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Baba lakhi Shah is a respectable name in Sikh History. On Sixth Maghar Sudi 1732 Bikrami Samvat, when Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhs was martyred in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, the body of Guru Ji kept lying there in the square all the day. Terrorised by Subedar of Delhi anybody dared to cremate the body of Guru Ji.

Bhai Jaita and Bhai Gurbaksh along with other sikhs saw all this. At night these sikhs gathered at the house of Nanu Chhimba. There was a long discussion on hour to bring the body of Guru Ji. Nanu Rai Chhimba said "Let us ask Lakhi Das Naik. His tanda had just returned from Narnual.

Then all the sikhs went to the dera of Lakhi Shah situated on the banks of Yamuna. They narrated the incident of Guru Ji's martyrdom and three sikhs - Bhai Dayal Dass, Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass. Lakhi Shah Vartia said that he didn't know about the death of Guru Ji, he had just returned from Narnaul. He droped his head in grief and said that he ready for whatever the service they want. After a brief discussion, four sikhs Bhai Nanu Rai, Bhai Agya, Bhai Jaita and Bhai Uday went to Chandni Chowk in tanda and brought the head of Guru Ji to the house of Bhai Jaita in Dilwali Mohalla. On the other hand Lakhi Shah Vartia with the help of his sons Nayak Hema, Hari and another person Nayak Dhuma Bijlot, put the body of Guru Ji in a bullock cart and sliped away. The tanda came afterwards.

Lakhi Shah Vartia took the body of Guru Ji to his native village, Raisina. He layed the body of Guru Ji in the house and torched the house. Thus Lakhi Shah Vartia Ji showing his imense denotion towards Guru Ji. added another chapter in Sikh History.

This story about Baba Lakhi Shah Vanjar is quite popular in Sikh history, but not much light has been thrown on his personal life.

Giani Garja Singh historian had collected some information about his life from the files (Vahis) of Bhats and Pandas (Pandits).


                        Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib New Delhi

In his book "Guru Kian Sakhian" Gyani Garja Singh wrote a foot note about the family of Baba Lakhi Shah. i.e.
"Lakhia Beta Godhu Ka, Nagahia, Hema, Hari Bete Lakhi ke Jad Bansi Badti Knaut. Naik Dhuma Beta Nane Ka Tumar Bijnaut, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji Mahal Nawa ki Lash uthai lai, Saal Satran san batees mangsar sudi chet Gurumar Ke Dihun Daag dia Raisina gaon mein adh garhi rain rahi"

The above information had been got from Bhat Vahi Jade Bansian Ki (the Bhat files of Bansian Caste), which clearly describes that Baba Lakhi Shah Ji was from Bartia Caste ofBazigar Vanjara tribe. In another Bhat Vahi Atela Pargana Kaithal

there is a reference about the death of Baba Lakhi Shah i.e.

"Lakhi Rai Beta Godhu Ka, Pota Thakur Dass ka, Bans Pursotam ki, Chander bansi Yadav, got Bartia Knaut, Saal satran sau santees, jeth sudi ekadashi, rakab ganj ke malaan, Delhi nagri, gram Raisina, Sava pehar dehun charhe, parlok piana kia."

In Panda Vahi Khem Chand Chunni Lal, Haridwar, there is reference of Baba Lakhi Shah's sons Nagahia, Hem Chand and mother Kanto coming to

"Nagahia, Hem Chand, Haari, Hira, Pundia, Bakshi, Bala, Jamahar bete Lakhi key, potey Godhu key, parpotey Thakur Dass key, Jadav bansi, Ulad Purshotam ki, Bartia Knaut, saal satran sau athatees, bhadav mass ki amavas key dihun Nagahia Ganga ji aya, phool pita Lakhi Rai ke laye key, saath Hem Chand aya, saath mata Kanto ayee."

Thus Panda Vahi tells us that Baba Lakhi Shah had eight sons. After the demise of Baba Lakhi Shah on Jeth sudi Ekadashi, Bikrami Samvat 1737, the last rites were performed at Haridwar on 1738 Bikrami Samvat Masia (No Moon) of Bhadron.

Another reference in the book of "Guru Kia Sakhian" tells about the martrydom of Nagahia the eldest son of Baba Lakhi Shah Vartia. On 9th of Vaisakh 1766 (Bikrami). He died at Guru Chak while fighting with Divan Hari Rai Patti. According to book, "Shahid Bilas", edited by Giani Garja Singh, the daughter of Lakhi Shah, Mata Sito was married to the great martyr Baba Mani Singh Ji, who was cut to pieces by the Mughal. At that time family of Baba Lakhi Shah Ji lived in Khairpur Sayyadaat, 75 Miles from Multan, Tehsil Alipur, District Mujaffargarh, Because Baba Lakhi Shah was a businessman, he kept changing his place of residence.

Some reference made by Bhat Keso in "Bhat Vahi Jado bansi Bartia Ki" tells that the name of Baba Lakhi Shah's wife was Para Dei, and she was daugther of Garamba, sub caste of Goaars.

Thus the research done by Giani Garja Singh from Bhat and panda vahis, throws some light on some aspects of life of Baba Lakhi Shah Vartia. We expect some more intellectuals will also come forward and try to clear the dust from the dim picture of Heroes of the History.

Written by: Om Parkash Kamal
 

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