Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

19th June

 

1640 Guru Har Rai was married to Mata Krishen Kaur, daughter of Baba Daya Ram, of Bulsand-shair. Guru Sahib was 10 years of age at the time of his marriage. Two sons were born from this marriage, Ram Rai born in 1646 when Guru Sahib was sixteen years old and Har Krishan born in 1656, when Guru Sahib was twnty six years old.
1665 Baba Gurditta, son of Baba Buddha Ji, laid the foundation stone for a new town of Nanaki Chak, at the site of Makhowal in village Sohota. Guru Sahib spent the rainy seasons at Chak Nanaki.
1757 Diyal Singh and Lehna Singh killed Jahan Khan.
1919 Five Ghadri Babas were hanged to death. They were:
Utam Singh Hans,
Eshwar Singh Chudikae,
Rush Singh Talwandi,
Bir Singh Bahowal, and
Ganga Singh Khuradpur.

==> GHADAR PARTY, a revolutionary group, founded in United States of America (USA) for the independence of India. Its members were Indian residents, primarily Sikhs, settled in USA. Their prime objective was to actively cause rebellion among members of the British forces, thereby forcing the fall of the British empire and hasten their departure from India.

Ghadar Organization and Hindu Leaders

Some revealing insights taken from the book "THE SIKH STRUGGLE - origin, evolution and present phase" by Ram Narayan kumar and George Sieberer

Sikhs in Canada and the USA took lead in organizing Hindustani Workers of Pacific Coast. The organization started bringing out a weekly tabloid called GHADR meaning rebellion in Urdu. The paper became popular and was a catalyst of revolutionary activities. Sikh members of the organization volunteered to return to Punjab to initiate terroist activities with the objective to drive the British out of the country. Control of the paper and the funds of the organization slipped into the hands of Hindus who stayed back. Roughly 1000 Sikhs came back to India. They had been promised arms on their arrival in India. Contacts had been established with the GERMAN government which promised support. But no arms arrived mainly because of the ineptitude and lack of the integrity among the leader of the organization. MONEY PROVIDED BY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT WENT INTO THE POCKETS OF LEADERS LIKE RAM CHANDRA AND HARAMBA LAL GUPTA. They could not keep their secrets from the British agents. The ship Henry S. loaded with five thousand revolvers was caught by the British navy. Another ship Annie captured by the United State army. In the meanwhile one DR. CHANDRA KANT CHAKRAVARTY, A BENGALI LIVING IN BERLIN, CAME TO THE USA WITH THE POCKETS BULGING WITH MONEY PROVIDED BY THE GERMANS TO THE RUN THE GHADR ORGANIZATION EFFICIENTLY. HE NEVER SPENT A PENNY ON THE ORGANIZATION. THE GERMANS FINALLY DECIDED TO FORGET THE CORRUPT INDIANS.

Ram Chandra was later shot dead by Ram Singh in court. Ram Singh who owned hundereds of acres of land in Canada had sold it all to finance the revolution. Ram Chandra, a Bengali Hindu, had taken the money and used it to enhance his personal financial interests.

1924 6th Shahidi Jatha of 500 Akalis, led by Sant Prem Singh Ji Kokari, courted arrest upon reaching Jaito.

==> WHERE IS JAITO? A village under Nabha, which falls on the Bathinda-Ferozpur railway line. It is 96 miles from Lahore and 17 miles from Bathinda.

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JAITO? On this place situated near a fort, is a historical Gurudwara of Guru Gobind Singh Patshah. Maharaja Hira Singh constructed the beautiful buildings of this Gurudwara. The sarowar is popularly known as "Gangsar". About a mile and a half north of Jaito is "Tibhi Sahib" Gurudwara, where Guru Gobind Singh Patshah used to organize and participate in the evening recitation of Rehras. Both Gurudwaras have extensive land sanctioned to it by the Nabha rulers. Additionally, extensive financial resources are made available on an annual basis from the Nabha rulers and the surrounding villages. A maela celebration is held every 7th of Pooh month (Dec.-Jan.) and Katak (Oct.-Nov.) Puranmashi. Jaito's markets are well renowned. People come from far distances to buy and sell their herds.

WHY AKALIS COURTED ARREST? The key issue involved was resoration of Maharaja Ripudaman Singh of Nabha. Maharaja of Nabha, well-known for his pro-Tat Khalsa Proclivities, had a dispute with Maharaja of Patiala, known for this pro-government role. Although Maharaja of Nabha had absolutely no dispute with the government, as a result of mediation, he was forced to abdicate in July 1923. Col. Michin, with the help of troops and armoured cars, took the Maharaja by surprise on July 8, 1923 and taunted him with the query, "Where is that Akali?" The news of deposition by the government raised a strom of protest against the Government's interefernce in Nabha and was decsribed as a challenge to the Akali movement. As a result tensions mounted. The Akalis, in defiance of state orders, continued to hold diwan indefinitely. The Nabha police in order to arrest all the Akalis, including the one reading the holy Granth Sahib, was said to have disrupted the Akhand Path on Sept. 14, 1923. This dispute took such a tragic shape and got so inflames by Feb. 21, 1924 that several people lost their lives. After sixteen shaheedi jathas apart from one from Bengal and another from Canada, the agitation process was completed two years later, on August 6, 1925, after the concurrent bhog of 101 Akand Paaths.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh
"The Sikhs in History," by Sangat Singh, 1995

1925 Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandak Committee received Legislative sanction. It is for the first time that women were granted right to vote. This event opened the way for all women of India the right to vote.
1984 Mr. Buta Singh announced the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi's acceptance of conditions for a settlement. These conditions were given in writing by the Singh Sahibans on June 17, 1984. As Indira Gandhi was to visit Darbar Sahib on June 20, Buta Singh made the announcement in a hurriedly called press conference at the residence of Bua Singh, SSP, Amritsar. The Army Generals and Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar were also present. However, immediately after the announcement and return of Buta Singh to Delhi, Indira Gandhi did a volte-face and admonished him for making the announcement.

These are the 14 conditions placed before the Government of India in June 1984 by the Singh Sahibans. Those who signed the document were the head priest of Sri Darbar Sahib; the head priest of Akal Takhat, Giani Kirpal Singh; the head priest of Damdama Sahib, Giani Lakkha Singh; the head priest of Anantpur Sahib, Giani Harcharan SIngh Mahalon; and the head granthi of Akal Takhat, Pritam Singh. The then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, agreed to all conditions except to the withdrawal of the CRPF (No. 11) and the immediate condoning of the army deserters (No. 9)

  1. Army be pulled out forthwith from the Golden Temple and the Akal Takhat.
  2. All further operations be handed over to the Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC).
  3. Public be allowed to enter the Golden Temple precincts.
  4. The SGPC staff and the gurdwaras be 'released' immediately as this will expedite administration and help restore the confidence of the Sikhs.
  5. Immediate release of Sant Longowal and others.
  6. Put an end to terrorism in the village of Punjab.
  7. The head priests of the Golden Temple be allowed to screen the filming of the Operation Bluestar before it is broadcast over television.
  8. Open all gurdwaras in Punjab and release their staff.
  9. Sikh solidiers be condoned for 'desertion' after Operation Bluestar.
  10. Steps be taken to stop the harassment of Sikhs inside buses and trains.
  11. Withdraw the Central Reserve Police Force from Punjab immediately.
  12. Proper arragements be made to house huge quantities of wheat stacked inside the Golden Temple langar (kitchen).
  13. Sikhs living in Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and other states be protected and steps taken to bring to and their killings immediately.
  14. Name of all Sikhs killed and arrested by the Government be published without delay.

-Ref. "Indian Express," June 8, 1995

1984 General Vadiya visits Sri Darbar Sahib, after Operation Bluestar
1994 Foundation stone laid for Nanakana Sahib Foundation was laid down by Hon. Rai Bashir Ahmad Khan Bhatti, Member National Assembly Pakistan and Chairman, Education Standing Committee, Government of Pakistan, at Nanankana Sahib. Mr. Bhatti is the oldest living descendent of Chowdhary Rai Bular Bhatti.

==> NANKANA SAHIB FOUNDATION: established at Nanakana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Nanakana Sahib Foundation which is about a miles from the Nanakana Sahib, on Vucho Ki Road that goes to Jarhanwali, further leading to Faislabad (Lyallpur). The Nananaka Sahib Estate consists of 16,962 acres. Most of this estate is leased to the farmers and residents of Nanakana Sahib. Almost all the houses of Nanakana Sahib are built on this property. Nanakana Sahib Estate is the property of the Nanakana Sahib Gurdwara (Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji) which cannot be sold to anyone. About 40,000 people live in Nanakana Sahib.

Aims and Objectives of Nanakana Sahib Foundation

The aims and objective of Nanakana Sahib Foundation are to:
* Promote the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, his mission philosophy of fatherhood of One God and brotherhood of mankind and Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Holy Book of Sikhs).
* Propagate and promote goodwill, friendship peace and harmony irrespective of color, creed, race, and sex amongst different nations as enshrined in the Charter of U. N. O.
* Establish hospitals, dispensaries and undertake such works or projects which are of public interest and are likely to contribute to the welfare (Economic and Social well-being) of the people.
* Promote the teachings of Quran for understanding and tolerance.
* To organize seminars and exhibitions, commercial, cultural and religious festivals and sports matches with the help of local authorities or independently.
* Run this organization as an independent institution and make it financially self-sustaining.

Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony

The foundation stone of the Nanakana Sahib building was laid down by Honorable Rai Bashir Ahmad Khan Bhatti on June 19, 1994. Mr. Bhatti is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan (Pakistani Parliament) and Chairman of the Education Standing Committee of Government of Pakistan. Mr. Bhatti is the oldest direct descendent of Rai Bular Bhatti, who was a widely respected man, a great philanthropist, and a contemporary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He was the second person, after Bibi Nanaki (sister of Guru Nanak Dev Ji), to recognize that Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a divine soul. Over the last five hundred years, the Bhatti family has donated almost 11,000 acres of its land to the Sikh religious shrines in and around Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan. The 10 acres of land upon which this foundation is being established has also been donated by Chowdhary Rai Sarwar Bhatti, who is a kind, philanthropist, and highly respected person. He is also a direct descendent of Rai Bular Bhatti.

This multi-storey Foundation building is under construction. A garment factory will also be built here and is scheduled to be in operation this year (1995). This foundation is jointly funded and run by the Muslim and Sikh private individuals. It will have all the modern facilities, a library, a guest house, and hospital where free medicine will be provided to the poor. Teams of physicians from USA, UK, Canada and other countries will make periodic visits to Nanakana Sahib, organize medical camps and provide free medical treatment and consultation to the needy.

The entrance of the Foundation building will be a replica of entrance of Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Guru Nanak Dev. This Foundation is situated about one mile outside the Nanakana Sahib Estate (the town of Nanakana Sahib which is the property of Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib).

This Foundation building will be another landmark of Nanakana Sahib.

 

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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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