Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

It may not be out of the way to say here that throughout the annals of human history, there was no other individual who could be of more inspiring personality than Guru Gobind Singh. At its climax the tenth Nanak infused the spirit of both the saintlihood and the undauntedness in the minds and hearts of his followers to fight oppression in order to restore justice, righteousness (Dharma) and to uplift the down-trodden people in this world. It is said that after the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the tenth Master declared that he would create such a Panth (nation) which would not be cowed down by tyrant rulers but it would rather challenge the oppressor in every walk of life to restore justice, equality and peace for mankind. He further resolved that he would feel worthy to be called Gobind Singh only when any single member of his Khalsa Panth would successfully and undauntedly challenge the army of one hundred and twenty-five thousand opponents in the field. This point was rightfully proven at Chamkaur Sahib when Sahibzada Ajit Singh (Guru’s about 18 years old eldest son) challenged the Mughal forces and their allies, the hilly Rajas.

“The Divine Guru hath sent me for religion’s sake

On this account, I have come into the world;

Extend the faith everywhere

Seize and destroy the evil and sinful.

Understand this, ye holymen, in your minds

I assumed birth for the purpose of spreading the faith, saving the saints and extirpating all tyrants.”

(Guru Gobind Singh- Chaupai, Bachitar Natak)

Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom symbolized in itself the resistance to the tyranny of Muslim rule in favor of a new society. When evil is holding its head high, should a holy man knuckle under it or take up arms to combat and destroy it? The young Guru, Gobind Rai, decided in favor of the latter course i.e. to combat evil and uphold righteousness. He thus enjoined upon his followers to make use of the sword if all other means failed to liquidate the wicked and his wickedness. In order to achieve this mission, he issued ‘Hukamnamas’ (circular letters of authority) to his followers to present to him arms of different designs. The Guru’s orders were obeyed with great zeal and devotion. He himself wore uniform and bore arms and induced others to practise archery and musket- shooting. He encouraged various muscle-developing and strenuous sports as part of the program of physical culture. Many followers with martial instincts whose forefathers had served the Guru’s father and his grandfather, flocked to him. His principal companions at that time were his aunt Bibi Viro’s (Guru Har Gobind’s daughter) five sons, Sango Shah, Jit Mal, Gopal Chand, Ganga Ram, Mohri Chand; his uncle Suraj Mal’s two sons- Gulab Rai and Sham Das; his maternal uncle Kirpal Chand; Bhai Daya Ram, the friend from his youth; and Bhai Nand Chand, a favorite masand.

The Guru instructed his followers to lead a well-meaning and disciplined life. He according to the customs of his predecessors, used to rise early in the morning and perform his devotions. He was particularly delighted to listen to Asa di Var. After day-break, he gave divine instructions to his Sikhs and then practised martial exercises. In the afternoon, he received his followers, went shooting or raced horses; and ended the evening by performing the divine service of ‘Rehras’.

The Guru’s handsome exterior was much admired both by men and women. A person called Bhikhia from Lahore came to visit the Guru. Seeing the handsome young Guru, Bhai Bhikhia offered the alliance of his daughter Jito to him. The proposal was accepted and there were great rejoicing at Anandpur on the occasion of the betrothal ceremony. The twenty-third of Har, Sambat 1734 (1677 A.D.) was fixed for the marriage. The Guru sent orders in all directions for this occasion and the Sikhs thronged from various places including Lahore. A place was set up near Anandpur, which was called Guru ki Lahore where the marriage ceremony took place.

VISIT OF DUNI CHAND AND RAJA RATTAN RAI:

Surging crowds of people with their hearts filled with love and devotion to the Master, thronged to see him. Some came from Kabul, Qandhar, Gazni, Balkh and Bukhara. They brought several priceless gifts- rugs, carpets, shawls and other valuables when they came to pay homage to their Lord. Duni Chand, one of the devotees, visited Anandpur in 1681 and presented to the Guru a woolen tent, ‘Shamiana’ or a royal canopy which surpassed in excellence. It was embroidered in gold and silver studded with pearls. It is said that its splendor surpassed that of the Emperor’s canopy.

Through the grace of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Raja Ram of Assam was blessed with a son, Rattan Rai. Raja wanted to take his son to the Guru but he died soon and could not visit Anandpur. His last injunction to his Rani (wife) was that the prince should be brought up as a devout Sikh. The Rani faithfully carried out the behests of her husband and imparted the knowledge of the lives and teachings of the Gurus to the growing prince. When Rattan Rai, the prince, attained the age of twelve, he felt an inclination to see the Guru. Accordingly he with his mother and several of his ministers proceeded to Anandpur. He brought with him an offering of five horses with golden trappings, a very small elephant, and a weapon out of which five sorts of arms could be made, a pistol, a sword, a lance, a dagger, and a club.

The Raja was accorded a great reception. He offered his presents and prayed to the Guru to grant him the Sikh faith. He was granted all his desires. The Raja exhibited the traits of his presents. He caused the elephant to wipe Guru’s shoes and placed them in order for him. At the word of command the animal took a chauri and waved it over the Guru. The Raja requested the Guru never to let the elephant out of his possession.

The prince and his party remained at Anandpur for five months and during this time, he enjoyed kirtan and felt uplifted by the Guru’s sermons. At the time of departure, the Guru accompanied them to some distance and then bade them good-bye. They were sent off with presents. Besides these tangible gifts, the Guru gave Rattan Rai a RATTAN – a jewel of Nam, which was the ultimate gift of life:

“Nam is the priceless Jewel that the perfect Guru hath;

If one dedicates oneself in love to the True Guru,

He lights in one’s heart the Light of Wisdom, and Nam is then revealed.

Blessed is the fortunate one who goeth to meet the Guru.”

(Sri Rag Mohalla 4, p-40)

RANJIT NAGARA:

The Guru’s army was swelling day by day and he was now set for the construction of a big beating drum which was deemed necessary to enthuse his army and without which he considered his equipment was incomplete. The work of the drum was entrusted to his Dewan, Nand Chand. In those days, only an independent chieftain was to use such a drum within the limits of his territory. The beating of the drum within the bounds of another chief’s domain was an hostile act and meant an open invitation of war. The completion of the big drum which was called Ranjit Nagara, or victorious drum on the battle- field, was celebrated with prayers and the distribution of Parshad (sacred food). When it was beaten, the men and women of the city came to behold it and there were great rejoicing.

The Guru and his men went for hunting the same day and when they reached near Bilaspur, the capital of Kahlur, the drum was beaten and it sounded like a thunder to the hillmen who became apprehensive of some danger. Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur consulted his prime minister who advised him that it was the Guru’s drum who was worthy of worship, secondly, he maintained a large army and was greatly feared; and thirdly the Guru was brave, and such men were sometimes useful as allies. On hearing this Raja Bhim Chand desired to meet the Guru and despatched his prime minister to arrange for an interview which was granted. The Raja accordingly went with his courtiers to Anandpur.

RAJA BHIM CHAND AND THE GURU:

Raja Bhim Chand was received in Guru’s darbar (court) with great honor. He prayed to the Guru to let him see the gifts from the Raja of Assam. He was shown all the presents. Bhim Chand was astonished at the magnificence of the Kabuli tent. He was told that it was the offering of a pious Sikh from Kabul. During this conversation when the beautifully decorated elephant was let forward, Bhim Chand stood spellbound and expressed his unbounded admiration of all that he had seen. On his homeward journey his mind burned with jealousy of the Guru’s state and wealth and he made up his mind to take possession of at least the elephant.

On his return to the capital, Bhim Chand disclosed his designs to his courtiers. It was decided that a message should be sent to the Guru that Raja Fateh Chand of Garhwal’s party was coming with the object of betrothing his daughter to Bhim Chand’s son, and Bhim Chand desired to borrow the elephant so as to make a display of his wealth to his guests. When the message was delivered to the Guru, he knew that it was only a trick to obtain permanent possession of the animal. He sent the reply to Bhim Chand, ” The Raja who presented the elephant, requested me not to let the animal go out of my possession. It is the principle of Guru’s house to comply with such requests.” It is said that the Raja sent his emissaries thrice, the last one being Kesari Chand, the Raja of Jaswal, but the Guru did not yield and therefore, Bhim Chand’s demand was not met. So he got angry and wanted to take revenge.

Majority of the masands felt agitated at the Guru’s warlike preparations and they represented to Guru’s mother to dissuade him from such activities lest it should bring some trouble to him. When the Guru’s mother talked to him about it. He replied, ” Dear mother, I have been sent by the Immortal God. He who worshippeth Him shall be happy; but he who acteth dishonestly and worshippeth stones shall receive well-merited retribution. This is my commission from God. If today I give Raja Bhim Chand the elephant, I shall have to pay him tribute tomorrow.” Nand Chand then joined the conversation and said, ” Mother, hath a lion ever feared jackals? Hath any one ever seen the light of the firefly in bright sunshine? What availeth a drop of water in comparison with the ocean? The Guru is a tiger brave and splendid as the sun. Shall he fear Bhim Chand?” The Guru ended the discussion by saying, “Dear mother, heed not the evil advice of the masands. They have become cowards by eating the offerings of the Sikhs.”

The Guru and his troops continued to practise archery and devoted themselves to the chase. The Sikhs kept visiting continually and make offering of arms. Those who came for military service, were readily received and were taught the profession of arms. In this way the Guru collected a considerable army.

GURU LEAVES FOR PAUNTA SAHIB:

In the meantime the Raja Medani Parkash of Nahan, invited the Guru to visit him. The invitation was accepted and he left for Nahan. Gulab Rai and Sham Das were made incharge for the defence of Anandpur. The Raja came to greet and welcome the Guru and then took him to his palace. One day he took the Guru on hunting excursion and complained that Raja Fateh Shah of Garhwal had often quarrelled with him over the ground on which they were then standing. He suggested that he would be very pleased if a fort were to be constructed on the spot for protection against the enemy. The Guru erected a tent on that spot and held a darbar. He laid down foundation stone of the fort. With the help of the Raja’s army and with the zeal and energy of the workmen, the fort was completed within a short time. The Guru named it Paunta, and started to live there and continued to increase his army.

Raja Fateh Shah of Garhwal arrived at the conclusion that since the Guru started living near his territory, it would, therefore, be politic to be on good terms with him and accordingly he decided to pay a visit to the Guru. He was received with great honor in the Guru’s darbar (court). During his visit the Guru sent his uncle Kirpal to him to suggest that it would be well if he and the Raja of Nahan were on good terms. Raja Fateh Shah gave his consent immediately. The Guru then sent for the Raja of Nahan. He brought the two Rajas together in the open court, caused them to embrace and form a friendship.

In the meantime a hillman came with tidings of a fierce tiger which was destroying cattle in the neighborhood. He requested the Guru to free the country from the wild animal. He took the two Rajas and others to the place where the tiger was said to be residing. On hearing the huntsmen’s foot steps, the tiger sat on his haunches looking at his pursuers. The Guru called on any one who could engage the tiger with sword and shield. No one came forward. He then took his sword and shield and challenged the tiger. The tiger rose with a roar and sprang at the Guru, who received him on his shield and striking him on the flank with his sword, cut him in two. The Rajas and the hunting party were astonished and delighted at the Guru’s strength and bravery.

RAM RAI’S RECLAMATION:

Ram Rai, the eldest son of Guru Har Rai, when sent to Delhi on behalf of the Guru, distorted the holy words of Guru Nanak in the court of Aurangzeb in order to please the Emperor. Upon this the Guru disowned him and excommunicated him from the Sikh faith. The Emperor gave him an estate where he founded the town of Dehra Dun and continued to live there. Ram Rai claimed himself as the real Guru. Being a willing tool in the hands of the Mughal Emperor, he continually tried to harm the cause of the Sikhs. Now since Guru Gobind Singh had come to Paunta, which was only thirty miles from Dehra Dun, Ram Rai became afraid of him and could not muster courage to face him. A discussion started in Ram Rai’s assembly about all this. Hearing on Ram Rai’s anxiety, the Guru sent Nand Chand and Daya Ram to reassure him that no harm would be done to him. Ram Rai on receiving the Guru’s message, was very much delighted. He gave robes of honor to Nand Chand and Daya Ram and decided to be on friendly terms with the Guru.

It is said that a meeting between the Guru and Ram Rai took place in a ferry in the middle of the stream. Ram Rai touched the Guru’s feet in obeisance and said, ” I am fortunate to have obtained a sight of thee. When I am gone, protect my family……..my father Guru Har Rai used to say that someone would be born from our family who would restore and refit the vessel for the safe conveyance of the souls.” He asked for forgiveness. Ram Rai while he was in trance, was cremated by his masands in defiance of the entreaties and prayers of his wife, Punjab Kaur. The Guru then responded to the request of Punjab Kaur and meted out strict punishment to the guilty masands and rewarded those who had remained faithful to her.

PIR BUDHU SHAH:

Pir Budhu Shah was a Muslim saint who lived at Sadhaura, about ten or fifteen miles from Paunta Sahib. He was well known for his piety and had a large number of followers. He had heard of Guru Nanak and his mission. He had also learned that Guru Nanak’s throne was then occupied by Guru Gobind Singh who was staying in the neighborhood. Ultimately he decided to visit the Guru. The Guru seated the Pir near him who beseeched, ” Pray! tell us how one meets God Almighty.” During the discussion the Pir humbly submitted to the Master. There was a glow in the eyes of the Guru which radiated Divine Light and the Pir exclaimed with sudden joy, ” Allah-hu- Akbar!” – Great is God Almighty. After a while the Pir confessed, ” Master, I was spiritually blind and you have shown me the Light.” Blessed are the souls on whom the Guru bestows the divine grace.

THE BATTLE OF BHANGANI:

One day the Guru received an invitation from Fateh Shah of Garhwal to his daughter’s marriage with the son of Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur who nursed enmity with the Guru. He decided not to attend the ceremony himself but sent his Dewan, Nand Chand and Daya Ram with costly gifts for the princess.

The shortest route for the marriage party was through Paunta Sahib; the Guru refused to give them the passage because he had no faith in Bhim Chand who was accompanied by a large number of soldiers. After a lot of negotiations, the Guru permitted the bridegroom and a small number of his companions to cross the ferry near Paunta Sahib. The rest of the party including Bhim Chand had to follow a circuitous route to Srinagar, the capital of Garhwal state. This happening made Bhim Chand very mad and he began to look forward to the opportunity to give vent to his anger. He became still more enraged when he learnt that Guru’s envoy was present at the bride’s place to attend the marriage. Thus he refused to accept Fateh Shah’s daughter for his son, if he continued his friendship with the Guru. Bhim Chand, therefore, asked Fateh Shah to choose between himself and the Guru. Fateh Shah was obliged to yield. Nand Chand and Daya Ram had to bring their presents back as a result. On their way back Nand Chand and party were attacked by Bhim Chand’s troops but they were able to return safe and sound. After the marriage was over, Bhim Chand held a conference with Fateh Shah and other hilly Rajas- Kirpal of Katoch, Gopal of Guler, Hari Chand of Hadur and the Raja of Jaswal who were present there. They all decided to attack the Guru on their way back.

The hilly Rajas ordered their troops to march upon Paunta Sahib. The news of the impending attack came fast before the army could move and so the Guru was not taken by surprise attack.

On the recommendation of Pir Budhu Shah, 500 Pathans were enlisted in the Guru’s army under the command of five chieftains- Kale Khan, Bhikan Khan, Nijabat Khan, Hyat Khan, and Umar Khan. The Pathans became apprehensive of the scanty resources at the disposal of the Guru and they all except Kale Khan with one hundred men, deserted the Guru at the eleventh hour, and joined the hill Rajas. The Udasi Sadhus except their chief Mahant Kirpal, also took to their heels. The Guru informed Budhu Shah of the misconduct of the Pathan soldiers. Pir Budhu Shah looked upon their behavior as a personal disgrace. In order to compensate this loss, Budhu Shah accordingly placed himself, his brother, his four sons and seven hundred disciples at the Guru’s disposal.

The Guru stationed his troops at an eminent place near Bhangani village about six miles from Paunta Sahib. The five sons of Bibi Viro- Sango Shah, Jit Mal, Gopal Chand, Ganga Ram and Mohri Chand organized the attack for the Guru’s forces. They were ably backed by Bhai Daya Ram, Dewan Nand Chand, Guru’s uncle Kirpal and Mahant Kirpal. While repeating his orders the Guru buckled on his sword, slung his quiver over his shoulders, took his bow in his hand, mounted his steed, and shouting ‘Sat Sri Akal’ in his loudest voice, proceeded to confront his enemies. It is recorded that the hoofs of the Guru’s horse in their quick movement raised clouds of dust which obscured the sun, and that the cheers of his men resembled thunder in the stormy and rainy season. As mentioned Guru’s forces were also joined by Pir Budhu Shah’s troops and one hundred Pathans under the command of Kale Khan.

The enemy forces were led by Raja Fateh Shah who was joined by Raja Hari Chand of Hadur, Raja Gopal of Guler, Raja of Chandel, Rajas of Dadhwal and Jaswal, and four hundred Pathans who had deserted the Guru’s side. A severe and bloody battle was raged. Many brave soldiers were killed on both sides. Although the opposite army far outnumbered the Guru’s men, but they did not have the same spirit of sacrifice, nor did they have the same devotion to their leaders, as the Sikhs had.

Mahant Kirpal hit Hayat Khan, Pathan chief, and killed the deserter. Jit Mal and Raja Hari Chand engaged in a single combat. The arrows lodged in their horses’ foreheads and both horses fell. After a short breath when their swords clashed, Hari Chand fell fainting to the ground and Jit Mal dropped down dead. Sango Shah, another cousin of the Guru, and Pathan chief Nijabat Khan were engaged and both fell dead. Upon this the Guru mounted his charger and rode into the thick of the combat. He discharged an arrow at Pathan leader Bhikan Khan. It missed him but killed his horse, and Bhikan Khan fled away. Upon this Nand Chand and Daya Ram launched a fierce attack on the demoralized Pathans which resulted in great slaughter of the treacherous Pathans. When the hillmen saw the defeat of the Pathans, they began fleeing from the battle field. By this time Hari Chand regained his conscious and reappeared on the scene and shot many brave men with his arrows. On seeing this the Guru confronted Hari Chand and he describes the combat in Bachitar Natak:

“Hari Chand, one of the hill chiefs, in his rage drew forth the arrows. He struck my steed with one and then discharged another at me, but God preserved me and it only grazed my ears in its flight. His third arrow penetrated the buckle of my waist and touched my body, but wounded me not. It is only God Who protected me, His servant. When I felt the touch of the arrow, my spirit was kindled. I took up my bow and taking aim killed the young chief Hari Chand with my very first shot. I discharged arrows in abundance. Upon this my adversaries began to flee. The chief of Korari was also seized by death. Upon this the hill men fled in consternation and I, through the favor of God Almighty, gained the victory…………”.

(Translated)

The Guru went to the site where lay the dead bodies of Sangho Shah, Jit Mal and other brave Sikhs. Two sons of Budhu Shah were also killed. The Guru ordered the slain on both sides be disposed of with great honor. The bodies of the Sikhs were cremated, of the Hindus thrown into the river and of the Muslims buried with all solemnity. Pir Budhu Shah presented himself and his two surviving sons to the Guru. At that time the Guru was combing his hair. Budhu Shah begged of him to give him the comb with his loose hair as a sacred souvenir. The Guru gave him the turban, the comb with hair and a small sword. The greatest gift of all, the Guru blessed him with Nam.

Significance of the battle of Bhangani:

The victory in the battle of Bhangani was of far reaching importance. It uplifted the spirit and strengthened the moral of the Sikhs. Since the Guru did not acquire even an inch of the territory or gained any material advantage, the cause he championed, received added strength. His fame spread far and wide with the result that the supply of arms and horses to the Guru increased abundantly and hundreds and hundreds of persons offered themselves to be enlisted in his army.

The Guru’s victory also did not go without causing concern to the Mughal rule at Delhi.

The hilly Rajas also viewed the whole issue afresh. Although the Rajas and the Guru were poles apart in ideology, yet the Rajas being goaded by their self-interest of thwarting the Mughals over lordship and thus to be relieved of the burdens of payment of annual tributes to the Mughal Emperor, wanted cordial relations with the Guru. Therefore, their leader Raja Bhim Chand entered into agreement with the Guru.

RETURN TO ANANDPUR:

The Guru remained about three years at Paunta Sahib and his fame attracted poets, singers and learned people to his court. During this period the Guru composed Jap Sahib, Swayas and Akal Ustat.

The Guru ordered his army to return to Anandpur and he came back via Sadhaura and then encamped at Laharpur for a few days. Raja of Nahan sent his envoy to convey his desire to meet the Guru but he never did. Leaving Nahan the Guru entered Ramgarh state and stayed at Tabra for more than a week. He then went to Raipur in response to the invitation of the Rani of that place. She showed him the greatest hospitality and presented him a beautiful horse with costly trappings, and a purse of Rupees as an offering. He gave her son a sword and shield. After this the Guru continued his journey to Anandpur. After passing through Toda, Nada, Dhakoli, Kotla, Ghanaula, Bunga, he reached Kiratpur. From there he reached Anandpur in October, 1687. The eldest son, Ajit Singh was born on the fourth day of bright half of Magh, Sambat 1743 (1687 A.D.).

EXPEDITION OF ALIF KHAN:

The south India was up in the arms. Emperor Aurangzeb, therefore, remained busy many years in suppressing the revolt in southern India. All the expenditure of such a long war was met by levying heavy tribute on the northern and eastern provinces of the country. At that time Mian Khan was a viceroy of Jammu. He sent his commander-in-chief, Alif Khan to levy tribute on the hill Rajas. First he addressed Raja Kirpal of Kangra, ” Either pay me the tribute or contend with me in arms.” Raja Kirpal gave him certain presents and then told him that Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur was the greatest of all the Rajas. If he pays the tribute first, all the rest will follow him. If Bhim Chand refused to pay, he (Kirpal) would support him. Raja Dayal of Bijarwal was persuaded by Kirpal to meet Alif Khan’s demands.

Alif Khan adopted Raja Kirpal’s suggestion and proceeded towards the capital of Bhim Chand’s state. He halted at Nadaun and sent his envoy to Bhim Chand with his demands. Bhim Chand replied that he would defend himself rather pay the tribute. However his prime minister advised Bhim Chand that if he desired victory, it would be assured only if he had obtained Guru’s assistance. Upon this Bhim Chand sent his prime minister to the Guru to seek his active support. The Guru agreed to support the movement of non- payment of tributes which symbolized the spirit of defiance against the Mughal imperialism. The Guru came in person as the head of a strong contingent. The Rajas of Jaswal, Dadhwal and Jasrot also came to participate in the impending war.

Bhim Chand opened the attack with sharp arrows but the shots could not make any impact on the enemy because of their position and they struck only the wooden rafters of the fortress. The troops of Bhim Chand began to grow indifferent. At this critical juncture the Guru played his part most effectively. He took his gun and aimed at Raja Dayal. Fighting bravely the Raja fell to the ground. The Guru shot arrows one after the other on the enemy. Arrows and bullets flew in abundance and the battle turned in their favor. Alif Khan and his men fled and Bhim Chand won the victory. He remained at Nadaun for sometimes where he reached an understanding with Alif Khan through Kirpal who acted as intermediary.

The Guru after staying about a week there, returned to Anandpur. His son, Jujhar Singh was born on the seventh day of month of Chet, Sambat 1747 (1691 A.D.).

DILAWAR KHAN’S ATTEMPT TO WEAKEN GURU’S POWER:

Dilawar Khan who attained power in Punjab while Aurangzeb was in the Daccan (south), became jealous about Guru’s fame and success. He sent his son Khanzada with a force of one thousand men to curb the power of the Guru at Anandpur. Khanzada crossed the river Satluj under the cover of the darkness at about midnight when Guru’s scout, Alam Khan hastened to give information to the Guru about the approach of a hostile force. The drum (Ranjit Nigara) was immediately beaten and Guru’s men at once marched to the river. The quick formation of the Sikhs bewildered the enemy and the guns which began discharging volleys of shots, terrified Khanzada’s men so much that they were constrained to reel back. However they plundered the village of Barwa on their way back. Khanzada through shame, could not answer to his father when he censored him for his cowardice. This happened at the end of 1694.

HUSSAIN KHAN’S EXPEDITION:

Dilawar Khan had a slave called Hussain who boasted that if he were given a command, he would sack the Guru’s city of Anandpur and exact tribute from Bhim Chand and other hilly Rajas. The failure of Khanzada provoked Dilawar Khan to plan for a bigger attack on the Guru. So he sent Hussain Khan with a force of two thousand men. Hussain brought the Raja of Dadhwal to his knees and plundered Dun. Raja Kirpal of Kangra joined him. Bhim Chand too cast his lot with Hussain. He then with the help of Kirpal and Bhim Chand, planned to proceed to Anandpur. The Guru kept his troops ready for any eminent attack.

When Hussain was preparing to march towards Anandpur, Raja Gopal of Guler sent his envoy to make peace with him. Hussain replied that he would be glad to meet with Raja Gopal if he gave him a subsidy as other Rajas had done. Gopal went with some money but Hussain was not pleased with his contribution. Hussain’s terms were payment of ten thousand rupees or he would put Gopal and his troops to death. Gopal pleaded his inability to pay that large sum of money and thus came back. At this point Gopal sent his envoy to the Guru to pray to him for a negotiated settlement with Hussain. The Guru sent his agent, Sangtia with an escort of seven troopers to negotiate a peace settlement between Gopal and Hussain. Two parties could not reach any settlement with the result that a battle ensued between Hussain, Kirpal and Bhim Chand on one side and Raja Gopal and Raja Ram Singh on the other. Having fought very bravely Hussain perished in the battle field. Raja Kirpal of Kangra was also slain. Himmat and Kimmat, two officers of Hussain Khan were also killed. On the other side the Guru’s envoy Sangtia and his seven troopers were all killed. On seeing this Bhim Chand fled with his army. After his victory Raja Gopal went to the Guru with large offerings and thanked him for his grace which made him successful in the battle field.

A third son, Zorawar Singh was born to the Guru on Sunday, the first day of the second half of the month of Magh, Sambat 1753 (1697 A.D.).

The defeat irked Dilawar Khan and he then sent Jujhar Singh and Chandel Rai to Jaswan but they could not achieve the purpose. They, however, captured Bhalan, a strategic place in that state. Before they could proceed further, Gaj Singh of Jaswal fell upon them. Jujhar Singh and Chandel Rai both fought like lions but Jujhar Singh was killed and Chandel Rai fled from the field.

The defeat of the imperial forces caused anxiety to Aurangzeb and he sent his son Prince Muazzam, later known as Bahadur Shah, for restoration of order in the hills. The Prince took charge in August, 1696 and deputed Mirza Beg to teach lesson to hill Rajas. He inflicted defeat after defeat, set up villages on fire, plundered the territory. After Mirza Beg, the Prince sent four more officers who, side by side, chastised the hill Rajas, plundered the homes of the apostates who had escaped destruction at the hands of Mirza Beg.

In due time a fourth son, Fateh Singh was born to the Guru on wednesday, the eleventh day of Phagan, Sambat 1755 (1699 A.D.).

In the state of seclusion and tranquility of the mountains, the Guru translated Sanskrit works in Sambat 1755 ( 1698 A.D.). It was on the 14th of June of that year that the Guru according to his own version, completed his translation of the Ram Avtar from Sanskrit into Hindi. Most of the compositions that are said to be of the tenth Guru, are not his. Macauliffe writes:

“What is called the Granth of the tenth Guru (Dasam Granth) is only partially his composition. The greater portion of it was written by bards in his employ. The two works entitled Chandi Charitar and the Bhagauti ki Var found in it are abridged translations by different hands (any one even moderately acquainted with Hindi can tell from inner evidence of style that these translations have been done by different persons) of the Durga Sapt Shatti, or seven hundred sloks on the subject of Durga, an episode in the ‘Markandeya Puran’ on the contests of the goddess Durga with demons who had made war on the gods.”

There were fifty-two bards in the court of Guru Gobind Singh to translate the Mahabharat, the Ramayan, and the gallant achievements of Rama, Krishna, Chandi, and others. It does not follow from this that the Guru worshipped those whose acts were thus celebrated; this was only done for the purpose of inciting bravery and dispelling cowardice, and filling the hearts of his troops with valor to defend their faith. This the Guru himself declares in his translation of the tenth canto of the Bhagwat, ” I have rendered in the vulgar dialect the tenth chapter of the Bhagwat with no other object than to inspire ardour for religious warfare.”

The Guru never put faith or worshipped anyone other than the One Immortal God. In Akal Ustat he writes:

“Without Thee (God) I worship none Whatever boon I want, get from Thee.”

The Guru makes the above point clear in his thirty-three Swayas:

“Some fasten an idol firmly to their breasts; some say that

Shiv is God;

Some say that God is in the temple of the Hindus; others

believe that He is in the mosque of the Musalmans;

Some say that Rama is God; some say Krishna; some in their hearts accept the incarnations as God;

But I have forgotten all vain religion and know in my heart that the Creator is the only God.”

(Swaya- XII)

“Why call Shiv God, and why speak of Brahma as God?

God is not Ram Chander, Krishan, or Vishnu whom ye suppose to be the lords of the world.

Sukhdev, Prasar, and Vyas erred in abandoning the One God and worshipping many gods.

All have set up false religions; I in every way believe that there is but One God.”

(Swaya- XV, Guru Gobind Singh)

CREATION OF THE KHALSA:

The Guru sent Hukamnamas to his followers all over the country to visit Anandpur at the Baisakhi festival to be held in Sambat 1756 (1699 A.D.). It seemed as if the whole of Punjab was on the move; and they came from all parts of the country.

A small tent was pitched on a small hill now called Kesgarh Sahib at Anandpur and an open air dewan (assembly) was held. The Guru drew his sword and in a thundering voice said, ” I want one head, is there any one who can offer me?” This most unusual call caused some terror in the gathering and the people were stunned. There was dead silence. The Guru made a second call. Nobody came forward. There was still more silence. On the third call there rose Daya Ram, a khatri of Lahore who said, ” O true king, my head is at thy service.” The Guru took Daya Ram by the arm and led him inside the tent. A blow and thud were heard. Then the Guru, with his sword dripping with blood, came out and said, ” I want another head, is there anyone who can offer?”

NOTE: Most of the writers including many Sikh writers, state that the Guru had concealed five goats inside the tent on the previous night without letting anybody know. Therefore, when he took Daya Ram inside the tent, he cut off goat’s head instead of Daya Ram’s. It is difficult for these writers to perceive Guru’s supernatural acts. They cannot comprehend that the Guru could behead Daya Ram, and then bring him back alive from the tent. They need to understand that the Guru was a Divine Jot, sitting on the Divine throne of Guru Nanak. They are showing complete disrespect to the Guru by implying that he was incapable of performing supernatural acts. With these types of thoughts, these writers are committing sacrilege upon the Guruship. The Guru had the power to raise the dead. The Divine Word confirms:

“Satgur mera mar jiwalei.”

(Bhairon Mohalla 5, p-1142)

‘My lord can raise the dead to life.’

(Translation of the above)

This was not an ordinary feat, this was the most unparallel and supernatural act which was performed through the direct Will of God. The Guru himself authenticates this act:

“Khalsa is the army of God

Khalsa is created with the Will of God.”

(Guru Gobind Singh- Sarbloh Granth)

Again on third call Dharam Das, a Jat from Delhi came forward and said, ” O true king! My head is at thy disposal.” The Guru took Dharam Das inside the tent, again a blow and thud were heard, and he came out with his sword dripping with blood and repeated, ” I want another head, is there any beloved Sikh who can offer it?”

Upon this some people in the assembly remarked that the Guru had lost all reason and went to his mother to complain. Mohkam Chand, a washerman of Dwarka (west coast of India) offered himself as a sacrifice. The Guru took him inside the tent and went through the same process. When he came out, he made a call for the fourth head. The Sikhs began to think that he was going to kill all of them. Some of them ran away and the others hung their heads down. Himmat Chand, a cook of Jagan Nath Puri, offered himself as a fourth sacrifice. Then the Guru made a fifth and the last call for a fifth head. Sahib Chand, a barber of Bidar (in central India), came forward and the Guru took him inside the tent. A blow and thud were heard.

The last time he stayed longer in the tent. People began to breath with relief. The Guru clad them in splendid garments. They offered their heads to the Guru, and the Guru had now given them himself and his glory. When they were brought outside, they were in the most radiant form. There were exclamations of wonder and the sighs of regret on all sides. Now people were sorry for not offering their heads.

Since the time of Guru Nanak, Charanpauhal had been customary form of initiation. People were to drink the holy water which had been touched or washed by the Guru’s toe or feet. The Guru proceeded to initiate them to his new order by asking five faithful Sikhs to stand up. He put pure water into an iron vessel or Bowl (Batta of Sarbloh) and stirred it with a Khanda (two edged small sword). While stirring the water with Khanda, he recited Gurbani or Divine Word ( Five Banis- Japji, Jap Sahib, Anand Sahib, Swayas, and Chaupai). Sugar crystals called ‘Patasas’ which incidently the Guru’s wife, Mata Sahib Kaur, had brought at that moment, were mixed in the water.

The Guru then stood up with the sacred Amrit ( nectar) prepared in the steel bowl. Each of the five faithfuls, by turn, each kneeling upon his left knee, looked up to the Master to receive his Eternal Light. He gave five palmfuls of Amrit to each of them to drink and sprinkled it five times in the eyes, asking them to repeat aloud with each sprinkle, “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh.” (This meant: Khalsa belongs to God and all triumph be to His Name) Then he anointed with five sprinkles in the hair. In this way Amrit was administered to the five faithfuls from the same bowl. After that he asked them to sip Amrit from the same bowl to signify their initiation into the casteless fraternity of the Khalsa. All the five faithfuls were baptized in this way by the Guru who then called them ‘PANJ PYARE’ or Five Beloved Ones. He gave them the appellation of SINGHS or lions and they were named from Daya Ram to Daya Singh, Dharam Das to Dharam Singh, Mohkam Chand to Mohkam Singh, Himmat Chand to Himmat Singh, and Sahib Chand to Sahib Singh. The Guru then addressed them as the supreme, the liberated ones, pure ones and he called them THE KHALSA.

He then ordained them to do the following:

I. First they must wear the following articles whose names begin with ‘K’:

1. Kes- unshorn hair. This represents the natural appearance of saintlihood. This is the first token of Sikh faith.

2. Kanga- A comb to clean the hair.

3. Kachha- An underwear to denote chastity.

4. Kara- A steel bracelet on the wrist, a symbol of dedication to the Divine Bridegroom.

5. Kirpan- A sword for self-defence and a symbol of dignity, power and unconquerable spirit.

II. They must observe the following guidelines:

1. Not to remove hair from the body.

2. Not to use Tobacco or other intoxicants.

3. Not to eat ‘Kutha’, a meat of an animal slaughtered by slow degrees as done by the Muslims.

4. Not to commit adultery- ‘Par nari ki sej, bhul supne hun na jayo’ (never enjoy, even in dream, the bed of a woman other than your own wife) (A supplementary ordinance was issued that any one who did not observe any of the four directives, must be re- baptized, pay a fine, and promise not to offend any more; or he must be excommunicated from the Khalsa).

III. They must rise at dawn, bathe, meditate on Gurmantar- ‘Waheguru’, Moolmantar- the preamble of Japji, and recite five banis- Japji, Jap Sahib and Swayas in the morning; Rehras in the evening; and Kirtan Sohela at bed time at night.

IV. They must not have matrimonial relations with smokers, with persons who killed their daughters, with the descendants or followers of Prithi Chand, Dhir Mal, Ram Rai, or masands who had strayed away from the tenets and principles of Guru Nanak.

V. They must not worship idols, cemeteries, or cremation grounds, and must believe only in One Immortal God. The Guru further spelled out that they should practise arms, and never show their backs to the foe in the battle field. They should always be ready to help the poor and protect those who sought their protection. They were to consider their previous castes erased, and deem themselves all brothers of one family. Sikhs were to intermarry among themselves.

THE MASTER BECOMES THE DISCIPLE:

After the Guru had administered Amrit to his Five Beloved Ones, he stood up in supplication and with folded hands, begged them to baptize him in the same way as he had baptized them. This was the height of this remarkable episode setting up unparallel example in the world that first as Guru, he created the Khalsa blessing them with power, supremacy and glory, and then he himself became their disciple- Wonderful is Guru Gobind Singh, himself the Master and himself the disciple. In the annals of human history a disciple could become a Guru but never a Guru became a disciple. The Five Beloved Ones were astonished at such a proposal, and represented their own unworthiness, and the greatness of the Guru, whom they deemed God’s Vicar upon earth. They asked him why he made such a request and why he stood in a supplicant posture before them. He replied, ” I am the son of the Immortal God. It is by His order I have been born and have established this form of baptism. They who accept it shall henceforth be known as the KHALSA. The Khalsa is the Guru and the Guru is the Khalsa. There is no difference between you and me. As Guru Nanak seated Guru Angad on the throne, so have I made you also a Guru. Wherefore administer the baptismal nectar to me without any hesitation.” Accordingly the Five Beloved Ones baptized the Guru with the same ceremonies and injunctions he himself had employed. The Guru was then named Gobind Singh instead of Gobind Rai. Guru Gobind Singh was the first one to take Amrit from the Khalsa, the Five Beloved Ones. About 80,000 men and women were baptized within a few days at Anandpur.

By creating the Khalsa, the Guru embedded two qualities in one person. A Khalsa is a Saint-Soldier. A Sikh is a saint because he worships the All-Pervading Divine Spirit and in whom that Spirit shines day and night like a full moon. A Sikh is a soldier because he is ever ready to take up the arms to uphold righteousness.

The Guru promised the Five Beloved Ones (The Khalsa) that whenever they called upon him, he would agree to their proposal. This was the establishment of democratic Khalsa. The Guru fulfilled this promise by submitting to the demand of the Five Beloved Ones at the battle of Chamkaur and left the Garhi.

The Guru himself gives the definition of his beloved Khalsa:

“He who constantly keeps in mind

Intent upon Ever Awake Living Light of Consciousness

And never swerves from the thought of One God;

And he who is adorned with full faith in Him

And is wholly steeped in the Love of the Lord,

And even by mistake never puts his faith in fasting

Or in worship of tombs, sepulchre or crematoriums,

Caring not for pilgrimages, alms, charities,

Penances or austerities;

Or anything else but devotion to One God;

And in whose heart and soul the Divine Light

Shines forth as the full moon

He is known as Khalsa, the purest of the pure.”

(Guru Gobind Singh- Swayas)

The Persian historian Gulam-ul-din, the newswriter of that period, sent Emperor Aurangzeb a copy of the Guru’s address to his Sikhs on the first of Baisakh, Sambat 1756 (1699 A.D.) which reads as follows:

“Let all embrace one creed and obliterate differences of religion. Let the four Hindu castes who have different rules for their guidance abandon them all, adopt the one form of adoration, and become brothers. Let no one deem himself superior to another. Let none pay heed to the Ganges, and other places of pilgrimage which are spoken of with reverence in the Shastras, or adore incarnations such as Rama, Krishna, Brahma, and Durga, but believe in Guru Nanak and the other Sikh Gurus. Let men of the four castes receive my baptism, eat out of one dish, and feel no disgust or contempt for one another.”

When the Guru addressed the gathering, several Brahmans and Khatris stood up and accepted the religion of Guru Nanak while others insisted that they would never accept any religion which was opposed to the teachings of the Vedas and Shastras.

So far the leadership had remained in the hands of non- militant urban Khatris from whom the majority of the masands were drawn, but now the situation had completely changed. Peasantry and other classes of rural areas formed the bulk of the converts. Even those people who had been considered the dregs of humanity were changed like a magic into something rich and super. The sweepers, the barbers and confectioners who had never touched a sword and whose whole generations had lived as slaves of the higher castes, became doughty warriors under the stimulating leadership of the Guru.

Ideologically, the Khalsa was created to be aimed at a balanced combination of the ideals of Bhakti and Shakti, of moral and spiritual excellence and militant valor or heroism of the highest order; or in other words the Khalsa was to be a brotherhood in faith and brotherhood in arms at one and the same time. The Khalsa symbolized in itself the determination to complete the social and religious revolution inaugurated by Guru Nanak. The code of conduct prescribed for the newly created Khalsa was so devised as to impose a strict discipline on the Sikhs to ensure firm coherence and commitment on their part to the holy and lofty ideals of Sikhism.

With the creation of the Khalsa, some new doctrines were also established. The first doctrine of the Khalsa was the doctrine of the theocratic democracy by his selected, not elected, five representatives of the people from amongst the thousands of the devotees from all over the country while second was the doctrine of collective responsibility by authorizing the Five Beloved Ones only, in the presence of the holy Guru Granth Sahib to assume authority implicitly to be obeyed by the whole nation.

The Guru set the souls of the Khalsa free and filled their hearts with a lofty longing for religious and social freedom and national ascendancy. The Khalsa, therefore, accepted the challenge to combat terror inspired by tyranny of the powerful Mughal empire and embarked upon a national struggle of liberation.

BHAI NAND LAL:

Bhai Nand Lal Goya, born at Ghazni in Afghanistan in 1643, was an accomplished persian scholar who composed verses in praise of God and Guru Gobind Singh. He was hardly nineteen when his parents passed away and after that he moved to the city of Multan. The Nawab of Multan being impressed with his scholastic talents and personality, appointed him as his ‘Mir Munshi’ (Revenue officer). At the age of 45 Nand Lal left the service and set out in pursuit of peace. At last he reached Anandpur. Nand Lal wanted to test the Guru before he could accept him. He took a small house and started living quietly in that and made up his mind that he would go to the Guru only when the Guru beckoned him. The Guru did not call for sometimes. During this period Nand Lal became very restless which he recorded:

“How long shall I patiently wait?

My heart is restless for a vision of thee,

My tearful eyes, says Goya,

Have become flooding streams of love

Flowing in a passionate affection towards thee.”

(Nand Lal- Translated)

At last the Guru called Nand Lal. When he reached there for his holy sight, the Guru was sitting in a trance with his eyes closed. As Nand Lal saw the Master, he was wonder-stuck and he recorded:

“My life and faith are held in bondage,

By His sweet and angelic face;

The glory of Heaven and earth,

Is hardly worth,

A hair of His golden looks.

O! How can I bear the light,

Shed by the piercing glance of His love,

To ennoble and enlighten life,

A glimpse of the Beloved is enough.”

(Bhai Nand Lal)

After a short while the Master opened his eyes and smiled as he looked towards Nand Lal. By mere opening of his eyes, he enabled Nand Lal to see the Divine. His one glance of Grace opened the spiritual eyes of Nand Lal. He bowed down saying, “Lord, my doubts are dispelled. I have known the Truth. The doors of my heart are opened and I have attained peace.”

Nand Lal, thus, continued to live at Anandpur in the service and love of the Master. One day the Guru commanded him, ” You left the home and renounced the world; such a renunciation is not acceptable to me. Go back and live in the world, work for your living and serve the humanity; but remain unattached to Maya (materialism), keeping God alive in thy mind.” Nand Lal asked, ” Whither should I go, O Master?” The Guru replied, ” To whichever direction your feet carry thee.”

Bhai Nand Lal bowed and left Anandpur and after sometimes he reached Agra, the city of Taj Mahal where. Prince Bahadur Shah was holding his court. There were some poets, scholars and artists patronized by the prince. Nand Lal was soon recognized at Agra as a great scholar which earned him a high office and emoluments from the prince. It is said that Emperor Aurangzeb had to send a letter to the King of Persia and Nand Lal’s draft of that letter was deemed as the most suitable. Upon this Aurangzeb sent for Nand Lal, and after an interview he remarked to his courtiers that it was a pity that such a learned man should remain a Hindu. Aurangzeb told Prince Bahadur Shah to convert Nand Lal to Islam by persuasion if possible, and by force otherwise. This news leaked out and Bhai Nand Lal with the help of Ghiasuddin, a Muslim admirer and follower of him, escaped from Agra one night, and fled to Anandpur, the only place where such refugees could find safe asylum.

Enjoying the blissful life at the Master’s feet at Anandpur, Bhai Nand Lal then settled down to a routine of a devoted disciple. He presented to the Guru a Persian work called Bandagi Nama in praise of God, a title which the Guru changed to Zindagi Nama, or ‘Bestower of Eternal life’. The following few extracts are from that work:

“Both worlds, here and hereafter, are filled with God’s light;

The sun and moon are merely servants who hold His torches.

……………………………………………………

They who search for God are ever civil.

(Bhai Nand Lal- Translated)

BHAI JOGA SINGH:

From the early youth Joga Singh was living at the Guru’s Darbar and was a great devotee. One day Guru’s eye caught him and he asked what his name was. He replied, ” O true king, my name is Joga Singh.” The Guru asked, ” Whose Joga you are?” (Joga means for whose service he is fit or simply for whom he is?) “I am Guru Joga (I am in the service of the Guru), ” replied Joga Singh. Upon this the Guru promised, ” If you are Guru Joga, then Guru is tere Joga ( then the Guru is for you).”

After sometimes Joga Singh went to his home in Peshawar for his marriage. When the marriage ceremony was half-way through, a man arrived with an urgent message from the Guru to him to proceed to Anandpur without delay. Joga Singh read the command and instantly left for Anandpur without completing the marriage ceremony. He obeyed Guru’s order over everything else. Indeed the path of the devotees is sharper than the edge of a razor blade, and it is even narrower than the hair-breadth on which they have to tread.

Joga Singh continued his journey to Anandpur as fast as he could. After passing through Lahore and Amritsar, he reached a resting spot at Hoshiarpur. On his way his ego got inflated and he thought, ” Who could have acted like me? Certainly very few Sikhs would carry out the Guru’s order like me.” This sense of pride brought his fall. At night he was overwhelmed by evil-passion and he started towards the house of a prostitute. Joga Singh was wearing Guru’s uniform- a turban and beard. On his way to the prostitute, Joga Singh talked to himself, ” If some one sees me going into the house of a prostitute, it will bring disgrace to the Guru. Outwardly I am in Guru’s attire. So nobody should see me entering the prostitute’s house.”

As soon as he reached near the house of the prostitute, a watchman appeared saying aloud, ” Be aware fellows!” Joga Singh could not enter the house and he walked on to the next street. Looking around and thinking that the watchman might have left, he hurried towards the house of the prostitute again. To his amazement the watchman reappeared shouting, ” Be aware fellows!” Joga Singh could not afford to be seen by anybody going into the house of the prostitute, knowing in his heart that it would bring slur to Guru’s name since he was in Guru’s uniform. Finally he quit his evil act after trying a few times without success.

Next morning he started his journey and reached Anandpur. Joga Singh stood mute before the Guru with his head down. The Guru asked him about the well-being of himself and his family but Joga Singh stood mute. The divine Guru then addressed him, ” Joga Singh, do you remember when you said that you were Guru Joga, and the Guru had promised, if you were Guru Joga, then Guru tere Joga.” Upon this the Guru further explained, “In the garb of a watchman I guarded you in the streets of Hoshiarpur last night, against the sinful deeds and thus saved you from disgrace.” Joga Singh fell on Guru’s feet and asked for forgiveness.

Such are the ways of the Master. Once we put our complete faith in him, he does not abandon us. The Guru confirms:

“As long as the Khalsa remain distinct and intact,

I shall bless them in every way;

When they detract from the prescribed path,

I detest them for ever.”

(Guru Gobind Singh)

POST-KHALSA PERIOD ACTIVITIES:

The hill Rajas including the Raja of Kahlur came to visit the Guru and had a good deal of discussion about the pros and cons of the Khalsa. The Guru advised them to embrace the Khalsa religion in order to elevate the fallen condition of their country. The hill Rajas took their departure without accepting the Guru’s proposal to accept Khalsa creed.

The immediate effect of the creation of the Khalsa was the anxiety of the hill Rajas who considered the Guru’s activities as a potent threat to their own religion and state power. The Guru asked his Sikhs, wherever they resided, to come to Anandpur and accept baptism, thus, become members of the Khalsa. They started coming in large numbers to pay homage to the Guru and get baptized. This growing number of the baptized Sikhs, surcharged with their spirit of equality, and disengaged from the orthodox way of living, who seemed to be always ready to combat evil, alarmed the hill Rajas who considered it a direct challenge to their feudal order and their orthodox way of living.

One day the Guru went on a hunting excursion in the Dun when Balia Chand and Alim Chand, two hill chiefs made a surprise attack on the Guru’s party. There were only a few Sikhs with the Guru. Both sides fought desperately. Alim Chand aimed a blow of his sword at Alim Singh, who received it on his shield and then with his return blow struck off Alim Chand’s right arm. He managed to escape and left Balia Chand in sole command of the troops. However Balia Chand was soon shot dead by Ude Singh. The hill troops, having found one of their chiefs dead and the other having fled, abandoned the battle field leaving the Guru’s party victorious.

FIRST BATTLE OF ANANDPUR:

After this defeat, the hill Rajas thought it highly dangerous to allow the Sikhs to increase in power and number. They therefore, decided collectively to complain to the Delhi government against the Sikhs. Aurangzeb was still busy in the south. The viceroy of Delhi sent General Din Beg and General Painde Khan each with five thousand men to resist the Guru’s encroachments on the rights of the hill Rajas. When the imperial forces reached Rupar, they were joined by hill Rajas.

The Guru appointed the Five Beloved Ones as generals of his army. The Sikh chronicler states that, when the engagement began at Anandpur, the Turks were roasted by the continuous and deadly fire of the Sikhs. General Painde Khan seeing determined resistance of the Sikhs, shouted to his men to fight to the death against the infidels. He came forward to engage in a single combat with the Guru and invited the Guru to strike the first blow. The Guru refused the role of an aggressor and claimed that he had vowed never to strike except in self-defence. Upon this Painde Khan discharged an arrow which whizzed past Guru’s ear. He charged another arrow which also missed the mark. The whole of Painde Khan’s body except his ears was encased in armour. Knowing this the Guru then discharged an arrow at his ear with such an unerring aim that he fell off his horse on the ground and never rose again. This, however, did not end the battle. Din Beg assumed sole command of the troops. Maddened by Painde Khan’s death they fought with great desperation but could not make any impression on the firm hold of the Sikhs. On the other hand, however, the Sikhs caused a great havoc upon the enemy. The hill chiefs left the field. In the meantime Din Beg was wounded and he beat a retreat but was pursued by the Sikhs as far as Rupar (upto the village of Khidrabad near Chandigarh where there is a Gurdwara in that memory). This battle was fought in the beginning of 1701.