Bhai Roop Chand Ji
According to “Tababat-a- Nasheeri”, in 799 Hizri, Khokharwa Rajputs embraced Hinduism and under the command of Raja Anand Pal fought against Mahmud Ghazni with 3000 army men. They supported Malik Khusro of Jammu against Mahmud Ghazni. They started spreading towards Kabul, Kandhar and Macedonia.
According to History of India by Baldev Raj, in 1215 Khokhars were harassing Altamash. In 1226 Altamash defeated Rajputs. When in 1227 Changez Khan dominated Jallaudin from Ghazni, he moved towards Lahore and met with resistance from khokhars but they could not succeed. According to book “Punjab Castes”- Budan pal and Veer Narain got killed during the take over of Rajputs from Punjab and Gwalior. During the period of 1240 to 1250 Khokhars kept on challenging Mugals and kept their presence felt.
According to Taribh-a-Mubarikshahi Shekhar Khokhar occupied Lahore in 1394. Mugal king Himann sent Sikander Shah to defeat Khokhars. When Tuman left Hindustan the killed Shekhar Khokhars . Muslim invaders started forcing them towards Jammu and finally they started at Bharatpur in Rajasthan where they founded the state of Bhartgarh. Raja Budan Pal had to marry a woman from other caste as advocated by the wise men of that time to fulfill his desire to get a heir. So he married Chander Kanta, daughter of Bansidhar, a carpenter. Boy named Punpal took birth. In this way family tree kept on descending. Raja Sultan along with his son Sada and Grandson Sidhu settled at Tuklani, they all were followers of Sakhi-Server, a Muslim pir whose dera is there in Afghanistan.
There has been five Bhai families upon whom title of Bhai has been conferred. These are Bhai Bhagtu family , Bhai Behlo family. Pandit Bhai Ganga Ram family, Bhai Daroli family and Bhai Roop Chand family.
When Raja Sada’s son Sidhu married Bibi Surti of Vada Ghar near Daroli, on the day of marriage 16th Jyeth 1670 she had a chance to meet Guru Hargobind ji, as her father Bhai Aqal was a disciple of Guru Ramdas ji and Arjan Dev ji. She begged for sikhi for her husband who was along with his family worshiper of Sakhi-Server. Guru Hargobind ji blessed her and professed that a boy would take birth, who will be honored by all.
A very beautiful boy was born on 3- Baisakh and the 6th guru himself named him “Roop chand”. Father Sidhu and son Roop Chand were superintending the harvesting of the crop .It was a very hot day .They had a goat skin water container hung from a branch in the shade of the nearby tree. The water was exceptionally cool and sweet. Both moved with devotion, dedicated the water as offering to the Guru and refrained from drinking it.
The heat grew more intense and their thirst more aggravated, till they almost swooned by exhaustion. But neither father nor son would touch any drop of the water. On the other hand Guru Hargobind ji by his omniscience was aware of the distress which both were suffering on account of the deep devotion to him . Guru ji traveled 32 miles on horse back despite the heat of the day and reached both of them and drank their water to his fill according to their wish – sharing it with his devoted disciples.
In token of his appreciation of their love and devotion to Him , Guruji gave them his robe, sword and horse .To this day there stands on the spot the JAND tree to commemorate this historic event. With deep reverence, Sidhu and Roop Chand placed the sword and robe on their heads and led the horse to their home by a rope, for they considered these presents too sacred for their personal use. Observing this, the Guru was greatly touched by their devotion and respect for him. He blessed them with a remark that their word would be more potent than sword and that they need not use the weapon but should keep it in trust for the Guru’s descendants to claim. He also remarked that Sikhs will follow their example and keep a miniature sword on their heads; since then, the present custom of keeping a small Kirpan in the Sikh’s hairs.
Guru laid the foundation of Village Bhai Roopa on the 16th Baisakh,1687 Bikra mi (1630 A.D.) naming it after Bhai Roop Chand. In august 1631 Guru Hargobind Sahib ji , with 3000 warriors again visited Bhai Roopa and stayed there for three months. The Guru in recognition of devotion , honoured Roop Chand with The title of “Bhai” (own brother) and put him in charge of the spiritual welfare of the new region of Malwa and the country south of Sutlej. With his own hands Guru Ji made Bhai Roop Chand the MASAND of the area and put on his forehead the TILAK, (saffron mark of leadership) and gave a KARCHHA, a long spoon , asking him to run LANGAR to feed the poor and the needy. This KARCHHA is a symbol of veneration for the family. The Guru also remarked that even fresh cut wood would burn like dry wood in the Langar fire. This can be seen even now at Dyalpura Bhai village at any time.
In Feb. 1644 Guru Hargobind Sahib ji died and Bhai Roop Chand Ji participated in all the ceremonies which were held at Kiratpur sahib.
A very rare painting of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji
After that in 1652 Guru Har-Rai ji stayed with his uncle Sai Dass at Daroli then proceeded towards Bhai Roopa village. Kala Sidhu was a devout pupil of Bhai Roop Chand. He along with his nephews Phool and Sandli pleaded for food from the Guru. Due to mediation of Bhai Roop Chandji Guruji professed that their (Phool & Sandli) horses will drink water between Jamuna and Satluj and true to the Guru’s word, the Phoolkian family came in to being which later sprang up as the princely states of Patiala, Nabha, Jind etc.
During the times of the9th Guru Teg Bahadur ji, in Feb 1665, Bhai Roop Chand ji and his two sons Dharam Chand and Param chand were mostly in His company. Bhai Roop Chand ji remained in service of Mata Gujri ji at Patna and both sons went to Assam along with Guruji. Dharam chand ji was instrumental in diffusing enmity amongst the Assam Rajas.
Guru Teg Bahadur ji called Sahibzada (Guru Gobind Rai) along with his family members who came from Patna, Kashi, Audia, Hardwar, Ambala, Lakhnor etc.and Bhai Roopa family, Bhai Behlo, Daroli families on knowing this also came to meet Guruji.
Though Guru Gobind Singh ji was of very tender age, he was married to Bibi Jeeto ji at Guru ka Lahore. Guru Teg Bahadurji decided that Bhai Roop Chand will perform the marriage ceremony. So this legendary service was showered upon Bhai Sahib and He performed the marriage ceremony. After martyrdom of sahibzadas at Sirhind Guruji came to Malwa at village Deena and stayed in Desoo carpenter’s house. Here Bhai Roop Chand’s sons brought the attire and the arms which the6th Guru had presented to them and had promised to take them back in his10th term.10th Master Guru Gobind Singh, on seeing those things became very happy and further presented them with his personal kirpan (Gatra Kirpan). Guruji said that as long as they honoured these things their power will remain intact. Here elder two sons Dharam Chand and Param Chand along with other family members were offered to the Guru. They served Guru Gobind Singh ji till end up to Nanded. Even Param Singh died in Nanded. The whole family got baptized at Damdama sahib from Guru Gobind Singh ji
Guru Gobind Singh ji explained the meaning of Guru Granth Sahib to 48 of his close (HAZURI) disciples. Above two along with Bhai Binod, Baba Deep Singh ji, Bhai Dan Singh, Bhai Hardas Singh (grand father of Jassa Singh Ramgarhia), Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Kehar Singh etc. listened to Guruji at Talwandi Sabo.
One time Guru Gobind Singh ji tested Bhai Dharam Singh ji and Bhai Param Singh ji. Guru Ji sent them back saying that their services has been acknowledged. Bhai Roop Singh got enraged on seeing them back and scolded them for leaving the Guru alone. He ordered both of them to go back to Guruji and if Guru Ji was satisfied with them then they had to bring His signed letter. Both complying the order of their father reached Nanded (A.P.) again and met Guruji . Guru Ji felt happy over the devotion of Bhai Roop Singh and his sons and gave them His personal Pothi with signature on that plus one handkerchief, small knife and showered His divine blessings on them. Darshan of these articles can be observed on Sangrand of every month at village Bagrian near Nabha. Bhai Jhujhar Singh is the scion of the family.
Great Guru Gobind Singh Ji went to Nanded where Baba Banda Bahadur came into the Guru’s fold. He was sent to Punjab to teach lesson to the tyrants. Banda wrote letters to various Sikh sardars to send troops to join him. A similar letter was sent to Bhai Roopa’s family and in response to that Bhai Dharam Singh ji and Bhai Karam Singh joined Banda Bahadur and took part in the battle against Sirhind. Bhai Dharm Singh ji was commander of the Malwa army. Fateh Singh of Bathinda and Dan Singh Brar also fought along with them.
By this time LANGAR SEWA had spread to many villages apart from Bhai Roopa village. Bhai Roop Singh sahib had seven sons Bhai Dharm Singh ji, Bhai Param Singh ji, Bhai Karam Singh ji, Bhai Mahanand, Bhai Sadanand, Bhai Surtia and Bhai Sukhia ji., out of whom he ordered Bhai Dharm Singh ji to populate a new village which he found and called it Dialpura then village Bagrian was populated near Nabha. Bhai Param Singh’s and Surtia’s descendents live in Bhai Roopa village. Mahanand’s descendents live in Kotha guru, Rawalheri and Lakhnor villages. Bhai Sukhia’s descendents live in Samadh Bhai village where Bhai Roop singh ji was cremated. Bhai Karam Singh ji’s family lives in Syriawala, Thathi, Kalyan and Tolawala.
Baba Guddar Singh ji son of Dharm Singh ji and Nawab Kapoor Singh baptized Baba Ala Singh (Founder of Patiala state).Gajpat Rai (Nana of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) was devout pupil of Baba ji. He made one fort for Babaji at Dialpura Bhai village. He got a son by blessing of Babaji. Mai Rajji prayed that even if they should be deprived of their own share of children the Raja must be blessed with an off-spring. And the prayer was answered. “His Holiness” Bhai Sahib Bhai Arjan Singh Ji was an exemplary Sikh. He baptised 500 persons (a big number at that times) in a single day, a sort of record at that time.
Bhai Ardaman Singh ji (above) served as an ardent descendent of Bhai Roop Singh ji and presently Bhai Sahib Bhai Ashok Singh ji a very visionary and learned personality who is respected by all. Bhai sahib Bhai Jujjahar Singh ji is scion of the family and serving panth from Bagrian.
Bhai Gurchet Singh ji possesses very rare and valuable relics (read 6th june AJIT paper) belongings to various gurus and serving at Bhai Roopa village. Bhai Jiwanjot Singh ji descendant of Bhai Karam singh is looking after LANGAR at Siryawala .
The Bhai Roopa family possesses a bundle of HUKAMNAMAS, Royal warrants from Gurus in which, besides asking for men, money and war materials, the Guru acknowledged Bhai Roopa’s family as his own family. The family also possesses a chariot, RABAB and KHADAWAN (wooden shoe) of Guru Arjan Devji, One KHADAWAN of Mata Gangaji, some paintings of Guru Sahib’s times including one of Guru Gobind Singhji’s childhood. One hand written Guru Granth Sahib ji, One Karchha, Qatar, many hand written Pothies, Cot which was used to bestow ‘BHAI TITLE’ , Original top cloth of RATH (chariot). One personal Pothi signed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, GATRE WALI KIRPAN, RUMAL (handkerchief), LOH (Round Steel plate to cook roti) ,one GARWA,one seat of Camel, one Gager, Parat(to knead flour), one old chowki And LOH at Syriawala.
The story of the CHARIOT (rath) is as follows:-
Khuda Bakhsh, a Kashmiri carpenter, prayed for a son and promised one chariot to be offered to the 4th guru sahib. His wish was granted and he worked extensively for a long time and made one and offered it to Guru Ramdas ji at Amritsar. Then Guru Arjan dev ji took possession of it and on the same Rath Mata Gangaji went to Baba BUDDA ji for blessing of a son. The same rath was used by Guru Hargobind sahib ji and then by Guru HarRai Sahib.
When Ram Rai son of Guru Har Rai ji was sent by the 7th guru to clarify the meaning of Sloka “Miti musalman ki pede pai ghumiar” to the then Mogul emperor Aurangjeb then Ram Rai himself changed the text to “Miti beiman ke pede pai ghumiar”. On this he was debarred from guruship. He settled at Dehradun where he was given land by the emperor. He had this chariot on which he used to travel to Delhi etc. According to legend Ram Rai used to fly this chariot as he had supernatural powers. So chariot became famous as the “flying chariot”. On request from Mata Punjab Kaur wife of Ram Rai ji, this was brought by Bhai Gian Singh from Dehradun for safe keeping. Darshan of this chariot can be done at Village Bhai Roopa on any day. In total 101 articles given to various members of the family on different occasions are in possession with various members of the family.
1.House of Bagrian
2.Bhupindra Nandan granth.
3.Panth Parkash by Rattan singh Bhangu.
4.Khadmesh Parkash by Kalaswalia.
5.Guru Bilas Patshahi 6th .
6.Guru Bilas Patshahi 10th .
7.Ramgarhia Itihas By Gurdial singh Reehal.
8. Itihas Bagrian By Giani Gian singh ji.
9. Twarikh-Khalsa By Giani Gian singh
10.Brahm Giani Bhai Roop Chand Ji By
Pritam singh Khokhar.
11.Read 6th Jun 05 Ajit Paper(Virsa section)
Smadh of Bhai Roop Chand
Gurdwara Bhai Roop Chand Ji
Inside Gurdwara Bhai Roop Chand
Gurdwara Buildings Bhai Roop Chand
A wooden stirrir with Bhai Roop Chand’s grandson (courtesy – Prof. Balwinder Singh)
Guru Hargobind Sahib presented Bhai Roop Chand Ji with these implements for use in the langar – Courtesy Prof Balwinder Singh