Here goes the tale of the celebration of Hola Mohalla from Fort Anandgarh

In the same year, as in the last year, there were great merry makings near Fort Holgarh. Forming various groups, the Khalsa started to celebrate Holi from Phagun Sudi 8 till the Purnima [24th February to 3rd March 1702 CE]. There were great jubilations outside the fort Anandgarh and near the fort Holgarh. The sprinkler held in the auspicious hands of Guru Ji was looking very propitious, as it had at least once endowed scarlet colour to the earth as well as the sky. The scene was charmingly attractive as the rose; pale and musk colours were showered from all directions. Next day, on Chetar vadi [Chetar vadi 2, 4th March 1702 CE], in the late afternoon, to receive the articulation of Guru Ji,  all the Sikhs gathered outside Fort Anandgarh.


The priest, standing there, rendered supplication commencing, “Praying at all the faculty- blessedness prevails all over.” At the end all the Sikhs responded with the sky-roaring slogans of Sat Siri Akaal (Glory to Almighty).


With the command of Satguru Ji, all the Khalsa mounted their horses. At that time a Sikh pronounced very loudly:

“Honour, honour to the glory of Your Name.”


To begin with, Bhai Daya Singh threw five hand-fulls of colour upon Guru Ji. Guru Ji responded with a hand-full. Then Bhai Daya Singh recited the following stanza:


“The month of Magh is over, Phagun has come and with that comes the festival of Holi.
The melodies are sung in unison by the procuress while clapping hands.
All, young and old, are sprinkling colour through hand-sprinklers.
Siam (the poet) says the Dark (Krishna) is in concert with the damsels.” (224)
(Krishna Avtar)


At the end of the stanza, The Khalsa, thunderingly, raised the slogan of Sat Siri Akal. Thereafter, the flag-bearer, Mann Singh, with the command from Satguru Ji, mounted his colt. Bhai Daya Singh et al., followed by the five Singhs shouting the victory slogan, with unsheathed swords and sang:


“Sword-cut adequately, annihilates the enemy forces and revamps the fighting.
It is resilient-handheld-armament, it is eminent and its brilliance beats the sun
It is solicitous towards the saints, it crushes the hostilities and is the supportive.
Hail, hail the uplifting power, and glory to you, the nurture of mine.”


Afterwards, the drumming Singh hit the drum. Khalsa with the slogan of Sat Siri Akal thundered the sky and once again the shouts came:

“Beat, beat, Oh you beat,
All heads and torsos (roll-over) on ground, watched by the heavenly fairies.”


Thereafter, the Khalsa came towards the fort of Holgarh. Five flag-bearers lead, with Five Beloved Ones following, who had unsheathed swords in their hands. The drumming Singhs trailed them all. The drumbeats were reverberating the whole atmosphere. Satguru Ji mounting on the blue horse was proceeding ahead. Sarbat (the entire) Khalsa was following Guru Ji. On command of the Guru Ji, Bhai Uday Singh was moving ahead from the right flanks. Reaching the Guru Ji’s abode, in front of Takht Kesgarh, receiving the order of Guru Ji, the riders showed the whip to the horses and hit the heels. But no one’s rider moved ahead of Guru Ji and, not to be disrespectful, all of them pulled the reigns to stop. The scene at the time was spectacular. The blue turbans and dresses depicted the panoramic view and it looked like the rainy season of Sawan. This splendour of Khalsa moving like the river water reached opposite Holgarh. On the insistence of Satguru, Bhai Daya Singh recited the couplets of Bhai Nand Lal Ji:


“The (festival of) Holi blossoms and spreads its fragrance,
And it blooms the sprout of her beautiful lips. (1)
The rose, the amber, the jasmine and the reddish abeer,
All are showered like the rain from all the sides. (2)
What to talk of the sprinkling of saffron?
It is endowing hue to every colourless being. (3)
The scattering of the pigment through her auspicious hands,
Is staining all the heavens and the earth. (4)
Through her benevolence, both the domains have become colourful,
And she has adorned me with the vibrant attire. (5)
Whosoever has her propitious glimpse,
Attains the bliss of both the worlds. (6)
I am sacrifice, even, to the dust of the avenues of the congregation,
And that is the utmost desire of Goya.”(7) (33)


After the recitation of these couplets, on the command of Guru Ji, the Singhs displayed the martial art of arms. Then they were addressed, “My Sikho, get ready, now we have to go back.” The priest stood up and presented supplication. Whole of Khalsa riding their horses moved towards Charan Ganga to cross this rivulet and go to the fort Holgarh. Passing near cremation-place of Raja Kesri Chand Jaswaria, the Sikhs with the permission of Guru Ji desecrated the place. After paying obeisance at various places including Damdama Sahib, they arrived at Anandgarh. They dismounted their horses and the priest presented the supplication. With the permission of Guru Ji, five he-goats were slaughtered with single strokes (jhatka) by the Panj Piaras, the five beloved ones and later on the Sikh army went into their quarters.


This is a truly panthic effort, we would be honoured to add your findings here. Please provide the exact reference and content in either Gurmukhi or English. Puraatan ithihaas, puraatan rehit or Gurbaani is foundational. But if you have any other useful and relevant references we will certainly consider it.

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