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The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
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Time of origin: early 1500s (with establishment of Sodhi clans in Punjab

This is the clan name of all the Sikh Gurus from the fourth Sikh Guru onwards. Sikh tradition holds that once Satguru Ram Das Ji was sat on a stool in deep meditation and his daughter, Bibi Bhani, saw one of the legs of the stool about to collapse. She went and put her fist underneath it even though it caused her great pain. After a while when her father woke from meditation he saw his daughter's great act of piety. Overwhelmed with emotion Akali Guru Ram Das Ji granted Bibi Bhani any boon she desired. She asked her father that from now on the Guru’s throne only remain within the house hold of Sodhis. Thus the succeeding seven Sikh Gurus were Sodhis.

Akali Guru Ram Das Ji

The fourth Sikh Guru, born into the Khatri Sodhi lineage, Pahari, circa 1800

The succession of Sikh Gurus never went smoothly as there were always rival claimants. From amongst the dissident Sodhis, the first was Dhirmal the grandson of Akali Guru Hargobind and son of Baba Gurditta Udhasi and Mata Ananti born in 1626. Dhirmal did not accept his younger half-brother Akali Guru Har Rai’s son of Mata Nihal Kaur, succession to the Sikh throne.

Dhirmal took possession of the original Adi Guru Durbar at Kartarpur. Dhirmal also intended to build up a following of his own amongst the Sikhs focusing around the original copy of Adi Guru Durbar. Dhirmal achieved some success in this.

Kartarpuri Bir
Kept by the Sodhi family, this manuscript is claimed to be the original text as scribed by Bhai Gurdas Ji

Later as Akali Guru Tegh Bahadur was elected Guru by the Sikhs in Baba Bkala, Dhirmal made his final claim to the spiritual throne of Sikhism. A Masand named Sihan impressed upon Dhirmal to kill his uncle and plunder his property. Sihan himself took the evil task of shooting dead Satguru Tegh Bahadur. Sihan, with fifty other thugs entered the Guru’s residence. The Guru was shot by Sihan but just received a minor wound on his head. The angry Akali Sikhs, against Guru Tegh Bahadur's wishes, fought a pitched battle with the Masand and his men. Sihan was caught and the base of Dhirmal looted.

Akali Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji

The ninth warrior Sikh Guru who was martyred so that others may freely practice their faith

The Akali Sikhs captured the original copy of Adi Guru Durbar. Sihan pleaded for his life and the ever-compassionate Guru freed him without harmed. All, except the copy of Guru Granth, was returned to Dhirmal. The Guru had wanted the Guru Granth returned to his nephew, but his wife Bibi Nanaki and other Sikhs acted secretly against the Guru's wishes.

Guru Tegh Bahadur would later, according to traditional Sikh accounts, deposit the Guru Granth Sahib in the Beas river and had Dhirmal retrieve it from there.

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