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Philosophy and belives

The sikhs belive in only one god.He is the same god for all people and for all religions.
The sikhs belive that the soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form.Their aime is to life an exemplary life so that one may merge with god.
Sikhs should remember god at all times and practise living a vituous and truthfull life.
The true path to achieving salvation and merging with god does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a housholder, earning a honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins.Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting,visiting places of pilgrimage,supersitions,worship of the dead,idol worship etc.
Sikihsm preaches the people of different races,religions,or sex are all equal in the eyes of God.It teaches the full equality of men and women.Woman can participate in any religious functions or perform any sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.






A sikh wedding
Anand Karaj is the prescribe form of sikh marriage.The Sikh marriage is very speacial in which two individuals are joined and an equal parntership.The festival is very family orientated.The celebrate with their family.The ultimative choice is alway left to the girl and boy.An engagement ceremony called the kurmai is not requiered but it's sometimes performed typically one week before the wedding.They perform it at home for a short time.It is presented with the Kara,Kirpon or indian sweets.They brides family in turn are presented with a Indian sult and sweets for the girl.The marriage lasts about 3 days which begins with the Braat (groons family and friends) setting off for the girls house in the evening.They are entertained and hosted by the girls parents and spend to their house at night.The following day the ceremony takes places at the local Gurdwera or at the girls home.Then they celebrate the religious ceremony,they dance the whole day.Even the wedding occurs in the morning,followed by a dinner and dance paquet in a hall or hotel at night.
15.3.07 10:13


Sikhism Sikhism is the youngest world religion,it was founded about 500 years ago by Garu Nanak.who was born in 1469.Guru Nanak spread a simple message of „Ek ong kar“ we are all alone,created by the one creator of all creation.This was at a time when India was being torn apart by castes,secrarianism,religious factions and fanaticism.He was living without a religion but accepted all religions he knew.He thought that there is only one god,that was called „Sat Nam“. Guru Naka's Hindu and muslim followers began to be called sikhs (learners).Through word and example , the Guru demonstrates to followers how to experience god within themselves ,bringing them from darkness into light. Guru Nanuk thought his way of life: Nam Japa „ to get up each day before sunrise,to clean the body,meditate on god's name and recide the Guru's hymns to clean the mind.Throuhout the day,contininuously remember God's name with every breath.To work and earn by the sweat of the brow,to live a family way of life, and practise truthfullnes and honesty in all dealings.To share the fruits of one's labor with others before considering oneself. Thus to live as an insperation and a supoort to the entire community.
14.3.07 12:52


Sikhism, the youngest of the world religions, is barely five hundred years old. Its founder, Guru Nanak, was born in 1469. Guru Nanak spread a simple message of "Ek Ong Kar": we are all one, created by the One Creator of all Creation. This was at a time when India was being torn apart by castes, sectarianism, religious factions, and fanaticism. He aligned with no religion, and respected all religions. He expressed the reality that there is one God and many paths, and the Name of God is Truth, "Sat Nam".
Guru Nanak's Hindu and Muslim followers began to be called Sikhs (learners). He taught them to bow only before God, and to link themselves to the Guru, the Light of Truth, who lives always in direct consciousness of God, experiencing no separation. Through words and example, the Guru demonstrates to followers how to experience God within themselves, bringing them from darkness into light. Guru Nanak was a humble bearer of this Light of Truth. He opposed superstition, rituals, social inequality and injustice, renunciation and hypocrisy and inspired seekers by singing divine songs which touched the hearts of the most callous listeners. These songs were recorded, and formed the beginnings of the Sikhs' sacred writings, later to become the "Siri Guru Granth Sahib".

Guru Nanak taught his way of life:
Nam Japa - To get up each day before sunrise, to clean the body, meditate on God’s Name and recite the Guru’s hymns to clean the mind. Throughout the day, continuously remember God’s Name with every breath.
Dharam di Kirat Karni - To work and earn by the sweat of the brow, to live a family way of life, and practice truthfulness and honesty in all dealings.
Vand Ke Chakna - To share the fruits of one’s labor with others before considering oneself. Thus, to live as an inspiration and a support to the entire community.
Introduction (Prayer)
The Sikh's conception God is personal. He moves in him like a fish in the water, and lives with him like a wife with her husband. He is in constant communion with Him through prayer. Therefore prayer is much used in Sikhism. The Scripture consists chiefly of prayers. No ceremony whether religious or secular, is complete without prayer. Nay, most of the ceremonies and rituals contain nothing else. Before going on a journey, or opening a shop or occupying a new house, the Sikhs open the Holy Scriptures and asks God's blessing. Often if time and means permit, he also arranges for the singing of hymns of thanks-giving. But he will never omit a short prayer, which even the poorest can afford. No priest is required to address it. Anybody, man or woman old or young can lead in prayer. Even a boy or a girl may be seen conducting the morning or evening service and leading in prayer a big congregation consisting of the most learned and advanced in age. This is purposely encouraged, so that everybody may learn to shoulder his or her responsibilities without the help of a priestly class. The prayer varies in size and contents. Sometimes only a few words will do. A man starting on horseback with one foot in the stirrup, may mutter to himself : "O Lord of plume ! help. The Humble servant" Or a few lines may be quoted from the Scripture by way of saving grace before or after meals.
As a piece of composition it is one of the rarities of literature. It is not the work of any one man or any one time. The whole Sikh nation has been at work on it for centuries. The custom of offering prayers must have begun with the rise of Sikhism, but by the time of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth successor of Guru Nanak Dev, when places of worship had been organized and a definite book of faith had been installed in them, it became an established rule together for the purpose of praying in congregations. According to the Dubistan-I-Mazaheb when anybody wanted a gift from heaven, he would come to such an assembly of Sikhs and ask them to pray for him. Familiar expressions of prayer began to accumulate until by the time of Guru Gobind Singh a definite form was given to it. As it now stands it can be divided into three parts:
1.Six lines of verse by Guru Gobind Singh invoking God and the first nine Gurus.
2.From line 7 to 25 rhythmic prose, composed by generations of Sikhs as the events of their history went on leaving their impressions on their minds. The community even now has not abdicated its right of molding this part of the prayer it can refer in any suitable terms to the present day difficulties and sorrows of the panth e.g. ..........in connection with the wearing of Kirpans and the reforming of Gurdwaras.
3.The Prayers proper the composition of which except a few words here and there depends entirely upon the man who is praying.
The first seven lines and the last two lines can in no case be altered or omitted, in all other lines changes can be made we can shorten omit, add to or do anything with them. Though everybody is required to be able to lead in prayer, everybody cannot be expected to be original and to express himself in an assembly in a correct concise and moving manner. Therefore it is provided that the man offering the prayer should begin with a recitation and get more and more free as he proceeds. After the composition of the Guru and the community he has a chance to try his free hand in expressing his bosom thoughts or the conjectured ideas of the whole congregation it is so helpful so educative. The prayer is communal not only in the composition of its language, but also in the nature of its subject matter. The Sikh, while offering it, is made to realize that he is a part of the corporate body, called the Panth or Khalsa, whose past and present history is recounted with all its sacrifices, successes glories and needs. In order to understand why so much of the prayer is taken with historical details, we must consider the meaning of the Sikh prayers. The Gurus were very careful in the imparting of their teaching. They did not deliver lectures or write books and leave them to be understood by their Sikhs. They took as much care in the preparation of the disciple as of the lesson itself. They wanted to see that what they gave was capable of being digested and assimilated by him. Therefore the teaching was in the disciple's own vernacular, and was given in the form of a song or discourse. Further, it was not delivered at once in one life. The Guru took in hand the training of a nation and each one of them at a time gave as much instruction as was needful passing it on to the next Guru when the work of one generation was complete. In this way the whole course of training extended over ten generations.
In other ways, too the Gurus took care to see that no effect of their teaching was lost upon the disciple. The different morning and evening services were fixed according to the mood or the atmosphere of the time. The philosophical JapJi ( or the meditation of Guru Nanak) is to be read in the morning and the Kirtan Sohila, which breathes the spirit of calmness and resignation is fixed for the bed time. If we look into the nature of the compositions, we shall find that the difference is just suited to the difference between our inward mood of the morning and that of the evening. The passions, which are the dominant in the evening, in the morning leave the field for the contemplative part of the soul. The mind has been tranquillized by the calm sleep and is nearer heaven. It is quite fresh and clear, and can dwell on the difficult problems of human life discussed in the JapJi. Our whole being irritated and over strung by the nervous excitement of the day, reaches by night time and culminating point of its human vitality; and as we sit in the bed, preparing for sleep, we can no longer bear the strain of hard thinking. Therefore a short musical piece is all that has to be recited before we give ourselves up to sleep. The thoughts contained in the poem are further made easy by being woven in the form of imaginative figures. Our imagination just at that time is very active so the abstract ideas are presented to us clothed in images. See how the difficult idea of the oneness of the God amidst the diversity of His manifestations is made clear to us by being compared to the oneness of the sun in spite of the divisions of time and season. Look at the figure of pride approaching the door of her spouse, while oil is being poured on it by the friends of the family. It is really the human soul yearning to meet God after waiting day and night to receive a call from Him. Again, how beautifully the diversity of God's presence, diffused in the face of nature is presented in the form of the stars and planets moving around the alter of God to perform an arti. We have given instances enough to show what paints the Gurus have taken to suit their teaching to the mood of the disciple's mind.
In the case of the prayer, the same care has been taken. The Sikh has to bring himself into a prayerful mood before he addresses himself to his God, when we actually pray. We stand face to face with God. But before we enter into the innermost tabernacle of God and reach that consummation, we have much to traverse the ground of moral struggle and spiritual preparation. We have to realize what the communion with God has meant for those who have loved him. What sufferings and sacrifices they had to undergo to be able to see His face. We have to refresh ourselves with the sweet faith of those immortals and fortify our minds with their patient strength and resignation. Prayer does not mean a mere physiological union with God an undisturbed rest in him. It means an active yearning of the soul to feel one with God who is always active and patient, who is always hopeful. Prayer should, therefore, refresh our spirit and make us ready to do God's will. This can be done if we first commune ourselves with the God revealed in History, and reverently watch the organic growth of Divinity in mankind. To do this we have to feel ourselves a part of that congregation of God-like being who represent the best in man. We should steep ourselves in association of those in whose in company we feel the presence of God.
The Sikh prayer was composed from this point of view it begins with an invocation to God and then different sole are invoked in the order of precedence. The highest ideal of godliness according to the Sikhs was realized in Guru Nanak and his nine successors. Therefore they are mentioned next. Then the five beloved ones, who for their sacrifice were invested with collective Guruship by the last Guru, then the Guru's sons, who bravely met martyrdom and though young, kept up the brave tradition of their forefathers; then other great men and women who were arms and practiced charity and in the face of unspeakable suffering kept their faith unsullied. The part of the prayer is the work of the whole community, past and present and is the most important vigorous in style and language. How many hearts in these long centuries it has soothed in affliction and braved in difficulties. It bears the stamp of all that is the best and most moving in Sikhism. It is the crystallization of the Sikh nation's history. It is the living monument of its greatness which generation of the Sikhs will repeat to themselves to keep alive the old fire in their midst.
After bringing before their vision the mighty deeds of their forefathers, they think of their present conditions, their Gurdwaras, their associations, their choirs moving nightly round the Golden Gurdwara their banners, their mansions, which remind them of their past glory and call blessings on them. Then begins the proper. Here one is quite free to express oneself. In the last but one line the Sikh prays for the advancement of God among men; but this missionary work is to be carried on with due regard to other's right and sentiments, for in the next line he prays for the good of every body without distinction of caste or creed. This prayer comes down from the days of the conflict with the Muhammadans, in which the Sikhs suffered martyrdoms that are enumerated in it. Yet nowhere is shown any sign of bitterness or revenge, there is no reproach on curse on the enemy; only one sufferings are enumerated which are taken as sacrifices made by the community.



THE HARIMANDIR
The Harimandir, now called the Golden Temple, is a living symbol of spiritual and historical traditions of the Sikhs. The tank and the temple have been a source of inspiration to the Sikh community ever since their foundation. It is evident from the Sikh chronicles that the Sikh Gurus had evolved traditions of founding new Sikh centres which were popularised among their followers as places of pilgrimage The foundation of Sri Harimandir Sahib is the most significant achievement of the Sikh Gurus as a centre of inspiration and action for the Sikhs. Soon after its foundation the temple became an unparalleled establishment as a place of pilgrimage. The origin of the place where Sri Harimandir stands is shrouded in mystery. Some traditions trace its origin from the pre-historic period as a place of considerable religious importance in the form of an Amrit Kund (Spring of Nectar). This version is derived from ancient Hindu legends recorded in the Puranas. The tradition (further carried back to the great Hindu epic Ramayana is supplemented by the belief that the place lost its eminence under the sway of the Buddhist movement, which had swept away some of the important Hindu places of pilgrimage. All the hagiographical literature associated with the Golden Temple shows that the site was chosen because of its religious antiquity. But before its association with the Sikh Gurus, the site of the Harimandir was a low-lying area with a small pond (at the present site of the Dukh Bhanjani Beri) surrounded by a large number of shady trees in a jungle, encircled by the villages of Sultanwind, Tung, Gumtala and Gilwali. But the place was on the route of caravans passing to the North-West frontier and other old trade routes. Its surroundings had a geo-graphical importance and formed a commercial link between India and Afghanistan. However, the site of the temple was lying in oblivion before it was visited by the Sikh Gurus.
Legends and miracles are connected with the origin of the Amrit Sarowar (Tank of Nectar). It is said that Guru Amar Das found at the edge of the pool the desired herb to cure the skin ailment of Guru Angad (the second Guru of the Sikhs). However, the persistent local tradition best highlighting the medicinal properties of the water of the pond is the story of Rajni, daughter of Rai Duni Chand, a Kardar (revenue collector) of Patti, and the subsequent cure of her leprous husband after taking a dip into the pond. It is said that Ram Das (at that time on a visit to a nearby area) visited the place in connection with the above episode and was so much impressed with the beauty of the site that he decided to found a place of pilgrimage here. It is also said that Bhai Jetha used to visit that place along with the Sikh Sangat from Goindwal on the occasions of San grand (the first day of the Indian month) and Amavasaya (the dark moonless night of the month) to bathe in the pond prior to his pontificate. Also, according to the historical element derived from the Sikh literature the place was searched out by Guru Ram Das during his travels in the Majha region for finding a suitable site for establishing a new Sikh centre.
The idea of establishing this place of pilgrimage was formed by Guru Amar Das. The predominant factor which motivated the Guru for the formation of this idea was the continuity of the tradition of founding new places for the Sikh congregations as followed by his predecessors. The secondary factor was the peaceful settling of his future successor Guru Ram Das. It is recorded in the Sikh chronicles that to avoid all possibilities of any clash between his descendants and his son-in-law (Ram Das), Guru Amar Das instructed Ram Das to establish a station for himself, to dig a tank and develop it into a seat of Sikh pilgrimage. The new centre was founded on an open uninhabited piece of land, about twenty-five miles distant from Goindwal, lying between the villages of Sultanwind, Tung, Gumtala and Gilwali,'all at that time in the Pargana of Jhabbal in the Ta 'alluqa of Patti, which formed a part of the Suba of Lahore ruled by the Mughals. The issue of the acquisition of the land by the Sikh Gurus has been described differently by different sources of the local history of Amritsar. The various opinions that the land was granted by Emperor Akbar to Guru Amar Das (later on transferred to Guru Ram Das), or was acquired by Guru Ram Das before the grant was actually obtained, or the land was purchased by the Guru on a payment of Rs. 700 from the Zamindars of the village of Tung at the instance of Emperor Akbar, or presented by the people of the village Sultanwind out of regard and reverence for the Guru'are all versions based on popular tradition. There are no documentary evidences to support or contradict these views. But the version regarding the purchase of the land by Guru Ram Das is in keeping with the tradition of the Sikh Gurus who never took any land grants from the rulers. It seems that originally the site of Amritsar was a shamlat'(community land) lying between the village of Sultanwind, Tung, Gumtala and Gilwali, and later it was acquired by the Sikh Gurus either on payment or was received by them free of cost. Opinions may vary on the question of acquisition of the site, but it is certain that the selection of the site was planned and not accidental. It was the choice of the Gurus themselves, and the site of Amritsar was a revenue-free land.'Even the early name of the city, Chak Guru, bears testimony to the nature of thebasti (settlement) as detached or revenue-free. Probably, Chak Guru was granted muafi (exemption) from land revenue by the Mughal Government during the reign of Emperor Akbar, whose policy of religious toleration and waqf(religious grants) even to non-Muslim centres is a well­known fact.'
The original plan of the new project was chalked out by Guru Amar Das and conveyed to Ram Das for execution. The latter was given guidelines for the location of the site and was instructed to found a village, to build a house for himself, to dig a tank and to develop the centre gradually into a city. Arrangements were made for money and assistance. Some intelligent, experienced, devoted and elderly Sikhs were instructed to assist Ram Das to implement the project. It is to be noted that Guru Ram Das was not new to this project of construction. He had helped Guru Amar Das to excavate the Baoli (well with stairs) at Goindwal and had a considerable experience of handling a construction project. The project was executed by Guru Ram Das then Bhai Jetha. A large Sikh Sangat came forward for voluntary service. A number of labourers were also engaged. Hundreds of people from nearby areas came to the site. The inauguration was formally made in the traditional Indian style. First of all a boundary line of the settlement was drawn. The foundation was laid by Guru Ram Das and the village was named Ram Das Pur/Ram Das Pura. Opinions vary on the date of the founding of Rain Das Pur. Probably the foundation of the centre was first laid in A.D. 1573 after the completion of the Boali at Goindwal, where Guru Ram Das was engaged on a responsible assignment. However, the popular view is that it was done in 1577. The construction of the new centre was started with great enthusiasm. Some huts and houses were built Then the excavation of the tank (later named Santokhsar) started. When a portion of the project was completed, Bhai Jetha went to Goindwal to pay his homage to Guru Amar Das and report the progress of the work. This time Guru Amar Das directed Ram Das to dig another tank at the low level area near the site of the tank under construction.' On his return to the Chak, Ram Das located the site for the second tank surrounded by a large number of Ber (Jujube) trees. The construction of the second tank (later named Amrit Sarowar) started under the personal supervision of Ram Das. According to Giani Gian Singh the digging of the tank commenced on 7 Kartik, Samvat 1630 BK. (Friday, 6 Nov. 1573). A large number of labourers were engaged. Many Sikh devotees came to the Chak to participate in the Sewa (service) of the tank. The digging work continued for some months. Simultaneously with the construction of the tank all care was taken to develop the village Chak. Fifty-two types of caste-groups from Patti, Kasur and Kalanaur were called to settle here for ensuring regular supply of essential commodities to the settlers. A market called Guru Ka Bazaar was also established. Some wells were dug for water supply. A number of rich sarafs (bankers) and banjaras (traders) settled down in the town The construction work of the tank and the town was going on smoothly. But Ram Das had to rush back to Goindwal at the call of the dying Guru Amar Dass while the work was in progress. The work was resumed on return of Guru Ram Das in AD. 1577. The construction of both the tank and the town was completed in the same year. On the completion of the project the Guru called local Khatris (business community) and told them to take charge of the holy place. But they humbly pleaded their inability to perform religious duties and requested the Guru to engage some Brahmins and Fakirs (mendicants) for this job. But the Khatris sought the blessings of the Guru for kirt and barkat (blessings in their professions), which were granted. The Guru and his disciples were thrilled at the completion of the new pilgrimage centre. Guru Ram Das composed beautiful verses in glorification of the Sarowar, making an injunction upon his followers to take bath in the holy tank and meditate here onHan Nam (the name of God). Soon after its foundation the tank acquired a reputation for sanctity and became the headquarters of the Sikhs. The Amrit Sarowar remained kaccha till Guru Arjan Dev ascended the Guru Gaddi (A.D. 1581). The tank was madepacca and its side stairs were bricked. The bottom of the tank still remained kaccha as before. The Sikhs showed great enthusiasm and devotion for the Sewa (construction) of the tank. Hundreds of volunteers, masons and labourers came for free service' The construction of the tank was completed in a short time. The successfull completion of the project was attributed to heavenly bliss. Guru Arjan Dev composed a number of hymns in the glory of the sacred tank highlighting the unique virtues of the holy bath in the tank and the benefits gained therefrom. The tank was named Amar Sarowar or Amritsar. Gradually the fame of the sacred tank led to its identity with the latter appellation and the city got its final name 'Amritsar'. While the tank was under construction, Guru Arjan Dcv formed the idea to build a beautiful place of a permanent nature which was calculated to become a central place of worship for the Sikhs. The plan of the Harimandir was conceived by Guru Arjan Dcv. It was decided by the Guru to build the temple in the middle of the tank. The object of Guru Arjan Dcv in planning the structure of the Harimandir in the middle of the Amrit Sarowar was to combine both spiritual and temporal aspects to represent a new synthesis of Indian though the combination of the Nirgun and Sargun concepts of the Supreme Being. The plan was executed under the direct control and supervision of Guru Arjan Dcv assisted by Baba Budha, Bhai Gurdas and some other prominent Sikhs. Many masons were called and engaged.45 The Guru appointed his trustworthy Sikhs like Bhai Salo, Bhai Bhagtu, Bhai Paira, Bhai Bahlo and Kalyana etc., to superintend the construction work and procure building materials. The assignment of brick-making was entrusted to Bhai Bahlo who was an expert in the art of brick-making.46 According to an early Sikh tradition the foundation stone of the Harimandir was laid by Guru Arjan Dcv himself. This version is carried by the all written Sikh sources up to the late nineteenth century. The generally recorded account is that Guru Arjan Dev laid the foundation of Harimandir on 1st Magh Samvat 1645/AD. 1588. However, a later but now commonly accepted Sikh tradition is that the foundation of the temple was laid at the request of Guru Arjan Dev by a Muslim Pir Mian Mir of Lahore in Samvat 1645 BK. The construction work of the temple commenced with great enthusiasm. A large number of Sikhs participated in the work. Some of the devoted Sikhs became legends and adorn the pages of the annals of the Sikh Panth. Solid foundation was laid on a level higher than the bottom of the tank with lime and bricks. Broad walls were built. A bridge connecting the temple with Darshani Deohri (entrance gate) was constructed over the support of Surang Dwaris. (acqueducts), mehrabs and dats (arches). Instead of building the Harimandir on a higher level as was the custom of the traditional Hindu temple architecture, the Guru built it on a lower level than its surrounding ground so that the visitors would have to go down the steps in order to pay homage to the holy shrine. The other distinguishing feature of the structure of the Harimandir was that unlike the Hindu temples which usually have only one gate the Harimandir was made open on all the four sides; representing open entry to all, a privilege which was denied in the Hindu temples. The construction of the temple was carried in a continuous process. While the construction work was going on, the news about the outstanding project of the unique pilgrimage under construction spread far and wide. The Sikhs began to visit Amritsar in large numbers. Devotees of the Guru contributed a share from their earnings to the construction fund. Rich people offered their wealth. The Masands (Guru's agents) of the nearby and far-off places collected funds for the project and sent them to the Guru. No difficulty occurred during the construction work. The tank and the temple when completed offered a beautiful sight. The construction of the temple witnessed unique volunteer services offered by the Sikhs. The selfless, honest and hard services of his disciples were duly acknowledged by the Guru. All the Sikhs participating in theSewa were rewarded with Bakshishes (honorariums). With the construction of the Harimandir, Amritsar attained the status of a great holy place.56 The praise of the newly constructed holy place spread far and wide. The local Sikhs visited the temple daily; the Sikhs of the nearby areas did so frequently and those of distant places twice a year on the occasions of Diwali and Baisakhi. The next remarkable development of the Harimandir was the compilation of the scripture of the Sikhs. Guru Arjan Dcv collected the genuine Bani of the first four Sikh Gurus to which he added his own compositions as well as selections from the writings of certain Hindu Bhaktas and Muslim saints. The selection of the holy writings was made on the principle of the unity of God and brotherhood of man. While Guru Arjan Dcv was busy in preparing the holy volume, it was reported to Emperor Akbar by the enemies of the Guru that the holy book of the Sikhs under preparation contained some passages running down the Muslim and the Hindu prophets. The Emperor visited the Guru at Goindwal enroute to the Deccan towards the end of A.D. 1598 and desired to see the sacred volume. Some hymns were read out to the Emperor. It is said that the Emperor not only appreciated the high quality of the scripture but also remitted 1/6th of the annual revenue of the Zamindars of the Punjab whose hardship was brought to his notice by the Guru. The prompt action of the Guru gained for him immense popularity among the Jats and Zamindars of the ilaqa. The holy scripture was compiled under the title of Pothi Sahib. The holy volume was completed in Sawan, Samvat 1661 BK. (July 1 604). As there was no binder at Amritsar at that time, the holy scripture was sent to Lahore for binding through Bhai Bano. The Adi Granth, as it came to be known as later, was formally installed in the Harimandir on Bhadon Sudi Ikam Samvat 1661 >BK. (August 1604). Baba Budha was appointed the first Granthi (headpriest) of the temple. From that very day started the regular worship, Kirtan and other services of the shrine. Soon the Harimandir became the principal place of worship, unparalleled in beauty and glory.
In the words of Guru Arjan:
have seen all places; there in not another like thee,
For thou wert established by the Creator-Lord Himself, who Blest thee wit,h Glory.
O Ramdaspur, how thickly populated thou art, and wearest unparalleled beauty,
And whosoever batheth in thy tank, is rid of his Sins.
-Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1362 (tr.) Gopal Singh, op. cit., Vol. IV.
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The Harimandir was destroyed by the Afghan invaders thrice (A.D. 1757, 1762 and 1764) and was finally built in its present structure during the period of Sikh Misls (confederacies) in AD. 1765.
After the conquest of Sirhind on January 14, 1764, the Khalsa (Sikh Commonwealth) spread a sheet and collected offerings amounting to rupees nine lakhs. The amount was deposited with the famous bankers of Amritsar, Mohan Mal, Bhag Mal Lamba, Shayam Bhabra and Kalyana Pasi. Bhai Des Raj, a Khatri of village Sur Singh, District Amritsar, known for his honesty and truthfulness, was put in charge of the finance of the project so that the building of the temple and the tank should be completed as per p1an. Bhai Des Raj was granted a seal 'Gurz di Mohar' by the Khalsa to collect funds. The Sikhs regarded this Mohar as a Hukumnama (despatch) from their Gurus. This time the foundation of the temple was laid by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia on 11 Baisakh Samvat 1821 >(A.D. 1 764). The building work of the temple could not be completed as per schedule on account of the Afghan invasion in December 1764. After the departure of Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Sikhs collected together at Amritsar and undertook the reconstruction of the Harimandir. The building work of the temple was carried under the supervision of Des Raj as planned previously.
With the joint efforts of the Khalsa the construction of the Amrit Sarowar, the Harimandir, the bridge and the Darshani Deohri was completed by Samvat 1833 BK. (A.D.1776). TheParkarma (circumambulatory pathway) and the religious places around the tank were.completed by Samvat<>1841 >BK. (A.D. 1784). The Harimandir got the name of Swaran Mandir (Golden Temple) when its upper part sheathed in richly embossed and highly gilded sheets was covered with gold all around it during the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh granted rupees 5 lakhs for placing golden plates on Sri Harimandir Sahib in Samvat 1860 BK. (AD. I 803). It is evident from the inscription on the gold plate engraved over the entrance gate on the north-eastern side of the central shrine that the gold service of the temple was got done by Maharaja Ranjit Singh through the supervision of Bhai Sant Singh Giani in Samvat 1887 BK. (A.D. 1 830). Bhai Sant Singh Giani appointed Mohammad Yar Khan Mistri as technical expert for the task of gold-plating. The greater part of the architectural structure of the present building of the Harimandir was constructed and decorated in the nineteenth century. The architecture of the Golden Temple represents the highest achievement of the Sikhs in art and architecture. The allied arts of decoration, naqashi and frescoes inside the temple display the skilled craftsmanship of the Indian artists of the nineteenth century. No building in the world can vie with the Golden Temple where nature and art have been treated in such a harmonious blending so beautifully. The Golden Temple (also called Darbar Sahib) is not only a place of worship but a rallying centre of the Sikh community. It is the heritage of the Sikh people gathered in their five hundred years old history. Legends and miracles are connected with the holy tank while great martyrdoms and triumphs are associated with various spots of the temple precincts. The temple had been a symbol of the Sikh struggle for independence in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries all important Sikh movements have been led from the precincts of the Golden Temple.
14.3.07 11:07


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