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The Guru's Beloved Army


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GurFateh ! To all sangatan on SA !

I have been sent this beautiful picture of Akali Nihangs

- I have no details of where it's from or it's date - But it is Wonderful !

It shows Akalis playing chess , Combing their Kesh and doing 'ragra'.

I am particularly struck by the Chess - as this debunks the myth that all Nihangs were and are 'drug addled simpletons' - a myth which is quite prevalent in some circles.

The picture brings to mind the Glorious shabad of Guru Arjan Sahib

m5ab5.jpg

*from Aadi Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji - Steek - (Fareedkot Wala Teeka) Jild 1 pp 1107 - Bhasha Vibhag Patiala 4th ed 1992

STTM translation

Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Gujri on Pannaa 522

Fifth Mehla:

naanak sathigur bhaettiai pooree hovai jugath ||

O Nanak, meeting the True Guru, one comes to know the Perfect Way.

hasa(n)dhiaa khaela(n)dhiaa paina(n)dhiaa khaava(n)dhiaa vichae hovai mukath ||2||

While laughing, playing, dressing and eating, he is liberated. ||2||

I suppose some may have a few minor issues with the picture - such as the the dastar being on the floor when combing the kesh - maryada states that dastar should be tied sitting in 'Asan' , 'kacchera' should be covered and dastar should not touch 'kacchera' or the ground . Another issue could be the performing of 'Ragra' bareheaded - However I don't think these detract the beauty of the image .

Also are they playing chess? - I thought it could be 'Chaopar' as mentioned in Gurbani and famously played in the MahaBharat - but I believe that is played on a cross type 'board' with dice - so I have stuck with Chess.

Here is the picture - Enjoy !

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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