Thursday, December 08, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

13th May

 

1665 Guru Tegh Bahadhur reached Bilaspur.

Guru Tegh Bahadhur accompanied by his mother Nanaki, and members of his Darbar reached Bilaspur. Guru Sahib was attending the bhog ceremony of Bilaspur's ruler at the urgent request of his wife Rani Champa Devi.

==> GURU TEGH BAHADUR (1621-1675): RAG SORATH

That man who in the midst of grief is free from grieving,
And free from fear, and free from the snare of delight,
Nor is covetous of gold that he knows to be dust,
Who is neither a backbiter nor a flatterer,
Nor has greed in his heart, nor vdnity, nor any worldly attachment,
Who remains at his centre unmoved by good and ill fortune,
Who indifferent to the world's praise and blame
And discards every wishful fantasy
Accepting his lot in the disinterested fashion,
Not worked upon by lust or by wrath,
In such a man God dwelleth.
The man on vjhom the Grace of the Guru alights
Understands the way of conduct:
His soul, 0 Nanak, is mingled with the Lord
As water mingles with water!

In the galaxy of immortal martyrs who laid down their precious lives to keep ablaze the flame of faith and freedom, the name of the Ninth Master, Guru Tegh Bahadur stands out radiantly prominent. Doubtless, there have been prophets who sacrificed themselves at the altar of their own religion, but the uniqueness of the Ninth Master's martyrdom lies in the fact that he courted death in defending the religion of the persecuted Hindus who had sought his shelter when they were forced to choose between death and Islam. Guru Tegh Bahadur, the second martyr Guru, who was born at Amritsar in 1621, was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the Sixth Master(1595-1645). Guru Har Rai, the Seventh Master (1630-61), and Guru Hari Krishna, the Eight Master (1656-1964): however, preceded him as Gurus. He adorned the sacred throne of Guru Nanak from 1664 to 1675.His installation as Guru enraged Dhirmal and the masands, who were the most contentious claimants to the Guruship.

Guru Tegh Bahadur toured the Punjab, particularly the Malwa region, and Eastern India, to preach Sikhism. He also went to Assam with Raja Ram Singh and stayed with him for nearly two years. The Guru's family accompanied him on this trip, but, while proceeding to Assam, he left his familly at Patna. It was here that his only son Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) was born. While leaving Assam for the Punjab, Guru Tegh Bahadur broke his journey at Patna for a short time and then returned to the Punjab. He purchased land from the Raja of Kahloor at Makhowal (Anandpur) and settled down there. From here he set out on extensive missionary tours and attracted amongst others, several Muslims to his faith.

The main theme of Guru Tegh Bahadur's sacred hymns is Nam Simran (concentration on the Divine Name) and Guru Bhakti (adoration of the Guru). One hundred and fifteen hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur are incorporated in the Adi Granth.

He has clearly set forth his own definition of Giani (or the enlightened one). In these compositions he has laid special stress on vairag or detachment for the realisation of the lofty ideals that distinguish the life of a BrahmGiani.

During Guru Tegh Bahadur's ministry, Emperor Aurangzeb intensified his fanatical plans for forcibly converting the Hindus to Islam. This move had serious repercussions in Kashmir, and, the learned Pandits of Kashmir came to Guru Tegh Bahadur to seek refuge. The Guru advised them to go and tell Aurangzeb that if he could persuade Guru Tegh Bahadur to embrace Islam, they would all willingly become Muslims. This proposal appealed to Aurangzeb, who had already hatched plans to bring to an end Guru Tegh Bahadur's missionary activities, so, he at once issued orders for his arrest.

The Guru, along with some of his companions was finally brought to Delhi and asked to convert to Islam or else face the penalty of death. The Master averred that he would sacrifice his life rather than give up his faith and his freedom of belief. Thus, under Aurangzeb's orders, he was beheaded at the place now called Sis Ganj in Delhi. His martyrdom was yet another challenge to the Sikh conscience. It was realized then that there could be no understanding between an insensate power imbrued with blood and a proud people wedded to a life of peace with honour. The sacrifice roused the devitalized Hindus from their supine somnolence and gave them a hint of the power that comes from self-respect and sacrifice. Guru Tegh Bahadur thus earned the enduring sobriquet title of Hind-di-Chadar or the Shield of India.

-Ref. "Guru Granth Ratnavali," (pp. 70) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh.

1673 Gobind Rai married Jitan at Chak Nanaki.
1710 Famous battle of Chapar Cheri fought near Sarhind. Banda Bahadur defeated and killed Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhind.

Having won the battle of Chapar Cheri, the Khalsa army seigned the city of Sirhind. Before entering the city, on this day, the Khalsa army had to face another severe battle. Five hundred Sikhs lay martyrs to the fort guns. The city, however, fell to the Khalsa army in the afternoon. desctruction of life and property in the city was boundless. Various descriptions mention that the city was reduced to ruins. Whole families were killed. Large amounts of wealth plundered not only by the victorios army but also by robbers and dacoits.

Banda Singh ransacked Saharanpur and renamed it Bhanagar. Banda Bahadur established his camp at Mukhlispur (a small fortress constructed by Mukhlis Khan for camping during hunts in the Shivalik Hills.) Banda Bahadur repaired the fortress and renamed it Lohgarh. Banda Bahadur truck coins and adopted a seal for his order. The coins were issued in the name of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. The Persian inscription on it read:

Sikka zad har do alam
teg-i-Nanak Sahib ast
Fateh Gobind Singh Shah-i-Shahan
Fazal-i-Sacha Sahib ast

(meaning thereby - "Coin struck in the two worlds by the grace of the True Lord, victory to Guru Gobind Singh, the king of kings. The sword of Nanak is the granter of the desires.")

The other side read as:

Zarb ba Aman-ud-dahar maswworat
Shahr Zinat-ut-takhat-mubarik Bakht.

(menaing thereby -- "coined at the model city, the refuge of the world, the ornament of the Fortunate throne.")

A seal of the state was also issed with the following inscription:

Degh-o-Teg-o-Fateh-o-Nusrat-bedirang
Yafat as Nanak Guru Gobind Singh

(meaning -- "kettle, sword, victory and unhesitating patronage have been ordained from Nanak-Guru Gobind Singh.")

Later this was adopted as national anthem by the Sikh nation.

1835 Maharaja Ranjit Singh surrounds the forces of Mohammad Khan.
1984 Hindus, cordoned by the army, attacked the Sikhs and their property at Jullundar. 20 shops looted.

A large Hindu crowd which was cordoned off by the Government forces (CRP: Central Reserve Police), attacked a large number of Sikh shops at Jullundur and looted 20 of them. After looting, the shops were put to the torch. The heavy CRP force stood by as a silent spectator to the looting of the shops. Had it been a non-Hindu crowd, dozens would have been killed and hundreds would have been injured. But, the law is different for Sikhs and Muslims than for Hindus. This was undeclared war against the Sikh nation exactly in line with the killing of opposing nations by Stalin in Russia.

-Ref. THE SIKHS' STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY, An Historical Perspective by Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer and Dr. Awatar Singh Sekhon. Edited By: A.T. Kerr Page 110-119.>

1984 Akali Dal announces its program to boycott existing relations.

 

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