Sarbloh has been an integral part of Sikhee Rehat from aad. Guru Nanak Dev Jee gave Sansar Jeevs the precious gift of Karah Parshad from Sarbloh. Guru Nanak Dev Jee kept Sarbloh shasters one of these can be seen at the Museum in Takht Patna Sahib. The Sarbloh Kara was not an invention of Guru Gobind Singh, previous Guru Sahiban also wore Sarbloh Kara. The Sarbloh Kara of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Jee can also be seen at a Gurdwara in Patna city.
Guru Gobind Singh Jee fermented the relationship by revealing the Khalsa through the womb of Sarbloh. Sarbloh’s mysteries and glories are mystifying to the world but its Sath Tath Khalsa has been revealed the secret.
Only a few will play this game others will wonder in confusion, so is the will of Akaal.
Even at the times of Guru Jee there were doubts on rehat and it was not long after Guru Gobind Singh Jee left that other mann-mathe thoughts were appearing. Such is the power of maya that the five evils create this separation.
In this state of dubda there will always be a few that would rise to the challenge. However these few will always be labelled as seperatists/fundementalists/factionists as they will always be in the minority. In the hour of need these few will defy all odds and change the course of destiny.
The first major appearance of not towing the line in the so called interest of the larger community occurred when Baba Binod Singh separated from Banda Singh Bahudar. The view was that it was more important keep in line with Gurmat rather than attain worldly gains. Baba Binod Singh and the other Sikhs that separated became to be known as the Tath Khalsa. They wore blue and kept a chakar on their heads
ਨੀਲ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਰਖ ਚੱਕ੍ਰ ਸਿਰ ਧਾਰੈ I*
They tried to keep rehat as Sat Guru ordained
ਔਰ ਰਹਿਤ ਜੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਹੀ I ਉਸੀ ਰਹਿਤ ਸੋਂ ਰਹਿਤਾ ਵਹੀ I*
Baba Binod Singh was from the Kul of Guru Angad Dev Jee. He was one of five Singhs that were sent to Punjab with Banda Singh Bahudar by Guru Gobind Singh Jee. As Baba Binod Singh was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh he was well accustomed to rehat and Gurmat he was also aware of the bachans given to Banda Singh to comply with.
From this group of Tath Khalsa emerged the names in history of Gursikhs we are familiar with today.
As with any grouping as it expands there seems to be an evolution of rehat weakness. This is because Guru Jee always keeps the true treasures within virlay. However the weakness’s were not to the extents that are seen today.
The vision of the Tath Khalsa passed onto Gursikhs like Baba Deep Singh Jee and Baba Gurbaksh Singh Jee who both were contemporary’s of Guru Gobind Singh Jee they too were familiar with Gurmat and Rehat principles. The Gursikhs under these Jatherdaars later on became to be known as the Shaheedan Misl.
This Jatha was distinct from others, it was the smallest Jatha in terms of numbers compared to others, one historian has given the figure of 2,000 as being its maximum number at any given time. This jatha however was the most respected amongst the Sikhs and most feared by its enemies. Even Ranjit Singh did not even dare touch its remaining elements in his times.
So how is it that this most respected Jatha was so few in numbers you would think large number of Gursikhs would be attracted to it?
It’s not as simple as that, as this Jatha only breathed and lived for Akaal. They were not attracted to occupying land and Sardareea for their families which was the biggest disease the other Jathas were effected by. This automatically protected them from the other Jathas as they did not see them as a threat.
Some historians have called them the suicide Jatha which is completely against Gurmat and some have called them the bravest which too would be wrong as that would suggest that the other Jathas were not brave. They were given the name Shaheedan because most of this Jatha had quashed their worldly desires so they were seen as dead to this world.
They had destroyed these desires by keeping rehat and with bhagtee, they preferred to be small in numbers as they wanted to keep the quality. Other Jathas had rehat and jeevan vala Gursikhs but they were not the majority in their groups as was the case of the Shaheedan Jatha.
The Gursikhs in the Shaheedan Jatha mostly wore blue and all were lovers of sarbloh. The following is a description of one of their Jatherdaars Baba Gurbaksh Singh Jee
ਨੀਲ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਰਖ ਰਹਿ ਰਹਤ ਚੰਗੀ I* He wore blue and kept very good rehat. The quote then goes on to say :
ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਕੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੈ I ਨਮਸਕਾਰ ਕਰ ਸ਼ਸਤਰ ਫੜੈ I੩I
ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਗਲ ਮਾਲਾ ਪਾਵੈ I ਕੰਗਣ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਲੋਹ ਸੁਹਾਵੈ I
ਲੋਹ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਲੋਹ ਤੋੜੇ ਧਾਰੈ I ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਕੀ ਰਖਯ ਉਚਾਰੈ I੪I*
They all kept strict sarbloh bibek pehra and would not eat from everyone, the proof of this is the account of when Nawab Kapoor Singh was blessed with a child, in this kushee he gave Langar to the Khalsa in this he gave Baba/Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Jee and his Jatha raw ingredients for their langar.
ਫਿਰ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਬਖਸ਼ ਸਿੰਘ ਦਈ ਲੰਗਰ, ਰਸਤ ਸੁ ਪਾਇ I*
On the topic of food, their are many accounts in our history were Gursikhs have had to go hungry for long periods. In those days a new phrase appeared when their was no Langar/food GurSikhs used to call it Langar Mast. I love this terminology it goes to show the spirit and character of GurSikhs of those times. These accounts prove that Gursikhs did not eat anything and from everybody. So it is laughable when you hear some historians say that some Gursikhs ate like animals when they were hungry. This was most likely propaganda started by writers like Kaafeen Khan and then used by the pro meat lobby Sikh historians.
Gurmat principles are the same whether in good times or bad times. In fact Gursikhs welcome bad times with open arms. You can never say that no one abandoned Gurmat in hard times but you could never see the Tath Khalsa/Shaheedan Jatha ever go to that level as they were already dead, why would they go against Gurmat to live a day longer.
The shahedee of Baba Gurbaksh Singh Jee at Darbar Sahib in 1764 was to be a turning point in the Panth as well as the Jatha. The game had now turned around from being defensive to be offensive in pursuit of Khalsa Raaj. This turnaround of events brought with it different challenges to Gurmat principles.
The remaining reminisce of the Shaheedan Jatha eventually came in the hands of Akali Phoola Singh. This is the period where this jatha disintegrated you would think it would be the opposite as this was when the so called Raaj of the Khalsa occurred.
What is Khalsa Raaj without Gurmat, seeing the anti Gurmat practices of the Lahore Darbar many Gursikh’s of this jatha did not feel comfortable in fighting for the Lahore Darbar. The Shahedee of Akali Phoola Singh was probably welcomed by some elements of the Lahore Darbar. The remaining Gursikhs of this jatha felt now was not a time to fight or to revolt, both would have had dire consequences they went back to Gristi Jeevans and their Bhagtee. They knew that Guru jee will call up the Singhs again when the time was right.
The British tried to target some of the remaining elements of this and other khalsa Jathas with enticements of maya’s raang because they felt that they were the real threat to their occupation. The ones that fell prey were to become the creators of the modern nihangs.
Many jathas of today claim to be heirs of the Shaheedan Jatha but the true custodians/heirs of this jatha are the ones that keep the Rehat of Khalsa.
Their will be a time again when the Sarblohee Gursikhs will emerge and regroup to take on the challenge given by Guru Sahib. In the book called Gurmat Bibek it is written
ਏਸ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਕੋਈ ਸਮਾਂ ਆਵੇਗਾ ਕਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਸਮੇਸ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਕਲਾ ਕਿ੍ਸ਼ਮੀ ਕਉਤਕ ਅਵਤਾਰੀ ਸਮੇਂ ਵਾਂਗੂੰ ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਦੀ ਸੇ੍ਸਟ ਧਾਰਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਿਦਕਵਾਨ ਪੂਰੇ ਸੂਰੇ ਸਿੰਘਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਮੂਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਮੂਹ ਗੁਰ ਪੰਥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਬਿਚਰਦੇ ਬਿਰਾਜਦੇ ਅਤੇ ਗੱਜਦੇ ਬਜਦੇ ਨਜ਼ਰ ਆਉਣਗੇ |
* Quotes from Pracheen Panth Prakash