Vadda Ghallughaara

** Vadda Ghallughaara** ( The Great Battle)

5th Feb 1762 — Battlefield of Kup-Rahirha — 60,000 Sikhs , most of them Children, Women and Elders protected by 8 Misls of Dal Panth are surrounded by Invading Foces of Ahmed Shah Abdali.

300,000 enemies, Afghans, Rohillas, Mughals, Local Muslims launch an all-out offensive to eliminate Khalsa Panth.

But 8 Misls of Khalsa Panth fight back — using the Formation never used before in Military-History of World — Dvait Chakra ( Two Wheels).

Khalsa fights back, protecting children,women and elders, protecting their Identity, existence and Honour.

Khalsa fights and moves for 12 miles.

40,000 Sikhs attain Shaheedi in this Great Battle.

100,000 Enemies are cut by Swords of Khalsa.

Enemies Return as night falls, thinking they had finished Sikhs.

But Khalsa survives with Grace of Akaal Purakh and a Nihang Singh walks in the Night for 12 Miles looking at the bodies of Martyred Sikh Warriors, Children, Women and Elders singing —

Kamaljeet Singh

Who is an Akali and a Nihang Singh? Sudharam Marag Granth, 1791 AD, likely to be from the early 18th century.

Daya Singh asks the ‘True Guru who is an Akali, please answer the question in my mind. Please be kind and answer so that my mind is clear’
Guru Gobind Singh answers ‘An Akali is one who wears blue clothes, who repeats Gurbar Akal and wears Sarbloh.1. Who wears a rosary (mala) of Sarbloh, Chakkar, and Sword. Who does not pierce their ears or nose, which is the order of the Satiguru.2. Who keeps five weapons on the body, and keeps a Kirpan in a Gatra. Who does not eat without blessing his food with his sword, and saying Sat Sri Akal!3. Who keeps away from pleasure with another man’s wife and sleeping with the Turaks. He renounces this and keeps his mind on the Guru only.4. Who eats only out of Sarbloh vessels and abandons other tastes. Who eats by burning fire-wood and in a pure place, and keeps the maryada of blue clothes.5. Wearing a white kacchera, and a Blue Bana, keeps the unbroken meditation of God in the mouth. Who learns Sri Akal Ustati and Chandi di Var by heart.7. Whose every hair repeats [Vahiguru] and while acting but mentally abandons actions. Who loves the Guru Granth Sahib and runs away from the 5 evils [kam, krodh, lobh, moh, hankar]. Who punishes those who speak evil against the Guru, and does not interact with the Turaks. Who does not worship at the Mandairs of the Indian deities, but worships the Panth.9. Who keeps kesh but does not dye them, who renounces lust and anger. Who wages war at the vanguard, knowing God is the protector.10. Wearing a kachhera of half a gaz, of white cloth. At all moments doing naam jaap, cutting the noose of death.11. Who does this in every action, birth, death, marriage and takes Amrit. These are the actions of a Singh who is known as an Akali. Here ends Sudharam Marag Granth and the ways of the Akali, the eternal teaching of Dharam imparted via the Naam, the 13th chapter.’
‘Known one who ties a high turban as a Nihang. His ways are also like the Akali, listen to me Oh Sikhs.1. A Nihang means one who is free from Ahankar and fully in the Dharam. Who wears weapons on the body, and a Chakkar on the head.2. Who keeps a naked sword in hand at all times. Who is fearless and does not care about birth and death.3. Who keeps sword in hand and ties a high turban. Which is the Kalgi of the Panth, who is blessed by the Guru.4. Who eats from Sarbloh vessels and in a pure cooking spot. Who wears blue clothes, who eats by blessing it with Sarbloh.5. Who carries the Nishan and Nagara and repeats the name of the Guru. Who at all times is in Dharam and remembers the sanctuary of the Guru.6. Who delights in the Shabad and forever bows to Akal Purakh. When the Guru is merciful such a Nihang is blessed with enlightenment.7. Who eats the Parshad from a Sarbloh Batta, to renounce his greed. Who accepts if less or more is given [by the Guru].8. Making karah Parshad should be bibek (shud). Vahiguru mantar should be repeated, doing Kirtan happyness is found.9. A Sikh should not lower his head to a Turak or Persian. Bowing to their feet you will incur more birth and death.10. If there is a Divan and you do not go to it, or to make Parshad without rahit. Who dishes this out will taste the pain of death. When coming in the Sangat of mothers, sisters, and daughters in the Sat Sangat. Who looks at them in a bad way will go to the deepest hell.11. A Sikh should remain with an open heart, not stone hearted. To take from daughters, a Sikh will suffer hell. 12. Taking this wealth one will suffer the mace of death. If a Sikh moves around without his weapons he does not practice his Dharam.13. Who looks at the Turaks and bows down, or to a place of the Devas. To tombs will loose this chance in life. 14. Give food to those Sikhs who need it. If you feed the shaven headed ones you will be cursed. 15. Worth millions of bathing at the Ganges, is to bath once at Amritsar. This is the water of peace, that gives happiness, but remember the Guru’s mantra in bathing. 16. Do not praise the wordly Kings, you will suffer the mace of death. Meet those and relate to those who do not play games.17. By even looking at those who like to make others suffer, you will also suffer. Meet the Sadhus with great love from your heart.18. Do not go to the Divans of the Turaks or Chiefs. Do not surrender to lust. Treat the Mazhbi Sikhs as equals as they are blessed by the Guru who are your brothers in Dharam. Those who are loyal to the Guru are blessed here and herefafter. 20. Do not wash the feet of a Sikh who orders you to do so. You will suffer the torment of death. When wearing new clothes, bless them first at the feet of the Guru. By placing them at the feet of Guru Granth Sahib, the giver of happiness.23. Repeat Akal, you will be liberated, it is the true name. Meditate on the lotus feet and presence of the true Guru, and your suffering will decrease.24. Making an abode of Guru Granth Sahib ji. You will be rewarded with heavens. Gossips destroys your destiny and creates suffering. Do not speak such words about others, you will suffer in the hereafter.26. Do not eat the meat of the Turaks.  Do not sing anything other that the words approved by the Guru. Do not listen to the songs and entertainment of prostitutes. If you fall to lust, you must pray for forgiveness. Discriminate like a sharp sword, do not burn by being caught between renunciation and gristi in your mind. Only go to the bed to make love if it is within the Dharam [married].27. Give away wealth to charity. Listen to katha and kirtan and you will be liberated.30. If you sleep with another man’s wife you are a Maha Patit. Who will recieve punishment and beatings, and hell. 31. If you speak bad words about a good Sikh and Sadhu. Take the wealth of another, you will suffer hell.32. If someone slanders the Guru, show them how to discriminate with the sword. Do not go near such power hungry people, and keep in the sangat of the Guru.33. Do not blow on fire. Do not put fire out with water you have drunk. 34. Without remembering Vahiguru do not eat. In bad company you will never find mental peace.  Celebrate Vaisakhi and Deep Mala. Hola Mohalla should be at Anandpur, where you will find enlightenment.36. Go to Abachal Nagar (Hazur Sahib). If you worship at other places than the Gurudwara you will suffer. 37. Work hard for the Guru, give you mind, body and wealth. In the company of the Guru Singh Sangat you will find liberation. 38. Serve the Panth and clasp its feet and you will find happiness.39. Wake up early and bow to the Guru. Take the darshan of Guru Granth Sahib that eradicates all suffering and disease.40.  Do not praise wordly rulers, it causes suffering. Protect the Sadhus and you will not be decieved ever. 41. Doing a bad deed is like being struck by the blow of death. Use logic to determine what is Dharam or not and you will find the heavens. 42. Look at all people as the same. Love and give equal respect to all. 43. Do not sleep with another’s wife or prostitutes. Do not ask for blessings from anyone other than the Guru.44. Do not sleep naked, do not meditate naked, wash after sex. Do not eat without your head covered, it causes pain.45. Do not associate with the Turaks, this is the seed of Turaks. This is like the poision a step mother gives to her step child. 46. The Khalsa gives up gossip and fights at the forefront. It is a good charitable deed to kill the invading Turaks. Keeping five weapons to fight, is a great action. Do not loose your respect, so give up gossip. 48. Read Gurbani in your mind, keep weapons at hand. Run into the battle and do not turn your back. 49. Look after the poor kill the Turak enemies. Do Nam recitation of the Guru, sacrifice your life. 50. Link your mind to the Guru’s shabad that breaks all bonds. Ride on a horse, kill the Turaks, keep weapons on your person.51. Be in Dharam cultivate it, and become a ruler over men. Die in battle this is order of Akal. 52. Then the Turaks and Princes will be in fear, and in all directions will be the sound of Akal. Do not slander anybody, keep Dharam and be protected.53. The Khalsa is manifest that is the four castes in one. Vahiguru Akal should be repeated continously which is most high. 54. I will make the Khalsa Raj with the horse and eagle as its symbol. The Turaks will run when the Singhs come on Elephants.55. On each dooor the drums with resound and the flags will held in each hand. Those that come into the Dharam will taken in shelter, those that do not will perish. 56. The Singhs will stay in the Dharam and united with the Guru. Raj without Dharam is lost. 57. Serve the Saints and read bani and meditate. The Sikhs should worship the Guru Granth Sahib, else they shall loose.58. My Sikhs should stay in this rahit and their desires will be fulfilled. Between them and myself there is no differnce. 59. A Sikh should not shave his son or daughters head. He should spread this message to his brothers. 60. Do not believe in caste, believe in a person’s actions. Depending on our actions we get either heaven or hell. 61. A wise Singh should not meet the Persians, and believers in non-violence. Who meets with the Turaks, know them to be impure. 62. Never take an oath on Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru, or Amritsar, who does goes to a horrible hell. 63. Do patth at amritvela after bathing, and do nitnem. Then in this world and the next the Guru is with you. 64. Now auspiciously ends Sri Sudharam Marag Granth, the teaching to Nihangs, the fourteenth chapter. 
I have roughly translated this, is it not word for word. Bhul chukka di maffi. Das, Kamalroop Singh Nihang.

Trumpp 1877 talking about the Akali Nihangs

5). The Akalis (the worshippers of the AKAL or Timeless Being). This body is said to have been instituted by Guru Govind Singh himself. They were the zealots among the Sikhs, who watched over the purity of their religion and withstood firmly the innovations, which the Bairagi Bandi, who after the death of Govind Singh assumed the leadership among tlie Sikhs in the Panjab, endeavored to introduce into Sikhism. They wear blue chequered clothes and bangles or bracelets of steel round their wrists and frequently also a discus of steel on their turban. They established themselves in great numbers at Amritsar, where they assumed the direction of the religious ceremonies and acted the parts of defenders of the faith in the days of Sikh independency, as they assumed the right of convoking a Gur-mata (a national council, literally : the Guru’s advice) and directing its consultations. Thus they became a formidable body, which was dreaded even by the Sikh chiefs, as they were always ripe for a fanatical outbreak. They lived on the offerings of the people, which they often extorted by force. As they were in fact more a political than a religious body, their influence ceased with the destruction of the Sikh community, and now-a-days they are hardly taken notice of; they are gradually dwindling away like Sikhism itself, in whose bosom of late even an atheistic or materialistic sect has sprung up, that of the Gulab-dasis, who deny every creation and the existence of any Supreme Being. The old tough Hinduism has therefore every prospect of outliving also this reformatory movement, which was impeded in its course and eventually rendered baneful by being made subservient to political interests. Trumpp 1877.

Prof. Puran Singh Spirit of a Sikh – An Akali and Dasam Granth Sahib

The other day, an Akali of the old type who came of the Hindus of Bihar, showed how the Sikh tradition could inspire life and change the outlook of man. He wore a chakra (sharpedged disc) on his head, a Kirpan and a quiver on his waist and held a battle-axe in his hand. He walked as if the whole earth was his. He had the proud gait of a veritable conqueror. One could see that this one man had the presence of a thousand. There was the Guru’ steel in his veins and a thunder in his voice. If one of us read the song of the Tenth Guru without that iron in his accents, he would tell us:
“This chant is not for the weak and the timid. It is the Bowman’s Bow; everyone cannot string it up and shoot arrows about. In the Guru’s Words, there is a holy war, the axes strike, and the swords clash, the arrows fly, destroying the ghosts of darkness.”
These words of his give a new glimpse of the fire of life that tingled in his blood, a new tradition that occupied his mind. He was quite different from those around him, the weak, superstitious, fear-consumed people who in their ritual observance had never known the spirit of heroism. A philosopher told me, it so appears that the Sikh religion, in a generation or so, works right upto the bone of man.

Guru Gobind Singh speaking to Baba Daya Singh said:

An Akali is one whose form is covered in blue dress, repeating Gurbar Akal and wearing Steel weapons. With a white Kach, and blue clothes, repeating Jap ji and Jap Sahib, contemplating Akal Ustati and Var Sri Bhagauti ji ki and committing them perfectly to memory. Meditating with each hair on the body and renouncing [mentally] all actions of the body. Who loves the Guru Granth, and runs away from the five thieves. Rahitnamah Bhai Daya Singh.

On the RUN!!! An Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa 19th century

An Akali who looks like he escaped the British invasion, look at the shackles on his foot. This needs further investigation. Company School watercolour of a Sikh Warrior. Circa 19th Century. An unusual depiction of a Sikh warrior on his right arm he wears a religious Sikh bangle known as a Kara and holds a spear whilst a dagger is placed inside his turban his dress is very similar to the Akali sect of the Sikhs.

Account of the Akali Nihangs by Macauliffe 1881

The Akalis are the most enthusiastic members of the Sikh faith. Their origin dates from the time of the tenth and last Guru. Their name is derived from one of the epithets of God, Akal,* the eternal or immortal, a word which they are supposed to frequently ejaculate. They wear a blue dress and lofty turbans which they call dumbala or high-tailed. These turbans are ornamented with steel discs or quoits, daggers, and knives. The Akalis appear to employ their turbans as our ladies employed chatelaines a few years ago, namely, to carry handy domestic article of frequent use. In au Urdu paper prepared far me by one of the chief priests of the temple, the Akalis are styled the most ignorant, cruel, and rapacious of the followers of Gobind Singh. But they would, in case of necessity, prove brave and determined soldiers, and devote themselves to death as of yore in the cause of the holy Khalsa. Most of them professedly adopt celibacy in which, however, chastity is not always au appreciable factor. And the few who are married are not capable either by their influence or the purity of their lives of retrieving the reputation of their much defamed monkish brethren.

Authorities differ as to the origin of the blue dress. One writer states that the blue dress is an imitation of the blue dress of Krishna, the well-beloved shepherd-god of the forest of Brindraban. Another states that the blue dress was adopted in imitation of Guru Gobind, who by means of it escaped from his enemies. In the time of the Emperor Auraugzeb, Gobind was closely and dangerously pursued by the imperial troops iuto the fortress of Chamkaur. He succeeded by the aid of a dark night and the gratitude of two Mughal soldiers in escaping to Bahlolpur. Here, too, his safety was not assured, and, donning the blue dress of a Mecca pilgrim and personating the Musalman priest of Uch, he made his way to the wastes of Bhatinda. It may, however, be here mentioned, that long before Muhammad appeared in the world, blue was a sacred color among the Egyptians and Hebrews. The blue costume which travellers remark worn by natives of Egypt at the present day, is as old as the Pharaohs.*

In most of the exoteric observances of the Sikhs a deep purpose may be traced. When fighting was part of a Sikh’s duty, it was deemed necessary that his head should be properly protected with steel rings; and long hair with knives concealed in it protected that part of the person from sword-cuts. The kachh, or drawers, fastened by a waisthand, was more convenient and suitable for warriors than the insecurely tied sofa of general Indian wear. A Sikh’s physical strength was kept intact by the use of meat dreaded by the Hindus ; and, the better to assist in this object, he was enjoined to abstain from the pernicious drugs, tobacco and bhang, then so freely consumed by both Hindus and Musalmaus.

Among the religious orders of the Sikhs in the Panjab, the Akalis may be said to preserve whatever remain of the customs of the last Guru. When they marry, they do not, like the other Sikhs, call a Brahmin to perform the nuptial ceremony. A Sikh priest is summoned. He reads the Anand, or epithalaminm, composed by Guru Arjan Das. A sis then thrown over the bride and bridegroom, the well-known chadar dalana marriage ceremony of the Panjab. The holy Granth is used as awitness on the occasion, instead of fire, which is an invariable concomitant of Hindu marriage ceremonies. Karaparshad is then offered to the Granth, and distributed among the guests, after which the ceremony is complete.

The Sikh priest who has favoured me with this information, considers this marriage knot superior to the elaborate one of the Hindus. It is cheap, simple, and equally efficacious! Not only in the matter of marriage, but of other ceremonies also, is the Akali still more intelligent than his co-religionists. He does not, by piercing his ears and wearing ear-rings, render himself effeminate, or give a handle of attack to his enemies if ever engaged in close combat. When any of his friends dies, he does not call a Brahmin to read the mortuary service, or heap upon him a large recompense for his idle ministrations. The Akali, instead of this, bestows alms on poor Sikhs, and he collects his friends to read the Granth with him, and pray that the soul of his deceased relation may be speedily relieved from transmigrations.

The strictest of the Akalis have acquired the epithet Bibekis the discriminating, or the conscientious. These have engrafted all the prejudices of Hinduism on the bigotry of the Akalis. With all the irrational asceticism of the Vaishnu sect of Hindus, the Bibekis will not eat flesh or even partake of any article of food or drink which they have not prepared with their own hands. To such au extent is this carried, that they will not even taste food cooked by their wives, eat fruit purchased in the market, or drink water which they have not themselves drawn from the well. They consider it a sin to eat bare-headed, and will pay a fine (tankhah) to the temple if they do so even inadvertently. They do not remove hair from any part of their persons. For the Hindu janeo, or Brahminical thread, they wear a sword. They are very strict in wearing the five articles of Sikh dress, whose names begin with a K. They will not drink water without immersing in it a knife or dagger. And, with an irrational mixture of spiritual pride and spiritual humility, they think themselves equal to the tenth spiritual king, Gobind, while at the same time they acknowledge themselves his disciples.

The asceticism of this class not only extends to these bigoted observances, but also to their ordinary conversation. They add the word ” Singh,” which is peculiar to the Sikh religion, as an affix to all substantives and sometimes to other parts of speech. For instance, instead of saying, ” Put the inkstand on the table,” they say ” Put the inkstand Singh on the table Singh.” Another verbal peculiarity of theirs may be mentioned. It is well known that in Hindustani, as in French and Italian, all substantives are either masculine or feminine. The Bibekis, with pharisaical ostentation, never use a word of the feminine gender. If an object can only be expressed by one word which is feminine, they alter its distinctive termination. Thus the word kanghi, a comb, in such frequent use among the Sikhs who religiously wear long hair, is grammatically feminine ; but when a Bibeki has occasion to use the word, he says Kangha, changing the final feminine into a masculine vowel, thus altering the gender of the word, and religiously and prudently preserving himself “from the contact or presence of even feminine substantives.

Some of the Akalis call themselves Nihangs. It is said, that one day there appeared before the tenth Guru an Akali in a lofty turban to which were attached miniatures of all the weapons of warfare employed at that period. The Guru was pleased and said, that the man looked like a nihang or crocodile. The Guru saw that the turban gave a ferocious appearance to the religious warrior, and forthwith recommended it to his followers. The high-peaked turbans of the Nihanga are said by others to have had their origin in one of the marauding expeditions of Zama’n Shah against the Sikhs. The latter on one occasion were few in number and unable to cope in fair fight with their adversaries. They therefore put on the high-peaked turbans of the Turki soldiers, went armed among them at night, and completely destroyed them. The high turban was therefore permanently adopted as an auspicious article of costume. A third more probable account, however, is that on which the Sikh priests themselves appear to be generally agreed, namely, that the custom of wearing high-peaked turbans was first adopted in the time of Ranjit Singh. Phola Singh, a man of prodigious stature, used to sit daily in the balcony of the Akal Bunga. His gigantic size appeared enhanced by his high-peaked turban ; and his advice and example induced other Akalis to adopt a similar head-gear. It soon became one of the distinctive articles of dress of their order.

The more insolent of the Akalis and those addicted to the use of intoxicating drugs, appear to have appropriated to themselves the designation Nihang. The word is in such bad odour in other parts of the Panjab, that a man is styled a Nihang who has taken to vicious ways and bad livelihood. All European travellers in the Panjab during the Sikh regime have complained of the gross insolence, and in some cases of the foul language or maledictions employed by these Nihanga, or Akalis, to Christians. No such thing has, I believe, ever been witnessed in recent times. Several of the Akalis still have, no doubt, a defiant air, but all of them with whom I have conversed I found uniformly courteous and civil.

An account of the Khalsa by the Frenchman Polier 1776

As for the Seiks, that formidable aristocratical republic, I may safely say, it is only so to a weak defenceless state, such as this is. It is properly the snake with many heads. Each zemindar, who, from the Attock to Hansey Ifsar the gates of Delhi, lets his beard grow, cries -wah goro, eats pork, wears an iron bracelet, drinks bang, abominates the smoking of tobacco, and can command from ten followers on horseback to upwards, sets up immediately for a Seik sirdar; and, as far as is in his power, aggrandises himself at the expence of his weaker neighbours; if Hindu or Mussalam much the better; if not, even amongst his own fraternity will he seek to extend his influence and power; only with this difference, in their intestine divisions, from what is seen every where else, that the husband, man and labourer, in their own districts, are perfectly safe and unmolested, let what will happen round about tbyvm.

‘From this small sketch it may be easily conceived that the Stiles are much less formidable than they are represented. It is true that they all join together when invaded, as was the case when Abdallah passed through their country. But, notwithstanding they had assembled an immense body of cavalry, extremely well mounted, yet they never presumed to make a single charge on the Duranny army, or even on detachments ; and, considering their irregularity and want of discipline and subordmation, it was well for them, I think, they did not. They satisfied themselves in making a kind of hussar war of it, cutting off stragglers, and intercepting provisions. In this they excel. To say the truth, they are indefatigable; mounted on the best horses that India can afford, each carries a matchlock of a large bore, which they handle dexterously enough, and with which they annoy considerably, avoiding at the same time going in large bodies, or approachmg too near. Such is their way of making war, which can only appear dangerous to the wretched Hindustan troops of these quarters, who tremble as much at the name of a Seik as people used to do, net long ago, at the mention of Mahrattas. But what its more to be admired, those Seik sirdars, whose territories border on the king’s, were but lately zemindars of the Jauts, and of their cast or tribe, under which denomination had they remained no one would have thought of them; but, now they have put on the iron bracelet, fifty of them are enough to keep at bay a whole battalion of the king’s forces, such as they are. This shews the force of prejudice, and the value of military reputation. Such are the immediate neighbours of the king.

‘ Five hundred of Nujhaf Khan’s horse dare not encounter fifty Seik horsemen ; and yet the last are as despicable a set of creatures as any that can be imagined. On the whole, was it not for Sombre’s party, and Letafet’s forces, Nujhaf Khan would not be able to stand his ground half an hour; and yet this is the Mighty Chief!’