BUDDHA DAL and the Taruna Dal, names now appropriated by two sections of the Nihang Sikhs, were the popular designations of the two divisions of the Dal Khalsa, the confederated army of the Sikhs during the eighteenth century. With the execution of Banda Singh Bahadur in 1716, the Sikhs were deprived of a unified command. Moreover, losses suffered by the Sikhs during the anti-Banda Singh campaign around Gurdaspur and the relentless persecution that followed at the hands of 'Abd usSamad Khan, governor of Lahore, made it impossible for the Sikhs to continue largescale combined operations. Hunted out of their homes, they scattered into small jathas (groups) to find refuge in distant hills, forests and deserts, but they were far from vanquished.
Zakariya Khan tries Diplomacy
In 1726 the imperial government replaced 'Abd usSamad Khan by his more energetic and disciplinarian son. Khan Bahadur Zakariya Khan, but he too was unable to reduce the Sikhs to submission. He at last came to terms with them in 1733, offering them a jagir worth 1,00,000 rupees a year, the title of "Nawab" for one of their leaders and their peaceful settlement at Amritsar and elsewhere in the Punjab. The Sikhs accepted the offer. Some went back to their old villages, but the bulk of the warriors among them, a few thousand in number, still grouped around their former leaders, concentrated in Amritsar under the command of Sardar Kapur Singh who, with Darbara Singh to assist him as his diwan, made arrangements for their maintenance.
The Creation of the Budda and Taruna Dals
Kapur Singh, finding it difficult to manage such a large force centrally, particularly after Darbara Singh's death in 1734, divided the camp into two parts on the basis of age of the J'athedars or group leaders. The elders' camp comprising jathas of older leaders such as Sham Singh, Gurbakhsh Singh, Bagh Singh, Gurdial Singh, Sukkha Singh and Kapur Singh came to be called the Buddha (elder) Dal. The groups of younger Sikhs were called the Taruna (youthful) Dal. The latter was further subdivided into five jathas, each with its own drum and banner. The Buddha Dal too was similarly subdivided after some time. Nawab Kapur Singh remained in overall command of the two Dals which jointly were called the Dal Khalsa. Men were free to join jathas of their choice.
In the old records of the Sikhs we come across only one reference to the strength of a jatha. That is in Ratan Singh Bharigu, Prachin Panth Prakash, which, referring to the fifth jatha of the Taruna Dal commanded by Bir Singh Rarighreta, lists its strength at 1300 horse. From this figure it may be surmised that the jathas broadly comprised 1,300 to 2,000 men each. It was generally agreed that Buddha Dal would remain at Araritsar and manage the shrines, leaving Taruna Dal free for operations in the country.
Zakariya Khan's resumes his Persecution of the Sikhs
The entente with the Mughals did not last long. Zakariya Khan wanted the Sikhs to disperse and revert to civil life in villages or join the imperial army as regular soldiers. The governor eventually broke the compact and resumed his former policy of persecution through his gashti fauj (roving army) and again rewarded informers and private killers of Sikhs. While the Taruna Dal crossed the Sutlej into the territory of Sirhind, the Buddha Dal spread in the countryside of Majha (area of Bari Doab and Rachna Doab, especially the former).
Its first clash with the gashti Fauj took place in 1736 near Chuniari, 50 km west of Kasur. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. The Buddha Dal crossed the Sutlej and, staying for some time at Barnala, then the capital of Sardar Ala Singh, proceeded northwards again to celebrate Divali (1736) at Amritsar. While camping at Basarke near Amritsar, they were surprised by a 7,000 strong force under Diwan Lakhpat Rai. The Dal retreated towards Chuniari and then to the Malva country, where it helped Ala Singh extend his territory southwards at the cost of the Bhatti chiefs of that region.
Bhai Mani Singh Martyred
Infuriated by the martyrdom in 1737 of Bhai Mani Singh at the hands of Zakariya Khan, Sikhs prepared to converge again upon the territories of Lahore. Although Nadir Shah's invasion in January-May 1739 had shaken the imperial government at Delhi to its very roots, Zakariya Khan in the Punjab was not deterred from his policy of repression against the Sikhs. The Buddha Dal was still in the desert region of Malva and Rajasthan when news was received of the desecration of the Harimandar by Masse Khan Rarighar, Kotwal of Amritsar. Matab Singh and Sukkha Singh, members of the Jatha of Sardar Sham Singh Attari/Attariwala, traveled incognito to Amritsar, killed Massa in broad daylight on 6 May 1740 and rejoined the Jatha in their desert refuge. The Buddha Dal and Taruna Dal soon returned to the Punjab and resorted to their usual hit and run tactics. They also resumed their gatherings at Amritsar on the occasion of Baisakhi and Divali.
The politically wise Zakariya Khan chose to ignore these assemblies. According to Khushwaqt Rai, he never the less posted Diwan Lakhpat Rai with a suitable contingent at Amritsar on these occasions, but his orders were to 'not pick a fight with the Sikhs'. However, Zakariya Khan continued his campaign relentlessly, for a general massacre of the Sikhs "wherever found", until his death on 1 July 1745.
Feeling the need for further divisions, the Dal Khalsa, meeting at Amritsar on the following Divali, 14 November 1745, divided itself into 25 jathas who, however, owed allegiance to the Buddha Dal and Taruna Dal according to the affiliation of their leaders. They often continued to undertake joint operations. Jathas belonging to both Dals were involved in the bloody action known as Chhota Ghallughara of April-May 1746 in which Sikh losses amounted to seven to eight thousand killed and captured. Taking advantage of the civil war which had broken out between the two sons of Zakariya Khan, Yahiya Khan and Shah Nawaz Khan, in November 1746, the jathas of the two Dals (their number had since gone up to 65) came out of their retreats and started to converge on Amritsar. From Amritsar they spread out again on plundering raids to replenish their depleted stores, equipment and horses.
Shah Nawaz Khan, the victor in the civil war, on the advice of Kaura Mall his Diwan and Adina Beg the faujdar of Jalandhar, then sought peace with the Sikhs. The Sikhs, at an assembly of the Sarbatt Khalsa at Amritsar on the occasion of Baisakhi 30 March 1747, decided to build a fort near Amritsar which when completed came to be known as Ramgarh (God's Fort/Stronghold) or Ram Rauni.
Sardar Charhat Singh chases the 'Dur-i-Durran'
The Jathas harassed and plundered for a whole week (1826 March) the columns of Ahmad Shah Durrani who, defeated in the battle of Manupur (16 March 1748), had recrossed the Sutlej and was on his way back to Afghanistan. Sardar Charhat Singh, grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, chased him up to the River Chenab and returned with a rich booty. At a Sarbatt Khalsa conclave at Amritsar on Baisakhi, 29 March 1748, the entire force of 65 jathas was divided into eleven misls or divisions each under its own sardar or chief as follows : (1) Ahluvalia misi under Jassa Singh Ahluvalia, (2) Singhpuria (also called Faizullapuria) misi under Nawab Kapur Singh, (3) Karorsinghia misi under Karora Singh, (4) Nishanvalia misi under Dasaundha Singh, (5) ShahidmisJ under Dip Singh, (6) Dallevalia misi under Gulab Singh, (7) Sukkarchakkia mi'sJ under Charhat Singh, (8) Bhangi misi under Hari Singh, (9) Kanhaiya misi under Jai Singh, (10) Nakai misi under Hira Singh, and (11) Ramgarhia misJ under Jassa Singh Ramgarhia. The first six were under Buddha Dal and the latter five under Taruna Dal. Jassa Singh Ahluvalia was chosen to be in joint command of the entire Dal Khalsa, while Nawab Kapur Singh continued to be acknowledged as the supreme commander. Taking advantage of the preoccupation of the Mughal governor, Mu'in ulMulk, with Ahmad Shah's second invasion (December 1749February 1750), Buddha Dal under Nawab Kapur Singh attacked and plundered Lahore itself, and the Mughal satrap had to permit his minister, Diwan Kaura Mall, to enlist Sikhs' help in his expedition against Shah Nawaz Khan who had risen in rebellion at Multan in September 1749. Jassa Singh Ahluvalia with 10,000 men of the Buddha Dal took part in the expedition. However, soon after the successful completion of the campaign, the Lahore governor renewed his policy of repression. The Buddha Dal retreated towards the Sivalik hills, while the Taruna Dal found refuge in the Malva and in Bikaner. In October 1753, the Buddha Dal assembled in Amritsar to celebrate Divali (26 October 1753). Mu'in ulMulk died in an accident a week later.
Nawab Kapur Singh, before his death at Amritsar on 7 October 1753, nominated Jassa Singh Ahluvalia supreme commander of the Dal Khalsa. The appointment was ratified by Sarbatt Khalsa on Baisakhi, 10 April 1754. Mu'in ulMulk's death had cleared the way for Sikh hegemony over vast areas in central and southern Punjab, from the Chenab to the Yamuna. The Durranis' victory in the third battle ofPanipat (January 1761) was a severe blow to the Mughal empire as well as to the Marathas as rivals to the Sikhs in northwest India. The only contender left now was the Afghan invader, Ahmad Shah Durrani, who annexed the Punjab to his dominions and appointed his son, Taimur, governor at Lahore in 1757. During 175364, the Sikhs replaced the strategy of plundering raids with the system of rakhi, literally protection, under which villages and minor chiefs accepting the protection of the Dal Khalsa paid to it a regular cess. The Taruna Dal was now spread over the Majha area, and the Buddha Dal operated in the Doaba and Malva regions. Both collaborated for operations against the Afghan invader, who took, on 5 February 1762, a heavy toll in what is known as Vadda Ghallughara (q.v.), the Great Holocaust, so called in comparison with a similar but lesser disaster of 1746.
With the conquest of Sirhind in January 1764 started the final phase of the development of the Dal Khalsa into a confederacy of sovereign political principalities called misls. The misls now occupied well defined territories over which their Sardars ruled independently while maintaining their former links as units of the Dal Khalsa. The misls of the Buddha Dal established themselves broadly as follows: Ahluvalia misi inJagraon, Bharog and Fatehgarh (later in KapurthalaSultanpur Lodhi area in theJalandhar Doab); Singhpuria in parts ofJalandhar Doab and ChhatBanurBharatgarh areas south of the Sutlej; Karorsinghia misi'm a long strip south of the Sutlej extending from Samrala in the west toJagadhri in the east; Nishanvalia misi in area SahnevalDorahaMachhivaraAmloh, with pockets around Zira and Ambala; Shahid misi in area ShahzadpurKesari in presentday Ambala district, and territory around Rania and Talvandi Sabo; and Dallevalia misi in parganahs of Dharamkot and Tihara to the south of the River Sutlej and Lohian and Shahkot to the north of it. Of these, Ahluvalia misi survived as the princely house of Kapurthala and a branch of Karorsinghia nil's/ as rulers ofKalsia state. Others divided into several petty chieftainships were either taken over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the British East India Company or absorbed into the Phulkian states of Patiala, Nabha and Jind.
Even after the consolidation of their territorial acquisitions, the misls of the Buddha Dal continued cooperating in joint operations in Ruhila and Mughal territories in the GangaYamuna Doab and in the country north and west of Delhi. They collected rakhi from parts of the Doab and their plundering raids extended up to Delhi itself and beyond. Instances of Buddha Dal's cooperation with the Taruna Dal, active in Bari and Rachna Doabs and further to the north and east, became far fewer. The two together defeated Ahmed Shah Abdali in a 7day running battle in theJalandhar Doab in March 1765. Early in 1768, men from both the Dais were included in a 20,000strong contingent engaged by Jawahar Singh, the Jat ruler of Bharatpur, at Rs 7,00.000 a month, to fight against Raja Madho Singh of Jaipur. The latter, however, retired without giving a fight, and the Sikhs came back to the Punjab receiving part of the contracted sum. The two Dais now entrenched in their respective spheres as separate misls, the terms Buddha Dal and Taruna Dal became redundant and went out of use.
History Of the Buddha Dal
History is the reflection of every religion. If we peep into the history of Sikhism, we find that it is full of sacrifices (for others) and patriotism. To save the humanity (in general) and truthfulness (in every person), Sikh gurus have had to give many sacrifices. Guru Teg Bahadur (the 9th guru or 9th patsha) is one of them, who sacrificed his life for the sake of Hinduism (in other words to save the entire Hinduism from the evil clutches of Aurangzeb). The entire world knows of his sacrifice.
In 1675, Kashmiri Pandits came to seek Guru Teg Bahadur’s help, as they were being forcefully converted into Muslims by Aurangzeb (the cruel ruler of that time). On hearing their plea for help, Guru Teg Bahadur said that your religion needs a sacrifices from a supreme person. On hearing guru’s words, Sahibzada Gobind Rai who was just 9 years said, who could be a supreme person than you. Guru Teg Bahadur who was listening to his son’s words smiled and said that he was right.
Guru Teg Bahadur covered a distance of 300 miles to see Aurangzeb in his fort. He was accompliced by Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Dayala. Together they made a demand that Kashmiri Pandits should not be converted into muslims. But Aurangzeb ordered to excute all three of them only then guru ji uttered - "Sis Javey par Dharm na Javey" (meaning I can give my head but not my religion).
Aurangzeb was a cruel ruler who could not keep his cool and executed all of them. Guru ji (Teg Bahadur) was beheaded the same year (1675). His ‘Sis’ (head) was taken away by Bhai Jaita, who brought back his head to Anandpur Sahib. On receiving Bhai Jaita with Guru Teg Bahadur’s ‘Sis’ at Anandpur Sahib - Guru Gobind named Bhai Jaita "Guru Ka Beta" (Son of Guru). Earlier in Delhi Guru Teg Bahadur ji’s body, under the cover of a sudden violent storm, was secreted away from Chandni Chowk, the site of his execution, by Bhai Lakhi. To cover the respectful cremation of his beloved Guru's body, Bhai Lakhi sacrificed his own home using it as the Guru's funeral pyre.
In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh ji (who was Gobind Rai in his earlier years) established the Khalsa panth. He baptized them by giving them Khanda (a type of dagger). In 1700 on his way to Talwandi now known as Dam Dama Sahib, he defeated the army of Aurangzeb. The Gurdwara Dam Dama Sahib now stands at the location. Guru Gobind Singh Ji had stayed there for many months. During this long stay he asked Bhai Mani Singh to revise the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and thus added the teachings of Guru Teg Bahadur as well.
After having completed his mission of getting Sri Guru Granth Sahib compiled, Guru Gobind Singh Ji started his journey towards Nanded (South), where he met a Hindu recluse who would become his very faithful disciple Banda Bahadur. Before his death Guru Gobind Singh appointed him as Jathedar (commander) of his army. Presenting him with five arrows he asked him to organize and lead his army in Punjab. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur came to the Punjab to avenge the killing of the four ‘Sahibzadas’ by Wazir Khan. He fought with the Khan furiously and made him suffer dearly. After destroying the Zimmadar System of the Moghuls and winning many battles Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was captured and later tortured to death.
Many more sacrifices were made by Sikhs in general. Now it was the time for the Dal Khalsa to come into prominence. Every member of Dal Khalsa being a follower of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, had an obligation to fulfill by showing their strength on the battle field. Many members of Dal Khalsa have also laid down their lifves for the sake of other's religions.
Infamous but little understood or documented, the Nihangs have an unbroken lineage from the time of Guru Gobind Singh ji. Nihangs are said to be the "Ladlian Faujan" (lovable army) of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. They are easily distinguished as a Nihang is normally dressed in a soothing dark blue uniform and is often seen, wearing swords, astride a powerful horse carrying a Barcha (javelin) in their hand. A properly dressed Nihang stands out as a true son of the Guru. A view of Nihang takes us back into the 18th century when Dal Khalsa had just started wearing this distintive type of dress. Today, when the entire Nihang community gets together in Anandpur Sahib as Nagaras (drums) are sounded loud and clear it insures that all those of weak heart would swell with courage enough to stand against any suppressing power.
A gathering of Nihangs at one place at a given time gives a beautiful view of their strength and power. It is like a great river which can not be stopped. The river which was started on the eve of Baisakhi in 1699 from Anandpur from the feats of guru Gobind Singh Ji. They wander the Punjab to this day with horses and tents spreading "Chardi Kala" or "rising vibration" of the Gurus.
The Sacred Blue of the Panj Pyare and the Nihangs
When Guru Gobind Singh Ji baptized the five beloveds they came out from the tents wearing blue attire. There is one saying which laid the foundation that every Nihang will have to wear blue clothes. Another saying goes like this; one day Sahibzada Fateh Singh ji came in front of Guru Gobind Singh Ji wearing blue ‘Dumalla’, on seeing this guru announced that people who will wear this dress will form a ‘Panth’ in itself. Another anecdote goes like this; when guru ji removed the cloak of ‘Uch De Peer’ he tied a part of it to his ‘Kartar’. That was the origin of blue attire community.
According to old saying when Bhai Dya Singh Ji along with four ‘Sahibzadas’ hailed in front of Guru Gobind Singh Singh ji "Akal, Akal, Akal..." then the word "Akali" came into existence.
According to a well renowned writer Malcolm, it were the Singh’s who were the true Akalis (Nihangs). They represented the Sikh religion and political independence. Akali term was earlier used for the Nihangs. Akali is a person who is a devotee of Akal (The almighty). The fierce fanatical Akalis were saint soldiers. This brotherhood was distinguished by blue dress and turbans, the knives and miniature daggers and steel bracelet.
When Mata Gujri saw her grandson in the blue uniform she said your great grand father the sixth Guru used to dress up in a same way. When they all came in front of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, he said that this is the most sacred wearing and reflects a true Khalsa. Later he (Guru) declared that every true Khalsa will have this appearance which reflects "Akal Purkh de Fauj". This place where guru founded the Khalsa panth was known as ‘Damal Gargh’. However, today political parties such as SGPC and others are doing their level best to eliminate this name. Today this place is being named as "Manji Sahib". As the old saying goes, renaming and removing the old names does not eliminate the history itself. If we see the entrance stone at modern Manji Sahib, we’ll find old engraving of original name "Damal Garh" which reflects the truth of this holy and sacred place of Guru Gobind Singh Ji ‘Kalgidhar Patsha’.
During the past many different stories have come up and that has caused the confusion over the issue of formation of the Khalsa Panth. But a pure Khalsa is always in the form of a Nihang.
Today, SGPC is the governing body which controls the most of the religious gurudwaras and shrines of the holy past. Their version of history is now said to be the official version. However, though there are many facts that remain that shows that SGPC is not taking good care of the religious gurdwaras under their control. Many gurdwaras are now decaying and are not been looked at properly. Nihangs are keen to possess the control over those religious gurudwaras and shrines, and are very much ready to repair them by themselves. Gurdwaras such as Angitha Baba Naina Singh Ji, Gurdwara Babeksar ji, and some other gurdwaras around Taran Taran Sahib are under the state of immediate attention.
The Nihangs are the voice of dissent against the world wide monopoly that the SGPC has become. The SGPC has led many other covert attacks against the Nihangs, of trying to depose their clan leader with an impostor. Throughout their troubled history to this day the Nihangs have remained steadfast to origins and traditions bestowed upon them by the Tenth Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj.
Nihang Singh is that pure form of Khalsa in which Sat Guru Kalgidhar Patsha founded Panj Payare. Guru blessed them with ‘Bani’, ‘Bana’, ‘Rahit Mariada’, ‘Nit Nem’, ‘Mool Mantar’, ‘Guru Mantar’. These are the symbols of a pure Nihang Singh.
The Original Five Takhats Acc. to Budha Dal
The dispute of fifth takhat is another major point of confliction between the Nihangs and the SGPC. According to the old records, the five takhats are as followings:
1. Sri Akal Takhat Sahib: It was declared as Takhat in 1609 AD by Sri Har Gobind Ji, (Lord of Miri Piri). It is situated in the vicinity of Darbar Sahib and right in front of Darshani Deorhi in Amritsar.
2. Takhat Sri Patna Sahib: It is situated in Patna (Bihar State) where Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the 10th guru) was born. And it is one of the most important place in Bihar.
3. Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib: It is situated in Anandpur Sahib (Punjab). Here Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji laid the foundation of Khalsa Panth.
4. Takhat Sri Hajur Sahib: This Takhat is situated in Nanded in the state of Maharashtra. At this very place Guru Gobind Singh Ji "Jyoti Jyot Samay" or "made heavenly abode". At this very place Guru ji gave Guru Granth Sahib the "Gur Gadhi".
5. Takhat Sri Budha Dal: Budha Dal is said to be the "Ladlian Faujan" of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Originally, Budhadal is said to be the 5th and the final takhat. However, as mentioned earlier that SGPC is now the governing body and all the major religious properties are under their control. They are forcefully changing the history once again, by alleging that Dam Dama Sahib is the fifth takhat. Which is historically NOT TRUE. This is just another thorn in the history of brave Nihangs.
Gurudwaras under the supervision of Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal
|S. No.||Name Of Gurdwara||Address|
|1.||Burj Akali Phula Singh||Ghee Mandi (Amritsar)|
|2.||Gurudawara Sahib Agara Pichara||Distt. Amritsar, Tel:-0183-544557|
|3.||Head office-Gurudawara Ber Sahib||Talwandi Sahbo (Distt. Bhatinda), Tel:-01655-27132|
|4.||Bagichi Baba Bamba Singh||Lower Mall Road, Patiala, Tel:-0175-213091|
|5.||Lakhi Jungle Gurudawara||Village Sarja Mehima Distt. Bhatinda|
|6.||Gurudawara Patshahi Daswallen||Kotkapura|
|7.||Gurudawara Mathiasar||Village Dalianwala, Distt Mansa|
|8.||Gurudawara Fatehgarh Sahib and Bibangarh (in memory of Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh and Mata Gujri ji)||Distt. Fatehgarh|
|9.||Gurudawara Bagsar Sahib||Village Jassi Baghwali, Distt. Bhatinda|
|10.||Gurudawara Baba Naina Singh||Chawani Nihang Singh , Muktsar|
|11.||Gurudawara Gurusar Sahib||Village Sahib Distt. Bhatinda|
|12.||Gurudawara Patshahi Daswain Gurusar Sahib||Village Sarawan Distt. Faridkot|
|13.||Gurudawara Tibi Sahib||Sarawan Distt. Faridkot (Patasahi Dasween)|
|14.||Gurudawara Shahid Ganj
(in the memory of Baba Avaddu Ji Shahid) ||Sector 15, Panchkula (Haryana)
|15.||Gurudawara Patshahi Dasween||Village Dhillawan Chawani Nihang Singh , Faridkot|
|16.||Gurudawara Patshahi Dasween||Sangatsar , Nihang Singh ,Distt. Faridkot|
|17.||Gurudawara Patshahi Dasween||Thanda Kala, Tehsil Sardulpur , Distt Mansa|
|18.||Gurudawara Mata Sahib Devan||Village Mukut Nanded, Distt, Maharashtra,|
|19.||Gurudawara Akala Bunga||Chawani Nihang Budha Dal , Panjawan Takht,
|20.||Gurudawara Rab Da Kutta||Bhai Jaimal Singh ,G.T Karnal-Rd., Azadpur,
|21.||Gurudawara Baba Budha Ji||Reru Farm, G.T Road Gawalior|
|22.||Gurudawara Sahib Panjween Patshahi||Village Kad , Distt. Taran Taran|
|23.||Gurudawara Nirmohgarh Sahib||Village Nirmoh , Distt. Anandpur|
|24.||Gurudawara Shahi Tibi||Village Lakhi, Distt. Anandpur Sahib|
|25.||Gurudawara Guru Ka Bagh||Chawani Nihang Singh , Anandpur|
|26.||Gurudawara Kirpal Bhet||Machiwara , Ludhiana|
|27.||Gurudawara Ranjitgarh||Chawani Nihang Singh,Chamkaur Sahib, Roopnagar|
|28.||Gurudawara Mithasar Patshahi Cheween||Village Baddal, Distt. Ananadpur|
|29||Gurudawara Lohgarh Sahib||Village Lohgarh Distt. Patiala (Near Zirakpur)|
Since the formation of Budha Dal, it has been led by 13 Jathedars. Current Jathedar (The Commander-in-chief) Singh Sahib Baba Santa Singh Ji is the 13th Jathedar of the Budha Dal. Page here presents 5 Jathedars and the next eight Jathedars (out of the list of 13) are introduced in the next page.
Jathedar Baba Binod Singh Ji
The first jathedar of the Khalsa Panth and was from the 7th generation of Guru Angad Dev Ji (2nd Guru of the Sikhs). He accompanied Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in every battle and lead the army by front. In the battle of Gurdas Nangal Baba Vinod Singh had a narrow escape while unfortunately Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was imprisoned and was matyared. Baba Vinod Singh too was matyared while leading his army in a battle. His gurdwara is situated in Sialkot (Pakistan).
Jathedar Baba Darbara Singh Ji
The second jathedar of the Khalsa Panth,Baba Darbara Singh ji was born in a village known as Dal. Baba Darbara Singh and Gharbara Singh were two sons of Bhai Nanu Singh ji, whose forefather belonged to Guru Hargobind's family. At the age of 12, he went to Shiri Guru Gobind Maharaj at Anandpur Sahib At the age of 16, he was entitled as Diwan. He served Guru ji for the16 years and also became the jathedar of Shiri Akal Takht for 12 years. He had a long life for 90 years. Before his death, he handed over his jathedari to his successor Nawab Kapoor Singh ji. He was martyred in 1734. His gurudwara is situated in a village Kahlawa.
Jathedar Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji
The third jathedar of the Khalsa Panth, Baba Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji was born on 1697, in a village named Kaloka, Distt Shekupura (Pakistan), in a house of Chowdhary Dalip Singh Virk (a Jat). He along with his father and brother had nectar (amrit), the draught of immortality and knowledge sublime, and became a saint. In 1726, he joined the jatha of Baba Darbara Singh Ji.
In 1733, he conqured Faizulpur and re-named it as Singhpur. In the same year, he was entitled "Nawab". In 1734, he divided the Khalsa Panth into two groups,
Budha Dal and Tarunadal (it was further divided into 5 different groups). He also formed 12 different sub-groups of the entire panth. Bahi Jassa Singh and Bahi Thraj Singh ji were named as among the leaders of these groups. He remained as the jathedar for a period of 20 years. He passed away in 1753. His gurudwara is situated near Baba Tal.
Jathedar Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia
The fourth Jathedar of Budhadal Sardar Jassa Singh Aluwalia was born on the third day of May 1718 in a village Alu, Distt. Lahore (Pakistan). His father was (Sardar Badar Singh Ji Kalal). In 1723, Badar Singh Ji passed away. In 1723, he along with his mother went to Delhi to stay with Mata Sunder Kaur Ji, and stayed there for 6 years. He beptised himself from Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji and joined the 'Jatha'. In 1738, he became famous among his people.
On 14th Oct. 1745, he lead one Jatha in a battle. He attacked Kapurthala and conqured it, and made it his capital. On the 26th April 1761, he conqured Lahore and floated his own currency. As this was one of the act of authority in making the economy flow.
On the 5th of Feb 1762 in a village Kuparhidhe near Malerkotla, he lead the Panth and rescued many womens of Hindus from the Muslim. He further divided the entire Khalsa panth (including the sub-groups) into 2 major groups - Budhadal and Tarnadal.
Jathedar Baba Naina Singh Ji
The fifth Jathedar Baba Naina Singh ji came into the Budhadal at the age of 20 years. His brother was Bhup Singh who was also a saint at that time and had two sons - Chidth Singh and Kharagh Singh. Kharagh Singh remained with Baba Naina Singh ji. Baba Naina Singh, who was born in a village named KhudiKurd, near Barnala belonged to a Sidhu family. Kudi Khurd was established under a queen named Rani Chand Kaur, wife of a great king Ala Singh. Khudi Khurd comes under distt. Sangrur. Gurdwara of Baba Naina Singh Ji is situtated on the banks of river Bibay Kasar in Amritsar.
Sports - The Martial Art (Gathka)
Gatka is the traditional martial art of the Khalsa. It is based on the basic principle of unification of the mind, body and spirit in a rhythm of life to train a saint-soldier (A Khalsa) to be able to defend himself or herself.
When learning the art, you go from bare handed combat to using various shastars (weapons) such as kirpans, sticks, lathis, marotis, nun chucks, axes and a lot more.
The first shastar that a student will use is a stick normally made out of bamboo, sometimes called a Marati. With the stick you are taught all of the basic physical movements and the mental attitude required. Once these techniques have been learnt then these can be applied with other shastars as you gain more experience.
Kirpans type Shastars come in different shapes and sizes and can also come in different styles. Some the kirpans that are used by practitioners are: Talwar, Gurj, Standard, Thega, etc. Once the various techniques have been mastered, you go onto to sparing with shastars and this is when you will then be introduced to shields. Shields come in many forms and shapes. They vary a lot – some are large and heavy; some have spikes on them for attacking; some are very basic and are only used for defence only.
Sparing is a completely different level of functioning. It can be very dangerous sparing with kirpans and axes and requires strict discipline, concentration, clartity of mind and restrain. Some shastars are not used in action but are worn by the practitioner for defence. These are either placed in our "kamar kasa" (belt) or around our dastars (Turban) such as a "chakar" (metal ring).
Some instruments used in war were not even weapons such as the Ranjeet Nagara, the drum of victory, was used to boast the morale of the Sikhs going to battle, during battle and coming out of battle. Even Bani was used to help in battle the soldiers during wars. Gurbani helped even the weakest Sikhs to fight heroically. The Bani, Shastar Mahma from the Dasam Granth is one such Bani.
The way to play Gatka
The word Gatka actually refers to the wooden stick used in training called soti, which is equipped with a basket hilt. The entire martial art is based on the correct use of a vast array of melee (hand-to-hand) weapons. The foundation of the art is the Panthra which refers to the form, coordination and method for moving the feet, body, arms and weapons correctly, in unison. Gatka technique starts with a simple four-step movement called the Panthra. This is a balance and co-ordination exercise and is to be practised repeatedly. The movement requires equal and simultaneous use of both hands and makes one ambidextrous. This basic movement is followed when using all weapons and imparts impeccable balance to the practitioner.
Gatka is normally taught with rhythmic accompaniment, and the object is to achieve fluid, natural and flowing movement, without hesitation, doubt or anxiety. All the movements including attacking and blocking methods are all based upon the positions of the hands, feet and weapon(s) during the Panthra dexterity exercises. Many weapons are taught with special methodologies, in addition to the Panthra exercises.
The most common weapon used by Gatka exponents today is the lathi (a stick of varying length), but all of the other traditional weapons are still taught. Probably the most common combination of weapons in the hands of Gatka practitioners of today and in the past is the sword and shield. As one advances in their experience, they learn about the special "chambers" and other techniques, which are unique to certain weapons, such as the khanda (two-edged sword), the tabar (axe) and the barcha (spear).
The panthra exercise is a flowing, non-stop movement, and there are no specific preset "moves" similar to say, karate in Gatka. Rather, the methods of moving, turning, stopping, attacking and defending are learnt and the application depends on the circumstances at the time. The panthra exercise is practised at the same time as the Jaap Sahib Bani prayer is being sung. Also, a three-beat-per-cycle is played by a drummer at the same time. This assists in developing natural and flowing co-ordination. Just like the various "beats cycles" in Jaap Sahib, advance Gatka incorporates these different cycles and rhythms.
Mind over Matter - The Art of Gatka
In its physical form , Gatka is the original feudal art of the Saint Soldiers "Khalsa", for whom the way of life is the same as the art of war. A separate entity from the art of mere fighting, its a way of life. The balance of fighting skills, religion, healing and philosophy are the elements which consolidate into this great martial art. Any martial tradition ("Bir Bidiya"), skill, belief or art which is not beneficial to both the exponent and society is not a martial art, the following must exist:
Disciplined training A moral philosophy Dedication and a sense of duty and respect, where a balance and understanding of both cultural and martial ways is established.
Through its own evolution and efforts of a group of Instructors and schools (Akhara's ) around the world, it has progressed through the years to its present position as a martial art of great valor. Its theory, techniques and methods have been handed down through the centuries and today have been molded into an art with all of the action and history of the past contained within its present training. It is practiced in a way that it proves useful at any time and is taught in a way that it is useful in all walks and duties of life.
The Spiritual attributes of this art are instilled with the realization that one is participating in an art developed by spiritual warriors who possessed great valor, honesty and integrity, the principles and traditional concepts as laid down by great saints, bhagats, peers of various religions and faiths and Sikh Gurus off and during the evolution of the Sikh religion.
The martial mind, the discipline, the focus of the truth all elements of the MIND, the principles laid down for the warrior/practitioner/mankind is that the personality of ones self is a temporary alliance of wants and desires, (The material) and that life it self is no more than an illusion (The dream) , one can aspire to no greater heights than to die gloriously for the truth. To die is a metaphor which relates to all aspects of life from the daily duties as a citizen of a country , a noble, a peasant, a king, a parent, a soldier or a saint. The duties of the saint soldier has no margin in the way of life. The principles are all the same in any field and walk of life for all mankind. The prime objective, achieving a balance of the outer and inner elements. The ultimate, to die fighting in the field of battle.