Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Bhai Bachitter Singh

At Anandpur, Guru Gobind Singh was along with a few hundred of his Sikhs. A Mughal army under the Subedars of Sirhind and Lahore marched against the Guru. They laid siege to the Anandpur Fort. For many months, the Sikhs fought with determination and kept the enemy at bay. It was there that Sikh warriors displayed a miraculous new spirit.

The Mughal Commanders sent a fierce  war-elephant to smash the gate of the fort. As the elephant charged furiously towards the gate, the Guru asked one of his Sikhs to go out and fight the wild beast, but no one dared face the ferocious drunken elephant.

It was Bhai Bachitter Singh who took up the challenge and armed with a Nagni (a special spear), which Guru Gobind Singh gave to him, went out to face the armoured elephant, which came charging. The Mughal army on the one side and the Guru and his Sikhs on the other watched the battle.

To the relief and amazement of all, the brave Bhai Bachitter Singh threw the Nagni Spear at the forehead of the elephant, which pierced the iron plate and killed the elephant. The weapon with which he fought and killed the elephant can still be seen at the Anandpur museum.

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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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