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Sodhis are considered to be landlords and can be found all over North India mainly in Punjab.
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In his autobiography, Vichitra Natak Guru Gobind Singh gives an account of the origin of the Sodhi clan. Sodhi Rai was the son of Kusha.Kusha was created by Lord Valmiki with a dry grass. After which he was known as Rama's son. He moved to the Sanadh region where he married the king's daughter. His descendants moved to Madra Desh (now called Punjab), and came to be called Sodhi. Descendants of other son of Lord Rama, Lava,populated the city of Lahore (now in Pakistan). These descendents came to be called Lavana, Labana, Luwaar, Luvar, etc. It is believed that the descendants of these two children of Lord Rama rule every 500 years. After the rule of Kusha's descendants, the 'kingdom' was passed down to descendants of Lava.
In Sikhism, seven of the ten Gurus (spiritual leaders) were from the Sodhi family, beginning with the fourth Guru. Two of these Gurus were martyred under the edict of the ruling Mughal emperors. Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru, was martyred to prevent the Emperor Aurangzeb from forcibly converting the Hindus in India to Islam. The Emperor agreed to cease his policy of forcible conversion if he failed to convert the Guru to Islam. If the Guru converted to Islam, then all the Sikhs and his Hindu followers would also convert. The Guru was beheaded and refused to convert. This was the first recorded act of a leader of a religion saving the religious freedom of people from a different religion. After the death of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the leadership of the Sikhs fell on the shoulders of his son, Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Gobind Singh was the last spiritual leader of the Sikhs. Among his many other acts, he instigated social practices that promoted civil rights such as the rejection of caste system and equality for women. He was assassinated in 1708, and passed on the leadership of the Sikhs to the Sikh religious text, the Guru Granth Sahib.
Other Sodhis in Indian history
- Sodhis of Anandpur: Anandpur was founded by Gulab Rai, first cousin to the 10th Guru. From his brother Sham Chand's four sons, Nahr Singh, Udai Singh, Khem Singh and Chur Singh, the branches of Anandpur Sodhis the Bari, Dusri, Teesri and Chauthi Sarkar are descended. They held a Jagir worth Rs. 10000 in Patiala and a Jagir of Rs. 4750 in Faridkot.
- Sodhis of Kartarpur: descended from Ram Das, third son of Guru Arjun. Rama/Ramay is a family name of sodhi caste.
- Sodhis of Faridkot: descendents of Baba Prithi chand. Most of them later on joined forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and were sent to Kashmir. Their descendants can still be found in large numbers in Kashmir.
- Sodhi's of Guru Har Sahai - these are the descendants of Guru Ram Das ji whose successor Jiwan Mal ji founded village. The Sodhi's of Guru Har Sahai are the administrators of this village including Guru Hardip Singh Sodhi, MLA Rana Sodhi, etc.