The need for Sikhs to organize themselves as a powerful force is greater than ever. In recent times we have witnessed an increase in injustice, violation of human rights, loss of moral values, and corruption in the religious and political systems. These negative factors have affected every part of our lives in a most destructive way. Unfortunately, all of this has taken place not because our enemy is stronger but because we have failed to follow our Guru’s order. Guru Gobind Singh Ji clearly warns us of consequences of departing from the principals of Khalsa (Panj Pyare). He clearly states that until the Khalasa remains committed to its identity and roles, Guru will give all his edge in their support but when they go astray from their principals then Guru will be indifferent towards them. We must ask our self where and how we have gone astray from our true path? How it happened so fast that we did not even take notice until now. To do this let’s have a look at our past.
After the Khalsa was initiated in the form of Panj Pyaras, Guru Ji ordered them to lead the Panth. There was great revolution in the hearts of followers of Guru which rippled through religious and political arenas. Mahants were the first to feel the blow of these ripples which would become tsunamis for them. Corrupt Mahants were practicing ways which were practiced by corrupt pundits/brahmins of that time. Some of their rotten practices included stealing the money of Sangat to grow their personal wealth, worshiping idols inside Gurdhams, not allowing the lower cast to enter the Sikh assembly, they went as a far as not allowing Guru Tegh Bahadur to enter Golden Temple. The bad smell of these practices was well known to the general public which was already tired of them and wanted the real change. Under the direction of Panj Pyara, the Khasa was quick to clean up this mess. Most Gurdhams were freed from Mahants control and the local Sangat were given full authority over their Gurdhams. Khalsa quickly restored the spirituality and Rahat in all Gurdhams according to the Gurmat. This is the greatest achievement which would become the foundation of political revolution.
As the fall of Mahant system brought many positive changes, one of them was a flow of wealth into the right channels. Sangats Dasvand was being used in the right manner. Under the brilliant guidance of Guru Gobind Singh Ji new forts were being constructed, new weapons were bought, men were hired to build cavalry, besides Akal Takat four more Takats were set up under the direct command of Panj Pyare at each Takat.
On the other hand century, old Mughal Raj was losing its grip on Punjab and rest of India. The Mughals Generals were taking desperate actions to secure wealth and favors. Historians note corruption to be at the highest levels. In such desperation, Anandpur was attacked. Most likely Wazir Khan was bribed by the neighboring Shivalik Hill Rajas to remove Guru Gobind Singh. While it was the most destructive attack against Guru Gobind Singh Ji certainly it did not break his will to organize again but this time stronger. Panj Payara rehat would prove to be a quick reorganizing force. Guru Gobind Singh Ji would initiate Banda Bahadur into Khalsa Panth and inspire him to take down the city of Sarhand, a major blow to Mughals in Punjab.
Before departing to Sachkhand Guru Gobind Singh Ji would Give Guruship to Panj Pyare and give them the complete responsibility of Panth. He would compile his own Gurbani under Pathsahi 10 for Singh’s of Khalsa Panth to make them more vigilant, sharpen their intellect, and destroy any duality in their mind. This way Singh’s in the Jatha ( group ) of Panj Pyayas would have the wisdom and peace from Guru Granth Sahib and lightning like intellect from Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. Before leaving this world Guru Ji would witness the establishment of Sikh Raj under Banda Singh Bahadur. Soon after Sikh Missiles would succeed in taking down small Mughal kingdoms / Jageers within Punjab. This would mark the end of Mughal Raj in Punjab.
Mughal power vacuum gave chance for external forces from Afghan regions to attack Punjab. Individual Sikh Missles were no match for well equipped Afghan Turk army. For next half-century, Khalsa would be challenged to the point of extinction. The order was given to kill any Singh without due process. Singhs would be slaughtered throughout the region resulting in first ghallughara, a systematic genocide. But the Panj Payare reheat established by Guru Gobind Singh Ji kept by the Singhs of Khalsa would defeat all odds. Eventually, Khalsa would find its strength as a unified force under the banner of Maharaja Ranjit Singh head of Sukarchakia missle.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ruled Punjab and neighboring regions for next 50 years. The Sikh Kingdom as the largest and strongest in the region which would stretch from the Khyber Pass in the west to Tibet in the east, from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. It would be the most democratic kingdom in the world based on Sikh Principles. It would also be the first modern kingdom to abolish the death penalty. Due to its strength, it would be the last kingdom to fall to British Raj and remained under British for the shortest period when compared rest of the world. As far as the reasons for the fall of Sikh Raj, later meditations would uncover that Maharaja was going astray from the basic principles of Khalsa which brought him into the power at first place. With so many wives and each bearing, multiple sons caused feud within the family. His own relatives would poison him to death. Had he had knowledge of Guru Gobind Singh’s poetic work called Chritaro Pakayhnia Bhoop Sambatha/Characters Explained as educational lessons concerning Kings, maybe he would not have made such blunder mistakes.
The defeat of Maharaja allowed British to directly interfere in religious institutions of Sikhs for the purpose of divide and rule. At the same time, it gave chance to the rotten mahants aka masands to creep back into the religious affairs. This was the beginning of Sikh dark age which swept through Punjab. Considering the Panj Payare Rehat Maryada as the greatest hurdle in the way, the British forcefully and treacherously started attacking Sikh community leaders. Many of them were wrongfully jailed later to be hanged without due process. The Singhs known as Gadri Babas were these leaders and they were the first freedom fighters who fought British oppression. There is very little mention of them in Hindu Indian history. These Gadri Babas ( Khalsa) were fighting for India’s freedom around the same time when Gandhi was being recruited to be later trained as an agent of British Secret Service Bureau.These Gadri Babas were all hunted down by the cruel British officers and illegally hanged one by one. Others were secretly deported to distant British colonies and imprisoned to death. After so much murder and treachery British was finally able to remove Khalsa from the control of Sikh religious and political power.
Every step was taken by the British in the company of masands to humiliate Sikhs so they give up their identity. Christian missionaries efforts to convert Sikhs were stepped up. Evenmasands brought statues of Hindu deities into Harimander Sahib to convince Sikhs that Gurbani tells us to worship statues of Hindu Gods. Girza Ghar, a church was constructed at the main entrance of Harimander Sahib with the money stolen by masands from the Sangat. The injustice and the crime continued until it became irrational and unbearable. This was the beginning of the general revolt against British Power in India and it was started by the Sikhs. Many gatherings were called to address the issue of Idol worshiping in Harimander Sahib and slaughter of cows in butcher houses in the Holy city of Amritsar. Sarbat Khalsa was called on April 13, 1919, on the day of Vaisakhi at Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar. It was decided that after Sarbat Khalsa gathering Sangat would march into Harimander Sahib and free their holiest shrine from the control of corrupt masands. When British police commission General Dyer was informed about this matta/plan, he ruthlessly marched into Jallianwala Bagh and ordered his troops to open fire at the crowd. It was the worst incident of crime against humanity in which over one thousand unarmed Sikh men, women, and children were murdered by British within 30 mins. This sinful crime against innocent unarmed Sikhs would start the countdown of British departure from Punjab and eventually from rest of India.
Jalawala Bagh Saka would force British to compromise with Sikhs by giving them greater autonomy in managing their religious and political institutions. But British government did not want a strong Sikh Nation so they played the game of divide and rule by setting up a committee of 36 handpicked members to manage the Sikh affairs. 140 more members would be added to this committee and it would be named SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) by the British. This was a very foreign concept for Sikhs as it divided the Sangat into groups standing against each other. Though setting up this committee British would make sure that Sikhs do not organize themselves under Panj Pyare as they feared their strength. The British instructed the committee to elect their own five Jathedars in the place of Panj Pyare. Everything went exactly as it was planned by the British. There would be endless quarrels and scandals over the power and money. Instead of working for a Sikh cause, “Sikh” leaders fought each other relentlessly. Akali dal party would be born out of these quarrels and prove to be most damaging party to its own people as its leaders lacked genuine leadership skills. The SGPC had failed to address Sikh demands of freeing Gurdwaras from mahants controls. Singh Sabha came forward to take initiative on this matter as they had in the past to counter the Christian missionaries. Panj Payare Jathas were sent in every direction to peaceful remove masands from Gurudwaras. In such incident, Saka Nankana would take place where the main Masand, who was actually a criminal supported by the British. Over 200 peaceful unarmed Sikhs were cruelly massacred by the criminal gang of Masand Narain das. Under immense pressure from all over India Masand Narain Das and 5 others would be sentenced to death only to be later acquitted from the support of British government and Hindu leaders. All acquitted were kept in a safe place somewhere in U.P until their natural death. In next 5 years, most of the Gurdwaras would be freed from masands control. Instead of giving control of Gurudwaras to Khalsa (Panj Pyare) , SGPC and Akalis would quickly join forces with British to Pass a Gurdwara Act. This was the beginning of long-lasting marriage between SPGC and Akali dal which can be witnessed even today. Through Gurdwara Act. way SGPC had the “legal” right over all major Gurdwaras of Punjab and India.
This was the greatest blow to the principal of Panj Pyare Rehat Maryada which was introduced by Guru Nanak Dev and affirmed by Guru Gobind Singh and supported by Khalsa Panth. The very “Sikh leaders” and their parties would prove to be the traitors. They would work with every opposing force to backstab Sikhs to make them weaker. SGPC and Akali Dal would join together to steal the daswand of Sangat to make themselves stronger and wealthier. This way they can have a stronger grip on the power. Their shameful actions would pass the hight when in 1984 they would invite Indian Army to attack Akal Takat because they felt threatened by the popularity of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale among Sikh Sangat. During this attack, thousands of Sikhs were murdered trying to defend themselves against the cruel Indian Army. This was not the end but the beginning of the dark decade. From 1984 to 1994 Sikh would witness the greatest human rights violations in the history of India. Over 50,000 Sikh Youth freedom fighters would be murdered by the State and Central Reserve Police. All this happened while the “Sikh Leadership” “Sikh Intellectuals” and media was standing by watching the spectacle.
We talked about the dark forces that have disguised itself to be part of us. Well, these are the dark forces which we must learn to identify and fight. But how do we fight an enemy which has over time become part of us? An enemy which we cannot be underestimated not because of its strength but because of it cunningness to change appearance the moment it is met with a threat. To achieve this we must follow a plan to bring back the Rahat of Khalsa Panj Payare. We can not do it alone, we have to ask for guidance from Waheguru, only then can we defeat the panth dokhies / culprits.