GURU ARJAN DEV, A GREAT SIKH MARTYR
Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606)
Tomorrow (16-6-2011 - Thursday) is the day of Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom. Guru Arjan Dev was the 5th of the ten great Sikh Gurus. I understand that a few days ago, many Sikh pilgrims from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, left for Lahore—the place of martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev—in Pakistan to participate in the 405th martyrdom anniversary of the fifth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev.
Till 2010, SGPC in Amritsar was celebrating the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev on 16 June every year. However, I understand that this year the SGPC has made amendments in the Nanakshahi calendar and issued its new revised version in 2011 according to which the Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan Dev is listed for observance and celebrations on June 5 2011. This departure from inherited tradition and convention seems to have generated considerable heat, introspection and controversy within the Sikh Community and Fraternity all over the world. The place of Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev is in Pakistan. It is understood that the Government of Pakistan have rejected Visa Applications from pilgrims for June 5, 2011 and issued applications giving its approval only for June 16th 2011.
The American Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (AGPC) and other Sikh bodies have accepted the stand taken by Pakistan Government for granting VISA to Sikh devotees to celebrate the Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan Dev ji on June 16 2011 and rejecting VISA applications for June 5 2011. The SGPC however is celebrating the Martyrdom Day on June 5 2011, while Sikh organisations including Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee are observing the Martyrdom Day only on June 16.
Guru Arjan Dev was the youngest son of, Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru. He was born in 1563 at Goindval, and was the youngest of the sons of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. Before his death, Guru Ramdas nominated his son Har Gobind (who became Guru Arjan Dev) as the next Guru. Thus Guru Arjan Dev became the 5th Sikh Guru on 1 September 1581 in the footsteps of his father Guru Ram Das. GURU ARJAN DEV WAS THE FOUNDER-BUILDER OF THE GOLDEN TEMPLE AT AMRITSAR.
The personal relations between the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1542-1605 AD) and Guru Arjan Dev were quite cordial. But things changed for the worse after the accession of Jahangir (1605-1627 AD) as Mughal Emperor in 1605. It was Jahangir who inaugurated the era of inhuman and brutal suppression of Sikhism and extermination of the Sikhs and Hindus. According to the traditional accounts of the Sikhs, Jahangir ordered the inhuman torture and execution of Guru Arjan Dev in Lahore in 1606. Jahangir was annoyed with Guru Arjan Dev because he had given an amount of Rs.5000/- to Prince Khushru, the rebel son of Jahangir, when he needed it. When Jahangir questioned Guru Arjan Dev, the Guru justified it on the grounds of his Dharma and gratitude for past kindness received from Emperor Akbar, and not because of his opposition to Jahangir. Still Jahangir fined him Rs. 2 lakhs and also ordered Guru Arjan Dev to expunge from the GRANTH SAHIB certain passages opposed to the Mussalmans. Guru stated that his money was meant for the welfare of the poor and so he could not pay even a pie towards the fine imposed in a dictatorial manner by Jahangir. Further Guru Arjan Dev also made it clear that it was not possible to expunge the passages from the GRANTH SAHIB, as the passages he had included in it were not offensive to the sentiments of the Mussalmans. In spite of this reasonable explanation, Jahangir sentenced Guru Arjan Dev to death.
Guru Arjan Dev was made to sit on a hot iron plate and hot sand was showered over his body, and he was boiled in a cauldron. Dabistan-i-Mazhaid, a contemporary Persian Work, mentions of Guru Arjan Dev being deprived of food and water and put into the hot blazing sand and stoned in a savage manner, which caused blood to ooze out of his head. He was thus tortured for five days. With wounds blistering on his body, tied hand and foot, he was thrown into the River Ravi on May 30, 1606. Guru Arjan Dev was barely 43 years old at the time of his martyrdom.
This is what Emperor Jahangir himself wrote in his diary called the Tuzk-e-Jahangiri (‘Memoirs of Jahangir’): ‘In Goindwal, which is on the river Biyãh (Beas), there was a Hindu named Arjan Dev, in the garments of sainthood and sanctity, so much so that he had captured many of the simple-hearted of the Hindus, and even of the ignorant and foolish followers of Islam, by his ways and manners, and they had loudly sounded the drum of his holiness. They called him Guru, and from all sides stupid people crowded to worship and manifest complete faith in him. Many times it occurred to me to put a stop to this vain affair or to bring him into the assembly of the people of Islam. At last when Prince Khusrau passed along this road this insignificant fellow proposed to wait upon him. Khusrau happened to halt at the place where he was, and he came out and did homage to him. Arjan Dev behaved to Khusrau in certain special ways, and made on his forehead a finger-mark in saffron, which the Indians (Hinduwän) call qashqa, (Tilak) and is considered propitious. When this came to my ears and I clearly understood his folly, I ordered them to produce him and handed over his houses, dwelling-places, and children to Murtaza Khan, and having confiscated his property commanded that he should be put to death.’
Guru Arjan Dev served as the supreme head of Sikhism for a quarter of a century and accomplished great and heroic things for Sikhism during his time. He expanded the city of Amritsar and completed the construction of the Golden Temple at Amritsar. He also founded cities such as Taran Taran and Kartarpur. He constructed a Baoli at Lahore.
Guru Arjan (right) dictating the Adi Granth to Bhai Gurdas.
The most important work of Guru Arjan Dev was the compilation of ADI GRANTH. The Adi Granth is regarded as the greatest work of sacred Punjabi literature. He brought together the writings of the first four Gurus and those of the Hindu Saints from different parts of India.
Adi Granth was composed by Guru Arjan Dev in the form of sacred, soulful verses in 1604. It is, perhaps, the only book of a scriptural nature which still exists in the form first published (a hand-written manuscript) by Guru Arjan Dev. He said that the Book is the abode of God: ‘Pothi Parameswar ka sthan’. His hymns were set to divine music. We find in Adi Granth a wide range of mystical emotion, intimate expressions of the personal realization of the rapturous hymns of divine love. Guru Arjan Dev’s successors made a few additions and the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, said that there would be no more Gurus and the GRANTH should be regarded as the living voice of all the prophets: GURU-VANI SUKHMANI, one the most popular banis (sacred hymns) revered by all the Sikhs, was composed by Guru Arjan Dev.
In order to promote the feelings of universal brotherhood among the Sikhs and others, Guru Arjan Dev organized the MASAND system, a group of representatives who taught and propagated the teachings of the Sikh Gurus and also collected the DASVAND, one-tenth of a Sikh’s income (in money, goods or service) that Sikhs paid to support the building of Gurdwaras, the all important GURU KA LANGARS (free communal kitchens) which were designed and intended to share with all a sense of love, respect and equality—still the most important and vital element in any Gurdwara even today.
All the known and accepted historic facts about the glorious martyrdom of the 5th Guru Arjan Dev during Jahangir’s rule in 1606 and the equally glorious martyrdom of the 9th Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675) during Aurangazeb’s rule in 1675 have been deliberately suppressed in NCERT ‘MEDIEVAL INDIA’ Text Book for Class 11 written by Professor Satish Chandra. He ihas acted as the full time political agent of the fundamentally anti-Sikh Sonia Congress party. All the basic facts relating to the disgraceful and barbarous drama of petty pseudo-secular Congress politics allied with deadly and poisonous anti-national ideology of Marxist Indian historians, enacted by the UPA HRD Minister Arjun Singh with dictatorial authority after 2004—— which provided a safe haven to men like Professor Satish Chandra— in the vital matter of deliberate manipulation and distortion of NCERT Text Books have been graphically brought out by Professor Makhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dixit in their brilliant Book titled ‘EDUCATING TO CONFUSE AND DISRUPT, Defiling History and Education System of India’ published by India First Foundation in New Delhi.
COVER OF THE BOOK
Professor Makhan Lal and Professor Rajendra Dikshit have revealed these shocking facts in the above book: ‘Professor Satish Chandra took great pains with white washing Aurangazeb’s tyranny and persecution of non-Muslims in general and of Hindus and Sikhs in particular. The facts about Guru Tegh Bahadur’s valiant struggle against the Mughals have been suppressed. The Guru suffered horrible torture and eventual execution for leading a glorious and pious struggle for justice and religious freedom against the Mughals. But Satish Chandra decided, compelled by his ideological leanings and not as per the evidence and facts, to portray Guru Tegh Bahadur in bad light and Aurangazeb as a real hero—a tolerant, pious and, indeed, very secular ruler…..Satish Chandra not only slighted the supreme sacrifice made by Guru Tegh Bahadur, but also did not mention the 5th Guru Arjan Dev, who was put to death by Jahangir in the most cruel manner’. Trecherous Sonia Gandhi and her anti-natiojal Congress party are persecuting and prosecuting women hindu saints like Sadhvi Pragya and Hindu Swamijis like Assemananda in the same cruel and brutal manner as Mughal Emperor Jehangir tortured Guru Arjan Dev at Lahore in 1606 and Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb tortured uru Tej Bahadur in Delhi in 1675.
Qualities preached and promoted by Sri Guru Granth Sahib
All people of the world are equal
The Guru Granth Sahib promotes the message of equality of all beings and at the same time state that Sikh believers "obtain the supreme status" (SSGS, Page 446). Discrimination of all types is strictly forbidden based on the Sikh tenet Fatherhood of God which states that no one should be reckoned low or high, stating that instead believers should –“reckon the entire mankind as One” (Akal Ustat, 15.85).
Sri Guru Granth Sahib promotes the concept of equality by highlighting the fact that we are made of the same flesh, blood and bone and we have the same light of God with us – Soul . Our building bricks are the same:
SGGS Page 272 Full Shabad
The God-conscious being is always unstained, like the sun, which gives its comfort and warmth to all.
The God-conscious being looks upon all alike, like the wind, which blows equally upon the king and the poor beggar.
The Gurus also encourage believers to promote social equality by sharing earnings with those in need.
Sikhism also preaches that equal respect should be given to women.
Guru Nank Dev Ji said "Sikhi does not teach you to raise your hand on a woman it teaches you to respect them"
"In the earth and in the sky, I do not see any second. Among all the women and the men, His Light is shining.”
-Guru Granth Sahib Page 223 Shabad 706
One God for all
Sikhism is strictly monotheistic in its belief. This means that God is believed to be the one and sole Reality in the cosmos, meaning that no other being have extra-human power. Sikh Gurus state that God alone is worthy of worship, and the highest end of existence, that is mukti or liberation can come through Devotion to God alone.
Besides its monotheism, Sikhism also emphasizes another philosophical idea, which is known as monism. Monism is the belief the world is only a "vision" or illusion (Maya) and that God is the sole "Continuing Reality" so that selfishness, egoism and hate are meaningless.
SGGS Page 710 Full Shabad
God is merciful and infinite. The One and Only is all-pervading.
He Himself is all-in-all. Who else can we speak of? God Himself grants His gifts, and He Himself receives them.
Coming and going are all by the Hukam of Your Will; Your place is steady and unchanging.
Coming and going are all by the Hukam of Your Will; Your place is steady and unchanging.
Speak and live truthfully
Sikhs believe in the importance of truthful living, which can only be created by purity of mind and not through religious purification rites. They believe that impurity of mind leads to many other vices such as anger, lust, attachment, ego, and greed.
"So how can you become truthful? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away?
O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will."
O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will."
-Guru Granth Sahib Page 1 Shabad
Control the five vices
Devotees of Guru Sahib believe they must control the animal instincts of Pride/Ego, Anger/Temper, Greed/Urges, Attachment/Dependency and Lust/Addiction.
"All virtues are obtained, all fruits and rewards, and the desires of the mind; my hopes have been totally fulfilled. The Medicine, the Mantra, the Magic Charm, will cure all illnesses and totally take away all pain.
Lust, anger, egotism, jealousy and desire are eliminated by chanting the Name of the Lord."
-Guru Granth Sahib Page 1388 Shabad 5352
Live in God's hukam
A Sikh believes they should live and accept the command of God easily and without too much emotional distress. They attempt to live in contentment and in Chardikala (positive attitude).
"Shalok: He wanders around in the four quarters and in the ten directions, according to the dictates of his karma.
Pleasure and pain, liberation and reincarnation, O Nanak, come according to one's pre-ordained destiny.”
-Guru Granth Sahib Page 253 Shabad 792
The Sikh religion emphasizes several other virtues: Truth (Sat), contentment (santokh), Love (Ishq), Compassion/Mercy (daya), Service (seva), Charity (dana), forgiveness (ksama), humility (nimrata), patience (dheerjh), non-attachment (vairagya) and renunciation (taiga).
These believers attempt to avoid anger (krodh), egoism (ahankara), avarice (lobh), lust (kama), infatuation (moha), sinful acts (papa), pride (man), doubt (duvidha), ownership (mamata), hatred (vair), and hostility (virodh). In the Sikh religion, freedom from these vices , or Sahaj, is attained through tension-free, ethical living, grounded in spirituality avoiding self-mortification and other religious rites of cleansing.
SGGS Page 1084 Full Shabad
First, is the Lord's Praise; second, contentment; third, humility, and fourth, giving to charities. Fifth is to hold one's desires in restraint. These are the five most sublime daily prayers.
SGGS Page 1384 Full Shabad
Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra. Wear these three robes, O sister, and you will captivate your Husband Lord. ((127))
Michael MacAuliffe, also known as Max Arthur Macauliffe (10 September 1841 - 15 March 1913), was a senior British administrator, prolific scholar and author. Macauliffe is renowned for his translation of Sikh scriptures and traditional works in Gurmukhi on Sikh history into English. MacAuliffe entered the Indian Civil Service in 1862, and arrived in the Punjab in February 1864. He was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Punjab in 1882, and a Divisional Judge in 1884. He retired from the Indian Civil Service in 1893.
MacAuliffe also wrote a rendition, English translation of the Sacred scriptures of the Sikh religion, the Guru Granth Sahib. He also wrote The Sikh Religion: its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors (six volumes, Oxford University Press, 1909). He was assisted in his works by Pratap Singh Giani, a Sikh scholar.
Macauliffe converted to Sikhism in the 1860s and was derided by the British Government for having "turned a Sikh". His personal assistant remarked in his memoirs that on his death bed, Macauliffe could be heard reciting the Sikh morning prayer, Japji, ten minutes before he died.
Macauliffe is held in high esteem amongst Sikh communion, for his pioneering work of translation of the Sikh Scripture the Guru Granth Sahib into English. At a lecture at the Annual Session of the Lahore Singh Sabha in 1909, Macauliffe proclaimed that the Guru Granth was matchless and unsurpassed as a Book of Holy Teachings.
Max Arthur Macauliffe wrote thus about the authenticity of the Sikh Scriptures:
“The Sikh religion differs as regards the authenticity of its dogmas from most other theological systems. Many of the great teachers the world has known, have not left a line of their own composition and we only know what they taught through tradition or second-hand information. If Pythagoras wrote of his tenets, his writings have not descended to us. We know the teachings of Socrates only through the writings of Plato and Xenophon. Buddha has left no written memorial of his teaching. Kungfu-tze, known to Europeans as Confucius, left no documents in which he detailed the principles of his moral and social system. The founder of Christianity did not reduce his doctrines to writing and for them we are obliged to trust to the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Muhammad did not himself reduce to writing the chapters of the Quran. They were written or compiled by his adherents and followers. But the compositions of Sikh Gurus are preserved and we know at first hand what they taught. “
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), a Nobel laureate, gave the following comment on receiving the First English translation of the Guru Granth Sahib:
“I have studied the scriptures of the great religions, but I do not find elsewhere the same power of appeal to the heart and mind as I find here in these volumes. They are compact in spite of their length, and are a revelation of the vast reach of the human heart, varying from the most noble concept of God, to the recognition and indeed the insistence upon the practical needs of the human body. There is something strangely modern about these scriptures and this puzzles me until I learned that they are in fact comparatively modern, compiled as late as the 16th century, when explorers were beginning to discover that the globe upon which we all live is a single entity divided only by arbitrary lines of our own making. Perhaps this sense of unity is the source of power I find in these volumes. They speak to a person of any religion or of none. They speak for the human heart and the searching mind.”
All patriotic Indians—and more particularly the Sikhs, the Hindus, the Jains and, the other non-Muslims and non-Christians—besieged by the lethal forces of Global Christianity, Global Islam, Malignant Marxism and Sonia Congress brand of pseudo-secularism today—should clearly understand that the study of Sikh history is not a luxury. It is a patriotic necessity for all the citizens of India.
ARTHUR MARWICK (1936-2006)
According to Arthur Marwick, individuals, communities, societies could scarcely exist if all knowledge of the past is wiped out from collective memory. As memory is to the individual, so history is to the community or the society. Without memory, individuals will have great difficulty in relating to others, in finding their bearings, in taking intelligent decisions—they will lose their sense of identity. A SOCIETY WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF ITS PAST WOULD BE LIKE AN INDIVIDUAL WITHOUT MEMORY. WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST, ALL OF US AS INDIVIDUALS OR COMMUNITIES WOULD FIND OURSELVES IMPOTENTLY ADRIFT AND RUDDERLESS ON THE ENDLESS AND FEATURELESS OCEAN OF TIME.