Sikh History

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Guru Angad invented the present form of the Gurmukhi script. It became the medium of writing the Punjabi language in which the hymns of the Gurus are expressed This step had a far-reaching purpose and impact. First, it gave the people who spoke this language an identity of their own, enabling them to express their thought directly and without any difficulty or transliteration. The measure had the effect of establishing the independence of the mission and the followers of the Guru. Secondly, it helped the community to dissociate itself from the Sanskrit religous tradition so that the growth and development of the Sikhs could take place unhampered and unprejudiced by the backlog of the earlier religious and social philosophies and practices. This measure, as shown by the subsequent growth of Sikhism, was essential in order to secure its unhindered development and progress as it required an entirely different approach to life. #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
Finally, on the completion of his tours, he settled as a peasant farmer at Kartarpur, a village in the Punjab. Bhai Gurdas, the scribe of Guru Granth Sahib, was a devout and close associate of the third and the three subsequent Gurus. He was born 12 years after Guru Nanak's death and joined the Sikh mission in his very boyhood. He became the chief missionary agent of the Gurus. Because of his intimate knowledge of the Sikh society and his being a near contemporary of Sri Guru Nanak, his writings are historically authentic and reliable. He writes that at Kartarpur Guru Nanak donned the robes of a peasant and continued his ministry. He organised Sikh societies at places he visited with their meeting places called Dharamsalas. A similar society was created at Kartarpur. In the morning, Japji was sung in the congregation. In the evening Sodar and Arti were recited. The Guru cultivated his lands and also continued with his mission and preachings. His followers throughout the country were known as Nanak-panthies or Sikhs. The places where Sikh congregation and religious gatherings of his followers were held were called Dharamsalas. These were also the places for feeding the poor. Eventually, every Sikh home became a Dharamsala. That Guru Nanak attached the highest importance to his mission is also evident from his selection of the successor by a system of test, and only when he was found perfect, was Guru Angad appointed as his successor. He was comparatively a new comer to the fold, and yet he was chosen in preference to the Guru's own son, Sri Chand, who also had the reputation of being a pious person, and Baba Budha, a devout Sikh of long standing, who during his own lifetime had the distinction of ceremonially installing all subsequent Gurus. All these facts indicate that Guru Nanak had a clear plan and vision that his mission was to be continued as an independent and distinct spiritual system on the lines laid down by him, and that, in the context of the country, there was a clear need for the organisation of such a spiritual mission and society. #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
Guru Nanak Dev Ji's visit at Hardwar and other places. . . During his tours, he visited numerous places of Hindu and Muslim worship. He explained and exposed through his preachings the incongruities and fruitlessness of ritualistic and ascetic practices. At Hardwar, when he found people throwing Ganges water towards the sun in the east as oblations to their ancestors in heaven, he started, as a measure of correction, throwing the water towards the West, in the direction of his fields in the Punjab. When ridiculed about his folly, he replied, "If Ganges water will reach your ancestors in heaven, why should the water I throw up not reach my fields in the Punjab, which are far less distant ?" He spent twenty five years of his life preaching from place to place. Many of his hymns were composed during this period. They represent answers to the major religious and social problems of the day and cogent responses to the situations and incidents that he came across. Some of the hymns convey dialogues with Yogis in the Punjab and elsewhere. He denounced their methods of living and their religious views. During these tours he studied other religious systems like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam. At the same time, he preached the doctrines of his new religion and mission at the places and centres he visited. Since his mystic system almost completely reversed the trends, principles and practices of the then prevailing religions, he criticised and rejected virtually all the old beliefs, rituals and harmful practices existing in the country. This explains the necessity of his long and arduous tours and the variety and profusion of his hymns on all the religious, social, political and theological issues, practices and institutions of his period. #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
Guru Nanak Dev ji- Sacha Sauda and Malik Bhago Sakhi When Guru Nanak Dev ji were 12 years old his father gave him twenty rupees and asked him to do a business, apparently to teach him business. Guru Nanak dev ji bought food for all the money and distributed among saints, and poor. When his father asked him what happened to business? He replied that he had done a "True business" at the place where Guru Nanak dev had fed the poor, this gurdwara was made and named Sacha Sauda. Despite the hazards of travel in those times, he performed five long tours all over the country and even outside it. He visited most of the known religious places and centres of worship. At one time he preferred to dine at the place of a low caste artisan, Bhai Lallo, instead of accepting the invitation of a high caste rich landlord, Malik Bhago, because the latter lived by exploitation of the poor and the former earned his bread by the sweat of his brow. This incident has been depicted by a symbolic representation of the reason for his preference. Sri Guru Nanak pressed in one hand the coarse loaf of bread from Lallo's hut and in the other the food from Bhago's house. Milk gushed forth from the loaf of Lallo's and blood from the delicacies of Bhago. This prescription for honest work and living and the condemnation of exploitation, coupled with the Guru's dictum that "riches cannot be gathered without sin and evil means," have, from the very beginning, continued to be the basic moral tenet with the Sikh mystics and the Sikh society. #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
Guru Nanak Dev ji's mission on enlightenment By all accounts, 1496 was the year of his enlightenment when he started on his mission. His first statement after his prophetic communion with God was "There is no Hindu, nor any Mussalman." This is an announcement of supreme significance it declared not only the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God, but also his clear and primary interest not in any metaphysical doctrine but only in man and his fate. It means love your neighbour as yourself. In addition, it emphasised, simultaneously the inalienable spirituo-moral combination of his message. Accompanied by Mardana, he began his missionary tours. Apart from conveying his message and rendering help to the weak, he forcefully preached, both by precept and practice, against caste distinctions ritualism, idol worship and the pseudo-religious beliefs that had no spiritual content. He chose to mix with all. He dined and lived with men of the lowest castes and classes Considering the then prevailing cultural practices and traditions, this was something socially and religiously unheard of in those days of rigid Hindu caste system sanctioned by the scriptures and the religiously approved notions of untouchability and pollution. It is a matter of great significance that at the very beginning of his mission, the Guru's first companion was a low caste Muslim. The offerings he received during his tours, were distributed among the poor. Any surplus collected was given to his hosts to maintain a common kitchen, where all could sit and eat together without any distinction of caste and status. This institution of common kitchen or langar became a major instrument of helping the poor, and a nucleus for religious gatherings of his society and of establishing the basic equality of all castes, classes and sexes. #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
Guru Nanak Dev Ji's early life Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji was born in 1469 in Talwandi, a village in the Sheikhupura district, 65 kms. west of Lahore. His father was a village official in the local revenue administration. As a boy, Sri Guru Nanak learnt, besides the regional languages, Persian and Arabic. He was married in 1487 and was blessed with two sons, one in 1491 and the second in 1496. In 1485 he took up, at the instance of his brother-in-law, the appointment of an official in charge of the stores of Daulat Khan Lodhi, the Muslim ruler of the area at Sultanpur. It is there that he came into contact with Mardana, a Muslim minstrel (Mirasi) who was senior in age. #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
Guru Angad Sahib Ji lived at Khadur Sahib in the Punjab, India. There lived a yogi named Shiv Nath in the same village. Yogis were saints who did not marry. They had a great hold on the people. Shiv Nath was very proud. He became jealous of the Guru's fame. So he started making plans to get rid of the Guru by fair means or foul. He was on the look out for a chance to make the Guru feel small. Once, it did not rain for a long time. There was a danger of drought. So the people were worried. They went to the yogi and asked him to do something about it. The yogi replied in anger, 'How can you expect rain, you fools, when you look upon a married man as your Guru? Turn him out of the village and you will surely get rain." The people were carried away by the yogi's words. They went to the Guru and said, "O Guru, the crops are dying for want of rain. If you will kindly leave this village, the yogi can save us by bringing rain for us." "Dear friends," replied the Guru, "Rain and sunshine are natural. They are in the hands of God. Still, I don't mind leaving the village if it is in your interest." The next day, the Guru left the village. The people went to the yogi once more to ask for rain. The yogi could do nothing against the law of nature. It did not rain. The people waited for some days but then became very angry and realised their fault. They dragged the yogi out of his hut into their fields. It so happened that it rained in every field into which they dragged the yogi. So everyone was keen to drag the yogi into his own field first. They dragged him this way and that till he was sorry and accepted that he lied about the Guru. The villagers were very sorry to have turned the Guru out of the village. They realised their mistake. They went to him and begged his pardon. They brought Guruji back with great respect. The Guru told the people to have faith in the Will of God. He then started a common kitchen in that village, with the help of his followers. This was known as the 'Guru Ka Langar' ("the Guru's Kitchen"). Anyone could come at any time and have a free dinner in the Langar. Men, women and children of all castes and religions sat and ate together. #sikhhistory
THE SECOND SIKH HOLOCAUST (Wadda Ghalughara) Adbali invaded India in early 1761 when the famous battle of Panipat took place between him & the Marathas. There were very heavy losses on both sides.The Sikhs remained aloof & let both of the claimants to Punjab wear themselves out, leaving the Sikhs to be the masters of their lands.Abdali won the battle & ravaged Delhi after his victory. When returning, the exhausted Afghan soldiers loaded with booty, found it impossible to withstand the lightning attack of the Sikhs. They appeared from nowhere, attacked the guards like hawks, took away the looted wealth, & vanished as quickly as they had come. The Khalsa not only liberated some 2000 women prisoners, but also took away much of the treasures, which Abdali had obtained from Delhi. Harassed & bothered by the Sikhs, he left Punjab dejected & extremely angered. After suffering severe damages & heavy losses of men at the hands of the Marathas, he was returning empty handed to his country. Before leaving Punjab, he resolved in his mind to come back with enough force to destroy the Sikhs from the face of the earth.In 1761, after Diwali, the Sikhs occupied Lahore. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was given the title of "Sultanul Kaum", or the King of the Sikh nation.Abdali returned with a large organized force in February 1762. Knowing this, the Sikhs vacated Lahore. About 60,000 Sikh men, women & children were moving to safety in Malwa. Abdali decided to make a lightning to march. He crossed two rivers & covered a distance of more than 150 kilometers in just two days. The cavalry took the slow moving Sikhs by surprise about forty kilometers of south Ludhiana. The Sikhs were with their families & hence, were slaughtered by the objective.This massacre was the heaviest single blow that the Sikhs had to withstand in their history. Abdali also blew up the Harimandar Sahib & filled the Sarovar with refuse & dead cows to destroy the holy place, which he thought was the source of Sikh power. In May 1762, Sikhs took over Sirhind & in Oct 1762, on Diwali day pushed Abdali out of Amritsar. Sikhs died heroic death in order to create conditions in which their fellow men could live with honor.
Akal Takht Originally known as Akal Bunga, the building directly opposite the Harmandir Sahib was founded by sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, as a symbol of political sovereignty and where spiritual and temporal concerns of the Sikh people could be addressed.Along with Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas, the sixth Sikh Guru built a 9 foot high concrete slab. When Guru Hargobind revealed the platform on 15 June 1606, he put on two swords: one indicated his spiritual authority (piri) and the other, his temporal authority (miri). In the 18th century, Ahmed Shah Abdali and Massa Rangar led a series of attacks on the Akal Takht and Harmandir Sahib. Hari Singh Nalwa, a general of Ranjit Singh, the maharaja, decorated the Akhal Takht with gold. On 4 June 1984, the Akal Takht was damaged when the Indian Army stormed Harmandir Sahib during Operation Blue Star. #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
TAKHAT SHRI DAMDAMA SAHIB is situated in the Talwandi Sabo In Bathinda Distt. This Holy Takht is 4th Takht of Khalsa Panth. In the year 1705 A.D. SHRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JI while fighting against the cruel rulers, after leaving Shri Anandpur Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Deena Kaangar, Muktsar Sahib, Lakhi Jungle, Pakka Pathrala and touching various places with his holy presence, reached here in the year 1705 A.D. It was here that GURU SAHIB took rest by untying his waist band on a raised platform surrounded by Kareer trees. This place became famous as Damdama Sahib. GURU SAHIB stayed at this place for around 1 1/4 year. It was here that GURU SAHIB tested the Singhs for their faith in Sikhism with gun's target. GURU SAHIB also baptised the chaudhary of this area named Baba Dall & gave him the name of Dall Singh. This was the place where Guru Ji also got the holy Beed of Aad Guru Granth Sahib Ji written by Martyr Bhai Mani Singh Ji. This place in remembrance is named as Gurudwara Damdama Sahib. Martyr BABA DEEP SINGH JI got the copies done of the Beed (GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI) & sent it to the 4 Takhts. On Vaisakhi, the Khalsa Foundation Day, it was second time that 1.25 Lakh Singhs were baptised due to which every year on the occasion of Vaisakhi, Sikh followers celebrate it with belief & enthusiasm.#sikhism #sikhhistory
TAKHAT SRI PATNA SAHIB, also known as Harmandir Sahib, is a Gurdwara in the neighbourhood of Patna Sahib, India. It was to commemorate the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs on December 1666.It was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, who also built many other Gurdwaras in the Indian subcontinent. The current shrine of Patna Sahib or Takht Sri Harmandirji Saheb was built in the 1950s. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, was born in Patna, Bihar, in 1666. He also spent his early years here before moving to Anandpur. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna was also honored by visits from Guru Nanak as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur. #sikhism #sikhhistory
Guru Gobind Singh Ji has provided us special identification by providing us 5 Kakaar's (i.e Kesh (Untrimmed Hair), Kara (Steel Bracelet), Kachhehra (Drawers like garment), Kanga (Comb) and Kirpan (Sword) ). So that we can easily be recognised while standing out in a crowd. Moreover, other people who are in any sort of danger or need can easily recognise us and approach us for help at any time. ▪ Kesh: (Kesh is uncut hair) A Sikh is to maintain and adorn this natural God-given gift. To work with nature and not against it. The Kesh was covered with a turban, Keski or Chunni to keep it clean and manageable. The keski is regarded by some the kakkar instead of kesh. ▪ Kanga (wooden comb) for the maintenance and ongoing upkeep of Kesh. A reminder to regularly maintain the body and mind in a clean and healthy state. ▪ Kara (steel bracelet or slave bangle): Symbolises an unbreakable bond with God. It is a constant reminder that the Sikh is a slave of the Lord. He or she must only do his work in accordance with the Holy Scripture; to abstain for wrong-doing at all times. ▪ Kachhera (cotton underwear) Standard, Naturally Comfortable, dignified attire reflective of modesty and control. A sign of a soldier; ever ready; dignified and highly mobile. ▪ Kirpan (a small sword) A sign that a Sikh is a soldier in "Akal Purakh's (God's) Army" (Akal Purakh de fauj); to maintain and protect the weak and needy and for self defence. Never to be used in anger.#sikhism #sikhhistory
The Mool Mantar (also spelt Mul Mantra) is the most important composition contained within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the Sikhs; it is the basis of Sikhism. The word "Mool" means "main", "root" or "chief" and "Mantar" means "magic chant" or "magic portion". Together the words "Mool Mantar" mean the "Main chant" or "root verse". It’s importance is emphasised by the fact that it is the first composition to appear in the holy Granth of the Sikhs and that it appears before the commencement of the main section which comprises of 31 Raags or chapters. MOOL MANTAR ▪IK - There is ONE(Ik) reality, the origin and the source of everything. The creation did not come out of nothing. When there was nothing, there was ONE, Ik. ▪ ONKAAR - When Ik becomes the creative principal it becomes Onkaar. Onkaar manifests as visible and invisible phenomenon. The creative principle is not separated from the created, it is present throughout the creation in an unbroken form, 'kaar'. SATNAM - The sustaining principle of Ik is Satnaam, the True Name, True Name. ▪KARTA PURAKH- Ik Onkaar is Creator and Doer (Kartaa) of everything, all the seen and unseen phenomenon. It is not just a law or a system, it is a Purakh, a Person. ▪ NIRBHAU - That Ik Onkaar is devoid of any fear, because there is nothing but itself. ▪ NIRVAIR- That Ik Onkaar is devoid of any enmity because there is nothing but itself. ▪ AKAAL MURAT- That Ik Onkaar is beyond Time (Akaal) and yet it is existing. Its a Form(Moorat) which does not exist in Time. ▪AJOONI- That Ik Onkaar does not condense and come into any birth. All the phenomenon of birth and death of forms are within it. ▪SAIBHANG - That Ik Onkaar exists on its own, by its own. It is not caused by anything before it or beyond it. ▪GURPARSAAD - That Ik Onkaar is expresses itself through a channel known as Guru and it is only its own Grace and Mercy (Prasaad) that this happens. #sikhism #sikhhistory
Guru Gobind Singh ji and the Guards Once there were 4 Sikh Guards outside Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee Maharaaj's tent. They heard of a dancer who had come to a near by town and they wanted to go watch her dance. But, how to ask the Guru's permission? As it was the last night of her performance, so the guards decided between themselves that at least two of them could go and watch the dancer while other two can stand Guard at Guru's tent. So after sunset, in the darkness of night two Guards left to see the dancer's dance. They reached there and all thru the dance they were worried what if Guru will come to know of what they did. They regretted very much coming to watch the dance and said to each other that they should have been with their Guru instead. On the other side, the two that remained behind standing guard for the Guru, were repenting that they should have gone instead of staying here and let the other two stand guard for the Guru…Next morning, in the Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee Maharaaj's darbar, Guru jee said "Hazar Gher Hazar, Gher Hazar Hazar"Then Guru ji asked for the two who went to see the dance. They were so ashamed of what they did. But as the Guru knows all, he also knew that the two guard who went to see the dance were at all time thinking about him (the Guru) and the guards who were at guard, were at all time thinking about the dance… So Guru said to them… the ones who were present were not present mentally here, but those who were not here physically, had all times their mind in Guru, even if they were at the dance, but they did not enjoy as they were at all time thinking about me (the Guru). #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
GURU JEE AND SAYT A millionaire called Sayt, went to see Guru Nanak Dev jee. Guru jee asked him, "How much money have you got?" He said, "40 million Rupees." Another Sikh said, "O protector of the poor, Gareeb Nivaaj, Guru jee he has got nothing." Guru jee asked him why he had lied. He said, "I'm telling you the truth Guru jee." Guru jee then asked him how many sons he had. Sayt answered, "Guru jee, I have one son." The other Sikh said, "Guru jee he's lying again, he has got 5 sons." Guru jee said , "Sayt why are you lying?" Sayt said, "Why would I lie to you Guru jee?" Sayt was 60 years old he had a white beard. Guru jee asked him how old he was, he took out his dairy and started flicking back the pages he answered, "Guru jee, by your grace I'm 12 years old." Guru jee said, "What are you saying Sayt? You are obviously over 60." Sayt put both hands together and said, "Guru jee I told you the truth. You asked me how much money I had, well I've had 40 million Rupees in my life which I've given away and I'm left with only 1 million." Guru jee said, "Forgive me Sayt for doubting you, your answer was true. Sayt is true.'Sayt said, "Next you asked me how many sons I had, I said one, it is true I have five sons but four are drunks only one is beloved of Guru jee, he is sensible and loves his parents. Then Guru jee, I said I was 12 years old because that's how many hours of service, meditation and holy congregation (Seva, Simran and Sadh-Sangat) I've done. Every time I do one of these I note the duration. That's what I regard as my age, that amount of time will be taken into account not my body's age." Guru jee said, "Sayt is true." #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
These are the five qualities / virtues and are essential to a Sikh: SAT– Being truthful – Acting justly towards others. With honesty, integrity and treating all as equals. SANTOKH – Contentment – Be happy with what god has given you. It is gods will for you. DAYA – Compassion – feel another persons pain. The concept is to do whatever in ones mean to helps others in pain or tragedy. NIMARTA – Humility – To be humble and modest at all times and without ego. PYAR – Love – Love for god and all his creations. Forgive and forget for all grievances. Bear no grudges. #sikhism #sikhhistory
There are 5 cardinal vices : Kaam ( lust ), Krodh ( anger ), Lobh ( greed ), Moh ( worldly attachment ) and Ahankaar ( ego ). In order to avoid vice, we must be able to recognize vice itself than develop the will to overcome it. These are the great enemies of man and cause much suffering. While they reside in the human body, how can the Name of God find a place in it. LUST is sinful and produces nothing but shame and misery. Sikhi allows the householder normal, marital sex but any other indulgence is forbidden. Both promiscuity and sex perversion are absolutely forbidden. ANGER is an excitement of the mind which leads to quarrels and violence. Anger is overcome by patience and forgiveness. God dwells in every human heart, so one should not hurt the God in another man. GREED is the desire for wealth or the love of gain. Money rightly used and earned by honest labour, is permitted. What is objected to, is an excessive love of money – especially money obtained by fraud or other unfair means. Avarice can be overcome by contentment. All too often excessive wealth creates an ongoing desire for luxury and the admission to vice. ATTACHMENT is the excessive love of a wife, children or material goods. Regard your near and dear ones as objects of trust and service. They cannot remain yours for long. Any earthly love can only ever be transient. EGO is the worst of the five vices. It implies conceit, vanity, jealousy or arrogance. It is the Ego, thinking aloud. The remedy for pride is humility. Humility, forgiveness and compassion go together. The true Sikh regards himself as being the dust of the feet of other people. With the Guru’s grace, these five vices may be turned into the humble servants of a devotee. Instead of their controlling the individual, they may do him service at his bidding.#sikhism #sikhhistory
Bhai Bhota Singh and Garja Singh In 1739, Zaikriya Khan launched an all out campaign of persecution of Sikhs. Rewards were offered for the capture and extermination of Sikhs. It was declared law-ful to plunder Sikh houses and to seize their property. The whole machinery of the government, including chaudhris and zamin-dars, were put into motion to crush the Sikhs. Thousands of Sikhs were murdered. Cartloads of their heads were taken to Lahore for obtaining rewards from Zakariya.Under such conditions of persecution, Sikhs took shelter in the Shivalik hills, Lakhi jungle, and the sandy deserts of Rajputana. A few, who still chose to remain in Majha, had to pass their days in local forests, or bushes. Sometimes Muslims, and even Hindus, would boast that Sikhs were afraid of appearing in the plains. Such taunts would because some daring Sikhs to come out of their hiding places and make their presence felt.The Sikhs, as a collective body, refused to oblige the enemy by venturing out of their hideouts in large numbers. However, individual Sikhs made history by openly challenging governmental authority. One of them was Bota Singh, from the village of Bharana. He, along with Garja Singh, brought much ridicule to Zakariya Khan. In spite of the Governor's ban on Sikhs visiting Amritsar, these two would time and again come to have a dip in the holy tank in the night and then disappear into the bushes near Taran Taran.One day, a party of wayfarers noticed Bota Singh and Garja Singh near Noordin. One of the wayfarers said, "Look, there in the bushes are two Sikhs." The other way-farer replied, "They can't be true Sikhs. They must be some cowards who are afraid of showing their faces in the open. The Sikhs are not afraid of coming out."This remark stung Bota Singh and Garia Singh. They knew that a Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh Ji is as brave as a lion. So, Bota Singh and Garja Singh decided to come out and make their presence felt even to the government. (Part -2 in comments) #sikhhistory #history #waheguru #sikhism
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