Today in Sikh History :11th July
Guru Tegh Bahadhur left Anadpur Sahib for Delhi to help save Hindu dharma from total extinction.
Kashmiri Pandits, led by Kirpa Das of Mattan (Martand), reached Chak Nanki, Kahlur (old name of Anadpur Sahib). He appealed to Guru Tegh Bahadhur for his help in against the prosecution of Kashmiri Pandits by Aurangzeb’s forces and resulting extinction of hindu dharma. After appointing Gobind Rai as the next Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadhur left for Delhi on July 11, 1675. After Guruji’s martyrdom, Pandit Kirpa Das stayed back and became Kirpa Singh after taking amort in 1699 and died fighting at Chamkaut along with the two elder sahibjadas of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
When Guru Tegh Bahadhur sacrificed himself to save the Kashmiri Pandits from extinction in 1675, Guru Gobind Singh put his stamp on this truth by proclaiming "The Lord (Guru Tegh Bahadhur) protected the sacred thread and the frontal mark of the Hindus: He performed a great deed in the age of Kalyug." However, it is strange that the Kashmiri Pandits did not build any memorial in honour of Guruji. On the other hand the present generation had started doubting the veracity of this event.
==> GURU TEGH BAHADUR (1621-1675): RAG SORATH
That man who in the midst of grief is free from grieving,
And free from fear, and free from the snare of delight,
Nor is covetous of gold that he knows to be dust,
Who is neither a backbiter nor a flatterer,
Nor has greed in his heart, nor vdnity, nor any worldly attachment,
Who remains at his centre unmoved by good and ill fortune,
Who indifferent to the world's praise and blame
And discards every wishful fantasy
Accepting his lot in the disinterested fashion,
Not worked upon by lust or by wrath,
In such a man God dwelleth.
The man on vjhom the Grace of the Guru alights
Understands the way of conduct:
His soul, 0 Nanak, is mingled with the Lord
As water mingles with water!
In the galaxy of immortal martyrs who laid down their precious lives to keep ablaze the flame of faith and freedom, the name of the Ninth Master, Guru Tegh Bahadur stands out radiantly prominent. Doubtless, there have been prophets who sacrificed themselves at the altar of their own religion, but the uniqueness of the Ninth Master’s martyrdom lies in the fact that he courted death in defending the religion of the persecuted Hindus who had sought his shelter when they were forced to choose between death and Islam. Guru Tegh Bahadur, the second martyr Guru, who was born at Amritsar in 1621, was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the Sixth Master (1595-1645). Guru Har Rai, the Seventh Master (1630-61), and Guru Hari Krishna, the Eight Master (1656-1964): however, preceded him as Gurus. He adorned the sacred throne of Guru Nanak from 1664 to 1675. His installation as Guru enraged Dhirmal and the masands, who were the most contentious claimants to the Guruship.
Guru Tegh Bahadur toured the Punjab, particularly the Malwa region, and Eastern India, to preach Sikhism. He also went to Assam with Raja Ram Singh and stayed with him for nearly two years. The Guru’s family accompanied him on this trip, but, while proceeding to Assam, he left his familly at Patna. It was here that his only son Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) was born. While leaving Assam for the Punjab, Guru Tegh Bahadur broke his journey at Patna for a short time and then returned to the Punjab. He purchased land from the Raja of Kahloor at Makhowal (Anandpur) and settled down there. From here he set out on extensive missionary tours and attracted amongst others, several Muslims to his faith.
The main theme of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s sacred hymns is Nam Simran (concentration on the Divine Name) and Guru Bhakti (adoration of the Guru). One hundred and fifteen hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur are incorporated in the Adi Granth.
He has clearly set forth his own definition of Giani (or the enlightened one). In these compositions he has laid special stress on vairag or detachment for the realisation of the lofty ideals that distinguish the life of a BrahmGiani.
During Guru Tegh Bahadur’s ministry, Emperor Aurangzeb intensified his fanatical plans for forcibly converting the Hindus to Islam. This move had serious repercussions in Kashmir, and, the learned Pandits of Kashmir came to Guru Tegh Bahadur to seek refuge. The Guru advised them to go and tell Aurangzeb that if he could persuade Guru Tegh Bahadur to embrace Islam, they would all willingly become Muslims. This proposal appealed to Aurangzeb, who had already hatched plans to bring to an end Guru Tegh Bahadur’s missionary activities, so, he at once issued orders for his arrest.
The Guru, along with some of his companions was finally brought to Delhi and asked to convert to Islam or else face the penalty of death. The Master averred that he would sacrifice his life rather than give up his faith and his freedom of belief. Thus, under Aurangzeb’s orders, he was beheaded at the place now called Sis Ganj in Delhi. His martyrdom was yet another challenge to the Sikh conscience. It was realized then that there could be no understanding between an insensate power imbrued with blood and a proud people wedded to a life of peace with honour. The sacrifice roused the devitalized Hindus from their supine somnolence and gave them a hint of the power that comes from self-respect and sacrifice. Guru Tegh Bahadur thus earned the enduring sobriquet title of Hind-di-Chadar or the Shield of India.
-Ref. "Guru Granth Ratnavali," (pp. 70) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh.
Baba Banda Singh Bahadhur eliminated the rulers of Nanotae.
==> BANDA SINGH BAHADHUR: born on KatakSudhi 13 sunmat 1727 to Rajput father Ramdev who was a resident of the Rajori village in Jammu. He was named Lashman Dev by his parents. Since childhood, he exhibited extremely fondness for sanskrit literature and hunting. However, he plunged into deep remorse after killing a pregnant deer. As a result he discarded all his hunting tools and became a disciple of Vaesnav JankiPrasad. He shed all his material wealth, started onto the seekers path for enlightenment, and adopted the new name, Madho Dass.
Wondering in search of enlightenment, when he traveled towards south India and reached the banks of Godawari, he fell in love with this beautiful new place. He established his Ashram and started living here. In sunmat 1765, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji reached Nandaedh, he was extremely impressed and influenced by Guru’s preaching. He offered himself as "Satguru Da Banda" (Satguru’s person). Guru Gobind Singh Ji introduced him to Amrit and changed his name to Gurbakash Singh. However, he remained popularly known in our Panth as "Banda".
To eradicate the prevalent injustices, Guru Gobind Singh sent Banda accompanied by the following five GurSikhs to Punjab:
Baba Binod Singh
Baba Kanh Singh
Baba Bajh Singh
Baba Bijae Singh
Baba Ram Singh
Banda went to Punjab in sunmat 1765 accompanied with a Hukamnama from Guru Gobind Singh addressed to all the GurSikh. In this Hukamnama, Guru Gobind Singh asked GurSikhs to help Banda in his efforts. Before departure, Banda received three arrows from Guru Gobind Singh and the following instructions:
- Remain celibate ("Jatt rakhana")
- Live, operate, and act under the dictates of Khalsa ("Khalsae dae Anusari hokae rahna")
- Never consider yourself to be Guru ("Aap nu Guru na manenna")
- Eat only after serving others ("Vartakae Shakana")
- Help the orphas, poor, unprotected, helpless, destitute, or disolate. ("Anatha di sahiata karni")
Upon reaching Punjab, Gurbakash Singh strictly followed Guru Sahib’s instructions and successfully punish all who had previously mistreated the Khalsa Panth. On the 1st Hadh sunmat 1767, after conquering Sirhind, Wajir Khan was punished and eventually killed for the mistreatment of Sahibzadas.
However, Gurbakash Singh became popular among the Khalsa Panth, his self-godliness started awakening. As a result he started adopting and engaging in practices that were against Gurmat. In sunmat 1771, Banda Bahdhur expressed desires to establish his own Gadhi in Sri Harmindar Sahib and sought his self-worhsip. He started a new slogan of "Sachae Sahib ki Fateh" in contrast to the traditional "Vaaheguru Jee Kee Fateh". This resulted in a severe split among Khalsa Panth. Those following the principles as laid by Guru Gobind Singh came to known as "TattKhalsa" while the followers of Gurbakash Singh were known as "BandaiKhalsa". Today there are very few Bandai Sikhs. They do not believe in any other holy scriptures other than Sri Guru Granth Sahib. All their practice are according to Gurmat principles.
Eventually, Banda Bahadhur was cornered by the pursuing enemy forces at "Gurdaspur de Gadhi". It is also popularly known as Bhai Duni Chand di Hawaeli. After months of sustained attacks from AbdalSamadKhan and others with a force of over 20,000, Banda Bahadhur was arrested along with his companions and taken to Delhi. He accepted Shahadat on Chaet Sudhi 1st sunmat 1773.
-Ref. Mahan Kosh
Indian regime released a "White Paper" on the Sikh situation, stating its version of events leading to and during the Operation Bluestar. Later Investigation Team comprising of Amiya Rao, Aurobindo Ghosh, Sunil Bhattacharya, T.S. Ahuja, and N.D. Pancholi exposed the blatant corruption of this so-called "White-paper."