Warriors of Faith

Legend of 'Shaheed' Baba Raam Singh Bedi -2 (Shaheedi)

In 1776, 10 years after death of Ahmed Shah Abdali, his grandson Shah Jamaan became ruler of Afghanistan. He dreamt of re-taking Punjab and Delhi and gradually conquering whole of India once again. But for this, He had to defeat Khalsa Panth in Punjab and decimate Sikhs, who, by now, in form of different Misals were ruling different areas of Punjab till Delhi.  He sent One Lakh (100,000) strong Afghan Muslim Army under command of his Son Prince Shah Keera and General Shahnchi Khan. This Afghan army was largest and strongest which had attacked India till date. Other Generals were Asad-ullah Khan (Shanchi’s brother), Kamaal Deen Khan, Jalaal Khaan, Mureed Khaan and Hassan Ali. They crossesd River Attock and started looting villages and cities on way. Sardar Charat Singh controlled area of Rohtas (Birth place of Mata Sahib Kaur ji) and he came in first line of fire. His Army had to retreat and move back and so did other Misals. Thousands of innocents were killed, women and children enslaved and houses burnt. Memories of Abdali’s attacks came back to people of Punjab. All Misals gathered at Sri Amritsar Sahib at Akaal Takhat Sahib and it was decided that Dal Khalsa would take on Afghan Army in Open Battle.  
Baba Jassa Singh (  both Ahluwalia and Ramgarhia), Baba Raam Singh Bedi, Baba Natha Singh(Shaheed), Baba Karam Singh(Shaheed) , Sardar Charat Singh,  Jhanda Singh and Ganda Singh (Bhangi Misal), all these generals prepared for battle and moved to battleground of Vazeerabad on 14th April 1776. Shanchi Khan was in Rohtas Fort and he came with his Army to take on Dal Panth in battlefield. Armed Khalsa Warriors created a heavenly scene for those who looked at them.

ਏਕ ਹੂੰ ਤੇ ਏਕ ਬੱਧ ਸਭਿ ਹੀ ਸਨੱਧ ਬੱਧ,
 ਸੁਮਿਲ ਸੁਕੱਦ ਤੈ ਬਿਹੱਦ ਜੱਦ ਏਕ ਕੈ।

(All Singhs, one better than another, were fully armed and ready for battle,
They looked-alike, of equal heights, as if they were from one family) .
{They were in fact from one Family – Khalsa Panth}

ਸੋਹਿਤ ਦੁਮਾਲੇ ਸੇਤ ਪੀਤ ਨੀਲ ਕਾਲੇ ਥੇ,
ਭੁਜੰਗੀ ਯੌਂ ਬਿਸਾਲੇ ਚਾਲੇ ਸਾਲੇ ਅਰਿ ਭੇਕ ਕੈ॥

(They adorned beautiful Dumalle on their heads, of White, yellow, Blue and Black Colours
It looked as if Snakes were going to chew the frogs)

Battle started and Afghans unleashed their Artillery fire, which Shanchi Khan himself commanded. Canon fire created commotion in Khalsa Army and horses started running helter- skelter. It looked as if Khalsa was going to lose this battle before it began. Hundreds of Singhs attained Shaheedi. When forces started retreating, Jathedar Baba Jassa Singh called upon Khalsa Army -

ਜੀਤ ਤੁਰਕ ਜੇ ਅਬ ਕੇ ਜੈਂਹੈ,
ਫੇਰ ਨ ਕਭੀ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਤਜੈ ਹੈਂ॥

(If this time Turks (Muslims) won,
They will never leave Punjab again).

It was true. Afghans had attacked with mission of capturing Punjab and Delhi and making them a part of Afghan Empire forever. It was up to Khalsa Panth now, to defend Punjab, not only Punjab but also entire India, Its freedom, religion, Culture and Honour. On one hand were 100,000 Muslims, and on other 60,000 Sikhs. Elder Gursikhs gathered and age-old Khalsa War-Tradition of Shaheedi Jatha was planned. Singhs said-

ਕੋ ਸਤਪੁਰਖ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਿਰ ਲਾਵੈ,
ਤੌ ਤੁਰਕਨ ਕਾ ਤੇਜ ਨਸਾਵੈ

(Some True Gursikh will have to give his Head, sacrifice himself
Only then will Power of Muslims be destroyed)

Hearing that Shaheedi Jatha was needed to win this battle, Baba Raam Singh ji Bedi came forward and asked Khalsa Panth to let him lead Shaheed Jatha.

ਤਬੈ ਰਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਬੇਦੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ,
ਸੁਨਤ ਤਯਾਰ ਹੋਯੋ ਹਿਤ ਆਹਿਬ॥

(Hearing this, Baba Raam Singh ji,
Readied for this noble cause)

{Note- Shaheedi Jatha was an age-old Khalsa Warrior Tradition. Whenever Khalsa ji saw that it was getting tough to win a battle, break enemy defence or defend against enemy attacks, a group of Gursikhs who vowed to attain Martyrdom was formed in Battlefield. This battalion of Gursikh Warriors then fought - to destroy enemy’s strength, weaken enemy defenses, destroy their front lines, and pave the way for rest of Khalsa Army to charge and vanquish the enemy. This Jatha was always made up of battle hardened warriors who would try to destroy as many enemies they can, create fear in minds of enemies of Khalsa Fauj’s fury and power and render them psychologically weak. These Gursikhs entered Battlefield without any hope or wish of survival, escape or life, with firm faith that they were going to die, but not before killing as many enemies as possible. In the past, these Jathas were led by Baba Deep Singh ji (Battle of Sirhind), Baba Taara Singh ji, Baba Sukha Singh, Baba Gurbaksh Singh and other Singhs of Jatha/Misal Shaheedan.} 

In this crucial historical battle, Baba Raam Singh ji came forward to lead this band of death-loving warriors who would pave the way for Khalsa Panth’s victory. 
Senior Singhs in this Jatha were-

ਸੀਸ ਦੈਨ ਕਾ ਸੋਧ ਅਰਦਾਸੈ,
ਚਾਲਯੋ ਤੁਰਕੈਂ ਦਿਸ , ਸ-ਹੁਲਾਸੈਂ,

(After doing ardas of sacrificing their heads for Panth,
These Singhs, moved in direction of Muslim Army in Joy and Bliss)

ਨੱਥਾ ਸਿੰਘ, ਭਾਗ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੈਣਾ,
ਸੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇਸਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੈਣਾ॥

(Natha Singh, Bhag Singh, Naina Singh ,
Sant Singh, Desa Singh, Saina Singh )

ਗੱਜਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਗਯਾਨੂ,
ਅੱਘੜ ਸਿੰਘ, ਰਣ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੁਜਾਨੂ॥

(Gajja Singh, Bahadur Singh, Gian Singh
Agarh Singh ( Baba Mani Singh’s cousin), Rann Singh, Sujaan Singh )

ਇਤਯਾਦਿਕ ਸਿਦਕੀ ਬੰਨਿ ਗਾਨੇ
 ਬੇਦੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸੰਗ ਪਯਾਨੇ॥

(All these faithful Singhs and others, tied martyrdom Bands on their hands
 nd went with Baba Raam Singh ji Bedi)

Baba Karam Singh ji Shaheed , 3rd Jathedar of Misal Shaheedan, and all other Singhs bowed their heads in respect and honour to these brave Sons of Guru who were going to sacrifice their lives for Panth’s Charhdi Kala. 2000 Singhs, loaded with weapons, seated on decorated horses, whose Kesri Farlas coming out of Dark Dumalle looked like lightning in the skies moved towards enemy. Leading these knights of Akaal Purakh was Great Baba Raam Singh ji Shaheed. As Afghans saw Singhs charging, canons were fired at Singhs, but winds changed their direction and canon-shots were unable to hit Singhs. As ‘Shaheeds’ neared enemy, Nihang Archers mounted on horses targeted Canon-shooters and pierced them with poisonous arrows. Whoever came near canons was shot dead. Charging, Singhs reached enemy frontlines and then hand-to-hand fight started. While Baba Raam Singh ji pierced Mureed Khan with his Kataar, General Asadullah Khan was cut into two by Baba Natha Singh’s Chakkar. On one had were 2000 Singhs, fearless of Death, ready to Die for their Guru and Panth and on other were hundred thousand Pathans. Soon, tide of battle changed and Afghans started retreating after their two Generals were killed. Seeing this, Shahnchi Khaan himself took command and came forward to lead his army with his deputy Ali Hussain. One by one, Singhs were also attaining Shaheediya but there was Charhdi Kala among Gursikhs, who knew that their sacrifice would pave the way for Khalsa Panth’s victory.  Baba Raam Singh ji decided to finish Afghan General and assure Khalsa Victory. With this motive, Babaji moved towards enemy.

ਗਰੱਜ ਰਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੂ, ਨਜੀਕ ਢੁਕ ਤਾਹਿ ਕੈ,
ੳਛਾਰਿ ਸੈਫ ਮਾਰਿ ਕੈ, ਸੁਟਯੋ ਤੁਰੰਗ ਢਾਹਿ ਕੈ।

(Roaring, Baba Raam Singh ji decided to finish Shahnchi Khan and went near him.
Taking out his ‘Saif’, Babaji struck at Shahnchi Khan, but his horse jumped and Saif cut his horse.

ਭਯੋ ਪਿਛਾਂਹਿ ਸ਼ਾਂਹਚੀ, ਦੁਤੀ ਤੁਰੰਗ ਪੈ ਚੜਯੋ,
ਅਲੀ ਹੁਸੈਨ ਸੱਯਦੈਂ,ਸਰਦਾਰ ਅਗ੍ਰ ਆ ਅੜਯੋ॥

(Shanchi fell down on ground, but ran and took another horse and fled the scene.
His Deputy, Syed Ali Hussain, came in front to take on Babaji.)

ਚਲੀ ਸੁ ਸੈਫ ਹੈਫ ਕੀ, ਦੁਹੂੰਨ ਏਕ ਸਾਰ ਹੀ,
ਹਯਾਤਿ ਸੀਵ ਗ੍ਰੀਵ ਤੌ, ਕਟੀ ਸੁ ਏਕ ਬਾਰ ਹੀ॥

(Saifs (Arabian double edged sword), struck at same time
And necks of both warriors were cut down at same time)

And suddenly, that happened which had happened in Battlefield of Gohalwad, which no one could imagine, when same Afghan Army led by Abdali had desecrated Sri Darbar Sahib and First Jathedar of Misal Shaheedan, Baba Deep Singh ji had set out to liberate and purify Darbar Sahib with his blood. Babaji had fought with his head on his palm, and some Singhs of Jatha had done the same act. Today in Battlefield of Vazeerabad, Baba Raam Singh ji did the same feat of fighting without head. As Babaji’s head fell on ground,

ੳਠਯੋ ਕਬੰਧ ਸਾਹਿਬੈਂ, ਗਰੱਜ ਬੰਬ ਕੂਪ ਜਯੌਂ,
ਨਚਯੋ ਮਹਾਨ ਭਯਾਨਕੈਂ, ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨ ਲੈ ਬਿਰੂਪ ਤਯੌਂ॥

(Baba Sahib’s head-less body rose, roaring like gushing flood water,
And danced the feary dance of death, holding his Sword in his headless body)

ਲਰਯੋ ਕਬੰਧ ਦਵੈ ਘਰੀ, ਤਬੈ ਤੁਰਕਾਨ ਦੂਰ ਸੈਂ,
ਕਰਯੌ ਕਬੰਧ ਛਾਨਣੀ, ਨਰਾਂਚ, ਗੋਲੀ ਭੁਰ ਸੈਂ॥

(Babaji’s body, without head, fought for an hour, destroying the enemies. Then the muslims,
Pierced his Body with Arrows and bullets from far away distance)

ਗਿਰਯੋ ਸੁ ਮਾਥ ਭਾਰ, ਨਾਥ ਧਯਾਇ ਮਾਰ ਮਾਰ ਕੈ,
ਸੁਰੈਂ ਨਿਹਾਰਿ, ਧੰਨ ਧੰਨ ਕੀਨ ਫੂਲ ਡਾਰਿ ਕੈ॥

(Killing enemies and Remembering Waheguru Akaal, Babaji fell in Battlefield
Gods of Heavens looked in amazement, and saying Great! Great! Showered flowers on his body)

ਥਏ ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਰਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ, ਆਦਿ ਸਿੰਘ ਭਰ ਜੇ,
ਹੁਤੇ ਲੜਾਕ  ਬਾਂਕੁਰੇ ਚਲਾਕ ਬੀਰ ਸੂਰ ਸੇ॥

(Baba Raam Singh ji attained Shaheedi, like his Elders had laid their lives
He was a great Fighter, Mighty and Intelligent, Brave and Fearless soldier).

Thus Baba Raam Singh ji Bedi , leading Jatha of 2000 ‘ Shaheeds’ attained Shaheedi in Battlefield of Vazeerabad on 14th April 1776. But mission of this Shaheed Jatha had been accomplished. Afghans had lost their four Generals and thousands of soldiers. There was blood and bodies everywhere in battlefield. Only Generals left were Shahnchi Khan and Jalaal Khan, with a demoralized, broken and shattered Army in their command, and to make it worse,  Dal Panth was coming charging on enemy, to decimate it, to annihilate it,to free holy land of Punjab from impure motives of Afghan Muslims, to seek justice for the blood of Shaheeds.

Continued -     

Posted by Kamaljeet Singh Shaheedsar on Thursday, April 14. 2011 in History

Add Comment

Submitted comments will be subject to moderation before being displayed.

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.


Search for an entry in Jatha Shaheedan:

Did not find what you were looking for? Post a comment for an entry or contact us via email!