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lowest of the low singhni

Bhai Tara Singh Vaan

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vaheguru ji ka khalsa vaheguru ji ki fateh

There has been a post about this gem of the panth before (here), it was bumped up back in October. This (taken from here) is a more detailed account which I'd really recommend everyone read. The second part will be posted tomorrow.

'Please take time to read the jeevan of one of the greatest warrior and gursikh ever to be born in Sikh Panth. Bhai Tara Singh Vaan is not as well known as he should be but the memorial in his memory still stands today at Vaan Pind in Siri Amritsar. Please read this most magnificent story of Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan. We are lucky that a great deal about his shaheedi is written in Pracheen Panth Parkaash, a 18th century book by Rattan Singh Bhangoo'

BACKGROUND

Baba Banda Singh jee Bahadur got shaheed on June 08, 1716. After his shaheedi, despondency prevailed in Sikhs in general. The chardi kala singhs always stay in chardi kala but generally the Sikhs were very concerned about what was going on what the future held for them. A whole generation of Sikhs had gotten wiped out with and after Baba Banda Singh jee�s shaheedi.

At that time (around 1726) still some Sikhs used to stay in villages and did kheti (farming). One of such chardi kala singh was Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan. He lived in a village called Vaan in district Amritsar (then Lahore) of Punjab. Bhai Tara Singh jee was very chardi kala waaley Singh. His shaheedi is one of the greatest of all times in Sikhs. Brave and strong singh like him has never come again in this world. Fortunately history records the details of his shahidi and we today can get some idea of what he and the singhs with were like.

BHAI TARA SINGH VAAN � HIS PERSONALITY

Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan was a fully rehitvaan, tyaar bar tyaar Singh. It is written in history that he used to wear only blue clothes and his body used to be full of shasters (weapons). He had great love for Gurbani and was found doing paath all the time. He had full faith in Guru Sahib and his concentration remained at the lotus feet of Guru Sahib. His bhagti had reached such level that anything he uttered came out true. His bachan never went waste because there was massive bhagtee of Naam and Gurbani behind him. Out of all warriors of that time, he was said to be the top one. He had no fear of death and was always prepared to die in the battlefield.

Bhai Tara Singh built his bunga (house) like a fort and he always had 10-12 tyaar bar tyaar singhs with him. All singhs knew about Bhai Sahib jee and they used to stay at Bhai Tara Singh jee�s bunga while travelling. Singhs used to do farming together and any earnings they made used to go towards langar for singhs. Singhs living with Bhai Sahib used to do Gurbani paath all day long and when they were not doing paath together, they were doing shastar-abhyaas (martial arts practice). Some singhs out of the singhs staying with Bhai Sahib used to help him out with farming. Singhs used to come and leave but at any given time Bhai Sahib always had 10-12 singhs with him.

START OF THE PROBLEM

Not far from Bhai Tara Singh jee�s village Vaan, there is a village named Nashaura Pannu. In those days, the chauadhary of this village was a very egoistic and bully kind of person called Sahib Rai. He used push around other villagers and everyone was scared of him because he had friends with the Lahore government of Mughals. In that village two singhs lived with their families and they did farming there.

Chauadhary Sahib Rai hated the singhs living in his village and never let go an opportunity to humiliate them. The chauadhary used to let his horses graze in the crops of the singhs. The singhs did no want to start a fight with him as they feared their families� safety but they were getting increasingly weary of his treatment of singhs.

One day, the singhs saw the horses grazing in their fields and they could not take it anymore. They decided to talk to the Chauadhary about it. They went over to the chaudhary and told them about his horses grazing their fields. Listening to this, the chaudhary got very mad. He was a patient of haume rog (ego) and as thus he got more anger than normal. He threatened the singhs with dire consequences if they stopped his horses from grazing in their fields.

The chaudhary then said to the singhs something that no one should dare say to a singh. He threatened them saying that he would cut their hair using urine, if they tried to touch his horses. Hearing this the singhs felt like volcano erupting from within. Their eyes turned red and they felt their biceps trembling with Bir Rass. They somehow managed to contain their emotions and came back without saying anything further to the Chaudhary.

SINGHS TAKE AWAY CHAUDHARY�S HORSE

The first thing the singhs did when they arrived home was packing up. They packed up and sent their wives along with their kids to their in-laws i.e. wife�s parent�s house. Then the singhs called upon Baghel Singh and Amar Singh for help. These two singhs were known warriors of their time. They discussed the problem and decided to get even with the chaudhary. They took away one of the horse of the Chaudhary that was grazing in their fields and travelled all night to arrive at Hari Ke Pattan (where Ravi Beas rivers meet). At Hari ke Pattan, Lakhmir Singh was waiting for them Bhai Baghel Singh and Bhai Amar Singh gave him the horse who sold the horse in Malwa region (across from Hari ke Pattan).

The money that Lakhmir Singh earned as a result of selling the horse, was matha-tekked at the Bunga of Bhai Tara Singh Vaan. On the other hand when the chaudhary discovered that his horse was missing, he called in the khojee (detective) to track the lost horse. The khojee pointed finger at the singhs living in Chaudhary�s village. When the singhs heard that they had been indicted in the theft of the horse, they left their village and came to live with Bhai Tara Singh Vaan the great singh who had no fear of death.

SAHIB RAI ARRIVES AT BHAI TARA SINGH�S BUNGA

Following the singhs, Sahib Rai along with his private security guards, arrived at the bunga of Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan. He came with full ego and angrily demanded Bhai Tara Singh jee to hand over his �thieves� to him. Bhai Tara Singh who was a fearless warrior, told him that the real thief was Sahib Rai himself as he used to let his horses graze in the singhs� fields, thereby stealing their crops.

Hearing such answer, the stupid chaudhary, started using foul language with Bhai Tara Singh. Now Bhai Tara Singh did not tolerate too much of his rubbish and slapped him on his face. Then the other singhs beat up the security guards who tried to help the chaudhary.

Bhai Tara Singh told Sahib Rai clearly that he was going to sacrifice his body fighting the Turks (Muslim rulers) and that he did not care about his life. Saying this he slapped the Chaudhary right, left and centre. The Chaudhary along with his security guards ran away from there crying. He felt few of his teeth missing and nose broken.

THE CHAUDHARY ARRIVES AT PATTI RULER

The chaudhary having humiliated like this in public arrived crying at the ruler of Patti, a small town near Siri Amritsar Sahib. There he told the administrator of Patti everything that had occurred with him. He told the ruler that while the Mughals were sleeping and lost in luxuries of life, Bhai Tara Singh Vaan was about to take over Lahore. He told many false thing about the singhs and prompted the ruler to send his army to capture Bhai Tara Singh jee and other singhs.

The ruler asked the chaudhary, how many singhs were there at Bunga of Bhai Sahib. The chaudhary replied saying that the bunga did not have more than 20 singhs and that some have swords while others have spears. The ruler took the matter lightly but still sent 25 soldiers from cavalry (soldiers on horseback) and 80 from infantry (soldiers on foot). The order to the soldiers was to reach Bhai Tara Singh jee�s bunga during night time and to go slowly without making noise so that singhs do not escape. They wanted to capture the singhs alive and send them to Lahore for punishment.

SOLDIERS ARRIVE AT VILLAGE VAAN TO CAPTURE SINGHS

The government soldiers, about 100 in total, reached the outskirts of village Vaan just at amritvela. At that time Bhai Baghel Singh, one of the singhs present at Bhai Tara Singh jee�s bunga, was doing Gurbani paath. After ardaas, he went out to get some wood for preparation of degh. He had a sword and an axe in his hand.

As he walked little distance from the bunga, he noticed a group of the imperial army. He wanted to go back and let the singhs know of the arrival of the army. At the same time he thought that if he went back, singhs were going to ask him why he came back without encountering the army. He feared that the singhs might think that he got scared. Thinking this, he moved forward and assured himself that once he starts fight with the army, the singhs would find out from the noise of battle.

He moved forward and challenged the imperial army. As he moved forward, Sahib Rai the chaudhary recognized Baghel Singh and cried out to Hakim Khan the leader of the army, telling him that this singh � Baghel Singh was a big trouble-maker among the singhs and that he should not be allowed to escape. He said that this Singh � Baghel Singh was the thief who stole his horse and that if he gets killed, the singhs� strength will be reduced by half.

Hearing this Hakim Khan quickly moved forward with his soldiers and Baghel Singh too jumped forward eagerly to fight off the army. It was quite dark as it was still amritvela. They tried to shoot him down with gun and arrows but he very quickly just entered the group of soldiers. In darkness, they could not find him, while he was right within them. He injured several and killed the nephew of Hakim Khan, before he was shot in the leg.

Singhs in the bunga heard the gun shots and they too came out with weapons. They fought so valiantly that within few moments there were several dead and injured. Hakim Khan lost his vigour to fight after his nephew died and he pulled back and fled from there. The singhs won the first battle of Pind Vaan.

SINGHS CHALK OUT STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE

After Hakim Khan left, some singhs came to Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan and asked him to leave this place and not to enter direct confrontation with the imperial forces of Lahore Darbar. They said that they had made the point by beating up Chaudhary Sahib Rai and then beating the Patti force of 100 soldiers. They suggested that it would be prudent to leave this bunga and go somewhere else for some time and return later when the things cool down.

Singh jee (as Bhai Tara Singh was addressed by singhs of that time) responded by telling them that he had no fear of death and had no attachment to this worldly body of his. He said that he had attachment with only one thing and that was Gurbaani/Naam. He said that he had received hukam to get shaheedi from Satguru himself (Jim kar Satgur daiyo hai bhaakh � Panth Parkaash). He further said that a true Singh never fears death. He said that he was going to get shaheed right there in the bunga and was not going to flee anywhere.

After responding to those singhs, Singh jee (Bhai Tara Singh jee) addressed all the singhs present there and gave them choice to leave or stay. He said that ones who stay were going to get shaheed for sure. He said that ones who don�t leave right away would not be allowed to leave later. Hearing this about half of the singhs left but the other half who stayed were fully determined to get shaheed with their beloved jathedaar.

Then Singh jee sent messages to other singhs throughout Punjab to inform them of his stand to get shaheed at his bunga and asked them if they wanted to join him in confronting the Turks (Muslims). Hearing this the top notch singhs from around Punjab came and joined their dear jathedar Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan:

Vasaava Singh and Kuyer Singh joined from Brahmanshaahi village.

Samund Singh and Jhaad Singh joined Singh jee from Multan.

Soora Singh who did wood work, decided to join Singh jee and get shaheed.

Lakhmir Singh said his last fateh to his family and joined Singh jee.

Ali Singh of Sandhu village and Gurbaksh Singh Bhalla joined Singh jee.

Bheem Singh and Badal Singh or Ratoki village joined Singh jee to get shaheed.

Megh Singh of Madra pind and Haata Singh of Chungo village joined Singh jee to get shaheed.

Bulaaka Singh of Sanghan and Jodh Singh of Narovaal joined Singh jee to get shaheed.

Bhogad Singh and Rasaal Singh of Peshawar joined Singh jee to get shaheed. They two decided that their time to join Guru Sahib for shaheedi had come now.

Amar Singh the great warrior was already with Singh jee. This way in total 22 Singhs got together at the Bunga of Singh jee.

vaheguru ji ka khalsa vaheguru ji ki fateh

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I have just read the story of Shaheed Tara Singh Vaan in Panth Prakash translation by Gurtej Singh. A truly enlightened spirit. How I wish I could be even a tiny tiny percent of what they were

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