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Bhujangi Baba Gurbaksh Singh Ji Shaheed


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Taken from Jvala Singhs Blog, Jvala Singh, have you done the rest of the translation?

The following is a translation of the passage in Panth Prakash which tells the story of Nihung Bhujangi Baba Gurbaksh Singh Ji Shaheed.


Ek – Oankar Sri Vaheguroo Ji Ki Fateh

With your grace || May the timeless and deathless be my protector

The Sakhi of Nihang Bhujangi Gurbax Singh Ji Shaheed

Now listen to the story of Gurbax Singh Nihang beloved Sikhs of the Guru. At the auspicious place of Sri Harimandir Sahib, Baba Gurbax Singh fought with the Giljeh and attained great matrydom to stop the desecration that was taking place. This Bhujangi (Cobras) [title given to the highest accomplished warriors] was a Farladhari Nihang Singh and was a great brave fighter. Adoring Blue Bana [battle Dress/Uniform] Baba Gurbax Singh was adherent follower of the great code of conduct set down by the Satguru. Awaking in the morning he would perform his daily activities, bathing, tying his battle turban, reciting his daily liturgy prayers and consuming Shaheedi Degh [Protein drink made of almonds, sugar, water, and cannabis]. Baba Gurbax Singh then carries out his five abulations and brushes his teeth [Daatan]. When there is one and a quater pehars left of the night they tie their Dumalla and recite the Gurus sacred bani alongside.

Worshipping weapons of all steel, Baba Gurbax Singh salutes his sword in his hand. In his neck he wears a rosary of iron, even his comb, bracelets and small rosary is made out of iron. On his head he wears a Chakar [quoit] and Tora [steel mesh wire to bind the battle turban]. In his Kamarkasa he carries a iron Salotar [fighting stick], his armour and gauntlets are also made of iron. His Kashera is one and a quarter Gaj in length. On his body he wears chainmail made out of steel to protect his body from weapons. Following this daily routine, Baba Gurbax Singh Nihang would present himself before the Akaal Bunga. Those are called Nihangs who do not differentiate between pain and happiness, that person who does not feel pain and happiness, he who remains in an essence of stability, coloured in the love of Vaheguroo he remains the same. Due to the senses of the body pain and pleasure experienced, he who does not accept these senses is called a Bidhehi [the one without a body]

Baba Gurbax Singh was a great man of restraint, a celebate and a meditated upon the Naam, he was a practiser of charity, whoever came and asked from him, he provided for them. On the other side, he was an achieved warrior who would rush forward to fight against the enemy. If a Sirdar or a Misldaar came to Baba Gurbax Singh, he would remain intoxicated in the name of the Lord. Regardless of who came and went, he never showed no attachment or greed towards anyone. He required no support from anyone, this is how Nihang Singhs are. Whoever came and went, what was his need to give anyone salutations. Nihang Singhs remain intoxicated in the Gurus Shabad and have care for anyone else.

Wherever a battle was taking place in the name of Dharam, he would make his way there. There was no fear within his mind, and he never turned away from fighting. Wherever armies descended upon the Khalsa Panth, Baba Gurbax Singh would arrive there and open his body up to attack. Wherever there was a place of Dharam Yudh, a fight in the name of righteousness, Baba Gurbax Singh would take hold of the Khalsa Battle Standard and he himself would be on the frontline. Alongside the Battle Drums would be beating, and Baba Gurbax Singh would be the first to engage in war.That Bhai Mani Singh who was cut to pieces, from that same Bhai Mani Singh Baba Gurbax Singh had taken Amrit [initiation] from in Amritsar.

By the town of Khemkaran, there was a village named Leel in the Majha area where Baba Gurbax Singh came from. Wherever the encampments of the Khalsa Panth went, Baba Gurbax Singh went with them, wherever the Battle Standards of the Khalsa were dug, Baba Gurbax Singh would take his position there. Opposite Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar, Baba Gurbax Singh would sit infront of the Akaal Bunga. Having no regard for his life he would sit and chant "Akaal Akaal Sat Sri Akaal!". Bhai Rattan Singh says, Khalsa Ji listen to the great feats of Baba Gurbax Singh, in the way that he lost his head and destroyed the Turks. Many times the Turks had come and fought with him, but when he achieved martyrdom was the time when Ahmed Shah Abdali had come from Kabul with hoards of warriors.

There was a Cheif of the name Sooraj Mal Jaat, he had ransacked and conquered Agra. He had two fast horses named Jora and Bhora, which he had stolen from Agra. He had stolen all the treasury in Agra, and even the treasures which were hidden underground. The Moguls were kings in Agra, residing in fortresses and had gathered treasures which had no end. Najeeb Khan Ruhela was the ruler of Dehli of that time and Ahmed Shah Abdali would come to help him if required. Sooraj Mal Jaat had come had fought against Najeeb Khan Ruhela and somehow Sooraj Mal died within this battle. His son Jwahar Mal had collected an army together in order to avenge his fathers death. Jwahar Mal had enrolled Marathas, Raajputs, Europeans, and Jaats within his army and surrounded the whole of Dehli. Najeeb Khan Ruhela was within his fortress, on seeing the agitation from all four directions he came into much distress, coming out had become difficult for him. Naveej Khan send a message to Ahmed Shah Abdali stating that if he helped him against Jawahar Mal Jaat he would give him 300 Crore rupees. In order to him him, Ahmed Shah Abdali came with great force.

When they heard news of the coming of Ahmed Shah Abdali, and they heard that he had stepped foot in Punjab again, they realised that he must have been called by Najeeb Khan. Those Singhs who were Kings, for the sake of their families they tried to flee. Those who ran off to the mountains and thought they could hide, were robbed and plundered by the mountain thieves. Those who tried to hide within the banks of rivers and streams, were robbed also and their families were eaten by tigers. Those Singhs who fled to the Majha area with faith that they would be safe, were informed on and taken as prisoners by the Giljeh. There were also the Singhs who were once warriors, whenever they felt they would attack and kill the enemy, they had now become family men, wherever these Singhs went they came under great pain. Those Singhs who left for the jungles in Malva, they had mixed in with strangers.

The Vaheer [Army] lived within Amritsar, alongside Baba Gurbax Singh there were many other Singhs, when they heard of the plight of the Sikhs they contemplated within their mind. There was a great Divaan taking place and Rehras Sahib was being read. From the side of the Akaal Bunga, Baba Gurbax Singh looked towards the mountains, they set out a Gurmatta [Collective Decision] and decided that the Vaheer will set off towards the Malva area. There were many Bihangam Singhs who were told to stay at Sri Amritsar, but the rest were given an directive by Baba Gurbax Singh "Is there any such Singh in his Panth, who will fight and give his head, so that he may stand in the court of the Lord and make his plea, this plea will surely be heard by the Lord. He must be a Singh of great restraint, valour and meditates upon the name of Vaheguroo. He must be a follow of the Rehit [Code of Conduct] and must be a follower of truth and true speech. For the sake of protection, that person who dies for the sake of Sarbat Khalsa and gives his body in sacrifice, like Bhai Taru Singh, he will be the one who will bring destruction upon the Turks.

Hearing the words of Baba Gurbax Singh Nihang the Singhs responded thus "Is there any such Singh as worthy as yourself who has achieved such profit from your actions and austerities, there is no one like yourself within the Panth, no such power is within anyone else that they are able to leave their body and reach the abode of the Lord to make such a plea" Hearing the words of the fellow Singhs, Baba Gurbax Singh joined his hands together, lowered his head and accepted their words. Joining his hands together, Baba Gurbax Singh tied a Gani [string] around their wrist from the Singhs, that he was going to attain martyrdom and leaving to wed death.

The Nihang Singh [baba Gurbax Singh] then uttered to the Khalsa "is there such a Singh in the Panth who is a beloved of the Guru, who will join me and accompany me to the true abode of the Lord. When someone leaves for his wedding, he has alongside him his Sarbala [best Man]." Hearing the words of Baba Gurbax Singh some Singhs stood up and approached him, they paid their salutations and touched his feet. The Singhs then spoke "We accept your words and seek your permission, we are ready to be your Sarbalas." Seeing this, the other Singhs got up and were also ready to join them.

The Nihang Singh then said to the Singhs "Those who go to marry death, they will receive the fruits of their sacrifice in their next life, we will lose our heads and within Dharam Yudh [War of Righteousness ] we will become married. When we attain martyrdom, the Satguru will bestow great kingdoms upon us, those Singhs who fight alongside us and destroy the enemy will become greater then Kings and rule the world. Within Chandi Astotar, the Satguru has written themselves that the Khanda, Tegha, and Weapon form of the Lord, that person who facing the enemy in battle and sacrifices his head to you, is reborn as a King and attains power of Kingship. In the way that the True Guru has spoken, in that it will be true." In this way Baba Gurbax Singh spoke to the Khalsa

By this time, Ahmed Shah Abdali had reached Lahore, and he wished to make his way towards Dehli. He had heard that there was a great gathering of Khalsa in Amritsar, he made his mind up that on the way to Dehli he will go to Amritsar and kill many Singhs within his attack. Hearing the news that Ahmed Shah Abdali was coming, the ones with no courage, and weak hearts had fled in fear. Baba Gurbax Singh sent them off himself saying "Those who wish to leave now may leave, as after this point I will not let anyone leave" Those Bhujangi Jangi Yodheh Farlewale Nihang Singhs [Experienced Warriors who carried the battle standard of the Khalsa upon their Turbans] stood alongside the Guru. To attain martyrdom alongside Baba Gurbax Singh, there was only a few other Singhs left. In the same way wedding guests wear new clothes, the Singhs became ready, some were wearing Blue Bana [battle Uniform], some White and some Orange, they all came together and gathered infront of the Akaal Bunga. The Singhs drank Shaheedi Degh and made themselves ready for battle. There were some Singhs who took opium, taking their doses they also became ready.

Hearing that Ahmed Shah Abdali was coming, in anticipation they stood on the balls of their feet to look into the distance. For this reason they were about to attain martyrdom, the whole world will be shown that they have destroyed Ahmed Shah Abdali. Going into the abode of the Lord they will stop his invasion of Hindustan. Putting their weapons on they prepared their battle dress. Tying on their weapons into their Kamarkaseh [Weapons belts] the Singhs became ready. Focussing on the feet of Guru Nanak, they began reading scriptures out of the Guru Granth Sahib

To be continued...

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Bhujangi means snake. In Dasam Bani we have Chhands called Bhujang, it relates to the style of recitation in poetry terms - namely a waved formation, like the pattern a snake creates when it moves - this would be demonstratd by literally reciting the bani in no more than 2 surs or 2 saptaks.

I would expect the martial aspect would have a similar connotation i.e. a highly skilled movement whereby the specialist fighter can weave in and out of enemy lines (in sort of semi-circles), thereby creating confusion in the ranks. I see Nihang Nidar Singh sometimes doing this in his demos with multiple opponents.

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An interesting aspect of the above text above (one of many) is the way shaheeds are represented as being able to make direct petitions in God's darbar after their sacrifice. Rattan Bhangu seems to show Singh shaheeds as doing so to bring about the end of Mogul rule.

"Is there any such Singh in his Panth, who will fight and give his head, so that he may stand in the court of the Lord and make his plea, this plea will surely be heard by the Lord. He must be a Singh of great restraint, valour and meditates upon the name of Vaheguroo. He must be a follow of the Rehit [Code of Conduct] and must be a follower of truth and true speech. For the sake of protection, that person who dies for the sake of Sarbat Khalsa and gives his body in sacrifice, like Bhai Taru Singh, he will be the one who will bring destruction upon the Turks."

Can we not see the original Panjabi text?

Edited by dalsingh101
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this would be demonstratd by literally reciting the bani in no more than 2 surs or 2 saptaks.

Could you elaborate on this for a novice who has no knowledge of musical compositions? A further explanation of surs and saptaks would be required for this.

I notice this 'bhujang prayaat chand" is in Jaap Sahib quite extensively, do you understand the significance of this?

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Sur = note, Saptak = scale. One could sing Bhujang Chhands on 2 select notes within a scale or the same note in 2 different scales. i.e. one verse in medium note, next in high note and continue.. if you plot it on a graph, you will see a snake like motion i.e. horizontal zig zags (semi circles to be more precise). Its a sttle fo poetry recitation, simple but extremly powerful - and able to maintain deep focus.

For obvious reasons, the chhands are used in bir ras bani.

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Thank you. As you seem to be knowledgeable about this stuff, can you shine some light on the use of other chands in Jaap Sahib i.e. rual, chaachree, charpat etc.

What do these words mean and what significance (if any) do they hold other than tempo?

Edited by dalsingh101
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