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ted to us. He left several writings behind him, on theological subjects, commentaries of his life, and a history of his pedigree. He was the tenth and last acknowledged spiritual chief of the Sikhs.-A prophecy had limited the number to ten, but a faithful disciple and friend of Govind, named Banda, united the Sikhs under his banners: and the disorders that happened on the death of Aurengzebe, in 1707, afforded him a favourable opportunity of again bringing them into the field. After defeating different parties of Mohammedans, he resolved to attack Foujdar Khan, governor of Sirhind, who was particularly obnoxious to the Sikhs, as murderer of the infant children of Govind Singh. A battle was fought with great valour on both sides; but the Sikhs, inspired with a spirit of religious frenzy, accompanied by the deadly wish of revenge, ultimately prevailed. Foujdar Khan fell, and with him the greatest part of his army. Banda entering Sirhind cut off almost all the Mohammedans whom he found there. He next subdued the coun
try between the Setlege and the Jumna,* and, crossing that river, made inroads into the province of Saharanpur. The first check which the Sikhs received after these successes, was from a general of the Emperor Behauder Shah, named Kuli Khan; who defeated a body of them that had advanced to Pannipath. The death of Behauder Shah, which happened about this time, and the confusion that ensued, prevented Kūli from pursuing the advantage he had obtained, and Banda soon afterwards defeated Islam Khan, the governor of Sirhind: but a large army being sent against him by the Emperor Farakseir, under the command of Abdal Samad Khan, an officer of high reputation, after a most desperate action, Banda was defeated, and his followers dispersed. With some of these he got into the fortress of Lohgad, where, after suffering extreme famine, he was constrained to surrender. Banda, with several principal persons of his tribe were
* The Hesudrus and Jomanes of the Greeks.
sent prisoners to Dehly, where, after being exposed to every sort of popular insult, they were publicly put to death.*
Though the Sikhs followed Banda to the field, they do not revere his memory in a religious view, or consider him as a spiritual leader; and he is even spoken of by some of their writers as a heretic. He
* A Mohammedan author, in a work intituled Seir Mutakherin, thus relates the circumstances of their deaths:
"It is singular that these people not only behaved firmly during their execution, but they disputed with each other who should suffer first, each making interest with the executioner to obtain the preference. Banda was at last produced, his son being seated in his lap, his father was ordered to cut his throat, which he did, without uttering one word. Being then brought nearer the magistrate, the latter ordered his flesh to be torn off with red-hot pincers, and it was in those torments he expired; his black soul taking its flight, by one of those wounds, towards the regions for which it was so well fitted." No person of even the most common feeling, can read this account without a sentiment of horror, and indignation against the perpetrators of those murders, and the author who relates them.-See Sketch of the Sikhs, by General Malcolm.
was by birth a Hindu, of those people known by the name, Bairaghi. Amongst other changes proposed by him, he wished to make the Sikhs refrain from eating flesh, abandon their blue dress, and instead of the salutations commanded by Guru Govind, to say on meeting each other, “Success to piety, success to the sect." The class of Acalis, or immortals, which had been established by Govind, opposed Banda's innovations with inflexible perseverance; for which many of them suffered martyrdom. At the death of Banda all the institutions of Govind were restored; but the entire blue dress, instead of being, as at first, worn by all Sikhs, is now the particular distinction of the Acalis.
After the defeat of Banda, the Sikhs were pursued by the Mohammedans with implacable fury. An imperial edict was issued, ordering all who professed the religion of Nanac, wherever they should be found, to be instantly put to death without any form of trial. A reward was offered
for the head of every Sikh; and to give
more effect to the edict, all Hindus were commanded, under pain of death, to cut off their hair. Such as could escape their persecutors, fled into the woods and mountains which bound the Panjab on the N.E. From that time to the invasion of India by Nadir Shah, in 1738, little is known of the Sikhs. Soon after that event, we find them established principally at Delawál on the banks of the Ravy,* where they constructed a fortress. Here they resumed their warlike predatory habits, and are said to have harassed and plundered the straggling parties of the Persian army on its return from Dehly. The state to which the empire was reduced by this invasion, and the weak character of Mohammed Shah, its sovereign, were opportunities eagerly seized, and actively employed by the Sikhs, to extend their possessions: and the admission into their sect of numerous military
* By Rennell termed the Rauvee it is the Hydraotes of the Greek Geographers.