Khalsa Traditions

Khalsa Looting

The Differences Between Lut Maryada and Lut Mar Maryada in the Khalsa Panth and How Does it Relate to an Azadist Society?

By Jassa Singh Nihang

Lut Maryada

Lut means to take to steal/loot or to raid. Under normal circumstances such an act is sinful and breaks the and therefore breaks Dharamic Law/Karamic Law/Divine Law/Natural Law.

However, once Jang Samma (Wartime) occurs, things can get messy. Law and order tend to break down and society doesn’t operate the same as it would in peace time. Even in a righteous war (Dharam Yudh), there will be circumstances where the Khalsa may need to make difficult decisions in order to stay in the fight for Dharma (Righteousness). This may mean conducting raids primarily on the enemy camp but at times also on territories under enemy control where civilians reside. Raids of this kind typically would be to resupply arms as well as rations and things like gold, silver etc. in order to continue to finance the war effort.

Since the Khalsa would be fighting in a Dharam Yudh where the NAP and Dharmic Law has been breached by the enemy. The Khalsa has the right to use force to fight against the violence (violation of rights) committed by the enemy. Therefore, any raids conducted by the Khalsa on the enemy is justified and within the rights of the Khalsa as the other party was responsible for committing the violence in the first place. Therefore, these means used to neutralise the enemy by taking their supplies is warranted under the circumstances.

However, what about conducting raids on the civilians in an area controlled by the enemy, is this an act of violence or force? Is it an act that is justified? (See for the difference between Force Vs Violence Chart)

Typically, in a war in many places that operate under any sort of government, the people pay taxes. Taxes as we have covered in various Azadist articles and as well as the Manifesto, is a form of theft and is therefore a violent act on the people within that state.

“Tax is fundamentally plunder. It is the acquisition of the people’s property or hard work and labour in the form of money through force or the threat of force. Governments use the guise of “protection” in order to justify it, but how is this different to a Mafia?”

In Azadism, the term government is used when talking about the state in reference to a “Taxing Authority” unless otherwise specified. In this example, the taxes fund the war effort. The people in that state through their taxes are funding the war effort, however, can we truly say that everyone is complicit in its governments efforts to commit violence on others, especially if by choice they would not pay the taxes?

If you were to look closely, you could say that there are 4 groups of people within a Nation state:

Those that are Pro-War and Pro-Government as a result of their misguided vision of patriotism/nationalism () may even support their government’s plan to commit violence on others as well as on themselves by paying tax. Through their state’s propaganda machines they believe they are doing the right thing even if there is a lot of evidence to show that their government is the aggressor and in the wrong. Cognitive dissonance and their biases prevent them from seeing the truth and there may be individuals through their bigotry that enjoy seeing the suffering of others of another nation or walk of life. These individuals may ostracise other people that have a different view and that are against that particular war being thought.
Those that don’t want to pay taxes, especially towards a war they don’t believe in. You see examples in countries such as the UK of it’s own citizens protesting against wars (The War in Iraq in 2003 for example) yet they still pay their taxes. This may be due to social pressure and fear of being ostracised in society. They only pay the taxes because they have no means of resisting their own government’s threats of punishments. Whether they are aware consciously or subconsciously that tax is theft, a lot of these people lack the knowledge and means to resist the government charging them tax.
Then you have those brave few that don’t cave into the social pressure and don’t pay the taxes and are then attacked by their own government through fines and imprisonment. These are also victims of the violence of the state. They are consciously aware that tax is theft and that the governments laws are simply man made and are not divine law.
There is one more group, this group are the ones that don’t care what is going on in the world except what is happening in their own lives. In their ignorance they pay the taxes to the state that fund the war effort and could care less what happens to their fellow man as long as they are okay.

If you see the above groups, this helps a little to identify the types of people you are dealing with. As you can see some groups are pro-tax and some are anti-tax. Those that are anti-tax but have no choice to pay the tax which goes to the war effort seem to be in some sort of a ‘hostage situation’. This ‘hostage situation’ analogy can be used as the citizenry are coerced through threat of violence (Fines and Imprisonment) to pay taxes that they would otherwise not pay if they were given a chance. So the people have been funnelled into a system whereby they are not fully in control of their lives. We can take this concept further in that others who have become pro-tax and pro-government seem to suffer from Stockholm’s Syndrome, meaning that they have fallen in love with their ‘kidnappers’.

There are also those that don’t care about anyone but themselves, they don’t care who gets hurt as long as they are okay. If the people of an aggressive nation that commits violence on others have a large number of people from this group then you could argue that the citizenry of that said nation are in part complicit. However, not everyone shares those ideals as explained above.

The scale of battles that the Khalsa fought in the past seem to be on city state level rather than the vast nation state level we have today. If you look in Sikh history the Khalsa would attack cities such as Sirhind and be at war with cities like this if these places had wronged them in the past. Today war tends to be at a vast nation state level.

War is an undesirable, last-resort situation and the reality is that many things will have to occur out of necessity rather than idealism. So if the Khalsa is acting as a protector of an Azadist society that is being attacked by another State violating the NAP, they would need to consider these groups mentioned above before any action is taken.

So perhaps we can form a scale: ​Level 1: Civilians (tax payers) who do not support the state’s (taxing authority) actions and do not aid them as a combatant. ​Level 2: Civilians (tax payers) who do support the state’s (taxing authority) actions but do not aid them as a combatant. ​Level 3: Combatants (tax recipients) who do not support the state’s (taxing authority) actions but participate anyway. ​Level 4: Combatants (tax recipients) who do support the state’s (taxing authority) actions and participate. The main target and force you fight is level 4. Level 3 you also fight, but you fight in such a way that it is not out of hatred because the enemy army will have both L4 + L3 mixed together. Guru Gobind Singh would engage them in battle but not from a point of animosity but simply as a last resort because it was the righteous thing to do as all peaceful means to resolve the issue had failed. When he did go to battle, Guru Sahib would have gold-tipped arrows so that whoever was killed from these arrows, the family of that dead enemy soldier could use the gold to pay for his funeral.

Another example of the Sikhs not showing hatred to the enemy is the story of Bhai Kahnaiya. Bhai Kahnaiya was a Sikh at the time of Guru Gobind Singh who in a battle between the Khalsa and the Mughals, he fed water to the injured of both the Khalsa and the Mughals. Some Khalsa warriors saw this and were angered that he was giving water to the opposition. They brought him before Guru Gobind Singh to explain his actions, Guru Sahib asked Bhai Kahnaiya to which he replied that he saw Akaal Purakh in all, both in friend and foe. Guru Sahib was impressed and pardoned him, understanding Bhai Kahnaiya to be a man of high spiritual consciousness and gave him permission to start the Sevapanthi order which was a Sehajdhari (Non-Khalsa) Sikh order dedicated to Seva (Selfless service to others).

The Khalsa therefore can have an accompanied body of Sevapanthi like individuals to help with humanitarian work to help any victims caught in the crossfires of war as a gesture of good will to the people of the aggressor nation. The Khalsa would then also have the moral high-ground which may then dissuade further attacks by the aggressor nation and help them see the error of their ways. The people of the other levels may then also voice up against their aggressor government.
L2 and L1 is more tricky. L2 you can say that there is an amount of complicity associated with them but they are hard to distinguish. But if you don’t subdue them, they are the ones that become the next combatants and fight with you next or continue to spread tyranny.
L1 represent the tragic and unfortunate realities of war who are caught up. The Khalsa must use its Bibek Budhi (wisdom/discerning intellect) to stay within reason when looting and subduing both L1 + L2 (because they will be mixed together). In a similar way we compromise on severity with L3+L4 due to the presence of L3 (See also Sevapanthi paragraphs above).
Another point worth considering is that Itihaas is also purpose first, history second. A lot of things written in Panth Parkash by Rattan Singh Bhangu can be considered as a deterrent to others, and hence why we see examples of things that feel a bit off as per Sikhi today. After all he was narrating the Khalsa’s history to a British Captain of the British East India Company (BEIC) named Captain Murray. The BEIC had conquered much of India at the time of 1809 when Rattan Singh told him history of the Khalsa. It was only the Sikh Empire that remained as the sole independent indigenous power, so naturally the Khalsa would view the BEIC as the next threat. However, these things in Panth Parkash (written version completed in 1845) show that Khalsa are not push overs and it will be costly to fight them. You could say that it is a form of propaganda, which all militaries do.

The plundering episodes within Panth Parkash as seen in quotes listed later in this document don’t go into too much detail. They may mention the area that was plundered and what was plundered but beyond that for the most part don’t go into much detail. We know from both Panth Parkash and Suraj Parkash that the Khalsa had a good moral compass so the use of Bibek Budhi (wisdom/discerning intellect) was key before the Khalsa would go through such undertakings.

There may have been instances historically in the past where Singhs may have gone too far, but those examples are very rare. Then again a text such as Rattan Singh Bhangu’s Panth Parkash is Ithiaas which isn’t just strictly history. Panth Parkash in addition to historical accounts include allegorical and at times mythological elements as well as things written in as mentioned earlier to act as deterrents for those who seek to engage in warfare with the Khalsa. As for those rare instances where Singhs did go too far, just because the Singhs in the past did or didn’t do something, doesn’t mean it has to be replicated exactly today. Situations and times adapt, so long as our “principles are strong, our techniques can be fluid”.

If the Khalsa was to declare a Dharam Yudh against the government of the enemy due to an injustice or violation of NAP and decided to commit a raid on the civilians who were pro-war, then the Khalsa have not committed any violence as it was those people who supported the violence done onto the Khalsa or an Azadist society/stan. However, the raids the Khalsa perform must be within reason, such as Lut for supplies. Any other transgressions like killing women, elderly, and children or evil acts such as rape is forbidden and would overstep the line from force to violence. These acts would be classed as war crimes. So, the Khalsa would need to have a sound moral compass on these decisions which history has shown that it has. Only the force necessary to stop the violence is needed, nothing more.

There was a Sakhi during Guru Gobind Singh’s time mentioned in Sri Gurpratap Suraj Granth by Mahakavi Santokh Singh. According to this Granth, in one battle the Sikh army of Guru Gobind Singh defeated the Mughal forces and took their womenfolk prisoner. The Sikhs had asked Guru Gobind Singh whether they should convert and ravish the honour of these Muslim women to obtain revenge for the outrages of Muslim conquerors on the inhabitants of India (as these Muslim conquerors would ravish the honour of many native women in India in the past and at that time).

Guru Gobind Singh replied:

ਸੁਨਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਬੋਲੇ ਤਿਸ ਬੇਰੇ | ਹਮ ਲੇ ਜਾਨੋ ਪੰਥ ਉੁੁੁੁੇੇਚੇਰੇ |
Listen to what the Guru said on this matter.
I have recognised this [Khalsa] path as an exalted one.

ਨਹੀਂ ਅਧੋਗਤਿ ਬਿਖੈ ਪੁਚਾਵੈਂ | ਯਾਂ ਤੇ ਕਲਮਲ ਕਰਨ ਹਟਾਵੈਂ ||੧੯||
Without base degradation assimilated within.
This is why I prevent you from committing [such] sins. (19)

ਪੰਥ ਭੂਤਨਾ ਕੋ ਹੈ ਜੋਈ | ਲਿਯੇ ਸੰਭਾਲ ਮੁਹੰਮਦ ਸੋਈ |
That path of demonic ghouls is distinguished by its belief in Mohammad.

ਨਹਿਂ ਨੀਚਨ ਕੀ ਰੀਤਿ ਅਛੇਰੀ | ਪਿਖਿ ਅਪਮਾਨ ਕਰਹਿਂ ਸਭਿ ਬੇਰੀ ||੨੦||
The ways of those lowly ones are not good.
Observe how they commit outrages at every opportunity. (20)

(NOTE: English translation for these verses of Suraj Prakash was on )

So, the reply of Guru Gobind Singh was clear to the Sikhs and was in line with Dharam/Natural Law that no heinous deed like that was to be done. It’s this moral compass that the Guru instilled in the Sikhs. The Khalsa must always abide by these principles.

Another example of Lut Maryada is if a bandit was to rob a Khalsa, the Khalsa after defending himself would rob the bandit. Since the bandit was the violent one and Khalsa was defending themselves with force, the Khalsa would rob the bandit to teach them a lesson. In the end the bandit came away with less then he came with. This was done by the Khalsa to teach the bandits a lesson, to think twice before stealing from someone by giving them a taste of their own medicine. This particular example is even practised today by Akali Nihang Singhs.

Lut Maryada in Sikh History

Example of Lut Maryada Going Right:

An example of Lut Maryada going right was when Baba Bidhi Chand had taken the horses of Gulbaag and Dilbaag from the Mughals as they had taken another horse from a Sikh that gifted them to Guru Hargobind Sahib. This whole story is written in both the Suraj Prakash text by Mahakavi Santokh Singh as well as Gurbilas Patshahi 6 which was a text written around a hundred years before Suraj Prakash.

Once a Sikh from Afghanistan bought a horse for Guru Hargobind Sahib as a gift. When the Sikh reached Peshawar, a Mughal commander seized the horse and stole it for himself. The Sikh said this horse was a gift for the Guru but the Mughal commander didn’t care so the Sikh had reached the Guru in Panjab and told him of the incident.

Some time later, some other Sikhs travel from Afghanistan to see Guru Hargobind who was staying in the village of Bhai Rupa at the time. They saw the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan celebrating Eid and had 2 beautiful horses Gulbaag and Dilbaag. These Sikhs thought that these beautiful horses would suit the Guru and would be a brilliant gift. When they got to the village, they informed the Guru who then thought that it would be a good idea to have these horses in his company. He was thinking how he would get the horses. First, he thought that he should pay for them, however, he realised that Shahjahan had tons of wealth, there would be no price that he would deem acceptable. Then that’s when he asked the sangat how they should retrieve these horses. The sangat suggested that Bidhi Chand should get them.

So Bidhi Chand goes to Lahore and does an Ardas beforehand so that he is successful in his endeavour. He decides to get a job at the fort looking after the horses and takes on the name Kasehla. With the help of a Sikh named Jeevan he gets a tool made to help him with the task. He infiltrates the fort by getting a job there. He looks around for all the entrances and exits and finds out where everything is kept while playing the character of a simple farmer. He eventually outworks everyone, gets promoted and even gets rewards from the Mughal emperor Shahjahan himself. However, Bidhi Chand does not take any money from Shahjahan and gives it to his boss Saundeh Khan, who is in charge of the fort and says to him that he is here just to serve the horses. Saundeh Khan is happy that he is just not there for the money. In this way Bidhi Chand gains all their trust. Any wages that he does take, he donates towards the Langar. Bidhi Chand eats at Jeevan’s house in the evening before returning to the fort to sleep near the two horses. He also starts throwing a rock every night from the top of the fort to the river Ravi beneath so that the guards outside get used to the sound. Eventually the guards just ignore the sound. He does this routine for over a month as he plans to escape by jumping over the fort wall with the horse. The guards no longer react to the rocks as Bidhi Chand has conditioned their behaviour to get used to the sound. The horses are also used to Bidhi Chand who looks after them well. The co-workers then say to him that its unfair that he has outworked them and got promoted but not taken them on a night out. Bidhi Chand then says to himself now the time is right, everything has aligned. He gets the strongest alcohol from a local bartender and says to the workers that he can’t give them any food as they are Turks who have Halal meat. However, he can get them alcohol but on one condition, that they must not eat for the whole day (this is so that they can get drunk). He then gets the alcohol and all the workers in the fort get so drunk that they pass out. Bidhi Chand even persuades the guards in the fort and the keyguard to join in and then they pass out with the alcohol. Bidhi Chand gets the keys and grabs Dilbaag and straps the saddle onto him. Then in the middle of the night, jumps off the fort wall and into the river and then rides off in the night to the village of Bhai Rupa where the Guru is residing.

Bidhi Chand then reaches the village after some time, gets off the horse out of respect and does an Ardas for gratitude and forgiveness for riding the Guru’s horse as well as being successful in his mission. Bidhi Chand puts 5 rupees towards Karah Prashad for forgiveness for riding the Guru’s horse. Guru Hargobind then embraces Bidhi Chand and is impressed. However, Dilbaag is sad that he has been separated from Gulbaag the other horse as they are always together. Guru Hargobind gets Bhai Jaita to look after Dilbaag who is sad and not eating. Guruji says to Dilbaag after saluting him that he has entered the Guru’s house and will no longer suffer. Guruji renames Dilbaag as ‘Jaan Bhai’ meaning Lifelong Brother.

At Lahore, Saundeh Khan is furious at what has transpired and sees all the workers and guards hungover. He orders them to sort themselves out and find Dilbaag. The emperor Shahjahan then finds out and is furious. He gets his inspectors and even astrologers and fortune tellers to find the horse.

At the Guru’s camp, they make plans to get the 2nd horse as Jaan Bhai/Dilbaag is still sad from being separated from Gulbaag. Bidhi Chand then returns to Lahore, meets with Sikhs at the local Gurdwara. He then hears an announcement from the fort that any astrologers that are around in the area should help the emperor find his missing horse. He then has the idea to dress up in disguise as a fortune teller/astrologer who is from a distant land in order to steal the horse. He goes to a Sikh’s house named Bahoura who then spends a day getting his clothes and disguise ready. It was done in such a way that it would take the attention away from his face and instead on what he was wearing so they wouldn’t recognise him. He then makes his way to the fort.

Once arriving at the fort, Bidhi Chand gains the attention of everyone in the room. They all look at his clothing and say, “Who is this guy? And What land has he come from?”. He tells them that he is an astrologer/fortune teller and that he has come from a far away land as an expert in astrology and in finding missing things. Shahjahan then summons him, to which Bidhi Chand promises to find the horse and even the name and location of the thief. Shahjahan is impressed and offers Bidhi Chand a salary and place in his court. Bidhi Chand says that he will find the horse but had not replied to receiving the rewards from Shahjahan. Bidhi Chand acts confident and does things with his astrologer chain to show that he is investigating, paying close attention to make sure that people don’t recognise him.

Shahjahan then grows inpatient to which Bidhi Chand says he can find the horse and thief but first everyone in the fort must lock themselves in and be as they were on the night of the robbery. It was night-time at this point and he also requested to see the other horse Gulbaag and to have the other saddle strapped onto it as only then will he be able to find the location of the horse. He had Shahjahan and all the officers and workers so fooled that he even had the keys to the fort! Bidhi Chand said to him to go to sleep and it won’t take long and that he could even find the perpetrators name and village for him. Shahjahan was happy and Bidhi Chand said that he would call to him in the night once it’s figured out. Shahjahan agreed and got happy that he could find out the perpetrators name.

Bidhi Chand then realises that the opportunity has arrived and then he prepares to take Gulbaag, but first he does a Ardas to the Gurus and then salutes the horse and then mounts it. Shahjahan hears the horse leaving and shouts out. Bidhi Chand says it’s okay and that he not taken the horse on his own effort, only with the grace of the Guru. He wished to tell Shahjahan the truth so that there is no sin on his head and will be straight with the details.

Shahjahan calmed down and told his guards to stand down waiting to hear what Bidhi Chand had to say thinking as the astrologer he figured out who took the horse. Shahjahan says to the officer to record this. Bidhi Chand tells Shahjahan that a while back a Mughal commander had forcibly taken a horse from a Sikh that was meant to be given as a gift to the Guru. In retribution for this sin, the Guru has now taken these horses to right that wrong. Bidhi Chand told Shahjahan his real name and that it was him who took the first horse Dilbaag. When he presented it to the Guru, the horse was sad that it was separated from his companion Gulbaag. For that reason, he was taking Gulbaag as well. Bidhi Chand then says proudly that he is a thief and that the Guru is his master. He then tells Shahjahan the village that he and Guru as well as Dilbaag is staying at (village of Bhai Rupa) and if Shahjahan wants, he can come and get it.

Shahjahan yells to his officers to get Bidhi Chand. The officers said to Shahjahan that they are locked in. Bidhi Chand asks Shahjahan why he is so angry, he said he never took any money from the rewards he gave him when he was working there. He also told him the location of the village where the horse is kept, who stole it and why. He also said he would tell him the whereabouts of the horse and hasn’t accepted the money for it. As far as Bidhi Chand was concerned, all the money he didn’t take has paid for the horses and they are rightfully his and that they are even. He also says to Shahjahan that he has the keys, laughs then escapes with horse the same way as before after throwing the keys in the water outside the fort trapping Shahjahan and the officers in the fort. He then follows the stars like before and quickly reaches the village of Bhai Rupa where the other horse Dilbaag/Jaan Bhai is kept.

Bidhi Chand finds out that the Guru is not at the village of Bhai Rupa anymore. So he asks a villager where they have gone. The villager then says due to repeated requests by Jodh Rai for the Guru to visit his village they have set up camp there. This village was nearby and was named Kanghar. Bidhi Chand makes his way to Kanghar and Guru Hargobind was expecting him. Bidhi Chand got off the horse before going into the Guru’s camp out of respect for the Guru. Once entering the camp with the horse, Guru Hargobind becomes very happy with Bidhi Chand and says to him that he is in Bidhi Chand’s debt and asks him what he desires. Bidhi Chand says to the Guru that he has already given him the gift of being without desire, therefore he does not wish for anything. However, if the Guru wished to grant him something please let it be that he continues to always have the pleasure and flavour of Naam and that he always has the company of saints and spiritual people around him. The Guru is pleased with this and says to the congregation the famous line “Bidhi Chand Chinna Guru Ka Seena”, which translates to “Bidhi Chand Chinna is the Guru’s Chest” or can also mean that he is the strength of the Guru as he was a skilled warrior and was always embedded with the spirit of the Guru. As Guru Hargobind is praising him, other senior Sikhs like Bhai Jaita were there and also praise Bidhi Chand. The horses are then reunited with each other and they neigh and are happy to see each other. Guru Hargobind then takes Bidhi Chand to the main congregation and gets him to tell the story of his deeds to the Sangat. Bidhi Chand tells the sangat and then at the end gave all the credit to the Guru and said it all happened with his grace. At the end of the episode, the Guru, Bidhi Chand and others knew that war was coming and then Guru Hargobind and Jodh Rai then start to make Battle preparations and plans. Gulbaag is renamed ‘Sohela’.

This was a rough summary of the story which is covered in Suraj Prakash under Guru Hargobind Sahib’s stories from Chapters 25 -37 Raas 7 of Sri Gurpratap Suraj Granth by Mahakavi Santokh Singh. This was notes taken from listening to the done by Jvala Singh of Manglacharan.

Example of Lut Maryada Going Wrong

In Sikh Ithiaas, there have been times where the Lut Maryada had gone wrong either due to greed or carelessness.
There is one example in Prachin Panth Parkash being that of the charismatic Mit Singh who had convinced his fellow Singhs to raid a lot of treasure from the Afghans and Rohelas stationed by the Yamuna River to the point where they couldn’t escape fast enough due to the weight of all the loot on their horses. As a result, a lot of these Singhs were killed by the Afghans who managed to catch up to them. Despite warnings from the Veteran Misldar Sardar Tara Singh Ghaiba of the Dallewalia Misl to Mit Singh and the other Singhs not to do this, those Singhs did it anyway and paid the price. Though, they were still honoured as Shaheeds and fought bravely.

ਚੌਪਈ : ਸਿੰਘਨ ਪੈ ਲਦੇ ਘੋੜੇ ਭਾਰ । ਆਪ ਬੰਨ੍ਹੈ ਗੰਢ ਮਗਰੈ ਨਾਲ । ਇਸ ਬਿਧ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੁ ਭਏ ਖੁਆਰ । ਸਕੈਂ ਨ ਸੋ ਹਥਿਆਰ ਸੰਭਾਰ ।੮।
Chaupai: Singhs’ horses having been loaded with war booty,
They themselves were carrying heavy loads on their backs,
Thus, did they feel harassed by this sudden attack,
As they could not wield their armours with heavy loads. (8)

ਸਿੰਘ ਭਏ ਤਬ ਭੱਜਨ ਵਾਰ । ਇਮ ਕਰ ਭਈ ਨ ਲਰਨੇਂ ਕਾਰ । ਜੇ ਜੇ ਹੁਤੇ ਜੁ ਸਿੰਘ ਅੜਿਯਾਰੇ । ਜੋ ਨ ਨਠੈ ਤਹੀਂ ਸੋ ਮਾਰੇ ।੯।
As the Singh felt like fleeing from the field of battle,
They could not engage the enemy in a straight fight,
Those among the Singhs who were of obstinate disposition,
They perished in the fight as they could not resist the enemy. (9)

ਮੱਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਕੈ ਚਿਤ ਤੌ ਆਈ । ਭਈ ਸੋਊ ਜੋ ਸਿੰਘਨ ਬਤਾਈ । ਸੋ ਮੁੜ ਮੁੜ ਕੇ ਲੜਤੋ ਜਾਵੈ । ਬਹੁਤਨ ਕੇ ਕਬਿ ਵਾਰੇ ਆਵੈ । ਲਗ ਗੋਲੀ ਘੋੜਾ ਗਿਰ ਪਯੋ । ਮੱਧ ਰਕਾਬੈ ਪਗ ਫਸ ਰਹਯੋ ।੧੦।
Then did it dawn upon Mit Singh’s mind so soon,
The admonition that the veteran Singhs had earlier delivered him.
As he kept on fighting hitting, running and hitting again,
How could he fight single handed with those outnumbering him.
As his horse fell down after being hit by a bullet,
His own foot got entangled in the horse’s stirrups. (10)

ਦੋਹਰਾ : ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਘੋੜੇ ਥੇ ਬਡੇ ਤੇ ਆਏ ਮੁਹ ਮਾਰ । ਲਰਤ ਭਜਤ ਫਿਰ ਫਿਰ ਲਰਤ ਪੰਜ ਛੇ ਮੁਏ ਹਜ਼ਾਰ ।੧੧।
Dohra: Those Singhs who had had mighty horses under them,
They did keep fighting from the front and retreating.
Despite this running, hitting and running again and again,
Five to six thousand Singhs perished in this skirmish. (11)

(Sri Gur Panth Prakash – Shaheed Rattan Singh Bhangu - Episode 133 Episode About Mit Singh, the Martyr (Mit Singh had made the Supreme Sacrifice in this way as he had put up a brave fight against Jahan khan’s forces - Full Episode on Pages 458 to 462 – English Translation by Kulwant Singh)

Lut Mar Maryada

Lut Mar Maryada means to loot and kill or to raid and kill. Again, under normal circumstances such an act is sinful and breaks the non-aggression principle (NAP) and therefore breaks Dharamic Law/Karamic Law/ Divine Law/Natural Law.

However, this was only done in war time and was done on the enemy. There are rare examples where the Khalsa would do Lut Mar on the people in an area if they also supported the enemy in a heinous act, such as the killing of the Chotteh Sahibzadeh where most of the residents of the city of Sirhind supported the tyrannical decision of Wazir Khan, the Governor-General of Sirhind, to kill the 2 younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh unless they converted to Islam. The Guru’s sons aged 7 and 5 years of age chose not to convert and to die for Sikhi and were then bricked and had their throats slit according to Panth Prakash by Rattan Singh Bhangu. This horrid act caused the Khalsa some years later in 1710 AD to get justice on Wazir Khan and on the city of Sirhind. Under Banda Bahadur the Khalsa killed Wazir Khan and destroyed Sirhind killing many of the residents who were complicit on the violent act of the murdering of the Chotteh Sahibzadeh. The Khalsa would have taken supplies as well during the campaign from Sirhind from weapons, to horses to gold and silver as well as armour.

Examples of Lut Mar Maryada:

In episode 32 of Sri Gur Panth Prakash by Rattan Singh Bhangu titled “Further Account of Baba Banda” (”Then Banda Bahadur’s Fame had spread”), dacoits found out that Banda Bahadur’s camp had a lot of gold and silver and so decided to raid it. However, the Singhs had prevented the bandits from taking anything and had killed them. This led the Khalsa and Banda Bahadur to be endeared by the people in the area.

ਦੋਹਰਾ : ਬੰਦੇ ਪੈ ਸੁਨ ਮਾਲ ਬਹੁ ਪਰੀ ਰਾਹਿ ਬਡਿ ਧਾੜ । ਸਿੰਘਨ ਨੇ ਫੜ ਸੋ ਲਏ ਕੂਟ ਲੂਟ ਔ ਮਾਰ ।੧।
Dohra: Hearing that Banda had plenty of gold and treasure, A band of dacoits raided Banda’s camp on the way. But the brave Singhs overpowered and captured all the dacoits, and killed them after robbing and mercilessly beating them. (1)

ਚੌਪਈ : ਜਿਸ ਨਿਸ ਚੋਰ ਧਾੜ ਕੋ ਆਵੈ । ਸੋ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਬੰਦਾ ਬਤਾਵੈ ।
ਰਹੈਂ ਤਯਾਰ ਉਸ ਲੇਵੈਂ ਮਾਰ । ਇਮ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਸੋਂ ਵਧਯੋ ਪਿਆਰ ।੨।
Chaupai: Whenever at night wayside dacoits would plan to loot his camp, Banda Bahadur would alert the Singhs of his contingent in advance. Being well prepared in advance the Singhs would kill the robbers, which endeared the Khalsa further among the local people. (2)

(Page 205 Episode 32 of Sri Gur Panth Prakash by Rattan Singh Bhangu Volume 1 English Translation by Kulwant Singh)

The full episode gives more insight into this as the episode greatly expands on this.

Another example is the Sirhind conquest of Banda Bahadur avenging the Chotteh Sahibzadeh - Sirhind was attacked and all those complicit in the killings of the Chotteh Sahibzadeh were put to the sword including a lot of civilians in Sirhind who supported Wazir Khan in his dreadful violent act. This is an example of Lut Mar Maryada (Reference the episodes of Panth Prakash by Rattan Singh Bhangu – Episodes 36-41).

ਦੋਹਰਾ : ਹਸਿ ਬੰਦੇ ਘੋੜੋ ਮੰਗਯੋ ਕਹਿ ਮਾਲਕ ਪਹੁੰਚਯੋ ਆਇ । ਮਾਰੋ ਲੇਵੋ ਲੂਟ ਕਹਿ ਦਯੋ ਸੁ ਤੀਰ ਚਲਾਇ ।੩੦।
Dohra: At this Banda Bahadur smiled and called for his horse, with a remark that God Himself had arrived to protect them, Directing the Singhs to loot, plunder and slaughter the Mughals, Banda shot one (of the Guru’s gifted) arrows. (30)

In Sri Gur Panth Prakash by Rattan Singh Bhangu Episode 40 English Translation by Kulwant Singh -The Episode About Wazir Khan’s Murder (Wazir Khan was killed on the Bright Night of Month of Jaith) Page 243: (Full Episode from Page 236 to Page 244).

Commandeering in the Khalsa

Definition of Commandeering:

A simple definition of commandeering is to take possession of or control private property by force or for police or military use.

Commandeering Maryada in the Khalsa:

There is one more Maryada amongst the Khalsa that allows for an Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa to be able to take whatever provisions they need from a Sikh’s house. This was mandated by Guru Gobind Singh themselves so that if a Khalsa was in war and needed any supplies to survive, they always had the option of knocking on a Sikh’s house and would be able to ask for and take whatever provisions he NEEDED in order to continue the war effort for Khalsa Raaj/Sovereignty. Since the Khalsa was in war and was fighting to preserve the sovereignty of his fellow Sikhs, the Sikhs would then return the favour by helping their fellow Khalsa with the resources they need to continue the fight. However, this wasn’t a licence to allow a Khalsa to just stroll in and take whatever he felt like in a Sikh’s house, the Maryada was whatever the Khalsa NEEDED. So, this Maryada is not there to be abused under any circumstances.
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