Zoravar Singh Palit
Every Sikh knows of Guru Gobind Singh's four Sahibzadas, but very few know that Guru Sahib also had four adopted sons. These four were Baba Charan Singh, Baba Punjab Singh, Baba Ajaipal Singh and also Baba Zoravar Singh Paalit (paalit means adopted).
Baba Zoravar Singh is not to be confused with the other Sahibzada Zoravar Singh who was martyred in Sirhind.
Birth and Meeting Guru Gobind Singh
Baba Zoravar Singh Paalit, a Tarkhan Sikh was born in the home of Bhai Nathoo Ram Lotay and Mata Bhikee on December 24, 1696 in Busee(n) Pathana(n).
Baba Zoravar Singh's father, Bhai Nathoo Ram did seva in the darbaar of Guru Gobind Singh while Mata Bhikee served Mata t Kaur and after Mata ji's passing in December 1700, she served Mata Sundar Kaur. Bibi Bhikee used to take care of the little Sahibzadas, Baba Zoravar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh.
The Wrestling Match
Bibi Bhikee's son also used to stay at Anandpur Sahib. One day Guru Gobind Singh was watching his Singhs train in martial arts. The older Sahibzaday, Baba At Singh and Baba Jujhaar Singh were practising gatkaa and archery while the two younger Sahibzaday were busy exercising. Guru Gobind Singh 's eye fell upon Bibi Bhikee 's son who was standing nearby watching all this. He saw that the young boy was about the same age and size as Baba Zoravar Singh and said, "come, let's have a wrestling match between you and Zoravar Singh!"
The wrestling match began and Guru watched with great interest and amusement. In the end the young boy pinned Baba Zoravar Singh . Guru called the young boy near and embraced him, and then, putting his hand on the boy's back, said "This boy too is my Zoravar Singh!" i.e. my Powerful One. From that day foreward, Bibi Bhikee's son became Zoravar Singh and no one even remembers his original name.
The adopted Baba Zoravar Singh stayed with the other Sahibzaday and played with them and learned with them and was treated just like another son of Guru Gobind Singh .
Leaving Anandpur Sahib
On the night of December 5th, 1705, Guru Gobind Singh and the Sikhs left the fort of Anandpur and at that time, Baba Zoravar Singh Paalit also accompanied the Singhs. Baba Zoravar Singh was not yet nine years old, but he accompanied the great hero Bhai Bacchitar Singh. When the big group of Sikhs passed Keeratpur Sahib and reached the banks of the Sirsa, the armies of the Hill Chiefs attacked. Guru Sahib divided the Singhs into four groups. One Jatha led by Bhai Udai Singh was sent to the Shahee Tibee, another under Bhai van Singh was sent to counter the Hill-Chiefs and Bhai Bachhitar Singh was sent forward to block the approach of the Mughal army from Sirhand.
Bhai Bachhitar Singh 's jatha met up with the Mughal army at village Malkpur. Little Baba Zoravar Singh Paalit was also with this Jatha. The Singhs fell upon the Mughals, charging forward to stop the massive Mughal army's advance. They were not fighting to protect their lives, they were fighting to prevent the Mughal army from advancing and attacking the rest of the Singhs that were crossing the Sirsa river. The Singhs fought with fearless ferocity and astonished the Mughals. In the thick of the battle was Baba Zoravar Singh. When the battle was over, of the 100 Singhs who were in the Jatha, only two had lived. Bhai Bachhitar Singh and Baba Zoravar Singh Paalit remained and both were lying on the battlefield badly wounded.
Later on, a Jatha of Singhs under Baba At Singh passed through this area and seeing the wounded Bhai Bacchitar Singh and Baba Zoravar Singh, picked them up. Baba Zoravar Singh was taken to a village and left at the home of Bhai Gursaa Singh who bandaged Baba 's wounds. In total, there were 22 cuts on little Baba Zoravar Singh's body, which would take a long time to heal. Bhai Bachhitar Singh was too badly wounded to recover and became a Shaheed on December 8th. When night fell on December 8th, Bhai Gursaa Singh first did the saskaar of Shaheed Bhai Bachhitar Singh and then secretly took Baba Zoravar Singh to village DaDhaeRee where a Sikh lady, Mata Poopaa(n) lived. Mata Poopaa(n) was a devotee of the Guru and used to sew clothes for Guru Gobind Singh and present them as offerings. Mata slowly cleaned each wound and re-bandaged them.
After some days, Baba Zoravar Singh Paalit soon became healthy. Baba Zoravar Singh wanted to meet his father Guru Gobind Singh again, but had no idea where he and the other Singhs could be. He had heard that Mata Sundar Kaur had gone to Delhi and decided that it was best to go there and stay with her. So he travelled to Delhi and began to live with Mata Sundar Kaur and Mata Sahib Kaur .
Meeting Dashmesh Again
In the start of 1706, the Sikhs of Delhi found out that Guru Gobind Singh was staying at Talvandee Sabo. The Sangat of Delhi was yet deciding when to go meet Guru , but Baba Zoravar Singh could not wait to meet his father any more. He set out with Mata Gulabo, Bhai Soorat Singh (the son of Bhai van Singh) and Bhai Charan Singh (grand son of Shaheed Bhai Matee Daas ). Baba Zoravar Singh stayed with Guru for some days and then left to visit Mata Poopaa(n) and also his birth family in Basee Pathana(n). He then lived at Khijraabad near Ropar for 1.5 years.
At the end of 1707, Guru Sahib was meeting Bahadur Shah in Agra, when Bahadur Shah decided to go south to quell the rebellion by his brother. Guru Sahib also decided to go south at this time. Baba Zoravar Singh too was feeling the long separation from his father again and decided to meet up with Guru and the Singhs. He arrived in Guru 's camp unexpectedly at village Itmaadpur. Sree Guru Sobha, a document from 1711 describes the scene of Baba Zoravar Singh 's arrival. All the Singhs gathered around Baba Zoravar Singh and happily gave him their Fatehs. Baba Zoravar Singh went before Guru Gobind Singh and bowed and Guru embraced him, kissing his son on the forehead. Baba Zoravar Singh now began to live with Guru again.
As Guru and the Singhs kept moving South through different villages, the Jatha arrived at the town of Chitaur. This town had a very big and magnificent fort, which was built by the Rajpoots but was now occupied by some Mughal soldiers.
On April 2nd, 1708, Baba Zoravar Singh and 20 other Singhs decided to go see this fort. 125 Mughal soldiers manned the fort. The Mughal guard told the Singhs that they could not enter the fort as no non-Muslim was allowed this right. An argument and debate followed and the Mughals began to speak rudely about non-Muslims and began to insult the Sikhs. The argument became quite heated and then became an all out battle. The 20 Singhs fought bravely and Baba Zoravar Singh Palit too, at the age of 11 years, 3 months and 10 days fought like a lion. They could not bear the insult of their faith. When the battle had concluded, 100 Mughal soldiers lay dead but every Singh had also become a martyr, including Baba Zoravar Singh Palit .
The next day, Guru Gobind Singh himself did the saskaar of the 21 shaheeds on the banks of the river Ganbheer.
The life of Baba Zoravar Singh Paalit is not known very well and very few people know that he was the adopted son of Guru Gobind Singh . The dedication little Baba Zoravar Singh showed to Sikhi in his 11 years of life is an inspiration to all.