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 At 4.30 in the morning, a bright light appeared and stopped in front of Guru Granth Sahib ji, just like people said it would. Everyone started saying “Dhan Guru Ram Das!
For those of us who’ve been to Darbaar Sahib Amritsar, we may have noticed a sign outside on the Darshani Deori that reads,

“It is for the knowledge of all that in Harimandir Sahib on April 30, 1877 at 4.30 in the morning, a strange thing happened. There were about four hundred devotees enjoying spiritual peace of celestial music in Harimandir Sahib when suddenly a flash of lighting was seen which in the form of a big resplendence entered through the door on the mountain-side and exploded exactly like a ball in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and illuminating everything then went out, becoming a streak of light through the southern door–though at the time of its exploding there was a dreadful and forceful sound, no harm of any kind occurred to any devotee sitting inside and no harm to the building or anything else in the precinct. All the people described this supernatural scene as the wonderful doing of Sri Guru Ram Das himself”

(translation based on one in "Strange but True in Sikhism" by SS Kohli p.11

This miracle changed the Sikh community and saved it from disappearing.

Challenges faced by the Sikh community 

After the fall of Sikh Kingdom in 1849, the Sikh community faced serious problems. The Gurdwaras were controlled by Mahants who put Hindu idols there and stopped "low castes" from coming in. British people wrote that Amrit sanchaar almost never happened. Sikh women had given up their distinct appearance and didn't follow rehit or take amrit anymore. The British even started photographing the Sikhs because they thought this "fading group" should be remembered in history and shown in museums one day as part of India's past.

The British made a robust effort to convert Sikhs. Many important Sikhs left the faith during this time. Raja Ranjit Singh’s general, Jowand Sikh Mokhal’s family became Muslims, Beharwala Sardar Isher Singh turned Muslim because of a woman, Harnam Singh from the Kapurthala Royal family took up Christianity , Dayal Singh Majithia joined Brahmo Samaj and gave the Daily Tribune, Dayal Singh College, and a Library to the group.

Renowned Sikh landlords Mangal Singh Virk and Charat Singh of Barhar decided to become Muslims because of Muslim women. In 1873, four Sikh boys named Aya Singh, Attar Singh, Sadhu Singh, and Santokh Singh wanted to convert to Christianity and were ready to cut their hair. However, they later changed their minds.

Harmandir Sahib was controlled by the British Government, and they appointed a Sikh manager named Mangal Singh to oversee the site. The British had plans to use Shri Darbaar Sahib as the main location for the Christian Church and turn the complex into a large church. They even placed crucifixes near the entrance of Shri Darbaar Sahib, close to the foot-washing area.

Sardar Mangal Singh, though favoring the British, was greatly disturbed by these rumors. He sought answers from Punjab's Lieutenant Governor butgot no reassurance. Instead, he was told to speak with the Viceroy.

The Viceroy was at GobindGarh fort in Amritsar. Sardar Mangal Singh went to see him and was told that the British had the right to own, manage, and decide what happens to all property that used to belong to the Sikh regime.

The miracle 

Feeling disheartened, the Sikhs gathered in a Gurdwara to figure out what to do. They decided to hold a special prayer, Akhand Path Sahib, in Darbaar Sahib and pray that their sacred place would be protected.

The next day, people gathered at Harmandir Sahib for Asa Di Vaar. A special officer from the Viceroy was there too to see what was happening. At 4.30 in the morning, a bright light appeared and stopped in front of Guru Granth Sahib ji, just like people said it would. Everyone started saying “Dhan Guru Ram Das!”

Word of this incident spread rapidly throughout Punjab, reaching far and wide, as people discussed and shared the news across the region. Many people who saw it wrote down their names to prove it really happened. Even the special officer was surprised and told the British Government that it wouldn't be right to try to take over Darbaar Sahib.

This was Guru Ram Das himself blessing the Sikhs. It let them know that Guru was always there for them. At a time when there were hardly any Sikhs following the true path and Hindu practices were taking over, Guru Ram Das did this miracle to wake them up. It sparked movements like the Gurdwara Reform Movement and the Singh Sabha Movement, which pushed out Hindu influences and helped Sikhs come back to their roots. The whole community stood up to protect Sikhi, saving it from almost disappearing.

Today, Sikhism faces challenges from governments, and many Sikh youngsters feel lost. It's crucial for Sikhs to understand the origins and to protect our faith. When we take action, we can trust that Guru Ji is with us, guiding us towards success.

May Guru Ji Bless us with Sikhi Sidak,

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
 

*Based on an article published in Waheguru Simran Foundation on 4th September 2013

 

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