THE QUIN-PRESIDIUM: TRADATION AND HISTORY
Guru Gobind Singh, the proclaimer of “Khalsa Mero Satgur Poora”-‘Fully Accomplished is my Lord’ did literally accept the ‘khalsa’ as ‘Guru’ in his perception. ‘Khalsa’ in itself is a word in plural, which attributes recognition to the plurality of Gursikhs with at least “five” in number. On individual level, a Gursikh might be a follower of some highly spiritual, social, or political life, but to regard him as ‘Guru’ is nothing short of showing ignorance towards the Sikh code of conviction. An individual Sikh or the Sikh in congregation is the fundamental unit of “Guru-Panth”- the Sikh Society, and that has a universal recognition. As we have already discussed that ‘Guru-Panth’ in form of the ‘Five Beloved Ones’ represents the whole Sikh community in general. Previously, they are used to be priests called Masandas who on personal level were representative functionaries of the Guru at distant places. But these people very soon ignored the Guru’s word, became themselves haughty and arrogant and declared themselves for adoration because of which such customs had to be banished at times from the Guru’s seat. Reason being that the so-called Sikh representatives also manifested the same pitfalls which could be found among common people in society whereas appointment as representative Gursikh used to be given only to a person following a high code of conviction in life. In order to get rid of the individual weaknesses of the representatives, Guru Gobind Singh abolished the priesthood tradition and put forth the khalsa community doctrine of ‘Quin-Presidium’ which though was already in practice. ‘Panch’ meant literally as ‘one above four’. These could be the five saints or the five Guru-Followers or the ‘Five Beloved Ones’ as it is in Sikh code who are true to themselves in word and appearance. ‘Panj’ is as word attributive to numerical writing but in Guru-oriented ideology and history, the number ‘Five’ has got its specific recognition. ‘Five’ is the minimum complete number, which is competent to decide every type of issues. In Guru-oriented narratives, the numbers ‘five’ is found repeated time and again such as ‘the five segments’ - panj khand; ‘the five beloved ones’- panj pyare; ‘the five compositions’- panj banian; ‘the five emblems of Sikh identity’- panj kakaars; ‘the five weapons’- panj shahstar; ‘the five virtues’- panj gun; ‘the five sovereign seats’- panj Takhat; ‘the five times’- panj vakhat and ‘the five elements’- panj tatt tec. In ‘Gurmat Nirnai Bhandar’, Giani Lal Singh (Sangrur) has given 155 titles for the word ‘FIVE’- panj, which as per number is suffice of all. Bhai Gurdas Ji, the supreme analyzer of Guru Ideology makes it explicit that the timeless Almighty is under no accountability, He cannot be assessed for any valuation; and even he is associable through ‘five Gursikhs’. But the five Gursikhs such as have no trickery effect and are aloof of the worldly intricacies and they are through and through aligned with Gurbani by virtue of mind, word and action. Such ‘Gursikhs’ only look brethren-like graceful in congregation:
Bhai Gurdas ji IInd has further clarified that the Sikhs as ‘two’ constitute congregation, and when ‘five’, they become the Khalsa Almighty in form:
The seekers of Guru’s doctrine know this that the Almighty Himself created five elements in order to create the universe, and He Himself is omniscient in formless being, Bhai Gurdas Ji makes it clear:
Guru Gobind Singh Ji made a selection of ‘Five Beloved Ones’ and bestowed them first with the Amrit- the nectar- of the two- edged sword and bowl. Thereafter he himself got the boon of Amrit from the ‘Five Ones’- the transformed Ones- in Guru-form and then created history on the basis of sublime ideology:
The Gurmat thought bears testimony to the fact that ‘FIVE’ is a wholesale number that is well-placed to decide every type of issues. Condition being that all decisions are made in light of the tenets of the Guru:
‘No resolution can be made with number less than ‘five’. The quorum for a resolution is ‘five’. Historically we see that the first Gurus also kept prominent Sikhs with them in company. Normally this number also counts to be ‘five’ as the five beloved Sikhs of the Guru Arjan Dev Ji- Bahi Bidhi Chand Ji, Bhai Jetha Ji, Bhai Langah Ji, Bhai Pirana Ji and Bahi Piara Ji. In this light, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha has enumerated the five soul-conscientious beloved ones of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji as Divan Matti Das Ji, Bhai Gurditta Ji, Bhai Dayala Ji, Bhai Ooda Ji and Bhai Jaita Ji. During the battle of Chamkaur Sahib, Bhai Daya Singh Ji, Bhai Dharam Singh Ji, Bhai Maan Singh Ji, Bhai Sangat Singh Ji and Bhai Sant Singh Ji- the five prominent Sikhs- entreated the Panth, safety lay in the Guru’s Safety. But on the Guru Ji’s expressing his wish to sacrifice himself in the battle of Chamkaur, the five Sikh commanded the Guru to securely move out of the fortress, which the Guru had to accede to. ‘Be it is not less than five; more may be’, so is said. The five Guru-guided Sikhs are make themselves Master of the religiously learned ones, and that is why, after bestowing Amrit to the ‘Beloved Oned’, He made them one with Himself. May the five Sikhs join together, offer prayer with a clean heart for any endeavour; the same will be accomplished. Bhai Santhok Singh and Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu, in historical scriptures, have made a mention of the bestowal of Guruship on Khalsa:
In Order to hand over the Zafarnama - the message of victory-to Aurangzeb, the five-membered representatives legislative (Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Karam Singh, Bhai Desa Singh, Bhai Shiv Singh and Bhai Jetha Singh) were sent to Naurangabad (Aurangabad) so that the Khalsa could conform with the royal protocols. In confrontation with the heinous hostillies of the Mughal Empire, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji sent Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to Punjab, the Guru Ji bestowed him with a drum, a flag and five arrows as signs of worldly power. At that time Guru Ji Spoke to him: ”Take Yourself always to be khalsa servant of the khalsa who is the image of Guru, and act always as per counsel of the five beloved ones who are being sent with you”. (Ref. Sikh Ithihas: Dr Ganda Singh Teja Singh). It was an historical event when the Khalsa Panth was going to offer the status of Nawab to Sirdar Kapur Singh when th eSirdar made a pleading to the “Khalsa-Panth” that he was ready to accept the honour as desired by the “Panth” per condition thet the written document must before bestowing the status to him. By getting the touch of the feet of five beloved ones, hare turned a lion or an insignificant grain of mustard becomes a mountain. Such is the power of Guru-ordained Singhs !
Baba Prem Singh Hoti has given names of the five Singhs as follows: 1. Bhai Hari Singh Hazuria. 2. S. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia. 3. Baba Deep Singh Shaheed. 4. Bhai Karam Singh. 5. S. Budha Singh Shukarchakia. Guru Gobind Singh has a directive to the khalsa that the scared pudding which is distributed at the conclusion of a congregational prayer must be distributed first among the ‘five beloved ones’. The khalsa has maintained obedience to this directive in the form of tradition, and at the time of establishing the Sikh Code of Conduct, the directive was made a part of Code wherein it has been clarified: ‘Before distributing the scared pudding, a good share be taken out for ‘five beloved ones’ and be distributed.’ The ‘five chosen ones’ only have competence to bestow Amrit to the Amrit-seekers in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib , and for affirmation of the basic religious thought. There is clear indication for this in the text of Code of Sikh Conduct and Conventions: “telling the name of Waheguru, and making them repeat it.” In the light of the brief historical references, we can say that the ‘Guru-oriented ideology and history’ has acknowledged the ‘Five Chosen Ones’ only as representatives of the ‘Guru-Panth’. It has an overall ratification that Sri Akal Takhat Sahib is the supreme representative institution of ‘Guru-Panth’ whereat the ‘Five Chosen Ones’ have right to decide every type of issues in light of the ‘Guru-ideology’. Since a Gursikh is primary unit of ‘Guru-Panth’, therefore, canonically and behaviorally, he is bound religiously, socially and morally to abide by the edicts, communiqués and verdicts issued from the sovereign seat of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib on behalf of the ‘Guru-Panth’.