Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism


Bhera Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Ka

BHERA SRI GOBIND SINGH JI KA, also known as Var Bhere ki Patshahi Das, is an anonymous account, in Punjabi verse, of the battles of Anandgarh, Nirmohgarh and Chamkaur (1762 Bk/AD 1705). BAera from bher in Punjabi means a headon clash between two rival forces. A manuscript of this work was discovered in Baba Bir Singh's dera at Naurangabad, nearAmritsar, and has since been published in an anthology, entitled Prachin Varan teJangname, brought out by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1950. The BAera comprises twentyfour cantos of unequal length written in the poetic metre Nishani, with each canto preceded by a sloka. The BAera opens in the traditional style with a hymn to the Deity. The hymn is followed by a verbal duel between Kalh and Narad, the former urging the latter to incite some tumult. The poem then describes the battles which took place at Anandpur and Chamkaur. The immediate cause of the conflict is given as Guru Gobind Singh's refusal to pay the na'lbandi tax imposed on him by the Raja of Kahlur within whose territory fell Anandpur. The poem provides vivid descriptions of battlescenes which, from the details given, might be from the pen of an eyewitness. In the encounter against the attacking force which had besieged the Anandgarh Fort, near presentday Gurdwara Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Sikhs such asJivan Singh Ranghreta, Lal Singh Peshavaria, Bachittar Singh, Ude Singh and one called Halim Khan fought with valour. Among the heroes of Chamkaur mentioned by name are Bhai Sant Singh and the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh, Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh. The poet erroneously includes the name of the third son Zorawar Singh as well. The last canto takes the narration from the battle of Chamkaur to Guru Gobind Singh's departure for the South, his meeting with the Mughal emperor and despatch of Banda Singh Bahadur to the Punjab, to chastise Nawab Wazir Khan of Sirhind.


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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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