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  1. GHANI KHAN and his brother Nabi Khan, Pathan horse dealers of Machhivara in present day Ludhiana district of the Punjab, were admirers of Guru Gobind Singh whom they had visited at Anandpur and to whom they had sold many good animals. When they learnt that, travelling in a lonely state after the battle of Chamkaur (1705), the Guru had come to Machhivara, they at once turned out to meet him and offered their services. They provided him with a blue coloured dress and carried him out of Machhivara in a palanquin disguised as a Muslim divine. They declared him to be Uchch da Pir, the holy man of Uchch, an old seat of Muslim saints in south-west Punjab. They escorted him thus up to Hehrari, a village near Raikot in Ludhiana district, where a group of Sikhs relieved them. The Guru dismissed Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan with his blessings and a hukamnama meant to be a letter of commendation which was reverently preserved by their descendants. The family migrated to Pakistan in 1947. Their house in Machhivara is now a gurudwara known as Gurdwara Uchch da Pir. References : Sikh Encylopaedia 1. Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10. Patiala, 1968 2. Padam, Piara Singh, and Giani Garja Singh, eds. Guru klan Sakhian. Patiala, 1986 3. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The. Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909 Below: Zahoor Ahmed Khan, the descendant of Ghani Khan and Nabhi Khan who once assisted Guru Gobind Singh Ji in escaping the Mughal forces, here shows a hukamnana bestowed upon his ancestors by Guru Sahib Ji.
  2. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Keep Fateh. Hey everyone, I hope all is well. Well my question is obvious, what is the ath chandi charitar ustat barnan bani? The reason I ask is because well I use Sundar Gutka app to do paath, and sometimes I tend to look at the other Bani's that I don't recite (it's because I can't), this Bani on the app is very short so I would like to include it into my bhagti. I know this Bani is found in Dasam Satguru Granth Sahib Ji. However what I want to know is what is it for? What is Maharaj saying? Is there any maryada when reciting this Bani? I may in the future ask about the other bani's I see on the app so I please bare with me Thank you
  3. ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ I wanted to share a podcast I've started recording on the life of Guru Gobind Singh. The primary source is Prof. Sahib Singh's book: ਜੀਵਨ ਬ੍ਰਿਤਾਂਤ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ; though some Sakhis are taken from Giani Narain Singh's teeka of ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਤਾਪ ਸੂਰਜ ਗਰੰਥ. Main podcast page: http://www.buzzsprout.com/231778 iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/guru-gobind-singh-sodhi-rai/id1445196221?mt=2 Google play link: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Ixat253zs4mavdoc7bg6ot25wqu Any feedback is greatly appreciated! ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ
  4. “She is the most beautiful among women who loves the Guru and wears this jewel on her forehead.” – Guru Nanak Dev ji (Guru Granth Sahib, 54) Get Prints here - http://www.sikhiart.com/product/mai-bhago-ji-second-edition/ Artist's Notes Mai Bhago ji, Mother Bhago, sought after Guru Gobind Singh ji’s blessings to have a son. But while travelling to Guru ji, she was distressed to hear that a group of 40 Singhs had deserted him during the Battle of Anandpur. She rode to their gathering, made them realize their mistake and then set off along with them to find Guru Sahib, who was still being followed by the Mughals. They reached Khidrana, where a battle took place between the two armies. In this battle, those 40 Singhs were all slain, Guru Sahib forgave them and they came to be known as the Chali Muktay, the liberated ones, and Khidrana came to be known as Muktsar. Tragically, Mai Bhago ji’s husband and brothers were killed in this battle and so she dedicated her life to meditation and attained liberation. After attaining liberation, Mata ji became detached from the physical world and its customs and traditions. She started to live her life free of all attachment to objects and any desire to do anything. Kavi Santokh Singh ji explains that her spiritual state reached a point where she became even detached from basic things such as wearing of clothes. This is when Guru Gobind Singh ji intervened and suggested to Mata ji that in order to preserve the honour of her family, she should cover her head and wrap herself with a shawl. Mata ji obeyed Guru Sahib and continued to meditate on God until her last breath. The Daughter turned Wife turned Warrior turned Saint, Mai Bhago ji’s story is very inspirational to those who are on the Path of the Saints. For me Mai Bhago ji has been a constant inspiration to take action, to take charge, and make things happen. When I heard about the latter part of her life, she then also became an immense inspiration for me to meditate and to cultivate strong states of detachment.
  5. On the Caste Phenomenon in Armies This is not the case. The above is only a naive view of Indian caste phenomenon. You have overly simplified the reality into a sh*tty cartoon, and while the logic in that sh*tty cartoon holds up, it is a sh*tty logic that ignores the complexity of life. Unfortunately too many people make this same mistake that you are making. Too many people get caught up in this type of thinking and they make lofty theories and sometimes even alter our very history to suit their thinking. So what is really going on? Society A encourages the warrior castes to become warriors but if there are superb and willing warriors coming in from other castes, they also carve out their space, their niche in the army. Land-owners also bring in soldiers from non-warrior tribes - militia. All societies are actually a mixture of Society A and B Now saying this -> Society A encourages the warrior castes to become warriors - is a bad way of talking about what's happening because what is actually happening, is that the father gives his sword to his son and prepares him from an early age, the fathers and uncles and grandfathers all teach the boys in their family or they send the boys to other men who know their shit. Thus the boys in warrior tribes, not only have the genes for it but are also socialized early to be warriors. They also have solid mentors right from the start. So armies would be composed of the warrior tribes primarily, because the majority of good warriors come from those tribes. Warriors from other castes, who fathers were potters and carpenters, they do not have easy access to warrior mentors, teachers, and a warrior-like environment. They have easy access to the knowledge preserved by their forefathers, which is pottery or carpentry, or whatever. Survival is Guaranteed by Father At the end of the day, everyone is trying to survive. Everyone is trying to make enough to put a roof over the head and food on the table. So the sons of potters become potters because they have easy access to education in their father's field. Back then and even nowadays, it is much easier to access the fields that your parents are involved in. because they have that experience and can guide you, or know others who can mentor you in some way. So sons of potters and carpenters are not readily becoming warriors. Some are, perhaps because they are really passionate for it or cannot make a living in their own profession or are seeing more money in joining armies. So they become warriors because they either see money in that or some other sense of fulfillment. But we are not done yet. Now we have the recruiting process - References What is the last thing you put on your resume? References The recruiter is looking for warriors, good soldiers to fill the ranks. He is going to go with those boys who have strong references backing them up. Good reputation of their father, words from their mentors, and other veterans who know them. A boy form a warrior tribe is much likely to get recruitment in an army simply because he has more references. Other tribes are more likely to have to demonstrate their prowess. Jagirdar/Zamindar/Land-owner/Feudal System - Allowing for Non-Warrior Tribe members in Armies Back then certain men owned lots of land. And those who could not pay for it fully, could take a portion of the Zamindar's land for their own purpose, provided they would offer their services in the Zamindar's private army, ie they had to defend that land to own it. So many land-owners had their own armies known as Feudal Armies and they would have soldiers from various tribes, depending on who wants the land. These feudal armies would be called upon by the king to offer their service in a large battle. Much of the demand for land was coming from non-warrior professions. Farmers are a good example, they often need to be have a bit of warrior in them because they need to defend the land they acquire. Many warrior tribes also participated in this system, so that they could make a living off the land when there was nothing happening in terms of battles and looting. So they would live off the land and go to war when the opportunity presented itself. Many kshatriya were farming when they were "off-duty". The Non-Warriors from Warrior Tribes This is why during Guru Sahib's time, many warrior tribe members (including the panj pyarey, our Gurus and most of their Sikhs) were involved in other professions and they were not being warriors. They either did not get many good opportunities in armies, or their forefathers had been involved in other professions. There were many people from warriors tribes that became traders for various reasons. (e.g. Bhai Daya Singh ji) There were many people from warriors tribes that became farmers for various reasons. (e.g. Bhai Dharam Singhi ji) There were many people warrior tribes that became barbers for various reasons. (e.g. Bhai Sahib Singh ji) Etc Guru Gobind Singh ji (or one of his court poets depending on your belief) describes this phenomenon in Bachittar Natak of Dasam Granth. The situation was - ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥ दोहरा ॥ DOHRA ਬਿਪ੍ਰ ਕਰਤ ਭਏ ਸੂਦ੍ਰ ਬ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਛਤ੍ਰੀ ਬੈਸਨ ਕਰਮ ॥ बिप्र करत भए सूद्र ब्रिति छत्री बैसन करम ॥ The Brahmins acted like Shudras and Kshatriyas like Vaishyas. ਬੈਸ ਕਰਤ ਭਏ ਛਤ੍ਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸੂਦ੍ਰ ਸੁ ਦਿਜ ਕੋ ਧਰਮ ॥੨॥ बैस करत भए छत्रि ब्रिति सूद्र सु दिज को धरम ॥२॥ The Vaishyas started ruling like Kshatriyas and Shudras performed the priestly duties of Brahmins.2. So he sought after all the non-warriors from warrior clans. And he emphasized his own warrior clan as well in order to inspire his non-warrior kshatriya sikhs, who were involved in other proffessions, to fight and get back to their roots. He inspired them to chant these prayers about dying in a battlefield as the only thing that matters. ਛਤ੍ਰੀ ਕੋ ਪੂਤ ਹੌ ਬਾਮਨ ਕੋ ਨਹਿ ਕੈ ਤਪੁ ਆਵਤ ਹੈ ਜੁ ਕਰੋ ॥ ਅਰੁ ਅਉਰ ਜੰਜਾਰ ਜਿਤੋ ਗ੍ਰਹਿ ਕੋ ਤੁਹਿ ਤਿਆਗ ਕਹਾ ਚਿਤ ਤਾ ਮੈ ਧਰੋ ॥ छत्री को पूत हौ बामन को नहि कै तपु आवत है जु करो ॥ अरु अउर जंजार जितो ग्रहि को तुहि तिआग कहा चित ता मै धरो ॥ I am the son of a Kshatriya and not of a Brahmin who may instruct for performing deep meditations; how can I absorb myself in the embarrassments of the world by leaving you; ਅਬ ਰੀਝ ਕੈ ਦੇਹੁ ਵਹੈ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਜੋਊ ਹਉ ਬਿਨਤੀ ਕਰ ਜੋਰ ਕਰੋ ॥ ਜਬ ਆਉ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਬਨੈ ਅਤਿਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੋ ॥੨੪੮੯॥ अब रीझ कै देहु वहै हम कउ जोऊ हउ बिनती कर जोर करो ॥ जब आउ की अउध निदान बनै अतिही रन मै तब जूझ मरो ॥२४८९॥ Whatever request I am making with my folded hands, O Lord ! kindly be graceful and bestow this boon on me that when ever my end comes, then I may die fighting in the battlefield.2489. Coming back to it - All societies are actually a mixture of Society A and B So Society A's armies are actually a combination of warrior clan soldiers and and sons of warrior forefathers but also members from other tribes based on merit and members from other tribes coming in from Feudal armies. Note - Have yet to edit it so there maybe mistakes.
  6. Amardeep (now forum admin), brought this text to our attention a few years ago (nice one bro!), and I've been looking at it recently. It's a very interesting extract from the Chaupa Singh Singh rehatnama as translated and published by Hew McLeod. If it is an accurate account, it suggests that Guru ji didn't expect all Sikhs to fight in war, deeming some unsuitable. I've not compared the translation to the original Panjabi text as given in McLeod's book yet. I'm posting both for people's inspection. I love reading, but unfortunately I just can't do it for prolonged periods in electronic form (ebooks, kindle, ipads etc.), and can't afford to print out the whole thing either hence I haven't read the book fully yet. Translation: The full book is here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/251660050/The-Chaupa-Singh-Rahit-Nama-Translation-by-Hew-McLeod
  7. Ref: Gur Balam Sakhian by Bhai Vir Singh Bhul chuk maaf
  8. Ref: Gur Balam Sakhian by Bhai Vir Singh Bhul chuk maaf
  9. In the month of April, Sikh world celebrates Vaisakhi - the day when foundation of Khalsa was laid by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Here is a beautiful Infographic by Sikh Stage that shows the basics of Vaisakhi and its history. For more Sikh Infographics, follow Sikh Stage on facebook - facebook.com/SikhStage Click here to read - http://on.fb.me/1CK1u0V
  10. Pir Budhu Shah was a Muslim saint who lived at Sidhaura in Himachal Pradesh. His original name was Sayyid Badr-ud-din. He was born on June 13, 1641, in a rich Sayyid family of Sadhaura. From his childhood he was imbued with spiritualism and realization of God. As he took no interest in worldly affairs and spoke little, he was called Budhu or stupid. Being a Sayyid, Shah was added to his name. When he grew up to manhood, people considered him a man of God, and designated him Pir or a saint. The epithet of Budhu Shah stuck to him. He became Pir Budhu Shah. While Guru Gobind Rai was staying at Paonta, the Pir was touring the hilly areas. The Pir came to know that Guru Gobind Rai, the tenth embodiment in the line of Guru Nanak, was staying at Paonta. He went to see the Guru, in a palanquin, as it was the fashion among kings and emperors of those times to move with royal pomp and show, in palanquins, with attendants and servants. The audience with the Guru gave him the peace of mind which the study of religious books, prayers and meditation had not given. His mind was cleared of all doubts after exchange of views with the Guru. The difference of ‘That is yours and this is mine’ had disappeared from his mind. The Pir could see everything belongs to one God, when he left for Sidhaura. After the first meeting it became routine for Pir Budhu Shah to visit the Guru. He no more needed a palanquin to visit the Guru. He came to realise that the Guru’s fight was not for any kingdom but against the tyranny which was being perpetrated against the poor people. Religion was being used as an excuse to commit tyranny. He got five hundred Pathans (Natives of Afghanistan) who had been dismissed from Aurangzeb’s army for being Shi’ah Muslim, enrolled with the Guru. Before starting the War of Bhangani’, the hill states’ rajas tempted and enticed four hundred of these five hundred Pathans to join them. When Pir Budhu Shah came to know this disloyalty of the Pathans, he came to the Guru’s aid with his seven hundred followers, four sons and two brothers. Fierce battle was fought at Bhangani. Two of his sons attained martyrdom in the battle. The army of the hill rajas suffered heavy casualties in the war and their forces were routed. After the war was over, the Pir came to take leave from the Guru to go back to Sidhaura. The Guru asked the Pir, “You have rendered great help to me in this war. You may ask if you have any special wish. Your wish will be fulfilled from the ‘House of Nanak’.” At the time, the Guru was combing his hair. The Pir said to the Guru, “If you are so pleased with my services, be kind enough to grant me this comb with your hair entangled in it.” The Guru gave the comb with the hair to Pir Budhu Shan. Later on Maharaja Bharpur Singh of Nabha state obtained that comb and hair from the descendants of the Pir after paying the sum asked by them. When Aurangzeb came to know that the Pir had helped the Guru in the ‘War of Bhangani’ he sent Usman Khan with a force to Sidhaura. Usman Khan arrested the Pir and to punish the Pir for helping the Guru, he was martyred by burying alive. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur avenged the Pir Budhu Shah’s execution in 1709 by storming Sadhaura and punishing ‘Usman Khan. The ancestral house of Pir Budhu Shah in Sadhaura has since been converted into a Gurdwara named after Pir Buddhu Shah. Source: http://singhstation.net/2014/06/sacrifice-pir-budhu-shah-guru-gobind-singh-ji/
  11. The traditional view about the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib –‘The Global Vision of Guru Gobind Singh that is’. A rejoinder to IJ Singh: 'Sikhi: The Global Vision That Was' By Gurinder Singh Mann & Kamalroop Singh, UK, February 2012. ‘Sach kahon lun lehu sabhai, jin prem kio tin hi prabh paio’ ‘I proclaim the truth, listen all, those who are absorbed in love realise the Lord’ This tukh from the Sikh nitnem always hits hard, it resounds in my mind at the crescendo of the prayer. It always resonates deeply, and it seems to that the Guru intended this to be the case. He emphasizes that true love is the only way for mankind’s emancipation. Without love and passion in our prayer, simran and seva, it is just empty ritual. In the words of the Sufis, it is love that is the Divine wine that fills up the cup. This verse by Guru Gobind Singh daily reveals to us the ultimate truth, and is specifically in the third nitnem bani the Tav-Prasad Svaiye, which is a part of the longer Sri Akal Ustati. In the rest of the composition he reiterates that without bhavana or heartfelt devotion all religious rituals, however elaborate and splendid, are nothing but mere illusions. What is surprising is that a composition that shows the universal nature of Sikh Dharam is now subject to a constant barrage of doubts and criticisms. Read more at: http://www.sridasamgranth.com/#/dasam-granth-articles/4526835041 The traditional view about the Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.The Global Vision of Guru Gobind Singh that is.pdf
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