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What is Sikhism’s take on Astrology?

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Is Astrology acceptable in Sikhism?

No, the Lord, Akal Purakh Waheguru has himself through the Jot/Light of Guru Nanak and then following all the Gurus has made it clear that the Lord is “Karta Purakh”, meaning He is the Doer of All the Acts.

Guru Amar Dass Ji in Siree Raag on Ang 32 say: ” Aape Kaar Karaisee Awar Na Karna Jae.”, meaning he himself assigns all to their tasks; Nothing else can be done. So if nothing else can be done, then there is definitely no space for any astrology or so called science as well.

When all the tasks are assigned by Lord and He is the Doer, then the only thing that exists is His Will (Hukam). Furthermore, Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Sri Japji Sahib say: “Hukame Andar Sab Ko Bahar Hukam Na Koe”, meaning thereby, that everyone is subject to His Command; No one is beyond His Command, So now if no one is beyond his command, what good can astrology serve?
Also, Guru Granth Sahib ji has outrightly rejected the ‘Stones’ as: ” Na Paathar Bolei Na Kich Dei. Fokat Karam Nihfal Hai Sev. “, meaning thereby The Stone does not speak; it does not give anything to anyone. Such religious rituals are useless; such service is fruitless.
So who controls everthing in this world then? This is the biggest question the humanity is looking for and in that pursuit it has resorted to the biggest myth- “Astrology”! Here is the explanation:
Guru Arjan Dev Maharaaj Sacche Patshaah in Raag Gauree on Ang 182 has said; ” Ja Kei Vass Khan Sultan. Ja Kei VAss Hai Sagal Jahaan”.( meaning: Kings and Emperors are Under His Power, The Whole World is under HIs Power). ” Ja Ka Keea Sabh Kich Hoe. Tis Te Bahar Naahi Koe” ( meaning: Everything is done by His Doing; Other than Him, there is nothing at all. )
So what next? How to get our affairs resolved?
Guru Arjan Dev Maharaaj go on forward in this continuing Shabad saying: ” Kaho Benanti Apane Satgur Paahe. Kaaj Tumaare Deh Nibaahe”. Meaning thereby, Offer your prayers to your True Guru; He will resolve your affairs.
So now, the next question is how can the Guru resolve our affairs because everything is actually in Lord’s Command. Here’s how it is:
Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaaj say in Raag Gond on Ang 864 : ” Gur Parmesar Eko Jaan. Jo Tis Bhaawei So Parvaan. “, meaning thereby Know that the Guru and the Transcendent Lord are One. Whatever pleases Him is Acceptable and approved.
Contribution : Rajdeep Singh (Ludhiana)

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.

Baba Nanak Shah Faquir; Hindu Da Guru, Musalman Da Peer

By | Sikh History | No Comments

Guru Nanak Dev ji, knowing that his time to depart from earth was approaching, appointed Angad Dev ji(formely bhai Lehna ji) his successor. On September 2, 1539 (2 Asu, 1596 Asu vadi 5) Guru Nanak placed five Paise before Bhai Lehna and bowed to him in token of his succession to the Guruship. He placed the umbrella of Spiritual Sovereignty over Bhai Lehna’s head.

“Jot uha jugat sai seih kaya feir paltiai.”

(Ramkali ki Var- Rai Balwand, p-966)

‘Divine Light is the same

The Way and Mode are the same

The Master has merely changed the body.’

(Translation of the above)

When Guruship was passed on to Guru Angad, sangat/people realized that Guru Nanak was soon to depart bodily from the world (As a Divine Light and Spirit, the Guru is always present). The Sikhs, the Hindus and the Muslims came from all over to have holy glimpse of Guru Nanak.

Guru’s Muslim devotees wanted to bury Guruji after his death. whereas the Hindu followers desired to cremate Gurujis body. When Guruji was asked for his decision, he replied,

“Let the Hindus place flowers on my right and the Muslims on my left.

Those whose flowers are found fresh in the morning, may have the disposal rights of my body.”

The Guru drew a sheet over him. When the sheet was removed next morning, there was nothing, but the flowers on both sides were afresh. The light blended with Light and the spirit went back and merged with the Master Spirit.

The Hindus and the Muslims removed their respective flowers and cut the sheet into two. The former cremated the sheet and the latter buried it.

‘Baba Nanak Shah Faquir; Hindu Da Guru, Musalman Da Peer’

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji died  in Kartarpur, at the age of 70.

source:www.sikhs.nl

Kirpa Karo Hare – Bhai Davinder Singh Hazuri Ragi Sri Harmandir Sahib – Live Recording

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Nanak Mange Daras Daan Kirpaa Karo Hare by Bhai Davinder Singh Hazuri Ragi Sri Harmandir Sahib. Live Recording.

Click on ‘play’ button to play the audio track.



ਜਿਨਿ ਜਿਨਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਕਾਜ ਸਰੇ ॥
जिनि जिनि नामु धिआइआ तिन के काज सरे ॥
Jin jin nām ḏẖi▫ā▫i▫ā ṯin ke kāj sare.
Those who meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord-their affairs are all resolved.

ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਆਰਾਧਿਆ ਦਰਗਹ ਸਚਿ ਖਰੇ ॥
हरि गुरु पूरा आराधिआ दरगह सचि खरे ॥
Har gur pūrā ārāḏẖi▫ā ḏargėh sacẖ kẖare.
Those who meditate on the Perfect Guru, the Lord-Incarnate-they are judged true in the Court of the Lord.

ਸਰਬ ਸੁਖਾ ਨਿਧਿ ਚਰਣ ਹਰਿ ਭਉਜਲੁ ਬਿਖਮੁ ਤਰੇ ॥
सरब सुखा निधि चरण हरि भउजलु बिखमु तरे ॥
Sarab sukẖā niḏẖ cẖaraṇ har bẖa▫ojal bikẖam ṯare.
The Lord's Feet are the Treasure of all peace and comfort for them; they cross over the terrifying and treacherous world-ocean.

ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਤਿਨ ਪਾਈਆ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਹਿ ਜਰੇ ॥
प्रेम भगति तिन पाईआ बिखिआ नाहि जरे ॥
Parem bẖagaṯ ṯin pā▫ī▫ā bikẖi▫ā nāhi jare.
They obtain love and devotion, and they do not burn in corruption.

ਕੂੜ ਗਏ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਨਸੀ ਪੂਰਨ ਸਚਿ ਭਰੇ ॥
कूड़ गए दुबिधा नसी पूरन सचि भरे ॥
Kūṛ ga▫e ḏubiḏẖā nasī pūran sacẖ bẖare.
Falsehood has vanished, duality has been erased, and they are totally overflowing with Truth.

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੇਵਦੇ ਮਨ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਏਕੁ ਧਰੇ ॥
पारब्रहमु प्रभु सेवदे मन अंदरि एकु धरे ॥
Pārbarahm parabẖ sevḏe man anḏar ek ḏẖare.
They serve the Supreme Lord God, and enshrine the One Lord within their minds.

ਮਾਹ ਦਿਵਸ ਮੂਰਤ ਭਲੇ ਜਿਸ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ॥
माह दिवस मूरत भले जिस कउ नदरि करे ॥
Māh ḏivas mūraṯ bẖale jis ka▫o naḏar kare.
The months, the days, and the moments are auspicious, for those upon whom the Lord casts His Glance of Grace.

ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮੰਗੈ ਦਰਸ ਦਾਨੁ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਹਰੇ ॥੧੪॥੧॥
नानकु मंगै दरस दानु किरपा करहु हरे ॥१४॥१॥
Nānak mangai ḏaras ḏān kirpā karahu hare. ||14||1||
Nanak begs for the blessing of Your Vision, O Lord. Please, shower Your Mercy upon me! ||14||1||


My Sikh Story – Harpreet Singh

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Harpreet Singh

Harpreet Singh – Before and After

Background

My story begins with my parents, both from different parts of the World. My Mother’s side of the family consists of mostly Hindus or Radhaa Swamis, who all have a lot of respect for Sikhi. My Grandmother gave birth to seven daughters, of which the first five were married in India. The remaining two, the youngest being my mother, were married abroad to English born husbands.

My Father’s side of the family were Sikh. His parents were Amritdhari (baptised) and I’ve been told that my Grandmother was an incredible woman who inspired many around her, but I never got to meet her as she passed away before I was born. My Grandfather then remarried and from two wives he had six sons and three daughters, none of whom are religious now.

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say my Father is a terrible human being. He was very aggressive and short tempered, and would pursue women of the night (even after marriage). If he wasn’t drunk on the streets, he was sober in jail. He would beat my Mother on many occasions and in those days domestic violence was always kept secret. My Mother was forced to endure this, she was virtually alone with nowhere to run. She tells me today that her Faith in God was what kept her going, and by reading Gurbani or doing seva at the Gurdwara she kept her spirits high. She had the opportunity to take Amrit when she came to England, but the issue with my Father prevented her from doing so. His constant affairs forced us to move town, from Derby to Wolverhampton, but he still didn’t stop. It was only when my Mother found out he got another woman pregnant, that she decided to divorce him. By this time she had given birth to four children, three girls and a boy… Me!

My Mother worked hard to raise four children and keep the home, often working 15hours a day. Poverty, as you can imagine, was very much in our lives at the time. During the hardest times of the divorce my sisters decided to rebel. The oldest two left the house to live with my Father, thinking it would give them more freedom. They were incredibly naive to think a man like that could take care of them, and Mother never let them back in the house as her heart was broken. I never saw them again until my eldest sister got Cancer; her funeral, 1st November 1998, brought the family together for at least one day. Even after this, my mother kept the Faith.

Later my mother remarried a guy from India, as she was harassed by many for being a single Asian mother. He wears a turban but isn’t a baptised Sikh, and struggled to play the “father role” if I’m honest. It was just me and my sister left in the house, and instead of understanding my Mother’s struggles she did exactly the same as my older two sisters and left the house in 2008. It was just me, my Mother and my Stepdad left.

I felt the need to mention all this, because it’s becoming increasingly common story for many children of my generation.

My Story

My story really begins when I became a teenager. Many would say I was a rather weird child, who loved to laugh and joke a lot, never taking anything too serious. All my cousins kept their hair as kids, but cut it when they were older. As a result, my hair was cut from birth. I was a bright kid who spoke a lot in class, never violent but always disruptive. Mother forced me to go to Punjabi school as a child but I never really felt anything when I went to the Gurdwara. Looking back at it you could say that I lost faith at a young age, and at my school hardly anyone was Religious.

I was carefree and there wasn’t really any depth to my personality. Sometimes my comments would be offensive, but if they made me laugh I would keep on saying them.  When I turned sixteen years old I was about six feet tall, which in my family meant I was the age to start drinking. I never smoked, but the moment I had my first taste of alcohol I knew this was a feeling I’d like to experience again. It was at my Nephew’s first birthday party where my Mother found out I was drinking, where I simply drank until I lost consciousness (lousy open bar). Even now my cousins make fun of me, but at that moment in time I was “enjoying life” even with vomit all over me. Mother was disappointed and told me I should stop now, but what sixteen year old listens to their Mother?

I would continue to drink at family functions and when I became of the legal age, I would drink with my friends at the local park. I would drink a lot of Whiskey, not because of the taste, only because my body could take a lot of it – and apparently the more you drank the more of a “man” you were. I would also drink a lot of Strongbow Super because it got me drunk faster. When I got a part-time job catering at Asian weddings, free alcohol became incredibly easy to get. The more I drank, the more I just wanted to get drunk and forget the World.

As time went on I found myself falling into a deep hole and kept on using alcohol to escape, sometimes even drinking alone, but as you can imagine this only made things worse. I would put on a face at school but my relations with people weren’t always the best. At home, I would argue with my Mother a lot and at one point I felt so low that I reached for some pills and just decided to call it quits. I’m still here, so it was a failed attempt, but I was still slipping. I had a girlfriend at the time who I forced to suffer with me, I was pretty hard to tolerate and our rocky relationship made me want to drink more. My sister who hadn’t moved out yet was a nightmare to live with and was confrontational almost every day, which made me bottle up a lot of my emotion. At school my grades would suffer because I just lacked the will to go on, life at this point seemed rather pointless.

But then, as if out of nowhere, I bumped into some Sikhs! My neighbour and his family were practising Sikhs and had good relations with my Mother. I started to play football with one of their sons who treated me like a little brother. Due to my social habits I wasn’t very good (mostly fitness reasons) but I got introduced to a lot of other Sikhs in the community as well. I became good friends with a few who, through general conversation, got me to go to the Gurdwara again. I noticed something in their lives that I didn’t have, and felt the need to explore.

When I turned nineteen in 2007 I finished Highschool and got into University of Wolverhampton to study Mathematics. Staying in my hometown meant I didn’t go clubbing because my Mother hated me staying out late at night, so instead I would attend local Sikh events such as “Saint Souldier Youth Forums”, which in hindsight came at the perfect time. At University my mentality changed and I started to use my brain a lot more, viewing life and my actions in a more logical manner. At the Forums I met many inspirational people who asked questions that I had no response to. For example; “What is your life purpose?”. The more I explored, the happier I felt, and as time went on I started questioning my own actions such as drinking alcohol, eating meat, and the lack of respect I had for my own Mother. It was like I woke up from a bad dream and felt like a brand new person. With God’s grace I left my catering job and gave up alcohol for good. My friends were surprised and kept asking whether I was tempted to drink again, I could honestly say I had no more desire to get drunk! I wanted to keep my hair, but that took more time due to vanity issues (my beard only grew on one side of my face).

As time went on I felt guilty and upset when I shaved, so around April 2008 I stopped cutting my hair. I’m one of those people that find it difficult to do things I know I shouldn’t be doing, which helped in this transition. Sometimes the mind can be our greatest enemy. I use to have terrible nightmares that I shaved my beard off, but then when I woke up I would grab it and thank God for such a beautiful blessing. Finally, on 16th November 2008 (which was Guru Nanak’s Gurpurab) I decided to give my head to my Guru and take Amrit. It’s important to understand that this is the first real step a Sikh can take in their Spiritual journey, and for me the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Just before I took Amrit I faced a huge test in my life where my lung collapsed. I had just started growing my hair (but hadn’t taken Amrit) and was hospitalised for about a month. The pain I went through was unreal but, it was Gurbani that kept me going. My neighbours came to visit me and one of the conversations we had were about suffering. I was curious to know, why now? Why, when I’ve decided to walk a more righteous path must I suffer? To which the response I got was; “Just think of what you could be going through had you not changed paths.” And so be it, the glass in my life became half full and has been ever since.

As my journey continued I got the opportunity to help run the Forums that inspired me for a short while, and then the Sikh Society at my old University. I also made a very good Christian friend who would take me to his Church where I made some very blessed Christians friends that showed me God’s grace has no limitations. I enjoy Religion a lot more and explore other faiths, just to see life through the eyes of other people is what interests most. Sikhi really is the embodiment of Inter-Faith and its foundations allow for tolerance and peace towards others.

Final Remarks

It has now been seven years since I took Amrit and I’ve learnt a lot on this journey. If I could share anything it would be to respect your parents and understand the sacrifices they have made to bring you into this World. For me, it took nearly twenty years to finally treat my Mother with a bit of respect but now she can honestly say she is proud of me (her words, not mine). I am a tribute to my Mother’s love for me, and we are both a tribute to Guru Nanak’s love for his Sikhs.

I do regret my actions like most people would, but I understand they hold their own purpose and that part of my life was a learning curve that has given me strong foundations for the rest of my life. Sometimes we all feel low, but it’s important not to cover up the issue like I did, and truly understand your own worth. I’m happy now, and have been for many years. Having good people around you is important, having faith in yourself is essential. We are blessed beyond measure.

gur kaa sabadh rakhavaarae ||
The Word of the Guru’s Shabad is my Saving Grace.

choukee chougiradh hamaarae ||
It is a guardian posted on all four sides around me.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

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

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.