Martyrdom of the sons of Guru Gobind Singh

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Baba Ajit Singh

Baba Ajit Singh was the eldest of the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh. He was born at Anandpur Sahib on January 7, 1687 A.D. From his early life he was given the sort of education and training that befitted the saint-soldiers of Guru Gobind Singh. He was a brave warrior and he began to take part in the Guru's war very early in life. No danger or difficulty could ever daunt him.

Once a Brahman came to Guru Gobind Singh darbar and said that his wife had been taken away by force by some pathans. Baba Ajit Singh with a band of some brave Sikhs rescued the woman and took the wicked pathans to Anandpur where they were suitably punished.

Anandpur was besieged by the Mughal armies from Sirhind and Lahore. They were commanded by Nawab Wazir Khan and Nawab Zabardast Khan, respectively. All the hill chiefs, who were Hindus, joined them with their armies. One day, during the siege, the two commandars of imperial army sent a messenger to the Guru. He was told to give the following message to him,'This army is not one belonging to petty hill chiefs. It is that of the great and mighty Emperor Aurangzeb. You will not be able to oppose it for long, You should show respect to the Emperor, give up fighting and embrace Islam'.

Baba Ajit singh was standing near the Guru. The messenger' words aroused his anger. He drew his sword and said, 'If you utter another word, I will cut off your head from your body if you speak such insolent words before the Guru'.

The siege of Anandpur caused great hardships to the Guru and his Sikhs. They send message after message to the Guru that he should vacate the fort and we swear on the Quran that we will not harm him. But the Guru was sure that the oaths were false. He was not in favour of placing any trust in them. But he was prevailed upon, chiefly by his mother, to vacate the fort. He did so during the night of December 20, 1704 A.D. As soon as the besiegers realised this they forgot theor oaths and fell upon the Guru's party. Baba Ajit Singh with a party of Sikhs, held up the enemy, while the rest were crossing the river Sarsa. When all had crossed, he and his party plunged their horses into the flooded river. They soon reached the other bank. The enemy didnot have the courage to jump into the fast flowing ice cold water of the flooded stream.

After crossing the river the Guru hurried towards Chamkaur. He had only forty Sikhs with him, besides his two elder sons. The Mughal army was coming after them. He learnt that the Mughal army lay only a few miles away head of him. He was thus between two large armies. He decided to meet them at Chamkaur. He reached their about sunset and occupied and mud-house and began waiting for the enemy.

The Mughals armies arrived at night and decided to force open the gate. They rushed towards it. A batch of five Sikhs went out to meet them holding their advance as long as possible. The Sikhs fought bravely and killed many until at last they were overpowered and slain. Then another batch of five Sikhs went out to meet the enemy and check his advance. This went for some time, the enemy suffered heavily at hands of each batch of Sikhs.

After a time, Guru Gobind Singh's eldest son, Baba Ajit Singh, asked permission to go out and oppose the enemy. He said, 'Dear father, my name is Ajit or Unconquerable. I will not be conquered and if conquered I will not flee or comeback alive. Permit me to go, dear father'. He was less than eighteen years of age. The Guru knew what the end of his son would be. He hugged and kissed his son and bade him go out and fight the enemy. Baba Ajit Singh was accompanied by five Sikhs. They poured a rain of arrows at the enemy and then he took out his lance and sprang upon the enemy. He thrust his lance into the heart of a Muhammedan Soldier. The soldier wore a steel armour, the lance got stuck in the armour. Baba Ajit Singh tried to pull it out, and it broke into two. He drew his sword and fell upon the enemy but was overpowered and was martyred.

The Guru has been watching his son from the roof of the mud-house. He had admired and rejoiced at the skill, strength and bravery shown by his son. He had seen him wounded and saw him fall.

Baba Jujhar Singh

Baba Jujhar Singh was the second son of Guru Gobind Singh. He was born in March 1689 and he too got the same training as his elder brother. Like Baba Ajit Singh, he also accompanied the Guru to Chamkaur. Baba Jujhar Singh had also watched his elder brother fighting with the enemy. He too had seen him fall. At once he stood before his father and made the same request as his elder brother had to permit him to go. He said that he will prove worthy of you and will die fighting with his face towards the enemy, with the name of the Lord and the Guru on his lips and in his heart.

Baba Jujhar Singh was then less than sixteen years of age. The Guru was pleased to hear what he had said. He gave him sword and a shield. The Guru planted a small crest similar to what bridegrooms wear on his turban he and said: 'Go my son, and wed the life-giving Death. Now we shall return to our real home. Go and wait for me there. Your grandfather and elder brother are already waiting for you.'

The lad of less than sixteen, thus armed, went out with five Sikhs. He fought bravely and fearlessly as his elder brother had done. Many a mighty warrior fell before the child-warrior. But the odds were too heavily loaded against him. He was overpowered and died fighting at last.

The Guru was watching all this, and saw his son fall. He thanked God that his son had proven worthy of a saint-warrior

Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh

Under Emperor Aurangzeb's orders, the Mughal governors of Lahore and Sarhind, with all their troops, marched against Guru Gobind Singh. They were joined by the Hindu hill chiefs and the Muhammedan Ranghars and Gujjars of the locality

The combined armies besieged Anandpur and cut off all supplies. The Guru and his Sikhs bore the extreme hardships of the long seige with steadfast courage. The besiegers began to despair of success. They sent messengers to the Guru. The messenger said, 'The Mughal governors and the hill chiefs have sworn on the Quran that if you vacate the fort they willnot harm them. The Guru had no faiths in them but was prevailed upon by his mother and others to leave the fort. When Guruji was crossing the river sarsa they attacked him and in this confusion Guru's mother, Mata Gujri became separated from him and his sikhs. His two younger sons, Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were with her. In the biting winter they travelled through a thick jungle where they met a Brahman who had once been a cook at the Guru's house. He offered them protection in his house. The mother decided to take her grandsons with her and accept the shelter offered by Brahman.

When the Guru's mother went to sleep, he stole her saddle-bag which contained her valuables and money and buried it somewhere in the house. When the mother wokeup she found the bag missing and questioned Brahman. He pretended to be furious at this and said,'So you suspect me! you think me to be a thief! This,then, is the return that you propose to make for my service to you! I saved you from sure death. I exposed myself to grave risks in giving you shelter and protection. The return that you make to me for all this is that you charge me with theft! You have insulted me. Mata Gujri tried to calm him but he refused to listen and at once went to Muhammedan Chaudri of the village and told him that the Guru's mother and his two sons have just come to his house. Mata Gujri and his two grandsons were arrested and taken to the Nawab Wazir, governor of Sarhind .

Nawab ordered them to be confined in a tower of his for. They had to pass the cold December night with the bare, hard floor as the bed. Next day, the two grandsons were parted from their grandmother and were taken to Nawab Wazir Khan's court. On reaching there, they shouted loudly in one voice, 'Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru JI Ki Feteh', All eyes were turned in their direction. Their slim, their calm, bright faces and their fearless apperance won the admiratioj of all present in the court. Sucha Nand, a Brahman courtier of the Nawab advised the little princes to bow the Nawab. No, said Baba Zorawar Singh the elder of the two. 'We have been taught to bow to none but God and the Guru. We willnot bow to the Nawab.

This bold, unexpected reply astonished everbody, and even the Nawab. He said to the children that your father and your two elder brothers have been killed in the battle at Chamkaur. They were infidels and deserved the fate but you are lucky. Good luck has brought you to an Islamic darbar. Embarace Islam, and become one with us. You will be given wealth, rank and hounour and you will live good lives. You will be honoured by the Emperor. If you say 'No' to my offer, you will be treated as infidels are treated and will be put to death

Baba Zorawar Singh, looking at his younger brother said in a whisper, 'My brother, the time to sacrifice our lives has arrived. What do you think we should reply?. Baba Fateh Singh, who was just six years old then replied, 'Brother dear, our grandfather, Guru Teg Bahadur, parted with his head; he stoutly refused to part with his religion. We should follow his example. We have received the baptism of the spirit and the sword. We are the Guru's lions. Why should we fear death ? It is best that we should give our lives for the sake of our religion'.

Then Baba Zorawar Singh raised his voice and said to Nawab that you say that our father has been killed, that is a lie. He is alive and yet to do a good deal of work in this world. He has to shake your empire to its root. Know that we are the sons of him who at my age sent his father to sacrifice his life at Delhi. We reject your offers of pleasures. It has been the custom of our family to give life but not to give faith. Let your sword do the work. We invite you to do your worst'.

These words alone were enough to inflame the haughty Nawab. But Sucha Singh chose to pour oil over the fire and said, such is their behaviour at this tender age. What will be it when they grow up? They will follow the example of their father and destroy the imperial armies. This offsprings of a cobra should be crushed'. The Nawab said that you are true and wise but I want them to embrace Islam. Let us give them some time to think and consult their grandmother. We shall try again tommorrow to make them yield.

Then he said to the two brothers that i don't want to act in haste and I give you some time to think over it. If you refuse you will be given tortures that your cries will be heard far and wide and then you will be cut into pieces.

Then he ordered to take them back to the tower where Mata Gujri had been waiting for them eagerly. A look at their faces convinced her that they had kept firm in their faith and she said a brief prayer of thanks to God. Then she rushed towards them and hugged both of them lovingly to her bosom. Seating them on her lap she asked them to tell her what had happened.Baba Zorawar Singh narrated the whole thing to his grandmother. Mata Gujri was immensely pleased to hear what her grandsons narrated to her. Then she said to them that you should behave tommorrow in the same manner as you did today. Remember your grandfather example and teachings. If they torture you, pray to God for strength and think of your grandfather.

And on the next day when they were presented before the Nawab, he gave them the same threats and made them the same offer if they embrace Islam but they refused to his offer. Sucha Nand again pressed the Nawab to give them the death punishment. But the latter decided to give them more time to thing over. He still had hopes that they would yield.

The next day they were taken to the court for the third time. The Nawab again gave them the same offer and the brave sons of Guru Gobind Singh made the same reply as on the previous two occasions.

Then the Nawab pretented to be kind. He softened his voice and said that I hesitate to give orders for your death. By the way, what would you do if we were to give you your liberty.

The bold brave boys replied that we would collect our Sikhs, supply them with weapons of war, fight against you and put you to death. The Nawab said if you were defeated in the fight what would you do then ? The boys replied that we would collect our armies again and either kill you or be killed. By now the Nawab pretended kindness was gone and he ordered his men to bricked the boys alive. Under the Nawab's orders a part of the outer wall of the fort was pulled down and the children were made to stand in the gap thus created. The pathans were standing nearby and had their swords on shoulders of the children. Masons were ordered to erect a wall around the children. They were told to take care that the bricks press wall and tightly against their bodies.

After each layer the Qazi urged them to accept Islam but the boys stood calm and quiet. They were busy reciting Japuji and other hymns of the Gurus. When they were buried in the wall up to the shoulders the Nawab came himself and urged them to accept Islam to save their lives. The boys stood calm and shook their heads. The boys were martyred.

When the news of martyrdom reached the Mata Gujri she said ,'O my dear ones take me with you! Now that you have gone what have I left to do? O my soul, fly after them to the bosom of the Merciful Father. O my dear ones we shall meet again in our True Home'.

On the spot where the three bodies were creamted was later erected a gurudwara called Joyti Sarup. At the place where the two Sahibazadas were bircked alive stands the gurudwara called Fatehgarh Sahib. Nearby, at the site of the tower(burj) in which the three had been imprisoned and where Mata Gujri breathed her lasts, stands a gurudwara called Mata Gujri's Tower (Burj)

External links

Guru Gobind Singh Sakhis

Sakhis of Guru Gobind Singh
Battle of Anandpur Sahib Bhai Sajja Do Not Smoke Guru Gobind Singh and Ghanaya
Guru Gobind Singh Gallery Two Pots Sau Sakhi Guru Gobind Singh and Tobacco
Guru Gobind Singh's arrows Hermit of Kaalsi The Blue Horse Guru Gobind Singh and The Donkey
Chronology of Guru Gobind Singh's life Compilation of Dasam Granth Dasam Bani in Sikh History Death of Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh Guru Gobind Singh and Hari Chand Guru Gobind Singh marg Freedom of India
Martyrdom of Sons Mata Sunder Kaur Nanded 1708 Peer Buddhu Shah
Sahib-e-kamal Guru Gobind Singh Sahibzada Ajit Singh Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Sarbloh Granth
Sau Sakhi Second battle of Chamkaur Sahib Ses dheea par sirar n dheea SIPANJI
Pir Bhikan Shah and the Two Pots of Sweets Some shave their head Sahibzada Zorawar Singh

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