Saturday, October 22, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Q88. What do you know of Maharaja Ranjit Singh?

Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) was a member of the Sukerchakia misal. From early childhood, he was fond of riding and hunting. Taking advantage of the unsettled conditions in the Punjab, he expelled Chet Singh of Bhangi misal from Lahore and crowned as Maharaja. He captured Amritsar in 1802 and thereafter assumed full sovereignty over petty chiefs of Malwa. He crossed the Sutlej for extension of his dominion but the chiefs of Jind and Kaithal appealed to the British for help against Ranjit Singh. The British made a treaty with Ranjit Singh in 1809, declaring the Sutlej river as his frontier. In 1818, Ranjit Singh annexed Multan and a year later, Kashmir lay at his feet. He proceeded northward and annexed Peshawar in 1834.

Ranjit Singh is known as the lion of the Punjab. He was born soldier and administrator. Sir Lepal Griffin called him, "The beau ideal of a soldier, strong, spare, active, courageous and enduring." He had a lot of common sense and ruled him empire with justice and wisdom. It is surprising that he abolished the death penality in those turbulent times. He was very tolerant ruler; the public offices were held by Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus on equal terms. He picked men of ability and character for administration and encouraged budding talent. His royal court was cosmopolitan in character. He employed European officers to train his army on modern lines.

Ranjit Singh as a Sikh, created endowments for religious uses and alloted land to Hindu, Muslim and Sikh shrines for their upkeep. He was a strict disciplinarian and used to move in disguise to look after his subjects.

Ranjit Singh gave the Punjab a good and enlightened administration. He prohibited traffic in women and children. He patronised artists and warriors. He dispensed justice impartially. He was fond of the joys of life but never neglected public affairs for personal pleasure. It is significant that he gave a period of peace and efficient administration to the Punjab and checked the aggressive designs of the British power in Northern India.

More on Maharaja Ranjit Singh will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

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. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
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