Jump to content

Nishan Sahibs And Battle Standards


Recommended Posts

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !!

I have received a lot of feedback from the pictures I posted of the Battle Standards at Lichfield Cathedral - some negative but mostly positive.

Many asked for more pictures especially pictures of old Nishan Sahibs and pictures of the "Symbols" used before the introduction of the modern Khanda symbol.

It is not my intention to offend anyone, that is why I carefully avoided the use of 'Nishan Sahib' in the first post and this one and used the more neutral term 'Battle Standard'.

Hope you enjoy the pictures !

Bhul Chuk Maaf

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

These are guilded panels from Gurdwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib - they date from the mid 19th century

In this first panel you see Guru Gobind Singh Ji with his beloved Singhs - the Nishan Sahibs have on them 2 'Kirpans' a 'Katar' and what could be a 'Chakar' or a shield - it could also be a 'degh' - as it has been argued that the Nishan Sahib is a representation of 'Degh Tegh Fateh'.


a detail


In this panel Guru Gobind Singh Singh is with 5 Singhs - the Nishan Sahib is plain with a border


a detail


In this panel we see the Beloved 'Char Sahibzadas' - here also the Nishan is plain with a border


a detail


(* taken from The Sikhs - T S Randhawa 2000)

In this painting of Guru Gobind Singh Ji , titled as 'Journey to Deccan', dated as circa AD 1770-80 painted in Rajastani style - we have an Akali Nihang holding a Yellow Nishan with a Kirpan Katar and Chakar/Dhal/Degh arrangement with a floral border.




(* taken from Sikh Heritage - Dr Daljeet 2004)

In this portrait of Guru Gobind Singh from the 'Military Manual of Maharaja Ranjit Singh' ,dated around 1822-1830, kept in the Ram Bagh Museum Amritsar - we have a red and gold Nishan with what appears to be a 'Kard' on it.


(* taken from Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Jean-Marie Lafont 2002)

In this portrait of Guru Gobind Singh we see a decorated red, gold and pink Nishan.


Post Continues >>>>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this painting of The Char SahibZadas we have a decorated yellow Nishan Sahib .




(*taken from Dr Daljeet 2004)

This is a detail from a late 19th century painting of Darbar Sahib - the twin Nishan Sahibs of Miri and Piri are shown - The colour is Kesri.


(*taken from Dr Daljeet 2004)

In this Woodcut of Sri Amritsar - titled 'Naksha Darbar Sahib Sri Amritsar ji ka' and dated AD 1874 (sambat 1931) - we can clearly see the Miri Piri Nishan Sahibs and the Nishan Sahib on the roof terrace of the Darbar Sahib - the Nishan sahibs are again decorated with a Kirpan / Katar / chakar,degh,shield arrangement - the 'flag poles' are all topped with spear heads .




(* taken from Pirtan, Cultural Kosh - Chanan Singh Chan )

In this plan of Darbar Sahib , from the early 1900s, we can see two Nishan Sahibs - one on the roof of the Harimandir, the other to the left of the Akal Takht - both are of a yellow / kesri colour.

This plan from the Harry Mann Collection (Ontario, Canada) is fascinating because you can see all the Bungas around the parikarma the numerous trees and the original entrances .


This address casket is on display at the Royal Ontario Museum - it belongs to the Royal Family and is in the form of a model of the Harimandir Sahib. It dates from the Late 1800s and was probably given to Queen Victoria. Note the Nishan Sahib is Kesri in colour and has a fringe and tassle. It is adorned with a Bhaugauti and a Chakar/Degh/shield symbol





(* taken from The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms - The Canadian Collections - Seema Bharadia - 2000)

The second Shahidi Jatha arriving at Jaito (1920s) - though the symbols are hard to see on the Nishan Sahibs - they are like the ones in the woodcut posted above - you can clearly make out a 'Katar'.


Post Continues >>>>>

Link to comment
Share on other sites



(* taken from Warrior Saints - A S Madra P Singh 1999)

This photograph is of the Darshani Deori of Taran Taran Sahib - you can see the Nishan sahib is similar to the woodcut from 1874 AD , it has the kirpan / katar/ chakr pattern - the photograph comes from Khushwant Singh's book published in 1953


(* taken from The Sikhs - Khushwant Singh - 1953)

These next pictures are of Battle Standards

The first is the famous 'Dussehra' painting of Ranjit Singh's Darbar by Schoefft - you can see the Red standard behind Lal Singh




In this lithograph of Solykoff's painting of Sher Singh you can see the Battle Standards of Ranjit Singh - one with 'Karttikeya' on, the other I can't make out.




In this last picture you can see the Sikh Battle Standards from the collection of Lord Dalhousie as they were displayed at the Mansion of Colstoun , East Lothian , Scotland.

Family tradition states that they were captured by Lord Gough at the Battle of Gujrat 21 February 1849.


(* taken from Maharaja Ranjit singh - Mohinder Singh Rishi Singh Sondeep Shonkar - 2002)

GurFateh !

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gurfateh !

Here are two more examples

Sri Darbar Sahib circa 1840 (* from the Kapany Collection )



Fresco from the walls of the Darbar Sahib , Amritsar (* from Sikh Architecture - P S Arshi - 1986)

Guru Gobind Singh Ji - the Nishan is both decorated and has 'Shasters' on it.



Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

A lot of the paintings that were produced during the Ranjit Singh period were painted by Hindu artists from the Kangra region(see Paintings of the Sikhs by W.G Archer) who were paid by the Punjab court. They produced the artwork with often there own styles and would add illustrations from Hindu mythology where they felt.

As most Sikhs were not educated a lot of information about Sikhi was distorted e.g many Sikh texts were actually written by Brahmins (as they were the literate ones)and gradually Hindu practices crept into Sikhi. By the end of the Sikh Raj the Brahmin Dogras had such control on the Punjab that even Sati happened at Ranjit Singh's funeral.

The Sikh Guru Sahibs of course had banned these activities and condemned Brahmin superstitions and myths.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Dancing Warrior
A lot of Brahmin influence crept in during the time of the Mahants and Hindu caretakers eg:paintings,and frescos,if i saw those Shiva style flags now I would burn them to be honest and frank.

Your hate is phenomenal. I hope one day you can truly find peace within yourself. Freed ji as always thank you for your time and trouble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Do you not think you may be wallowing in self-pity?  
    • Guru pyaari sadh sangat jee,  I am writing this post with a heavy heart. I already know the answer in my heart but I want to write this down somewhere. There were two very important downfalls in my short lifetime.  Both of them left scars that I cannot undo. The first major downfall happened in 2013. The year prior to that I was in utmost chardi kala. We were not exactly financially secure and things were hard at home, but I was at peace. I have only twice in my life experienced such peace. After the peace came the storm. I couldn't handle it and drifted away from waheguru. I lost trust.  The second downfall happened in 2022. The order of events was the same. The year prior to what happened was absolute bliss. Then something happened and I feel in despair again. Once again, I couldn't handle life's hardships and let my ego make the worse of me. This time I lost love.  I have come to understand I am a weak person, dominated by ego and maya. Life has given me two chances, and even while I am writing this I still desire ego more than waheguru. I used to have trust and love as my bond to waheguru. They both kept me going back to him despite my ego and maya pulling me to the other side. I no longer have trust or love for waheguru. And in addition to ego, I have also experienced anger in the past year. There's nothing pulling me towards waheguru. I feel like the damage I have received from the two above-mentioned downfalls is irreparable. I have lost precious trust and love. Something tells me that I won't be able to form a bond with waheguru again in this lifetime. The anger, pain and betrayal that I feel are too strong. I genuinely believe this is it.  However, I have never once said I am not a sikh anymore. Something inside me keeps telling me I am still 0.01% sikh, never a 0%. For the past few days, I have been forcing myself to do small things such as saying mool mantar, or listening to a sakhi. It's not because I trust or love waheguru, but because I know that no matter how hurt I am, I need him to feel at peace. Even if I cannot reach sachkhand in this lifetime, and I know I won't, I need him as I need food. That's my only relationship with waheguru.  I am not planning to ever love him again. I don't want to suffer again. I'd rather stay in maya and keep myself safe. I also don't want to starve, so I'll remember him just enough. It's okay. Sachkhand was never for a weak soul like myself. I have come to understand that now. Each exam I have taken in my life has drifted me apart from waheguru and given me immense pain. I am done. I'll just quietly stay here and wait for my days to be over. I'll stay a 0.01% sikh so leave me alone. I don't want to participate in any more games or exams.  I'll try again in my next janam. This one is done for.  ---- Edit: gurusahib did give me a hukumnama as a warning that I have only now understood. Even my anger is starting to die now. I am completely destroyed and just want to be left alone for the rest of my life. Don't give me more exams, I don't want it. I cannot handle it anymore. I get it, sansaar is a game. Maybe for waheguru, some of us are really broken here. We were never meant for sachkhand. I will no longer ask waheguru for amrit, in return, just don't give me any more pain. I'll stay at your feet because I need you like I need food, because it's the only place that gives me peace. I won't love you or trust you nor will I ask for amrit. Just let me stay in peace. If you cannot hold my hand when I am at my worst, then at least don't stab it when I come to you.  You left me alone TWICE.  As a kid, my mom used to tell me the story of small kittens who were thrown into the fore but didn't die because waheguru protected them. You protect everyone. At least answer my question and let me know why didn't you protect me? I am not asking why everything happened. I know we receive what we give. I must have done something bad in my other life. I get it. That's the law of the universe. But why was I left alone TWICE? You could have held my hand and helped me endure it. If I cannot fight it, you go and do it for me!! Aren't I your kid? And why was I thrown alone into a battle I cannot fight? When you KNOW I am weak, then why didn't you stand with me? Was my path not enough, was my sewa not enough? I feel like I cannot be at peace until I get an answer as to why I was left alone. This cannot be repaired. I don't want to repair it. I am disappointed, I am hurt. 
    • Juts visiting  maharaj's darbaar for darshan in Sacremento be like:    Why have you never stepped foot in there?   
    • That's saying a lot about your perceptual abilities........ Delve deeper, it's covered a lot more serious topics than this place ever has. This is the tabloid place. People have actually translated texts over there, and discussed topics that would have admin here running around like panicked kookars.      This place is best for communicating with the average uninformed Panjabi - some people have actually made efforts to study and understand things over there.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use