Journey of Taksal

 

As the Age of Kalyug enters into its darkest phase, forces of evil are trying their best to eliminate Truth and Purity from this planet. Guru Nanak Dev ji came on this Earth to rejuvenate Dharam and uphold humanitarian values. The Great Master invigorated human beings with His Divine Baani. It was Baani which went into the hearts and minds of weak Human beings, removed the filth of Maaya and enlightened the darkened minds. Baani erased the fear of death and attachment, liberating a Sikh from bonds of slavery, of matter and material. This Baani infused the spirit of Charhdi kala in Sikhs, which inspired them to stand up for Humanitarian ideals like Equality, Freedom and justice. Ten Gurus were the pioneers of the greatest revolution this world ever saw. Sikhi is a revolution and Sikh is revolutionary all his life. Path of Sikhi leads towards Waheguru, towards house of Guru Nanak and this path is illuminated with knowledge of Gurbaani. Traditions and norms set up by political and religious masters of this world are not followed by a Sikh. Sikh follows what his Guru says, not the world, and it's the Baani of his Guru which enlightens, empowers a Sikh. Till the time a Sikh receives divine power, divine knowledge, divine light from Baani, there is no power in this creation which can subdue him, enslave him. Times change, traditions change, but Waheguru and his Hukam never change. And Baani is the One light which brings a Sikh in uniformity with Divine Hukam. Once a Sikh understands what Hukam is, he/she is liberated.

All the Ten Gurus stressed on importance of Gurmat Gyaan, the Divine Knowledge as revealed by Gurus. A Sikh's greatest source of energy, power and light is Baani of his Guru. Baani is like an ocean full of pearls and emeralds, but one has to dive deep into that Ocean to get all those treasures. A Sikh too can dive as much deep he wants into this ocean of Baani, and amazing thing is, deeper the Sikh dives, higher his Surat (consciousness) rises. As the Baani enters the mind of a Sikh, it removes the filth, the impurity of millions of Births and inner self of a Sikh glows, and in that glow, Sikh comes face to face with the Divine Lord, Waheguru, who resides in his very own self.

To be able to read, understand and contemplate on Baani, a Sikh needs to have proper knowledge of all aspects of Gurbaani, its ucharan (pronunciation), Shabad Arth
(Literally meaning) and Bhaav Arth (intellectual meaning). When Gurus authored Baani, they made sure that all aspects of Baani and its knowledge are preserved in its purest form, as the human mind has the tendency to misinterpret and misrepresent anything and everything according to its own viewpoint. Baani is Gur-mat, the teaching of Guru but if it's not interpreted and understood in the way Guru wants us to, there is very strong possibility that the corrupted human mind can misuse it for its own perverted reasons, turning Gurmat into Man-matt. This was the very reason Gurus at times appointed scholar Sikhs to go out and do parchar of True Updesh (teachings) of Gurus. In those great scholars and vidwans, names of Bhai Bhagirath, Bhai Mansukh, Bhai Gurdas ji, Bhai Jetha, Bhai Manjh, Bhai Behlo, Bhai Piraga, Baba Bidhichand are notable.

All these Gursikhs were blessed souls who had been blessed by Guru. Their Surat (consciousness), Matt (Realm of reason), Mann (Realm of sense) and Budh (intellect) had been carved beautifully which made them 'Karamkhandi' (The Fourth Realm) beings, higher than beings of this planet. They had rose above the filth and impurity of this World, its attachments, fear, greed, lust and ego. Such was the shine on their faces, that whoever saw them, listened to their words was attracted towards the words they spoke. The Baani which they spoke pierced through the hearts of humans and took them close to their own self, The Waheguru.

As the time passed, forces of evil started trying suppressing the voice of Truth. Guru Arjan Dev ji and Guru Teg Bahadur ji had to give Shaheedi to uphold purity and sanctity of Baani and principles enshrined in Baani. But this did not deter the travellers of truth from walking on this path, instead it strengthened the resolve of Gursikhs to spread the light of Truth, under the command of Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj. Guru Gobind Singh ji's lifetime was of one of the most significant importances for Sikh Panth. While Guruji set up rules and regulations for Sikhs of all times to come, formalizing Sikhs as 'Khalsa Panth' of Waheguru Akaal Purakh, giving distinct identity to his Sikhs, a set of principles called 'Rehat Maryada', he also authored blissful Baani in praise of Lord Akaal Purakh Waheguru. With spiritually enlightening Baani, Maharaj also created vast literature related to subjects of History, Mythology, Psychology, Politics, Warfare and Social science. It was the magnetic and attractive persona of Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj that Sikh Revolution reached its peak with creation of Khalsa, the day Guru Gobind Singh ji announced the resolve to create Kingdom of Peace on this planet with Humanitarian principles of Gurbaani being the basic fundamentals of that Kingdom. Army of Akaal was created, which led to worldly powers attacking Guruji's Anandpur with all their might. Maharaj had to leave Anandpur Sahib in the middle of night and in the ensuing battles with Mughal and Hindu forces, elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh ji and many brave Gursikhs attained Shaheedi. Guruji's younger sons and Mother, Mata Gujri ji were imprisoned and taken to Sirhind, where they were bricked alive and martyred. Passing through these testing times of continuous battles and sacrifices, Guru Gobind Singh ji reached a place called Talwandi Saabo ki. It was here Guruji opened his Jangi Kamar-kasa and rested. For this reason this place was known as Dam-Dama Sahib (Place of Rest).

ਤਹਾਂ ਜੰਗ ਕਾ ਕਮਰ ਕਸਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਖੋਲਯੋ,ਦਮ ਬਹੁ ਲੀਓ
ਯਾਹੀ ਤੈ ਵਹਿ ਨਾਮ ਜਗ੍ਹਾ ਕਾ, ਬਿਦਤ ਦਮਦਮਾ ਥੀਓ


Mughal forces had stopped pursuing Guruji and Sikhs of the area started flocking towards Maharaj in thousands. Guru Teg Bahadur ji had visited this place during his time and blessed that one day a very holy and monumental task will be undertaken here and this place will be known as Abode of Gyaan (Knowledge) for times forever. Following up on the bachans of Pita Satguru, Guru Gobind Singh ji one afternoon asked Sikhs to bring some kalams(Wooden pens). As the Singhs brought the pens, Guru Gobind Singh ji sat on banks of a pool (today known as Gurusar) and started sharpening the pens. Every pen he sharpened, he threw it in the pool of water. Seeing this, Bhai Dalla who was standing near to Maharaj asked curiously, Satguruji, why are you sharpening pens and throwing them in this pool of water? Guruji replied, 'Bhai Dalla, this place is Guru's Kanshi, the centre of learning. Ninth Satguru ji has blessed this place with Honour of being Guru's School, where divine knowledge will be imparted to one and all.

ਦੋਹਰਾ
ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਬੈਠੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾਨੇ ਘੜਿ ਘੜਿ ਨੀਕ
ਢਾਲਹਿ ਬੀਚ ਤਲਾਵ ਕੇ,ਧਰਿ ਅਨੰਦ ੳਰਿ ਠੀਕ॥੨੬॥
 



ਚੌਪਈ
ਡੱਲੇ ਅਰਜ਼ ਕਰੀ ਪਿਖ ਯੌਹੈਂ
ਕਲਮਾਂ ਡਾਰਨ ਕਾਰਨ ਕੌ ਹੈ?
ਬਚਨ ਕਰਯੋ ਡੱਲੈ ਪ੍ਰਤਿ ਤੈਹੈ
ਇਹਾਂ ਗੁਰੁ ਕੀ ਕਾਂਸ਼ੀ ਥੈਹੈ॥੨੭॥
ਨੌਮ ਗੁਰੁ ਜੋ ਬਰ ਦੈ ਗਏ
ਬੈਲਨ ਸਮ ਜਨ ਇਹਾਂ ਪਢਏਂ


While at Anandpur sahib, Guru Gobind Singh ji had sent some Singhs to bring saroop of Sri Aad Granth Sahib from Dheer mal, but Dheer mal had refused saying that if Guru Gobind Singh is Guru, he should create Aad Granth himself instead of asking from him. Singhs returned and told Maharaj what had happened. Guruji promised Singhs that one day he will compose Baani, but soon after Battles with Mughals and Hindu kings started and Maharaj had to postpone the work.


ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਨਾ ਦਯੋ ਸਿੱਖ ਹਟ ਆਏ
ਗੁਰੁ ਢਿਗ ਸਬਿ ਬ੍ਰਿਤੰਤ ਸੁਨਾਏ
ਸੁਨ ਕਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਵਹਿ ੳਰਿ ਧਰਿ ਰਾਖੀ
ਧਰਿ ਮੱਲ ਜੋ ਬਾਨੀ ਭਾਖੀ॥
ਨਂਹਿ ਅਵਕਾਸ਼ ਰਚਾਨੇ ਕੇਰਾ
ਮਿਲਿਓ ਥਾ,ਬਹੁ ਬਢਯੋ ਬਖੇਰਾ
ਅਬਿ ਅਵਕਾਸ਼ ਪਾਇ ਗੁਰੁ ਗਯਾਨੀ
ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਰਚਨ ਕੀ ਤਯਾਰੀ ਠਾਨੀ॥

 


Guru ji, while at Damdama sahib saw it as perfect time to finish the task and ordered Singhs to arrange for sewa. Separate tent was put up and Sewa started. Guru Gobind Singh ji would recite the Baani with his Divine vision in early hours of the day and in the evening; Maharaj taught Sikhs the Ucharan, Bhed, Arth and Bhavarth of the written Baani.

ਜੋ ਜੰਗਲ ਮੰਗਲ ਪਰ ਦਾਈ
ਅਬਿ ਦਰਵਾਰ ੳਦਾਰ ਜਹਾਂ ਈ
ਤੰਬੂ ਤਹਾਂ ਕਨਾਤ ਲਗਾਈ
ਭੀਤਰ ਬੈਠੇ ਆਪ ਗੁਸਾਂਈ ॥
 

 

ਮਨੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਕੋ ਲਿਖਨ ਬਿਠਾਯੋ
ਨਿਤ ਦੁਇ ਪਹਿਰ ਸੰਕੇਤ ਠਰਾਯੋ
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਗਏ ੳਚਾਰਤ ਜੈਸੇ
ਬਾਨੀ ਲਿਖੀ ਸਿੱਖ ਤਿਹ ਤੈਸੇ॥
ਪੂਰਨ ਤੂਰਨ ਕਈ ਮਾਸ ਮੈਂ
ਆਦਿ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਕਿਯ ਤਯਾਰ ਤਾਸ ਮੈਂ॥


While Baba Mani Singh wrote Baani, Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed did sewa of 'Kalams', paper and ink. It took approximately Nine months and nine days to complete this sewa and the saroop was named Damdami Bir after the place where it was compiled.


ਦੋਹਰਾ
ਬੀੜ ਆਦਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਕੀ
ਨਈ ਕਰੀ ਯੌਂ ਤਯਾਰ
ਯਾਂਹੀ ਤੇ ਕਹਿਲਾਤ ਵਹਿ
ਬੀੜ ਦਮਦਮੇ ਵਾਰ॥


After completion of Sri Aad Granth Sahib Ji, Guruji blessed Baba Deep Singh ji and Baba Mani Singh ji with sewa of Gurmat Parchar, to carry on the tradition of Gurbaani Vidya, Santhya, Arth-Bhav and to spread light of Gurbaani in this dark age of Kalyug. After blessing his Sikhs with sewa at Damdama Sahib to start tradition of passing on Gurbaani knowledge, Guruji moved towards south.


ਰਹੇ ਦਸਮ ਗੁਰ ਦਮਦਮੇ
ਨੌ ਦਿਨ ਅਰ ਨੌ ਮਾਸ
ਲਿਖਨ ਪਢਨ ਕੀ ਰੀਤਿ ਸਭਿ
ਤਹਾਂ ਚਲਾਈ ਖਾਸ



The Reet or Tradition of Gurmat Vidya was started at Damdama Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh ji and this fact is very well mentioned in Puratan Granths such as Sooraj Parkash and Naveen Panth Parkash. To carry on this tradition a centre for Gurmat Vidya was started at Sri Damdama Sahib by Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed. Meaning of word 'Taksal' as given in Mahaan kosh is --

ਟਕਸਾਲ - takasāla - टकसाल
ਟੰਕਕਸ਼ਾਲਾ. ਸੰਗ੍ਯਾ- ਟਕੇ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਦਾ ਘਰ. ਉਹ ਮਕਾਨ ਜਿੱਥੇ ਰੁਪਯਾ ਆਦਿ ਸਿੱਕੇ ਬਣਾਏ ਜਾਣ,. Mint.
੨. ਭਾਵ- ਸਤਸੰਗ। "ਘੜੀਐ ਸਬਦੁ ਸਚੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ." (ਜਪੁ )
੩. ਉੱਤਮ ਸਿਖ੍ਯਾ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਪਾਠਸ਼ਾਲਾ.

ਟਕਸਾਲੀ - takasālī - टकसाली
ਟਕਸਾਲ ਨਾਲ ਹੈ ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਸੰਬੰਧ।
੨. ਉੱਤਮ ਅਸਥਾਨ ਰਹਿਕੇ ਜਿਸਨੇ ਵਿਦ੍ਯਾ ਅਤੇ ਰਹਿਣੀ ਸਿੱਖੀ ਹੈ.

Some people ask whether Taksal existed in 18th century or not. We have enough evidence available in Sooraj Parkash and Panth Parkash which clearly proves that Baba Deep Singh ji led a Taksal of Gurmat Gyaan at Guru Kanshi Sri Damdama Sahib during his time. Even Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha mentions existence of Taksal of
Damdama Sahib in his Maahan Kosh. Under the title of Dasam Granth, Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha writes about existence of Taksal.

ਸੰਮਤ ੧੭੯੪ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਾਈ ਮਨੀਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ, ਸਿੱਖੀ ਦਾ ਸੱਚਾ ਨਮੂਨਾ ਦੱਸਕੇ ਲਹੌਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਹੋਏ. ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਦੇਹਾਂਤ ਪੁਰ ਪੰਥ ਨੇ ਦਸਮਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਨੂੰ ਦਮਦਮੇ ਸਾਹਿਬ, ਜੋ ਉਸ ਸਮੇਂ ਵਿਦ੍ਯਾ ਦੀ
ਟਕਸਾਲ (ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਕਾਸ਼ੀ ਕਰਕੇ ਪ੍ਰਸਿੱਧ) ਸੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਲਈ ਭੇਜ ਦਿੱਤਾ.

Giani Gian Singh writes in his Panth Parkash about the sewa Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed did while he stayed at Sri Damdama Sahib.


ਦੀਪ ਸਿੰਘ ਸ਼ਾਹੀਦ ਜਬ
ਥਿਰਯੋ ਦਮਦਮੇ ਜਾਇ
ਆਦਿ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਤਿਨ ਔਰ ਇਕ
ਬੰਨੋਂ ਬੀੜ ਲਹਾਇ॥
ਪੁਰਿ ਕਰਤਾਰ ਲਿਜਾਇ ਕੈ
ਸੋਧਯੋ ਭਲੇ ਬਨਾਇ
ਅਪਨੀ ਤਰਫੋਂ ਫਰਕ ੳਨ
ਰਹਿਨੇ ਦਯੋ ਨ ਕਾਇ॥
ਤਿਸ ਪਰ ਤੈ ਚਾਰਿ ੳਨ
ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਲਿਖਾਏ ਔਰ
ਇਕ ਹਜ਼ੂਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਪਠਯੋ
ਦੁਤੀਯਾ ਪਟਨੇ ਗੌਰ॥
ਤੀਸਰ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਥਪਯੋ
ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਮੈਂ ਚਾਹਿ
ਪਹਿਲੇ ਪੋਥੀ ਖੁਲਤ ਥੀ
ਪੰਜ ਗ੍ਰੰਥਿ ਤਹਾਂਹਿ॥
ਚਤ੍ਰਥ ਰਾਖਯੋ ਦਮਦਮੇ
ਅਬਿ ਲੌ ਜੋ ਤਹਿ ਠੋਰ
ਇਨ ਗ੍ਰੰਥਨ ਪਰ ਤੈ
ਲਿਖੇ ਗਏ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਔਰ॥


So we have enough proof that Taksal did exist in 18th century at Damdama Sahib, under the leadership of Shaheed Baba Deep Singh ji. Taksal was the Centre of learning, where Sikhi was taught to Vidyarthis. Those Vidyarthis after completing their Vidya went out to various parts of world to preach message of Ten Gurus. Many Singhs joined the guerrilla movement which had been launched in Punjab by Khalsa Panth and established their own fighting battalions (Jathe) which were later known as Misals. Some of the great Jathedars of Khalsa Panth who led Panth's armed struggle were students of this Taksal. What they learnt at Taksal, they followed it whole of their life. Some people claim that Taksal should follow the Maryada of Dals, whereas in reality it should be vice versa. Dals or Battalions were fighting force, their task was to fight the enemies of Panth, destroy the evil and create Khalsa Raaj. They were supposed to follow the Gurmat Maryada which was being taught in Guruji' Taksal. Power comes with unity, and the unity of Panth was based on unity of principles. Taksal upheld the Gurmat principles and made sure that each and every Sikh adhered to Gurmat maryada as started by Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj. The Great Taksali Singhs were leaders of Buddha Dal, Tarna Dal, various Misals. Maharaja Ala Singh of Patiala took Amrit in 1736, from Panj Piare led by Baba Deep Singh ji, which included Nawab Kapoor Singh and Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji.

Jathedar Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji was one of 48 students who took vidya from Guru Gobind Singh ji. After Shaheedi of Baba Mani Singh ji, Taksal of Amritsar Sahib was virtually finished. With Baba Mani Singh ji, His brothers Jagat Singh and Gulzar Singh, Sons Chittar Singh and Gurbaksh Singh were martyred at Lahore. This forced other Singhs to move to Sri Damdama Sahib where both groups of Taksal merged. Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji was given sewa of Sri Anandpur Sahib by Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed in late 1730's. When Baba Deep Singh ji moved to liberate Darbar Sahib and attain Shaheedi, Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji came and joined the Shaheedi Fauj. Baba Deep Singh ji gave the responsibility to establish Taksal at Sri Amritsar again to Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji. Babaji did the sewa of Gurbani Parchar and Gurmat vidya at Darbar Sahib and just before his Shaheedi, gave that sewa to Baba Soorat Singh ji. Baba Soorat Singh ji had moved to Darbar Sahib with Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji. After Baba ji's Shaheedi, Baba Soorat Singh ji continued the sewa which was then taken over by his sons, Baba Gurdas Singh and Baba Sant Singh ji respectively. Mahaan Kosh tells about Baba Sant Singh ji as --

ਭਾਈ ਸੂਰਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦਾ ਸੁਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਹਰਿਮੰਦਿਰ ਦਾ ਗ੍ਯਾਨੀ. ਇਹ ਵਡਾ ਵਿਦ੍ਵਾਨ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੈ. ਭਾਈ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਵਿਰਾਜ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਤੋਂ ਵਿਦ੍ਯਾ ਪੜ੍ਹੀ ਸੀ. ਦੇਖੋ, ਸੰਤੋਖ ਸਿੰਘ. ਗ੍ਯਾਨੀ ਸੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦਾ ਦੇਹਾਂਤ ਸੰਮਤ ੧੮੮੯ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੋਇਆ ਹੈ. ਇਸ ਸੱਜਨ ਦਾ ਗ੍ਯਾਨੀ ਵੰਸ਼ ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਨਮਾਨ ਯੋਗ ਹੈ।

As we know from vichar in earlier section, title of Shaheed was bestowed upon Gursikhs who would live through hard times carrying on Gurmat Parchar. Fighting in battlefield for Dharam and laying down ones life is an act of honour, but living through the hard times and propagating Truth, purest ideals and knowledge of Gurus and dedicating ones life to service of Sikhi is an equal act of sacrifice. While Giani Baba Sant Singh ji was Mukh Granthi of Darbar Sahib and Mukhi of Damdami Taksal, John Malcolm visited Darbar Sahib. He wrote a book, A Sketch of the Sikhs, which was published in 1812. What he saw and wrote, we believe is a fact which has been kept hidden from Sikh masses from centuries. He wrote about Parkash of Sri Dasam Granth Sahib ji at Sri Akaal Bunga, the raw and rough attitude of Akali Sikhs and the prevalent customs of the time. Going through his works, one comes across a very amazing fact. That is, presence of three tribes or groups of Sikhs in parikarma of Darbar Sahib. On page 94 of his book he writes,

''The Shahid and Nirmalas, two other religious tribes among the Sikhs have their bungas on the great reservoir of Amritsar, but both these are peaceful orders of priests, whose duty is to address the deity, and to read and explain Adi Granth to the Sikhs. They are in general, men of some education. A Sikh of any tribe may be admitted into either of these classes, as among the Akalis, who admit all into their body who admit to conform to their rules".


 

 


On page 104, he writes,

The religious tribes of Akalis, Shahids and Nirmalas have been noticed. Their general character is formed from their habits of life. The Akalis are insolent, ignorant and daring. Presuming upon those rights which their numbers have established, their deportment is hardly tolerant to the other Sikhs, and insufferable to strangers, for whom they entertain a contempt, which they take little pains to conceal. The Shahid and Nirmala have more knowledge, and more urbanity. They are almost men of quiet, peaceable habits and many of them are said to possess learning.

This account from a foreigner explains well about the existence of Akali, Shaheed and Nirmala Sikhs in parkarma of Darbar Sahib. Akali Sikhs were led by Akali Baba Phoola Singh ji, Shaheeds were led by Giani Baba Sant Singh ji and Nirmala Sikhs were commanded by Sriman Baba Sahib Singh ji Bedi. People who write and talk about non-existence of Taksal in 18th and 19th century fail to give any valid explanation for who were these Shaheeds? Were they Nihang Sikhs? If they were Nihang, then who were Akali Sikhs? All this talk that there were only two Sampardas in earlier times, Nirmalas and Nihangs are falsified by this witness account of Malcolm. Moreover, Nihang is not a title of a definite Baana, its an Awastha which is personified in a particular dress, just like Shaheed and Nirmala are awasthas of Gurmukhs. Internally, Shaheed, Akali and Nirmala have same meaning, only when it comes to outer realm that the meanings change. But one similarity we, the Sikhs of today have falied to notice is that all the three groups or Jathas (as I prefer to call them) had one maryada and one belief. Jathedars of these three groups acted as Pillars of Sikh society and Khalsa Raaj. Baba Sahib Singh ji Bedi, Baba Sant Singh ji and Baba Phoola Singh ji were all Sant-Sipahi Khalsa. All were Amritdhari, all were part of decision making process at Lahore Darbar and Akaal Takhat. All were fully active in Sikhi parchar and up keeping of Sikh principles. Written Sikh history and to some extent Oral tradition gives full credit of creation of Strong and prosperous Khalsa Raaj to these three great Mahapurakhs of Khalsa Panth. It was only after these Holy souls went to Sachkhand that Enemies of Khalsa Raaj got chance to destroy the foundations of Khalsa Raaj, which ultimately led to fall of Sikh Empire. The role played by these three groups and Jathedars of these groups will be discussed in separate section. Here what we have tried to explain is 'presence' of three Sikh groups in Darbar Sahib and existence of Shaheed Taksal in early 19th century. Surprisingly so-called Udasis are not mentioned in this account and Nirmalas which have been mentioned (led by Baba Sahib Singh ji Bedi, who was Amritdhari Gursikh) are completely different from present day Nirmalas (who claim to have abstention right from Amrit ceremony).
 


Giani Baba Sant Singh ji served Khalsa Panth as Mukh Granthi of Darbar Sahib and Jathedar of Shaheed Taksal (Damdami Taksal) till 1832. He went to sachkhand that year and after him, his son Baba Daya Singh ji took up the sewa.

 



British took over control of Punjab in 1849. Working on policy of division, confusion and oppression armed Khalsa warriors were captured, killed, imprisoned and exiled to other distant nations and islands. Likes of Baba Maharaj Singh ji, Sardar Chatar Singh and Sher Singh were sent to Singapore and Andaman. Shaheed Jatha was group of peaceful learned parcharaks, but still they were a very big threat to British rule as it gave pehra on Tatt Khalsa Maryada. After Akalis and Nirmalas, Shaheeds were the target of British oppression. Baba Daya Singh ji's son was jailed in false case and hanged. Still Babaji carried on the sewa of Parchar. After demise of Baba Daya Singh ji, Baba Bhgawan Singh ji took up sewa of Darbar Sahib and running Taksal of Guru Gobind Singh ji. He stayed at Majithia Bunga (one of the two bungas near Darbar Sahib Sarovar, other being Bunga Ramgarhia). Babaji taught Gurbaani Vidya and Gurmat principles to hundreds of Vidyarthis which included Baba Harnaam Singh ji Bedi, Baba Ameer Singh ji (Gali Sattowali Taksal) and Baba Hazaara Singh ji (grandfather of Bhai Veer Singh ji).


After Baba Bhagwan Singh ji, Baba Harnaam Singh ji Bedi, from family of Baba Sahib Singh ji Bedi took up the sewa of Darbar Sahib and Taksal, to carry on the traditions of Khalsa Panth. But one fine day, Udasis and Fake Nirmalas were brought from Hindu Heartland (Kashi and Benares) and planted in Darbar Sahib, the Sikh Heartland. The land from where Sikhs were to attain light and knowledge of Guru, Gurmat and Sikh History was converted into a Brahamanized place of worship.

 

 


Baba Harnaam Singh ji Bedi was barred from sewa of Mukh Granthi, a position which Taksali Mahapurakhs had held from times of Baba Mani Singh ji. He was not allowed to do Katha or parchar in Darbar Sahib, Parkarma or anywhere else in Sri Amritsar. Babaji moved to Dera Baba Joga Singh ji and continued his Parchar. Baba Harnaam Singh ji Bedi who had a very charismatic personality, was a japi-tapi Mahapurakh. He was one with Akaal Purakh and there was Amrit Ras in his words. Whoever heard Katha from him was blessed with Brahmgian by Satguru Gobind Singh ji. His students included Sant Baba Bishan Singh ji, Sant Baba Sundar Singh ji, Sant Baba Sangat Singh ji (Kamaliye wale), Sant Baba Wadhawa Singh Lehrekhane wale (Vidya Guru of Sant Baba Nand Singh ji Nanaksar Kaleran). After serving Khalsa Panth for four decades and carrying on the tradition of Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed and Baba Sant Singh ji, Baba Harnaam Singh ji left for Sachkhand in 1885, but before that they deputed Baba Bishan Singh ji to carry on Gursikhi Parchar in rural Punjab, where it was needed most.

  



History of Great sewa done by Taksali Mahapurakhs after Baba Bishan Singh ji Muralewale is known to everyone. The Sewa done by Baba Sundar Singh ji, Baba Gurbachan Singh ji, Baba Kartar Singh ji, Baba Jarnail Singh ji Khalsa and Baba Thakur Singh ji is present in front of whole world. There is no need to show a lamp to Sun. This Jatha of Shaheeds, Brahmgiani Mahapurakhs who were Tatt Khalsa Sant- Sipahis didn't just talk about Sikhi. They lived Sikhi with every breath; their jeevans are a living example of Sewa, Simran, Sacrifice, Jap, Tap and Tyag. Such blessed Gursikhs were given the title of Shaheed by Guru Gobind Singh ji in 1706 A.D. These Mahapurakhs have lived up to that title which was bestowed upon them by merciful Satguru ji. It is a fact that till today whenever Darbar Sahib has been attacked, Mahapurakhs of Taksal have stood and defended it and liberated it from clutches of Evil tyrants. Never once in history have these Mahapurakhs raised an arm on a fellow Gursikh, who is walking on path of Guru, they haven't ever fought for any position, wealth or personal power. Throughout history, we see them serving Khalsa Panth and preaching ideals and teachings of Guru Nanak and Ten Gurus to whole humanity, selflessly serving Panth as servants and shedding blood for honour of Guru and Panth whenever need arose. With blessings and Eternal kirpa of Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj, this Jatha of Shaheeds will continue serving Khalsa Panth and Humanity and Taksal of Maharaj will stay in Charhdi kala.

 

Some Questions and Doubts about Taksal

Lately some people have started raising questions on historicity and authenticity of Taksal with their unreasonable minds. Some of the questions raised are –

1. What is the proof that Guru Gobind Singh ji started Taksal?
2. What is the proof that Baba Deep Singh ji was first Jathedar of Taksal?
3. Baba Deep Singh ji was Mukhi of 'Misal Shaheeda Tarna Dal', how can he be associated with Taksal?
4. If Baba Deep Singh ji and Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji were Nihang Singhs, why arent' present day Taksali Mahapurakhs Nihangs?
5. Why doesn't Taksal follow Maryada of Nihang Singh Dals?
6. How can there be only one Jathedar of Damdami Taksal as it is not a Jatha or Dal but a Samparda?

Answers to first two questions have been given in full details in above vichar, which clearly proves that
• Guru Gobind Singh ji did start the Tradition of Gurbaani Vidya at Damdama Sahib.
• Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed formalized that tradition by imparting Gurbaani Vidya through Taksal (School) of Guru at Damdama Sahib, which came to be known as Damdame Vali Taksal or Damdami Taksal.

Now the question arises over the role of Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed being First Jathedar of Damdami Taksal. There are people who question Babaji;s role, limiting it to being just a Jathedar of one of the groups of Tarna Dal (Mounted battalions). Truth is bitterly different for some people.
Baba Deep Singh ji was Jathedar of Misal Shaheedan (earlier known as Jatha Shaheedan, created in 1706 along with Damdami Taksal). The people who question authenticity of Taksal have either not read Sikh history or have some ulterior motives with which they try to alter the historical facts. Misal Shaheedan or Jatha Shaheedan was formed in 1706 at Damdama Sahib with blessings of Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj himself, who gave the title of Shaheed to Baba Deep Singh ji and four of his companions. These Gursikhs were Japi-Tapi, Naam Abhyaasi Shastardhri Gurmukhs who had overcome fear of death and had gone beyond Kaal. They were Shaheeds. And Gursikhs with such high spiritual Jeevan were given the sewa by Dasmesh Pita to carry on the great tradition of Gurmat Vidya and Gurbaani parchar. These gursikhs fought for Panth in frontlines whenever needed. They were in a way personification of Sant-Sipahi tradition of Khalsa.

Baba Deep Singh ji didn't take any positions whole of his life other than what Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj had blessed him with. He didn't take up position of Jathedar of Dal Khalsa, Tatt Khalsa, Buddha Dal or Tarna Dal (which were formed long after Guru Gobind Singh ji left for Sachkhand). Still he was the highly respected Mahapurakh of Panth along with Baba Mani Singh ji, who were given decision making powers by Panth. It was this satkaar, this faith in his greatness that official Seal of Khalsa Panth stayed with Baba Deep Singh ji. It was he who handed over the seal for official purposes to various Jathedars which was respectfully returned to him after every mission. Jatha Shaheedan was renamed Misal Shaheedan in 1748 and Babaji stayed its Jathedar. Buddha Dal and Tarna Dal were formed as confederacies of various Misals. While Baba Kapoor Singh ji led Buddha Dal, Baba Bhoma Singh commanded Tarna Dal. In second generation, Baba Jassa Singh ji led Buddha Dal whereas Baba Hari Singh led Tarna Dal. Nowhere have we found Baba Deep Singh ji holding Jathedari of Tarna Dal. He was one of the most humble and pious soul, to guide Khalsa Panth in those times and believed in transferring power to committed Bhujangis of Panth, who had faith, firmness and dedication to serve Panth with their entire mind, body and soul. So this notion of Babaji being Jathedar of something which didn't even exist that time is completely baseless and untrue.


(Note- Misal Shaheedan Tarna Dal Jathebandi was formed in 1820's. The lineage given in Tarna Dal (Baba Bakala Dal) Gutka Sahib mentions about Baba Jassa Singh ji. There is only one other history book which mentions Baba Jassa Singh ji, 'Itihaasik Khoj' of S.Karam Singh Historian. Karam Singh had interviewed the Buzurgs and veterans of Khalsa Army and Dal of Baba Phoola Singh ji in late 1890's. His research brought up name of Akali Baba Jassa Singh ji, who was in Dal of Akali Baba Phoola Singh ji. Akali Baba Phoola Singh ji was Jathedar of Misal Shaheedan (all historical accounts mention this) and also Jathedar of Akaal Bunga. When Baba Phoola Singh ji saw Jap-Tap and Naam Kamai of Baba Jassa Singh ji, Babaji, comprehending high awastha of Baba Jassa Singh ji, gave him Nishan and Nagara to go out in Majha Area and start Chakkarvarti parchar. While Babaji himself stayed at Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib and helped Maharaj Ranjeet Singh in affairs of Raaj, Baba Jassa Singh ji started parchar under banner of 'Misal Shaheedan Tarna Dal (Tarna word has been derived from word Tarun. Tarun means young, junior, Horse, active, fast etc.). Here the title meant 'Younger wing of Misal Shaheedan' as Akali Baba Phoola Singh ji was supreme commander of Misal Shaheedan (Dal of Akali Nihangs). This makes Akali Baba Jassa Singh ji first Jathedar of Misal Shaheedan Tarna Dal and not Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed.)



Second point that is often raised is – Why doesn't Taksal follow Maryada and Baana of Nihang Dals?

These types of doubts arouse due to incomplete knowledge of Gurbaani, Gurmat and History. Nihang word is derived from word Nisang of Gurbaani. Nisang means Dis-Attached. Nihang is the title of Gursikhs who have freed their mind from Maaya, have risen above vikaars of this body, have raised high beyond the realm of Maaya, whose Surat (consciousness) is entwined in Shabad. Those Gursikhs are called Nihang. Just like Khalsa is not just a physical form but a Jeevan, a Rehat, internal and external, Nihang is a synonym of Khalsa. All these words, Akali, Taksali, Nihang, Khalsa, Gursikh, Gurmukh are but characterization of One God Conscious being. If someone says that only a person who eats or does Chatka , drinks Sukha and loses his senses is Nihang, then that person needs to go to Guru Granth Sahib Ji, bow his head and beg Maharaj for some Su-matt. Just a definite dress doesn't make you Khalsa or Nihang, it needs a whole lifetime of dedication, faith and commitment to Guru and his Maryada which makes one a Nihang, a Khalsa, an Akali, a Taksali. Khalsa is a jeevan; Nihang is a Jeevan, a virtue. The One who lives for Guru, dedicates his life to mission of Guru, fights and dies for Guru is Nihang. And this makes all the Mahapurakhs of Taksal ' Nihangs'.


(Note- There is a mischievious propaganda being carried out by certain vested interests on Internet and in countries such as UK. Issue of Chatka and Sukha has been raised to such dangerous levels that whole existence of Nihang Singh Khalsa, their bravery, their past and future has been stitched along with practises of Chatka and Sukha. There is a notion being propagated that whole existence of Nihang Singhs is based on Chatka and if this maryada is left out, Nihang Singhs will cease to exist. These individuals have gone to extent of naming Khalsa Shastarvidya as 'Chatka Vidya' which is sham. Only motive of these perverts is to create divisions in Khalsa Panth, portray Akali Nihangs as being separate from Khalsa Panth, as followers of only Sri Dasam Granth and Sarabloh Granth more than of Guru Granth Sahib ji. This is very dangerous conspiracy which can have very serious repercussions in future for entire Nihang Singh community as we know it today. The Bahman conspiracy to merge Khalsa Panth into fold of Hinduism is being carried out in name of serving Puratan Maryada, Nihang Singhs and Shastarvidya of Sikhs. Any individual in senses can smell the foul smell of Bahmanvaad, filth of Hinduised customs, rituals and rites in writings of these people. The propaganda of terming Damdami Taksal as 'Baba Kartar Singh da Jatha' is the most dangerous step towards creating permanent divisions in Sikhs. Pointing fingers at respected personalities of Panth like Baba Kartar Singh ji and Baba Jarnail Singh ji is bound to attract some type of counter attack which will further the divide already created by such Panth dokhis. Nihang Singh maryada is just not based on practises of Chatka and Sukha. Those who have read history know that Baba Mitt Singh ji Akali never had Chatka meat or Sukha, whatever the present people say. Same way, we have Baba Nihal Singh ji Akali who don't consume or carry out the practise of Chatka, but still they are Nihangs. )
 

 

 



Our Vichar till now has proved the beginning of Taksal Maryada from Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj and Jathedars of Puratan Dal and Jathebandis being Vidyarthis of Taksal. In 18th century and 19th century, it was Dals which followed the Maryada which was taught in Taksal and not vice versa. Dals were Jangi Jathe, the warrior battalions who were part of Khalsa Panth. Shaheed Jatha or Taksal as we know it was the guardian of Panth's Maryada, which was passed on from generation to generation by Jathedars. Dals followed the Maryada, didn't made it or change it because Maryada had been made by Guru Gobind Singh ji himself and Baba Deep Singh ji and Baba Mani Singh ji were blessed to start Taksal. (As all the Dals were formed much after Taksal, they followed maryada which was being followed and taught in Taksal). We can't say that Baba Kapoor Singh ji would have started a new Maryada and would have asked Baba Deep Singh ji to follow his Maryada, because Baba Kapoor Singh ji was Vidyarthi of Baba Deep Singh ji and Baba Deep Singh ji was vidyarthi of Guru Gobind Singh ji. Taksal preserved Sikhi Maryada in hardest of times in 18th and 19th century and till today Taksal is following maryada as given by Guru Gobind Singh ji. So the question here should not be Why Taksal is not following Maryada of Nihang Dals, instead it should be, Why Nihang Dals are not following Maryada being taught by Damdami Taksal?



As far as question of one Jathedar of Taksal is concerned, answer is simple. Whenever we have a school or college, there are always different teachers for different subjects, but Principal is always one, who has to look after all the happenings. To have a discipline, there has to be someone responsible at the top who would look after the activities taking place in the institution. Sikhi is not Hinduism; it's not a religion of indiscipline, of different Sampardas and thoughts. In Sikhi we have a discipline, a maryada, a code of conduct which is for all the Sikhs. There is nothing like separate Maryada and Traditions for Udasis, Nirmalas, Nihangs and others. We all are Sikhs in first place and all need to follow the One Maryada given by Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj. Teachings of Guru Granth Sahib ji don't divide us in factions or groups or sampardas. We are a Panth and Panth has to live by the basics given by Guru. There is a Saakhi in Granths- Bhai Dalla served Guru Gobind Singh ji with Tan Man Dhan. One day Maharaj said Bhai Dalla, ask for something. Dalla says Maharaj, if possible, give me little place in your feet in Sachkhand. Maharaj smiled and said Bhai Dalla, I can give you anything but not place in Sachkhand. Dalla asked Maharaj Why? Maharaj says Bhai Dalla, For place in Sachkhand, you need to take Amrit and live a Panj Kakkari rehat. Very next day Bhai Dalla took Amrit along with his family and thousands of Malwai Sangat and became Bhai Dalla Singh.


This Sakhi has been recorded in Sooraj Parkash, Panth Parkash (pracheen and Naveen) and other history books. To be a Sikh, to have khushi of Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj, a Sikh needs to have Amrit and live a Panj Kakkari Rehat. This is maryada of Sikhi. If someone says otherwise, the individual is at fault. Different Jathe working for One Panth following One Maryada is Sikhi, not different Sampardas following different Maryadas like Hindus. And to propagate that Truth of Sikhi, to uphold the Maryada, to sustain the Purity of thought and ideals, Guru Gobind Singh ji blessed his Gursikhs to hold on to puritan maryada of Guru who have carried on that Maryada till today, in a discipline. Like we have a Jatha of sewadars who do hazoori sewa in Darbar Sahib, but they have a Jathedar who is known as Mukh Granthi, like the Jatha who does sewa at Sri Akaal Bunga have a Jathedar known as Jathedar of Akaal Takhat, same way these gursikhs who preached Sikhi around the world with Guru's blessings had and still have a Jathedar who was Mukhi of Damdami Taksal. But to understand these basic things, one needs to look at Sikhi with a Sikh point of view, not a Bahmanized viewpoint as certain individuals have.
Sanstha (organization) is acceptable in Sikhi, not Samparda (sect). Sects can have different leaders and guidelines, but a Sanstha (organization) cannot work without a head and a set of principles, which all need to follow. Damdami Taksal is a Sanstha of Khalsa Panth, not a Samparda and Sanstha always needs a Leader.


To conclude the vichar, I would like to request all the readers that Sikhi is going through its hardest phase we have seen till today. The need of the hour is to unite under One Nishan Sahib, One Guru, Satguru Granth Sahib ji and One Khalsa Maryada. From unity we will attain power, to serve our Panth, to take the Sikh Samaj out of the deep pit it has fallen into. Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj, His Shaheedi Fauja and Brahmgiani Mahapurakhs watch over us. They will guide us, bless us, and assist us in this noble cause. Jathebandis, Dals and groups don't matter. They will stay if Sikhi remains; therefore our first and foremost effort should be to defend Khalsa Panth and its Puratan, Nirmal and Vilakhan (distinct) rehat Maryada and identity. Stop looking at; stop listening to, those who say otherwise. Anything that is against the principles of 'Niara Khalsa', against teachings of Guru Granth Sahib ji and Dasam Pita is Anti- Gurmat. It is the time to recognize who are the real Khalsa warriors. It is the time to stand with those who think about Panth and Purity of Panth's maryada. Lets all strive to work for unity and Charhdi kala of Khalsa Panth so that Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj will one day be merciful on us and give us a little place in his holy Charan.