WHEN UNREST OR CONFLICT SURFACES RELATING SIKH PRINCIPLES TO THE LIBYAN SITUATION

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INTRODUCTORY

Through the ages, the human experience has been characterized by continuing societal unrest and conflict. Even as there have been significant advances in the human condition over the centuries, the 20th century has the dubious distinction of having been the bloodiest century in history. I can believe it because the seventy years of my life lived through the never ceasing turmoil of the twentieth century. Going by its early signs, the twenty first century is not likely to lag behind the twentieth!

Over the last decade or more, I have been pretty involved with interfaith activities. One of the interesting upshots of my involvement with interfaith groups was that I was often expected to say something on so many legislative issues and questions of discrimination, use of force, and ethics in conduct of local, national and international affairs.

In the intervening years, I have also been participating in Gurmat Learning Zone [GLZ] and Sikh Diaspora, two active Sikh Internet Discussion Groups. Their conversations often were thoughtful and reflected a cross section of contemporaneous Sikh concerns. While most Sikh happenings do surface in these discussions, the Forum discussions largely have stayed clear of so many politically charged incidents that may otherwise have impacted large segments of humanity.

It was therefore refreshing to read the comment, about the ongoing civil conflict in Libya, made by Dr Indarjit Singh, a London based British Sikh, in his BBC, Radio 4, Thought for the Day, presentation on March 22, 2011 saying that ‘Perhaps the most important gain from a study of the past, is that this should help us build a better future. I see evidence of this in our cautious reaction to events in Libya. For me the most heartening news in the last few days is not the success of air strikes stopping Gadaffi’s forces in their stride, but the news that British Tornado jets on a 3000 mile return mission to attack military targets, turned back home when they saw civilians in the target area. It is a gesture close to Sikh teaching that compassion for the innocent is more important than short term military gain. It is a gesture that will help win the hearts and minds of the long suffering people of Libya.’

The reason for my appreciation of the comment was at the way Dr Indarjit Singh founded his compliment for the RAF decision at being close to a Sikh teaching. Now that was subtle to leave a hint of reflection of Sikh teachings on a complex contemporary issue that was subject of heated ongoing debate in the power corridors almost around the world. As if to cue, the next day, Dr Kanwar Ranvir Singh, a London based Moderator on GLZ, raised the question ‘Do we, as Sikhs, have any principled views on the current bombing of Libya?’ under a topic titled ‘Sikh perspective on Libya bombing.’

I had watched and participated in several discussions on divisive issues on these forums and even though due to some other current commitments was presently trying to not get involved in these conversations, I did hope that we would have a lively discussion and we may indeed share some insights into perspectives based on Gurbani and Sikh experience on an incident playing out in our midst that could have some resonance with so much that the Gurus wrote or is inscribed in our historical memory. So let us hasten to the GLZ records to learn what the group seemed to be staying in real time on an issue playing out in our midst.

THE GLZ DISCUSSION

If we look carefully at the question raised by Ranvir, his enquiry is to seek responses from the discussants based on Sikh principles, on current bombing operations on Libya launched by an alliance of countries to enforce a UN Security Council mandated no fly zone to protect loss of civilian lives. If my memory serves me right, this was the first time that a question asking for comments based on Sikh principles on an ongoing complex political conflict with no obvious Sikh interest, was raised.

The topic had a tepid run through the next three days – March 23 to 26, 2011, with a total of six responses; one each from Parmjit Singh [UK], Jodh Singh [US], Inder Singh [India] and Mai Harinder Kaur [US] and 2 by Ranvir.

The first intervention came from Parmjit Singh saying that ‘Sikhs should not support actions outside the law. The Security Council mandate was for a no-fly zone to protect civilians – not for taking out Gaddafi. Cameron and Obama are aiming to murder the leader of another country. They should be tried in the international criminal court.’

This received a response from Jodh Singh asking ‘Which Sikh is supporting outside the law? Sikhs have no voice in Security council; because they do not have Khalistan.’ He questioned ‘Have Cameron and Obama murdered anybody including Hazrat Gaddafi? — Why are you so worried Khalsa Ji?’

Ranvir tried to clear the air about targeting of Gaddafi by explaining that in the UK the issue had arisen because of conflicting assertions by the military adviser to the Government and the Foreign and Defence Secretaries – the former saying targeting Gaddafi is illegal and the latter claiming he is a legitimate target. He also tried to put the issue in perspective by positing that while Sikhs had no actual participation in the UN, relevance of meeri-peeri is not limited to Sikhs as a nation state [but] is also about ‘how the power of Naam surges through us to transform everyday life – [and as] citizens we ‘also have democratic opportunities to make our positions known.’ He felt that following the UN mandate must be one relevant principle in this case, but asked again if there are others?

The discussion however meandered along the generic lines and another response came from Inder Singh asking ‘Why Sikhs alone; why bring religion here; all should follow this wholesome principle [not supporting actions outside the law] — [it] is an international issue not related to Sikhs. Why use GLZ columns to malign Cameron and Obama?’

Mai Harinder Kaur argued that if nothing was done and ‘Col. Khadafy massacres his people, the world will say, why did you stand by and let him do that? Second, take action as has been done. Then the world says, no, you have no right to go after the ruler of a sovereign nation.’ She felt that it was a no win situation with no way to quit and asked the question ‘What is the proper Sikh stance in such a situation?’ This very perceptive comment revealed an underlying complexity surrounding such conflict situations but the question asked remained unanswered.

All the four interventions made apt and thoughtful observations on various facets of the issue but the intent of Ranvir to engage the group in a discussion on Sikh principles that may have relevance in such situations was not directly addressed. He tried to re-direct the debate when he talked of miri-piri, availing of democratic opportunity to make Sikh position known and asking for options other than bombing, but it did not change the tenor of discussion.

At this stage, Ranvir answered his own question saying that other options included sanctions which could be effective in the longer-term but would not deter Gaddafy’s attack on ‘rebels’. Ensuring no-fly zone could prevent attacks on ‘rebels’ but absent UN mandate they could not be used to go after Gaddafi. He then summarily concluded ‘Sikh principles should include that “government should only be with the consent of the people” (Guru Arjun); therefore, we should support the rebels.’

The subject yielded space to many more pressing issues that we love to talk about but got the chance of a second lease of life on 5/4/2011, when Parmjit Singh came back and got a quick response from Mai Harinder Kaur – both pretty insightful and challenging. Yet the group did not take the bite and the subject seems to have lapsed into archives. The gist of these posts is:

Parmjit asked ‘Is it now clear that the West now want to take over Libya? US have given the power to NATO — The issue is not rights but oil. The day after Gaddafi said that he was going to cancel BP contract and negotiate with India and China the bombardment started —Are we silent because non-Sikhs are affected? Are we silent because we are part of the West and benefit from financial windfall? Are we silent because we fear no one will listen to us? — Kanvar Ranbir Singh said that we need to discuss principles. I am not as learned as him and cannot quote gurbani so fluently but I know when something is wrong.’

Mai Harinder Kaur posted a passionate response ‘Some of us do care about injustices where Sikhs are not the immediate victims. Some of us, even in the West, are willing to forego the windfall in the name of justice. Some of us are speaking up, unafraid, whether anybody listens or not — I have posted 3 posts about the people of Bahrain and their freedom struggle, complete with pictures in my blogs — I do not have the time or knowledge to cover every freedom struggle in the world but I try to cover some of the things that don’t get much press. I consider all instances of injustice to be Sikh business — I have heard that depleted uranium (DU) bombs have been used in Libya. If I get any reliable information, I will post it at once. The mainstream media certainly won’t.’

LIBYAN CONFLICT: SOME BACKGROUND

Before we go further in our exploration of this subject, let us summarize some of background information on the Libyan situation that is available through the media. The events are part of a wave of protests, all using similar slogans that started from Tunisia spreading to Libya. The catalytic role of social media in organizing the opposition has been another common factor. Also significant is the fact that all the affected countries are Arab Muslim states in the Middle East or North Africa where the ruling elite had been in control for decades.

Let me also clarify that even though the trigger for my search is the above cited discussion on Libya, my purpose is to view the issues thrown up in this conflict as examples of interplay of complex national and international political and economic interests, ideologies, legislation, treaties et al. so that we can relate to such situations from the prism of Sikh principles.

I had, surely like so many others among us, followed with deepening interest the chain of sort of intriguing events that led to changes in regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and that seemed to be putting some other similarly placed regimes in the volatile Middle East under threat of similar developments. Soon enough similar events started playing out in Yemen and Libya – both of these countries, however, responded with force to control the tide. Both had their own history and their strategic importance – Yemen as an ally of the US in their fight against terrorism by radical Islam and Libya suspected for long as supporter of terrorists but due to its oil reserves, a strategically important country for the West.

The protests started in Benghazi and the rebels succeeded in gaining control over Benghazi and some other cities in the East. Gaddafi resorted to use of military force, re-took several coastal cities and his forces were closing in on Benghazi when the UN Security Council adopted a resolution authorizing enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya. A collection of states began enforcing the no-fly zone on 19 March by destroying Gaddafi’s air defenses.

The rebels are primarily civilians, such as teachers, students, lawyers, oil workers and around 1000 defected Libyan Army soldiers. They set up a coalition named the Transitional National Council based in Benghazi. Reports suggest some al-Qaeda presence among rebels and covert CIA, British Special Forces and M 16 support. Saudis and Qatar are likely conduit of arms supplies to rebels.

There are reports of mercenaries being hired and migrants being used as front-line fighters or as human shield for Libyan soldiers in street fights. Snipers, artillery and helicopter gunships are reported used against demonstrators and people harassed in their homes by government agents.

Libyan citizens are considered to be well educated, literacy 87%, and have a high standard of living. Petroleum revenues contribute up to 58% of Libya’s GDP. Gaddafi has also amassed a vast fortune during his 41-year rule. Despite 21% unemployment rate, over a million migrant workers are employed in Libya. Thousands of these migrant workers, who have no means to go back, are being taken care of by Khalsa Aid and Tunisian Red Crescent.

The US, UK and France are calling for regime change in Libya. As against this policy, the US did not even criticize Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in public who ordered security forces to fire that killed 17 peaceful protestors in Taiz because of his help in fighting Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda.

PROTESTS & CIVIC STRUCTURES

A brief understanding of some of the power centers that seem to have ability to influence the civic lives of populace in today’s world might help bring further clarity to situations such as this one in Libya.

Nation states have their sovereign rights that imply their ability to impose their will, by force or threat of force, over the populace or over other states with weaker military or political will. U N Charter is based on sovereignty of member States and this right is jealously guarded by them especially in relation to their handling of internal matters. Nonetheless, there are several countries in the world where civil rights of people are restricted by the ruling regimes and there may have been cases of violation of their human rights. In reality some states have been complicit in or negligent of not protecting the life and property of segments of their populace. Gross abuse of Jews in Nazi Germany, Sikhs in India in 1984, Ahmediyas in Pakistan are few cases. The UN Charter therefore has had limited impact in being able to ensure protection of vulnerable sections within a sovereign state.

As against the sovereign right of the states, there are various conventions on universal human rights and freedoms. Several rights like freedoms of speech, association and assembly seem to convey the sense that the people have a right to protest in case of infringements of these freedoms. Such a right is not guaranteed and may be restricted by the states in the interest of national security, public order and safety or protection of rights and freedoms of others. The states have their constitutions and laws to guide governance but these instruments may be, in some cases, overly influenced by majoritarian interests or not kept shielded from political or other interference.

Therefore some strands of popular thought believe that sovereignty of a nation-state may not be inviolable in extreme circumstances, such as human rights abuses. There are others who do not accept that the states and governments have unrestricted sovereign rights to order the lives of their citizens. Sikh concept of miri piri also envisages sovereignty of the individual in matters of conscience as a divine dispensation, not capable of being restricted by the earthly powers.

Over time a third arena between the state and the society has come to exercise increasing role in negotiating policy choices through collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. This is now referred to as Civil Society populated by organizations such as registered charities, developmental non-governmental organizations, community welfare groups, faith-based organizations, collective bargaining groups, social movements, coalitions and advocacy groups for various interests.

Civil society actors, even though a small segment of society, have acquired ability to exercise disproportionate political power without any elective legitimacy and some see these driven by global elites in their own interests and would prefer these groups linked to and function in the framework of nation and national interest.

The democratic form of government envisages sovereignty vested in the collective body of its citizens, yet instances where majorities have deprived a minority of their rights are aplenty. Theoretically the republican form of government acknowledges that the sovereign power is founded in the people individually and thus guarantees that no minority can be deprived of their rights but no example or practical model of such society can be cited.

Therefore need and necessity for disaffected groups to resort to protest as a means to get their problems resolved has continued. Protests can be nonviolent like strikes, sit-ins or other ways to convey their message or violent like resort to property destruction, assault and murder. The aim of protest movements is to achieve a desired social change or to force societal institutions to address their grievances to the satisfaction of the group. In some cases the changes sought may be of a revolutionary character or essentially need use of force to rectify the ills affecting the society. Sikh canon allows use of force as a last resort when all other means to resolution have failed.

The response of governments to such protests has been varied. The interest or intervention by other nation states or international bodies has been mostly guided by some kind of national or collective strategic consideration rather than for reasons of principled concern for achieving a resolution of the underlying causes.

DISCUSSION ON DISCUSSION

To start with I wish to complement Ranvir for raising the topic and all those who responded. It was an unchartered area even for a group like GLZ but a type of discussion that we should be engaged in, not only from civic perspective but also from our religious perspective. At the same time it is clear that the conversation did not quite catch the interest of the participants and the main question about principled Sikh position largely remained unanswered.

It is tempting to get into a post mortem of the discussion based on hind sight and to identify pointers as to how it could have become more purposeful but that would detract us from our purpose of trying to find some answers to the search that Ranvir seemed to have in mind. We would therefore avoid that diversion and sum up the questions or comments that came up in the discussion for us to keep in mind as we delve into the search as we proceed further:

  • It is an international issue not related to Sikhs and Sikhs have no voice in Security Council because there is no Sikh State
  • If both the possible choices [to intervene or not to intervene] have potential pitfalls and would likely be subject to hindsight criticism, what should be the proper Sikh response?
  • All issues of injustice should concern Sikhs. We should use democratic opportunity to make our position known. Miri Piri should be our guide and we should not support actions outside the laws.
  • We should support rebels because the government should be with the consent of people
  • Are we silent because it is not a Sikh issue or we feel that nobody will listen to us anyway?

SEARCHING FOR SIKH PRINCIPLES

We may clarify that our attempt would be to relate what the Gurus said or did to many of the vexing questions inherent in the complexity that we are looking at, cognizant of changed societal norms and expectations. In other words we would try and avoid transposing concepts to contemporary setting in a literal kind of interpretation.

Should Sikhs be Concerned?

Humanitarian issues have no boundaries, nor are these constrained by any man made division or stratification. Sikhs believe in ek pita ekas kae hum balak with all the humans living under God’s dispensation. Within the social systems, the rulers and the ruled have their respective roles; likewise there are laws and norms of behavior but well being of all and common good is a shared concern. Sikhs pray for sarbat ka bhala – well being of one and all seek the boon of not shying away from righteous causes – deh shiva bar mohe shubh karman te kabh-hoon neh taroon. Guru Tegh Bahadur gave his life for the cause of religious freedom for Hindus. Guru Nanak raised his voice against tyranny of the ruling elite and the suffering inflicted on the innocent by Babur’s forces. As such the assertion that all issues that may cause suffering to the innocent or lead to injustice and discrimination are a concern of Sikhs is well placed and supported by both Sikh theology and lives of the Gurus.

Manner in which the Sikh concern is articulated in a situation like that prevailing in Libya is a matter of choice. An altruistic, proactive intervention like the service that Khalsa Aid is rendering to those fleeing the conflict is commendable though while taking positions, those speaking for or as Sikhs, should take guidance from Sikh principles. The test of true altruitic act is the need of the recipient, not their antecedents, beliefs or acts as guided by the example of Bhai Kanhaiya.

Sikh Position on Rights

Gurbani teaches us to develop our abilities to make choices that may be more acceptable to the divine. This makes the Sikh concept of dharam an evolving sense of the conscious rather than the equivalence of duty – kartaveya – as in the caste based social ethics. This also turns the way we look at ourselves on its head. The Guru says that God bestowed humans with extra merit – manas ko prabh daiyee vadayaee – and that other species are to serve purpose of man – avar joni teri panihari. At the same time we are told that the Creator likes this world as He created and that all the created species have their assigned roles – thus telling us where our place is in the matrix of the created – high only because it gives us the chance to connect with the divine and serve the divine purpose.

The created all live per the divine will and ordinance – hukam. Therefore essentially the sacha patshah is the karta purkh and we must live in this temporality that is real, and relate to it in a manner that helps us not lose this opportunity to be able to merge in the divine light. This can happen only through grace – nadar – not by our thinking that we have done my bit and now it should be ours. Whatever we receive, good or bad, is divine gift. So we really have no rights – only opportunity to do what may be deemed acceptable by the Guru and be thankful for what we receive. Yet we must strive for caring for our own and sharing with the needy.

Of the temporality there are two visions – halemi raj and be-gam pura. Both envisage a free human mind in search for divine connection – halemi raj more definitive about our personal attributes to rise above our infirmities and create social structures that help transform others. The term raj does carry the connotation of a structure but is not geographically bound – it transcends it in the same manner as sangats did across the bounds of rajas.

UDHR is a version in the modern evolved metaphors of what is considered an encouraging social environment for human development. Sikh thought is a precursor of same human urges but goes way beyond it – it is a vision that brings it a true sense of universality in that it is god given and not sanctioned by laws. This gift of divinely ordained autonomy of the individual is the foundational principle of miri piri. Within this framework there is mutuality of roles, responsibilities and obligations between the state, the society and the people to promote the virtuous, subdue the evil, assure collective well being and security and dignity of all. Thus as a principle, the Sikh assertion of individual autonomy is balanced by acceptance to live by their dharma and to let others live by theirs.

Choice of Protest by Libyans

The events indicate that there was no immediate provocation for start of the protests in Libya except that similar protests had taken place in its two neighboring countries. Libya did share a characteristic with these countries in that it had also been under the rule of a strongman for a very long period with no likelihood of change. Even though Libyans are economically better off than others in the region, existence of activists, both within and outside Libya looking for change in Libya cannot be ruled out. Start of peaceful protest and strong response by Libya to contain the protest therefore was not unexpected. Also given the history of Libyan support to terrorists, foreign complicity and support to the protesting groups is a strong possibility.

Most reports suggest that the protestors started the agitation with the objective to bring about deposition of Gaddafy and have democratic elections. The question therefore is if from Sikhi perspective, a segment of populace has the right to demand change of regime.

Guru Nanak says that God when creating the universe also fashioned demi-gods and demons, heavenly heralds and celestial musicians – all to act according to their past karma.[1] Evildoers therefore came into being by divine design though there is suggestion in SGGS that through the ages, humans have increasingly fallen into evil ways [Asa M IV, p. 445]. Kaljug is giving birth to demonical people.[2]

Sikh approach is not to give up on persuasion and reconciliation. Guru Gobind Singh, after all that he endured, invited Aurangzeb: ‘Come to me so that we may converse with each other, and I may utter some kind words to thee.’ (verse 60, Zafarnama) Security of the state is expected of the rulers but if they lose their moral and ethical moorings, the Creator may punish them and lay the country to waste[3] – – if they had focused on Him beforehand, then why should they be punished? This came to pass because the ruling elite had lost their higher consciousness as they reveled in pleasure and sensuality.[4]

Our reading is that longevity of a ruling individual or dynasty did not ever become a factor in determining legitimacy of a ruler. The media reports have portrayed Gaddafi as a ruthless and deceptive ruler. Sikh thought expects administration should be free of corruption, just and not oppressive but vigilant and protective of the state and its citizens [Asa M I, p. 417]. Halemi raaj places value on qualities of humility, demonstrated personal character and spirit of seva in a ruler [Sri Rag M V, p. 73]. Switching form of governance including to democracy, absent such safeguards, is well short of the Sikh ideals.

The question then arises as to what is the purpose of such protests and if these can continue to be seen to be righteous if these turn violent. Guru Nanak decried corruption and oppression committed by the ruling elite. He strongly reproved their acts but did not call for their ouster or intended to incite a revolution. Guru Tegh Bahadur rose above fear and chose martyrdom rather than capitulate – again an act of principled non violent resistance.

The example of Guru Hargobind shows that purpose of the Guru was principled resistance to unreasonable or offensive acts by the ruling elite and Sikhs fought back when force was used against them. At the same time though the Guru did not want disruption of the right of Sikhs to peaceful and honorable living, since the conflicts kept resurfacing, he decided to move away to ward off worsening of situation. Obviously the Guru was not interested in a violent struggle for overturning the Mughal rule.

Dealing with Internal Inimical Elements

The battle of Bhangani fought by the 10th Guru suggests some guidance here. The Guru did not hesitate to defend himself when challenged in peaceful pursuit of life and was victorious. The Guru summed up his victory as protection of the virtuous against the wicked, saying: ‘Saints were protected and the wicked were killed.’[5] After the victorious battle he decided to leave Paonta and established the village of Anandpur from where he turned out those who had not joined forces with him and patronized those who had bravely stood by him.[6] Since in spite of his victory, he did not assume control of the territories of the vanquished, clearly his objective was only to rectify the disruption caused to his peaceful enjoyment of life in Paonta. He however did take steps to protect security of his own domain at Anandpur by removing the untrustworthy from the town.

Aggression & Response

A question that is relevant concerns about those who are not directly involved in the conflict. Guru Gobind Singh mentions about observing this distinction in Zafarnama saying that when lakhs of Mughal troops pounced upon just forty of his ‘I had perforce to join battle and I too fought with the muskets and arrows as best as I could (verse 21) — But even as we fought we did not hurt or molest those who had not aggressed against us. (verse 28)’ This implies that those who have not taken part in the act of aggression, are not to be targeted. Therefore attacking the troops or assets actually used in the conflict is permissible but pre-emptive attacks in a bid to destroy military capability or taking out leaders is not permissible from Sikh principles.

To grasp these complexities, some explanation of the Sikh principles should help. Sikh belief is that the doer of all happenings is none other than God and anything that proceeds from God cannot be evil.[7] However the evil instincts have grown stronger in humans over the ages and now the strife ridden struggles of this world are consuming it.[8] While Sikhs are persuaded to tread the path of righteousness and work for curbing the evil, We must however appreciate that success of any intervention or victory in a conflict is indicative of cessation or resolution of immediate cause for hostilities. This also explains the sant ubhaaran, dusht nivaaran mission of Guru Gobind Singh and claims of victory in his mission in episodes written in Bachiter Natak and the title of Zafarnama or the epistle of victory for his other work reflecting on the other series of conflicts he was involved in.

Some comments of Guru Gobind Singh in Zafarnama are very relevant for not only the belligerents but also their proxy supporters and the so called peace maker watchdog agencies like the UN. They must be cognizant that God would have wished for them to promote harmony and tranquility among the people, not to create strife instead. (verse 65) They should also heed the caution that bravery does not consist in putting out a few sparks and in the process stir up a fire to rage all the more! (verse 79) Some of the UN and multilateral maneuvering has not helped bring peace but have instead only caused the problems to turn more difficult to resolve than if these were left to direct negotiation between conflicting parties. Outstanding examples of these are Palestine and Kashmir issues. Likewise their pliant response to powerful interests is so apparent when one looks at the apathetic attitude towards grave humanitarian crisis like Rwanda and Haiti.

The Khanzada episode says that the Guru was thankful ‘the blood thirsty Khans fled away without using their weapons — they were filled with great anger and returning plundered and destroyed village Barwa— but they could not touch me because of the grace of the Lord.’[9] A similar sentiment of thankfulness at having been spared from a wrathful encounter has been expressed by the Guru at the end of his description of the Hussaini[10] conflict when he says ‘the victory was gained and the battle ended. All thought of their homes and went back. The Lord protected us by making the battle-cloud rain elsewhere.’[11] These two episodes suggest that those spared from becoming victims of a raging conflict must be thankful. The conflict happens nonetheless and there are those who suffer.

Concluding

We can thus look at a conflict situation like the one in Libya, from a collective perspecive or from one’s own standpoint as an involved indivdual and be guided by some of the precepts that we have talked of for the overall collective good. It is not an easy call but at least it will inspire deeper examination of the multipple facets the conflict situation inheres.

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[1] Dhaev Dhaanav Gan Gandhharab Saajae Sabh Likhiaa Karam Kamaaeidhaa – Maru Solhe M I, p. 1038

[2] kalee andar naanakaa jinnaan daa aoutaar – Bihagra M I, p. 556

[3] aapai dhos n dhaeee karathaa jam kar mugal charraaeiaa— rathan vigaarr vigoeae kutha(n)aee mueiaa saar n kaaeeAsa M I, p. 360

[4] ago dhae jae chaetheeai thaa(n) kaaeith milai sajaae saahaa(n) surath gavaaeeaa ra(n)g thamaasai chaae – Asa M I, p. 417

[5] Read Bachiter Natak for details. The particular quote is Sant ubaar dust sabh ghaae  – Dasam Granth, p. 149

[6] Judh joot aae jabai tikai na tin pur paanv  Kaahloor main baandhiyo aan aanandpur gaanv  Je je nar tah nab hire doone nagar nikaar  Je tih thaur bhale bhire tinai karoo pratipaar – DasamGranth p. 149

[7] Iss te hoey sau haahee burra, orai kahau kinay kacchu karraa – Gauri Sukhmani, M V, p. 294

[8] Kaleh burree sansar waddai khapeeai – Majh M I, p. 142

[9] Bhaje Khaan khoonoo binaa sastra jhaare — Barvaa gaaon ujaar kai kare mukaam Bhalaan  Prabh bal hamai na chhue sakai bhaajat bhae nidaan Tah bal oohaa na par sakai Barvaa hanaa risaae – Dasam Granth, p. 155

[10] Hussain supported by Rajas Kirpal and Bhim Chand besieged Guler for two days. Raja Gopal sued for peace and asked the Guru’s help in negotiating a settlement with Hussain. The Guru sent Sangtia with an escort of seven troopers for the purpose but they could not reach any settlement and a battle ensued in which Hussain, Kirpal and Guru’s envoy Sangtia and his seven troopers were all killed. Raja Gopal was victorious.

[11] Joot bhaoo ran bhayo ujhaaraa  Simrit(i) kar(i) sabh gharo sidhaaraa  Raakh(i) looyo ham ko jagraaoo  Loh ghataa antaoo barsaaoo – Dasam Granth, p. 166

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