The Damdami Taksal is the travelling Sikh university, which was founded by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru to impart knowledge of Gurmat onto all the people of the world. It has had an unbroken lineage of Jathedars who have led the Taksal throughout Sikh history from the time of the tenth Patshah (king).
The first and foremost function of the Taksal is to educate Sikhs, to teach them the correct pronunciations of Gurbani, to do Katha and Kirtan. This is done by getting students to undergo rigorous studies, Simran (meditation) and seva, thus a wholesome Sikh lifestyle is developed and maintained.
The Taksal has always been a key strategic player in the activities of the Sikh Nation, with Baba Deep Singh & Baba Gurbaksh Singh (respectively 1st & 2nd Jathedars) both being martyred defending the sanctity of Sri Harimander Sahib, Amritsar, they were both beheaded yet still fought on until the Mughals had to run in fear.
The sixth Jatheder, Giani Bhai Sant Singh was the Head Granthi of Sri Harimander Sahib and a close aid of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The famous Sikh Historian Bhai Santokh Singh (author of Suraj Parkash) was also a student of the Giani Bhai Sant Singh Jee. During the British Raj Sant Sundar Singh played a considerable role in the Gurdwara Reform Movement, by participating in the peaceful demonstrations.
Sant Gurbachan Singh did the complete katha of Sri Guru Granth Sahib many times and today we find that a lot of his students are Granthis at Sri Harimander Sahib and many of them held positions of esteem and were Jathedars of the Takhats. Sant Kartar Singh started the movement against the anti-Sikh Nirankari Movement and the whole Sikh world knows of what Sant Jarnail Singh did in the early 80’s.
Baba Takhar Singh Jee the acting Jathedar of the Taksal has blessed many Sikhs with the knowledge of Gurmat and under his leadership the Taksal has produced many Giani’s, Kirtani’s and Pathis. Even today you will find that many Granthis & Jathedars of Takhats & famous Historical Gurdwaras have been educated by the Taksal. The Taksal aims to live up to it’s motto which was uttered by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee in Sri Japji Sahib:
ਘੜੀਐ ਸਬਦੁ ਸਚੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ ॥
The True Coin of the Shabad (the Word of God) is created in the True Mint of Sadh Sangat (congregation of Saints)
It can only continue its success with the continued blessings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib & the Sadh Sangat.
The tenth King, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji was at Sri Anandpur Sahib delivering his Sikhs to Sachkhand (ie: Setting the Sikhs on the correct path for a Gursikh). A Gursikh who was completing his daily prayer of the Panj Granthi (a collection of prayers from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) with love and respect made a mistake. The Gursikh was made to realise that Gurbani is an ang (limb) of Guru Ji, and making a mistake while reciting Gurbani is like hurting the Guru. Following this Pyare Bhai Daya Singh, along with other respected Gursikhs requested the following to Guru Ji. "Oh keeper of the poor! Bless us with the understanding of Gurbani. Without an understanding we don't know whether what we do is correct or incorrect."
Satguru Ji would never refuse the request of a Gursikh. After all the battles where the Guru sacrificed all his family. Upon leaving Muktsar Sahib and arriving at Sabo ki Talwandi, Guru Ji gave the following command to his Gursikhs, "Go to Dhir Mal (he was the elder brother of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji and grandson to Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji) who is at Kartarpur Sahib. The fifth King Sri Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji who has compiled the Aad Granth has left room for the inclusion of the ninth Kings Bani. I will do that and bless you with the understanding of Gurbani."
Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji along with 24 other Singhs were turned away by Dhir Mal with the following message. "If your Guru is the same roop (form) as the first and fifth Kings, then why doesn't he fashion Gurbani from memory?"
Guru Ji answered this taunt of Dhir Mal in the following way. The true King Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave a great honour to Guru ki Kanshi, Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib, Sabo ki Talwandi. Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh was the scribe as Guru Sahib Ji compiled Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from his sacred tongue, from memory. There were such great blessings that Jap(u) Ji Sahib, Rehraas Sahib and Kirtan Sohila were written on the first morning. On that evening the Gursikh Sangat listened to the meanings of the completed Gurbani. The understanding of the Gurbani that was written at amrit vela (ambrosial hours of the morning) would be explained in the evening to the 48 Singhs and the rest of the Gursikh Sangat. Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji with firm faith would complete the seva of providing the paper, pens and ink. In this way within 9 months and 9 days, on the full moon of Katak, Samat 1762, till until 1763 Bikrami 23 Savan, the understanding of Gurbani was taught. With the inclusion of the ninth Kings Bani, from Ik Oa(n)kaar to At(h)arah Das Bees, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was completed. A great benevolence was done to the world.
After seeing and listening to this limitless, powerful knowledge, the Gursikh Sangat as well the atheists were astonished. By listening to Guru Sahib Ji, the Gursikh Sangat were given the opportunity to rectify their lives. The 48 Singhs gained "Brahm Gianta" (the knowledge of God) and were liberated while living. The Singhs reached such spiritual states that they lost all care of the world. Seeing this Satguru Ji ordered Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh Ji not to lose care, but to continue in selfless service teaching others what he had learnt. Guru Ji said that he would not forget a thing even if he were to get cut piece by piece. Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji was also given this command and was told that he wouldn't forget a thing even if his head were separated from his body.
Both Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh Ji and Baba Deep Singh Ji stayed with Guru Sahib Ji (when they went to Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib) teaching the understanding of Gurbani to other Gursikhs. Just before Guru Ji ascended to Sachkhand, he sent Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh JI to Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar, and Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji to Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib to continue teaching the deeper meaning of Gurbani. Damdami Taksal has been operating under the leadership of Brahm Gianis until now, and will forever more.
Names of the 48 Singhs:
|Bhai Mani Singh||Giani Kaan Singh||Giani Binod Singh|
|Giani Gurbaksh Sinshad||Baba Deep Singh (2nd Jathedar)||Bhai Gurbaksh Singh|
|Giani Dan Singh||Bhai Param Singh||Bhai Dharam Singh|
|Bhai Shameer Singh||Bhai Daya Singh||Bhai Bhevan Singh|
|Bhai Piara Singh||Bhai Bir Singh||Bhai Dheer Singh|
|Bhai Sundar Singh||Bhai Amar Singh||Bhai Tara Singh|
|Bhai Jagjeevan Singh||Bhai Gopal Singh||Bhai Dhian Singh|
|Bhai Binshvar Singh||Bhai Hargopal Singh||Bhai Dhanna Singh Kaviraj|
|Bhai Nand Singh||Bhai Mani Singh||Bhai Rai Singh|
|Bhai Makhan Singh||Bhai Madan Singh||Bhai Dharam Singh|
|Bhai Sujan Singh||Bhai Jeevan Singh||Bhai Akal Singh|
|Bhai Pritpal Singh||Bhai Dyal Singh||Bhai Bakhtavar Singh Sodhi|
|Bhai Deva Singh||Bhai Meva Singh||Bhai Dhian Singh|
|Bhai Achal Singh||Bhai Jai Singh||Bhai Bishan Singh|
|Bhai Bhag Singh||Bhai Vasava Singh||Bhai Ghanea Singh|
|Bhai Ram Singh||Bhai Trilok Singh||Bhai Maliagar Singh|
|Jathedars Of Damdami Taksaal|
► Guru Gobind Singh ◄ ► Baba Deep Singh ◄ ► Bhai Mani Singh ◄ ► Bhai Gurbax Singh ◄ ► Giani Bhai Soorat Singh ◄ ► Jathedar Bhai Gurdas Singh ◄ ► Giani Bhai Sant Singh ◄ ► Sant Daya Singh ◄ ► Sant Giani Bhagvan Singh ◄ ► Sant Harnam Singh Bedi ◄ ► Sant Bishan Singh ◄ ► Sant Giani Sundar Singh Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Giani Kartar Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale ◄