Masand

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A Masand was a representative and tithe collector in Sikhism.[1] He was an officially appointed missionary minister representing the Sikh Guru, who baptized conversions to Sikhism, and collected dasvandh ("the tenth" of income) as an offering to the Sikh community and religious establishment.[1] A Masand forwarded the collected amount to the Sikh Guru.[2]

It is unclear when the Masand system started. It began with Guru Amar Das in some accounts,[1] by Guru Ram Das in other accounts,[3] or Guru Arjan by still other accounts.[4] A Masand was appointed for each religious administrative unit called the Sikh Manji, a system that was founded by Guru Amar Das.[5][6] This system was expanded by later Sikh Gurus.[7] During conversions, the new convert would touch the feet of the Masand.[8]

The Masand system was critical in empowering Sikhism with an independent economic resource pool, that helped pay for Gurdwara (temple) building, for building a Sikh army and the upkeep of Sikh soldiers, as well routine expenses such as langar (kitchen) which offered a free meal to visitors to the Sikh temples.[3]

The Manji and Masand system of revenue collection for Sikh temples and other purposes was a source of major dispute between the Sikh Gurus and the Mughal Emperors. For example, Aurangzeb seized the tithe collections by the Masands for use by the Mughal treasury, and demolished Sikh temples throughout Punjab to emphasize the Islamic character of the Mughal empire.[9]

Abolition of Masands[edit]

Slowly, Masands became corrupt and start treating themselves as Gurus. They started collecting money for personal motives. When Guru Gobind Singh got this news, he captured those Masands and punished them.[10]

Guru Gobind Singh ordered Sikhs not to recognize or befriend the Masands and their deputies and wrote a hymn against Masands which is incorporated in 33 Savaiye of Dasam Granth.[11] The following is from the composition:

Guru Gobind Singh alerting on Masands
English Gurmukhi Script
He, who on the persuasion of the Yogis gives in charity all his wealth to them;
who squanders his belongings to Sannyasis in the name of Dutt,
Who on the direction of the Masands takes the wealth of Sikhs and gives it to me,
then I think that these are only the methods of selfish-disciplines; I ask such a person to instruct me about the Mystery of the Lord.28.
He, who serves his disciples and impresses the people and tells them to hand over the victuals to him

and present before him whatever they had in their homes;
He also asks them to think of him and not to remember the name of anyone else;
consider that he has only a Mantra to give, but he would not be pleased without taking back something.29.

ਜੋ ਜੁਗੀਆਨ ਕੇ ਜਾਇ ਕਹੈ ਸਭ ਜੋਗਨ ਕੋ ਗ੍ਰਹਿ ਮਾਲ ਉਠੈ ਦੈ ॥
ਜੋ ਪਰੋ ਭਾਜਿ ਸਨਯਾਸਨ ਦੈ ਕਹੈ ਦੱਤ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਪੈ ਧਾਮ ਲੁਟੈ ਦੈ ॥
ਜੌ ਕਰਿ ਕੋਊ ਮਸੰਦਨ ਸੌ ਕਹੈ ਸਰਬ ਦਰਬ ਲੈ ਮੋਹਿ ਅਬੈ ਦੈ ॥
ਲੇਉ ਹੀ ਲੇਉ ਕਹੈ ਸਭ ਕੋ ਨਰ ਕੋਊ ਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬਤਾਇ ਹਮੈ ਦੈ ॥੨੮॥
ਜੋ ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵ ਮਸੰਦਨ ਕੀ ਕਹੈ ਆਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਸਭੈ ਮੋਹਿ ਦੀਜੈ ॥
ਜੋ ਕਛੁ ਮਾਲ ਤਵਾਲਯ ਸੋ ਅਬ ਹੀ ਉਠਿ ਭੇਟ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਹੀ ਕੀਜੈ ॥
ਮੇਰੋ ਈ ਧਯਾਨ ਧਰੋ ਨਿਸ ਬਾਸੁਰ ਭੂਲ ਕੈ ਅਉਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਮ ਨ ਲੀਜੈ ॥
ਦੀਨੇ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਨੈ ਭਜਿ ਰਾਤਹਿ ਲੀਨੇ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਹਿ ਨੈਕ ਪ੍ਰਸੀਜੈ ॥੨੯॥

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Charles E. Farhadian (2015). Introducing World Religions. Baker Academic. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-4412-4650-9.
  2. ^ Masand, Mahankosh, Kahn Sing Nabha. ਮਸੰਦ - masandha - मसंद: ਮਸਨਦ (ਗੱਦੀ) ਨਾਲ ਸੰਬੰਧ ਰੱਖਣ ਵਾਲਾ. ਜੋ ਲੋਕ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਦਸੌਂਧ ਅਤੇ ਕਾਰ ਭੇਟਾ ਉਗਰਾਹੁਁਦੇ ਅਤੇ ਸਿੱਖੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰ ਕਰਦੇ, ਉਹ ਮਸੰਦ ਕਹੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਸਨ.¹ ਚੌਥੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਤੋਂ ਲੈਕੇ ਸੰਮਤ ੧੭੫੫ ਤੀਕ ਇਹ ਸਿਲਸਿਲਾ ਰਿਹਾ. ਫੇਰ ਦਸ਼ਮੇਸ਼ ਨੇ ਮਸੰਦਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਬੁਰੀਆਂ ਕਰਤੂਤਾਂ ਦੇਖਕੇ ਇਹ ਅਹੁਦਾ ਹਟਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ, ਬਲਕਿ ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਮੇਂ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਕਿ ਮਸੰਦਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਨਹੀਂ ਵਰਤਣਾ. "ਤਜ ਮਸੰਦ, ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕ ਜਪ, ਯਹ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਤਹਿਂ ਕੀਨ." (ਗੁਰੁਸੋਭਾ) "ਜੌ ਕਰ ਸੇਵ ਮਸੰਦਨ ਕੀ, ਕਹਿਂ ਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਸਭੈ ਮੁਹਿ ਦੀਜੈ." (੩੩ ਸਵੈਯੇ) मसनद (गॱदी) नाल संबंध रॱखण वाला. जो लोक सिॱखां तों दसौंध अते कार भेटा उगराहुँदे अते सिॱखी दा प्रचार करदे, उह मसंद कहे जांदे सन.¹ चौथे सतिगुरू दे समें तों लैके संमत १७५५ तीक इह सिलसिला रिहा. फेर दशमेश ने मसंदां दीआं बुरीआं करतूतां देखके इह अहुदा हटा दिॱता, बलकि अम्रित समें उपदेश दिॱता कि मसंदां नाल नहीं वरतणा. "तज मसंद, प्रभु एक जप, यह बिबेक तहिं कीन." (गुरुसोभा) "जौ कर सेव मसंदन की, कहिं आन प्रसादसभै मुहि दीजै." (३३ सवैये)
  3. ^ a b Sushil Mittal; Gene Thursby (2006). Religions of South Asia: An Introduction. Routledge. pp. 244–245. ISBN 978-1-134-59321-7.
  4. ^ History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1469-1606 C.E Volume 1, Surjit Singh Gandhi (2007), Atlantic Publishers & Dist, Page 321
  5. ^ William Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-1-898723-13-4.
  6. ^ Louis E. Fenech; W. H. McLeod (2014). Historical Dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-1-4422-3601-1.
  7. ^ Page 95, Sikhism Origin and Development, Dalbir Singh Dhillon. Atlantic Publishers & Distri
  8. ^ Lewis R. Rambo; Charles E. Farhadian (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion. Oxford University Press. pp. 494–495. ISBN 978-0-19-971354-7.
  9. ^ Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair (8 August 2013). Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-1-4411-0231-7.
  10. ^ Page 135, The History of Sikh Gurus, Prithi Pal Singh, Lotus Press, Jan 1, 2006
  11. ^ Retrieved from Savaiya 28, Savaiya 29, 33 Savaiye, Dasam Granth