Saturday, December 13, 2014

Upcoming Smaagam details...

Annual Coventry Akhand Keertan Smaagam
at Singh Sabha Gurdwara, 47- 49 Cross Road, Coventry

Monday 15th December Akhand Paath Arambh 11am

Wednesday 17th December
Akhand Paath Bhog 6pm
Akhand Keertan 6pm to 9pm

Thursday 18th December
Asa kee Vaar 5 am to 9am
Akhand Keertan 6pm to 9pm

Friday 19th December
Asa kee Vaar 5 am to 9am
Akhand Keertan 6pm to 12am

Saturday 20th December
Asa kee Vaar 7 am to 10am
Rainsbaee Keertan 7pm to 5 am

For more information please contact Bhai Tarunjeet Singh (Coventry)
Phone: 07877888874

Amrit Sanchaar 

Saturday 20th December
8pm, upstairs Darbar Sahib

Those who wish to take Khande-dee-paahul please contact Bhai Hardeep Singh on 07696 655 015.

Useful web links relating to Amrit & Rehat:

Monday, December 08, 2014

Documentary: Panjab 1984 and after - Soch

A rare documentary film made by journalist Surinder Singh on the children of Shaheed Singhs who were killed in fake encounters...

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Important Sikhi event coming up in Walsall...

Please attend the “Walsall Social and Sikhi Awareness Day” on 13th December 2014 11am to 7pm where the day will be focusing on the beauty of Sikhi, discovering and living Sikhi, and raising awareness around current youth issues such as bullying and exploitation. The purpose of the event is to inform parents and young people to strengthen families through education and awareness. Helping us to be alert and take action.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Dharam Dee Chaadar - Sri Guru Teg Bahadar Jee... (Final Part)


Seva of Bhai Lakhi Rai Jee
Bhai Lakhi Rai jee, also known as Bhai Lakhi Shah jee, was a rich trader who had a transport business of import and export. Bhai Lakhi Rai jee had close links with the government and had easy access to the city because of his job. Bhai Uday jee informed Bhai Lakhi Rai jee about what happened to Sri Guru Teg Bahadar jee and his three other beloved Sikhs. On 12th November, Bhai Lakhi Rai jee brought several bullock carts loaded with cotton through Chandni Chowk. The carts travelling at considerable speed blew more dust into the air, which added to the dust from the storm, adding to the chaos and further reducing visibility. At the risk of his own life, under the cover of darkness and in the dust storm, Bhai Lakhi Rai jee, along with his three sons - Bhai Nagahiya jee, Bhai Hema jee and Bhai Haarhee jee, and Bhai Dooma jee, son of Bhai Kahna jee, were able to remove the headless body of the Guru in a cart which was loaded with cotton. Bhai Lakhi Rai jee took the body of Guru jee to his native village, Raiseena, named after his ancestor - Seena Rai. The Mughals had planned to display the Guru's body on the four gates of Delhi, and therefore it was too dangerous to openly cremate the body. So Bhai Lakhi Rai jee sett fire to his home, concealing the cremation of the Guru's body. Gurdwara Rakab Ganj was made later in history to commemorate this holy place. Underneath the place where Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee is parkaash is where Guru jee's ashes were buried. Afterwards Bhai Lakhi Rai jee, accompanied by his companions, travelled to Anandpur Sahib to pay respects to Sri Guru Gobind Rai jee and let him know that his father's body had been given the final rights.

The Shaheedi of Guru Teg Bahadar jee and his beloved Sikhs awoke the consciousness of people. Hindus were shaken up that the Guru had sacrificed his life for their human rights and felt a new lease of life to live and stand up. The Sikhs in Panjab were flared up with the want for delivering justice to the tyrants. The Sikh religion got a new lease of life and become stronger than ever and more determined to destroy the tyrants and restore righteousness. Aurganzeb had been utterly humiliated and embarrassed that he could not make Guru jee give up his faith. As a consequence the zeal of committing mass terror and forced conversions on the masses significantly lessened. Further embarrasment came after Aurangzeb came to know that the Police Chief Hassan Abdullah and his daughter Zebunnisa had devotion towards Guru Teg Bahadar jee and had helped Bhai Jaita jee see Guru jee in jail, carry away of the Guru jee's head and in the cremation of Guru jee's body at Raiseena. Further humilation came when he found out that the Police Chief, Hassan Abdulla, had given up his job and moved to live in Anandpur Sahib and become a devotee of Sri Gobind Rai jee. Aurangzeb had his daughter Zebunnisa killed by slow poisoning, but was unable to punish the Police Chief who was in the Guru's protection in Anandpur Sahib. On Friday 27th October 1676 the Emperor was returning from Jama Masjid. It is stated in the Mughal account in Maasir-e-Alamgiri that a Sikh of Guru Teg Bahadar jee threw two bricks on the emperor, one of which hit the throne. he was asked “Who are you?... Don’t know you know is this?” The Sikh fearlessly replied to the Emperor, "I am the Sikh of Guru Teg Bahadar jee and I know who you are."

The Building of Historical Shrines
On 11th March 1783, the Khalsa army under the leadership of Sardar Baghel Singh marched into Delhi. The Khalsa occupied the Red Fort and hoisted the Sikh flag. The Mughal emperor, Shah Aalam II, made a settlement with the Khalsa, agreeing to allow the Khalsa to erect gurdwaras on Sikh historical sites in the city and the Khalsa receive tax from the Mughal government. The Khalsa had located historical sites like Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, however they could not locate the spot where Guru Teg Bahadar jee had been beheaded. So, an announcement was made in Delhi that if anyone knew where the Guru had been beheaded to come forward. An elderly lady came forward and told Sardar Baghel Singh that her husband was the washerman who had washed the blood of the Guru from the site. The lady showed the Khalsa were the well was where Guru jee had a bath and the holy spot where Guru jee was beheaded. The elderly lady was rewarded by the Khalsa for her family's service. From April to November 1783 the construction took place of the Gurdwara at that site, where today is Gurdwara Sees Ganj Sahib. It was subsequently destroyed later in history and rebuilt in 1857 by the Raja Saroop Singh of Jind. In 2000, the Police station (Kotwali) where Guru jee had been detained was handed over to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Dharam Dee Chaadar - Sri Guru Teg Bahadar Jee... (Part 4)


Guru Jee's Shaheedi
After the three beloved Sikhs of the Guru had been brutally killed, it had began to get dark. The Qazi decided that the rest of the proceedings will continue tomorrow morning. That night Guru jee was kept in cage under strict supervision. On the morning of 11th November, the drums were beaten in the streets of Delhi and it was announced that today Guru Teg Bahadar jee was to beheaded. Thousands of people gathered. At 11am Sri Guru Teg Bahadar jee was brought back from the cage and given the choice of either accepting Islam, performing a miracle or accept death. Guru Teg Bahadar jee refused to give up his faith. He said, "You wish to see miracles? It has happened before your own eyes. What greater miracle than someone happily be sawn alive whilst immersed in the Almighty! What greater miracle than someone happily being boiled alive but not utter a cry or sigh! What greater miracle than someone being burnt alive and remain fearless!" "No! We want to see you perform a miracle. We want you to show if you have powers." Guru jee replied, "This is not pleasing to the Men of God. This is not a magic show or drama. It is against God's Will to perform such acts to show off." Guru jee happily accepted death. Guru jee was asked his last wish. He asked that firstly, he is allowed to have a bath, and secondly that he is allowed to recite Japji Sahib. Guru jee was allowed to have a bath at nearby well and after reciting Japji Sahib he was beheaded by Jalaaludeen, an executioner from Samana. The government announced that anybody that would claim the body or try to attain it would be sentenced to death.

The Role of Bhai Jaita JeePreviously Bhai Jaita jee, his father (Bhai Sada Nand jee) and some other Sikhs of Delhi had gathered at Bhai Agya Raam jee's house, who was Bhai Jaita jee's uncle. Here they discussed how they would recover the Guru's head. During the first quarter of the night Bhai Jaita jee along with his father Bhai Sada Nand jee, his uncle Bhai Agya Raam jee and Bhai Uday jee succeed in approaching Guru jee’s dead body taking the cover of the pitch-dark, taking advantage of the torrential rains and creeping near the walls of the residential houses. According Bhai Jaita jee's own account of the incident recorded in 'Shri Guru Katha' (page 35), to the pre-devised plan, Bhai Jaita jee's father sacrificed himself and got beheaded by own his son so that his body and head could be exchanged with those of Guru jee. The Head of Police of Chandi Chowk, Hassan Abdullah, has assisted in this act. Guru jee's head was wrapped in material and placed in a basket and brought to Anandpur Sahib. The journey from Delhi to Anandpur Sahib was 340 km. He took advantage of the dark of the night and rainy weather and deceiving the royal forces. He made five stops on the way, in which various devotees had the great fortune of having a holy glimpse at the Guru and doing the seva of Bhai Jaita jee and Guru jee's severed head. 

Cremation of the Guru's Head 
Following a zig-zag passage and passing through Bagpat, Taraori, Ambala, Nabha etc. Bhai Jaita jee reached Kiratpur Sahib on 15th November 1675. Arriving at Kiratpur Sahib he sent someone to send a message to the Guru's family that he wished to meet them at Kiratpur Sahib. Sri Guru Gobind Rai jee accompanied by Guru Teg Bahadar jee's elderly mother, Mata Nanaki jee, and his wife, Mata Gujri jee, along with other Sikhs arrived at Kiratpur Sahib. The first person to have a holy glimpse at the severed head of the Guru was Mata Nanaki jee. Seeing her son's head, she placed both her hands on the head and gave her love. The next person to have a holy glimpse at Guru jee's head was Mata Gujri jee. Seeing the head she said, "Just as you have walked the Path and passed the test of faith, may I also pass the test of faith." Then nine-year old Sri Gobind Rai jee had a holy glimpse of his father's head and repeated, "For the sake of Dharam (righteousness) my father gave his head, but he never gave up his faith." From here, Guru jee's head was taken to Anandpur Sahib in the form of a Nagar Keertan (procession). At Anandpur Sahib at the place now named Gurdwara Sees Ganj Sahib, Guru jee's head was cremated. Sri Guru Gobind Rai jee embraced Bhai Jaita jee and granted him the title of “Ranghreta Guru Ka Beta” (i.e. The young man of the Ranghar caste is the Guru's own beloved son). (Note: The Ranghar caste was the people whose one of the ancestors were born out of mixed parentage of couple following Hindu and Muslim religion, and thus were outcasted out of Hindu religion).

To be continued...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dharam Dee Chaadar - Sri Guru Teg Bahadar Jee... (Part 3)


Shaheed Bhai Mati Daas Jee
On 10th November 1675, the people of Delhi had gathered to watch what was happening in the open public space of Chandni Chowk. Guru jee was brought in a cage outside and Bhai Mati Daas jee was assembled between some wooden blocks with his arms tied to two wooden poles. Bhai Mati Daas jee was given three options - either show a miracle, or convert to Islam and receive worldly riches, or death by being sawn alive. Bhai Mati Daas jee replied, "My Guru has not given me permission to use my spiritual powers. I will not give up my faith and I will happily die." Historian Principal Ganga Singh, writes that the Qazi asked Bhai Mati Daas jee, "Either choose the Guru and be sawn alive or choose our way and receive the world's pleasures." Bhai Mati Daas jee replied, "I can only choose between what I have tried and known. I have experienced and tasted the world's pleasures but I have yet to try the taste of the saw." The Qazi ordered the executioners to saw two fingers down into Bhai Mati Daas jee's head. Bhai Sahib accepted the saw and said, "The real pain is to turn my back to the Guru. The feeling of bliss of being sacrificed for the Guru cannot be described." His last wish were, firstly to be facing the Guru and secondly, to not have his tongue cut until he repeated the last lines of Japji Sahib. Bhai Sahib started reciting Japji Sahib and the saw cut him into two, however the echoes of Japji Sahib could still be heard from his body.

Shaheed Bhai Dyaal Daas Jee
Bhai Dyaala jee was the elder brother of Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh jee who was cut limb by limb in 1737 in Lahore. In 3 generations of his family there are 29 Shaheeds. His paternal grandfather Bhai Balu Raao jee was the first Shaheed during the first battle of Amritsar during the guruship of Sri Guru Hargobind jee. Bhai Sahib was given three same options to choose from as Bhai Mati Daas jee. Bhai Sahib happily chose death than give up his faith. The Qazi announced that he would be boiled alive. The water in the Deg (cauldron) was first heated with the lighting of fire. Once the water was boiling, Bhai Sahib was brought forward with his hands and feet in tied up. Bhai Sahib requested the ropes be removed. The executioners replied, "You will get scared and will panic when you see the boiling water." Bhai Sahib answered back, "I am no sheep or goat you are going to make Halal today. I am becoming a sacrifice for my Guru. I want the whole world to know that the Sikh of the Guru is happily giving his life for the Guru and not being forced to." The ropes were removed. Bhai Sahib did Ardaas, "In your fifth form (as Guru Arjan Dev jee) the emperor of the time boiled you in a cauldron in Lahore. Now, your Sikh is going to be boiled alive by the present emperor's orders. May you kindly enter into my body and give me strength to pass my faith." He then put his right foot in the boiling cauldron and then his left foot and sat cross legged. Bhai Sahib began reciting Sukhmani Sahib. The lid of the cauldron was placed on top and Bhai Sahib's flesh and bones became separated.

Shaheed Bhai Sati Daas Jee
Bhai Sati Daas jee was the brother of Bhai Mati Daas jee. Their paternal grandfather, Bhai Praga jee had been given the command of Jatha (unit) by Guru Hargobind Sahib jee in the first battle with the Mughals in Amritsar, in which he became Shaheed. Bhai Mati Daas jee and Bhai Sati Daas jee had previously visited Delhi with the eighth Guru, Sri Guru HarKrishan Sahib jee. Bhai Sati Daas jee brought forward where his companions were made Shaheed. He was offered the same three options that his companions had been asked. Bhai Sati Daas jee, like the other Sikhs happily accepted to die than give up his faith. The Qazi announced that Bhai Sati Daas jee would be burnt alive. Bhai Sahib was wrapped up in cotton wool and was then tied up with rope. The rope was tied down to the ground. Bhai Sati Daas jee paid his respects to Sri Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib jee and became immersed in Naam. Bhai Sati Daas jee was set on fire. He eventually fell on the floor and his body turned into ashes. Exactly 309 years later the Sikhs were to face a similar fate in the same Delhi when the people of Delhi put tyres around the necks of Sikhs and burnt them alive. Seeing the three Sikhs become martyred and not utter cry or sigh, Guru Teg Bahadar jee repeated, "Dhan Hai Sikhi!... Dhan Hai Sikhi!... Dhan Hai Sikh!..."

To be continued...