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Between the Lines
Sikh Missionary Society: Articles: Essays on Sikh Values: Between the Lines

Between the Lines
Raaj karae-gaa Khalsa

Survival of the Sikhs

“Raaj Karae gaa Khalsa,” that is fine, the Khalsa will rule! But who is this Khalsa? Is this the Lord himself, or His pure-beings, or those having direct link with the Guru, or all the Sikhs under the synonym of Khalsa?

Agiaa Bhaee Akaal kee. The stanza "Raaj karae gaa Khalsa aakee rahae na koae" was added later to the poem of Giani Gian Singh given in his book Panth Parkash (Bhasha Vibhag, Chandigarh, 1987, Page 353). This is a style of poem called Dohra, and the congregation often sings it together at the end of an Ardas - invocation. Describing the scene when Guru Gobind Singh enshrined Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh Holy Book) as the Word-Guru of the Sikhs, the Giani wrote - 

AwgXw BeI Akwl kI qbY clwXo pMQ [
sB isKn ko hukm hY gurU mwnXo gRMQ [
gurU gRMQ jI mwnXo pRgt gurW kI dyh [
jo pRB ko imlbo chY Koij Sbd my lyh [
Awzw Be Akwl kI qbY clwXo pMQ [
sB isK~n ko hukm hY guu{ mwnXo gRMQ [
guu{ gRMQ jI mwnXo pRgt gurW kI dyh [
jo pRB ko imlbo chY Koij Sbd my lyh [
Aagea bha-ee Akaal kee t.abaae chalayo Panth
Sabh Sikhan ko hukam haae Guroo manyo Granth
Guroo grant.h jee manyo pargat Guran' kee d.aeh
Jo prabh ko milbo chahaae khoj shabad. mae Laeh
The Lord ordained and I established the Panth.
And my edict is, the Guru is Granth.
Have faith in it, this is my physical form,
And if you want to meet God, find Him in its Hymns.
(Giani Gian Singh)
This is not Gurbani

This poem is not Gurbani. It is not narrated in Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar. It is not clear as to when it got linked to Ardas. But it could only be some time after Giani Gian Singh. According to “Ardas,” by Dr. Neki, page 343, to the above given lines of Giani ji, the following lines were added at the time of Banda Bahadur 1710 - 1716. The history does not support it. Giani Gian Singh writes in his book Panth Parkash, published by Bhasha Vibhag, Panjab, 1987, page 1318, that he completed the book in 1931. In Tankhahnama Bhai Nand Lal, in Rehtname by Piara Singh Padam, Chatar Singh Jiwan Singh, 1991, Page 59, only the couplet “Raj karae gaa khalsa ..... ” is written.

rwj kry gw ^wlsw AwkI rhy nw koie ]
KuAwr hoey sB imlihgy bcy Srn jo hoey ]
rwj kry gw Kwlsw AwkI rhy nw koe ]
KuAwr hoey sB im¬hygy bcy Srn jo hoey ]
Raj karae gaa Khalsa akee rahe naa koae
Khuar hoe sabh milh-e gae bachae sharan jo ho-ae
It will be rule of the Khalsa and all the animosity will be gone.
All the strayed ones will reunite and get saved by the total surrender to the Lord. 
More lines like “Khanda sohae haath meh kalgee sohay sees, So hamree rachhaa karae Kalgeedhat Jagdees,” were added by others.

Such like were the clarion calls given for independence - no outsiders but the people of the country (Khalis - pure) will rule. It was the continuation of the effort of the Gurus against the foreign usurpers (Moguls and the others). The Sikhs never feared paying with their innumerable lives for the country's own Raaj - sovereignty, and liberty. These and other such slogans indicated spirit of the Sikh struggle for independence. Such slogans (struggle) initiated wholesale destruction of the Sikhs by the Mogul King Bahadur Shah. It was his reaction to the successful revolts of Banda Bahadur (Banda Singh) staged to avenge tortures by the ruling majority. It was after Guru Gobind Singh. The paradox was that Guru Gobind Singh was instrumental in putting this "God fearing King" on to the throne.

After Bahadur Shah, his son Farakhsear took up this genocide. The Sikhs, with their sacrifices, laid down the plinth for the independence of India. All the plunderers from Afghanistan and other places, aimed at eradicating the strong, fearless and the fighting (demanding and resisting) Sikhs.

The Sikh history is full of the examples of their lofty morale, courage, and survival. Their daily Ardas - supplication, reverently remembers those who continued the struggle, resisted conversions, and smilingly embraced death by boiling, burning, drowning, cutting with a saw into two from their heads downwards, stretching and puncturing the body on torture-wheels, and by many other inhuman means. Only option for the Sikhs was conversion or death. To be a Sikh was a crime. They were hunted and their heads had remuneration - a prize and as well a price (Period of Zakria Khan, Mir Manu etc.).

References to the historical episodes related to the Sikhs, are freely available in the Sikh history books. The author has kept to a few of them and has mainly referred to Sada Itihas, by Satbir Singh, to narrow down the vast field of the related literature i.e. available reading material. The names of other history books giving such incidences have also been listed in the bibliography.

Here are a few who tried their best to eliminate the Sikhs, but miserably failed. Faith of the Sikhs on God and their Guru, their high morale, unity, integrity, and a desire for liberty, were the milestones for their survival. Their invigorating slogans kept them in their high spirits even in the face of extreme diversities. 

Abdul-samad Khan

Abdul-samad Khan was a Turani Sardar (Turk chief). Farakhsear, the King at Delhi, posted Abdul-samad Khan as the Governor at Lahore (1716 AD, to 1738 AD). His assignment was to eliminate the Sikhs. He did his utmost to achieve this. With Delhi Government going weak, he also relaxed, and the Sikhs started gaining strength. 

Zakria Khan

In 1726 AD, Zakria Khan, son of Abdul-samad Khan, replaced his father as a Governor of Lahore, especially to dessimate the Sikhs.

At the time of his father, he had already been leading campaigns to massacre them. 

In 1715 AD, Abdul-samad Khan, father of Zakria Khan, arrested Banda Bahadur and his 200 fighters, after the eight month long extremely heavy seige of Gurdas Nangal, near Batala in the District Gurdaspur, Punjab. He handed the Sikh prisoners over to his son Zakria Khan, who took them to Lahor for sending them to the King Farakhsear at Delhi. He added to the procession 500 more Sikhs, cartloads of the cut off heads of the Sikhs, and their 2,000 heads stuck on the spears. He kept eliminating the Sikhs for about 20 years. The famous martyrs at the time of Zakria Khan were - 

Bhai Mani Singh being cut limb from limb
Bhai Mani Singh. In 1738 AD, Bhai Mani Singh agreed to pay a tax of 5,000 rupees to celebrate Diwali at Akal Takht. Besides celebrating Diwali, he intended to hold Sarbatt-Khalsa (Sikh conference), there. Zakria Khan sent Diwan Lakhpat Rai with a huge force, and at the Diwali night he attacked the Sikhs gathered in Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar. Due to this attack, Bhai Mani Singh could not raise the needed funds. Zakria Khan insisted on the collection of tax. Bhai Mani Singh was arrested. He refused conversion and opted for death by cutting him at his each joint, limb by limb. The executioner missed a few joints of a hand, but Bhai Mani Singh told him that the order was to cut him joint by joint.
Baba Bota Singh and Bhai Bulaka Singh fighting the Mughals
Baba Bota Singh. When going on the road with his companion Bhai Bulaka Singh, near the inn of Nurdin, Baba Bota Singh heard the remarks that the Sikhs were eliminated, and they both were fakes. They stopped there and then with their heavy sticks in their hand, and started

collecting tax of one anna (1/16th of a rupee) for a cartload, one paisa (1/64th of a rupee) for a donkeyload, and sent a letter to the Nawab (Governor) at Lahore to this effect. They assreted their presence without any fear of death.

Bhai Subeg Singh and his son ( Shabhaz Singh ) being tortured to Death
Bhai Subeg Singh. He was a well respected government contractor.His son Shahbaz Singh was a student of a Quazi (magistrate) at Lahore. Shahbaz Singh resisted conversion, and was murdered by putting to the torture wheel. Bhai Subeg Singh objected when punishment to his son was announced. He too was martyred on another torture wheel besides his son. When on the wheel, Shahbaz Singh was asked to convert, he lowered his head. On seeing this, his father shouted “Akaal, Akaal” - God, my Lord! They both met their fates without any fear of death. 
Bhai Taru Singh being scalped
Bhai Taru Singh. He was a young fellow of 25, an agrriculturist of the village Puhla. He helped the struggling Sikhs. Harbhagat of Jandiala informed Lahore about his activities. He was arrested, taken to Lahore, and orders to cut off his hair were passed. He objected to cutting his hair. According to the orders of Zakria Khan, he was descalped. He lived in this condition for twenty two days. Before his death, Zakria Khan died of retention of his urine. After that, some of the people apprached Bhai Taru Singh and sought his permission to suture up the wound, but he refused and accepted the will of God.
Hakeekat Rai being beheaded
Hakeekat Rai. He was the son of Bhai Magh Mall, and the grandson of Bhai Nand Lal Puri of the village Glotia Khurd in District Sialkot, Punjab (now in Pakistan). Bhai Magh Mall had sympathy with the Sikhs.
Hakikat Rai, yet a child was married to Lakshmi Devi daughter of Kishan Singh of Batala, District Gurdaspur, Punjab. Hakikat Rai was arrested on the false charges of insulting Hazrat Mohammad Sahib. He did not shake in his faith and refused convertion. Zakria Khan martyred him without heeding to the appeals of the people.
His father in law Kishan Singh, with his brothers Mall Singh, Dall Singh, and other Sikhs, attcked Sialkot, and killed Quazi who had passed his judgement of death. They beheaded Amir Khan, who had taken Hakikat Rai to Lahore. The Smadh (tomb) of Satti Lakshmi Devi stands on the Jalandhar Road in Batala, an industrial town.
Nadir Shah

Nadir Shah belonged to Iran, but had occupied whole of Afghanistan. Bahadur Shah, after him his son Frakhseer, and thereafter Mohammed Shah occupied the throne at Delhi. These three Moguls were very weak Kings. Asifza from the court of Mohammed Shah invited Nadir Shah to attack Delhi. Zakria Khan could not stop him in the Punjab, and he (Nadir Shah) became the King at Delhi. He plundered Delhi, and simply at this one city, he murdered 1,12000, men, women, and children without discrimination of Hindus and Muslims. The Sikhs coined a proverb for him - 

Khaadaa peetaa lahae-daa
Bakee Nadar Shahae daa
To your advantage is all that you eat up.
Whatever is left, will be taken away by Nadir Shah. 
The Sikhs were well organized, strong, and fearless. When Nadir Shah was going back, they kept harassing him, took away a large share of his plunders, and released 2,200 women he was taking away from India, and sent them to their homes.

This attack by Nadir Shah, greatly weakened Zakria Khan, and the Sikhs gained more power. Once again, Zakria Khan started a campaign to eradicate them, but was not successful. 

Chhota Ghallughara - Lesser Holocaust, 1746 AD.

It was a campaign of the Mogul Government at Lahore to control the Sikhs. Jasspat Rai, Faujdar (army commander) was killed in an encounter with the Sikhs. His brother Lakhpat Rai, a Diwan (minister), with cooperation of Yahya Khan, the Governor at Lahore, started a crusade against the Sikhs to eliminate them. To start with, he rounded up innocent Sikhs residing at Lahore, and beheaded them in spite of intervention by Diwan Kaura Mall.

Lakhpat Rai got reinforcement from Multan, Bahawlpur, Jalandhar, and pursued poorly armed Sikhs with cavalry and cannons. He hunted them at the swamp named Kahnuwan in District Gurdaspur. The Sikhs crossed the river Ravi and escaped towards the hills of Basauli. Under threats from Lakhpat Rai, the hill people treated them with guns and stones. The Sikhs returned, crossed the rivers Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, and escaped to the Lakhi forest. 7,000 Sikhs were killed by Lakhpat Rai. He brought 3,000 captives with him, and they were beheaded at Lahore.

Lakhpat Rai boasted of total annihilation of the Sikhs, but in six months they reorganized, met at Amritsar and took a decision to build the fort `Ram Rauni' as their permanent stronghold.

On their demand through Diwan Kaura Mall, the Sikhs got Lakhpat Rai from Mir Manu. He met with his end with disgrace at the hands of the Sikhs. 

Mir Manu

Mir Muayan-Ul-Mulk, is known in the Sikh world as Mir Manu. In 1748 AD, Ahmed Shah Abdali made him the Governor of Lahore and Multan. His Divan (minister) Kaura Mall had sympathy with the Sikhs and kept Manu in check. The Sikhs took advantage of the situation, kept gaining power, brought large areas under their control, and built their fort `Ram Rauni' at Amritsar.

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was blamed of infanticide. Killing of the female child was strictly prohibited in the Sikh faith. Due to this, he was declared an outcast by his community. In fact, on the day of this incident, he was away on some campaign, and had nothing to do with killing his child. Angry with the injustice of his own people, he joined Adina Beg.

To check the Sikhs, Mir Manu besieged the Ram Rauni fort in 1748 AD. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was with Adina Beg in the siege of this fort. On listening the Jaikaras (the Sikh slogans) coming from inside the fort, he could not resist and joined the Sikhs inside their stronghold. After three months, Mir Manu lifted the siege under the advice of Diwan Kaura Mall, and he made the Sikhs to help Meer Manu in the third battle of Ahmed Shah Abdali. On getting defeated, Manu had a treaty with him and turned against the Sikhs.

Due to their advances, Manu felt that the only thorn in his path were the Sikhs, and started eliminating them. His cruelty on the Sikhs became unlimited. The Sikhs coined a proverb - 

Manu asaadee daat.ree aseen' Manu d.ae so-ae
Jeon' jeon' Manu vadhd.aa aseen' d.oonae chaunae ho-ae
Manu is our scythe and we his crop of anithi,
We flourish as he trims us. 
Mir Manu posted Adina Beg as his Na-ib (Deputy) at Jalandhar. When it became hard to find the young Sikhs, Adina Beg started sending the Sikh women and children to Mir Manu at Lahore, for their torture and death.

Close to Lahore, some Sikhs were hiding in the sugarcane fields. Manu surrounded them and the Sikhs fired with their guns. His horse panicked and Manu fell down with his foot entangled in the stirrup. The horse dragged him to his death. On getting this news, the Sikhs attacked Lahore and released the arrested Sikh women and children.

As the time passed, Ahmed Shah Abdali (alias Ahmed Shah Durrani) got so much weakened that to control, he offered the Sikhs to rule an area, but they rejected it claiming that they were already the rulers and he had nothing to do with the Punjab (Itihasik Lecture, Giani Partap Singh, Pages 168, 171, 208 and 212)., 

Vadda Ghallughara
The Greater Holocaust
Greater holocaust, 1754 AD. On this day, Ahmed Shah Abdali and Dall Khalsa (all the Sikh Missals - organizations, combined) fought an unequal fight. Out of forty thousands, 25,000 to 30,000 Sikhs lost their lives in a single day, with equally heavy loss of the enemy forces.

In 1761 AD, Ahmed Shah Abdali was going back after defeating Marhattas in the 3rd Battle of Panipat. On his way back home, right from the river Sutlej to the river Indus, the Sikhs kept harassing and attacking the forces of Abdali. On returning to the Central Punjab, the Sikhs annihilated the Afghan force sent by Abdali to punish them.

Akil Das was an informer. Fearing death at the Sikh hands, he immediately contacted Abdali, who had already re-entered India on his next attack. Abdali advanced post-haste. The Sikhs with their families, tried to escape to the wastelands of Malwa. With instructions from Abdali, they were obstructed by the forces from Sirhind and Malerkotla. The Sikhs were camping near Malerkotla when Abdali unexpectedly (earlier than the Sikhs had estimated) attacked them with an unequal force. The defending Sikhs created a four miles long human shield to surround their families and non-combatants, and kept on resisting and retreating.

In the afternoon, the battle reached a pond. The Sikhs and Abdali force fell for water. The battle stopped. The Sikhs escaped towards Barnala. Due to intolerable heat and stiff rsistance, Abdali decided not to follow them.

In a short period of about three months, the Sikhs reorganized and attacked Zain Khan at Sirhind. They devastated the vicinity of Lahore. Although Ahmed Shah Abdali was still in the Punjab, but no action was taken against the Sikh. 

Harimandir Sahib

Destruction by Ahmed Shah Abdali - 1756 AD, and again in 1762 AD.

All those who wanted to eliminate the Sikhs from the face of the earth, destroyed Harimamdir Sahib. It was an open secret that this holy place was the source of courage and high spirits to the Sikhs. From their every crisis, they came out more determined to resist and turn the foreign forces out of India. Total liberty, equality, justice, and indiscrimination, were their predetermined goals. Zakria issued orders to level up the holy tank of Golden Temple with dirt (1739 AD).

  • Massa Ranghar.

  • Massla-Ul-Deen known as Massa Ranghar, was a Rajput landlord of the village Mandiali, close to Amritsar. He converted to Islam. Zakria Khan, the Mogul Governor of Lahore, appointed him a Kotwal - in charge of the police station, at Amritsar. His duty was not to allow Sikhs to visit Sri Harimandir Sahib. He desecrated the holy place. Mehtab Singh and Sukha Singh cut his head and took it away with them (1740). 
  • Ahmed Shah Abdali alias Ahmed Shah Durrani (Ahmed Khan).

  • In 1762 AD, after the Greater Holocaust of Sikhs, the Sikhs were celebrating Diwali at Sri Harimandir Sahib, when Ahmed Shah Abdali attacked, and destroyed the holy place with cannons, and by blowing off its plinths. The holy tank was filled up with dirt, the dead, and blood of cows. A flying brick hit the nose of Abdali. The injury failed to heal, and ultimately it proved to be the cause of his death.
    In a couple of years the Sikhs attacked Lahore and won the battle. They put all the prisoners from there without any discrimination, to clean the holy tank, and reconstructed Harimandir Sahib. After his first time destruction, Abdali had attacked Harimandir Sahib in 1756 AD
  • Temur Shah. Temur Shah, son of Ahmed Shah Abdali, also destroyed this holy place. The Sikhs were loyal and devoted to their faith, and embraced death without fear and bravely. Since the time of its inception, the Sikh ideology provided protection to the Sikh faith in the past, present, and will do so in the future. It helped them to coin the slogans to uplift their spirits. 
SOFT AND HARD LINERS

The Sangat - congregation in a Gurdwara (The Sikh religious place), is a Sikh brotherhood with its religious boundaries. But, everyone from any faith is welcome, and many of the Sangat are not Sikhs. In such a gathering, the reaction to the line like "Raj karae gaa Khalsa" has a mixed impact. Some feel elated, and others have hidden embarrassment. Still others, from the non Sikh communities feel resentment. 

  • Elated Ones
  • The elated ones think that it is their right to express their inner feelings in their religious places even in such mixed gatherings. They emphasize that among the Sikhs, the religion and politics are inseparable, and that this is the only platform available to express them. They quote - 
    • Construction of Akal Takht right by the side of Harimandir Sahib - Golden Temple (this combines faith with politics).
    • Wearing of two swords - one of Meeree (Temporal power) and the other of Peeree (Spiritual aspect) by Guru Hargobind.
    • Two kirpans - small swords (Spiritual and temporal), in the symbol of “Khanda-Kirpan-Chakkar.” 
    This symbol entered the Sikh world in the recent past, and its history is not clear. The English time Sikh Soldiers wore a sort of this symbol on their turbans.
    Such persons claim that all this represents the spiritual and temporal aspects of the Sikh faith. To them, word “Khalsa Raaj” represents the Sikh Sovereignty. But one has to be discrete and understanding. 
  • Embarrassed (Neutral) Ones
  • The embarrassed ones claim that a Gurdwara is equally open to all, and discipline of the Sikhi (Sikh faith) is to love members of all other faiths - to shun none, welcome to all, and so nothing should be done there that may hurt the feelings of anyone. They base their conviction on the following - 
    • The practitioners of all faiths were welcome without any discrimination by the Gurus. The Gurus had the followers, and supporters from all faiths including Muslims. Sangat is mostly mixed, and dedicated Hindus are almost always there. 
    • Guru Granth Sahib has Hymns by the saints of different faiths including Hinduism and Islam. 
    • The sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple, and many Gurdwaras have their doors in all the four directions, symbolizing welcome to all faiths. In general, anyone from any faith may come to Gurdwara, and benefit from the spirituality. 
    We cannot ignore the fact that a great majority of the Sikhs is of Sehjdhari. The Sehjdhari Sikhs do not observe the edicts of Amrit. A fellow gets properly inducted into the Sikh faith by drinking Amrit - a specially prepared Holy Drink. Besides other things, some Sehjdhari Sikhs may as well keep their body hair uncut like other Sikhs. 
      Institution of Langar - community kitchen, is open to all with no religious or social bars. 
    Such neutral Sikhs give the meaning of Khalsa as the pure-ones i.e. good people in general, may be belonging to any faith. 
    The Sikhs Will Rule

    Obviously, "Raaj karae gaa Khalsa" is taken as the Sikhs will rule. This cannot be pleasant to the members of other communities.

    It is a thing of the recent past that the Hindus drew pride out of making their one male child a Sikh. They took the newborns, newly married couples, and brides, with brass bands to the Gurdwaras. They celebrated their happy occasions in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib. Many of them recited Gurbani, attended Gurdwara regularly, and even held positions in its management. 

    Operation Blue Star
    Sri Akal Takht damaged during Operation Blue Star
    Operation Blue Star - 1984 AD, (4 June), was perhaps the climax of some of the brewing fanatic tendencies. The most destructive were the politically oriented motivated interests,. All this gave birth to the actions, reactions, and serious repercussions. Short sightedness and transitory gains of the politicians left the psyche of the Sikh people mortally wounded. As was apparent, at least for a meaningful section, this revitalized the slogan "Raaj karae gaa Khalsa."

    Equally opposite views can create at least some confusion, may be in some of the minds. Very likely, keeping this in mind, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, held a seminar on the subject of "Raaj karae gaa Khalsa," in 1995 AD (World Sikh News, March 31, 95).

    The seminars rarely lead to somewhere. These are usually the mental gymnastics of the scholars, and it is not essential for them to practice what they preach. They hardly ever leave their intellectual arena, and mostly say things for others to hear, do, or dump. Those who think, say and do, are typically different. 

    KINGDOM OF THE PURE ONES

    Does "Raaj karae gaa Khalsa" really mean the "pure-ones," may be from any faith? The pure-ones are always the rulers and there is nothing more for them to acquire. They are above the worldly things. The real pure-ones are those who have controlled their minds - 

    mnu jIqy jgu jIiqAw jW qy ibiKAw qy hoie audwsu ]
    mnu jIqy jgu jIiqAw jW qy ibiKAw qy hoE adwsu ]
    Mannu jeet.ae jaggu jee.teaa jaan' t.ae bikhiaa t.ae ho-ae oud.asu
    The world gets won by controlling the mind!
    Kabir-1103-7 
    khu kbIr jn Bey Kwlsy pRym Bgiq ijh jwnI ]
    khu kbIr jn Bey Kwlsy pRym Bgiq ijh jwnI ]
    Kahu Kabir jann bha-e Khalsae prem bhagat jeh janee.
    Kabir, one purified by the love of God, belongs to Him!
    Kabir-655-1 
    Khalsa

    Some think that the word Khalsa is derived from Khalis which means pure. In fact the Khalsa means, "Directly linked to, or belonging to the king." Does this boil down to one world, one nation and one rule? Is this practically possible? Perhaps, it never was and probably will never be!

    Can we gather enough pure-ones for the "Universal Pure Rule?” If the "God-oriented Khalsa," as the expression goes, is hard to comprehend, let us see if we can focus on the Sikhs? How many Sikhs come up to the required criterion as depicted by Guru Ram Das in his Shabad (Hymn) starting with - 

    gur siqgur kw jo isKu AKwey su Blky auiT hir nwmu iDAwvY ]
    gur sqgur kw jo isKu AKwEy su Blky aiT hir nwmu iDAwvY ]
    Gur Satt.egur ka jo Sikh akhaa-ae so bhalkae outh: Har-e naam dhiaavaae.
    The Sikh of the Guru gets up early in the morning and recites the name of God.
    4-305-16 
    This Hymn defines a Sikh - he gets up early in the morning, bathes, remembers the Lord, reads the Gurbani (Scriptures), attaches himself to God all the time, and puts others on this path. Keeping this definition in the mind, how many qualify to be the Sikhs? Let the truth (reality) prevail and then automatically the Khalsa-Rule will come into being without any doubt, in all the three dimensions of the time and space - not only this, but over all the three worlds (earth, sky, nether world). Let us first introspect our own selves! Are we united to spirituality? Let us be true to ourselves. Guru Gobind Singh declared - 
    pUrn joiq jgY Gt mY qb Kwlsw qwih nKwils jwnY ] 33 svYXy, pwqSwhI 10
    pUrn joiq jgY Gt mY qb Kwlsw qwih nKwils jwnY ] 33 svYXy, pwqSwhI 10
    Pooran jot.e jagaae ghat maae t.abb Khalsaa t.aahae nakhaalis janaae. 33 Svaaeyae, Paat.eshahee 10
    Khalsa is he who has realized the Pure One. 
    The Tenth Master, also used the term Khalsa for the Amritdhari Sikhs - the Sikhs inducted into this faith (S.G.P.C., Gurmatt Martand, Page 322) and he called them his own self. Following is the affirmation of the Master, as given in the Sarab Loh Granth, and it is not a Hymn by the 10th Master - 
    Kwlsw myro rUp hY Kws ]
    Kwlsy myN hON kroN invws ]
    Kwlsw myro {p hY Kws ]
    Kwlsy myN hON kroN invws ]
    Khaalsa mero roop haae khaas
    Khaalsae maaen' houn' karon' niwaas
    Khalsa is the true projection of mine.
    I abide by the Khalsa.
    The term Khalsa represents a single Sikh too, but in fact it conveys a collective sense i.e. the Khalsa Panth - the Sikhs as a community, the Sikh world. It will be very hard to find an individual ideal Khalsa, but taken as a community, covering the Sikh world in general and not going into depths, the terminology is fine and perhaps more practical as well as understandable. 

    No doubt, the words of encouragement keep the morale high and one gets the wisdom as well as energy to bear all the catastrophes - individual or collective, but it is the fact that the Sikh Rule is not something imaginary and the slogan fulfilled itself from time to time. 

    SOVEREIGN THE KHALSA 

    The first Khalsa Rule was brought into being by the Sixth Master Guru Hargobind. His first move was to discard two symbols of the saints - Topi (Cap) and Saeli (Black colored woolen or silken pleated string worn around a cap or neck) and to wear one sword of Meeree (Temporal ) and the other of Peeree (Spiritual). Recently, well-known scholar Dr. Man Singh Nirankari elaborated on the concept of Meeree and Peeree. He advocated that this Meeree was obvious in the `Truth' i.e. in Peeree itself.

    • Guru Hargobind

    • Akal Takht.
      Guru Hargobind constructed Akal Takht - Throne of the Lord, 1606 AD to 1609 AD. He held his Darbar - court, in the king style and conduct, kept an army, kettledrum, flag, and went on the hunting campaigns. It clearly showed that his vision scanned beyond the concept of Peeree (Precept - spirituality). Of course, his battles were for the Truth and to bring the reign of equality. His kingdom was not mundane - the worldly one, but was oriented to breath life into the walking corpses - the downtrodden and to deliver justice. The Sikhs who were previously saints, became the saint-soldiers. If the Guru had to stick to the simple sainthood, only one sword was enough to symbolize power, as well as to protect the faith. His second sword confirmed his approach to protect the good worldly traits as well. Evidently, he reigned on both the worlds - spiritual and as well temporal. After Guru Hargobind, came the similar but more intense rule of the Tenth Master Guru Gobind Singh. He practiced and affirmed the saint-soldier philosophy - the sword for: protection of the faith, justice, liberty, and against cruelty.
    • Banda Bahadur

    • In the 18th century, after Guru Gobind Singh (1708 AD), Banda Bahadur ventured close to Delhi, established his rule, struck his currency, and had his own seal of authority (Itihasik Lecture, Giani Partap Singh, page 102). In the real sense, he set the first Khalsa Rule motivated politically but under the restraining reins and dictates of the faith. Compared to this, the Guru's rule was purely the spiritual one.
    • Red Fort

    • Under the leadership of Sardar Baghel Singh (1789AD -1790 AD), Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia conquered Red Fort, Delhi, and hoisted Nishan Sahib (The Sikh banner) on it. By a collective decision Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was declared the King (Jadon Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Dilli De Takht Te Baethae, Charan Singh Bhorchhi, World Sikh News, August 11, 95).
    • Maharaja Ranjit Singh

    • In early 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, born 1780 AD, brought the Sikh factions under one banner and set the golden rule based on justice and democracy (World Sikh News, November 17, 1995).
      The borders of his vast kingdom touched Tibet, Afghanistan, Sindh and the river Sutlej. His rule was political, but under the guidance of the faith and based on equality, justice and indiscrimination. After him, his two sons Kharak Singh, Sher Singh, and grandson Dalip Singh became the Maharajas. In total, the Khalsa Flag fluttered high for about 90 years (Itihask Lecture, Giani Partap Singh, chapter on Maharaja Ranjit Singh).
    • Zail Singh

    • Giani Zail Singh, President of India
      The Sikh Raaj is not a new thing for the Khalsa. Its greatness had been that it was never the rule of fanatics. There was freedom of practicing and preaching religions, and no one was ever persecuted for his or her faith, or unjustly. In the recent past, Giani Zail Singh became President of India, and many chief ministers of the Punjab were Sikhs. All this had been a democratic set up with one political party or the other. To label such rules or some of these as “Sikh Raaj” or not depends on the individual thinking.
    • Punjabi University

    • In the "Raaj Karae Gaa Khalsa" seminar, Punjabi University, Patiala (1995), Dr. Bhai Harbans Lal stressed that the Sikhs had not only the concept, but the historical facts of their rule, too. Mr. Gurbhagat Singh said that whole of the world needed the rule based on the model of the politics envisioned by the Gurus. Professor Kulwant Singh and Dr. Gurcharan Singh supported this view. Sardar Kulraj Singh reiterated that the need was of the leaders according to the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib.
    THE LORD IS THE TRUE KING

    Khalas means pure, the Lord (Gurshabad Ratnakar, page 280). It resolves to "The Lord is the True King." 

    The Holy Granth has Hymns of the Gurus (the Sikh Prophets) and many saints of different faiths, and so it is a cosmopolitan book - a book for all the humanity. This is a living entity as it throbs with the "Jyoti" - light i.e. spirit, of the Naam: "Word" of the Gurus and saints (God's Name) in the Granth. The "Jyoti" is immortal - the life-constant, the Ultimate Truth. The Gurbani (Sacred Hymns) is the "Truth" - "Purity" in its essence. Shabad - Hymns, is the Word of the Guru, and it is the Absolute Truth - 

    scw sbdu scI hY bwxI ]
    sçcw Sbd sçcI hY bwxI ]
    Sachaa sabad. sachee haae Ban.ee
    The Word of the Guru is the Truth (revealed).
    3-424-5 
    The Guru and the Lord are one and the same -
    gur prmysru eyko jwxu ]
    gur prmysru Eyko jwxu ]
    Gur Parmaesaru aeko jan.u
    Realize the Guru and the Lord as one.
    5-864-11 
    The Guru is the same thing as Gurbani - the Word. The Guru is the Word and not the body. 
    bwxI gurU gurU hY bwxI ivic bwxI AMiMRqu swry ]
    bwxI guu{ guu{ hY bwxI ivc bwxI AMimRqu swry ]
    Ban.ee Guroo Guroo haae Ban.ee vich Ban.ee amrit. saarae
    The Guru and his Word are oneand the Word - Name of God, is the elixir of immortality (Amrit).
    4-982-11 
    The Guru, Gurbani and Waheguru - Almighty God, are one and the same thing: the Truth, the Purity - Khalis. The Sikhs do not worship the body but the Spirit i.e. the Word - the Naam (Name of God). On the throne is the Lord - whole of the universe is the play of His will, and all this is His game (play). The king is the Guru. The ruler is the Holy Granth - “Word”. The sovereign is God himself. This is the universal truth for all the times. This is the Kingdom of God!  KHALSA - THE GURU`S OWN.

    The Khalsa is the Guru's own - direct under the suzerainty of the Guru (See Khalis and Khalsa, page 280, Gurshabad Ratnakar). After discarding the Masand System (Representatives of the Guru), Guru Gobind Singh used the term Khalsa to address to the disciples directly linked to him and not through the Masands - 

    isrI gurU jI kI AwigAw hY srbq sMgq Kwrw dI gurU rKy gw sB myrw Kwlsw hY gurU gurU jpnw jnm saurY gw ]
    ªI guu{ jI kI Awzw hY srbq sMgq Kwrw dI guu{ rKy gw sB myrw Kwlsw hY guu{ guu{ jpnw jnm saurY gw ]
    Sree Guroo jee kee ageaa haae sarbat.t. sangat.
    Khaaraa d.ee Guroo rakhae gaa sabh maeraa
    Khaalsaa haae Guroo Guroo Japnaa, janam saaurae gaa
    Guru ordains that the disciples of Khara will be protected by him.
    They all are his Khalsa. Meditation on the Guru (God) will glorify their lives.
    (Tenth Master. Hukamname, Ganda Singh, page 189, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1985). 
    "Guru's Own" were the pure ones - the God-oriented people devoted to the Guru, and dedicated to his dictates. The rule of such people is perpetual, as validated above. SELF ESTEEM
    Raaj karae gaa Khalsa

    Guru Gobind Singh supported the view - 

    Koee kissee ko raaj naa dae haaeJo lae haae nij ball sae lae haae
    None offers sovereignty on a platter. And whosoever gets it, takes it by force.
    It was nothing but a generalization of the universal truth. The Sikh Gurus never initiated any confrontation with anyone, but were forced to come into the battlefield. In his Bachitar Natak, Guru Gobind Singh describing such an episode affirmed that the fight was imposed on him, 
    Fateh Shah became angry.
    And I had to fight unnecessarily.
    Bachittar Natak, Guru Gobind Singh. 
    No Guru ever struggled for the worldly kingdom, but fought only for the liberty, truth, justice, dignity, and to protect the faith.  Realization

    The essence of "Raaj karae ga Khalsa" is not so simple to understand. We can realize it after placing ourselves into its environment, and by experiencing it. It is an expression of resentment against the continuous tyranny and targeted genocide, a conviction that they will not bow to the forces hostile to them for no reason, and an affirmation of their principle of liberty, equality, indiscrimination, and non-oppression, through all the dimensions of life and time. This is an expression of aspiration for total liberty under the rule of Truth. It will certainly happen when everyone will say what one means, no hypocrisy - one and the same within and without, and what is meant doesn't change with situation.

    One has to deserve before demanding. With the sincerity of purpose, right thinking and right action based on wisdom, "Raaj karae gaa Khalsa aakee rahae naa ko-ae” will become the Truth, and the Kingdom of God will be attained in an instant on this very earth. Hail the Lord, the greatest of all - 

    huix hukmu hoAw imhrvwx dw ]
    pY koie n iksY r\wxdw ]
    sB suKwlI vuTIAw iehu hoAw hlymI rwj jIau ]
    huux hukm hoAw myhrvwx dw ]
    pY koe n iksY r\wxdw ]
    sB suKwlI vuTIAw Eh hoAw hlymI rwj jIAo ]
    Hun. hukam hoaa mehrvaan. d.aa
    Paae ko-ae naa kisae ran:yan.daa
    Sabh sukhaalee vuth:ia eh ho-aa halaemee raaj jeeo
    This is the edict of the Lord,
    Let none be harmed.
    Peace be on all. This is the reign of His Benevolence
    15-74-4 
    The Sikh faith is a proud heritage of India, and the country has to wake up to preserve and promote it. Prejudice comes due to lack of knowledge and understanding. To acquire the right knowledge is essential for the real understanding and harmony. We need to go deep into the meanings of such slogans to realize the causes of such reactions to redress them ethically. This is an essential requirement to achieve the personal as well as the world peace! 

    Whatever it is, it will be ideal if the Dohra (verse) mentioned above, and any other such poems that are not Gurbani, are replaced with Gurbani - the Holy Hymns, particularly for reciting after Ardas. There is no shortage of such morale boosting Hymns in Guru Granth Sahib - the Holy Book. It should be desirable to adopt Gurbani for the routines in a Gurdwara. Such verses not from Gurbani, are mostly taken for the Holy Hymns and that is not right.

    Shouting of this slogan and others like this, coined from time to time, is justified if the people understand the meanings of what they say. If they are sincere and serious about what they claim, they should work honestly to achieve them. The people mostly adopt such slogans casually to copy others without understanding their importance or implications. For such slogans the right place is a political arena and not the house of God! The house of God is for Gurbani, to promote humanity, equality and justice.

     


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