Besides the dias and fireworks, the rich history of Amritsar comes to life when the Sikh martial bodies or’ Nihang Singh Jathebandis’ descend on the city as the Diwali celebrations and the ‘Bandi months of Diwas’ begin.
Pandey Chhur Diwas (Prisoner Release Day) celebrates the historic release of the sixth Sikh master, Guru Hargobind, from Mughal prison with 52 kings in the early 17th century.
Baba Buddha Ji, the first Granthi chief of Darbar Sahib, began the tradition of lighting floor lamps in the Golden Temple to celebrate the return of Guru Hargobind.
Gathidar Balbir Singh, the head of the Buddha Dal military faction, says it is an old tradition among Sikhs to gather at the Golden Temple in Pandey Chhour Diwas. ‘Budha Dal started the Akhand Path in Gurdwara Mal Akhara Sahib, which is historically linked to Guru Hargobind Sahib ji. Bhog will be held on the day of Diwali. « We will attend the gathering in Akal Takht on Saturday where Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh will read a message to the community, » said Jathedar Balbir Singh.. .
The first mentions of Diwali celebrations as a community among Sikhs date back to the third guru, Guru Ammar Das, in the 16th century. However, the largest chapter in the history of Sikhs and Diwali was added in Amritsar, when Guru Hargobind Sahib returned from Gwalior Fort, where Mughal Emperor Jahangir imprisoned him on the pretext that the fine imposed on his father, Guru Arjan, was not.. It was paid for by the Sikhs.
According to the Sikh history, Guru Hargobind is released from Diwali prison. While released from Gwalior Fort Prison, according to Sikh history, he also secured the release of 52 Kings. Sync was then hailed as a « month bandy » (the one who edits).
After the death of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708, the Sikhs faced the challenge of retaining control of the Golden Temple. Sikh factions often take shelter in the forests, and meet at the Golden Temple on Diwali every year for a Sirebat Khalsa to take all important decisions and resolve internal and external disputes..
Diwali has become an annual invitation to all Sikh factions in any part of the world to reach Amritsar for a « pure sirbet ». Sometimes, Mughal rulers wanted to prevent Sikhs from attending Diwali in Amritsar.
In 1737, Bhai Mani Singh, then director of the Golden Temple, promised to pay a large sum to the then governor of Lahore, Zakaria Khan, to allow safe passage and return to the Sikhs for Diwali celebration in Amritsar. Later, Bhai Mani Singh learned that Zakaria Khan was planning a mass execution of the Sikhs by making them come to Amritsar.. . Mani Singh immediately sent a message to the Sikhs not to come to Amritsar. He also failed to pay the amount promised to Zakaria Khan as the funds were to be arranged from the Sikh performances on Diwali. Zakaria Khan executed Mani Singh in Lahore for failing to pay the promised amount.
On the occasion of Diwali in 1761, a decision was made to attack Lahore at the « Serbet Khalsa » gathering. Sikh warriors killed Ubaid Khan, the then Afghan governor of Lahore, in battle, and Jasa Singh Ahluwalia was declared « Sultan of the People ».
Diwali celebrations returned to the Golden Temple and Medina once the Sikh deception began to gain control of Amritsar in the last quarter of the eighteenth century after which Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled Punjab.
During British rule, British officers also came privately to witness Diwali celebrations at the Golden Temple.
To keep the traditions alive, military bodies and ordinary Sikhs come to the Golden Temple every Diwali day as the seated Akal Takht Jathedar reads a message to the community. The martial bodies are also showing their fighting skills a day after Diwali in Amritsar.
We will start the Mohala (Military Corpses March) from Buraj Akali Baba Phula Singh and will pass through different parts of the city to reach the B railroad area where the Nihangs will display their fighting skills on Sunday.. It is a long and rich history. Diwali celebration in Amritsar is also a tribute to those Sikhs who were not permitted to enter the city in the 18th century. « It is a symbol of pure victory, » said Balbir Singh..
The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak (SGPC) also makes special arrangements for lighting and fireworks on this occasion..
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Bandi Chhor Divas, Diwali, Sri Harmandir Sahib, Sikhism, Hinduism, Guru Hargobind, Asian News International
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