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JustAnotherSingh

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JustAnotherSingh last won the day on June 2 2016

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  1. @chatanga1 - are there any sources specifically that state Mai Bhago never participated in Amrit sanchar? i have always personally thought that there wasn't a specific reason women are not currently allowed to be Panj, that it was just a holdout from the 18th/19th century mindset where women weren't even permitted to take Khande di pahul.
  2. @WakeUp I'm assuming you're referring to the Chaupa Singh rehitnama. I do agree that those aspects are out of line w/Gurmat, and may have arisen from the personal biases of the author himself.
  3. Interesting thread. I too have noticed that much of the rehit literature is very male-centric, in that it directly addresses males and males only (but to be fair, so is a lot of pre-rehit Sikh literature, such as Bhai Gurdas Ji da Vaaran) We know that for a good chunk of history at least, a lot of women took kirpan-da-pahul and thus had their own rehit. However, there are references to women taking Khande-da-pahul (which I believe was originally how it was supposed to be), and one wonders if the Rehit literally applied equally to women in every case then. For example, Mai Bhago wore kachh; but she was an exception. What about other [assumed] Khalsa women, such as those who were the wives of the Chaali Mukte who didn't go into battle and stayed at home? Were they to also wear kachh and full bana? On the other hand, some injunctions obviously applied equally, e.g., kesh (Prem Sumarag also says to give baptized women a kara). My hunch is that while a lot of the broad implications are the same (kesh, nitnem routine, kurehits, moral principles, etc) for both genders, there were some differences in the nuances of the matter. This isn't anything too crazy - e.g., bibiyan having private places for ishnaan, Singh vs Kaur surnames, women not having to wear dastaar, and so on.
  4. @amardeep I don't have the Punjabi manuscript at the time, but how is it used? From some cursory googling it seems like "tankhiya" within Chaupa Rehitnama is used as a lesser infraction than those which make you patit (e.g., breaking kurehit). This is interesting as I've always considered tankhiya to be the utmost offense on a political level, much higher than patit; for example, Ala Singh's relationship with Abdali.
  5. Hi all, Where does the "Kurehit" word come from? I'm guessing that Tankhiya comes from Nand Lal's tanakhnama, but no clue where Kurehit comes from. In fact, in my quick combing of some puratan rehits, I can't find the term used anywhere (even though it certainly was at that time vocally). My educated guess is that it's a compound word: Ku-rehit, with "ku" meaning violation of some sort. But does anyone know the specific meaning?
  6. "Gujjar" vs "Gujri" is nothing more than a red herring, the difference is that Gujri is actually a normal first name that just sounds like the gotar (just like Sodi) and Chhina was always a last name for Bidhi Chand. This'll be my last post on the topic as I don't see it reaching anywhere conclusive. @BhagatSingh, the burden of proof is on you, not me, to show how every single Sikh historical text written that states there was only one Khatri as part of the Panj Pyare and the other four were emphatically not so are in fact wrong and that your theory that they were all Khatri (or potentially Brahmin) is correct. Ganda Singh was faced with a similarly daunting task when he started his research on Banda Singh Bahadur despite the negative reputation Banda had garnished over the misl and Sikh-Raj period; Ganda Singh was successful because he provided sufficient evidence (in the form of contemporary works from a variety of sources and multiple lines of argument) to make his case of how Banda Singh was in fact an utmost Gursikh whose reputation was tarnished over the years. On the other hand, you have not really done anything to that effect and keep throwing arguments that are not much more than grasps, and frankly speaking, makes me feel you are trying to pursue some ideological message instead of objectively evaluating the history here. The only line of argument you've presented so far is that Dev/Das/Chand/Ram are Khatri (and apparently also Brahmin) surnames. When provided with examples of Jatts and Dalits with such surnames, you have tried to steer the conversation somewhere else by proving that they were actually Khatri (or they were just meaningless titles. The fact remains that we do not have extensive literary records of the time period and make do with what we do have. It is simply not the case that Jatts/Dalits with the specific surnames are just outliers compared to a wide spectrum of Khatris who held such names. In present-day Haryana, an example of what pre-Khalsa Punjab would have looked like with regards to surnames, we see that pretty much all Jaats' surnames are either Des/Dav/Chand/Ram or Kumar/Singh; all of which are technically originally "Khatri" surnames. If we had to take a Panj Pyara from Haryana today, they could all be from different castes yet have those surnames; so effectively, the surnames would be absolutely meaningless. Given that there were several Jatts and Dalits at the Gurus' time who had such surnames (Namdev, Ravidas, Bidhi Chand, Garib Das, etc), we can assume that the situation at that time was similar to the situation in Haryana today. Furthermore, there were many Khatris who didn't go by such surnames; Kaura Mal and Sucha Nand, to name a few. Such surnames may have meant something at some point in time (i.e., ancient times), but I think it's reasonable to see that it was not the case at the time of the Panj Pyare; which is what also makes sense with the Sikh historical texts that say all 5 of them came from different castes. The final question is regarding groups like the Kahar and whether or not they are legitimately Kshatriya or not. Kahar is a scheduled caste. The gotra signifies such. This means that by gotra alone, the Kahars are the descendants of other Kahars and decisively not from Brahmin, Kshatriya, or Vaishya lineages. Compare that to someone with the last name "Talwar" or "Bedi," whose last name is from a gotra that has a lineage to Kshatriyas. Some Kahars supposedly claim that at one point, they actually were Kshatriyas with a proper gotra denoting such and were just demoted to such a lineage for XYZ reasons and their gotra was subsequently changed. I mean, it's their family history, right? Why isn't it legitimate if they believe it? Because literally every group in India does this to some extent. Every single Hindu or Sikh (and some Muslim) Jatt clan claims to be descended from Rajputs at some point in time. They can't claim that they are rajputs because their lineage (gotra) clearly says otherwise, which is why they point to "ancient times" vaguely. We know this is false because Jatt groups came into India after vedic times as tribes from the West and were classified as shudras under the varna system; but you see the interpolated lineages nonetheless! Every Dalit group claims to be from Rajputs. Even some Gurjars, descended from outside tribes, claim that they are from Rajputs. If you go to Pakistan, it's the same shit flipped in the other direction; Dalits claim to be descendants of the Mughals, Jatts claim to be descendants of Turks/Pathans/Sayyids. It's funny in a way; let's take a Muslim Jatt family who claims they were descendants of the Sayyids (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad). One kid in the family converts to Sikhi, and two generations later the kid is claiming that they are from ancient Rajput blood. It gets even better when you notice how every single group that claims ancestry to Rajputs isn't just claiming ancestry to an average Rajput on the street; they claim to be the descendants of solely the top-dog Rajput rulers. This phenomenon has no real grounding in history and is nothing more than a meta-commentary on the unhealthy obsession with bloodlines within the Indian subcontinent (a culture that ironically, the Gurus tried to eliminate when making the Khalsa in the first place). The only "legitimate" Khatris are the people whose lineages are actually Khatri; which is sufficient proof to show how yes, only 1/5 Pyare were from Khatri background.
  7. @BhagatSingh, we aren't talking about spiritual or meditative practices here , we are discussing history which requires historical evidence. If you're suggesting Waheguru (yes, I got your "Narsingh Narayan" reference) has given you some historical insight on which you base your theories, kindly lay them out (which you amply have in this post, so thanks). If you're suggesting that Waheguru has exclusively enlightened you and only you on the truth of the matter, and there's no way someone like me who's not initiated will be able to understand, well, I'm afraid any discussion on my part will have to cease, just like it does when arguing with people who claim that they saw the lights of heaven beaconing to them (i.e., because it's literally impossible to have a discussion on that as it's based on one person's subjective experience. 1) I am highly skeptical of "Chhina" being given by the 6th Guru, never seen that in any other sources (sikhiwiki isn't exactly rigorous all the time) and it's a gotra so it doesn't make much sense why it would be given in the first place. In any case, there's not really any doubt that he was a Jatt, not a Khatri. 2) The example with Ravi Das has no real relevance to the one with Bidhi Chand anyway (comparing surname to Gotar), but even if we buy into this (I'm not seeing any historical reason to do so in the first place); it "could also be" that the Panj Pyare were part of the castes they are traditionally attributed to and they underwent a "surname change" as well. That is to say, your argument here is cyclical. 3) Many Jatts claim to be from Kshatriya descent, vis-a-vis claiming that their ancestors were Rajputs that were disgraced in some form and were thus kicked down to Shudar-Jatts as the Phulkian family likes to claim (nobody ever talks about Kshatriyas becoming Jatts/Jaats "because they started farming," it always has a negative sense attributed to it). Many Muslim Jatts similarly claim to be descendants of the Sayyids or Mughals. Both are probably just interpolated bloodlines that the groups use to up their sense of personal tribalism, and have very little basis in fact. Even then, such surnames are ephemeral and are not "passed down"/indicative of family history the way Gotre are. For example, the son of Shiv Ram was Kalyan Chand Das, whose own son had the surname "Dev." 4) Your point on "Khatri" and "Kshatriya" in Gurmukhi makes a lot of sense to me and resonates with what I've read. There's some oddities in the language given that there are groups like "Bhatti" who are Rajput (and thus Kshatriya) although they are not Khatri. I know most Punjabi Rajputs specify that part of their heritage and don't identify as Khatri, although that could just be their personal ego going on. 5) Regarding the Gurus' surnames, I don't exactly get what you're going on, but I'll break it up very simply like this. Sure, the Gurus' surnames may have been added later (I don't know that they were, I'll take your word on it) and they all happened to be Khatri/Kshatriya. However, we have plenty of evidence of a lot of other people with those surnames who weren't as such. You can try to explain this phenomenon away for each individual scenario as much as you like, but it doesn't change the fact that the gotar is still the only real thing that denotes caste. That's why even apne who claim Singh's purpose was to replace gotre are a bit off the mark, as the name serves a different purposes. Most Rajputs would have traditionally had Singh, but it's just an additional title; the real thing that denotes their bloodline and thus their right to claim that caste is their gotar. 6) Agree on the warrior archetype vs lineage distinction, it's what I was trying to get at myself. When early Sikhs referred to themselves as Kshatriyas in the battlefield, I believe it's for the purpose of invoking the archetype (as are many of the references to varna in Vedic times/texts). It's something the Brits had quite a bit of trouble with when trying to figure out India's caste system (hence why they never really did and the average Westerner's perception of the caste system is quite off). What I am saying is that the panj pyare almost certainly did NOT belong to warrior lineages, other than our Daya Sobti. They exemplified the warrior archetype, and were thus "Kshatriya" in that sense. But the majority of Sikhs who took Amrit were not from designated warrior lineages, because the whole concept of the Khalsa ridicules the importance of such things in the first place. 7) You really should have started with the points about the gotras in the first place instead of the Dev/Das/Ram/Chand conundrum, as those are really the meat and potatoes in terms of evidence to prove your point. -Kahar is a scheduled caste. Yes, they claim to be originally descended from Rajputs; but nearly every single group does (even my family name claims that we were once Rajputs from Amber), and the difference is in which groups' claims are considered legitimate, lineage-wise. -Regarding the Chibbers, I think things are a bit more complex. Dharam Das was a Jatt who became Dharam Singh on Vaisakhi 1699; this is a different individual than the Dharam Chand Chibber, a Brahmin who was also a close confident of the Guru (all the Chibbers were) and was the grandfather of Kesar Singh Chibber. Similarly, Sahib Chand the barber, who became Sahib Singh the Panj Pyare and died at the battle of Chamkaur, is a different individual from Sahib Chand Chibber who became Sahib Singh, who died in a battle with Hatai Khan. To be clear, I have no doubts the Chibbers were Brahmins. Their last name proves it. But the Panj Pyare Sahib+Dharam were different individuals from the Chibber Sahib+Dharam. Plus, if the two were one and the same, Kesar Singh Chibber would have certainly made note of the fact that 2/5 of the Panj Pyare were from his household (and given the general affluence of the family I don't think they would have easily gotten mixed up with a farmer+barber). On this point, I'm kinda interested as to what the gotras were of the three other Panj Pyare; I'm particularly surprised that Jatt historiographers would have forgotten the lineage of Jatt Dharam Das. 8) The Chand surname having its own history and his father+him having the Chand surname does not prove anything to your point. The point is that when these names are ephemeral and given on a per-generation basis, they don't signify anything in terms of lineage. If I'm a Chand and I am wondering whether to pick Dev, Das, Ram or Chand for my kid, there's a 1/4 chance of each option. Therefore, in the 25% of the time when it's the same name, it still doesn't mean anything. I don't know much about the Chand dynasty but it also could be that certain dynasties go by different names/the naming conventions are different at particular times. Just because the ruler of Punjab in the 19th century was from the "Singh dynasty" doesn't mean I'm an heir to the throne.
  8. Not to put you on the spot mate, but you often concoct these really esoteric theories contingent on a particular interpretation of one minor detail that goes against the bulk of what Sikh historical evidence has to say. I'm all for making creative theories, but there has to be a more rigorous standard for supporting them. For one, your notion about the surnames being exclusive to Kshatriyas is ridiculous. Bhai Bidhi *Chand* is just one example of a Jatt (Chinna) with those names. If you go to Haryana today you will see Jaats with the name "Chand" and "Das" all the time. The names may at one point have been linked to Kshatriyas, but as they are general surnames and not gotre specific to a bloodline, there was eventually a trickle-down effect where they became general names. All the Sikh literature specifies that the Panj pyare came from different castes, and there is absolutely no mention of them being Kshatriya (by varna). We actually know which caste was which varna--Khatris are Kshatriya, despite being involved in mercantile work, for example. The Panj Pyare was composed of a water carrier, a barber, a Jatt, a washerman, and an actual Khatri/Kshatriya. The way you actually determine if someone is Kshatriya is to look at their gotra. Daya Singh was a Sobti, which is a Khatri gotar. We know Khatris are Kshatriyas according to the varna system, and bam, we have our answer. This is how every single Sikh historical text attributes caste. Nobody thinks the Gurus were Khatris because they had Das and Dev, it's because we know their gotars (Bedi, Trehan, Bhalla, and Sodhi) were all Khatri. If you provided evidence that all the other four had gotre associated with groups that are Kshatriya (e.g. Khatris/Rajputs), you would have a strong case. You do not, and thus relying on Das/Chand/Ram is entirely disingenuous. Furthermore, you're mixing up the pre-1699 meaning of "Kshatriya" with the post-1699 meaning. Let's go back to Vedic times. There's good evidence that at one point, castes were fluid and based on the work you picked out for yourself. So if you were born in a Brahmin household or whatever and wanted to be a warrior, you would be deemed a "kshatriya" regardless of your bloodline. At some time, these became concentrated to specific bloodlines/clans, which were "locked in" to the Kshatriya varna. This means that someone like Mehta Kalu, despite doing shopkeeping work, was part of the "Kshatriya" varna because of their bloodline/clan. When Guru Gobind Singh gave everyone Amrit, he also re-invigorated the idea of "Kshatriya" with the Vedic sense of the word. Meaning that everyone in the Khalsa was automatically a "Kshatriya" not because of their family, but because of their occupation in the here-and-now as warriors. This is why the Khalsa adopted many warrior aspects from the Kshatriyas. You're deliberately conflating the two to make it seem like because proficient Sikh warriors referred to themselves as Kshatriyas in battlefield, they literally came from Kshatriya families, which is false; what the Guru did actually lampoons the traditional idea of caste further. From a more practical POV, yes early Sikhi was rife with Khatris and Brahmins. However, there were still quite a lot of people from other castes who followed the Gurus. We all know a certain Kalal raised by Guru Gobind Singh's family, there were high-profile Jatts especially starting to make headway under the 6th Guru's time (which is why he got a lot of flack from people who said he chose unsavory company), and so on. Most of the parties taking Amrit were not Khatris either, as they were from lower classes. In fact, there's a little historical tidbit about how some Khatris from Delhi refused Amrit because it interfered with their head-shaving ceremony and because it attracted a lot of lower-caste people, exemplified in the original Panj Pyare which had four such people.
  9. @chatanga1 Definitely make the trip if you can. It is harder if you live in India, if you live in the West it's fine. Nankana Sahib is absolutely magnificent, and the sangat is such a treat (living in accord with Guru's hukam much more than their neighbors to the East of the border).
  10. I visited Nankana Sahib and other itihaasic Gurdware in Pakistan a couple of months ago. The situation in Pak Punjab, contra to what sensationalist reports would have you believe, is overall pretty stable. The Pakistan government actually protects the historic Gurdwaras. The main obstacle for Pakistani Punjabi Sikhs is poverty, but that's a problem across Pak Punjab and I believe Sikhs are well off compared to others, particularly because of the strong community. Peshawar is now a hot spot because of the rise of Taliban types. A lot of Sikhs living in Nankana Sahib currently are originally from Peshawar and have fled the violence there to settle in mainland Punjab.
  11. On a tangent, misl sardars really loved hogs' flesh.
  12. @dalsingh101 and @Jatro, agreed on Bhangoo's unapologetic attitude. Funny story, the first time I read PPP was in early middle school/late elementary school, and I was very much schooled in the "modernist" apologetic group A form of thought. My impression of Shaheedan of old was that they were all like Yoda, spending all their time in meditation, always calm and saintly, and only reaching for the sword in pure self-defense. When I read PPP, I was legitimately disturbed (the violent imagery's a bit much for a kid, especially one raised in a coddled household), and I remember telling my father that I didn't "believe" the text was real and that it was all Brahmin interpolations. He just shook his head, and told me to approach it when I was a bit older. And now that I have, I love it! In a way, it's sort of comforting to know that Singh's back in the day weren't all esoteric god-men; they were relatable, and I think that makes their sacrifice and struggle more pertinent in a way. Reading Bhangoo also is a great gateway to Puratan texts, in that it helps contextualize a lot of the rigid rituals that didn't make sense if you had this sanitized idea of our history. For example, the rigidness of certain Rehitname makes a ton more sense when you recognize the rough-ass, martial, and hyper-masculine environment these guys lived in. Of course, I don't agree w/Bhangoo on *everything* (e.g., Khalsa identity, some Guru-period history), and I feel like he does sometimes elaborate for rhetorical effect, but his description of misl life and culture on balance is spot-on. In some cases though, it's all too relatable...When he gives the description of the Tat vs Bandai Khalsa argument, he mentions that the young Tat Khalsa wanted to just butcher the Bandai into extinction while it was the elders that calmed things down (shit eventually went down anyway). It's not too comforting of a history to read for someone who's a bit wary of our confrontational culture when it comes to discussion... Also on a sidenote, the story where the Tat wrestler pins down the Bandai wrestler and stuffs pork down his throat was intense as hell. Imagine that in contrast to much of modern Sikh culture, where so much as mentioning that "I don't believe Sikhi mandates that we have to be vegetarian," leads to a slew of nindaks and abuses.
  13. @amardeep My impression was that come Sarbat Khalsa, Dals are divided into misls. The Dal system at that system pretty much ceased to exist, as each individual misldar started gaining power and growing their own little kingdom. All the misls eventually "modernize" into the sort of aesthetic/royal values you see particularly expressed in Ranjit Singh's court; all except for the Shahidi misl, who holds to the traditions of the old, and eventually takes its height of power under Akali Phula Singh (who claims to be the titular head of the now-technically-defunct Budha Dal). I have heard Shahidi misl being associated with Nihangs, never before with Taksalis.
  14. @dalsingh101, maybe we approach this from different frameworks. The sort of pindu insularity we see in the panth today, I see as endemic to Jatts/uneducated stemming back to the Gurus' time. It's true that the Angrej preyed upon this, and thus the modern manifestations we see are usually directly linked to the British, but some of the cultural characteristics are core, I would think. Let's take the fascination some idiots have with racializing castes and trying to paint Jatts as being Europeans or whatever. That specific type of regressive mentality is obviously very much taken from the British, but this desire to prove a superior bloodline has gone back for a while. Muslim Jatts all claim to be Sayyids, and Sikh Jatt misldars frantically tried to link their family trees to the Rajputs once they acquiesced the smallest bit of political power and forgot where it *actually* came from (i.e., the Gurus' blessing). Regarding Bhangoo, I also contextualize him in a different way. For one, I think he was a bit brighter than the average bloke and was more aware of the nuances in these events in the first place. Secondly, his narrative to me actually shows that this tendency within our community to pick enemies/allies. Bhangoo isn't too harsh on Banda, but he still is very much against him, being part of the generation that saw Banda as someone who went against the Guru, created the Bandai, and purposefully disobeyed everyone for the sake of it. I personally view a lot of the destruction of Banda's legacy as stemming from the fact that he had some tension with Bhai Binod Singh, and everything sort of exploded after Gurdas Nangal and after the altercation with the Bandai Khalsa in particular. That's why we have writers from so many books that try to even deny that he took Amrit as an extra character assassination. One thing Bhangoo doesn't hold back on is describing the brutal and gruesome details that would make modern uncles and aunties gasp, but I too have always contexutalized that in a different way. In fact, it seems like many of the Khalistanis who lived in the 80s and 90s accepted some of the gruesome realities of the things they did, such as killing innocent Hindus, as necessary for paving their path to a Sikh nation-state. The only reason people have tried to hush it up in the modern day is because they're raised in a Western liberal context as opposed to a rough-and-tough pind one (note that I do not condone the killing of innocents, just explaining what others deemed acceptable or not). To explain more clearly, let's take the killing of Chamkila by let's say, XYZ Singh. Group A will say "oh no, Chamkila was killed by the Punjab Police and it was all just a scheme to scapegoat Bhai Sahib amar Shaheed XYZ Singh Ji Sahib." Group B will say "Yeah, Shaheed XYZ Singh fucked up Chamkila because he had it coming." Group C will say "yeah, it kind of sucks that XYZ Singh did that to Chamkila, and is exemplary of some bad things happening under the rug, but don't use it to malign the movement as a whole." My impression from reading PPP (and again, I'll admit I probably don't have as thorough of a reading of the text as you and others) is that Bhangoo would be more along the lines of group B, while you're saying he was in group C (I think we can both agree that the modern pruned narratives are from group A). I still prefer group B to group A because it's more intellectually honest, but it doesn't address the original concern regarding Jatt culture and insularity/anparhness/whatever else.
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