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Bibi Basant Lata Kaur Jee

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“When the Mughal forces laid siege around Anandpur Sahib, many Singhs deserted the Guru, including the 40 Singhs who later became the 40 Muktas. Guru Gobind Singh Jee asked Bibi Basant Kaur if she wanted to leave the fort, as there would be terrible hardships in the coming months. However Bibi Jee politely declined, saying that she would not leave her Guru whatever the circumstances.

After some months of real difficulties and hunger, Guru Gobind Singh Jee decided to leave Anandpur Sahib at the request of his Sikhs. Evading the Mughal forces, the Guru and his Sikhs reached the River Sirsa. It was the winter months, and due to the cold weather and fast flowing river current, the Sikhs got scattered. Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh got separated from Mata Gujjer Kaur ( Mata Gujri), Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh.

Bibi Basant Kaur was with Mata Gujjer Kaur at this critical time, leading Mata Jee’s horse through the River Sarsa. Mata Jee’s horse led her to the other side of the river, but Bibi Basant Kaur got swept away by the cold but rapidly flowing river water. As the river carried her for some distance, she fell unconscious due to the horrendously cold water. Finally her body was washed up on the side of the riverbank.

A Mughal soldier, Samund Khan, seeing Bibi Basant Kaur unconscious, took advantage of her vulnerability and took her to his house. When she regained her consciousness, he asked her to accept Islam and become his wife. He said if she accepted his wishes, she would have all the material pleasures that she could ever dream of. Bibi Jee replied: “I could have left my Guru months ago and not had to endure such hardships at Anandpur Sahib. I will never leave my Guru.” Samund Khan was taken aback by Bibi Jee’s response, but thought leaving her locked up and hungry in a cell for some days would easily break her resolve.

Bibi Basant Kaur’s health was already in a bad state, but throughout her stay in the cell, she resolved to make Gurbani her Aasra. She sat cross-legged in one spot, but with deep concentration and faith in Waheguroo, she kept doing Sukhmani Sahib da Paath. No fears about the future could remove her concentration from Guru Jee and Gurbani.

When Samund Khan came to Bibi Jee after eight days, her resolve was nowhere near broken. This left Samund Khan seething with anger. Evil thoughts crossed his mind. He started to move towards Bibi Jee. Bibi Jee realised the situation, and started praying to Kalgidhaar Dasmesh Pita.

Samund Khan was saying in an antagonising and sarcastic manner “what’s your Guru going to do for you now? Are you ready to accept Islam now?” Bibi Jee responded “My Guru is always with me. You cannot do anything to me.” “Don’t lie … your Guru is nowhere to be seen,” he said in a taunting manner, as he moved further towards Bibi Jee. Bibi Jee started to do Ardaas to Guru Sahib with even greater pyaar and faith. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Bibi Jee said “My Guru is here.” He was now within touching distance of Bibi Jee. He said, “I cannot see him … you’re imagining things.” Bibi Jee said, “you will not be able to see him … you’re a Paapi person, full of the 5 vices. Only those with high Kamayee can see him. My Guru Jee is here with me.”

“gur maerai sa(n)g sadh aa hai n aalae || simar simar this sadhaa samh aalae ||1|| rehaao ||”

My Guru is always with me, near at hand. Meditating, meditating in remembrance on Him, I cherish Him forever. ||7||Pause|| – Guru Granth Sahib Ji Pg 394

At this instance, Samund Khan tried to move further towards Bibi Jee, yet his body had now frozen. Although he could see with his eyes and speak with his mouth, all his body’s muscle had frozen, as if he was a statue. Bibi Jee had realised what her Guru Jee had done. She asked, “I thought you said my Guru would not save me? I thought you said he was not here?”

After a few minutes of being frozen like a statue, he started begging Bibi Jee to do Ardaas to unfreeze him. Bibi Jee said that her Ardaas would only happen if Samund Khan promised to be a decent God-fearing person. Samund Khan readily agreed. Bibi Jee did her Ardaas, and Guru Gobind Singh Jee unfroze the Mughal soldier. For the following few weeks, having seen the Kamayee and Gursikhi Jeevan of Bibi Basant Kaur, he served Bibi Jee very well whilst Bibi Jee continued doing Bhagti. He then took Bibi Jee personally to Dina Kangoor to re-unite Bibi Jee with Guru Gobind Singh Jee.

What can we learn from this episode?

Guru Jee is always with us, but only those fortunate souls with high Bhagti and Naam Jeevan realise this. Such souls can speak, feed, see and call upon their Guru all the time and at any time.

If we are to reach this stage, we must have full faith in the Guru, incorporate his teachings into our lives and never leave the Guru … just like Bibi Basant Kaur Jee.

If we become Bhagats of Waheguroo, Waheguroo will always preserve our honour, saving us physically whilst having mortal form and saving us forever once our soul leaves the body.

Source: www.sikhs.nl

Bibi Harsharan Kaur – Final Shaheed of the Battle of Chamkaur

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In the battle of Chamkaur, Guru Gobind Singh jee and 40 starving Singhs battle the Mughal army. The battle which took place in Chamkaur’s mud fort lasted 72 hours and saw the loss of many Mughal soldiers and also 36 of Guru Gobind Singh jee’s companions along with the two Sahibzadas. Fighting an army of hundreds of thousands, Guru Gobind Singh jee gave an exhibition of his battle skills. Guru jee, following the orders of the Panth Khalsa (in the form of the Punj Pyaaray) left the fort along with Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Maan Singh and one other Singh, after giving his clothes to Bhai Sangat Singh jee to wear. Only Bhai Sangat Singh and Bhai Sant Singh fought the battle to its end. They too were martyred. Seeing Guru jee’s clothes on Bhai Sangat Singh, the Mughals were ecstatic and taking him to be Guru Gobind Singh, cut off his head and took it to Delhi.

In every village it was announced that Guru Gobind Singh had been killed, “Look here at his chopped off head! His family is also finished. His two sons were killed in the battle and the two younger ones will also die abandoned. The revolution has been crushed. No one should go to the Chamkaur Fort. No one should cremate the dead Singhs.”

A tight cordon was put around the Fort. As the soldiers were going from village to village making their announcement, the people were retreating in terror into their homes. However, in village Khroond, a daughter of Guru Gobind Singh, Bibi Harsharan Kaur, asked for her mother’s permission to peform the final rites for the Shaheeds. Her old mother replied, “it is total darkness outside and soldiers are everywhere around the fort, how will you even go near?”

Hearing this, Kalgeedhar’s lioness daughter replied with resolve “I will avoid the soldiers and perform the cremation, and if need be, I’ll fight and die.”

The mother gave her courage and hugged her daughter and then explained the maryada to follow for the cremation. After performing Ardaas, Bibi Harsharan Kaur left for the Chamkaur Fort.

The battlefield which saw iron smashing against iron, the bellows of elephants, the trotting of hooves and calls of “Kill! Capture!”, was now totally silent and enveloped in complete darkness. In such a situation, the 16 year old girl Bibi Harsharan Kaur avoided the guards and arrived at the Fort. She saw that bodies were lying everywhere and distinguishing between Sikh and Mughal was very difficult. She still had faith and began to find arms with kaRas and torsos with kachheras and heads with long kesh. As she found a body, she would wipe the face of every shaheed. Both Sahibzadas and about 30
shaheeds were found and then she began to collect wood. Fearing the approaching light of dawn, Bibi Harsharan Kaur worked very quickly and soon prepared a pyre. She then lit the fire.

Seeing the rising flames, the guards were shocked and advanced towards the pyre. Bibi Harsharan Kaur was seen in the light of the flames sitting beside the pyre. She was quietly reciting Keertan Sohilaa. The guards were shocked and confused as to how a lone woman could come into the fort on such a dark night. The guards asked in a loud voice, “Who are you?!”

Bibi jee: I am the daughter of Guru Gobind Singh

Officer: What are you doing here?

Bibi Jee: I am cremating my martyred brothers.

officer: Don’t you know about the order that coming here is a crime?

Bibi Jee: I know it.

Officer: Then why have you disobeyed that order?

Bibi Jee: The orders of a false king do not stand before the orders of the Sachay Patshah (True King)

officer: Meaning?

Bibi Jee: Meaning that I have respect for the Singhs in my heart and with the Guru’s grace I have done my duty. I don’t care about your King’s orders.

Hearing such stern answers from Bibi Harsharan Kaur, the infuriated Mughal soldiers attempted to capture her and attacked. Bibi jee grabbed her kirpaan and fought back with determination. After killing and maiming many soldiers, Bibi Harsharan Kaur was injured and fell to the ground. The soldiers picked Bibi Harsharan Kaur up and threw her into the pyre, burning her alive.

The next day the cordon around the Fort was lifted because it was clear that the Sahibzadas and most of the Shaheed Singhs had been cremated. The ancestors of the Phulkiaan family, Rama and Triloka, then cremated whichever Singhs remained. The story of Bibi Harsharan Kaur reached Guru Gobind Singh jee Mahaaraaj in Talvandee Sabo (Damdama Sahib).

Upon hearing of her daughter’s martyrdom, the old mother thanked Akaal Purakh. She said, “my daughter has proven herself worthy.” The story of the cremation of the Chamkaur Shaheeds will forever serve as a glowing star of inspiration for all Singhs and Singhnees.

Power of Ardaas – Guru Gobind Singh Ji

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Once in the Darbaar of Guru Gobind Singh Jee, a Sikh called Laal Singh came with a shield. He had spent a lot of time constructing this shield which was almost impossible to penetrate. It was not only strong but was also very light. Everyone in the darbaar praised the dhaal (shield) and Guru Sahib too expressed his happiness at the dhaal.

Bhai Laal Singh was a very good Sikh but when so many people praised his dhaal, he developed haume (ego) and declared in the sangat that no bullet can penetrate his shield. He said this very egoistically. As soon as he said this Guru Sahib told him that he would test Laal Singh’s dhaal the next day. Bhai Laal Singh still did not realize his mistake and accepted the challenge saying that no bullet could penetrate his shield.As he came out of the darbaar of Guru Sahib, he realized that he had committed a blunder. He said to himself that Guru Sahib is a known warrior and on top of that he is Satguru. What could stop him from penetrating his shield? He greatly regretted his mistake and came to his lodging area greatly depressed. Although, he realized his mistake of challenging the sangat, he still wanted Guru Sahib to keep his honour and not let anyone break his shield.

He consulted his friends who were gursikhs as well and asked them what to do. They told him that Guru Sahib could no doubt penetrate his shield. They suggested to him that the only way for him to save his honour was to perform Ardaas in front of Guru Sahib. Bhai Laal Singh prepared “Degh”(Karaah Parshaad) and along with other Gursikhs did Ardaas before Waheguru to save his honour. Bhai Laal Singh did not sleep all night and kept doing paath all night. The next day Bhai Laal Singh arrived in the darbaar of Guru Kalgidhar Paatshaah but he arrived very humbly. After the bhog of Kirtan, Guru Sahib asked Bhai Laal Singh to get ready as he was going to test his dhaal. Bhai Laal Singh did not accept the challenge as he had done the previous day but responded very humbly to Guru Sahib.Guru Sahib asked Bhai Aalam Singh to test the dhal first. Bhai Laal Singh stood there with the dhaal, constantly doing naam and paath. Bhai Aalam Singh tried three times but the bullet missed the dhaal and did not hit it.

Then Guru Sahib smilingly took over the gun and took aim at the dhaal. Guru Sahib just stood there but did not fire. After few moments he called off his aim and asked Bhai Laal Singh what he had been doing all night. Bhai Laal Singh fell at the lotus feet of Guru Sahib and told him everything. Guru Sahib, blessed Bhai Laal Singh and declared that indeed, no one could penetrate the dhaal as Vaheguru himself and all Gurus were present to protect the dhaal. Guru Sahib told Bhai Laal Singh to never talk in haume again.

CONCLUSION

  • So great is our Guru. Guru Sahib himself accepted the defeat by not penetrating the dhaal but protected the honour of his Sikh. Why should we leave such great Guru and get indulged in maaiya? Aseen kurbaan kyoon nahi ho jaande apne Guru uppar?
  • It is a good idea to prepare degh with full maryada and perform ardaas for our difficult kaarajs. Nothing is impossible if we do ardaas with full faith.
  • Never talk egoistically in Sangat.

Guru does not consider our shortcomings and weaknesses when we do Ardaas. He ignores our shortcomings and accepts Ardaas that is done with faith.

Gurudwara Guru Ka Lahore

By | Gurudwaras

Gurudwara Guru Ka Lahore

Gurudwara Shri Guru Ka Lahore is situated in the village Basantpur in Billaspur Distt. of Himachal Pardesh. Its situated on the border of Himachal Pardesh only 12 km from Shri Anandpur Sahib. Bhai Hari Jas ji father of Mata Jeeto Ji came to Chak Nanaki ( Shri Anandpur Sahib) for getting Marriage fixed up with Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji (Engagemenimet had already been done during the life time of Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji) But the elders didn’t agreed on barats going to lahore. So 10th sikh guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji proposed that we shall create lahore here and Mata Jeeto Ji’s family may come here and marriage ceremony may take place. Later a little Lahore was setup which exactly resembled to the nine Bazaars of lahore in village Basantnagar. And finally Guru Sahib’s marriage was performed here.

There are few gurudwaras around the main gurudwara :

1) Gurdwara Anand Karaj Sthan Patshahi Dasvin – The gurudwara represents the spot where the marriage was performed. Its present building, a square hall with the domed sanctum over its middle, was constructed by Sant Seva Singh Anandgarhwale during the 1960s.

2) Gurdwara Triveni Sahib – Enclosing a spring formerly called Karpa (lit. spear) Baoli was created, according to popular legend, by the Guru with a blow of his spear. It is a domed square hall with a pavilion over the spring in front of the hall.

3) Gurdwara Paur Sahib – A small domed room with a verandah in front, near another spring is also based on a legend similar to the one related to Triveni Sahib. In this case the spring is said to have been caused by the Guru’s horse stamping its paur (hoof).

4) Gurdwara Sehra Sahib – One kilometer south of Guru ka Lahore in Bilaspur is located at the spot where Guru Gobind Singh halted for a short time on his way to his marriage at Guru ka Lahore. According to tradition the Guru donned his sehra (bridegroom’s floral headband) here.

 

 

Location : Gurudwara Guru Ka Lahore is 12 Km from Anandpur Sahib

Gurudwara Bhibour Sahib

By | Gurudwaras
bhibhour sahib

bhibhour sahib

Gurudwara Shri Bhabour Sahib is located at Bank of Satluj River in Nangal, Dist Ropar (Punjab). This Gurudwara is built in memory of Tenth Master Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Gobind Singh ji had come to this place on Invitation of Raja Rattan Rai. Guru Ji stayed here for several months and meditated here. At this holy place Guru Maharaj Wrote Chaupai Sahib on bank of Satluj River. As mentioned in Chaupai Sahib.

ਚੌਪਈ ॥
चौपई ॥
CHAUPAI

ਸੰਬਤ ਸੱਤ੍ਰਹ ਸਹਸ ਭਣਿੱਜੈ ॥ ਅਰਧ ਸਹਸ ਫੁਨਿ ਤੀਨਿ ਕਹਿੱਜੈ ॥
स्मबत स्त्रह सहस भणि्जै ॥ अरध सहस फुनि तीनि कहि्जै ॥
It was Bikrami Samvat 1753;

ਭਾਦ੍ਰਵ ਸੁਦੀ ਅਸ਼ਟਮੀ ਰਵਿ ਵਾਰਾ ॥ ਤੀਰ ਸਤੁੱਦ੍ਰਵ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸੁਧਾਰਾ ॥੪੦੫॥
भाद्रव सुदी अशटमी रवि वारा ॥ तीर सतु्द्रव ग्रंथ सुधारा ॥४०५॥
This book was competed on the banks of Sutlej on Sunday, the eighth Sudi of the month of Bhadon.

bhibhour sahib

bhibhour sahib

Gurudwara Bhibour Sahib is approximately 11o Km from Chandigarh and 25 Km from Anandpur Sahib.

Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

By | Famous Sikhs
Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was a born leader of unprecedented qualities. His birth took place near city of Amritsar. He was 5 years old whenBanda Singh Bahadur attained martyrdom at Delhi. He was among the crop of those Sikhs who had fought against all odds for survival of their newly founded religion. In those times all Sikhs, cook, ate, fought together and Sikhism was thought of a family. Sardar Kapur Singh was elder and an able leader, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Sardar Budh Singh Sukkarchakia (grand father of Ranjit Singh), and others were able leaders fighting Mughals and Afghnis keeping Khalsa flame alive with their resistance. In around 1720’s Mughals decided to offer truce to these Sikh leaders and sent some gifts to them in mountains where they were hiding. Mughals offered three towns for Sikhs and title of Nawab for their leader. Five Sikh leaders which includes Budh Singh, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and others decided to make Kapur SinghSupreme Jathedar of Dal Khalsa and Kapur Singh accepted it only when he was reminded of Guru’s order to listen to the anonymous order of Five Gursikhs . Later this group of Sikh leaders created Misals and two factions of Sikhs called Budha Dal and Taruna Dal. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia were youngsters leading their regiments under Taruna Dal and reporting to Jathedar Kapur Singh ji at Diwali and Vasaikhi.

Under Dal Khalsa, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia established his Misl of Ramgarhia in and around riarki area of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Batala. He also fortified and constructed fort of Ram Rauni at Amritsar. His misal contained more then 5000 cavalry always on move and helping Dal Khalsa whenever Afghanis or Mughals attacked. Sikhs at this time were in control of villages while Mughal administration was only effective in cities. Twenty years Earlier Banda Bahadur had wrecked a havoc on administration by abolishing all taxes and Zamindara system. Now Sikhs only levied “Dasvand”, that is 10% of their income for Rakhi tax or “protection tax” for armies.

Mir Mannu became the new governor of Lahore and Multan on the 9th April 1748 A.D. He appointed Kaura Mal as his new Diwan. After setting right the administration of his province, he deployed army patrol to finish the Sikhs of his province. The Sikhs left his territory and moved to other states. Sardar Jassa singh Ramgarhia and his squad joined the army of the Commander of Jalandhar, named Adina Beg. Adina Beg was a cunning treacherous soft and sweet speaking mean person. Adina Beg on one hand would woo Sikhs to join him against Mughals on the other hand he had secret links with Afghanis, while he drew his salary from Mughals. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, being a simple minded person trusted Adina Beg and joined his army.

The Sikhs gathered at Amritsar on the occasion of Diwali in 1748 A.D. When Mir Mannu came to know of the gathering of Sikhs, he sent his general with an army to blockade Amritsar and sent words to the Commander of Jalandhar, Adina beg to to take his army to help his general in finishing the Sikhs. Adina Beg not telling his Sikh army personnel attacked fort of Ram Rauni. Five hundred Singhs took shelter in fort of Ram Rauni and the rest moved to forests. The combined forces of Lahore and Jalandhar surrounded the fort. Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was in army who was in siege of fort, with his squad. Plight of his fellow Sikhs sorrounded in the fort of Ram Rauni was too much for him and his squad. One day he deserted the royal army and joined the Singhs inside the fort with his squad. The Singhs inside the fort did not surrender even after two months of siege. Adina Beg felt the departure of the Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in this manner very much but could not do anything. Hearing the news of the second invasion of Abdali, Mir Mannu made peace with Sikhs and sanctioned an estate in Patti area for the livelihood. Thus Jassa Singh Ramgarhia won the battle of Ram Rauni.

Abdali attacked India and Jassa Singh’s squad along with other Sikh squad was deployed in and around hills of Jammu, Pathonkot, to harass and snatch Abdali’s baggage train. His 5000 cavalry soldiers harassed Abdali’s Afghanis through Guerilla tactics of warfare that Abdali lost more soldiers to Sikhs in this type of warfare than his battle with Marthas. Around same time Jassa Singh Ahluwalia freed 2200 young Hindu women from Afghanis who were being taken to the harems and bazaars of Kabul, Baghdad and Basra. It was blessings of Waheguru (the almighty God) that Sikhs who were weak and few had defeated Abdali.

Next year Abdali returned to Punjab only to punish Sikhs. Mughals at this time were under his protectorate and small Mughal chieftains like,Nawab of Sarhind, and Sher Khan, Nawab of Malerkotla as well as other small time nawabs all over Punjab helped Abdali to sorround Sikhs at a place near Malerkotla called Kup. Taruna Dal and Buddha Dal sorrounded Women and children and fought head on for the first time with Abdali and his allies. Sikhs were outnumbered five to one (including women and chlidren on Sikh side). In this battle Sikhs lost about 30-45000 Sikhs in single day of battle and to this day it is called”The greater holocaust”., or “Wadda Ghalughara”

After this incident, Sikhs came out strong and in less than five years Sikhs had defeated all Mughals and Afghani protectorate in between area of River Jamuna and River Indus. Jassa Singh’s Ramgarhia Misl had played major part in this struggle. Later Ranjit Singh incorporated Ramgarhia Misal into Sarkar Khalsa and thus a one unified Khalsa kingdom was created.

  1. Copyright © Santokh Singh Jagdev “Bed Time Stories”

Baba Bota Singh Baba Garja Singh

By | Famous Sikhs
shaheed_bhai_bota_singh_garja_singh

Shaheed Baba Bota Singh Baba Garja Singh ji

After the death of Qazi Abdul Razak and Mufti Abdul Rehman at the hands of the Singhs in 1738 A.D., Zakriya Khan, the Governor of Lahore put Abdul Samad Khan Yusufi at the head of an army patrol. Wherever that patrol came across a Singh, they killed him there and then. One day, Abdul Samad Khan fell into the hands of Nawab Kapoor Singh. He tied him head down, behind a horse and ran the horse at a gallop which caused his death. After that, the Governor began rewarding those coming with the heads of Singhs. A large number of Singhs left Lahore and went to other provinces. .

Zakariya Khan had taken vows to destroy the Sikhs, root and branch. Orders were given that all Sikhs-men, women, and children were to be put to death. It was declared lawful to plunder their homes and seize their property. Their houses were to be looted and plundered. They were to be haunted down like wild beasts. Not only government officials, but even notable Hindus and Muhammadans, vied with one another in this cruel campaign of loot, arson and murder. Special rewards were offered for the capture and destruction of the Sikhs. It was announced, ‘Any parson giving information which leads to the arrest of a Sikh, will get ten gold coins. Fifty coins will be rewarded to him who brings the head of a Sikh. Eighty coins will be given to him who captures and brings a Sikh alive.’ It has to be borne in mind that eighty coins in those days would be equal to a few thousand dollars today. So, the rewards were tempting indeed. The whole machinery of the government was put into motion to crush the Sikhs. Even non-official Zamindars were made to lend a hand in this campaign of ruthless genocide. Some Zamindars used to send cartloads of heads to Lahore. This campaign was the most virulent in the Majha tract.

As a result of this fierce persecution, most of the Sikhs left the plains. They took shelter in places away from human habitations. These places were the Shivalik Hills, the Lakhi jungle, and the sandy deserts of Rajputana. The few who still chose to remain in the Majha, had to press their days in bushes and forests, here and there. Sometimes, some persecutors and evil wishers of their would boast that the Sikhs were afraid to appear in the plains. Such taunts would cause some daring Sikhs to come out of their hiding places, and make their presence known and felt. One such daring Sikh was Bhai Bota Singh. He was a GurSikh of Bharana, now in Pakistan. He had a companion named Bhai Garja Singh. They used to come occasionally to Amritsar at night in order to bathe in the sacred tank. They spent the rest of the day in the bushes near Taran Taaran. Bhai Bota Singh was a deeply religious man. He passed his life in reciting the Guru’s sacred hymns and meditating on God. By nature, he was a peace loving saint. But, at the same time, he could be a mighty soldier, if necessary.

It was toward the end of 1739, when one day, a party of wayfarers noticed Bhai Bota Singh and his companion near Nurdi. The two were returning from a secret pilgrimage to the darbar Sahib at Amritsar. ‘Look There’ said one of the wayfarers, ‘there goes the pair of Sikhs’. ‘O , no’, said another. ‘They can’t be Sikhs. there is no Sikh left anywhere in the neighborhood. All of them have been either killed or driven away. Zakriya Khan has proudly proclaimed that he has exterminated the Sikhs that no Sikh exists in the Punjab.’ But, said the first man, ‘I am sure that they are Sikhs.’ ‘In that case,’ said the other, ‘they must be a pair of cowards, jackals, hiding about to save their skins. The Sikhs are not subject to such fears.’ These taunting remarks stung Bhai Bota Singh. A Singh of Guru Gobind Singh was, to him, as brave as a lion. That a Singh or lion should be called jackal was more than he could stand. The Guru’s Khalsa, he felt, could not be exterminated. Zakriya Khan must be made to realize that his boast was empty, that the Khalsa was in existence and would ever continue to exist, in spite of all that he and his ilk might do. Indeed, the taunt awoke the soldier in that saint. He decided to come out into the open, make his presence felt, by Zakriya Khan and his government, and to maintain the prestige of the Khalsa. His companion was of the same view.

Bhai Bota Singh and his companion came out from the bushes. They took their position on the then Grand Trunk Road near Nurdi, a few miles west of Taran Taaran. In those days, this road connected Delhi and Lahore. As mere bravado and show of courage, Bhai Bota Singh began to collect toll tax of one anna per cart and one pice per donkey load. None dared to refuse his demand. All paid it readily and quietly. Nobody dared make a report to the government. Their weapons were big sticks cut from kikkar trees. This went for some time. Bhai Bota Singh’s presence was, no doubt, felt by those who used the Grand Trunk road. But it had not yet been felt by the government. Bhai Bota Singh did not like it. He had not taken this position merely for collecting toll. His object was only to prove to the fanatical rulers that, in spite for their all-out effort to exterminate the Sikhs, the Sikhs were still very much in existence. Therefore, he wrote direct to the governor, Zakriya Khan, at Lahore, announcing himself and the tax he was levying on travelers. He gave it to the traveler bound for Lahore and asked him to do deliver it to the governor there. The traveler undertook to do so. The letter was, of course, in Punjabi. Its words were as follows:

“Chithi likhi Singh Bota,

Hath hai sota, Vich rah khalota,

Anna laya gadde noo, Paisa laya khota,

Akho Bhabi Khano nun, Eeun akhe Singh Bota”

In English the words would read:

“Thus writes Bota Singh a letter,

With a big stick in hand, on the road I stand,

Levying an anna for a cart, And pice for a donkey load.

Tell sister-in-law Khano,

That this is a message from Bota Singh.”

The letter was a clear and daring challenge to the governor. He was red with rage. Immediately he, sent a detachment of on hundred fully armed horsemen under the command of Jalal Din, to arrest Bhai Bota Singh. On approaching Nurdi, they saw the two Sikhs standing on the road. They held big kikar sticks in their hands. They had no other weapon; no axe, no lance, and no sword. Approaching them, Jalal Din called upon them to surrender. Bhai Bota Singh replied, ‘Sikhs know no surrender. We are not used to that sort of act. You would certainly like very much to take us alive to your governor and earn his good opinion. He would like very much to see me cut into pieces, limb by limb, like Bhai Mani Singh. But we refuse to oblige you and your governor. We shall give up our lives, but we shall charge a heavy price for them. We shall die fighting. But we shall kill many before we die. Come on, and taste our big sticks. Send four of your best strongest swordsmen against us two big-stick wielders. Come on ! “Sat Sri Akal”.

Jalal Din sent four his bravest and strongest soldiers. He said to them, ‘Fall on these beasts, and fell them with your sharp swords.’ They advanced, crying, ‘Ya Ali’. Bhai Bota Singh and Garja Singh struck them repeated blows with their big sticks. Thus thrashed, the four Mughals soldiers were fell to the ground. Another batch of four met the same fate. Then Jalal Ding ordered all his soldiers to make a joint attack. Bhai Bota Singh and Garja Singh were surrounded by shouting swordsmen. The unequal fight could not last long. The brave Sikhs fell martyrs at last; but only after over a dozen Mughal soldiers had been dispatched by them to hell. Thus did they make their presence felt by the government of Zakriya Khan. Thus did they demonstrate that they were not cowards, but bold and daring saint soldiers of Guru Gobind Singh; that they were not jackals, but lions. Thus did they show Zakriya Khan that his boast of having exterminated the Khalsa was altogether empty; that the Khalsa was very much in existence, and would continue to exist, in spite of all that he and his ilk might do.  This happened in the year 1739.

Source : Sikh History Book 5 by Kartar Singh.