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Events Shaheed of Zorowar and Fateh Singh Remembered December 25 (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ & English)

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Christmas? Nah, Happy Shaheedi Purab!

    See the video at this link Chamak De Taare - YouTube

    http://sikhactivist.net/happy-shaheedi-purab/

    We live in a society dominated by Western culture and values, we are taught about Christmas, while our own history is neglected.

    However, knowledge is power and today we as Sikhs take a moment to celebrate our own history. Today, we celebrate a month of sacrifice and the Shaheedi of the Chote Shahibzaday, the two youngest of the four princes and the sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

    The story of Bhai Fateh Singh Ji and Bhai Zorawar Singh Ji is connected to a much greater period in Sikh history. Their story of valour begins in Mid-December – it was during this time of the year that Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Khalsa Fauj came under attack by the Imperialist Mughal forces, in what is famously known as the Battle of Chamkaur. They fought long and hard to resist the tyranny of the foreign invaders and in the fight, many attained shaheedi by resisting occupation and injustice.

    With pride, we remember all those that fought to protect the people, land and justice during this moment in history. On December 24th and 25th, we remember the nights that the younger of the Sahibzaday were jailed in a cold prison along with Mata Gujri Ji – only to be executed by being bricked alive by the Mughal Forces. We also, remember all those that perished in the Battle of Chamkaur in the very same month.

    We are the descendants of warriors, saints and revolutionaries – the Mothers and Fathers of Resistance and Sons and Daughters of Royalty.

    Lest We Forget….knowledge is power! Educate yourselves and learn more about this period in Sikh history via the links below.

    The youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji, Sahibzada Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Sahibzada Baba Fateh Singh Ji were born at Anandpur Sahib. Thier grandmother Mata Gujjar Kaur Ji was especially close to the young Sahibzadas. When Guru Ji’s family evacuated from Anandpur Sahib, Mata Ji took charge of both of them as the column moved out of the city.

    While crossing on horseback the rivulet Sirsa, then in spate, the three were separated from Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji. Gangu, who had worked for the Guru’s family, also succeeded in crossing the stream. He escorted them to his own house in the village of Kheri, now known as Saheri, near Morinda in presentday Ropar district. While unsaddling the horse he saw that there was some cash in the saddlebag. This tempted him to treachery. He not only stole the saddlebag during the night, but also planned to betray the fugitives to the government in hope of a reward.

    On the morning of 7 December 1705, the day of the fateful battle of Chamkaur, Baba Zorawar Singh ji, along with Baba Fateh Singh ji and their grandmother, was taken into custody by Jani Khan and Mani Khan Ranghar, the officials at Morinda. They were despatched on the following day to Sirhind where they were consigned to the Cold Tower (Thanda Burj) of the Fort.

    On 9 December 1705, Baba Zorawar Singh ji and Baba Fateh Singh ji were produced before the faujdaar, Nawab Wazir Khan, who had just returned from Chamkaur with his feudal ally, Nawab Sher Muhammad Khan of Malerkotla. Wazir Khan tried to lure the Sahibzadas to embrace Islam with promises of riches and honours, but they spurned the suggestion. He then threatened them with death, but they remained undaunted. Death sentence was finally pronounced. Upon Sher Muhammad Khan’s intercession for the innocent children to be spared their lives, they were given some more time to ponder over the suggestion to convert. Sahibzada Zorawar Singh ji and his brother spent another two days of severe winter in their old grandmother’s lap in the Cold Tower.

    Still adamant, they were, on 11 December 1705, ordered to be sealed alive in a wall. As the masonry around their tender bodies reached chest high, it crumbled. The Sahibzadas were sent to the Cold Tower again for the night. The next day, 12 December 1705, the alternative of conversion being again turned down, Baba Zorawar Singh ji and Baba Fateh Singh ji were martyred by sealing alive in a wall. The aged Mata Gujari Kaur ji, who had all along been kept in the Cold Tower, only a little distance away, breathed her last as the news reached her ears. Mata Gujari ji through upbringing of her grandsons played such an important role in Sikhism that as Sikhs, we can owe our existence to her. It was due to her teachings that the young Babas did not bulge from their Dharma and attained martyrdom, thus continuing and emphasizing the institute of martyrdom in Sikhism.

    Seth Todar Mall, a wealthy merchant of Sirhind, performed the cremation of the three dead bodies the following day. The site of the fateful happenings, since christened Fatehgarh Sahib, close to the old town of Sirhind, is now marked by four Sikh shrines. A religious fair is held here from 25 to 28 December every year to honour the memory of the martyrs.

    Note: This is article is a reflection on the current state of affairs, the disregard and neglect of a peoples history, in so called “secular states”. Christmas, in its essence is a spiritual holiday for devout Christians and to them, we wish a Merry Christmas.
     

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  3. spnadmin

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    re: December 25 in Sikh History: Mata Gujri and the Chotte Shahibzaday

    Sahibzada Zorawar Singh ji & Fateh Singh ji

    http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/sikh-martyrs/sahibzada-zorawar-singh-ji-fateh-singh-ji

    Guru Gobind Singh ji decided to evacuate Anandpur Sahib, on the advice of his Sikhs, although he had no confidence on the promises made by the adversaries, and told them about his views. Guru ji, accompanied by Sikhs and his family members evacuated Anandpur Sahib in December 1704, A.D. They had hardly reached the bank of rivulet Sirsa, when the enemy forces attacked them from behind without caring a bit about the promises made by them earlier in the name of their Holy Books.

    During the ensuing battle on the bank of Sirsa rivulet which was in spate due to heavy rains upstream, only Guruji, forty Sikhs and two elder sons of Guru ji, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, were able to safety cross the river. Others either died fighting bravely or were drowned in the flooded waters.

    The two younger sons of the Guru, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, accompanied by thier Grandmother Mata Gujri ji, strayed away walking along the bank of Sirsa, without making any attempt to cross it. While walking away from the scene of battle along the bank of rivulet Sirsa, they met their old servent named Gangu Brahmin, who had worked in their house for nearly 20 years. On his request, Mata Gujri, accompanied by his two grandsons, agreed to go with Gangu to his village and stay at his place for some time.

    Mata Gujri ji was carrying good number of gold coins in those days. She kept the money under her pillow when she went to sleep in the house alongwith Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh. Gangu’s greed for money turned him unfaithful.He quitly stole the money bag from under the pillow of Mata Gujri Ji while she was fast a sleep. When she got up in the morning she did not find the money bag under her pillow. She enquired from Gangu politely about the gold coins. The thief Gangu got annoyed at this questioning by Mata ji and started threatening her that he would get her arrested along with her grandsons for this accusation. Mata Ji tried to calm him down. Gangu had his eyes on the prize that he would receive from the Mughal rulers if he handed over the mother and two sons of Guru Gobind Singh to the police authorities. Accompanied by the village chief, he went to the police station at Morinda town and informed the station incharge about the preseence of Guru Gobind Singh’s mother and his two youger sons in his house and requested him to bestow him prize money for helping the authorities in the arrest of fugitives.

    The police officer was immensly pleased at this important information provided by Gangu. He accompaind him to his vilage and arrested Mata Gujri along with her two grandsons and handed them over to Nawab Wazir Khan of Sirhand. Nawab Wazir Khan who had to return empty handed from Anandpur Sahib without being successful in arresting Guru Gobind Singh or his associates, was too glad to find Guru’s mother and two sons in his prison.

    Mata ji along with her two grandsons was imprisoned in the cold tower at Sirhind.The Nawab ordered them to be produced in his court the next morning. Sitting on the floor of this cold tower on this very cold December night,Mata Gujri tried to provide comfort and warmth of her body to her grand sons putting them on her lap,and Kissing the foreheades of the beautiful Kids,went to sleep.

    She woke them up early the next morning and readying them for the ensuing test they were going to be put to at the court of Wazir Khan,the tyrant ruler of Sirhind. She thus said to them, “O sons of great Guru Gobind Singh ! you are going to be offered all the comforts of a luxurious life if you agree to say goodbye to your religion and adopt Islam as your new religion.If you refuse to accept such an attractive offer they will threaten you with painful deaths. I have full confidence that though you are young Kids,you will neither be fooled by the attractive offers nor be seduced by their threats. Be brave like your Guru father who has put every thing including his life at stake to prepare people to uproot the rule of tyrant rulers. Keep up the honour of your father at all costs.”

    While the grandmother was still advising her grandsons, the soldiers of Wazir Khan arrived to take the two kids of Guru Gobind Singh to the court. Mata Gujri wished her grandsons and sent them with the soldiers praying for their success to uphold their principles and steadfastness at the court.

    Many a senior officers and advisors of Nawab Wazir Khan were seated in the court along with him in addition to prominent public personalities. On entring the court Sahibzada Jorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh loudly uttred, “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh” to the utter astonishment and amazement of Wazir Khan and his courtiers.

    One of the prominent courtier Sucha Nand told the courageous sons of Guru Gobind Singh to bow before the ruler Wazir Khan and salute like the Muslims do. The kids told him that like other Sikhs, they too bow before no one except their Guru.

    Nawab Wazir Khan now took over and said, “O small kids ! Your dad alongwith your two elder brothers has been killed in the battlefield. Luckily you have arrived in my court alive. Be quick and agree to be converted to Islam. As Muslim kids you will be provided best comforts of life like princes. You will be living in palaces, wearing silk clothes, eat variety of foods and play with other Muslim Princes and many servants will be at your beck and call, day and night.We are going to ban Sikhism and we will not leave any one alive as a Sikh. If you do not heed my advice to become Muslim, you will be put to the death in a most merciless manner. You will be cut to pieces so that no one dare become a Sikh in future.”

    The brave and smart kids of the tenth master while smiling initially at the foolishness of this hot headed Muslim ruler were angrered at the threats held out by Wazir Khan and became more determined than before in their resolve to keep up the honour of their father Guru Gobind Singh.

    In reply to Wazir Khan’s lecture the brave kids said, “Sikhism is dearer to us than our lives. Nothing in this illusory world can induce us to shed our religion. We are kids of lion Guru Gobind Singh who is determind to infuse courage into the people of all religions to rise against the cruel and tyrant rulers to gain freedom. Our grandfather, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur laid down his life to defend the right of religious freedom for the sake of opressed Hindu community being decimated by tyrant Aurangzeb. Our great great grandfather, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji submitted gladly to the will of God while facing tortuons death under the orders of Emperor Jahangir, to infuse courage and endurance in his disciples rather than convert as Muslim. We will never bring bad name to the predecessor martyrs of our faith even if we have to face death.”

    Those present in the court of Wazir Khan were greatly impressed by the brave reaction offerd to Wazir Khan by 6 yrs old Baba Fateh Singh and 8 yrs old Baba Zorawar Singh.

    In order to offer some respite and encouragement to the dazed Wazir Khan, Sucha Nand courtier commented, “if these Kids at such an adolescent age can have courage to shun all inducements and threats to their lives, they could pose grave danger to the Mughal rulers when they grow upto manhood. Like their father they would encourage other Sikhs to rise in revolt against the Kingdom. It will be proper to deal with them firmly now and no mercy should de shown to them just because they are small children.

    Nawab Wazir Khan, though impressed by the moral support provided and suggestions made by Sucha Nand, was more inclined towards coverting to Islam, the brave young sons of the great Guru Gobind Singh rather than punishing them with death penalty. He wanted to provide an opportunity to the historians to write that the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh preferred Islam to Sikhism. He, therfore controlled his anger and allowed the lads to go back home and consult their grandmother who might advise them to accept Islam to save their lives. Saying this Wazir Khan hurriedly left the court there by adjourning it for the day and thus denying the lads an opportunity to give a benifitting reply to his latest suggestion.

    Mata Gujri Ji was immensly pleased to see her grandsons back in high spirits heaving a sigh of relief. She took them hurriedlyfrom the soldiers into her bossem and kissed profusely their bright and smiling faces gave indications of their winning the battle for the day. thereafter, she asked and they told her about what happended in the court of Wazir Khan. They made a special mention about the wicked advice provided to the ruler of Sirhind by Sucha Nand Courtier.

    Mata Gujri congratulated her grandsons on their courage and stead - fastness shown by them in the court in the face of hostile attitude of Wazir Khan and his courtier Sucha Nand. She warned them of greater inducements and threats of torture when they went to the court next day. She advised them to remember Bhai Mati Dass,Bhai Sati Dass and Bhai Dayala Ji, who did not flinch in their faith and faced torturous deaths. Thus providing encouragment to her grandsons Mata Gujri went to sleep, keeping the brave young kids pressed to her body.

    The next day more inducements and threats were held out to the young Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh but none of these could deter them from their firm resolve to stick to thier grandmothers advice.

    When on the third day the young Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh left for the court escorted by Wazir Khan’s soldiers, She could visulise that her grandsons would not come back in the evening and that the rulers will carry out their threats held out to the kids earlier. She was, however, confident that her brave grandsons would die happily for their faith. She took them in her bossom, kissed their faces and stroked their backs providing them lot of love and encouragement. She kept staring at them till they disappeared from her view.

    Back in her prison cell, the cold tower, she went into meditation and prayed to the Guru and God to provide strength and unshakable determination to thetwo younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh and wished them success in the face of heavy odds they were to face at the court that day, which could in all probability be their final and last day at the court.

    At the court, seeing no let up in the firm resolve of the brave sons of great Guru, the Nawab asked them as to what would they do in case he freed them. The young boys said in reply, “We would organise Sikhs and fight to finish against the tyrant rulers to provide freedom to the opressed. We will stick to our Sikh faith under all circumstances and you or others like you will never succeed in deflecting us from our faith.”

    Nawab Wazir Khan failed in his mission to convert the two Sahibzadas into Islam. He felt dejected and humiliated. He asked his court Kazi to suggest appropriate punishment for the kids. The Kazi promptly suggested bricking alive of the kids and then doing them to death with sword blows as per Muslim law, as understood by him.

    Shaken by this inhumane punishment for the young innocent children suggested by Kazi, Nawab Sher Khan of Malerkotla protested and said, “Islam does not specify punishment to the children for the guilt of their father. They are innocent and should be freed.” The Kazi lost his temper and told Sher Khan that he (Kazi) was much more conversant with Muslim law than him. Sucha Nand added fuel to fire by suggesting that Cobra’s off springs should be killed promptly lest they create trouble when they are fully grown up.

    On this, Wazir Khan approved the punishment suggested by Kazi without any amendment. Nawab of Malerkotla protested loudly at this decision and walked out of the court.

    When no one came forward to carry out the punishment pronounced for the young children, two Pathans of Ghilaza Tribe (known for their barbarism) were successfully persuaded to do the job. They made the young lads stand close to each other and started raising a wall around them. Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh started reciting hymns of Guru ji (Gurbani) and meditating on the name of God, remained composed and in high spirits.

    The Kazi carrying his holy book Koran in his hands continued to persuade the kids to accept conversion to Islam to save their precious lives. The children fully concentrating their minds on the name of God, paid no heed to what Kazi was trying to tell them. When the wall reached the shoulders of Sahibzada Fateh Singh, on a signal from Kazi, the two Pathans promptly choped off the heads of the two kids with the blows of their swords.

    Mata Gujri was thrown to death from the cold tower by the soldiers after being informed of the fate of her grandsons.

    Thus the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh, aged 6 & 8 years respectively, became the youngest martyrs at the hands of barbarous rulers. Their brave deeds will provide inspiration to the Sikhs and their young children to emulate the brave acts of young Sahibzadas of the tenth master whom no amount of wordly attractions and threat could deter from their resolve to stick to their faith and fight against the unjust and cruel rulers. Mata Gujri ji also provided a shining example to all mothers and grandmothers as to how they should imbibe good qualities of religion, sacrifice, faith, in the young minds of their sons and grandsons at tender age, and prepare their minds and bodies to facce challenges they are likely to face as they grow up. The example of Mata Gujri Ji is worth emulating by all mothers and grandmothers.
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    re: December 25 in Sikh History: Mata Gujri and the Chotte Shahibzaday

    Mata Gujri

    http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/great-sikh-women/mata-gujri-ji


    Mata Gujari was the daughter of Bhai lal Chand Subulikka and Bishan Kaur, a pious couple of Kartarpur, in present-day kapurthala district of the Punjab. Lal Chand had migrated from his ancestral village, Lakhnaur, in Ambala district, to settle at Kartarpur where his daughter Gujari was married to (Guru) Tegh Bahadur on 4 February 1633. The betrothal had taken place four years earlier when Tegh Bahadur had come to Kartarpur in the marriage party of his elder brother, Suraj Mall. Bishan Kaur, the mother, had been charmed by the handsome face of Tegh Bahadur and she and her husband pledged the hand of their daughter to him. After the marriage ceremony, the couple came to reside in Amritsar. Bride Gujari won the appreciation of everyone "Like bridegroom like bride" records Gurbilas Chhevi patshsahi. "Gujari is by destiny made worthy of Tegh Bahadur in every way " In 1635, Mata Gujari left Amritsar with the holy family and went to reside at Kartarpur, in the Sivalik foothills. After of Guru Hargobind left this world in 1644, she came with her husband and mother-in-law, Mata Nanaki, to Bakala, now in Amritsar district of the Punjab. There they lived in peaceful seclusion, Tegh Bahadur spending his days and nights in meditation and Gujari performing the humble duties of a pious and devoted housewife. After he was installed Guru in 1664, Guru Tegh Bahadur, accompanied by Mata Gujari, went on a visit to Amritsar, traveling on to Makhoval, near Kiratpur, where a new habitation, named Chakk Nanaki (later Anandpur) was founded in the middle of 1665.

    Soon after this, Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his mother, Nanaki, and wife, Gujari, set out on a long journey to the east Leaving the family at Patna, he traveled on to Bengal and Assam. At Patna, Mata Gujari gave birth to a son on 22 December 1666. The child was named Gobind Rai, the illustrious Guru Gobind Singh of later day. Guru Tegh Bahadur returned to Patna in 1670 for a brief stay before he left for Delhi, instructing the family to proceed to lakhnaur, now in Haryana.

    Mata Gujari, accompanied by the aged Mata Nanaki and young Gobind Rai, reached, on 13 September 1670, Lakhnaur where she stayed with her brother Mehar chand, until she was joined by her husband. An old well just outside Lakhnaur village and reverently called Matta da Khuh or Mata Gujari DA Khuh still commemorates her visit. From Lakhnaur the family proceeded to Chakk Nanaki where Guru Tegh Bahadur rejoined them in March 1671 after spending some more time traveling through the Malva region and meeting sangats. At Chakk Nanaki, 11 July 1675 was a momentous day when Guru Tegh Bahadur left for Delhi prepared to make the supreme sacrifice. She showed courage at the time of parting and bore the ultimate trial with fortitude. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed in Delhi on 11 November 1675, and, Guru Cobind Singh then being very young, the responsibility of managing the affairs at Chakk Nanaki, initially, fell to her. She was assisted in the task by her younger brother, Kirpal Chand.

    When in face of a prolonged siege by hostile hill rajas and Mughal troops Chakk Nanaki (Anandpur) had to be evacuated by Guru Gobind Singh on the night of 5-6 December 1705, Mata Gujari with her younger grandsons, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, aged nine and seven year respectively, was separated from the main body while crossing the rivulet Sarsa. The three of them were led by their servant, Gangu, to the latter's village, Saheri, near Morinda in present day Ropar district, where he treacherously betrayed them to the local Muslim officer. Mata Gujari and her grandsons were arrested on 8 December and confined in Sirhind Fort in what is referred to in Sikh chronicles as Thanda Burj, the cold tower. As the children were summoned to appear in court from day to day, the grandmother kept urging them to remain steadfast in their faith. On 11 December they were ordered to be bricked up alive in a wall, but, since the masonry crumbled before it covered their heads, they were executed the following day. Mata Gujari ji were imprisoned on top of a tower which was opened from all sides without any warm clothes in very cold month of December. She continued the tradition of Sikhism and without complaints give her body singing guru ki Bani. Mata Gujari ji attained martyrdom the same day as her grandsons. No doubt Guru Nanak Dev ji had said "Why isn't woman equal to man when she is who gave birth to kings, and protectors of Dharma". Mata Gujari ji through upbringing of her grandsons played such an important role in Sikhism that as Sikhs, we can owe our existence to her. It was due to her teachings that 6 year old and 9 year old did not bulge from their Dharma and attained martyrdom. Thus continuing and emphasizing the institute of martyrdom in Sikhism. Seth Todar Mall, a kindhearted wealthy man of Sirhind, cremated the three dead bodies the next day.

    At Fatehgarh Sahib, near Sirhind, there is a shrine called Gurdwara Mata Gujari (Thanda Burj). This is where Mata Gujari spent the last four days of her life. About one kilometer to the southeast of it is Gurdwara Joti Sarup, marking the cremation site. Here, on the ground floor, a small domed pavilion in white marble is dedicated to Mata Gujari. The Sikhs from far and near come to pay homage to her memory, especially during a three-day fair held from 1113 Poh, Bikrami dates falling in the last week of December.

    Mata Gujri was the first Sikh Martyr lady in the Sikh history. She is also distinguished by being the wife of a martyr (Guru Tegh Bahaar), mother of a martyr (Guru Gobind Singh), grandmother of four martyr Sahibzadas (Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh, and Fateh Singh), sister of a martyr ( Kirpal Chand) and aunt of five martyr sons of Bibi Viro, sister of Guru Tegh Bahadar.

    Mata Gujri was born to Bhai Lal Chand and Bibi Bishan Kaur, a pious couple, at Kartarpur, near Jullundur in Punjab. Tyag Mal (Great Sacrificer) visited Kartarpur with the marriage party of his elder brother, Suraj Mal. Gujri’s parents were attracted to Tyag Mal and engaged their daughter to him. Her marriage took place at Kartarpur in 1633 as child marriage was the custom in those days.

    She won the appreciation of every member of the Tyag Mal’s family after marriage. A historian has written, “Like Bridegroom, like bride.” People said “Gujri is by destiny made worthy of Tyag Mal in every way.” She was a noble soul, beautiful, cultured, sweet tongued, humble, ever happy, tender hearted , devoted wife and daughter- in-law. It was at Kartarpur in 1635 that she herself saw her husband fighting bravely against the Mughal forces that had attacked Guru Hargobind who was so much pleased with the Tyag Mal’s bravery that he conferred on him the title of Tegh Bahadur (Lord of the Sword). By which name he came to be known in history afterwards.

    From Kartarpur Guru Hargobind moved to Kiratpur near Anandpur. After the death of Guru Hargobind in 1644, Tegh Bahadur with his mother and wife shifted from Kiratpur to village, Bakala near Amritsar where the family stayed for twenty-one years. The family owned some land there and lived a comfortable life on its income. The family had a cell dug into the floor to avoid oppressive heat of the summer. Tegh Bahadur meditated in the cell (Bhaura) in solitude when free . Mata Gujri performed the humble duty of a devoted housewife and served her husband and mother-in-law. In 1664 when Guru Tegh Bahadur was installed the ninth Guru, he along with his mother, wife and some followers went to Hari Mandar at Amritsar to pay his respect and from there he went to Kiratpur. In 1665 Guru Tegh Bahadur purchased a large tract of land and founded a new town, Chakk Nanki, named after his mother. Now it is called Anandpur Sahib (Abode of bliss). The family left for east India to spread Sikhism and avoid intrigues of selfish and frustrated relatives.

    When the party reached Gaya, a famous city, Ram Singh, a Rajput prince, requested Guru Tegh Bahadur to accompany and help him negotiating a settlement with the king of Assam, a state in the East, as Ram Singh was assigned this job by Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor. The guru agreed, left the family at Patna, Bihar state, in the care of his brother-in-law, Kirpal Chand and his devotees, and himself accompanied Ram Singh. On his way to Assam Guru Tegh Bahadur wrote letters to his followers at Patna to take special care of Mata Gujri and the family. It shows that Mata Gujri was dear to her husband. In 1666 Mata Gujri gave birth to Gobind Rai, Guru Gobind Singh of later days, at Patna and the happy news was conveyed to Guru Tegh Bahadur when he was on tour. Gobind Rai was born after thirty three years of Mata Gujri’s marriage, so everybody was overjoyed. Now Mata Gujri was busy caring for the child Gobind Rai .She distributed alms among the poor and thanked God for fulfilling her long cherished desire. Guru Tegh Bahadur returned to Patna in 1670 and after a few days stay at Patna, he returned to the Punjab leaving the family at Patna as his son Gobind Rai was still young and the conditions in Punjab were unsettled. In due course of time, the family with Bhai Kirpal Chand left Patna and on the way stayed for a few days at Lakhnaur near Ambala with the brother of Mata Gujri in 1671. A well at Lakhnaur called, Mata Gujri Da Khuh, still commemorates her visit. The whole family reached Chakk Nanki in 1671 and was received by the people with open arms.

    A deputation of the Pandits of Kashmir complained to Guru Tegh Bahadur against the policy of their forced conversion to Islam adopted by the Governor of Kashmir as desired by Aurangzeb in 1675. At that time 8 ½ years old Gobind Rai appeared there and asked the cause of the sadness of the visitors. The guru replied that the nation needed a holy man to sacrifice his life to save these Pandits from forcible conversion. Gobind Rai exclaimed, “Revered father, there cannot be a holier person that you.” The guru was struck by these remarks of his child. He told the Pandits that they should tell the governor that if Guru Tegh Bahadur was converted first, they would follow.

    The Guru nominated Gobind Rai as a successor as he knew that his end was near. In July, 1675 Guru Tegh Bahadur was arrested for supporting the Pandits. He along with three companions was taken to Delhi for the supreme sacrifice. Mata Gujri showed great courage at the time of parting. During his absence, she slept on the floor, took food once a day, and prayed. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed and his companions were tortured to death in Delhi in November 1675 as they refused to give up their faith . She bore the ultimate trial with fortitude.

    A Sikh named Jaita picked up the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur secretly at midnight and brought it to Guru Gobind Rai at Chakk Nanki. Mata Gujri kept calm treating it as the will of God. Now she took the responsibility of managing the affairs as Gobind Rai was very young. She brought him up like a prince, arranged for his education, and military training. Thus she prepared him for the great mission ahead. From 1675-1684 the whole family stayed at Chakk Nanki. Her letters written to Masands (Preachers who preached in their respective areas and collected offerings for the Guru.) during this period show that she was very strict with the dishonest Masands. Her wording of the letters shows that she was kind hearted but determined to set things right. She celebrated the marriage of Gobind Rai in 1677 with Jito, whom she named Sundri with great enthusiasm. In 1699 when Gobind Rai decided to create a nation of Saint Soldiers and demanded five Sikhs who could offer their heads to him. This was more than many could endure. Some of them went to complain to Mata Gujri. She consoled them and remarked that her son could not kill his Sikhs. At that time, she was grandmother and encouraged her grandson to be baptized. When Guru Gobind Singh abolished the institution of Masands and punished the notorious ones, some of them approached Mata Gujri to interfere. She refused as she knew the nature of corrupt Masands.

    In December 1704 Guru Gobind Singh had to vacate the fort at Anandpur due to the prolonged siege by the Mughal troops. Mata Gujri with her younger grandsons, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, ages 8 and 5 respectively, was separated from other members of the family while crossing the rivulet Sirsa which was in flood.The three of them were led by their cook, Gangu, to his village, Saher, near Ropar. At night, he stole

    their bag containing money. When it was pointed out to him, he showed ignorance and protested for being blamed. He informed the village headman. Mata Gujri and her grandsons were arrested, and were taken to the governor of Sirhind who confined them to the fort known as Thanda Burj, the cold tower. It was a summer resort for officers but most uncomfortable for eighty years old lady and two children without any warm clothes in the month of December. Mata Gujri foresaw what was going to happen to them. She advised her grandsons not to give up their faith under any circumstances. She told them how their grandfather, Guru Tegh Bahadur had sacrificed his life and preferred death to conversion. She also related to them the sacrifice of Guru Arjan Dev and prepared them to face the governor boldly and not to bow before him.

    Governor Wazir Khan was the bitterest foe of the Guru. He was biting his lips in rage for his failure to capture the Guru. He was determined to exercise his power on little children. The children were summoned to the court. They refused to bow before the governor and uttered “Waheguru ji ki Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh.” He was annoyed and threatened to torture them if they did not embrace Islam. Both of them refused to give up their faith. They were given twentyfour hours to think and promised many gifts and comfortable lives if they agreed. They were warned that they would be bricked alive if they refused. When they told Mata Gujri all, she kissed them and advised them to remain steadfast in their faith. Next day the governor made the tempting offers again but they rejected all of them. They wer ordered to be bricked alive. The chief of Malerkotla state, Sher Muhammad Khan, who was present there pleaded for them, but of no avail. \ When they were being bricked alive, in anger they pushed down the temporary structure built in mud and bricks. Therefore they were beheaded on December 27, 1704. When Mata Gujri was told about the martyrdom of her grandsons, she thanked God for giving them a dignified death. She closed her eyes and breathed her last meditating. She kept the tradition of Sikhism and gave her body singing Gurbani without any complaint. Thus she attained martyrdom on the same day as her grandsons. These days there stands a Gurdwara Fateh Garh Sahib.

    Todar Mal, a rich business man, cremated the three dead bodies by purchasing the land at a huge price. Gurdwara, Joti Sarup, was erected later on at that place where the Sahibzadas were beheaded. Two tombs in white marble for the Sahibzadas were built within the four walls while the one dedicated to Mata Gujri is on the ground floor. It shows the grandmother is still watching her grandsons. At Fateh Garh Sahib near Sirhind, there is a shrine called Gurdwara Mata Gujri (Thanda Burj). Here she spent the last three days of her life. Every year, devotees from far and near come to pay homage to her memory in the last week of December.

    The life story of this unforgettable lady, Mata Gujri, is a lighthouse for the generations. Her name is uttered with respect as she preferred faith to a comfortable life. Due to her teaching and upbringing, her young grandsons set an example for others. We Sikhs owe our existence to her. She continued and emphasized the institution of martyrdom in Sikhism.
     
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    #3 spnadmin, Dec 25, 2012
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  5. spnadmin

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    Re: December 25 in Sikh History: Mata Gujri and the Chotte Shahibzaday

    Article in Punjabi. Please read the special feature from Rozana Spokesman. See the pdf attachment
     

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    Re: December 25 in Sikh History: Mata Gujri and the Chotte Shahibzaday

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HboPj06e4UM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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    Re: December 25 in Sikh History: Mata Gujri and the Chotte Shahibzaday

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kYWi6R_oXgc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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    Re: December 25 in Sikh History: Mata Gujri and the Chotte Shahibzaday

    video in Punjabi

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    SPNADMN ji

    Millions thanks for the article. I went yesterday to pay respect to them; it was wonderful experience.

    regards
    mandemeet
     
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  10. spnadmin

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    mandemeet ji

    You are welcome. Blessings!
     
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    Re: Sikh Spokesman (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ Punjabi)

    recent article from Rozana Spokesman for December 27 2013
     

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    #10 spnadmin, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

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