Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji's Birthday


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He was born on January 26, 1682, in village of Pahuwind, district Amritsar the son of Bhai Bhagata Ji and Mai Jeoni . He was named Deepa previously meaning “light". As he was an only child, his parents raised him with much devotion and affection. At the age of twelve, he went with his parents to Anandpur Sahib to meet Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru. They stayed at Anandpur Sahib for several days, to serve the Sikh community.

Baba Deep Singh learnt Sikh philosophy and Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Holy scriptures. He learnt Gurmukhi and several other languages. Guru Gobind Singh taught him riding, hunting and arms training. At the age of eighteen, he partook Amrit from Guru on Vaisakhi. As an Amritdhari Sikh, Baba Deep Singh vowed to serve as God's soldier to always help the weak and needy, and to fight for truth and justice. Baba Deep Singh soon became one of Guru Gobind Singh's most beloved and trusted Sikhs.

Baba Deep Singh stayed in Guru Gobind Singh's service for about eight years. Later he returned to his village to help his parents. He was summoned to Damdama Sahib to work with Bhai Mani Singh to prepare the final text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh recited the entire Granth Sahib to them while they wrote the text. On its completion, Baba Deep Singh hand-wrote five more copies of the Holy scriptures. Four copies were sent to Sri Akal Takht, Sri Takht Patna Sahib, Sri Takht Hazur Sahib, and Sri Takht Anandpur Sahib. He was regarded as one of the most devout Sikhs of his time. He also declared that he was prepared to give his head for the sake of the panth. Therefore, Baba Ji was given the title of "Shaheed" while alive.

In 1706, Guru Gobind Singh Ji placed Baba Deep Singh in charge at Damdama Sahib, while Bhai Mani Singh was made head priest of Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar. Baba Deep Singh Ji spent many years at Damdama Sahib preaching Sikh values and in service to the community. Baba Ji also continued to write gutkas (holy booklets) and distributed them to the Sikh community.

In 1707, Baba Deep Singh joined Banda Singh Bahadur to fight for freedom of Punjab from Moghuls. They fought together in the battle at Sirhind, the city in which Guru Gobind Singh's younger sons were killed. Although the Muslim army outnumbered the Sikhs significantly, the Sikh army was able to easily defeat the Muslim forces. During the battle, Baba Deep Singh Ji beheaded Wazir Khan. Later, when the Sikh forces were reorganized into twelve groups, Baba Deep Singh was appointed in charge of Shaheedi division. As the leader of the Shaheedi Misl, he achieved numerous victories for Sikhs.

In 1755, Ahmad Shah Abdali, the emperor of Afghanistan, attacked India for the fifth time. After looting many Indian cities including Delhi, he brought back with him gold, jewellery, and thousands of captured young Hindu women. When Baba Deep Singh learned about this atrocity, he commanded group of Sikhs and ambushed Ahmad Shah's forces. Baba Deep Singh and his men captured much of Ahmad Shah's stolen goods and liberated the prisoners, returning Hindu women safely to their homes.

Ahmad Shah Abdali escaped to Lahore. Angered by the attack of Sikhs, he decided to destroy the Sikh community. He appointed his son, Tamur Shah, as the governor of Lahore, and made Jahan Khan his General. In order to destroy the source of the Sikh's spiritual strength, he ordered Jahan Khan to destroy Sri Harimander Sahib. Following orders, in 1757, Jahan Khan proceeded to Amritsar with heavy artillery. Many Sikhs died trying to defend Harimander Sahib but unfortunately the gurdwara and its surrounding buildings were demolished and the sarovar (Holy Pond) was filled with dirt and debris. Sri Harimander Sahib was then closed to all Sikhs.

At this time, Baba Deep Singh was at Damdama Sahib. When he learned about this disturbing news, he immediately declared his intention of expelling the Afghans and rebuilding the gurdwara. He took a vow not to come back alive without fulfilling this mission. Baba Deep Singh did ardas (prayer) determined to reach Harimander Sahib: "Sir jaave ta jaave, mera Sikhi sidhak na jaave"( my head may be cut off , not my faith in Sikhism)

When news of Baba Deep Singh's intentions reached Jahan Khan, he immediately mobilized an army of 20,000 men and marched towards Tarn Taran. Baba Deep Singh's army intercepted Jahan Khan's forces near the village of Goharwal, about five miles from Amritsar. At this point, there was a clash between both sides. Baba Deep Singh fought with his 18 seer khanda (double edged sword weighing about 14 Kg) . Each Sikh fought with such great velour and courage that the enemy was defeated. During the midst of battle, a large reinforcements arrived for Jahan Khan turning the odds against Sikhs. Yet, the Sikhs with Baba Deep Singh in command continued fighting and advancing towards Amritsar.

During the clash, one of the Mogul commanders, Jamal Khan, attacked Baba Deep Singh. As they fought, both men swung their weapons with great force, leaving both their heads separated from their bodies. After seeing this scene, a young Sikh warrior called out to Baba Ji, reminding him of his vow to reach Sri Harimander Sahib. Upon hearing this, Baba Deep Singh immediately stood up, holding his head on his left palm while holding khanda upright in his right hand. He continued fighting and moving towards Sri Harimander Sahib. Upon seeing the sight of Baba Deep Singh, most of the men in Moghul army fled away in terror. Baba Deep Singh continued fighting and reached Sri Harimander Sahib. He bowed his head at the prikarma (circumambulation) of Sri Harimander Sahib and lay there as a martyr. Devotees bow their heads in reverence at this spot in memories of the Great Warrior of Sikhs.