Monday, September 26, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

27th April

 

xxxx Prakash Utsav, Second Patshah, Guru Angad Dev Ji.

==> Guru ANGAD DEV (1504-1552): The mantle of the First Master fell on Angad, the second Sikh Guru, in 1539, and he graced the exalted position till 1552.

Born at Mattae de Saran, a Punjab village, on Sunday, Vaisakh Vadi 1 sunmat 1561 (March 31, 1504) to father Pheru Mal and mother Dya Kaur, Guru Angad was originally known as Lehna. In sunmat 1576, Guru Sahib married Khivi, daughter of Devi Chand. This marriage resulted in two daughters Bibi Amro and Anokhi and two sons Dassu and Dattu Ji. Lehna's parents were orthodox Hindus and worshippers of the goddess Durga. The most momentous and exulting moment in Lehna's life came around 1531 when he met Guru Nanak at Kartarpur. So powerful and profound was the Guru's divine spell on him that he wound up domestic affairs and devoted himself entirely to the service of the Guru and of fellow-men in whom the Lord constantly dwells. Because of his patient and unpretentious service, he endeared himself to the Guru who lovingly called him Angad (i.e., of my own limb) and elevated him to the Guruship on Hadh 17th sunmat 1596. However, Guru Angad actually assumed Guruship on Asu 23rd sunmat 1596 and started his work.

Imbibing the spirit of the First Master, Guru Angad began to disseminate the gospel of Guru Nanak to redeem the caste-worn and custom-ridden contemporary society. He denounced formalism and ritualism, and highlighted the edifying experience of the adoration of the Guru (Guru Bhakti), service of the Guru (Guru Seva), and divine meditation (Nam Bhakti). These tie regarded as the noblest means of God-realization. Guru Angad held service in high esteem. Indeed, he placed love of God and service of humanity on the same pedestal.

To consolidate and propagate the mission of Guru Nanak, the Second Master collected the celestial songs and teachings of his predecessor which, together with his own compositions, he transmitted to mankind. There are sixty-two hymns by Guru Angad in the Adi Granth.

Drawing on his own reminiscences and the accounts gathered from Bhai Bala and other disciples of the First Guru, the Second Master produced the first biography of Guru Nanak (in sunmat 1601), and this became the earliest published prose-work in Punjabi. The bastardized version of this biography is available today and known as Bhai Bala's version.

Guru Angad was also a great pioneer in education. He opened a School which, besides promoting the moral health of the students, organized wrestling exercises and manly sports. The Guru's system of education sought a harmonious development of the physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects of the human personality.

In sunmat 1598, the Second Master modified and improved the Gurumukhi script and made arrangements for popularizing it. Besides, he established his headquarters at Khandoor, and under his divine spell many embraced the Sikh religion. The Guru commended the significance of honest work and corporate kitchens. He exhorted the Sikhs not to take to renunciation or asceticism but to carry on the worship of God along with their worldly duties and obligations. Thus, he strengthened Guru Ka Langar or the Temple of Bread, an imaginative measure which helped enlist all men In a league of love.

Guru Sahib left for holy abode on Vaisak 3rd sunmat 1609 (March 29, 1552) at Kadur Sahib, after serving 12 years, 9 months, and 17 days as Guru. At the time of Joti Joot, his age was 47 years, 11 months, and 29 days.

-Ref. Guru Granth Ratnavali, (pp. 142) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh
Mahan Kosh (pp. 111)

1834 Khalsa Forces cross Attock river.

Khalsa forces, under the leadership of Hari Singh Nalwa and Kanwar Naunihal Singh, cross Attock river through a make shift boat bridge.

1915 Conspiracy case registered against Ghadar Party members.

The first Lahore conspiracy case was registered against members of the Ghadar Party. They were charged with waging war against the crown and to overthrow British rule in India.

==> 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.

1925 Goverment lifted all risteriction on Akhand paths in Nabha. A final jatha of 101 special Shaheedi Akalis marched from Akal Takhat Amritsar towards Jaito. While this jatha was on its way to Jaito, the government abolished all restriction on Akhand Paaths. This represented a major victory for the Sikhs. Upon reaching Jaito, this jatha conducted Akhand paths on behalf of all previously interrupted paaths and completed the process on August 6, 1925, two years after the agitation was initiated. In all sixteen Shahidi Jathas participated in this struggle after from one from Bengal and another from Canada.

==> 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.

 

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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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