Kids Corner


Symbols of The Supreme One

Text & Photos by AMARDEEP SINGH




The Sikh martial tradition that emerged in 16th century to defend society against persecution is philosophically based on the Unity of God. One of the many ways we see the infinite and formless One in the finite is through the names of weapons that symbolize His Supreme power.

Since the days of the Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh, the Nihangs (a martial community of the Sikh faith) have been known for their valor on the battle field, even when vastly outnumbered. It was believed that a single Nihang was equal to a hundred and twenty five thousand of the enemy.

At Anandpur Sahib during the recent Hola Mohalla, I had the opportunity to photograph a group of young students who also take pride in maintaining the martial form and the arts of the Nihangs.

Bahadur Singh, a research scholar at the Department of Anthropolgy, Punjab University, Chandigarh, who is photographed in some of the images of this series, is a living example of how some of the Nihangs have changed with the tmes, while yet grounded in tradition.

As I photographed these young Nihangs, the verses of Guru Gobind Singh, resonated deep in my consciounsness:

The sword, the sabre, the scimitar, the axe, the musket, the shaft.
The rapier, the dagger, the spear: these indeed are thy saints


To view the complete exhibit, please CLICK here.

April 4, 2013




Conversation about this article

1: Brian Urlacher (USA), April 04, 2013, 7:53 PM.

Unity of God? What is that suppose to mean? Please define.

2: Amardeep Singh (Singapore), April 04, 2013, 9:06 PM.

Dear Brian, 'unity' here means oneness. Every aspect of the creation and that of the creator are part of the One. Also, there is only The One -- not a separate God for each religion or region or time or belief.

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