Warriors of Faith

Baba Phoola Singh Ji - 1

Searching through Historical texts for life of  Baba Phoola Singh, one comes across only a handful of texts, like
Naveen Panth Parkash (Giani Gian Singh ji- 1883),
Itihasik Khoj (Karam Singh Historian-1901),
Akali Phoola Singh (Baba Prem Singh ji Hoti mardan- 1903)
Mahaan Kosh (Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha – 1930)

Going through all these texts in a holistic way, life and times of Babaji are cleared up very well and all these texts provide useful information about this legendary Jathedar of Misal Shaheedan. Here are few paragraphs abour Akali Babaji’s Jeevan which have been written by Giani Gian Singh under the title of ‘ Nihangs’.

ਪਹਿਲੇ ਪੰਥ ਮਿਲਯੋ ਸਭ ਰਹਾ।    
ਲਰ ਕਰਿ ਤੁਰਕਨ ਕਾ ਬਲ ਦਹਾ।
ਜਬੈ ਰਾਜ ਸਿੰਘਨ ਕਾ ਥੀਆ।
ਗ੍ਰਿਸਤ ਨਿਹੰਗੈ ਬਹੁ ਤਬਿ ਕੀਆ॥
Earlier whole Panth used to be United
Panth struggled and vanquished Mughal Empire
When the Singhs started Ruling (in Punjab)
Nihang Singhs also took to family life and settled

ਫਿਰਤ ਬਿਹੰਗਮ ਰਹੇ ਜੁ ਟੋਲੇ।
ਲੂਟਿ ਜਰਾਇਤ ਛਕੈਂ ਅਤੋਲੇ।
ਨਿਸ਼ਚੇ ਓਸ ਜ਼ਮਾਨੇ ਮਾਂਹੀ।
ਰੀਤਿ ਲੂਟਬੇ ਕੀ ਥੀ ਆਹੀ॥
The Singhs who remained Bihangam (celibate)
They continued with looting the enemies and traitors
Without any doubt, in that time
Tradition of looting was very much prevalent

ਨੈਣਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਿਹੰਗ ਤਬਿ ਏਕੈ।
ਬਿਦਤਯੋ ਜਪੀ-ਤਪੀ ਸੁ ਬਿਬੇਕੈ।
ਲੰਗਰ ਚਾਲਿਓ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਭਾਰੀ।
ਤਿਸ ਸੋਂ ਰਹਿਤ ਨਿਹੰਗ ਅਪਾਰੀ॥
There was a Naina Singh Nihang
He was scholar, meditative and self-disciplinary
His Langar used to be grand
And many Nihangs lived with him.

ਤਿਨ ਦਸਤਾਰਾ ਊਚ ਸਜਾਯੋ।
ਗੁਰੁ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਕਾ ਹੁਕਮ ਸੁਨਾਯੋ।
ਗੁਰੁ ਪੰਚਮ ਜੋ ਕਹਯੋ ਬਿਸਾਲਾ।
ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲ ਊਚ ਦੁਮਾਲਾ॥
He adorned a tall Dastar on his head
(When asked the reason) He read out Baani from Guru Granth Sahib
What Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji had said
‘’Meeting Guru, High Crown of Honour was placed on my Head’’.

ਇਤ ੳਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਿਹੰਗ ਵਿਚਰਤੇ।
ਹੁਤੇ ਅਕਾਲ ਅਕਾਲ ੳਚਰਤੇ।
ਇਹੁ ਅਵਾਜ ਸੁਨ ਜਨ ਸੰਸਾਰੀ।
ਲਗੇ ਅਕਾਲੀ ਕਹਨ ਅਪਾਰੀ॥
Here and there, Nihang Singhs roamed
Chanting loudly,’ Akaal’ ‘Akaal’
When the worldly people heard this voice
They started calling those Singhs ‘ Akalis’.

ਫੂਲਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਿਹੰਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ।
ਚੇਲਾ ਨੈਣਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾ ਨਾਦਰ।
ਬਿਦਤਯੋ ਜਗਤ ਧਾੜਵੀ ਭਾਰਾ।
ਅੰਗਰੇਜੀ ਪਹੀਆ ੳਨ ਮਾਰਾ॥
Phoola Singh Nihang was a Brave Nihang,
One of the most fearless disciples of Naina Singh
He was known as a gallant and fearsome warrior by people
For He had destroyed a whole English Cavalry

ਗਿਰਦ ਮੁਕਤ ਸਰ ਮੁਲਕ ਮਝਾਰੇ।
ਜਬਿ ੳਨ ਅਧਕੈਂ ਹਾਥ ਪਸਾਰੈ।
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਰਣਜੀਤ ਮ੍ਰਿਗੇਸ ਬਹਾਦਰ।
ਰਾਖਯੋ ਢਿਗ ਬੁਲਾਏ ਸੁ ਸਾਦਰ॥
He roamed freely around whole country (Punjab)
And when his power grew
Brave Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, Ruler of Punjab
Invited him (Baba Phoola Singh) with respect to his palace.

ਰਚਿ ਕਰ ਰਜਮੰਟ ਏਕ ਅਕਾਲੈ।
ਤਿਸ ਕੇ ਤਾਬੈ ਕਰੀ ਬਿਸਾਲੈ।
ਤਿਸ ਮੈਂ ਥੇ ਤਬਿ ਜਿਤਿਕ ਸਿਪਾਹੀ
ਨਾਮ ਅਕਾਲੀ ਸਭ ਕਾ ਆਹੀ॥
He (Maharaja Ranjeet Singh) set up a regiment named ‘Akaal Regiment’
And placed it under command of Baba Phoola Singh
Soldiers who were in this regiment
All were called ‘Akaali’.

ਸਜਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਊਚ ਦਸਤਾਰੈ।
ਚੱਕਰ ਖੰਡੇ ਕਰਦ ਅਪਾਰੇ।
ਗੱਜਗਾਹੈ ਸਸਿ ਪੰਜੇ ਤੋੜੇ।
ਧਰਤੇ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਔਰ ਨ ਥੋੜੇ॥
All the soldiers adorned tall dastars
Decorated with Quoits, double edged-single edged knives
Gajgaah( type of spear-head),Crescent(a shastar with blade on inverted side),these Five along with Torras (a type of iron rope used to tie turban tightly) were adorned
They had many more Shastars with them, which were too many

ਇਹੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਰਜਮੰਟ ਕੀ ਬਰਦੀ।
ਹੁਤੀ ਮੁਕੱਰਰ ਤਬੈ ਗੁਰੁ ਘਰ ਦੀ।
ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਨੀਲੇ ਰਖਤੇ ਤਬਿ ਭੀ।
ਚਲੀ ਜਾਤ ਰੀਤਿ ਸੋ ਅਬਿ ਭੀ।
This was the dress of Akaal regiment
Which was sanctified from Guru Darbar
Those Singhs kept Blue-dress
A tradition which is still continuing

ਲਰਿ ਤੁਰਕਨ ਸੋਂ ਠਾਨ ਤਗੀਦੀ।
ਪਾਈ ਫੂਲਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਸ਼ਹੀਦੀ।
ਟੂਟ ਗਈ ਰਜਮੰਟ ਫਿਰ ਸੋਊ।
ਬਿਥਰੇ ਸਿੰਘ ਵਹੀ ਮਧ ਲੋਊ॥
With faith and determination, He fought with Turks
And (Baba) Phoola Singh attained Martyrdom
Regiment broke after his Shaheedi
And Singhs who were in this regiment scattered.

ਪੰਥ ਨਿਹੰਗਨ ਸਿੰਘਨ ਕੇਰਾ।
ਭਯੋ ਜੈਸ ਹਮ ਤੈਸੇ ਟੇਰਾ॥
This was the Panth of Nihangs
As it was, I have written!

Posted by Kamaljeet Singh Shaheedsar on Sunday, March 13. 2011

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