Published on February 18, 2014
Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji was a very well known and respected Singh, who had the honor of being martyred while defending Sri Darbaar Sahib.
Baba ji was Born in village Leel near Shri Amritsar in 1688 A.D. His Father was Bhai Dasaundha Singh ji and mother Mata Lachmee Kaur ji. Baba ji’s parents served Satguru Gobind Singh ji and Baba ji received amrit at the age of 11, due to the inspiration of Bhai Mani Singh ji. He spent time with Baba Deep Singh ji and Bhai Mani Singh ji and became a very good scholar and warrior.
Baba Gurbaksh Singh ji was always dressed in blue baaNaa and kept a very strong Rehit He would awake at Amrit-vela and do ishnaan.Then, while reciting Gurbaani, Baba ji would tie his tall dastaar. Baba ji loved Sarbloh he would offer his respect to his sarbloh shastars i.e. kirpans, chakars, toRaas, Karas, etc and then put them on. He would finally put on a mala of sarbloh around his neck and also many sarbloh kaRas and simarnaas. Baba ji’s dastaar also had many toRaas tied into it. He would also wear a sarbloh armour.Baba ji wore a very long 1.5 yard kacherra and always kept a long stick with him. Whenever there was a battle ,Baba ji would always go and confront the enemy. He would be in the forefront carrying the Nishaan Sahib and advancing to the forward to the beat of the nagaara.
In 1765, The Khalsa had scattered when Ahmed Shah Abdali brought his army through the Punjab. At Sri Amritsar, the Sarbat Khalsa gathered one day and after the night divaan, decided to abandon Sri Amritsar and leave together for Malwa. Baba Gurbaksh Singh then rose and addressed the Singhs and said, “Is there any Singh in the Panth today, who would fight with the Afghans and sacrifice his head”. The Singhs listened to Baba Gurbaksh Singh and replied, “Baba ji, is there any Singh better for this than you? No one else has the power to abandon their body and go to Dargah like you do.” Baba ji then called out, “I want to be Shaheed! If there is any other Gurmukh who wishes to come with me to Dargah, then let them also come. When there is a marriage, the groom goes with his Sarbaalha and with a large baraat. I am going to marry the bride of Death. Are there Singhs who would be my Sarbaalhas?” Hearing Baba ji’s call, many Singhs rose and stood with Baba ji. They said, “With your permission we will be your Sarbaalhas.”
By this time, Ahmed Shah Abdali had arrived in Lahore. He was preparing to go to Delhi when he heard about the gathering of the Khalsa at Sri Amritsar. He decided that on the way to Delhi, he would stop at Sri Amritsar and slaughter all the Sikhs. Many got afraid and ran away. The remaining Singhs were all chardee kala naam abhyaasee Gursikhs. They gathered in front of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib and eagerly awaited the enemy. The day the Afghans were expected to attack, the Singhs all rose at amrit vela. They then bathed in Sri Amritsar Sahib and then gathered at Sri Akaal Takhat. After reading 5 pauRees of Anand Sahib and doing ardaas. The Singhs distributed Degh and then as a group left for darshan of Sri Darbaar Sahib. The group of Singhs was led by a Nishaan Sahib and nagaaras were beating. They arrived at Sri Darbaar Sahib and did parkarma. Once inside, they showered Sri Guru Granth Sahib with flowers and then did Ardaas.
The Afghans in the meantime had began to move towards Sri Amritsar. They had prepared for a massive battle and brought a large army. They were wearing armour and metal helmets. They had decided to do battle in such a way that the Singhs would be killed but they themselves would incur minimal casualties. They had brought long weapons which could kill from a distance such as large guns. Baba ji, after offering ardaas at Sri Darbaar Sahib, returned with the Singhs to Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib to listen to keertan and await the enemy. The keertanees began to recite keertan and the Singhs would ask that certain shabads they wanted to hear be sung. The GhoReeaa(n) shabads were again recited. In this way, the entire night passed in listening to keertan. At day break, the enemy had arrived. Baba ji called out to all the Singhs, “Singhs! Step forward and embrace martyrdom!
The Afghan forces of Ahmed Shah Abdali attacked the Sikhs and a vicious war began. Das Hazari Khan and Baba ji were in battle, they simultaneously landed blows upon each other and they were both decapitated.
Baba ji continued fighting without his head, seeing this the enemy were horrified and were quick to retreat. Baba ji continued killing off the tyrants and was relentless in his attacks, a Muslim Saint advised the Afghan army said that the only way to stop Baba ji, who wouldn’t retreat, was to beg for forgiveness at the feet of the Sikhs Guru for all the atrocities they caused and promise not to come back again. “Forgive us our misdeeds and evil actions,” their General begged. It was only then that Baba ji stopped and laid his body to rest. Baba ji’s cremation took place behind Sri Akal Takhat Sahib according to the rites of the death ceremony of Sikhi. Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj (commemorates Baba ji’s Shaheedi. Baba ji is remembered as one of the great Shaheeds of the Panth and will forever be remembered as a true Saint-Soldier.
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