Tradition of Sikh Gurus Class 8 History Chapter 2 Notes – Our Bharat III HBSE Solution

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HBSE Class 8 History Chapter 2 Tradition of Sikh Gurus notes for Haryana Board of Our Bharat III Book Solution.

Tradition of Sikh Gurus Class 8 History Chapter 2 Notes


Ten Sikh Gurus have contributed to the development of Sikhism. The first Guru was Nanak Dev and the tenth Guru was Gobind Singh. According to historian Cunningham, “Guru Nanak introduced the true principles of the reformation and laid the foundation of religion on such a broad basis that Guru Gobind Singh instilled in his countrymen a sense of a new nationality. He gave such a practical form to the best principles that in his religion, all sections of society have equal dignity”. The name of Shri Guru Nanak Dev is paramount among the saints of the Bhakti movement in Punjab. His disciples are known as Sikhs. With the influence of Guru Nanak, the people of Punjab as well as the country got a new direction. He established a new society based on equality, fraternity, honesty and earning a living through creative manual labour. From the very beginning, Nanak’s message was similar to that of Kabir, Dadu, Chaitanya and other sages, however it was fundamentally different at the same time. In the course of time, the ideology of Guru Nanak took the form of Sikhism. The second Guru Angad Dev adopted a different script called Gurmukhi. The Fifth Guru Arjun Dev created the holy “Adi Granth” also known as “Guru Granth Sahib” for the Sikhs. In this book, along with the compositions of the Gurus, the compositions of many saint poets were also added. The Sixth Guru Hargobind gave a form of military to the Sikhs. The Tenth Guru Gobind Singh gave a different identity to Sikhism by establishing the “Khalsa” sect. He ended the Sikh Guru tradition and declared the holy book “Guru Granth Sahib” as the Guru for the Sikhs. Sikhism has a history of valour and sacrifices.

The names of the ten Gurus of Sikhism are chronologically listed as follows:

  1. shri Guru Nanak Dev     (1469-1539 AD )
  2. Sri Guru Angad Dev       (1539-1552 AD )
  3. Shri Guru Amardas        (1552-1574 AD )
  4. Shri Guru Ramdas          ( 1574-1581 AD )
  5. Sri Guru Arjun Dev         (1581-1606 AD )
  6. Sri Guru Hargobind        (1606-1644 AD )
  7. Sri Guru Har Rai              (1644-1661 AD )
  8. Sri Guru Harkishan          (1661-1664 AD )
  9. Sri Guru Teghbahadur     (1664-1675 AD )
  10. Sri Guru Gobind Singh     (1675-1708 AD )

1. Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539 AD): Guru Nanak was born in 1469 AD at a place called Talwandi in Punjab. His father’s name was Mahta Kalu Chand and his mother’s name was Tripta. Talwandi village now known as ‘Nankana Sahib’ is now situated in Pakistan. Nanak was born on the full moon day of Kartik month. This child grew up to become famous as a ‘spiritual preacher,’ whom we know today as Guru Nanak Dev. When Nanak was seven years old, he was sent to the school of Pandit Gopaldas for education. He had been interested in spirituality since childhood. Once his father sent him to do business by paying twenty rupees, so he spent all his money in feeding some hungry sadhus on the way. On being asked by the father, he said that he had done the real deal.

Guru Nanak was married to Sulakhni, who was from Batala. They had two sons- Shrichand and Lakhmidas. His sister Nanaki, who was five years older than him, lived in Sultanpur with her husband Jairam. This was the time when the social order had been torn apart by foreign invasions. Many Hindus were converted to Islam by the power of the sword, while some became Muslims to escape Jazia tax. Literature, arts and social structure were getting destroyed due to lack of royal patronage in north India. These pathetic conditions affected a sensitive man like Nanak. Seeing the religion in peril, he started preaching and sensitizing the society.

Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev: Guru Nanak was a prominent saint of the medieval Indian Bhakti movement. Guru Nanak had visited India, Central Asia and Arab countries. Guru Nanak did not consider domestic life as an obstacle in the path of devotion. He spent most of his time in spiritual practice and preaching. Guru Nanak brought reforms to contemporary society. His teachings were practical and for social welfare. The essence of his teachings was to chant the name, share what you have, and eat together. He said that there is no Hindu nor any Muslim in the world, but all are the children of the only supreme power, that is God, who is infinite, omnipotent, true, doer, fearless, nirguna and unborn. His teaching was that we should stay away from caste discrimination and live together with love.

Bala and Mardana were the two main companions of Guru Nanak Dev. Mardana was ten years older than Guru Nanak Dev. He accompanied Guru Nanak during his visit to Asia. Mardana used to play Rabab. He supported Guruji throughout his life. He died in 1534 AD. When Babur invaded India and destroyed temples and forcibly converted people to Islam, Nanak saw these events with his own eyes. Its sad interpretation is inscribed in the Guru Granth Sahib under the name ‘Baburwani’. In 1522 AD, he settled in Kartarpur and stayed there till his last time. Here he composed works like “Vaar-Malhar”, “Vaar-Manjh”, “Vaar-Asa”, “Japuji”, “Onkar”, “Patti” and “Barah-maha”. He said that God is all-pervasive, that did not match the ideologies which claimed God to be in the particular direction or in the particular place.

2. Guru Angad Dev (1539-1552 AD): Guru Nanak Dev made Guru Angad Dev his successor. He compiled the creations of Guru Nanak Dev to keep it safe for the generations to come. This was the period when the poor people of society tried to convert others faith in greed for food. For this purpose, the Muslim rulers used to give large land grants to Sufis. Free food was arranged for the people here. In such a situation, some people of the society used to become Muslims in the temptation of food, which was not good for the society. Then, Guru Angad Dev gave a more extensive form to the langar system established by Guru Nanak Dev. His wife used to look after this system herself.

Due to the increasing influence of the Mughals in Punjab, the tradition of the Akharas was severed and Guru Angad Dev restored it and established an arena in Khadur Sahib where his disciples used to practice. Another important work that Guru Angad did was the establishment of Goindwal. In 1546 AD, he sent his trusted disciple Bhai Amardas to establish a new village on the banks of the river Beas. The Guru also appointed Bhai Amardas as his successor. A businessman named Goenda believed that this place was situated on the route connecting Delhi and Lahore, so it would be a major city in the coming times. This place is named Goindwal after his name. Guru Angad Dev died on March 29, 1552 AD.

3. Guru Amardas (1552-1574 AD): When Guru Amardas ascended the throne in 1552 AD, he was 73 years old at that time. According to Indian tradition, Guru Angad Dev laid the foundation of a stepwell in Goindwal which was completed by Guru Amardas in 1552 AD. It has 84 staircases and Guru Amardas announced that whoever takes a bath on the eighty-four staircase will be freed from the bondage of birth and death of 84 lakh yonis.

He further established the idea of ‘Pahale Pangat Phir Sangat,’ giving a more elaborate form of langar. According to this tradition, everyone had to be in langar before the Guru’s darshan. Another task that proves his foresight is the establishment of the practice of manji. He divided the surrounding area into 22 parts and appointed 22 of his trusted disciples to spread the religion. These disciples used to sit on the manji (cot) and preach the messages of the Gurus to the people, hence this practise is called the manji-tradition.

He also made another notable contribution in terms of social reform. At that time, due to Islamic influence, women either wore burqas or lived in veil. Guru Amardas said that this practice is not only full of discrimination for women, but also physical, mental and spiritual development of women is inhibited due to this. This is the reason that in their langar system it was ordered that no woman would accept the veil. He worked for the upliftment of Hindu society and religion till the age of 95 and before his death in 1574 AD, he appointed his brother Jetha as his successor. He is today known as the fourth Guru Ramdas.

Do you know? The God is mentioned in the Guru Granth Saheb as Vaheguru as well as Hari and Ram etc..

4. Guru Ramdas (1574-1581 AD): The fourth Guru remained the head of Sikhism for seven years from 1574 AD to 1581 AD. Amritsar city was established during his time. The Mughal king Akbar gave the land of a few villages to Sukumari Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amardas. Guruji gave this land to Ramdas in the assembly of his disciples and started the work of digging two ponds named Santoksar and Amritsar there. After becoming Guru, Guru Ramdas started living there. The city required a lot of money. Guru Ramdas sent his disciples to collect money for this purpose. These disciples are called Masand. Gradually people started settling around Amritsar lake and today we know it as a famous city. After Guru Ramdas selected. his younger son, Guru Arjun Dev, as his successor, the throne began to be given in a paternal manner.

5. Guru Arjun Dev (1581-1606 AD): Guru Arjun Dev gave impetus to the construction of Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar at a rapid pace. The construction of the temple was completed by 1600 AD. Apart from this, Guru Arjun Dev also established Tarn Taran in 1590 AD between the Ravi and Beas rivers. Here a lake also existed. The name of Tarn Taran signifies that whoever takes a bath in this lake swims across the ocean of love. In 1593 AD, Guruji established another city near Jalandhar, named Kartarpur meaning the City of God. A well was also dug here, which Guruji named Gangasagar. In 1595 AD, a son was born to Guruji, whose name was Hargobind, and being blessed with the gift of son, he established another city on the banks of the river Beas, named Hargobindpur. A separate area for leprosy patients was set up in Tarn Taran where free food, clothes and medicine were arranged for them. Money was needed to build all these cities and to run langars at all places, for which Guru Arjun Dev reorganised the Masand-system. He asked the disciples to withdraw ten percent of their income for Guru or for religious works. This part is called the Dasaundh system. The disciples accepted it with pleasure and the money received from it further enhanced the defence of religion and the prestige of Guruji.

Another important work that Guru Arjun Dev did was the compilation of ‘Adi Granth. He compiled all the teachings of all the previous Gurus. He also incorporated the teachings of saints like Kabir, Ravidas, Farid etc. He also advised his disciples to avoid all kinds of intoxication.

This was the time when Akbar ruled Delhi, and he was less fanatical than the earlier Muslim kings. In his period, non-Muslims had the freedom to live according to their religion. The Sufis, Imams and Ulema of that time did not like it and they were all in the hope of ending this rule and pressuring all non-Muslims to convert to Islam. Their wish was fulfilled when Akbar died in 1605 AD and his son Jahangir became emperor. His eldest son Khusro Mirza was around nineteen years old at that time and thought that he was a favourite of his grandfather Akbar, so he should become emperor. He along with his comrades left Agra to revolt against Jahangir and organised his army and headed towards Lahore. On the way, when he reached Tarn Taran, he met Guru Arjun Dev and reached Lahore to take his authority. Jahangir reached Lahore with his large army and took his son and his companions to Delhi. All his comrades were killed in front of Khusro after being subjected to terrible torture and Jahangir blinded his son. Jahangir was a staunch Muslim, so he did not want to allow any other religion, creed or sect to flourish apart from Islam. He imprisoned Guruji and took Delhi and imposed a heavy financial penalty for the of insulting him. In 1606 AD, Guruji was martyred after unbearable physical torture.

6. Guru Hargobind (1606-1644 AD): After the brutal killing of Guru Arjun Dev, his only son Hargobind became Guru, but in 1609 AD, when Jahangir found that the activities of the Sikhs had increased, he imprisoned Guruji in the Gawalior fort for the crime of not paying the fine imposed on the Sikhs. He was held captive for nearly two years and was freed in 1611 AD. After that, Guruji returned to Punjab and he immediately started organising the Sikhs.

All the Gurus till now have placed more emphasis on spiritual knowledge, like the Indian guru-disciple tradition. Guru Hargobind instilled the qualities of confidence and fearlessness among his fearful disciples of that time. He gave spiritual and practical education to his disciples by constructing the Akal Takht. At that time, using the language prevalent in the region of Punjab, he named the combination of these two aspects as Miri-Piri. He held two swords that symbolised these two aspects. His main objective in transforming the Sikhs into warriors was to fight the Mughals.

He wore a crest on his head and instructed his friends to collect donations of horses and weapons instead of money. Soon a large number of horses and weapons were collected. He also appointed fifty-two bodyguards for himself. On his call, people from all over Punjab sent their children to serve the Guru so that religion could be protected. Guruji divided the five hundred youths into five batches of a hundred. His Jathedars were Vidhichand, Langah, Pirana, Jetha and Paira. He formed a special musical troupe which sang the songs of valour to the tune of dholak (drum) with torches in hand, having a walk around Harmandir at night.

Guruji used Harmandir Sahib to give spiritual education. He built the Akal Takht on the west side in front of Harmandir Sahib. In this, he built a 12 foot high platform whose glory was like the throne of an emperor. On this, he used to give political education and impart training in weapons and arms to his disciples. There was an arena near this throne in which he used to motivate the Sikhs for practice. This throne was designed as a challenge for the Mughals.

He had five sons: Gurditta, Ani Rai, Atal Rai, Teghbahadur and Suraj Mal. He travelled to different regions of Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab to fill the Sikhs with enthusiasm and spread religion. Historians believe that Jahangir did not pay much attention to Punjab after Guruji’s liberation from the prison of Gwalior, but in 1629 AD, when Shah Jahan took over Delhi, the struggle between religions and lawlessness once again started. When Guruji felt that his last time had arrived, he appointed his grandson Har Rai as his successor.

7. Guru Har Rai (1644-1661 AD): Guru Har Rai was a calm and gentle person who carried forward the Guru tradition after Guru Hargobind’s death. He spread the religion by travelling to different regions. During his lifetime, Shah Jahan’s sons were fighting for succession. Among them, Dara Shikoh had liberal instincts and was inclined towards Hinduism. After losing in the battle of Samugarh in 1658 AD, he fled towards Punjab. At that time, Guru Har Rai ji blessed him. Aurangzeb declared Dara Shikoh anti-Islamic and beheaded him. All the Ulemas believed that Dara Shikoh was a Kafir (non-believer). When Aurangzeb took over the throne in Delhi, Guru Har Rai was called to Delhi and he sent his elder son Ramrai in his place. When Aurangzeb asked the meaning of a couplet written in Asa Di Var:

मिट्टी मुसलमान की पैरें पड़ कुमियार,
घड़ भांडे इटां कीयां जलदी करे पुकार ।

(When the soil of the grave of Muslim was crushed under the feet of the potter, made into pots, utensils and brick, and put into the kiln, it began crying with fear of fire)

At this, Ramrai cleverly said that the word Muslim had come by mistake; the real word here is dishonest. Aurangzeb was satisfied with this, but Guru Har Rai became disgusted with his son. He felt that the son had changed his voice by changing the voice of Guru Nanak. He made his younger son, Harkishan, his successor.

8. Guru Harkishan (1661-1664 AD): When Guru Harkishan ascended the seat of the guru, he was only five years and three months old, hence he is also called ‘Bal Guru’ When his elder brother Ramrai went to Delhi and complained to Aurangzeb about Guruji, Aurangzeb ordered Guruji to appear in the Delhi court. Both Guruji and his mother came to Delhi and stayed at Raja Jai Singh’s bungalow. Here, Guruji succumbed to smallpox. It is believed that he ordered one coconut and five paise before he died. Holding these things, he rotated thrice and uttered, “Baba Bakala”. By these words, he meant to say that his successor would be his grandfather who lived in Bakala (Amritsar). He died on March 30, 1664 AD.

9. Guru Teghbahadur (1664-1675 AD): On August 11, 1664 AD, as per Guru Harkishan’s last wish, a few of his disciples went with his coconut and five paise to his grandfather living in Bakala who we know today as Guru Teghbahadur. These disciples urged him to take the throne of the Guru. Guru Teghbahadur did many things to protect and spread religion.

This was the time when the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb was the ruler of Delhi. According to his order, all non-Muslims were being persecuted and temples were being demolished all over the country. On hearing the Guru’s allegiance to religion, Kashmiri Pandits came to meet him. They told Guruji how non-Muslims are being forced to become Muslims all over Kashmir and mosques are being built by demolishing temples. Seeing this danger to religion, Guruji decided to support the Pandits and he went to Delhi with the Pandits. On December 11, 1675 AD along with Bhai Matidas, Bhai Satidas and Bhai Dayala, Guru Teghbahadur was martyred at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. Today, ‘Gurudwara Sheeshganj’ is located at the place of his martyrdom. He was termed as ‘Hind Ki Chadar’ for the protection of Hinduism.

10. Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708 AD): On December 22, 1666 AD, in the home of Guru Teghbahadur in Patna, his wife Mata Gujari Devi gave birth to a child. He was the only son of Guru Teghbahadur, who we know today as Guru Gobind Singh. In 1672 AD, Guru Teghbahadur ji started living with his family in Anandpur Sahib where Guru Gobind Das was educated. He was taught Sanskrit by Pandit Hansraj and Persian education by Qazi Pir Mohammad. From Rajput Banjar Singh, he learned the art of horse riding and weapons. Bhai Satidas and Sahib Chand gave him knowledge of Gurmukhi.

It is believed that when Kashmiri Brahmins came to Guru Teghbahadur for help. Guruji said that now a great man would have to sacrifice himself. On this, the child Gobind Das asked, “who can be greater than you for this task?” As soon as he heard these words from his son’s mouth, Guruji decided to sacrifice his life. He went with the Brahmins to Delhi. At that time, the uncle of Gobind Das, Shri Kirpal Chand took care of him.

All Sikh Gurus were Grihasths (householders). In the family of the Tenth Guru Maharaj, he had two wives and four sons. Their names are Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh. To protect Dharma, Kirpal Chand formed an army for Guruji. He told the people that they should all make their sons Sikh to protect the religion. People started making their sons Sikhs. Weapons and horses were also asked to be presented in the form of charity. Due to this, a large number of soldiers and weapons were gathered. When Gobind Das grew up, he established the city of ‘Paonta Sahib’ at a beautiful place on the banks of the river Yamuna. Fifty-two poets were provided shelter here. Here he also got the Ramayan and Mahabharat translated into Hindi and Gurmukhi to empower the Sikhs mentally.

The Establishment of Khalsa : Guru Gobind Singh’s contribution to Sikhism is incomparable. He gave a new form to Sikhism and established ‘Khalsa’. The Khalsa was established in 1699 AD at Anandpur Sahib. The word ‘Khalsa’ means pure. With the establishment of the Khalsa, Guruji gave a military form to Sikhism, which was the need of the hour to counter the Mughals. By establishing the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh added a new chapter in the history of Sikhism. On the day of Baisakhi in 1699 AD, on the call of Guruji, five people came forward to lay down their lives in the interest of religion. They are called ‘Panj Pyare’ (the five loved ones). First of all, Dayaram Kshatriya of Lahore presented himself. Then Dharmdas Jat of Hastinapur (Meerut), Mohkam Chand tailor from Dwarka, Sahib Chand Nai of Bidar and Himmat Rai Kahar from Jagannathpuri (Orissa) showed their readiness to protect the religion. Guruji presented these all to everyone in the form of ‘Panj Pyare’. The five heroes together with Guruji took the nectar.

These five heroes show that Guruji’s followers were all over India. After this Guruji put ‘Singh’ with all these names and himself came to be known as ‘Guru Gobind Singh’ in place of Guru Gobind Das. Guru Gobind Singh established ‘Khalsa’ and made it mandatory for Sikhs to wear five symbols in the future. These symbols were: kesh (hair), katar (saber), kada (bracelet), kangha (comb) and kachha (cotton underwear). The need of the hour was that people of all classes come together to protect religion. With his vision, Guruji built an army that could take on the Mughals. Those who joined this army were called Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh declared that when foreign powers have come invading the country, there is only one place to pilgrimage-the battlefield; there is only one varna-Khalsa.

THE STRUGGLE OF GURU GOBIND SINGH

Battle of Bhangani: In 1686 AD, Fateh Shah along with the soldiers of Hayat Khan and Najabat Khan’s troops attacked Guruji’s army. With the help of Kirpal Chand and the soldiers of Brahmin Dayaram, Guruji defeated Fateh Shah and his companions. The mention of this fight is found by Bichitra natak, in which Guru Gobind Rai praised Brahmin Dayaram and said that the Brahmin was fighting as if he had been taught war by Dronacharya, the guru of the Pandavas. He has also praised the bravery of his maternal uncle Kirpal Chand. After this victory, he came to Anandpur Sahib, where he built forts named Keshgarh, Anandgarh and Fatehgarh.

Battle of Nadaun and Guler: In 1690-91 AD, the kings of hilly regions refused to pay taxes to the Mughal government. Under the leadership Alif Khan, the Mughal army decided to punish the kings of hilly region. A battle took place between the kings of the hilly region and the Mughal army at a place called Nadaun. Gobind Rai, along with the King Bhim Chand and the other Kings of the hilly regions defeated the Mughal army. But, later the kings of hilly regions went into a treaty with the Mughals that frustrated Guru Gobind Rai. On the other hand, Aurangzeb had realised that the influence of Gobind Rai in Punjab was increasing. He was struggling with the brave Marathas in south. So, he ordered his commanders to take action against Gobind Rai. In 1694 AD, the commanders of the Kangra, Dilawar Khan and his son Khanzada Rustam Khan crossed the Satluj river along with the Mughal army at night. Just as the army of the Guruji attacked with only a few bombs, Khanzada and his soldiers fled away. In this way, Guruji won this battle without fighting. The commander sent his lieutenant Husain Khan to fight against the king of Guler and Guruji. Husain Khan was killed in this battle near Pathankot and his army was defeated.

First Battle of Anandpur Sahib : In 1700 AD, ten thousand soldiers of Aurangzeb, along with Deena Beg and Painda Khan, reached Punjab for the battle. Here, Guru Gobind Singh killed Painda Khan with an arrow, after which frightened the Mughal army and it fled from the battlefield. Raja Bhim Chand of Bilaspur said that if Guruji wanted to stay in Anandpur Sahib, he would pay his rent, otherwise he should have left. Some historians believe that he was not pleased with the growing influence of Guruji, that is why he did so. To put pressure on Guruji, Bhim Chand along with his allies, surrounded Anandpur Sahib. But, Guruji did not want to fight with them, so he left Anandpur and went to a place called Nirmoh near Kiratpur.

The Battle of Nirmoh: In 1702 AD, the Mughal army led by Wazir Khan attacked the Sikhs. On the other hand, some hilly region kings who supported the Mughals also attacked. This battle lasted for two days, at the end of which Guruji’s army emerged victorious and Wazir Khan left the field with his army and fled from Nirmoh.

The Battle of Basoli : After the war of Nirmoh, Guruji along with his army moved to Basoli in Himachal Pradesh, where Raja Dharmpal was his associate. When the Mughal army attacked, Ajmer Chand, who was opposed to Dharmpal, supported the Mughal army. This war ended in a treaty, after which Guruji once again came to Anandpur Sahib.

The Second Battle of Anandpur: After two years of peace, in 1704 AD, the Mughal army once again attacked Anandpur. This time, the command of the war was in the hands of Sayyed Khan and Ramzan Khan. Once again, he returned after being defeated by the Sikh heroes. To take revenge for this defeat, Aurangzeb sent Faujdar Wazir Khan and Zamir Khan with a large army to attack the Sikhs. The Mughals surrounded the fort. Their strategy was that the Sikhs would have no option but to accept defeat when the food items were exhausted inside. The strategy of the Mughals worked after the siege for eight months. No one could come out from inside, nor could any help reach the Sikhs. On December 21, 1704 AD, at the behest of Mata Gujri, Guruji decided to leave Anandpur.

The Battle of Chamkaur Sahib : As soon as Guruji left Anandpur, the Mughals backed out of their promise to let him escape safely and sent their army to chase him. When he reached Chamkaur Sahib after crossing the Sarsa river, only forty Sikhs were left with him. There were only forty Sikhs on one side and thousands of Mughals on the other. But that battle showed the world what material the sons of mother India were made of. Fighting here, Guruji’s two elder sons, Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, attained martyrdom. The two younger sons, Jorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, were buried in the wall alive by the Subedar of Sarhind. Three of the ‘Panj Pyare’ (five loved ones), Sahib Singh, Mohkam Singh and Himmat Singh also attained martyrdom. Only five Sikhs could survive after a whole day’s struggle.

Battle of Khidrana: Guru Gobind Singh reached Khidrana. On the way, about two thousand Sikhs joined his army, but he was to face ten thousand Mughals. Among these two thousand Sikhs, there were forty Sikhs who left him at Anandpur Sahib, left for their homes. When their wives embarrassed them for this cowardice, they again came to Guruji’s aid. In this war, along with other Sikhs, these forty also sacrificed their lives. They are also called ‘Chalis Mukte’. In their memory, Khidrana was named Muktsar (the lake of liberation).

Do you know? Guru Gobind Singh reprimanded the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for his misdeeds by writing a letter ‘Zafarnama’ in the Persian language and justified his fight against his atrocities.

Guruji reached Talwandi from Khidrana. In Talwandi, he rewrote the Adi Granth on the strength of his memory and also compiled the text of Dasam Patshah. That is why Talwandi came to be known as ‘Guru ki Kashi’.

In 1707 AD, Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah urged him to go south with him. Guruji moved from Talwandi to Nanded in Maharashtra. In Nanded in 1708 AD, a Pathan stabbed Guru Gobind Singh in the back and he departed this world in 1708 AD and got absorbed in the ultimate light. In this way, Guru Gobind Singh instilled a sense of confidence in the people and taught them the lesson of struggle against injustice and tyranny.

Struggle of Banda Singh Bahadur: Only a month before his death, Guru Gobind Singh met a person who not only challenged the Mughals but also retaliated against the inhuman murder of Guruji and his sons. This great hero is known by various names, like Madhodas Bairagi, Veer Banda Bairagi and Banda Singh Bahadur.

In 1670 AD, he was born in Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir and his parents named him Lakshman Dev. His family was engaged in agriculture, so Lakshman Dev also started helping his father in agricultural work. One day, the hunting of a deer changed his life. While seeing the deer in agony, a sense of detachment arose in Lakshman Dev and he joined the Bairagi sect. After the ordination, he was named Madhodas Bairagi: He acquired proficiency in weapons in different Akhadas.

In 1708 AD, he met Guru Gobind Singh ji in Nanded. Guru Gobind Singh made Madhodas Bairagi drink the holy nectar, and he became Banda Singh Bahadur. He appointed Banda Singh Bahadur as the Sikh General in order to prevent atrocities on all non-Muslims by the Mughals. Guru Gobind Singh sent Banda Singh Bahadur toward Punjab with five arrows and 25 Sikhs. His real journey in life began here. He took advantage of the situation of chaos created by the death of Aurangzeb and camped at a place called Sehri Khanda near Sonipat in Haryana in 1709 AD. Soon, Banda Singh Bahadur united the scattered power of the Sikhs. Many people had joined Banda Singh Bahadur. These were the people who were persecuted by the Mughals. They found a worthy leader in the form of Banda Singh Bahadur. He organised a huge army and started the struggle against the Mughals. This army consisted of people of all classes who had been forcibly converted to Islam. He also included Muslims in his army. There were also artisans in this army who made their own weapons.

In the beginning, Banda Singh Bahadur fought many battles and won. His first major battle is believed to have been fought in the city of Samana in 1709 AD. After winning this battle, he appointed Bhai Fateh Singh as the Subedar of this place. After that, he also easily conquered Ghudam, Thaska and Mustafabad. After that, he turned towards Sadhaura, but on the way, four miles away from Sadhaura, he provided relief to the people by freeing them from the atrocities of the abusive landlord, Kadmuddin of Kapuri village. After that, Banda Singh Bahadur attacked the tyrannical Faujdar Usman Khan of Sadhaura. In the battle of Sadhaura, the common people, farmers, labourers, etc., supported Banda Singh Bahadur. After some struggle, Sadhaura came under the control of the Sikhs.

Banda Singh Bahadur was a skilled warrior. Before attacking Sirhind, he destroyed all the powers around him. After that, Banda Singh Bahadur marched to Sirhind in 1710 AD. A fierce battle took place between the armies of Wazir Khan, the Mughal Subedar of Sirhind and the Sikh army of Banda Singh Bahadur at Chapad-Chidi. Banda Singh Bahadur was victorious in the battle and the Sikhs captured Sirhind. Although Sirhind was an important city of the Mughal Sultanate, yet Banda Singh Bahadur did not make it his capital. His decision was also right from the point of view of political security. Because Sirhind was located on the main route and they knew that the Mughal army would definitely attack it. Therefore, Banda Singh Bahadur made the fort of Mukhlisgarh, located in the Shivalik hills near Sadhaura, the first capital of the Sikhs and the name of this fort was changed to Lohgarh. It was from here that the administrative work of the first Sikh state began.

Banda Singh Bahadur appointed Baj Singh the Subedar of Sirhind, Fateh Singh as the Subedar of Samana and Vinod Singh and Ram Singh as Subedars of Thanesar to run the administration smoothly. He issued coins in the name of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh and started a new calendar after the conquest of Sirhind. He also issued a seal for issuing orders and decrees. Banda Singh Bahadur ended the Zamindari system and gave land ownership to the farmers.

In the next six years, this army of Banda Singh Bahadur occupied the area from Saharanpur to Lahore. In December 1715 AD, the Mughal army took him prisoner along with eight hundred companions from a place called Gurdas Nangal. Among them were Banda Singh Bahadur’s four-year-old son, Ajay Singh and his wife. On June 9, 1716, he was martyred in Delhi by inhuman torture.

Thus, the ten Sikh Gurus and Banda Singh Bahadur taught the lessons of victory and freedom to the Sikhs of Punjab with their valour, courage and struggle. By instilling a sense of self-respect in the farmers and other lower classes, he taught them to fight against the circumstances themselves. He gave a new form to Sikhism by giving power with devotion, a spear with a garland and an arrow with speech. His actions and sacrifices led to the establishment of a powerful Sikh kingdom in Punjab in future under the leadership of Ranjit Singh.


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