Category

Famous Sikhs

A Powerful Speech with a Ground Shaking Message

By | Famous Sikhs, Featured | No Comments

Angad Singh Padda’s Graduation Speech on May 15th,2017 gave a message, a vision and a roadmap to UC Berkeley Haas Class of 2017.

In his graduation speech, he encouraged the class to solve problems and be remembered as the class which not only did good business but also the class that engaged in the business of doing good.

You can watch the speech below:

We need more people like Angad in this world !

Great Show Angad.

Bhai Dyaala Ji

By | Famous Sikhs

Bhai Dayala ji (died 1675) variously spelt as Bhai Dayala, Bhai Diala, was one of the earliest martyrs to the Sikh faith. Along with his companions Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das as well as Ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Bhai Dayala was martyred at Chandni Chowk at Delhi in November 1675 for his refusal to barter his faith.

Bhai Dayala was one of the Sikhs who accompanied Guru Tegh Bahadur when the latter left Anandpur on 11 July 1675 to court martyrdom at Delhi, the other two were brothers—Bhai Mati Das, a Dewan and Bhai Sati Das, a Scribe at Guru’s court. Along with Ninth Guru ji, they were arrested under orders from Emperor Aurangzeb at Agra. On 9 November 1675 A.D, the Qazi pronounced his religious order that Bhai Dayala must either accept Islam or be prepared to embrace death by being boiled in a cauldron. Bhai Dayala heroically accepted the latter alternative and asked leave of the Guru. The Guru graced Bhai Dayala for his lifelong devotion as a true and dedicated Sikh and blessed him with glory and success. Bhai Dayala was put into a big cauldron full of water which was later heated to the boiling point. Bhai Dayala continued to his last breath to recite the Japjiof Guru Nanak and the Sukhmani of Guru Arjan.

Bhai Taru Singh Ji

By | Famous Sikhs
Bhai Taru Singh Ji

Bhai Taru Singh Ji

Born in Amritsar Punjab during the reign of the Mughal Empire, Bhai Taru Singh was raised as a Sikh by his widowed mother. During this time, Sikh revolutionaries were plotting the overthrow of the Mughal governor of Punjab, Zakaria Khan. Bhai Taru Singh and his sister gave food and other aid to the Gursikhs. An informant reported them to Zakaria Khan, the governor of Punjab, and the two were arrested for treason. Though his sister’s freedom was bribed for by the villagers, Bhai Taru Singh refused to seek a pardon. Bhai Taru Singh Jee had partaken amrit from Bhai Mani Singh Jee and was much influenced by him. When he was caught along with his sister. many Sikhs offered to rescue him as they were famous to attack in the midnight in those days. Bhai Taru Singh However said that he wanted to show Mughals that Sikhs are not afraid of death. However at much convincing he allowed his sister to be rescued. Sikhs and villagers paid bribes and got his sister rescued.

After a period of imprisonment and torture, Bhai Taru Singh was brought before the Khan and asked him where he got his powers from to undergo all of the agony. His reply was through his Keshas given by Guru Gobind Singh. Zakaria Khan then gave him the choice of converting to Islam or having his hair cut off. In reply, Bhai sahab asked him if by converting to Islam could he guarantee that he would never ever die?. If the answer was no, then its better to die serving his Guru. In response to having his hair cut off, Bhai Taru Singh said that Zakaria Khan would be killed by Bhai Taru Singh’s shoe. Angered, Khan called barbers to cut Bhai Taru Singh’s hair but they were scared to go near him, so Zakaria Khan called an executioner to cut off his scalp. Amidst the torture bhai sahab could only be heard reciting Japji Sahib.

The exact method of his execution is somewhat ambiguous. Sikhs believe that once Bhai Sahib had been returned to prison to await a slow death . Holy water(Jal) from Amritsar was brought after 22 days and put on his head to begin his last rites. Zakaria Khan was stricken with unbearable pain and the inability to urinate[citation needed]. As a last resort, Zakaria Khan sent an apology to the Khalsa Panth for his persecution of the Sikhs and begged for their forgiveness. It was suggested that if Zakaria Khan hit himself with Bhai Taru Singh’s shoes, his condition might be lifted. Although the shoe cured the Khan’s condition, he died 22 days later from hitting himself with the shoes. Upon hearing that he had miraculously outlived the Khan, Bhai Taru Singh left his body.

A more elaborate version of this narrative includes attempts by the Khan’s barber and cobbler to forcibly cut off Singh’s hair and, failing that, his scalp. God prevented them from touching him with their tools, and finally a carpenter was brought in to cut off his head with an adze. In other variations of the story, the top of the skull was removed with the hair and scalp.

Martyrdom

In 1762 A.D., the Bhangi Sikh Sardar army conquered Lahore and took over the public square where Bhai Taru Singh was scalped. The Abdullah Khan Mosque adjacent to the square was also occupied and converted into Shaheed Ganj Gurdwara.  Today Bhai Taru Singh is viewed by Sikhs as a martyr and a symbol of the importance of Kesh and of steadfast faith. A gurdwara in the Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore marks the place where his scalp and hair was removed

“Martyrs do not underrate the body, they allow it to be elevated on the cross. In this they are at one with their antagonists.”

Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

By | Famous Sikhs

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was a born leader of unprecedented qualities. His birth took place near city of Amritsar. He was 5 years old whenBanda Singh Bahadur attained martyrdom at Delhi. He was among the crop of those Sikhs who had fought against all odds for survival of their newly founded religion. In those times all Sikhs, cook, ate, fought together and Sikhism was thought of a family. Sardar Kapur Singh was elder and an able leader, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Sardar Budh Singh Sukkarchakia (grand father of Ranjit Singh), and others were able leaders fighting Mughals and Afghnis keeping Khalsa flame alive with their resistance. In around 1720’s Mughals decided to offer truce to these Sikh leaders and sent some gifts to them in mountains where they were hiding. Mughals offered three towns for Sikhs and title of Nawab for their leader. Five Sikh leaders which includes Budh Singh, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and others decided to make Kapur SinghSupreme Jathedar of Dal Khalsa and Kapur Singh accepted it only when he was reminded of Guru’s order to listen to the anonymous order of Five Gursikhs . Later this group of Sikh leaders created Misals and two factions of Sikhs called Budha Dal and Taruna Dal. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia were youngsters leading their regiments under Taruna Dal and reporting to Jathedar Kapur Singh ji at Diwali and Vasaikhi.

Under Dal Khalsa, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia established his Misl of Ramgarhia in and around riarki area of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Batala. He also fortified and constructed fort of Ram Rauni at Amritsar. His misal contained more then 5000 cavalry always on move and helping Dal Khalsa whenever Afghanis or Mughals attacked. Sikhs at this time were in control of villages while Mughal administration was only effective in cities. Twenty years Earlier Banda Bahadur had wrecked a havoc on administration by abolishing all taxes and Zamindara system. Now Sikhs only levied “Dasvand”, that is 10% of their income for Rakhi tax or “protection tax” for armies.

Mir Mannu became the new governor of Lahore and Multan on the 9th April 1748 A.D. He appointed Kaura Mal as his new Diwan. After setting right the administration of his province, he deployed army patrol to finish the Sikhs of his province. The Sikhs left his territory and moved to other states. Sardar Jassa singh Ramgarhia and his squad joined the army of the Commander of Jalandhar, named Adina Beg. Adina Beg was a cunning treacherous soft and sweet speaking mean person. Adina Beg on one hand would woo Sikhs to join him against Mughals on the other hand he had secret links with Afghanis, while he drew his salary from Mughals. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, being a simple minded person trusted Adina Beg and joined his army.

The Sikhs gathered at Amritsar on the occasion of Diwali in 1748 A.D. When Mir Mannu came to know of the gathering of Sikhs, he sent his general with an army to blockade Amritsar and sent words to the Commander of Jalandhar, Adina beg to to take his army to help his general in finishing the Sikhs. Adina Beg not telling his Sikh army personnel attacked fort of Ram Rauni. Five hundred Singhs took shelter in fort of Ram Rauni and the rest moved to forests. The combined forces of Lahore and Jalandhar surrounded the fort. Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was in army who was in siege of fort, with his squad. Plight of his fellow Sikhs sorrounded in the fort of Ram Rauni was too much for him and his squad. One day he deserted the royal army and joined the Singhs inside the fort with his squad. The Singhs inside the fort did not surrender even after two months of siege. Adina Beg felt the departure of the Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in this manner very much but could not do anything. Hearing the news of the second invasion of Abdali, Mir Mannu made peace with Sikhs and sanctioned an estate in Patti area for the livelihood. Thus Jassa Singh Ramgarhia won the battle of Ram Rauni.

Abdali attacked India and Jassa Singh’s squad along with other Sikh squad was deployed in and around hills of Jammu, Pathonkot, to harass and snatch Abdali’s baggage train. His 5000 cavalry soldiers harassed Abdali’s Afghanis through Guerilla tactics of warfare that Abdali lost more soldiers to Sikhs in this type of warfare than his battle with Marthas. Around same time Jassa Singh Ahluwalia freed 2200 young Hindu women from Afghanis who were being taken to the harems and bazaars of Kabul, Baghdad and Basra. It was blessings of Waheguru (the almighty God) that Sikhs who were weak and few had defeated Abdali.

Next year Abdali returned to Punjab only to punish Sikhs. Mughals at this time were under his protectorate and small Mughal chieftains like,Nawab of Sarhind, and Sher Khan, Nawab of Malerkotla as well as other small time nawabs all over Punjab helped Abdali to sorround Sikhs at a place near Malerkotla called Kup. Taruna Dal and Buddha Dal sorrounded Women and children and fought head on for the first time with Abdali and his allies. Sikhs were outnumbered five to one (including women and chlidren on Sikh side). In this battle Sikhs lost about 30-45000 Sikhs in single day of battle and to this day it is called”The greater holocaust”., or “Wadda Ghalughara”

After this incident, Sikhs came out strong and in less than five years Sikhs had defeated all Mughals and Afghani protectorate in between area of River Jamuna and River Indus. Jassa Singh’s Ramgarhia Misl had played major part in this struggle. Later Ranjit Singh incorporated Ramgarhia Misal into Sarkar Khalsa and thus a one unified Khalsa kingdom was created.

  1. Copyright © Santokh Singh Jagdev “Bed Time Stories”

Bhai Subeg Singh Bhai Shahbaaz Singh

By | Famous Sikhs, Sikh Martyrs

bhai subeg singh bhai shahbaaz singh

Bhai Subeg Singh was resident of village Jumber district Lahore. He was well educated and scholar of Persian. He was working as a government contractor at Lahore. He mediated between the government and the Sikhs in 1733 A.D., when the Dal Khalsa was given an estate. During 1745 A.D., when the Governor Zakria Khan could not pass urine, Bhai Subeg Singh was sent by him to the Dal Khalsa. As advised by the leader, the Governor had kept on passing urine when hit on the head with the shoe of Bhai Taru Singh.

After the death of Zakria Khan on the 1st July, 1745 A.D., his son, Yahiya Khan became the Governor of Lahore. To avenge the death of his brother Jaspat Rai, who had died in an encounter with the Singhs near Eminabad in January, 1746 A.D., Diwan Lakhpat Rai said to the new Governor, “Subeg Singh is in league with the Singhs. Your father had to hit himself on the head with a Singh’s shoe at his bidding which caused his death. He should be punished for that crime.”

The Governor ordered Bhai Subeg Singh to become a Muslim and spy on the Singhs. Eighteen year old son of Bhai Subeg Singh, Shahbaz Singh, studied Persian from a maulvi. When the maulvi came to know of the arrest of Bhai Subeg Singh, he asked Bhai Shahbaz Singh to embrace Islam so that he may marry his daughter to him as he was handsome and genius. Bhai Shahbaz Singh refused his offer. The maulvi asked the Governor and had him arrested also. The qazi said to them, “If both of you embrace Islam, you will be pardoned . ” At their refusal both of them were mounted on rotating wheels in sight of each other so that they might embrace Islam seeing each other suffering. But they did not forsake their faith although both became unconscious due to excessive loss of blood.

Next day, the qazi said to Bhai Shahbaz Singh, “Son ! your father has been executed. I can ward off your death if you become a Muslim even now.” Bhai Shahbaz Singh replied, “Death cannot be put off. It must come one day.” The qazi sent the son away, called for the father and said to him, ‘Your son has agreed to embrace Islam and you should also consent to do so.” Bhai Subeg Singh said, “I cannot give up my faith at any cost.” The qazi again brought the father and son face to face. He again asked both of them to come to the fold of Islam. On their refusal, the qazi ordered both of them to be killed. On the 10th March, 1746 A.D., the executioners beheaded both of them. It was on that day that Diwan Lakhpat Rai had got together the Sikhs of Lahore and handed them over to the scavengers of the city for slaughter in order to exterminate Sikhs. The prominent Hindus of the city pleaded with the Diwan, not to murder innocent Sikhs. He replied, “If God Himself comes and forbids me, I shall not stop.”

Bhai Dayala Ji

By | Famous Sikhs, Sikh Martyrs

bhai dayala ji

Bhai Dayala ji (died 1675) variously spelt as Bhai Dayala, Bhai Diala, was one of the earliest martyrs to the Sikh faith. Along with his companions Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das as well as Ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Bhai Dayala was martyred at Chandni Chowk at Delhi in November 1675 for his refusal to barter his faith.

Bhai Dayala was one of the Sikhs who accompanied Guru Tegh Bahadur when the latter left Anandpur on 11 July 1675 to court martyrdom at Delhi, the other two were brothers—Bhai Mati Das, a Dewan and Bhai Sati Das, a Scribe at Guru’s court. Along with Ninth Guru ji, they were arrested under orders from Emperor Aurangzeb at Agra. On 9 November 1675 A.D, the Qazi pronounced his religious order that Bhai Dayala must either accept Islam or be prepared to embrace death by being boiled in a cauldron. Bhai Dayala heroically accepted the latter alternative and asked leave of the Guru. The Guru graced Bhai Dayala for his lifelong devotion as a true and dedicated Sikh and blessed him with glory and success. Bhai Dayala was put into a big cauldron full of water which was later heated to the boiling point. Bhai Dayala continued to his last breath to recite the Japjiof Guru Nanak and the Sukhmani of Guru Arjan.

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia

By | Famous Sikhs

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was born (1718-1783) at a village called Ahlu or Ahluwal near Lahore, established by his ancestor, Sadda singh, a devotee of Sixth Guru, Hargobind. Hence the name Ahluwalia stuck to him. His forefathers were kalals (wine merchants). Hence he is also called Jassa singh Kalal.

However such was the admiration he won of the whole Sikh community that Jassa singh kalal came to be known as ‘Guru Ka Lal’ (the beloved son of Guru). Son of Badar singh Jassa singh was hardly 5 yrs old when his father died (1723 A.D.). His mother entreated Mata Sundri, widow of Guru Gobind Singh ji, to take him into her care. Mata Sundri agreed to do so, and lavished much affection on him, instructing him carefully in the arts of war and peace. He studied Sikh scriptures under Bhai Mani singh. Later, Mata Sundri asked Nawab Kapur singh to take charge of the promising youth. Both he and his mother used to perform Hari-Kirtan before Nawab Kapur singh who much pleased at his supreme devotion to the faith and sense of duty and humility, appointed him as a storekeeper with his forces. As was natural, he participated in many combat as well where he displayed such qualities of leadership that Nawab Kapur singh appointed him his successor on the eve of his death in 1753. Elated at his successful helmsmanship, the Khalsa honored Jassa singh with the title of Sultan-ul-Qaum (king of the whole people), when they captured Lahore in 1761.

On Feb 5 1762, Sikhs were especially the target of Ahmad Shah Abdali Sixth invasion into India. News had reached him in Afghanistan of the defeat of his general, Nur-Ud-Din Bamezai, at the hands of Sikhs who were fast spreading themselves out over the Punjab and had declared their leader, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, king of Lahore. To rid his Indian dominion of them once for all, he set out from Kandahar. Marching with alacrity, he overtook the Sikhs as they were withdrawing into the Malwa after crossing the Sutlej.

The moving caravan comprised a substantial portion of the total Sikh population and contained, besides active fighters, a large body of old men, women and children who were being escorted to the safety of the interior of the country. Surprised by Ahmad Shah, the Sikhs threw a cordon round those who needed protection, and prepared for the battle. In this formationand continuing their march, they fought invaders and their Indian allies (Nawab of Malerkotla, Sarhind, etc. ) desperetely. Charat Singh, Hari Singh Bhangi and Jassa Singh Ahluwalia led their forces with skill and courage. Jassa Singh ahluwalia sustained sixty four wounds on his body and Charat Singh rode to exhaustion five of his horses one after another.

Ahmad Shah succeeded, in the end, in breaking through the ring and glutted his spite by carrying out a full scale butchery. His orders were for everyone in Indian dress to be killed at sight. The soldiers of Malerkotala and Sarhind were to wear green leaves of trees on their heads to distinguish themselves from the Sikhs. Near the village of Kup, in the vicinity of Malerkotla, about 20,000 Sikhs lay on that ghastly field at the end of a single day’s action (February 5, 1762). This battle in Sikh history is known as Wadda Ghalughara.

Jassa singh fought valiantly and received 64 cuts, but he survived. Even such a disaster as had overtaken them at Kup caused no despondency among the Sikhs. When the survirors of of the Great carnage assembled inthe evening for their prayers. A Sikh got up and said “No harm done, Khalsa ji! The Panth has emerged purer from the trial; the alloy has been eliminated.” Within four months of Ghalughara, Sikhs under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia inflicted and a severe defeat on the governor of Sarhind and were celebrating Diwali in Harimandir which the Shah had demolished, and were fighting pitched battle forcing him to withdraw from Amritsar under cover of darkness (October 17,1762).

Upto now, Sikhs forces were divided into 65 jathas Nawab Kapur singh reorganised them into Eleven bands, each of course with its own name, flag and leader. These bands or Jathas, which came to known later on as Misls (lit. equal, also an example) together were, however, given the name of Dal Khalsa (or the Khalsa force), under over all charge of Jassa singh Ahluwalia.

It is a miracle of Guru Gobind singh that everyone irrespective of Caste, region or station accepted the decision of their venerable old leader with a clean and good heart. Here is what Bhangu Ratan singh has to say ‘Ape Raj, ape Mujdar, Bade bhujangi, dil ke sur. Ape pisen, ap pakwan, to bade sardar Kahawan. koi kare na kise sheereka, koi na sunawe nij dukj ji ka.’ which means ‘They were all brave of heart. They themselves ground their corn and cooked their own food. It is through such dedicated service that they became great Sardars. None felt jealous of another nor ever gave vent to his own privations or personal grief.

The fear of his Indian empire falling to the Sikhs continued to obsess the Ahmad Shah Abdali’s mind and helet out another campaign against Sikhs towards the close of 1766. This was his eighth invasion into India. The Sikhs had recourse to their old game of hide and seek. They vacated Lahore, but faced squarely the Afghan general, Jahan Khan at Amritsar, forcing him to retreat, with six thousand Abdali’s soldiers killed. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with an army of about twenty thousand Sikhs roamed in the neighbourhood of the Afghan camp plundering it to his heart’s content. Never before Ahmad Shah Abdali had felt so helpless, his dream of capturing the whole of India was dying before his own eyes. In the words of a contemporary writer: “The Shah’s influence is confined merely to those tracts which are covered by his army. The Zamindars appear in general so well affected towards the Sikhs that itis usual with the latter to repair by night to the villages where they find every refreshment. By the day they retire from them and again fall to harassing the Shah’s troops. ” Jassa Singh was also called “Bandi Chhor”, (The delivered) for having rescued 2200 beautiful Hindu women made prisoner by Abdali for his harms.

 

Source :

Copyright © Harbans Singh “The Heritage of the Sikhs.”

Khushwant Singh “History of the Sikhs.

Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

By | Famous Sikhs
Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was a born leader of unprecedented qualities. His birth took place near city of Amritsar. He was 5 years old whenBanda Singh Bahadur attained martyrdom at Delhi. He was among the crop of those Sikhs who had fought against all odds for survival of their newly founded religion. In those times all Sikhs, cook, ate, fought together and Sikhism was thought of a family. Sardar Kapur Singh was elder and an able leader, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Sardar Budh Singh Sukkarchakia (grand father of Ranjit Singh), and others were able leaders fighting Mughals and Afghnis keeping Khalsa flame alive with their resistance. In around 1720’s Mughals decided to offer truce to these Sikh leaders and sent some gifts to them in mountains where they were hiding. Mughals offered three towns for Sikhs and title of Nawab for their leader. Five Sikh leaders which includes Budh Singh, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and others decided to make Kapur SinghSupreme Jathedar of Dal Khalsa and Kapur Singh accepted it only when he was reminded of Guru’s order to listen to the anonymous order of Five Gursikhs . Later this group of Sikh leaders created Misals and two factions of Sikhs called Budha Dal and Taruna Dal. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia were youngsters leading their regiments under Taruna Dal and reporting to Jathedar Kapur Singh ji at Diwali and Vasaikhi.

Under Dal Khalsa, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia established his Misl of Ramgarhia in and around riarki area of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Batala. He also fortified and constructed fort of Ram Rauni at Amritsar. His misal contained more then 5000 cavalry always on move and helping Dal Khalsa whenever Afghanis or Mughals attacked. Sikhs at this time were in control of villages while Mughal administration was only effective in cities. Twenty years Earlier Banda Bahadur had wrecked a havoc on administration by abolishing all taxes and Zamindara system. Now Sikhs only levied “Dasvand”, that is 10% of their income for Rakhi tax or “protection tax” for armies.

Mir Mannu became the new governor of Lahore and Multan on the 9th April 1748 A.D. He appointed Kaura Mal as his new Diwan. After setting right the administration of his province, he deployed army patrol to finish the Sikhs of his province. The Sikhs left his territory and moved to other states. Sardar Jassa singh Ramgarhia and his squad joined the army of the Commander of Jalandhar, named Adina Beg. Adina Beg was a cunning treacherous soft and sweet speaking mean person. Adina Beg on one hand would woo Sikhs to join him against Mughals on the other hand he had secret links with Afghanis, while he drew his salary from Mughals. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, being a simple minded person trusted Adina Beg and joined his army.

The Sikhs gathered at Amritsar on the occasion of Diwali in 1748 A.D. When Mir Mannu came to know of the gathering of Sikhs, he sent his general with an army to blockade Amritsar and sent words to the Commander of Jalandhar, Adina beg to to take his army to help his general in finishing the Sikhs. Adina Beg not telling his Sikh army personnel attacked fort of Ram Rauni. Five hundred Singhs took shelter in fort of Ram Rauni and the rest moved to forests. The combined forces of Lahore and Jalandhar surrounded the fort. Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was in army who was in siege of fort, with his squad. Plight of his fellow Sikhs sorrounded in the fort of Ram Rauni was too much for him and his squad. One day he deserted the royal army and joined the Singhs inside the fort with his squad. The Singhs inside the fort did not surrender even after two months of siege. Adina Beg felt the departure of the Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in this manner very much but could not do anything. Hearing the news of the second invasion of Abdali, Mir Mannu made peace with Sikhs and sanctioned an estate in Patti area for the livelihood. Thus Jassa Singh Ramgarhia won the battle of Ram Rauni.

Abdali attacked India and Jassa Singh’s squad along with other Sikh squad was deployed in and around hills of Jammu, Pathonkot, to harass and snatch Abdali’s baggage train. His 5000 cavalry soldiers harassed Abdali’s Afghanis through Guerilla tactics of warfare that Abdali lost more soldiers to Sikhs in this type of warfare than his battle with Marthas. Around same time Jassa Singh Ahluwalia freed 2200 young Hindu women from Afghanis who were being taken to the harems and bazaars of Kabul, Baghdad and Basra. It was blessings of Waheguru (the almighty God) that Sikhs who were weak and few had defeated Abdali.

Next year Abdali returned to Punjab only to punish Sikhs. Mughals at this time were under his protectorate and small Mughal chieftains like,Nawab of Sarhind, and Sher Khan, Nawab of Malerkotla as well as other small time nawabs all over Punjab helped Abdali to sorround Sikhs at a place near Malerkotla called Kup. Taruna Dal and Buddha Dal sorrounded Women and children and fought head on for the first time with Abdali and his allies. Sikhs were outnumbered five to one (including women and chlidren on Sikh side). In this battle Sikhs lost about 30-45000 Sikhs in single day of battle and to this day it is called”The greater holocaust”., or “Wadda Ghalughara”

After this incident, Sikhs came out strong and in less than five years Sikhs had defeated all Mughals and Afghani protectorate in between area of River Jamuna and River Indus. Jassa Singh’s Ramgarhia Misl had played major part in this struggle. Later Ranjit Singh incorporated Ramgarhia Misal into Sarkar Khalsa and thus a one unified Khalsa kingdom was created.

  1. Copyright © Santokh Singh Jagdev “Bed Time Stories”

Bhai Haqiqat Rai

By | Famous Sikhs

bhai haqiqat rai

Bhai Haqiqat Rai was born at Sialkot in 1724 A.D. His father was Bhai Bhag Mall Khatri. His maternal grandparents were Sikhs and he was married at a young age to Durgi the daughter of Sardar Kishan Singh. Bhai Haqiqat Rai became a Sikh early in his life due to influence of his mother. During Mughal rule, children used to go to mosques to study Persian from Maulvis (Muslim priests). Bhai Haqiqat Rai was also learning Persian from a maulvi. He was the only Sikh while all his other class-mates were Muslims. One day, the maulvi had gone out. Bhai Haqiqat Rai-had a quarrel with a boy. In order to tease Bhai Haqiqat Rai, he called bad names to mother goddess. In anger, Bhai Haqiqat Rai called name to Bibi Fatima in retaliation. When the Muslim boys heard him calling name, all of them gave him a sound thrashing. He returned home weeping.

In the evening, the Muslim boys got together, went to the maulvi and said, “Today, when we said to Haqiqat Rai that their gods and goddesses are made of clay and all are false, he said Bibi Fatima to be false and called her names.” The maulvi said, “Did that infidel call Bibi Fatima names ?” The boys exaggerated the event and said, “When we said to him that we would complain to the maulvi, he replied that he was not afraid of him. His maternal uncles and inlaws are Sikhs. He will get the maulvi eliminated through them.” The maulvi was greatly enraged on hearing this. He said to the boys, “Call that infidel and bring him to me.”

At the message from the boys, Bhai Haqiqat Rai and his father went to the maulvi. As soon as they arrived, the maulvi caught hold of Bhai Haqiqat Rai and started beating him The maulvi beat him to unconsciousness but his anger did not subside. He arrested Bhai Haqiqat Rai and sent him to Amir Beg, the administrator of Sialkot. The next day the qazi said to Bhai Haqiqat Rai in the court, “You have hurt the feelings of believers by calling names to Bibi Fatima for which you should be given severe punishment. For this sin you can be burnt alive after pouring oil on you. you can be torn apart alive from dogs. But your sin may be pardoned if you embrace Islam.” Bhai Haqiqat Rai refused to become a Muslim. By order of Amir Beg, Bhai Haqiqat Rai was hanged feet up from a tree and beaten but he did not agree to embrace Islam.

Amir Beg sent Bhai Haqiqat Rai to Zakria Khan, the Governor of Lahore. Mother Goran said to Bhai Haqiqat Rai, “Son ! No doubt I shall lose a son by your death but if you give up your faith I shall be called the mother of a deserter and faithless son. I pray to God to bestow on you the will to keep your faith even if you have to sacrifice your life.” When Bhai Haqiqat Rai did not agree to embrace Islam even after further torture, he was martyred by the orders of the Governor in January, 1735 A.D.

  1. Copyright © Santokh Singh Jagdev “Bed Time Stories”

Bhai Sati Das Ji

By | Famous Sikhs
bhai sati das ji

bhai sati das ji

Bhai Sati Das (died 1675) along with his elder brother Bhai Mati Das is one of the greatest martyrs in Sikh history. Bhai Sati Das and his elder brother Bhai Mati Das were followers of ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Bhai Sati Das, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Dyal Das were all executed at kotwali(police-station) near the Sunehri Masjid in theChandni Chowk area of Old Delhi, under the express orders of emperor Aurangzeb.

Bhai Sati Das was a Mohyal Brahmin of the Chhibber clan. He belonged to the village of Karyala, a stronghold of the Chhibbers, in the Jhelum District in Punjab (Pakistan), about ten kilometres from Chakwal on the road to the Katas Raj Temple Complex. The village stands on the top of the Surla hills. This part of the country is known as Dhani meaning rich. A few kilometres away are the Salt Mines and coal mines of Dandot. The Katas lake is beautiful. Legend connects it to the Mahabharata. It is believed to be the very pool, where the Pandava, Yudhishtira was tested by his father, Lord Yama/Dharma in the form of a Yaksha. A great Hindu fair used to be held there up to 1947.

Sati Das was the son of Hira Nand, a disciple of Guru Har Gobind, under whom he had fought in many battles. He survived the Guru, and a little before his death he had entrusted his two sons, Mati Das and Sati Das to the care of Guru Har Rai, who had assured the dying man of his full attention and help. Both the lads remained attached to the Guru’s family at Kiratpur. When Guru Har Krishan was summoned to Delhi by Aurangzeb, both the brothers, Mati Das and Sati Das, were present in his entourage along with Dyal Das and Gurditta, a descendant of Bhai Budha (different from Baba Gurditta, the son of Guru Hargobind, brother of Guru Teg Bahadur and father of Guru Har Rai).

On Guru Har Krishan’s death at Delhi, these two brothers were included in the deputation of five men containing Dyal Das and Gurditta to declare the nomination of Teg Bahadur as the ninth Guru at the village of Bakala where the new Guru was then residing. The Guru was pleased to offer the two important portfolios of finance and home departments to Mati Das and Sati Das respectively. Both knew Persian well, and were quite familiar with the working of the Guru’s durbar. The department of household affairs was entrusted to Dyal Das.

The two brothers accompanied Guru Teg Bahadur during his journey to Assam. Guru Tegh Bahadur bought a hillock near the village of Makhowal five miles north of Kiratpur and established a new town, which he named as Anandpur (the abode of bliss). Mati Das and Sati Das were present at the foundation of Anandpur. The Guru’s council of administration then consisted of Mati Das, Sati Das, Dyal Das and Gurditta. When the Guru was arrested and taken to Delhi, these four persons followed the Guru

At Delhi, the Guru and his four companions were summoned into the council chamber of the Red Fort. The Guru was asked numerous questions on religion, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. It was suggested to the Guru that he should embrace Islam. On the Guru’s emphatic refusal to abjure his faith, he was asked why he was called Teg Bahadur(gladiator or Knight of the Sword; before this, his name had been Tyag Mal). Bhai Mati Das immediately replied that the Guru had won the title by inflicting a heavy blow on the imperial forces at the young age of fourteen. He was reprimanded for his breach of etiquette and outspokenness. As for the Kashmiri Pandits, it was his duty to raise his voice against cruelty and injustice. The Guru and his companions were ordered to be imprisoned and tortured until they agreed to embrace Islam.

After a few days, Guru Teg Bahadur and three of his companions were produced before the Qazi of the city. Gurditta had managed to escape. He remained in hiding in the city, and in spite of all the efforts of the Government, he could not be traced. The Qazi turned to Mati Das first and asked him to embrace Islam. He refused to do so. He was condemned to an instantaneous death.

The executioners were called and the Guru and all the three of his companions were made to sit at the place of the execution. After the martyrdom of Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Dyal Das, Bhai Sati Das moved towards the Guru with folded hands and asked for his blessings, saying that he was happy to achieve martyrdom.

The Guru blessed him telling that they must resign themselves cheerfully to the will of the Lord. He praised him for his lifelong single-minded devotion to him and his cause. With tears in his eyes, he bade him farewell saying his sacrifice would occupy an abiding place in history. Sati Das touched the Guru’s feet, and came to his place.

Bhai Sati Das was wrapped in cotton and set to fire by the executioner. He remained calm and peaceful and kept uttering Waheguru, waheguru-, waheguru-, waheguru, Waheguru………. Fire consumed his body; his immortal soul remained in peaceful joy. His martyrdom is remembered by the Sikhs in their daily prayer.

Image Source :  https://www.flickr.com/photos/hname/4222018298