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Baba Deep Singh Ji

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by singhbj, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. singhbj

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    Nov 4, 2007
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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh

    Baba Deep Singh ji Shahid (1682-1757), is one of most honoured martyrs in Sikh history. He was the founder of the Shahid Misl (group) and as well as of the Damdami Taksal (Damdama school of learning). Tall and strong he was an exceptionally brave Sikh. A bold and fearless saint-soldier he was ever ready to risk his life for the Panth. Baba ji was born on January 26, 1682 (some records register this as January 20) and died fighting at Amritsar on November 11, 1757. From about 12 years of age, he grew up around the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. He spent most of his life as a custodian of the Panth. Together with Banda Singh Bahadur he is recognised as the most honoured martyrs of the Panth. Not only was he a brave and fearless soldier but a very intelligent scholars who had mastered several languages.

    Baba Ji was born January 26, 1682, (14 Maagh Sunmat 1739) the son of Bhai Bhagata Ji and Mai Jeoni Ji, a Sikh couple living in Pahuvind, a village 40 km southwest of Amritsar. Baba Ji's parents were hard working Sikh farmers. Their first born he was to be their only child. He was named Deepa (light). An only child, his parents lavished him with much devotion and affection. When Deepa was twelve, he traveled with his parents to Anandpur Sahib to meet Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh guru. They stayed in the Guru's city for several days, doing Sewa (service) with the Sikh community. When his parents were ready to return to their village, the Guru asked the 12 year old Deepa to stay with him at Anandpur.

    He readily accepted his Guru's request and began serving the Sikh community of the city. While at Anandpur Sahib, he immersed himself in his studies of Sikh philosophy and the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book of scriptures. He learned Gurmukhi (Punjabi script) and several other languages from Bhai Mani Singh and other Sikh scholars. It was here that he also learned the art of horsemanship, hunting and the use of the bow and other weapons.

    At the age of eighteen, he received Amrit from the Panj Pyare at Anandpur Sahib on Vaisakhi day and took an oath to serve as one of Waheguru’s warriors (Akal Purakh dee fauj). With his new name, Deep Singh also learned that Sikhs are to always help the weak and needy, and to fight for truth and justice. After receiving the vows of the Khalsa, he stayed on in Anandpur to continue his studies of the sacred texts under Bhai Mani Singh. He soon became one of the Guru's most beloved Sikhs staying in Anandpur for a total of about eight years. In about 1702 Guru Gobind Singh ji requested that he return to his village to help his parents. He was married that same year.

    Baba Deep Singh Ji had been summoned to Damdama Sahib to work with Bhai Mani Singh Ji to prepare the final text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji recited the entire Granth Sahib to them while they wrote the text. On its completion, Baba Deep Singh Ji hand wrote five more copies of the holy scriptures. Four copies were sent to Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Sri Takht Patna Sahib, Sri Takht Hazur Sahib, and Sri Takht Anandpur Sahib. Another copy was prepared by Baba Deep Singh Ji in Arabic script and sent to the Middle East.

    In 1706, Guru Gobind Singh Ji placed Baba Deep Singh Ji in charge at Damdama Sahib, while Bhai Mani Singh Ji was made head priest of Harimander Sahib in Amritsar. Baba Deep Singh Ji spent many years at Damdama Sahib preaching Sikh values and teachings and doing service for the community. He was always ready to serve those in need and to fight for justice. Baba Ji also continued to write gutkas (books of hymns) and distributed them to the Sikh community.

    In 1707, Baba Deep Singh Ji joined Banda Singh Bahadur to fight for the freedom of Punjab. They fought together in the battle at Sirhind--the city in which Guru Gobind Singh Ji's younger sons had been killed. Although the Muslim army outnumbered the Sikhs significantly, the Sikh army was able to easily defeat the Muslim forces. During the battle, Baba Deep Singh Ji beheaded Wazir Khan. Later, when the Sikh forces were reorganised into twelve misls (groups), Baba Deep Singh Ji was appointed in charge of the Shaheedi division. As the leader of the Shaheedi misl, he achieved numerous victories for the Sikhs.

    In 1716, the Sikh community became divided into two separate groups. One group, known as the Bandahi Khalsa, believed that Banda Singh Bahadur is the last Sikh guru, while the other group, the Tatt Khalsa, believed that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the guru. These two groups began to dispute over control of Sri Harimander Sahib. Baba Deep Singh Ji was asked to help in reaching an agreement between the two parties. After speaking to both sides, it was decided by Baba Deep Singh Ji and Bhai Mani Singh Ji that two slips of paper would be written with each group's name on it. The slips of paper would then be tossed into the sarovar (pool of holy water); whichever group's paper stayed afloat the longest would be allowed to stay at Sri Harimander Sahib while the other group would agree to leave. Both parties agreed to solution. Baba Deep Singh Ji did ardas (prayer) and let the slips float in the water. In a few minutes, one paper began to sink and soon disappeared beneath the water. The other slip, which remained afloat, was lifted out of the sarovar. The name on this slip was Tatt Khalsa--therefore, the Bandahi Khalsa were forced to leave Sri Harimander Sahib forever.

    DamDami Taksal was created from the incidence, which occurred when the tenth master, Guru Gobind Singh was at Takht Sri Anandpur Sahib. At that time, a beloved priest was reciting the Panj Granth with sincerity. Whilst reciting the gurbani he made one continuous mistake in the Dachanee Onkar path. This was noticed by Bhai Daya Singh Ji, and other Sikh followers, who then approached the tenth master saying 'Oh great one, bestow your blessings upon your followers and teach us the way to read and understand the Gurbani without which we do not stand corrected.'

    When ever the beloved followers put a request forward to the Guru Ji he would never disregard the congregations wishes. Once free from the battles, proceeding after his sacrificed sons (4 Shahejade), who gave there lives away for there religion, Guru Ji went on to Talwandi and asked of the Singhs to 'go to Kartarpur Sahib to see Theer Mal. When the fifth master, Guru Arjan Dev Ji was reciting the gurbani, he left a space for where the Ninth Guru was to complete it. Whilst getting the Guru Granth Sahib Ji complete the translations shall be explained.'

    Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji went to see Teer Mal, and replied if Guru Gobind Singh Ji is so great why cannot he recite the gurbani off by heart. To make Teer Mal eat his words Guru Ji went to Takht Sri Dam Dama Sahib Sabho Ke Talwandi, to then recite the whole of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji with the aid of Bhai Mani Singh being the scriber. With so much swiftness at that very day the Jap Ji Sahib, reheraas Sahib and the Kirtan Sohila was concluded, and that very evening, it was all translated to the congregation. This began the process of writing, reading and translating of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, to the 48 followers and the congregation. The papers, pens and ink were supplied with great homage by Baba Deep Singh Ji. It took 9 months 9 days from 1762 until 1763 to complete the whole of the translation from Ik Onkar to Attarehi Das Bees. Where at the ending of the Guru Ji's teaching, a large ceremony took place which left the whole Sikh nation astonished by Guru seva.

    From hearing the translation from the Guru Ji (10th), the 48 followers gained devine knowledge (Brahm Giaan) which left them detached from all material status. Guru Ji gave permission to Bhai Manni Singh and Baba Deep Singh Ji to take forward this seva and teach others there learnings. Even if your body's are cut into pieces or your head is removed from your body, you will remain focused to your devine knowledge.

    Guru Ji sent Bhai Mani Singh to Amritsar and sent Baba Deep Singh Jee to Taksal Damdama Sahib to run The Taksal's teachings.

    In 1755, Ahmad Shah Abdali, the emperor of Afghanistan, attacked India for the fifth time. After looting many Indian cities including Delhi, he brought back with him gold, jewellery, and thousands of captured young women. When Baba Deep Singh Ji learned about this atrocity, he took a group of Sikhs and ambushed Ahmad Shah's forces. Baba Deep Singh Ji and his men freed much of Ahmad Shah's stolen goods and liberated the prisoners, returning them to their homes.

    Ahmad Shah Abdali was able to escape to Lahore. Angered by the attack from the Sikhs, he decided to destroy the Sikh community. He appointed his son, Tamur Shah, as the governor of Lahore, and made Jahan Khan his general. In order to destroy the source of the Sikh's spiritual strength, he ordered Jahan Khan to destroy Sri Harimander Sahib. Following orders, in 1757, Jahan Khan proceeded to Amritsar with heavy artillery. Many Sikhs died trying to defend Sri Harimander Sahib but unfortunately the gurdwara and its surrounding buildings were demolished and the sarovar was filled with dirt and debris. Sri Harimander Sahib was then closed to all Sikhs.

    At this time, Baba Deep Singh Ji was at Damdama Sahib. When he learned about this disturbing news, he immediately declared his intention of expelling the Afghans and rebuilding the gurdwara. He took a vow not to come back alive without fulfilling this mission. Baba Deep Singh Ji did ardas while promising to get to Sri Harimander Sahib:

    "Sir jaave ta jaave, mera Sikhi sidhak na jaave" (If my head is severed, let it be, but don't severe my Sikh way of life)

    Although Baba Deep Singh Ji was seventy-five years old, he still had the strength of a young warrior. He gathered a large group of Sikhs and advanced towards Sir Harimander Sahib. By the time they reached the village of Tern Taran, about ten miles from Amritsar, their numbers had risen to about five thousand. At this time, Baba Ji drew a line on the ground with his khanda, and asked only those who were willing to fight and die to cross the line. All of the Sikhs there crossed the line eagerly. Baba Deep Singh Ji then recited the shabad:

    "Jo to praym khaylan ka chaao, sir dhar talee galee mayree aao." (Those who wish to play the game of love (follow Sikhism), come to me with your head in your palm.)

    "It maarag pair dhareejai, sir deejai kaan na keejai." (If you wish your feet to travel this path, don't delay in accepting to give your head.)

    When news of Baba Deep Singh Ji's intentions reached Jahan Khan, he immediately mobilised an army of 20,000 men and proceeded towards Tern Taran. Baba Deep Singh Ji's army intercepted Jahan Khan's forces near the village of Goharwal, about five miles from Amritsar. At this point, there was a clash between both sides. Baba Deep Singh Ji fought with his 18-ser khanda (weighing about 32 lbs.). Each Sikh fought with such great valour and courage that the enemy was almost defeated. During the midst of battle, a large army of reinforcements arrived for Jahan Khan's men, turning the odds against the Sikhs. Yet, the Sikhs with Baba Deep Singh Ji as their head continued fighting and advancing towards Amritsar.

    During the clash, one of the Mogul commanders, Jamal Khan, attacked Baba Deep Singh Ji. As they fought, both men swung their weapons with great force, leaving both of their heads separated from their bodies. After seeing this scene, a young Sikh warrior called out to Baba Ji, reminding him of his vow to reach Sri Harimander Sahib. Upon hearing this, Baba Deep Singh Ji immediately stood up, holding his head on his left palm while holding his khanda upright in his right hand. He then continued fighting and moving towards Sri Harimander Sahib. Upon seeing the sight of Baba Deep Singh Ji, most of the men in the Mogul army fled away in terror. Baba Deep Singh Ji was able to continue fighting and reached Sri Harimander Sahib. He bowed his head at the prikarma (rectangular walkway) of Sri Harimander Sahib and lay there as a martyr.

    Baba Deep Singh Ji's shaheedi incited the Sikhs to continue to fight against Mogul oppression for many years. Even today, his life serves as an example for all Sikhs on how to live and die with dignity.

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh

    Admin note: Please also read related threads about Baba Deep Singh at SPN.

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