Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

3rd March

 

1644 Sixth Patshah, Guru Hargobind Ji departed from this planet at Kirtapur. This is the actual date of Joti Jot, although it is observed on a different date by Guru Khalsa Panth.

==> Guru HAR GOBIND PATSHAH (1595-1644) was born on Hadh 21 sunmat 1652 (June 14, 1595) to father Sri Guru Arjan Dev Patshah and mother Matta Ganga Ji, in village Vadhali. He received his religious education from Baba Budha Ji. Guru Sahib married three time:
1. Damodari Ji, daughter of Dalha resident Narayan Das on Bhadho 12 sunmat 1661;
2. Nanaki Ji, daughter of Bakala resident Hari Chand on Vaisakh 8 sunmat 1670;
3. Mahadevi Ji, daughter of Mandiyala resident Daya Ram on Sawan 11 sunmat 1672.

Guru Sahib had five sons (Baba Gurditta Ji, Suraj Mal, Aani Rai, Atal Rai, and Guru Teg Bahadhur Ji) and one daughter (Bhiro). On Jaeth 29 sunmat 1663 (May 25 1606), while ascended to Guru Gadhi, Guru Har Gobind Patshah changed the previous tradition of wearing "Saeli toppi" (cap) and replaced it with wearing "Kalgi". At the same time, he started the tradition of wearing two swords of "Miri Piri". Observing the prevalent conditions of the nation at that time, Guru Sahib started teaching self-protection skills along with the religious preaching.

Guru Sahib,

in sunmat 1665, constructed the Takhat "Akal Bungha", in front of Sri Harmindar Sahib,
in sunmat 1669, established Sri Guru Arjan Dev Sahib's Dehra in Lahore,
from sunmat 1670-71 flourished the forest region of Daroli, etc. by residing there,
in sunmat 1624, helped Mohan and Kalae in establishing Maehraj in Malwa,
in sunmat 1624, constructed the Kolsar sarowar in Amritsar,
in 1685, constructed "Bibaek Sar" for Bibaekae Sikhs.

When the Akbar's policy of assimilation changed to Jahagir's propaganda against the Sikhs, resulting in the martyrdom of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Patshah, Guru Har Gobind Patshah urged his followers to pick up weapons for their self-protection. He preached self-protection along with his religious message. Upon hearing this, Jahagir arrested and jailed Guru Sahib in Gawalior fort. However, instead of losing popularity, as expected by Jahagir, this action immensely increased the popularity and following of Guru Sahib. Many renowned muslims issued a call for Guru Sahib's release. As a result, Jahagir not only released Guru Sahib but actively sought to establish some level of friendship. However, when Shahjahan came to power in sunmat 1685, the government policy went strongly against the Sikhs. As a result, Guru Sahib fought the following four wars with the mughal forces:

  1. Amritsar war with General Sukhlis Khan in sunmat 1685.
  2. Sri Gobindpur war with the ruler of Jallandar in sunmat 1687.
  3. War of Gurusar near Maehraj with General KamarBaeg in sunmat 1688. After this war, Guru Sahib blessed Phul with sovereign rule that subsequently emerged as the Patiala rule.
  4. Kartarpur war with Kalae Khan, Pandhae Khan, etc. in 1691. Subsequent to this war, Guru Sahib moved his resident to Kiratpur. However, Guru Sahib continued with his active propagation of Sikh faith. He traveled to Kashmir, PiliBheet, Baar, and Malwa and enlightened thousands on to the correct path. As a result many Muslims came under the fold of Sikhs. He also encouraged Udasis to travel throughout the world to propagate Guru Nanak's message.

Guru Sahib left this materialistic world for heavenly abode on Chaet 7 sunmat 1701 (March 3, 1644) after serving as the sixth Guru of GurSikhism for a total of 37 years, 10 months, and 7 days. Guru Sahib's entire journey through this planet amounted to 48 years, 8 months, and 15 days. Guru Har Rai Patshah ascended to Guru Gadhi after Guru Har Gobind. "Arjan Har Gobind Nu Simaro Sri Har Rai" (Chandhi 3)

-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 265)

1762 Ahmad Shah Abdali, upon reaching Lahore, displays the heads of Sikhs by hanging them on doors and walls.
1921 Speaking at Shaheedi Diwan, Gandhi sought to integrate the Gurudwara reform movement into the national movement against colonialism. He wanted them "to dedicate their martyrdom to Bharat mata and belive that the Khalsa can remain free only in a free India." With this event Ghandhi, in his immitable style took politics into religion which the Central Sikh League, a political organisation, had carefully avoided by leaving the reform movement to the SGPC. Ghandhi was a "Hindu holy man with political cloak" in quest for power. Siks weren't immediately taken in. However, the damage had been done. Gandhi had sown the seeds of division in the Tat Khalsa which sprouted only a few months later.

-Source "The Sikhs in History," by Sangat Singh, 1995

1923 Dacoity at Jamser railway station ius committed by the Babbar Akalis.
1924 3rd Shahidi Jatha of 500 valiant Akali Satyagrahies, led by Sardar Santa Singh of Chuck No. 133, Sargodha, courted arrest at 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

1947 Muslim League asked to form government in the Punjab. Sikh leaders met in the chamber of Assembly, Lahore. A mammoth crowd raised provocative slogans. At this point, Master Tara Singh came out, unleashed his sword and said "we shall lay down our lives but won't concede Pakistan." With this, it became famous that Master Tara Singh had cut off the Pakistan Flag. In actuality, Master Tara Singh did not tear any flag. However, being a fiery speaker, it was perceieved that he did.

 

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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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