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  1. Many people suspect the chand torra on the dumalla of Nihangs as a hindu symbol as the chand(moon) is linked to hindu demigod Shiva. But there is a Chand Shastar of Guru Gobind Singh Jee. It is kept at the Historical Gurdwara of Laxmipur, Bihar. This is a sher panja shaster of Guru Sahib. This was worn around the knuckles as a knuckle buster, Laxmipur is a small village which has a lot of sikhs living in and around the village.
  2. Are there any good Shastar makers out there who produce high quality products, at a reasonable rate, and also deliver overseas? If so, please post their details here. Thank you very much.
  3. To quote a portion: 'The seven years, from 1708-1716, which chart the meteoric rise and execution of Banda Singh Bahadur are a testament to the rugged individualism and grit of the Sikhs. They reflect a prominent pattern of Sikh history viz. the ascent, descent and the re-ascent of the Khalsa over it’s foes. As memories of June 1984 loom ever closer, it would be prudent for Sikhs worldwide to reflect upon the revolutions of both Banda and the Sikhs of ’84 and attempt to identify the similarities in both. It is a given that no two movements can ever be fully compared or even contrasted, but a general consensus can always be agreed upon vis-a-vis their effect and ultimate conclusion. The forced demise of Banda Singh’s revolution did not put it’s spirit to sleep; rather it only bolstered the Sikh spirit and the Khalsa continued it’s struggle for sovereignty and religious freedom in the wilderness of the Punjab. Post-’84, the Sikhs failed to derive inspiration from their past and rather focused solely upon the trauma of ’84. As such, their history was brought to a premature conclusion on the events of the aforementioned period. One need only imagine what the result would have been if the post-Banda Sikhs had focused solely upon their treatment at the hands of the Mughals, rather than taking any conducive steps towards preserving themselves from such atrocities in the future.'
  4. Can anyone explain what Chand Di Vaar is about? I tried looking at the meanings but it was still hard. (I appreciate anyone's assistance).
  5. I am not contending against the positive, and negative, factions here regarding the manifestation of the Devi by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. What I would like to offer is a fresh perspective on this event and analyse it's plausible evolution. Please read my article before commenting. Thank you! I am colouring in all the quotes and important bits. Kalika at the Anandpur Court. The dual forms of Kalika, as a puritanical mother and pristine warrior, amalgamated in a sixteenth century India to birth a third more socio-political form, that of Goddess granting sovereignty. The latter perception emerged during a troubled milieu. Perpetual invasions, of the sub-continent, had reduced it's Aboriginals to the status of slaves trampled under the military foot of Islamic conquerors. Kalika's mythos, as a penultimate resort of salvation, endeared her to the indigenous monarchy which adopted her as a tool to measure their own right to reign and successes. Yet the question remained, who would this political Goddess elect to subdue and expel the Mohammedan foe? It was a significant query not lost on Akali-Nihung Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who decided to utilise it for the Khalsa and the latter's political pursuits. Evolving exegetical perceptions, in historic and contemporary Khalsa politics, have played a crucial role in shaping the standard outlook on many traditional aspects of the latter. As Purnima Dhavan elucidates, 'while the narrative content of the recent Sikh past appears to achieve a more concrete narrative by the end of the 18th century, the meanings derived from this past occupied a contested terrain as the exegetical traditions within Sikhism became diverse.' (1) Kalika is an adroit example of the latter citation. Fenech contends that the Kalika, for the Khalsa, was initially not a spiritual metaphor but a political aide. In this he is supported by Alison Busch and Robin Rhinehart. Both scholars contend that the adoption of Kalika, in the court and works of Akali-Nihung Guru Gobind Singh Ji, was a political manoeuvre calculated to preserve his own patrimony and also empower his fiefdom. Busch affirms that the origins of the Khalsa-Kalika relationship lie in the Guru's adoption of a courtly ethic. He wanted to connect his court with that of the Mughal-Rajput courts not only in grandeur but also fashion. Despite the Guru's articulation of a distinct ethos, from that of both Islam and Hinduism, he was an ardent celebrator of his pluralistic heritage; and employed it arbitrarily. Fenech believes that the latter enabled him to, 'reassure them (the local inhabitants) that while the Sikhs, and their Guru, articulated a different dharmic-or religious- and ideological vision... they were nevertheless sensitive to local tradition...' (2) Thus, in such a milieu, he (the Guru) set about adopting and re-designing local traditions and customs to fit in with Khalsa dictums. The celebration of Diwalia, and Dusshera, evidence this but there was also another social reason for this. A distinct populace, of the Guru's own apostles were drawn from amongst the agrarian Jats. The latter, an agriculturalist class, often engaged the neighbouring Rajputs in violent combat over ideological and territorial matters. Ratan Singh Bhangu evidences the latter, in his Prachin Panth Prakash, when he cites the Guru's refusal to unite his Kingly neighbours and lead them against the Islamic tyrant. Instead, as per Bhangu, he decides to re-structure the militant mentality of the Jats, and Shudras, and bestow sovereignty upon them. (3) This affirmation of suzerainty orbited one pivotal complication. How to convince the oppressed peasants that they were regal material? How to eradicate an almost centuries-old psyche that they were nothing more than the dredges of a radical religiosity? To this end the Guru adopted Kalika. His neighbouring domains were ringed with temples paying obeisance to the Goddess. Each structure depicted it's patron receiving a sword from the Goddess herself, affirming the his right to reign over his wards. She was well ingrained in the minds of his apostles, and to this end the Akali-Nihung re-birthed her legend for his own purposes. Busch notes that the Dasam, and Sarbloh, Granths' employ Kalika in a metaphorical capacity. Microscopic attention is paid to her battles, but in a major contrast to simultaneous renderings, the works of the Guru depict no reverential undertone towards the Goddess. For him she is nothing more than another warrior, attempting to restore a semblance of peace to the divided heavens. It was the link between Kalika and sovereignty, which served the Guru so well, that lead to Udasi Sukkha Singh proclaiming, 'an immense effort was expanded in procuring the presence of Kalika. No sight of her manifestation could be obtained. In this current milieu of degeneracy, no other group at the time had made her appear within the world other than the Khalsa.' (3) This manifestation of the Kalika is an event not located in either the Dasam Granth, the Sarbloh Granth or even the Sri Gur Sobha despite the latter's utilisation of Kalika. Thus, it is proper to conclude that the event is not a creation or even occurrence of the Guru era. Post-Guru era texts such as the Gurbilas series, Chibber's Bansavalinama and other biographies are however replete with the incident. Anne Murphy elucidates upon this variation, 'later Gurbilas texts (attributed to Koer Singh) include Kesar Singh Chibber's Bansavalinama, feature an organizational structure... features strong mythological content and a clearer sense, appropriate to it's time of composition, of political sovereignty in relation to the Mughal state and other smaller Hindu Kings from the Punjab hills.' (4) It is the conclusive element, of her statement, which exegesis the evolving Khalsa-Kalika relationship. Amalgamated with indigenous culture, these later authors wished to provide an indigenous backdrop for the Khalsa's right to sovereignty. Thus Kalika, the divine mother of sovereignty, was employed. Even this metaphorical tale, however, weathered an evolution. It's ultimate form, by the dawn of the nineteenth century, read as an affront to Brahmin orthodoxy. Chibber's rendition of the incident is as follows: -The Akali-Nihung is contacted by Brahmins who come to know his plans to manifest the Khalsa. They ask him to join their Havan, and assist in manifesting Kalika to aid him. - The Akali-Nihung readily agrees, but once atop Naina-Devi proves the falsity of their beliefs and instead summons a much rawer, much aggressive form of Kalika. -This form bestows him with a cleaver, and assures him that she will lend his Khalsa the support it requires to uproot the Mughals. -Subsequently, in his exegesis of Uggardanti, he alludes 'the panth was manifested to uproot the Turks (Muslims).' (5) His account, amongst others, evidences several points amongst them being: 1.) Early Khalsa historians were often adept at utilising local, and national, myths to justify their own right to prowess. 2.) The myth of Kalika's manifestation, despite being ambiguous, is also figurative. Chibber, and his companions, wished to depict to their Hindu counterparts that the Khalsa had more of a right to reign than them after the Islamic invader was expelled. Thus Sukkha Singh's proclamation, ' other group at the time had made her appear within the world other than the Khalsa.' (6) 3.) These writers often perceived themselves as being sub-continental traditionalists and utilised this factor in their works. Their land was the abode of Dharma, and as such was sacrosanct for it's content. In the words of Rhinehart, 'the goddess (Kalika) is something of an outsider to the Hindu pantheon; when the Gods are in trouble, she is the option of last resort, a fierce fighter, a protector. She stands somewhat apart from the social order of the Gods, but is ready to step in when needed... This is not unlike the way some Sikhs came to see themselves. Fighters and defenders of Indian culture, but not exactly within the Hindu fold.' (7) 4.) This event became an opiate, and a justification, for the peasantry's revolt under the Khalsa. Utilising sub-continental myths, the Khalsa promised to engineer an era emulating that of Ram-Chandra and Krishna; demi-gods who ruled as mortals and assured perfectness. Kalika became an important component of this vision, as it was with her blessings that both Ram-Chandra and Krishna achieved their reigns; and the Khalsa would too. The conclusive say on the matter however remains the Akali-Nihung's. For him sovereignty, in figurative terms, was bestowed upon that individual who was a possessor of prowess and a master of war. Thus one finds him saying, in theSri Bhagauti Astotar, 'grant this blessing of suzerainty to I your slave. Always protect me the Guru, Shah (an imperial title), Gobind!' (8) For him Kalika was ever-present in the form of the sword, and as such a perpetual verification of his right to reign. His later apostles would re-vamp this vision to achieve a fine balance between indigenous mythology, and historic justification. As Murphy contends, Chibber and Koer Singh were not hampered by European notions of time and thus wove myth, religion and reality into one semblance. (9) But it is Dhavan who retains the conclusive say on the matter. Busch pinpoints the political appeal of Kalika, citing that the latter was misinterpreted to say that, 'the Guru reverenced the Goddess.' (10) But the exegetical variation is highlighted by Dhavan who so readily contends, '...the meanings derived from this past occupied (and still occupy) a contested terrain as the exegetical traditions within Sikhism became diverse!' (11) Sources: (1) Murphy Anne; (2012) The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in the Sikh Tradition. Oxford University press, NY, USA. pg. 93-94. (2) Fenech E. Louis; (2013) The Sikh Zafar-namah of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire. Oxford University press, NY, USA. pg. 5-6. (3) ibid, pg. 6. (4) Murphy Anne; (2012) The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in the Sikh Tradition. Oxford University press, NY, USA. pg. 92-93. (5) Accessed from (6) Fenech E. Louis; (2013) The Sikh Zafar-namah of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire. Oxford University press, NY, USA. pg. 6. (7) ibid pg. 7. (8) Akali-Nihung Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Sri Bhagauti Astotar, Dasam Granth. (This Bani is omitted in modern Dasam Granth publications under the aegis of the SGPC). (9) Murphy Anne; (2012) The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in the Sikh Tradition. Oxford University press, NY, USA. pg. 94-95. (10) Fenech E. Louis; (2013) The Sikh Zafar-namah of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire. Oxford University press, NY, USA. pg. 7. (11) Murphy Anne; (2012) The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in the Sikh Tradition. Oxford University press, NY, USA. pg. 93-94.
  6. I recently came across this article, its worth a read and surprisingly brilliant.
  7. Amritsar: Clashes erupt between Nihang Sikhs, three injured Sikhs of our own are the Sikhs worst enemy. :ohno:
  8. Does anyone know which of these sampardas would accept students, to learn Gurmat from there Sampardas. 1. Which Deras accepts new students, any contact information would be great. 2. What qualification you need and what kind of course is it and how long. 3. What kind of granths they teach and what do they emphasize. any information would be great. im asking because there seems to be very little information on this.