1.Release of Guru Hargobind ji from Gwalior Fort
Bandi Chhor Diwas is the anniversary of Guru Hargobind ji being released from the prison at Gwalior Fort. It was on this day in 1619 A D when Guru ji was freed along-with 52 Hindu Rajput princes.
2. Role of Sai Mian Mir in Guru ji’s Release
Sai Mian Mir, a noted Sufi Sant and friend of both the Guru and his father, had travelled to the Emperor’s Court to meet with Jahangir asking him to release the Guru. Not really wanting to free the prisoners the Emperor Jahangir cleverly added the following condition to Guru ji’s release:
“whoever can hold on to the Guru’s cloak can be released.”
3. Bandi Chorh Diwas is not Diwali
Bandi Chorh Diwas and Diwali are separate festivals although they take place on the same day every year. People often think of both of these events as the same but in fact they represent two quite different events in history. On Bandi Chorh Diwas, Guru Sahib was released from Gwalior and on Diwali day he reached Amritsar. On his reaching Amritsar the people lit up the whole city with thousands of Lights and Lamps. Bandi Chorh Diwas fall on Amavas of Month Assu. Bandi Chorh Diwas is celebrated at Gurdwara Data Bandi Chorh, Gwalior with Joshokharosh.
4. Celebrations held at Gurdwara Bandi Chor & Amritsar
Gurudwara Bandi Chor is built at the place where the Guru stayed during his detention. The Sikhs celebrate this day as Bandi Chhorr Divas i.e., “the day of release of detainees”.
5. Shaheedi of Bhai Mani Singh ji
On this day “Bandi chhor Divas” Bhai Mani Singh ji, who was the then Granthi Of Shri Harmandir sahib (Golden Temple) is martyred in 1734.
This happened because Bhai Mani Singh ji refused to pay tax on a religious meeting of khalsa on Diwali. The Government arrested him and took him to Lahore. The Qazi pronounced the judgement thathe was to be cut to pieces limb by limb
While the celebration of Bandi Chhor Divas affords Sikhs the opportunity to celebrate alongside our Hindu and Jain siblings, we must also consider what this day signifies for Sikhs as more than just a day of celebration involving candles and fireworks.
The story of Guru Hargobind’s cloak symbolizes the connections with others to work towards common goals. We must look at our individual causes in the lens of how that work promotes the greater good.
In the spirit of that challenge, We wish a happy Bandi Chhor Divas to all.