History of Sikhism
The history of Sikhism started with Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru in the fifteenth century in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The religious practices were formalised by Guru Gobind Singh Ji on 13 April 1699; the latter baptised five persons from different social backgrounds to form Khalsa. The first five, Pure Ones baptised Gobind Singh into the Khalsa fold; this gives the order of Khalsa, a history of around 300 years. The history of Sikhism is associated with the history of Punjab and the socio-political situation in 16th-century Northwestern Indian subcontinent. During the Mughal rule of India, Sikhism was in conflict with the Mughal empire laws, because they were affecting political successions of Mughals while cherishing saints from Hinduism and Islam. Prominent Sikh Gurus were killed by Islamic rulers for refusing to convert to Islam, for opposing the persecution of Sikhs and Hindus. Of total 10 Sikh gurus, 2 gurus themselves were tortured and executed, close kins of several gurus brutally killed, along with numerous other main revered figures of Sikhism were tortured and killed, by Islamic rulers for refusing to convert to Islam, for opposing the persecution of Sikhs and Hindus.
Subsequently, Sikhism militarised to oppose Mughal hegemony. The emergence of the Sikh Confederacy under the misls and Sikh Empire under reign of the Maharajah Ranjit Singh was characterised by religious tolerance and pluralism with Christians and Hindus in positions of power; the establishment of the Sikh Empire is considered the zenith of Sikhism at political level, during this time the Sikh Empire came to include Kashmir and Peshawar. A number of Muslim and Hindu peasants converted to Sikhism. Hari Singh Nalwa, the Commander-in-chief of the Sikh army along the North West Frontier, took the boundary of the Sikh Empire to the mouth of the Khyber Pass; the Empire's secular administration integrated innovative military and governmental reforms. The months leading up to the partition of India in 1947, saw heavy conflict in the Punjab between Sikh and Muslims, which saw the effective religious migration of Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus from West Punjab which mirrored a similar religious migration of Punjabi Muslims in East Punjab.
Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, was born to Mehta Kalu and Mata Tripta, in the village of Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib, near Lahore. His father, named Mehta Kalu, was an accountant of land revenue in the government. Nanak's mother was Mata Tripta, he had one older sister, Bibi Nanki. From an early age, Guru Nanak Dev Ji seemed to have acquired a questioning and enquiring mind and refused as a child to wear the ritualistic "sacred" thread called a Janeu and instead said that he would wear the true name of God in his heart as protection, as the thread which could be broken, be soiled, burnt or lost could not offer any security at all. From early childhood, Bibi Nanki saw in her brother the Light of God but she did not reveal this secret to anyone, she is known as the first disciple of Guru Nanak. As a boy, his desire to explore the mysteries of life led him to leave home. Nanak married Sulakhni, daughter of Moolchand Chona, a trader from Batala, they had two sons, Sri Chand and Lakshmi Das.
His brother-in-law, Jai Ram, the husband of his sister Nanki, obtained a job for him in Sultanpur as the manager of the government granary. One morning, when he was twenty-eight, Guru Nanak Dev went as usual down to the river to bathe and meditate, it was said. When he reappeared, it is said he was "filled with the spirit of God", his first words after his re-emergence were: "There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim". With this secular principle he began his missionary work, he made four distinct major journeys, in the four different directions, which are called Udasis, spanning many thousands of kilometres, preaching the message of God. Guru Nanak spent the final years of his life in Kartarpur where Langar free blessed food was available; the food would be partaken of by Hindus, poor, both high and so-called low castes. Guru Nanak earned his livelihood. After appointing Bhai Lehna as the new Sikh Guru, on 22 September 1539, aged 70, Guru Nanak passed away. In 1538, Guru Nanak chose Lehna, his disciple, as a successor to the Guruship rather than one of his sons.
Bhai Lehna became the successor of Guru Nanak. Bhai Lehna was born in the village of Harike in Ferozepur district in Punjab, on 31 March 1504, he was the son of a small trader named Pheru. His mother's name was Mata Ramo. Baba Narayan Das Trehan was his grand father, whose ancestral house was at Matte-di-Sarai near Mukatsar. Under the influence of his mother, Bhai Lehna began to worship Durga, he used to lead a group of Hindu worshippers to Jawalamukhi Temple every year. He married Mata Khivi in January 1520 and had two sons, two daughters; the whole Pheru family had to leave their ancestral village because of the ransacking by the Mughal and Baloch military who had come with Emperor Babur. After this the family settled at the village of Khadur Sahib by the River Beas, near Tarn Taran Sahib, a small town about 25 km. from Amritsar city. One day, Bhai Lehna heard the recitation of a hymn of Guru Nanak from Bhai Jodha, in Khadur Sahib, he was decided to proceed to Kartarpur to have an audience with Guru Nanak.
So while on the ann
Battle of Chamkaur (1704)
The Battle of Chamkaur known as Battle of Chamkaur Sahib, was fought between the Khalsa led by Guru Gobind Singh and the Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan. Guru Gobind Singh makes a reference to this battle in his victory letter Zafarnama. After Guru Gobind Singh left Anandpur Sahib on the night of December 5 and 6, 1704, they crossed the Sarsa river and stopped in Chamkaur, they asked permission of the city chief for shelter to rest for the night in their haveli. The older brother thought giving him shelter would be dangerous, but the younger brother gave permission to let them stay there for the night. Despite giving assurance of safe conduct, the Mughals soldiers were looking for Guru Gobind Singh, to take his head as a trophy. After learning that the party of Sikhs had taken shelter in the haveli, they laid siege upon it; the actual battle is said to have taken place outside the haveli. Negotiations broke down and the Sikh soldiers chose to engage the overwhelming Mughal forces, thus allowing their Guru to escape.
A gurmatta or consensus amongst the Sikhs compelled Gobind Singh to obey the will of the majority and escape by a cover of night. It is alleged that the Sikh warriors were able to engage the Mughal troops in majority due to training in the Sikh martial art of Gatka. All the Sikhs guarding the Guru were killed in the battle. Zafarnama or "Epistle of Victory" is a letter, written by Guru Gobind Singh to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Zafarnama vividly describes what happened at Chamkaur, holds Aurangzeb responsible for what occurred and promises he broke: 13: Aurangzeb! I have no trust in your oaths anymore. God is one. 14: I don't have trust equivalent to a drop in your generals. They were all telling lies. 15: If anyone trusts on your oath on the Quran, that person is bound to be doomed in the end. After his escape from Chamkaur, the exhausted Guru is said to have been carried by two Pathans to Jatpur where he was received by the local Muslim chieftain, he went to Dina, stayed at Bhai Desa Singh's house, where he is said to have written "Zafarnama" in Persian, in 111 verses.
After finding out that the Guru had escaped, the Mughals started searching the woods and the area surrounding Chamkaur. The Mughals hastily chased after the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh made a last stand against the Mughals at Muktsar, but by Aurangzeb lost interest in chasing him thus he started negotiations to sue for peace; the Battle of Muktsar was the last battle fought by Guru Gobind Singh. There he wrote Zafarnamah, a letter to Aurangzeb in which he wrote CHIRAG-E JAHAAN CHUN SHOD-E BURKA POSH SHAH-E SHAB BAR-AAMAD HAMEH JALWA JOSH... But still when the lamp of daylight set and the queen of night came up my protector gave me passage and I escaped safely, not a hair on my body was harmed; the Guru emphasised how he was proud that his sons had died fighting in battle, that he had'thousands of sons – the Singhs'. He said that he would never trust Aurangzeb again due to his broken promises and lies. Battle description at singhsabha.com
Kahn Singh Nabha
Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha was a Punjabi Sikh lexicographer and encyclopedist. His most influential work, Mahan Kosh, inspired generations of scholars after him, he played a role in the Singh Sabha movement. He was born to Narain Singh and Har Kaur at the village of Sabaz Banera, located in what was Patiala State, his father, Narain Singh succeeded to the charge of Gurdwara Dera Baba Ajaypal Singh at Nabha, after the death of his grandfather Sarup Singh in 1861. Kahn Singh was the eldest of one sister, he did not attend any school or college for formal education, but studied several branches of learning on his own. By the age of 10 he was able to quote from the Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth. In Nabha, he studied sanskrit classics with local pandits and studied under the famous musicologist Mahant Gajja Singh. In Delhi, he studied persian with Mawlawis. In 1883, he continued his study of persian for two years and assisted Bhai Gurmukh Singh, a leader in the Singh Sabha Movement, in publishing Sudhararak.
In 1887, he was appointed the tutor to heir apparent to Nabha State. He continued to serve Nabha State in several capacities, from the personal secretary of Maharaja Hira Singh to judge of the High Court. Between 1915-17, he served Patiala State. In 1885, he had a chance meeting with Max Arthur Macauliffe which led to a lifelong friendship as well as scholarly collaboration between the two; when Max Arthur Macauliffe was researching his six volume work entitled "The Sikh Religion", Kahn Singh helped Macauliffe in his study of Sikh scriptures and the history of early Sikhism. When it was published by the Clarendon Press Kahn Singh was assigned the copyright of the work, his books Gurmat Prabhakar and Gurmat Sudhakar are the standard guide books for understanding Sikhism. His work, Mahan Kosh, is his magnum opus, he published magazine Khalsa Gazette and is regarded as one of the founders of the weekly newspaper, Khalsa Akhbar. Works from the period 1882-1911 include: Raj Dharam - This was his first book written at a time when he was serving with Maharaja Hira Singh.
This was distributed on government expense. Ham Hindu Nahin - First published in 1898, the book is a critique on the distinction of the Sikh religion and identity. Bhai Kahn Singh stressed upon the distinct identity of the Sikhs. Published in Hindi, it was translated into Punjabi. Gurmat Prabhakar - This book was published in 1898. Studded with beautiful examples from Sri Guru Granth Sahib, this book condemns the superstitions prevailing in the Indian society. Difficult words have been made simpler through special commentaries at different places in the book. Gurmat Sudhakar - Published in 1899, this book contains evidences from Dasam Granth, Works of Bhai Gurdas, Janam Sakhi Guru Nanak, Guru Nanak Prakash, Suraj Prakash, Panth Prakash, Sau Sakhi, etc. supporting the various practices and beliefs of Sikhism. Sad Parmarth Gurchhand Diwakar Gur Shabdalankar Roop Deep Pingal Guru Shabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh - An encyclopedia of Sikh literature started in 1912, this beautiful masterpiece was accomplished in 1926 after 14 years of research and painstaking effort and published by the princely state of Patiala.
The state spent Rs.51,000 on its publishing. At 3338 pages, the book was divided into four volumes and was priced at Rs.110. It still serves as one of the most reliable reference material for research on Sikh faith and beliefs and on the Punjabi culture. Gurmat Martand Gur Mahima Sangraha - This book contained the biographies and important works reflecting the Sikh thought of some of the most famous Punjabi and Hindi poets, it is considered as a important Historical document and still remains unpublished. Anekarthak Kosh Naam mala kosh Max Arthur Macauliffe Singh Sabha Movement Works by or about Kahn Singh Nabha at Internet Archive Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Punjabi’s pioneering encyclopaedist - on The Sunday Tribune, India. Nabha Historical documents on Kahn Singh Nabha
Varan Bhai Gurdas
Varan Bhai Gurdas is the name given to the 40 vars, traditionally attributed to Bhai Gurdas. Bhai Gurdas was a first cousin of mother of Guru Arjan Dev, he was a scholar of great repute. From his work it is clear that he had mastery of various Indian languages and had studied many ancient Indian religious scriptures; each of the 40 chapters of "Varan Bhai Gurdas" consists of a differing number of Pauris. The composition is a collection of detailed commentary and explanation of theology and the ethics of Sikh beliefs as outlined by the Gurus, it explains the Sikh terms like sangat, haumai, "Gun", Gurmukh and Manmukh, Naam, etc. Many of the principles of Sikhism are explained in simple terms by Bhai Sahib and at times in many different ways. Bhai Gurdas Sikh scriptures searchgurbani.com Bhai Gurdas Varan sikhitothemax.com allaboutsikhs.com
Battle of Muktsar
The Battle of Muktsar or Battle of Khidrāne Dee Dhāb took place on 29 December 1705, following the siege of Anandpur. In 1704, Anandpur was under an extended siege by the allied forces of the Mughals and the hill chiefs. During the siege 40 men, led by Bhai Maha Singh, wrote letters of bedava to Guru Gobind Singh, they arrived in the village of Jhabal where a Sikh woman named Mai Bhago, upon hearing their tale of desertion, motivated them into returning to Guru Ji at Anandpur Sahib. The 40 deserters with Mai Bhago returned to seek out Guru Gobind Singh, joined him near Khidrāne Dee Dhāb preparing for battle against the Mughals, they defeated the Mughals and died in the following battle. The guru, finding the dying Maha Singh on the battlefield after the battle, forgave him and his compatriots, tore up their letters of bedava, blessed them for their service; the place was renamed Muktsar meaning The Pool of Liberation. Mai Bhago stayed on with Guru Gobind Singh Ji as one of his bodyguards; the Mela Maghi is held at the holy city of Muktsar Sahib every year in memory of the forty Sikh martyrs
Guru Tegh Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. Tegh Bahadur continued in the spirit of Nanak. Guru Tegh Bahadur resisted the forced conversions of Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam, was publicly beheaded in 1675 on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi for himself refusing to convert to Islam and saving Kashmiri Pandits and other non-Muslims or as viewed by Muslims that he was condemned to death for waging war but was offered at last moment that reverting to Islam will save him, which he declined as he wanted to be in Sikh rehat till his last breath. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi mark the places of execution and cremation of the Guru's body; the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur is remembered as the Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur every year on 24 November, according to the Nanakshahi calendar released by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 2003. The Sixth guru, Guru Hargobind had one daughter Bibi Viro and five sons: Baba Gurditta, Suraj Mal, Ani Rai, Atal Rai and Tyaga Mal.
Tyaga Mal was born in Amritsar in the early hours of 18 April 1621, who came to be known by the name Tegh Bahadur, given to him by Guru Hargobind after he had shown his valour in a battle against the Mughals. Amritsar at that time was the centre of Sikh faith; as the seat of the Sikh Gurus, with its connection to Sikhs in far-flung areas of the country through the chains of Masands or missionaries, it had developed the characteristics of a state capital. Guru Tegh Bahadur was trained in archery and horsemanship, he was taught the old classics such as the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Puranas. He preferred prolonged spells of contemplation. Tegh Bahadur was married on 3 February 1633, to Mata Gujri. In the 1640s, nearing his death, Guru Hargobind and his wife Nanaki moved to his ancestral village of Bakala in Amritsar district, together with Tegh Bahadur and Mata Gujri. Bakala, as described in Gurbilas Dasvin Patishahi, was a prosperous town with many beautiful pools and baolis. After Guru Hargobind's death, Tegh Bahadur continued to live in Bakala with his mother.
He spent most of his time in meditation, but was not a recluse, attended to family responsibilities. He made visits outside Bakala, visited the eighth Sikh guru Guru Har Krishan, when the latter was in Delhi. In March 1664 Guru Har Krishan contracted smallpox; when asked by his followers who would lead them after him, he replied Baba Bakala, meaning his successor was to be found in Bakala. Taking the advantage of the ambiguity in the words of the dying Guru, many installed themselves in Bakala, claiming themselves as the new Guru. Sikhs were puzzled to see so many claimants. Sikh tradition has a myth concerning the manner. A wealthy trader, Baba Makhan Shah Labana, had once prayed for his life and had promised to gift 500 gold coins to the Sikh Guru if he survived, he arrived in search of the ninth Guru. He went from one claimant to the next making his obeisance and offering two gold coins to each Guru, believing that the right guru would know that his silent promise was to gift 500 coins for his safety.
Every "guru" he met bid him farewell. He discovered that Tegh Bahadur lived at Bakala. Labana gifted Tegh Bahadur the usual offering of two gold coins. Tegh Bahadur gave him his blessings and remarked that his offering was short of the promised five hundred. Makhan Shah Labana forthwith ran upstairs, he began shouting from the rooftop, "Guru ladho re, Guru ladho re" meaning "I have found the Guru, I have found the Guru". In August 1664 a Sikh Sangat anointed Tegh Bahadur as the ninth guru of Sikhs; the Sangat was led by Diwan Durga Mal, a formal "Tikka ceremony" was performed by Bhai Gurditta on Tegh Bahadur conferring Guruship on him. As had been the custom among Sikhs after the execution of Guru Arjan by Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Guru Tegh Bahadur was surrounded by armed bodyguards, he himself lived an austere life. Guru Tegh Bahadur contributed many hymns to Granth Sahib including the Saloks, or couplets near the end of the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Tegh Bahadur toured various parts of Mughal Empire and was asked by Gobind Sahali to construct several Sikh temples in Mahali.
His works include 116 shabads, 15 ragas and his bhagats are credited with 782 compositions that are part of bani in Sikhism. His works are included in the Guru Granth Sahib, they cover a wide range of topics, such as the nature of God, human attachments, mind, dignity, service and deliverance. For example, in Sorath rag, Guru Tegh Bahadur describes what an ideal human being is like, Guru Tegh Bahadur travelled extensively in different parts of the country, including Dhaka and Assam, to preach the teachings of Nanak, the first Sikh guru; the places he stayed in, became sites of Sikh temples. During his travels, Guru Tegh Bahadur spread the Sikh ideas and message, as well as started community water wells and langars; the Guru made three successive visits to Kiratpur. On 21 August 1664, Guru went there to console with Bibi Rup upon the death of her father, Guru Har Rai, the seventh Sikh guru, of her brother, Guru Har Krishan; the second visit was on 15 October 1664, at the death on 29 September 1664, of Bassi, the mother of Guru Har Rai.
A third visit concluded a extensive journey through northwest Indian subcontinent. His son Guru Gobind Singh, who would be the tenth Sikh guru, was born in Patna, whil
Deva means "heavenly, anything of excellence", is one of the terms for a deity in Hinduism. Deva is a masculine term. In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Asuras; the concepts and legends evolve in ancient Indian literature, by the late Vedic period, benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras. In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, the Asuras the bad. In some medieval Indian literature, Devas are referred to as Suras and contrasted with their powerful but malevolent half-brothers, referred to as the Asuras. Devas, along with Asuras and Rakshasas are part of Indian mythology, Devas feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism. Deva is a Sanskrit word found in Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE. Monier-Williams translates it as "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the concept is used to refer to deity or god. The Sanskrit deva- derives from Indo-Iranian *daiv- which in turn descends from the Proto-Indo-European word, *deiwo- an adjective meaning "celestial" or "shining", a vrddhi derivative from the root *diw meaning "to shine" as the day-lit sky.
The feminine form of *deiwos is *deiwih2, which descends into Indic languages as devi, in that context meaning "female deity". Deriving from *deiwos, thus cognates of deva, are Lithuanian Dievas, Germanic Tiwaz and the related Old Norse Tivar, Latin deus "god" and divus "divine", from which the English words "divine", "deity", French "dieu", Portuguese "deus", Spanish "dios" and Italian "dio" "Zeys/Ζεύς" - "Dias/Δίας", the Greek father of the gods, are derived, it is related to *Dyeus which while from the same root, may have referred to the "heavenly shining father", hence to "Father Sky", the chief God of the Indo-European pantheon, continued in Sanskrit Dyaus. The bode of the Devas is Dyuloka. According to Douglas Harper, the etymological roots of Deva mean "a shining one," from *div- "to shine," and it is a cognate with Greek dios "divine" and Zeus, Latin deus "god". Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea; when capitalized, Devi or Mata refers to goddess as divine mother in Hinduism.
Deva is referred to as Devatā, while Devi as Devika. The word Deva is a proper name or part of name in Indian culture, where it refers to "one who wishes to excel, overcome" or the "seeker of, master of or a best among"; the Samhitas, which are the oldest layer of text in Vedas enumerate 33 devas, either 11 each for the three worlds, or as 12 Adityas, 11 Rudras, 8 Vasus and 2 Asvins in the Brahmanas layer of Vedic texts. The Rigveda states in hymn 1.139.11, Some devas represent the forces of nature and some represent moral values, each symbolizing the epitome of a specialized knowledge, creative energy and magical powers. The most referred to Devas in the Rig Veda are Indra and Soma, with "fire deity" called the friend of all humanity, it and Soma being the two celebrated in a yajna fire ritual that marks major Hindu ceremonies. Savitr, Vishnu and Prajapati are gods and hence Devas. Parvati and Durga are some goddesses. Many of the deities taken together are worshiped as the Vishvedevas. Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer, Ganesha the god of intelligence, Hanuman the god of protector and bhakti, Kartikeya the god of wars, Narada the god of news, Vishwakarma the god of architect, Dhanvantari the god of doctors and ayurveda, Kubera the god of wealth, Dyaus the god of sky, Vayu the god of wind, Varuna the god of water, Agni the god of fire, Samudra the god of sea, Kamadeva the god of love, Bariyadeva the god of diseases, Chitradeva the god of art, Indra the king of gods and rain, Surya the god of sun and light, Chandra the god of moon and night, Mangala the god of Mars Budha the god of Mercury, Brihaspati the god of Jupiter and teacher of gods, Shukra the god of Venus and worship, Shani the god of Saturn and deeds, Rahu the god of Neptune, Ketu the god of Uranus, Yamaraja the god of Pluto and death and one of the shivagana.
In Vedic literature, Deva is not a monotheistic God, rather a "supernatural, divine" concept manifesting in various ideas and knowledge, in a form that combine excellence in some aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in their outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. Max Muller states that the Vedic hymns are remarkable in calling every single of different devas as "the only one, the supreme, the greatest". Muller concluded that the Vedic ideas about devas is best understood neither as polytheism nor as monotheism, but as henotheism where gods are equivalent, different perspective, different aspects of reverence and spirituality, unified by principles of Ṛta and Dharma. Ananda Coomaraswamy states that Devas and Asuras in the Vedic lore are similar to the Olympian gods and Titans of Greek mythology. Both are powerful but have different orientations and inclinations, with the Devas representing the powers of Light and the Asuras representing the powers of Darkness in Hindu mythology.
According to Coomaraswamy's interpretation of Devas and Asuras, both these natures exist in each human being, both the tyrant and the angel. The best and the worst within each person struggles