The 10 Gurus
The Ten Sikh Gurus
Sikhism was established by ten Gurus, teachers or masters, over the period from 1469 to 1708 - that is over a period of 239 years. These teachers were enlightened souls whose main purpose in life was the spiritual and moral well-being of the masses. By setting an exceptional example of how to live a holy and worthy life through the reciting of holy hymns called Shabads. The Gurus taught the people of India & beyond, to live spiritually fulfilling lives with dignity and honour.
Each master added to and reinforced the message taught by the previous, resulting eventually to the creation of the religion that is now called Sikhism. Guru Nanak Dev was the first Guru and Guru Gobind Singh the final Guru in human form. When Guru Gobind Singh left this world, he made the Sri Guru Granth Sahib the ultimate and final Sikh Guru. The Spirit of this final Guru is more than a holy book for the Sikhs, who give this eternal Guru the same respect and reverence as a living "human" guru.
During the span of 239 years, the Sikh Gurus laid down within the sacred scriptures, the rules and regulations that outline the way of living that was to be followed by all practicing disciple of this religion. The history and the literature present the followers of the faith with the raw material required to learn about the beliefs and practises propagated by the Gurus. The Gurus were clear also to outline rituals, practises and beliefs that were not appropriate and were not to be followed by the faithful disciples.
The "Guru" in Sikhism is an enlightener and messenger. They are the messengers of the Timeless. They renew the eternal wisdom. They are universal men wh free our minds from bigotry and superstitions, dogmas and rituals and emphasize the simplicity of the religion.
1. GURU NANAK - Guru from 1469 to 1539
the first of the Gurus and the founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak. He was born at Talwandi (now knwn as Nankana Sahib in Pakistan) on October 20, 1469.
Guru ji mastered Punjabi, Sanskrit and Persian at an early age and in childhood revolted against ritualism, caste, prejudices, hypocrisy and idolatry.
He regarded Hindus and Muslims as equals and referred to himself as neither Hindu nor Muslim but as a brother to all those who believed in God and truth.
He made four great journeys, travelling to all parts of India and into Arabia and Persia; visiting Mecca and Baghdad. He spoke before Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Parsees and Muslims. He spoke in the temples and mosques and at various pilgrimage sites. Whenever he went, Guru Nanak spoke out against empty religion rituals, pilgrimages, the caste system, the sacrifice of widows, of depending on books to learn the true religion and of all the other tenets that were to define his teachings. Never did he ask his listeners to follow him. He asked the Muslims to be true Muslims and the Hindus to be true Hindus.
2. Guru Angad - Guru from 1539 to 1552
He was born in 1504. Guru Angad invented and introduced the Gurmukhi (written form of Punjabi) script and made it known to all sikhs.
The scripture of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is written in Gurmukhi. This scripture is also the basis of the Punjabi language. It became the script of the masses very soon. Guru Angad was a model of self-less service to his Sikhs and showed them the way to devotional prayers. He took great interest in the education of the children by opening many schools for their instruction and thus greatly increased literacy.
For the youth he started the tradional of Mall Akhara, where physical as well as spiritual exercises were held. He collected the facts about Guru Nanak Sahib's life from Bhai Bala ji and wrote the first biography of Guru Nanak Sahib. (The Bhai Bale Wali Janamsakhi currently available is not the same as that which Guru Angad Sahib compiled.) He also wrote 63 Saloks (stanzas), these were included in Guru Granth Sahib. He popularized and expanded the institution of 'Guru ka Langar' started by Guru Nanak Sahib earlier.
3. Guru Amar Das - Guru from 1552 to 1574
He was born in 1479. Guru Amardas took up cudgels of spirituality to fight against caste restrictions, caste prejudices and the curse of untouchability.
He strengthened the tradition of the free kitchen, Guru Ka Langar (started by Guru Nanak), and made his disciples, whether rich or poor, whether high born or low born (according to the hindu caste system), have their meals together sitting in one place.
He thus established social equality amongst the people. Guru Amardas introduced the Anand Karaj marriage ceremony for the Sikhs, replacing the Hindu from.
He also completely abolished amongst the Sikhs, the custom of Sati, in which a married woman was forced to burn herself to death in the funeral pyre of her husband. The custom of Paradah (Purda), in which a woman covered her face with a veil, was also done away with.
4. Guru Ram Das the 4th Guru (1534 - 1581)
He was born in 1534. Guru ji founded the city of Amritsar and started the construction of the famous Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs. He requested the, Muslim Sufi, Mian Mir to lay the cornerstone of the Harmandir.
The temple remains open on all sides and at all times to every one. This indicates that the Sikhs believe in One God who has no partiality for any particular place, direction or time.
The standard Sikh marriage ceremony known as the Anand Karaj is centered around the lawan, a four stanza hymn composed by Guru Ram das Ji. the marriage couple circumscribe the Guru Granth Sahib ji as each stanza is read. The first round is the Divine consent for commencing the householders life through marriage. The second round states that the union of the couple has been brought about by God. In the thrid round the couple is described as the most fortunate as they have sung the praises of the Lord in the company of saints. In the fourth round the feeling of the couple that they have obtained their hearts desire and are being congratulated is described.
5. Guru Arjan Sahib - 5th Guru
Arjan Sahib, the youngest son of Guru Ramdas Sahib and Mata Bhani Ji was born at Goindwal Sahib on Vaisakh Vadi 7th, (19th Vaisakh) Samvat 1620 (April 15,1563). He learnt Gurmukhi script and Gurbani from Baba Budha ji. He was also given a suitable education in Persian, Hindi and Sanskrit languages. The child (Guru)Arjan Sahib often talked of God and loved to sing His songs. He had two elder brothers, Prithi Chand ji and Mahadev ji. The former proved to be the most selfish and the later mostly preferred utter silence. But (Guru) Arjan Sahib was sweet, humble and a perfect blend of devotion and sacrifice. He was hardly 18 years old when his father Guru Ramdas Sahib installed him as the Fifth Nanak. He was married to Mata Ganga ji and had a son (Guru) Hargobind Sahib.
Guru Arjan Sahib completed the work on two sacred tanks (Sarowars) Santokhsar and Amritsar. He got the foundation stone of Harmandir Sahib, laid by a Muslim Saint Hazrat Mian Mir Ji of Lahore on 1st Magh, Vikrami Samvat 1644 (December 1588). After the completion of Sri Harmandir Sahib, Guru Sahib completed the construction of Santhokhsar.
Guru Arjan Sahib founded the town of Tarn Taran Sahib near Goindwal Sahib and also created a large tank and Gurdwara there. A house for lepers was also built. He also laid the foundation stone of the town Kartarpur in Doaba region (near Jalandhar city). He constructed a Baoli in Dabbi-Bazar of Lahore. (Once Shah Jahan destroyed the Baoli and erected a mosque there. But later on Maharaja Ranjit Singh re-excavated the Baoli. Again, after the partition of India in 1947, it was demolished by the Musilm mob). Guru Sahib also established another town, Hargobindpur on the river Bias and sunk a big well for irrigation at Chheharta, a few miles away from Amritsar.
Guru Arjan Sahib was very energetic and aspiring personality. In order to strengthen the cult of Sikhism he toured far and wide about five years throughout India. He also stayed sometime at Wadali (now it is called Guru-Di-Wadali near Amritsar city). To consolidate and extend Sikhism, Guru Arjan Sahib done a great and monumental work. After collecting the hymns of first four Guru Sahibs and several other Hindu and Muslim Saints, and compiled Guru Granth Sahib (written by Bhai Gurdas Ji). Guru Sahib himself contributed about 2000 verses for it, installed it at Sri Harmandir Sahib on Bhadon Sudi 1st Samvat 1661 (August/September 1604), and made Baba Budha Ji as the first Granthi. Sri Guru Granth Sahib proved a great landmark in the history of Sikh Nation. It created a sensor of religious separation from the Hindus and the Muslims. Now the Sikhism began to develop as a different religion. Once the emperor Akbar was mislead about the contents of Guru Granth Sahib by the enemies of Guru Arjan Sahib. But finding nothing objectionable, the emperor Akbar assessed Guru Granth Sahib as "The greatest Granth of synthesis, worthy of reverence".
6. Guru Hargobind Sahib - 6th Guru
Guru Hargobind Sahib was born at village Guru Ki Wadali (district Amritsar) on Harh Vadi 7th (21 Harh), Samvat 1652 (19th June, 1595). He was extremely handsome and the only son of Guru Arjan Sahib and Mata Ganga Ji. He had one daughter Bibi Viro Ji and five sons: Baba Gurditta Ji, Suraj Mal Ji, Ani Rai Ji, Atal Rai Ji and (Guru) Tegh Bahadur Ji. Out of these, four sons passed away during the life of Guru Sahib and the fifth one, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji become Ninth Nanak in 1664.
Guru Hargobind Sahib succeeded Guru Arjan Sahib in 1606, at the age of eleven years. After the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Sahib, the moment was crucial for the Sikhs. Now for the first time, the Sikhs began to think seriously to counter the high-handedness of the mighty and theist Muslim Empire. Now a change had taken place in the character of Sikh Nation on the force of circumstances. Dialectically speaking, it was the need of the hour. Now the Sikh nation adopts both spiritual and political ways simultaneously. This policy suited well to all the social and economic segments of the Sikhs.
Guru Hargobind Sahib wore two swords, one of Spiritual Power - Piri and the other of Military Power - Miri. Now the Sikh became "Saint-Soldier." Guru Sahib issued various letters advising the Sikhs to take part in the military training and martial arts. A Chronicler states that Guru Sahib kept seven hundred Cavaliers and sixty artillerymen. There was a band of Pathan mercenaries and Painda Khan Pathan was made its chief. Riding, hunting, wrestling and many others martial sports were introduced. And on the other hand the martial songs like 'Vars' were daily sung by the Dhadd-players in the court of Guru Sahib to inspire the Sikhs of heroic deeds. Abdul and Natha Mal were given the task in this respect. The Guru Sahib himself was healthy and strong in body and mind. He himself learnt the use of different weapons, besides riding wrestling and hunting.
In due course of action, Guru Sahib errected a wall around Amritsar city and constructed a small fort named 'Lohgarh' on the out skirts of the city. Guru Sahib revealed Sri Akal Takht Sahib also known as Akal Bunga (Tuineless Throned) just in front of Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in 1609. This place became the seat of preaching and praying in due course of time. At this place, Guru Sahib used to gave sermons to the Sikhs and discussions were held on the problems faced by the Sikh nation. In this way the Sikhs were encouraged to settle their own disputes themselves, some martial sports were also performed in the open courtyard before the Akal Takht. This development further consolidated the Sikh nation. The Sikhs call Guru Sahib 'Sachcha Patshah' (True Emperor) and the Sikh Nation followed the judgments or decisions taken on Sri Akal Takht Sahib enthusiastically.
7. Guru Har Rai Sahib - 7th Guru
Guru Hargobind Sahib, before his departure for heavenly abode, nominated his grand son, Har Rai Ji at the tender age of 14, as his successor (Seventh Nanak), on 3rd March, 1644. Guru Har Rai Sahib was the son of Baba Gurdita Ji and Mata Nihal Kaur Ji(also known as Mata Ananti Ji). Guru Har Rai Sahib married to Mata Kishan Kaur Ji(Sulakhni Ji) daughter of Sri Daya Ram Ji of Anoopshahr (Bulandshahr) in Utter Pradesh on Har Sudi 3, Samvat 1697. Guru Har Rai Sahib had two sons: Sri Ram Rai Ji and Sri Har Krishan Sahib Ji(Guru).
Guru Har Rai Sahib was a man of peace but he never disbanded or discharged the armed Sikh Warriors(Saint Soldiers), who earlier were maintained by his grandfather (Guru Hargobind Sahib). He otherwise further boosted the military spirit of the Sikhs. But he never himself indulged in any direct political and armed controversy with the contemporary Mughal Empire. Once on the request of Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shahjahan). Guru Sahib helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzebs armed forces during the war of succession.
Once Guru Sahib was coming back from the tour of Malwa and Doaba regions, Mohamad Yarbeg Khan, (son of Mukhlis Khan, who was killed by Guru Hargobind Sahib in a battle) attacked the kafla of Guru Sahib with the force of one thousand armed men. The unwarranted attack was repulsed by a few hundred Saint Soliders of Guru Sahib with great courge and bravery. The enemy suffered a heavy loss of life and fled the scene. This self-defense measure, (a befitting reply to the unwarranted armed attack of the privileged muslims), was an example for those who professed the theory of so called non-violence or "Ahimsa Parmo Dharma". Guru Sahib often awarded various Sikh warriors with gallantry awards.
Guru Sahib also established an Aurvedic herbal medicine hospital and a research centre at Kiratpur Sahib. There, he maintained a zoo also. Once Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan fell seriously ill by some unknown disease. The best physicians available in the country and abroad were consulted, but there was no improvement. At last the emperor made a humble request to Guru Sahib for the treatment of his son. Guru Sahib accepting the request, handed over some rare and suitable medicines to the messenger of the emperor. The life of Dara Shikoh was saved from the cruel jaws of death. The emperor, whole heartily thanked and wanted to grant some "Jagir", but Guru Sahib never accepted.
Guru Har Rai Sahib also visited Lahore, Sialkot, Pathankot, Samba, Ramgarh and many places of Jammu and Kashmir region. He established 360 Sikh missionary seats (ManJis). He also tried to improve the old corrupt Masand system and appointed pious and committed personalities like Suthre Shah, Sahiba, Sangtia, Mian Sahib, Bhagat Bhagwan, Bahagat Mal and Jeet Mal Bhagat (also known as Bairagi), as the heads of ManJis.
8. Guru Har Krihan Sahib - 8th Guru
Guru Harkrishan Sahib was born on Sawan Vadi 10, (8 Sawan), Bikrami Samvat 1713, (July 7, 1656) at Kiratpur Sahib. He was the second son of Guru Har Rai Sahib and Mata Krishan Kaur Ji (Sulakhni Ji). Ram Rai, the elder brother of Guru Harkrishan Sahib was ex-communicated and disinherited due to his anti-Guru Ghar activities, as stated earlier and Sri Harkrishan Sahib Ji at the age of about five years, was declared as Eighth Nanak Guru by his father Guru Har Rai Sahib before his death in 1661. This act inflamed Ram Rai Ji with jealousy and he complained to the emperor Aurangzeb against his father's decision. The emperor replied in flavor issuing orders through Raja Jai Singh to the young Guru to appear before him. Raja Jai Singh sent his emissary to Kiratpur Sahib to bring the Guru to Delhi. At first the Guru was not willing, but at the repeated requests of his followers and Raja Jai Singh, he agreed to go to Delhi.
At this occasion, a large number of devotees from every walk of life came to bid him farewell. They followed the Guru Sahib up to village Panjokhara near Ambala. From this place the Guru advised his followers to return to their respective homes. Then Guru Sahib, along with a few of his family members proceeded towards Delhi. But before leaving this place Guru Harkrishan Sahib showed the great powers which were bestowed upon him by the Almighty God. Pandit Lal Chand, a learned scholar of Hindu literature questioned Guru Sahib about the meanings of Gita. Then Guru Sahib called a water-carrier named Chhaju Ram, and with the Guru's grace, this unlettered man was able to expound the philosophy of the Gita. When Pandit Lal Chand listened the scholarly answer from Chhaju, he bent his head in shame and besought the forgiveness of Guru Sahib. Pandit Lal Chand became the Sikh and escorted the Guru Sahib up to Kurukashatra.
When Guru Sahib reached Delhi, he was greeted with great fervor and full honors by Raja Jai Singh and the Sikhs of Delhi. Guru Sahib was lodged in the palace of Raja Jai Singh. The people from all walks of life flocked the palace to have a glimpse (Darshan) of Guru Harkrishan Sahib. Some chronicles mention that prince Muzzam also paid a visit.
In order to test the Guru's intelligence, of which everyone spoke very highly, Raja Jai Singh requested the Guru Sahib to identify the real queen out of the equally and well dressed ladies surrounding Guru Sahib. The Guru at once went to a lady dressed as a maidservant and sat in her lap. This lady was the real queen. There are also many different stories we find in some other Sikh accounts relating to Guru Sahib's mental ability.
Within a short span of time Guru Harkrishan Sahib through his fraternization with the common masses gained more and more adherents in the capital. At the time, a swear epidemic of cholera and smallpox broke out in Delhi. The young Guru began to attend the sufferers irrespective of cast and creed. Particularly, the local Muslim population was much impressed with the purely humanitarian deeds of the Guru Sahib and nicknamed him Bala Pir (child prophet). Even Aurangzeb did not tried to disturb Guru Harkrishan Sahib sensing the tone of the situation but on the other hand never dismissed the claim of Ram Rai also.
9. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib - 9th Guru
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was born on Vaisakh Vadi 5, (5 Vaisakh), Bikrami Samvat 1678, (1st April, 1621) in the holy city of Amritsar in a house known as Guru ke Mahal. He had four brothers Baba Gurditta Ji, Baba Suraj Mal Ji, Baba Ani Rai Ji, Baba Atal Rai Ji and one sister Bibi Veero Ji. He was the fifth and the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib and Mata Nanki Ji. His childhood name was Tyag Mal. The Sikhs began to call him Teg Bahadur after the battle of Kartarpur against Painda Khan in which he proved to be great sword-player or gladiator. But he preffered to call himself 'Degh Bahadur'
From the very childhood Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib used to sit inside the house and spend most of his time in meditation. He seldom played with other boys of his age. Due to the rich religious atmosphere at home he developed a distinct philosophical bent of mind. Naturally he developed inspirations towards a life of selfless service and sacrifice.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib had a regular schooling from the age of six. Where he also learnt classical, vocal and instrumental music. Bhai Gurdas Ji also taught him Gurbani and Hindu Mythology. Apart from the schooling he was also given the military training like horsemanship, swordsmanship, javelin throwing and shooting. He had witnessed and even participated in the battles of Amritsar and Kartarpur. But inspite of all this, he developed an extra ordinary mystic nature in due course of time.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was married to Gujri Ji (Mata), daughter of Sh.Lal Chand & Bishan Kaur of Kartarpur at an early age on 15 Assu, Samvat 1689 (September 14, 1632). A son (Guru) Gobind Singh (Sahib) was born on Poh Sudi Saptmi Samvat 1723 (December 22,1666). Gujri (Mata) was also a religious lady. She was disciplined in behaviour and modest in temprament. Her father was a noble and rich man.
Soon after the death of Guru Hargobind Sahib, Mata Nanki Ji, the mother of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib took him and his wife (Gujri) to her natal village (Baba) Bakala near the river Beas. Some Chronicles state that Bhai Mehra, who was a devout Sikh of Guru Hargobind Sahib, got constructed a house for (Guru) Tegh Bahadur Sahib where he lived in complete peace and led a normal life for the next twenty years (from 1644 to 1666).
It is a totally wrong conception (as some historian point out) that Guru Sahib got constructed a solitary cell in his house where he often used to meditate God. Actually, it is seen that the meditation for self-purification and self-attainment of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib is wrongly mis-understood. Guru Nanak's spiritual traditions hold that after attaining the divine light, one has to lift others from darkness to liberate the world. In JapJi sahib, Guru Nanak Sahib says: " There can be no love of God without active service." Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib's long spell of silent meditation perfected his will. Through meditation Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib archived the torch of Guru Nanak creative vision. He developed aspirations towards a life of selfless service and sacrifice, with a moral and spiritual courage to abide by the will of God. When Guru Hargobind Sahib invested Har Rai Sahib with Guruship, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was the first to bow to Guru Har Rai Sahib. He never contested the will of his father (Guru).
10. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib - 10th Guru
The tenth and the last Guru or Prophet-teacher of the Sikh faith, was born Gobind Rai Sodhi on Poh Sudi 7th, 23rd Poh 1723 Bikrami Samvat (22 December 1666) at Patna, in Bihar. His father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Ninth Guru, was then travelling across Bengal and Assam. Returning to Patna in 1670, he directed his family to return to the Punjab. On the site of the house at Patna in which Gobind Rai was born and where he spent his early childhood now stands a sacred shrine, Takht Sri Harimandar Sahib, one of the five most honoured seats of religious authority (takht, lit. throne) for the Sikhs. Gobind Rai was escorted to Anandpur (then known as Chakk Nanaki) at the foothills of the Sivaliks where he reached in March 1672 and there his early education included reading and writing of Punjabi, Braj, Sanskrit and Persian languages. He was barely nine years of age when a sudden turn came in his life as well as in the life of entire Sikh community, he was destined to lead. Early in 1675, a group Kashmiri Brahmans, driven to desperation by the religious fanaticism of the Mughal General Iftikar Khan, visited Anandpur to seek Guru Tegh Bahadur's intercession. As the Guru sat reflecting what to do, young Gobind Rai, arriving there in company with his playmates, asked "Why he looked so preoccupied". The father, as records Koer Singh in his Gurbilas Patshahi 10, replied, "Grave are the burdens the earth bears. She will be redeemed only if a truly worthy person comes forward to lay down his head. Distress will then be expunged and happiness ushered in." "None could be worthier than yourself to make such a sacrifice," remarked Gobind Rai in his innocent manner. Guru Tegh Bahadur soon aftenwards proceedcd to the imperial capital, Delhi, and courted death on 11 November 1675.
Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed Guru on Maghar Sudi 5th (11 Maghar), 1732 Samvat (11th Nov, 1675). In the midst of his engagement with the concerns of the community, he gave attention to the mastery of physical skills and literary accomplishment. He had grown into a energectic youth. He had a natural genius for poetic composition and his early years were assiduously given to this pursuit. The Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki, popularly called Chandi di Var. written in 1684, was his first composition. The poem depicted the legendary contest between the gods and the demons as described in the Markandeya Purana . The choice of a warlike theme for this and a number of his later compositions such as the two Chandi Charitras, mostly in Braj, was made to infuse martial spirit among his followers to prepare them to stand up against injustice and tyranny.
Much of Guru Gobind Singh's creative literary work was done at Paonta, he had founded on the banks of the River Yamuna and to which site he had temporarily shifted in April 1685. Poetry as such was, however, not his aim. For him it was a means of revealing the divine principle and concretizing a personal vision of the Supreme Being that had been vouchsafed to him. His Japu and the composition known as Akal Ustati are in this tenor. Through his poetry he preached love and equality and a strictly ethical and moral code of conduct. He preached the worship of the One Supreme Being, deprecating idolatry and superstitious beliefs and observances. The glorification of the sword itself which he eulogized as Bhaguati was to secure fulfilment of God'sjustice. The sword was never meant as a symbol of aggression, and it was never to be used for self-aggrandizement. It was the emblem of manliness and self-respect and was to be used only in self-defence, as a last resort. For Guru Gobind Singh said in a Persian couplet in his Zafarnamah:
When all other means have failed,
It is but lawful to take to the sword.
During his stay at Paonta, Guru Gobind Singh availed himself of his spare time to practise different forms of manly exercises, such as riding, swimming and archery. His increasing influence among the people and the martial exercises of his men excited the jealousy of the neighbouring Rajput hill rulers who led by Raja Fateh Chand of Garhwal collected a host to attack him. But they were worsted in an action at Bhangani, about 10 km northeast of Paonta, on 18 Assu 1745 sk/18 September 1688. Soon there after Guru Gobind Singh left Paonta and returned to Anandpur which he fortified in view of the continuing hostility of the Rajput chiefs as well as of the repressive policy of the imperial government at Delhi. The Guru and his Sikhs were involved in a battle with a Mughal commander, Alif Khan, at Nadaun on the left bank of the Beas, about 30 km southeast of Kangra, on 22 Chet 1747 Bk/20 March 1691. Describing the battle in stirring verse in Bachitra Natak, he said that Alif Khan fled in utter disarray "without being able to give any attention to his camp." Among several other skirmishes that occurred was the Hussain battle (20 February 1696) fought against Husain Khan, an imperial general, which resulted in a decisive victory for the Sikhs. Following the appointment in 1694 of the liberal Prince Muazzam (later Emperor Bahadur Shah) as viceroy of northwestern region including Punjab, there was however a brief respite from pressure from the ruling authority.