About two centuries afterwards, in the course of the struggle between the Sikhs and the Mahommedans, Ahmad Shah Durani routed the Sikhs at the great battle of Panipat, and on his homeward march he destroyed the town of Amritsar, blew up the temple with gunpowder, filled in the sacred tank with mud, and defiled the holy place by the slaughter of cows.
But when Ahmad Shah returned to Kabul the Sikhs rose once more and re-established their religion.
It is the headquarters of the Sikh religion, containing 264,329 Sikhs as against 280,985 Hindus and 474,976 Mahommedans.
Arrah is famous for an incident in the Mutiny, when a dozen Englishmen, with 50 Sikhs, defended an ordinary house against 2000 Sepoys and a multitude of armed insurgents, perhaps four times that number.
A detachment of this force, consisting of 200 Yaos and Sikhs under Lieut.-Colonel Plunket, was attacked on the 17th of April and overwhelmed.
The settlement in Flying Fish Cove now numbers some 250 inhabitants, consisting of Europeans, Sikhs, Malays and Chinese, by whom roads have been cut and patches of cleared ground cultivated.
These regiments, consisting of Gurkhas, Sikhs and Pathans, are distributed throughout the Shan States and the northern part of Burma.
The rent was Sikhs 6,596 Jews 685 Parsees 245 Others 28 reduced permanently in 1898 to Rs.2,00,000 a year, but the share of the profits taken by government was increased from 20 to 30%.
SIKHISM, a religion of India, whose followers (Sikhs) are principally found in the Punjab, United Provinces, Sind, Jammu and Kashmir.
The Sikhs of to-day, though they all derive primarily from Nanak, are only recognized as Singhs or real Sikhs when they accept the doctrines and practices of Guru Govind Singh.
Thenceforward the Sikhs believe the spirit of Nanak to have been incarnate in each succeeding guru.
He used to place all his Sikhs and visitors in rows and cause them to eat together, not separately, as is the practice of the Hindus.
It was a maxim of the Sikhs of his time: "If any one treat you ill, bear it.
When Prithi Chand represented that he ought to have received the turban bound on Guru Arjan's head in token of succession to his father, Arjan meekly handed it to him, without, however, bestowing on him the guruship. The Sikhs themselves soon revolted against the exactions of Prithi Chand, and prayed Arjan to assert himself else the seed of the True Name would perish.
It is largely to this practice that the Sikhs owe the superiority of their physique over their surrounding Hindu neighbours.
In the Autobiography of Jahangir it is stated that the guru was imprisoned in the fortress of Gwalior, with a view to the realization of the fine imposed on his father Guru Arjan, but the Sikhs believe that the guru became a voluntary inmate of the fortress with the object of obtaining seclusion there to pray for the emperor who had been advised to that effect by his Hindu astrologers.
The following are the main points of his teaching: Sikhs must have one form of initiation, sprinkling of water by five of the faithful; they should worship the one invisible God and honour the memory of Guru Nanak and his successors; their watchword should be, "Sri wah guru ji ka khalsa, sri wah guru ji ki fatah" (Khalsa of God, victory to God!), but they should revere and bow to nought visible save the Granth Sahib, the book of their belief; they should occasionally bathe in the sacred tank of Amritsar; their locks should remain unshorn; and they should name themselves singhs or lions.
After the guru's death the gradual rise of the Sikhs into the ruling power of northern India until they came in collision with the British arms belongs to the secular history of the Punjab (q.v.).
The five K's and the other esoteric observances of the Sikhs mostly had a utilitarian purpose.
This prophecy became the battle-cry of the Sikhs in the assault on Delhi in 18J7.
There may first be mentioned the zealots such as the Akalis, who, though generally quite illiterate, aim at observing the injunctions of Sikhism Guru Govind Singh; secondly, the true Sikhs or Singhs who observe his ordinances, such as the prohibi tions of cutting the hair and the use of tobacco; and, thirdly, those Sikhs who while professing devotion to the tenets of the gurus are almost indistinguishable from ordinary Hindus.
These are largely Nanakpanti Sikhs, or followers only of Guru Nanak.
The Nanakpanti Sikhs do not wear the hair long, nor use any of the outward signs of the Sikhs, though they reverence the Granth Sahib and above all the memory of their guru.
After the British conquest of the Punjab the military spirit of the Sikhs remained for some time in abeyance.
Then came the mutiny, and Sikhs once more were recruited in numbers and saved India for the British crown.
Peace returned, and during the next twenty or twenty-five years Sikhism reached its lowest ebb; but since then the demand for Sikhs in the regiments of the Indian army and farther afield has largely revived the faith.
For authorities see Cunningham, History of the Sikhs; Sir Lepel Griffin, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (" Rulers of India" series, 1892); Falcon, Handbook on Sikhs; and specially M.
Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors (6 vols., 1909), and two lectures before the United Service Institution of India on "The Sikh Religion and its Advantages to the State" and "How the Sikhs became a Militant Race."
There is a police force composed of Europeans, Indian Sikhs and Chinese; and a strong military garrison.
The great bulk of the Indo-Aryan or Hindu population consists of Uriyas, with a residue of immigrant Bengalis, Lala Kayets from Behar and northern India, Telingas from the Madras coast, Mahrattas from central and western India, a few Sikhs from the Punjab and Marwaris from Rajputana.
Here, most brilliant sight of all, were the Imperial Service troops sent by the native princes of India; while the detachments of Sikhs who marched earlier in the procession received their full meed of admiration and applause.
This monarch despatched an embassy to Peking to demand the restitution of the Mahommedan states of Central Asia, but the embassy was not well received, and Ahmed Shah was too much engaged with the Sikhs to attempt to enforce his demands by arms. The Chinese continued to hold Kashgar, with sundry interruptions from Mahommedan revolts - one of the most serious occurring in 1827, when the territory was invaded and the city taken by Jahanghir Khoja; Chang-lung, however, the Chinese general of Ili, recovered possession of Kashgar and the other revolted cities in 1828.
The Sikhs are divided into two classes, Sahijdhari and Kesadhari.
Both obey the general injunctions of the Sikh gurus, but the Sahijdhari Sikhs have not accepted the pahul or baptism of Guru Govind Singh, and do not wear the distinguishing habiliments of the Kesadhari, who are the baptized Sikhs, also called Singhs or lions.
Neither the Sahijdhari nor the Kesadhari Sikhs may smoke tobacco or drink wine.
In the census of 1901, the number of Sikhs in the Punjab and North-Western Provinces was returned as 2,130,987, showing an increase of 13.9% in the decade; but these figures are not altogether reliable owing to the difficulty of distinguishing the Sahijdhari from the Kesadhari Sikhs and both from the Hindus.
The Sikhs are principally drawn from the Arora, Jat and Ramgarhia tribes, but any one may become a Sikh by accepting the Sikh baptism.
There are some 30,000 Sikhs in the Indian army, and the sect is cherished by the military authorities, who insist on all recruits taking the pahul or Sikh baptism.
Many Sikhs are also to be found in the native regiments of east and central Africa and of Hyderabad in the Deccan, and they compose a great part of the police force in the treaty ports of China.
During his lifetime the empire was already falling to pieces before the inroads of the Sikhs and Mahrattas, and through internal dissensions.
The Sikh invasions began in 1818, and from that date to the annexation by the British government the Sikhs were steadily making themselves masters of the country.
Colonel Willcocks's force was increased by Yaos and a few Sikhs from Central Africa to a total of 3368 natives, with 134 British officers and 35 British non-commissioned officers.
The fort was held by a little garrison of Europeans and loyal Sikhs, until it was relieved by General Neill on June 11th of that year.
The Mahratta chiefs availed themselves of these circumstances to endeavour to possess themselves of the whole country, and Ahmad was compelled more than once to cross the Indus in order to protect his territory from them and the Sikhs, who were constantly attacking his garrisons.
In a later expedition he inflicted a severe defeat upon the Sikhs, but had to hasten westwards immediately afterwards in order to quell an insurrection in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile the Sikhs again rose, and Ahmad was now forced to abandon all hope of retaining the command of the Punjab.
In his private life Ranjit Singh was selfish, avaricious, drunken and immoral, but he had a genius for command and was the only man the Sikhs ever produced strong enough to bind them together.
His power was military aristocracy resting on the personal qualities of its founder, and after his death the Sikh confederacy gradually crumbled and fell to pieces through sheer want of leadership; and the rule of the Sikhs in the Punjab passed away completely as soon as it incurred the hostility of the British.
See Sir Lepel Griffin, Ranjit Singh (Rulers of India Series), 1892; General Sir John Gordon, The Sikhs, 1904; and S.
The enemy were repulsed in about twenty minutes, the naval brigade, the Berkshire regiment, the Royal Marines, and the 15th Sikhs showing the greatest gallantry.