I been reading about how akali phoola singh was a fanatical strict sikh who lead equally fanatical akali nihung warriors who hated non-Sikh presence and interference in Sikh governance and lands captured by them. Such was their readiness, daring recklessness and desire for war against the enemies of Sikhs that they often defeated enemies many times their number and strength. Whereas maharajah ranjit singh was more strategically cunning, less about spreading Sikhi, more diplomatic and pluralistic in his approach in matters of religion and the political affairs of the state.
Maharajah ranjit singh made treaties with the british invaders (east india company) in the vain hope that:
1) one day there will be a right time to militarily strike the Sikh princely states under british protectorate and unite the whole of punjab region under his rule
2) if that was not possible then the sutlej border between his government and them would be the permanment border and they will be allies in peace with each other.
On the other hand akali phoola singh wanted to attack and wipe out the british presence in northern india. And I believe had he had got his way and the Khalsa army was put in his command then the british would have been wiped out within weeks therefore enabling the expansion of Sikh rule to be unchecked and unmatched meaning afghanistan and iran could have easily come under Sikh rule the ruler of persia at the time admitted as such when hearing of battles lead by general nawla and akali phoola singh. The regional powers of the time afghans, Marathas, mughuls were no match for the Sikhs. I believe it was some idle hesitancy of maharaja ranjit singh in not striking while the iron was hot and rather enjoying the good life without having secured his rule is what lead to the downfall of his legacy, the Sikh empire and overall Sikh sovereignty eventually because the British had always eyes on taking over punjab as they needed it in order to get to afghanistan and counter russian empires expansionist plans.
I feel like it is to preserve many of our elders traditions. If we simply stop and tell Nihangs to stop taking shaheedi degh, the tradition will simply die out. Additionally, what is really wrong with bhang? Obviously, we should not abuse it but the whole negative stigma behind it really stems from western influence. There is this really good podcast regarding Sri Dasam Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Dr. Kamalroop Singh speaks to this point.
Beta-ness is a battle of the mind. It can be transcended if it's been encoded via nurture but it takes a herculean effort from an exceptional individual who has a reason to do so.
Would a bhagat or passive spiritual devotee fall into the category of beta? Or does their spiritual awareness preclude them from such company?