Kapura Suffered For Not Obeying Guru Ji
Kapura of Kot Kapura
Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaaj arrived at the small town of Kot Kapura while traveling in Malwa region. Siri Guru jee had already fought the greatest battles of his life. Sahibzaday had been martyred. The battle of Chamkaur had been fought. Guru Sahib with bleeding Charan Kamal had already been in Machhiwara.
Now Siri Guru jee arrived at Kot Kapura. Singhs found an appropriate place to park their horses and collected dry wood for langar. As usual Siri Guru jee did Sat Sangat twice a day. Upon Siri Guru jee’s arrival sangat from villages around Kot Kapura came for darshan of Siri Guru jee. Kapura the chieftain of Kot Kapura too heard of Siri Guru jee’s arrival. He resolved to get darshan of Siri Guru jee and for this purpose adorned his horse and with his servants and bodyguards arrived at the diwan of Siri Guru jee.
Kapura was carrying weapons and so were his bodyguards. He did Matha Tek to Guru Sahib and seeing his weapons, Siri Guru jee asked him,
Kaho Kapura, Aayudh dharae || Dhir Beerta Ketak karae || Ran ke Chaump Bisaal ke naahi? Jis tey Bir Parampad paahee||
(Say O Kapura, you who are adorned with beautiful weapons, How much Yudh (battle) do you do? Is your yearning for Yudh a lot or not? Warriors reach their highest destination through Dharam Yudh).
Kapura was taken aback by Siri Guru jee’s straight talk. He replied:
Kahio Kapura Siri Guru Naath || Ih Jag Naath, Aap ke haath || Dhir Bir ko Bhir Banavo || Bhirun tey bahu Yudh Machavo ||
(Said Kapura, O Siri Guru Naath jee, all the Masters / rulers of this world are in your control. You, at your will, can make courageous warriors mere cowards and you can turn cowards into warriors and enable them to do frightening battles).
Siri Guru jee was pleased at Kapura’s humility and said, “Bhalo Kapuray, Bhalo Kapuray”. Further Siri Guru jee asked him what else was he indulging himself in. Kapura truthfully answered that he enjoys holding fights of cocks and he also kept falcons and other fighters birds as pets.
Kapura was a small chieftain of Kot Kapura town but his palace was very strategic for battles. Guru Sahib was interested in fortifying his fort and battling the forces of Vazir Khan of Sirhind and defeating the imperial army there. There is no doubt that Guru Sahib would have done this if Kapura had agreed to give his fort to Guru Sahib.
Next day again, diwan of Siri Guru jee was on. Sangat came as usual. Kapura came along with his bodyguards. He had a very heavy and expensive dress on him. He was walking very proudly and while he was walking with his arms slightly opened outwards, and heavily thumping his foot on the ground, Malagar Singh (a Chardi Kala Singh) took notice of him. Malagar Singh reproved his haughty gait and told him to walking humbly in Sangat and not to blow dust in air with his thumping walk. Kapura was not used to such chiding and was very upset at getting reproached by Malagar Singh but kept his composure.
Kapura prostrated before Satguru jee and sat in the sangat trying to focus on Shabad. It is written in Sooraj Parkash Granth that Kapura noticed that not only Guru Sahib was being done chaur on but also Shasters were being done chaur on. He was surprised to see that and asked Guru Sahib the reason for the chaur on Shasters (weapons). Guru Sahib told him about the importance of shasters. Satguru jee said that Shasters were the greatest Pirs of all Pirs and greatest Devtay of all Devtay. Chaur is done in order to keep the dirty flies away from shasters and out of respect.
Singhs organized amrit sinchaar in this area and Kapura was fortunate to get amrit at this occasion. He was named Kapura Singh after amrit chhak. Kapura took amrit but soon he came back to his worldly ways. He did not bring full faith and trust in the Bachans of Guru Sahib. One day Guru Sahib said to Kapura:
Antarjami Jaan Bakhaana || Suno Kapur Singh Dhar Kaana || Nai lagg kar hain Raaj tuhaara || Gaj Baazi Dal Vadhai Udaara || Turkan Sang Jang ke Kaaran || Deho Durg dekho dal Daarun || Lashkar Naurang ko LaR Maarae(n) || Kaqur Turk Palavat Haarae(n) ||
(All knowing Satguru jee knowing the inner spiritual and mental condition of Kapura said to him, “Listen carefully in your ears, O Kapura, we will establish your kingdom up to Satluj river. The enemy – the turks are approaching us, and in order to fight them back, give us your fort and then watch for yourself how we destroy the army of Turks. We will destroy the armies of Aurangzeb by battling them in the battlefield).
Hearing this Kapura chickened out and lamented this way:
Sunn Kar Deen hoye Kar kahai || Hum mein kahaan shakat imm kahai(n) || Ripp Sam jaan turk gahe mohe || Mareh phaansi de kar krohe ||
(Hearing Satguru jee’s furmaan Kapura started wailing, “Where I have the power to do as you are asking me to do? The Turks will consider me their enemy and will hang me to death after severe tortures).
He did not stop at this but he reminded Guru Sahib of his losses as follows:
Siri Gur, Tum tau ho Beparvaah || Bigray Larae, Turkeshwar Shah || Lakho)n) Nar maaray marvaaye || Anandpur Ujaar kar aaye || Bhali seekh abb devan laagay || Jis tey bachay na, kitt ko bhaagae ||
(O Siri Guru jee, you yourself are oblivious ( carefree ) of your losses. You developed bad relations with the Turk king (Aurangzeb) and resolved to fight him. You killed many and got many others killed and also destroyed Anandpur Sahib. Now after doing all this, you are giving me quite a good advice (sarcastically) and your advice is such that if I follow it, I will not be able to avoid trouble nor run away from it).
Tin Turkan tey, mohe bigaaro || Jim Ujray, tim mohe ujaaro || Hum tau banday Nitt paatshahee || Bigray maareh mujh de phaahee ||
(You are spoiling my relation with the Turks, just as you yourself destroyed yourself, you are now bent on destroying me at the hands of the Turks. I am the faithful of whoever is the ruler because I know that if I am not faithful, they will kill me by hanging me to death).
Hearing this Siri Guru jee said as follows:
Sunn Satgur Riss Urr-dhar Bhakha || Je ka rim teri Abhilaakha || Tau dey phaas turk hee marae || Gunn Avgun tav kuchh na bichaarae ||
(Hearing this Satguru jee said in Bir Rass, “if this is your wish then so be it. Turks will hang you by putting thobra (bag used to feed horses) on your mouth; and they will not consider your good or bad qualities while they do so)
Guru Sahib further said that he would always reside in Siri Anandpur Sahib and Khalsa will forever stay in Chardi Kala.
Guru Sahib fought the battle of Mukatsar at Khidranay dee dhaab and defeated the Mughal army there. Mughals never pursued Guru Sahib after that apparently because of the futility of this task and partially because after reading Siri Guru jee’s Zafarnama, Aurangzeb had ordered that the imperial armies should stop pursuing Guru Sahib. Furthermore, he requested Guru Sahib to meet him. Guru Sahib had asked him to come see him but the emperor expressed his incapability in doing so because of his old-age.
Kapura ostensibly helped the imperial army against Guru Sahib but from inside he was on Guru Sahib’s side. He got very depressed that he was not able to fulfill the order of Guru Sahib and had not helped Guru Sahib by giving his fort. From inside he stayed loyal to Guru Sahib but could not muster courage to stand by Guru Sahib openly. This weakness of his, cost him his life and Guru Sahib’s bachan indeed came true.
After some time Issa Khan Manjh came with his army from the Doaba and attacked the fort of Kapura Singh. Kapura Singh fought the Turk army but could not withstand the attack since he was a coward. He was caught alive and after looting his possessions, they decided to hang him. Just as they were about to hang him, he made two requests to Turks: Firstly he wanted to do ishnaan before getting hanged and secondly he requested that he be given a thobra before death. The Muslims were greatly surprised at his last request and asked the reason why he wanted a thobra. Kapura said that the reason why he is getting hanged is because he had not obeyed the bachan of his Saturu – Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaaj. He said that Siri Guru jee had done bachan that he (Kapura) would get hanged in the hands of Turks and they would put thobra on his face to hang him. He said that he wanted the bachan of Guru Sahib to be fulfilled to the fullest and as such wanted the Thobra to be put around his neck. The Turks agreed to this and put Thobra around his face and hanged him.
What a waste of life. Reading this saakhi in Gurpartaaap Sooraj Parkash Granth had a profound affect on me and I was shocked at realizing that how many of Guru Sahib’s hukams we don’t fulfill. What will become of us? Guru Sahib bhali karan.
I have to mention that the language used in Gurpartap Sooraj Parkash Granth is matchless. Bhai Sahib Santokh Singh jeo ChooRamanee was a linguistic genius and a master story teller. He writes such beautiful words that one gets dazzled reading his poetry. He has used words that I knew meanings of but had never imagined being used in writings. One gets amazed at the Oceanic vocabulary of Bhai Sahib jee. The character of Siri Guru jee is built in such a beautiful way that reading it increases one’s shardha and pyaar for Guru Sahib.