The Legendary Warriors

 

The Jatha of Shaheeds,led by Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed has a glorious and well recorded history. Interestingly, it’s the only Jatha or Misal which has a well documented lineage and whose Jathedars were all deeply spiritual, enlightened, selfless and courageous. They derived their qualities, their virtues and their strength from Baani of Gurus and from purity earned through a truthful and virtuous living. In Sikh Dharam, we have concept of Bhagti-Shakti and Piri-Miri. A Sikh derives his Shakti (power) from Bhagti (devotion to Supreme Waheguru and Guru). Shakti which is earned through Bhagti is used for betterment of society and Humanity as a whole. There is a saying ‘Power corrupts’ but a Sikh who has been blessed with Power by Guru can never be corrupted. He uses that power for Truth, Justice and service of Humanity. Guru Gobind Singh ji gave power to his Sikh in form of Kirpan(sword), but it was not to Kill, it was to liberate. A Sikh bows to his Shastar as he sees it as his/her Guru’s Nishani (gift), and Guru’s gift can never be used for unholy or unjust reasons. When a Sikh holds Kirpan in his hands and fights in battlefield, he’s fighting for Justice and Truth. When a Sikh kills someone in battlefield, it’s an act of mercy, on Planet Earth, on humanity and on the individual who has been doing evil, causing immense pain to mother earth and humanity. A Sikh liberates him from his evil deeds and does a service to humanity. This is the jeevan of those God-conscious, enlightened, liberated and fearless Saint Warriors who saw Waheguru in every atom of creation, loved him, lived a life of purity, gave out fragrance of Love and Naam. Those Gursikhs, who died in Shabad of Guru, sacrificed their self, their ego at altar of Shabad were blessed by Guru with Immortality, The Akalis (Immortals).

This brave squad of warrior saints, blessed by Guru Gobind Singh ji to be his Laadliya Fauja (Beloved warriors) resided at Takhats (or thrones ) of Guru. They owed their allegiance not to anyone else but to Guru, living and dying for Guru’s cause. Loved and respected by all, these brave immortals (Akalis) had reached awastha of ‘Nihang’ ( dis-attached from Maya, The illusion) and were imbued in Naam of Lord Waheguru. At Sri Damdama Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh ji tested his Khalsa Panth once to see if the Sikhs were still having the same Love and devotion as they had at Anandpur Sahib. Guruji took a Khanda and asked his Sikhs for five heads. Singhs from majha area were in Hazoori sewa of Guru Gobind Singh ji. As the Singhs heard Guruji’s call, all of them ran towards Maharaj, presenting their heads. Pleased with their Love and devotion, Guruji gave them title of Shaheeds (Martyrs) who would live forever. These Gursikhs were placed under command of Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed (who had already been blessed by Guru Gobind Singh ji with this title) and ordered to serve Panth with utmost love and dedication. These blessed souls lived together at Sri Damdama Sahib and served Panth in every Jang-yudh, sacrificing their lives while fighting in frontlines. Historical texts such as Pracheen Panth Parkash, Naveen Panth Parkash, Shamsher Khalsa and othere texts have well documented history of this Jatha, with names of these legendary warriors being part of household folks of Punjab.

Some of the great Saint Soldier Akali Nihang warriors were –

Baba Deep Singh ji
Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji
Baba Naudh Singh ji
Baba Sudha Singh ji
Baba Karam Singh ji
Baba Natha Singh ji
Baba Dyal Singh ji
Baba Balwant Singh ji
Baba Prem Singh ji
Baba Heera Singh ji
Baba Basant Singh ji
Baba Mahit Singh ji
Baba Raam Singh ji Bedi
Baba Sajjan Singh ji
Baba Agarh Singh ji
Baba Naina Singh ji
Baba Kharag Singh ji
Baba Phoola Singh ji
Baba Tappa Singh ji
Baba Bijla Singh ji
Baba Hukam Singh ji
Baba Bulaka Singh ji
Baba Budha Singh ji
Baba Shaam Singh ji
Baba Karh torh Singh ji
Baba Jassa Singh ji Sarhali Wale


Srimaan Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed was appointed by Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj as General of the brave Akali Nihang Warriors, and Guruji gave Khanda of his Grandfather, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji as symbol of Jathedari to Babaji at Sri Damdama Sahib. These brave and blessed souls went on to become Legends of Sikh history, being loved and respected by all the Sikhs of all the times. Till today their names infuse spirit of Love for Guru, sacrifice for Sikhi and every true Sikh’s heart. There Jeevan was so pure that even the enemies used to feel the waves of Naam and peace emanating from their bodies. We Sikhs know about many of above named Mahapurakhs and their jeevans, but there are others about whom we know very less. With Maharaj’s kirpa, we would like to share with Sangat jeevans of some of the above mentioned Warrior Saints.


Baba Balwant Singh ji – Babaji lived in Jatha of Baba Deep Singh ji and served Khalsa Panth. In the Battle of Gohalwarh, when Jatha Shaheedan fought for liberation of Sri Darbar Sahib from Afghans, Babaji led the charge of Nihang Fauja. He first took out General Rustam Khan whose head was cut down by Babaji using his Chakkar. At this, another General of Afghan army who was brother of Rustam Khan, Zabardast Khan challenged Babaji for a one- on-one duel. Babaji accepted the challenge and as the warriors fought,both armies stood and saw the battle. After a tough battle, there was a ‘Saanjha vaar’ (simultaneous strike) and heads of both were cut at same time. As Babaji fell, Akali warriors were infuriated at shaheedi of jathedar and charged furiously in battlefield whereas afghan battalions ran away seeing their general dead.

 

 

 

 

 

Baba Dyal Singh – Babaji joined the regiment of Shaheeds at very young age and lived at Sri Damdama Sahib. Seeing his administrative qualities, Baba Deep Singh ji appointed Baba Dyaal Singh ji alongwith Baba Natha Singh as administrator of Sialkot after Misal took over the area. Baba Dyaal Singh and Baba Natha Singh ji built famous Gurudwara Babe di Ber at Sialkot. Babaji fought bravely in many battles and was leading light of Misal Shaheedan. In Battle of Gohalwarh, Babaji was the first to take down General of Pathan Army, Amir Jaan Khan.

Bhai Bulaka singh – He was incharge of Intelligence wing of Khalsa Panth, a master of disguise. It was Bhai Bulaka Singh who informed Khalsa Panth about Beadbi happening at Darbar Sahib both the times, first when Massa Rangarh committed the sacrilege and second when Ahmed Shah Abdali desecrated Darbar Sahib. Bhai Bulaka Singh ji attained Shaheedi in Battle of Gohalwarh alongwith Baba Naudh Singh ji at Chabba village.



Baba Shaam Singh ji Shaheed - Another brave General of Misal Shaheedan, Babaji stayed with Baba Deep Singh ji at Damdama Sahib. After Babaji’s Shaheedi in 1758, he camped in parkarma of Darbar Sahib with Jatha of Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji Shaheed and attained Shaheedi in 1762, defending Sri Darbar Sahib.

 

Baba Karhtorh Singh – His real name is not know to anyone, but he was given this name by Singhs of Jatha as he was master of breaking Fort gates and entrenchments of enemy forces, carrying out surprise attacks from behind enemy lines and creating secret paths for Singhs to enter forts of enemies. Babaji was master of Guerrilla Warfare and led many attacks on invading Mughal and Afghan Forces.

 

 


Baba Mahit Singh ji – He was a Brahmgiani Gurmukh who was one of the Singhs who lifted their heads in Battle of Gohalwarh along side Baba Deep Singh ji. Legend is that after Baba Deep Singh ji lifted his head on his left palm, Baba Mahit Singh ji too asked permission to do same, which Babaji allowed him in Guruji’s Hukam. Babaji placed his head at place of Ram sar sarovar.



Baba Raam Singh ji Bedi – Babaji was from family of Baba Kaladhari ji, the 8th descendant of Guru Nanak Dev ji. He lived at Guru Kanshi Taksal and was one of the greatest Vidya Gurus of his time. He was brother of Baba Ajit Singh, Father of Baba Sahib Singh ji bedi and it was he who actually gave Vidya to Baba Sahib Singh ji Bedi at very young age. In 1797, during attack of Ahmed Shah Abdali’s grandson Shah Zamaan, Baba Ram Singh ji Bedi was marching alongwith a small Jatha of Shaheed Misl towards Sialkot, when on the way at village Paropi Baba Ram Singh ji saw a battalion of Afghan army looting and burning innocent villagers and kidnapping woman. Babaji challenged them and a fight broke out. In this fight, Babaji’s head was severed from his body and Babaji fell. Afghans thought that all Singhs have died, and as they moved to kill and loot innocent villagers, suddenly Babaji rose from ground, lifted his head in hand and started fighting. Seeing the dead rise again, Muslim army ran away and few who tried to fight were killed by Babaji. After the dushts ran away, Babaji sat down at the place and left his body. A memorial was raised in memory of Baba Raam Singh ji at the village Paropi (present day Pakistan), which was desecrated after the partition in 1947.

Baba Agarh Singh ji – Baba Agarh Singh ji was nephew of Shaheed Baba Mani Singh ji and son of Bhai Nigahiys Singh ji, who presented a horse to Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj when he came to Alamgir. Baba Agarh Singh ji took his vidya from Baba Mani Singh and stayed with him at Sri Amritsar Sahib.
After Shaheedi of Baba Mani Singh ji, Darbar Sahib was overtaken by Lahore Government who imposed restrictions on Sikhs visiting there. Baba Agarh Singh ji along with handful of Singhs from Baba Mani Singh ji’s family moved to Damdama Sahib. It was here when both Jathas of Damdami Taksal merged. While Singhs started their routine sewa of Vidya and Santhya at Damdama Sahib, Baba Agarh Singh ji started going out on campaigns with Baba Deep Singh ji. He always had one wish, to somehow take revenge of Shaheedi of Baba Mani Singh ji. In August 1745, after Zakriya Khan, Governor of Lahore died, his son Yahya Khan took on administration of Punjab. He sent out Mughal army to capture and kill Sikhs from villages, cities, hills and forests. This campaign was led by notorious General Moman Khan, responsible for Shaheedi of Gusikhs like Baba Taara Singh, Baba Mani Singh, Bhai Taru Singh and Bhai Mehtab Singh ji. During one of the raids near Kahnuwaan in Gurdaspur, on banks of River Ravi, a small group of Singhs of Misal Shaheedan led by Baba Agarh Singh ji were surrounded by Moman Khan. Baba Agarh Singh saw it as a golden chance to finish Dusht Moman Khan. Singhs worked on strategy and lured Mughal forces deep in Jungle. As the Mughal Army entered the dense forest, Singhs, who were known as Kings of Forest pounced upon Mughal army and started Chatka of mughal army. Here Baba Agarh Singh ji, in a hand to hand fight, chopped off head of Dusht Moman Khan, thus taking revenge for death of thousands of innocent Sikhs and presented his head before Khalsa Panth at Damdama Sahib, where he was given a Siropa, Siri Sahib and a Horse by Panth’s Jathedar Baba Kapoor Singh ji. Babaji took part in Battle of Sirhind in May 1763, when eight Misals of Khalsa Panth united and destroyed city of Sirhind (as per bachans of Guru Gobind Singh ji). Governor of Sirhind Jain Khan and his nephew Said Khan led Mughal Army, and in the ensuing battle, Baba Agarh Singh ji and Said Khan shared a ‘Saanjha Vaar’(simultaneous stroke) due to which heads of both warriors were cut at same time. Babaji attained Shaheedi in Sirhind in 1763.


( On Chandigarh- Hoshiarpur road is village Tutomajra, where Babaji stayed for many years and did intense Bhagti and Jap-Tap. At Babaji’s Tap-Asthaan , a Gurudwara sahib has been built by Jathedar Baba Nihal Singh ji, Misal Shaheedan Harianbela Dal, and Misal looks after sewa of this holy Asthaan)




Baba Kharag Singh - He was nephew of Akali Baba Naina Singh ji and lived with him at Sri Akaal Bunga. After Babaji went to sachkhand, Baba Kharag Singh ji assisted Akali Baba Phoola Singh in sewa of Sri Akaal Bunga Sahib. While Akali Baba Phoola Singh ji went for political negotiations or military campaigns, Baba Kharag Singh ji stayed back and looked after sewa.

Baba Bijla Singh ji – A Brave warrior of Misal Shaheedan, he earned this name because of his skill in using Kirpan and other Shastars on enemies. He struck his enemies with lightening speed and led attacks of Khalsa Fauj from front. Babaji attained Shaheedi at a very young age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baba Tapa Singh ji Shaheed – Baba Tapa Singh ji got this name due to nature of his Naam-Kamai and Jap-Tap. In days of peace, when there were no battles, he used to sit in Samadhi for days at a stretch. He was respected by one and all in Dal Panth. After spending his childhood in blessed care of Baba Deep Singh ji, Baba Tapa Singh ji came up to be a blessed Saint soldier of Khalsa Panth, ever ready to lay down his life for Panth. He started looking after sewa of Takhat Sri Anandpur Sahib after Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji moved to Sri Amritsar. Here he did parchar in countryside and gave Amrit to thousands. He was a blessed flower of this garden of Shaheeds, blessed by Guru Gobind Singh ji. Created in Taksal of Guruji, Babaji was treasure for Khalsa Panth. Akali Baba Phoola Singh ji lived at Sri Anandpur in holy company of Baba Tapa Singh ji. Baba Tapa Singh ji did parchar in Ambala, Kurukshetra , Karnal and other areas of present day Haryana. Details of his Shaheedi are not available sadly in our history books or oral tradition.
 

 

 

 

 

 


There are hundreds and hundreds of other Mahaan Shaheeds whose history has been lost due to negligence of our writers of those times. Infact, it’s only Akali Baba Phoola Singh ji who has been mentioned in 19th century history of Akali Sikhs, and even his life was written after70-80 years after his Shaheedi, first by Baba Prem Singh ji Hoti Mardan. Others brave Shaheeds and Akalis have been overlooked or have been intentionally erased from our history, but as the saying goes, Truth can never be hidden, Jeevans of these Mahaan Shaheeds and Akali warriors are coming to forefront again. They are the shining stars of this Panth, whose lives will keep illuminating our paths in these dark times of Kalyug, inspiring generations after generations of Sikhs to live and die for Guru, for Love of Guru.