Monday, August 30, 2010
To serve the humanity, to establish the human values, to propagate and patronize the truth and to extinct the untruth, the great men take the path of beneficence, benevolence, charity and altruism: Paropkaraya Satam Vibhutayah i.e. the great men lay their life for the welfare of others.
Whenever the evils prevail in the society, the great leaders, the saints, the metaphysists lay down everything for the extinction of the same. The Rishis always carried out the works of social welfare with dedication, asceticism and abnegation. Such great souls are always active for the upliftment and the welfare of all. The name of Pt.Guru Dutt Vidyarthi stands first and the fore most amongst such people. Only at the age of 26 he did such miracles that his name and fame shall live for all times to come. A lily of a day is fairer far in May. Although it lives only for one day but its imprest effect impermanent. This is not important that how long we live but important is how we live. The importance lies in our actions for the beneficence of the society.
Pt. Guru Dutt Vidyarthi was born on
26th April 1864, in the famous Sardana family of . His father Lala Ram Multan Krishna was a great and renowned scholar of Persian Language and Literature. He was a teacher in a school in Jhang, under the control of the Education Department of Punjab. His mother was obviously of religious nature. Pt. Guru Dutt Vidhyarthi, since the early childhood, imbibed the quality of religiosity. He developed fascination for the celestial, heavenly and unearthly entity. He would say to his mother, ‘I see the shining stars in the sky and develop a firm conviction that there is some superpower who created this world’ The mother never knew that this child of religious nature and disposition and also devoted to theism would one day become a great man. The time has a great effect. This child was also taken away from theism as the Mancalay’s system of English education laid a heavy hand on him. But the time changed. That was the time, when the flag of Arya Samaj was flying high, far and wide and Pt. Guru Dutt Vidhyarthi could not remain untouched. He read Satyarth Prakash and became the member of Arya Samaj on 20th June, 1880. Pt. Remal Das and Lala Chetananand were his friends. He used to discuss with them about God and Vedas. He mastered Vedang Prakash of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati with the help of Ashtadhyayi. Pt. Guru Dutt was a genius since the childhood. His life was filled with truthfulness and virtuousness. During his college days he founded a Debating Society and also started a newspaper ‘Regenerator of Arya Vart’. As told earlier he was also taken away once by the dust storm of atheism which was restored back on seeing Maharishi Dayanand Sarswati on his death bed in1883. His belief in the existence of God became resolute. Pt. Guru Dutt spread the Vedic teachings with fervour and zeal. In 1889, again he started the newspaper ‘Vedic Magzine’. He left this earthly world on 19th March, 1890.
Pt. Guru Dutt Vidyarthi lived only for 26 years. After the death of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, he lived only for six years. In June 1888 his book ‘The Terminology of the Vedas’ was published. His book ‘Terminology of Vedas’ had been prescribed in the course in
. He also published with English connotations –‘Ishopnishad’. ‘The Realities of Inner Life’ was published in 1890. His other books are – Evidences of Human Spirit, Pecuniomania, Criticism of Monier Williams, Indian Wisdom. He also wrote many articles of great importance – Conscience and the Vedas, Religious Sermons, A reply to some Criticism of Swamiji’s Veda Bhashya, Origin of Thought and Language, Man’s Progress Downwards, Righteousness or unrighteousness of Flesh Eating, Mr. Pincot on the Vedas and others. Oxford University
Pt. Lekh Ram was born on 8th .of Chaitra 1915 in the village Saiyad Pur in the Jhelum district of Punjab. His parents were Sri. Tara Singh and Smt. Bhag Bhari.
He was a police officer in Punjab and resigned from the government service voluntarily and devoted for propagation of Vedas even not caring for his family and only son too. He was influenced by the writings of Munshi Kanhaiya Lal Alakhdhari and came to know about Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati and Arya Samaj. He founded Arya Samaj at Peshawar (now in Pakisthan) and became a preacher of Punjab Arya Pratinidhi Sabha. He also vowed to write the authentilc life history of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati. For this purpose, he travelled far and wide and collected a detailed account of the life of the founder of Arya Samaj. Pt. Lekh Ram wrote thirty three books. All his writings are in Urdu, but they have been translated in Hindi and some books have been translated into Sindhi and English also.
He established the view points on Arya Samaj and vedic religion so forcefully that nobody dared to come forward to oppose. Many inspiring facts from his life are written in golden lines of Arya Samaj history. A small incident from his life is being quoted here. He was an ardent propagator for Vedic dharma and shuddi (re-conversion to Vedic religion) movement. One day he returned to home after day’s long propagatory work and was so tired. His wife told that their only son is very sick and if unable to take him to a doctor immediately, his life will be in danger. He understood the gravity of sickness of his son and promised to take him hospital after taking one Rotti as he was so hungry. When he was about to eat the Rotti, a post man carrying a telegram reached to him stating that few Hindus are about to change their religion to Islam in`Payal’ village in Patiala district of Punjab. Without thinking for a moment he left the meals and moved to the said village in a train. When he saw that there is no stoppage for train at the`Payal’ village, he jumped out of the running train and some how reached the venue of conversion with severe body injuries. He shouted `I am Pt. Lekharam from Arya Samaj is coming for Shasthrarth (religious debate) with you. If you defeat me in arguments, I myself along with these poor Hindus will embrace Islam. Otherwise you all should accept Vedic dharama. In the end of the shasthrarth all embraced Vedic Religion. This time one another telegram reached to him. The matter of it was his only son died of sickness! That was the dedication of Pt. Lekharam!
This great son of mother India was died from the stab wounds of a fanatic inflicted upon him on 6th March 1897. Let us take inspiration from this immortal martyr on the occasion of his death anniversary (6th March) for fulfilling the vision of `Krinvantho viswamaryam'
However, during this period the Sikhs were still unorganised and in the period after the defeat of the Marathas and the withdrawal of the Afghans there existed a power vacuum in North India in the period 1761-1799. It was this vacuum that was filled up by the rising Sikh power under the dynamic leadership of Maharaja Shri Ranjit Singh Ji.
Maharaj Ranjeet Singh Ji was born in 1780 and witnessed these turbulent times in Punjab's history. By 1799, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh had started his attempt to unify the different Sikh Misls, which was to grow into a powerful Sikh Kingdom in the early decades of the 19th century and remained a powerful force till Maharaja Ranjeet Singh's death in 1839.
The Sikh kingdom was also the last of the Indian kingdoms that held out against the British (More of this later)
When the history of Maratha-Afghan warfare was being enacted, the Sikhs in Punjab had formed themselves into Misls (Local Armed Battalions). Though they did not actively participate in helping the Marathas against the Afghans, they nursed a grievance against the Rohillas and Afghans.
Banda Bairagi personifies the ethos of Punjab. His story signifies the oneness of the Sahjedharis and the Keshadharis.
Banda Bairagi was born into a Sahejdhari family. He was a devout person from his childhood. Immense love for the Guru attracted him to Guru Govind Singh Ji. In his youth, Banda Bairagi became a Keshadhari and was baptised as Banda Singh Bahadur by Guru Ji.
Banda Singh Bahadur carried on a relentless fight against the Muslims. After a stormy life, full of daring adventures, he died after being captured by the Muslims and being subjected to inhuman torture where he was forced to swallow the body parts of his sons, who were murdered in front of him.
Banda died a heroic death fighting the Mughal (Muslim) Oppressors. His name has become legendary in Punjabi folklore.
On the departure of the Afghans, the Sikhs reasserted themselves in the Punjab and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji who was the leader of the Gujranwala Misl - which was one of the most powerful Misl, formed a kingdom with its capital at Lahore in today's West Punjab in Pakistan. His kingdom stretched beyond the Hindu Kush (Paariyatra Parvat) into Afghanistan. Able generals like Hari Singh Nallua helped in pushing the frontiers of the Sikh kingdom into Afghanistan.
It was a tradition in those days for the eldest son of every family from Punjab to join the army (of the Maharaja) by observing the 5 Kakkars. Brave generals like Hari Singh Nallua took the Sikh armies deep into Afghanistan and they are reputed to have brought back the original Gates of the Somnath Temple which had been desecrated by Mahmud of Ghazni in the 11th century. The gates had been carried off by Mahmud to Afghanistan and had remained there ever since. Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji retrieved them and brought them back to India.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji's reign marked the consolidation of Indian sovereignty in Punjab after first Muslim invasions eight hundred years before in 1020. The Marathas had broken the continuous Muslim occupation of Punjab by liberating it in 1756 and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji consolidated Indian rule in Punjab a few years later.
The kingdom established by Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji successfully resisted the Afghans, and Rohillas and also out-matched the new imperialist power of the British successfully till Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was alive. At his death, the Maharaja had warned about the impending coming of the British.
(On his death-bed he is said to have expressed a desire to offer his most precious possession to the Jagannath Puri temple at Orissa. He was asked by the chief Mahant (priest) of the Jagannath Puri temple as to what he considered most precious. In reply Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji is said to have told the Mahant that as a Keshadhari follower of the Guru, his unshorn hair was most precious to him and he wanted to donate that to the temple along with umpteen gold and jewellery.)
It was during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji that the Harmindar Saheb Gurudwara at Amritsar which had been burnt down by Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1760, was repaired and was completely plated with gold and from then onwards it came to be known as the Golden Temple.
Such was Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji who consolidated Indian rule in India's frontier state which had been earlier liberated by the Marathas.
Unfortunately the Marathas could not retain their hold over the liberated areas, many of which were re-occupied by the Rohillas and Afghans after a few years.
But the rise of the Sikh power ensured that a large part of the Maratha achievements of rolling back alien rule could be consolidated and expanded.
Even today the Sikhs continue to form an important element of troops in the Indian army and are an effective bulwark in the fight against Muslim terorism that afflicts India especially so in Kashmir.
During the reign of Aurangzeb Guru Tegh Bahadur who was the then Guru of the Sikhs was approached by a group of Hindu Pandits from Kashmir with a plea for protection from Mughal oppression.
True to the spirit of his faith the Guru decided to approach the fanatical Mughal emperor Aurangzeb himself for a redress of the grievances. Unfortunately at the Mughal court he received abuses and threats. He was told to accept Islam at the pain of death. To prove his word the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. tourtured to death the members of the Guru's entourage one after the other.
But Guru Tegh Bahadur did not lose his composure and calmly demanded a halt to the repressive policies. Wanting to teach a lesson to the obstinate Guru and to set an example to his followers the emperor ordered that the Guru to be beheaded.
Thus after Guru Arjan Dev, Tegh Bahadur was the second Sikh Guru to meet a violent death at the hands of the Mughals. But after his execution some of his followers managed to sneak out the Guru's severed head from Delhi and carried it to Anandpur.
At the place where the Gurus severed head was cremated, a Gurudwara was erected to commemorate this sacrifice undertaken in defence of the Dharma. This place is known to us today as the Anandpur Saheb Gurudwara.