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Akali Baba Darbara Singh Ji

Jathedar Akali Baba Darbara Singh Ji

Jathedar Akali Baba Darbara Singh ji held the esteemed position of being the second Jathedar of Guru Ki Laadli Fauj. Baba Ji was born in the village of Dal into the distinguished lineage of Baba Nanu Singh, a descendant of Sahib Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji's family. At the age of 12, Baba Ji had the blessed opportunity to have Darshan of Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj at Anandpur Sahib. Devotedly, he served Guru Maharaj for 16 years, and in accordance with the longstanding tradition of every Budha Dal Jathedar, Baba Ji assumed the role of Jathedar of the Akaal Takhat for 12 years. With a remarkable lifespan of 90 years, Baba Ji attained martyrdom in 1734.

Within the Khalsa Panth, it is deeply ingrained in the hearts of every Khalsa warrior that one who embraces the Khalsa way of life is inherently sovereign. Each sovereign Khalsa also possesses the profound knowledge that the prophecies uttered by the great Guru are destined to manifest without fail. The Guru's bestowal of sovereignty upon the Khalsa was an inevitable reality, irrespective of any circumstances.

It is this unwavering faith in the inevitability of the sovereignty of the Khalsa Panth that led S. Darbara Singh, the esteemed spokesperson of the Khalsa Panth, to initially reject the offer of Nawabship to the Singhs, extended by the Nawab of Lahore:

 

Chaupai :

In response to the proposal put forth by the Khalsa Panth, Darbara Singh expressed his sentiments, questioning the need to consider accepting Nawabship. He firmly believed that since Satguru (Guru Gobind Singh) had already made a promise of sovereignty to the Sikhs, he could envision that the time for the fulfillment of the Guru's prophecy was rapidly approaching.(36)

Considering the legitimate claim of the Khalsa Panth for sovereignty, it was certain that they would attain it, whether in this earthly realm or in the realm of the divine. The prophetic words spoken by Satguru to the Sikhs were destined to be fulfilled rather than remain unfulfilled or in vain. (37)

 

Even in the event of extraordinary celestial occurrences or drastic upheavals on Earth, the prophetic words of Satguru would never go unfulfilled. Why should one trade the promised sovereignty with the wretched position of Nawabship, which is filled with subordination and harassment? (38)

Dohra: Satguru bestowed sovereignty upon the Khalsa Panth,

as well as upon every individual Singh within that fraternity.

Wherever a Singh treads and finds a home on this earth,

they establish their own self-reliant and autonomous sovereignty.(39)8

(SGPP, Episode 90, Vol. II, pp. 81, 83)

Furthermore, the character and position of Akali Baba Darbara Singh Ji within the Khalsa Panth is evident:

S. Darbara Singh, who served as the Diwan and treasurer of the Khalsa Panth, was highly respected among its members. (12). He skillfully maintained harmony among the various factions, and his impartiality prevented anyone from viewing him as a rival. He ensured that uniforms were provided to all, and he ran a communal kitchen that catered to the entire Khalsa force. (13) Additionally, he distributed clothing and attire to everyone, contributing to the prosperity of the Khalsa Panth, despite the occasional factional conflicts that arose. (14)

(SGPP, Episode 88, Vol. II, pp. 53, 55)

The noble character of Baba Darbara Singh Ji portrayed him as a humble servant of the Khalsa Panth, despite his esteemed position within the Guru's house. As the custodian of the Guru's army, he served as a General and led the Khalsa through tumultuous times. Following the martyrdom of the revered General, Jathedar Akali Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur Amar Shaheed, Baba Darbara Singh Ji took charge of the Khalsa Fauj. With the Mughals growing increasingly intolerant towards the Sikhs after the martyrdom of Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur, Baba Darbara Singh Ji and his warriors became battle-hardened veterans, fighting relentlessly during the Mughal reconquest of Punjab.

Nonetheless, Baba Darbara Singh Ji and his warriors ensured that Punjab did not succumb to the Mughals once again. They safeguarded the land that Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur had entrusted to the families of the valiant warriors who fought alongside him, preventing it from returning to the hands of Mughal zamindars. Their unwavering dedication and sacrifices contributed to the preservation of Sikh sovereignty and the defense of Punjab against Mughal aggression.

Baba Darbara Singh Ji, recognizing the importance of succession and continuity, entrusted the lineage of Budha Dal to his worthy disciple, Jathedar Akali Baba Nawab Kapur Singh Ji. This significant responsibility was bestowed upon Jathedar Akali Baba Nawab Kapur Singh Ji by both Baba Darbara Singh Ji and the collective choice of the Khalsa Panth. As the chosen leader, Jathedar Akali Baba Nawab Kapur Singh Ji assumed the mantle of guiding and leading the Khalsa Panth. This passing of the torch ensured the continued legacy and spiritual authority of Budha Dal, as well as the preservation and propagation of Sikh traditions and values under the guidance of Jathedar Akali Baba Nawab Kapur Singh Ji.

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