Bhai Gurbaksh Singh
history has been enriched by the martyrdoms of Sikhs and Sikh Saints. Sikh
gurus themselves lead their Sikhs with their noble examples of martyrdom.
The first Guru to be martyred by the Mughals was Guru Arjan Dev ji, the
fifth Guru. Guru Arjan Dev ji who had compiled the Guru Granth Sahib (then
called the Adi Granth) by collecting hymns of all the Sikh Gurus before him.
It is probably only in Sikhi that so many of the founding teachers were not
only great fighers and saints but also great writers and poets.
written by Guru Nanak dev ji, Guru Angad Dev ji, Guru Ramdas ji, Guru Arjan
Dev ji, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, Guru Gobind Singh ji easily surpass the
criteria of current noble prize for literature, then their examples of
supreme sacrifices after achieving so much fame, etc is incredible. But then
only Gurus are perfect, we Sikhs (disciples) may excell in literature, the
martial arts, hunting or sportsmanship, even as martyrs, but we are not the
masters of each as were our Gurus.
you know in this site you are reading about "Great Sikh Warriors", about
Sikhs who fought for the survival of their way of life and their freedom of
religion. Many Sikhs, and Indians of other religions have achieved much in
other fields across the world, but that was possible only after Great Sikh
Warriors played their part in ridding India of the Mughal's religious
persecution. Just imagine what the Punjab of today might be like if not for
the sacrifices of so many Great Sikh Warriors?.
Deep Singh ji Shaheed's
martyrdom in 1757 at Amritsar was not to be the last, in fact it inspired
thousands more. In 1757, Baba Deep Singh ji took a vow to celebrate the
festival of Diwali at Amritsar, which was under the control of Ahmed Shah
Durrani's Afghan forces, Baba Deep Singh started his march along with about
500 or so Sikhs and fulfilled his vow by breathing his last at the Parikarma
of the Harimandir Sahib. His martyrdom inspired countless others, one of
them was Bhai Gurbaksh Singh.
Gurbaksh Singh (1688-1764), also known as Gurbaksh Singh Nihang or Shaheed,
hailed from the village of Lil, in Amritsar District. According to an old
manuscript which was preserved in the Sikh reference library, Amritsar,
until it perished in the Government of India's Army action in June 1984, and
which is quoted by Singh Sahib Giani Kirpal Singh, he was born on Baisakh
Vadi 5, 1745 Bk i.e. 10th April 1688 (father Dasaundha Singh, Mother Mai
1698, the family shifted to Anandpur where Gurbakshash Singh took pahul of
the Khalsa on the historic Baisakhi day of 1699. He completed his religious
education under Bhai Mani Singh. He later joined the Shahid Misl under Baba
Dip singh and after the latter's martyrdom in 1757 at Amritsar, organized
his own Jatha or fighting band. In battles against the Durranis and Mughals
his dera usually formed the vanguard carrying the banner, and won renown
with its acts of gallantry.
November 1764, Ahmad Shah Durrani (also known as Ahmed Shah Abdali) at the
head of his 30,000 afghan warriors invaded India for 7th time, Bhai Gurbaksh
Singh happened to be stationed at holy Shrine at Amritsar. The Durrani (abdali)
advanced up to the town virtually unopposed and entered the partially
reconstructed Harimandir, which he had demolished two years earlier.
Gurbaksh Singh who had already evacuated from the precints women, children,
and the aged, had with him only thirty men. According to Sikh historian
Ratan Singh Bhangu, Prachin Panth Prakash "Bhai Gurbaksh Singh with garlands
around his neck and sword on his hand, dressed himself as a bridegroom, his
men forming the marriage party, waiting eagerly to court the bride-death."
As soon as they saw the Afghan king and his hordes, they swooped down upon
was an unequal fight - thirty pitted against thirty thousand. All thirty
Sikhs were killed before Gurbaksh Singh always in the forefront fell. Giving
an eyewitness account of the action, Qazi Nur Muhammad, the chronicler who
was in the train of the invader, wrote in his jangnamah when the king and
his army reached the chakk (Amritsar), they did not see any infidel kafir
a few men who had stayed in a fortress were bent upon spilling their blood
and they sacrificed themselves for their Guru. They were only thirty in
number. They did not have the least fear of death. They engaged the Ghazis
(i.e. in Islamic terminology, a Ghazi is a muslim person who had killed an
infidel or as they called non-Muslims, a kafir) and spilled their blood in
all of them were wed to death, the bridegroom and his marriage party.
happened on 1 December 1764. Bhai Gurbaksh singh was cremated behind Takht
Akal bunga, later a tomb was built on the site which is now known as Shahid