He was born in October 1670 in a Rajput family doing farming in village Rajouri, district Punch, State of Kashmir. He was named Lachman Dev. As a child he was very fond of horse riding, martial art, hunting and was expert in use of bow and arrow and other weapons used in wars at that time. At the age of 15 years while hunting a she-deer and tearing the belly of the deer, he saw twin unborn off springs writhing in pain and dying in front of his eyes. He was so much moved of this happening that he left hunting and became an ascetic.
His father was a kind religious person and used to give free food and shelter to the visiting saints, sadhus and holy persons. Lachman Dev’s attention turned towards them. He became follower of Sadhu Ram Daas of Ram Thamman near Lahore (now in Pakistan). After some time he followed Janaki Daas. His name was changed to Madho Daas. While moving from place to place, he reached Punchvati near Nasik in Maharashtra and became follower Sadhu Aughhar Nath. Madho Daas served Aughhar Nath with full devotion for 5 years. Aughhar Nath pleased with his services, bestowed him with all his virtues, occult powers and even his own created holy book. Aughhar Nath expired in 1691.
Thus at the age of 21 years, Madho Daas, the Rajput youth attained miraculous powers and reached Nander to set up his own Ashram. Thus living at Nander since the last 16 years, in the year 1708, a the age of 38 years, Madho Daas with lot of miraculous powers and fame was a master of a big Ashram and was very proud of his wisdom, meditation, occult powers and fame. He started insulting, putting down all saints, sadhus, intellectuals, faquirs etc. who so ever came to his Dera.
Banda’s march towards Punjab
In Oct. 1708, at Nander, Guru Gobind Singh sent Banda Singh to Punjab and advised him to:
1. Put a stop to the cruelty of Punjab rulers.
2. Punish the guilty and cruel misrulers.
3. To fight for human rights,uplift and strengthen the poor, the low and slave like people who could not even imagine freedom.
The Guru blessed him with:
1. Guru’s order to Sikh Sangats.
2. Five arrows.
3. A double Edged sword (Khanda).
4. A big leather mounted drum (Nagaara).
He sent with him five Sikhs for counseling:
1. Bhai Daya Singh
2. Bhai Binod Singh
3. Bhai Kahan Singh
4. Bhai Bijay Singh
5. Bhai Ran Singh
The main aim for the Sikhs was Sarhind and its Nawab Wazir Khan. This war took place in May 1710 at the field of “Chhappar Chiri” 15 miles away from Sarhind. Wazir Hkan lost his life. The Mugal army ran away from the field. The Sikhs entered the city of Sarhind. Most of the high officials and administrators were killed. Their buildings were destroyed and looted. Even in war, Banda Bahadur had instructed not to harm any Mosque, Madrassa and Makbras (Graves). Irrespective of their religion, the old, women and children were protected from any harm. Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi was the main conspirator for the death of Guru Arjan dev ji.
Even his grave was not destroyed. All attempts were made to avoid to give any religious colour to these wars. As and when an area was conquered Banda Singh appointed one of his trusted lieutenants to govern these places and who in turn appointed other local people for administration. Keeping continuous the wave of attacks on other areas, in 1710 itself he took over other Northeren Areas in between rivers of Jamuna and Ganga such as Saharan Pur, Shamli, Muzzafar Nagar etc. Banda Singh established his capital at Mukhlis Garh, a place situated in the base of hills and away from the main highway and central areas from security point of view.
He repaired the fort of Mukhlis Garh and renamed it as Loh Garh. He even started a mint to make coins and stamps in the name of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh and established Khalsa Kingdom. Seeing such a rise of Banda Singh, The Mugal Emperor at Delhi, Bahadur Shah became nervous and furious. He could least think of such a situation. To take back his lost areas, he started chasing Banda Singh with all his forces. Viewing the situation, Banda Singh and his forces returned to the fort of Loh Garh in Dec 1710.
The Mugal forces surrounded the fort and cut off all supplies. In one of pitch dark nights, Banda Singh and his men forced their way through the Mughal army and moved towards upper hill areas. Punishing various kings of hills who were part of the Mughal forces against Guru Gobind Singh, he moved towards Jammu. Bahadar Shah reached Lahore in Aug.1711. His attempts to kill or capture Banda Singh were on. In Feb 1712 Bahadur Shah died out of illness. For one year there was fight for the Throne of Delhi among his sons. To take gain of the situation Banda Singh collected his forces and again conquered Batala , Kalanaour, Sarhind, Muzaffar Nagar and other areas in 1712 and ruled till 1715.
In Delhi, Farukh Seyer son of Azimu-Shaan became king of Hindustan in Feb 1713. It was for the first time that Banda Singh broke the believe of Mugals that they could not be conquered by any one. He established a democratic rule. The poor and down trodden got a sense if living with dignity. Those who tilled the land became its owners. He had power of devils but heart of saints. He protected the poor and low, did not harm those who surrendered. Clear example is the army of Afgan fighters who did not want to fight Banda Singh and accepted his leadership.
In June 1716, Banda Singh and his 26 companions were moved in the streets of old Delhi in the form of a procession and then taken to the Makbra (Grave) of Khawaza Kutub-ud-deen Bakhitiyar Kaki near Kutub Minar. 26 sikhs were beheaded in the presence of Banda Singh, hoping that he may still ask for mercy. Now it was the turn of Banda Singh. He was asked to accept Islam or face death. He accepted death.
Execution of Banda Singh Bahadar
Banda Singh’s four-year-old son was seated on his lap. A dagger was given to Banda Singh and ordered to cut his own son. He refused. The executioner pierced the chest of his son, took out the violently vibrating heart and tried to push into the mouth of Banda Singh. Though shackled, Banda Singh refused furiously. After this his flesh was notched out with pliers, hot sharp rods were inserted into his flesh.
His eyes were notched out, hands and feet were chopped off. Thus when he became unconscious, his head was chopped off. This black day of the rulers was on 9th June 1716. Whosoever, a Muslim, Hindu or Christian, saw this felt that the souls of those, who sacrificed their lives had miraculous powers that did not allow them to accept defeat.
It was a strange incidence in the life of Banda Singh that when at the age of 15 years he saw dying two infants of a deer, which altogether changed his life and now at the age of 46, the beating heart of his own son was being pushed into his own mouth. The English historian Conningham wrote that it was inhumane, unsocial and forest ruled activity of the victorious Mugals for having treated the sikhs in such ill manners. Such dreadful were the scenes, perhaps no body except those who saw could believe.
Farakh-Seyer, who tortured and killed Banda Singh and his men in June 1716, met with the same fate just after three years at the hands of his own men. There was a revolt against him. He hid himself in the dark rooms of Red Fort. He was chased, and his eyes similarly notched off. And then killed. Banda Singh Bahadur ruled only for 6 to 7 years, when sikhs were like salt in flour. This broke the yoke of 700 years rule of the invading forces from the Arab countries.