930 Sardar Karam Singh, a renowned Sikh historian, passed away at Taran Taaran Sahib.

==> KARAM SINGH (Historian): was born in 1884. He was the first Sikh historian who used scientific techniques in documenting the Sikh history. He spent almost all his life in collecting the source material related to the Sikh history. He left his education when he was a student of B.A. final year and walked on foot from one village to another in search of historical material and documented the tales told by the older people of Punjab. It was a period (1905) of great plague in Punjab. Many old and young people were dying of plague left and right. He could not afford to wait and finish his degree. Had he waited, many more sources of valuable information would have vanished forever.

Karam Singh had heard that there lives a man at Kadrabad (Distt. Gujrat, now in Pakistan) who was present in the camp where Raja Sher Singh (son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) had stayed. Plague was taking its toll and he was warned against going to that area. He went there anyway and found that all the village folks had either died or run away. He finally found the old man he was looking for. He was fighting for his life. The family members realized that this man has come a long way to talk to him, allowed him to talk to the old man who was semi-conscious, but the man died.

Most of his historical material originally published in a special issue of "Phulwari" published by Giani Hira Singh `Dard' in 1930. Phulwari was perhaps the best monthly magazine in Punjabi at that time.

Karam Singh thoroughly studied many books written in Farsi, Arabic, and English. Based on the historical clues in those books, he solved many mysteries of the Sikh history. He found many sources of information of the Khalsa Raj and collected some very valuable material which is fundamental in understanding the Sikh history.

Karam Singh wrote the following books in Punjabi:

Katak Ke Vaisakh
Banda Bahadar
Gurpurb Nirnhai
In addition, he compiled and edited:
Bahumulle Ithasik Lekh

Karam Singh was the first historian to research and report that Khalsa even defeated the Chinese Khutan army and the rulers of Sindh and Shikarpur also paid tribute to the Lahore Darbar (Sikh Raj). It was not documented ANYWHERE ELSE before him. He thoroughly studied the official daily diaries "roznamachas" of Mughol and Khalsa offices and collected useful information.

Among numerous other rare documents, he found a document that described the time when Suba Aslam Khan bestowed the title of Nawab upon Kapur Singh, and when a "Jagir" of 19 villages was given to Sri Harmandir Sahib. The name of every village was written on it. He bought it for five rupees. The seller did not know the real value of that piece of paper which was smaller than the palm of the hand.

Karam Singh regretfully wrote that our history is spread all over the world and the Sikhs have failed to preserve it. He says that all the valuable material that he has come up with was obtained from non-Sikh sources, mostly Muslims.

Karam Singh met with some very old people. One of them was with Maharaja Kharak Singh when Chet Singh was murdered (Sikh Raj's last period). He also met another man who was a servant of the Sandhanwalias and was present when Prince Sher Singh (son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) was murdered. He also met with a person who was an attendant (orderly) of Maharaja Dalip Singh, and another man who accompanied the Sikh army when Raja Hira Singh (dogra) was killed. Karam Singh also met with a man who had fought in the battles of Mudki, Feru Shehar, Sabhraon, Cheliawalli (where the Sikhs defeated the British) and Gujrat. He met with many men who had fought various battles.

Karam Singh died on September 10, 1930 of tuberculosis.

-Ref. "Bahumulle Ithasik Lekh" (Punjabi version), the anthology is edited by S. Karam Singh and published by Singh Brothers.

1981 Indian Police burns Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

The Indian police went to Chando Kalan, a Haryana Village, to arrest Sant Bhindrawala in connection with the murder of Lala jagat Narayan. When Sant Bhindrawala could not be found, the police burnt saroops of Holy scriptures (Sri Guru Granth Sahib), three vehicles of Bhindrawala and various other articles of the School. A large number of Sikshs were arrested and beaten by the police. The next day the police seigned the headquarters of Sant Bhindrawala.

 

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