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Baba Deep Singh

Baba Deep Singh was a saint-soldier in the real sense of the word. He had the honor of having been baptized by Guru Gobind Singh ji himself. He had won many battles for Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. He was a well known scholar of his time. He and Bhai Mani Singh had assisted Guru Gobind Singh ji in the preparation of the final text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Damdama Sahib (Guru Ki Kanshi), a well known Gurdwara in District Bhatinda. Baba Deep Singh was in charge of that sacred Gurdwara. Copies of the sacred Scriptures written in his hand were treated as most authentic.

Ahmad Shah Abdali, a cruel foreign invader experienced a great deal of trouble at the hands of the Sikhs when he returned to Afghanistan after looting Delhi on his fourth invasion. While at Lahore he sent a force to destroy the sacred Darbar Sahib at Amritsar, to plunder the city and to punish the Sikhs. The sacred buildings were demolished and the tank was filled up with dirt.

On hearing this news, Baba Deep Singh ji in his late seventies was deeply pained and hurt. He decided to liberate the Golden Temple from the Mughal hands and vowed to celebrate the next festival of Diwali at Amritsar.

He started off with five hundred dedicated young Sikhs but by the time, he reached Amritsar, he had about five thousand spirited companions heading towards Darbar Sahib.

Mean while, Jahan Khan, Deputy Governor of Lahore, along with a large force of mounted armed soldiers proceeded to stop Baba Deep Singh’s advance. A holy war was declared by the Mughals and every able-bodied Muslim was called upon to join the Mughal forces.

The two forces met near Amritsar. The Sikhs fought very bravely and caused heavy causalities on the Lahore army which ran in all directions. Soon, a fresh reinforcement of a large army contingent equipped with artillery arrived and the Lahore forces regrouped themselves to put up a fierce fight. Sikhs under Baba Deep Singh ji kept fighting heroically as they advanced towards Amritsar.

Just outside the city of Amritsar, Baba Deep Singh received a mortal wound in his neck. He was about to fall when he was reminded of his pledge to reach Darbar Sahib and throw out the tyrants. He was bleeding heavily. His head had almost separated from his neck, but he didn’t lose his heart. He supported his head with his left hand and plying his double edged sword (Khanda) with the right hand, he made his way to Darbar Sahib. There he fell and breathed his last in the periference (Parikarma) of Darbar Sahib.

His martyrdom took place in 1757. At the place where he was wounded stands a Gurdwara called Shaheed Ganj Baba Deep Singh ji. Shaheed means a martyr and Ganj stands for treasure. His martyrdom teaches us to protect our sacred places even if the price to pay be our life.

 

Sikh Martyrs