Saturday, November 7, 2009

Anandpur Battle and Separation of Guru Gobind Singh's Family - The Martyrdom of the Younger Sahibzadas - Part [I]

Guru Gobind Singh jiThe brave and fearless Sikhs (army) of Guru Gobind Singh were engaged for months together in a prolonged battle with the Mughal army outside the Fort of Anandpur. Emperor Aurangzeb sent a message on oath that if the Guru and his Sikhs left the fort they would be allowed to go wherever they please. Guru Gobind Singh, had his doubts, on being persuaded by his devoted Sikhs, he reluctantly agreed to leave the fort.

However it happened exactly as the Guru had thought. As soon as the Sikhs came out of the fort the Mughal Army pounced upon them. A fierce battle was fought on the bank of River Sirsa. The brave Sikhs faced the enemy with unparalleled courage. Each one of them killed quite a few Mughal soldiers before sacrificing their lives.

In the dust and chaos of battle, members of the family of Guru Gobind Singh got separated from each other. The two younger Sahibzadas, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, proceeded along with their Grandmother Gujri Ji. They passed through thick forests and difficult terrain. They came across snakes, lions and many other wild animals on the way but the brave Sahibzadas walked on and on fearlessly in the company of their Grandmother, reciting the holy psalms of their Gurus. Gujri Ji related to them the stories from Sikh History. They were thus able to cover the journey comfortably.

The elder two brothers, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, accompanied their father Guru Gobind Singh. After crossing Sirsa River, they stayed for the night at Ropar and reached the Chamkaur Fort early next morning.


After a wearisome journey Mata Gujri Ji along with the two sahibzadas, reached the hut of a Muslim water carrier, Kuma. On seeing Mataji he rushed out and with folded hands, requested Mataji to bless his humble cottage by staying therein. Mataji was pleased with his devotion. Since it was getting dark, she decided to halt there for the night.

mata_gujri_ji_and_kumaTreacherous Gangu

On getting the clue, the old servant, Gangu arrived the next morning. He requested Mataji to go with him to his village. He assured her that the Emperor's officials would not know their whereabouts and they would be safe there.

Mataji with a little reluctant but on his persistent request she agreed. After getting their luggage loaded on a pony, all of them set out for his village. The two Sahibzadas went walking along with their Grand mother. Off and on they would enquire about their father and elder brothers, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh.

After walking whole day, they reached village Kheri in the evening. On arrival in Gangu's house Mataji put her bags and baggage in a corner of one of the rooms. Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh changed their clothes and set their bedding, recited the holy evening prayers and went to sleep in their grand mother's embrace.

At midnight Gangu quietly stole into their room, looked at Mataji who was resting in her bed with her eyes shut. Presuming that she was fast asleep, he bent down, put his hand into the bag, removed the gold coins and slipped out of the room. Mataji heard the sound of footsteps but she just slept over it and continued resting as usual.

When she got up the next morning she asked Gangu, "Our things are lying scattered about, I hope the outer door was closed. Where are the gold coins?" Gangu just looked blank. Without uttering a word he rushed out of the house and started shouting for help to trace the thief.

Mataji called him in and asked him not make unnecessary fuss. Gangu, however, persisted in saying that the thief must be found out. Mataji tried to pacify him and asked him to keep the gold coins if he so wished. At this Gangu flew into rage, "So you are suspecting me. How ungrateful of you? I have given you refuge and this the reward I get."

Mataji made every effort to persuade him to see reason. Gangu, however, would not listen to any advice. He left his house and headed straight for Police Station at Morinda.

On arrival at Morinda, he went straight to the Kotwal. After paying his respect he told him that he desire to convey some confidential information. On an inquiry by Kotwal, Gangu confide to him in a low voice that Guru Gobind Singh's Mother and his two young Sahibzadas were hiding in his house. The Kotwal was pleased to get this news. He called his constables and sent them along with Gangu to his house to arrest them.

When Gangu and the constables reached Gangu's hose, some neighbours peeped out. The constables ran to the back of the house and were surprised to see Mata Gujri Ji and the two Sahibzadas sitting unconcerned. They apprised them of the Kotwal's orders to arrest them. Mata Gujri Ji embraced the two Sahibzadas who were ready to go. Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh and Mata Gujri Ji accompanied the constables.

A small crowed had collected outside the house. Gangu was standing aside with downcast eyes. People were cursing him of his dishonesty and betrayal. They were wondering why the young innocent boys and respected lady were being escorted to the Police Station. The divine looks and the graceful bearing of Mata Ji impressed them.

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