Saturday, December 03, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

18th January

1661 Janam Din Bhai Himmat Singh, one of the very first five members initiated into the khalsa order by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He answered Guru Sahib's call and offered his head to for his initiation into the Khalsa order.

==> BHAI HIMMAT SINGH was born in 1661 at Puri Jagan Nath (Orissa) to father Guljari Jhiwar and mother Thanno. He came in contact with Guru Gobind Singh in sunmat 1735 and on the Vaisakhi of sunmat 1759 he joined the Khalsa Panth by giving his head in response to Guru Sahib's request. He died fighting at Chamkaur - a small fortress where Guru Gobind Singh was besieged in Dec. 1704 by the chasing Mughal Forces. He had no children.

1757 Jahakhan filled the Amritsar sarowar with sand. Addali has asked Kapur Shah to destory Sri Harmandir Sahib and fill the sarowar with dirt. Jathedar Bhag Singh reach Damdama Sahib and appriased Baba Deep Singh of this happeningsa Here Baba Deep Singh did ardas for his shahadat.

-Ref. "Amritsar Ji Dae Darshan Eshnan Utay 500 Sala Di Ethasak Directory," Satnam Singh Khalsa Advocate, page 60-61.

1774 Jathaedar Baghael Singh captured the area of Shahdra, Delhi and raised a Kesri Nishan Sahib on Mughal's Red Fort.

==> BAGHAEL SINGH was a resident of Chubhal, Amritsar. This Sant Sepahi belonged to the "Karohdhi" Misl. In sunmat 1847, working with the Khalsa forces, he attacked and captured Delhi. He received three lakh rupees from the Shah Aalam which he used to build the Delhi Gurudwaras and acquire their surrounding lands. He returned to Punjab after successful completion of all the historical Gurudwara constructions. Baghael Singh led an exemplary life devoted extensively to amrit prachar. Many well known Sikh personalities including Patiala's Raja Sahib Singh Ji, received amrit under Baghael Singh's guidance. He passed away on sunmat 1859 in Amritsar.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh

In 1727 Nawab Kapur Singh took charge of the political affairs of the Sikhs. At that time the Sikh Nation was in disarray. The Mughal Governor, Zakria Khan's policy to annihilate the Sikhs had forced them to disperse towards the hills and jungles.

But it did not take long and the Sikhs once again started to reappear and consolidate their forces. The credit to reorganize the Sikh Polity, and institutionalize it into specific units, goes to Nawab Kapur Singh. He realized that the support group was equally necessary to keep the supply-line open for the forces in combat. Consequently, he divided the Khalsa society into two groups. The name of Taruna Dal was designated to the armed forces and the combat troops. Mostly the people under the age of forty were taken in it.

The second, service group, was called Budha Dal. People over the age of fifty were accommodated there. Apart from providing facilities to the fighting forces, the Budha Dal's duties included the protection of the Sikh Religious places, provision of comfort to the sick and needy, and to take care of the women, children and old.

With overwhelming acceptance, people flocked to join both the ranks. Nawab Kapoor Singh divided them into five commands and with the passage of time they took the shape of twelve Missals. Initially, Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was the overall commander of these Missals. Each Missal was assigned various task.

Sardar Karor Singh was the commander of the Missal known as Karor Singhia, after his name. Sardar Baghel Singh, a resident of Gurdaspur District took over the command of this Missal at the death of Sardar Karor Singh.

The people of Saharanpur were maltreated by Najib-u-Daula, the Feudal Lord. Sardar Baghel Singh gave him a crushing defeat in the first encounter of his command of the Missal. One after the other he indulged in seventeen such confrontations with the scrupulous rulers.

The Mohammedan Chief of Jalalabad had forcibly abducted the daughter of a Brahmin and taken her into his Harem. The Singhs under the command of Baghel Singh crossed Jamuna, killed the Chief, Mir Hassan Khan, and got the girl liberated. The girl was duly returned to the parents, but her parents and the Hindu community refused to accept her back on the pretext that she had been defiled by living under Islamic environments. The Singhs, then, assigned her the title of `Daughter of the Khalsa' and admonished the Brahmins: all the property of any class conscience person, who treated the girl with disrespect, would be confiscated and handed over to the girl herself.

Sardar Baghel Singh's army invaded Delhi first time on January 18, 1774 and captured the area up to Shahdra. In the second invasion which took place on July 1775, they captured the area of Pahar Ganj and Jai Singh Pura. This battle was fought at the place where present New Delhi is situated. A mosque built at the place, where Gurdwara Bungla Sahib is situated, was demolished. But the Khalsa Army faced acute shortage of supplies for life subsistence, and voluntarily withdrew. The Singhs continued their intrusions from time to time, which made Mughal King, Bahadur Shah, to concede to give the Singhs one eighth of the revenue collected from the area in between Rivers Ganga and Jamuna.

In 1783 the Maharatas abandoned Delhi. The Mughal Rulers foresaw the danger emanating from the progressing English power. To deter the English and to make them to go back, the Mughal King, Shah Alam, wished the Sinhgs to come back. Taking advantage of the situation, thirty thousand of Sikhs came and encamped at the place of Kashmiri Gate. They planned two pronged attack. One section invaded the Ajmeri Gate and the other one breached the wall of the Red Fort and entered the place, which is now known as the Mori Gate. After a fierce battle the Singhs captured Red Fort, hoisted the Kesri Flag, and put Panj Pyare, including Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, on the throne of the Delhi.

Shah Alam, through the aegis of his Ministers, Court Official Munshi Ram Dyal, and Begham (Queen) Samoor offered reconciliation with the Singhs and accepted their four conditions:

  1. No Mughal Official would indulge in atrocities on the populace.
  2. The Mughal King would pay three hundred thousand rupees as a gift.
  3. The Kotwali Area would remain the property of the Khalsa Army.
  4. Sardar Baghel Singh would trace historically significant Sikh places in Delhi, and would establish Sikh Temples there. Till this work was completed he would stay in Delhi with a constabulary of 4,000 horses. The Delhi Ruler would bear all their expenses. Consequently, rest of the Khalsa Army returned.

Sardar Baghel Singh set up an octroi-post near Sabzi Mandi to collect the tax on the goods imported into the city to finance the search and the construction of the Sikh Temples. He did not want to use the cash received from the Government Treasury for this purpose, and most of that was handed out to the needy and poor. He often distributed sweetmeats, bought out of this Government gift, to the congregationalists at the place which, now, is know as the Pul Mithai.

With help of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh old residents of Delhi, Sardar Baghel Singh found and established seven historical places as the Sikh Temples:

  1. Gurdwara Mata Sundri Ji at the place which was know as the Haveli Sardar Jawahar Singh.
  2. Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. A Mansion belonging to Raja Jai Singh existed there once. Guru Harkrishan Dev, the Eighth Guru had stayed there.
  3. Gurdwara Bala Sahib. Last rights of Guru Harkrishan, Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur were performed at this place.
  4. Gurdwara Rakab Ganj. The torso of Guru Tegh Bahadur was cremated here.
  5. Gurdwara Sees Ganj. Guru Tegh Bahadur was martyred at this place.
  6. Gurdwara Moti Bagh. Guru Gobind Singh sent a message to the Mughal King, Bahadur Shah, by throwing an arrow from this place.
  7. Gurdwara Majnu Tilla. It was established in the memory of a Sikh of Guru Nanak, named Majnu. Guru Hargobind stayed at this place on his way to Gwaliar.

On the completion of all the Gurdwaras, Baghel Singh appointed the Bhais (attendant priests) to look after the places and decided to return to Punjab, as well. He was persuaded by Munshi Ram Dyal not to abandoned Delhi once the Mughals had coneded to his authority and supermacy. But Baghel Singh replied, "We have been endowed with Kingdom and Destiny by our Guru. Whenever we wished, we could capture Delhi. It won't be difficult for the Khalsa."

Sardar Baghel Singh once again decided to invaded Delhi in 1785. Shah Alam, scared of Singh, signed a treaty with the Maharatas. The Maharatas initialed an agreement with the Singhs and consented to pay one million rupees as Gift.

The last days of the life of Baghel Singh are not very conspicuous. Some accounts mark 1800 and 1802 as the years of his demise. But, according to Lepel Griffith, Baghel Singh, along with Bhag Singh of Jind and their contigents, joined the British Army and died either at the end of 1805 or early 1806.

1841 Maharani Chand Kaur surrendered the Lahore fort to Sher Singh who emerged as the King and was coronated at the age of 14.

==> SHER SINGH, son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharani Metab Kaur was coronated at the age of 14. He was born in 1807 and assumed Lahore rule after Kaur Naunihal Singh. But he was killed on 15th Sept. 1843, along with his infant child Partap Singh, by Ajit Singh and Lehna Singh Sandhawalia.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh

1872 16 Kukas Naamdhari GurSikhs, accused of succisionist acts were blown-up with cannons. 16 of the 68 Kukas arrested in connection with the killings of Jan. 15 were blown up by orders of T.D. Forsey, the Commissioner Ambala Division. 42 were blown up earlier on Jan. 17.
1872 Baba Ram Singh, Naamdhari Leader, was exiled from India, to Rangon, Burma for leading Kuka movement.
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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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