Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Bhai Uday Singh was one of the four sons of renowned Sikh martyr Bhai Mani Singh Ji, a resident of village Alipur, District Multan (now in Pakistan) who offered his services along with those of his four sons, to Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Bhai Bachiter Singh and Bhai Uday Singh, were two of the four sons who joined the band of dedicated Sikhs in the Army of the Guru.

Bhai Uday Singh was a very good marksman. Once, while he and a few other Sikhs accompanied Guru Gobind Singh Ji on a hunting expediton, they were suddenly attacked by two Hill chiefs named Balia Chand and Alamchand.  
Bhai Alam Singh from Guruji’s party engaged hill chief Alam Chand and cut off his right arm with a single stroke of his sword. Bhai Uday Singh surged forward and caused serious injury to the Hill Chief Balia Chand with a gun shot. With both the Hill chiefs seriously injured the soldier accompaning the two Hill Chiefs beat hasty retreat into the thick jungle. Guru praised Bhai uday Singh’s brave act in the battle in presence of Sikh sangat.

Bhai Uday Singh took a very active part in almost all the battles that took place between Gururji’s forces and those of Hill Rajas, from time to time. When all the Hill Chiefs mounted a combined attack on Anand Pur Sahib, Bhai Uday Singh was deputed for the defence of Fort Fatehgarh by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

While Bhai Bachitter Singh, one of the brothers of Bhai Uday Singh, was sent out of the fort by Guru Ji to face an intoxicated elephant, who was being used by the enemy forces for breaking down the fort gate. Bhai Uday Singh sought Guru Ji’s permission to engage in battle the commander-in-chief of enemy forces, Raja Kesri Chand of Jaswal Hill State. After obtaining Guru Ji’s permission and accompanied by some sikh soldiers, Bhai Uday Singh attacked enemy forces like a hungry lion attacking its prey. In the lightening attack, the Sikhs accompanying Bhai Uday Singh, killed many enemy soldiers whose bodies lay scattered every where.

When Bhai Bachitter Singh caused serious injury to the intoxicated elephant with his spear and the elephant turned back and started crushing Hill soldiersunder its feet, Raja Kesri Chand got terribly upset and angry. At this very moment, Bhai UdaySingh dared Kesri Chand for a straight man to man fight. Launching a lightening attack, Bhai Uday Singh cut off the head of Kesri Chand and mounting the same (head) on his spear, returned to the Fort. With the death of their commander-in-chief, the Hill forces retreated in disgust Bhai Uday Singh was declared, the hero of that battle. He led the Guru Ji’s forces against the army of Hill chiefs in the fifth battle of Anandpur Sahib and inflicted heavy casualities on the enemy forces.

Thereafter, combined forces of Hill chiefs and those of Emperor Aurangzeb laid a siege of Anandpur Sahib, lasting more than six months. Guru Gobind Singh vacated Anandpur Sahib for various reasons in Dec. 1704 A.D.
When enemy forces, violating all their vows and undertakings attacked Guru Ji’s entourage, Bhai Uday Singh along with Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Alam Singh and other brave Sikh warriours, kept the enemy at bay under the leadership of Sahibzada Ajit Singh for a considerable time, facilitating crossing of flooded rivulest Sirsa by Guru Gobind Singh and others.

In the process, however, Bhai Uday Singh laid down his life as a martyr in the service of Guru Ji. He laid down his life fighting against a cruel and treacherous regime for emancipation and freedom of the opressed. Thus, yet another renowned Sikh martyr enriched the Sikh heritage, enlightening the path of future Sikh generations.

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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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