Sunday, December 27, 2015

Chaar Sahibzaade History

Updated Version:

My apologies for not posting this yesterday because I have been away the last few days. Here is the history of the 4 sons of our 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji: Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh, and Fateh Singh. It is this time of year we remember the shaheedi of these young Sikhs.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji and his fellow Sikhs had been battling the Mughal Army for months at Anandpur Sahib. Emperor Aurungzeb sent a message that if they left the fort, they would be allowed to be free. On the night of December 5, 1705 Guru Gobind Singh Ji and his fellow Sikhs left Andandpur Sahib when it was raining heavily, and crossed the Sarsa river with the Mughal army pursuing them. Sahibzaade Ajit Singh (18) and Jujhar Singh (14) made it to the Fort of Chamkaur by December 6 with Guru Gobind Singh Ji and a group of 40 Sikhs.  They suffered many casualties trying to cross the Sarsa. On December 7, 1705 the enemy had surrounded Fort Chamkaur and the Sikhs had exhausted their ammunition and arrows. They were “a mere forty defying a hundred thousand,” in the words of Guru Ji. There were over 100,000 Moghul soldiers on foot and 700 mounted, pursuing the small group of 40 Sikhs. The Sikhs were left to fight with swords and spears only. Guru Ji sent out his sons to battle. Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh were martyred while leading other Sikhs into battle. Guru Ji writes in the Zafarnama (to Emperor Aurangzeb), “It matters little if a jackal through cunning and treachery succeeds in killing two lion’s cubs, for the lion himself lives to inflict retribution on you.”

On the night of December 5th Mata Gujri and the younger Sahibzaade Zorawar (age 9) Singh and Fateh Singh (age 7), and the cook Gangu were separated and as a result stayed in Gangu’s home. Gangu was greedy and stole Mata Ji’s bag of coins. Then he provided the location of the Sahibzaade to the officials- Jani Khan and Mani Khan, who arrested the Sahibzade and Mata Gujri on December 8th and confined them in Thanda Burj (Cold tower) at Sirhind. Because it was winter, the tower was freezing at night and they were allowed nothing to eat or drink. The governor of Murinda went to get the Sahibzaade to meet Nawab Wazir Khan and separated them from Mata Ji, telling them that their father and brothers had been killed. The sahibzaade did not believe him. Nawab Wazir Khan tried to get them to convert to Islam by bribing them with many gifts and riches but the Sahibzaade stayed strong, even when they faced death. They did not give up their Sikhi. They stayed another night at the Thanda Burj due to Nawab Sher Muhammad Khan’s insistence that they should not be killed. The next day Nawab Wazir Khan ordered them to be bricked alive and when he hesitated due to Nawab Sher Muhammad Khan’s pleas, Diwan Suchchanand insisted that the children would grow up to be as their father was and they should not be spared. The brick wall was made as the Sahibzade recited Japji Sahib, but when the bricks reached their chests, the wall crumbled. Nawab Wazir Khan ordered them to be beheaded. Mata Gujri Ji passed away as well. Gurdwara Fategarh and Gurdwara Joti Sarup is now standing where Mata Ji and the small Sahibzaade were cremated.

photo from: 

When Guru Ji learned of the death of his younger sons as well he told the Sikhs “I have sacrificed four sons for the survival of the thousands of my sons who are still alive.” He wrote the shabad, Mitry Pyare Nu Haal Murida Da Kahna:
"Tell the beloved friend (the Lord) the plight of his disciples.
Without You, rich blankets are a disease and the comfort of the house is like living with snakes.
Our water pitchers are like stakes of torture and our cups have edges like daggers.
Your neglect is like the suffering of animals at the hands of butchers.
Our Beloved Lord's straw bed is more pleasing to us than living in costly furnace-like mansions."
Every December we remember the sacrificies of the Chaar Sahibzaade, Mata Ji, and the many Sikhs who fought against injustice. May we always remember the lives given so we could have the right to practice our religion today, and the bravery that these young Sahibzaade had in choosing the path that was right instead of what was easy.

A History of the Sikhs Volume I 1469-1839, 2nd Edition by Khushwant Singh

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