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Diwali Greetings


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Introduction to Divali

Guru HAR GOBIND PATSHAH the 6th master was born on June 14, 1595 to father Sri Guru Arjan Dev Patshah and mother Matta Ganga Ji, in the village Vadhali. He received his religious education from Baba Budha Ji. Guru Sahib had five sons (Baba Gurditta Ji, Suraj Mal, Aani Rai, Atal Rai, and Guru Teg Bahadhur Ji) and one daughter (Bhiro).

On May 25 1606 while ascended to Guru Gadhi, Guru Har Gobind Patshah changed the previous tradition of wearing a "Saeli toppi" and replaced it with wearing the "Kalgi". At the same time, he started the tradition of wearing two swords of "Miri Piri" symbolizing politics and spiritualism. In the year 1608, he constructed the Akal Takhat (Throne of the Timeless God) in front of Sri Harmindar Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar.

Observing the prevalent conditions of the nation at that time, Guru Sahib started organising an Army, teaching self-protection, held courts to solve problems, raised the Sikh National Flag and conducted hunting missions along side religious preaching and an intense spiritual lifestyle. Guru ji’s activities began to filter through to the Mugal Emperor, Jahangir in Delhi. He ignorantly saw danger in the new developments and works of the Guru. And ordered his arrest and charged imprisonment for twelve years in the Fort of Gwalior where he had also unjustly kept 52 Hindu Rulers and Princes of various territories in Mugal India.

During the period of confinement of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib, Gwalior became a place of pilgrimage for thousands of faithful Sikhs. Due to visiting restrictions the crowds stayed outside with complete love and devotion for the True Guru. They longed for the day when Guru ji would be released. Mean while pressures were mounting on Jahangir both from the population and his own advisors who felt Guru Ji was unjustly imprisoned.

Infact, it began to emerge that Guru Ji was a victim of a conspiracy between some of the Emperors advisors. Having realised his mistake Jahangir quickly ordered the release of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. In spite of this the Guru refused to leave unless all the captive rulers and princes were also set free.

Emperor Jahangir was taken back by Guru Ji’s refusal for freedom and desperately tried to convince him to leave the Fort. At last Jahangir greed to free as many captives as who could hold on to the Guru chola (cloak). There was sudden disappointment on the faces of the downtrodden captive rulers and princes, for they knew that only a few would be released. Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji saw their sad faces and smiled and assured them with sweet comforting words that he would not leave any body behind.

After two long years of imprisonment the day had finally arrived. Crowds of thousands of Sikhs gathered around the Fort of Gwalior. The master, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji came out amazingly followed by all 52 imprisoned rulers each holding a tassle of Guru Ji’s chola which he had had specially made.

For this noble and humanitarian act, the Guru was hailed as Bandi Chhor - the liberator. Even to this day in the Fort of Gwalior there is a shrine with an inscription Bandi Chhor Baba. The news of Guru Ji's release spread like wild fire all over Northern India. Guru Ji set off to Amritsar, a 2 week journey. On the way, people sprinkled water on the dusty roads, started langars, welcomed the Guru and placed lamps in and on top of their houses at night.

Finally Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji reached Amritsar, Harimander Sahib. Countless Sikhs thronged to see him on the night of his arrival, they decorated the whole town and placed lamps in the streets, houses and shops. Sweets were distributed between families, friends and strangers. Huge fireworks displays lit up the night in Amritsar. Bhai Buddha Ji, the Head Granthi of Harimander Sahib organised DEEPMALA the illumination of Sri Harimander Sahib in honour of the master Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s successful return.

DEEPMALA (Diwali) is a time for spiritual joy, prayers, soul searching and making decisions for the advancement of the Sikh Nation and its future. On this day step back from today’s fast moving world and focus your mind and imagine Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji surrounded by thousands of humble Sikhs with tears of joy in their eyes upon seeing the master after two years. Think of the greatness of the Guru who refused to let 52 people be left waste in the jail, and secured their releases.

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  • 2 years later...


Dhan Dhan Satiguru Hargobind Sahib Ji

Kavi Santhok Singh writes about Bandi Chor in his fouth chapter of Suraj Prakash Granth (written early to mid 1800s). Kavi Ji goes through the saakhi and concludes at the end:

ਧੰਨਯ ਧੰਨਯ ਗੁਰ ਬਡਿ ਉਪਕਾਰੀ । ਕਯੋਂ ਨ ਗਹੈਂ ਨਰ ਸ਼ਰਨਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ ।

ਜੀਵਤਿ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਸਦਾ ਰਖਵਾਰੇ । ਦੇਤਿ ਅਨੰਦ ਕਸ਼ਟ ਨਿਰਵਾਰੇ । ੨੯ ।

Everyone cried out, "Blessed, blessed, is the Guru, he is the helper of all. Why do people not take hold of your protection? You are the protector of the living and the dead, you eradicate pain and bring bliss to everyone!"

ਆਵਤਿ ਦੇਖਨਿ ਨਰ ਗਨ ਦੌਰਿ । ਸਨੇ ਸਨੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਿਕਸੇ ਪੌਰਿ ।

ਹਾਥ ਬੰਦਿ ਸਭਿ ਬੰਦਨ ਠਾਨਿ । ਮਾਨਵ ਗੁਨਹਿਂ ਸੁ ਮਨ ਅਨੁਮਾਨ । ੩੦ ।

People seeing from far would gather around, slowly slowly the Guru walked out of the prison door. Grasping their hands together the people bowed down to the Guru.


ਸੰਕਟ ਨਰਕ ਕੋ ਬਿਕਟ ਜੇ ਬ੍ਰਿਲਾਪ ਜੈਸੇ, ਨਿਕਸੇ ਨਿਸੰਗ ਸੰਗ ਜਨਕ ਨਰਿੰਦ ਕੇ ।

Just like in the plains of hell where souls were crying out, by joining to Raja Janak they were able to escape without hestitation.

ਕੈਧੋਂ ਉਡ ਬ੍ਰਿੰਦ ਕਰਿ ੳਜ ਕੋ ਬਿਲੰਦ ਰਾਹੁ ਰੋਕੇ ਛੁਟਿ ਚਲੇ ਸਾਥ ਪੂਰਨ ਸੁ ਚੰਦ ਕੇ ।

Similar to the way Rahu, through his power, stopped the stars and swallowed the moon,

ਕੈਧੋਂ ਘੇਰਿ ਆਨੀਂ ਨਾਰਿ ਸੁਦੰਰ ਮਹਾਂਨੀ, ਦੇਂਤ ਹਾਂਨੀ ਕਰਿ ਲੀਨਿ, ਪਾਛੇ ਗਮਨੀ ਗੁਬਿੰਦ ਕੇ ।

Or how Krishna, after killing demons, rescued and brought along various beautiful women who followed behind him.

ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਮਨਿੰਦ ਆਜ ਸ਼ੋਭਤਿ ਮੁਕੰਦ ਮਹਾਂ ਨਿਕਸੇ ਨਰਿੰਦ ਸੰਗ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੇ । ੩੧ ।

Just like in those ways, the Giver of Liberation, Guru Hargobind Sahib gloriously freed all the Kings from prison.

Kavi Ji then ends the katha with this line:

ਸਭਿ ਸਿੱਖ ਆਦਿ ਜੇਠੇ ਅਨੰਦ । ਗਮਨੇ ਸੁ ਲਾਰਿ ਕੁਲ ਸੋਢਿ ਚੰਦ ।

The Sikhs, and Jeta's, went along with Guru Hargobind Sahib, and were in total bliss as they traveled together (from the jail Guru Sahib was imprisoned in)

ਧਰਿ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਸ਼ੁਭਤਿ ਜਿਮ ਮਹਿਦ ਸਿੰਘ । ਬਲਿਹਾਰ ਜਾਤਿ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਸਿੰਘ । ੪੬ ।

Guru Hargobind Sahib, adorned with weapons, looked glorious as if he was a great Lion. Kavi Santhok Singh is a sacrifice to the Guru.


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ਦੀਵਾਲੀ ਦੀ ਰਾਤਿ ਦੀਵੇ ਬਾਲੀਅਨਿ ।

Lamps are lighted in the night of divali festival;

ਤਾਰੇ ਜਾਤਿ ਸਨਾਤਿ ਅੰਬਰਿ ਭਾਲੀਅਨਿ ।

Stars of different variety appear in the sky;

ਫੁਲਾਂ ਦੀ ਬਾਗਾਤਿ ਚੁਣਿ ਚੁਣਿ ਚਾਲੀਅਨਿ ।

In the gardens the flowers are there which are selectively plucked;

ਤੀਰਥਿ ਜਾਤੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਲੈਣ ਨਿਹਾਲੀਅਨਿ ।

The pilgrims going to pilgrimage centres are also seen.

ਹਰਿ ਚੰਦਉਰੀ ਝਾਤਿ ਵਸਾਇ ਉਚਾਲੀਅਨਿ ।

The imaginary habitats have been seen coming into being and vanishing.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੁਖ ਫਲ ਦਾਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮ੍ਹਾਲੀਅਨਿ ॥੬॥

All these are momentary, but the gurmukhs with the help of the Word nourish the gift of the pleasure fruit.

Bhai Gurdas Ji tells Gurmukhs to celebrate Divali every day, every moment... by lighting the mun through enshrining the word.

Jis Maha Bali Guru Hargobind Sahib ne pvanja Hindu Raajiyan nu sansaari azaadi dvay, kya apne pyare Gurmukh Sikhan laye joonan toh azaadi nahi dvaa sak deh...


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The real message for Sikhs should be to serve without any selfishness to human beings as Guru Hargobind Sahib showed on this day. Unfortunately, new generation of Sikhs is leaning more towards putting emphasis on celebrating "Bandhi-Shor" as the day of Sikhs and significance of serving others without any bias/partiality is getting lost. I believe that all Sikhs should recall on this day the great Guru's great act of selfless service to humankind and make vow to follow the same path. Dhan Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji...

Edited by bhooliya
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  • 8 years later...

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