Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Sundar Singh, Jathedar Bhai
One Of The Nankana Sahib Martyrs (1869-1921)

Was the son of Bhai Bishan Singh and Mai Indar Kaur of village Dhudial, in Jalandhar district. His ancestors came from Bandala village in Amritsar district where they had served in the chiefship of Sardar Baghel Singh of the Karorsinghia misl. Sundar Singh learnt Gurmukhi in the village gurdwara and fondly recited passages from the Sikh texts. He had received the vows of the Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib and had since punctiliously observed the Khalsa rahit. On 19 February 1921, as the call for action came, he led out a 15-strong jatha and joined Bhai Lachhman Singh Dharovali's men on their way to Nankana Sahib. He laid down his life along with others on the morning of 20 February 1921.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee paid off the family's debt of Rs 502 and granted it a pension of Rs 200 per annum jointly to the two widows. The villagers of Dhannuana raised a memorial, Shahid Ganj (lit.. martyrs' memorial). Weekly congregations took place on Sundays. Likewise an annual memorial fair which drew a large number of people to the site kept the memory of the martyrs alive. This continued up to the partition of the country in 1947 which cut the Punjab into two parts obliterating several such signposts.

Source: TheSikhEncyclopedia.Com

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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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