The Longest Night of the Martyrdom of Elder Sahibzadas


The author clears the air regarding the martyrdom dates of the elder Sahibzadas, the younger Sahibzadas and grandmother of the Sahibzadas as per the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar.

21 December 2017 (CE), is the Shaheedi-day observation of elder Sahibzadas -Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, along with other shaheeds of the battle of Chamkaur1. As the heavens would have it, this also happens to be the Winter Solstice – a day with the longest night.

This is followed in 5-days with even more tragic shaheedi of younger Sahibzadas -Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh.

How these events align is history are extremely insightful from many perspectives, including workings of calendars relevant to the Sikhs.

The Mool Nanakshahi Calendar(MNC) forever synchronizes all Sikh historical dates with the Tropical Calendar as of 1999 (CE). The three events that are observed in close proximity in December-January time-frame as in the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar with their corresponding date in the Gregorian calendar (1999 and onwards) are:

Shaheedi elder Sahibzadas and other shaheeds of the Battle of Chamkaur 8-Poh (21-Dec)

Shaheedi younger Sahibzadas and grandmother of the Sahibzadas -Mata Gujri ji 13-Poh (26-Dec)

Parkash Guru Gobind Singh ji 23-Poh (5-Jan)

Saheedi purab

MNC, by very definition of a Tropical Year, maintains a fixed relationship with all future solstices and equinoxes. It is insightful to compare present day Bikrami solar dates of 8-Poh (23rd Dec 2017), 13-Poh (28th Dec 2017), and 23-Poh (7th Jan 2018) with the chart below. The historical Bikrami2 dates can be seen to have drifted 5 to 6 days in last 300 to 350 years!

NOTES: Information in yellow cells above changes relationship from the reference, in green, from one year to another and as centuries go by. MNC adoption in 1999 fixes this further drift by moving all Sikh historical dates into a Tropical Calendar.

Points to note are:

  1. The mathematical reality is that the Bikrami calendar is a sidereal3 calendar. Sidereal calendar by definition is independent of seasons, as also easily seen with above presented historical data. Furthermore, since the beginning of Gurukaal (1469, CE) the Bikrami Calendar has already drifted today by 8-9 days from the seasons during the life of Guru Nanak Sahib ji.
  2. Most proponents of Bikrami calendar are unaware about the inherent Bikrami year’s length in days. Regardless of Suraj Siddhant (365.2587 days/yr) or Drik Ganit (365.2563 days/yr) lengths, the gymnastics of intercalary4 month (Malmaas) has a sole purpose of matching lunar cycles with Bikrami solar year length on average. This simply means that underlying meaning of an anniversary in Bikrami calendar implies duration from one solar date to same solar date the following year – counting duration from moon phases is erroneous.

The purpose of accounting moon phases (Tithis) is to better establish instance of an event (ignoring astrological aspects).

  1. From tables above, Shaheedi of younger Shaibzadas must always be five days later than the Battle of Chamkaur day, and then Guru Gobind Singh ji’s Gurpurab must invariably follow battle of Chamkaur by fifteen days – regardless of the calendar used!
  2. This inter-relationship of all dates, in the entire year, is important to correctly maintain chronology of historical events. The Mool5 Nanakshahi Calendar is not only able to correctly address these chronological challenges but also preserves the Sikh history while being synchronized with seasons.

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  1. The date of Battle of Chamkaur:
  2. Jantri 500 yrs. By Pal Singh Purewal
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