Tag Archives: Sikhs

Sikh Are Not Muslims

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

After a series of four organized attacks launched by Islamist terrorists upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, many Sikhs were attacked in the US, because attackers wrongly believed that they (Sikhs) are Arabs or Muslims.

For example, on September 15, 2001, the 42-year old attacker killed Balbir Singh Sodhi, a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona. The attacker, who apparently wanted revenge for September 11, mistook Sodhi for an Arab because of his turban, and his beard.

On August 5, 2012, an attacker named Michael Page killed six Sikhs and wounded four others at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. All of the male victims wore turbans as part of their cultural and religious tradition. The injured included a responding officer, Lt. Brian Murphy, who was shot fifteen times at close range.

On May 7, 2013 an elderly Sikh man, Piara Singh was attacked with an iron bar in Fresno, California in a possible hate crime.

On September 21, 2013 Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a Sikh professor was brutally attacked in Harlem by a group of 20-30 men who branded him as Osama and Terrorist. It is obvious that the attackers thought that Prabhjot Singh was a Muslim.

All such Sikhs have become subject to discrimination, because their attackers mistakenly believed that their targets are Arab or Muslim. Many of Americans and Europeans do not know that turban wearing Sikhs are not Muslims. This is in the face of the fact that Sikhs are living in the US and Europe for many decades.

Sikhs are not Muslims. There is sufficient information available on internet. (For example, this link provides information on this issue).

Here, I am making just a few points on this issue.

Many would say that Sikhs should not be interested in being identified as ‘not Muslim’. Sikhs should be interested in being identified as who they are, rather than who they are not.

If a specific question is asked to explain difference between Sikh religion and Islam, or Sikhs and Muslims, there is nothing wrong to explain it. If Sikhs are mistaken for Muslims, there is nothing wrong to tell that Sikhs are not Muslims.

Many people mistake Sikhs for Muslims due to their turbans, which often make Sikhs targets of anti-Muslim violence. It is often said that there is difference in Sikh turban and Muslim turban. A few web pages explain such view while trying to describe the difference between ‘Sikh’ turbans and ‘Muslim’ turbans.

Turban is a part of dress in many cultures. Even a few hundred years ago, most of male members of Indian society used to wear turbans. It had nothing to do with religion. Hindu Rajputs used to wear turbans. Hindu Jats used to wear turbans. Hindu Marathas used to wear turbans. Even today, many Rajputs, Jats and other Hindus wear turbans in India. So many Hindu saints wear turbans.

Those Hindus, who do not wear turbans in their daily life, wear it on special occasions, such as marriage etc.

Rasam Pagri (ceremony of turban) is a social ceremony common to Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, conducted upon the death of the oldest member in a family, in which the oldest surviving male member of the family is given a turban in the presence of relatives and friends. The ceremony of turban indicates the shift of duty for the welfare of the family from the deceased to the surviving oldest male member.

We find mention of turbans in ancient Hindu scriptures. It means turbans remained a part of dress for thousands of years. Indians have been wearing turban even before the birth of Islam.

Balochs and Pathans wear turbans. It does not mean that they started wearing turbans when they became Muslims. Turbans were part of their dress even before birth of Islam.

If we study old pictures of 18th and 19th centuries, we can see that different styles of turban had nothing to do with religion. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs used to wear same style of turbans. Many Sikhs mistake pictures of old Rajput warriors for old Sikh soldiers. A picture of Amir Sher Ali, an Afghan ruler and a Muslim is widely publicized as that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a Sikh ruler in Punjab.

Even within Sikh circles, Sikhs wear different styles of turbans. Nihang turbans, called ‘Dumala’ are very different to Patiala Shahi turbans. Members of different Sikh sects wear round turbans. Many Sikh women wear turban.

Sikhs, who keep unshorn hair, wear turbans. However, a big number of Muslims do not wear turban.

Sikhs are required to keep their hair unshorn. Muslims are not required to keep their hair uncut according to Islamic rules. Though, many a Muslims keep beard and cut their moustache, majority of Muslims are seen without beards.

Though there is controversy whether Sikhs are allowed to eat meat or not, one thing is sure that a Sikh is not allowed to eat ‘Halal’ meat, the meat that has been slaughtered in the manner prescribed by the shari’a, the Muslim law. In fact, it is a big sin for a Sikh to eat ‘Halal’ meat.

According to Muslim tradition, women are expected to cover their face, though many Muslims say it is not compulsory. On the other hand, there is no such restriction on Sikh women. Instead, the third Guru of Sikhs, Guru Amardas Ji made it a rule that Sikh women should keep their face uncovered. Women with covered face were not allowed to come in the congregation.

The religion of Sikhs is a flag bearer of equality of entire human race and co-existence. The holy text of Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru of the Sikh people is a great evidence of co-existence. Guru Granth Sahib contains holy hymns of Sikhs and non-Sikhs. For example, Bhagat Ramanand Ji was a Brahman, a non-Sikh. Bhagat Namdev Ji, Bhagat Kabir Ji, Bhagat Ravidas Ji were non-Sikhs. Shiekh Farid Ji was a Sufi saint. The contributors of Guru Granth Sahib belonged to different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. They spoke different languages. That is why Sikhs are friendly to people of different religions, cultures, languages, and races etc.

Sikh principles and traditions are compatible with the western values and western society. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sikh religious principles and traditions have no disagreement with this Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On the other hand, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, an organisation of Islamic countries adopted their own version of human rights declaration, called the ‘Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam‘ (CDHRI) in 1990. It has been signed by 45 Islamic states. The CDHRI was strongly criticised by the International Commission of Jurists, when it was presented to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1992. This declaration is an Islamic response to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948. The United Nations’ Declaration is the western understanding of human rights, which is compatible with Sikh values and traditions.

Terrorists and hate mongers can be found in almost every society, country and ideology. However, we have to see if a society, government or an ideology supports terrorist activities and hatred or not. So far as Sikh religion is concerned, there is no place of terrorism and hatred in Sikh beliefs.

ਭੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਦੇਤ ਨਹਿ ਨਹਿ ਭੈ ਮਾਨਤ ਆਨ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਬਖਾਨਿ ॥੧੬॥
(੧੪੨੭, ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ).

One, who does not terrify anyone, and who is not afraid of anyone either; says Nanak, listen, O mind! call him a wise person. (1427, Guru Granth Sahib).

Two Sikh-Gurus were executed on orders of Muslim rulers. The fifth Guru, Guru Arjun dev Ji was martyred in Lahore city (now in Pakistan) on orders of Muslim ruler, Jahangir.

The ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was martyred in Delhi on orders of Muslim ruler, Aurangzeb. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was asked to convert to Islam. When he refused to embrace Islam, he was tortured in prison. In order to intimidate the Guru, the qazi, Islamic magistrates made a plan to torture to death, the Sikhs arrested with the Guru before his eyes. They thought that the Guru would embrace Islam out of fear on seeing the Sikhs murdered.

The qazi decreed to cut Bhai Mati Das with a saw first of all. The qazi asked Bhai Mati Das, “Brother, embrace Islam and enjoy the pleasures provided by the government. Moreover when you die as a Muslim, you will go to heaven where there will be streams of milk, many kinds of wine to drink and beautiful women to enjoy. If you do not embrace Islam, your body will be sawn into two.”

Bhai Mati Das replied, “I can sacrifice hundreds of such heavens for my faith. I need neither women nor wine. I see all the happiness in the path of the faith.” By the order of the qazi, the executioners sawed Bhai Mati Das across from head to loins.

Then, the qazi asked Bhai Sati Das to convert to Islam. When he refused, the executioners wrapped Bhai Sati Das in cotton, poured oil over it and set fire to it. Thus he was burned alive.

The Qazi pronounced his Islamic order that Bhai Dayala must either accept Islam or embrace death by being boiled in a cauldron. Bhai Dayala heroically accepted the latter. He was put into a big cauldron full of water which was later heated to the boiling point.

When Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji refused to convert to Islam at any cost, he was then beheaded in Delhi in 1675.

Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were the two younger sons of the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh. They were arrested along with their grandmother on orders of Muslim governor, Wazir Khan of Sirhind city. Wazir Khan asked both the sons of the Guru to accept Islam. He promised them to give lots of money and rank if they renounce their faith and embrace Islam. The two innocent children faced their adversary courageously, determined to stay firm in their faith.
When they refused to renounce the faith and embrace Islam, the Qazi, Islamic magistrate ordered that they be bricked up alive. The sons of the Guru remained faithful as brick cemented upon brick rose about them forming a wall which rose chest high to suffocate them. As their air supply diminished, the wall gave way and collapsed. Then, the heads of the innocent 7 and 9 year old sons of the Guru were severed from their bodies.

Thousands of Sikhs were martyred when they refused to convert to Islam. For example, Bhai Mani Singh, the priest of Sri Darbar Sahib, mostly known as Golden Temple these days, in Amritsar Sahib City, was ordered by the Governor of Lahore, Zakaria Khan to convert to Islam. When he refused to give up the faith, he was ordered death by dismemberment. He was executed at Nakhaas Chowk, Lahore in 1734.

Thus, Sikhs are not only non-Muslims, but also victims of Islamic extremism.

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More references:

Are Sikhs Muslims?
The Difference Between ‘Sikh’ Turbans And ‘Muslim’ Turbans
The Cairo Declaration On Human Rights In Islam
Bhai Mati Das

Bhai Dya Singh Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bhai Dya Ram (later on, Bhai Dya Singh) was son of Bhai Jati Malak and grandson of Bhai Singha Purohit.

Before leaving for his heavenly abode, Bhai Jati Mal Ji placed Bhai Dya Ram Ji under guardianship of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

Bhai Dya Ram Ji served five Gurus, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji.

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji went to Nahan and founded a town of Sri Paunta Sahib (now in Himachal Pradesh), Bhai Dya Ram Ji was with Guru Ji.

During Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s stay in Sri Paunta Sahib, Ram Rai, the elder son of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, died in Dehradun. Bhai Dya Ram Ji went to Dehradun with Guru Gobind Singh Ji. As directed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Bhai Dya Ram Ji performed rituals to install Mata Punjab Kaur as the head of the centre. (For more details, please read this article: Mata Punjab Kaur.

In the marriage of King Fateh Shah’s daughter, Guru Gobind Singh Ji sent valuable gifts for the bride through Bhai Dya Ram Ji along with Bhai Nand Chand. When in Sri Nagar Garhwal, the capital of Fateh Shah, Guru’s gifts were sent back by Fateh Shah, his men tried to snatch costly gifts from Bhai Dya Ram Ji. With presence of mind and his bravery, Bhai Dya Ram brought all the gifts safe back to Guru Ji. He asked Guru Ji to get ready for battle, as he was sure that Ajmer Chand and other hill chiefs were to attack Guru Ji.

In battle of Bhangani (now Bhangani Sahib, in Himachal Pradesh), Bhai Dya Ram Ji showed his great skill of warfare. He fought with an exemplary bravery.

The ‘Apuni Katha’ in Sri Dasam Granth describes in these words the bravery of Bhai Dya Ram Ji:

ਕੁਪਿਓ ਦੇਵਤੇਸੰ ਦਯਾਰਾਮ ਜੁਧੰ ॥
ਕੀਯੰ ਦ੍ਰੋਣ ਕੀ ਜਿਉ ਮਹਾ ਜੁਧ ਸੁਧੰ ॥

(ਯੁੱਧ ਵਿਚ ਦਯਾ ਰਾਮ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਨੇ ਬਹੁਤ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕੀਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਦ੍ਰੋਣਾਚਾਰਯ ਵਰਗਾ (ਭਿਆਨਕ) ਯੁੱਧ ਮਚਾਇਆ।)

Means, Brahman Dya Ram was angered in the battle. He fought like Dronacharya (ਦ੍ਰੋਣਾਚਾਰੀਆ).

(Daronacharya was a teacher who taught Pandavs and Kauravs the art of warfare, in Mahabharata).

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji returned to Makhowal and founded Sri Anandpur Sahib, Bhai Dya Ram Ji remained in Guru’s company.

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji introduced ‘Khande Ki Pahul’ (ਖੰਡੇ ਦੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ), Bhai Dya Singh tasted the ‘Pahul’ and became Dya Singh. Bhai Dya Ram was a lifelong companion of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.

When Guru Ji evacuated the city of Sri Anandpur Sahib, Bhai Dya Ram joined Guru Ji in Bathinda region. Bhai Dya Ram Ji, who was a very old man at that point in time, went up to Nanded city with Guru Gobind Singh.

Bhai Dya Singh left for his heavenly abode in Hazur Sahib, Nanded.

Pandit Shivdatt

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

ਸ਼ਿਵਦਤ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਤਹਾਂ ਕਾ ਥਾ ਰਈਸ ਨਿਤਜਾਇ।
ਗੰਗਾ ਤਟ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੇ ਗੁਰਲੀਲਾ ਦਰਸਾਇ। (‘ਪੰਥ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼’, ਕਰਤਾ: ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ)

(Shivdatt Brahman was a rich man. He used to go to the bank of Ganga to perform ‘Pooja’ daily. He would see Guru’s Leela). (Book ‘Panth Prakash’, Author: Giani Gian Singh)

Pandit Shivdatt was a rich Brahman of Patna city (now Sri Patna Sahib). He was very popular among local Hindus because of his religious life. (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib Ji (later, Guru Gobind Sahib Ji) was living in Patna Sahib and was only a few years old at that time.

Pandit Shivdatt Ji used to take dip in Ganga River every day in Patna city. After taking bath, he would sit on the bank of river Ganga and meditate. The history tells us that Pandit Shivdatt was a devotee of Sri Ram Chandra.

When he would sit in meditation, (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib would come there and say in sweet words, “Pandit Ji”. This innocent childlike act of (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib would delight Pandit Shivdatt. Pandit would open his eyes and find (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib standing in front of him.

Pandit Shivdatt used to watch (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib’s ‘Leela’ (child’s lovely actions) daily on the bank of river Ganga. (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji with his friends used to make two parties of soldiers and had artificial fight with each other. He would give training of bow and arrow to a group of children.

Child (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji used to carry a bow and arrows with him. Sri Ram Chandra also carried a bow and arrows. Pandit Shivdatt was an old worshipper of Sri Ram Chandra. Perhaps, during his meditation, Pandit Shivdatt felt that (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was an incarnation of Sri Ram.

He started to believe that (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was indeed an incarnation of Sri Ram Chandra Ji. Out of his this certainty, he desired to see (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in form of Sri Ram Chandra.

As usual, Pandit Shivdatt took bath in river Ganga and then sat on the bank. On the other hand, (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji reached there with other children. Pandit Shivdatt saw Sri Ram Chandra himself appeared there before his eyes. When a devotee sees his god with his own eyes, his joy can never be explained in words.

ਐਨ ਬੈਨ ਗੁਰ ਰਾਮ ਸਰੂਪ । ਪੇਖੇ ਸ਼ਿਵਦਤ ਦਿਜਵਰ ਭੂਪ ।
ਕਟਿ ਪੀਤਾਂਬਰ ਕੰਧ ਕੁਵੰਡ । ਸਰ ਕਰ ਫੇਰਤ ਤੇਜ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ।
ਗਹੇ ਚਰਨ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਦਵਿਜ ਆਇ । ਸੇਵਕ ਸਾਚ ਭਯੋ ਮਨ ਲਾਇ ।
(‘ਪੰਥ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼’, ਕਰਤਾ: ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ)

(The great Brahman saw the Guru exactly in form of Sri Ram. He, the Guru wore yellow cloths and a bow on his shoulder. He was moving his hand on an arrow. The Brahman came forward and touched the feet of the Guru. He became Guru’s true servant from heart). (Book ‘Panth Prakash’, Author: Giani Gian Singh)

An imaginary picture shows (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in form of Sri Ram. Pandit Shivdatt is seen sitting in meditation.

Later on, a Gurdwara was built on the bank of river, which is called Gurdwara Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ghat (or Kangan Ghat). The word ‘Ghat’ stands for a place on the bank, generally paved, for bathing or harbouring boats etc.

Raja Fateh Chand Maini, a local chieftain served Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji with dedication during Guru Ji’s visit in 1665. Raja Fateh Chand and his wife received the Guru and his family with great honour. Guru Ji stayed in their newly built house with family. Fateh Chand Maini had no child.

On one occasion, he and his wife visited Pandit Shivdatt. The couple shared their feelings with Pandit Ji and asked to make a prayer (perform some religious rituals) so that the couple could get a son.

Pandit Shivdatt said, “You do not know whom to pray. Go to your home, sit and meditate on (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji. He will fulfill your desire.”

Raja and queen decided to pursue what Pandit Ji asked to. The couple would sit daily and meditate of (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji. A few days passed off. Love and yearning grew slowly but surely.

One day, as the Raja and the Queen was sitting in meditation. Suddenly, (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji along with his playmates came there, sat in the lap of the Queen, embraced her and said in charming voice, “Mother, I have come.”

This was the first occasion in her life that she was called by someone ‘Mother’. She was overwhelmed with pleasure and thankfulness. The pleasant-sounding word ‘Mother’ delighted the childless queen. She held (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in her arms.

The Queen served boiled grams and ‘puris’ to (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji and his companions. The life of Raja and his queen was now absolutely revolutionized. (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was now their ‘adopted’ son. They converted their Palace into congregational centre.

Later on, a Gurdwara was constructed there, which is known as Gurdwara Bal Leela Maini Sangat. Boiled grams are served as ‘Prasad’ (ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਾਦ) (consecrated food) to every visitor there in the Gurdwara.

Early Sewapanthis Were Sahajdhari

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Controversies have been raised over issue of Sahajdhari. There seems to be two groups. The first group believes that Sahajdharis are a part of wider Sikh community and other believes they are not.

Even those who accept the tradition of Sahajdharis are not unanimous on definition of term ‘Sahajdhari’.

Actually, present conflict over definition of Sahajdhari is originated from explanation of another term ‘Patit’. A newly founded political party in Punjab (India) has been propagating that a ‘Patit’ is a person, who was once Amritdhari (a person who tastes ‘Khande Kee Pahul’), but now cuts his hair. This new definition of ‘Patit’ is different to widely accept other definition, according to which any person born in Sikh family is ‘Patit’ if s/he cuts his/her hair.

The point they agree to is that a ‘Patit’ cannot be called ‘Sahajdhari’. Thus, a ‘Sahajdhari’ is a person, who is not ‘Patit’.

We will discuss the issue of ‘Patit’ in a separate article. However, here I want to make a point on a few historic persons, who cannot be called ‘Patit’. They belonged to Sewapanthi or Addanshahi Samparda.

The sect ‘Sewapanthi’ was named after Bhai Sewa Ram Ji. He used to preach Gurbani in the area of Bhehra and Multaan (now in Pakistan). Bhai Addan Shah Ji, a disciple of Bhai Sewa Ram Ji, used to serve in the area of Lahore (now in Pakistan). His sect was called ‘Addan Shaahi’ after his name.

Because Bhai Addan Shah Ji was a disciple of Bhai Sewa Ram Ji, so it was natural that the sect named after Bhai Addan Shah Ji was considered a part of a sect named after Bhai Sewa Ram Ji. So, practically, Sewapanthi and Addanshahi are considered one sect and both of the names of ‘Seva Panthi’ and ‘Addan Shaahi’ are used for same sect.

Every Amritdhari male is required to add ‘Singh’ in his name (as last name). When we see the names of early Sewapanthi or Addanshahi sadhus, we easily reach the conclusion that most of them were not Amritdhari, because the word ‘Singh’ is missing in their names. Thus, famous early Sewapanthis/Addanshahis, like Bhai Sewa Ram, Bhai Addan Shah, Bhai Sahaj Ram, Bhai Ram Dyal, Bhai Rochi Ram and many others were not Amritdhari.

What’s more, most of them were not born in Sikh families either. They were attracted to the Gurbani and started their journey towards the Guru. They definitely were believers of Guru Nanak – Guru Gobind Singh’s religious tradition. They did not follow any other religion at all. Seeing that they were not ‘Patit’, such Sewapanthis/Addanshahis beyond doubt were Sahajdharis.

When we do not hesitate to categorize Dada Lachhman Das Chela Ram as Sahajdhari, there is no ground to hesitate putting those early Sewapanthis/Addanshahis into the category of Sahajdhari. (Many of present Sewapanthis are Amritdhari).

Furthermore, early Sewapanthis and Addanshahis were not seeking admission into any SGPC run institutions, nor were they demanding rights of voting in Gurdwara management bodies. They were on the path of Guru. The roads they were walking on were not going towards any worldly courts. Instead, they were walking, slowly and calmly, towards the Guru. Thus, we do not hesitate putting them in category of Sahajdharis.

When Sikhs bolstered French honour

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20081008/edit.htm#7

When Sikhs bolstered French honour
by Lt Gen (retd) Baljit Singh

Whenever the controversy centred around the Sikhs and their turbans resurfaces in France, my memory invariably reaches out to a slice of history from 1915 as recorded in the chronicles of World War I. For 10 turbaned Sikh soldiers using six spare turbans, wriggled and dragged two boxes of mortar bombs and two of machine-gun bullets, under withering German shelling and automatic fire, in the mid-day sun for about 25 minutes, till at last just one box of bombs was eventually delivered to their beleaguered colleagues.

Nine Sikh soldiers perished as they crawled and dragged the cargo through the rain of shells and bullets. The tenth was struck dead as he momentarily stood up to unknot the turban from around the box of bombs to deliver it to his comrades.

There was an eleventh. He was shell-shocked and stood stock-still, his uniform riddled with bullet holes. One Sikh soldier in the nearby trench reflexably reached out and pulled Lieut John Smyth down to the ground. He emerged the sole survivor of the heroic mission.

Continue Reading: – http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20081008/edit.htm#7

Nihang

  • Proposed Links
    • History
    • Stories of Origin of Nihangs
    • The Historic ‘Budhha Dal’
      • Sikh ‘Misls’
      • The ‘Chhota Ghallughara’
      • Besiege of ‘Ram Raunee’
  • Conclusion
  • Present
  • Modern concept
  • 1980s, Violence and Nihangs
  • More
  • A Sect or the Original Form of Khalsa?
  • Nihangs In Pictures
  • ‘Chakra’ (quoit) on Dumala (in ‘Nihang Dress’ sub-section)
  • Installation of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji
  • Installation of Sarbloh Granth
  • Reading list

The Pages of Guru History

Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

In his childhood, Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji’s name was ‘Chaupat Rai’. After receiving the double-edged sword’s nectar, his name was changed to Chaupa Singh. His parents were ‘Chhibbar’ Brahmans. They donated him to the seventh Guru, Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji. Thus, Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji got the chance of having Darshan of four Gurus (Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji).

When (Guru) Gobind (Singh) Ji was born, Bhai Chaupat Rai Ji was appointed the male-nurse to him. Working as the male-nurse, Bhai Chaupat Rai Ji witnessed many-many childhood-amusements of (Guru) Gobind (Singh) Ji.

Bhai Harjas Ji was appointed the Persian teacher for (Guru) Gobind (Singh) Ji. Pandit Kirpa Ram Datt Ji was the Sansrit teacher. Bhai Chaupat Rai Ji was though male-nurse; he used to teach Punjabi too to (Guru) Gobind (Singh) Ji. In those days, child-students used to use wooden-slates to develop their writing skill. Students would write on such wooden-slates. These wooden-slates were washable. Bhai Chaupat Rai Ji used to wash wooden-slate for (Guru) Gobind (Singh) Ji.

While discussing that important period of Guru-history, we should keep it in mind that it was the time, when the powerful Mogul Government was an enemy of Guru’s house. Brahmans were being misbehaved in Kashmir and on other places. Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji would go to different places to encourage the frightened people. In such a critical time, the security of Guru’s family was an important issue. It was obvious that only very reliable persons were appointed to fulfill the requirements of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib’s family. There was a need of a person to look after (Guru) Gobind (Singh) Ji, who would be a well learned as well as a warrior too. In such a time, who else was more eligible than Bhai Chaupat Rai Ji. He was in Gurus’ families since Sri Guru Har Rai Ji was on the Holy throne.

Most of the books of Guru-history say that ‘Khande Da Amrit’ (the Nectar prepared by double-edged sword) was prepared by Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself and was distributed to the five beloved-ones (Bhai Dya Singh Ji etc). On the other hand, Kesar Singh Chhibbar wrote in his book ‘Bansaavali-naama Dasaan Paatshaahiyaan Ka’ that Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji, by the order of Guru Ji, prepared this nectar. According to Kesar Singh Chhibbar, Guru Ji tasted the nectar, and then first of all, he distributed it to Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji.

When the need of written ‘Rahat-naama’ (book of code of conduct) was felt, it was Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji, who was ordered by Guru Gobind Singh Ji to write the ‘Rahat-naama’. Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji wrote this, which is famous as ‘Rahat-naama Bhai Chaupa Singh’.

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji evacuated the city of Sri Anandpur Sahib Ji, Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji was ordered to accompany Mother Sundri Ji and Mother Sahib Devaan Ji along with Bhai Sahib Singh Ji.

When they were leaving the city, Mogul generals and Rajput kings attacked on Sikhs. Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji and Bhai Sahib Singh Ji had to fight to save the Guru’s family.

It is believed that Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji was among the Singhs, who were killed alongwith Ajit Singh, the adopted son of Mother Sundri Ji.

Sayyed Jaani Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Those people are fortunate, who work hard to experience the Truth. One needs a true Guru, with the purpose of experience the Reality. To experience the Truth, we need to pass through a long way. It is not so simple. It takes too much time to come across a true Guru. Sometime, one needs to wait for even more than a few births, before he reaches to the true Guru. Sometime, the God shows light to us and makes it trouble-free for us to come across the true Guru.

We are lucky that we have the true Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji among us to show the path of Rightness. Unfortunately, some of our brothers and sisters cannot realize the truth that Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the light of the God Himself. Such people have been going astray to find another true Guru. Historically, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is established on the sacred throne of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and other nine Gurus. We are fortunate that we can talk to our living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. We are blessed that we can have the holy ‘Darshan’ of our Guru any time, anywhere.

There was time when devotees were put in hard examination before they get the holy ‘Darshan’ of the Guru. Sayyed Jaani Ji was one of such great souls.

Sayyed Jaani Ji became hermit and left his home forever. He wanted to find the true path to the God Almighty. He wandered in all directions to find a true Guru. He went to the sacred places for Hindus. He reached in sacred places for Muslims. He used to perform the ‘Namaaz’ for five times a day. He did service to the Hindu saints and Muslim seers. However, regardless of all his efforts and deep devotion, he could not experience the ultimate Reality.

His desire was not fulfilled. His efforts were proved fruitless.

When he was so hopeless, he found a ray of hope. Someone told him that Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was established on the holy throne of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Sayyed Ji heard that the supernatural powers were lying before the Sikhs, but they never accepted them. Sayyed Ji heard that Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji fought battles against the rulers and won all of them.

After listening this, Sayyed Ji was very happy. Immediately he reached to see Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. He met Bhai Khwaja Ji, who was originally a Muslim from Kashmir. Bhai Khwaja Ji was fully absorbed in Guru’s love. He was living in companionship of the Guru for a long time.

Hesitatingly, Sayyed Jaani Ji said to Bhai Khwaja Ji, “We both are from Muslim origin. Khwaja Ji, I have spent all of life searching for a true saint. O brother, tell me how I can please the Guru, so that he shows me the true path.”

Bhai Khwaja Ji replied, “There is no one else like Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji in this world. Guru is all-powerful. He is omniscient. He sees only love. When pleased, he librates the devotee from worldly ties. I appeal you to sit on the door of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Do neither say anything, nor listen to anyone. Worship the Guru by your spirit. Guru will put you in test. If you are successful, you will be saved from the ocean of sins, by the Grace of the Guru”.

Sayyed Jaani Ji listened to Bhai Khwaja Ji very cautiously. He made up his mind. He all set himself to put in the test.

He made a prayer in his mind and started to stay facing Guru’s holy court (Gurdwara). He would hardly ever take food and water. Guru Ji would come and go, and would never see towards Sayyed Jaani Ji. On the other hand, Sayyed Jaani Ji would see Guru Ji and would bow his head with deep devotion. He would not talk to anyone. Sitting unmoving on a particular place out side the Gurdwara, he would worship Guru Ji constantly. Day and night, hunger and thirst, sunshine and shade were alike to him.

This penance by Sayyed Jaani Ji continued for a number of weeks. It was his test conducted by the Guru. Guru himself, in a way, put him into this test. A true devotee was in pain for Guru’s Grace. In such a circumstances, how could a kind-hearted warrior Guru be untouched from Sayyed Jaani Ji’s devotion?

The Guru, the holy teacher, sent a Sikh to Sayyed Ji and asked, “What do you wish for? Tell what your desire is. There are many things in Guru’s court. You can obtain food, cloths, horse etc from the true Guru. Which thing do you need?”

Sayyed Jaani Ji wandered for a long time searching the true Guru. He was not in quest of such worldly things. Sayyed Ji replied, “The worldly things are perishable. I do not want any perishable things. I am longing for the God. I want to realize the Truth. I want the Grace of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

It is clear that Sayyed Jaani Ji had understood this ‘Shabd’ of the Holy Gurbani: –

Sri Raag Mahla Paihla. Sabh Ras Mitthhe Manneyai, Suneyai Saalone“.

(Translation of all of the holy ‘Shabd’: – Sri Raag, FIRST Mahla: – Believing, all tastes are sweet. Hearing, the salty flavors are tasted; chanting with one’s mouth, the spicy flavors are savored. All these spices have been made from the Sound-current of the Naad. The thirty-six flavors of ambrosial nectar are in the Love of the One Lord; only one who is blessed by His Glance of Grace tastes them. 1. O Baba, the pleasures of other foods are false. Eating them, the body is ruined, and wickedness and corruption enter into the mind. 1. Pause. My mind is imbued with the Lord’s Love; it is dyed a deep crimson. Truth and charity are my white clothes. My wearing of blue clothes erases the blackness of sin, and meditation on the Lord’s Lotus Feet is my robe of honor. Contentment is my cummerbund; Your Name is my wealth and youth. 2. O Baba, the pleasures of other clothes are false. Wearing them, the body is ruined, and wickedness and corruption enter into the mind. 1. Pause. The understanding of Your Way, Lord, is horses, saddles and bags of gold for me. The pursuit of virtue is my bow and arrow, my quiver, sword and scabbard. To be distinguished with honor is my drum and banner. Your Mercy is my social status. 3. O Baba, the pleasures of other rides are false. By such rides, the body is ruined, and wickedness and corruption enter into the mind. 1. Pause. The Naam, the Name of the Lord, is the pleasure of houses and mansions. Your Glance of Grace is my family, Lord. The Hukam of Your Command is the pleasure of Your Will, Lord. To say anything else is far beyond anyone’s reach. O Nanak, the True King does not seek advice from anyone else in His decisions. 4. O Baba, the pleasure of other sleep is false. By such sleep, the body is ruined, and wickedness and corruption enter into the mind. 1. Pause. 4. 7) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 16-17).

The Sikh went back to Guru Ji and told what Sayyed Jaani Ji said. Guru Ji listened this and remained silent

More weeks passed. Sayyed Ji continued with his penance out side the Gurdwara. He would hardly ever take any food. He would see Guru Ji’s holy face whenever Guru Ji goes to Gurdwara. What else is needed to be alive? Wah! Wah wah!! ‘Gur Ka Darsan Dekh Dekh Jeevaan<‘ (Beholding the Blessed Vision of the Guru’s ‘Darshan’, I live). (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 239).

Guru Ji decided to put him even more difficult test. He ordered to construct a wall in the way where Sayyed Jaani Ji used to sit. The reason of constructing such a wall was to prevent Sayyed Ji to have the ‘Darshan’ of Guru Ji. Sikhs constructed a wall there.

In fact, Sayyed Jaani Ji was a true lover. It was proved by his devotion and hardships. However, his love had a physical aspect. For him, Guru was a physical object. Whenever he thinks about Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, he would think about his body, his clothing and his ornaments etc.

Guru is not a body. It is not right to say that Guru is merely a human being similar to other ordinary people. In fact, Guru is the light. He is the light of the God Almighty. There is no difference between light inside the Guru and God. This is what Guru Ji wanted to teach Sayyed Jaani Ji. That is why he ordered to construct a wall, so that Sayyed Ji could possibly forget the physical aspect of the Guru and could meditate on the holy light.

Now, Sayyed Jaani Ji was not able to see Guru’s holy face. He continued with his penance. He would recite the Guru’s name. Sunshine and shade were same to him. The devotion for Guru increased inside him. He started to meditate on Guru Ji for 24 hours.

Sometime, Bhai Khwaja Ji would go near him and provide him with food etc, otherwise Sayyed Jaani Ji used not to be bothered about food. He was fully absorbed in love of true Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

Oh my Guru! You are great. You are wonderful, O my Guru Kalgidhar Sri Hargobind Sahib Ji. You have showed the True Path to much-loved Sayyed Jaani Ji, without sharing even a single word with him.

Oh foolish people of this perishable planet! Pay attention to Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji what he said to beloved Sayyed Ji wordlessly. Guru is not a physical body. A physical body can never be a Guru. Do not meditate on any physical body. Do not meditate on any picture of Guru. See, Guru Hargobind did not permit Sayyed Ji to meditate on Guru’s living body. How can you give good reason for your meditation on a picture, which is entirely an imagination of an artist?

Oh foolish! See, Guru Ji constructed a wall of bricks to save his devotee from any erroneous belief. It is just a fallacy to meditate on Guru’s physical appearance. Try to be aware of what Guru Ji is indicating here.

Wah! Wah! Sayyed Jaani Ji understood it. He sees the Guru without seeing the Guru. He realized that ‘Gur Moorat Gur Shabd Hai, Saadh Sangat Mil Amrit Vela‘ (Bhai Sahib Gurdas Ji, ‘Vaar’ 24, stanza 11). Wonderful! Sayyed Ji is now able to see Guru Ji all the time, no matter where the physical body of Guru is.

Oh people of the world! If you admit that Guru is the ‘Shabd‘, not a body, you will realize that Guru is omnipresent, because the ‘Shabd’ is omnipresent. If the ‘Shabd’ is omnipresent, you can hear it everywhere. If Guru is omnipresent, you can hear him everywhere. Just realize the ‘Shabd’, you can even talk to the Guru, whenever you want.

Great devotee Sayyed Jaani Ji now sees Guru everywhere. He is able to hear Guru Ji, no matter where he is. He is satisfied without any food. He is untroubled. He got the true pleasure.

Now, it was the time to throw away the love for life. It was the time to learn how to obey the true Guru even if he asks to die. The holy Gurbani says, “Paihlaan Maran Kabool, Jeevan Kee Chhadd Aas“. (First, accept death, and give up any hope of life). (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 1102).

Guru Ji sent a Sikh to Sayyed Jaani Ji to order him to jump into the river. The Sikh went to Sayyed Ji and said, “There is an order for you by the Guru”.

Sayyed Ji heard this. It made him so delighted. An order by the true Guru, and for him? Wow! However, what is the order?

The Sikh said, “Go and jump into the river”.

Wow! It was so easy for a true devotee, like Sayyed Jaani Ji. Sayyed Ji rushed to the river and jumped into it without any delay. Guru Ji had already prearranged some Sikhs to bring Sayyed Ji out of the river securely.

Sayyed Ji was saved from the river and was brought back to where he used to sit.

Many people start to penance. In the beginning, they want to please the God Almighty, but later they start to try to get supernatural powers. There are many so-called ‘saints’, who are doing their ‘saadhna’ to get such powers.

Was there any desire for such a supernatural power in the mind of Sayyed Jaani Ji? It was, now, time to get answer to this question.

Guru Ji sent a Sikh to Sayyed Ji and asked, “If you want any supernatural power, just tell now. Guru Ji will give it to you without delay”.

Sayyed Ji replied, “I do not want anything else, with the exception of the beloved Guru”.

Sayyed Ji was successful in his penance. Now, Guru Ji called him in his holy court. Sayyed Ji came and put his head in Guru’s feet. Guru Ji delivered him the True Knowledge and told him the true path to the God Almighty.

He enjoyed the holy companionship of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji for a long period.

One day, Guru Ji called Sayyed Jaani Ji along with Bhai Khwaja Ji, and said, “Your selfless service towards the Guru is accepted. Guru is pleased. Now go to some place and live there like saints of the God.”

Both of them were true Gursikhs. They had to obey their Guru Ji. However, before leaving the Guru, they appointed their disciple Bhai Nand Laal Ji (Guru Ji used to call him ‘Sohna’) to do the services to Guru Ji they used to do.

Thus, the great soul, Sayyed Jaani Ji, was blessed by the Guru.

—–

Source: ‘Sri Gur Pratap Sooraj Granth’.

Bhai Khwaja Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

There was a ‘Kashmiri’ in the holy court of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, whose name was Bhai Khwaja Ji. He used to do the service to Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. He was always ready to act, never lazy.

He used to give bath to Guru’s horse. When Guru Ji goes somewhere riding on his horse, Bhai Khwaja Ji used to walk ahead of Guru Ji’s horse.

After sometime, the image of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was embossed permanently in the mind of Bhai Khwaja Ji. He used not to talk to anyone, except for Guru Ji. He would do ‘Seva’ to Guru Ji and then go to spent his time all-alone.

One day, as usual, Bhai Khwaja Ji was running in front of Guru Ji’s horse. Sweet was flowing on his body, but he did not feel any tiredness. His mind was absorbed fully in the service of the Guru. Happiness and sorrow were equal to him.

Guru Ji got down from his horse and asked Bhai Khwaja Ji to come close to him. When he came close to Guru Ji, Guru Ji said, “Tell me, what is the desire in your mind?”

The Gurbani Says, “Ai Jee, Kaal Sadaa Sir Oopar Thhaadhhe, Janam Janam Vairaayee. Saachai Shabd Rate Se Baache, Satgur Boojh Bujhaayee. 3. Gur Sarnaayee Joh Na Saakai Doot Na Sakai Santaayee. Avigat Naath Niranjan Raate, Nirbhau Sio Liv Laayee.4. Ai Jeeyo, Naam Dirhoh, Naame Liv Laavoh, Satgur Tek Tikaayee. Jo Tis Bhaavai Soyee Karsi, Kirat Na Meteya Jaayee. 5. Ai Jee, Bhaag Pare Gur Saran Tumaaree, Main Avar Na Doojee Bhaayee. Ab Tab Eko Ek Pukaaraun Aad Jugaad Sakhaayee.6. Ai Jee, Raakhoh Paij Naam Apune Kee, Tujh Hee Sion Ban Aayee. Kar Kirpa Gur Daras Dikhaavoh, Haumain Shabd Jalaayee. 7. Ai Jee, Kya Maagaun, Kichh Rahai Na Deesai, Is Jag Mah Aaya Jaayee. Naanak Naam Padaarath Deejai, Hirdai Kanthh Banaayee. 8.3.” (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 504).

(O Dear One, death hangs constantly over his head. Incarnation after incarnation, it is his enemy. Those who are attuned to the True Word are saved. The True Guru has imparted this understanding. 3. In the Guru’s Sanctuary, the Messenger of Death cannot see the mortal, or torture him. I am imbued with the Imperishable and Immaculate Lord Master, and lovingly attached to the Fearless Lord. 4. O Dear One, implant the Naam within me; lovingly attached to the Naam, I lean on the True Guru’s Support. Whatever pleases Him, He does; no one can erase His actions. 5. O Dear One, I have hurried to the Sanctuary of the Guru; I have no love for any other except You. I constantly call upon the One Lord; since the very beginning, and throughout the ages, He has been my help and support. 6. O Dear One, please preserve the Honor of Your Name; I am hand and glove with You. Bless me with Your Mercy, and reveal to me Your Blessed Vision, O Guru. Through the Word of the Shabad, I have burnt away my ego. 7. O Dear One, what should I ask of You? Nothing appears permanent; whoever comes into this world shall depart. Bless Nanak with the wealth of the Naam, to adorn his heart and neck. 8.3.) (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, page 504).

The message given in this holy hymn had been written on Khwaja Ji’s heart, that is why he folded his hands and replied, “The only desire in my mind is to have your ‘Darshan’ all the time. No other desire is there. I want to be always near to you. I want to do ‘Seva’ to you without any desire. I want to see your holy face, which is the ocean of happiness.”

Guru Ji was pleased to listen these humble words by Bhai Khwaja Ji. Guru Ji said, “You are ‘Nihaal’, you are delighted.”

From that day, Bhai Khwaja Ji remained always delighted. He would not talk to anyone else.

When Sayyed Jaani Ji was searching for a true Guru, he was told about Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Sayyed Jaani Ji met Bhai Khwaja Ji and said, “We both are from Muslim origin. Khwaja Ji, I have spent all of life searching for a true saint. O brother, tell me how can I please the Guru, so that he shows me the true path?”

Bhai Khwaja Ji replied, “There is no one else like Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji in this world. Guru is all-powerful. He is omniscient. He sees only love. When pleased, he librates the devotee from worldly ties. I request you to sit on the door of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Neither say anything to anyone, nor listen to anyone. Worship the Guru by your heart. Guru will put you in test. If you are successful, you will be saved from the ocean of sins, by the Grace of the Guru”.

Sayyed Jaani Ji was proved successful in the test conducted by Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

Guru Ji blessed Bhai Khwaja Ji. Guru Ji called him and Sayyed Jaani Ji and said, “Your selfless service towards the Guru is accepted. Guru is pleased. Now go to some place and live there like saints of the God.”

Both of them were true Gursikhs. They had to obey their Guru Ji. However, before leaving the Guru, they appointed their disciple Bhai Nand Laal Ji (Guru Ji used to call him ‘Sohna’) to do the services to Guru ji they used to do.

Thus, Bhai Khwaja Ji was blessed by the Guru.

—–Source: ‘Sri Gur Pratap Sooraj Granth’.