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Baba Deep Singh Ji

By | Sikh History

baba-deep-singh

Shaheed Baba Deep Singh ji is one of most honoured martyrs in Sikh history and the founder of the Shahid misl (group) and Damdami Taksal (Damdama school of learning). He was a great Scholar and fearless saint Soldier always ready to give his life for sake of humanity.

He was known as Deepaa in his childhood Born at Paahuwind, Amritsar and the only son of bhai bhagtu ji and Maataa Jeeodee ji born after 15yrs of their marriage .

Guru Gobind Singh gave a new shape to the Khalsa Panth . That year many people went to Annadpur Sahib to take amrit. Deepaa, along with his parents too joined them. There, he also with his parents took Amrit at the age of eighteen from the Panj Pyare at Anandpur Sahib in the presence of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and became(Baba) Deep Singh Ji . He was very impressed with guruji’s amry. When his parents were ready to return to their village, Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked Baba Deep Singh Ji to stay with him. He humbly accepted Guru Ji’s command and began serving him.Thereafter he spent his years for his training of horse riding, archery as well as other arms training including gurmukhi from Bhai Mani singh jee .He was very interested and expert in hunting.

After 8 years of serving he returned to his village to help his parents. But when he heard news of Guru Gobind Singh’s family separation and Sahidi of Sahibzadas, after Guru Saahib left Anandpur Sahib . Baba Deep Singh Jee immediately left Pahuwind and began a search for the Guru Sahib. He finally met up with Guru Gobind Singh Jee at Sabu ki Talwandi ( Damdama Sahib ).Their Guru Sahib ordered him and Bhai Manee Singh to finish copying the GURU GRANTH SAHIB JEE . Baba Deep Singh Ji had been summoned to Damdama Sahib to work with Bhai Mani Singh Ji to prepare the final text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji recited the entire Granth Sahib to them while they wrote the text. On its completion, Baba Deep Singh Ji hand wrote five more copies of the holy scriptures. Four copies were sent to Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Sri Takht Patna Sahib, Sri Takht Hazur Sahib, and Sri Takht Anandpur Sahib. Another copy was prepared by Baba Deep Singh Ji in Arabic script and sent to the Middle East. Between the years 1715 and 1728, they copied and distributed several copies of Guru Granth Sahib. After the Guru sahib left for Delhi, Bhai Mani Singh jee became the head priest ofDarbar Sahib , Amritsar, and Baba Deep Singh jee was given up the service of looking after Gurudwara Damdama sahib. There Baba Ji also continued to write gutkas (books of hymns) and distributed them to the Sikh community.

Although when Baba Deep Singh Ji was seventy-five years old, he still had the strength of a young warrior. When Baba Deep singh came to know of the demolition of Harminder Sahib he offered prayers before starting for Amritsar, “My head may fall at Harminder Sahib.”

” Sir jaave ta jaave, mera Sikhi sidhak na jaave “

And then he promised “Diwali will be celebrated at Amritsar this year” . He gathered a large group of Sikhs and advanced towards Sir Harimander Sahib . By the time they reached the village of Taran Taaran, about ten miles from Amritsar, their numbers had risen to about five thousand. At this time, Baba Ji drew a line on the ground with his khanda , and asked only those who were willing to fight and die to cross the line. Baba Deep Singh Ji then recited :

” Jo to praym khaylan ka chaao, sir dhar talee galee mayree aao. ” (Those who wish to play the game of love (follow Sikhism), come to me with your head in your palm.)  

” It maarag pair dhareejai, sir deejai kaan na keejai. ” (If you wish your feet to travel this path, don’t delay in accepting to give your head.)

All of the Sikhs there crossed the line eagerly.

When news of Baba Deep Singh Ji’s plans reached Jahan Khan, he immediately mobilized an army of 20,000 men and proceeded towards Taran Taaran Baba Deep Singh Ji’s army intercepted Jahan Khan’s forces near the village of Goharwal , about five miles from Amritsar . At this point, there was a clash between both sides. Baba Deep Singh Ji fought with his 18- ser khanda (weighing about 32 lbs.). Each Sikh fought with such great valor and courage that the enemy was almost defeated. They continued fighting and advancing towards Amritsar.

During the clash, one of the Mugal commanders, Jamal Khan, attacked Baba Deep Singh Ji. As they fought, both men swung their weapons with great force, leaving both of their heads separated from their bodies. After seeing this scene, a young Sikh warrior called out to Baba Ji, reminding him of his vow to reach Sri Harimander Sahib. Upon hearing this, Baba Deep Singh Ji immediately stood up, holding his head on his left palm while holding his khanda upright in his right hand. He then continued fighting and moving towards Sri Harimander Sahib. Upon seeing the sight of Baba Deep Singh Ji, most of the men in the Mugal army fled away in terror. Baba Deep Singh Ji was able to continue fighting and reached Sri Harimander Sahib. He bowed his head at the prakarma of Sri Harimander Sahib and laid there as a martyr where he breathed his last. The Singhs celebrated the Diwali of 1757 A.D. in Harminder Sahib.

He worked out till his last moment for sake of humanity

“Janam maran dove meh naahi ,Jan parupakri aaye “ .

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”

Baba Bota Singh Baba Garja Singh

By | Famous Sikhs
shaheed_bhai_bota_singh_garja_singh

Shaheed Baba Bota Singh Baba Garja Singh ji

After the death of Qazi Abdul Razak and Mufti Abdul Rehman at the hands of the Singhs in 1738 A.D., Zakriya Khan, the Governor of Lahore put Abdul Samad Khan Yusufi at the head of an army patrol. Wherever that patrol came across a Singh, they killed him there and then. One day, Abdul Samad Khan fell into the hands of Nawab Kapoor Singh. He tied him head down, behind a horse and ran the horse at a gallop which caused his death. After that, the Governor began rewarding those coming with the heads of Singhs. A large number of Singhs left Lahore and went to other provinces. .

Zakariya Khan had taken vows to destroy the Sikhs, root and branch. Orders were given that all Sikhs-men, women, and children were to be put to death. It was declared lawful to plunder their homes and seize their property. Their houses were to be looted and plundered. They were to be haunted down like wild beasts. Not only government officials, but even notable Hindus and Muhammadans, vied with one another in this cruel campaign of loot, arson and murder. Special rewards were offered for the capture and destruction of the Sikhs. It was announced, ‘Any parson giving information which leads to the arrest of a Sikh, will get ten gold coins. Fifty coins will be rewarded to him who brings the head of a Sikh. Eighty coins will be given to him who captures and brings a Sikh alive.’ It has to be borne in mind that eighty coins in those days would be equal to a few thousand dollars today. So, the rewards were tempting indeed. The whole machinery of the government was put into motion to crush the Sikhs. Even non-official Zamindars were made to lend a hand in this campaign of ruthless genocide. Some Zamindars used to send cartloads of heads to Lahore. This campaign was the most virulent in the Majha tract.

As a result of this fierce persecution, most of the Sikhs left the plains. They took shelter in places away from human habitations. These places were the Shivalik Hills, the Lakhi jungle, and the sandy deserts of Rajputana. The few who still chose to remain in the Majha, had to press their days in bushes and forests, here and there. Sometimes, some persecutors and evil wishers of their would boast that the Sikhs were afraid to appear in the plains. Such taunts would cause some daring Sikhs to come out of their hiding places, and make their presence known and felt. One such daring Sikh was Bhai Bota Singh. He was a GurSikh of Bharana, now in Pakistan. He had a companion named Bhai Garja Singh. They used to come occasionally to Amritsar at night in order to bathe in the sacred tank. They spent the rest of the day in the bushes near Taran Taaran. Bhai Bota Singh was a deeply religious man. He passed his life in reciting the Guru’s sacred hymns and meditating on God. By nature, he was a peace loving saint. But, at the same time, he could be a mighty soldier, if necessary.

It was toward the end of 1739, when one day, a party of wayfarers noticed Bhai Bota Singh and his companion near Nurdi. The two were returning from a secret pilgrimage to the darbar Sahib at Amritsar. ‘Look There’ said one of the wayfarers, ‘there goes the pair of Sikhs’. ‘O , no’, said another. ‘They can’t be Sikhs. there is no Sikh left anywhere in the neighborhood. All of them have been either killed or driven away. Zakriya Khan has proudly proclaimed that he has exterminated the Sikhs that no Sikh exists in the Punjab.’ But, said the first man, ‘I am sure that they are Sikhs.’ ‘In that case,’ said the other, ‘they must be a pair of cowards, jackals, hiding about to save their skins. The Sikhs are not subject to such fears.’ These taunting remarks stung Bhai Bota Singh. A Singh of Guru Gobind Singh was, to him, as brave as a lion. That a Singh or lion should be called jackal was more than he could stand. The Guru’s Khalsa, he felt, could not be exterminated. Zakriya Khan must be made to realize that his boast was empty, that the Khalsa was in existence and would ever continue to exist, in spite of all that he and his ilk might do. Indeed, the taunt awoke the soldier in that saint. He decided to come out into the open, make his presence felt, by Zakriya Khan and his government, and to maintain the prestige of the Khalsa. His companion was of the same view.

Bhai Bota Singh and his companion came out from the bushes. They took their position on the then Grand Trunk Road near Nurdi, a few miles west of Taran Taaran. In those days, this road connected Delhi and Lahore. As mere bravado and show of courage, Bhai Bota Singh began to collect toll tax of one anna per cart and one pice per donkey load. None dared to refuse his demand. All paid it readily and quietly. Nobody dared make a report to the government. Their weapons were big sticks cut from kikkar trees. This went for some time. Bhai Bota Singh’s presence was, no doubt, felt by those who used the Grand Trunk road. But it had not yet been felt by the government. Bhai Bota Singh did not like it. He had not taken this position merely for collecting toll. His object was only to prove to the fanatical rulers that, in spite for their all-out effort to exterminate the Sikhs, the Sikhs were still very much in existence. Therefore, he wrote direct to the governor, Zakriya Khan, at Lahore, announcing himself and the tax he was levying on travelers. He gave it to the traveler bound for Lahore and asked him to do deliver it to the governor there. The traveler undertook to do so. The letter was, of course, in Punjabi. Its words were as follows:

“Chithi likhi Singh Bota,

Hath hai sota, Vich rah khalota,

Anna laya gadde noo, Paisa laya khota,

Akho Bhabi Khano nun, Eeun akhe Singh Bota”

In English the words would read:

“Thus writes Bota Singh a letter,

With a big stick in hand, on the road I stand,

Levying an anna for a cart, And pice for a donkey load.

Tell sister-in-law Khano,

That this is a message from Bota Singh.”

The letter was a clear and daring challenge to the governor. He was red with rage. Immediately he, sent a detachment of on hundred fully armed horsemen under the command of Jalal Din, to arrest Bhai Bota Singh. On approaching Nurdi, they saw the two Sikhs standing on the road. They held big kikar sticks in their hands. They had no other weapon; no axe, no lance, and no sword. Approaching them, Jalal Din called upon them to surrender. Bhai Bota Singh replied, ‘Sikhs know no surrender. We are not used to that sort of act. You would certainly like very much to take us alive to your governor and earn his good opinion. He would like very much to see me cut into pieces, limb by limb, like Bhai Mani Singh. But we refuse to oblige you and your governor. We shall give up our lives, but we shall charge a heavy price for them. We shall die fighting. But we shall kill many before we die. Come on, and taste our big sticks. Send four of your best strongest swordsmen against us two big-stick wielders. Come on ! “Sat Sri Akal”.

Jalal Din sent four his bravest and strongest soldiers. He said to them, ‘Fall on these beasts, and fell them with your sharp swords.’ They advanced, crying, ‘Ya Ali’. Bhai Bota Singh and Garja Singh struck them repeated blows with their big sticks. Thus thrashed, the four Mughals soldiers were fell to the ground. Another batch of four met the same fate. Then Jalal Ding ordered all his soldiers to make a joint attack. Bhai Bota Singh and Garja Singh were surrounded by shouting swordsmen. The unequal fight could not last long. The brave Sikhs fell martyrs at last; but only after over a dozen Mughal soldiers had been dispatched by them to hell. Thus did they make their presence felt by the government of Zakriya Khan. Thus did they demonstrate that they were not cowards, but bold and daring saint soldiers of Guru Gobind Singh; that they were not jackals, but lions. Thus did they show Zakriya Khan that his boast of having exterminated the Khalsa was altogether empty; that the Khalsa was very much in existence, and would continue to exist, in spite of all that he and his ilk might do.  This happened in the year 1739.

Source : Sikh History Book 5 by Kartar Singh.