Archive for the ‘Sikh History & Personalities’ Category

Did all the Bhagats get GurMantar from Guru Sahib?

Verily, whoever swam across this terrible ocean of Maya, did so through the Gurmukh Naam Roopi Gurmantra bestowed by Satguru jee. Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee declares unequivocally that no one has ever attained Vaheguru without the True Guru: ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖਹੁ ਮਨਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ (No one has attained Vaheguru without […]

Was meat served in Langar during the period of the first two Gurus?

There a Saakhi (account) which claims that when Guru Amar Daas Ji first met Guru Angad Dev Ji, Guru Ji invited his daughter’s father-inlaw (Baba Amar Daas Ji) to eat Langar. Rice and daal (lentils) were first served, then “maha-parshaad” was served. Baba Amar Daas Ji said to himself, “I have never eaten meat before, […]

Name some famous women in Sikh history.

Below are some of the many great Sikh women who played a role in Sikh history:

What was the mission of Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in Talwandi, a village in Panjab, in 1469 at a critical period of Indian history. Guru Nanak Dev Ji  was born to reveal and propagate the Light of Truth in the world and to carry out the Divine Message of awakening the people with Divine Word (Gurbani). The Lodi […]

What do you know of Guru Angad Dev Ji?

Guru Angad Dev Ji (1504-52) previously known as Lehna was a worshipper of the goddess Jawala Mukhi. Once, while going to the shrine of this goddess, he came in contact with Guru Nanak Dev Ji. There was spontaneous conversion. He chose to serve the Guru. He became the Guru’s best and obedient follower. After testing […]

What do you know of Guru Amardas Ji?

Guru Amardas Ji (1479-1574) came to the succession by dint of his selfless services, at the age of 73. Guru Angad Dev Ji’s son, Dattu, was enraged at this and kicked Guru Amardas Ji. Guru Amardas Ji did not take it ill but rather apologized to him, saying, “Pardon me; my hard bones must have […]

What do you know of Guru Ramdas Ji?

Guru Ramdas Ji (1534-1581) was installed as Guru at the age of 40. He put missionary work on sound basis and sent massands to different parts of north India to propagate the message of Sikhi. He himself was fond of serving his disciples. Sometimes, he would distribute water or pull the fan for the Sangat. […]

What do you know of Guru Arjan Dev Ji?

Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563-1606) was in his teens when he was installed as Guru. He developed Amritsar as a centre of industry and culture for the Sikhs. He requested Mian Mir – a Sufi Muslim divine who believed and followed the Guru – to lay the foundation stone of the Har Mandar (Temple of […]

What do you know of Guru Har Gobind Ji?

Guru Har Gobind Ji (1595-1644) acted as per the advice of his father to maintain an army. His father had been a victim of Mughal tyranny. The Mughal rulers wanted to break the power of the Sikhs. He organized a band of soldiers and trained them in warfare. Some historians call it the beginning of […]

What do you know of Guru Har Rai Ji?

Guru Har Rai Ji (1630-1661) was installed as Guru at the age of 14. He was the grandson of Guru Har Gobind Ji though without his military genius. Guru Har Rai Ji was a man of peace and love. He was fond of serving the Sangat. He urged his followers to meditate on the hymns […]

What do you know of Guru Harkrishan Ji?

Guru Harkrishan Ji (1656-1664) was called upon to assume the responsibilities of leadership of the Sikh community at the tender age of five. He is known as the “Child Guru” and is specially loved and cherished by children and students. Guru Harkrishan Ji was a genius and showed extraordinary talents for his age. Once a […]

What do you know of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji?

Guru Harkrishan Ji had not specifically named the Ninth Guru to the Sikh Sangat. However, by the Guru saying the next Guru is “Baba Bakala”, those close to the Guru knew that this meant the grandfather of the Guru who lived in Bakala. No less than 22 imposters who called themselves Guru set themselves up […]

What do you know of Guru Gobind Singh Ji?

Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1666-1708) was installed as the Tenth Guru at the age of nine, soon after the martyrdom of his father. He knew that difficult times were ahead, particularly struggle against the Mughal imperialism. He, therefore, made preparations to meet the Mughal challenge, by training his disciples in the art of warfare. Guru […]

What do you know of Baba Banda Singh?

Baba Banda Singh (1670-1716) was born at Rajouri in Jammu State. He was known as Lachman Dev in his childhood. Soon after a hunt, he turned ascetic: A Bairagi, and took the name of Madho Das. He settled down at Nanded. He became a devotee of the Guru in September 1708 and sought his blessings. […]

What do you know of Maharaja Ranjit Singh?

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) was a member of the Sukerchakia misal. From early childhood, he was fond of riding and hunting. Taking advantage of the unsettled conditions in the Panjab, he expelled Chet Singh of Bhangi misal from Lahore and crowned as Maharaja. He captured Amritsar in 1802 and thereafter assumed full sovereignty over petty […]

What do you know of Bhai Vir Singh?

Bhai Vir Singh (1872-1957) was the most important writer and theologian in Punjabi who expounded Sikh history and philosophy for more than fifty years. He is regarded as the Bhai Gurdas of the twentienth century. His most important works are Guru Nanak Chamatkar, Kalgidhar Chamatkar, Baba Nodh Singh and Meray Saeeyan jeeo. Bhai Vir Singh’s […]

What do you know of Sikh Paintings?

The Sikh school of painting is a distinct contribution to Indian art. The School originated in the days of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was a liberal patron of arts. He also employed artists who decorate and panel the Golden Temple, Amritsar. According to W.G. Archer, there are three district branches of the Sikh School: Guler […]

Give a brief history of the Golden Temple?

The sacred shrine ‘Sri Harmandar Sahib’ is known to the West as the ‘Golden Temple’. Guru Ramdas Ji wanted to give the Sikhs a central place of worship. For this reason he founded a township, called after his name in 1577. In 1589, Guru Arjan Dev Ji requested a Sufi Saint named Mian Mir, to […]

Give an account of the Singh Sabha Movement?

The originn or the Singh Sabha Movement lay in the realization by the Sikh leaders of the Eighteen seventies (last century) that Sikhi was dominated by Hindu practices and should be reformed to accord with the ideals of the Sikh Gurus. The movement was also reacting to the proselytizing activities of the Christian missionaries and […]

What do you know of the Chief Khalsa Diwan?

The origin or the Singh Sabha Movement lay in the realization by the Sikh leaders of the Eighteen seventies (last century) that Sikhi was dominated by Hindu practices and should be reformed to accord with the ideals of the Sikh Gurus. The movement was also reacting to the proselytizing activities of the Christian missionaries and […]

What do you know of the Gurdwara Reform Movement?

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Sikhs felt a need to recapture the glory of the Sikh faith by following its traditions. The Singh Sabha Movement had earlier prepared the ground for a revival of the Sikhi. Many of the old and historical Gurdwaras were under the control of the Mahants – professional […]

What do you know of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee?

The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee popularly known as the SGPC- is a statutory body constituted under an Act of the Panjab Legislature passed on 9th July 1925. It is invested with certain duties regarding the administration of Gurdwaras, educational programmes and the propagation of the Sikh faith. Its Dharam Parchaar Committee is specifically meant for […]

What is the contribution of the Sikhs to the struggle for India’s independence?

The part played by the Sikhs in the overthrow of British rule was significant. Recently it has been established that the first and second Sikh Wars were fought to prevent the British aggression in the Panjab. After the fall of the Panjab, the Sikhs felt a nostalgia for the glories and achievements of the Sikh […]

What do you know of Pingalwara, Amritsar?

Pingalwara literally means a home for the crippled. However, this institution caters to the needs of the handicapped, the insane and the terminally sick. It is primarily a rescue-home for the poor, helpless and maimed. The promoter of the Pingalwara is Bhagat Puran Singh, a selfless and dedicated Sikh. He was born in Lahore and […]

Give an account of the Sikh-residents abroad?

Early in the twentieth century, many Sikhs migrated to British Columbia (Canada) to improve their economic prospects. However, on account of racial trouble, they had to face severe hardships, most were engaged in lumbering and the timber trade. Some of them migrated to the south in California (USA). They initially worked as farm-labourers and were […]

What do you know of Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale?

Giani Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (February 12, 1947 – June 6, 1984) was the leader of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh religious group based in Mehta Chownk, Amritsar District. Bhindranwale carried heavy influence among Sikhs in Punjab during his time of leadership. He tried to spread the original values of Sikhi and persuaded young people to […]

What do you know of Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh?

Bhai Randheer Singh Ji (1878-1961) was a freedom fighter, reformer, theologian, and hero of the Lahore conspiracy case, and first prisoner of Gurdwara Reform Movement. In the first two decades of the last century, when the cry of freedom was a distant dream, decadence and demoralization had corroded the foundations of religious, soil and political […]

How many marriages did Guru Gobind Singh Ji have?

The wrong impression that the Guru had more than one wife was created by those writers who were ignorant of punjabi culture. Later authors accepted those writings regarding more than one marriage of the Guru and presented other important people usually had more than one wife as a symbol of their being great and superior […]

Did the Sikh Gurus go hunting? If so, what was the purpose?

In short the Guru Ji went hunting for two main reasons, one to defend the locals of dangerous man-eating animals or to grant “mukti” (salvation) to particular souls entrapped in the body of animals whose karmic circle needed breaking. The former reason is the main reason for the Sikh Gurus to go hunting. Who can […]

Who are ‘Nihang Singhs’?

Nihang (also: called Akalis) is a very famous and prestigious armed Sikh order. Early Sikh military history is dominated by the Akali Sikh military order particularly for many famous military victories won while often heavily out-numbered. The Akalis have historically been held in great affection and respect by Sikhs due the pivotal role they have […]

What actually happened on Vaisakhi 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh Ji initiated Amrit at Keshghar Sahib?

Guru Sahib sent messengers to call all Sikhs to Anandpur Sahib on the day of Vaisakhi in 1699. The reports of the Mughul newspapers and reporters or Emperor Aurangzeb stated that 80,000 Sikhs had gathered at Anandpur Sahib on that day. Aasa-Ki-Vaar was sung in the morning. After this was completed Guru Gobind Rai appeared […]

What do you know about the Panj Pyaare of Vaisakhi 1699?

1) BHAI DAYA SINGH JI Previous name: ‘Daya Raam’ Town/City: Lahore (Panjab) Parents: Bhai Sudhae Ji and Mata Dayaalee Ji Birth & Death: 1669 – 1708 Previous Caste/ Occupation: Khatri (ਖੱਤਰੀ), shopkeeper. After taking Amrit, he became Bhai Daya Singh. He was appointed the leader of the Beloved Five. He accompanied the Guru to the […]

What do you know of Bhagat Dhanna Ji and the story of God revealing himself through a stone?

Bhagat Dhanna Ji’s father’s name was Bhai Maahee Ji. His family were a simple farmers who belonged to the Dhuan village, in the MaarvaaR area in Rajasthan. Bhagat Ji was born in 1415. Bhagat Dhanna Ji obtained a ‘Saalgaraam’ (small stone idol) from a Brahman, and began doing its pooja (worship). He decorated the idol […]

What do you know of Nirmalas?

‘Nirmala’ is derived from the Sanskrit ‘nirmal’, meaning spotless, unsullied, pure, bright, etc. It is the name of a sect primarily engaged in religious study of Sikhi and ancient Hindu texts. The members of the sect are called Nirmalas. The sect of celibates commanded particular strength in the 19th century. Guru Gobind Siṅgh Ji wanted […]

What do you know of Udaasis?

‘Udaasi’ is an ascetic sect founded by Baba Sri Chand (1494-1629), the elder son of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji. The word ‘Udasi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word which means “one who is indifferent to or disregardful of worldly attachments, a stoic, or a mendicant.” In Sikh tradition, the term udasi has also been used […]

What do you know of Bhai Bala and whether he actually existed?

According to popular belief, some believe that Bhai Bala was a life-long companion of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji and was the son of Chandar Bhaan, a Sandhu Jaá¹­á¹­ of Talvaṇḍī Rāi Bhoi, now Nankāṇā Sāhib in Pakistan. It is claimed he was 3 years senior in age to Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, and was Guru […]

What do you know of Bhai Mardana?

MARDĀNĀ, BHĀĪ (1459-1534), Gurū Nānak’s long-time companion throughout his extensive journeys across the country and abroad, was born the son of a Muslim Mirāsī (a caste of hereditary minstrels and genealogists) couple, Badrā and Lakkho, of Talvaṇdī Rāi Bhoe, now Nankāṇā Sāhib, in Sheikhūpurā district of Pakistan. Gurū Nānak and Bhāī Mardānā grew up in […]

What are the historic foundations of a Sikh Identity as supposed to a pluralistic nature known as “Sanatan Sikhi”?

I. Introduction The issue of defining Sikh Identity has been a topic of much debate in modern Sikh scholarship. Clearly, Sikhs today form a unique and distinct community with a separate identity, but has this always been the case? Many scholars argue that different Sikh identities existed within the Panth until the latter part of […]

Did Guru Gobind Singh Ji worship ‘Kali Devi’ on Hemkunt Parbat where Guru Ji meditated for long time, as claimed by the RSS?

The truth is that Guru Ji never ever worshipped any idols of Hinduism. Guru Ji always worshipped one God and taught Sikhs to do the same. RSS is not using Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s lines accurately. RSS is saying this: “Mahaa Kaal Kalka Aaradhi” Kalka is name of Hindu Goddess Kali Devi but Guru Ji […]

In Bachittar Natak, the Tenth Guru claims His family ancestry to Lav and Kush (sons of Rama). Does this mean Sikhs are Hindus?

This argument does not hold any ground when we evaluate it with some rationality. Many Sikhs take an easy approach and reject the authority of Bachittar Natak but this way we will have to reject everything we don’t like or don’t agree with. I do not want to discuss authenticity or validity of Dasam Granth […]

What do you know of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha?

The Akhand Kirtani Jatha (or AKJ) is a collective group (jatha) of Gursikhs dedicated to Tat Gurmat (pristine from Gurmat), Khalsa Rehit (code of conduct) and service of the Panth. The primary aim of the Jatha is to propagate the message of the Sikh Guru Sahibans through kirtan, Amrit Sanchaars, akhand paaths, sehaj paaths, literature, […]

The Guru gave one Amrit and one Maryada, then why are there so many different Rehats today?

(1) The Guru authorized the Panj Pyaare to give Amrit to anyone desirous of being spiritually reborn into the Guru’s Family (the Khalsa Panth). Thousands joined this brotherhood & sisterhood on Vaisakhi 1699 after the manifestation of the Khalsa Panth and the first Panj Pyaare received Amrit of the double-edged sword. When these Singhs came […]

Who is Bhagat Ravidaas? Why do some people call him ‘Guru Ravidaas’?

There is a holy bhagat (devotee of Waheguru) named ‘Ravidaas Ji’ who was from the “Chamaar” (leather-maker) caste according to the old caste system. Waheguru does not recognize castes and clans. Waheguru recognizes devotion. Bhagat Ravidaas Ji was blessed with union of Akaal Purakh and the jyot (Light) of Akaal Purakh wrote Gurbani through him […]