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Sikh And Hindu Themes Of The Baba Atal Panels

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Sikh and Hindu Themes of the Baba Atal panels

Gurfateh !

At the weekend a Bhai Sahib showed me some of his pictures of the Gilded Panels that decorate the four doorways of Gurdwara Baba Atal Sahib, Amritsar and asked for more information about the scenes they depict .The inscriptions on the panels give the names and addresses of the donors and only a little information, usually just names , of the figures they depict. I hope in this post to give a little information about the themes these panels depict - I have no pretensions of being a scholar - the information given is my personal opinion formed by a little research - please feel free to add your own views and any constructive criticism.

The panels are in the form of embossed brass - made by the craftsmen of Kucha Fakirkhana, Amritsar in the mid 19th century - they are perhaps some of the finest examples of their kind. The panels are arranged in groups of 3 above each of the 4 doors - 12 in total.

The themes of the panels can be divided into 4 distinct categories - depictions of the Guru Sahiban , The children of the Guru Sahiban, The Bhagats and Scenes from the Puranas.

There are 3 panels that depict the Guru Sahiban - in this panel Guru Nanak Sahib is shown with Saints ,Sants and Sages






There is a similar mural in the Akhara of Bala Nand , Amritsar - which names the saints as - on the left Bharthi Nath ji , Gorakh Nath ji and on the right Macchandar Nath ji

A side note , which I hope is not flippant - does anyone know why the saint - in the bottom right hand side corner - has what appears to be a 'Thaatee' - a cloth used by some Sikh men to press their beards - around his chin , does this have any significance ?

Mural - Akhara of Bala Nand


In context


In this panel Guru Gobind Singh Ji is depicted with Five Singhs






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In this panel Guru Gobind Singh is shown surrounded by his beloved Singhs - perhaps before a battle - as the scene is very dynamic with lots of movement.

Note the Nagarchi - or mounted war drum player and the Singh carrying a Degh on his head.





Guru Gobind Singh is shown with Sahib Singh at the Vaisakhi of 1699 in this panel


In this panel Guru Gobind Singh is shown giving Amrit to the Panj Piaras and Mata Ji is also shown




Baba Atal ji , the son of Guru Hargobind Sahib and Mata Nanaki - is shown in this panel - also showing the Ten Guru Sahiban


detail of Baba Atal ji


The Four Sahibzadas




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In this panel the sons of Guru Nanak Sahib , Baba Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das are shown with Baba Ani Rai son of Guru Hargobind Sahib and Mata Nanaki.


Baba Gurditta ji , eldest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib and Mata Damodari is shown here with Suraj Mal ji , son of Guru Hargobind Sahib and Mata Maha Devi Marvahi - Suraj Mal's descendents are the Sodhis of Anandpur.


This panel has been described as a scene from Guru Nanak's Janamsakhi by T S Randhawa (2000) - however I believe it is a scene depicting The Jat , Dhanna Bhagat - Bhagat Dhanna's bani is included in the Guru Granth Sahib - and I believe the panel shows the famous Sakhi of Dhanna and the 'Thakaar' (idol) given to him by a brahmin . In The legend as recorded by R C Temple in 1880 - Dhanna asks the brahmin for an idol - who gives him a four 'ser' weight stone in exchange for a milch cow - Dhanna performs such devoted service that Krishna himself appears and says -

" Sun Bhai Dhanna , tain kini meri sev. Pheran halt , kiare khaddan , kam karesan ev. Gawwan Charan, kam sawaran, Sabhe janan bhev. Tain tan main nun tan man arpia; Sufal hove teri sev.- Dhanne da Har se laga neh."

(translation - Listen, Friend Dhanna; You have done me service (so) I will drive your Persian wheel, i will dig your field, - Thus I will work: I will graze your cows, I will work carefully, I know all the art. - As you have given yourself , body and soul, to me, Your service shall be fruitful. -- Dhanna's devotion was to Hari... )

In the panel you can see Dhanna and the Brahmin , Dhanna and his wife - you also see Krishna working the 'Halt' - persian wheel irrigation - working the fields and the tools of a Jat farmer





'Pheran Halt'


'Kiare khaddan'


Tools of a Jat


This panel is a depiction of the Samudran Manthan - the churning of the ocean - from the Puranas - as celebrated at the Kumbh Mela every 12 years

It relates the episode where having been cursed by Indra, the Adityas fearing they will lose their powers ask Brahma for a way to achieve Immortality - they are told to churn the Ocean to gain 'Amrit' - with the help of all the avatars they churn the ocean with the mountain 'Mandara' and using 'Vasuki' the snake - intially the mountain sank but 'Vishnu' came in his 'Turtle' avatar 'Kurma' - to support the churning.As they churned a great poison came forth - Which Shiva drank - Parvati his consort stopped the poison at his throat -( this explains why Shiva is called 'Neel Kanth' blue throated) - Then all manner of treasures came forth

* Sura, goddess and creator of wine

* Apsarases, various divine nymphs

* Kaustubha, the most valuable jewel in the world

* Uchhaishravas, the divine horse

* Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree

* Kamadhenu, the first cow and mother of all other cows

* Airavata, the elephant which is the steed of Indra

* Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth

* Kali (Demon), personification of Kali yuga

Then finally came Dhanvantari - knower of all cures and medicines - with a 'Kumbh' of ' Amrit' - the heavenly nectar of immortality - which was drunk by all

Guru Gobind Singh Ji writes about the Samundran Manthan and the fourteen jewels gained in the churning in the Dasm Granth Sahib - Chaubis Autar



ਅਥ ਕੱਛ ਅਉਤਾਰ ਕਥਨੰ ॥

Now begins the description of Kachh (Tortoise) Incarnation:

ਭੁਜੰਗ ਪ੍ਰਯਾਤ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਕਿਤੋ ਕਾਲ ਬੀਤਯੋ ਕਰਯੋ ਦੇਵ ਰਾਜੰ ॥ ਭਰੇ ਰਾਜ ਧਾਮੰ ਸੁਭੰ ਸਰਬ ਸਾਜੰ ॥

Indra, the king of gods, ruled for a long time and his palaces were full of all materials of comfort;

ਗਜੰ ਬਾਜ ਬੀਣੰ ਬਿਨਾ ਰਤਨ ਭੂਪੰ ॥ ਕਰਿਯੋ ਬਿਸਨ ਬੀਚਾਰ ਚਿੱਤੰ ਅਨੂਪੰ ॥੧॥

But once Vishnu reflected upon a unique idea in his mind that this king is without elephants, horses and jewels (therefore something should be done in this direction).1.

ਭੁਜੰਗ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਸਭੈ ਦੇਵ ਏਕਤ੍ਰ ਕੀਨੇ ਪੁਰਿੰਦ੍ਰੰ ॥ ਸਸੰ ਸੂਰਜੰ ਆਦਿ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਉਪਿੰਦ੍ਰੰ ॥

Indra gathered together all the gods including Chandra. Surya and Upendra.

ਹੁਤੇ ਦਈਤ ਜੇ ਲੋਕ ਮਧਯੋ ਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਭਏ ਏਕਠੇ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਿ ਭਾਵੰ ਬਿਚਾਰੀ ॥੨॥

Considering this gathering as some stratagem against them, the proud demons also gathered together.2.

ਭੁਜੰਗ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਬਦਯੋ ਅਰਧ ਅਰਧੰ ਦੁਹੂ ਬਾਟਿ ਲੀਬੋ ॥ ਸਭੋ ਬਾਤ ਮਾਨੀ ਯਹੈ ਕਾਮ ਕੀਬੋ ॥

Now both the groups decided that whatever shall be attained, the same shall be distributed equally. All of them agreed on this proposal and the work was begun;

ਕਰੋ ਮਥਨੀ ਕੂਟ ਮੰਦ੍ਰਾਚਲੇਯੰ ॥ ਤਕਯੋ ਛੀਰ ਸਾਮੁੰਦ੍ਰ ਦੇਅੰ ਅਦੇਯੰ ॥੩॥

Both the gods and demons settled the programme of churning the milk-ocean, making churning-stick of the Mandrachal mountain.3.

ਭੁਜੰਗ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਕਰੀ ਮਥਕਾ ਬਾਸਕੰ ਸਿੰਧ ਮੱਧੰ ॥ ਲਾਗ ਦੋਊ ਭਏ ਅੱਧ ਅੱਧੰ ॥

The serpent Vasuki was made the rope of the churning-stick and dividing the participants equally, both the ends of the rope were held tighty.

ਸਿਰੰ ਦੈਤ ਲਾਗੇ ਗਹੀ ਪੂਛ ਦੇਵੰ ॥ ਮਥਯੋ ਛੀਰ ਸਿਧੰ ਮਨੋ ਮਾਟਕੇਵੰ ॥੪॥

The demons caught hold of the side of the head and the gods the tail, they began to churn like the curd in a vessel.4.

ਭੁਜੰਗ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਇਸੋ ਕਉਣ ਬੀਯੋ ਧਰੇ ਭਾਰੁ ਪਬੰ ॥ ਉਠੇ ਕਾਂਪ ਬੀਰੰ ਦਿੱਤਯਾਦਿੱਤਯ ਸੱਬੰ ॥

Now they reflected on this idea as to who can be the mighty hero, who can endure the load of the mountain (because a base was required for the purpose)? Hearing this Ditya, Aditya etc., the heroes shuddered, faltering in absurd prattle.

ਤਬੈ ਆਪ ਹੀ ਬਿਸਨ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੰ ਬਿਚਾਰਯੋ ॥ ਤਰੇ ਪਰਬਤੰ ਕੱਛਪੰ ਰੂਪ ਧਾਰਯੋ ॥੫॥

Then observing this difficulty of both the gods and demons, Vishnu himself thought about it and transforming himself in the form of Kachh (tortoise), seated himself at the base of the mountain.5.

ਇਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਨਾਟਕ ਗ੍ਰੰਥੇ ਦੁਤੀਆ ਕਛ ਅਉਤਾਰ ਬਰਨਨੰ ਸੰਪੂਰਨਮ ਸਤੁ ਸੁਭਮ ਸਤੁ ॥੨॥

End of the description of the second Kachh (tortoise), incarnation in BACHITTAR NATAK.2.



ਅਥ ਛੀਰ ਸਮੁੰਦ੍ਰ ਮਥਨ ਚਉਦਹ ਰਤਨ ਕਥਨੰ ॥

Now begins the description of the Churing of the Milkocean and the Fourteen Jewels:

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗਉਤੀ ਜੀ ਸਹਾਇ ॥

Let Shri Bhagauti Ji (The Primal Power) be helpful.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਮਿਲਿ ਦੇਵ ਅਦੇਵਨ ਸਿੰਧੁ ਮਥਿਯੋ ॥ ਕਬਿ ਸਯਾਮ ਕਵਿਤਨ ਮਧਿ ਕਥਿਯੋ ॥

Both the gods and demons unitedly churned the ocean, which hath been narrated in verse by the poet Shyam.

ਤਬ ਰਤਨ ਚਤੁਰਦਸ ਯੋਂ ਨਿਕਸੇ ॥ ਅਸਿਤਾ ਨਿਸਿ ਮੋ ਸਸਿ ਸੇ ਬਿਗਸੇ ॥੧॥

Then the fourteen jewels, in their splendour emanated from the sea, just as the moon looks elegant during the night.1.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਅਮਰਾਂਤਕ ਸੀਸ ਕੀ ਓਰ ਹੂਅੰ ॥ ਮਿਲਿ ਪੂਛ ਗਹੀ ਦਿਸਿ ਦੇਵ ਦੂਅੰ ॥

The demons caught Vasuki from the side of the head and the gods from the side of the tail.

ਰਤਨੰ ਨਿਕਸੇ ਬਿਗਸੇ ਸਸਿ ਸੇ ॥ ਜਨੁ ਘੂਟਨ ਲੇਤ ਅਮੀ ਰਸ ਕੇ ॥੨॥

On seeing the jewels emanating from the sea, they became pleased as though they had drunk the ambrosia.2.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਨਿਕਸਯੋ ਧਨੁ ਸਾਇਕ ਸਧ ਸਿਤੰ ॥ ਮਦੁ ਪਾਨ ਕਢਯੋ ਘਟ ਮਦਯ ਮਤੰ ॥

The bow and of purely white colour came out, and those intoxicated ones brought out from the ocean a pitcher of honey.

ਗਜ ਬਾਜ ਸੁਧਾ ਲਛਮੀ ਨਿਕਸੀ ॥ ਘਨ ਮੋ ਮਨੋ ਬਿੰਦੁਲਤਾ ਬਿਗਸੀ ॥੩॥

The elephant, horse, nectar and Lakshmi came out and looked splendid like the flash of lightning from the clouds.3.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਕਲਪਾ ਦ੍ਰੁਮ ਮਾਹੁਰ ਅਉ ਰੰਭਾ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਮੋਹਿ ਰਹੈ ਲਖਿ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਸਭਾ ॥

After Kalapdrum (Elysian, wish-fulfilling tree) and poison, the heavenly damsel Rambha came out, seeing whom, the people of Indrs`s court allured.

ਮਣਿ ਕੌਸਤੁਭ ਸਸਿ ਸੁ ਰੂਪ ਸੁਭੰ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਭਜਤ ਦੈਤ ਬਿਲੋਕ ਜੁਧੰ ॥੪॥

The Kaustubh jewel and the moon also came out, which are remembered by the demons in the battlefield.4.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਨਿਕਸੀ ਗਵਰਾਜ ਸੁ ਧੇਨ ਭਲੀ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਛੀਨਿ ਲਯੋ ਸਹਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਲੀ ॥

Kamadhenu (the wish-fulfilling cow) also came out which was seized by the mighty Sahasrajun.

ਗਨ ਰਤਨ ਗਨਉ ਉਪਰਤਨ ਅਬੈ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸੰਤ ਸੁਨੋ ਚਿਤ ਲਾਇ ਸਭੈ ॥੫॥

After reckoning the jewels, now I mention the minor jewels, O saints; listen to me attentively.5.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਗਨਿ ਜੋਕ ਹਰੀਤਕੀ ਓਰ ਮਧੰ ॥ ਜਨ ਪੰਚ ਸੁ ਨਾਮਯ ਸੰਖ ਸੁਭੰ ॥

These minor jewels are leech, myrobalan, honey, conch ( panchjanay), ruta, hemp, discus and mace;

ਸਸਿ ਬੇਲ ਬਿਜਿਯਾ ਅਰ ਚੱਕ੍ਰ ਗਦਾ ॥ ਜੁਵਰਾਜ ਬਿਰਾਜਤ ਪਾਨ ਸਦਾ ॥੬॥

The later two look impressive in the hands of princes always.6.

ਤੋਟਕ ॥


ਧਨੁ ਸਾਰੰਗ ਨੰਦਗ ਖੱਗ ਭਣੰ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਖੰਡਿ ਕਰੈ ਗਨ ਦਈਤ ਰਣੰ ॥

The bow and arrow, the bull Nandi and the dagger (which had destroyed the demons) came out of the ocean.

ਸਿਵ ਸੂਲ ਬੜਵਾਨਲ ਕਪਿਲ ਮੁਨੰ ॥ ਤਿ ਧਨੰਤਰ ਚਉਦਸਵੋ ਰਤਨੰ ॥੭॥

The trident of Shiva, Barvanal (the fire), Kapil Muni and Dhanwantri came out as the fourteenth jewel.7.

ਗਨਿ ਰਤਨ ਉਪਰਤਨ ਔ ਧਾਤ ਗਨੋ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਧਾਤ ਸਭੈ ਉਪਧਾਤ ਭਨੋ ॥

After counting the greater and minor jewels, now I count the metals and afterwards I shall count the lesser metals.

ਸਭ ਨਾਮ ਜਥਾ ਮਤਿ ਸਯਾਮ ਧਰੋ ॥ ਘਟ ਜਾਨ ਕਵੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਨਿੰਦ ਕਰੋ ॥੮॥

All these names have been reckoned by the poet Shyam according to his own understanding; considering them in small number, poets requested not to slander me.8.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੋ ਗਨਿ ਲੋਹ ਸਿਕਾ ਸ੍ਵਰਨੰ ॥ ਚਤੁਰਥ ਭਨ ਧਾਤ ਸਿਤੰ ਰੁਕਮੰ ॥

First of tall I reckon iron, lead and gold alongwith the fourth white metal silver;

ਬਹੁਰੋ ਕਥਿ ਤਾਂਬਰ ਕਲੀ ਪਿਤਰੰ ॥ ਕਥਿ ਅਸਟਮ ਜਿਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਧਾਤ ਧਰੰ ॥੯॥

Then mentioning copper, tin and brass, I consider the eighth metal as zinc, which is found within the earth.9.

ਤੋਟਕ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਉਪਧਾਤ ਕਥਨੰ ॥

Updhat Description:

ਸੁਰਮੰ ਸਿੰਗਰਫ ਹਰਤਾਲ ਗਣੰ ॥ ਚਤੁਰਥ ਤਿਹ ਸਿੰਬਲ ਖਾਰ ਭਣੰ ॥

Now I describe the minor metals; they are : antimony, cinnabar, yellow orpiment, bombax,

ਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸੰਖ ਮਨਾਸਿਲ ਅਭ੍ਰਕਯੰ ॥ ਭਨਿ ਅਸਟਮ ਲੋਣ ਰਸੰ ਲਵਣੰ ॥੧੦॥

Potash, conchshell, mica, artemesia and calomel.10.

ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥


ਧਾਤ ਉਪਧਾਤ ਜਥਾ ਸਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਹੌ ਕਹੀ ਬਨਾਇ ॥

These metals, minor metals have been described by me according to my own understanding.

ਖਾਨਨ ਮਹਿ ਭੀ ਹੋਤ ਹੈ ਕੋਈ ਕਹੂੰ ਕਮਾਇ ॥੧੧॥

He, who desires to have them, can get them.11.

ਚੌਪਈ ॥


ਰਤਨ ਉਪਰਤਨ ਨਿਕਾਸੇ ਤਬ ਹੀ ॥ ਧਾਤ ਉਪਧਾਤ ਦਿਰਬ ਮੋ ਸਭ ਹੀ ॥

As the major and minor jewels, the major and minor metals came out;

ਤਿਹ ਤਬ ਹੀ ਬਿਸਨਹਿ ਹਿਰ ਲਯੋ ॥ ਅਵਰਨਿ ਬਾਟ ਅਵਰਨਹਿ ਦਯੋ ॥੧੨॥

They were taken away by Vishnu and distributed the remaining things amongst all.12.

ਚੌਪਈ ॥


ਸਾਰੰਗ ਸਰ ਅਸ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਗਦਾ ਲੀਅ ॥ ਪਾਂਚਾਮਰ ਲੈ ਨਾਦ ਅਧਿਕ ਕੀਅ ॥

He took away himself the bow and arrows, the sword, the discus, the mace and the (Panchjanay) conch etc.

ਸੂਲ ਪਿਨਾਕ ਬਿਸਹ ਕਰ ਲੀਨਾ ॥ ਸੋ ਲੈ ਮਹਾਂਦੇਵ ਕਉ ਦੀਨਾ ॥੧੩॥

And taking the trident, the cow named Pinak and Poison in his hands, gave them to Shva.13.

ਭੁਜੰਗ ਪ੍ਰਯਾਤ ਛੰਦ ॥


ਦੀਯੋ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਐਰਾਵਤੰ ਬਾਜ ਸੂਰੰ ॥ ਉਠੇ ਦੀਹ ਦਾਨੋ ਜੁਧੰ ਲੋਹ ਪੂਰੰ ॥

The elephants named Airavat was given to Indra and the horse to the sun seeing which the demons, in great fury,Marched to wage war.

ਅਨੀ ਦਾਨਵੀ ਦੇਖਿ ਉੱਠੀ ਅਪਾਰੰ ॥ ਤਬੈ ਬਿਸਨ ਜੂ ਚਿਤਿ ਕੀਨੀ ਬਿਚਾਰੰ ॥੧੪॥

Seeing the advancing army of the demons, Vishnu thought in his mind.14.


In the panel you can see the jewels that were brought forth - the elephant, the wine - Lakhsmi - the cow etc - you can also see the celestial weapons - bow arrow chakar - you can see the Avaatars churning with the snake and the turtle at the bottom.

I have been told this is an allegory for the spiritual search - that the human being is perfect and contains all the treasures within - all s/he needs do is make some effort - like milk which contains lassi and butter - churn the milk/mind (with simran) and butter is produced - all 'treasures' are received with Guru's Grace.


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The Turtle - Kurma


In this last panel you can see the depiction of Narsi Bhagat - Narsi is the 'Patron Saint- Poet' of Gujarat - a great influence on M K Gandhi .

Narsi was a bhagat of Krishan always absorbed in devotion - he was a wealthy man but gave all his money to the needy - the panel depicts a famous Sakhi - Narsi's wife asks where they will find the money to marry their daughter - Narsi says that Krishna came to him in a dream and said send a 'Hundi' ( an Indian draft/ demand) to Dwarka in the name of Sawal Shah - and I will give you the money to marry your daughter - Some Yatrees ( pilgrims) took the 'Hundi' to Dwarka - but couldn't find a Sawal Shah - eventually they found a man claiming to be Sawal Shah and got the Money - Sawal Shah was Krishan Ji himself - he had come to the help of his devotee Narsi .

In the panel you can see Narsi Bhagat - the Yaatrees and Krishan in the guise of Sawal Shah.

here are the thoughts of Narsi - in his words

'He is to be called the Vaishnav who sympathizes with the affliction of others. He tends to the sorrows of others but gets not conceited in that act. He tolerates others with humility. He does not censure anyone. His words and mind are steadfast. Such a person’s mother is indeed wealthy. With equanimity he has given up his cravings. To him all women are his mothers. Words of untruth never issue from his mouth. He lays not his hand on the wealth of others. He is free from passion and delusion. His mind is dispassionate from conviction. He readily claps his hands to the names of Ram. In his body reside all holy places. He is free from greed and deceit as also from lust and anger. Says Narsi the sight of such a person enables the seer and his entire clan to cross sansar.'

Narsi Bhagat







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Gurdwara Baba Atal Sahib


The Doorways of the Gurdwara Baba Atal Sahib



*Pictures from:

* 'The Sikhs - Images of a Heritage' - T S Randhawa - Prakash Books - 2000

* http://prabhukhalsa.blogspot.com/ -- Taken by Sardar Prabhu Singh ( New Mexico )


Once again I have posted a huge amount - I do apologise for the long winded post - I hope it was of interest and you enjoyed the pictures and that the text went some way to explain their context and themes

I hope you are all blessed with the Darshan Didar of Gurdwara Baba Atal and Siri Amritsar very soon - and as the old saying says "Baba Atal Pakian Pakaian Ghal" - (Baba Atal sends prepared meals) you will be showered with the Guru's Blessings.

Gurfateh !

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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vaah vaah vaah vaaheguroooooo

it feeels sooo goood to see.. such historical paintings...

otherwise in most guruware u see new walls with just photos!!

very rare.. i respect u freed!!

keep bringing such posts!!

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Freed Ji, please continue. You are actually preserving Sikh history by doing this. AWESOME!!!! MORE MORE!!!!

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beautiful images, and great work by the artist but


sikhs dont believe in pictures but still on these gates it is written that the pictures carved in gold are of Guru sahib jis?

it is said a lot that None of our Guru sahib ji had their portraits created by any artists, thn why do we have people in 19th century creating these images in GOLD?

then there are Guru Maharaji jis "sons" shown all wearing necklaces and other sort of jewelry where as when one is to take amrit...one is asked not to wear such things?

jus cuz they are carved in Gold and are donated to Gurdwara sahib makes it ok for Sikhs to accept them and put then in a Gurdwara sahib? even if they dont go along with the Sikh way of thinking(sikh philosophy?)

im puttin my thoughts here because i wanna make things clear for my self. i might be wrong in what i asked...so please help and clarfy the doubts.

Thank you!

and about the "Thaathi" that u asked about...i have no clue what it means. the guy seems to have no beard in that image or maybe he does have beard.. but if we look at the pic he is wearing 3 chandan lines on his forehead like Brahmans. he looks like a Yogi to me since he's wearing these huge Munndaara( earrings)!

bhul chuk muaf karni

waheguru ji kakhalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!

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Dear Bhen Ji

You have asked some good questions - however the answers are somewhat tricky !

The panels show depictions that are 'Type' portraits, that is they are not meant to be exact likenesses of the subjects - they convey an essence of the person - that is why you have the jewelry etc - this is all established iconography - to identify the subject. The Guru Sahiban are portrayed like Kings - as that is what they were - they had durbars and were Patshahs - so the artist has used the iconography of royalty - the Nimbus or Halo the fine clothes ,canopy etc . we can see all this in every Gurdwara - the royal protocol of Chaur Sahib , Throne , Canopy etc

The question about Amrit and jewelry is a little harder to answer - the question of Rehat is between Guru Sahib ( The Punj) and the seeker.

You are right most amrit sanchaars require you to take off any jewelry - however the only thing that is 'forbidden' is piercings - earrings etc are not allowed - they being a symbol of bondage/ slavery.

Jewelry per se is not forbidden ( though some may argue it is) what is to be avoided is attachment to jewelry or worldly material things.

I believe this doesn't mean we should get rid of all jewelry cars etc we should not get attached to it - Maya is usually seen as material things - because in Punjabi that is what it means - however Maya is anything that takes you away from Guru Sahib - it could be friends , computer ,sports anything

Bhai Gurdas gives the example of Raja Janak - who despite being surrounded by the trappings of wealth and royalty he was not attached to them - a holy man said you have all this wealth you are attached to maya - you are consumed by 'Moh' Attachment - all I have is this 'Kamandal' a waterpot -

However raja Janak's Palace and trappings caught fire and were lost - he did not flinch - when the flames nearly burnt the wooden 'Kamandal' of the Holy man he jumped to save it. Raja Janak said see you say I am attached to my wealth - but it is you who is attached to yours - the wooden Kamandal.

That wasn't a very good telling of the sakhi - but I hope you got the idea

Here is the Pauri from Bhai Gurdas' vars that tells of Raja Janak.

Bhai Gurdaas Ji - pauri 5 vaar 10

Bgq vfw rwjw jnk hY gurmuK mwXw ivc audwsI]

dyv lok noN cilAw gx gMDrb sBw suKvwsI]

jmpur gieAw pukwr sux ivllwvn jI nrk invwsI]

Drmrwie no AwiKEnu sBnw dI kr bMd KlwsI]

kry bynqI Drmrwie hau syvk Twkur AibnwsI]

gihxy DirAnu iek nwauN pwpW nwl krY inrjwsI]

pwsMg pwp n pujnI gurmuK nwauN Aqul n qulwsI]

nrkhuM Cuty jIAw jMq ktI glhu islk jmPwsI]

mukiq jugiq nwvYN kI dwsI ]õ]

bhagath vaddaa raajaa janak hai guramukh maayaa vich oudhaasee||

dhaev lok no(n) chaliaa gan ga(n)dhharab sabhaa sukhavaasee||

jamapur gaeiaa pukaar sun vilalaavan jee narak nivaasee||

dhharamaraae no aakhioun sabhanaa dhee kar ba(n)dh khalaasee||

karae baenathee dhharamaraae ho saevak t(h)aakur abinaasee||

gehinae dhharian eik naaou(n) paapaa(n) naal karai nirajaasee||

paasa(n)g paap n pujanee guramukh naaou(n) athul n thulaasee||

narakahu(n) shhuttae jeeaa ja(n)th kattee galahu silak jamafaasee||

mukath jugath naavai(n) kee dhaasee ||a||

King Janak was a great saint who amidst maya remained indifferent to it.

Along with gans and gandharvs (calestial musicians) he went to the abode of the gods.

From there, he, hearing the cries of inhabitants of hell, went to them.

He asked the god of death, Dharamrai, to relieve all their suffering.

Hearing this, the god of death told him he was a mere servant of the eternal Lord (and without His orders he could not liberate them).

Janak offered a part of his devotion and remembrance of the name of the Lord.

All the sins of hell were found not equal even to the counterweight of balance.

In fact no balance can weigh the fruits of recitation and remembrance of the Lords name by the gurmukh.

All the creatures got liberated from hell and the noose of death was cut. Liberation and the technique of attaining it are the servants of the name of the Lord.

Another point on jewelry here is a quote from Giani Gian Singh's Panth Prakash - describing Sikh women of the 18th century - They accompanied Baghel Singh when the Sikhs walked unchallenged into the Delhi Mughal Court at The Red Fort - The begums of the Mughal King wanted to speak to the Singhanis - this is the exchange - note some are wearing dastaars, some not ,some are wearing ornaments, some not.

Adorning weapons, chakars [quoits] and knifes they wore many [in their dumallas – high conical turbans]. Forty kilos of weapons and armour they adorned. Dressed alike were young and old women. They were strong, powerful and of great charity. Some wore dress of women. Five dressed like men [i.e. in full warrior dress]. Getting Singh and Singhnias ready thus. Sending one Sirdar with them, the Singhnia set off towards the royal palace. The powerful Singhs stood outside. All the royal women came out to see them. They [singhs] had great moustache and beards. Their eyes were full of rage and eyebrows greater. Wearing many weapons. Seeing their great form and beauty, they were as if incarnations of the warrior spirit. The Begams were astonished. Begams sent them [singhs] gifts. Saluting the Singhs, they sent them away. Then they looked at the Singhnia. They took them into their palace. They [singhnia] said, “Sat Siri Akal”. They replied “Salaam” and sat them down. Seeing their form and strong bodies. Dressed in armour and weapons. Listening to their conversation of plundering and war. And how to kill a hunt. And how to aim with bows and muskets. Hearing them, they were astonished. Under their ‘Salwars’ [trouser like garments], were ‘Kashehras’ [breeches]. Seeing their great clothes. Listening to their manly words. The Begams were astounded. The four Singhnia had a special female dress. They wore silver ornaments twenty pounds in weight. Seeing this they were awe struck. Their Salwars were twenty yard long. They wore heavy lower garments. Their top knots stood span and half high. Their Shmeezes were of special design. Their physiques were large and heavy. Seeing them the Begams were astounded because they stood unarmed and weak of body. Fearing the Singhnia they cowered to half their size. Then began discussion on religion. Singhnia dismissed all other religions. The traditions of Muslims [Turks] they called false. The way of Mohammed they said was full of faults. The Singhnia described all the atrocities of the Turks. Hearing them the Begams shuddered. Shocked they covered their mouths with their hands. Hearing of the chastity, sincerity and morals of the Singhs. The Begams spoke nodding their heads. “Singhnia you are of great fate. You move about with you husbands. We are pathetic and suffer greatly. Our life is like life imprisonment. One king has sixty wives. By marrying we are as if trapped in a trap”.’

(‘Naveen Panth Prakash’, Giani Gian Singh Nirmala, 1877, Bhasha Vibhag Publication, Pa.1151-1153)

I hope that goes someway to answer your questions

Pyar Bhari Sat Sri Akaal !

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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