Dhan Dhan Baba Deep Singh Ji. There isn’t enough ink, or paper or pens to praises this beloved Sahibzada of Dhan Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.
Many people come into this world and vow to die for a cause. But Baba Ji’s jeevan was such that instead of vowing to die he had vowed to live until his mission was accomplished. Rather than writing Baba Ji's jeevani in this post, I will only focus on his shaheedi and the events which led up to it.
As news filtered through Punjab of the desecration of Sachkhand Sri Darbar Sahib, Sikh hearts began to cry tears of blood. The world stood quiet as this ghastly act took place. The Earth and the Sky readied themselves for the Khalsa’s swift response as time itself had stood witness to the fact that no matter how few Sikhs were left they would always pick up their arms to fight against tyranny.
The land of Punjab stood in a state of stillness as Baba Ji sat at Sri Damdama Sahib immersed in Naam Simran. Baba Deep Singh Ji finally got up and taking the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji on his lips and carrying the Khanda of Guru Gobind Singh Ji in his hands came out of his tent.
Suddenly a stir beginning from where Baba Ji was standing, and running like a wave along the line, it brought the Khalsa to its feet. A silence fell on everyone at once, for each felt that the momentous `now' had come to stand up to those who had dared to blemish the house of God.
This decision of Baba Deep Singh Ji was flashed from village to village in the Malwa belt. The fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters of the Khalsa Panth rose up in large numbers and answered this valiant call of Baba Ji by placing their services at his disposal.
The army of Akaal Purakh adorned themselves with his colours, and picked up his weapons, and sung his praises as they began to march towards their guru and his house.
When these beloved Sikhs of Guru Sahib reached Taran Taaran Sahib they bathed in the holy Sarover. Baba Deep Singh Ji then took the Khanda of Guru Gobind Singh Ji out from its scabbard and drew a line through the earth.
Baba Ji in a loud voice addressed the Ladlee Fauj of Guru Sahib as follows, “Whoever fears for their life, whoever has any attachment, whoever does not want to walk towards their guru with their head held in the palm of their hand can turn around and go back to their homes. Whoever has love for their guru and for sikhi should step forward and cross this line, but beloved Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh Ji once we cross this line there will be no turning back. There will be no rest and there will be no food or water or any of our loved ones. There is only death past this line. To liberate Sri Darbar Sahib every Sikh who steps over this line will have to give all their blood to this cause. We will make a river of blood which will drown these tyrants and wash them away from our land forever.”
“It maarag pair dhareejai, sir deejai kaan na keejai.” (If you wish your feet to travel this path, don't delay in accepting to give your head.)
As Jaikarays thundered through Punjab, the world shook and the Afghan spies quickly sent reports to Jahan Khan that a blue and saffron wave of steel was pouring towards Amritsar. At once 20,000 Afghan troops were mobilised and dispatched towards Taran Taraan Sahib in an attempt to crush the brave hearts of Punjab.
As the Afghan army reached the village of Goharwal, they saw the blue and saffron uniforms of the Khalsa appearing amongst the trees. As they watched the approach of this wave the numbers began to increase, and the field of blue and saffron grew larger and larger until it seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see, and from the tops of the hills down to the edges of the stream gathered the Ladlee Fauj of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Nishaan Sahibs were furling and the beat of nagaaraas was echoing throughout the skies.
Upon seeing the Afghan army the Singhs vied to go ahead of each other to drink the nectar of martyrdom. The Singhs charged forward and met the Afghan Forces in a fierce battle 5 miles away from Amritsar. They fell upon the Afghans like a lion on a deer, despite the fact that they were hopelessly outnumbered. The Khalsa fought with such potency that the Afghans slain lay in rows precisely as they had stood in their ranks a few moments before. Victory seemed at hand for the Khalsa but just then Afghan reinforcements arrived in their thousands.
The Afghan Army seeing reinforcements arrive began to launch several attacks on the bravest battalion of the Khalsa Army headed by Baba Deep Singh Ji, but these warrior lions of Guru Gobind Singh did not lose faith. Raising his Khanda Baba Deep Singh Ji’s thundering voice gave power to the battle cry Jaikara - "JO BOLE SO NIHAL", Every single Singh roared the response "SAT SRI AKAAL" . The Khalsa’s spirits rose, new life was injected into them with each jaekara. They faced the Afghans with rejuvenated spirits, just seeing the fire in the army of Akaal Purakh eyes was enough to send the Afghans running in all directions.
United, like the waves in the ocean, by their deep blue battle-dress and turbans, they fought against all the odds and faced the rain of enemy bullets, stones, and arrows. Hacking their way through treacherous terrain, they hammered their way towards Amritsar.
Baba Deep Singh Ji’s body at this time had been pierced with hundreds of arrows and bullets but still he was marching forward at a relentless speed. His once blue chola was now completely red and soaked in his blood. It is said that Baba Deep Singh Ji’s movements as he single handily cut through the Afghan ranks reflected the Taandav dance of Shiva.
Seeing his men falling to the floor one of the commanders of the Afghan army, Jamal Khan attacked Baba Deep Singh Ji with his sword. As Jamal Khan’s sword stuck, so did Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Khanda and in that split second both their heads were severed from their bodies. As Baba Ji’s head fell towards the Earth, a Singh shouted out, ‘Baba Ji you had vowed to drink the nectar of martyrdom only when Sri Darbar Sahib is liberated, there are still thousands of enemy soldiers.’
Before Baba Ji’s head touched the floor his body knelt down and with his left hand he caught his head and held it in the palm of his hand. With his right hand he began to swing the Khanda of Guru Gobind Singh Ji with such force that those soldiers around him began to be chopped to pieces.
No longer could you see the body or the radiant face of this saint soldier, all that was visible in the battle field was a giant ball of steel which was leading the Khalsas push towards the house of Guru Ram Das Ji. Upon seeing this river of blood destroying anything which stood in its way, most of the soldiers in the Afghan army began to repent and fled away in terror. Those that remained on the battle field were decimated as the Khalsa storm approached Amritsar.
When the battle was over Baba Deep Singh Ji and the few Singhs who were left stepped on the parkarma around Sachkhand Sri Darbar Sahib. Baba Ji did a final ardas to Maharaj before he placed his head at the feet of Dhan Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj.
The Singhs who were with Baba Ji had all suffered mortal wounds but through the power of ardas and amrit they were able to fight on. After ensuring that the Kesri Nishan Sahib was hoisted above Sri Darbar Sahib these Singhs waited for Dhan Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji to come so that he could take them back home. Bhai Mahit Singh and Baba Naudh Singh are two other Singhs who also fought in this battle without heads.
Today every second Baba Deep Singh Ji draws that same line through the world. Will you cross it and live to the standards of the Khalsa or will you continue to sit in silence as this beautiful path of Guru Nanak Dev Ji is set on fire by those enemies of humanity?