Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'vaheguru'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • GENERAL
    • WHAT'S HAPPENING?
    • GUPT | ANONYMOUS
    • GURBANI | SCRIPTURES | REHAT | HISTORY
  • COMMUNITY
    • POLITICS | MEDIA | FEEDBACK | LIFESTYLE
    • HEALTH | FITNESS | DIET
    • Agree to Disagree
  • MEDIA
  • SEWADARS

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Location


Interests

Found 29 results

  1. Is this place an actually Sangat or is it just a forum, do we have dedicated educated spiritual Sikhs on here or all like me are manmukh
  2. So i have noticed on here, we all have very distinct versions of what Vaheguru is, even when reading the same Guru Grant Sahib Ji, even when translated in English. The way I interpret it from my understanding so far Vaheguru is everything, no upar vaala , it's just everything including you.
  3. KhoonKaBadlaKhoon

    Certain Vaheguru track

    The most calming track I've heard till I day is, also happens to be the one they play at funerals! I'm sure all UK/US/Canada Singhs know which one I mean. Anyone have a link for which one it is?!
  4. 13Mirch

    Sikhi and Politics

    Admins and Mods: As discussed, this will be my last post on this forum. Please deactivate my account afterwards. I confess that I actually did enjoy my time on here, but paradigm shifts are manifesting in the Sikh world- the traditionalist Sikhs are slowly, albeit surely, being questioned and their status as some de-facto priestly class is being effaced day-by-day. The Sikh youth, long fed on the dribble of some autonomous religio-political Khalistan, are beginning to awaken and unite to control their own future. Tragically, violence and Ad hominem seem to be the only retorts which the traditionalists excel in. When I first joined this forum, it was rightly appreciated as an intellectual assemblage of Sikh youth. Today this assemblage has been supplanted with what can only be called jatha affiliations. It seems unless you are affiliated with some jatha or samprada you cannot be a Sikh. I don't believe this, and nor should you. Of course there are those who will accuse you of being an Indian agent, but why should such fabrications hold us back from questioning what we see and hear? I apologize to AjeetSinghPunjabi and Jonny101 for blindly accusing them and insulting them. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Mirch out! Sikhi, Sikh History and Politics. (Initially intended as a refutation to Haroon Khalid’s Tagorian essay- ‘From Pursuit of Spirituality to the Mighty Khalsa’- we decided to amplify our original thesis and concentrate upon the correlation between Sikhi and the political sphere. Having continually requested our readers to submit their articles to us, we were duly surprised when several frequent readers submitted corresponding essays to be published by us. Their objective, vis-a-vis their respective pieces, was to underscore the importance of the political dynamic in the Sikh worldview. Rather than publish such similar works, we decided to initiate a correspondence with them and publish one “goshti” (questions and answers) disquisition. The results, acquired, are produced below). Participants: Col (Retd) Gurbir Singh Alhuwalia: Having joined the Indian Army as Lieutenant, the now retired Colonel’s passion involves Sikh intellectualism and educationalism. Once part of a think tank analyzing the role of Sikh sampradas during the Sikh militancy, he is currently working upon a book detailing the pitfalls of the Khalistan movement and his own experiences during the militancy. Professor (Retd) Gurdev Singh: The author of several Gurmukhi articles on Sikh ideology, the Professor is an expert in political sciences and religious studies. He is well placed to comment upon the role of politics in the Nanakian purview. Harsharan Kaur: Studying sociology in Australia, Harsharan Kaur is currently producing a critique of the nation-state model. Erudite, in her field, she provides a well balanced perspective on the issue of harmonizing spiritualism with polity. Jagir Singh: An amateur collector of Sikh artifacts and mementos, Jagir Singh is currently editing a multi-volume treatise on the Sikh literary tradition spanning the Guru era and post- Guru era which is due for publication soon. William Cox: Having been born to a Punjabi mother and American father- William travels between Tennessee, USA, and India. He is a freelance writer who is currently publishing a short history of the Sikhs in Western nations. Tisarpanth. Fora: To avoid a prolonged discussion we have decided to only publish answers accepted via unanimous resolutions and/or reached by unanimous consensus. Addendum: Synchronizing faith with history often manifests the dilemma: does faith emanate from history or vice versa? The propensity of religious institutes to gravitate towards utilizing violence, in the face of the latter query, often precipitates the impression that intellectualism and religious doctrine are antagonistic. Observers, of the Sikh world, cannot have failed to notice the proliferation of this conflict among Sikh ranks in the past two decades which, if put candidly, can be easily categorized as the traditionalist vs. progressionist collision. At the heart of this clash is the issue that is Sikhi antagonistic to the political paradigm and the householder’s life- the traditionalist ambit based on evolving dogma- or is Sikhi compatible with the householder’s life and it’s corollaries, viz the socio-political paradigm, as enunciated by the Adi Guru Granth Sahib Ji? We contend that: b.) Belief and intellectualism, at least in the Sikh world, should not be necessarily antagonistic to each other. c.) A more modern approach is required to resolving the issues afflicting Sikh intellectualism and Sikh society, at large, today. d.) Recent events in NRI circles have lent impetus to emancipating Sikh intellectualism. A vocal minority, in Europe, has succeeded in classifying Sikhs as an ethnicity vis-a-vis the British census; this has naturally lent credence to the myth that Sikh history and the Sikh purview are ethnonationalist constructs- an intentional facsimile of Khushwant Singh’s Punjabi nationalism mythos?- and not correspondent with the Sikh ideology. The ill-planned Khalistan Referendum, D-day being in 2020, having been designed by those ignorant of ground realities on the sub-continent has also fractured the Sikh world on the sensitive issue of self-progression and sovereignty. It is imperative that the polar differences between Sikh philosophy and ethnonationalism be underscored in such dark times. Given the regressive state of Punjab today, secessionist expression should be the last matter on anyone’s mind. PRIMARY: Q: Speaking philosophically, what makes the Sikh ideology unique in it’s harmonizing of both the state and church? A: If we were to draw comparisons/contradistinctions with other systems, we would essentially be evading the question itself. Let us, then, examine the Sikh approach itself to better underscore it’s idiosyncrasy. The Sikh purview of the world being real posits that both the state and church, whilst distinctive, are fundamentally real and not some illusions. Guru Gobind Singh Ji makes this principle clear when he remarks: ‘Those of Baba and those of Babur, the Creator maketh both; recognize the first as the emperor of righteousness and infer the second to be the emperor of the world. Those who fail in their duty towards the throne of Baba, fell prey to the machinations of Babur. Such defaulters are penalized severely…’ –(Bachittra-Natak, XIII. 9-10). Whilst Baba signifies truth and morality (an ethical life), Babur signifies the secular state. The dilemma which other faiths have faced in their attempt to iron out discrepancies between state and faith have often lead to one trumping the other- Nanakianism, in sheer contrast, does not claim to hold any solution to resolving the conflictual relationship between church and state. Rather, it posits that truth and morality outweigh the secular state and whilst church must not obliterate the state- it should, from time to time, correct it in a bid to keep it on the straight and narrow. Whenever church and state have clashed, historically, both have annihilated the other and subsequently both have arisen anew to continue their conflict. In this principle, then, lies the crux of the Raaj Karega Khalsa mandate- the barbarity of the political state must be confronted, but when the Khalsa succeeds in effacing the latter tyranny it must not manifest a theophany to reign supreme over the masses. Q: Is the Sikh purview of politics in tandem with the Sikh ideology? A: The reason as to why such a question has arisen is that the current Sikh orthodoxy (acting as a priestly class) has mitigated the Sikh philosophy to solely meditation and pacifism. This has lead to an erroneous perception that Sikh history, especially the Rebel or Ruler principle, is not in consort with Nanakianism and as such depreciating of the faith. The actions of the Sikh orthodoxy reflect the corollaries of traditional Indic spiritualism viz amalgamation with some spiritual reality for personal salvation; such quietism naturally denies the dynamism of Sikh history. In Sikhi the Creator, as expounded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, is altruistic and ever-creative. The Sikh’s mission is to remold himself/herself as a tool of this Creator and to execute the latter’s attributive will. The welding of the empirical and spiritual, as engineered by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, influenced the actions of his successors. Some of the more salient of actions of his successors were: Guru Angad Dev Ji renovated the Punjabi language and promulgated the Gurmukhi script far and wide- not only did this break the stranglehold of Sanskrit and it’s Caste ridden corollaries, but also added a sense of self-hood to the nascent Sikh community. He, subsequently, debarred ascetic classes from influencing Nankianism and-in opposition to pacifism- continued the first Guru’s practice of meat consumption. Guru Amardass Ji made the practice of Langar pontificate, to the point that all Sikhs and non-Sikhs had to partake of the communal kitchen before seeking audience with the Guru. The anti-Caste stance of the Sikh community was made more perspicuous through this injunction, of the Guru, as Caste also depended on who food was consumed with and by breaking down such barriers the Guru rendered his visitors Casteless. Furthermore, to centralize far flung Sikh groups the Guru set-up 22 dioceses in which women were also selected to leadership roles. His last achievement was the creation of a educational, spiritual and political center at Goindwal which supplanted traditional pilgrimage to Kashi et al. Guru Ramdass Ji took the momentous step of founding Amritsar which, in due time, would emerge as the theo-political hub of the Sikh cosmos. Guru Arjan Dev Ji not only concluded the construction of Amritsar, he also completed the Harimandir. His most significant achievement, however, was the compilation of the Adi Guru Granth Sahib Ji which signified Sikhi’s break away from traditional Indic spiritualism and reinforced the community’s autonomy. During his incumbency, the Sikhs emerged as a strong entrepreneurial force and were categorized as a state within a state. Opposing the fanaticism of the contemporary Mughal and Hindu polity, the Guru joyfully accepted his eventual fate: martyrdom. The incumbency of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji marked the open militarization of the Sikhs. He would go on to rout the Mughals in four divisive confrontations in the Punjab, and subsequently play a crucial role in preserving Sikh political autonomy. His most significant achievement would be the construction of the Akal Takhat and several missionary tours in the periphery of the Himalayas. When Samarth Ramdas, a Maharashtrian abbot, would inquire as to why he retained the apparel of a prince and utilized arms when Guru Nanak Dev Ji had required neither of these- the Guru would swiftly retort that the first Guru had discarded the ways of the world and not the world itself. Ramdas, realizing that his perceptions were about to be radically changed, requested a further elucidation to which the Guru readily acquiesced. He would elaborate that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Creator was one who vanquished atrocity and the Sikhs were to execute the latter’s attributive will; arms were to be utilized for the protection of the weak and the liberation of the oppressed. The seventh, eighth and ninth Gurus continued the militarization of the Sikhs and the ninth Guru, despite being offered an option to surrender by the incumbent emperor, laid down his life for the freedom of conscience. The tenth Guru manifested the Khalsa and ratified the precepts of Guru Nanak Dev Ji before electing both the Guru Panth and Guru Granth as his successors ad perpetuum. An analysis of the post-Guru period would make this disquisition extensively voluminous. Let us answer the initial query by summarizing the above analysis; Nanakianism emphasizes an inalienable interconnection between the empirical and spiritual facets of life- this is a natural corollary of the perception that the Supreme Reality is an ocean of altruism. A follower of such altruism cannot act as a bystander in the face of immorality as such quietism is an antithesis of the Creator’s attributive will. The Sikh purview of politics, then, is naturally in harmony with the Sikh ideology. Q: What is the political significance of the Khalsa? A: The Khalsa, conceptually, represents the summum bonum of both the Sikh ideology-cum-praxis. It is the most perspicuous minded tool of an attributive Creator ergo it’s epithet; the Kaal Purakh Ki Fauj (army of the Divine). The actions of the present day Sikh orthodoxy has rendered the very purpose of the Khalsa’s existence moot. Khalsa-Raaj, Khalsa sovereignty, is often dismissed as some historic affair bearing no relation whatsoever to Sikh philosophy. What, then, is the Khalsa? An appendage of Hindu militarism? A saintly nexus of renunciates? Some saintly legion which cowers from the world and meditates 24/7? In light of Nanakianism’s socio-political tenets, the Khalsa too emerges as a potent force for political change. To avoid a prolonged exegesis, let us focus on some of the more conspicuous facets of the Khalsa vis-a-vis our query: Revolutionary: The creation of the Khalsa and events prior establish its revolutionary nature. It was designed to acquire political prominence, supplant existing tyrannies and radically alter the incumbent socio-political equilibrium. From Guru Gobind Singh Ji onwards, the Khalsa passed through the valley of death in a bid to annihilate existing empires and birth it’s own. Those who claim to be Khalsas yet imbibe a contradictory spirit rarely mention the Sikhs of the eighteenth century who carved out the Sikh state, and what a state it was. Even in it’s embryonic phase, under Banda Singh Bahadur, the Hindu practice of Caste was annihilated irrespective of it’s religious origins. Irvine narrates: ‘A low scavenger or leather dresser, the lowest of the low in Indian estimation, had only to leave home and join the Guru (referring to Banda), when in a short time he would return to his birthplace as its ruler with his order of appointment in his hand. As soon as he set foot with the boundaries, the well-born and wealthy went out to greet him and escort him home. Arrived there, they stood with joined palms, awaiting his orders… Not a soul dared to disobey an order, and men who had often risked themselves in battlefields became so cowed down that they were afraid even to remonstrate. Hindus who had not joined the sect were not exempt from this.’ -(William Irvine, Later Mughals, i.98-99). It was a revolutionary state in an epoch where religious stratification was an accepted more. Leadership: The significance of Guru Gobind Singh Ji undergoing the Khalsa initiation can never be underscored enough. It was a prescient move on the Guru’s part as it transformed the Khalsa into Guru Panth Khalsa. The entire body was made quasi-democratic, therefore self-directive and also self-sovereign. No one man could lord over the Khalsa; only an elected body- Misls- could direct it. When Ranjit Singh implemented autocracy within the body, the results were disastrous- we are still witnessing the fallout even to this day. Violent: Socio-political movements, by nature, are violent and prone to utilizing force. The Khalsa too is accorded the right to employ force, hence the Gurus’ emphasis on retaining arms around the clock. The political significance of the Khalsa, after a brief analysis of both its history and philosophy, can be summarized as such: the annihilation of the tyrant and the exaltation of the downtrodden. SECONDARY: Q: What is the Sikh perception of social responsibility? A: When the Siddhs asked Guru Nanak Dev Ji as to why their spiritual progress remained inert even after centuries of meditation, the Guru enunciated that they were only reaping the fruits of what they had sown i.e. their spiritual state reflected their perception of reality which, for them, consisted of some illusion originating from the cogitations of some dormant Creator(s). The Creator, in the Nanakian purview, resides in his Immanence or Naam. Naam, as the constituent reality of creation, emanates from an attributive Creator who is altruistic. It is natural then that the Sikh too be altruistic and perform selfless service seva through the medium of Immanence. Social responsibility, in Sikhi, consists of realizing one’s role as a tool of the Creator and selflessly serving him via serving his creation.* Q: Why is the householder’s life given primacy in the Sikh ethos? A: Social responsibility, as a mandate, can only be retained in the householder’s life. The latter ensures full commitment in the socio-political paradigm and adherence to serving Immanence. Guru Nanak Dev Ji would sum up the principle succinctly when he would observe that though the Siddhs acted all holy and wise, they would beg for sustenance from families (householders) for their daily upkeep. TERTIARY: Q: What are some significant milestones in the evolution of the Sikh state? A: The Sikh state, conceptually, was founded by none other than Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He added a practical dimension to his socio-political themes by establishing Kartarpur, a locus which was run on his philosophical tenets. The history of the Sikh state, and it’s significant achievements, then commences with Kartarpur Sahib: -The establishment and growth of Kartarpur. –The establishment of Khadoor Sahib. -The establishment of Goindwal. -The establishment Amritsar. -The establishment of Akal Takhat Sahib. -The construction of several forts augmenting the Sikh military prowess in the Punjab. -The establishment of Kiratpur Sahib. -The establishment of Anandpur Sahib. -Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s renewal of Sikh autonomy via manifesting the Khalsa. -The establishment of the first Khalsa-Raaj, under Banda Singh Bahadur, in the post-Guru era. -The rise of the Khalsa Misls. -The rise of Ranjit Singh. Q: What was the Dal Khalsa? A: The Dal Khalsa was a general commune of the Sikh leadership, in both military and political circles, which was composed of Misl Sirdars (or chiefs). Though it’s main purpose was militaristic, the Dal Khalsa also implemented the quasi-republican ideals of Khalsa-Raaj and saw to the progress of Nanakianism sub-continentally. It dominated 18th century Sikh politics and imbibed the pragmatic concepts of Nanakianism per se. Further Reading: Analytical: 1.) Dr. Trilochan Singh, The Turban And the Sword of the Sikhs. 2.) S. Kapur Singh, Parasharprasna. 3.) S. Kapur Singh, Sikhism For The Modern Man. 4.) S. Kapur Singh, Sikhism and the Sikhs. 5.) S. Jagjit Singh, Percussions of History. 6.) S. Daljit Singh, Essentials of Sikhism. 7.) Surjit Singh Gandhi, Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. 8.) Dr. Tarlochan Singh Nahal, Religion and Politics in Sikhism: The Khalsa Perspective. 9.) Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, Akal Takhat Sahib: Concept and Role. 10.) Capt. Amarinder Singh, The Last Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar. 11.) Patwant Singh, The Sikhs. 12.) Karamjit K. Malhotra, The Eighteenth Century in Sikh History. 13.) Dr. Ganda Singh & Baba Teja Singh, The History of the Sikhs vol. i. 14.) Gurinder Singh Mann and Kamalroop Singh, The Granth of Guru Gobind Singh. 15.) Ajmer Singh, Kis Bidh Ruli Patshahi? Contemporary: 1.) Sri Gur Sobha. 2.) Sri Gur Katha. 3.) Gurbilas Patshahi Chevin. 4.) Gurbilas Patshahi Dasvin. 5.) Sri Gur Panth Prakash. 6.) Navin Panth Prakash. 7.) Twarikh Guru Khalsa. 8.) Bansavalinamah Dasan Patshahian Ka. 9.) Sikhaan Di Bhagatmala. 10.) Shahid Bilas: Bhai Mani Singh. https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/empire-builders/
  5. GurjantGnostic

    Little Bird

    Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh I'm not sure what to make of this but I felt called to share it. I just got back to the Dojo, and there was a little injured bird hopping around in the snow, pecking at cracks in the parking lot. It looked like it had a broken wing and was missing an eye, shivering slightly. I opened the door and tried soothingly to invite inside. It would let me get pretty close but not too close, and it wouldn't come inside. So I started playing Sukhmani Sahib Kirtan hoping it would feel drawn inside. When it didn't come, and it started snowing harder I prayed and asked Vaheguru Ji to help it. I was struck by how peaceful and happy bird friend was, even in the heavy snow, even injured, it just hopped around taking what little food it could, not a care in the world. I looked down for a moment and when I looked back up it was gone. I know it couldn't fly. Either Vaheguru Ji healed it or took it. I felt like I could learn a lot from bird friend. Be happy with whatever is given.
  6. GurjantGnostic

    Just a silly story to share.

    So the other morning just after dawn, I walk outside and I see a man walk over to the bushes and grab his backpack out that he'd stashed there. He sees me and walks over and he's agitated, and says he needs bus fare, do I have any change? One, I didn't have money on me, and two I get this vibe to not give him any, usually I do. So I say sorry man, I don't have any money. He says he needs bus fare bad, has to get to the next town over, would I buy a new led flashlight off him for a dollar. I say again sorry man I don't have any money, but have faith somebody has your bus fare, good luck just keep asking. He's even more agitated now and tries to sell me his food card, so I repeat again man I don't have any money but good luck it will work out. He stalks off all pissed and says I'm not some fn bum man, so I say it's cool dude that doesn't matter to me. So I think to the man as I speak to Vaheguru, that if he'd told me truth about why he needs money then maybe I'd walked back inside and grabbed him some change, and that he'd have better luck speaking the truth when he asks for things. He clearly needed the money for beer as most homeless alcoholics do when they wake up. So a few days go by, and I see him outside the market the Sardar owns, and I put a dollar in my back pocket knowing this dude is going to ask. This time, I come out of the store and he says hey man, can I bum some change I'm not going to lie I need a beer. So I gave him the dollar I had ready for him. I know it's silly but I was struck by the full circle connection of it. This time I had money, this time he told the truth, and the only person I spoke to was Vaheguru. Some experiences in life are wow metaphysical but it's these little coincidences that are ever present I find more profoundly miraculous. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh
  7. If I recall correctly, a few months ago I put up a post on this forum highlighting some of the discrepancies in the Suraj Prakash. A mod took it down because he felt it would offend a majority of the forum. I, however, feel that Sikh Sangat is not emulative of it's much maligned reputation i.e. a forum full of fanatics. In the latter spirit, then, I ask that can someone then explain the following passage from another traditional text- Chibber's Bansavalinamah: 'Kahan Singh Trehan from Goindwal and a descendent of Guruji. As a Sardar (chief) Sikh sat at the Bunga (Akal Bunga, Akal Takhat) himself. Sikhs came to the fair (organised by) local residents circumabulating (the Harimandar). A Sikh going in front of them met these Sikhs and embraced them. (4) These Sikhs also hugged him lovingly. They loved him very much. After hugging each other when they departed. Kahan Singh ji saw that particular sikh when all those Sikhs separated. (5) He (Kahan Singh) sent a man to bring that Sikh to him. Kahan Singh ji asked,”O Sikh! Which Sikh are you, what caste are you called by?” Sikh stood there hugely embarrassed. Then Singh ji again said,”What Sikh are you known as?” (6) Then he said, “Sir, I am a Mazhabi Sikh (a sikh originally from a low caste)”. Then Singh ji ordered those other Sikhs to be brought in as well immediately. Those local Sikhs all arrived, The ones who had embraced and hugged this other sikh lovingly. (7) (Singh ji) spoke thus, “Bhai Sikhs, do you know this sikh?” All those said.”Yes sir”. (Singh ji) spoke thus, “Which sikh is he, what is his caste?” They said, sir, landowner sikh and he is known as ‘Sandhu’ (8)(usually a jat surname but occasionally lower castes also may have this surname) Then he was asked in front of these Sikhs. “Bhai Sikh! What is your caste? He mentioned, ‘Mazhabi’ (sikh from low castes ) The local Sikhs were surprised on hearing this. These Sikhs said, “Sir, he has eaten food with us” (9) All of us Sikhs have served him food making him sit in our own kitchen. (persons of lower castes were not allowed to enter kitchen of higher caste persons) Food in (our) plate and water in the bowl was given to him to drink. This sikh (had) said ‘I am landowner sikh and am a local resident of Amritsar” All Sikhs have served him with food in their own homes one by one. (10) Singh ji asked (the ‘Mazhabi’ Sikh), “Why Bhai! Why did you do this?” He said,”Sir, I am sorry. I forgot (went astray)”. (Bhai Kahan Singh)Spake thus,”It is not you who forgot (went astry), it is these (Sikhs) who forgot (went astray). They only saw Guru’s insignia, didn’t see your body (person).” (11) Bhai Sikha! How could you forget? Why didn’t you check for your mother, father, brother, sister or relatives? Those in whose family you were born, grew up and had food together and socialise. How did you forget that (you are from that) family? (12) It is these Sikhs who got misled by just recognising Guru’s symbols. Why did you forget? You seem to be fairly knowledgable. You have done this intentionally. It is these Sikhs who got misled who saw only Guru’s symbols. (13) Following just the Guru’s symbols these Sikhs got misled. So that nobody may repeat this mistake (in the future). A barber was called and his hair were shaved. Making him sit on a donkey was taken around the town. (14) He was hanged by the side of Tunda Sar (a water pond ) And (Kahan Singh) asked this to the local resident Sikhs. “You arrange a Yag (a sacred purification Hindu worship), do Gurpurab, and prepare Parsad”. “You were misled by Guru’s symbols, so you are not stigmatised by this”. (15) “Do not talk about this in the township” “Keep the tenets of Sikhism in your mind”. “The Turks (muslim rulers) are eager to find faults lest some trouble arises” “There should not be any gossiping about this in the township at all”. (16) All the Sikhs said,”Sir, you did the right thing that you punished him”. None would repeat such a thing again. It created such a fear and respect for Sikhism. That even if someone dropped a thing somewhere, it would continue lying there, and no one would take it away. (17) (Fourteenth Chapter of “Bansavalinama Dasan Patshaheean Ka” “Genealogy of ten patshahis”) I don't claim any expertise on Sikh literature/historicity, but Chibber's narration does not fit in with an already established chronology regarding Baba Kahan Singh Ji. The Baba (let's get over his differences with Baba Banda Singh) is said to have catered to the lower castes and raised them to the levels of the higher castes. Initially I asked a Taksali Singh to explain this passage to me. The most he could say was that the text dealt with telling lies although it is evident that Baba Kahan Singh Ji, for Chibber, has the Singh executed for refusing to follow traditional Caste norms. Has the text been corrupted? Dr. Ganda Singh, utilizing the Suraj Prakash as a case study, had the following to say regarding the corruption of historic Sikh texts: 'Some writers allege that the reason for the rejection of Ram Rai was that he was born of a handmaid (Cunningham, p. 62). It would have been preposterous for him, as Narang says. to prefer this claim, if he had been born in that way. Really he had the same mother as Har Krishan. The story of Guru Har Rai having married seven wives, who were all sisters, is found only in one MS of Suraj Prakash and is written on unpaged leaves which are clearly an interpolation. Unfortunately this copy became the basis of the editions nowadays in vogue. Other copies mention only one marriage. Mahima Prakash, which is much older than this book, also mentions only one wife. See on this point the annotation of Bhai Vir Singh on Suraj Prakash.' -Dr. Ganda Singh, Baba Teja Singh; 'A Short History of the Sikhs,' vol. i, pg. 48. The mod in question informed me, last time, that the other thread would only be resurrected when he/she established the veracity of my post. Obviously by begging the question no veracity can be established much less manifested; I pray, then, that this thread be left open for some constructive debate on Sikh literature and/or it's authenticity on some points.
  8. Guest

    My maths test...

    VJKK VJKF I have a really strict maths teacher who shouts for no reason and scares the whole class. To be honest, I haven't learnt anything in her lessons, I am more scared about getting into trouble than actually learning. Instead I used to practise what she taught us at home. On Monday 16th Oct we had a maths test and the test was so hard, I couldn't even understand what the questions were telling me to do. I read through the questions many times but still had no clue. When I mean I had no clue, my mind was completely blank. I started to panic and my eyes filled with tears and then I remembered to do Vaheguru simran and I did Chaupai Sahib. But when I read through the questions whilst doing paath the answers by themselves started coming into my head out of nowhere. I still feel like I've done terribly on the test but it was better than nothing. I have full trust on Vaheguru. Can someone please tell me why Vaheguru would want to help such a paapi and bad person like me? VJKK VJKF
  9. ਕਾਲ ਅਤੇ ਭਗੋਤੀ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ : ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਥਾਏ ਅਨੇਕਾਂ ਨਾਮ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਤੇ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚ ਵਰਤੇ ਗਏ ਨੇ। ਕਿਸੇ ਵੀ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚਲੇ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਪਰਿਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਓਸੇ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਹੀ ਲੈਣੀ ਚਾਹੀਦੀ ਹੈ, ਨਾ ਕੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਹੋਰ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚੋਂ। ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚਲੇ ਦੋ ਨਾਮਾ ਨੂੰ ਅਧਾਰ ਬਣਾ ਕੇ ਆਮ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਬੇਵਕੂਫ਼ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਦੀ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ। ਓਹ ਹਨ 1. ਕਾਲ ਅਤੇ 2. ਭਗੋਤੀ। ਆਓ ਓਹਨਾ ਤੇ ਥੋੜੀ ਜਹੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਹੀ ਹਵਾਲੇ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਾਂ ਤਾਂ ਕੇ ਓਹਨਾ ਦਾ ਮਤਲਬ ਸਪਸ਼ਟ ਹੋ ਸਕੇ। 1. ਕਾਲ : ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ਤੇ ਇਸਾਈ ਮਤ ਸ਼ੈਤਾਨ ਤੇ ਰੱਬ ਦੀ ਹੋਂਦ ਨੂੰ ਵਖਰਾ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹੈ। ਪਰ ਗੁਰਮਤ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਮਾਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਤੇ ਪੈਦਾ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਸਿਰਫ ਇਕ ਹੀ ਹੈ। ਓਹਦੇ ਹੁਕਮ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਲੋਕ ਮਰਦੇ ਵੀ ਹਨ ਤੇ ਜਿਓੰਦੇ ਵੀ ਹਨ। ਇਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਦਸਮ ਵਿਚ ਕਾਲ ਵੀ ਕਿਹਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਅਕਾਲ ਵੀ : ਅੋਰ ਸੁ ਕਾਲ ਸਭੈ ਬਸ ਕਾਲ ਕੇ, ਏਕ ਹੀ ਕਾਲ ਅਕਾਲ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ll ( ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ) ਭਾਵ ਜਿੰਨੇ ਵੀ ਹੋਰ ਕਾਲ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਨੇ ਬਣਾਏ ਨੇ, ਸਭ ਕਾਲ ਦੇ ਅਧੀਨ ਨੇ। ਬਸ ਇਕੋ ਇਕ ਕਾਲ ਹੈ ਜੋ ਅਕਾਲ ਵੀ ਹੈ। ਭਾਵ ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰ ਹੀ ਹੈ ਜੋ ਅਕਾਲ ਰੂਪ ਵੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਕਾਲ ਰੂਪ ਵੀ। 2. ਭਗੋਤੀ : ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮ ਕਾਲ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਕੋ ਤਾਤਾ।। ਤਾ ਤੇ ਭਯੋ ਤੇਜ ਬਿਖਿਆਤਾ।। ਸੋਈ ਭਵਾਨੀ ਨਾਮ ਕਹਾਈ।। ਜਿਨ ਸਗਰੀ ਯਹ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟ ਉਪਾਈ।। ( ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ) ਭਾਵ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਕਾਲ ( ਓਹੀ ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰ ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਕਾਲ ਅਤੇ ਅਕਾਲ ਵੀ ਕਿਹਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚ) ਸਭ ਦਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਹੈ। ਓਸ ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰ ਵਿਚੋ ਇਕ ਤੇਜ, ਨੂਰ ਨਿਕਲਿਆ, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਭਵਾਨੀ ( ਭਗੋਤੀ ) ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ। ਓਸੇ ਭਵਾਨੀ ਤੋਂ ਇਸ ਸ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਟੀ ਦੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਹੋਈ। ਸੋ ਭਵਾਨੀ ਕੋਈ ਜਨਾਨੀ ਨਹੀ , ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰ ਦੀ ਇਛਾ ਸ਼ਕਤੀ, ਭਾਵ ਹੁਕਮ/ਗੁਰਮਤ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਹਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ। ਇਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਚ ਨੂਰ ਵੀ ਕਿਹਾ ਹੈ : ਅਵਲਿ ਅਲਹ ਨੂਰੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੇ ਸਭ ਬੰਦੇ ॥ ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥ ਇਹ ਓਹੀ ਅਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਕਾਲ, ਅਲਾਹ ਆਦਿਕ ਨਾਵਾ ਨਾਲ ਸੰਬੋਧਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਇਹ ਓਹੀ ਭਗੋਤੀ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਭਵਾਨੀ , ਨੂਰ, ਤੇਜ, ਹੁਕਮ ਆਦਿਕ ਨਾਵਾ ਨਾਲ ਸੰਬੋਧਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ। ਅਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਅਕਾਲ
  10. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! I made this thread as a way to give my own personal tips on how someone can limit the influences of massive increase in Kaam, these being pornography and masturbation, (Note: not doing these 2 does NOT mean you beat Kaam, but that's where the problem is started.) This is also the male version of the problems, I don't know the causes of females going towards these things, so I won't discuss too much on it, but; hopefully I can assist them as well. Also I'm not an expert on any of this stuff, just felt the need since it's a big topic to provide legit assistance. I will be adding more on, the first post is just intro. Some important things to note: 1. Why does someone have Kaam? Since the beginning of time, you have been carrying the power of Haumai, and from Haumai comes the 5 evils, one of these being Kaam and Kaam especially effects us, because of we have usually wanted to stay productive with reproduction and so in possibly many animal lives, we've been having sex like crazy people, these traits carried on till we became human, (which in a way tells us why some people have crazy fetishes). 2. Is Masturbation and Pornography related? My experience on this has been that they are only slightly related, but the reasons for them are different. Porn acts as a depresent; which means it's meant to take something from you; while masturbation happens due to circumstance-based. You can do both exclusively, but due to the nature of porn both usually go together. 3. Is there hope? This is the good news, and something we can be grateful for. That is the blessing of the greatest Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji holding our hands and freeing us from all our past deeds, and gives our life true meaning instead of being Ghulamis to our own problems. The greatness of being a Sikh can not be comprehended into normal thoughts or words, and even Kaam himself surrenders at the name of the blessed Guru. This is just a tiny intro on the basis of the issue, I plan to delve further into it, what my experience has been, why it's not going to be easy, and why there is hope for anyone if there can be hope for someone like me.
  11. I am looking for the english translations of Bhavrasamrit Granth and Vivek Pradipika by Bhai Tirath Singh Nirmala. Can anyone please share where I may be able to find them?
  12. The SGPC, as the trendsetter in the Sikh world, has ratified Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa's transliterations of Gurbani which are highly erroneous and lacking the spirit of the original Gurmukhi. Unfortunately, since the green light from the Committee, one finds Khalsa's works all over the internet and in popular literature. For those interested in utilizing proper transliterations, I suggest perusing the Mahan Kosh and older Punjab simplifications which are still available even to this day. Below I present the proper transliteration of a Shabad which is usually employed by Islamic apologia to disparage the Sikh faith. Please note that Khalsa's erroneous transliteration was also used by Basics of Sikhi whilst they were debating whether Guru Nanak Dev Ji asks Muslims to be Muslims as per their own coda or as per Gurmat. 'Salok, Mahalla 1 To call yourself a Muslim is difficult... (here the original Gurmukhi reads 'Je hoye' i.e. if one is a Muslim- an individual who has submitted to Sri Akal Purakh) only then can you call yourself a Muslim. (In the next line, Khalsa has erroneously added in 'Prophet' whereas the original Gurmukhi has no mention of any preceptor:) To be a true Muslim, accept the primal "deen" (faith- by adding primal it means the ever-existent and unsullied truth as elaborated upon in the mool-mantar) as being sweet. Akin to a maskal (a file) scarping away rust, distribute your possessions among the needy. (Here Khalsa adds in 'Muhammad.'It is crucial to note that in the Bachittra-Natak 'Muhammad' is rendered 'Mahudin' whereas the term here is 'Muhanni.') Becoming a Muslim thus, tread via the edicts of deen and all delusions of life and death will be effaced. Accepting the Doer's will and surrendering to the Creator, discard your ego. Only then will your become merciful to one and all; only then can you call yourself a true Muslim.' -ASGGS, Ang. 141. A similar sentiment is again echoed, by the first Guru, on the same ang: '(In Islam) there are 5 prayers performed at 5 times having 5 nomenclatures each. (Vis-a-vis Gurmat the five prayers are) First prayer is of truth, the second of integrity in thought and deed, the third is of wishing prosperity upon all (and not just upon the Dar-al-Islam). The fourth is of possessing clean motives and the fifth is of praise (i.e. praise of Vaheguru). With these particular 5 prayers (as elaborated upon by the Guru), utter the confession of faith, good deeds and way of living; then you are a true Muslim. Oh Nanak, the false (who do not accept these figurative prayers) obtain falsehood.' -Ibid. The structure of this particular Shabad is a 'Pauri.' For a proper understanding of the idea conveyed in a 'Pauri,' the entire passage has to be read before passing any judgement (we do not expect Muslims to know this). The conclusive Shabad, by Guru Ramdass, summarizes the 'Pauri's' main concepts: 'If an individual forsakes aggrandizement, anger, falsehood and slander- if they discard maya and efface their "I-ness." If they discard their lust and hypersexuality- then even whilst residing in the shade of illusion they can obtain the blemishless Lord. If they forsake hubris and attachment to the spouse and progeny; if they abandon the thirst for worldly possessions- if they submerge their consciousness into the giver of bliss. Says Nanak, the True One will reside in that individual's mind. Through the true Shabad, they merge into the name eternal.'
  13. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Is there a reason why death is something hard for many to accept, even when it will happen to everyone? Why do people forget it? Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
  14. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! How different is the Bhagti movement from Sikhi? It seems like there are lots of overlaps and the only real difference I could find was the need for Gur-prassad, (among the entire movement not the 15 bhagats, who did believe in Gur-prassad). Also if they are really very similar, what prevented those from the Bhagti movement from being Sikh during the Hindu mass conversions to Islam? Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
  15. 13Mirch

    Good Shastar Makers?

    Are there any good Shastar makers out there who produce high quality products, at a reasonable rate, and also deliver overseas? If so, please post their details here. Thank you very much.
  16. I am asking this question as I am unsure as to whether Shaheed Singh's or Kaur's actually get mukht/liberated from becoming shaheed, as Gurbani provides no evidence of this? I understand that the Chali Mukte got liberated by Satguru Sri Gobind Singh Ji, and other shaheeds like Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. But lets forget puratan times because I know all the shaheeds then were brahm gianis but what about from 1984 and ownards? The reason I am asking this is because I recently attended an akath katha where the guy was standing up and explaining how to meet Vaheguru through Gurbani. He even went to explain what manmat is, showing a presentation slide full of manmat 'tools' like a mala and presented Gurbani pangtiya which state and show that using a mala is wrong. However what struck me most is when the guy doing the katha clearly stated that someone who becomes 'shaheed' will not get liberated and not meet Truth, as they have not recognized naam. As before, he presented the Gurbani pangti to prove what he is saying. I can't remember the pangti in Gurmukhi but it translates in English to something like "and they who die on the battlefield, will also not become liberated". It translated to something along those lines. I personally think that he misused the pangti to suit his own needs for the sake of the presentation. But thats what I want to know, is it true that a Shaheed won't get mukht? Is he just dying for the sake of the panth? However before I heard many times that Guru Gobind Singh Ji said something along the lines of "He who dies fighting for the panth will instantly get a throne in my kingdom, or God's kingdom" even though I haven't found a direct source to this. Is this true? Did Satguru Ji say this? I'm surprised nobody in the sangat spoke out against this, they all seemed to be under some kind of control as they guy seemed pretty intimidating to say the least.
  17. Today's hukamnama got me thinking about the parlok or next world as mentioned in the Punjabi translations. Can anyone provide insight as to what they think Guru Sahib says about the next world after this by citing bani. The Punjabi interpretations are great but I felt like I didn't get the answer still. Would be much appreciated.
  18. "Sabẖ ṯe vadā saṯgur Nānak jin kal rākẖī merī. ||4||10||57||" Ang 750. Does anyone know what the meaning of this line is? I've heard it be translated as 2 different things from various people. 1. "Guru Nanak is the greatest of all; He saved my honor in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga" 2. "The greatest is Satguru-(Vaheguru's formless way), Nanak, he has saved my honor". I do assume they both mean about the same, because "Joth Roop Har Aap Guroo Naanak Kehaayo ||" Ang 1408 "The Embodiment of Light, the Lord Himself is called Guru Nanak."
  19. ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ ਜੀ । When I jap naam for a long time, then say do Ardaas, my head automaticaly randomly twitchs sometimes etc. Do others experience this? If so why does it occur?
  20. This was an issue that I was thinking about and felt like that Waheguru sometimes ignore the simple Ardas that we can say. Does anyone have an answer as to why that is?
  21. This was an issue that I was thinking about and felt like that Waheguru sometimes ignore the simple Ardas that we can say. Does anyone have an answer as to why that is?
  22. I recently researched some facets of Sikh history and here is what I have concluded. Please feel free to comment and criticize me. For the full article please see: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/dichotomy-and-de-evolution.html?view=magazine. I have also listed my sources, if in doubt please feel free to pursue them and get back to me. 'History is written by the Victors.' -Sir Winston Churchill. (1) History is never static but perpetually subject to fluctuation. Maybe then, what we call the past is nothing more than an adjective to catalog the notion of the commencement of an ideal or perception subject to later rereading. If the latter is taken to be true, then an imperative exists for a necessary re-defining of history (and it's trailblazers) every so often. Where would this leave us? An individual who was ratified as a hero five decades ago, may now become a genocidal villain (we have already witnessed this in the life of Prophet Muhammad) whereas a genocidal villain, of yesteryear, may soon be vindicated as a modern hero. Then again maybe there are some characters who will always inspire dichotomy. It might serve us well to study both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, if not for a crash course in human rights violation ('the how to do it and escape') than for their military and political stratagems. Below is an abstract of pivotal figures in Sikh history who have undergone a similar evolution for political, and ethno-social means. Their past has been circumspect to fluctuation and here we attempt to dissect the truth and if possible elucidate why some were forgotten in light of others who historically triumphed. Rama and Ravana- Rama and Ravana are not exclusive to Sikh historicity, nor do Sikhs subscribe to their pantheons or religious observances. They however reflect the primeval Good Versus Evil (or more bluntly us and them) psyche over which many cultures/religious parcels construct their own foundations-Sikhs alike. The Ramayana, despite it's prevalence, cannot be accepted as being an authentic account in light of it's fantastic claims. Written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the sub-continent's first great empire (2), the ode of Rama and Ravana can easily be interpreted as being an attempt to accept political loss, and the ascension of a new empire and a new way of life. Preliminary texts of theRamayana (the tale of Rama) often construes Rama to be lustful ('the son of Dasratha is indeed lustful' (3) ) forgetful of his own divinity ('the Gods reminded him...' (4)) and often imperfect in conduct. Ravana's only failing is his hubris. If perceived, in light of history and historicity, Rama can be delineated as being an amalgamation of the various conflicting powers attempting to succeed the fragmented Mauryan's. (5) Ravana then is a Mauryan; an embodiment of the past empire and it's failures. The latter perception pans out especially since it is believed that the Ramayan's birth spanned from 750 BCE-200 CE. It's contents are replete with the motif of Kshatiryas (warriors in exile) thus reflecting an internecine conflict of sorts between Kshatiryas and the higher Brahmins. Was Ravana truly the rapist which the Ramayana inaugurates him to be? Or was he a monarch beset on all sides by fragmentation and factionalism who ultimately confronted hopes of a foreign progress via his farsightedness? History is silent on this matter, yet several Indian communities still venerate him as a noble emperor. (6) This dichotomy indicates that maybe the truth is more subtle. Ravana, or his real life counterpart, might as well have been an indigenous ruler confronted by Vedic (borrowed from the Ramayana) hordes which threatened to engulf his empire. Whatever the religiosity orbiting Ramayana it should serve as a lesson for ruler, scholar and layman alike. It is not the tale of Rama as commonly promulgated, but the tragedy of Ravana and through him revolution and utopia. Orwellian in approach, theRamayana confronts a post-revolution empire attempting to construct an utopia but teetering on the brink of collapse itself. Ultimately with the demise of it's monarch, history is re-written and the latter banished to infamy. From fame to infamy and back. The curious case of Banda Singh Bahadur and Binod Singh- Sir John Malcolm in his Sketch of the Sikhs observes: 'though the Sikhs, from being animated by a similar feeling, and encouraged by his first successes, followed Banda to the field, they do not revere his memory; and he is termed, by some of their authors, a heretic ; who, intoxicated with victory, endeavoured to change the religious institutions and laws of Guru G6vind, many of whose most devoted followers this fierce chief put to death...' (7) Banda Singh Bahadur is often officiated as being the primary Sikh ruler. To him we will apply the template which we birthed in our previous discussion regarding the Ramayana. Important points to acknowledge are: *The genesis of a mythos. * The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure. *The politics behind such actions. In 1708 A.D. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dispatched both a newly converted Banda, and the chief custodian of the Akal-Takhat, Akali-Nihung Binod Singh to subdue the Mughals in Punjab, wreck mass havoc and if plausible establish territorial supremacy for the Khalsa. Up till the Khalsa's sudden surrender of the Punjab (8), relations between Banda and Binod Singh were icily cordial if not fully warm. It was in the aftermath of Banda's declaration of a pseudo-Guruship that the real conflict commenced. (9) Incensed by certain 'reforms' propagated by the now vain Banda, Binod Singh and a mass body of the Khalsa parted from him under the aegis of Mata Sundar Kaur Ji and commenced harassing Mughal and 'Bandai' (Banda's own apostles) alike. (10) Curiously however by the dawn of the Sikh Empire, under Ranjit Singh, Banda's image had undergone a mass variation. No more was he a traitor, but an embodiment of Khalsa sovereignty and the latter's prolonged bloody history. Binod Singh meanwhile was marginalized as being nothing more than a minor inconvenience. (11) The latter situation is an obfuscating one, especially in light of the fact that a Nihung under Ranjit Singh-Ratan Singh Bhangu, author of the Sri Gur Panth Prakash- ardently criticizes Banda in his biography of the Khalsa nation. Ironically in lieu of any substantial academic vindication on the propagation of a 'Banda like no other' myth, during this era, we can somewhat amateurishly conclude then that this rebirth of Banda was probably politically oriented. Banda Singh's figure however prophetically boomed during the post-Singh-Sabha colonial era. The ascension of a radical Hindu movement, oriented towards establishing sole Hindu supremacy sub-continent wide, lead to a parallel Sikh offshoot which attempted to battle it and pursue ethnonationalism simultaneously. Banda became the bone of contention between both parties. Several prominent Hindu scholars attempted to cast him as a Hindu assisting his 'weakened Sikh brothers;' whereas Sikh academicians fought back with historic proof establishing Banda to be autonomous of Hinduism. Criticism of Banda during this time was heavily ignored and even vilified by a 'colonialised' Sikh academia which desired to circumvent his imperfectness altogether. The result? The image of a perfect 'Banda like no other' became ossified in Sikh thought and any criticism was (and is) 'academically refuted' or dismissed as being nothing more than a 'political, social or even religious conspiracy.' (12) Let us now summarize all of the above via the criterion which we mentioned in this sub-section's beginning. *The genesis of the mythos: 'A Banda like no other,' commenced under Ranjit Singh and was later ossified by colonial and post-colonial Sikh and non-Sikh scholars. *The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure: Even today Binod Singh is asserted to have betrayed Banda Singh in pursuit of parochial goals. Other then in Nihung Dals, no mention is made of him and many authors have discarded him altogether from their works. Historians such as Dr. Ganda Singh, despite acknowledging the fluidity of their field, continually (and often myopically) asserted any criticism of Banda to be a produce of an overbearing and radical mentality. Binod Singh meanwhile was vilified as the real traitor who betrayed the 'Sikh cause.' *The politics behind such actions: Ethnonationalism, and maybe a discomfort at the first Sikh sovereign's temporary transgressions. Rereading Jassa Singhs' Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia. Realpolitik versus theocracy- Modern-era, and Jassa Singh Ramgarhia is a humanitarian like no other; his name-sharing counterpart ( an eerie-similarity) on the other hand, Jassa Singh Alhuwalia meanwhile has been marginalized, maybe due to his historical adherence to the Nihung order? Lets flip a few pages back to 1748 A.D. and we see Ramgarhia besieging the fortress of Ram-Runi under the command of Adina Beg Khan. (13) The besieged are composed of two-hundred Sikhs sitting among their deceased, and now rotting, two-hundred companions. Frustrated, they finally lambaste Ramgarhia and threaten to expel him from their socio-cultural, and religious, ranks if his defiance against them continues. Ramgarhia is chastened and immediately capitulates. His actions buy temporary peace for the Sikhs who in this uneasy ceasefire prepare for a mass offensive against the Mughals. A new hero has arisen. No more is Ramgarhia the bane of the Sikhs. He has now become a pivotal leader in their affairs. But Ramgarhia's rise to power, and his realpolitik, earn him many foes in the succeeding years. The most ardent, and overbearing, among the latter is Akali-Nihung Jassa Singh Alhuwalia, 4th Commander-In-Chief of the Budha-Dal and paramount custodian of the Akal-Takhat. Both men are trailblazers but internecine friction ensures mass hostility on both sides with the result that Ramgarhia is forced to go into exile for over 12 years. (14) The latter is but a short sketch of a pivotal, and often icy, political relationship which foreboded the internal decay and fall of the Khalsa Misls. Both Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia were valued generals of their era, yet the fact that both often communicated with each other via their swords begs the question, why? Let us attempt to slay this multi-headed hydra via a point-by-point basis. 1.) What in the blazes was Ramgarhia doing in cohort with the Mughals? Sikh-Mughal relations, in the seventeenth century, were not a close-cut matter of 'kill, kill, kill!' Complexities, and anomalies, existed and Ramgarhia was only one of many of the latter. The need to create a territorial, and political, state brought the fledgling Sikhs in direct confrontation with the already hostile, and religiously incensed, Mughals. Ramgarhia's father was a pivotal player in the early Sikh sovereignty campaign headed by Banda Singh. Several theories exist over as to why he deserted his brethren, although recent research defiantly refutes this notion and instead indicates expulsion. It seems that Ramgarhia senior committed infanticide and was subsequently revoked of his privileges and ousted by the Khalsa. (15) Incensed- for him events were not as black and white as they were for his judges- Ramgarhia senior offered his services to the Mughal governor at Lahore and was subsequently accepted as a Captain in the latter's forces. Ramgarhia junior would soon inherit this position along with his three brothers. 2.) But weren't the Mughals thirsty for Sikh blood during this era? Ramgarhia's capitulation, at Ram-Runi, indicates two things. One, he was contemplating striking it alone and two, it seems pressure was increasing on him day by day to preserve his integrity in the eyes of suspicious Imperialists. How did Ramgarhia survive and gain employ in such an ambivalent era? Let us cast a glance at the contemporary Mughal empire, our subject's long-time employer. It's administration had become decentralized in the absence of any effective leadership, and all outposts outside Delhi had announced a subtle autonomy. Adina Beg Khan, and other governor-generals, were not only tasked with subduing the Sikhs but also confronting hostile third parties such as the raiding Afghanis, marauding Persians and occasional Mujhaideen incensed by the state's support of one Islamic sect. (16) Men like Khan, in order to preserve their own skins and defy their masters, formed coalitions with various Sikh chiefs and often enrolled them in their own ranks, thus Ramgarhia's survival. 3.) Wasn't internal forgiveness and pardon a part of the then Sikh structure? It was, but the demands for an autonomous empire were ever-growing and transgressions were hard to sweep under the carpet. Ramgarhia, despite being situated in the middle of the Sikh influence, was often at odds with colleagues such as Baghel Singh KaroraSinghia and any other critics. His brothers' impunity however often embroiled him in trouble and this point soon became a beating stick to assault his credibility. Matters finally came to a head when he attempted to gloss over his brothers' unprovoked offensive against Alhuwalia and the latter's entourage. The succeeding year, he was expelled from Punjab and a mass portion of his territory taken over by the Kanihyaas. Chief, Warrior, Politician, Ruler and forever Accused. Ala Singh of Patiala and his defence- Reviled as a traitor to the Sikh cause, was Ala Singh of Patiala truly the inimical tactician he is being made out to be currently? Or were there more poignant powers at work which made him adopt a divergent course from that of his fellows? Whilst the Sikh Misls were fighting for their survival in the 1730's, Ala Singh (with occasional assistance from the Shahida Misl) (17), was laying the foundation for the future state of Patiala. The son of a petty landlord, under Mughal rule, he had arisen to Goliathian prominence and even been recognized as a regal persona by both his brethren and their inimical foe, Ahmad Shah Abdali. 1.) Was Ala Singh not subject to the stringent measures self-imposed by the Sikhs upon themselves? Ala Singh resided in the Malwa and had emerged as the latter's pontificate cultivator. Various political incentives, and marriages, often buttressed his leadership ambitions and offered him an insurance not available to his fellows. The fact he was related to imminent men such as Bhai Ram Dayal, befriended by me such as Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, and enjoyed the support of pedagogues such as Baba Mool Chand also worked well in his favor. (18) 2.) What was Ala Singh's defense? Even though Ala Singh's ability to call upon his kin, and brethren, played a pivotal role in his rise to power; realpolitik also played a decisive factor. Malwa was more prone to repeated Afghani incursions than it's neighboring Majha. This not only placed Patiala right in the grasp of the foe, but also placed ardent stress upon it's logistics; Ala Singh's defense often orbited these points. His ironic situation juxtaposed with his ardent support of his brethren (though subtle) and grasp ofrealpolitik was enough for most Sikh chiefs to forgive him. 3.) So how did perceptions change? Maharajah Ranjit Singh's interference in Patiala's affairs-in the early nineteenth century- ultimately lead to the Cis-Sutlej treaty which guaranteed the state extensive support from the neighboring British protectorate. Authors, and historians, such as Ratan Singh Bhangu took this as a cue to cast Ala Singh in a dis-favorable light. Sources: (1) Accessed from: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/97949-history-is-written-by-the-victors (2) Doniger, W; (2009) The Hindus: An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, NY, USA; pg. 213-216. (3) ibid, pg. 225. (4) ibid, pg. 222. (5) ibid, pg. 216. (6) Sadasvia, S; (2000) A Social History of India, S.B. Nangia A.P.H Publishing Corporation, New-Delhi, India; pg. 165. (7) Accessed from http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Criticism_of_Banda_Singh_Bahadur (8) See The Anachronistic Sovereign 1, Tisarpanth Blogspot for a full exegesis from the Sri Gur Panth Prakash. (9) ibid, from Bhangu. (10) ibid, from Bhangu. (11) ibid, from Bhangu. It is important to note that Bhangu is extensively critical of Banda whilst praiseworthy of Binod Singh. (12) Rise of the Khalsa, animated film directed by Prabhjot Singh Makkar; produced by Vismaad. (13) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 74. (14) Singh Kazan; (1920) History of the Sikhs, New Delhi Press, India, see section titled Sikh-Misls. (15) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 82. (16) See Gandhi's Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. (17) Reiterated from: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/a-short-sketch-of-khalsa-confederacies.html (18) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg.107.
  23. I recently researched some facets of Sikh history and here is what I have concluded. Please feel free to comment and criticize me. For the full article please see: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/dichotomy-and-de-evolution.html?view=magazine. I have also listed my sources, if in doubt please feel free to pursue them and get back to me. 'History is written by the Victors.' -Sir Winston Churchill. (1) History is never static but perpetually subject to fluctuation. Maybe then, what we call the past is nothing more than an adjective to catalog the notion of the commencement of an ideal or perception subject to later rereading. If the latter is taken to be true, then an imperative exists for a necessary re-defining of history (and it's trailblazers) every so often. Where would this leave us? An individual who was ratified as a hero five decades ago, may now become a genocidal villain (we have already witnessed this in the life of Prophet Muhammad) whereas a genocidal villain, of yesteryear, may soon be vindicated as a modern hero. Then again maybe there are some characters who will always inspire dichotomy. It might serve us well to study both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, if not for a crash course in human rights violation ('the how to do it and escape') than for their military and political stratagems. Below is an abstract of pivotal figures in Sikh history who have undergone a similar evolution for political, and ethno-social means. Their past has been circumspect to fluctuation and here we attempt to dissect the truth and if possible elucidate why some were forgotten in light of others who historically triumphed. Rama and Ravana- Rama and Ravana are not exclusive to Sikh historicity, nor do Sikhs subscribe to their pantheons or religious observances. They however reflect the primeval Good Versus Evil (or more bluntly us and them) psyche over which many cultures/religious parcels construct their own foundations-Sikhs alike. The Ramayana, despite it's prevalence, cannot be accepted as being an authentic account in light of it's fantastic claims. Written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the sub-continent's first great empire (2), the ode of Rama and Ravana can easily be interpreted as being an attempt to accept political loss, and the ascension of a new empire and a new way of life. Preliminary texts of theRamayana (the tale of Rama) often construes Rama to be lustful ('the son of Dasratha is indeed lustful' (3) ) forgetful of his own divinity ('the Gods reminded him...' (4)) and often imperfect in conduct. Ravana's only failing is his hubris. If perceived, in light of history and historicity, Rama can be delineated as being an amalgamation of the various conflicting powers attempting to succeed the fragmented Mauryan's. (5) Ravana then is a Mauryan; an embodiment of the past empire and it's failures. The latter perception pans out especially since it is believed that the Ramayan's birth spanned from 750 BCE-200 CE. It's contents are replete with the motif of Kshatiryas (warriors in exile) thus reflecting an internecine conflict of sorts between Kshatiryas and the higher Brahmins. Was Ravana truly the rapist which the Ramayana inaugurates him to be? Or was he a monarch beset on all sides by fragmentation and factionalism who ultimately confronted hopes of a foreign progress via his farsightedness? History is silent on this matter, yet several Indian communities still venerate him as a noble emperor. (6) This dichotomy indicates that maybe the truth is more subtle. Ravana, or his real life counterpart, might as well have been an indigenous ruler confronted by Vedic (borrowed from the Ramayana) hordes which threatened to engulf his empire. Whatever the religiosity orbiting Ramayana it should serve as a lesson for ruler, scholar and layman alike. It is not the tale of Rama as commonly promulgated, but the tragedy of Ravana and through him revolution and utopia. Orwellian in approach, theRamayana confronts a post-revolution empire attempting to construct an utopia but teetering on the brink of collapse itself. Ultimately with the demise of it's monarch, history is re-written and the latter banished to infamy. From fame to infamy and back. The curious case of Banda Singh Bahadur and Binod Singh- Sir John Malcolm in his Sketch of the Sikhs observes: 'though the Sikhs, from being animated by a similar feeling, and encouraged by his first successes, followed Banda to the field, they do not revere his memory; and he is termed, by some of their authors, a heretic ; who, intoxicated with victory, endeavoured to change the religious institutions and laws of Guru G6vind, many of whose most devoted followers this fierce chief put to death...' (7) Banda Singh Bahadur is often officiated as being the primary Sikh ruler. To him we will apply the template which we birthed in our previous discussion regarding the Ramayana. Important points to acknowledge are: *The genesis of a mythos. * The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure. *The politics behind such actions. In 1708 A.D. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dispatched both a newly converted Banda, and the chief custodian of the Akal-Takhat, Akali-Nihung Binod Singh to subdue the Mughals in Punjab, wreck mass havoc and if plausible establish territorial supremacy for the Khalsa. Up till the Khalsa's sudden surrender of the Punjab (8), relations between Banda and Binod Singh were icily cordial if not fully warm. It was in the aftermath of Banda's declaration of a pseudo-Guruship that the real conflict commenced. (9) Incensed by certain 'reforms' propagated by the now vain Banda, Binod Singh and a mass body of the Khalsa parted from him under the aegis of Mata Sundar Kaur Ji and commenced harassing Mughal and 'Bandai' (Banda's own apostles) alike. (10) Curiously however by the dawn of the Sikh Empire, under Ranjit Singh, Banda's image had undergone a mass variation. No more was he a traitor, but an embodiment of Khalsa sovereignty and the latter's prolonged bloody history. Binod Singh meanwhile was marginalized as being nothing more than a minor inconvenience. (11) The latter situation is an obfuscating one, especially in light of the fact that a Nihung under Ranjit Singh-Ratan Singh Bhangu, author of the Sri Gur Panth Prakash- ardently criticizes Banda in his biography of the Khalsa nation. Ironically in lieu of any substantial academic vindication on the propagation of a 'Banda like no other' myth, during this era, we can somewhat amateurishly conclude then that this rebirth of Banda was probably politically oriented. Banda Singh's figure however prophetically boomed during the post-Singh-Sabha colonial era. The ascension of a radical Hindu movement, oriented towards establishing sole Hindu supremacy sub-continent wide, lead to a parallel Sikh offshoot which attempted to battle it and pursue ethnonationalism simultaneously. Banda became the bone of contention between both parties. Several prominent Hindu scholars attempted to cast him as a Hindu assisting his 'weakened Sikh brothers;' whereas Sikh academicians fought back with historic proof establishing Banda to be autonomous of Hinduism. Criticism of Banda during this time was heavily ignored and even vilified by a 'colonialised' Sikh academia which desired to circumvent his imperfectness altogether. The result? The image of a perfect 'Banda like no other' became ossified in Sikh thought and any criticism was (and is) 'academically refuted' or dismissed as being nothing more than a 'political, social or even religious conspiracy.' (12) Let us now summarize all of the above via the criterion which we mentioned in this sub-section's beginning. *The genesis of the mythos: 'A Banda like no other,' commenced under Ranjit Singh and was later ossified by colonial and post-colonial Sikh and non-Sikh scholars. *The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure: Even today Binod Singh is asserted to have betrayed Banda Singh in pursuit of parochial goals. Other then in Nihung Dals, no mention is made of him and many authors have discarded him altogether from their works. Historians such as Dr. Ganda Singh, despite acknowledging the fluidity of their field, continually (and often myopically) asserted any criticism of Banda to be a produce of an overbearing and radical mentality. Binod Singh meanwhile was vilified as the real traitor who betrayed the 'Sikh cause.' *The politics behind such actions: Ethnonationalism, and maybe a discomfort at the first Sikh sovereign's temporary transgressions. Rereading Jassa Singhs' Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia. Realpolitik versus theocracy- Modern-era, and Jassa Singh Ramgarhia is a humanitarian like no other; his name-sharing counterpart ( an eerie-similarity) on the other hand, Jassa Singh Alhuwalia meanwhile has been marginalized, maybe due to his historical adherence to the Nihung order? Lets flip a few pages back to 1748 A.D. and we see Ramgarhia besieging the fortress of Ram-Runi under the command of Adina Beg Khan. (13) The besieged are composed of two-hundred Sikhs sitting among their deceased, and now rotting, two-hundred companions. Frustrated, they finally lambaste Ramgarhia and threaten to expel him from their socio-cultural, and religious, ranks if his defiance against them continues. Ramgarhia is chastened and immediately capitulates. His actions buy temporary peace for the Sikhs who in this uneasy ceasefire prepare for a mass offensive against the Mughals. A new hero has arisen. No more is Ramgarhia the bane of the Sikhs. He has now become a pivotal leader in their affairs. But Ramgarhia's rise to power, and his realpolitik, earn him many foes in the succeeding years. The most ardent, and overbearing, among the latter is Akali-Nihung Jassa Singh Alhuwalia, 4th Commander-In-Chief of the Budha-Dal and paramount custodian of the Akal-Takhat. Both men are trailblazers but internecine friction ensures mass hostility on both sides with the result that Ramgarhia is forced to go into exile for over 12 years. (14) The latter is but a short sketch of a pivotal, and often icy, political relationship which foreboded the internal decay and fall of the Khalsa Misls. Both Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia were valued generals of their era, yet the fact that both often communicated with each other via their swords begs the question, why? Let us attempt to slay this multi-headed hydra via a point-by-point basis. 1.) What in the blazes was Ramgarhia doing in cohort with the Mughals? Sikh-Mughal relations, in the seventeenth century, were not a close-cut matter of 'kill, kill, kill!' Complexities, and anomalies, existed and Ramgarhia was only one of many of the latter. The need to create a territorial, and political, state brought the fledgling Sikhs in direct confrontation with the already hostile, and religiously incensed, Mughals. Ramgarhia's father was a pivotal player in the early Sikh sovereignty campaign headed by Banda Singh. Several theories exist over as to why he deserted his brethren, although recent research defiantly refutes this notion and instead indicates expulsion. It seems that Ramgarhia senior committed infanticide and was subsequently revoked of his privileges and ousted by the Khalsa. (15) Incensed- for him events were not as black and white as they were for his judges- Ramgarhia senior offered his services to the Mughal governor at Lahore and was subsequently accepted as a Captain in the latter's forces. Ramgarhia junior would soon inherit this position along with his three brothers. 2.) But weren't the Mughals thirsty for Sikh blood during this era? Ramgarhia's capitulation, at Ram-Runi, indicates two things. One, he was contemplating striking it alone and two, it seems pressure was increasing on him day by day to preserve his integrity in the eyes of suspicious Imperialists. How did Ramgarhia survive and gain employ in such an ambivalent era? Let us cast a glance at the contemporary Mughal empire, our subject's long-time employer. It's administration had become decentralized in the absence of any effective leadership, and all outposts outside Delhi had announced a subtle autonomy. Adina Beg Khan, and other governor-generals, were not only tasked with subduing the Sikhs but also confronting hostile third parties such as the raiding Afghanis, marauding Persians and occasional Mujhaideen incensed by the state's support of one Islamic sect. (16) Men like Khan, in order to preserve their own skins and defy their masters, formed coalitions with various Sikh chiefs and often enrolled them in their own ranks, thus Ramgarhia's survival. 3.) Wasn't internal forgiveness and pardon a part of the then Sikh structure? It was, but the demands for an autonomous empire were ever-growing and transgressions were hard to sweep under the carpet. Ramgarhia, despite being situated in the middle of the Sikh influence, was often at odds with colleagues such as Baghel Singh KaroraSinghia and any other critics. His brothers' impunity however often embroiled him in trouble and this point soon became a beating stick to assault his credibility. Matters finally came to a head when he attempted to gloss over his brothers' unprovoked offensive against Alhuwalia and the latter's entourage. The succeeding year, he was expelled from Punjab and a mass portion of his territory taken over by the Kanihyaas. Chief, Warrior, Politician, Ruler and forever Accused. Ala Singh of Patiala and his defence- Reviled as a traitor to the Sikh cause, was Ala Singh of Patiala truly the inimical tactician he is being made out to be currently? Or were there more poignant powers at work which made him adopt a divergent course from that of his fellows? Whilst the Sikh Misls were fighting for their survival in the 1730's, Ala Singh (with occasional assistance from the Shahida Misl) (17), was laying the foundation for the future state of Patiala. The son of a petty landlord, under Mughal rule, he had arisen to Goliathian prominence and even been recognized as a regal persona by both his brethren and their inimical foe, Ahmad Shah Abdali. 1.) Was Ala Singh not subject to the stringent measures self-imposed by the Sikhs upon themselves? Ala Singh resided in the Malwa and had emerged as the latter's pontificate cultivator. Various political incentives, and marriages, often buttressed his leadership ambitions and offered him an insurance not available to his fellows. The fact he was related to imminent men such as Bhai Ram Dayal, befriended by me such as Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, and enjoyed the support of pedagogues such as Baba Mool Chand also worked well in his favor. (18) 2.) What was Ala Singh's defense? Even though Ala Singh's ability to call upon his kin, and brethren, played a pivotal role in his rise to power; realpolitik also played a decisive factor. Malwa was more prone to repeated Afghani incursions than it's neighboring Majha. This not only placed Patiala right in the grasp of the foe, but also placed ardent stress upon it's logistics; Ala Singh's defense often orbited these points. His ironic situation juxtaposed with his ardent support of his brethren (though subtle) and grasp ofrealpolitik was enough for most Sikh chiefs to forgive him. 3.) So how did perceptions change? Maharajah Ranjit Singh's interference in Patiala's affairs-in the early nineteenth century- ultimately lead to the Cis-Sutlej treaty which guaranteed the state extensive support from the neighboring British protectorate. Authors, and historians, such as Ratan Singh Bhangu took this as a cue to cast Ala Singh in a dis-favorable light. Sources: (1) Accessed from: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/97949-history-is-written-by-the-victors (2) Doniger, W; (2009) The Hindus: An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, NY, USA; pg. 213-216. (3) ibid, pg. 225. (4) ibid, pg. 222. (5) ibid, pg. 216. (6) Sadasvia, S; (2000) A Social History of India, S.B. Nangia A.P.H Publishing Corporation, New-Delhi, India; pg. 165. (7) Accessed from http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Criticism_of_Banda_Singh_Bahadur (8) See The Anachronistic Sovereign 1, Tisarpanth Blogspot for a full exegesis from the Sri Gur Panth Prakash. (9) ibid, from Bhangu. (10) ibid, from Bhangu. (11) ibid, from Bhangu. It is important to note that Bhangu is extensively critical of Banda whilst praiseworthy of Binod Singh. (12) Rise of the Khalsa, animated film directed by Prabhjot Singh Makkar; produced by Vismaad. (13) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 74. (14) Singh Kazan; (1920) History of the Sikhs, New Delhi Press, India, see section titled Sikh-Misls. (15) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 82. (16) See Gandhi's Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. (17) Reiterated from: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/a-short-sketch-of-khalsa-confederacies.html (18) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg.107.
  24. I recently researched some facets of Sikh history and here is what I have concluded. Please feel free to comment and criticize me. For the full article please see: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/dichotomy-and-de-evolution.html?view=magazine. I have also listed my sources, if in doubt please feel free to pursue them and get back to me. 'History is written by the Victors.' -Sir Winston Churchill. (1) History is never static but perpetually subject to fluctuation. Maybe then, what we call the past is nothing more than an adjective to catalog the notion of the commencement of an ideal or perception subject to later rereading. If the latter is taken to be true, then an imperative exists for a necessary re-defining of history (and it's trailblazers) every so often. Where would this leave us? An individual who was ratified as a hero five decades ago, may now become a genocidal villain (we have already witnessed this in the life of Prophet Muhammad) whereas a genocidal villain, of yesteryear, may soon be vindicated as a modern hero. Then again maybe there are some characters who will always inspire dichotomy. It might serve us well to study both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, if not for a crash course in human rights violation ('the how to do it and escape') than for their military and political stratagems. Below is an abstract of pivotal figures in Sikh history who have undergone a similar evolution for political, and ethno-social means. Their past has been circumspect to fluctuation and here we attempt to dissect the truth and if possible elucidate why some were forgotten in light of others who historically triumphed. Rama and Ravana- Rama and Ravana are not exclusive to Sikh historicity, nor do Sikhs subscribe to their pantheons or religious observances. They however reflect the primeval Good Versus Evil (or more bluntly us and them) psyche over which many cultures/religious parcels construct their own foundations-Sikhs alike. The Ramayana, despite it's prevalence, cannot be accepted as being an authentic account in light of it's fantastic claims. Written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the sub-continent's first great empire (2), the ode of Rama and Ravana can easily be interpreted as being an attempt to accept political loss, and the ascension of a new empire and a new way of life. Preliminary texts of theRamayana (the tale of Rama) often construes Rama to be lustful ('the son of Dasratha is indeed lustful' (3) ) forgetful of his own divinity ('the Gods reminded him...' (4)) and often imperfect in conduct. Ravana's only failing is his hubris. If perceived, in light of history and historicity, Rama can be delineated as being an amalgamation of the various conflicting powers attempting to succeed the fragmented Mauryan's. (5) Ravana then is a Mauryan; an embodiment of the past empire and it's failures. The latter perception pans out especially since it is believed that the Ramayan's birth spanned from 750 BCE-200 CE. It's contents are replete with the motif of Kshatiryas (warriors in exile) thus reflecting an internecine conflict of sorts between Kshatiryas and the higher Brahmins. Was Ravana truly the rapist which the Ramayana inaugurates him to be? Or was he a monarch beset on all sides by fragmentation and factionalism who ultimately confronted hopes of a foreign progress via his farsightedness? History is silent on this matter, yet several Indian communities still venerate him as a noble emperor. (6) This dichotomy indicates that maybe the truth is more subtle. Ravana, or his real life counterpart, might as well have been an indigenous ruler confronted by Vedic (borrowed from the Ramayana) hordes which threatened to engulf his empire. Whatever the religiosity orbiting Ramayana it should serve as a lesson for ruler, scholar and layman alike. It is not the tale of Rama as commonly promulgated, but the tragedy of Ravana and through him revolution and utopia. Orwellian in approach, theRamayana confronts a post-revolution empire attempting to construct an utopia but teetering on the brink of collapse itself. Ultimately with the demise of it's monarch, history is re-written and the latter banished to infamy. From fame to infamy and back. The curious case of Banda Singh Bahadur and Binod Singh- Sir John Malcolm in his Sketch of the Sikhs observes: 'though the Sikhs, from being animated by a similar feeling, and encouraged by his first successes, followed Banda to the field, they do not revere his memory; and he is termed, by some of their authors, a heretic ; who, intoxicated with victory, endeavoured to change the religious institutions and laws of Guru G6vind, many of whose most devoted followers this fierce chief put to death...' (7) Banda Singh Bahadur is often officiated as being the primary Sikh ruler. To him we will apply the template which we birthed in our previous discussion regarding the Ramayana. Important points to acknowledge are: *The genesis of a mythos. * The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure. *The politics behind such actions. In 1708 A.D. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dispatched both a newly converted Banda, and the chief custodian of the Akal-Takhat, Akali-Nihung Binod Singh to subdue the Mughals in Punjab, wreck mass havoc and if plausible establish territorial supremacy for the Khalsa. Up till the Khalsa's sudden surrender of the Punjab (8), relations between Banda and Binod Singh were icily cordial if not fully warm. It was in the aftermath of Banda's declaration of a pseudo-Guruship that the real conflict commenced. (9) Incensed by certain 'reforms' propagated by the now vain Banda, Binod Singh and a mass body of the Khalsa parted from him under the aegis of Mata Sundar Kaur Ji and commenced harassing Mughal and 'Bandai' (Banda's own apostles) alike. (10) Curiously however by the dawn of the Sikh Empire, under Ranjit Singh, Banda's image had undergone a mass variation. No more was he a traitor, but an embodiment of Khalsa sovereignty and the latter's prolonged bloody history. Binod Singh meanwhile was marginalized as being nothing more than a minor inconvenience. (11) The latter situation is an obfuscating one, especially in light of the fact that a Nihung under Ranjit Singh-Ratan Singh Bhangu, author of the Sri Gur Panth Prakash- ardently criticizes Banda in his biography of the Khalsa nation. Ironically in lieu of any substantial academic vindication on the propagation of a 'Banda like no other' myth, during this era, we can somewhat amateurishly conclude then that this rebirth of Banda was probably politically oriented. Banda Singh's figure however prophetically boomed during the post-Singh-Sabha colonial era. The ascension of a radical Hindu movement, oriented towards establishing sole Hindu supremacy sub-continent wide, lead to a parallel Sikh offshoot which attempted to battle it and pursue ethnonationalism simultaneously. Banda became the bone of contention between both parties. Several prominent Hindu scholars attempted to cast him as a Hindu assisting his 'weakened Sikh brothers;' whereas Sikh academicians fought back with historic proof establishing Banda to be autonomous of Hinduism. Criticism of Banda during this time was heavily ignored and even vilified by a 'colonialised' Sikh academia which desired to circumvent his imperfectness altogether. The result? The image of a perfect 'Banda like no other' became ossified in Sikh thought and any criticism was (and is) 'academically refuted' or dismissed as being nothing more than a 'political, social or even religious conspiracy.' (12) Let us now summarize all of the above via the criterion which we mentioned in this sub-section's beginning. *The genesis of the mythos: 'A Banda like no other,' commenced under Ranjit Singh and was later ossified by colonial and post-colonial Sikh and non-Sikh scholars. *The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure: Even today Binod Singh is asserted to have betrayed Banda Singh in pursuit of parochial goals. Other then in Nihung Dals, no mention is made of him and many authors have discarded him altogether from their works. Historians such as Dr. Ganda Singh, despite acknowledging the fluidity of their field, continually (and often myopically) asserted any criticism of Banda to be a produce of an overbearing and radical mentality. Binod Singh meanwhile was vilified as the real traitor who betrayed the 'Sikh cause.' *The politics behind such actions: Ethnonationalism, and maybe a discomfort at the first Sikh sovereign's temporary transgressions. Rereading Jassa Singhs' Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia. Realpolitik versus theocracy- Modern-era, and Jassa Singh Ramgarhia is a humanitarian like no other; his name-sharing counterpart ( an eerie-similarity) on the other hand, Jassa Singh Alhuwalia meanwhile has been marginalized, maybe due to his historical adherence to the Nihung order? Lets flip a few pages back to 1748 A.D. and we see Ramgarhia besieging the fortress of Ram-Runi under the command of Adina Beg Khan. (13) The besieged are composed of two-hundred Sikhs sitting among their deceased, and now rotting, two-hundred companions. Frustrated, they finally lambaste Ramgarhia and threaten to expel him from their socio-cultural, and religious, ranks if his defiance against them continues. Ramgarhia is chastened and immediately capitulates. His actions buy temporary peace for the Sikhs who in this uneasy ceasefire prepare for a mass offensive against the Mughals. A new hero has arisen. No more is Ramgarhia the bane of the Sikhs. He has now become a pivotal leader in their affairs. But Ramgarhia's rise to power, and his realpolitik, earn him many foes in the succeeding years. The most ardent, and overbearing, among the latter is Akali-Nihung Jassa Singh Alhuwalia, 4th Commander-In-Chief of the Budha-Dal and paramount custodian of the Akal-Takhat. Both men are trailblazers but internecine friction ensures mass hostility on both sides with the result that Ramgarhia is forced to go into exile for over 12 years. (14) The latter is but a short sketch of a pivotal, and often icy, political relationship which foreboded the internal decay and fall of the Khalsa Misls. Both Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia were valued generals of their era, yet the fact that both often communicated with each other via their swords begs the question, why? Let us attempt to slay this multi-headed hydra via a point-by-point basis. 1.) What in the blazes was Ramgarhia doing in cohort with the Mughals? Sikh-Mughal relations, in the seventeenth century, were not a close-cut matter of 'kill, kill, kill!' Complexities, and anomalies, existed and Ramgarhia was only one of many of the latter. The need to create a territorial, and political, state brought the fledgling Sikhs in direct confrontation with the already hostile, and religiously incensed, Mughals. Ramgarhia's father was a pivotal player in the early Sikh sovereignty campaign headed by Banda Singh. Several theories exist over as to why he deserted his brethren, although recent research defiantly refutes this notion and instead indicates expulsion. It seems that Ramgarhia senior committed infanticide and was subsequently revoked of his privileges and ousted by the Khalsa. (15) Incensed- for him events were not as black and white as they were for his judges- Ramgarhia senior offered his services to the Mughal governor at Lahore and was subsequently accepted as a Captain in the latter's forces. Ramgarhia junior would soon inherit this position along with his three brothers. 2.) But weren't the Mughals thirsty for Sikh blood during this era? Ramgarhia's capitulation, at Ram-Runi, indicates two things. One, he was contemplating striking it alone and two, it seems pressure was increasing on him day by day to preserve his integrity in the eyes of suspicious Imperialists. How did Ramgarhia survive and gain employ in such an ambivalent era? Let us cast a glance at the contemporary Mughal empire, our subject's long-time employer. It's administration had become decentralized in the absence of any effective leadership, and all outposts outside Delhi had announced a subtle autonomy. Adina Beg Khan, and other governor-generals, were not only tasked with subduing the Sikhs but also confronting hostile third parties such as the raiding Afghanis, marauding Persians and occasional Mujhaideen incensed by the state's support of one Islamic sect. (16) Men like Khan, in order to preserve their own skins and defy their masters, formed coalitions with various Sikh chiefs and often enrolled them in their own ranks, thus Ramgarhia's survival. 3.) Wasn't internal forgiveness and pardon a part of the then Sikh structure? It was, but the demands for an autonomous empire were ever-growing and transgressions were hard to sweep under the carpet. Ramgarhia, despite being situated in the middle of the Sikh influence, was often at odds with colleagues such as Baghel Singh KaroraSinghia and any other critics. His brothers' impunity however often embroiled him in trouble and this point soon became a beating stick to assault his credibility. Matters finally came to a head when he attempted to gloss over his brothers' unprovoked offensive against Alhuwalia and the latter's entourage. The succeeding year, he was expelled from Punjab and a mass portion of his territory taken over by the Kanihyaas. Chief, Warrior, Politician, Ruler and forever Accused. Ala Singh of Patiala and his defence- Reviled as a traitor to the Sikh cause, was Ala Singh of Patiala truly the inimical tactician he is being made out to be currently? Or were there more poignant powers at work which made him adopt a divergent course from that of his fellows? Whilst the Sikh Misls were fighting for their survival in the 1730's, Ala Singh (with occasional assistance from the Shahida Misl) (17), was laying the foundation for the future state of Patiala. The son of a petty landlord, under Mughal rule, he had arisen to Goliathian prominence and even been recognized as a regal persona by both his brethren and their inimical foe, Ahmad Shah Abdali. 1.) Was Ala Singh not subject to the stringent measures self-imposed by the Sikhs upon themselves? Ala Singh resided in the Malwa and had emerged as the latter's pontificate cultivator. Various political incentives, and marriages, often buttressed his leadership ambitions and offered him an insurance not available to his fellows. The fact he was related to imminent men such as Bhai Ram Dayal, befriended by me such as Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, and enjoyed the support of pedagogues such as Baba Mool Chand also worked well in his favor. (18) 2.) What was Ala Singh's defense? Even though Ala Singh's ability to call upon his kin, and brethren, played a pivotal role in his rise to power; realpolitik also played a decisive factor. Malwa was more prone to repeated Afghani incursions than it's neighboring Majha. This not only placed Patiala right in the grasp of the foe, but also placed ardent stress upon it's logistics; Ala Singh's defense often orbited these points. His ironic situation juxtaposed with his ardent support of his brethren (though subtle) and grasp ofrealpolitik was enough for most Sikh chiefs to forgive him. 3.) So how did perceptions change? Maharajah Ranjit Singh's interference in Patiala's affairs-in the early nineteenth century- ultimately lead to the Cis-Sutlej treaty which guaranteed the state extensive support from the neighboring British protectorate. Authors, and historians, such as Ratan Singh Bhangu took this as a cue to cast Ala Singh in a dis-favorable light. Sources: (1) Accessed from: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/97949-history-is-written-by-the-victors (2) Doniger, W; (2009) The Hindus: An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, NY, USA; pg. 213-216. (3) ibid, pg. 225. (4) ibid, pg. 222. (5) ibid, pg. 216. (6) Sadasvia, S; (2000) A Social History of India, S.B. Nangia A.P.H Publishing Corporation, New-Delhi, India; pg. 165. (7) Accessed from http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Criticism_of_Banda_Singh_Bahadur (8) See The Anachronistic Sovereign 1, Tisarpanth Blogspot for a full exegesis from the Sri Gur Panth Prakash. (9) ibid, from Bhangu. (10) ibid, from Bhangu. (11) ibid, from Bhangu. It is important to note that Bhangu is extensively critical of Banda whilst praiseworthy of Binod Singh. (12) Rise of the Khalsa, animated film directed by Prabhjot Singh Makkar; produced by Vismaad. (13) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 74. (14) Singh Kazan; (1920) History of the Sikhs, New Delhi Press, India, see section titled Sikh-Misls. (15) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 82. (16) See Gandhi's Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. (17) Reiterated from: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/a-short-sketch-of-khalsa-confederacies.html (18) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg.107.
×

Important Information

Terms of Use