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Monday, November 8, 2010

UNC set: Gur-ta-gaddi

ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ ਅਕਾਲ ਕੀ ਤਬੀ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਪੰਥ ।
ਸਭ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ।
ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਪ੍ਗਟ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਕੀ ਦੇਹ ।
ਜੋ ਪ੍ਭ ਕੋ ਮਿਲਬੋ ਚਹੈ ਖੋਜ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਮੈਂ ਲੇਹ ।

Gur-ta-gaddi cover
gur ta gaddi unc set coverGur-ta-gaddi obevrse
gur ta gaddi unc set obverseReverse
gur ta gaddi unc set reversegur-ta-gaddi 100 rupee obverse
gur ta gaddi 100rupee obverse100 rupee reverse
gur ta gaddi 100 rs reverseThe reverse shows the Harmandir Sahab,( Punjabi: ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ) meaning "Temple of God," or Golden Temple, also Darbar Sahib (Punjabi: ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ), is the holiest shrine of Sikhism.

In 1577, the fourth guru of the Sikhs Guru Ram Das ji excavated a tank which was later on expanded, and also gave name to the city that developed around it: Amritsar(meaning pool of the nectar of immortality). In due time, a splendid Sikh edifice, the Harmandir Sahab was constructed in the middle of the pool and it became the supreme sanctum of Sikhism.Its sanctum came to house the Adi Granth comprising compositions, Sikh values, philosophies and teachings of the Sikh Gurus and other saints of Guru Nanak's time, e.g. Ravidas a Hindu Guru, Baba Farid a Sufi Sant (Saint) and Kabir, all of whom the Sikhs refer to as the Bhagats. The compilation of the Adi Granth was started by the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev.

The Golden Temple has been attacked and destroyed a number of times by various forces over the centuries, including attacks by the Mughals and the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Abdali who went to the point of blowing up the temple with gunpowder and filling the sarovar (sacred pool) with the carcasses of slaughtered cows and people; but each time the attackers got destroyed and the temple was revived like a phoenix.

Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded the Indus valley and India a total of eight times(1747-1764). His fear was such that the Mughals had to recognize his suzerainty over Kashmir and Punjab and could do nothing from putting up a puppet ruler on the Mughal throne. Even the united Marathas under Sadashiv Bhau, perhaps the strongest force in India at that time, were defeated decisively in the third battle of Panipat(perhaps India's equivalent of Waterloo, given that Pani means water), which was fought over a twelve kilometer battlefront. Abdali had the largest Islamic empire in the world at that time. It was in such a time that the Sikhs rebelled a number of times against Abdali, and finally the Afghan forces under Abdali's general Jahan Khan were ANNIHILATED by the Sikh army under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. Abdali died in 1773 from a cancerous wound he got in 1764, which is said to have been caused by a flying brick when he was going about demolishing the Golden temple.

Any mention of battle with Jahan Khan and the Afghans will not be complete without the name of Shaheed (martyr) Baba Deep Singh ji (1682-1757) , whose valor in battle is unprecedented and still unsurpassed. On hearing that the Afghans had defiled the temple and Amritsar, even in his age of 76 he picked up his 15Kg Khanda(two edged sword) and took a pledge to drive the Afghans out of Amritsar and teach them a fitting lesson. Baba Deep Singh ji gathered a total of above 5000 Sikh soldiers and then drew a line in the sand with his khanda, and asked only those who were willing to fight and die to cross the line.

All the assembled Sikhs crossed the line eagerly. Then he recited the shabad:

ਜਓ ਤਓ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਨ ਕਾ ਚਾਓ, ਸਿਰ ਧਰ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਓ ||
ਇਤ ਮਾਰਗ ਪੈਰ ਧਰੀਜੈ, ਸਿਰ ਦੀਜੈ ਕਾਨ ਨਾ ਕੀਜੈ ||
"jao tao prem khelan ka chao, sir dhar tali gali meri ao ||
it maarag pair dhareejai, sir deejai kan na keejai ||"

(meaning : Those who wish to play the game of love (to follow the Sikh path), come to me with your head in your palm. If you wish your feet to travel this path, don't delay in accepting to give your head.)

A fierce battle was fought between the Sikh and Afghan forces, and Babaji's head was cut off in a duel when he was still far from the temple. When some nearby Sikh reminded him of his pledge, the miracle which then manifested has no precedent or occurred ever after. Babaji supported his head with his left hand and with his right, he swung his khanda with such ferocity and skill that to flee was the best course of action that the opposing forces could take. The very sight of such a spectacle was enough to rend the hearts of the Afghans with fear. Then fighting along the way, he reached Amritsar where he offered his head and breathed his last.

In the last century one of the most tragic events, in the Operation Bluestar in June 1984, the Indian army mounted an attack which caused severe damage to the Akal Takhat and the whole complex. A bullets or a piece of shrapnel hit and killed one Sewadar inside the temple itself). Even the SGGS(sri guru granth sahab) being read by a Granthi was pierced by a bullet. The beautiful marble slabs that cover the Parikarma (the promenade that surrounds the Sarovar) were cut deeply, some even broken as the Indian army called in heavy tanks whose tracks cut deeply into the marble. Besides being damaged by the tanks, the blood of the attackers, the occupiers and unknown numbers of innocent pilgrims flowed from the bodies that covered the walkway, staining the marble and filling the mortar between each slab. As of now, the shrine is in its utmost glory and is adorned with gold.

Below the picture of the Golden temple, the inscription reads: "Bani Guru Guru hai Bani", which means that the hymns written in the Guru Granth Sahab ji have to be regarded as the Guru (or teacher).


Gur-ta-gaddi bimetal 10 rupee
gur ta gaddi 10 rupee
This set was released on the occasion of 300 years of gur ta gaddi, or the consecration of Guru Granth Sahab, the holy book of the Sikhs, as the last Sikh guru. This happened at Nanded in Maharshatra with the parlok gaman(or death) of the last Sikh guru to be embodied, Guru Gobind Singh. In his last moments he proclaimed Guru Granth Sahab to be the embodiment of the ten gurus. Guru Gobind Singh Ji's last sermon:

ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ ਅਕਾਲ ਕੀ ਤਬੀ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਪੰਥ ।
ਸਭ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ।
ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਪ੍ਗਟ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਕੀ ਦੇਹ ।
ਜੋ ਪ੍ਭ ਕੋ ਮਿਲਬੋ ਚਹੈ ਖੋਜ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਮੈਂ ਲੇਹ ।

"agya bhai akal ki tabhi chalayo panth,
sabh sikhan ko hukam hai guru manyo granth.
guru granth ji manyo pragat guran ki deh.
jo prabh ko milbo chahe khoj shabad me le."

This means that the panth or sect was started under orders of the almighty. All the Sikhs are hereby ordered to accept Guru Granth Sahab as their Guru. Guru Granth sahab has to be regarded as representing the guru's body. Those who wish to meet the Guru can find their way through the hymns in the granth.

Guru Granth Sahab contains 1430 pages of text in poetry form. The Bible was not written by Jesus Christ, nor was the Koran written by the prophet Mohammed, but Guru Granth Sahab was written by the gurus themselves, from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh ji. Guru Granth sahab is also regarded as the eleventh guru.

1 comment:

  1. The detail on the coin looks amazing :). I wonder who does the design for these commemorative coins

    ReplyDelete