And now, listen, how The Kukas Sacrificed Their Lives in The Cause of Dharam(Religion) and Found Their Place among The-Martyrs-of-Faith(Shaheeds).
In between the second and the third decades of the Bikrami Sammat(19th Century), cows came to be slaughtered in larger numbers and at various places.
The Hindus felt miserable and helpless.
They were not powerful enough to seek remedy with the Government.
And, then The Courageous Kukas were Roused to Action.
They Put a number of slaughterhouse butchers to Sword.
Prominent Hindus at Amritsar and various other places were arrested and persecuted by the english government.
When they were about to be executed, The Kukas, on Their Own, Came Forward, led evidence to prove that They and none else, had dealt the deadly blow.
Happily, They went to the gallows and, from thereon, to the land of God Himself.
After that, there was yet another act of rare Heroism at Malerkotla.
There were about 60 Kukas who, having resolved to court certain death, dispatched the butchers and protected the cows.
They were engaged by the armed forces of the muslim state of Malerkotla, but The Sikhs Repulsed them.
The Patiala troops practiced subterfuge, took false oath, persuaded them to their point of view and finally got them arrested.
Absorbed in The Love of Shabad, They gladly Offered Themselves to be blown off by the cannon.
They were, according to Them, Exceedingly Fortunate to Die for Their Faith.
The kings and the chiefs, the courtiers and the english officers were all awe-struck by This Miracle of a Deed.
The english, after deep deliberation, deported Ram Singh, then Found utterly Free from blame, to Rangoon.
The various Subas were scattered in different directions and the ascendancy of the Panth was sought to be curbed
...They (The Namdhari Sikhs) are Distinguished by their White Dress, White Woolen Rosary, Straight Turban and Flowing Beard.
They Perform Havan, Recite Hymns from The Guru Granth.
They are The True followers of Guru Gobind Singh, and cannot be diverted from Their Resolve to Establish a Government of Their own.
Such are The Impenetrable Kukas known for Their worshipful ways.
Gian Singh has narrated as he has witnessed them.
The Namdhari Singhs & Dharma.
The Namdhari Sikhs or Kukas (Shouters of the Divine Grace), who professed to be ethically strict followers of Guru Gobind Singh, are the true representatives of the original Sikhs who being contemporary to the Satgurus lived in accordance with their injunctions. They wear, like their ancestral counterparts, white robes. The Kuka insignia, a straight turban and a knotted necklace of rosary of wool, are the two outward features that even today help recognize Namdhari Sikhs from a considerable distance.
Unfortunately, under the influence of and at the instance of the British rulers it had been made out by the vested interests that the Kukas were a separate sect of Sikhs but the fact remains that this 'sect' was nothing else other than the reformed class of the Sikhs who had abandoned all the vices including drinking, flesh eating, adultery, debauchery and smoking etc. that had been forbidden by the Gurus and which had found their way into the Sikh religion after the time of Guru Gobind Singh. It was Satguru Ram Singh who resuscitated the Sikh religion by removing the defiles. Stating this fact, the Inspector General of Police, Punjab, wrote: "They all seem to have a great respect for the tenets of the sect, and agree that it is an effort to restore the Sikh religion to its original purity, and to do away with the innovations which have crept into it." Maulvi Ghulam Bheekh Jullundari also subscribes to the same view.
Sikhs, as an outcome of the reforming campaigns of Satguru Ram Singh, got rid of the smoking-pipes narcotic drugs such as opium, poppy-husk and hemp etc. as well as of all other vices. According to Gianni Gian Singh, another eye-witness and authority on Sikh history, it seemed as if truly the golden age of the Sikh Dharma (religion) had been started. That reforming movement was not confined to Punjab only but it spread to other regions and the neighboring states outside India as well. Infact, Abdul Razak, a noble man of Kabul had sent his two sons to the Kuka Headquarters at Sri Bhaini Sahib for initiation. Official documents confirm that even the Muslims had embraced this religion thought not in large numbers.
These reformative and the freedom movements were launched by Sri Satguru Ram Singh on 13th April 1857 at Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana district of Punjab Province of Northern India. Having Himself seen, during His services with the Naunihal Regiment of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Army, how deceitfully was annexed the Punjab to the British India by those cunning, powerful and tyrannical rulers. Satguru Ram Singh selected the nonviolent way of fighting the oppression. The triangular white flag hoisted on the same very day was also indicative of the same trend.
The growth of the SantKhalsa (Namdhari/Kuka) movement was astoundingly very fast. Maulvi Ghulam Bheekh Jullundari believed that in the Sikh history, it was only Satguru Ram Singh who during His preaching campaigns could have the following of lakhs of people. According to him, Guru Nanak, the reviver of modern Sikhism, during His time could not increase His followers to such a great number. But Satguru Ram Singh had the credit of bringing to the Sikh fold even the whole population of many villages. In the words of the Inspector General of Punjab Police: "The new faith had largely gained credence of late in the pergunnahs of umballa and Ladhowa, where now might be found some 15 villages composed almost of believers in Ram Singh's creed." Later on, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab felt that: "In the facts that while a few years ago, no men of good family and position had joined the new creed, there is now a considerable number of petty Sirdars and men of family among its avowed adherents."
The prudent Satguru had forecast the devouring agricultural conditions in the Punjab with the introduction of the slaughter-houses by the British. Namdhari Sikhs were the harbingers of the freedom and Swadeshi movements. The Kukas had formed a parallel government. They had established the diplomatic relations with Nepal, Kashmir and Russia. Rana Jung Bahadur of Nepal held the Guru in great reverence and regard and had exchanged the valuable presents with Satguru Ram Singh. The Namdhari Sikhs had, without the cognizance of the British government, raised a separate Regiment in Kashmir - the sepoys of which were paid more money than their counterparts. Boycott was the fatal weapon and Dharma wielded by Satguru Ram Singh against the enemy. Kukas had refrained from the British courts, schools, canals, roads and British made goods. They had their own well organized postal system. In short, it was a unique boycott in the history of freedom movement of India which was emulated by Mahatma Gandhi after about fifty years.
The Kukas had implicitly aimed at the restoration of the lost Sikh rule in Punjab. The Lieutenant Governor observes that the papers, which have been submitted to the Govt., of India, show that whatever the original tendency of the Kooka doctrine may have been, they have now become of a political character, the designs of the leaders, more or less understood by the followers, being to attempt of a restoration of the Sikh power in the Punjab "because of the sympathies of large section of the Native Community outside the circle of avowed Kookas", wrote Mr. L. H. Griffin.
After the British's invasion of India and the annexation of Punjab, the once outlawed cow-butchering was made legal. This decision caused much resentment to the Hindus and many Sikhs who rejected such acts as being sacrilegious to the Holy Land of The Gurus.
Albeit The police officers' being notified that the sanctity of the sacred pool surrounding the Sikh Temple Harimandir (Golden Temple) was being littered with the remains of cows that were being dropped into it by scavenging birds as a direct result of the slaughter-house being opened near the Gurdwara (Sikh Temple built on the land blessed by the Guru's Physical Presence), no step was taken by the English police to either stop the cow butchering or to move the facility else where.
The British, using their strategy of 'Divide & Rule', were successfully using this discontent among the people of different religions in the Punjab for their own benefit. The poor and lower castes were treated as pieces of trash whereas the rich and powerful were well petted and enslaved with money and other benefits.
It is a historical fact that a Sikh called Dewa Singh, who was greatly moved by the situation, once paid his homage to the Gurdwara by placing a cow's bone that he recovered from the sacred pool before the sacred Sikh Scripture. This caused great resentment to the Mahant (head priest) of the Gurdwara and the poor Sikh was consequently sentenced to 3 years of rigorous imprisonment in 1871 A.D. However, the head priest did not do anything to stop the activities of the slaughterhouse. Tension developed new heat. The Hindus effected an economic and trade boycott of the Muslims. The authorities including the Commissioner called many conferences of prominent Hindu and Sikh representatives. He explained to them that the earlier proclamation of Lawrence, prohibiting the sale of beef, was only for a temporary nature. It was to remain in force till the time of Maharaja Dalip Singh's (The last maharaja who ruled the Punjab) rule. After annexation it was bound to be changed. The arrest of Dewa Singh, the threats given by the Commissioner, filing of suits against 22 Hindus for riots and boycott of Muslims in trade, made the situation in the Punjab highly explosive. As soon as the Commissioner left the city of Amritsar, riots started again.
It was in the above circumstances, when the situation had become intolerable for the Hindus and the Sikhs, when the authorities did not relent in their pro-Muslim attitude, and when all constitutional means to stop the merciless slaughter of cows and the hawking of beef had failed, some of the Namdhari Sikhs took the law in their own hands.
On the night of 14th and 15th June, 1871 an attack was made on the butchers of Amritsar. Four of them, Pira, Jiwan, Shadi and Amami were murdered. Karam Din, Illahi Bux and Khiba were left half dead. The Sikhs used weapons which were supplied to them by a constable Lal Singh who was in fact a Namdhari. This attack was made between 12 and 1 o'clock at the dead of the night. The Government were able to find a turban and a steel disc as their clues.
When the authorities learnt about this attack and the murder of the butchers, they deputed Mr. Christie to apprehend those who were responsible for it. He used all his third degree methods to rope in many of the innocent citizens of Amritsar. Heera Singh, Ahya and Jai Ram were tortured and made to confess that they had actually committed the crime. All of them were made approvers, and 12 other citizens, namely Sant Ram, Ram Kishan, Manna Singh, Jawala Singh, Pannaji, Mula, Nihal Singh, Mayya, Sunder Singh, Bhup Singh, Teka and Shoba were sent to the Sessions. Actually none of these was responsible for the murders, but still all of them were committed to the Sessions on 25th July, 1871 by Mr. Christie.
When Satguru Ram Singh came to know that the lives of innocent people were being endangered for the murders committed by the Namdhari Sikhs, His Holiness, the benevolent Satguru, directed the Sikhs responsible to go and surrender themselves to the authorities so that the innocent people may not be hanged.
It was in such circumstances that Behla Singh, Fateh Singh, Hakim Singh and Lehna Singh came forth to fearlessly confess their deed to save the innocent victims of the English's blinded judicial system. The news of death sentence on the four Namdhari Sikhs spread in the streets of Amritsar in the most electrical manner. There was praise and appreciation for their bravery on everybody's lips. The public was deeply impressed by the way the Sikhs had confessed their guilt and saved others from the gallows. From the day of judgment to the day of hanging, the Sikhs were allowed to visit the HariMandir, as well as prepare their own food. 15th September was their day of dating with death.
On that fine morning, the four Khalsas bathed in the Holy Tank; the 'Parshad' (Sacred Cooked Food) was prepared and distributed. What a beautiful scene it was! The patriots, intoxicated with love, were starting off to kiss the gallows. Chanting the holy songs, and performing Kirtan, the party moved towards the hanging ground. The large assembly of onlookers was amazed. "Are these Sikhs for hanging? They appear absolutely unconcerned about death. Are they proceeding to meet the bride of death?", the people thought to themselves. The crowd thickened. Before death they demanded two things. Firstly, they should not be hanged with leather strings. Secondly, they would themselves put the hanging ropes in their own necks. Both the wishes were granted. After saying their final prayers, the four Sikhs fearlessly embraced death amidst slogans of 'Sat Sri Akal'.
Many riots later ensued, including one in Rai Kot and one in Malerkotla where, as prophesized by the Great Guru Gobind Singh in the scripture called 'Wad Tirath Di Sakhi', the total of 80 Khalsas sacrificed their lives to shake the very roots of the cruel, heartless Muslims who had intentionally butchered a bull in front of a Sikh tortured by a Muslim judge. As with the case in Amritsar, the cause of these two riots was also related to animal rights, namely the cow slaughtering.
After many riots and tackles with the English Government, it appeared to the Government that there was no other way to stop the Sikhs other than by cutting them off of their sole inspiration; Satguru Ram Singh. Under the third regulation of 1818, which itself is a lawless act, the Satguru was arrested and exiled to Calcutta and then across the sea to Burma. But even from across the sea, the Guru remained in contact with the Namdhari Sikhs who, for their Dharma of being Sikhs; the disciples and children of the Satguru, fearlessly faced the danger and traveled to gain a glimpse of God in Burma. Many Sikhs infact went as far as to sell their lands and belongings to pay for the expenses they faced in traveling to meet the Guru, with Whom they knew very well that they would not even able to talk to freely.
The Sikh's Dharma is indeed a torturous one. For without the sight of the beloved Satguru; a Sikh's sleep is never his fullest; a Sikh's meal is tasteless; a Sikh's life is literally non-existence!
The Great Guru, Satguru Gobind Singh, wrote in His Dasam Granth that whenever the Gopis thought of the Lord, Krishna Chandra, they would feel as if they were standing at the border of life and death. For they were unable to live without their Satguru who had left them and yet it was His very thought that kept them alive.
Also as recorded in Ramayana, Sita, the wedded wife of the Lord, Rama Chandra, after being captured by the evil king, Ravana, is also said to suffer the same state of being 'half dead' without the sight of her beloved Satguru. Yet the only source of her inspiration to live was also the very thought of the Satguru.
Similarly, the Namdhari Sikhs were greatly saddened when they learned the news that their beloved Satguru was sent to exile. But they, abiding by their Dharma were also much respectful of their Satguru's decision to leave and hence no riot or fight broke out with the English regarding the issue. But for how long can a Sikh stand the separation with the Satguru? For how long can a child stand the separation with its parents? Many Namdhari Sikhs therefore became very desperate for the sight of the Satguru for which, as mentioned before, they took the risk of crossing the sea and traveling into a country totally unfamiliar to them just to spend a few moments and look at the Satguru from the far.
From His exile, the Great Guru Who planned to remain incognito and away from the Sikhs until the much anticipated 'designated time', issued a Hukamnama (Letter of Orders) bestowing upon His younger Brother, Budh Singh - Who He renamed Hari Singh - the great duty and humongous task of leading the Sikhs.
The Guru, Satguru Hari Singh, was indeed the very image of Hari (God) Whose very presence bestowed peace upon the onlooker. And it was for the very glimpse of Hari that the Sikhs came from all over the country to gain the Darshan (Sight) of Hari in Satguru Hari Singh. Even though the residence of the Guru, Gurdwara Sri Bhaini Sahib, was under heavy surveillance and those who wished to pass through its gates were subjected to inspections and tortures by the Muslim guards hired by the English to monitor the Sikhs' movements. In such circumstances, it was truly the Sikhs' Dharma (Spirit) that gave them the strength to withstand all sorts of tortures, physically and mentally, and to walk through the gates guarded by demons to gain the spectacle of Heaven at the feet of the Guru.
Amidst the restrictions and blind laws created by the Government to stop the Sikhs' movements, the Satguru kept burning the torch of freedom lit by Satguru Ram Singh since 1857 A.D. The 'Sada-Vart Langar' (Continuous Free Kitchen), initiated and financially supported by Satguru Ram Singh was kept on duty and no poor or hungry person was discriminated from the Langar of Hari. Infact an English officer once became so impressed with the kindness of the Satguru that he offered to give to the Satguru a large amount of land to be used as Free Kitchen. The Satguru, however, displayed His Panth's (Movement's) unshakable Dharma and rejected the land that the British Government claimed to be of its own.
When Sri Satguru Partap Singh Ji ascended the Gurgaddi (Throne of the Guru), the English were still in control of the Land of Bharat (India). In the mean time, Indian National Congress had been organized and the Namdhari Sikhs, under the divine guidance of the Great Satguru Partap Singh, joined hands with the Congress. They organized numerous conferences at various places in Punjab to arouse the people's interest against the British tyranny. In 1925, the congress started a special campaign from Bradella Hall in Lahore. The Namdhari Sikhs participated in that movement whole-heartedly as well. They stood at the forefront and bravely faced arrests. In Dec.1929 the Annual Session of congress was organized in Lahore. Namdhari Sikhs had not only taken part in that session but also provided free food to every participant.
The Daily Tribune of Lahore published an article on 27th December,1929: "Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru was riding a horse. It was a beautiful white charger. Behind him were the G.O.C and other officers of the volunteers corps. The most striking feature was the Sikh cavalry dressed in white spotless khaddar and wearing stylish turbans. The Namdharis with their flowing beards presenting a thrilling sight."
When Netaji, Subash Chandra Bose, organized the AZAD HIND FAUJ with its centre in Bangkok (Thailand), Namdhari Sikhs of Thailand helped him in each and every way possible.
Subash Chandra Bose had rightly said that; "The banner for freedom given to Indians by Satguru Ram Singh and the sacrifices done by Namdhari Sikhs will be a matter of great pride for the Indians. The Namdhari Sikhs, experienced for three quarters of century for their peaceful non-co-operation movement, are expected to carry forward the banner of freedom in the forefront and will encourage sacrifices. Guru Ram Singh is the first leader of the peaceful non-co-operation movement in India."
In 1945, the Vavel Conference was held in Shimla. All the patriots and political parties participated in the conference. Sri Satguru Partap Singh Ji also reached Shimla with the Namdhari Sikhs. At that time, Pt. Nehru asked Sri Satguruji, "What do you want? What are your dreams?" Satguru Partap Singh Ji, while expressing the patriotic view of the Namdhari Dharma, replied, "My want, wish and demand is only India's freedom". On account of these pioneering efforts & sacrifices of Namdhari Sikhs and all other patriotic forces, India attained independence on 15th August,1947.
Pt. Nehru had later written in the 'Satjug' (A Namdhari Newspaper): "No Indian can deny the importance of efforts put in by Satguru Ram Singh and His followers Namdhari Sikhs, seventy five years ago in achieving freedom of the country. Congress merely followed the path shown by them and attained Independence."
Mrs. Indra Gandhi, the late Prime Minister of India had as well said on March 16,1981: "Our freedom movement gathered strength by attracting every important section of society from every region. The contribution of the Namdhari sect of Sikhs to the movement has been specially significant and unique in its own way."
The present day activities of the Namdhari Sikhs are no less interesting in contrast to their glorious past. Namdhari Sikhs are maintaining the long standing Dharma (tradition) of the Anand marriage ceremony initiated by Satguru Ram Singh under the aegis of Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh. He has inculcated the idea of marriage less-dowry in the minds of the youth so much that the latter considers it an offence to accept the dowry in any form. It has undoubtedly been practically observed that in many cases the parents do surpass their children in greedily demanding the 'gift' of dowry. Such defaulters are punished draconically. Satguruji has successfully, to a great extent, curbed this disease in such groups. He, in short, advocates the application of the inner-most zeal to eradicate that inveterate social evil.
The Namdhari Sikhs prefer self-help to the governmental assistance for any work which can be done without departmental interferences and delays. There are nearly twenty villages in Haryana where the Namdhari Sikhs displaced from West Punjab were rehabilitated in 1947. Realizing that the government was hesitating in constructing the roads in that area, the Namdhari Sikhs themselves, under the able guidance of Satguruji have linked many of the villages by metalled roads. It is due to these roads that the major crops of the area could find easy access to the marketing centre; and which has added much more wealth to the inhabitant's income.
Welfare of the society on the whole is the lofty and laudable aim of the altruist Satguru. Thus under the self-help scheme He has constructed the roads not only for his followers but also for non-Namdharis. The Kukas had constructed another metalled road, measuring about seven miles, leading to a village where no Namdhari dwelled.
If the Namdharis had boycotted the British schools, it was only to boycott and prevent the youth from the foreign influence which was responsible for loyalty to the British in others. Keeping in view the role played by the right time of education in the social development; and finding no such educational institution in that locality, Satguruji had established 'Guru Hari Singh Mahavidyala', a high school, at Sri Jiwan Nagar where education up to tenth class is provided free of any charge to the students with no thought given to them being of any religion, caste or social status. The school as well as the staff is maintained from a big piece of land donated for the purpose by Sri Satguruji Maharaj.
The Satguru had instilled in His followers, the Dharma of love and care for every being through His own examples. To cite an instance, in August 1972 when the Satguru blessed the land of Kenya with His divine presence, the terrifying news broke out that that the foreign nationals, including Indians no doubt, were being tyrannized by the officials of President Idi Amin of Uganda. Satguruji at once ordered the Namdhari Sikhs at Nairobi to start a non-stop recitation of the Holy Granth as well as to perform other religious rites in favor of the afflicted souls. No sooner the recitation was completed on the third day, the solacing news of some amenities announced to the non-Ugandans was heard.
The whole world is familiar with the drastic and fatal drought which spelled the whole of Europe in the summer of 1976 and in England which had broken the records of the past two hundred and fifty years. Providentially, the Satguru blessed His followers with His divine presence in England in those days where He was supplicated by the people, including the native Englishmen, to invoke the god of rain and thus to bless the Britons with rain.
Accepting the entreaties of the British public, Satguruji prayed for the end of the drought. On the other hand, according to the Sunday Express (England) dated 19th August 1976, a water authority spokesman had said: "It will need a month of this type of weather to make any difference." The meteorological office had also forecast, "We can see no sign of change." But all were dumb stricken when "Minutes later it began to drizzle. Twenty-four hours later as He concluded His prayers the sky thundered bringing rain throughout the country amid lightning", reported the Indian Express. "The Guru has done a miracle" was the spontaneous and all smiling reaction of the people. For the whole of the humanity and animal kingdom which very few personalities bother to think about, the Satguru had answered their prayers.
The cow is considered by the masses to be a useless animal from the milk-yielding point of view. Sri Satguruji has falsified this assumption by developing the local Indian cow to the level of the imported foreign one. One of His cows was awarded the first prize constantly for five years for highest milk yielding. Guruji Himself was awarded the title of Gopal Ratna for the same reason in 1964. Satguruji opines that if the government really develops the local cow, the huge amount of the foreign exchange, incurred upon these animals' import, can be saved. In addition to the financial profit made thus, there would remain no so called 'useless' and 'unproductive' cow in the country. If this trend is inculcated in the minds of the masses, practically there may be sufficient milk for the Indians who are said to be underfed.
Namdhari Sikhs have not only ventured the construction work in India but are also noted in the foreign countries as well. In an article published in Nairobi (Kenya), it was brought to light that "Namdharis have contributed much more, after the independence of Kenya, for the development of this country. They have constructed an Operation Theatre at Gutundu Self-help Hospital, the cost of which was more than one hundred thousand Shillings." Gutundu being the birthplace of the President Kenyatta, the foundation stone of the Operation Theatre was laid by the Lady Ngina Kenyatta. She had expressed the hope then that the gesture of the Namdhari Sikhs "would go a long way towards easing the difficulties facing the people of the area." In addition to the completion of the flooring and ceiling of the entire building, the Namdhari Sikhs had been providing a doctor for the said hospital. The story of their philanthropy does not end here only. The Namdhari Sangat of Kenya had contributed large sums for Freedom-from-Hunger Program there. They, in addition to other things, have offered two scholarships to those Kenyan students who would like to study Animal Husbandry and Agriculture in India. As a matter of fact, the Namdhari Sikhs had paved a long way for the friendship between both the nations.
Considering the Namdharis very dangerous for the peace of the land and the safety of the British rule in India. Satguru Ram Singh was exiled along with His Subas (Top Officials) in January 1872 A.D. According to the SantKhalsa Dharma, the beloved Satguru is well and alive and has been granting audience to both the Namdhari Sikhs as well as non-Namdharis from time to time. In accordance with the prediction of the Great Guru, Satguru Gobind Singh, which is the fundamental Dharma of every Namdhari, all the woes would flee away on the reappearance of the Satguru on the Indian soil. There would be neither any war, nor injustice, nor hunger etc. in the world. Atheism would be known to none. Peace and prosperity would prevail on the whole planet. Such forecasts are found in non-Namdhari literature as well. For instance in the past, a voluminous book has been produced in Thai language from an ancient manuscript which says that when the whole planet would witness the chaotic scenes, there would appear a saint with such and such recognizable characteristics from the Burmese mountains (Note: Satguru Ram Singh was also sent to exile in Burma) who will remove all the calamities.
Though the Holy Bible does not mention the reappearance of any such incarnation, yet it tells us something about the disappearance of the calamities from the earth: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrows, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: For the former things are passed away." The Namdhari Sikhs yearn for that day of jollity for all the creatures on earth.
translations of parts of the Holy Dasam Granth Sahib and the Sakhi (Biographical
Sketch) of the Satgurus in English, as with any other translation of
the Holy verses and Sakhis found on the internet, cannot be thought of
as their definite and only meanings since much of the information and
meaning of certain words cannot be retained after translation.