The Sikhs in History, Book Two, by Sangat Singh
THE SIKHS IN HISTORY, By Sangat singh
SIKHISM IN MEDIEVAL HISTORY
2 Evolution of the Sikh Panth (1469 - 1708)
In 1499, at the age of 30, after a great deal of meditation, Guru Nanak’s cosmic consciousness blossomed in full. He had a revelation, or, as the Janam Sakhis narrate, was led to the presence of God, and commissioned to propagate His message to mankind. This laid the foundations of his mission. By that time he and his wife Mata Sulakhan had two sons and Guru Nanak was living the life of a house holder, working as the Modi (Storekeeper) for the Nawab of Sultanpur. Additionally Guru Nanak had continued his studies and was by all accounts a well read man.
It was during the process of revelation and the vision of God, that Guru Nanak recited the mul mantra, the basic precept, which sums up the divine personality of God. The Mool Mantar constitutes the core of Sikh philosophy and provides the quintessence of the teachings of Sikh Gurus and Bhaktas contained in the Adi Granth, now known as the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture.
The Mool Mantar has been translated and interpreted variously. Elsewhere, the author’s translation reads: The Only Infinite One (1), the Only Supreme Being - God (oankar), the Eternal (sati), the Universal Spirit (namu), the Creator (karta), the All-pervading (purakhu), the Sovereign (nirbhau), the Harmonious (nirvairu), the Immortal (akala), the Embodiment (murti), the Un-incarnated (ajuni), the Self-existent (saibhan), the Enlightener (guru), the Bountiful (prasad).1
The translation by Principal Jodh Singh with whom Prof Sahib Singh and Bhai Vir Singh broadly agree, reads “There is but one God; Sati (meaning the being who was, is and shall always be) his name; the creator all-pervading, without fear, without enmity, whose existence is unaffected by time, who does not take birth, Self-existent; (to be realised) through the Grace of the Guru.”2
Max Arthur Macauliffe, in his monumental work, The Sikh Religion, who undertook it in collaboration with the Sikh reformers, translated the invocation as follows: “There is but one God whose name is True, the creator, devoid of fear and enmity, immortal, unborn, self-existent, great and bountiful”. At places he has joined the last two words to yield the meaning “by the favour of the Guru”.3
Guru Nanak during the process of revelation gained new vistas of cosmic consciousness that divine light permeates the entire universe and is the only source of light in all human beings. Universal brotherhood of humankind and common heritage, shorn of any limiting angularities, formed an essential part of the revelation. At the time, he recited a couple of hymns expressive of God’s greatness, His infinite wisdom and His benevolent participation in human affairs vis a vis his own limitations. God, in short, is One, (and he said so in digit 1 to prevent a change in meanings and emphasise that He is indivisible), Ineffable, beyond comprehension and expression, and full of Grace.
Guru Nanak’s experience was infinite. But this had to be expressed within the limitations of human expression, the limitations of the language. At times, Guru Nanak’s language is terse and impregnated with philosophical meanings and substance.
The first statement made by Guru Nanak after his enlightenment was na koi Hindu, na Musalman - there was neither a Hindu, nor a Muslim. He in the process asserted universal humanism. Everyone was the child of one God.
This cryptic statement has also been interpreted to mean that there was no true Hindu or true Muslim. And that, neither Hinduism nor Islam was relevant; what was relevant was his personal experience.
That, Guru Nanak was able to make a statement challenging the supremacy, if not the validity, of Islam at the close of 15th century and go unpunished by the Muslim rulers for blasphemy, was reflective of the change in the social milieu.
To begin with, Hindus declared Muslims miechhas, unclean, and Muslims reciprocated by declaring Hindus infidels. In the face of the armed superiority of Muslims, Hindus were quick to shut themselves behind the caste hierarchy, and narrow the parameters of social interaction. In the words of Lunia, “They abandoned honesty and sincerity, straightforwardness and integrity of character and imbibed vices like selfishness, cleverness and skill in deceit and evasion” which still characterise the Hindu society.4
New Muslim rulers - the Turks and Afghans - were different in temperament to the early Arab invaders. The mass-scale destruction of Hindu places of worship under Mahmud Ghazni and later Mohamad Ghori was gradually followed by lessening of the harshness of the earlier aggressive Muslim demeanour. However, in the words of A. L. Srivastava, “The Turko-Afghan rule produced an unhealthy result on the character and dignity of our race. Our upper and middle class people, who had to come into daily contact with the rulers, were obliged to conceal their true feelings about their religion, culture and sundry other matters and to develop a kind of servility of character in order to get on in the world. Many of our men imbibed low cunning and deceit. Therefore, the Hindus, in general, lost manliness of character and straightforwardness of behaviour.”5
The emergence of Sufi mystics on the social horizon helped to usher in an era of discourse within Hinduism 6 and within Islam 7 and at places between the two.
The Punjab was in the throes of social convulsions. Pakpattan, Multan and Sirhind emerged as main Sufi centres, while traditional Hinduism knuckled under Sidhas, Naths or Yogis who reduced religion to a series of jantra-mantra-tantra fetishes. The Brahmins too fell into meaningless rituals, more so as they recited Sanskrit hymns without understanding their purport. The study of Sanskrit had sharply declined.
The issues that agitated the minds of the people were naturally the intense divisions within Hinduism and Islam, and relevance of God as a factor in social interaction between various sections of society. Also disconcerting to the society was the state of general oppression which equally affected the various classes of the people.
Basically, the issues impinged on social responsibility. These were beyond the pale of any school of the Hindu thought. Neither the Vedas, the Shastras, and Smritis, nor the various religious teachers and law givers - none of them - laid down social responsibility on any one, much less a section of the society, to ameliorate the socio-political conditions of the people. Rather by laying emphasis on asceticism and world-withdrawing doctrines that caused withdrawal from productive work and dependence on alms for sustenance, the Hindu socio-religious orders had become parasitic and irresponsible. Even the Bhaktas, who were critical of the caste system and repudiated essentials of Vaishnavism, advocated individual moksha. They were not for acceptance of social responsibility. None of them, in consonance with Hindu thought, raised his voice against the prevalent political oppression, despite some of them including Kabir and Namdev facing personal persecution at the hands of the rulers. A sort of dissimulation characterised all classes of the Hindus including the upper and middle classes, and induced docility. Their pacifism helped to further consolidate socio-political isolation of Hindu society.
The perspective with the Muslims, being the ruling class, including the Indian Muslims, was quite different. It was reserved for Guru Nanak to charter a new order by an intermixture in equal measure of religious, social and political responsibilities into a composite whole, encompassing both spiritual and temporal spheres.8 He envisioned a social revolution that would pull down the tyrants and exploiters, and elevate the humble and the meek. His metaphysical experience confirmed his earlier formulations.
Shortly, when Guru Nanak started on world tour which, unlike any other prophet much less a Hindu religious teacher, took him to all parts of the sub-continent and beyond, he was confronted by Shaikh Brahm or Ibrahim with the cardinal question, was he a Hindu or a Muslim? To Guru Nanak such type of questions were irrelevant. He averred, “If I say I am a Hindu, I tell a lie. I am also not a Muslim.” Similarly at Mecca, he skirted the question of inter-se position of Hinduism and Islam, by saying that without good deeds, both Hindus and Muslims in the Court of God would rue the day. It was in this vein that Guru Arjan later adopted Kabir’s hymn that “We are neither Hindus, nor Muslims. The One, Allah-Ram is breath of our body.”9 To the specific question by Siddhas as to “Who is thy Guru”, Guru Nanak stated explicitly that the Word (of Lord) was the Guru.10
Throughout his discourses in the sub-continent and beyond, Guru Nanak did not quote Hindu scriptures as an authority for what he was saying. He was relying on the revelation, his personal experience of the Lord. That was an overriding authority for the views he formulated and the course of action he adopted.
Guru Nanak launched on four odysseys to “search for the saints”.11 He went to places for worship of all denominations -Indian and Semitic - in India and abroad, as his revelation had universal validity, and he had the consciousness or moral obligation to transmit his precept to all. And, he established centres for preaching of his mission all over the places. The first center he established was headed by Sajjan, a reformed Thug! For his avocation, Sajjan was maintaining both a temple and a mosque. After he came under the influence of Guru Nanak, he gave up thuggee and was a transformed man. He was now eminently qualified to head a socio-religious centre for humanity, cutting across sectarian lines.
The odysseys took Guru Nanak to all parts of the sub-continent and beyond to Tibet, Middle East and Central Asia. There are contemporary local sources in Assamese Vehis (regarding visit to Kamrup), Oriya12 and Ceylonese history,13 besides an inscription in classical Turkoman language with an admixture of Arabic in Baghdad testifying to Guru Nanak’s visits to those parts.14 Guru Nanak’s taking the young son of the then successor of Abdul Qadir Gailani, also known as Ghaus-i-Pak and Pir Dastgir (whose mausoleum is in the heart of Baghdad) to a trans-region journey into the outer-world, forms part of Baghdadi folk lore.
There are three Baghdadi folk sayings about Baba Nanak. These being, Inta Baba Nanak (Are you Baba Nanak?), A’ balak Baba Nanak (As if, he is Baba Nanak, or he pretends to be Baba Nanak), and Ana Mu Baba Nanak (I am not Baba Nanak). These were the Baghdadi people’s common reaction to all those who till the second world war in this century talked about or enquired of the visit of heavenly constellations, some at regular intervals, from the outer world to this world. For Baghdadi common man, only Baba Nanak knew as he had demonstrated the truth during his visit in the early 16th century.15
Guru Nanak’s mission had all the elements of a determined protagonist. At places, he entered into bitter debates. At Kurukshetra, he cooked meat (of a stag killed in game and offered by a devotee) on the solar eclipse which led to an unpleasant debate with Brahmins about what constituted legitimate and not-legitimate or violence and non-violence in human affairs. He condemned human exploitation and hypocrisy.16 At Haridwar, his simple act of offering water in reverse direction, towards Kartarpur, (which showed Guru Nanak had some land at that place for sustenance of his family and where he finally settled during the last two decades or so of his life) challenged the validity of the Brahmins’ beliefs (they were offering water to the rising sun), and led to the raising of tempers. He severely condemned the Jain practices, raised a furore at Mecca by asserting the omnipresence of God and oneness of humanity. At Baghdad, his talk of thousands of upper and nether regions invited the wrath of the orthodoxy. In the last phase of his life, he entered into an acrimonious debate with Jogis or Yogis at Achal Batala.
Four Castes and the Outcastes
Throughout his life, Guru Nanak preached universal humanism. His teachings were for all, irrespective of their present religious orientations or caste predilections. In the words of Bhai Gurdas, he brought fusion of all four castes, nay those within the caste system and the outcastes.17 In that context, he at times reconstructed both Hinduism and Islam, and wanted their protagonists - the Naths, Yogis, Brahmins, Vedantists, Vaishnavas, Shaivas, Buddhists, Jains, Shaikhs, Maulvis, Qazis - to rise above the mundane considerations to the essence of religion - a social and spiritual interaction with humanity. He gave his own version of what constituted a true yogi, a true Brahmin, a true Muslim and what it meant to recite five Muslim prayers. In the process, he revealed the superiority of his transcendent experience and vision.
He repudiated all the essentials of Hinduism. He regarded this world as an abode of God, a place for practising positive, good, deeds. He stood for living the life of a householder and net running away from the problems of the world. He struck at the roots of varna ashram dharma, condemned caste system, and renunciation of the world for spiritual attainment. His repudiation of the concept of avatarvad, of God’s taking a human birth, was inherent in one of His attributes in mill mantra, of ajuni, un-incarnated, not being subject to birth and death. He highlighted the evils of Brahminical domination and berated the cowardice of the people and many other evils of the contemporary society. He was for a social reconstruction that would generate a self-propelling social growth.
The Asa di Var, a composition of Guru Nanak, sung in early hours of the morning in Sikh shrines, highlights the salient contradictions between Hinduism and Guru Nanak’s teachings.
What, however, set apart Guru Nanak’s mission was his comments on, or delving into, the political situation. He called for social responsibility in public administration and introduction of the concept of welfare state.18
It was in the context of the totality of societal involvement that Guru Nanak reviewed the contemporary political situation. He compared the rulers to butchers, and administrators to dogs, who oppressed and exploited the people in and out, without any qualms. He condemned the rampant corruption in the administration, including the maladministration of justice by Qazis.19 He reprimanded the Kshatriyas (warrior caste amongst Hindus) for giving up their role as defenders of the society and instead collaborating with the oppressive rulers. He condemned the people for their pusillanimity, unreasoning and ignorance. He wanted the downtrodden to ameliorate their place in society. He associated himself with them instead of the aristocracy. Similarly, he accorded women equal status in society, in sharp contrast to the existing practices. Following him, Bhai Gurdas mentions woman or wife as one-half, man being the other half, to make a composite social unit.
Guru Nanak’s views were made further explicit in his four hymns depicting conditions of India at the time of Babur’s invasion.20 He portrayed a heart-rending scene of conditions of both the aristocracy and the laity - both Hindus and Muslims irrespective of creed. He spoke against tyranny in the language of blood and tears. He condemned the Lodhi rulers for their misrule and disfiguring the gem of Hindustan. He set new standards to judge political authorities. Through freedom of expression, he generated national awareness. “The differentiation of the religious elite brought a new level of tension and new possibility of conflict and change into the social scene. It implied that political acts could be judged in terms of standards that the political authorities cannot fully control.”21 As such, Guru Nanak’s teachings provided the ideology and social cohesion for resistance to oppression. To Guru Nanak, Lord was destroyer of the demons.22 He viewed submission to tyranny with disdain.
Guru Nanak took a special note of Babur’s use of match-lock gun which according to Babur’s Memoirs proved decisive in his victory. Guru Nanak, like Lord Krishna in Mahabharta, was not against war, as such. He, however, wanted the people to equip themselves with sophisticated weapons to create a strategic balance of forces, or a balance of terror (which in itself is sufficient to prevent a war), to pave the way for an equal contest, if need be.23
It was Guru Nanak who laid the foundations of martyrdom in Sikhism. He said, “If you want to play the game of devotion, place your head on the palm of your hand, and follow my way. Once you take a step in this direction, you should not hesitate in laying down your life, and not look back.”24 Again, “O Lord, if it pleases Thee, one plies the sword, and the head is chopped off the neck.”25 Life and death is in the hands of Lord, and giving and taking of it is not in the hands of man. One need not be afraid of death. “To die is the right of the brave, if one dies for an approved cause.”26 One such cause he mentioned was to live with dignity, the loss of which made one’s living haram, sinful.27 These concepts of Guru Nanak later laid the foundations of the Khalsa on the basis of self-sacrifice and martyrdom.
Guru Nanak cast off the costume of a hermit, and spent the last 18 years of his life as a householder at Kartarpur off-Ravi, a town early in 16th century founded by him. Here, he set up a human laboratory to practise the new faith, the Sikh Panth, to give a practical shape to his over two decades of teachings. It was not based on synthesis of Hinduism and Islam. Neither was it a culmination of Sufi movement of the Muslims, nor of the Bhakti movement of the Hindus. Both of these stressed renunciation of the world, and reflected a broad spectrum of cynicism, pessimism and escapism of a morally sick society. All these had no impact on Guru Nanak. He reflected a positive and healthy attitude towards life. The Dharamsal (the place of religious congregation) he constructed, constituted the nerve centre of Sikhism in action.
Here was Guru Nanak, tilling his land, living with his wife and sons, preaching the name of God and his philosophy, a positive reaffirmation of equality of all human beings and their right to a dignified life, free from religious coercion, social bondage and political oppression. He was setting a new trail of religion. A widely travelled householder, he had emerged as a prophet having a group of devotees closely following his teachings, apart from the considerable following all over the subcontinent and beyond.
Guru Nanak laid down strict ethical tests for his disciples. He emphasised that though, “Truth is higher than everything, higher still is truthful living.”28 As such, he laid down guidelines, of a series of cardinal virtues as essentials for the religious discipline of a Sikh. Dr. Trilochan Singh sums these up as follows:
- 1. sat, santokh, vicar; truth, contentment and reflection;
- 2. daya, dharam, dan; compassion, righteousness and charity;
- 3. sidak,sabar,sanjam:faith,toleranceandrestraint;
- 4. khima,garibi,seva:forgiveness,humilityandservice;
- 5. love, knowledge (gyan) and work (krit).29
These influenced a devotee’s spiritual and temporal affairs. There was no place for immoral conduct or evil propensities in one’s living. In short, nam japo, kirat karo, wand chhako- to meditate True Name with understanding, to earn through honest and creative work, and share earnings with others, became the hallmark of the new society. What rightfully belonged to others was likened to swine for the Muslim and kine for the Hindu i.e. morally degrading. Living on alms was positively looked down upon.
Recitation of Japji in the morning, sodar at sunset and sohila at night became the regular features of the congregation. Japji incidentally sums up the entire gamut of Sikh philosophy. Singing of shabad (word) which is synonym with naam (Name), and Guru Nanak’s discourses widened the horizon of devotees and inculcated in them the faculty of discernment and perception.
This was especially so as Guru Nanak preached in the language of the people, Punjabi, which had its own Gurmukhi script30. Guru Nanak perfected the script with acrophils, and laid down the rules of grammar closely following these of Prakrit. The texture of Guru Nanak’s hymns in multiple Ragas and containing deep philosophical precepts in pithy language, also points to his perfect control over the language, both written and spoken.
Sangat and Pangat
Guru Nanak also instituted the concept of sangat and pangat. Sangat, or congregation, was the mixing together of devotees in worship - recitation of hymns and singing of shabad, and listening to discourses. The sangats were established all over the places visited by Guru Nanak right from the beginning, and eventually emerged as missionary centres of Sikhism. That infused a social spirit and formed an attempt at communal living apart from group moksha, (deliverance from birth and death) instead of emphasis on individualism and individual moksha in Hinduism. It also provided the people a platform to exchange views on common problems, and generate a feeling of communal and national consciousness at a time when sense of nationalism was absent among the populace.
Bhai Gurdas' mention of Sudras and Outcastes
Guru Nanak’s instituting the langar, common kitchen, and pangat, sitting together in a row by all the devotees irrespective of caste, creed or sex, was revolutionary in seeking to mitigate the prevalent taboos. The devotees were inculcated to sing, “O sire, I am not high, neither low, nor middling. I am God’s devotee and seek His protection.”31 They were asked to rise above narrow sectarianism. Bhai Gurdas tells us that the devout Sikhs of Guru Nanak included persons - men and women - of all classes, including sudras and outcastes.
The congregation at Kartarpur was convinced of its relevance to the contemporary world. It was aware of its minority character, but it had a perception of ideal living. All the more so, as the disciples had an incontrovertible faith in Guru Nanak’s spiritual paramountcy. They constituted a distinct socio-religious and proselytising group.
Guru Nanak’s greatest contribution for consolidation of his mission was appointment of a successor to carry on his work to its fruition. And, the successor(s) was moulded in the image of Guru Nanak himself to faithfully carry on the master’s work. After strict tests, eventually two men were shortlisted - Bhai Lehna and Baba Buddha. Bhai Lehna was eventually chosen not because he was a Khatri in preference to Baba Buddha a Jat, as some motivated denigrators, nindaks, in the last few years would imply.32 According to contemporary Sikh traditions, Guru Nanak kindled his own light into that of Lehna who became Angad, the part of Guru’s body. Guru Nanak’s sons were ignored as they were found wanting.
In short, Guru Nanak had dilated on almost all aspects of human endeavours in religious, social and political spheres. The use of political terminology, of Guru Nanak’s establishing raj and Bhai Lehna’s patrimony of sword, power and, heroism in the context of his succession by Bhai Balwand, in what is known as ballad of succession in Adi Granth (Ramkali di Var), was indicative of the Sikh movement’s providing overall leadership to the society.33 It was this concept of an admixture of raj and jog that pointed to miri and piri under Guru Hargobind and eventually led to the emergence of the Khalsa - a perfect saint-soldier. It was reserved for his successors to build upon that foundation. And they did it without deviation.
Bhai Lehna/Guru Angad
In nominating Bhai Lehna (b. March 1504), Guru Nanak was not unaware that he was separating the personality of the Guru from that of his light. In order to avoid a possible conflict with his sons,34 Guru Nanak wanted Guru Angad to settle in Khadur where the latter’s wife and children lived. He thus separated the institution of Guru from the family and its location.
Guru Angad was spiritual successor of Guru Nanak, and completely identified himself with the founder-Guru as part and parcel of his ideology. His importance lay in the fact that he reemphasised in totality Guru Nanak’s mission. Guru Nanak had dwelt on multiple strands. Guru Angad did not fall into the trap of over-emphasising some aspects and under-emphasising others.
He squarely met the threat posed by Baba Sri Chand, eldest son of Guru Nanak who founded -the sect of Udasis - imbued in deep ascetic traditions of the Hindu social order. That caused first schism in the followers of Guru Nanak, though of minor order. Guru Angad coined the term manmukh - self-centred or ego-oriented - for such persons.35 He steered Sikhism clear from asceticism by reiterating Guru Nanak’s message in down to earth manner. According to Prof Teja Singh, Guru Angad did vigorous preaching and at his behest as many as 131 sangats were established.
Guru Angad had the hard task to shape up the followers on correct lines and prevent deviation. In parenthesis, it seems a simple task. It was not. The spiritual side was taken care of by keeping the daily chore, of sangat and pangat at Khadur, of recitation and singing of shabad (hymns), Guru’s discourses, and langar. He introduced physical well-being of the community by ordaining a wrestling ground including sports for children which incidentally was a small step towards an admixture of bhakti and shakti, in the process inculcating martial spirit.
Guru Angad greatly propagated the use of Gurmukhi alphabets in his drive for literacy among his followers. Copies of Guru Nanak’s hymns were made for distribution to various centres. Guru Nanak’s biography (Janamsakhi) was also prepared to serve as a guideline for the Sikhs.36 Guru Angad after 12 1❄2 years (September 1539-March 1552) found that his end was drawing near. He chose his devout disciple Amar Das (b. April 1509) who had a rigorous training for 12 years to succeed him. He was also told to hold his congregation at Goindwal, (newly established by the Guru with assistance of Amar Das in 1546), away from Khadur to avoid conflict with Guru Angad’s sons who were not found up to the mark.
Guru Angad performed the herculean task of strictly following the tenets of the founding- Guru and laid down the guidelines for his successors. The period of Guru Amar Das (March 1552-August 1574) was quite eventful in further development of Sikhism. He was a zealous preacher, an able organiser and an untiring social reformer. Above all, he was a great exponent of Guru Nanak’s philosophy. In the words of Kalsahar, the leader of Bhatts (minstrels). Guru Amar Das was essentially devoted to naam, which brought him spiritual illumination and realisation, as it had done so to several rishis and bhaktas. He was a worthy successor to Guru Nanak and Guru Angad.
The accession of a humble Sikh provoked diverse elements to try to overwhelm the Sikh movement. Guru Angad’s son Datu was resentful at his being bypassed. Baba Sri Chand contended that Guru Angad, a nominee of Guru Nanak had no right to pass on the succession and for the last time made an attempt, a feeble one, to claim it for himself. The Sikh movement had so much bypassed the udasis that Guru Amar Das was able to put a final seal of separation of the two.
Then there were Brahmins and other high caste Hindus, the privileged ones within the caste hierarchy, who started not only indulging in open criticism of Sikhism but also lodged complaints against it with the government of the day. This marked the upper caste Hindu’s initiating the long lasting policy, valid even today, of their seeking the intervention of the provincial and central governments to contain, if not annihilate, Sikhism. The yogis since their debate with Guru Nanak at Achal Batala had been fast losing their ground in the Punjab and were on their way out.
Guru Amar Das
Shortly after his accession. Guru Amar Das left for religious preaching “to instruct and emancipate the people at large” which took him to Kurukshetra, and Haridwar. The solar eclipse of Abijit Nakshatra, January 14, 1553, (it recurs after about 19 years)37 which had earlier taken Guru Nanak to Kurukshetra, known as a big centre for pilgrimage on such an occasion, now brought Guru Amar Das and his Sikhs to Kurukshetra for preaching Guru Nanak’s mission to the vast multitude. It led to discussions with yogis, naked ascetics, sanyasis and the followers of all the six schools of Hindus philosophy.38
In the words of Bhai Santokh Singh, one such discussion centred around the question, “Why has Guru Nanak preached a new gospel when already there exist several Puranas and Vedas, and the seeker can obtain all they wish from them. “Guru Amar Das cogently replied, “When rain falls on the earth, is there no water on earth?”39
He elaborated that “The teachings of the Vedas and Puranas are accessible only to the few of higher castes and to those who engage in study for a long time. They are just like the water in a well. A well is dug with great difficulty and when it is complete it can serve only a small number. The Word of Guru is like the rain. It drops from the heaven alike on the high and the low. In spite of the wells, people want rain. So, God has sent the Guru, whose word is intelligible to the masses and within the reach of all”, while Vedas and Puranas were not.40
Guru Ram Das records that when Guru Amar Das reached Jumna and the Ganges, the toll- gatherers offered presents and the whole multitude crossed over the two rivers without paying a farthing as pilgrims’ tax, as they avowed their fealty to Guru Amar Das. The toll gatherers knew very well that Guru Amar Das and his followers were not Hindus who were subject to payment of Jazia, or toll tax. The people of Haridwar came in a body and craved shelter of the Guru. Daily there was Kirtan, singing of hymns, and people learnt of devotion to God through the teachings of the Guru.41
This visit to Hindu places of worship added to the stature of Guru Amar Das, and his influence was on the rise. This made the Brahmins (and upper caste Hindus) all the more determined to seek the provincial and central government’s intervention to safeguard the Hindu dharma.
Their complaint to Emperor Akbar who was at Lahore in 1566-67 is of interest. It reads:
- “Thy Majesty is the protector of our customs and the redressor of our wrongs. Every man’s religion is dear to him. Guru Amar Das of Goindwal has abandoned the religious and social customs of the Hindus and abolished the distinction of the four castes. Such heterodoxy hath never before been heard of in the four ages. There is now no twilight prayer, no gayatri, no offering of water to ancestors, no pilgrimages, no obsequies and no worship of idols or of the divine Saligram. The Guru hath abandoned all these and established the repetition of Waheguru instead of Ram, and no one now acteth according to the Vedas or the Smritis. The Guru reverenceth not Yogis, Jatis or Brahmins. He worshippeth no gods or goddesses, and he ordereth his Sikhs to refrain from doing so for ever more. He seateth all his followers in a line and causeth them to eat together from his kitchen, irrespective of caste -whether they are Jats, strolling minstrels, Muhammadans, Brahmins, Khatris, shopkeepers, sweepers, barbers, washermen, fishermen, or carpenters. We pray thee, restrain him now, else it will be difficult hereafter.42
At Akbar’s behest, Guru Amar Das instead of going himself sent Bhai Jetha (later known as Guru Ram Das) whose answers were found convincing to a liberal-minded Akbar, who felt that whereas the Sikh movement represented the spirit of humanim, the Hindus were only following the letter of their scriptures. Pertinently, Bhai Jetha expounded the basics of Sikhism when he said,
- “Birth and caste are of no avail before God. It is deeds which make or unmake a man. To exploit ignorant people with superstitions and to call it religion is a sacrilege against God and man. To worship the infinite, formless and absolute God in the form of totem, an image or an insignificant or time-bound object of nature, or to wash one’s sins not through compassion and self-surrender, but through ablutions; to insist upon special diets, languages and dresses, and fads about what to eat and what not, and to condemn the mass of human beings, including women, to the status of sub-humans and to deny them the reading of scriptures and even work of every kind is to tear man from man. This is not religion, nor it is religion to deny the world through which alone man can find his spiritual possibilities.”43
Akbar was so impressed that he not only dismissed the complaint but called upon the high caste Hindu delegation to ask for forgiveness.44 However, some of the Guru’s followers could not make up their mind to abandon their previous religion, and under influence of high caste Hindus reneged Sikhism. Guru Amar Das introduced for them the word be-mukh, one who had turned away from the Guru. He also condemned the traducers - hostile to the saints and friendly to the wicked - who “will never find comfort in this world or the next.”45 As the Guru’s influence grew, the jealously of high caste Hindus became intense.
Akbar in the Guru ka Langar
Later (in 1571) when Akbar was visiting various religious divines, he visited Guru Amar Das at Goindwal. By the time. Guru Amar Das had made it compulsory for anyone who wanted to call on him at first to take food in Guru ka Langar. Akbar partook the food and at Guru’s instance remitted the land revenue of the hard pressed peasantry. This endeared Guru to the masses, and dampened the spirit of Brahmins and high caste Hindus. By the time of his accession, the institutions of kirtan, sangat, and pangat had taken firm roots. Guru Amar Das took decisive steps to further consolidate the Sikh movement.
- 1. To emancipate the Sikhs from following the empty rituals, he simplified for his followers the ceremonies for births, deaths, marriages and other occasions. It freed the Sikhs from sectarian services of Brahmins.
- 2. He further improved the quality of food served in Guru ka Langar which new included choicest food and dainty dishes (though he himself partook only saltless rice, lentils and curd). He also made partaking of food in Guru Ka Langar compulsory for anyone wishing to see him. This applied even to emperor Akbar and upper caste Rajput Raja of Haripur during their visit. The food was prepared by people of all castes; that was to weld his followers in one human family.
- 3. To administer to the needs of the growing community, he established 22 Manjis, dioceses or preaching districts, with a responsible position conferred upon its head to administer charanpahul (baptism) and admit new people within the Sikh fold. One Muslim Allah Yar and some women too occupied this position of responsibility. The manjis covered areas from Kabul in Afghanistan to Bengal.46 Then there were 52 Pirhas, smaller centres under manjis, to cater to local congregations.
- 4. To know each other and develop fellow feelings among the community, a) he fixed Bisova Divas, i.e. first day of month of Baisakh for an annual get together of Sikhs all over at Guru’s place. He later added divali for annual get together, making it biannual. Baisakhi and diwali were selected because these were well-known events to the people who did not keep calenders, b) To cater to the growing need for drinking water and bathing, he got constructed a Baoli, a large oblong well, in 1556, together with covered chambers at Goindwal. Because of low level of water, it needed 84 steps, a mystic symbolic number, to reach the water.47 Bathing of the people of different castes in the same Baoli helped to create a feeling of oneness and shedding of caste prejudices.
- 5. Hewentinforsocialreforminamajorway:a)Hewasthefirstsocialreformertocondemn the practice of sati (widow-burning). He advocated widow remarriage, removal of purdah (veil) and equal treatment to women (as in his appointment to head Manjis). b) He re- emphasised the irrelevance of caste system, and advocated inter-caste marriages among his followers. He recognised the spiritual achievements of Nam Dev the Calico-printer, and Kabir the weaver, whose hymns were being sung by the masses.48 That was also -indicative of outcastes becoming his followers in increasing numbers.
- 6. He got prepared authentic pothis (volumes) of hymns of his predecessors as well as his own and some Bhaktas to prevent possible interpolation. He declared that sight of Guru was not sufficient for one’s liberation: it lay in contemplation over shabad, word, as Guru.49
- 7. He actively preached prohibition and encouraged economically beneficial trades and crafts.
Guru Amar Das produced in his followers a feeling of brotherhood. Bhai re, O Brother, was a specific form of address in his hymns. He inculcated a spirit of fearlessness in his devotees who rose from distinctions between ‘inferiors’ and ‘superiors’. He re-emphasised God as asur sanghar, destroyer of the wicked.50
The earthly ‘kings’ were unreal - those who fought for temporal gains and died to go into the cycle of birth and death. As against that, God had shown his grace to his saints. The Sikh who put himself under discipline for regeneration, could very well qualify to rule the world.51 Verily, “the Sikh spirit was already spilling into the realm of politics”, and the mass awakening was changing the social parameters of power.52
Guru Amar Das composed hymns of vivid spiritual insight. His anand. Song of Bliss, was a grand exposition of gurmat sahaj marg. Guru’s path of equipoise, and masterpiece of unbounden joy at finding the True Guru. He imbued the sangat of this feeling of eternal light and cosmic music of the formless creator. He gave the community a feeling of being a distinct entity.
Under Guru Amar Das, Sikhism made rapid strides. It was well on the way to becoming a universal community, with institution of Guruship greatly strengthened.
A reference may be made here to sadd, Call, recorded by Sunder recounting Guru Amar Das’s last moments. When he found his end near, Guru Amar Das called his disciples and members of his family. This composition, in parts, is in question and answer form. Ignoring that, many well- known Sikh scholars fall into the trap of mistranslating part of the composition. Guru Amar Das ordained that when he was gone, the people should sing God’s praises without a break. At that stage, a question was asked: “Should we call Pandit Kesho Gopal to read old scriptures that discourse on Hari?” His answer was “Read discourses on Hari, listen to the name of Hari, I should be carried in the bier of God’s love”. Similarly, Guru Amar Das commended that, “Let his last rites consist of nam (Name) alone.”53
Bhai Jetha/Guru Ram Das
Guru Amar Das bypassed his sons, Mohan and Mohari, and chose instead his son-in-law Bhai Jetha (who had been subjected to severe tests) and now named Guru Ram Das (b. Oct 1530) to succeed him. Mohari accepted the choice and bowed to Guru Ram Das, while Mohan was resentful, though later he too was reconciled. The era of Guru Ram Das (August 1574-September 1581) saw an all-round development of the Sikh movement. That was notwithstanding the hostility of high caste Hindus who sometimes marshalled the support of local officials.
Guru Ram Das was a poetic genius. He was a master composer, and introduced a number of new Ragas, meters. His lyricism touched the heart, and had an ecstatic effect, virtually hypnotising the listeners. It also indicated an increase in the congregation. He prudently codified the daily code of conduct and worship for a Sikh devotee.54
That was the precursor for the rahit maryada (code of conduct). His composing the verses to solemnise the wedding ceremony was a logical corollary to the work of his predecessor to snap the Sikh connection with the corresponding Hindu ceremony.55
Guru Ram Das introduced several new terms, signifying a widened horizon. He was the first to call Guru Nanak the Jagat Guru (Suhi M. 4, 9(1), A. G. 733), a term so effectively used by Bhai Gurdas. He used the word gurbani in its modern sense for the first time. He was the first to use the word ‘the people’ (Asa Chhant M. 4, 3(4), A. G., 445) in Punjabi language, and that too for gursikhs which indicated the broad acceptance of Sikhism in the masses. The recurrence of the word gursikh which overtook the word gurmukh in his hymns is also to be seen in that light.56
Guru Ramdas was not unaware of the hostility of orthodox Hindus whom he had so successfully faced before Akbar in 1566-67. Some of these Hindus carried tales about the growing influence of the Sikh movement to local divan, taluqdar, khan, noble, Shiqdar - who otherwise could be envious of the Guru’s wealth and influence.57 But Akbar’s benign attitude was a restraining factor.
Guru Ram Das condemned manmukh and nindak (those who follow their own erratic mind, and detractors) as enemies of men of God.”To counter the havoc caused by the Handalis, also called Niranjanias, followers of Baba Handal, once heading a manji under Guru Amar Das, in tampering with the invocation, mul mantra &c. Guru Ram Das circulated authenticated copies of Japji and other compositions to the. congregations.59 The question of preventing adultrationofthe Guru’s hymns was added to the agenda of the Sikh movement. Prof Puran Singh mentions Guru Ram Das’s desire to avoid confrontation with the hostile elements as one of the reasons for his setting up Ramdaspur. However, it would be far fetched to agree with Surjit Hans that the martyrdom of “the Sikh Guru was in the air” during this period.
According to District Gazetteer Amritsar (1883-84), Guru Ram Das obtained grant of the site for Chak Guru, or Ramdaspur from Emperor Akbar in 1577, on payment of Rs. 700 Akbari to the Zamindar ofTung who owned the land. In selecting the site. Guru Ram Das must have been moved by the consideration that the site was away from the Grand Trunk Road, but not far from it. It was away from the glaze of officials. Guru Ram Das moved over to the new site and started construction work immediately. It led to the foundation of Chak Guru or Ramdaspur and Ram Das Sarovar (Amritsar). This needed a lot of financial resources and increased participation of sangat in kar seva, voluntary labour. The people responded to the Guru’s call in good measure. Guru Ram Das introduced the system of Masands - derivative from Masnad-i-Ali (His Excellency, for provincial Governors) to collect funds from his followers. The overwhelming response led to a rise in status of sangat, and of esteem for the status for women who contributed to a large measure to the voluntary labour force. 60
The Sikhs belonged to all strata of society - ranging from wealthy traders through petty shopkeepers, small state functionaries, artisans, tailors, shoe makers, peasants, untraditional Brahmins to labourers61 The urban poor and rural toilers joined the Sikh faith in large numbers. The Sikh movement by now, was cutting across the caste lines in a big way. “Ravidas, a cobbler, by singing Lord’s praises, raised himself from being outcaste to a high position: people of all the four castes bowed at his feet. And, God turned his back to Khatris and Brahmins, and accepted Namdev as his own.”62 Under Guru’s instructions the common man understood the primacy and effectiveness of Lord’s name in human affairs, and as an effective instrument for upword social mobility. The people were drawn to the mainstream of society through Guru’s teachings. A positive development was Baba Sri Chand’s making up with Guru Ram Das on Sikh terms, and accepting the primacy of Guru Nanak’s mission and exposition of his successors.63
This rapprochement placed the Udasis in favourable light. Because of the construction work. Guru Ram Das had a large establishment and a greater inflow of money. That was being managed by his eldest son, Prithi Chand, who got enmeshed in materialism and wanted to have more of it. The Guru’s second son, Mahadev, was more of a recluse. Therefore when the time came, the choice of Guru Ram Das fell on his youngest son,
Arjan Dev (b. April 1553), who was truly imbued with nam and ideology of Guru Nanak. That infuriated Prithi Chand, who lost balance and started speaking bitterly against his father. He also threatened to seize guruship by force. Guru Ram Das’s counsel not to quarrel with him, stop machinations and not stand as a rival to Guru Arjan who richly deserved the honour, fell on deaf ears.64 He was explicit that right from the beginning of Guru Nanak’s lineage, the four successions including the one he had just made, no one had acquired it through wile; it went only to those who had served with devotion.65 This had no impact on Prithi Chand.
The era of Guru Arjan Dev (September 15 81-May 1606) was marked by a rare liveliness, vitality and high spirit in the realm of Sikhism. He was an exceptional genius. He belonged to the new generation, born after the passing away of Guru Nanak.66 Sikhism during his period made rapid strides to come into notice as a powerful third force, independent of both Hinduism and Islam. Above all, he raised the level of Guru to that of sachcha padshah (true king)67 as against the worldly kings whose position was ephemeral.68
The achievements of Guru Arjan are to be viewed in the context of the fierce resistance he met from within the family - his elder brother Prithi Chand who externalised the conflict and sought assistance of the hostile elements to contain the growing influence of Sikhism. But it had little impact, if at all, on Guru Arjan who remained calm and composed till the very last. Guru Arjan tried to defuse the crisis enfamille. He transferred all the property of his father to Prithi Chand who was not appeased. Prithi Chand at the moment was being instigated by high caste Hindus who already were on the lookout to contain the Sikh movement. Assisted by a wily Brahmin, Mahesh Das alias Bir Bal, one of the nine gems ofAkbar’s Court, the detractors tried to fish in the troubled waters. At Bir Bal’s instance, the district revenue official, Sulhi Khan, too aligned himself with the detractors.
With the help of some misguided masands, Prithi Chand started preaching that he had been invested with the Guruship and not Arjan Dev. He was able to mislead some simple-minded Sikhs. The state of his meanness could be judged from the fact that he would collect their offerings and direct them to the langar of Guru Arjan to take their meals. That rather contributed to his undoing. The efforts of Bhai Gurdas who, by now, was back from Agra to persuade Prithi Chand to adopt the path of sanity fell through. Bhai Gurdas in disgust gave him and his collaborators the plural epithet of mine, deceitful or highway rubbers, which stuck to the clique. The leading Sikhs successfully combatted misleading propaganda of Prithi Chand, who otherwise met series of setbacks.
Prithi Chand with the assistance of detractors prepared a Memoradum (mahjar) levelling charges against Guru Arjan and presented it to Emperor Akbar who treated it with the contempt it deserved.69 The wily Bir Bal was killed in 1586 when on a campaign against Pathans in the Frontier. Sulhi Khan marshalled his resources to attack Guru Arjan but, on the way at Haher whereto he reverted to confer with Prithi Chand, met unholy death when his horse along with him jumped into a brick-oven.70 Guru Arjan was least distracted by these goings on. Right from the beginning, he concentrated on the missionary tours and the construction work, which went hand in hand.
The Ramdas Sarovar, shortly afterwards renamed Amritsar, the pool of nectar, Santokhsar and Guru ke Mahal (Guru’s residence) all left midway by Guru Ram Das were completed around 1588. The foundation of Harimandar now also known as Golden Temple, was laid on Maghi, Sunday December28, 1588, - the foundation stone being laid by the renowned Sufi Saint of the Qadiry Order, Mir Mohamed Khan known as Hazrat Mian Mir of Lahore.71 Harimandir unlike Hindu and Muslim places of worship was built at a lower level than the surrounding area. It had doors on all the four sides, signifying both humanity and universalism and that it was open to people of all the denominations.72
Side by side, during his extensive missionary tours of Majha and Doaba, Guru Arjan founded the towns of Sri Gobindpur on Beas, Tarn Taran, Kartarpur apart from the city of Amritsar for which he invited people of all trades and professions. The religious centres established at these places became centres for consolidation of the Guru’s following. Tarn Taran had the privilege of having the biggest sarovar, tank, and emerged as the centre for cure of leprosy victims. The Lt. Governor of Jalandhar Doab, Syed Azim Khan, who became Guru Arjan’s disciple, played a leading role in establishment of Sikh centre at Kartarpur.
Guru Arjan also had a Baoli dug at Dabbi Bazar Lahore, (it was paid for by Wazir Khan, Governor of Lahore), a couple of wells at Tarn Taran, Gangsar well at Kartarpur which had as pure water as that of Ganges, a huge well with six wheels at Chhaharta near Amritsar and another well with three wheels at Amritsar. He also laid Guru ka Bagh apart from some other constructions like Ramsar at Amritsar. Guru Arjan’s missionary tours were a great success in attracting disciples, cutting across religious lines. These included hill Rajas of Kulu, Saket, Haripur and Chamba who visited him at various times. The Malwa was aptly covered by Masands.
The widespread building activity was indicative of sharp increase in the number of Sikhs, who according to Mohsin Fani of Dabistan-i-Mazhaib were found in all parts of Hindustan and beyond. It also invited a reorganisation of Masand system to channelise the funds for construction work. With the consent of the Sikhs, daswand, i.e. one-tenth of their earnings was fixed. It was carried by Masands to the Guru on Baisakhi day. He also encouraged the Sikhs to enter into trade activity, especially those of Turki horses, and also probably himself entered that trade. It made the Sikhs to have trade encounters with tough Pathans of the trans-frontier region, Afghanistan and beyond. It enriched them and also the Guru’s treasury. Besides, the hazards of horse trading made them some of the finest horsemen of Asia.
That was not an incidental development. His son Hargobind born on 21 Asarh, June 18, 1590, as part of his education got thorough training in horse riding, swordsmanship and warfare at the hands ofBaba Buddha. Guru Arjan could foresee the need for the new orientation in view of the persistent hostility of’ local muqaddams and faujdars on their own, and at the instigation of Prithia and malignant upper caste Hindus. They were hand in glove with one another.
Guru Arjan’s perception of the times to come was not withstanding Akbar’s high regards for him. According to the Court historian, Abul Fazal’s Akbar Namah, Guru Arjan accorded a profuse reception to Akbar on November 24, 1598, at Goindwal. Akbar was really impressed by Guru Arjan’s “bewitching and handsome appearance, sweet and melodious voice and fascinating and charming manners, his princely style of living, his warm reception and his singing of hymns” in praise of God.73
At Guru Arjan’s instance, Akbar issued orders to remit the revenue by one-sixth. It may be mentioned that Guru Arjan was a great lyricist. His hymns had a rare quality to touch the symphony of one’s heart. He mostly composed short hymns in simple language of the people. These straightaway affected the emotions of the singer and the listener. His Sukhmani, psalm of peace, still remains a masterpiece to put at ease a disturbed mind and provide it instant solace. Guru Arjan’s bani, hymns, captivated the heart of the people and proved an effective instrument in spreading the Sikh panth.
Prithia’s use of Guru Nanak's Name
By the time, Prithia’s attempt to compose his own hymns in the name of Guru Nanak posed a threat to corrupt the Sikh philosophy. The compilation of Guru Granth had already been on the agenda of the Sikh panth. Guru Nanak had passed on the collection of his hymns to Guru Angad who had them copied and widely distributed. Guru Nanak had also collected Farid’s composition. Guru Angad enlarged the collection by adding those of some more Bhaktas. Later, Guru Amar Das had collected the hymns of his predecessors and his own as also of a number of Bhaktas, into pothis, volumes.
Guru Arjan, shortly after Akbar’s visit, early in 1599, began the project of compilation of Adi Granth.74 Bhai Gurdas was appointed amaneuses. Guru Arjan took five years to complete the project. Adi Granth was ready in 1604 when it was installed in the Harimandir with Baba Buddha as the first granthi.75 It was placed at a high pedestal while Guru Arjan himself sat at a lower level to emphasise that shabad. Word, is the Guru. It was embodiment of the Guru himself.
The compilation of Adi Granth was a major achievement of Guru Arjan. Guru Arjan like his predecessors was a connoisseur in music and put it to good use in organising the Adi Granth including the hymns of bards and Bhaktas in various ragas, musical meters. He also exercised great caution in selection of hymns of Bhaktas for inclusion. He rejected compositions like Pran Sangli obtained after considerable effort from Ceylon, being spurious. His ideological parameters were clear.
The Adi Granth enunciated unadultrated monotheism and humanism. It reflected pan- Hindustani and beyond, matter of fact, existence of Sikhism. The death of Emperor Akbar in October 1605 marked a sea change in the policy of his successor. Prince Salim alias Nuruddin Jahangir, who out of political necessity was forced to uphold Islamic puritanism of Naqashbandi revivalists led by Khwaja Mohammad Baqi-Billa (1564- 1603) of Turan.76
Shaikh Farid Bukhari, one of his followers had emerged as a strong force in Akbar’s Court by the end of the latter’s reign, while the spiritual mantle fell on Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi also known as Mujadid Alif-i-Sani (1561-1624).
Salim held unsuitable for kingship
- After Salim’s revolt, and Akbar’s forgiving his errant son and proclaiming him heir-apparent, the leading nobles of Akbar’s Court were divided into two factions. One, favouring Akbar’s policy of Din-i-Ilahi and Sulha-i-Kul (Peace for All), favoured liberal minded Prince Khusrau, Salim’s son, and held Salim unsuitable for kingship.
- The other, of Islamic fundamentalists, sick of Akbar’s policy of religious tolerance, aligned with Salim and extracted promises to reverse Akbar’s religious policy and further the cause of Islam at the cost of the non-Muslims.77 They were to be humiliated and shown no quarters. Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi’s letters, Maktubat-i-Emam-i-Rabani, fully reflect his philosophy of contempt for the non-Muslims.
In Punjab, the Hindu position was listless except that they would hobnob with the convenient officials against the growing Sikh influence. Guru Arjan’s high profile, active missionary preachings, and pan-Hindustani aspirations rankled in the mind of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi who in one of his letters described Guru Arjan Dev as Chief of Infidels - Rais-i-ahl-i-Shirk - and a leader of the Kafirs - imam-i-kufr.7879 Gokal Chand Narang describes Guru Arjan Dev as “the first great organiser of the Sikh nation.” In the words of Mohsin Fani, the Sikhs had by now “become accustomed to a form of self government within the Empire.”
Khusrau’s indiscreet revolt against his father on April 6, 1606, and his hurrying to the Punjab on way to the North-West Frontier to gain adherents greatly helped to strengthen the position of Islamic revivalists. Khusrau was pursued by Shaikh Farid Bukhari who in turn was being followed by Jahangir. The persons who directly or indirectly helped Khusrau were immediately punished. Khusrau crossed river Beas and was followed by Shaikh Farid Bukhari who inflicted on him a crushing defeat near Bhairowal. Khusrau was captured on April 27, 1606, near Chenab and brought as a prisoner to Lahore.
Jahangir crossed to Beas on April 26, and was encamped at Jhabal. Upto May 22 i.e. for 27 days, there was no mention at all of Khusrau’s calling oh Guru Arjan much less the latter’s blessing him. Around May 23, a report about Guru Arjan’s blessing Khusrau and affixing a saffron mark on his forehead poured into Jahangir’s ears. That made him to call for Guru Arjan into his presence. That sets the stage for Jahangir’s entry in his memoirs, Tuzak-i-Jahangiri, which reads: “There lived at Goindwal on the bank of the river Biah (Beas) a Hindu named Arjun in the garb of a Pir and Shaikh, so much so that he had by his ways and means captivated the hearts of many simple-minded Hindus, nay, even of foolish and stupid Muslims and he had noised himself as a religious and wordly leader. They called him Guru, and from all directions, fools and fool-worshippers were attracted towards him and expressed full faith in him. For three or four generations they had kept this shop warm. For a long time the thought had been presenting itself to me that either I should put an end to this false traffic or he should be brought into the fold of Islam.
“At last during the days when Khusrau passed along this road, this insignificant fellow made up his mind to see him and conveyed preconceived things to him and made on his forehead a fingermark in saffron which in Hindu terminology is called qashqa (teeka) and is considered propitious. When this came to the ears of our Majesty, and I fully knew his heresies, I ordered that he should be brought into my presence and, having handed over his houses, dwelling place, and children to Murtza Khan (Shaikh Farid Bukhari) and having confiscated his property, I ordered that he should be put to death with tortures.”80
Guru Arjan Dev falsely accused
The first part about popularity of Guru Arjan and his mission was correct. The second part about Guru Arjan’s blessing Khusrau was a pure concoction,81 probably the work of Shaikh Farid Bukhari who might have used Chandu as a tool. As Ganda Singh points out, “Never in the whole history of the Sikh Gurus, there has been any occasion for any Guru to anoint anyone, Sikh or non- Sikh, with a teeka. Even the succeeding Guru was never teeka’d by any Guru himself. The teeka or tilak ceremony of the succeeding Guru was always performed by a leading Sikh. In the case of Gurus Angad to Hargobind, the ceremony was performed by Bhai Buddha, a venerable old Sikh coming from the days of Guru Nanak. And the same practice was followed upto the time of Gum Gobind Singh, tenth and last Guru.”82
From the details in Tuzuk-i-Jehangiri, it is obvious that Jahangir was looking for an opportunity to fix Guru Arjan. He left the details of punishment to be worked out by Shaikh Farid Bukhari on whom he had conferred the high title of Murtaza Khan - one who had gained the royal pleasure. Tuzuk does not mention of any fine being imposed on Guru Arjan, as has been mentioned by some contemporary sources like Dabisan-i-Mazhaib and Jesuits. That seems to be the result of a mix up.83
Guru Arjan nominated Hargobind as his successor and left for Lahore. He was subjected to a number of tortures. The Sikh traditional accounts mention that Guru Arjan was made to sit on hot iron plate, hot sand was thrown over his body, and he was boiled in a cauldron. Dabistan-i- Mazhaib mentions of his being deprived of food and water and put into the hot blazing sand and stoned which caused blood to ooze out of his head. He was tortured for 3 to 5 days.
Guru Arjan Dev's Martyrdom
With wounds blistering on his body, on May 30, 1606, tied hand and feet, he was thrown into river Ravi wherein he disappeared.84 In the words of Bhai Gurdas, Guru Arjan though in great pain on the night of May 29-30, was fully composed, with hymns in praise of God on his lips. Guru Arjan’s martyrdom, the first of its kind in the history of Hindustan, the sub-continent, caused great resentment and indignation among the general body of Hindus and Muslims, apart from the Sikhs. One tends to agree with Ganda Singh that “much of the Chandu-story was given currency to in those very days to shift the responsibility of tortures inflicted on the Guru from the Mughal officials to the Kafirs.85 Chandu was only a minor official at Lahore, and hostile to the Sikh Panth.
The non-implementation of Jahangir’s orders about taking over of Guru Arjan’s property and children remains inexplicable, notwithstanding Sikh traditional accounts about intervention of Mian Mir who at that stage had no influence either with the Emperor or Shaikh Farid Bukhari, the main actors in Guru Arjan’s martyrdom.
Bhai Buddha anoints Guru Hargobind
Immediately after the news of Guru Arjan’s martyrdom, Hargobind was anointed by Bhai Buddha who had the rare privilege of anointing the first five successors of Guru Nanak. The normal ceremony consisted of tying a turban and offering him a seli, a wollen cord worn as a necklace or hoisted around the head of the Guru. In accordance with the departing wishes of his father and the changed circumstances, Guru Hargobind chose to wear sword belts and a turban with a royal aigrette. The wearing of two swords, representing Miri and Piri, temporal and spiritual sovereignty and aigrettee representing royalty were significant.86
The ceremony was performed on the mound in front of Harimandir where later Akal Takht was built. Sikhism henceforth, in the words of Guru Hargobind, was to lay equal emphasis on development of physical and spiritual faculties. Tegh (scimitar) and Deg (community kitchen) were to go hand in hand. That was within the framework of Guru Nanak’s mission. And, that was Guru Hargobind’s instant and spontaneous response to the threat posed by the tyranny of the state.
Some western scholars, and following them some others have come to emphasise that the change in the Sikh attitude was because of heavy induction of Jats into Sikhism during Guru Arjan’s era. That is a downright lie. The Jats and whatever other low caste and outcaste classes, which came within the Guru’s fold, did so as true believers and followers. They did not do so to subvert the Guru’s mission or hijack it, which these writers would tend to imply. Also, it would amount to questioning the very bonafides of earlier Sikhs, and the capacity of the Gurus to provide them the necessary leadership.
Guru Hargobind was not straightaway itching for a fight. He had to build up his strength. To begin with, discretion was considered the better part of the valour. Guru Hargobind, under the advice of leading Sikhs, chose to move over to the thickly forested and ill-connected Malwa tract. Bhat Vehi Multani-Sindhi tells us that Guru Hargobind accompanied by his mother Ganga and wife Damodari arrived in village Daroli in Pargana Dagru (near Moga in Ferozepur District) at the house of Bhai Sain Das on Jeth Sudi 8, Samat 1663 i.e. June 4, 1606. 87 That meant, they must have started from Amritsar shortly after the investiture ceremony on June 1, 1606. Guru Hargobind stayed at Village Daroli for over a year and a half, i.e. up to the end of 1607-early 1608 when he returned to Goindwal. 88
Meanwhile, Shaikh Farid Bukhari Murtza Khan had taken over as Governor of Gujarat. His departure meant closing of the case, whatsoever, against the Guru so far as the Mughal government was concerned. However, his wife Damodari and mother Ganga must have stayed back as the former gave birth to Baba Gurditta at Daroli on Purnima Asu, Samat 1665 (September 1608). 89
Guru Hargobind had a well dug at Daroli where he held a regular diwan, congregation, at a site outside the village, to where the sangat from Malwa and beyond also came. 90 He undertook martial exercises and gained perfection in the use of various arms, including sword, bow and arrow. He also went on game hunts in the dense forest, besides undertaking preaching tours in the adjoining areas. He was the first Guru to visit Malwa. His presence made a big dent in the area which followed Sakhi Sarwar. The Sikh movement became a torrent under his successors.
Resorting to the Sword to check evil
Guru Hargobind on his return to Amritsar began in a big way the implementation of his new-look policy. He got full support from Bhai Gurdas who in his compositions dwelt upon the necessity of resorting to the sword by men of God to check the evil.
The Akal Takht
The foundation of Akal Takht or Akali Bunga (The Eternal Throne) was laid in 1608 in front of the Harimandir. It was built on a raised platform about 3 meters high. To begin with, the high mound of earth was levelled, and later the ground floor was built. This was his seat of temporal power. Bhai Gurdas was appointed its first Jathedar. Here, Guru Hargobind would watch wrestling bouts and military feats, including the sword fighting, of his disciples. He also began to take interest in secular affairs and provided the people quick and cheap justice. He invented dhad, an instrument suitable for singing of ballads. And, dhadis sang ballads of heroism. He ordained that when he was in Harimandir, he was a saint, while at Akal Takht he was a King.
Soon disciples offered themselves for military training and volunteered to serve as soldiers in return for food and clothes only. Keeping in view the new requirements of militia, he laid the foundations of a fort named Lohgarh (lit. Fort of Iron) in 1609 to house men and horses. Later, a wall around Amritsar came up. Provisions in men and money came in abundance. He raised saint-soldiers, fully devoted to be in the vanguard to fight against oppression. The Guru maintained a personal bodyguard. The militia was properly organised into a command structure. He and his disciples went on game hunts in the nearby forest, and otherwise made their presence felt. 91
The appointment of Shaikh Farid Bukhari Murtaza Khan as Governor of Punjab in mid (date missing) led to a serious note being taken of the fortification of Amritsar and the growing power of Guru Hargobind, his warlike activities and his running of a virtually parallel civil government. Murtaza Khan was being opposed in the Emperor’s Court by Wazir Khan from Jhang, who had held Guru Arjan in high esteem. The completion of Lohgarh Fort by 1612 and increased strength of militia of Guru Hargobind enabled Murtaza Khan to send alarming reports to Jahangir who summoned Guru Hargobind to Agra in the latter half of 1612. This was notwithstanding the (1611) sharp swing in the religious policy of Jahangir, as charges against Guru Hargobind were political in character.
After making appropriate arrangements for running of services at Amritsar under Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas, Guru Hargobind left Amritsar on horse on December 31, 1612. 92 On arrival at Delhi, he was taken into custody in early January 1613 and sent to Gwalior fort where political prisoners were kept. Already a number of Rajput Rajas and Zamindars from Rajputana and Punjab hills were held there in custody. The prolonged detention of Guru Hargobind caused perturbation among the Sikhs. They started taking out prabhat pheris - singing of purely religious hymns in a procession at early hours of morning and at night - to begin with at Amritsar and later at Tarn Taran and other places. That helped to keep up the spirit.
The enterprising Sikhs would visit the Gwalior fort and leave after bowing their head towards it or circumambulating it. The traditional Sikh chroniclers narrate the use of supernatural powers by leading Sikhs including Baba Buddha, Bhai Gurdas, Bhai Jetha and others to haunt Jahangir at night during his sleep. It is a fact that Jahangir was whimsical, and used to consult astrologers. According to his Memoirs, he consulted astrologers and moved out of his capital Agra in September 1613 for Ajmer, inter alia, on a pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.93 He remained at Ajmer and thereafter was moving about in Gujarat and Sind. He returned to Agra after a lapse of 5 years and 4 months in January 1619.
This prolonged period of absence from the capital suggests that something was abnormal with Jahangir. Jahangir, during the period, increasingly came under the influence of his wife Nur Jahan who was a follower of Hazrat Mian Mir.
Guru Hargobind released after 7 years
The Sikh chroniclers linking Guru Hargobind’s release to the influence of Hazrat Mian Mir is not without foundation, as we shall see. The death of Murtaza Khan in the end of 1618 (94) and Jahangir’s falling foul of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, Mujaddid Alif Sani, and sentencing him to imprisonment at Gwalior Fort in July 1619.95 were other factors which enabled Nur Jahan to prevail upon Jahangir to order not only the release of Guru Hargobind, but also of 52 Rajput Princes and Zamindars of Rajputana and Punjab hills at the Guru’s instance in October 1619.
For that, the Guru earned the title of bandi chhor, deliverer from prison - from the grateful people. The term bandi chhor for Guru Hargobind was used immediately after the release of 52 Rajput princes by Naik Hari Ram, the Daroga of Gwalior fort, who had the first hand knowledge of the goings on leading to their release. Pertinently, about the release of Guru Hargobind from Gwalior fort an entry in Bhat Vehi, Jadobansian, Barhtian ka Khata, reads:
- Guru Hargobind, sixth Guru, son of Guru Arjan, Sodhi Khatri of Chak Guru, (Amritsar), Pargana Nijhariala, was released along with 52 rajas on 14 day of dark half-of-Katak, 1676 (the date of Diwali, October 26, 1619). Naik Hari Ram, Daroga, son of Naik Harbans Lal, Chandrabansi Jadav, Barhtian Kanawat, did deep mala (lighting small lamps all over the house) in honour of the release of bandi chhor Guru Hargobind from imprisonment. After staying at the house of Hari Ram for a day, Guru Hargobind left Gwalior and reached Agra. 96
By end of January, Jahangir was around Goindwal, when on Phagun 1, Bk, 1676 (around end January 1620) Baba Buddha, Bhai Gurdas, Balu Rai, Param Rai, and other devotees came to see him.97 It may be mentioned that Jahangir arrived at Kalanaur (where earlier Akbar was proclaimed King). around February 8, 1620, and remained there for a fortnight. 98 It was there that he met for the first time in his life Hazrat Mian Mir around February 16, when probably, or shortly before that, Guru Hargobind gained his freedom, after an incarceration of about seven years.
Jahangir makes no mention at all of Guru Hargobind in his memoirs. But the coincidence of Guru Hargobind’s accompanying him upto Kalanaur as mentioned in Bhat Vehis, and Jahangir’s meeting there Hazrat Mian Mir who “despite his great age and weakness” took the trouble of going there on the expressed wishes of Jahangir99 tends to establish the linkage between the two events as suggested by the Sikh chroniclers. It won’t be off the mark to suggest that when Hazrat Mian Mir left Jahangir after the meeting, Guru Hargobind met him there as a free man. And, the two talked to each other and established a good rapport. Hazrat Mian Mir’s sending Kaulan or Kumarwan, an adopted daughter of Qazi of Lahore with the consent of her mother to the protection of Guru Hargobind in May 1621 pointed to that. 100
This seven year long incarceration of Guru Hargobind was a period of crisis for the Sikh Panth. Prithi Chand tried to project that the mantle of Guruship had fallen on him.1000a After his death in 1618, his son Meharban, a capable man and a scholar, sought to subvert the Sikh movement by composing hymns in Guru Arjan’s style, and by going in for Guru Nanak’s Janam Sakhi, biography, in a big way, in the process bringing in Puranic lore. Bhai Gurdas condemned minas descendents of Prithi Chand in plural and wrote extensively to effectively contain these schismatics. He asserted that Guru Hargobind was the true successor of Guru Nanak, and the Sikhs should not be misled by the activities ofdistracters. By the exertions of Bhai Gurdas who provided the intellectual framework, Bhai Buddha and other leading disciples, the Sikhs were kept in harness.
The return of Guru Hargobind caused jubilation in the Sikh community. An unfortunate upshot of that was that within a few months, two brides were pledged to him by their parents. Under the custom then prevalent, on Guru Hargobind’s refusal, those girls would have remained unmarried throughout their life. So he had to marry Nanaki, on March 28, 1620, and Mehrai also calledMarwahionJuly10,1620.101 Thefirstincidentoccurredtooclosetohisrelease.Takenaback at the second incident, he announced that no one should pledge his daughter to him in future.
Guru Hargobind after his release resumed his daily routine of building healthy minds in healthy bodies of his disciples. The over three month long period of his stay with Jahangir, from his coming out of Gwalior fort to his formal release at Kalanaur, was sufficient for both of them to size up each other, and establish a healthy mutual relationship. There was now no scope of misunderstanding over Guru Hargobind’s maintaining a personal bodyguard or raising a militia.
According to the Sikh traditional accounts, Chandu was handed over to the Guru for his part in bring about the torture and death of Guru Arjan. It is said that he met a sad end at the hands of Sikh sangat.102 Possibly Jahangir’s taking Guru Hargobind to Kalanaur wherefrom Chandu came, was to that end. In the absence of Jahangir’s recording any mention of Guru Hargobind in his diary, it is difficult to corroborate the whole story.
From the Bhat Vehis, it is obvious that Chandu was a historical person. During Guru Hargobind’s incarceration, because of Chandu’s manoeuverings the town of Sri Gobindpur, founded by Guru Arjan, had’fallen into the hands of his relative Bhagwan Das Gherar. It was obvious for Guru Hargobind to assert his claim to Sri Gobindpur.
This led to two skirmishes within a few days of each other at the end-September and early October 1621 at village Rohila, pargana Batala. Bhagwan Das and his son Rattan Chand, and Chandu’s son Karam Chand who were inter-related, all residents of Kalanaur, laid a trap and unsuccessfully sought to take the Guru by surprise. This led to the first skirmish in which Bhagwan Das was killed and in the second both Karam Chand and Rattan Chand were killed. From the Guru’s bodyguard, three were injured in the first skirmish, while Bhai Nanu, Mathura Bhat and Bhai Praga, and some others were killed in the second.103
Guru Hargobind effected a lot of improvement in Sri Gobindpur so much so that it came to be known as Hargobindpur. He also constructed a mosque there for use of the Muslims. The large number of casualties from his side made Guru Hargobind to strengthen his bodyguard and militia. He recruited Pathan mercenaries for training of his soldiers, and as part of his militia. He also admitted into the Sikh fold enterprising people like Bidhi Chand, the Robinhood of Malwa, who discarded his early life and joined the Guru’s forces. Guru Hargobind had some seven hundred horses in his stable. His maintaining the militia which included men and horses, from the community’s funds, led many writers to surmise that he had accepted a Mansab of 700- horses and 5 guns from Emperor Jahangir. That was far from the truth. Guru Hargobind finds no mention in Jahangir’s records of Mansabdars. Guru Hargobind was not simply building up his forces. He also undertook preaching tours to consolidate the Sikh faith, attracting larger converts. He visited Srinagar in Kashmir Valley, and traversed the two routes to Kashmir. These took him to visit places in Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Gujrat, Sheikhupura and Lahore before returning to Amritsar. In an interesting encounter with Shah Daula in Gujrat, Guru Hargobind explained his philosophy that “A wife is man’s conscience, his children perpetuate his memory, wealth enables him to live, arms are needed to extirpate the tyrants.” That too constituted a part of his message to the people. He renewed the faith of the people in Sikhism and gained new converts. He also visited Doaba and extensively travelled in Malwa using Daroli as the base. His success was more marked in Malwa and people in droves, including Zamindars, embraced Sikhism. Following. Guru Nanak, he endeared himself with lower and downtrodden classes. Raja of Kahlur, who was one of 52 Rajas who got emancipated from Gwalior Fort, on his way back from Lahore called on Guru Hargobind and offered him a piece of land. The Guru was also on the lookout for a foothold in the Shivalik hills. He sent his son Baba Gurditta who laid the foundation of Kiratpur (a place where praises of Lord are sung) in 1626104 This place had been blessed by Guru Nanak’s visit and the new town incidentally gave Guru Hargobind an alternative headquarters in times of crisis. Jahangir’s death in 1627 put an end to Guru Hargobind’s equation with the Emperor. Shahjahan who succeeded him, to begin with, was more favourably inclined toward the Muslim fundamentalists represented by Naqashbandi order. His orders to destroy all temples which were incomplete or were under construction led to the filling up of Baoli (oblong shape well with stairs) in Dabbi Bazar Lahore which had been got constructed by’ Guru Arjan, and the conversion of the kitchen building to a mosque. This caused strain in Mughal-Sikh relations. Guru Hargobind now spent more time in secular affairs - training his people in the art of warfare and deciding the civil disputes of his followers coming to the Akal Takht for the purpose. The change in the temper of the new administration made a number ofhostiles to forge an entente. Apart from the people with deep ideological commitment to Muslim fundamentalism, there were people like Qazi Rustam Khan of Mujang, Lahore, who had a personal grudge against the Guru in providing sanctuary to Kaulan. Meharban (mind) son of Prithi Chand despite Guru Hargobind’s attempts at reconciliation, was positively hostile. The alliance between minas, orthodox sections of upper caste Hindus, and Muslim officials forged during Akbar’s reign, came to be revived with the objective to contain the growing influence of the Sikh faith. In April 1634 when Guru Hargobind was busy making arrangements for the marriage of his daughter Bibi Viro, an incident of a royal hawk falling to the hands of a hunting party of the Sikhs, who refused to return the bird, was used as an excuse to mount an attack, on the Guru’s establishment. Because of the impending attack, Lohgarh fort had been evacuated. The small garrison there was destroyed. The Mughal troops led by Mukhlis Khan advanced to the Guru’s palace but found nothing there except for the sweets meant for the marriage party the following day. Guru Hargobind performed the marriage of his daughter in the nearby village of Jhabal and marshalled his forces to resist the attack, the following day. A fierce battle lasting nine hours ensued. After Mukhlis Khan’s head was split in twain by Guru Hargobind, the pressure of Mughal forces decreased, and they retraced their steps to Lahore. It was not a decisive victory, but broke the spell of Mughal invincibility. In the words of Sir Jadu Nath Sarkar, “Many men came to enlist under the Guru’s banner. They said that none else had power to contend with the emperor.”105 Bhat Vehi Multani-Sindhi speaks of death of Murtaza Khan in this battle.106 There is no scope for confusing this Murtaza Khan with Shaikh Farid Bukhari who, as mentioned earlier, died in 1618. Guru Hargobind retired to Malwa. The Mughal forces re-equipped themselves and led by Qamar Beg and Lal Beg moved thither to confront the Guru.107 The two forces met on Tuesday, 17 Poh Bk, 1691 (mid-December 1634) near Marajh.108 Guru Hargobind had four thousand soldiers and adequate provision for them. He also established control over the solitary well at the place. In the fierce battle that ensued, the Guru’s forces suffered over 1200 killed or wounded, but the losses on the other side were much more. In the words of Mohammad Latif, the Mughal force on “being defeated by the Sikhs, fled to Lahore, leaving its commanders slain in the battlefield.”109 Guru Hargobind retired to Kangar but soon returned to Kartarpur. Painda Khan, the Guru’s foster brother, dismissed because of his haughty demeanour, went over to the Mughal side. Another expedition followed under Kale Khan. Guru Hargobind was besieged in Kartarpur in April 1635. Fighting was spread over many days. Bidhi Chand and Baba Gurditta ably led the Guru’s forces. Painda Khan was killed by Guru Hargobind in a personal dual on April 28, 1635.110 Kale Khan too lost his life. The Guru’s force had an upper hand. By the evening, the Guru’s forces were moving, towards Phagwara. A detachment of Mughal forces made a sudden appearance, the following day, at village Palahi. This led to a lot of bloodshed on the two sides. This did not prevent Guru Hargobind’s orderly retreat to Shivalik hills. Within a period of one year, this was the fourth attack on Guru Hargobind. He was not ready for an all out armed confrontation with the provincial authorities. He had nothing to gain by permitting the Punjab Government to continue its military campaigns against the nascent Sikh faith. Guru Hargobind, therefore, continued his onward march and arrived at Kiratpur on 3 Jeth, BK. 1692 (May 1, 1635).111 Kiratpur at the foot of Shivalik hills was comparatively inaccessible and formed part of the territory of a hill chief who came under the direct control of the Central Government in Delhi. It was outside the territorial jurisdiction of Punjab. The Lt. Governor of Sirhind to which it adjoined, was under the direct administration of the Central Government. The hill chiefs at the time were favourably disposed towards Guru Hargobind. The combination of the provincial Mughal officials, Minas and the upper caste Hindus had by now gained its objectives. The official machinery in the Punjab could claim that it had driven the Guru out of its territory. The Minas under Meharban (d. 1641) who was ably assisted by son Harji gained the control of Harimandir which remained in their occupation for over six decades till the close of the century.112 With the removal of headquarters of Sikhism to Kiratpur and later to Anandpur, away from central Punjab, the orthodox Hindus had the satisfaction of pushing Sikhism into a corner. The Masand system, in course of time, went haywires. Before proceeding further, it would be of interest to go into the impact of removal of the Sikhs headquarters from Amritsar and Mina’s ascendancy over there for over six decades. The Minas played havoc with Sikh ideology. Firstly, they in collaboration with caste Hindus brought in a lot of Puranic mythology in Guru Nanak’s Janam Sakhi, biography, in the process reducing him to an Avatar within the framework of Hindu pantheonism. Secondly, the Minas under Meharban who claimed himself to be the seventh Guru (with his father Prithi Chand (d. 1619) as the sixth one, succeeding Guru Arjan and being succeeded by Harji as eighth Guru) according to Kesar Singh Chhibbar composed their own Granth, in which they included the composition of first four gurus besides their own but excluded the composition of Bhaktas, as they were from low castes. Pandit Kesho was the amaneusis in composing both this Granth and Meharban Janamsakhi of Guru Nanak. The Minas installed their Granth at Harimandir in place of Guru Arjan’s Adi Granth which was carried away by Dhir Mal. Now, to resume the narrative. Because of timely retreat. Guru Hargobind’s armed strength was intact though his emphasis now was more on the missionary work. However, hardly had he settled down in Kiratpur when Raja Himmat Chand of Handur, accompanied by his Diwan, Dharam Chand, requested for armed help to ward off aggression by Muhamad Beg, nephew of Nawab Nasar Ali Khan of Ropar. The Guru deputed Baba Gurditta with 100 horsemen. The battle was fought on 1 Savan BK. 1692 (end June 1635) at Nangal Gujran. Muhamad Beg suffered serious reverses. His retreating forces were pursued upto Malikpur Rangran.113 When Nawab Nasar Ali Khan was apprised of Guru Hargobind’s presence in the vicinity, he sued for peace. The Guru brought about reconciliation between the two sides. That all the more enhanced his influence among the hill chiefs and the Nawab of Ropar. A grateful Nasar Ali Khan hosted reception for Guru Hargobind shortly afterwards.114 The Mughal administration was also pleased at the constructive role played by Guru Hargobind. Shahjahan’s eldest son Dara Shukoh, a devout follower of Hazarat Mian Mir, was favourably disposed towards Guru Hargobind and was a factor in the Central government’s pursuing a policy of tolerance towards the Sikh movement, as also the other religions. Guru Hargobind now reorganised the missionary activity. He sent Bidhi Chand to take care of the Sikh organisation and the propagation of faith in the east with headquarters in Bengal, Under his instructions, Baba Gurditta, upon whom had fallen the mantle ofUdasi order as successor of Baba Sri Chand,115 appointed four head preachers, called dhuans or hearths or consecrated seats. These were headed by Almast in north-east with headquarters in Pilibhit, Baba Hasna in Pothohar (Rawalpindi Division), Kashmir, Chhachh and Hazara (area west of Jhelum river upto Kabul), and Phul and Gonda in the central Punjab.116 They preached Sikhism with considerable zest. When Guru Hargobind learnt of Almast being ousted from Nanakmata, previously known as Gorakhmata in Pilibhit by Gorakh Panthis, he proceeded there and helped him to re-establish himself. In between at Srinagar, on his way back from a hunting expedition, he met Samarth Ram Das, Maratha saint and later preceptor of Shivaji, who was on his way back from Badrinath- Kedarnath. Being a traditional Sadhu, Samarth Ram Das was surprised to see the Guru armed, riding a horse and accompanied by a large number of armed followers. He could not reconcile the two seemingly opposite phases of Guru Hargobind’s life. The Sikh account of the meeting as given in Sakhi 39 of Panjah Sakhian (fifty stories) which forms part of Sau Sakhi (hundred stories) makes an interesting reading. He (Samarth Ram Das) asked the Guru, “I had heard, you occupy the gaddi of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was a tyagi sadhu, a saint who had renounced the world. You are wearing arms and keeping an army and horses. You have yourself called Sachet Padsha - A True King. What sort of sadhu are you”. Guru Hargobind said, “Internally a hermit, and externally a prince; arms mean protection for the poor and destruction for the tyrant. Baba Nanak had not renounced the world but had renounced maya - the self and ego. “Ram Das was pleased (to hear this) and said, “This appealeth to my mind.”117 Samarth Ram Das was inspired by what he saw in Guru Hargobind’s camp. This later helped him in initiating the great Maratha warrior Shivaji to a life of national upliftment. This was for the first time that under Guru Hargobind the seats of Sikhism were consolidated from Kabul in the west to Dacca in the east. Guru Hargobind was not simply confined to Shivalik hills. He took the marriage party of his grandson Hari Rai in June to Arupshahr in Bulandshar District to Sulakhni - daughter of Daya Ram.117 He also visited Kurukshetra on the solar eclipse to preach his mission to the large gathering on the occasion. Azur Sasani Maubid Zulfikar also known as Mohsin Fani, a Parsi, author of Dabistan-i- Mazhaib, according to his own admission, came into contact with Guru Hargobind in 1640 A.D.,118 when the latter was increasingly turning inward to a more contemplative way of life. The Guru was fast losing interest in leading a princely life and started spending more time in solitude. The death of some of his near and dear ones,119 especially of his elder son Baba Gurditta posed new problems. Baba Gurditta’s son Dhirmal who alongwith his mother had stayed back at Kartarpur turned against the grand-father. After a great deal of contemplation, Guru Hargobind chose Baba Gurditta’s second son Hari Rai (b. 1630) to succeed him, before he departed from the world in 1644. His departing instructions to Guru Hari Rai were to keep the cavalry establishment which would help him to lead a life of peace and contemplation. The pace of pontificate of Guru Hari Rai was set by the last phase j of the life of Guru Hargobind. It was a period of peaceful consolidation. Some chroniclers have over-emphasised the peaceful and contemplative nature of Guru Hari Rai though they concede that he went on shikar, hunting expeditions. As Prof Gandhi has observed, “The Guru was not passive; his was the policy of masterly inactivity.”120 Keeping in view the limitations of hostility of official machinery in the Punjab, Guru Hari Rai extensively travelled in Doaba and Malwa where he met considerable success in claiming conversions. With headquarters in Daroli and Nathana, he traversed Malwa more thoroughly. Apart from downcastes and outcastes, he succeeded in converting some leading Zamindars, landed families, considered natural leaders of men. He made Bhai families ofKaithal and Bagrian responsible for missionary work between Sutlej and Jumna. Bhagat Bhagwan, a Bairagi was reclaimed and appointed in charge of missionary work in the east, where he and his followers established 360 centres. Guru Hari Rai’s relations with Shahjahan improved considerably after he supplied some rare herbs for recovery of his favourite son, Dara Shukoh sometime in 1652. Thereafter, Guru Hari Rai started moving into central Punjab and beyond without being disturbed. During the war of succession between the sons of Shahjahan in 1658, Guru Hari Rai was not involved, notwithstanding some chroniclers mentioning that he rendered some unspecified assistance to Dara Shukoh. The coming into power of Aurangzeb to the imperial throne of Delhi marked the beginning of the long, consistent, and active policy to gain a control over the Sikh religious affairs, and make Sikhism a handmaid of the central government in Delhi. The ire of Aurangzeb fell on Mullah Shah, Sarmad and Guru Hari Rai who were held responsible for the ‘heretic’ views of Dara Shukoh. After Aurangzeb had Dara murdered, and imprisoned his father Shahjahan, he dealt with Mullah Shah (Miyan Mir’s successor who died after receiving the imperial summons), and Muhamad Said Sarmad, a Sufi Saint of Jewish origin (for having conferred spiritual sovereignty on Dara Shukoh) who mounted the scaffold. Aurangzeb thereafter turned his attention to Guru Hari Rai who represented the most active non-Muslim movement in northern India. Two of his messengers carrying summons for the Guru died, one after the other, on the way. That forced Aurangzeb to tone down the contents of his summons. He also asked for the Guru’s presence to explain the main tenets of Sikhism. Guru Hari Rai wrote to the Emperor, “It is against the principles and traditions of Sikh Gurus to go to any King’s court either for favours or for political submission. . . .! do not deny that Dara Shukoh, who came here and met us a number of times, was my friend. . . .! blessed Dara Shukoh with spiritual Kingdom of God. . . “Since your Majesty has expressed such a keen interest in knowledge about the faith of Baba Nanak and the mysteries of Sikh scriptures, I am sending my elder son Ram Rai along with some missionaries, to remove your doubts and misgivings about Sikh religion.”121 Ram Rai (b. 1646) was accompanied by five leading Sikhs of Guru’s Darbar headed by Diwan Dargah Mal. He was instructed to fearlessly interpret the Sikh scriptures and history of the great Gurus. He was told that he had the blessings of Guru Nanak.122 Since in Islam, holiness is associated with showing karamat (miracles). Ram Rai was placed in certain situational hazards to fall into the trap. But he went on beyond the minimum requirements. He ignored the call to withdraw from the Emperor’s court, and under advice of some corrupt Masands headed by Gurbakhsh of Delhi, he chose to accompany Aurangzeb to Agra. In the process, because of his regards for the Emperor’s pleasure, he lost objectivity and prevaricated in correctly interpreting one of Guru Nanak’s hymns.123 When Diwan Dargah Mal apprised him of his faux paus, Ram Rai was full of remorse and hoped for the Guru’s forgiveness. On being apprised by Dargah Mal through a special messenger, Guru Hari Rai immediately sent Ram Rai a letter reprimanding him that “You no longer deserve my affection, and this blunder cannotbeforgiven.”124 RamRaiwasadvisednottoshowhisfacetotheGuru.Heimmediatelyleft Aurangzeb’s Court and departed for the Punjab. According to Bhat Vehi Talaunda, he was at Kot Pathana near Ropar in May 1661125 and therefrom left for Lahore. Aurangzeb by now had made inroads into the Guru’s confidants, especially Masands Gurbaksh of Delhi, and Gurdas and Tara (descendents of Bhai Behio) and their associates, apart from Ram Rai himself. He used some of them to administer poison to Guru Hari Rai who died at the young age of 31, on October 6, 1661,126 after installing Ram Rai’s younger brother Hari Krishan, (b. Savan Vadi, BS 1709 - corossponding to July 1652) as his successor. The departing instructions of Guru Hari Rai to Guru Hari Krishan were not to permit Sikhism to become a political tool in the hands of Delhi rulers. Guru Hari Krishan remained mostly in Kiratpur for over two years before he received summons in January 1664 from Aurangzeb for personal appearance.127 A short while earlier, the Emperor had called for Ram Rai. Masand Gurbaksh of Delhi appears to have been the main actor in these developments. The message was conveyed through an emissary of Mirza Raja Jai Singh. Aurangzeb’s objective was to contain, and if possible destroy, the Sikh faith, by an interplay of contradictory forces. On his way to Delhi, Guru Hari Krishan arrived at Panjokhra, near Ambala. Stung at his sermon that any one could attain gyan, inner knowledge about God, Pandit Lal Chand, a learned Brahmin challenged the Guru to interpret Gita to prove his point. Guru Hari Krishan in all humility asked Lal Chand to bring some one from the village to have Gita interpreted for him. Lal Chand’s choice fell on one Chhaju Ram, an illiterate water-carrier. Guru Hari Krishan looked into Chhaju Ram’s eyes, and lo, he felt illumined from within. To the utter amazement of Lal Chand and those present, he gave a thorough exposition of some Salokas of Gita. Both Lal Chand and Chhaju Ram were converted to Sikhism.128 On arrival at Delhi, Guru Hari Krishan stayed at the haveli, (Bungalow) of Raja Jai Singh in Raisina, where Gurdwara Bangia Sahib stands today. There, Baba Tegh Bahadur, who had left Kiratpur in June 1656 and was staying at Patna, met him in early March and was apprised of the reasons for the Guru’s being summoned to Delhi. Tegh Bahadur conveyed condolences on death of Guru Hari Rai, and took leave to go to Bakala where he had stayed for 12 years (1644-56) after the death of Guru Hargobind. Delhi at the time was in the grip of cholera and small pox. The Guru and his entourage immediately started social work among the sufferers on a vast scale. The Charnamrit, (water wherein the Guru had dipped his feet) provided the panacea for all the ills of the suffering humanity - Hindus and Muslims alike. Raja Jai Singh got constructed a big reservoir, full of Charnamrit. Guru Hari Krishan showed an unwillingness to visit Aurangzeb’s court, as he did not want the office of Guru or the Sikh movement to become a subject matter of intervention by Delhi rulers. He put off visiting the court for sometime. In order not to compromise Jai Singh’s position, he chose the place near Jumna, where Bala Sahib Gurdwara now stands, for his encampment and holding religious congregations. But on Raja Jai Singh’s insistence, he decided to stay at his haveli during the nights. Raja Jai Singh also used all the diplomatic- skills at Aurangzeb’s Court to uphold the Guru’s position. According to Swarup Singh Kaushik’s Guru Kian Sakhian and Swarup Das Bhalla’s Mehma Parkash. Guru Hari Krishan only once, on Thursday, March 24, 1664, visited Aurangzeb’s Court, when Ram Rai emphatically declared that the decision of his father in selecting his younger brother as his successor to the pontificate of Guru Nanak was based on cogent reasons, and that he was now under the command of the new Guru.129 That sealed the issue so far as Guru Hari Krishan was concerned. But Aurangzeb had his own game plan. He wanted to keep both Hari Krishan and Hari Rai under his thumb. As advised by Masand Gurbaksh of Delhi, he planned to ask Guru Hari Krishan to perform miracles, the way Ram Rai had done earlier in his Court. So he asked those present to come the next working day. Guru Hari Krishan was determined to uphold the dignity of the house of Baba Nanak and not let it be made subservient to the imperial rulers of Delhi. By the evening. Guru Hari Krishan developed fever and the following day signs of small pox showed up on his face. After an affliction of four days, he passed on Guruship to Baba at Bakala,withoutnaminghimpublicly,onMarch30,1664,andlefthismortalremains.130 Hemadeit clear to Diwan Dargah Mal, Bhai Gurditta, the high priest, besides his mother, that he meant Baba Tegh Bahadur, who incidentally was the only one from the Guru’s family at Bakala at the time. Guru Hari Krishan’s passing on the succession without openly naming him was a masterly strategy to defuse the issue of succession and guruship at the imperial court. Guru Tegh Bahadur who had the silent communion with the spirit of Guru Hari Krishan put a veil over his unique experience of the transparent light, the resplendent soul of Guru Nanak entering and illuminating his inner self. The emergence of 22 impostors - Sodhis of Lahore, Mina-Sodhis of Amritsar, the descendants of Suraj Mal including Dhir Mal of Kartarpur, and many fake Sodhis who set up their manjis at Bakala, and canvassed for public acclaim was not an unwelcome development. That helped to diffuse and confound the issue so far as imperial authorities in Delhi were concerned. It was for some similar reasons that Diwan Dargah Mal, Baba Gurditta the high priest, and Mata Sulakhani took about four and a half months to formally anoint Guru Tegh Bahadur. Baba Gurditta applied saffron mark and presented the coconut and five pice consecrated by Guru Hari Krishan to Guru Tegh Bahadur only on August 11, 1664.131 Guru Tegh Bahadur extracted a promise from them to maintain a dignified silence for the time being. It was after another eight weeks that Guru Tegh Bahadur thought the time opportune for disclosing his mission, through Makhan Shah Vanjara, a trader from Muzaffrabad, Kashmir who announced from the house top on October 7, Guru ladho re -Guru has been found - thrice to the congregation gathered for Diwali.132 Guru Tegh Bahadur left for Kiratpur to attend a bhog ceremony on October 14, when he also took formal possession of the Guru’s property including the aigrette, hawk and horses, etc.133 According to the Guru Kian Sakhian, Guru Tegh Bahadur left for Bakala around October 17. After a couple of months, he left on a preaching tour of Majha and Malwa. He was at Amritsar on Purnima of Maghar, Bk. 1721 (Novmber 22, 1664). The Minas locked the doors of Harimandir fearing that Guru Tegh Bahadur had reverted to the place to take it over. The Guru spent the night by the side of Akal Takht where a shrine now stands. An enterprising Mina obtained his nishan, invocation written in his hand, on a sheet of paper and later pasted it on the coverpage of the Mina Granth to give it credibility. Guru Tegh Bahadur spent two months in Majha when he, inter allia, visited Verka, Chukewali, Nijhariala, Tarn Taran, Khadur, Goindwal, Khem Karan and Chola. Thereafter, he extensively, toured Malwa. He proceeded to Zira, Moga, Daroli and after staying there for sometime reached Sabo Ki Talwandi where he got dug a tank, named by him Guru Sar. The construction began on Baisakhi of 1665 and the tank was dug up by kar sewa, voluntary labour of the villagers, in 10 days. A sudden shower of rain in the catchment area filled the tank. From there he blessed various villages in Bangar area and arrived at Dhamdhan where he got constructed a well. He also started construction of a house for himself. Here an emissary of Rani Champa Devi conveyed an urgent message of the death of her husband, the ruler ofBilaspur, and his bhog ceremony on May 13, 1665. Guru Tegh Bahadur accompanied by his mother Nanaki, and members of his Darbar reached Bilaspur. Concerned at the Guru’s plans to shift to Bangar area, Rani Champa persuaded mother Nanaki to stay instead in Bilaspur area. She offered three villages of Lodipur, Mianpur and Sohota to the Guru to set up his headquarters. Baba Gurditta son of Baba Buddha laid the foundation of a new town of Nanaki Chak on June 19, 1665, at the site ofMakhowal in village Sohota. The Guru spent the rainy season at Chak Nanaki. Thereafter, he again left for Bangar area. He travelled via Ropar, Banur, and visited a larger tract.134 He arrived at Dhamdhan where he stayed at his new house. The sangat from far and wide came for Diwali celebrations there. The acceptance ofGuruship by Tegh Bahadur without obtaining the approval of the imperial government at Delhi was considered an affront by Aurangzeb. He deputed Alam Khan Rohilla to take the Guru into custody, and bring him to his presence. Alam Khan and his escort showed themselves up in Dhamdhan when the Guru was in the deep forest on a hunting expedition. Guru Tegh Bahadur and his entourage were rounded up and taken to Delhi on Kartik Sudi 11, 1722 (November 8, 1665).135 That was the only time that Guru Tegh Bahadur met Aurangzeb. According to some historians including S. M. Latif, the Emperor had many disputations with Guru Tegh Bahadur. Sarup Das Bhalla mentions that Aurangzeb wanted him to show miracles or be ready to be put to death.136 Guru Tegh Bahadur refused the first option. Swarup Singh’s Guru Kian Sakhian mentions that Aurangzeb ordered the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur. But the intervention of Kanwar (later Raja) Ram Singh son of Raja Jai Singh made Aurangzeb to relent, and order instead the detention of Guru Tegh Bahadur and his entourage under his care. They were released on Poh Vadi 5, 1722 (December 16, 1665).137 Guru Tegh Bahadur and entourage left for Patna, his headquarters now for almost a decade. He resumed his preaching in the Gangetic valley with a greater vigour. Guru Tegh Bahadur was mainly functioning amidst the people of eastern U.P. and Bihar with occasional visits to Orissa and Bengal - a new set of people who had to be taught the message of Sikhism in extremely simple language. Therefore his hymns, especially meant for the new audience, were couched in extremely simple language. “There is no obscurity in his descriptions, ideas and expression. Even the expression of spiritual experience is uninvolved. His simplicity can be seen from the fact that he repeatedly refers to a few mythological stories. It is as if he were driving the point home to the audience by telling them stories when they appeared not to grasp it. “He was addressing newly initiated Sikhs” with a comparatively lower intellectual level.”138 Guru Tegh Bahadur carried on his missionary work for two years when Raja Ram Singh on imperial campaign to Assam contacted him around Patna and requested him to accompany him. His mother Pushpa Devi who had a great faith in the Sikh Gurus had advised her son to take Guru Tegh Bahadur along with him to offset the known taumatologic powers of the Assamese. The Mughal forces gained an upper hand over the Assamese in early 1669. Guru Tegh Bahadur was a success in effecting a compromise between the two sides. In honour of that, the forces of the two parties jointly raised a big mound of earth at Dhubri where now stands a Sikh shrine marking the event. Guru Tegh Bahadur blessed the Assamese Raja Sug Deo’s wife with a son, to be named Rattan Rai after the diamond in his finger-ring which he offered to the Queen.139 During the period of imperial campaign in Assam, Guru Tegh Bahadur travelled very widely in eastern parts of Bengal upto Chittagong and some parts of Assam. He established sangats of his followers. It was for the first time after Guru Nanak, that one of his successors was personally visiting those parts and renewing the faith of the people. The change in Aurangzeb’s religious policy in April 1669 to the detriment of non-Muslims, caused considerable concern to Guru Tegh Bahadur. He now wanted to be by the side of his people. He immediately wound up his travels and repaired to Patna. From there, he made his wife and son, accompanied by some members of his Darbar, to travel by a direct route reaching Lakhnaur near Ambala in September 1670.140 He, with leading members of Darbar, took a different route and reached Lakhnaur via Delhi where he stayed for some days at the house of Rani Pushpa Devi in Raisina and made his assessment. After a stay for a couple of days with Nawab Saif Khan at Saifabad, according to Swarup Singh’s Guru Kian Sakhian, Guru Tegh Bahadur, his family and entourage moved via Kartarpur to Bakala, where he stayed for a year and a half. In early 1672 he moved to Chak Nanaki. It was there that his son Gobind Rai learnt horse riding, and was married to Jitan on 15 Jeth, Bk. 1730 (May 13, 1673).141 Aurangzeb’s orders were particularly directed against idol worshippers. The orthodox Hindus in the Punjab who had been conspiring with the local officials against the Sikh Panth now for over a century, and were most adversely affected, took an ostrich like stance and looked towards the Sikhs to sort out their problems. After the chaumasa i.e. rainy season of 1673, sometime in October, Guru Tegh Bahadur began an extensive tour of Bangar area and Malwa. It lasted till the end of 1674 or early 1675. In the absence of exact reports, it is difficult to decipher the precise course of the travel itinerary adopted by the Guru. Wherever he went, Guru Tegh Bahadur got a rousing reception from the villagers and the Zamindars. His efforts to mobilise the people to a new socio-religious consciousness was taken as a threat by the authoritarian regime of Aurangzeb which was midway through its proselytisation policy. The intelligence reports linking Guru Tegh Bahadur’s generating new enthusiasm amongst the people to the Pathan leader Hafiz Adam of Banoor’s movement (which was considered subversive of law and order) for which he was banished in 1642, was sinister in character.142 To Aurangzeb, Guru Tegh Bahadur’s moulding the mass opinion was unacceptable as it challenged his vision of place of Islam in India. Syed Ghulam Husain Khan in his Siyar-ul-Mutakhirin mentions that Aurangzeb was told that the increase in the number of the Guru’s followers and financial resources could constitute a threat to the stability of the empire. That was notwithstanding his admission that “the companions of Guru Tegh Bahadur moved about like mendicants: the bearing of swords and armswasnotcustomaryamongthem”.143 Thecurrencyofsuchtypeofreportsbyintelligencerswas reflective of the greater impact of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s tour on the masses. After return from the tour. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s receiving in May 1675 a delegation of Kashmiri Brahmins,144 who were feeling the pinch of Aurangzeb’s new religious policy, was considered menacing. Precisely, a delegation of 17 was led by Pandit Kirpa Ram (Dutt) of Mattan. He was well aware of the potentialities of the Sikh movement to stand up to the Mughal tyranny. The Brahmin delegation had two types of people. While the leader and a handful of others were oriented towards the Sikh movement,145 the bulk of the Brahmins were firmly rooted in varnashramdharma, inbuilt caste inequalities. The first question that arose was, should the latter type of Brahmins compromise their faith by taking food in Guru’s langar, community kitchen? Guru Tegh Bahadur rose above narrow considerations, and appointed the Brahmin’s helper Ganga Dhar Kaul alias Gangu Brahmin to his household to cater to the Brahmin’s food and other requirements.145a For Guru Tegh Bahadur, the issue posed by Kashmir! Brahmins was of wider significance. He sermonised that a sacrifice was needed to shame the Mughal rulers into reason and to rouse the society from its slumber. He added, “Guru Nanak will protect you. “This was in consonance with his philosphy of “fear not, frighten not” or put in Ayatollah Khomeini’s words, “Neither will we oppress anyone, nor succumb to oppression”. It helped to charter a new course in the history of humankind. Aurangzeb took it as an affront on the part of Guru Tegh Bahadur to side with the idolatorous Brahmins. He therefore “issued the farman for Tegh Bahadur’s arrest, but the order was kept secret”.146 This was sent to the Nawab of Sirhind who passed it on to the Kotwal Mirza Nur Muhammad Khan of Ropar, in whose jurisdiction Chak Nanaki lay. He was on a lookout for a suitable opportunity. Guru Tegh Bahadur nominated his son Gobind Rai (b. December 18, 1661) as the next Guru, and accompained by leading personages of his Darbar, Dewan Mati Das, Sati Das and Dayal Das, started for Delhi to take up the Brahmin’s case. They were taken into custody at village Malikpur Ranghran, Pargana Ghanaula on July 12, 1675.147 They were sent to Sirhind where they remained for about four months, before being sent to Delhi on receipt of formal orders from Aurangzeb, who throughout the period remained at Hasan Abdal. Meanwhile, Shaikh Saifuddin Ahmed Sirhindi, the Sajjadanashin (successor) of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (Mujaddad Alif Sani) who was held in high esteem by Aurangzeb, was entrusted to convince Guru Tegh Bahadur of the sublimity of Islam and bring him within the Islamic fold. This is supported by the fact that the traditional Sikh historians, confusing Saifuddin Sirhindi with Nawab Saifuddin of Saifabad - the Guru’s friend and admirer -were led to believe that the Guru spent four months with the latter and offered himself for arrest either at Delhi or Agra.148 Guru Tegh Bahadur was tortured while in detention in Sirhind and eventually taken to Delhi in an iron cage on November 5, 1675. The Subedar of Delhi and the royal Qazi formally went into the motion of offering them the options of showing miracles, accepting Islam or facing death. Guru Tegh Bahadur and his disciples refused the first two, and were ready for the third. Bhai Mati Das was tied between two logs and cut into twain with a saw, Dayal Das was boiled to death in a cauldron of hot water, while Sati Das was roasted alive with cotton wrapped around his body. Guru Tegh Bahadur, after witnessing martyrdom of the three disciples, was beheaded on November II.149 The Sikhs in Delhi showed a daring courage in seizing two parts of the Guru’s body. Taking advantage of the duststorm which engulfed the city, Bhai Nannu Rai, Agya and his son Jaita, and Udha Rathaur took the Guru’s head to Jaita’s house. Jaita alongwith Bhai Nannu and Udha took it to Kiratpur on November 16, 1675. It was cremated at Makhowal the following day. Meanwhile, the severed body of the Guru was taken over by Bhai Lakhi Das also called Lakhi Shah Vanjara and his three sons Nigahia, Hema and Harhi of Jadobansia Barhtia Kanaut, and Naik Dhooma son of Bhai Nannu at night. It was taken to the house of Lakhi Das in Raisina, and cremated the following night when he performed the ceremony in the process putting his house to fire, to prevent detection by the authorities.150 According to Dr. Trilochan Singh the two parts of the Guru’s body were removed in complicity with Kotwal and Daroga, Khawaja Abdullah.151 A day after the martyrdom, the bodies of the Guru’s three disciples were handed over to the Sikhs who cremated them where they had cremated a day earlier Baba Gurditta’s body, off Bhogal by side of the Jumna, where earlier Guru Hari Krishan was cremated. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom was unique and unparalleled in the annals of human history. He laid down his life in defence of religious tolerance, of freedom of worship, and freedom of conscience. In practical parlance, this meant defence of the ritual sacred thread and frontal mark signifying the Brahminical way of life, which Sikhism had discarded now for two centuries. Here was a martyrdom which was self sought for the defence of basic human values, which centuries later were incorporated by the U. N. General Assembly in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1948.152 Guru Gobind Singh in his autobiography, Bachitar Natak, (Resplendent Drama), wrote: To protect their right to wear their caste-mark and sacred thread, Did he, in the dark age, perform the supreme sacrifice; To help the saintly, he went to the utmost limits, He offered his head but heaved not a sigh of regret. He suffered martyrdom for the sake of his moral principles, He lost his life but not the celestial horizon of his communion with God; He disdained to perform miracles or jugglers tricks, For these fill men of God with shame. Having broken the potsherd (of his body) on the head of the ruler of Delhi, He went to the abode of the Lord; None has ever performed such a unique deed. That Tegh Bahadur has. When Tegh Bahadur passed away, there was mourning throughout the world, 153 The world was stunned and amazed (at his laying down his life for other’s religion), While the shouts of glory, glory, glory rent the whole heaven. 154 Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom led to the first acts of militancy at the people’s level. Maasir-i- Alamgiri (p. 94) records two such incidents - the first one in June-July 1676 when a campaigner flung a stick at Aurangzeb when he was mounting a horse in the compounds of Dewan-i-Aam, and the other on Friday, October 27, 1676, when a disciple of Guru Tegh Bahadur flung two bricks at Aurangzeb, one of which reached the chair where he was seated.155 The attempts by the common man to punish the imperious ruler of Delhi were symptomatic of the change that was taking place in the Sikh society. It blazed a new trail of commitment to ‘an open struggle against organised oppression of the state. Guru Gobind had to build from that. That led to his evolving the doctrine of dharamyudh, of waging righteous war against the forces of evil, tyranny and oppression of all sorts using religions as a social catalyst. An indirect offshoot of martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur was the setback it caused to Minas and other dissident Sodhis. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom was followed by the Mughal persecution of dissident Sodhis. Dhirmal, the chief among them, was detained in Ranthambore fort where he died in 1677. The following year, his thirty year old son, Ram Chand alongwith three others, was burnt alive in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. These executions made dissident Sodhis and Minas irrelevant in Punjab, and their position became listless and supine. Guru Gobind Singh did not deviate from the guideline laid down by Guru Nanak. Rather he brought to culmination the salient aspects of Guru Nanak’s philosophy. Guru Nanak had described God as asur sanghar, destroyer of demons. In one of his hymns, he had spoken of God applying the necessary corrective to a series of gods, and demi-gods, and destroying the demons to save his saints. The list is formidable and includes Brahma, Bal, Harichand, Arjun, Harnakhsh, Ravan, Madh, Madhkshaswa, Kaitab, Jara Sandh, Kaljaman, Raktbij, Kal Nem, Duryodhana, Janmeja, Kans, Kes, Chandur, and a host of others.156 Guru Gobind keeping in view the need of the time decided to delve deeper into the epic literature to unravel the mystery and the processes of God’s benevolent intervention in history. Having gained mastery over Sanskrit apart from Braj, Persian, Arabic and Punjabi languages, he was aptly qualified to do so. He had also acquired a rare adeptness in the art of offence and defence, to put the knowledge he acquired to practical use for the cause of dharam yudh, which was uppermost in his mind. The first decade of his pontificate, which he spent at Anandpur, was a portent of things to follow. To begin with, he composed Jap and Akal Ustati. In the Jap he mentioned of hundered of attributes of God in their diversity - Beneficient Lord, Destroyer and Annihilator of all, whose limits where not known to the Hindu trinity. He began Akal Ustati- Praise of God, the Immortal - by describing him as All-steel/ All - death, who is “ my only Refuge”, and “may He protect me ever”. In this composition, he dilated on the functional attributes of God - universal in character, cutting across boundaries of races, continents and languages - sustainer of all, for all times. To him, “temple and mosque are the same, and so is their from of worship. All humankind has the same components - of earth, ether, air, water and fire - and differences whatsoever are only of dress, custom and country. For the benefit of all, he utters nothing but the Truth that he alone attains God, who loves”. He denounced the superstitions of every kind as also rituals and codes of conduct as practised by various sects of Hindus and Muslims. “Without loving devotion, nothing avails; God cherishes the poor, saves His saints and destroys His enemies.” These two compositions helped to set clear the contours of his philosophy - non sectarian, non-partisan in character - in tune with Guru Nanak’s teachings of universal humanism and strict monotheism. This left no doubts about his attitude to the heroes of epic literature which he took up thereafter. During the period, he translated from Sanskrit into Brajbhasha a portion of Markandaya Purana known as Chandi Charitra Ukti Bilas and started working on Krishna Avatar. He very much liked Bhai Nand Lal Goya’s manuscript Bandagi Nama presented to him in 1682 and changed its title to Zindagi Nama.157 He termed Hirda Ram Bhalla’s ‘Hanuman Natak’ as valuable, to turn cowards into the brave. That was in consonance with the Guru’s objectives. Earlier in 1679 he installed a huge kettledrum called Ranjit Nagara and it was being beaten morning and evening. Every evening with the beat of drum he would go for hunting. The following year he issued hukamnamahs asking the sangat to make offerings of books, horses and weapons. From now on, there was sharp increase in gatherings at Baisakhi. On Baisakhi of 1684, he laid the foundation of a new town by the side of Chak Nanaki and named it Anandpur, the abode of bliss. It was startegically located to meet his future requirements. The Guru’s rising power signified by the daily beating of Ranjit Nagara, the symbol of sovereignty, and greater attendance of the Sikhs at Anandpur, caused social tensions and uneasiness at state level. Guru Gobind spent next four years, 1685-89, in Sirmur hills in Nahan state on the invitation of Raja Medni Parkash: he was ill at ease with Raja Fateh Shah of Garhwal, who had occupied some of his area. The Guru brought about reconcilition between the two, and in the process won over Ram Rai who otherwise was feeling miserable because of his contumacious Masand, Gurbakhsh. The Guru constructed a fort namely Paonta, meaning foothold, by the side ofJumna which provided a salubrious place for hunting in natural surroundings, carrying on intellectual work and building up his forces. He wrote there Shastra Nam Mala, giving an account of the weapons of the time, Var Sri Bhagauti Ji, popularly called Chandi di Var, dealing with battles of Goddess Chandi to uphold righteousness and justice, and finished Krishna Avatar in July-August 1688 amidst news of impending attack by Raja Fateh Shah. Concluding his translation of Krishna Avatar he clearly stated, “I have translated into the vernacular the tenth story of the Bhagvat with no other intention, O’God, except of religious war, dharam yudh.” The Guru strengthened the training and equipment of his forces. On recomendations of Pir Badruddin alias Buddhu Shah of nearby Sadhaura, he employed 500 Pathans discharged from Mughal army. They were led by Bhikhan Khan, Najabat Khan, Hayat Khan and Kale Khan.158 Guru Gobind heard with pain the news of Ram Rai’s body being cremated when he was in deep trance, by his Masands, despite protests by his wife Punjab Kaur in 1687. Guru Gobind with his armed bodyguards attended his bhog ceremony and helped Punjab Kaur to succeed Ram Rai in his apostolic work. He also punished the erratic Masands. On his bhog anniversary the following year, the Guru sent Diwan Nand Chand with an armed guard. On Punjab Kaur’s request Diwan Nand Chand was entrusted to lead the prayer. Obviously, the prayer recited at Dehra Dun was slighty different to the one offered at Anandpur. Mahant Gurbakhsh objected. Punjab Kaur made him shut up. Feeling insulted, he went over to Raja Fateh Shah in Sri Nagar and told him that Guru Gobind was going to take over the dera of Ram Rai at Dehra Dun, which would lead to erosion of Garhwal’s influence. Punjab Kaur warned Guru Gobind of Fateh Shah’s impending attack. That brings us to the Battle of Bhangani fought in end-August 1688. Guru Gobind has given a graphic account of the battle in Bachitar Natak.159 Fateh Shah was assisted by the Rajas of Jasrot, Dhadwal and Chandel apart from Bhikhan Khan, Najabat Khan and Hayat Khan with their mercenaries who had defected from the Guru’s side and gone over to Fateh Shah’s forces. The battle lasted one day and the Guru’s forces, suffering only four casualities, won a decisive victory.160 Raja Medni Parkash in whose territory the battle was fought, and whose guest Guru Gobind at the time was, against all civilised behaviour, remained neutral. The Guru wound up his establishment in Paonta and repaired to Anandpur where construction meanwhile had gone on, in early 1689. Guru Gobind now reorganised his forces. Firstly, he found that mercenaries were unreliable. So also were the Udasis all of whom except their leader Mahant Kirpal had run away on eve of the battle of Bhangani. The brunt of attack was faced by the Sikhs who now got primary place in the Guru’s forces. Secondly, he ordered the construction of five forts around Anandpur which, when ready, were named Anandgarh, Lohgarh, Taragarh, Agamgarh and Fatehgarh.161 The reorganisation of the Guru’s forces was still in the process, when he had to fight another battle. Briefly, Alif Khan was sent by the Governor of Jammu to collect tributes from the hill chiefs who stated that if the Raja of Kahlur (Bilaspur) pays they would follow suit. Bhim Chand requested the Guru for succour which was granted. He made a league consisting of himself, Raja Gopal of Jaswal and Sukh Deo of Jasrota. Alif Khan supported by Raja Kirpal Chand of Kangra and Raja Dayal of Bijharwal was defeated at the battle of Nadaun on Beas on 22 Chet Bk. 1747 (March 1691).162 Guru Gobind remained on the river bank for 8 days and visited the places of various rajas. Thereafter, followed negotiations when in spite of victory the hill chiefs agreed to pay tributes to the Mughal government. Guru Gobind, as he writes in Bachitar Natak, now had peace for many years. After the Baisakhi of 1693, he travelled to Bangar and Malwa. He visited, inter alia, Sabo ki Talwandi, Dhamdhan, Jakhal, Guna, Lahra Gaga, Chhajali, Suman, Dhuda, Saifabad, Rajpur, Banur, Kotia Pathana and Dun on invitation of Punjab Kaur, and returned via Haridwar.163 With family, he attened the marriage of, Chaudhary Nihang Khan’s son, Alam Khan in Kotia Nihang Khan near Roper in early May 1694. Meanwhile, Aurangzeb, who had been operating in the south since 1682 (never to return), was ruthlessly pursuing his policy of suppression of infidels which included not only various denominations of Hindus including Marathas and Rajputs, but Shia Muslims too. The ire fell on the Guru’s Sikhs also who were expelled from the cities. According to Akhbarat-i-Mualla, the orders issued by him on November 20, 1693, read: “News from Sirhind. Gobind declares himself to be Guru Nanak. Faujdars ordered to prevent him from assembling (his forces)”.164 When these orders did not produce much effect, (according to Maasir-i-Alamgiri p. 153) “a general order was issued for their massacre.” In the sarkar of Sirhind at Burya, a Sikh temple was demolished and mosque constructed instead. “The Sikhs in their turn pulled down the mosque and killed the Imam.”165 Pursuant to Aurangzeb’s orders, followed a series of expeditions by the Mughal authorities against the Guru. As the situation developed, these got enmeshed into campaigns against the hill chiefs for payment of tributes. To begin with, Dilawar Khan, Governor of Lahore, sent his son Rustam Khan with instructions to proceed straight to Anandpur. He arrived in August 1695 and camped for the night by the side of a dry rivulet. The. Guru learnt of the arrival of Mughal forces from the Sikhs who went early in the morning for a bath in the river. He immediately marshalled his forces. A sudden flood in the rivulet caused havoc in Rustam Khan’s troops which ran helter skelter and retreated without putting up a fight.166 Then followed Husain Khan in the winter of 1695. He fell foul of the hill chiefs. He fought a pitched battle in February 1696 with Raja Gopal of Guler who, inter alia, was supported by 300 chosen Sikhs of the Guru led by Sangat Rai.167 He was killed and his forces dispersed. Thereafter followed Jujhar Singh, a Rajput, who was especially commissioned by the Mughal authorities. He was intercepted in April 1696 by Gaj Singh of Jaswal, and after showing a lot of heroism was killed. The forces failed to reach Anandpur.168 At the instance of the Governor of Punjab, that the hill Chiefs had not paid their tributes now for four years, Aurangzeb sent prince Muazzam in the fall of 1696. Muazzam remained at Lahore and sent his deputy Mirza Beg who punished the hill chiefs. He also molested the persons who chose to desert the Guru or proved disloyal to him. But the Guru at Anandpur was left unmolested,169 because of the equation he had with prince Muazzam now for over a decade. Meanwhile, Guru Gobind in 1695 ordained his Sikhs not to cut their hair and let their natural growth right from the birth of a child. On death too, they were not to get their heads shaved. The Sikhs were also asked to wear a steel bracelet on right hand.170 During the next few years there was an increasing number of Keshadhari Sikhs at Baisakhi and Diwali gatherings. In 1697-98, he took serious note of misdoings of Masands. He abolished the institution as it had become thoroughly corrupt. The literary pursuits at his Darbar yielded rich dividends. According to Guru Kian Sakhian, Charitropakhyan was finished in 1696. Guru Gobind completed Ram Avatar in 1698. In his own autobiography, Bachitar Natak updated early next year, he spelled out the purport of his mission: to uphold the saints and destroy the wicked. He was but a God’s devotee; those who speak of him as God, would burn in the fires of hell.171 That brought Guru Gobind to the culmination of the Sikh movement. For the Baisakhi of 1699, he sent hukamnamahs to the Sikhs all over Hindustan and beyond to visit Anandpur. The people were asked to visit with their hair unshorn. The hill chiefs, who, according to one account, were taken into confidence about the Guru’s programme, were present in strength.172 To a huge gathering on Baisakhi (March 29, 1699), with his sword drawn. Guru Gobind roared, “Is there any one here who would lay down his life for dharma?” On his third call, Daya Ram, a Sobti Khatri, of Sialkot offered his head. The Guru seized him by the arm, and took him to a tent especially erected. With his sword drenched in blood, he came out and repeated the call. Mohkam Chand a washerman from Dwarka, Sahib Chand a barber from Bidar, Dharm Das a Jat from Hastinapur (U.P.) and Himmat Chand a cook from Jagannath Puri, in turn, offered themselves.173 He paraded them with unique dress symbolised by five K’s viz, kes (unshorn hair), kanga (comb to keep them clean), kachha, (short drawers), kara (arm bracelet) and kirpan (sword). Thereafter he had the vessel containing charanpahul emptied in Sutlej, and refilled with fresh water. He started stirring it with the double-edged sword174 to the recitation of Japji, Jap Saheb, Anand, Swayas, and Chaupai. While in the process, the sugar crystals, patashas, were added by Mata Jito Ji175 at the instance of Bhai Ram Kaur or Ramkanwar later Gurbakhsh Singh, grand son of Baba Buddha. He recited three couplets from shastar nam mala seeking the protection of Eternal god - who is shield, sword, dagger etc, - the embodiment of valour and victory in the world before administering the baptism to the panj piaras, the Five Beloved Ones, who constituted the nucleus of the Khalsa. Guru Gobind told the Five Beloved Ones that they had been freed from their previous family origin (janamnash), creed (dharamnash) rituals (karamnash) duality (bhramnash), and occupation (shramnash) and had all become members of the Khalsa, in perfect equality. He gave them the common appellation of Singh, hitherto associated with Rajputs, and spelled out the code of conduct.176 He gave corporate leadership of the Khalsa to a group of five. Guru Gobind then begged the Five Beloved Ones to administer him the baptism, and admit him into the fold of the Khalsa. Thereafter, he assumed the name Gobind Singh. Addressing the huge audience. Guru Gobind Singh said, “From now on, you have become casteless. No ritual, either Hindu or Muslim, will you perform and believe in superstition of no kind, but only in the one God who is the Master and the Protector of all, the only Creator and Destroyer. In your new order, the lowest will rank equal with the highest and each will be to the other a bhai (brother). No pilgrimages for you any more, nor austerities but the pure life of the household, which you should be ready to sacrifice at the call of dharma. Women shall be equal of men in every way. No purdah (veil) for them any more, nor the burning alive of the widow on the pyre of her spouse. He who kills his daughter, the Khalsa shall not deal with him. Five K’s you will observe as a pledge of your dedication to my ideal. You will wear your hair unshorn (kes) like the ancient sages of kshatriyas (warriors), a comb (kangha) to keep it clean, a steel bracelet (kara) to denote the universality of God, an underwear (kachha) to denote chastity, and a steel dagger (Kirpan) for your defence. Smoking being an unclean habit and injurious to health you will foreswear. You will love the weapons of war, be excellent horsemen, marksmen, and wielders of the sword, the discus, and the spear. Physical prowess will be as sacred to you as spiritual sensitiveness. And, between the Hindus and the Muslims, you will act as a bridge, and serve the poor without distinction of caste, colour, country or creed. My Khalsa shall always defend the poor, and Deg (community kitchen) will be as much an essential part of your order as Teg (the Sword). And, from now on, Sikh males will all call themselves ‘Singh’ (lion) and women ‘Kaur’ (prince) and greet each other with Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh (The Khalsa belongs to God; victory be to Him).”177 Acording to some contemporary hukamnamahs and rehatnamahs, codes of conduct, Guru Gobind Singh had ordained keski, a turban over keshas, holy hair. Since he had already made keshas essential for the Sikhs in 1695, it is plausible that now Guru Gobind Singh ordained his Sikhs to have a turban apart from keshas over their head. The newswriter, reporting to the Emperor about the Guru’s address and the day’s proceedings, significantly wrote, “He has abolished caste and custom, old rituals, beliefs and superstitions of the Hindus and banded them in one single brotherhood. No one will be superior or inferior to another. Men of all castes have been made to eat out of the same bowl. Though orthodox men have opposed him, about twenty thousand men and women have taken baptism of steel at his hand on the first day. The Guru has also told the gathering: I’II call myself Gobind Singh only if I can make the meek sparrows pounce upon the hawks and tear them; only if one combatant of my force faces a legion of the enemy”.178 In the words of Gokal Chand Narang, Hindus had religion but no national feeling while Guru Gobind Singh made nationalism the religion of the Khalsa.179 In short, Guru Gobind Singh had emerged as a nation builder and the Sikhs had emerged as a nation in pre-modern times.180 The newswriter’s report about opposition coming from orthodox circles referred to the bitter opposition from the hill chiefs. They were not willing to discard their existing religious practises involving worship of idols, gods and goddesses; they were also not willing to discard their varnashrm dharma, the caste system. They passed jeering remarks at the men of lower castes consisting the bulk of Guru’s Five Beloved Ones and those anxious to take to the baptism and join the Khalsa fold. It was in response to that, that Guru Gobind Singh uttered the last sentence of the newswriters report. Within a few days, the number of people to whom baptism was administered reached 80,000. Groups of five started administering baptism to people all over the country. Majha came under special dispensation of Bhai Mani Singh. At the instance of Guru Gobind Singh, he took over the administration ofHarimandir, Amritsar, in June 1699 after over six decades from Minas, who by now had completely identified themselves with Hinduism. As the Hindu position in Punjab at the time was apathetic, the successors ofHarji chose to move over to Rajputana. Bhai Mani Singh restored Sikh maryada, code of worship, in Harimandir and started touring the countryside and the surrounding areas in a major way for administering pahul, Khalsa baptism. It was from the Baisakhi of 1699 that the hill chiefs became thirsty for Guru Gobind Singh’s blood and resolved to destroy the Sikh Panth which they considered inimical to varnashram dharma. They resolved to try all avenues suggested to them by Kautilya’s statecraft. Briefly, these were: weakening the movement from within; instigating people of other faiths against it; and involving it straightaway in an armed struggle with the forces of the state to retard its momentum, if not destroy it. The post-Khalsa period of Guru Gobind Singh is to be seen in this light. A couple of months after the embodiment of Khalsa when Guru Gobind Singh was hunting in Doon Valley, two hill chiefs Alim Chand and Balia Chand with a large contingent sought to ambush the Guru and his small hunting party. In the skirmishes that followed, Balia Chand was killed while Alim Chand lost his arm. The hill chiefs, very much disappointed, decided to approach the Emperor through the Subedar of Sirhind. Their memorandum spoke of his establishing the new order of the Khalsa “which is contrary to all our cherished beliefs and customs” and went on to add, “He wants us to join hands with him to fight our Emperor against whom he harbours profound grudge. This we have refused to do, much to his annoyance and discomfiture. He is now gathering men and arms from all over the country to challenge the Mughal empire. We cannot restrain him, but loyal subjects of your Majesty, we seek your assistance to drive him out of Anandpur and not to allow grass to grow under your feet. Otherwise, he would become a formidable challenge to the whole empire, as his intentions are to march soon upon Delhi itself.”181 The imperial authorities in Delhi saw through the wile of hill chiefs. Mohammad Qasim Lahori in Ibrat Nama terms them ishab-i-gharz, person who were moved by self interest. The authorities could offer the imperial troops on payment of their expenses. The hill chiefs agreed. The resultant expedition of 10, 000 imperial troops led by Painde Khan and Din Beg supplemented by the forces of hill chiefs was routed by the Guru’s forces on Savan Vadi 6, BK. 1757 (June 25, 1700).182 By end-August, the hill chiefs at first sought to storm Taragarh fort by surprise to demoralise the Sikhs. The resultant battle which lasted four days saw feats of rare heroism. Bachittar Singh pierced the wild elephant’s armour which ran back to cause havoc in hill forces, while Udai Singh chopped the head of Raja Kesari Chand Jaswaria.183 The hill chiefs, thereafter, resorted to a startegem. On their swearing on cow and yagyopavit (sacred thread), Guru Gobind Singh agreed to withdraw from Anandgarh for some time to defuse the crises. He withdrew to Nirmohgarh hillock near Kiratpur, a few kilometres away. Finding the Guru exposed in an open space, some of the hill chiefs led by Raja Ajmer Chand of Kahlur in early October laid a siege of the Nirmohgarh hillock. On their call, the Subeder of Sirhind sent a force under Rustam Khan a couple of days later. In the ensuing battle lasting two days, Rustam Khan and his brother Nasir Khan were killed. On invitation of Raja Salehi Chand of Basoli across Sutlej who had disagreed with his brother hill chiefs in breaking their vow, the Guru alongwith his forces crossed over to Basoli state. The purport of Ajmer Chand in expelling the Guru from his state had been achieved. Salehi Chand whose wife was the younger sister of Rani Pushpa, Ajmer Chand’s mother, effected a reconciliation, and the Guru returned to Anandpur in another fortnight.184 Ajmer Chand was on look out for an opportunity to liquidate Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru visited Kurukshetra to propagate his mission to the extraordinary gathering at solar eclipse on 8 Magh BK. 1759 (January 1703). On his way back, at Ajmer Chand’s instance. Syed Beg and AlifKhan, two army commanders, mounted a surprise attack on the Guru’s entourage which included his three wives besides 125 sowars. They were beaten back.185 In another couple of months, a force led by Ajit Singh, eldest son of the Guru invaded Bassi Pathanan and- rescued Devki Das Brahmin’s wife kidnapped by Sardar Jabar Jang Khan who was also brought as a prisoner to the Guru. He was duly punished.186 The Brahmin chose to approach the Guru in the matter rather than the hill chiefs. Ajmer Chand supported by Rajas of Handur and certain other hill chiefs mounted a surprise attack on Anandpur in December 1703 and again in March 1704.187 These only led to skirmishes for a day each and were reflective of helplessness and bad faith on the part of hill chiefs. They had become rabid anti-Sikhs. Raja Ajmer Chand now went to Deccan and personally presented a petition on behalf of the fraternity highlighting “the anti-state activities of the Guru’s house for the last century” to Aurgangzeb. He pleaded that “the Guru, who had founded a new religion, wanted all Hindus to embrace it and to wage war on the Mughal Empire”.188 Alarmed at the grim picture painted by Ajmer Chand, Aurangzeb ordered the despatch of all available troops at Delhi, Sirhind and Lahore under the command of Wazir or Wajid Khan, Subedar of Sirhand. The hill chiefs too were to assist the Mughal forces. Kautilya could not have done it better to bring to bear the whole might of the Mughal empire on the nascent Khalsa. It generated its own momentum of clash between the Sikhs and the Mughal authorities which went on for the next six decades or so. In the process, it gave a jolt both to the Mughal empire and the fundamentals of the Khalsa, to the benefit of the crafty caste-Hindus. This led to the siege of Anandpur starting 5 Jeth BK. 1762 (May 3, 1705). It lasted for seven months till 5 Poh (December 4, 1705). In response to besieger’s continuous pleas to the Guru to vacate the fort of Anandpur in return for safe passage, the Guru sent rubbish covered by brocades, loaded over bullocks. In violation of the solemn oaths on the Qoran, the goods were looted. Ashamed at their sordid behaviour, the Mughal commanders now sent a message in the Emperor’s name, expressing regret at the bahaviour of the imperial troops and reiterated the agreement on safe conduct if the Guru agreed to quit Anandpur. Guru Kian Sakhian, however, mentions that in reponse to the Guru’s letter, a royal Qazi brought an imperial letter and verbal messages to Anandpur on 5 Poh BK 1762 (December. 4, 1705) giving solemn assurances of safe conduct, for the Guru to retire to Kangar in Malwa.189 Anyhow, Guru Gobind Singh left Anandpur the next day. The Mughal forces, forgetting all pledges, set out in hot pursuit. Skirmishes started from Kiratpur. On reaching Sirsa, the Guru, entrusted his mother and his two younger sons to a Sikh, to be taken to Delhi to join his wives there. On the way, they met Gangu or Ganga Dhar Kaul, a Kashmiri Brahmin, once an employee in the Guru’s household. He took them instead to his village Saheri. He usurped the considerable cash and jewellery the Guru’s mother had on her and betrayed them to the Khan ofMorinda who passed them on to Wazir Khan, Subedar of Sirhind. Nawab Sher Mohamad Khan of Malerkotia was against the two small children of the Guru being put to harm as that was against Islam. Dewan Sucha Nand Bhandari Khatri was emittimg venom against the Guru and the Khalsa. On their refusal to accept Islam, the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh were tortured for four days before being bricked alive. Since the wall fell down when it reached their neck, their throats were slit on 13 Poh BK. 1762 (December 12, 1705). The Guru’s mother died of shock on hearing the news.190 Earlier at Shahi Tibbi, Guru Gobind Singh entailed Bhai Udai Singh with 50 Sikhs to checkmate the pursuing hill chiefs forces. He sent Bachittar Singh with 100 men towards Ropar to stall the advancing Mughal forces.191 He himself reached the house of Nihang Khan at his Kotla and received warm welcome. He had the day’s rest there and assisted by Nihang Khan’s son Alam Khan reached Chamkaur the day after. It were Nihang Khan and Pir Badruddin alias Buddhu Shah who made appropriate arrangement for Guru Gobind Singh’s escape from Chamkaur. At the Chamkaur mud fortress of Chaudhary Budhi Chand, the Guru had 40 Sikhs with him. They kept the pursuing forces of Malerkotia at bay during the day. By nightfall only half a dozen Sikhs were left: others including two of Guru’s sons, Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh had earned martyrdom.192 The five Sikhs, for the first time in Sikh history, now adopted the first Gurmatta, resolution, asking Guru Gobind Singh to make good his escape. He took along with him four of them - Bhai Daya Singh, Dharam Singh, Man Singh and Ram Singh. He put his dress and aigrette on Bhai Sant Singh who resembled him.193Sangat Singh Bangeshri was the other left to meet martyrdom at Chamkaur the following day. The leading role in the escape of the Guru and his disciples from Chamkaur to Machhiwara was played by Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, two brothers, residents of Machhiwara. They were sipah salars, commanding officers, of Malerkotia forces which had laid the siege of Chamkaur. They were the first cousins of Nihang Khan (sons of his father’s sister). Arriving at the mud fortress at night, they passed on a sipah solar’s dress to Guru Gobind Singh, who put it on and stepped down from the first floor of the fortres-s with the help of a spear. Before leaving. Guru Gobind Singh raised a cry, “The Guru of Sikhs is escaping, catch him”. Alerted, that led to skirmishes amongst the Mughal forces. Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan performed the night journey with the Guru to Machhiwara. After making arrangements for his stay at night at the house of Gulaba, a former Masand, they took leave and returned to Ropar to join their forces.194 From Machhiwara, a group of five Muslims, two of them learned in Islamic theology took over. They were probably sent by Pir Badruddin alias Budhu Shah of Sadhaura for which later he along with his followers was tortured to death by the Mughal authorities.195 These were, Qazi (Haji) Charagh Ali Shah Ajneria, who had his murids, disciples, in Malwa, Inayat Ali Noorpuria, Qazi Pir Muhamad Salowala, Subeg Shah Halwaria and Hussan Ali Mannu Majria.196 At Machhiwara the Guru replaced the sipah salar’s blue dress by loose blue robes and advised his four Sikhs to move on to Haher in Malwa on their own in the blue dress. He sat on charpoy, an Indian bedstead, on 12 Poh BK. 1762 (December 11, 1705) to be carried by four Muslim devotees with Qazi Charagh Ali taking the fly whisker of Mayur feathers. Guru Gobind Singh was given out as Uch ka pir, meaning both the pir from Uch Sharif in Multan who was held in high esteem, and a high quality Pir. It was also stated that since the Pir was on fast he would not speak. Since those carrying the Guru on charpoy were genuine Muslims with two of them learned in Islamic theology, they were able to pass through the various stages of journey, where needed, after satisfying the curiosity of those on lookout for the Guru. After various stages, the Guru arrived at Rai Kalha’s place at Rai Kot on December 16, 1705. Nihang Khan’s son Alam Khan who was Rai Kalha’s son-in-law was already there to oversee the arrangements. Here the Guru heard about the martyrdom of his younger sons and of his mother. Rai Kalha sent a special messenger to Sirhind; he got the first hand information from Raja Todar Mal Kapoor who had performed the cremation of the three members of the Guru’s family. Guru Gobind Singh thanked the Lord at his younger sons facing the ordeal successfully. Guru Gobind Singh blessed Rai Kalha and preceded to Takhtpura where he relieved Haji Charagh Ali Shah and others to go their own way. He arrived at Dina where he wrote Zafarnamah, the epistle of victory, to Aurangzeb in December 1705 and sent the same to him through Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh. They dressed themselves as ahdias, special revenue officers, and proceeded to the south. Guru Gobind Singh cast off the blue dress at Dhilmi. He moved on to Talwandi and was at Rohi when a group of 40 Sikhs from Majha accompanied by Mata Bhag Kaur visited him to convey their condolences at the death of his four sons and his mother, and also to offer their services to effect a compromise between the Guru and the Mughal authorities.197 The Guru put them on the defensive by narrating the series of Mughal atrocities from Guru Arjan’s martyrdom through Guru Hargobind’s incarceration for several years at Gwalior, Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom to the laying of the siege of Anandpur. Where were they, all this while? Were they not ashamed to talk the way they did? Bhag Singh Jhabalia gave a lead that it was not within their means to carry forth their faith in the Guru. The Guru told them that he had not called them and they should write a disclaimer which was signed by another four, all from Jhabal. The rest of the 35 did not.198 The Guru at that moment got the information of advancement of Mughal forces in hot pursuit and he along with those accompanying him moved on to take their positions by the side of a mound. It was at this stage that Mata Bhag Kaur put the 40 men from Majha to shame and told them that their action would be a disgrace to Majha. They would not be received with equanimity by the society including their families. It was her challenge that made the 40 to gird up their loins and face the oncoming Mughal force of the Nawab of Sirhind. In the action on 30 Poh 1762 (December 29, 1705), besides the 40 Sikhs and Mata Bhag Kaur from Majha, Guru Gobind Singh and those accompanying him also participated. After a run of arrows and bullets, the fight generated to a sword fight. By sunset all the forty had been seriously injured or put to death. But the Mughal forces retreated.199 Of the Forty Sikhs, only three (Rai Singh, Sunder Singh and Mahan Singh) were in their last breath, while Bhag Kaur lay injured when Guru Gobind Singh blessed profusely those dead and reached those injured - none of whom had signed the disclaimer. Their only request to the Guru was to tear away the disclaimer. He did that and blessed them as muktas, the saved ones, whose cycle of birth and death was over. He also changed the name of Ishar Sar to Mukatsar in their honour.200 The account of traditional Sikh historians to place the disclaimer by the Forty at Anandpur, and after days being rallied by Mata Bhag Kaur from their diverse places is riven with holes. Guru Gobind Singh now moved on to Saboki Talwandi where he remained for over 9 months. Because of his hukumnamahs, the Baisakhi of 1706 was a grand affair when he adminstered baptism to about 1,25,000 persons from Malwa, Majha and Pothohar, as far as Kabul. On hearing of lack of success by Bhai Daya Singh and Dharam Singh of meeting Aurangzeb, he despatched fresh instructions to them in July 1706. They were able to see Aurangzeb shortly after wards when the Zafarnamah was read over to him by his Munshi.201 The main points made by Guru Gobind Singh in the Zafarnamah were: One, he had been cheated out of Anandpur because of the false oaths sworn on the Qoran offered in the name ofAurangzeb by Bakshi, Qazi, etc, and he considered it lawful to resort to sword when all avenues of peace had failed; Two, it was incumbent on the Emperor to do justice, not to harm the innocent and reminded him of the vengeance of God; Three, he had suffered at the hands of the hill chiefs who were idol worshippers, whereas he was an idol breaker: that was the main cause of his problems with the hill chiefs; Four, the Emperor claimed himself to be the Caliph of the Prophet. When he meets the Prophet, he will tell him what sort of a Muslim Aurangzeb was; and Five, the emperor’s pride in power could be matched by the infinite power of God to protect those He wants to.202 According to available accounts, Aurangzeb was full of remorse and stated that he had been kept in the dark. He wanted to make amends and despatched a letter written on the cover of Qoran inviting the Guru to see him.203 Seized with penitence and self reproach, he wrote to his sons Tara Azam and Kam Bakhsh. “I know not who I am, where I shall go and what will happen to this sinner full of sins. My years have gone by profitless. God has been in my heart but my darkened eyes have recognised not His light. There is no hope for me in the future. When I have lost hope in myself, how can I have hope in others. I have greatly sinned and know not what torment awaits me (in the hereafter).”204 According to Ahkam-I-Alamgiri, Aurangzeb made positive moves to conciliate the Guru.205 At Talwandi Sabo, renamed Damdama Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh busied himself in getting prepared in bulk copies of Adi Granth for distribution to Sikh Sangats. And, Swarup Singh (1791) mentions Guru Gobind Singh’s holding an Akhand Path, continued recitation of Adi Granth, there.206 Earlier at Damdama in Kiratpur Sahib, shortly after Guru Tegh Bhahadur’s martyrdom, his hymns had been incorporated at appropriate places, under instructions of Guru Gobind Singh. Writers like Prof Sahib Singh and Khushwant Singh mention of existance of a couple of such volumes.207 According to some accounts, Guru Gobind Singh started for the south and on the way met Bhai Daya Singh who informed him of the invitation despatched by Aurangzeb who, however, died on February 21 1707. Prince Muazzam later known as Bahadur Shah started from Afghanistan and according to one account had a chance meeting with the Guru on the banks of Sutlej when he informed him of the death of his father. He also requested him for help in his fight with his younger brother, Tara Azam. Guru Gobind Singh despatched a detachment of 200 to 300 horses under Kuldipak Singh who participated in the battle ofJajau in June 1707 leading to Bahadur Shah’s victory.208 Guru Gobind Singh shortly after the battle reached Agra, and was presented with gifts by Bahadur Shah for his contribution in his war against Tara Azam. After a stay of a couple of months of rainy season at Agra, Bahadur Shah started for Rajputana and thereafter to the south. Guru Gobind Singh too followed suit, chalking out his own travel plans. The Sikh historians mention of his visiting the Dera ofDadu Ram Bairagi and his bowing his arrow at his Samadh to check the alacrity of the Sikhs. For that, the Guru was fined by the Khalsa under the leadership of Bhai Daya Singh. Guru Kian Sakhian mentions of a fine of Rs. 125. Guru Gobind Singh on the way broached with Bahadur Shah the subject of punishment of Subedar of Sirhind for his excesses. He got the impression of Bahadur Shah’s reluctance to do justice in this case. From Godavari, he, therefore, took a different course and reached Nander, the dera of Lachhman Dev or Madho Das Bairagi (whom he had earliar met at Haridwar) who was known for his occult powers. According to the contemporary Amarnamah (October 1708) of Nathmal, a Dhadi in the Darbar of Guru Gobind Singh, Madho Das was an Udasi Sikh. Madho Das submitted himself to the protection of the Guru, saying he was his banda, devotee.209 Madho Das was administered baptism by Guru Gobind Singh himself to the accompaniment of Bhai Daya Singh and three other Sikhs on September 3, 1708. He was renamed Banda Singh. Keeping in view the susceptibilities of Bairagi followers of Banda Singh, Guru Gobind Singh ordained that henceforth Guru ka Langar would cater to the people of all faiths: only vegetarian food shall be served in langar. Guru Gobind Singh remained at Nander for over a month. He appointed Banda Singh on Kartik Sudi 3, BK. 1765 (October 5, 1708), Jathedar of Panth and, according to Bhat Vehi Multani Sindhi, attached to him five leading Sikhs Bawas Binod Singh and Kahan Singh and Bhais Bhagwant Singh, Koer Singh and Baz Singh to provide the corporate leadership to the Khalsa. The Guru also handed over to him a seal, five arrows from his quiver and the nishan saheb, flag pole.210 Banda Singh accompanied by about 25 Sikhs left for the Punjab the same day with a brief, inter alia, to punish the Subedar of Sirhind, and uproot the oppressive Mughal rule. The same evening, Guru Gobind Singh was visited by two Pathans. One of them was commissioned by Wazir Khan, Subedar of Sirhind, to assassinate Guru Gobind Singh. Wazir Khan was afraid of the ongoing talks between the Guru and Emperor Bahadur Shah who according to Khalsa Namah of Bakhat Mal had already issued a firman, imperial orders, upon Wazir Khan to pay Guru Gobind Singh a sum of Rupees 300 per day. One of the Pathans, Bashal Beg kept a vigil outside the Guru’s tent while Jamshed Khan the hired assassin stabbed the Guru twice. He was killed in one stroke by the Guru himself, while those outside alerted by the tumult killed the other.211 According to some accounts, the other escaped. The wound was sewn up the following day, inter alia, by an English Surgeon, named Cole.212 Guru Gobind Singh, finding his end near, on Kartik Sudi 4, BK 1765 (October 5, 1708), according to Bhat Vehi Talunda Pargana Jind and Bhat Vahi Bhadson, Pargana Thanesar passed on the spiritual. Guruship to the Adi Granth,213 and transferred the corporate Guruship to the Khalsa.214 Mata Sahib Devan, who was close by was given the title of being the mother of the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh breathed his last the following day (Kartik Sudi 5) during the night of October 7-8, and his mortal remains were consigned to flames by, inter alia, Bhai Daya Singh by the following dawn. Guru Kian Sakhian affirms that Path (complete recitation of Guru Granth Sahib) was organised. The bhog ceremony was performed on Kartik Sudi 14, Bk. 1765 (October 17, 1708).215 The stories about the healing of the Guru’s wound and his trying a bow which ripped it open are not based on facts. So also are the stories about the Guru’s asking the Sikhs not to enter the enclosure or search in his last remains, and of his lighting the fire on his breathing his last by spiritual powers. Though fanciful, these are motivated and untrue. Bahadur Shah’s conferring of a khillat, robe of honour, on Jamshed Khan as per entry in Akhbarat-Darbar-i-Mualla of October 28, 1708, and two days later a robe of honour on Guru Gobind Singh’s family, showed that he, surprisingly, treated the assailant and the victim at par. It also lends credence to the theory that Bahadur Shah too, apart from the Subedar of Sirhind was involved in the surreptitious attack on the Guru.216 It is truism to say that during his victories in various battles especially against the hill chiefs. Guru Gobind Singh did not occupy an inch of territory. But throughout his life, he was not oblivious of importance of political power as a catalyst of social change. Over a decade before the creation of the Khalsa, while completing Krishna Avatar, he had enunciated the doctrine that “Without political power, dharma (the rule of law) can not be established; and without dharma the society was an admixture of scum”, or “Religion without political freedoms and diginity was an abject slavery, and politics without religious morality was an organised barbarism.” Political power, as such, was a means to attain the objectives viz., “to uphold the saints and destroy the wicked.” Guru Gobind Singh was overwhelmed by the response he got from all sections of society particularly the lower ones in the creation of Khalsa - an end product of over 200 years of endeavours of the Sikh Gurus. That was right upto his expectations. Already, the living spirit of the Guru had widened the horizon of their mind, and now the boon of baptism with emphasis on the plying of the sword to uphold the righteousness, changed the physical characteristics of the Khalsa. In his talks with Bhai Nand Lal, Guru Gobind Singh spelled out his resolve to confer the rulership of the land on these downtrodden people. Bhai Nand Lal’s minutes in his Tankhah Nama summed up in IheJitany raj karesa khalsa, Khalsa shall rule, inspired the Khalsa to new heights, and set the guidelines for the post-Khalsa period. The Amarnamah (October 1708) ofNathmal Dhadi also vouchsafes that the “Sikh have been granted sovereignty of both the worlds, and must retain high spirits under all circumstances.” The Khalsa, in short, was an embodiment of humankind - an integrated product of men from all castes, including the downcastes and outcastes. Ethnic equality constituted the core of the brotherhood of the Khalsa. The Khalsa had three distinct characteristics, to be physicaly distinct, mentally alert and spritually enlightened. The Khalsa had the team spirit, espirit de corps. The Khalsa spirit was harnessed in the service of man, society and state. The Khalsa was fully alive to the social needs to protect the human rights of the weak and the deprived. He was committed to oppose and halt the progress of tyranny and oppression of a person or state, and eradicate the evil. The Khalsa was a householder and yet a saint. The Khalsa was a soldier to uphold the values he held dear. The concept of the Khalsa was based on martyrdom. Therefore, the Khalsa was not afraid to die for worthy causes. Since the Khalsa upheld the social values, it constituted a revolutionary force.
1. Sangat Singh, Japji: Quintessence of Sikh Thought and Philosophy, (1973) pp. 41-53. 2. Bhai Jodh Singh, “Teachings of Guru Nanak” in Gurmukh Nihal Singh (Gen. Editor), Guru Nanak: His Life, Time and Teachings, (Delhi, 1969), p. 5. 3. Max Arthur Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, (Oxford, 1909), Vol.1., p. 35; also p. 195. 4. B.N. Luma, Evolution of Indian Culture, (Agra, 1970), p. 38l. 5. A.L.Srivastava, History of India. 1000-1707, (Agra, 1964), p. 310. 6. It was this process of discourse within Hindisum that gave birth to Bhakti movement in various parts of India. The Hindu society’s closing itself behind Varna Ashram Dharma had left the Sudras and the outcastes unprotected. The Bhakti movement broadly produced Bhakts or Saints from lower classes who sought to initiate the process of inner reformation by asserting the futility of the caste system. 7. With the mass scale conversion of the Buddhist laity and later of sections of the Hindus to Islam, there arose third or fourth generation Muslims of Indian origin who sought equality with Turks/Aghans. But the immigrant Muslims’ class values were affected by Brahminical hierachy and they treated the Indian Muslims as an inferior class, inter alia, introducing new strains in Islamic theology. 8. Cf. Sunita Puri, “Socio-Political Content of the Teachings of Guru Nanak” in Studies in Sikhism and Contemporry Religion, New Delhi Vol VII (1 & 2), April-October 1988, p. 17. 9. Bhairau Mahia (hereinafter M.) 5, 3(5), Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib (hereinafter A.G.), p. 1136. 10. Ramkali, Sidh, Goshati, 44, A.G., p. 943. 11. Ibid, 18, A.G., p. 939. 12. Cf. Ganda Singh, “Guru Nanak at Puri with Sri Chaitanya and His followers” in Ganda, Singh (Ed) Sources on the Life and Teachings of Guru Nanak, Patiala, Punjab Past and Present (Hereinafter PP&P), Vol III, 1969. pp. 334-39; also The Sikh Review Calcutta Vol XVIII, Guru Nanak Fifth Centenary Number, October-November 1969, pp. 58-61. There is also mention of Guru Nanak’s campanion Mardana. 13. Saddhamangala Karunaratna, “Guru Nanak Visited Ceylon”, The Sikh Review, Vol. XVI (195), October-November 1969, pp. 84-85. 14. For photofacimile of inscription at Baghdad see. Ibid, opposite p. 122; also, W.H. McLeod, Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion, (Oxford, 1968), p. 131-32. Dr. V.L. Menage, Reader in Turkish at School of Oriental Studies, London, who was commissioned by McLeod admits his lack of knowledge of the Turkman language used in the inscription. Nonetheless, he proceeds to translate the same. He concedes that first six or seven syllables in the second line read Baba Nanak Faqir or Baba Nanak-i-Faqir but says that this does not fit into the meter and should be ignored. That suited very well McLeod’s thesis that Guru Nanak did not travel outside his surroundings. To ignore the inscription because it does not fit into one’s contrived thesis, amounts to intellectual dishonesty. 15. Shaikh Jalal al Hanafi, Imam, Juma-e-Khulfa (Caliph’s Mosque), the oldest mosque in Baghdad, in several conversations with the author, who was First Secretary in the Indian Embassy in Baghdad during 1989-90. The 76 years old Shaikh Hanafi who sometimes was Imam ofJuma Mosque in Shanghai in China, is a renowned authority on Baghdad! folklore. According to the testimony of Bhai Gurdas, Guru Nanak at Baghdad had not only talked about hundreds of thousands of upper and nether regions, but also taken the young son ofPir Dastgir (the then successor of the Dastgir’s shrine) to a heavenly voyage through his cosmic powers and shown him the regions. In one of the regions, the young boy, probably Zainuddin, successor to the shrine and First Ashraf who died in 981 A.H. at a ripe old age, was served prasad which he had with him on coming back from the voyage, as an evidence of what he had experienced. Guru Nanak at Baghdad blessed the wife of the governor with a son. Soon she got pregnant. The Governor, in thanksgiving, conferred on Guru Nanak a Baghdad! Choga, flowing dress, with verses from Qoran on it (also known as Qoranic Choga) on Guru Nanak. This Choga is presently at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab. The Qoranic verses have since been tampered with because of the impetuous actions of Bedi custodians of the shrine. They have got these rewritten by some Qadianis who contend that Guru Nanak was a muslim. It was customary for Baghdad! rulers to confer Qoranic Chogas in high appreciation. Another such Qoranic Choga conferred by the ruler of Iraq on Shaikh Badiuddin Shahmadari is available at Manakpur near Kanpur. 16. Var Malar M. 1, 25(2), A.G., pp. 1289-90. 17. Bhai Gurdas, varn avarn ik karaya, 18. Sri Rag M. 1, 3(4), A.G. p. 15. 19. Sri Rag M. 1, 22(2), AG., p. 1288. 20. Asa M. 1, 39, A.G. p. 360; Asa Ashtapadis, 11-12, A.G., pp. 417-18 and Tilang M. 1, 5, A.G. pp. 22-23. 21. Cf. Surjit Hans, A Reconstruction of Sikh History from Sikh Literature, (Jalandhar, 1988), p. 21. 22. Maru M. 1, 9(1), A.G., p. 1028. 23. Asa M. 1, 39 (Pause), A.G., p. 360.
24. Salok Varan te Vadheek, 20, A.G., p. 1412.
25. Rag Majh, Salok M. 1, 15(1), A.G., pp. 144-45. 26. Wadhans M. 1, elegies, (2(3), A.G., pp. 579-80. 27. Ibid: also Rag Majh, Salok M. 1, 10(1) A.G., p. 142. 28. Sri Rag M. 1, 14(5)., A.G., p. 62. 29. Trilochan Singh, “Guru Nanak’s Religion: A Comparative Study of Religions” in Gurmukh Nihal Singh, n. 2, p. 97. 30. Guru Nanak wrolc an acrostic on the basis of 35 Gunnukhi alphabets.For instance, letter V was added to the script to represent sound bclwcn hard ‘d’ and ‘r’. Devnagri and Persian scripts later made provision for this sound. Guriiinukhi also reminded the people of Guru’s mouth, or Guru’s word and Gurmukh, guru oriented Kabir’s acrostic based on Gurmukhi characters which finds place in A.G., pp.360-63 and also in Kabir Bajak does not use the alphabet V. 31. Gujri Ashtpadis, 4, A.G., p. 504. 32. Cf. W.H. McLeod, Evolution of Sikh Community (Oxford, 1975), ad passim. It is product of McLeod’s malefic mind and never came’ up earlier in Sikh history. 33. Coronation Ode by Satta and Balwand, A.G., pp.966-68. See also Swaye Mahle Pahle Ke, (A.G. pp. 13 89-90) for Guru Nanak’s establishing raj and Jog. 34. Ibid. 35. Var Majh, Salok M. 2, 22(1), A.G., p.148. 36. It is another mater that this biography had been lost. What goes by the name of Bhai Bala Janamsakhi was prepared much later. 37. Dr. Balbir Singh, “Date of visit of Guru Amar Das to Kurukshetra”, PP&P. Vol XIII, October 1979, pp. 441-44. 38. Guru Ram Das later recorded a hymn which recapitulates Guru Amar Das’s visit to Kurkshetra, Jumna and Haridwar. Rag Tukhari M.4, AG., pp. 1116-17. Bhai Jetha was a member of the sangat accompanying Guru Amar Das. 39. Gauri Bairagan M.3, 1(1), A.G., p. 62. 40. Bhai Santokh Singh in Gurpratap Surajgranth, quoted in Bhai Jodh Singh, “Guru Amar Das Ji”, PP&P, XIII, October 1979, p. 272. 41. RagTukhari M. 4, 4, A.G. 1116-17. 42. M.A. Macauliffe, n. 3, Vol. II, p. 185. Also Sarup Das Bhalla, Mehma Parkash (1773), Gobind Singh Lamba (ed) Bhasha Vibhag Punjab, Patiala, 1971, Vol. II, pp 134 -35. 160-61. 188-93. 43. Ibid. This exposition of humanism did influence Akbar in evolving Din-i-Ilahi, God’s Religion, for all men. Cf. Ishwari Prasad, A Short History of the Muslim Rule in India (Delhi, 1970), Vol. II, pp. 366-68. 44. Guru Ram Das later composed the thanks-giving hymn,” He maketh the whole world bow at the feet of those whom He himself maketh great.” Var Rag Gauri M.4, Salok 14, A.G., p. 314. 45. Var Sorath M. 4, 17(2) A.G., p. 649. 46. There has been some controversy about location of various Manjis. For various lists, see PP&P, Vol. XIII, pp. 319, 467-68. 47. It was later represented that a recitation of Japji with a bath from the water of Baoli at each step would lead to salvation from 84 lakh existences, mentioned in Indian religious traditions. 48. Sri Rag, Ashtpadi 5, A.G., p. 97. 49. Var Vadhans M. 4, 21(1), A.G., p. 594. 50. Sri Rag M 4, 11(3) A.G., p. 30. 51. Var Sorath, Salok M.4, 149(1), AG., pp. 647-48. 52. Cf. Surjit Hans, n. 21, p. 63. 53. Ramkali, Sadd, A.G., pp. 923-24. 54. Var Gauri, Salok M.4, 10(2), A.G., pp. 305-06. 55. Rag Suhi M. 4, Chhant, A.G., 773-74. 56. Cf. Surjit Hans, n. 21, pp. 95, 102, 104. 57. Ibid, pp. 110-11. 58. Ibid, p. 105. 59. It was this authenticated copy of Japji that was later used by Guru Arjan while compiling the Adi Granth. The contents of old manuscripts of recensions of Adi Granth, including the one available at Kartarpur, read, “Japu - copied from original which had the signatures of Guru Ram Das on it.” 60. Hans, n. 21. p. 101, 111; also A.G., pp. 164, 172, 312, 562, 698 & 1265. 61. Hans, p.103. 62. Suhi M.4, 8(3), A.G. p. 733. 63. Surjit Singh Gandhi, History of the Sikh Gurus (Jalandhar, 1978), p. 211; Var Gauri M 4: Salok 14(1), A.G., p. 213. 64. Sarang M.4, ghar 3, dupada, A.G., p. 1200. 65. Suhi M. 4, 9(4), A.G., p. 733. 66. The first three successors of Guru Nanak were at various stages of their life at the time of his passing away in 1539. 67. Rattan Singh Bhangu in Panth Parkash relates a popular tradition that power and pelf of the world kept 12 kos (30 kms) from Guru Nanak and six kos from Guru Angad. It knocked at the door of Guru Amar Das and fell at the feet of Guru Ram Das, while in Guru Arjan’s time it got admission into the house. The fable beautifully describes the gradual evolution of the social and political power of the Sikhs. Cf. Gokal Chand Narang, Transformation of Sikhism, (Delhi, 1989 ed), p. 44. 68. The idea was extant in Guru Amar Das’s time, but took concrete shape under Guru Arjan Dev . 69. Gauri M. 5, 99, A.G., p. 199. 70. Bilawal M. 5, 104, A.G., p. 825. According to Muslim belief one, who is burnt to death, goes to hell. 71. For a bio-sketch, see Dr. Surinder Singh, “The Life and Times of Miyan Mir, ”, PP&P, Vol. XXII, October 1986, pp. 243-72. There are assertions by some scholars that the foundation stone was laid by Guru Arjan himself. 72. This made Prithia to construct a corresponding centre at Haher, wherefrom his wife came. 73. Cf. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, Vol, I, The Sikh Gurus, 1469-1708, (Delhi, 1984), p. 134. It was during this visit, Akbar looked into the complaints about the Guru’s bani being tinged with anti-Muslim or anti-Prophet expressions. 74. Ibid, p. 135. 75. It included hymns of Guru Arjan and his predecessors, Rababis and Bhatts associated with various Gurus, and Bhaktas both Muslims and Hindus, including Shudras and Outcastes from different parts of Hindustan. The hymns in Adi Granth were arranged according to Ragas, musical meters and their sub- meters. This resulted in intermixture of the hymns of all the Gurus in a particular Raga. Then followed the hymns of Bhaktas beginning with those of Kabir and ending with those of Farid. At places there was interspersing of hymns of Gurus and Bhaktas. It was an integrated compilation which gave equal importance to each contributor. 76. Khwaja Mohamad Baqi Billa (1564-1603) arrived in India by close of the 16th century, and established new Sufi order which advocated the use of state power for Islamic preaching. 77. Ganda Singh, “The Martyrdom of Guru Arjan”, PP&P. Vol. XII, April 1978, P. 163. 78. Ibid, p. 171. 79. Narang, n. 67, p. 46. 80. Ganda Singh, n. 77, p. 160. 81. Bhai Vir Singh while editing Gurprtap Suraj Granth (pp. 1189-92), holds a prolonged discussions and comes to the conclusion that Khusrau never called on Guru Arjan, and rather it was the work of Guru Arjan’s opponents, including Prithi Chand, Brahmins and high caste Hindus and Maulvis. Cf. Narang, n. 67, p. 48. 82. Ganda Singh, n. 77, p.165. 83. In the very next item in Tuzuk, Jahangir mentions of cases of Raju and Amba, one of whom was fined Rupees, 1,15,000. This caused some confusion about Guru Arjan being fined. Ibid, p. 175; also Gopal Singh, A History of the Sikh People, 1469-1988, (Delhi, 1988), pp. 194-95 for Jesuit Letter of 1606-07 published in Lisbon in 1609. 84. Ganda Singh, n. 77, pp. 169-70. 85. Ibid, p. 172. It may be mentioned that Sikh traditional accounts mention of Chandu, a Divan as the main tormentor. They were not aware of Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri’s mentioning of Guru Arjan which came to light only in 1931, or of the Naqshbandi order. 86. To attribute Guru Hargobind’s wearing of two swords to an accident of Bhai Buddha’s putting the sword on the wrong side, is to betray ignorance of Guru Hargobind’s scheme of things, or Baba Buddha’s adeptness in the art of warfare. 87. Piara Singh Padam and Giani Garja Singh (Eds), Guru Kian Sakhian by Swarup Singh Kaushik (1790) (Patiala, 1986), p.26 for text of Bhat Vehi entry. Bhai Sain Das’s wife Ramo and Damodri were sisters. Both Ramo and Sain Das were devout Sikhs of Guru Arjan. 88. Ibid. 89. Ibid for text. 90. Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, Mahan Kosh or Encyclopaedia of Sikhism (Delhi, 1990 reprint): entry under Dagru and Daroli, pp. 557-58; see also under Bhai Rupa. Guru Hari Rai later got constructed a shrine at the site of Diwan of Guru Hargobind at Daroli. 91. Jahangir, Emperor, Tuzak-i-Jahangin (Memoirs of Jahangir), Alexander Rogers (Tr), Henry Beveridge (Ed), (hereinafter referred to as Tuzak). Vol. I, p. 96. 92. Kavi Sohan’s Gurbilas Patshahi 6, says that complaint against Guru Hargobind was made six years after Guru Arjan’s martyrdom (p. 161) and that Guru Hargobind started for Delhi on Magh thiti 4, corresponding to 2 Magh (p. 163). both these dates, according to Dewan Bahadur Swaminathan Pillai’s Indian Chronology, BC 1 to A.D. 2000 (1911) (Delhi, 1985 reprint) fall together in Samat 1669, corresponding to December 31, 1612. The author is thankful to Mr. D.R. Narang of Malcha Marg, New Delhi, for working for him this date. 93. Tuzak, n. 91, Vol I, p. 249, and ad passim. 94. Ibid, Vol. II, p. 155. 95. Precisely, about Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, Jahangir wrote in his Memoirs... “it was reported to me that a shayyad (a loud talker, a cheat) of the name of Shaikh Ahmad had spread the net of hypocrisy and deceit in Sirhind, and caught in it many of the apparent worshippers without spirituality, and had sent into every city and country one of his disciples, whom he called his deputy (Khalifa), and whom he considered more skilled than others in the adorning of shops (of deceit) and selling of religious knowledge, and in deceiving men. He had also written a number of idle tales to his disciples and his believers, and had made them into a book which he called Maktubat (letters). In that album (Jung) of absurdities many unprofitable things had been written that drag (people) into infidelity and impiety... I accordingly gave an order that they should bring him to the Court that is based on justice. According to orders, he came to pay his respects. To all that I asked him he could give no resonable answers and appeared to me to be extremly proud and self-satisfied, with all his ignorance. I considered the best thing for him would be that he should remain in the prison of correction until the heat of his temperament and confusion of his brain were somewhat quenched, and the excitement of the people should also subside. He was accordingly handed over to Anira’i Singh Dalan to be imprisoned in Gwalior fort. Ibid, Vol II, pp. 91-93. He was released after about a year. 96. Padam and Garja Singh, n. 87, p. 27. It is obvious that this entry was based on the information supplied by Naik Hari Ram of Barhtian whose family was patron of these Bhats. 97. Bhat Vehi Talunda, Pargna Jind. quoted in Ibid. The transcription has two mistakes. Firstly, it erroneously mentions Narnaul in Pargana Batala which should be Kalanaur in Pargana Batala. Since both these words have same number of strokes in Takre in which BhatVehis are written, this is quite understandable. Secondly, after the first sentence, the next sentence has been split into two by putting a fullstop inbetween, tendering an incorrect reading that Guru Hargobind was released on Phagun 1, Sangrand, 1676 (end January 1620). 98. Tuzak, n. 91, Vol II. pp. 114-17. 99. Jahangir wrote in his Memoirs: “As it was reported to me that in Lahore one Miyan Sheikh Muhammad Mir by name, who was a Darvish, a Sindhi by origin, very eloquent, virtuous, austere, of auspicious temperament, a lord of ecstacy, had seated himself in the corner of reliance upon God and retirement, and was rich in his poverty and independent of the World, my truth seeking mind was not at rest without meeting him, and my desire to see him increased. As it was impossible to go to Lahore, I wrote to him and explained to him the desire of my heart, and that Saint, notwithstanding his great age and weakness, took the trouble to come. I sat with him for a long time alone, and enjoyed a thorough interview with him. Truely he is a noble personage, and in this age he is a great gain and a delightful existence... Although I desired to make him some gift, I found that his spirit was too high for this, and so did not express my wish. I left him the skin of a white antelope to pray upon, and he immediately bade me farewell and went back to Lahore”. Ibid, Vol. II, p. 119. 100. Kaulan or Kumarawan or Kamla was a Khatri girl. Her father was got murdered by Qazi Rustam Khan of Mujang, Lahore, who took her mother into his harem. She also accompanied her mother as a child. Both Kaulan and her mother were followers of Hazrat Mian Mir. Now with the passage of time, Kaulan had grown up and the Qazi wanted her too to enter his harem. Her mother requested Mian Mir for protection. It was under these circumstances that a disciple of Hazrat Mian Mir escorted Kaulan on May 21, 1621, to Guru Hargobind to offer her the protection she needed. According to some accounts Guru Hargobind named the tank Kaulsar after her. She died in 1629. 100a. He claimed himself to be the Guru , with Meharban and Harji succeeding him as seventh and eigth Gurus. 101. Nanaki gave birth to a son Tyag Mal later called Guru Tegh Bahadur on October 18, 1621, and a daughter Viro on July 11, 1626. Mehrai gave birth to two sons, Suraj Mal on September 5, 1623, and Ani Rai on February 6, 1626, while Damodari who already had a son Baba Gurditta, gave brith to another son Ani Rai on October 24, 1623. Guru Hargobind did not have any child from any of his three wives after 1626 when he was 36 years of age. Cf. Randhir Singh, Guru Parnalian, Amritsar, Sikh Itihas Research Board, Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee), pp. 283-85. 102. Bhai Kahan Singh, n. 90, n. 251. 103. Padam andGarja Singh, n. 87, pp. 28-29. From the large number of casualties on the Guru’s side, it was obvious that Karam Chand and Rattan Chand were either a success in making surprise attack or they were better equipped than Guru Hargobind’s bodyguard. 104. Kahan Singh, n. 90, p. 332; also p. 881 entry under Buddhan Shah. 105. J.N. Sarkar, A Short History ofAurangzeb, (Calcutta, 1916), p.156: quoted in Gandhi, n. 63 p. 309. 106. Text in Padam and Garja Singh, (Eds), n. 87, p. 29. 107. The Sikh chroniclers weave the story of Bidhi Chand’s recovery of two horses brought for the Guru by the Sikhs of Kabul, and seized by the Mughal authorities and kept in Lahore Fort, between the periods of two conflicts, as the provocation. The timing of Bidhi Chand’s exploits does not seem to be correct, nor are the dates of various battles mentioned by them. 108. Bhat Vehi Multani Sindhi in n. 87, p. 29. 109. MuhammadLatif,HistoryofthePunjab,(1891),(Delhi,1989reprint)p.256. 110. Bhat Vehi Multani Sindhi, in n. 87, p. 30. In this battle Guru’s son Tyag Mal, then under 14, showed adptness in plying of the sword. That earned him the name of Tegh Bahadur. 111. Ibid. 112. Those who contend that Guru Arjan Dev gave the Sikhs their headquarters ‘n Harimandir in Amritsar, should ponder as to what happened in Sikh history for over six decades from 1635. 113. Bhat Vehi Talaunds, Pargna Jind, n. 87, p. 36. 114. Ibid, p. 37. 115. Baba Sri Chand in closing stages of his long life regretted his misunderstanding of the concept of succession followed by his father and brought about the merger of Udasis into Sikhism. Except that they were celibate, they followed Sikhism in all respects. 116. These were subsequently supplemented by six Bakshishes, bounties under Guru Hari Rai, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. Precisely, these were suthreshahi, Sangat Sahibie, and Bhagat Bhag-wanie by Guru Hari Rai, Mihan Shahie by Guru Tegh Bahadur, and Jit Malie and Bakht MaUe apart from reinforcing Sangat Shahie under Guru Gobind Singh. Kahan Singh, n. 90, p, 9. On the creation of Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh wanted all of them to go in for baptism ceremony. Taking advantage of the disturbed conditions they pleaded for time, and came to be known as Sahajdharis. They performed an admirable task in 18th century in managing Sikh shrines when Khalsa was being hunted. But in the 19th century, they slunked back to Hindu fold and had to be ousted from Gurdwara management sometimes with great effort during the Gurdwara Reform Movement in 1920s. 117. Some such chroniclers have woven fanciful stories of seven or eight marriages of Guru Hari Rai - seven sisters including Sulakhni which would make the age of the youngest one to be two years, or four sisters and their four maids. That only reflects the pitfalls to which one can fall. According to Swarup Singh Kaushik’s Guru Kian Sakhian (n.87), Sakhi 5, all the three children of Guru Har Rai were born of Sulakhani. Those being. Ram Rai (March 1646), Roop Kaur (April 1649), and Hari Krishan (July 1652), Cf.n. 87, pp. 38-39. 118. Dabistan-i-Mazhaib writing about nanak-prasths says, The Guru believes in one God. his followers put not their faith in idol worship. They never pray or practice austerities like the Hindus. They believe not in their incarnations, or places of pilgrimage, nor the Sanskrit language which the Hindus deem to be the language of gods. They believe that all the Gurus are the same as Nanak... The Sikhs under all the Gurus have increased so much that even in the days of Guru Arjan, one or more representatives of Sikh religion could be found in every Indian city. To such an extent was caste disregarded that the Brahmins became the disciples of the Sikh Khatris, for none of the Gurus was a Brahmin. And Khatris paid homagee to the Jat masands who were a low section of the Vaishnavs. Guru Hargobind. (also) gained a large following at Kiratpur. He kept 900 horses in his stables and always entertained three hundred horsemen and sixty gunners (artillery men).” At places, however, Dabistan turns garrulous. 119. Bhai Gurdas died in 1637 and Bidhi Chand and Baba Gurditta in 1638. 120. Gandhi, n. 63, p. 331. 121. Cf.TrilochanSingh,LifeofGuruHariKrishan,(Delhi,1981),p.53. 122. He was also given a recension ofAdi Granth. It was available in Ram Rai’s headquarters in DehraDuntill 1964-65, when it was passed onto Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Dehra Dun. 123. The hymn reads: “The clay of Muslim’s grave falls into potter’s clod; vessels and bricks are fashioned therefrom. They cry out as they burn.” Ram Rai substituted the word beiman (faithless) in place ofMusalman and interpreted that the clay of faithless Muslims will burn in the fires of hell. Burning in potter’s clod and fires of hell were two different things. 124. Guru Kian Sakhian, n. 87, p. 45. 125. Text in Ibid, p. 46. According to Guru Kian Sakhian, on his showing persistent repentence, he was called back to Kiratpur shortly afterwards. But this is not supported by traditional Sikh chroniclers. 126. The traditional Sikh chroniclers don’t give any cause for the death of Guru Hari Rai at the young age of 31. Ajit Singh Bagha, using some Tibetan sources and epitaphic inscriptions in the premises of Ram Rai’s monument at Dehra Dun has come to the conclusions that poison was administered to Guru Har Rai at the instance of Aurangzeb who had a grudge against him for speaking so highly of Dara Shukoh Cf. Gandhi, n. 63, p. 337. 127. Aurangzeb had just returned from Kashmir after a stay of over a year for health reasons. 128. Chhaju Ram was sent as preacher to Jagannath Puri. His son Himmat was one of the five beloved one to offer their head to Guru Gobind Singh. 129. According to an entry in Bhat Vehi Talaunda, Pargana Jind(account of Jalahna Puars), Guru Hari Krishan visited Aurangzeb’s Court on Thursday, Chet Sudi 9 (should be 8: there seems some mistake in copying or printing) BK. 1721 corresponding to March 24, 1664. He was accompanied by Ram Rai, Diwan Dargha Mal son of Dwarka Das Chhibar, Kanwar Ram Singh son of Raja Jai Singh, Gurbakhash son of Bagha, calico printer, and Mani Ram Jalahna. It is obvious that this entry was made at the instance of Mani Ram Jalahna, later known as Bhai Mani Singh. Cf. Guru Kian Sakhian, n. 87, p. 58. 130. Guru Hari Krishan was cremated the following day at the site on Jumna where he had held diwan for some time. According to an entry in Panda Vehi his phul, last remains, were taken to Haridwar by Ram Rai who was accompanied by his mother Sulakhni and Diwan Dargha Mal Chhibar. There is a corresponding entry in Bhat Vehi Talaunda of his ashes being taken to Kiratpur. Cf. for both the entries, n. 87, pp. 59-60. Bhai Santokh Singh in Suraj Granth, Ras 10, Ansu 55, was misled into believing that no bones were found in the last remains of Guru Hari Krishan’s body. The traditional Sikh chroniclers have been chary of mentioning of Ram Rai because of Guru Gobind Singh’s injunction, on creation of Khalsa, not to have any interaction, inter alia, with Ram Rai’as, but at personal level he had best of relations with both Ram Rai and his widow Punjab Kaur whom he helped considerably to chastise the recalcitrant Mahants led by Gurbakhsh who was at the root of all the troubles. 131. Swarup Singh, in Ibid, pp. 60-61. He mentions of presence of Ram Rai along with his masand Gurdas from Garhwal. Ram Rai was not among the 22 pretenders at Bakala. He had obtained from Aurangzeb grant of 7 villages in Doon valley and set up his Dera, centre, there. 132. Bhat Vehi Tomar Binjiaton Ki reproduced in Ibid, p. 61. Makhan Shah had vowed to offer 100 gold mohars to the successor of Guru Nanak, for helping him take his boat caught in whirlpool to safety. He reached Bakala and offered five Mohars to Dhirmal. Thereafter, he came to Guru Tegh Bahadur and presented him five Gold Mohars. Guru Tegh Bahadur told him that his son was carrying 100 Gold Mohars consecrated to him, which he should present. 133. A portrait of Guru Tegh Bahadur prepared by the artist to Governor of Dacca shows him wearing kalgi, aigrette, and having the hawk. 134. Cf. Trilochan Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur, A Biography, (Delhi, 1967) pp. 267-68. 135. According to Bhat Vehi Jodobansian(account of Barhtias), Guru Tegh Bahadur was accompanied by Diwan Mati Das and his brother Sati Das, sons of Hira Nand Chhibar, Gual Das son of Chhutta Mal Chhibar, Gurdas son ofKirat Barhtia, Sangat son ofBina Uppal, Jetha and Dayal Das sons of Mai Das Jalahana Balaunt, and other Sikh faqirs. Swarup Singh, n. 87, pp. 67-68. 136. Trilochan Singh, n. 134, p. 326 f.n. 12. 137. Swarup Singh, n. 87, pp. 67-68 mentions the period of detention of lunar two months and three days. That must have included the period of his being taken into custody at Dhamdhan. 138. Surjit Hans, n. 21, p. 222. He makes the observation without identifying the audience. 139. Rattan Rai later repaired to Anandpur with costly gifts including a trained elephant for Guru Gobind Singh. 140. According to Bhat Vehi Multani Sindhi, they arived at Lakhaur on Asu Vadi 9, Bk. 1727 (August 29, 1670). The entourage consisted of Gobind Das, his mother Gujri and her brother Kirpal Chand apart from Sodhi Ram son of Dharma Khosia, Chaupat Rai son of Paira Chhibbar, Gual Das son of Chhuta Mal Chhibbar, Kirpa Ram son of Aru Ram Dutt who later led the deputation of Brahmins of Kashmir to Guru Tegh Bahadur. Text, Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 69. 141. Ibid, p. 71. 143. Ibid, p. 196. Raymond’s translation of Siyar-ul-Mutakhirin at places was preposterous and misled a number of historians to level allegations of political and social offences against Guru Tegh Bahadur. Cf. Ganda Singh, “The Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur in Historical Setting.” PP&P, XI, Oct. 1977, pp. 204-05. 144. Accroding to P.N.K. Bamzai (History of Kashmir, p. 371), tyrannised by the new Governor, Nawab Iftikhar Khan (1671-75) Kashmir Brahmins got the idea after praying to Lord Shiva at Amar Nath Cave Temple in March 1675. 145. Swarup Singh, n. 87, mentions of his father Aru Ram being a Sikh of Guru Hari Rai. Kirpa Ram, renamed Kirpa Singh after baptism in 1699, died fighting in the battle of Chamkaur in 1705. 145a. P.N.K. Bamzai, Kasmiri historian in his talks with the author in April 1995 contended that Kasmiri Brahmins were so orthodox till very recentaly, that they always had a Kashmiri Brahmins as their cook, and would not appoint a Punjabi Brahmin to their household. Later at Paonta, Guru Gobind raised a battalion of Udasis under the leadership of Mahant Kirpal. He permitted them to have their own langar as they had compunctions at shikar being served in Guru ka langar. 146. Mohammad Ahsan Irad, Fragments of Farrukhsyar Nama, quoted in Ganda Singh, n. 143, p. 200. 147. Swarup Singh n. 87 pp. 72-73. Bhat Vehi Poorvi Dakhni mentions the date of birth of Guru Gobind Singh as Poh Sudi 7, BK. 1718, (18 December 1661) which seems correct. 148. Cf. Trilochan Singh, n.134, pp. 307-08. 149. Ganda Singh, n. 143, p. 200. Baba Gurditta son of Baba Buddha died the same day at Delhi and was cremated off Bhogal by side of Jumna. 150. For entries in Bhat Vehi Multani Sindhi and Bhat Vehi Jado Bansian, Cf. Swamp Singh, n. 134. pp. 77-78. 151. Trilochan Singh, n. 134, p. 322. 152. It would have been in fitness of things that the Government of India should have projected the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur before the U.N. General Assembly in January 1948 when it adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its proper perspective and asked for celebration of his martyrdom anniversay by all humankind as freedom of conscience day. But the new rulers of independent India led by M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, who were angling to overwhelm Sikhism to make it fall within the framework of Hinduism, did not do so deliberately, as that would have highlighted an aspect of Sikh history that was unpalatable to them. It also would have meant their conceding that Sikhism was a distinct religion, which they had no intention to do. 153. This line has been mistranslated by all scholars as cries of alas, bewailing, which is inherent in the previous line. Rather, Guru Gobind Singh conveys here the bewilderment of the populace at Guru Tegh Bahadur’s offering the sacrifice in defence of the Brahmins’ sacred thread and frontal mark which had been decried by Sikhism, since the childhood days of Guru Nanak, and standing by the side of Brahmins who had been conspiring against the Sikh movement now for a century. 154. Emphasis added. Guru Gobind Singh, Bachitar Natak, V, 13-16, This was based on his peroration address at the time of cremation of severed head of Guru Tegh Bahadur, cf. Swarup Singh, n. 87 pp. 78-80. 155. Quoted in Gopal Singh, n. 83, p. 282. This marked the beginning of the Sikh’s attempts to punish the atrocious rulers of Delhi. 156. Gaur M. 1, 9, A.G., pp. 224-25. 157. Nand Lal Goya was Mir Munshi of Prince Muazzam till the later’s incarceration by his father in March 1687. During his 7-year long period. of detention, he approached a number of religious divines including Guru Gobind who foretold him not only of his release but also his succession. Cf, Punjabi Ms. of Punjah Sakhian of Guru Gobind Singh quoted in Dr. Mohan Singh (Diwana), ‘New Light on Guru Gobind Singh’, The Spokesman Weekly, (Delhi), January 17, 1966, p. 5. 158. Cf.Bhai Kahan Singh, n. 90, p. 862. 159. Swarup Singh, n. 87, pp. 91-92. 160. For Bhati Vehi Multani Sindhi entry, Ibid, p. 93. 161. Ibid, p. 97. The land for the forts partially came from the grant of two villages of Anampura and Tarapur by Raja Bhim Chand who accompanied by his mother Champa, had earlier paid the Guru a visit. 162. Bhat Vehi Multani Sindhi, Ibid, p. 98. Guru Gobind Singh, Bachitar Natak, part IX. 163. An entry in Krishan Chandar’s Panda Vehi at Haridwar in the hands ofMani Ram, his Diwan, mentions Gobind Rai as his name. Text, Swarup Singh, Ibid, p. 102. 164. Cf. Gopal Singh, n. 83, p. 282 fn. 165. Ibid, pp. 282-283 fn. 166. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 104; Bachitar Natak, part X. 167. For entry in Bhat Vehi Bhadson, Pargna Thanesar, Swarup Singh, Ibid, p. 105; Bachitar Natak, part XII. 168. Ibid, p. 106; Bachitar Natak, part XII. 169. Ibid, pp. 106-07; Bachitar Natak, part XIII. Guru Gobind composed his benti (chaupai) which was one of the five compositions recited at the time of baptism of the Khalsa during this period. It forms part of Charitro-Pakhyan in Dasam Granth. 170. Ibid, p. 104. 171. It was during this decade that he got extra-perceptory vision about the story of his birth, and the story ofBedis and Sodhis which he narrates in Bachitar Natak. Notwithstanding God’s claiming him to be His son, while persuading him to go to this world, he continued to term himself to be das, devotee, of God in accordance with the Sikh philosophy. His conversation with God before his birth in no way affected the basic framework of Guru Nanak’s teachings. No relationship of Father and Son as in Christianity is claimed either by Guru Gobind Singh or any of his predecessors. Also, it must be stated that all the compositions which form part of Dasam Granth, are not necessarily the work of Guru Govind Singh himself. 172. Mohan Singh, n. 157, the Spokesman, Baisakhi Number, 1966, p. 71. 173. Neither Guru Gobind Singh, nor any of the five beloved one’s disclosed as to what happend inside the tent. There are various speculations. 174. He claimed that the double-edged sword had been given to him by God, all Death, in his previous birth at Hem Kund. 175. Mata Saheb Devan had not yet been pledged to the Guru. That was in 1700. 176. According to Guru Kian Sakhian. Guru Gobind Singh as part of code of conduct recited the only verse available in Dasam Granth about Khalsa. It reads, “He who meditates the Supreme Light, night and day, and believes not in another, has perfect love in the heart and puts not his faith in fastings, tombs, graveyards, and convents, and for whom the pilgrimages, consist in all no one but the One alone and whose heart is illumined with the Divine Light is a Khalsa, purest of the pure.” 33 Swayas. 177. Quoted in Gopal Singh, n. 83, pp. 189-90. 178. Emphasis added. Ghulam Mohyiuddin, quoted in Ibid, p. 291. 179. Narang, n. 67, p. 80. This is notwithstanding his playing the role of a reactionary Hindu during the Gurdwara Reform Movement in first half of 1920s, when he even denied the separate entity of the Panth. 180. The only other people to do so were Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji. But the basis of Sikh nationalism were more fundamental, deep rooted and enduring. 181. Emphasis added. Quoted in Gopal Singh, n. 83, pp. 292-93. 182. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 121. 183. Bhat Vehi Talaunda. Ibid, p. 127. 184. Ibid, pp. 131-32. 185. Ibid, pp. 137-38. 186. Chet Sudi 1, BK. 1759 (March 1703). The Brahmins accepted back their women folk recovered on this and other occasions, without any Shuddhi ceremony, but raised hue and cry when women of ordinary men were recovered and restored to their families. That also happend in 1947 when even highly educated Hindus refused to accept their womenfolk. 187. Swarup Singh, n. 87, pp. 139-40. 188. Cf. Gopal Singh, n. 83, pp. 303. 189. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 143. 190. On ascertaining the motivations of Gangu Brahmin, the Subedar of Sirhind tortured him considerably to secure the Cash and Jewellery the Guru’s mother had on her. He died of these tortures. 191. Bhat Vehi Karsindhu, Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 144. 192. Daulat Rai in his Sahib-e-Kamal (Biography of Guru Gobind Singh) has gone lyrical at the Guru’s bravery in not surrendering, as against Napoleon and other generals in history doing so when in adverse circumstances. 193. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 149. 194. Ibid, p. 197. 195. The only other explanation could be that they were arranged by Nihang Khan who certainly was involved in coordinating with Pir Budhu Shah. 196. Swarup Singh, n, 87, pp. 149-50. 197. Ibid, p. 161. 198. Ibid. p. 162. 199. BhatVehi Multani Sindhi, text. Ibid, p. 188. 200. They were cremated the following day on the first day of magh, and every year the day is celebrated at Mukatsar in honour of the 40 Saved Ones. The account by traditional Sikh historians to place the disclaimer by the 40 at Anandpur, and after several days being rallied by Mata Bhag Kaur from their diverse places is riven with holes. 201. Ahkam-i-Alamgiri of Inayatullah refers to a representation made by the Guru. Irvine on authority of Warid also refers to the same. 202. For a summary of Zafarnamah by Dr. Mohan Singh, see, the Spokesman weekly, January 31, 1966, p. 11. 203. Syed Muhamad Latif mentions of his bestowing dress of honour on Bhai Daya Singh, and offering presents to the Guru. 204. VincetSmith,HistoryofIndia,(Oxford,1920),p.448. 205. Gandhi, n. 63. p. 454. 206. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 177. 207. KhushwantSingh,AHistoryoftheSikhs(Princeton,1963),VolI,p.93. 208. Mohan Singh, “New Light on Guru Gobind Singh”, The Spokesman Weekly, January 11, 1966. Guru Gobind Singh himself did not participate in the battlefield. 209. All historians have mistranslated it ‘slave’. Guru Gobind Singh was not producing slaves, but saint-soldiers or devotees like himself. 210. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 14 & 189. Bhagwant Singh, Koer Singh and Baz Singh were real Brothers, and first cousins of Bhai Mani Singh. The three alongwith their brother Sham Singh were martyred alongwith Banda Singh Bahadur in 1716 in Delhi. It was as part of their traders’ convoy that Banda Singh and others left Nander for Punjab. Bhai Kahan Singh in Mahan Kosh h as substituted the names ofBagwant Singh and Koer Singh with those of their younger brother Ram Singh and Fateh Singh (alias Bijay Singh) son of Baz Singh. The other two members of the five member advisery commttee were Bawa Binod Singh and his son Kahan Singh, Trehans. 211. Sainapat, Sri Gur Sabha (Ed. Ganda Singh, Patiala, 1967) p. 166-67. 212. Ganda Singh “The Sikhs”, PP&P, Vol XVI, April 1982, p. 47. 213. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 189-90. Gurbachan Singh Nayyar, “Last Injunctions of Guru Gobind Singh”, the Spokesman weekly, Baisakhi Number, 1981, pp. 9-10. This entry in Bhat Vehi was attributed to Narbad Singh Bhatt who was with Guru Gobind Singh at Nander. 214. It is remarkable that the concept of Guru-Khalsa as Guru-Panth caught on immediately. Sri Gur Sobha written in 1711, three years after the asassination of Guru Gobind Singh expounds the doctrine, though theologically it was explicit in Guru Nanak’s conferring the Guruship on his Sikh, Bhai Lehna, and bowing before him. 215. Swarup Singh, n. 87, p. 190-91. 216. Cf. Gandhi, n. 63, p. 465.