A Big Announcement and The Legacy of Bhai Nand Lal
The Written Message was launched in summer 2020 with the mission to explore the plethora of Sikh literature and make these sources more accessible. Since our launch, we have expanded our online store to over 120 books covering Sikh history, spirituality and more. With a vast range of children’s bedtime stories, comics and colouring books, we have aimed to ensure that all ages are able to enjoy and explore this field.
With this, we are delighted to celebrate the launch of our brand new logo designed by @5rivercreations. The key inspiration behind this rebranding was Bhai Nand Lal ‘Goya’, a figure in Sikh history that contributed so much to the Sikh panth through literature and poetry. The ghazals of Bhai Nand Lal describe the Guru with such beauty, using the written word to show such devotion to the Guru and Sikhi.
“Bhai Nand Lal also arrived in India and took his place at the court of Aurangzeb in the 17th century. He rose fast through the momentum of talent, but the air of the Imperial Court in the days of the last Great Moghul had become putrid. Fanaticism and acquisitive indiscretion were accelerating the Empire's decay. Bhai Nand Lal, known to Poetry as “Goya" meaning "One who speaks out" spoke with indignance at the Moghul court as well, and finally found cool refuge with Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh was warring against the Moghul Emperor, in defence of human rights, of body and soul.
Behind the battle line of cannon and thought, over fifty scholars of eminence were labouring to create literature, new and translated, for the new pattern of mind which the Guru was designing for his followers. Background music to the creation of the Master, and men of letters, came from Bhai Nand Lal, the mystic Poet Laureate. His songs range from the beloved to the Beloved.” - Page xi, On Goya by B. P. L. Bedi
Having rose to a prominent position in the Mughal court, Bhai Nand Lal would be given the ultimatum to either convert or face death as a result of Aurangzeb’s religious policy. It was here that Bhai Nand Lal would seek refuge in the Anandpur Darbar, becoming an example of how Sikh principles and ethics should be applied during times of hardship and persecution. Bhai Nand Lal's devotion to Guru Gobind Singh and humility demonstrated the core Sikh principles.
“In the Jot Bigas in Persian, Guru Nanak is compared with Narain who is niranjan (taintless) and nirankar (formless). He was created from the light of divine grace and the whole world received great gifts from him. Thousands of kings are his slaves; thousands of suns and moons salute him with reverence. He is Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ramdas, Guru Arjan, Guru Hargobind, Guru Har Rai, Guru Har Krishan, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and Guru Gobind Singh. They are one and the same light. Guru Nanak has created Satiug in the midst of Kaljug; the young and the old now cherish the truth.36” Page 111, Appendix 5A, Bhai Nand Lal’s Homage to the Sikh Gurus (Guru Gobind Singh: The Master of the White Hawk by J. S. Grewal referencing Bhai Nand Lal Granthavali edited by Ganda Singh, Sant Sohan Singh, 1968)
Over the comings months we will look to continue to provide you with our book summaries and recommended book lists, with much more content on its way. Use the subscribe box below to get the latest updates on our blogs and new arrivals.