Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sakhi Series :- 130 ( Delhi Under Sikh Raj : Sardar Baghel Singh Karor Singhia )

Sardar Baghel Singh Karor Singhia

In 1727 Nawab Kapur Singh took charge of the political affairs of the Sikhs. At that time the Sikh Nation was in disarray. The Mughal Governor, Zakria Khan's policy to annihilate the Sikhs had forced them to disperse towards the hills and jungles.

But it did not take long and the Sikhs once again started to reappear and consolidate their forces. The credit to reorganize the Sikh Polity, and institutionalize it into specific units, goes to Nawab Kapur Singh. He realized that the support group was equally necessary to keep the supply-line open for the forces in combat. Consequently, he divided the Khalsa society into two groups. The name of Taruna Dal was designated to the armed forces and the combat troops. Mostly the people under the age of forty were taken in it.

The second, service group, was called Budha Dal. People over the age of fifty were accommodated there. Apart from providing facilities to the fighting forces, the Budha Dal's duties included the protection of the Sikh Religious places, provision of comfort to the sick and needy, and to take care of the women, children and old.

With overwhelming acceptance, people flocked to join both the ranks. Nawab Kapoor Singh divided them into five commands and with the passage of time they took the shape of twelve Missals. Initially, Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was the overall commander of these Missals. Each Missal was assigned various task.

Sardar Karor Singh was the commander of the Missal known as Karor Singhia, after his name. Sardar Baghel Singh, a resident of Gurdaspur District took over the command of this Missal at the death of Sardar Karor Singh.

The people of Saharanpur were maltreated by Najib-u-Daula, the Feudal Lord. Sardar Baghel Singh gave him a crushing defeat in the first encounter of his command of the Missal. One after the other he indulged in seventeen such confrontations with the scrupulous rulers.

The Mohammedan Chief of Jalalabad had forcibly abducted the daughter of a Brahmin and taken her into his Harem. The Singhs under the command of Baghel Singh crossed Jamuna, killed the Chief, Mir Hassan Khan, and got the girl liberated. The girl was duly returned to the parents, but her parents and the Hindu community refused to accept her back on the pretext that she had been defiled by living under Islamic environments. The Singhs, then, assigned her the title of `Daughter of the Khalsa' and admonished the Brahmins: all the property of any class conscience person, who treated the girl with disrespect, would be confiscated and handed over to the girl herself.

Sardar Baghel Singh's army invaded Delhi first time on January 18, 1774 and captured the area up to Shahdra. In the second invasion which took place on July 1775, they captured the area of Pahar Ganj and Jai Singh Pura. This battle was fought at the place where present New Delhi is situated.  But the Khalsa Army faced acute shortage of supplies for life subsistence, and voluntarily withdrew. The Singhs continued their intrusions from time to time, which made Mughal King, Bahadur Shah, to concede to give the Singhs one eighth of the revenue collected from the area in between Rivers Ganga and Jamuna.

In 1783 the Maharatas abandoned Delhi. The Mughal Rulers foresaw the danger emanating from the progressing English power. To deter the English and to make them to go back, the Mughal King, Shah Alam, wished the Sinhgs to come back. Taking advantage of the situation, thirty thousand of Sikhs came and encamped at the place of Kashmiri Gate. They planned two pronged attack. One section invaded the Ajmeri Gate and the other one breached the wall of the Red Fort and entered the place, which is now known as the Mori Gate. After a fierce battle the Singhs captured Red Fort, hoisted the Kesri Flag, and put Panj Pyare, including Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, on the throne of the Delhi.

Shah Alam, through the aegis of his Ministers, Court Official Munshi Ram Dyal, and Begham (Queen) Samoor offered reconciliation with the Singhs and accepted their four conditions:

1. No Mughal Official would indulge in atrocities on the populace.

2. The Mughal King would pay three hundred thousand rupees as a gift.

3. The Kotwali Area would remain the property of the Khalsa Army

4. Sardar Baghel Singh would trace historically significant Sikh places in Delhi, and would establish Sikh Temples there. Till this work was completed he would stay in Delhi with a constabulary of 4,000 horses. The Delhi Ruler would bear all their expenses.

Consequently, rest of the Khalsa Army returned.

Sardar Baghel Singh set up an octroi-post near Sabzi Mandi to collect the tax on the goods imported into the city to finance the search and the construction of the Sikh Temples. He did not want to use the cash received from the Government Treasury for this purpose, and most of that was handed out to the needy and poor. He often distributed sweetmeats, bought out of this Government gift, to the congregationalists at the place which, now, is know as the Pul Mithai.

With help of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh old residents of Delhi, Sardar Baghel Singh found and established seven historical places as the Sikh Temples:

1. Gurdwara Mata Sundri Ji at the place which was know as the Haveli Sardar Jawahar Singh.

2. Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. A Mansion belonging to Raja Jai Singh existed there once. Guru Harkrishan Dev, the Eighth Guru had stayed there.

3. Gurdwara Bala Sahib. Last rights of Guru Harkrishan, Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur were performed at this place.

4. Gurdwara Rakab Ganj. The torso of Guru Tegh Bahadur was cremated here.

5. Gurdwara Sees Ganj. Guru Tegh Bahadur was martyred at this place.

6. Gurdwara Moti Bagh. Guru Gobind Singh sent a message to the Mughal King, Bahadur Shah, by throwing an arrow from this place.

7.Gurdwara Majnu Tilla. It was established in the memory of a Sikh of Guru Nanak, named Majnu. Guru Hargobind stayed at this place on his way to Gwaliar.

On the completion of all the Gurdwaras, Baghel Singh appointed the Bhais (attendant priests) to look after the places and decided to return to Punjab, as well. He was persuaded by Munshi Ram Dyal not to abandoned Delhi once the Mughals had coneded to his authority and supermacy. But Baghel Singh replied, "We have been endowed with Kingdom and Destiny by our Guru. Whenever we wished, we could capture Delhi. It won't be difficult for the Khalsa."

Sardar Baghel Singh once again decided to invaded Delhi in 1785. Shah Alam, scared of Singh, signed a treaty with the Maharatas. The Maharatas initialed an agreement with the Singhs and consented to pay one million rupees as Gift.

The last days of the life of Baghel Singh are not very conspicuous. Some accounts mark 1800 and 1802 as the years of his demise.  


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sakhi Series :- 129 ( Bhagat Trilochan Ji and Antarjami )

Bhagat Trilochan Ji 

Bhagat Trilochan ji had heard about the fame of Bhagat Namdev Ji and reached Narsi Bamni for an audience with him. In his very first meeting he requested Bhagat Namdev Ji to give him a glimpse of the Almightly. Bhagat Namdev Ji replied ," You shall also have the sight of Almighty if you contemplate on Him with devotion while working with your hands and legs at the same time." However Bhagat Trilochan Ji persuaded Bhagat Namdev Ji to bless him with His glimpse. Bhagat Namdev Ji humbly pleaded to Almighty to fulfill Bhagat Trilochan's request

Trilochan Ji came back to his village and started serving every mendicant who came that way. The company of the Holy men liberated him of desire for worldly materials and the fear of death. 
Time passed away and Bhagat Trilochan Ji became very famous among the saints. A group of saints would always remain present at his place. He always served the saints at his residence with the utmost dedication and humanity. Bhagat Trilochan Ji always gave more importance to Bhakti (love & devotion) in preference to selfish interests. He said that he who is always occupied with problems relating to wealth and property will never become happy. As the number of visiting saints kept on increasing it became difficult for Bhagat Trilochan Ji' and his wife to do the household work. So she asked Bhagat ji to have a servant who could help in the household work. 
When Bhagat Ji was about to leave home to search a worker who could help in the household work a boy appeared at the door of his house. Upon inquiring the child told Bhagat Ji that his name was 'Antarjami' (also means the knower of all hearts) and he is looking for work. 

Next day, After giving him instructions, Bhagat ji asked him about how much salary he wanted. The servant (God disguised Himself) said politely," What would I do with my salary because I have no relatives in this world. I will work without pay. What ever you give me to eat and wear, I will accept it. But I have one condition. If you try to slander or talk behind my back, I will not stay here. That is all my pay and the conditions."  

Bhagat Ji introduced Antarjami to his wife and told her to explain him his work and also asked her to feed him to his satisfaction and do not talk bad about him and his habits with the people. Time went on and a year passed. Every body was happy by the service of Antarjami. 
One day Trilochan Ji's wife was talking with her neighbor. Her neighbor asked her why she was looking pale and weak because she was a very radiant lady. She started telling her neighbor about the Antarjami, about his eating habit. She said, "I'm unable to cope up with his meals. He eats a lot. Her neighbor suggested her to replace the servant with someone else. 
Antarjami was the manifestation of the God Himself. He came to know of the conversation between Bhagat Ji's wife and her neighbor. So he left the home as the wife had violated the condition on which Antarjami had agreed to work in Bhagat Ji's home. When Trilochan Ji's wife returned after having a nice chatting. She was shocked to find the house unattended and servant missing. 
Trilochan Ji asked her wife about him but she wasn't able give any satisfactory reply. 

One day Trilocan Ji were sleeping, voice cried, "Hey Trilochan your servant, Antarjami was indeed a 'antarjami', the Almightly himself. He came to you on the recommendations of Bhagat Namdev Ji."  

On finding out Bhagat Trilochan jis wife felt sorry about what she had done. Bhagat Trilochan Ji's hymn in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji explains:- 

"One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru: 
Why do you slander the Lord? You are ignorant and deluded. 
Pain and pleasure are the result of your own actions.||1|Pause||"

Upon hearing Bhagat Trilochan's sermons in the hymn above, his wife understood that life's joys and pains are brought about by man performing misdeeds instead of singing the praises of God. Thereafter, she was in bliss. 

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sakhi Series :- 128 (1984: Guru Ji Protects His Children… ) [repeat]

1984: Guru Ji Protects His Children… 


guru myrY sMig sdw hY nwly ] ismir ismir iqsu sdw sm@wly ]1] rhwau ]

g ur maer ai sa(n)g sadh aa hai n aal ae || si mar simar th is sadhaa samhaal ae ||1||

My Guru is always with me, near at hand. Meditating, meditating in remembrance on Him, I cherish Him forever. ||1||

After the assassination of Indra Gandhi on October 31, 1984, Sikhs were butchered across India. 
This is a story about a Sikh couple living in an isolated village outside of Punjab. The couple was young and were amritdhari. The Singhni wore a dastaar and they had a young child.

The Sikh couple had an isolated farmhouse in a Hindu dominated area. When news of the assassination reached the area, and it was found out that Sikhs were being killed, some local thugs also decided it was the perfect chance to loot the farmhouse. 

The Singh found out about these plans from some well wishers and told his wife that they had very little time and an attack was coming. The Singh said that they should leave their farm and escape to save their lives. The Singhnee however reminded him that they had done Parkash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib on the top floor of the house and how could they run away from Guru Sahib? The Singh again repeated that there was an attack coming and said that their young child would be killed. Singhnee jee insisted again that it would be wrong to run away from Guru Sahib and let the mob disrespect Guru Sahib's saroop. 

The Singh in frustration then said, "Once they kill us, they will disrespect the saroop anyways so what is the point in staying? We can't save the saroop if we're dead. The best we can do is save ourselves now. There is no benefit in staying! You are being stubborn and stupid."

The Singhnee replied that while she had breath in her body, she would not abandon Guru Sahib, even to save her life and while she was alive, no one could dare do any disrespect. 

With the mob now on its way, the Singh in frustration told his Singhnee that she could do what she wanted but he was leaving with their son. He then took the infant and escaped.

Singhnee jee went to Guru Sahib's room, and did ardaas. She asked Guru Sahib for protection and for the courage to, if need be, become Shahid in this seva. She then took a kirpan and waited. 

When Singhnee jee saw the mob arrive, yelling and carrying weapons, ready to attack the house. She came down and stood at the door holding her unsheathed Sri Sahib. All of a sudden, the thugs in the mob began to turn around and run away, looking back in terror and then continuing to run. Singhnee jee was confused but amazed at Guru Sahib's kirpa as the mob retreated and did not return...

Some days later, the Singh came back to the village to check on the fate of his wife and their property. He fully expected that his wife would be assaulted and killed and their home looted. As he was nervously walking to his home, a Hindu acquaintence stopped him and asked, "Singh, where did you gather all those Nihangs from so quickly that day???!" 

The Singh was confused and asked, "What do you mean?"

The Hindu replied, "That day, when the mob went to attack your house, your wife came and stood in the door and she was surrounded by so many massive Nihangs who were so tall and carrying all kinds of weapons. Where did you gather all of them from so quickly?" 

The Singh realised that Shaheed Singhs had themselves come and protected Guru Sahib's saroop and his Singhnee's courage had been rewarded . He went home and begged for forgivness from his Singhnee and told her about how all the villagers were talking about the army of Nihangs that had protected their house.

so siqguru ipAwrw myrY nwil hY ijQY ikQY mYno ley CfweI ]
so sathigur piaaraa maerai naal hai jithhai kithhai maino le ae shhaddaaee ||
That Beloved True Guru is always with me; wherever I may be, He will save me.