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Deep Singh

The Sikh Art of War (5 parts)

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Sat Sri Akal.....

I am forwarding a mail i got from Dr. Kanwar Ranvir Singh (co-moderator of sikhspirit.com) about the Sikh Art of War in 5 parts...

NB: i am not an agent or supporter of Dr. Singh....just like to share the info about this our history...and if my fellow brothers/sisters have any questions then you may contact Dr. Singh here: Dakhalsa@aol.com or if there is anything to discuss please share ur views....

Sikh Art of War...PART 1:


The Sikh art of war works on the plane of the spirit, and the world.


represents the intellect helping the forces of good - the gods beat

down and

kill our inner negativity, our inner demons. These are modified

versions of

articles that originally appeared in 'Spiritual Breeze'.


I vaguely knew that the Sikhs had fought in many wars, from Robin Hood


struggles hundreds of years ago to the World Wars. But did they have


specific techniques? They sure did. The five points of the body, which

my father

had mentioned are the five points used in unarmed Sikh combat. These

five points

- ankle, chin/knee, groin, throat and eyes/temple - cannot be


The Sikhs meant business, not flowery kicks and great poses. But there

was more

than just specific target zones and techniques. There were tactics and


Attack continuously

Hit and run

Signal east, strike west

Trick the opponent into advancing without success; use one blow to



If the opponent is strong, enter from the side; if weak, enter from the



he techniques were highly effective for fighting as noted by their


Tahmas Khan Miskin, in his Tazkirah-I-Tahmas Miskin provides an


account. He sees two hundred Moghal soldiers running back in panic.

They claim

that the Sikhs are chasing them. Miskin peers through the dust kicked

up by the

panic and when it clears he sees just two Sikhs waving their swords.

Aged about 7 I was introduced to Sikh spirituality as I saw my


waking early, bathing, and praying. He had a "special room" in which

Guru Granth

Sahib Ji was kept and swords and shields lay all over the place. In the

basement I was shown the swords and weight-training equipment which was

used by my

dad when he was in his teens. I was so moved by that experience that I


to tie a turban - I denied it when people saw the mess I made of it.

However, I

was consoled as my eldest aunt told me that one day in God's own time

and if

I carried on wanting it, I would wear that crown. About two decades

later, I

was granted that grace. Sikh martial arts are not just physical but


mind, body, and Spirit. Later that summer, I returned to England, and

was caught

up in Star Wars fever.

Watching the movie, it was great to see distant cousins in a galaxy a


time ago and clearly far away. The parallels were so obvious that I

took them in

without thinking. The lightsaber was obviously some sort of kirpan, the


was the universal force my grandfather had called the Naam, and Jedi


were a cousin of the Khalsa. My granddad had said that God was One and


Truth was the same all over the universe, in all sorts of marvelous

worlds. Years

later I can say that these are archetypes thrown up by the clear pool

of the

universal unconscious. It's saying basically the same thing, but in a

different language system. The Vital-Energy behind

the Khalsa like the

Force of the

Jedi Knight was communing with the Universe. The technique was

important, but

the energy behind it was also important.

Learning to tap into and channel this dynamic energy is the task of the

"sachiara", the Truth-Full person. Meditation and martial arts are


Meditation is martial arts against the idol of ego, the alternative

god. Martial arts

is meditation against blocked up energy, whirlpools of ego, structures


oppression and injustice, disruptions of the Natural Flow. We are by


healthy; the universe is healthy, and health is flowing activity.


Blocks to flow lead to illness, which is temporary. The idol of ego is


block, the structure of human-made misery the world over another.

Knowing that

these will destroy themselves gives the Sikh the characteristic chardi


Spirit Ascendent, which is more than mere optimism. It is a deep

knowing of

ultimate joy based on the very nature of Reality.

The Muslim author of the Asar-I-Samadi tells us: "In the encounter, the

flames of war leapt high and the battle was no longer confined to guns

and muskets.

At one time, it became a hand-to-hand sword fight and countless men


reduced to dust. The youthful Afghans did not lag behind in sacrificing


lives, but what gallantry was there that the accursed Sikhs did not

display, and

what feats of fearless valour they did not perform - despite their sore


and lack of provisions and horses! They pounced upon elephants like

tigers, and

threw down those sitting in the howdahs (seats on the elephant). They


on foot like leopards, and outpaced the highbred battle steeds…within

a short

period their sources of food were captured and their water points

turned into

slush. A grain of cereal was as dear as a pearl…(but) they considered

the bark

r>of trees as priceless as the flesh of birds. Bark and leaves were to

them far

better than sumptuous feast."

Guru Nanak stressed the importance of healthy living. For this reason


condemned the torturing of the body through many yoga methods,

including holding

stances for many years and things like fasting. There is no spiritual

merit in

punishing the body. The body must be looked after and used as a gift

from God.

Gurmat advises, "Eat little, sleep little." Eat what you need but not

over-filling. Sleep as you need, but do not waste time lying around.

The Gurus taught

that the natural state was to be in tune with God. Ego disrupts the

flow of

Naam-Energy-Force. This natural state included the natural health of

the body.

The body is naturally healthy and many illnesses can be removed by


the feedback system, self-defence system, digestive system, immune


excretory systems, immune system, self-generative system, to natural


Gatka is more than a variety of effective combat techniques. It


physical and mental health through meditation and the focus on

channeling the flow

of internal force. But it also opens the person up to tapping into the

Universal Force. Thus, gatka combines body, mind, and Spirit. It is


of being a Sikh. The spiritual dimension should not be underplayed.


fighting an opponent. Clearly, they are real. If we do nothing, they

will slaughter

us. But now look at them through a giant electron microscope. The body

of the

opponent and your own would disappear and you would see subatomic


Moreover, according to Bohr's Principle of Complementarity, the


are just energy, which may take the form of wave or particle. No


separates "you" from your "opponent" in this spread of energy or

consciousness - <

br>there is only That Energy, call it WaheGuru or whatever, but don't deny

it to

imprison yourself.



fighting for maximum flowering of love against our inner demons and

the negative actions of the world makes one a saint(lover) - soldier

(actively and effectively struggling to achieve).


Hence, the Sikhs never hate their enemies. God is explained as

without hatred and fear, so must the Sikh become. Sikhs oppose the

zulm – oppression – that the person does, but not the person. In All

she sees the Face of the Beloved. Banda Singh was sent by Guru Gobind

Singh to destroy the tyrants of northern India. Banda Singh was

executed on June 9, 1716. He had agreed to come forward on the

basis that

an amnesty was given to all and that the Moghul leader, Adbus Samad

Khan admitted that he had done wrong. The Khan lied. A letter by John

Surman and Edward Stephenson, English representatives of the British

East India Company, dated March 10, 1716 on the

"Arrest and Massacre of the Sikhs at Delhi" details the suffering

they endured and confirms our oral histories about the atrocities.

The action by Banda Singh was a people's war, a guerrilla war,

against tyrants. But when they surrendered or were injured they were

taken care of. Bhai Kannayya and the teams working under his

supervision provided water and dressings to injured soldiers of all

armies. Banda Singh's war of liberation extended over all north

India. It was reported as far as Rome and Syria according to the Asar-

i-Samadi of 1728. The Moghul Emperor Bahadur Shah was outraged and

orders were given "to kill the worshippers of Nanak wherever found."

This was reported in the Akhbar-i-Darbar-i-Mu'alla of December 10,

1710. However, the April 28, 1711 issue reports: "During this period

he has promised and proclai

med: `I do not oppress the Muslims.'

Accordingly, for any Muslim who approaches him he fixes a daily

allowance and wages and looks after him. He has permitted them to

recite khutba and namaz. As such, five thousand Muslims have gathered

around him. Having entered into his friendship, they are free to

shout their call – bang – and say

their prayers – namaz – in the army of the wretched." Banda Singh

established an independent Sikh state followed by others in the

eighteenth century, leading to the Khalsa Raj with Ranjit Singh,

Maharaja of Punjab, as senior sewadar.



meeta = lovingkindness/compassion is the outflowing of gurprasad =

grace/god's love for us. the doorway - sodar - is opened by us when

we are humble/empty to this flow. we place our heads on the feet of

the inner tutor - god with-and-in. otherwise, as we seek our own

kingdom our chasing negativity - pieces of string, we tie into knots -

negative habits, which link together with the denial of god's kingdom

by the world, into a personal web of deceit that blocks this gateway.


The second Guru, Guru Angad introduced wrestling competitions. The

fifth Guru, Guru Arjun asked his disciple, Baba Buddha to teach

martial arts to the Sikhs.

From the time of sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind many Sikhs openly wore

arms. The seventh Guru, Guru Har Rai established a nature reserve and

investigate the medicinal properties of the various rare plants. When

the son of the Moghul Emperor Jehangir was dying, his advisers told

him that only the Guru could help him. The Emperor was worried since

he had executed Guru Arjun. However, forgiveness is an important

quality for a Sikh and the Guru sent the medicine to save the boy.

Guru Har Rai also developed the Sikh army by organising cavalry

units. The ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur was a great soldier. When

Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb

started forcibly converting Hindus to Islam,

Hindu leaders asked the Guru for help. He offered this help in a non-

violent struggle – the first in world history, even though he had an

army. He was martyred for protecting the Hindus. Centuries later, the

Sikhs employed this tactic against the British. The Hindu leader,

Gandhi, described their victory as the first victory of Indian


Although Gandhi tried to follow the tactic of non-violence, he only

managed to do this while he did not have an army. The moment he had

an army, when India became independent in 1947, he asked the troops

to intervene in Kashmir. Later, Guru Gobind Singh in God's good time,

revealed the Guru Khalsa Panth, one description of which Guru Ji told

us is Akaal Purkh Ki Fauj or Army of the Eternal Spirit.



Why given the importance of gatka, is it not well known? The main

reason has been that it has been suppressed down the ages by anti-

Sikh forces. Training provides endurance, perseverence, discipline,

loyalty and calmness. These are qualities of builders of empires, of

masters, not slaves. As such, anti-Sikhs have to break the unity of

the Army of the Eternal Spirit and keep them from their training.

Sikh teaching is one of Unity - One God of Grace, one humanity all

saved by that Grace; spirituality in the midst of everyday life;

meditation and martial arts.


the clear implication of this series has been that gurbani/guru

granth sahib ji points out the basic training of the art of war and

the conquest of the fort of the self - a battle between positive

energies - goodnesses, the gods, and inner demons.

this image of the battle has been enlarged in the three stories of

chandi in the bachiter natak granth. bachiter natak itself locates

this battle, not merely in the mind, but also in historical ti

me as

well. for while it is true that the kingdom of god is within us, it

is all around us as well.

to make a final note - the fourfold division of yugas need not be

taken literally. in hindu myths the four ages of people show a

gradual decline resulting in the destruction of the world by kalki.

we do not believe this. rather gurbani points out that according to

those myths the demon ravan lived in the so-called golden age, and

saints and gurus inhabit the so-called dark age! gurbani it seems to

me proposes a positive message - guru granth/guru panth is revealed

as a universal religion at the moment when the world becomes

globalised for the first time! ours is a belief in chardi kala

(spirits rising!), not a depressed waiting for the end of the world

at the hands of a hindu deity! the four yugas to my mind refer to the

gradual slipping away from the jap of god on the day of creation. on

that day, one acknowledged that god was our creator. gradually, we

come to the conclusion that god is absent from our lives and our

world - thus we live in darkness, in a dark age, a private hell of

our making filled with violence and fear. the light of that day is

brighter than the light of a thousand, thousand suns for on that day

all things are clear. that day is still with us - akaal - beyond the

circle of time, and those who live in that day are akalis, servants

of love, of compassion, of mercy. surrendering to the love that

births their creation - the sabd - they follow this inner tutor in

celebration of the names, the activities of god, and holding each

person dear as the pupil of their eye, embracing the guru in all, and

being embraced in turn as lovers maximise the flourishing of each.

they long for unity, yet celebrate difference! thus, whoever seeks

from the inner tutor will find one is one with god, yet the gulf

between creator and created is a gulf of unimaginable love in the


ast playground of space and time.

in this setting for the wonderful drama of life, some own the moment

and become spaces/temples for god to act, god's own space, the

khalsa, pure lovers. others, in doubt and denial block the energies

of life and try to silence the voice of the inner tutor through a

cacophony of noise - scripts of thought and emotion that make our

personal drama, and through strangling the voice of our heart. such

effort and strain leads to the blocking of life (nam), the paths of

death, it is the way of the zombies who are blind slaves of the

masters of the world. if we stand before the throne of god on the

first day, is this really what god intended to be going on?

waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh!!

kanwar ranvir singh

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Waheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa!

Waheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!!

Wicked, we should all take some time out to learn arts like Gatka, otherwise the concept of Sant Sipahee is gone.

Waheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa!

Waheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!! :g raz

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Waheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa!

Waheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!!

also dont forget that there is also a spiritual side to it all, its not all about how fit you are, youneed to be spiritually fit aswell.

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