Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
I looked through the history section of Niddar Singh's Shastar Vidiya website and identified the lies and mistruths I found scattered through the pages where the author misquotes bani to attempt to identify Sikhi as a subset of Hinduism. I've quoted the author in italics and my comments are below.
His claims that he is the last teacher of the Akali Nihung martial art that originated with Shiva and came to the Nihangs via the Pashupati shamans, the Kapalika and Kalamukha Shiva worshippers, and the order of the Naths I've left unexamined because apart from the author's creativity and fancy there is no evidence to examine.
The 'Brahma Kavach' consists of 32 sacred names of the primordial power of 'Akal' - also known as 'Adi Deva' 'Shiv' (Shiva).
Braham Kavach can be found here:
Akal and Shiva are completely distinct entities, and nowhere in Sri Dasam Granth is Akal equated to Shiva. Shiva like Vishnu and Brahma are destroyed by Kal.
According to the ballad 'Astotar Sri Bhagauti Ji Ka', attributed to Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh, 'Adi Deva Shiv' was pleased and the dark manifestation of 'Shiv Mahakal' appeared from the fire in the form known as 'Kharag Devta' (also known as 'Assu Devta')
Bhagauti Astotar can be found here:
It's pretty clear that the Astotar says no such thing.
In northern India, in order to defend the Sanatan Hindu Dharam in the Punjab, in accordance with the need of the times, emerged Akali Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539) to stand up to 'Turk' tyranny.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji did not emerge to defend Sanatan Hindu Dharam. This is the same propaganda used by the RSS who claim that Sikhs were created to protect Hinduism. Bhai Gurdas Ji explains the reason for Sri Guru Nanak's manifestation on earth as follows:
ਣੀ ਪੁਕਾਰ ਦਾਤਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਗ ਮਾਹਿ ਪਠਾਇਆ || ਚਰਨ ਧੋਇ ਰਹਰਾਸਿ ਕਰਿ ਚਰਣਾਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਪੀਲਾਇਆ ||
ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪੂਰਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਅੰਦਰ ਇਕ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ || ਚਾਰੇ ਪੈਰ ਧਰਮ ਦੇ ਚਾਰਿ ਵਰਨ ਇਕ ਵਰਨੁ ਕਰਾਇਆ ||
ਰਾਣਾ ਰੰਕ ਬਰਾਬਰੀ ਪੈਰੀ ਪਵਣਾ ਜਗਿ ਵਰਤਾਇਆ | ਉਲਟਾ ਖੇਲੁ ਪਿਰੰਮ ਦਾ ਪੈਰਾਂ ਉਪਰਿ ਸੀਸ ਨਿਵਾਇਆ ||
ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਬਾਬੇ ਤਾਰਿਆ ਸਤਿਨਾਮੁ ਪੜ੍ਹਿ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਸੁਣਾਇਆ || ਕਲਿ ਤਾਰਣਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਆਇਆ ||੨੩|| ਵਾਰ ੧ ||
The Provider Lord listened to the cries, Guru Nanak descended into this world.
Washing His feet and praising God, he got his Sikhs to drink the ambrosial nectar.
In this Dark Age, he showed all gods to be just one.
The four feet of Dharma, the four castes were converted into one.
Equality of the King and beggar, he spread the custom of being humble.
Reversed is the game of the beloved; the egotist high heads bowed to the feet.
Baba Nanak rescued this Dark Age; read 'satnam' and recited the mantar.
Guru Nanak came to redeem this Dark Age of Kaljug. Bhai Gurdas - Vaar 1 pauri 23
Nanak, according to one 'Puratan Janamsakhi' (old biographies of the first Sikh Guru), was ushered by 'Nirankar Sadha Shiv' (the formless Eternal Shiva - granter of salvation and great preserver Maha Vishnu) into 'Sach Khand'.)
The concept of 'Sadha Shiv' has been more fully explained in 'Shiva: The Wild God of Power and Ecstasy' (Wolf-Dietter Strol, Pa. 71), 'Rudra Avtar' (Dasam Guru Durbar, verse 7) and 'Sikhan di Bhagat Mala' (ed. Trilochan Singh Bedi, (Publication Bureau Punjabi University, Patiala, 1994), Pa 93).
There is an attempt throughout the website to conflate the Hindu god Shiva with Akal Purakh Waheguru. Here the author claims that Guru Nanak Dev Ji was ushered into Sachkhand by an 'eternal' form of Shiva. The pankti from Sri Dasam Granth references in support of his claim from Rudra Avtar (verse 7) is as follows and says nothing about Sada Shiva:
ਜਬ ਹੋਤ ਧਰਨ ਭਾਰਾ ਕਰਾਂਤ ॥ ਤਬ ਪਰਤ ਨਾਹਿ ਤਿਹ ਹ੍ਰਿਦੈ ਸਾਂਤਿ ॥ ਚਲ ਦਧ ਸਮੁੰਦ੍ਰਿ ਕਰਈ ਪੁਕਾਰ ॥ ਤਬ ਧਰਤ ਬਿਸਨ ਰੁਦ੍ਰਾਵਤਾਰ ॥੭॥
When the earth is pressed by the load of sins, then she cannot have peace in her heart. Then she goes and shouts loudly in the milk-ocean and the Rudra incarnation of Vishnu is manifested.7.
The beginning of Chaubis Avatar is pretty clear on the status of the 24 Avatars not being identical to Akal Purakh Waheguru:
ਜੋ ਚਉਬੀਸ ਅਵਤਾਰ ਕਹਾਏ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਭੀ ਤੁਮ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤਨਿਕ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥
Those who are called twenty-four incarnations; O Lord ! they even could not realise thee in a small measure;
ਸਭ ਹੀ ਜਗ ਭਰਮੇ ਭਵ ਰਾਯੰ ॥ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਅੰਤ ਕਹਾਯੰ ॥੭॥
They became kings of the world and got deluded; Therefore they were called by innumerable names.
In Chaupai Sahib, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji makes it even clearer that Shiva is not Akal and is not is something that is worthy of worship:
ਮਹਾਂਦੇਵ ਕੌ ਕਹਤ ਸਦਾ ਸ਼ਿਵ ॥ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਕਾ ਚੀਨਤ ਨਹਿ ਭਿਵ ॥੩੯੨॥
He calls Shiva "The Eternal Lord, "but he does not know the secret of the Formless Lord.392.
The second is 'Brahm Kavach' - the warrior's eulogy to the transcendental 'Maha Vishnu'. The manifested form - 'Adi Deva Shiv'/'Mahakal' and his 'Shakti' known as 'Chandi'/'Kalika', is represented respectively by the swords 'Assu Devta'/'Kharag Devta' (twelve fist-long double edged Khanda) and a 'Talwar'.
See Braham kavach translation on the link above. It says nothing about Maha Vishnu, Adi Deva Shiv/Mahakal. The author has this habit of attempting to graft Hindu ideas onto Sikh scripture for his own ends.
Even the designation 'Akal' was after all another designation of 'Shiva'.
Shiva is called Akal and Sadashiv by Hindus, but Akal in Sikh scripture is an adjectival epithet of the Supreme Being who is distinct from any hindu deity. See the quotes from Sri Dasam Granth above.
The Shivite link with the Sikh martial heritage would become far clearer in the tenure of the tenth Sikh Guru - Akali Nihang Gobind Singh (1661-1708).
The author makes it clear here that his agenda is to form a link between Shiva worshipping hindus and Sikhi. The author then attempts to form a link between earlier akharas of hindus who worshipped Shiva and the Khalsa Army over the next few pages and them attempts to quote Sri Dasam Granth in support of his views:
Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh personified 'Mahakaal', in the same manner as the above mentioned Shivite warrior ascetics:
"In Mahakaal's hand gleams the great terrifying sword and when he walks his ankle bells jingle. He has four beautiful arms. [On his head] is a beautiful topknot. His club is of good reputation. It enamours the mind of 'Yama' (stick-wielding demigod of death). His fire-like tongue is praiseworthy. His teeth are horrifying. [At time of his attack in battle] the conch shells blow, and battle drums beat as if the ocean is roaring. The splendour of his dark complexion is a store house of praise. On his face is a large pure 'Tilak' - its brilliance is known in all for directions. Over his head hangs a shiny, white, glorious royal umbrella. On recognising the beauty of its shade, light is put to shame. The great large red eyes of 'Maharaja' (Emperor - referring to Mahakaal) look glorious. In face of their radiance the ones who adorn a necklace of rays [the Sun's] a million of them are embarrassed."
('Bachitar Natak', Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh, Dasam Guru Durbar, Part 1, Verse 31-35)
The panktis from Bachitar Natak that are quoted by the author are from Sri Kal Ji Ki Ustat (Praise of Sri Kal). In this bani, the name of Mahakal is not mentioned and the author has erroneously tried to equate Sri Kal with Shiva (who the author claims is identical to Mahakal). The verses are as follows:
ਰਸਾਵਲ ਛੰਦ ॥ ਤ੍ਵਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
RASAAVAL STANZA BY THY GRACE
ਚਮਕਹਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਣੰ ॥ ਅਭੂਤੰ ਭਯਾਣੰ ॥ ਧੁਨੰ ਨੇਵਰਾਣੰ ॥ ਘੁਰੰ ਘੁੰਘਰਾਣੰ ॥੩੧॥
The sword of KAL glistens, which is Non-elemental and terrible.While moving, his anklets rattle and the small bells jingle.31.
ਚਤੁਰ ਬਾਂਹ ਚਾਰੰ ॥ ਨਿਜੂਟੰ ਸੁਧਾਰੰ ॥ ਗਦਾ ਪਾਸ ਸੋਹੰ ॥ ਜਮੰ ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹੰ ॥੩੨॥
He hath four winsome arms and on his head, his long hair have been bound in a lovely knot.
The mace with him appears splendid, which fascinate the honour of Yama.32.
ਸੁਭੰ ਜੀਭ ਜੁਆਲੰ ॥ ਸੁ ਦਾੜ੍ਹਾ ਕਰਾਲੰ ॥ ਬਜੀ ਬੰਬ ਸੰਖੰ ॥ ਉਠੇ ਨਾਦ ਬੰਖੰ ॥੩੩॥
His tongue red like fire seems magnificent and his grinder teeth are very frightening.
His conches and drums resound like the thundering sound of the sea. 33.
ਸੁਭੰ ਰੂਪ ਸਿਆਮੰ ॥ ਮਹਾ ਸੋਭ ਧਾਮੰ ॥ ਛਬੇ ਚਾਰੁ ਚਿਤ੍ਰੰ ॥ ਪਰੇਅੰ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰੰ ॥੩੪॥
His dark form looks elegant and is the abode of Great Glory.
On his face there are lovely delineations, which are superbly holy. 34.
ਭੁਜੰਗ ਪ੍ਰਯਾਤ ਛੰਦ ॥
BHUJANG PRAYAAT STANZA
ਸਿਰੰ ਸੇਤ ਛਤ੍ਰੰ ਸੁ ਸੁਭ੍ਰੰ ਬਿਰਾਜੰ ॥ ਲਖੇ ਛੈਲ ਛਾਯਾ ਕਰੇ ਤੇਜ ਲਾਜੰ ॥
On his head there swings the beautiful, lustrous and white canopy, seeing whose shadow and considering it winsome, the light feels abashed.
ਬਿਸਾਲ ਲਾਲ ਨੈਨੰ ਮਹਾਰਾਜ ਸੋਹੰ ॥ ਢਿਗੰ ਅੰਸੁਮਾਲੰ ਹਸੰ ਕੋਟਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਹੰ ॥੩੫॥
The fleshy and red eyes of the God seem magnificent, before whose light millions of suns appear irritated. 35.
So where is the reference to Shiva as Mahakal in the above? The answer is that there is none. In fact, if the author has bothered to read on he would have found that Kal is distinct from Shiva. Indeed, Shiva is created and destroyed by Kal:
ਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਪਾਇ ਭਯੋ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਸੁ ਜਾਗਤ ਯਾ ਜਗ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਕਲਾ ਹੈ ॥
At the instance of KAL, Vishnu appeared, whose power is manifested through the world.
ਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਪਾਇ ਭਯੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਸਿਵ ਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਪਾਇ ਭਯੋ ਜੁਗੀਆ ਹੈ ॥
At the instance of KAL, Brahma appeared and also at the instance of KAL the Yogi Shiva appeared.
ਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਪਾਇ ਸੁਰਾਸੁਰ ਗੰਧ੍ਰਬ ਜੱਛ ਭੁਜੰਗ ਦਿਸਾ ਬਿਦਿਸਾ ਹੈ ॥
At the instance of KAL, the gods, demons, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Bhujang, directions and indications have appeared.
ਔਰ ਸੁਕਾਲ ਸਭੈ ਬਸ ਕਾਲ ਕੇ ਏਕ ਹੀ ਕਾਲ ਅਕਾਲ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ॥੮੪॥
All the other prevalent object are within KAL, only One supreme KAL is ever Timeless and eternal.84.
The Tenth Guru further reinforced the 'Shiv Swaroop' amongst his Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa.
He instructed his Akali Nihang warriors:
"If you take the refuge of Mahakal, he will save you. If you make the worship of 'Asket' (battle standard with 'Assu'/'Kharag' upon it - the re-interpreted 'Ardhanarishvara' symbol of androgynous 'Shiv'/'Mahakaal' the Khanda) your daily practice. Then placing his hand upon you, 'Asdhuj' (ie, 'Asket') will save you."
('<a href="<banned site filter activated>/glossary_files/treh_charittar.html?width=400">Treh Charittar 404', Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh, Dasam Guru Durbar, Verse 366-367)
Firstly, the author has placed his own comments into the translation which are not present in the original text. There is nothing in the panktis from the 404th charitar which say that Asket and Asdhuj are the "battle standard with 'Assu/Kharag' upon it - the re-interpreted 'Ardhanarishvara' symbol of androgynous 'Shiv'/'Mahakaal' the Khanda". The author, again, seems to be inserting his own pro-hindu pro-Shaivite interpretations into the bani.
In Charitar 404, Kal and Mahakal are used interchangeably. They are separate and distinct from Shiva. During the war that is described in this charitar, the gods of the hindu trinity – Shiva/Mahadev, Vishnu and Brahma cower in fear:
ਮਹਾਦੇਵ ਆਸਨ ਤੇ ਟਰਾ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਤ੍ਰਸਤ ਬੂਟ ਮਹਿ ਦੁਰਾ ॥ ਨਿਰਖਿ ਬਿਸਨ ਰਨ ਅਧਿਕ ਡਰਾਨਾ ॥ ਦੁਰਾ ਸਿੰਧ ਕੇ ਬੀਚ ਲਜਾਨਾ ॥੮੦॥
Mahadev (Shiva) left his throne. Brahma was afraid and hid in his lotus. Vishnu was petrified and hid under the ocean. 80.
It is pretty clear that the Akal/Mahakal that Nihangs are advised to take refuge in is the same Kal who is described in Sri Kal Ji Ki Ustat and who is identified as being identical to Akal Purakh and not the hindu deity Shiva.