POINTS TO PONDER
"Don't secure me, secure my
"We never started a war before,
"I honor and obey the saints and punish the wicked.
"Your value is not in how many experiences you have had.
is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant Sipahi); this is a complete person.
MAHARANI JIND KAUR - SANT SIPAHI
On August 1, 1863, shortly after 6:15 in the evening, a frail and partially-blind queen who had spent much of her life raging against the British Empire, died in her bed on the top floor of a Kensington townhouse.
It was a peculiar and remarkably quiet end for a woman once the scourge of the British Raj in India. Only 15 years earlier, Jind Kaur, the Maharani of the Punjab, had encouraged the Sikh Empire to wage two disastrous wars against the British which led to the annexation of the Punjab and Jind being torn from her son when he was just nine-years-old.
Adopted by a dour colonial surgeon, that son, Duleep Singh, swiftly shed his Punjabi customs, converted to Christianity and moved to England to live the life of a respectable country squire, shooting grouse on his estate and hosting decadent parties for Britain's Victorian elite.
The "Black Prince", as he was known in London, became firm friends with Queen Victoria, only to fall from grace after he was caught trying to persuade Russia to invade India and return his kingdom to him. His tale has been well documented.
But for the first time his mother's remarkable life has been uncovered by a British historian, Peter Bance, who publishes his findings in the book Maharajah Duleep Singh – Sovereign, Squire And Rebel.
While researching a tome on the Duleep Singh family, which lived in exile on a sprawling country estate near Thetford, Norfolk, Mr. Bance stumbled upon the gravestone of Jind Kaur in the catacombs of the Kensal Green Dissenters' Chapel. Historians had assumed that the Maharani's cremation occurred in India but here was a simple white marble tombstone in London with her name on it.
As cremation was illegal in Britain at the time it appears that the Maharani's remains were kept in the chapel for nearly a year while Duleep arranged for her to be taken home. The astonishing relic of a person who made no secret of her dislike for the country where she eventually died lay hidden for more than a century.
Mr. Bance has dug into who Jind Kaur really was, why she ended up dying in the capital of a country that was once her sworn enemy and how, as her life slipped away in a cold London townhouse, she reawakened her son's royal heritage and inspired him to take back his lost kingdom.
"It's an amazing find because Jind Kaur was only buried in Britain for little over year and yet someone went to the trouble of creating this very ornate gravestone for her," says Mr. Bance. "The inscription is partly in English and partly in the Sikh Gurmukhi script and what makes it unusual is that very few people in Britain at the time would have been able to translate Gurmukhi, let alone carve it into marble. She is the first documented Sikh woman in Britain."
To say that Jind Kaur was a thorn in the side of the East India Company would be an understatement. She was born into humble origins, the daughter of the Royal Kennel Keeper at the Sikh court in Lahore, but she was ravishingly beautiful and soon caught the attention of the Punjab's greatest ruler, the one-eyed Ranjit Singh.
Having kept the British at bay for decades, Ranjit's empire began to crumble with his death in 1839. Following a series of bloody succession battles, Jind Kaur emerged as regent for Duleep who was less than a year old when his father died.
Concerned about the instability (and attracted to the kingdom's fabulous wealth) Britain began preparing to take the Punjab, goading the Sikh armies into two wars that eventually led to the disappearance of an indigenous Asian empire that stretched from the Khyber Pass to Kashmir.
Jind Kaur was instrumental in organising the Sikh resistance, rallying her generals to return to battle and plotting rebellion once the British finally took over the Punjab in 1849.
To halt her influence on the young Duleep, the Punjab's new colonial masters dragged the Queen away from her son and imprisoned her. The British press began a smear campaign against the Maharani, labelling her the "Messalina of the Punjab", portraying her as a licentious seductress who was too rebellious to control.
In a final act of defiance Jind Kaur escaped her jailers dressed as a slave girl and trekked 800 miles to Nepal where she was given begrudging asylum and a place in Sikh folklore as a national hero.
She was only allowed to see her son 13 years later when he returned to Kolkata for a tiger-hunting trip. Duleep asked to bring his mother from Kolkata to England. The British Government decided the last Queen of the Punjab no longer posed a threat and gave him permission.
But a number of historians now believe it was Jind Kaur's brief reunion with her son in the country she despised that rekindled Duleep's desire to take back his kingdom.
"In a way she had the last laugh," says Harbinder Singh, director of the Anglo-Sikh Heritage Trail.
"When you look at the life of Duleep Singh the moment where he began to turn his back on Britain and rebel was immediately after meeting his mother. The British assumed that this frail looking woman, who was nearly blind and had lost her looks, was no longer a force to be reckoned with. But she reminded her son of who he was and where his kingdom really lay."
In the end, Duleep's attempts to persuade the Tsar of Russia to invade India backfired spectacularly because British spies had followed his every move. Publicly humiliated, Duleep lived his final years in a Paris hotel room desperately seeking the forgiveness of Victoria.
"The whole family's story is desperately tragic," says Mr. Bance. "None of Duleep's children gave birth to an heir and his lineage died out within a generation. But what gives me some comfort is the idea that, just before she died, this frail but formidable woman made him remember who he was."
Ousted emperors: Deposed by the British
*Mukarram Jah, the final Nizam of Hyderabad, lives in Turkey. After his kingdom was subsumed by India in 1948, Jah went to the Australian outback. In 1949 he was said to be the world's richest man but much of his wealth was lost in bad business deals.
*Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor, was exiled to Burma after he supported the sepoys during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Three lineages of descendents survive today.
*Tippu Sultan, called the Tiger of Mysore, whose armies fought the British in south India, died in 1799. His family was exiled to Kolkata. --
See Definitions. See Sikh Definitions. See Glossary of Sikh Terms. See Greetings, Names and Titles. See BroadPoints.com. See But Where Are The Women? See The Role And Status of Sikh Women. See U.S. Sikhs Want Women To Sing At Golden Temple. See Bibi Kiranjot Kaur On Women's Rights. See A Muslim Woman Teaches Kirtan. See Women Are Not Allowed To Play Kirtan. See Sikhism And Homosexuality. See Why Do You Not See Any Sikh Women? See Sikh Identity Is For Men Only. See When Will Sikh Men Stand Up. See Sikh Women's Issues. See Women And The Sikh Religion. See My Response To The Sikh Minister Survey. See How To Make Yoga Classes LGBT Friendly. See Punjabi Sikh Optics Do Matter. See What's With Sikhs And Gender Equality? See Circumstance. See The Woman Pope. See Women Are Much More Than This. See The Question of Authority Within Sikhism. See Should Mixed Faith Marriage In Sikh Temples Be Banned? See Balvinder Kaur Saund. See Maharani Jind Kaur: Saint Soldier. See Sudha Kaur Chopra On Gurdwara Security. See Women Wimps Or Warriors.
SECURITY AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
Monitor all activities occurring in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib as well as any other activities in order to maintain a safe, hazard-free environment, and a peaceful, respectful Gurdwara decorum.
Security does not happen by accident.
Security is defined as those actions or systems,
American Sikhs are free to pursue happiness,
SPECIAL NOTE: American Sikhs are free to pursue happiness, but there's no guarantee we will achieve it. We can view the subject of Security as an unpleasant, even terrifying concept, or as a fearless, even exhilarating exercise in courage. We can choose to be passive, wimpy victims, or proactive, fearless survivors. To those members of the Sadh Sangat who choose to remain in denial with regard to matters of Security and Safety, who either claim that Gurdwara Security is unnecessary, or who dismiss any thought of improving Gurdwara Security, I suggest that you not only recall the tragic events of the August 5, 2012 Gurdwara assault in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012, and the U.S. Navy Yard massacre of September 16, 2013, but that you recall the days of Operation Blue Star, the tragic assault on the Guru in Amritsar, India, June 1-6, 1984, a week which will live in infamy... the event that involved the desecration of the Golden Temple, and the destruction of the Akal Takht. (See video.) Going back much farther,remember Aurangzeb?
Keep in mind also that the Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma established a policy whereby a Security and Safety Sevadar is posted at the door of the House of Guru Ram Das Gurdwara in Los Angeles, California, even to this day. His vision being that Gurdwara Security and Safety is not about acting out of fear or anger, it is about selflessly serving the Guru and the Sangat while fearlessly defending the weak and protecting the innocent for which Sikhs have a sacred duty. See Sikh Youth Deserve Leadership Training.
See Refuse To Be A Victim Course. See World's Worst Mass Shootings. See How To Build A Team at Plus1Equals11.com. See Women: Wimps or Warriors?. See Are You Among The 'Unchurched'? See The 12 Signs of Kali Yuga.
SANT SIPAHI - SAINT SOLDIER
Karam khand ki bani jor. Tithai hor na koi hor.
is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant Sipahi); this is a complete person.
can think of a number of fanatical, over-zealous religious groups
Sat Nam, Khalsa ji! The Siri Singh Sahib was asked to express his priorities for a community gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply, “Security, Security, Security.” I share his vision. I have the concern that with the passage of time, nay, even as we speak, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre will fade away just as the memory of the infamous 1984 Operation Blue Star attack on the Sikhs in India seems to have disappeared from our recollection. Many Sikhs simply tag these events as the will of God and Guru, which is true, but we cannot stop there. There is a deeper message, a challenge, that has apparently gone unnoticed, i.e., our sacred duty to fearlessly "defend the weak and protect the innocent," just as Guru Gobind Singh taught us. So, I am requesting that the Sikh ministers act to meet our present day challenges. Not out of a sense of fear or apprehension, but with the same courage and fearlessness as did Guru Gobind Singh and our beloved Siri Singh Sahib. I urge my fellow ministers to answer this call by purchasing the Active Shooter Survival Training DVD shown below, and sharing it with their respective sangats. See Jai Jagdeesh Kaur's Ad Guray Nameh.
Open Letter To The Saadh Sangat of Sikh Dharma
Security does not happen by accident!
Security is defined as those actions or systems,
Sat Nam, Brothers and Sisters! I am a former U.S. Marine and someone who has been involved with Gurdwara and Solstice security for decades. I would like to address what I see as a general absence of security/soldier consciousness within Sikh communities by quoting the Siri Singh Sahib, who said: “Human is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant Sipahi); this is a complete person. If you are not a Soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are only a Soldier, not a Saint, you will start kicking others around.”
The Siri Singh Sahib was once asked to express his priorities at a 3HO Solstice Sadhana gathering in the early ‘70s. His reply was, “Security, Security, Security.” And since the establishment of the Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, and until this very day, a sevadar is posted at the door of the gurdwara as ordered by the Siri Singh Sahib. Security has been a priority consideration since the earliest days of 3HO/Sikh Dharma.
While recently speaking with a sangat member regarding the subject of Gurdwara Security and Safety, she mentioned how she thought she would engage an active-shooter incident within her community. She said her first instinct would be to physically cover any potential victims with her body as a shield. I advised her that this would be exactly the wrong action to take. I suggested that she think about the instructions given by airline attendants concerning an in-flight emergency. Passengers are advised to take self-saving actions first by utilizing their oxygen mask on themselves before attempting to assist anybody else.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but self-preservation must be the first response in order for other potential victims to be protected and defended. Contrary to the unfortunate outcomes of numerous recent horrific events, an active-shooter event is not a situation where potential victims are without recourse. This is addressed in numerous, simple, and surprising ways in a survival training video called Survival Edge: Active Shooter Survival, available at ACTCert.com (ACT stands for Attack Countermeasures Training), which I urge all communities to acquire and view. This DVD provides a reality-based, step-by-step training program that covers how to protect yourself and others from extreme violence, including responding to an active shooter, managing workplace violence, improving Gurdwara security and safety, becoming better prepared, saving innocent lives and surviving terrorism.
Though the outcome of the shooting event in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012 was horrific, those murders might have been preventable to a significant extent. There are specific actions (some even at the time of the attack) that could have possibly mitigated the outcome.
My concern is that with the passage of time, the memory of the Oak Creek massacre and other tragedies will fade away. I strongly encourage all members of the Sikh community – and especially Sikh Dharma Ministers – to act now to meet this ever-present challenge – not out of a sense of reactionary fear, but with the same attention and fearless dedication as our beloved Siri Singh Sahib.
As a member of the 3HO Solstice Security and Safety advisory team, I am working to help develop programs and awareness, and I am happy to receive communication from sangat members.
Open Letter To The First Teachers of Sikh Dharma
Sat Nam, Khalsa ji! In the wake of the attention that's been given for and against gun ownership, and the use of firearms, I find myself recalling with a wince and shudder on one hand, and a smile and headshake on the other, an experience from many years ago.
Wimps or Warriors
I was conducting a security and gun safety class in a mixed group of women and men. While discussing gun safety training I observed a young woman reluctantly pick up a handgun between her thumb and forefinger as if picking up a dead mouse. The vision has stuck with me ever since. The frequent media attention and talk about guns and gun violence causes me to recall that silly albeit sad scenario to this day. Silly because it looked so comical; sad because it is so indicative of where I see the mind set of too many women, today.
a woman is attacked by a gun-toting assailant, her
Regardless of where you stand on gun control, knowledge of firearms and martial arts equates with strength; ignorance of firearms and martial arts equates with weakness. Hari Singh Bird
Security is defined as those actions or systems, which prevent or
Those who shall not learn to obey shall never be
A woman who is not a leader is a miserable person… A leader has three things.
children, not dependent children. Give your children
The basic aspect of you as woman is not in your sensuality and in your dramas.
Your reliability will give people the courage to trust you.
Children are born with intrinsic leadership traits, which prepare them for life.
Sat Nam, Khalsa ji! I am a passionate proponent of more balance between our claims to accept and understand the concept of Saint-Soldier, and actually living our lives as authentic Sant-Sipahi. To this end I strongly urge Khalsa parents, especially our women, the first teachers of our children, to consider the following points.
.) I urge you to consider enrolling our children at the New Mexico Military Institute, located in Roswell, New Mexico. My kids graduated high school with honors at NMMI in the early '80s, the first children of Sikh Dharma to attend a military school in America. The Siri Singh Sahib expressed pleasure upon observing cadet training when he visited NMMI in 1983. He advised us then that he would have enrolled his own children at NMMI if he had known of its existence. Another group of children who attended school in India later attended NMMI in the early '90s.
New Mexico Military Institute offers an outstanding two year college option for your sons and daughters after they complete their time at Miri Piri Academy. For those families for which MPA is not an option, NMMI has an excellent four year high school college prep program in addition to their two year college program. New Mexico Military Institute has been ranked No. 5 on a list of the nation’s top 50 community colleges by an independent organization, i.e., TheBestSchools.org, which has described the Roswell, New Mexico school as the “only state-supported, coeducational, military boarding school in the United States.” The school offers college prep, a four-year high school and a two-year junior college. See NMMI Strategic Measures Statistics.
Each of the former Sikhi students/graduates of NMMI provide a testament to the advantages of attending NMMI, which include a rigorous and challenging lifestyle, camaraderie and fellowship, and outstanding leadership training especially, along with NMMI's excellent scholastic program. This experience prepared them for additional university training, and exciting careers all over the world. NMMI is the only American prep school I know that has a history of accommodating the Sikhi lifestyle, i.e., sadhana, kesh, turban, sipahi training, and vegetarian diet. And it is an excellent environment for Sikhi youth to learn leadership and soldiering skills for which the Siri Singh Sahib was a passionate proponent.
The NMMI program offers MPA students and other Sikh youth
a unique and reasonably cost-effective opportunity to transition
from the Indian program into the American experience as a unit, and the obvious advantage of continued
bonding with their peers. See NMMI
Admissions, or click firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-421-5376.
.) I urge you to reflect on the Siri Singh Sahib's words, "Human is a blend of Saint and Soldier (Sant Sipahi); this is a complete person. If you are not a Soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are only a Soldier, not a Saint, you will start kicking others around."
Again, our children need leadership training going forward. I know of no readily available source of formal leadership training available to our Sikh youth other than the New Mexico Military Institute.
See Women Warriors. See Jai Jagdeesh Kaur's Ad Guray Nameh.
POINTS TO PONDER
If you cannot walk together, you
Those who shall not learn to obey shall never
The synergistic equation is 1 plus 1 equals 11.
"All security is local."
"Security is the absence of risk."
the heart of a lion,
never started a war before,
the heart of a lion,
come and enemies go,
the heart of a lion,
every side the world will pull;
the heart of a lion,
See Women Warriors.
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