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Kuka Faith > Paanth Parkash

English rendering of Giani Gian Singh Ji's twenty-eight Kabits (Quatrains) bearing on Namdhari history.
Translated by Professor HARBHAJAN SINGH University of Delhi


7. Satguru Ram Singh Ji in Lahore

21. Uproar at Anandpur and Amritsar


8/9. Satguru Ram Singh ji's meeting of Satguru Balak Singh Ji in Hajro

22. Conditions imposed

1. Kukas - a branch of khalsa panth

10/11. Satguru Ram Singh Ji's Revelation15.

23. The happenings in Amritsar

2. Satguru Balak Singh Ji's birth

12 / 13 / 14. Satguru Ram Singh Ji's message

24. Kukas sacrifice in the cause of Dharma

3. Satguru Balak Singh in Chhoi

15. The Havans

25 /26 heroism at Malerkotla

4. Satguru Balak Singh in Hajro

16 /17 The anand karaj & The pujaris dislike

27. Deportation of Satguru Ram Singh ji

5. Satguru Gobind Singh Ji's message to Satguru Balak Singh Ji

18. Satguru Ram Singh Ji's popularity

28. True followers of Guru Gobind Singh

6. Birth of Satguru Ram Singh Ji

19/20. Satguru Ram Singh Ji Visits Gurdwaras and temples


By Maharaja Bir Singh

The Sikhs have made a remarkable history, but most of its writers have been less than fair in recording, let along evaluating, its achievements. Driven by their peculiar interests and biases, for and against, they have generally proved unequal to the requirements of the craft of history. The Namdharis, of course, have suffered the most at the hands of such ‘historians’.

The Namdharis, under the inspired guidance of Satguru Ram Singh Ji, were a powerful voice against the alien rule. As harbingers of the Freedom Struggle, they considered no cost too high to rid the country of the unjust foreigners' yoke.

They strove ever so hard to bring about reformative and fundamental changes in the religious and social practices of the Punjabi people. Very few historians have succeeded in putting the accomplishments of this movement in perspective. Giani Gian Singh belongs to this rare breed of historians

Giani Gian Singh belonged to the Nirmal Sect of the Sikhs, whose members are especially known for their vast erudition, intellectual depth and thorough knowledge ability in Sikh Scriptures. Notwithstanding his unshakable allegiance to his Sect, he was, in his writings, happily free from prejudices towards others. He was meticulously objective and just in evaluating the Nihangs and the Namdharis, in his magnum opus, Sri Guru Panth Parkash. He has drawn a fairly correct picture of the political nuances of the Kuka Movement, particularly its endeavors towards the restoration of the Sikh Rule. And, he minced no words to condemn the corrupt Sikh priests who obstructed the entry of Satguru Ram Singh Ji and his dedicated followers to the various Sikh shrines.

He composed no more than twenty eight Kabits (Quatrains) to draw the salient features of the eventful history of the Namdharis. He was both brief and authentic. Being himself an eye witness to some of the major events and incidents of the Movement, he was in a position to make definitive and authoritative statements. His writings are both commendable works of history as also its reliable source material. He was particularly endowed with an uncanny perception of the Sikh ethos. No wonder, he, while recording the martyrdoms of Banda Bahadur and his associates was able to spontaneously link them to the Namdharis who, on the fateful days of the 17th-18th January, 1872, inspired by an intense desire to throw off. the alien yoke, had rushed to the cannons as moths flying to the flames. Giani Ji took particular note of the social and religious aspects of Satguru Ram Singh Ji's message and designated that period of Sikh history as its Golden Age.

Based on reliable facts and objective analysis, Giani Gian Singh's portrayal of Namdhari history can help solve some of the enigmas created by the historians with scant regard for objectivity. Unfortunately, contemporary Punjabi readers are being gradually distanced from Braja Bhasha which Giani Ji had adopted for his writings. This is particularly true of those schooled in English. For their benefit, Dr. Harbhajan Singh has prepared an English rendering of Giani Ji's twenty-eight Kabits bearing on Namdhari history. I have gone through the whole typescript in one sitting and have found it eminently readable.

Years back I happened to meet Dr. Harbhajan Singh for the first time at a Music Festival at Delhi organised by Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji, in commemoration of Satguru Pratap Singh Ji. During a brief conversation, I found him a man or mild manners and scholarly bearing. He required both of these in ample measure to prepare this version in which the beauty of Giani Gian Singb Ji's original text came neatly through. With his vast knowledge of Sanskrit, Braja Bhasba and Punjabi, Dr. Harbhajan Singh was well-equipped to get the measure of Giani Ji's greatness and render it into features acceptable to contemporary readers. Words fail me to express my gratitude towards him for taking up this arduous job on my request.

I hope readers will find it useful and interesting.

Maharaja Bir Singh  

In lieu of an Introduction by
HARBHAJAN SINGH (Professor Emeritus University of Delhi)

I came into contact with Giani Gian Singh's writings, in the most formative years of my life. Those were the times when the Sikhs were being aggressively conscious of the need to know and protect the salient features of the identity their: forefathers had struggled over centuries to evolve and give a definite shape to. I would eagerly lap up such facts and interpretations of its medieval and modern history as would help me understand the meaning of my being and belonging. Giani Gian Singh's Twarikh Khalsa and Sri Guru Panth Parkash were the two books that, by some happy chance, I ran into and found to be immensely relevant to the questionings that tormented me. The two books were the proud possession of an old man two generations senior to me. He had the vision of a sage and would repeatedly talk of a future molded by historical consciousness generated by these writings, themselves£ works of historic importance. The two persons he talked of with particular veneration were Karam Singh Historian and Giani Gian Singh. He would recite chapters from Sri Guru Panth Parkash to a dozen odd persons and offer his own comments to facilitate the flow of communication. r was a regular, though uninvited and uninitiated, member of his select audience. Later, I would stealthily lay hands on this treasure of his library kept, of course, under lock and key, and avidly glance through its pages. I its contents introduced mc to the glorious vistas of our heritage. I felt drawn towards it in spite of the not-so familiar features of its diction and style. It seemed 1 had acquired an authentic feel of the enormity or the stresses and strains our people had passed through and the trails they had blazed. I felt like sharing, in full measure, the pride that rightly belonged to the community of which I was but a small member .

When I was called upon, through the courtesy of Maharaja Bir Singh Ji, to translate one of its chapters into English, I felt invited, as if, to a refresher course on al1 earlier discipline of Sikh Identity. I readily accepted the charge made on me .In fact, the affection accompanying the call had so overwhelmed me that I dared not but respond positively. The chapter on the Kukas in Sri Guru Panth Prakash is a balanced mix of objectivity and affectivity. I have, while preparing an English version of this chapter, adopted Giani Ji's own model of history, I have kept as close to the original text as was humanly possible. And, while engaged in this exercise, I have been inspired in so small measure, by the ideas of piety and selfless service practiced by my friends among the Kukas.

I hope those who cherish the principles and practices of the Kuka brethrens and their gurus will find this small endeavor of some use to them.


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