Babur Bani

The fight against social and political injustice has historically been an integral part of Sikhism. As a religious leader Guru Nanak did not turn a blind eye to political supression or consider it outside the realm of religion, but undertook political protest through his writings, speaking out against the cruelty of rulers. Guru Nanak wrote a number of passages about the Mughal invasion of India by Babur and the brutalities that he eyewitnessed first hand (Babur Bani). Guru Nanak also spoke out about the suffering of people at the hands of unscrupulous rulers and government officials


 

(Rag Asa, pg. 360)
Having attacked Khuraasaan, Babar terrified Hindustan. The Creator Himself does not take the blame, but has sent the Mugal as the messenger of death. There was so much slaughter that the people screamed. Didn't You feel compassion, Lord? || 1 || O Creator Lord, You are the Master of all. If some powerful man strikes out against another man, then no one feels any grief in their mind. || 1 || Pause || But if a powerful tiger attacks a flock of sheep and kills them, then its master must answer for it. This priceless country has been laid waste and defiled by dogs, and no one pays any attention to the dead. You Yourself unite, and You Yourself separate; I gaze upon Your Glorious Greatness. || 2 || One may give himself a great name, and revel in the pleasures of the mind, but in the Eyes of the Lord and Master, he is just a worm, for all the corn that he eats. Only one who dies to his ego while yet alive, obtains the blessings, O Nanak, by chanting the Lord's Name.

(Rag Asa, pg. 417-418)
Those heads adorned with braided hair, with their parts painted with vermillion - those heads were shaved with scissors, and their throats were choked with dust. They lived in palatial mansions, but now, they cannot even sit near the palaces. || 1 || Hail to You, O Father Lord, Hail to You! O Primal Lord. Your limits are not known; You create, and create, and behold the scenes. || 1 || Pause || When they were married, their husbands looked so handsome beside them. They came in palanquins, decorated with ivory; water was sprinkled over their heads, and glittering fans were waved above them. || 2 || They were given hundreds of thousands of coins when they sat, and hundreds of thousands of coins when they stood. They ate coconuts and dates, and rested comfortably upon their beds. But ropes were put around their necks, and their strings of pearls were broken. || 3 || Their wealth and youthful beauty, which gave them so much pleasure, have now become their enemies. The order was given to the soldiers, who dishonored them, and carried them away. If it is pleasing to God's Will, He bestows greatness; if is pleases His Will, He bestows punishment. || 4 || If someone focuses on the Lord beforehand, then why should he be punished? The kings had lost their higher consciousness, reveling in pleasure and sensuality. Since Babar's rule has been proclaimed, even the princes have no food to eat. || 5 || The Muslims have lost their five times of daily prayer, and the Hindus have lost their worship as well. Without their sacred squares, how shall the Hindu women bathe and apply the frontal marks to their foreheads? They never remembered their Lord as Raam, and now they cannot even chant Khudaa-i || 6 || Some have returned to their homes, and meeting their relatives, they ask about their safety. For some, it is pre-ordained that they shall sit and cry out in pain. Whatever pleases Him, comes to pass. O Nanak, what is the fate of mankind? || 7 || 11 || AASAA, FIRST MEHL: Where are the games, the stables, the horses? Where are the drums and the bugles? Where are the sword-belts and chariots? Where are those scarlet uniforms? Where are the rings and the beautiful faces? They are no longer to be seen here. || 1 || This world is Yours; You are the Lord of the Universe. In an instant, You establish and disestablish. You distribute wealth as it pleases You. || 1 || Pause || Where are the houses, the gates, the hotels and palaces? Where are those beautiful way-stations? Where are those beautiful women, reclining on their beds, whose beauty would not allow one to sleep?Where are those betel leaves, their sellers, and the haremees? They have vanished like shadows. || 2 || For the sake of this wealth, so many were ruined; because of this wealth, so many have been disgraced. It was not gathered without sin, and it does not go along with the dead. Those, whom the Creator Lord would destroy - first He strips them of virtue. || 3 || Millions of religious leaders failed to halt the invader, when they heard of the Emperor's invasion. He burned the rest-houses and the ancient temples; he cut the princes limb from limb, and cast them into the dust. None of the Mugals went blind, and no one performed any miracle. || 4 || The battle raged between the Mugals and the Pat'haans, and the swords clashed on the battlefield. They took aim and fired their guns, and they attacked with their elephants. Those men whose letters were torn in the Lord's Court, were destined to die, O Siblings of Destiny. || 5 || The Hindu women, the Muslim women, the Bhattis and the Rajputs - some had their robes torn away, from head to foot, while others came to dwell in the cremation ground. Their husbands did not return home - how did they pass their night? || 6 || The Creator Himself acts, and causes others to act. Unto whom should we complain? Pleasure and pain come by Your Will; unto whom should we go and cry? The Commander issues His Command, and is pleased. O Nanak, we receive what is written in our destiny.

(Rag Tilang, pg. 722-723)
As the Word of the Forgiving Lord comes to me, so do I express it, O Lalo. Bringing the marriage party of sin, Babar has invaded from Kaabul, demanding our land as his wedding gift, O Lalo. Modesty and righteousness both have vanished, and falsehood struts around like a leader, O Lalo. The Qazis and the Brahmins have lost their roles, and Satan now conducts the marriage rites, O Lalo. The Muslim women read the Koran, and in their misery, they call upon God, O Lalo. The Hindu women of high social status, and others of lowly status as well, are put into the same category, O Lalo. The wedding songs of murder are sung, O Nanak, and blood is sprinkled instead of saffron, O Lalo. || 1 || Nanak sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord and Master in the city of corpses, and voices this account. The One who created, and attached the mortals to pleasures, sits alone, and watches this. The Lord and Master is True, and True is His justice. He issues His Commands according to His judgement. The body-fabric will be torn apart into shreds, and then India will remember these words. Coming in seventy-eight (1521 A.D.), they will depart in ninety-seven (1540 A.D.), and then another disciple of man will rise up. Nanak speaks the Word of Truth; he proclaims the Truth at this, the right time.

(Rag Malar, pg.1288)
Deer, falcons and government officials are known to be trained and clever. When the trap is set, they trap their own kind; hereafter they will find no place of rest. He alone is learned and wise, and he alone is a scholar, who practices the Name. First, the tree puts down its roots, and then it spreads out its shade above. The kings are tigers, and their officials are dogs; they go out and awaken the sleeping people to harass them. The public servants inflict wounds with their nails. The dogs lick up the blood that is spilled. But there, in the Court of the Lord, all beings will be judged. Those who have violated the people's trust will be disgraced; their noses will be cut off.