Sunday, December 11, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

22nd May

 

1606 The Mughals apprehended Guru Arjan Dev Ji under the Royal decree announced on May 20, 1606. Guru Sahib asked his family to leave for Dalla (in Doaba), yet he made no plans to either flee, or hide in the hills or in the jungles.
1710 Baba Gurbakhash Singh (Banda Bahadur) killed Wajir Khan in Chapud-Chidhi and destroyed Sirhind. Then he established his capital at Mukhlas. Until 1720 everything was conducted from this capital.

-Ref. Amritsar Ji Dae Darshan Eshnan Utay 500 Sala Di Ethasak Directory, Satnam Singh Khalsa Advocate, pp. 73.

1960 Punjabi Suba Convention was held at Amritsar. It was attended by Dr. Kitchlew, K.G. Jodh, Zaheer Qurashi and leaders of Socialist and Swatantra Parties.
1964 11 Sikhs were gunned down at Paonta Sahib (Himachal Pradesh) by the Mahant's henchmen.

The sangat of Poanta Sahib had requested head of Tarna Dal (not Nihal Singh, but the one before him) to visit the Gurdwara. They complained that the residing masand was abusing the Gurdwara premises through drinking, raping women that came alone, and making prostitutes dance inside. After several such requests Babaji decided to visit Poanta Sahib accompanied by 13 GurSikhs. They left, from Gurdwara Haria Welan Hoshiarpur, riding horses and horse drawn carts. When they arrived near Gurdwara Poanta Sahib, two GurSikhs carried Babaji's message for the masand requesting initiation of a Akhand Path at the Gurdwara. The masand did not give a definitive answer, instead assured to respond before the next morning. Meanwhile the masand confided with the local police chief, one of his corrupt friends who endorsed and permitted his evil acts.

Babaji started the Akhand Path next morning which proceeded uninterrupted for 2 days. On the 2nd day, the masand came with the police. They arrested Babaji who was outside at that time and fired at the GurSikhs inside, who were conducting the Akhand Path. The GurSikhs had no guns. For they had not come with the intent to fight, but rather to hear the sangat's concerns. As a result they were brutally massacred. Eleven died and two survived. As each Pathi was shot while reciting the Guru Granth Sahib, another simply pushed his body and continued the uninterrupted recitation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Nihal Singh, 21 at the time, continued with his choar sewa (even when he had been shot 3 times) until the last GurSikh was shot. As the Akhand Path was interrupted, Nihal Singh finally fell. The only survivor was the youngest GurSikh, a 11 year old, who was found hiding behind a nagara (drums). Besides him all others were presumed dead. It wasn't until the bodies were being loaded up in a cart that a small child saw Nihal Singh breath and informed the local sikhs. The local sikhs who had gathered by now, screamed to get him some medical attention. Fortunately they succeeded in their efforts. He received medical attention and survived with Vaaheguru's grace. He was subsequently honored by many gurdwaras as Jinda-Shaheed Jathedar. The masand was finally removed. Akhand paths are held each year in the commemoration of this event.

 

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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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