The Lord – The Super King

Ko-oo Har samaan nahee raja. Ei bhoopat sabh diwas chaar ke jhootthe karat diwaajaa (SGGS, Ang – 856)
(The Lord is the super king. No other King or lord is equal to Him. The worldly Kings are
for a short duration. Their display of power and pride is also temporary and hence false.)

 This was the Hukamnama read out from Guru Granth Sahib by Sant Attar Singh during the ceremonies at Delhi Darbar held in 1911 at the time of the visit of King George V (successor of Edward VII) to India. This was the third Darbar held by the British in Delhi.

The Lord - The Super King

Attar Singh Ji

 The first Darbar was held by Lord Lytton, the then Governor General, in 1877 in Delhi – not in Calcutta the capital of British India at that time. It was a grand show. Many rituals and religious systems of the Mughals were adopted in this Darbar as also in the two Delhi Darbars to be held later. Mughal systems were followed during these Darbars to assert that the British were the legitimate successors of the Mughals. Another important reason for holding the first Darbar was that Queen Victoria had proclaimed sovereignty over all the inhabitants of the parts of India occupied by the British or the states of the   Rajas/Maharajas under them in November 1858. In this Darbar, she was announced as Kaiser-e-Hind (Ruler of India – successor of the last Mughal King). This was felt necessary by the British after the farcical trial of the last Mughal King, Bahadur Shah Zafar and his exile to Burma (now Myanmar), where he died in prison.

 The second Delhi Darbar was held in 1903 by Lord Curzon (who later divided Bengal in two parts in 1905 but had to retreat after the unrest caused in Bengal by the division). In this Darbar, coronation of King Edward VII, successor of Queen Victoria, was celebrated with pomp and show.

The Lord - The Super KingIn the third Darbar the British made a very important and historical announcement declaring Delhi as the Capital of British India and emphasized that they were the successors of the Mughals with George V, the successor of Edward VII, being the King of the British Indian Empire. The celebrations held in the presence of King George V, were extremely lavish. Apart from drinks, dances, matches and various other entertainments there were prayers held by various religious leaders, specially invited to participate by  eading out passages from their sacred scriptures in a huge gathering of all the high officials. Sant Attar

Singh also took part in the prayers because Khalsa College Committee of Amritsar as also the Sikh Maharajas of Jind, Nabha, Patiala and other states requested him to represent the Sikhs. Sant Ji reluctantly agreed ignoring his personal views regarding the celebrations of the foreign rulers.

Sant Ji reached Delhi with the Punjab Chiefs. A colorful procession of the Rajas and Maharajas from all over British India started under the patronage of Guru Granth Sahib from Patiala House towards the  Pandal, meant for religious ceremonies. Guru Granth Sahib was installed on an elephant elegantly decorated to suit the occasion and Sant Ji doing the Chavar (fly-whisk). This scene presented a picture of holiness and overshadowed the show of the princes and other public in the procession. It was a procession of its own kind in the history of Delhi.

The elephant halted after entering the gate of the Pandal. King George V stood up followed by Governor General Hardinge (of Penshurt-not Henry Hardinge, who fought with leaderless Sikh army at Mudki in December, 1846 in Anglo- Sikh War I and had decided unconditional surrender and run back to Calcutta till the traitors reassured him their help). Thereafter all the British officials and the audience got up to pay respect to Guru Granth Sahib. Maharaja of Jind carried on his head the holy Granth Sahib up to the stage where it was gorgeously installed on a Palki (palanquin).

Various religious personalities read out paragraphs, Slokas and other relevant stanzas from their  books/note books carried with them. Then came the turn of Sant Ji, who respectfully opened Guru Granth Sahib and read out the following sacred hymn on this occasion of extraordinary display of imperial power. The hymn rejected the false show of power of temporary worldly rulers – God Almighty being all powerful forever:

 

Ko-oo Har samaan nahee raja. Ei bhoopat sabh diwas chaar ke jhootthe karat diwaajaa. (Rahaa-o)
Tero jan ho-e so-e kat dolai teen bhavan per chhaajaa.
Haath pasaar sakai ko jan kau bol sakai na andaajaa.
Chet achet moorh mann mer-ei baaj-ei anhad baajaa.
Keh Kabir sansaa bharam chooko Dharoo Prehlad nivaajaa. (SGGS, Ang -856)

 {The Lord is the super king. No other King or lord is equal to Him. The worldly Kings are for a short   duration. Their display of power and pride is also temporary and hence false (Pause). How can your servant (devotee) waver, your shadow (protection) is there for him in the three worlds. Who can raise his hand against your humble servant or can speak against him the least. Remember him, O my foolish mind so that melody (of musical sound) may resonate and resound. Says Kabir, do not have fears and doubts (The Lord is there to look after you and thus protect you). He did so for Dhruv and Prehlad.}

 Sant Ji explained the meanings of the hymn in details to the audience after reading it out (though it was not difficult to understand even by the British because all the British officials used to learn Punjabi language and Gurmukhi script on being posted in India since they had to deal with Punjabi soldiers).

As luck would have it, it took over 17 years to build the office blocks, other buildings and shift the capital in full form. By that time, in the year 1930 Indian National Congress held a conference at Lahore (in which Baba Kharak Singh’s role was prominent) and passed historical resolution for full freedom.

As soon as this function ended King George V and Governor General Hardinge stood with folded hands in front of Sant Ji and thanked him.

The truth is that the Lord is the king of kings forever and all worldly kings with their pomp and show are temporary.

~ Balwant Singh
~ Eternal Voice, New Delhi

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