Saturday, December 03, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

5th March

 

1716 Marks the begining of systematic execution of 740 Sikh soliders. After their surrender at the fort of Gurdas Nangal, Banda Singh Bahadhur, the valiant Sikh General and his 740 solidiers were taken to Delhi. From Mar. 5 through Mar. 11, these solidiers along with Banda Bahadhur were executed in groups of 100. They were given the option to adopt Islam and escape execution. However, each one of these solidiers refused the offer and instead willingly accepted shahadet with unflinching faith and fortitude.

==> BANDA SINGH BAHADHUR: born on KatakSudhi 13 sunmat 1727 to Rajput father Ramdev who was a resident of the Rajori village in Jammu. He was named Lashman Dev by his parents. Since childhood, he exhibited extremely fondness for sanskrit literature and hunting. However, he plunged into deep remorse after killing a pregnant deer. As a result he discarded all his hunting tools and became a disciple of Vaesnav JankiPrasad. He shed all his material wealth, started onto the seekers path for enlightenment, and adopted the new name, Madho Dass.

Wondering in search of enlightenment, when he traveled towards south India and reached the banks of Godawari, he fell in love with this beautiful new place. He established his Ashram and started living here. In sunmat 1765, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji reached Nandaedh, he was extremely impressed and influenced by Guru's preaching. He offered himself as "Satguru Da Banda" (Satguru's person). Guru Gobind Singh Ji introduced him to Amrit and changed his name to Gurbakash Singh. However, he remained popularly known in our Panth as "Banda".

To eradicate the prevalent injustices, Guru Gobind Singh sent Banda accompanied by the following five GurSikhs to Punjab:

Baba Binod Singh
Baba Kanh Singh
Baba Bajh Singh
Baba Bijae Singh
Baba Ram Singh

Banda went to Punjab in sunmat 1765 accompanied with a Hukamnama from Guru Gobind Singh addressed to all the GurSikh. In this Hukamnama, Guru Gobind Singh asked GurSikhs to help Banda in his efforts. Before departure, Banda received three arrows from Guru Gobind Singh and the following instructions:

  1. Remain celibate ("Jatt rakhana")
  2. Live, operate, and act under the dictates of Khalsa ("Khalsae dae Anusari hokae rahna")
  3. Never consider yourself to be Guru ("Aap nu Guru na manenna")
  4. Eat only after serving others ("Vartakae Shakana")
  5. Help the orphas, poor, unprotected, helpless, destitute, or disolate. ("Anatha di sahiata karni")

Upon reaching Punjab, Gurbakash Singh strictly followed Guru Sahib's instructions and successfully punish all who had previously mistreated the Khalsa Panth. On the 1st Hadh sunmat 1767, after conquering Sirhind, Wajir Khan was punished and eventually killed for the mistreatment of Sahibzadas.

However, Gurbakash Singh became popular among the Khalsa Panth, his self-godliness started awakening. As a result he started adopting and engaging in practices that were against Gurmat. In sunmat 1771, Banda Bahdhur expressed desires to establish his own Gadhi in Sri Harmindar Sahib and sought his self-worhsip. He started a new slogan of "Sachae Sahib ki Fateh" in contrast to the traditional "Vaaheguru Jee Kee Fateh". This resulted in a severe split among Khalsa Panth. Those following the principles as laid by Guru Gobind Singh came to known as "TattKhalsa" while the followers of Gurbakash Singh were known as "BandaiKhalsa". Today there are very few Bandai Sikhs. They do not believe in any other holy scriptures other than Sri Guru Granth Sahib. All their practice are according to Gurmat principles.

Eventually, Banda Bahadhur was cornered by the pursuing enemy forces at "Gurdaspur de Gadhi". It is also popularly known as Bhai Duni Chand di Hawaeli. After months of sustained attacks from AbdalSamadKhan and others with a force of over 20,000, Banda Bahadhur was arrested along with his companions and taken to Delhi. He accepted Shahadat on Chaet Sudhi 1st sunmat 1773.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh

1748 Khalsa Panth gathered at Anandpur Sahib for Holla Mehla observations and resolved to gather in Amritsar for Vaisakhi celebrations.
1892 The foundation stone for Khalsa College, a Shiromani education institution for Sikhs, was laid in Amritsar by J.B. Loyal. Prof. Gurmukh Singh was instrumental its establishment after more than a decade of tireless efforts. The College Council was controlled by its Vice-President Sit Attar Singh Bhadaur with Jawahar Singh serving as General Secretary.
1921 Gurudwara Sach Khand (Chuharkana) Sahib was forcibly taken over and brought under the control of SGPC.

-Ref. "Babbar Akali Movement, A historical Survey," by Dr. Gurcharan Singh, Aman Publications, 1993.

1948 Khalsa Panth gathered at Anandpur Sahib for Holla Mehla observations and resolved to gather in Amritsar for Vaisakhi celebrations.
1955 Punjabi Suba Conference was held at Patiala.
1971 Elections to Indian Lower House were held. Akali Dal won 1 of the 13 Punjab seats.

 

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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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