The Golden Temple: Its Theo-political Status
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...1739, saw the invasion of India by the terrible Nadir Shah who sacked Delhi, put its inhabitants to sword and took away the peacock throne and the Kohi-noor diamond, as loot in his haversack. It was the "grass-eaters", the Sikhs alone, out of all the peoples of India, who then came out of their caves and thorny bushes to attack the rear of the returning invader, till he reached Lahore, exhausted by this harassment, and the following conversation is recorded by a contemporary, between Nadir Shah and Zakarlya Khan, the military governor of the Punjab:
Nadir Shah: "Who are these mischief-makers, any way?"
Zakariya Khan: "They are a group of vagabond mendicants who visit their Guru's tank twice a year and then disappear."
Nadir Shah: "Where do they live?"
Zakariya Khan: "Their homes are their horse-saddles."
Nadir Shah: "Take care, my son, the day is not distant when these rebels will take possession of thy country."...
...in 1757, the Afghan conqueror, Ahmed Shah Abdali, invaded India for the fourth time, when he found, as before, that the Sikhs, of all peoples of India, resented his incursions into their country the most and made no secret of this resentment. Well understanding the theo-political status of the Golden Temple and its adjuncts, the redoubtable Abdali, had the temple demolished, its adjuncts destroyed and its lakes filled up and ploughed over, a strange precursor of the Second World-War Morgenthau plan of the Allies, calculated to evirate culturally and industrially the German people. The Sikhs however, refused to he cowed down, and in April, 1758 when the combined forces of the Marathas and the Sikhs had succeeded in driving out of the country the Afghan occupation forces, the Golden Temple was rebuilt and its holy lake cleared up, through the labour of the enemy prisoners-of-war and under the direct supervision of the famous Maratha chiefs, Raghunath Rao and Malhar Rao Holkar, who then humbly made an offering of Rs. one hundred twenty-five thousand at the Golden Temple and received ceremonial robes of honour from its head priest. These Maratha chiefs well understood that the restoration of the true theo-political status of the Golden Temple was an integral part of their Grand National project of regaining liberty of the people and the freedom of India."...
...When in 1921 the British India Government, through their official representative, handed over the keys of the Golden Temple to Baba Uarak Singh, the veteran Sikh leader, Mohandas Gandhi sent him the following telegram: "Congratulations. The first decisive battle of Indian freedom has been won."
Mohandas Gandhi well knew, not only all about the theo-political status of the Golden Temple, but also knew and recognised that it was the centre of a world-movement for a universal culture and a united world-government, and thus it was basically integrated to the weltanschauung of Indian freedom, which later he refused to consider as a mere national independence from foreign rule."...
..."Our proto-historical records, the Pauranas, and the pre-Christian era Buddhist traditions definitely assert that, from ancient times, there has existed a natural and holy lake of water, (In Vaivasyatpaurana, a genre of ancient Sanskrit text reduced into literary form in about the first century of Christian era, but of much greater antiquity of contents there is mention of Amarkunda (synonym for Amritsaras, Punjabi Amritsar), a holy lake situated betwixt the rivers Vipăsă (Modern Bias) and Airăvati (Modem Ravi)"...
..."The Vedic and Buddhist traditions of holiness attached to this site and the lake suggest an earlier and more ancient origin of this attachment, extending back to the third and second millennia of the Indus Valley civilisation, on the basis of the historical trend that once a holy place, always so and that, a new holiness must be grounded in some older one.
The creative imagination, therefore, is justified in discerning grounds for the belief, not altogether fanciful, that the holy lake and the site of the Golden Temple, was an ancient centre of theophanic human activity, at the dawn of human civilisation, round about 5,000 years ago, peopled by the Mohenjodaro race and further, that it was an equally well revered spot for the theomatic rishís of the vedăs."...
By Sirdar Kapur Singh
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