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The Sanatan Sikhs - The Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa
Page 8 of 19


Modern Day Perceptions and Misconceptions cont'd

The evidence in one remarkable passage contained in the writings of Koer Singh, Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh calls himself a Nihang. Koer Singh relates how when the Guru was besieged at Anandpur by the combined Muslim-Hindu forces, and they broke their pledges of safe passage, the Guru fired his cannon into them and said these words:

'The Guru fired his cannon from the top of the fort. Limbs [of the besieging soldiers] were mish-mashed and twisted. A great battle ensued. Guru [Gobind Singh] calls himself a Nihang, twisting hands and small limbs. Such a cannon is great that fires from Anandpur. [Guru Gobind Singh] worships this cannon. The master himself had it cast. The first cannon was cast small. It strikes where it is desired. He fires the cannon and then tells them his name. This is the great deed of Nihangs. He does not let the [enemy] warriors group.'
('Gurbilas Dasmi', Koer Singh, 1751, Pa. 188)

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab
A photograph of the inner grounds of the Gurudwara at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

Even when Koer Singh describes the attire of Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh in battle helping the Moghul Emperor Bahadur Shah, it is obvious that he is but an Akali Nihang:

'He [Guru Gobind Singh] is present dressed in a blue chola [loose apparel worn by Akali Nihangs] and on his arm a hawk, and a plume in his turban. [He wears] a blue plume, a blue jewel [in the plume] and blue clothes - the blue jewel is large. It is as if the clouds have spread a net and he is the streak of lightening. Bahadur Shah watches him.'
('Gurbilas Dasmi', Koer Singh, 1751, Pa.289)

A photograph of a plume adorned with blue sapphires much like the great
Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji would have worn in his 'Dastaar Boongah' (towering conical turban)

Akali Nihangs contest that Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh was the foremost Akali Nihang and the Khalsa Panth he created was an Akali Nihang Singh Panth. Rattan Singh Bhangoo, speaking of the code of conduct given to the Khalsa on its conception by the great Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh, writes:

'Be initiated into the Khalsa and go hunting.
Preserve the martial traditions any way you can.
Chatka goats and eat them.
Do not eat carrion or Halal meat [animal slaughtered in the Muslim way].
Nurture your long hair.
Do not cut your hair with a razor.
Forsake your ancestral ways.
Focus on the Guru's feet.
They who get on the wrong path punish them.
Whatever method [of initiation] the Guru has ordained, do it.
From five Bhujangis [Nihangs] be initiated.'
('Panth Prakash', Expurgated by Vir Singh, Pa.44)

Akali Nihang Singhs prepare to Chatka (kill with one blow)
a 'Chatangha' (specially selected goat) at a Nihang Shauni (base-camp) in Punjab

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