Taksal of Damdama Sahib
To spread the light of Gurbaani in this world, Guru Gobind Singh ji blessed his beloved gursikhs, Baba Deep Singh ji and Baba Mani Singh ji to start Taksal of Gurbaani Vidya. This sewa was handed over by Satguruji to these committed Gursikhs who were parpakk in their Rehat maryada and Gursikhi Jeevan.
This Jatha comprised of Gursikhs who had risen above worldy attachments,
imbued in Naam simran and Baani Abhyaas. These Gursikhs never fought for any territory or
kingdom or wealth, but for Guru, for Panth and for poor.
The Jatha or Misl led by Baba
The Jatha or Misal led by Baba Deep Singh was of Warrior Saints,
these were people who had attained Brahmgian, led a Sarblohi jeevan, of
rehat, baana and Baani, fully dedicated to cause of Truth. Whenever it was
needed, they came into forefront of Panth to lay down their lives and defend
panth. Wherever these gursikhs went, they spread the word of Guru to people and
inspired thousands to follow Sikhi path of Sant-Sipahi. Students of this Taksal
after their vidya went to different places, Jathas and countries to preach Sikhi
of Guru Nanak Sahib. Baba Deep Singh ji was approached by Sangat from Arabian
countries and they requested him to write Baani of Guru Granth Sahib ji in Arabic,
which Babaji did after a year's hardwork. This saroop is presently in Baghdad
University. Sindhi people who believed in Guru Nanak dev ji's Baani and preachings
and were dedicated to Guru Nanak's mission and teachings also requested Babaji to
translate Baani in Sindhi. Babaji wrote Guru Granth Sahib ji's saroop in Sindhi
language which Sindhi community has preserved till today. The Fragrance of Sikhi
which we have in Arabian countries and Sindhi community is with hard work and
dedication of Gursikhs like Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed. Babaji was a master of
various languages like Braj, Persian, Arabic, Sindhi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati
and Marathi. He had a vision of spreading Baani of Gurus to far away lands, to
people of different cultures, countries and languages. His firm belief was that
Sikhi has to be based on baani, and wherever Baani and Gurmat gyaan will go,
Panth and Baana will follow there. Sikhi which is based on Baani and Gurmat is
the true Sikhi, which can never be eliminated from this world.
Bhai Sahib Bhai Mani Singh ji was Supreme spiritual
leader of Khalsa Panth, authorized by Guru Gobind Singh ji and Mata Sundari ji. He was
the one who guided Panth in turbulent times, always worked for Unity of Panth and upheld
Khalsa Principles, whatever be the situation. Babaji's 10 brothers, 7 sons and 6 grandsons
had attained Shaheedi for Panth in battles of Anandpur Sahib, Sarsa and Chamkaur Sahib. He
lived with his brothers, nephews and other Singhs at Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar and was Mukh
Granthi of Darbar Sahib, a position once honoured by Baba Buddha ji. Bhai Mani Singh ji ran
the Amritsar Branch of Damdami Taksal at Sri Darbar Sahib. But after he was arrested and Martyred
by cutting to pieces by Mughal government of Lahore in 1737, vidyarthis of Amritsar branch
of Taksal moved to Sri Damdama Sahib in 1737 and here Taksal worked under the guidance of
Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed . Babaji continued Sikhi parchar in Punjab despite extreme adverse
conditions and Vidyarthis would go out and hold Amrit Sanchars in country side and cities of
Punjab and get new recruits for Dharam yudh. Babaji led Taksal for 50 years at Damdama Sahib
and guided Panth in toughest time of its history. Thousands and thousands Singhs educated
from this Taksal of Guru served Sikhi with all their heart, soul and blood.
After First Jathedar of Damdami Taksal Baba Deep Singh ji attained glorious Shaheedi,Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji started staying at Sri Darbar Sahib and doing parchar and sewa.
Here Baba Soorat Singh ji, who earlier stayed with Baba Deep Singh ji at Damdama Sahib
but was sent for Parchar in Pothohar area of Punjab, returned and started staying with
Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji Shaheed. Babaji appointed Baba Soorat Singh ji Mukh Granthi of Sri
Darbar Sahib and Hazoori sewa of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In 1762, Ahmed Shah Abdali attacked
Sri Darbar Sahib for a second time with 60,000 Army. Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji was present in
Darbar Sahib with few Singhs of his Jatha, who readied to defend Darbar Sahib. Babaji ordered
Baba Soorat Singh ji and other Hazoori Sewadars to take Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj's saroop
safely out of parkarma and carry on Parchar sewa . Baba Soorat Singh ji refused Babaji's bachans
and did benti to Babaji to allow them to attain Shaheedi. Seeing their dedication, Faith and
Love for Guru, Babaji passed on title of Shaheed to these Singhs, and said their sewa was
accepted in Guru Gobind Singh ji's Darbar. They would carry the title of Shaheed with them
thereon, after that day, the title which Baba Deep Singh ji, Baba Naudh Singh ji and Baba
Gurbaksh Singh ji carried. Baba Soorat Singh ji, one of the few surviving Singhs who had
Darshan and took their vidya from Baba Deep Singh ji and Baba Mani Singh ji was appointed
Jathedar of this Jatha of Shaheeds, who were sent out to carry on Taksal of Guru Gobind
Singh ji Maharaj.
Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji, after sending some Singhs to safety, did Ardas at Sri Akaal Bunga Sahib and got ready to defend Sri Darbar Sahib and took up their positions to take on invading Afghan force. 30 Singhs fought like lions under command of Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji to defend Sri Darbar Sahib and attained Shaheedi one after another. Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji was 75 years old that time, and he was fighting alone in the ghera of thousands of Afghans. Babaji got wounded and there was blood flowing out of his wounds. After some time, the brave soldier of Khalsa Panth, the Mukhi of Damdami Taksal and one of the most honoured Nihang of Khalsa Panth attained Shaheedi. The day was 3rd Feb 1762
After Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji's Shaheedi, Darbar Sahib was blown up with canons and destroyed. Khalsa Panth gathered after defeating Abdali's army six months later and built Darbar Sahib again. Baba Soorat Singh ji took up sewa of Sri Darbar Sahib and also sewa of running Taksal at Darbar Sahib. Slowly things became normal and Khalsa Panth rose up again, Kesri Nishan flew from Kabul Kandahar to Delhi and Sikhs became rulers of Punjab. After Baba Soorat Singh ji, Bhai Gurdas Singh ji took up sewa of Mukh Granthi/Mukhi Damdami Taksal and started sewa. Baba Sant Singh ji Giani became Mukh Granthi and Mukhi of Damdami Taksal after his elder brother, Bhai Gurdas Singh ji went to sachkhand.
• Kavi Bhai Santokh Singh ji
After Gianiji went to sachkhand in 1832, his son Bhai Bhagwan Singh ji took up sewa of Darbar Sahib and Taksal. After Bhai Bhagwan Singh singh ji, Baba Daya Singh ji started doing sewa. This time around in 1846, British captured Punjab and their main concern was to stop any revolt by Sikhs. It was important to divide and confuse Sikhs so that they don't take path of armed struggle against British. They knew that Sikhs believed in concept of Miri-Piri and its Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Akaal Bunga and their Gurudwaras where they take their inspiration from. Last 140 years of Sikh history told them how Gurbaani, Sikhi and Khalsa traditions played an important role in uniting and inspiring Sikhs to rise against Mughals, Persians and Afghans, throw them out of Punjab and create independent Khalsa Raaj. To finish any possiibilty of any such thing happening, they worked on a three pronged strategy.
1. Decimate physically the Akali
Khalsa Warriors (Nihang Singhs )
Akali Khalsa warriors of Misal Shaheedan, who stayed at Sri Akaal
Bunga were deceived in battles of Mudki, Patiala and Sohana and
martyred. Remaining Singhs were killed in land of Sri Hazoor Sahib
by fake nihangs.
Baba Sundar Singh ji moved the base of Taksal to Malwa area, in Bhindar kala
village and started his parchar. This was the time of Sikh revivalist movement
and Panth was struggling hard to free its Guru Darbars from corrupt Mahants, Nirmalas
and Udasis. Baba Sundar Singh ji took active part in this struggle, leading Sant Samaj
alongwith Baba Attar Singh ji Mastuana. Infact, Babaji was the main crowd-puller in Malwa
region of Punjab and at his meetings, 15-20,000 Sikhs used to gather. This hit his health
badly, but he continued his sewa. After Gurudwaras were freed and SGPC was created, Babaji
carried on his parchar. Baba Sundar Singh ji left for Sachkhand in 1930, giving Sewa of
running Taksal to Baba Gurbachan Singh ji. Sant Baba Gurbachan Singh ji once again revived
the Shaheedi spirit of Shaheed Jatha, regularized Taksal and its centres and did immense Sikhi
sewa for 39 years. Baba Gurbachan Singh ji gave Gurmat Vidya thousands of Gursikhs, who later
served Panth with 'Tan, Mann and Dhann' and hundreds are still serving Panth. Babaji became Mukhi of
Sant Samaj at his time, did katha of Guru Granth Sahib ji 27 times in his life in different cities,
towns and villages across India. In 1969, Baba Gurbachan Singh ji handed over sewa of Taksal to
Sant Baba Kartar Singh ji and left for Sachkhand.
A day will come when the inheritor of great legacy
of Mahapurakhs such as Baba Deep Singh ji, Baba Mani Singh ji, Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji,
Giani Bhai Sant Singh ji and numerous other Brahmgiani and Shaheed Mahapurakhs, Sant
Jarnail Singh ji Khalsa will return and lead Khalsa Panth to path of freedom and glory,
to path of Guru and fulfil the sewa given by Guru Gobind Singh ji to this Jatha. With
Maharaj Guru Gobind Singh ji's kirpa, His Taksal and His blessed Jatha have always been in
Charhdi kala despite extreme adversities and continue to do so with power of Naam and Baani.
A day will come when the inheritor of great legacy of Mahapurakhs such as Baba Deep Singh ji, Baba Mani Singh ji, Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji, Giani Bhai Sant Singh ji and numerous other Brahmgiani and Shaheed Mahapurakhs, Sant Jarnail Singh ji Khalsa will return and lead Khalsa Panth to path of freedom and glory, to path of Guru and fulfil the sewa given by Guru Gobind Singh ji to this Jatha. With Maharaj Guru Gobind Singh ji's kirpa, His Taksal and His blessed Jatha have always been in Charhdi kala despite extreme adversities and continue to do so with power of Naam and Baani.