Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

4th June

 

1398 Bhagat Kabir was born.

==> KABIR (1398-1495)

RAG PARBHATI

The Lord first created Light:
From the Lord's play all living creatures came,
And from the Divine Light the whole creation sprang.
Why then should we divide human creatures
Into the high and the low?
Brother, be not 'in error,
Out of the Creator the Creation comes:
Everywhere in the creation the Creator is:
The Lord's Spirit is all-pervading!
The Lord, the Maker, hath moulded one mass of clay
Into vessels of diverse shapes.
Free from taint are all the vessels of clay
Since free from taint is the Divine Potter.
The True One pervadeth all things
All things come to pass as the Lord ordaineth.
He who hath understood the Divine Will
Recognizeth only the One Reality
And he alone is what man ought to be.
The Lord, being Unknowable, cannot be-comprehended,
But the Guru hath given me
A sweet joy of His Presence.
Kabir Sayeth: My doubts have departed from me.
In all things I have recognized the Taintless One.

Kabir was the most celebrated revolutionary saint of the Bhakti movement. He condemned social and religious abuses and emphasized the fundamental equality and fraternity of all mankind. Kabir was born to a widowed Brahmin on Jaeth Sudi 15 sunmat 1455. However, his mother left the new born baby next to a water pool near Banaras. Ali (Niru), a local weaver found the baby. Ali and his wife Nima together brought up this child as their own son. Child was named Kabir in accordance with the Muslim traditions of the time. Further, Kabir was educated in Islam studies. Kabir married Lohi and a son, Kamaal, was born.

Brought up in a weaver's family of Banaras, Kabir joined the Bhakti fold under Swami Ramanand's Influence. Thinking that being a low-caste he might not be considered fit to receive initiation, he lay prostrate one day, early in the morning, in the path which Ramanand used to follow while going to his bath. When the Swami's feet touched Kabir's body, he uttered the words 'Ram, Ram'. The saint affectionately lifted him and made him his disciple. Thereafter, Kabir got so deeply absorbed in meditation that he began to dwell habitually in the realms of the spirit.

Kabir has so blended with God
That none can distinguish him from his Lord.

A staunch believer in the worth of constructive human endeavour, Kabir was opposed alike to ritualism and asceticism. He sought to enlighten the benighted humanity. In those days the Indian society was rife with communal dissensions. Undaunted by opposition, Kabir fought against all the vicious influences. He pulled up the Pundits, the Kazis and the Mullas and inveighed against the Jogis and Sadhus. This act enraged the Muslim Mullanas who had him arrested, in sunmat 1547, by complaining to the King Sikandar Lodi that Kabir had been preaching what ran counter to the Islamic canon. Once an attempt was made to drown him in the Ganges; and, on another occasion, he was thrown before a drunken elephant to be crushed to death, nevertheless, Kabir remained unperturbed even in the face of this great calamity. Eventually, he became the leader of the Bhakti Movement. While expounding his life's aim, he declared that he was a worshipper of the godly and an enemy of the wicked and that it was his desire to spend all his time in communion with God:

The passion of his life was to enjoy a spell of unbroken intercourse with the Lord.

'KabirPanthis.' or the followers of Kabir, with their headquarters at Kanshi, constitute an important sect. Their holy book Kabir Bijak is well known.

Kabir's contribution to the Adi Granth, comprising 541 different verses arranged under 1 7 different ragas, exceeds that of any other bhakt. And in the absence of any other reliable manuscript, it remains the most authentic and precious part of his work.

-Ref. "Guru Granth Ratnavali," (pp. 109) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh
Mahan Kosh (pp. 298)

1606 Guru Hargobind arrived in Daroli village near Moga, Ferozepur.

Guru Hargobind, accompanied by his mother Ganga and wife Damodari arrived in village Daroli in Pargana Dagru (near Moga in Ferozepur district). This move to the thickly forested and ill-connected Malwa tract, took place under the advice of leading Sikhs in response to the threats posed by the state tyranny.

==> 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)

1921 Kishan Singh Gargaj becomes fugitive. 1984 Operation Bluestar: Indian armed forces invaded Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar and more than 120 other shrines. Thousands of Sikhs killed.

The security forces started firing upon the Golden Temple complex. GurSikh freedom fighters responded with fire. Despite Indian army's repeated notice of surrender, GurSikh freedom fighters refused and giercely faced their onslaught. The army sorrounded the Golden Temple complex and started firing at 4:50 AM. Thousands of Sikhs were killed. Additionally, more than 120 other shrines were also attacked.

==> BLUESTAR OPERATION is the code name for the June 1984 attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, by the Indian Armed Forces. This attack was conducted under the pretext of flushing out terrorists but was designed for maximum damage. The attack took place on the day of Guru Arjan Dev Patshah's Shahadat Gurpurab observations. Further this operation was sanctioned under the direct orders of Indira Gandhi (then prime minister) and Zail Singh (then President). The Golden Temple Complex was attacked by the Indian Armed Forces using tanks, helicopters, and other heavy artillery, under the command of Major General Kuldip Singh Brar. Sri Akal Takhat was desecrated during this attack. Sri Darbar Sahib sustained at least 300 bullet holes. Thousands of innocent people were murdered in cold blood. Their fault? They were attending the Martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The brave GurSikh soldiers in the Akal Takhat, numbering about 250, gave extremely tough resistance to the Indian army. However, their resistance was no match to the large number of tanks, helicopters, bombs, and other heavy artillery that destroyed the Akal Takhat. The whole Sikh nation rose as a whole to protest against this ghastly attack. Thousands of Sikhs were martyred in the holy precincts of Darbar Sahib. Many gave their lives in attempts to reach for Darbar Sahib's protection. All roads to Amritsar were blocked. Every Sikh approaching these blockades were asked to remove their kirpan and turban. Those refusing were immediately killed or arrested. Anyone with blue or saffron turbans were particularly targeted and killed. Those arrested were blind folded and their hands tied behind their backs with their own turbans. Arrested Sikhs were packed in groups of 60-70 in small rooms with liitle room for any mobility.

In protest, many respected Sikhs returned their Padam Bushan medals/honors bestowed upon them by the Indian government and sacrificed their high positions. Several Sikh Army personal deserted their posts in protest and marched straight to protect Darbar Sahib. However, Indira Ghandhi did receive retribution for her black deeds on Oct. 31st, that same year.

For detailed description of events surrounding this attack, readers are referred to the following:

  Gurbhagat Singh, "Kommi Ajadi Wal - Panjab Tae Punjabi Sabhiyachar Da Bhawish," Vichar Prakashan, 1993
  Major Singh, "Punjab Khuni Dahakae Di Ghatha," Vichar Prakashan, 1993
  Naraen Singh, "Kau Kito Visahau?" Singh Brothers, Mai Sewa, Amritsar, ISBN 81-7205-003-8, 1986, 1990, 1992.
  Naraen Singh, "Sikh Vira Nu Haluna," Singh Brothers, Mai Sewa, Amritsar, ISBN 81-7205-085-2, 1987, 1989, 1993.
Harbir Singh Bhanwer (Tribune reporter), "Diary de Panne," This book is in Punjabi. It is hard to come by. I found it to be most authoritative books on this event. Mr. Bhanwer was the person who provided quite a bit of basic information to Mark Tully and Mr. Jacob for their book "Amritsar: Indira Gandhi's Last Battle."
Dr. Mohinder Singh, "Blue Star Ghalughara," This book was published in 1991 (several years after Dairy de Panne), but is more detailed.
  Jathedar Kirpal Singh, "Saka Neela Tara." This book is written by thim when he was the Jathedar of Akal Takhat. I have not read it, but I think it has extremely valuable information.
  1987 US Congress discusses atrocities against Sikhs.

US Congress discussed the sufferings of the Sikhs at the hands of the Rajiv gandhi regime. Several Congressmen expressed their sympathies for the Sikh Nation. The Indian Government tried to stop this debate and threatened that all thos who sympathise with the Sikh Nation shall be banned from India. Still several Congressmen expressed their concern for the Sikh Nation.

 

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