Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bandhi Chor


“Where there is light of knowledge, ignorance is dispelled.” (Guru Granth Sahib p.791)

Each year, Sikhs are reminded of their great past by festivals like Bandi Chhor Divas. Yet the darkness of ignorance continues to prevail.Bandi Chhor Divas has a very different meaning in the Sikh tradition than the Indian Hindu festival of Divali. The day should remind the Sikhs of Guru Hargobind Ji’s miri objective of “liberation” as a human goal. Sikh freedom struggle of the 18th Century, the great sacrifices made by Sikh freedom fighters including the shaheedi (martyrdom) of Bhai Mani Singh Ji, to keep the flame of freedom from oppression alight in the hearts of the people of Panjab, are associated with this day.

Yet, sadly, the “light of knowledge” has not dispelled the darkness of myths in the minds of many Sikhs. For the Sikhs, Bandi Chhor Divas does not mark the return of some mythological son of King Dasrath, returning from exile having killed the demon King Ravan and freeing his wife Sita from his clutches (only to send the lady back to banobaas (exile) again!). Sikh preachers, steeped in Brahmanic lore and more concerned with generous chrravas (donations) on the day, continue to tell myths associated with the misty past rather than recite Sikh history made in the full glare of the New Age.

Bandi Chhor Divas tells the story of the Sikh struggle for freedom. The new egalitarian Sikh ideology was seen as a threat by both, Islam and Hinduism for different reasons. Following the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Guru Hargobind Ji was imprisoned at the famous fort of Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir but released following pleas from some influential people in October, 1619. Jahangir even agreed to Guru Ji’s pre-condition that fifty two rajahs in captivity at Gwalior should also be freed at the same time. Thenceforth the Guru became known popularly as the “Bandi Chhor” (The Liberator). When He arrived at Darbar Sahib lamps were lit. Thenceforth, the Sikh struggle for freedom, which intensified in the 18th Century, came to be centred around this day. Another important Sikh event associated with Bandi Chhor Divas is the martyrdom in 1734 of the elderly Sikh scholar and strategist Bhai Mani Singh, the Granthi of Harmandar Sahib. He had refused to pay a special tax on a religious meeting of the Khalsa on the Divali day. Bhai Mani Singh’s and other Sikh martyrdoms gave further momentum to the Khalsa struggle for freedom and eventually success in establishing the Khalsa rule north of Delhi.
Taken from Learning Zone, posted by Gurmukh Singh(UK)


In conjunction with The Bandhi Chor Day, there will be a Kirtan Darbar.

Venue: Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Kg Pandan
Time: 6.30 pm -12.01 am
Date: 7th November 2007

6:30pm - Rehraas
7:00pm - Giani Ji
7:30pm - Guru Maneyo Granth Academy Jatha (Baalak)
8:30pm - HarJas Kirtani Jatha (Kirtan + Katha on the Jiwan of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji)
9:45pm - Veer Balvinder Singh Ji
10:30pm - Sg. Besi Naujawan Jatha
11:15pm - Kg Pandan Naujawans
12:01am - ARDAAS

Guru Ka Langgar will be served throughout the whole program. All are welcome.

CLICK HERE to listen to an Amazing track of Satguru Bandhi Choor Hai sung by Bhai Harpreet Singh UK. Very Havoc


Otai EX5 said...

Finally someone that realizes that we are not Hindu's.I just received greetings on Diwali from a few friends on friendster. Come on guys, instead of calling this event Diwali for the Sikhs, why can't we call it by its proper name, Bandhi Chor.I guess over the last 300 years since the jyothi jyoth of Gur Gobind Singh, so much of Brahmanic influence has seeped into Sikhi that the general Sikh population are unable to distinguish between the Sikhi tradition and festivals from the Hindu ones. Sikhs DO NOT celebrate DIWALI!! We celebrate Bandi Chor. We celebrate the compassion and kindness of Guru Hargobind Sahib towards mankind. If you look at Hindu Mythology the whole incident of Ram and Rawan is a selfish and ugly one. It shows the ugly side of human nature(I am including both Ram and Rawan in this argument.)Which sick person will ask his wife to walk through fire to test her 'pureness' or'sacredness' or whatever.(You get what I mean).Furthermore, the whole incident was started by Ram's brother. Rather than talking and solving the matter with Rawan, the two arrogant brothers(ego is inplay here)decided to attack head on.Now tell me would you prefer to celebrate Diwali, which celebrates the victory of an egoistic and arrogant being, or celebrate the kindness of the Guru who agreed to leave the prison of the Mughal emperor only if he freed the other 52 hill kings.So i suggest that we(the Sikhs) all start calling this day as Bandhi Chor rather than Diwali(as both events fall on the same day)

Anonymous said...

Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ki fateh

Why this day is so much important for Sikhs? Are we all sure that GuruHargobind Sahib Ji was released and reached Darbar Sahib Amritsar on thisparticular day only (that always matches with Hindu festival Diwali orDeepwali)?

Even if we assume it was (which is not), is this day (Release of 52 Kings)so much significant for us more than even celebrating Gurgadhi Diharas ofGuru Sahibs
Bhai Lehna became Guru Angad Sahib Ji,
Bhai Amroo to Guru Amardas Sahib Ji
Bhai Jeta to Guru Ramdas Sahib Ji
Sahibzada Arjan to Guru Arjan Sahib Ji
list continues….
Which we never remember or celebrate this, Why? Is this day not importantto us? (Across the Globe I had not find any organization or Gurdwarascelebrating Gurugadhi Diharas of 9 Gurus )
Many of us celebrate this (Diwali or Deepwali) day by organizing KeertanDarbars, No doubt, It is great good thought to organize Keertan Darbar andsing the praises of Akaalpurkah, but why just on this particular day alonethat has no special significance that is of sure if we look back to Historyfrom Guru Hari Rai Sahib Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji life span!! In 20thcentury only what happened to Sikhs? We say it as Bandi Chod divas but ifwe read Bhai Gurdas Ji vaar that says

"satgur bandichod hai jeevan mukat karae odeenna" (Bhai Gurdaas Ji)Then what are we doing??

Why Sikh Sangat forgets to remember Bhai Mani Singh Ji Shadahat thatrelates to it and is always ignored….Why no such kirtan darbaars for him,does his sacrifices not important whereas release of 52 Kings is moreimportant than him? or are we just finding excuse to celebrate Diwali - Afood for thought to everyone.

Hope the attached article (Shared last year) will help us to educate bit onthis subject, please do read and those who cant get gurmukhi script pleaseget read from others….

Panth Dhi Chardhikala
S. Surinder Singh

havocsingh said...

Yesterday i went for the Bandhi Chor Kirtan Darbar, and Jasdave sang this intersting kirtan Diwali Dhee Raat, Deeway Baalian..
It was damm havoc.. As it was the first time i heard that shabad i decided to do some research..

This Shabad is by Bhai Gurdaas Ji in Vaars Bhai Gurdaas on Page 19.

dheevaalee dhee raath dheevae baaleeani||
Lamps are lighted in the night of divali festival;

thaarae jaath sanaath a(n)bar bhaaleeani||
Stars of different variety appear in the sky;

fulaa(n) dhee baagaath chun chun chaaleeani||
In the gardens the flowers are there which are selectively plucked;

theerathh jaathee jaath nain nihaaleeani||
The pilgrims going to pilgrimage centres are also seen.

har cha(n)dhuree jhaath vasaae ouchaaleeani||
The imaginary habitats have been seen coming into being and vanishing.

guramukh sukhafal dhaath shabadh samhaaleean ||a||
All these are momentary, but the gurmukhs with the help of the Word nourish the gift of the pleasure fruit.

At first i thought this was a Diwali Shabad.. then i read on the Sikh Sangat forum and saw that one person nickname Gyani wrote this:

The Raagis just TAKE the FIRST LINE as a sort of Rahao....and sing it repeatedly as if this is an INJUNCTION TO CELEBRATE DIWALI by lighting Lamps... This is a MAJOR MISREPRESENTATION of the TRUE MEANINGS..

Bhai Gurdass Ji is saying: JUST like on Diwali Night people light lamps,..BUT the LIGHT of these Lamps has NO LONG LIFE ( short period),..the light is a short term DIKHAWA only,...The NIGHT SKY is full

of Big and small stars....BUT ONLY till DAWN of Day... FLOWERS Bloom....but only until they are plucked by the gardners...they never keep joined to the plant for long...Pilgrims are seen going to the TEERATHS...BUT they DONT stay there...only short visits... The CASTLES formed by Clouds in the SKY are Visisble...but they dont have any substance or solid form... THROUGH the SHABAD of the GURBANI the GURMUKHS realise the "shortlived" time of this WORLD..and thus learns the value of this HUMAN BIRTH and its resultant union with Timeless WAHEGURU.

When we take the SHABAD in its ENTIREITY... we can see that the meaning of the First Line about Diwali is NOT AT ALL about lighting Diwas and Lamps to "celebrate diwali"...IT is just an ALANGKAAR - metaphor to show us how SHORTLIVED such lamps and their lighting is. "

Very intersting...

Anonymous said...

BHai Harpreet Singh lives in Toronto, Canada.


havocsingh said...

oopz sorry, for me all the western country people i will tell that they are living in Uk.. sorry.

Balvinder Singh said...

Before we go and blindly celebrate non-Sikh rituals lets ponder on it. http://www.esikhs.com/diwali/

On the same note lets celebrate others' celebrate with them - Hari Raya with the Muslims, Christmas with the Christian, Diwali with the Hindus, etc - and on Vasakhi lets call them to celebrate with us.

prabhjot said...