Bandai Sikhs

Doctrines Some Bandai Sikhs believed Banda to be the eleventh Guru. (See entries on Sikh Panth, especially the Transformation of the Sikh Panth).

History Banda Singh Bahadur (1670-1716) was a Vaisnava ascetic (bairagi) under the name Madho Das. Guru Gobind Singh was looking for someone who could lead his warrior Khalsa after his death. He met Madho Das in the South (Deccan) and converted him to his cause and renamed him Banda (slave). He was commissioned to demand justice for the cruel execution of Gobind's two sons by Wazir Khan. Banda gathered the Khalsa army (constituting mainly of peasants) and attacked the Mughal forces, eventually killing Wazir Khan in 1710. Banda became a valiant leader of the Khalsa for five years. He took on the assumption of royalty, minting coins in the Gurus' name, and introducing new calendars. He also abolished the zamidhari system that prevented the farmers to own their own land. However he was finally caught by Abdus Samad Khan in Gurdaspur after a lengthy siege and escorted to Delhi chained in a cage.
In 1716 he was barbarously executed. His followers were known as Bandai Sikhs. Some sources indicate that an argument arose within the Panth between Bandai Sikhs and Mata Sundari (Gobind's widow who represented the Tat Khalsa), implying that Banda wanted to introduce a new slogan 'Fateh Darshan' (victory to the Presence), change the Khalsa's blue clothing for red and an insistence on vegetarianism.

Symbols See the Khalsa Singhs entry.

Adherents None.

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