Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

3rd February

1816 Baba Ram Singh Namdhari was born.

==> BABA RAM SINGH was born on 5th Magh sunmat 1872 in village Rayia, Ludhiana, to father Jassa Singh and mother Sedha Kaur. Since early childhood, Ram Singh was inclined to reciting God's name (Vaaheguru's Naam simran). For a while, he served in the forces of Lahore darbar. However in 1841 he left active service and joined the company of Baba Balak Singh, whose preachings had enlightened thousands. Upon receiving Naam Updaesh, Ram Singh settled in Bhaenni village and engaged in extensive preaching of Sikh faith. On the Baisakhi day of 1857, Baba Ram SIngh administered Pahul to teh Sikhs in his village and created 22 centres in different parts of the country. He started the Kuka branch. Kuka Sikhs wear white attire and a malla made from white wool. Their practices include, giving Vaaheguru Gurmantar in individual's ear; amrit is not partaken together, rather given to individuals in isolation; practice of Hawaan ceremony; rather than the traditional Parikarma around Guru Granth Sahib during marriage ceremony, they recite lawan in presence of fire (Agni Haum). During religious ceremonies, they yell, shout, and dance out of love. The punjabi term for their yelling and shouting is Kukeh. Hence they are popularly known as Kukas.

When the British government were alluring unemployed Sikh youths into their armed forces, Baba Ram Singh was among many GurSikhs who considered it inappropraite to serve a foreign government. He initiated a non-cooperation movement at times when Congress wasn't even born. It is because of their principles that the Namdari movement came in direct conflict with the British government.

In 1871, the Kukas held a conference at Khote. Some recalcitrant Kuka leaders, despite Baba Ram Singh's exhortation, attacked the butchers at Amritsar on June 14, 1871 and at Raikot on 15th July, 1871. Baba Ram Singh was held responsible for thisrequirments were restricted. But the Kuka intransigancy could not be stemmed. Again some zealots attacked Malerkotla on January 15, 1872 and killed Kotwal Ahmedkhan and 7 sepoys. 68 Kukas were captured near the village Rar. 42 of whome were blown up with guns on January 17 under the orders of M.L. Cowan, Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, while on eboy was slaughtered to pieces. Next day the remaining 16 were blown up under the orders of T.D. Forsy, the Commissioner, Ambala Division. Only 2 Kuka women were spared. Namdhari's successfully evoked a rebellion within a Army center. As a result 95 Namdhari Sikhs were court marshaled. In 1872 a British armoury was looted and several weapons were taken away. As a result, Baba Ram Singh and 12 of his associates were exiled to Rangun, Burma. Baba Ram Singh died there after 13 years of solitary confinement, on Nov. 29th, 1885.

Baba Ram Singh married Mai Jassah of Village Tharodh in Ludhiana district and had two daughters. As a result, Baba Ram Singh's gaddhi was assumed by his younger brother Bhai Budh Singh Ji. Later Bhai Pratap Singh, son of Bhai Budh Singh assumed this gaddhi and continued to serve the followers and visitors with langer and Akhand Kirtan.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 1033-1034) Naraen Singh, Kau Kito Visahau? Singh Brothers, Mai Sewa, Amritsar, ISBN 81-7205-003-8, 1986, 1990, 1992

 

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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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