Thursday, December 08, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

2nd January

1741 Sukha Singh of Mari Kambo and Mehtab Singh of Mirankot entered Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar. They were disguised as Muslims. While Sukha Singh kept guard, Mehtab Singh beheaded Massa Raangadh and escaped together. Massa Rangadh had committed the heinous crime of converting Harimandir Sahib into a dancing hall where he smoked and wined. He was the garrision commander of Madiyala. He took control of Sri Harmandir Sahib as the land was prior property of Rangadhs. Mehtab Singh was later arrested and crushed to death after unspeakable torture on wheels.

==> SRI DARBAR SAHIB also known as Harminder Sahib and Golden Temple was constructed by Guru Arjun in the middle of an sacred water tank (sarowar).

"Har Japae Har Minder Saajia,
Sant Bhagat Gun Gawae Ram" -Suhi Shant Mahala 5

In sunmat 1621, with Guru Amar Das's permission, Guru Ram Das started the digging of a tank (Taal) near villages Tugh, Gumtala, and Sultanwind. This digging was completed by Guru Arjun Dev in sunmat 1645 and named "Santoksar".

Simultaneously, with Guru Amar Das's permission, a village was established nearby and named "Guru Ka Chaak". Guru Sahib's residence in this village were popularly known as "Guru Kae Mahal". To the west of these residences, next to the tree known as "DukhBhanjani Baeri", the digging of a tank was started in 1634. However, this digging remained incomplete and was eventually completed by Guru Arjun Dev after he ascended to the Gur Gadhi. Guru Arjun Dev vigorously pushed all of the projects initiated by Guru Ram Das. He invited business people, scholars, and skilled people from all over, to come and settle around this area and establish new markets. As a result this area came to known as "Ramdas Pur". Bhai Sallo is especially noted for his hard work in establishing and populating this area. His contributions are extremely noteworthy.

In sunmat 1643, the construction of permanent sarowar began and its name changed to "Amritsar". As a result the surrounding city also adopted the "Amritsar" name. On magh 1, sunmat 1645, Guru Arjun Dev Patshah asked Sain Mian Meer to lay the foundation stone of Harminder Sahib. The foundation stone was laid right in the middle of the sarowar and upon completion of its construction, Sri Guru Granth Sahib's prakash was established in sunmat 1661.

Harminder Sahib is the most prominent among all Sikh gurudwaras, where Akhand Kirtan is performed for most of the day. The Vaisakhi Maela celebrations in Harminder Sahib were established by Guru Arjun Dev, while the Diwali Maela celebrations were instituted by Baba Budha Ji, immediately upon the release and safe return of Guru Hargobind from the Gawalior fort.

In Sunmat 1818, Ahmad Shah Abdali blew up the Harminder Sahib with explosives and leveled the sarowar. However, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia once again laid the foundation stone on 11 Vaishakh, sunmat 1821. And through Dees Raj's diligent efforts Harminder Sahib was reconstructed in a few years. Abdali, on three occasions, 1757, 1761, and 1762 pulled down Harimandir Sahib and defiled the sacred tank by caracases of cows. The Sikhs for the first time in 1757 defeated Afghan forces at the battle of Amritsar. The following year, they captured retreating Afghan forces and made them clean Harimandir and the sacred tank.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh took control of Amritsar in sunmat 1859 and decorated Harminder sahib with white marble and gold. Additionally during 1805-9, "Ram Bagh" was developed in remembrance of Guru Ram Das and "GobindGadh Fort" was established in remembrance of Guru Gobind Singh. Khalsa College was established by the Panth in 1892.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 267)

For further details on Harminder Sahib, interested readers are referred to the following:

Madanjit Kaur, "The Golden Temple: Past & Present", Guru Nanak Dev university Press, Amritsar, 1983
Patwant Singh, "The Golden Temple", Time Books International, New Delhi, 1988
Patwant Singh, "Gurudwaras in India and around the world", Himalayan Books, New Delhi, 1992
"Sri Harmandir Sahib Da Sunehiri Itihas" by Late Jathedar (of Akal Takaht Sahib) and former Head Granthi of Golden Temple) Kirpal Singh. pp. 389-390. This is the most authoritative book so far on the Golden Temple.
 
1925 A Jatha of Sikh settled in Canada, proceeded from Sri Akal Takhat to participate in Morcha at Gangsar, Jaito. Sikhs from several other countries also came to join this struggle.

==> WHERE IS JAITO? A village under Nabha Riyaasat, now under the district Bhatinda, 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

1978 4 Nihang GurSikhs were killed at Pundri, Haryana, by police of the Akali-supported Haryana Government. There was no reaction from any of the elected officials to this inhumane killings. Only Dr Rajinder Kaur, M.P., and some Sikh youths from Chandigarh and Jullundur declared that this event was a conspiracy by the Hindu Imperialists against the Sikh nation. The above killings took place under Devi Lal's regime.

Almost during the same period the dispute over property of Sodal Gurdwara at Jullundur reached a critical stage. On this issue every Hindu without exception of one's political affiliations, sided with the anti-Sikh forces who were trying to usurp the property of the Gurdwara. Barring Gurbachan Singh Sodal, Joginder Singh Walia, Harbhajan Singh and some Sikh Youth, no Akali leader helped the local Sikhs. During the regime of a Sikh Party, Sikh workers were arrested, implicated in false cases and imprisoned. On the other hand, criminal Hindus were not even apprehended in spite of issuance by the judicial courts of warrants for their arrest.

-Ref. THE SIKHS' STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY, An Historical Perspective By Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer and Dr. Awatar Singh Sekhon Edited By: A.T. Kerr Page 110-119

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Worldgurudwaras.com will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

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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