Early history of Jatha



Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj during his stay in Damdama Sahib compiled Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj's baani and gave Santhya of Baani to Gursikhs. There were many in sangat who used to come and listen to Baani katha but 48 Singhs were those who stayed and listened to whole of Katha. Guru Ji finished this sewa in 9 months and after that an Akhand paath of Baani was held in Damdama sahib. On the day of Bhog, during saloks of Guru Teg Bahadur ji maharaj, suddenly Sikhs in Sangat started flying away with bodies towards Sachkhand. Hundreds blessed souls went to sachkhand that day. Sriman Baba Deep Singh ji Maharaj was sitting on left side of Maharaj and Sriman Baba Mani Singh ji Maharaj was sitting on right side of Maharaj. A time came when these two Gursikhs also rised from ground to leave for sachkhand. At this point,Guru Gobind Singh ji opened his eyes and pulled both Gursikhs down to ground. Maharaj asked Singho, where are you going? Baba Mani Singh ji replied, 'Maharaj, we were not going anywhere ourselves, Baani was pushing us to sachkhand. Maharaj smiled and said,Singho, you both will go to Sachkhand, in fact, you already are natives of sachkhand but still there is lot of sewa left on this planet for you and you have to do that sewa. After completion of Sewa, you will come to me in Sachkhand. Both Gursikhs bowed their heads at feet of Maharaj. Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj ordered Baba Mani Singh ji to look after sewa of Sri Darbar Sahib,Amritsar and Sikhi parchar in area. Baba Deep Singh ji Maharaj was ordered to stay at Guru Kanshi Sri Damdama Sahib and start Taksal, where all the Vidyas were to be taught including Gurbani Santhya, Katha, Kirtan, Parchar, Shastarvidya and Ayurvidya to Bhujangis of Khalsa Panth. This Taksal was to be nursery of Khalsa Panth where Naam abhyaasi Sant Sipahi Gursikhs were to be created in 'Mint of Guru Shabad', who would go out in different lands and spread message of Akaal Purakh as delivered by Ten Gurus and their Baani.


 Beginning of Taksal Damdama Sahib

Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed

Baba Deep Singh ji was given title of 'Shaheed'(martyr) by Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj after Maharaj saw his Love for Guru and Baani. Guruji saw that Babaji had immersed himself in Guru's Shabad and had reached the highest spiritual state a Gursikh can achieve. Doing Guru's Sewa and Simran, Babaj had attained awastha of ' Saabar Sidak Shaheed'.

ਮੁਰਦਾ ਹੋਇ ਮੁਰੀਦ ਨ ਗਲੀਂ ਹੋਵਣਾ॥
ਸਾਬਰ ਸਿਦਕਿ ਸਹੀਦੁ ਭਰਮ ਭਉ ਖੋਵਣਾ॥
ਗੋਲਾ ਮੁੱਲ ਖਰੀਦੁ ਕਾਰੇ ਜੋਵਣਾ॥
ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਭੁਖ ਨ ਨੀਂਦ ਨ ਖਾਣਾ ਸੋਵਣਾ॥
ਪੀਹਣਿ ਹੋਇ ਜਦੀਦ ਪਾਣੀ ਢੋਵਣਾ॥
ਪਖੇ ਦੀ ਤਾਗੀਦ ਪਗ ਮਲਿ ਧੋਵਣਾ॥
ਸੇਵਕ ਹੋਇ ਸੰਜੀਦ ਨ ਹਸਣ ਰੋਵਣਾ॥
ਦਰ ਦਰਵੇਸ ਰਸੀਦ ਪਿਰਮ ਰਸ ਭੋਵਣਾ॥
ਚੰਦ ਮੁਮਾਰਖ ਈਦ ਪੁਗ ਖਲੋਵਣਾ ॥18॥

Guru Dasmesh Pita ji blessed Babaji with title of 'Shaheed' and made him Jathedar of Jatha of Gursikhs who had given up their Ego and merged their self in Guru's Shabad and Hukam, living in Guru's Hukam and always being Tyar bar Tyar to lay down their lives for Dharam. These Gursikhs were called Nihangs (Dis-attached) who had risen above the attachments, lust, greed and anger and dedicate their life entirely to Guru's sewa. This Jatha of Naam Abhyaasi, Sarablohi, tyar bar tyar Gursikhs was called 'Jatha Shaheedan' (Group of Martyrs).


Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed was Jathedar of this Jatha. Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj gave responsibility of running Taksal at Damdama sahib to this Jatha of Saint Soldiers led by Baba Deep Singh ji Shaheed. After Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj left for Sachkhand in 1708,giving eternal Gurta-gaddi to Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj, Baba Deep Singh ji brought Saroop of Guru Granth Sahib ji to Damdama Sahib. It was here that he wrote first saroop of Guru Granth Sahib ji and sent it to Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar, for Parkash in Darbar Sahib. During this time, Baba Banda Singh ji Bahadur was punishing tyrants and enemies of Khalsa Panth in Punjab. After completion of First Saroop, Babaji joined Baba Banda Singh j Bahadur in his battles against Mughals. Babaji and his Jatha played an important role in battle of Chappar-chiri where Dusht Vazeer Khan was wounded and arrested by Baba Deep Singh, Baba Baaz Singh and Baba Fateh Singh ji. After winning this battle, Khalsa Army entered Sirhind in 14thmay 1710 and hoisted Kesri Nishan on the holy place where Baba Zorawar Singh ji, Baba Fateh Singh ji and Mata Gujri ji had attained supreme Shaheedi for pure and highest ideals of Sikh Dharam. Five Shastars were placed at the Shaheedi Sthaan of Sahibzadey and at the place where Diwan Todar Mal had carried out last rites of Mataji and Sahibzadey, today known as Gurudwara Jyoti saroop. After the victory of Sirhind and giving punishments to Dushts, Baba Banda Singh ji led Khalsa Panth to the walls of Lahore Fort. That was the time when Khalsai Kesri Nishan ruled from Delhi to Lahore.

After Sirhind fateh, Baba Deep Singh ji deputed Baba Darbara Singh ji from his Jatha to be with Baba Banda Singh ji, while he himself came back to Damdama Sahib to carry on the parchar sewa. Here Babaji wrote one more saroop of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and sent it to Takhat Patna Sahib for Parchar. Two more saroops were written which were sent to Takhat Sri Hazoor Sahib and Takhat Sri Kesgarh sahib. Babaji along with his vidyarthis used to write Baani pothiya which were then given to Bhujangis fighting in Battlefield, so that the Khalsa Warriors fighting in battlefield could also keep up with their Gurmat Gyaan and Baani Abhyaas. Around 1712, Mata Sundari ji ordered Baba Mani Singh ji to collect and compile Baanis of Guru Gobind Singh ji and re-write Sri Dasam Guru's Granth,which had been destroyed on night of 19th December 1704,when Guru Gobind Singh ji left Sri Anandpur Sahib. Baba Mani Singh ji along with Bhai Seeha Singh ji collected various Baanis of Guru Gobind Singh ji and sent them to Mataji. Mataji in turn got them in a Jild(cover) and sent them to Damdama Sahib, to Baba Deep Singh ji who was given sewa of writing Guru Gobind Singh ji's Baani and compiling Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. This sewa was started by Babaji in 1715 and was finished by end of 1716. The first Saroop of Sri Dasam Guru's Granth which was compiled was authorised by Mata Sundari ji and written by Baba Deep Singh ji, under guidance of Baba Mani Singh ji Shaheed. The Taksal of Damdama Sahib was doing its sewa given by Maharaj Guru Gobind Singh ji in Charhdi Kala.

Diwan Baba Darbara Singh Ji Shaheed

In 1715, after the onslaught of Mughal Army in Punjab to re-capture the areas taken over by Khalsa Panth, Panth suffered heavy losses. During this time, a strategic decision was made by Panth, to divide the fighting forces. There were to be three groups of Singhs which were led by Baba Banda Singh ji, Baba Binod Singh ji and Baba Deep Singh ji. In case Baba Banda Singh was arrested or killed in battlefield, others were to carry on the struggle. As the destiny would have it, Baba Banda Singh ji was arrested and subsequently martyred on 9th June 1716. After Babaji's Shaheedi, mughals thought that they had quelled the Sikh rebellion but that was not the case. Squads of Singhs started going out in countryside, punishing each and every dusht who had committed atrocities on Sikhs. Mughals once again started their ruthless genocide of Sikh people. During this time, some Sikhs leaders did try to buy peace with Mughals, but that was short lived and Singhs took up arms against the tyrannical Mughal empire. From 1718 to 1725, there was a low intensity war going on between Sikhs and Mughals. In 1725, Mughal emperor realized that Governor of Punjab was unsuccessful in suppressing Sikh revolt, so he appointed Zakriya Khan as Governor of Punjab and gave him full authority to use any and all the methods to finish sikh struggle.

In 1727, Baba Taara Singh ji Vaa(n) attained Shaheedi along with 22 other Singhs fighting Mughal forces. This Shaheedi infuriated Singhs and Panth decided to launch an all out war against Mughals once again in Punjab. This time chosen leader of Sikh resistance was Baba Darbara Singh ji. He led Khalsa panth for 7 years in this war. Zakriya Khan tried to win over Khalsa by offering Nawabi to Singhs, which Bhai Subeg Singh brought in hazoori of Khalsa Panth. Mukhi Jathedars of Panth were present there in hazoori of Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj. Baba Mani Singh ji, being the highest spiritual authority of Sikhs in his position as Mukh Granthi of Sri Darbar Sahib asked Panth's decision at this point. Jathedar Baba Darbara Singh ji, who was Military leader of Khalsa Panth, refused to take any position or any other favour from Mughals. But some learned Sikhs advised to take the nawabi, not for individual authority or betterment, but for betterment of whole Panth. Baba Darbara Singh ji said that Nawabi of Mughals would be given to a Sewadar Sikh, who'll serve Khalsa Panth as a servant and not rule over panth as nawab. All the eyes fell on Bhai Kapoor Singh ji, who was lifting horse-dung of horses. Bhai Sahib was called and conferred Nawabi by Five Mukhi Singhs including Baba Mani Singh, Baba Deep Singh, Baba Darbara Singh, Baba Binod Singh and Baba Kahan Singh.