Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

7th October

1534 Prakash Utsav, Fourth Patshah, Guru Ram Das Ji.

==> GURU RAM DAS (1534-1581). the Fourth Master, ascended the holy gaddi (throne) of Guru Nanak in 1574 and continued to adorn the exalted office till 1581. Though he was the son-in-law of Guru Amar Das, being married to his daughter Bibi Bhani, yet he revered the Third Master as a Guru with an unwavering fervor. Inebriated with the nectar of the divine Nam, he spurned delights, and @pent all his time in an ecstatic communion with the Lord through moments of deep meditation.

Originally called Jetha Ji, Guru Ram Das was born in a Sodhi family at Lahore in 1534. His parents died when he was just a child. He was, therefore, brought up by his maternal grandparents. He had an opportunity to visit Goindwal, the seat of the Third Master, at a time when the bavali was being dug through voluntary labor. He immersed himself in this labor of love with such a rare verve and dedication that he won the Guru's appreciation and recognition. The Third Master was so highly pleased with the disciple that he gave his daughter Bibi Bhani to him in marriage. Nevertheless, he served Guru Amar Das with as much love and devotion as ever before. It was in 1574 that he was invested with Guruship and named Guru Ram Das.

Guru Ram Das's contribution to Bani is considerable. His compositions throb on born of love for fellowman and yearning for God. They inculcate in the people the adoration of God and the Guru. Rightly does the Master image an ideal man as one who had drunk deep at the fount of Nam and whose eyes are aglow with the love of the Lord. He sought a consummation of the human personality through God-realization.

The Vars (ballads) of the Fourth Master, enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib, outnumber those of other contributors. After Guru Nanak and Guru Amar Das, it was he who expanded the range of the Ragas in the Adi Granth adding as many as eleven to the existing system. Notable among the Fourth Master's contribution to Sikhism is the establishment of a new Chak called Guru Ka Chak on the land gifted by Emperor Akbar to Bibi Bhani, the Guru's wife. Later, it grew into the city of Amritsar. Here the Guru started the digging of two sarovars (pools) which when completed during Guru Arjan's time, came to be known as Santokhsar and Amritsar So great was the Guru's magnetism that during his pontificate Amritsar emerged as a famous place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs.

With a view to transmitting the gospel of Sikhism as also to meeting the expenditure incurred on the ever expanding altruistic plans and programs, the Guru founded the institution of masands. The offerings of the Sikhs were collected by the masands who rendered these to the Guru.

Guru Ram Das also deputed learned missionaries to establish contact with the Sikhs outside the Punjab. Guru Amar Das had already set up 22 Manjis (dioceses). Accordingly, the Fourth Master bade Bhai Hindal and Bhai Gurdas begin their missionary work and preach Sikhism at Jandiala and Agra, respectively. The Guru also shifted his head-quarters from Goindwal to Amritsar. Besides, he got prepared handwritten Gutkas (booklets of holy hymns). The Adi Granth contains 679 hymns by Guru Ram Das.

Guru Ram Das had three sons - Prithi Chand, Mahan Dev and Arjan Dev. He considered the youngest son, Arjan Dev, the ablest and saintliest and, therefore, installed him as Guru in 1581,

-Ref. "Guru Granth Ratnavali," (pp. 58) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh

1664 Guru Tegh Bahadhur disclosed his mission, through Makhan Shah, a trader from Muzaffrabad, Kashmir. He announced thrice from the house top, to the congregation gathered for Diwali - "Guru has been found".

==> GURU TEGH BAHADUR (1621-1675): RAG SORATH

That man who in the midst of grief is free from grieving,
And free from fear, and free from the snare of delight,
Nor is covetous of gold that he knows to be dust,
Who is neither a backbiter nor a flatterer,
Nor has greed in his heart, nor vdnity, nor any worldly attachment,
Who remains at his centre unmoved by good and ill fortune,
Who indifferent to the world's praise and blame
And discards every wishful fantasy
Accepting his lot in the disinterested fashion,
Not worked upon by lust or by wrath,
In such a man God dwelleth.
The man on vjhom the Grace of the Guru alights
Understands the way of conduct:
His soul, 0 Nanak, is mingled with the Lord
As water mingles with water!

In the galaxy of immortal martyrs who laid down their precious lives to keep ablaze the flame of faith and freedom, the name of the Ninth Master, Guru Tegh Bahadur stands out radiantly prominent. Doubtless, there have been prophets who sacrificed themselves at the altar of their own religion, but the uniqueness of the Ninth Master's martyrdom lies in the fact that he courted death in defending the religion of the persecuted Hindus who had sought his shelter when they were forced to choose between death and Islam. Guru Tegh Bahadur, the second martyr Guru, who was born at Amritsar in 1621, was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the Sixth Master (1595-1645). Guru Har Rai, the Seventh Master (1630-61), and Guru Hari Krishna, the Eight Master (1656-1964): however, preceded him as Gurus. He adorned the sacred throne of Guru Nanak from 1664 to 1675. His installation as Guru enraged Dhirmal and the masands, who were the most contentious claimants to the Guruship.

Guru Tegh Bahadur toured the Punjab, particularly the Malwa region, and Eastern India, to preach Sikhism. He also went to Assam with Raja Ram Singh and stayed with him for nearly two years. The Guru's family accompanied him on this trip, but, while proceeding to Assam, he left his familly at Patna. It was here that his only son Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) was born. While leaving Assam for the Punjab, Guru Tegh Bahadur broke his journey at Patna for a short time and then returned to the Punjab. He purchased land from the Raja of Kahloor at Makhowal (Anandpur) and settled down there. From here he set out on extensive missionary tours and attracted amongst others, several Muslims to his faith.

The main theme of Guru Tegh Bahadur's sacred hymns is Nam Simran (concentration on the Divine Name) and Guru Bhakti (adoration of the Guru). One hundred and fifteen hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur are incorporated in the Adi Granth.

He has clearly set forth his own definition of Giani (or the enlightened one). In these compositions he has laid special stress on vairag or detachment for the realisation of the lofty ideals that distinguish the life of a BrahmGiani.

During Guru Tegh Bahadur's ministry, Emperor Aurangzeb intensified his fanatical plans for forcibly converting the Hindus to Islam. This move had serious repercussions in Kashmir, and, the learned Pandits of Kashmir came to Guru Tegh Bahadur to seek refuge. The Guru advised them to go and tell Aurangzeb that if he could persuade Guru Tegh Bahadur to embrace Islam, they would all willingly become Muslims. This proposal appealed to Aurangzeb, who had already hatched plans to bring to an end Guru Tegh Bahadur's missionary activities, so, he at once issued orders for his arrest.

The Guru, along with some of his companions was finally brought to Delhi and asked to convert to Islam or else face the penalty of death. The Master averred that he would sacrifice his life rather than give up his faith and his freedom of belief. Thus, under Aurangzeb's orders, he was beheaded at the place now called Sis Ganj in Delhi. His martyrdom was yet another challenge to the Sikh conscience. It was realized then that there could be no understanding between an insensate power imbrued with blood and a proud people wedded to a life of peace with honour. The sacrifice roused the devitalized Hindus from their supine somnolence and gave them a hint of the power that comes from self-respect and sacrifice. Guru Tegh Bahadur thus earned the enduring sobriquet title of Hind-di-Chadar or the Shield of India.

-Ref. "Guru Granth Ratnavali," (pp. 70) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh.

1708 JOTI JOT, Patshahi Tenth, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, at Nanded (ACTUAL DAY).

Tenth Patshahi, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, left for heavenly abode in Nanded, South India. This is the actual date of Joti Jot, though it is observed on a different date by Guru Khalsa Panth. His mortal remains were consigned to flames by Bhai Daya Singh. Shortly before his demise, the Guru advised the Sikhs to henceforth seek guidance from the Holy Granth. He didn't appoint any successor. The abolition of the personal Guruship actually took place in 1699 when the Guru established the Khalsa and after administering 'Khanda Pahzzl' to his five disciples, himself took Khanda Pahul from them in the same manner whereby the Guru also became the disciple. The personal Guruship stood formally abolished after the death of Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Gobind Singh was a great scholar, a brave warrior, and a great commander. He wrote many compositions which are named'Dasam Granth'. He fought 20 battles in 30 years. He breathed a spirit in his Khalsa disciples, that has been evident in exemplary courage for the last about two centuries. Khushwaqt Rai in his 'History of Sikhs' has stated that Guru Gobind Singh issued a coin with the legend, "Deg Tegh Fated, Nasrut Baidarang, Yaft uz Nanak Guru Gobind Singh". Macauliffe has stated that the Guru spoke the above couplet while breathing his last. Sayyad Mohd Latif has stated that Guru Gobind Singh used a seal in Gurmukhi script with the above legend. It was in possession of 'pujans'. However, no such coin nor the seal imprint has come to notice so far and these accounts do not appear to be correct.

==> GURU GOBIND SINGH JI (1666-1708), tenth Patshah of the Sikh faith, was born on Saturday, Dec. 22, 1666 at Patna Sahib to father Guru Tegh Bahadhur Patshah and Matta Gujri. On, Nov. 11, 1675, he assumed Guruship at Anandpur Sahib.
"Rahao Gur Gobind" Salok Mahala 9

Since early childhood, Guru Sahib was keen on weapons and their use. It is for this reason, that Guru Sahib became a scholar on weapons and mastered their usage, at a very early age. Guru Sahib continually emphasized scholarly works throughout his life. As a results, cholars around the world traveled long distances to participate and receive honors in his courts. He was always surrounded by renowned scholars. One of Guru Sahib's objective was to translate all scholarly works in Gurmukhi and commissioned several such translations. His vision of Sikh Kaum included a communion of scholars. In an attempt to turn Anandpur Sahib as the center of knowledge, Guru Sahib actively encouraged and sent Sikhs to study at various renowned institutions in the world.

To uplift the suppressed people, Guru Sahib instituted the tradition of Amrit during Vaisakhi diwan of sunmat 1756 at KeshGadh Sahib. Further he established a communion of Amritdharis (who received Amrit) and called it "Khalsa". Guru Sahib, himself was the sixth member of the Khalsa order. Witnessing the false practices and prevalent injustices, Guru Sahib propagated the message of Guru Nanak so vigorously that the neighboring hill rulers felt threatened. Without understanding either his message or appreciating his objectives, these rulers suddenly turned enemies and attacked on several occasions. Each time Guru Sahib had to fight for his defense.

In sunmat 1761, the Turk forces sought Guru Sahib to leave Anandpur Sahib under promises that were proven false through subsequent events. Once Guru Sahib was out of Anandpur Sahib, he was attacked and suffered heavy losses. The hard work of 52 poets, accumulated over the years, along with several commissioned translations was burned by the enemies of knowledge. However, Guru Sahib patiently but bravely faced the enemy and escaped into the neighboring forest. Here with his influence, Guru Sahib turned this ghost land into Saint land and the forest into civilized Malwa. With his message of patience and valor, Guru Sahib preached the importance of sacrifice and true knowledge.

He had four sons from Mata Jeeto and Sundari, namely, Baba Ajit Singh, Baba Zujar Singh, Baba Zorawar Singh, and Baba Fateh Singh Ji. All four sacrificed their lives to protect and further the growth of the institutional plant sown by Guru Sahib.

After bestowing Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Sahib left this earth on Oct. 7, 1708, near the banks of Godawari river in Nanded, Guru Gobind Singh bravely fulfilled the responsibilities of Guruship and guided the Sikh Panth for 32 years, 10 months, and 26 days. He spent a total of 41 years, 9 months, and 15 days during his visit to this earth.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh

1753 Nawab Kapur Singh passed away in Amritsar.
1987 The Sikh Nation declared independence from India.

Against the backdrop of relentless, brutal oppression, the Sikh Nation declared its independence from India, forming the separate country of Khalistan under forcible occupation by India. All elected representatives of the Sikhs and the Panthic Committee called for an end to the Indian occupation of Khalistan. The Council of Khalistan, a government pro tempore, was established to lead the international struggle to free Punjab.

1989 Freedom of Khalistan recorded in US Congressional records.

US Congress made a historic recording for the freedom of Khalistan in its' congressional records, when the honourable Congressman Brigadier-General Blaz from Guam submitted that the "freedom of Khalsitan" was the only proper solution to the Sikh nation's future.



 

 

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