Sunday, September 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

14th June

 

1539 GUR GADHI, Patshahi Second, Guur Angad Dev Ji (ACTUAL DATE).

Second Patshah, Guru Angad Dev Ji ascended to Guruship. Lehna, Guru Sahib's name prior to Guruship, was influenced by Bhai Joga's kirtan. Joga was a resident of Khadur and a follower fo Guru Nanak. One day, Lehna was passing in front of Joga's house when he heard Joga's voice singing, with great devotion, the hymns of Guru Nanak. The melody of the voice and the piety of the lyrics stirred the innermost depths of Lehna. he enquired from Joga about the authorship of the hymans and learn all about Guru Nanak. Lehna became very curious to meet Guru Nanak. At the time of his next pilgrimage to Jawalamukhi, Lehna went to have an audience with Guru Nanak in 1532. Guru Nanak Dev's personality and discourses so overwhelmingly impressed Lehna that he parted company from his villagers and stayed on with the Guru. Lehna served Guru Nanak for five years. He was put to very hard probation by Guru Nanak to guage his devotion, obedience and love for the new movement. Lehna was successful in all tests. On this day, about three months before Guru Nanak's jotti Joot, Lehna was anointed the second Guru of Sikhs by Bhai Budha on the instructions of Guru Nanak and named Guru Angad Dev. This is the actual date of GurGadhi, though it is celebrated on a diffrent date by Guru Khalsa Panth.

-Ref. The Sikh Religion and The Sikh People, by Dr. S.S. Kapor, Hemkunt Press, New Delhi, 1992

1595 PRAKASH UTSAV, Patshahi Sixth, Guru Hargobind Ji (ACTUAL DATE).

Sixth Patshah, Guru Hargobind Ji came to this planet. He was born in the village Wadali, 8 Kilometers west of Amritsar in Guru Arjan Dev Patshah and Mata Ganga's residence. Sikh chronicles narrate a very interesting anecdote relating to the birth of Hargobind. They say that for fifteen years after Guru arjan's marriage to Mata Ganga, they had no child. Once Mata ganga wept in front of Guru Arjan, saying when you grant people all their wishes, why didn't you grant me a son as well. The Guru advised her to go to Baba Budha, who was a true and perfect Sikh and had the unique honor to anoint five Gurus, and request him for a boon. Mata ganga soon made preparations to go to the aged seer. She ordered her cooks to prepare the best food and reached Baba Budha at Chherta Sahib, with a large antourage, riding an expensive carriage, with baskets full of luxurious food. On seeing the rising dust made my the horses of Mata Ganga's caravan, Baba Budha resented and abruptly asked what stampede had occurred in the Guru's house that Mata Ganga had come to him with such a confusion of men and goods. he did not give her any boon. She returned to Amritsar, lost in grief. She told the whole episode to Guru Arjan. The Guru smiled and said that the holy saints should be served with humility and respect, and not with show of position, power, and richness. He told her to grind wheat and grams with her own hands, to cook and bake food herself and churn the butter and buttermilk early in the morning and then to go to the saint on foot and alone. Mata Ganga followed the advice of Guru arjan Dev and walked barefoot to the house where Baba Budha lived. Baba Budha saw her coming on foot with basket of food on her head and singing the hymns of Guru Nanak Dev. This time he stood up and greeted her. He was deeply pleased with the humility of Mata Ganga. While easting the food, he broke an onion with his fist and prophesied that a son would soon be born to Mata Ganga, who would be very handsome and brave and would crush the enemies of Guru Nanak Dev's house, just as he had crushed that piece of onion with his own hands. A year later, Mata Ganga gave birth to a son who was named Hargobind. Today is the actual date of birth although Guru Khalsa Panth observes it on a different date.

-Ref. The Sikh Religion and The Sikh People, by Dr. S.S. Kapor, Hemkunt Press, New Delhi, 1992

==> Guru HAR GOBIND PATSHAH (1595-1644) was born on Hadh 21 sunmat 1652 (June 14, 1595) to father Sri Guru Arjan Dev Patshah and mother Matta Ganga Ji, in village Vadhali. He received his religious education from Baba Budha Ji. Guru Sahib married three time:
1. Damodari Ji, daughter of Dalha resident Narayan Das on Bhadho 12 sunmat 1661;
2. Nanaki Ji, daughter of Bakala resident Hari Chand on Vaisakh 8 sunmat 1670;
3. Mahadevi Ji, daughter of Mandiyala resident Daya Ram on Sawan 11 sunmat 1672.

Guru Sahib had five sons (Baba Gurditta Ji, Suraj Mal, Aani Rai, Atal Rai, and Guru Teg Bahadhur Ji) and one daughter (Bhiro). On Jaeth 29 sunmat 1663 (May 25 1606), while ascended to Guru Gadhi, Guru Har Gobind Patshah changed the previous tradition of wearing Saeli toppi (cap) and replaced it with wearing Kalgi. At the same time, he started the tradition of wearing two swords of Miri Piri. Observing the prevalent conditions of the nation at that time, Guru Sahib started teaching self-protection skills along with the religious preaching.

Guru Sahib,
* in sunmat 1665, constructed the Takhat Akal Bungha, in front of Sri Harmindar Sahib,
* in sunmat 1669, established Sri Guru Arjan Dev Sahib's Dehra in Lahore,
* from sunmat 1670-71 flourished the forest region of Daroli, etc. by residing there,
* in sunmat 1624, helped Mohan and Kalae in establishing Maehraj in Malwa,
* in sunmat 1624, constructed the Kolsar sarowar in Amritsar,
* in 1685, constructed Bibaek Sar for Bibaekae Sikhs.

When the Akbar's policy of assimilation changed to Jahagir's propaganda against the Sikhs, resulting in the martyrdom of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Patshah, Guru Har Gobind Patshah urged his followers to pick up weapons for their self-protection. He preached self-protection along with his religious message. Upon hearing this, Jahagir arrested and jailed Guru Sahib in Gawalior fort. However, instead of losing popularity, as expected by Jahagir, this action immensely increased the popularity and following of Guru Sahib. Many renowned muslims issued a call for Guru Sahib's release. As a result, Jahagir not only released Guru Sahib but actively sought to establish some level of friendship. However, when Shahjahan came to power in sunmat 1685, the government policy went strongly against the Sikhs. As a result, Guru Sahib fought the following four wars with the mughal forces:
1. Amritsar war with General Sukhlis Khan in sunmat 1685.
2. Sri Gobindpur war with the ruler of Jallandar in sunmat 1687.
3. War of Gurusar near Maehraj with General KamarBaeg in sunmat 1688. After this war, Guru Sahib blessed Phul with sovereign rule that subsequently emerged as the Patiala rule.
4. Kartarpur war with Kalae Khan, Pandhae Khan, etc. in 1691. Subsequent to this war, Guru Sahib moved his resident to Kiratpur. However, Guru Sahib continued with his active propagation of Sikh faith. He traveled to Kashmir, PiliBheet, Baar, and Malwa and enlightened thousands on to the correct path. As a result many muslims came under the fold of Sikhs. He also encouraged Udasis to travel throughout the world to propagate Guru Nanak's message.

Guru Sahib left this materialistic world for heavenly abode on Chaet 7 sunmat 1701 (March 3, 1644) after serving as the sixth Guru of GurSikhism for a total of 37 years, 10 months, and 7 days. Guru Sahib's entire journey through this planet amounted to 48 years, 8 months, and 15 days. Guru Har Rai Patshah ascended to Guru Gadhi after Guru Har Gobind. Arjan Har Gobind Nu Simaro Sri Har Rai (Chandhi 3)

-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 265)

1698 Janam Utsav, Sahibjada Baba Fateh Singh Ji.

Sahibjada Baba Fateh Singh Ji, the youngest son of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, was born. On Dec. 27, 1704, at the age of six, Sahibjada was bricked alive by orders of Wajir Khan, Subedar of Sarhind.

1870 First killings by Kukas.

BABA RAM SINGH was born on 5th Magh sunmat 1872 in village Rayia, Ludhiana, to father Jassa Singh and mother Sedha Kaur. Since early childhood, Ram Singh was inclined to reciting God's name (Vaaheguru's Naam simran). For a while, he served in the forces of Lahore darbar. However in 1841 he left active service and joined the company of Baba Balak Singh, whose preachings had enlightened thousands. Upon receiving Naam Updaesh, Ram Singh settled in Bhaenni village and engaged in extensive preaching of Sikh faith. On the Baisakhi day of 1857, Baba Ram SIngh administered Pahul to teh Sikhs in his village and created 22 centres in different parts of the country. He started the Kuka branch. Kuka Sikhs wear white attire and a malla made from white wool. Their practices include, giving Vaaheguru Gurmantar in individual's ear; amrit is not partaken together, rather given to individuals in isolation; practice of Hawaan ceremony; rather than the traditional Parikarma around Guru Granth Sahib during marriage ceremony, they recite lawan in presence of fire (Agni Haum). During religious ceremonies, they yell, shout, and dance out of love. The punjabi term for their yelling and shouting is Kukeh. Hence they are popularly known as Kukas.

When the British government were alluring unemployed Sikh youths into their armed forces, Baba Ram Singh was among many GurSikhs who considered it inappropraite to serve a foreign government. He initiated a non-cooperation movement at times when Congress wasn't even born. It is because of their principles that the Namdari movement came in direct conflict with the British government.

In 1871, the Kukas held a conference at Khote. Some recalcitrant Kuka leaders, despite Baba Ram Singh's exhortation, attacked the butchers at Amritsar on June 14, 1871 and at Raikot on 15th July, 1871. Baba Ram Singh was held responsible for this outrage and his movements were restricted. But the Kuka intransigancy could not be stemmed. Again some zealots attacked Malerkotla on January 15, 1872 and killed Kotwal Ahmedkhan and 7 sepoys. 68 Kukas were captured near the village Rar. 42 of whome were blown up with guns on January 17 under the orders of M.L. Cowan, Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, while on eboy was slaughtered to pieces. Next day the remaining 16 were blown up under the orders of T.D. Forsy, the Commissioner, Ambala Division. Only 2 Kuka women were spared. Namdhari's successfully evoked a rebellion within a Army center. As a result 95 Namdhari Sikhs were court marshaled. In 1872 a British armoury was looted and several weapons were taken away. As a result, Baba Ram Singh and 12 of his associates were exiled to Rangun, Burma. Baba Ram Singh died there after 13 years of solitary confinement, on Nov. 29th, 1885.

Baba Ram Singh married Mai Jassah of Village Tharodh in Ludhiana district and had two daughters. As a result, Baba Ram Singh's gaddhi was assumed by his younger brother Bhai Budh Singh Ji. Later Bhai Pratap Singh, son of Bhai Budh Singh assumed this gaddhi and continued to serve the followers and visitors with langer and Akhand Kirtan.

Mahan Kosh (pp. 1033-1034)
Naraen Singh, Kau Kito Visahau? Singh Brothers, Mai Sewa, Amritsar, ISBN 81-7205-003-8, 1986, 1990, 1992

1923 Kar-Sewa of Amritsar saowar performed for the second time.
1964 Quisling Partap Singh Kairon resigned as Punjab Chief Minister.
1984 Historian Ganda Singh, returns his Padam Shri in protest for the Indian armed forces attack on Sri Harmindar Sahib, Amritsar.

==> GANDA SINGH (Dr.) was born on November 15, 1900, at Hariana, an ancient town in Hoshiarpur district of the Punjab. He started his schooling in the village mosque and then joined the local Government Middle School. After some time he transferred himself to the D.A.V. Middle School, eventually taking his matriculation from Government High School, Hoshiarpur. The inter-religious polemic which raged in the Punjab in the early part of this century, stirred young Ganda Singh's curiosity. He turned to reading Sikh literature. The stories of Sikh heroes of the eighteenth century and their brave deeds and sacrifices made a deep impression on his imagination. This was the origin of his interest in Sikh lore. The liberating impulse generated by the Singh Sabha, the Sikh renaissance movement, gave a critical bias to his study of Sikh history. A deeply embedded streak of adventure, tough physique and strong, indomitable character were the other constituents of the equipment of the future historian of the Punjab.

Dr. Ganda Singh interrupted his studies at Forman Christian College, Lahore, to join the Indian army in the Third Afghan War. He served in the Supply and Transport Corps Base Depot at Rawalpindi in 1919, and then in the Divisional Supplies at Peshawar. In 1920-21, he was with the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, first in the Indian Base Depot at Makina (Basra) and later at the Base Supply Depot, Margil (Basra). In 1921, he joined the Royal Army Pay Corps, British Army, Basra.

In Mesopotamia he had his thigh torn with a bullet shot. Through an erroneous marking, the letter which arrived back in his village home, Pur Hiran, in Hoshiarpur district, showed him as dead. Recovering from his wounds, he came to his village a few months later. The hour was late and his knocking at the door of his house did not sound to the inmates as an earthly phenomenon. He was not let in. Spreading out his rug on the bullock-cart in the haven, he slept out the night as soundly as he would have done in the most comfortable of beds.

He went back to Mesopotamia and, then, to Iran. In the latter country, where he spent nine years (1921-30) with the Anglo- Persian Oil Company, he came in touch with Sir Arnold T. Wilson, then engaged on his Bibliography of Persia. Sir Arnold encouraged his literary interests and introduced him to English journals and societies devoted to oriental studies. Dr. Ganda Singh reviewed for some of these books on Indian themes.

In Iran, he started building up his private library, which, today, is perhaps the largest collection under a single roof of material on the history of the Sikhs. He purchased books from all parts of the world and undertook tours of England and other European countries where he visited museums and bookstores.

He published his first book, My First Thirty Days in Mesopotamia, which was in English, while he was in Iran. His next two books, Inkishaf-i-Haqzqat and Sikkhi Parchdr were in Urdu and Punjabi, respectively. The urge to take up historical research in a more systematic manner brought him back to India in 1930. His object was to collaborate with Karam Singh who had done valuable original work in the line and who, by his impassioned writings, had aroused considerable interest in the study and investigation of Sikh history. But before Dr. Ganda Singh could meet him, the latter had died. Dr. Ganda Singh settled down in Lahore and joined the Phulwarls a journal devoted to Punjabi letters and history.

But he soon moved to Amritsar where he was offered a teaching and research appointment by the Khalsa College. The college had just opened a department of research in Sikh history which was placed in his charge. This was the beginning of a most prolific period of his career. Starting from nothing, he built the research department of the Khalsa College into a leading institution of its kind in the country. He equipped it with the rarest books and manuscripts. His summer holidays every year he spent travelling in the country collecting for his college material bearing on the history of the Punjab. Copies of many rare and valuable Persian manuscripts from different collections in India transcribed in elegant calligraphy by his faithful amanuensis, Maulavi Faiz-ul- Haq, kept pouring into the Research Library of the Khalsa College.

His first major work was a biography, in English, of Banda Singh Bahadur. It was an example of meticulous historical composition marked by accuracy of detail and authenticity of evidence based on original and contemporary sources of information. The book proved a signal success and instantly introduced the author to scholarly notice. A few more biographies, equally well documented, followed. Two of these, Maharaja Kalra Mall and Sham Singh Attarlwala, were in Punjabi; Ahmad Shdh Dtlrram, a doctoral thesis, was in English. While at the Khalsa College, he took his Master's degree in History, topping the year in the first grade, from Muslim University, Aligarh (1944). In 1954, he received his Ph.D. at Punjab University, Chandigarh.

After eighteen long years at the Khalsa College full of hard, unflagging labor and dramatic achievement, he came to Patiala and joined appointment in Patiala and East Punjab States Union as Director of Archives. He stayed in this post until his retirement in 1956. During this time, he did not allow his official responsibilities to impinge on his scholarly pursuit. He edited volumes of government records and published numerous learned papers and books. A notable work was Private Correspondence Relating to the Anglo-Sikh Wars (1955). In this book was collected a voluminous mass of letters written by English army and political officers dealing with events preparatory to the annexation of Sikh dominions. In light of the evidence thus assembled, the story of the occupation of the Punjab stood stripped of the muddle which had till then surrounded it and of the glib simplifications of the writers of history textbooks. To this correspondence Dr. Ganda Singh added a long introduction which revealed the range of his historical erudition and his power of cogent reasoning. As Director of Archives at Patiala, he helped salvage from the Punjab princely states, then under abrogation, a vast amount of historical material and organized it into a large collection of records, manuscripts and books.

He acted as Director of Archives and Curator of Museum at Patiala, from February 14, 1950, to March 2, 1956. From 1950 to 1953, he simultaneously held charge, as Director, of the Punjab; Department of Patiala and East Punjab States Union. A permanent monument of his association with PEPSU Government was the Central Public Library at Patiala which is of his creation. Another important monument is the Khalsa College of which he became the founder-Principal after his retirement. Dr. Ganda Singh remained in Khalsa College, Patiala, from June 1, 1960, to September 15, 1963. The connection broke only when the newly established Punjabi University invited him to organize for it a department of Punjab historical studies. This meant the beginning of another spell of sustained, creative work. He charted a set-up which became a dynamic centre for research in Punjab history. De novo started the quest for bibliographical and manuscript materials. Publication of primary sources on the history of the Punjab was sponsored. Work was started on a comprehensive eight-volume history of the Punjab modelled on the Cambridge History. Another project undertaken was a four volume series of documents on Punjab's part in the national struggle for freedom. In 1965, Dr. Ganda Singh founded the Punjab History Conference, and published in the following year his by now prestigious A Bibliography of t/le Panjab. He headed the department from September 16, 1963, to September 15, 1966. Upon his retirement, the Punjabi University conferred upon him a fellowship for life.

Among learned bodies, he has been a life-member of the Indian History Congress since 1938, and a life-member of the Asiatic Society, formerly Asiatic Society of Bengal. He has also been a life-member of Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland since 1949, and a life-member of Bharat Itihas Samshodhan Mandal, Poona, since 1964. He was a corresponding member of the Indian Historical Records Commission, Government of India from 1938-49, and a member of the Commission from 1950-56. He was secretary of the Sikh Historical Society, Lahore, in 1931 as well as secretary of the Sikh Tract Society, Lahore. He was president of the medieval India session of the Indian History Congress at Ranchi in 1964. He was president of the medieval session of the Punjab History Conference at Punjabi University, Patiala, in 1968, and president of the Institute of the Historical Studies, Calcutta, for its 12th annual session in Shillong in 1974. He presided the Indian History Congress for its 35th session at Jadavpur, Calcutta, in 1974. In 1975, he presided the 13th annual session of the Institute of Historical Studies at Panaji, Goa.

Marks of honor have been numerous. In 1963, the Punjab Government invested him with the State Award for Literature for his services to the cause of Punjabi letters. In 1964, Aligarh Muslim University awarded him the degree of D. Litt. (Honoris Causa). On March 28, 1964, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee honored him for his monumental work on Sikh history. He was similarly acclaimed by the Sikh Educational Conference at its 52nd annual session at Kanpur, October 25-27, 1974.

Taken from: Punjab Past and Present: Essays in Honor of Dr. Ganda Singh, Eds. Harbans Singh and N. Gerald Barrier Punjabi University , 1976. pp. 511.

1984 Indian propaganda declared that Heroin and Hashish was discovered from darbar Sahib Complex. However, it had to renege this false allegations 10 days later.
1984 Badal and Barnala are moved from Chandigarh jail to Panchmadhiin Madya Pradesh.

 

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