www www.sarbloh.info
Information Site Map Glossary Articles Sanatan Skhs Sanatan Sikh Scriptures Sanatan Sikh Gurus Universal Faith The Truth Introduction
The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
Page 2 of 8

Bedis cont'd

From amongst the numerous Bedi clans scattered all over Punjab, the most famous was that of a one Baba Kaladhari. According to the text ‘Siri Bir Mirgesh Gurbilas’, by the famous Nirmala ‘Sant-Sipahi’ (saint and warrior) Bhai Vir Singh, Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji used to salute Baba Kaladhari, and then seat him next to himself in the Guru’s ‘Durbar’ (court). The tenth Guru greatly respected Baba Kaladhari as a holy man, and as a descendant of Akali Guru Nanak. Upon leaving Anandpur Sahib, the Guru would always present Baba Kaladhari with gifts such as horses, robes of honour, and 500 rupees. In fact, history recalls of how, in similar manner, Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh respected and gifted all holy men of the Bedi lineage.

Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji
A gold plate depicting the tenth Sikh Guru accompanied by his warrior
Akali Nihang SinghKhalsa during Holla Mohalla festivities at Anandpur Sahib

Another tale recalls of how a young lad belong to the ‘Suniayara’ (goldsmith) caste came and served Baba Kaladhari. The young lad served the Bedis assiduously, but when he came of age, he decided to leave the Bedis, and established himself at a new ‘Dera’ (spiritual base). He began to dress like the Bedis, wearing the well-recognized ‘Seli Topi’ (silk cap), and passed himself of as a genuine Bedi.

Seli Topi
A 'Seli Topi' (left) from the Pothimala building at Guruharsahai claimed to belong to Akali Guru
Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj. Sriman 108 Mahant Baba Sahib Diyal Sewa Panthi (right) depicted wearing a 'Seli Topi'

Many simpleton Sikhs of the time, considering him a descendant of Akali Guru Nanak, began to pay homage to him. As time progressed, his fame made him wealthy and arrogant. The ill-gotten earnings he squandered on alcohol. Bhai Vir Singh writes of how this young lad, in his folly went to Anandpur Sahib to visit the Guru. He hoped the Guru would bestow gifts and give him the recognition all the other Bedi Sikhs received. If the Guru were indeed genuine, he would see through this deception.

That same day, a genuine Bedi had come to pay his respects to Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh. The Suniayara went and mingled in, and presented himself to the Guru. The Guru got up, welcomed the two Bedis, and invited them to sit next to him on the Guru’s seat. However, he maneuvered himself so that the Suniayara would have no place to sit. As the time came for the Bedis to depart, as was the tradition, the Guru lavished gifts on the Bedis – horses, fine robes, and 500 rupees each. The Suniayara, thinking he had deceived the great Guru began to consider whether Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh was a false Guru. As he made his way from Anandpur Sahib, the Guru’s personal Nihang bodyguards caught up with him and ordered him to return. He was warned that if he resisted, he would be taken by force. On realizing that his plan failed, he panicked. Bhai Bir Singh continues with the tale:

‘They [the Guru’s warriors] went and stood in Guru’s presence and announced:
“True King, he [the Suniayara] who you sent us to bring back we have brought back with the horses and rupees.”
The command was given [by Guru] bring his ‘Seli Topi’ (silk cap). The Singhs then took the ‘Seli Topi’ off the imposter Suniayara [and gave it] to the master. On saluting the ‘Seli Topi’ with great respect, [the Guru] placed it on his pillow and gave the command:
“Execute him, and give him position of Masands”.
The Singh did as commanded. He [the Suniayara] was beaten to death with shoes, dragged and thrown in a ditch to die. Then the Guru uttered this verse:
“Deceives he the world and manipulates the people. In the end, death cuts him down and he resides in hell.”
‘Ajooni’, January-February 1984, Pa. 15

On the death of the Suniayara, rumors spread that like the corrupt Masands earlier, the Guru had now begun to kill the Bedis. Out of fear, the Bedis stopped coming to Anandpur.

Anandpur Sahib
Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa warriors of the Budha Dal with 'Nishaan Sahibs'
(battle standards) make their way to Shaheedi Bagh at Anandpur Sahib to begin Holla Mohalla festivities

Page 2