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The Damdami Taksal is the travelling Sikh university, which was founded by our Father Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee to impart knowledge of Gurmat onto Sikhs. It has had an unbroken lineage of Jathedars who have led the Taksal throughout Sikh history.
The first and foremost function of the Taksal is to educate Sikhs, to teach them the correct pronounciations of Gurbani, to do Katha and Kirtan. This is done by getting students to undergo rigorous studies, meditations 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 Maharajah 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 80s.
Baba Takhar Singh Jee the previous acting Jathedar of the Taksal blessed many Sikhs with the knowledge of Gurmat and under his leadership the Taksal has produced many Gianis, Kirtanis 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 its motto which was uttered by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee in Sri Japji Sahib,
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. A Gursikh who would complete 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 Guru Ji. 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 whether what we do is correct or incorrect."
Satguru Ji would never return the request of a Gursikh. After all the battles where He 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. 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 understanding of Gurbani. Damdami Taksal has been operating under the leadership of Brahm Gianis until now, and will forever more.
1. Sri Guru Gobind Sahib Ji
2. Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji & Bhai Mani Singh Ji (Joint Jathedars)
3. Shaheed Baba Gurbakhsh Singh Ji
4. Giani Bhai Soorat Singh Ji
5. Bhai Gurdas Singh Ji
6. Giani Bhai Sant Singh Ji
7. Sant Daya Singh Ji
8. Sant Giani Bhagvaan Singh Ji
9. Sant Harnam Singh Ji Bedi
10. Sant Baba Bishan Singh Ji Muralewale
11. Sant Giani Sundar Singh Ji Bhindranwale
12. Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale
13. Sant Giani Kartar Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale
14. Sant Giani Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale,