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Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh He was given permission by the Mogul authorities to hold a gathering of Sikhs at the holy city of Amritsar in 1738, in return for a large donation of money from the Sikh pilgrims to the state coffers. However, in fear of the Mogul army, few pilgrims arrived and the money could not be paid. Bhai Mani Singh was told that, as he could not pay, he could either convert to Islam or die. Staring into Zakhriya Khan’s eyes, Bhai Mani Singh said, “O Zakhriya Khan I am not scared. I am frustrated with my Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.” He replied, “Obviously you were going to get frustrated with your Guru! What have you got out of your Guru’s Sikhi? Having a fatwaa of being cut limb by limb. You still have time to convert to Islam.” Bhai Mani Singh answered back, “This is not the case. I am frustrated with my Guru because when I left Amritsar, I did an Ardaas. “O King and Master, may each hair on my body be accepted for GurSikhi.” But instead why have my limbs only been accepted and not each hair on my body. What shortage (kammee) was there in my Ardaas?” “You seem to talk lots, but remember yet you have not seen the face of the executioner. When you see him you will get frightened,” said Zakhriya Khan. The executioner arrived. In his hand is a blade. “O executioner, sharpen up your blade and I will sharpen up my mind,” said Bhai Mani Singh to the executioner. The executioner replied, “I will sharpen my blade with sand. What will you sharpen your mind with?” Bhai Mani Singh answered him, “O executioner, with the sand you are going to sharpen your blade, that sand can break because man made it. But Akaal Purakh makes the sand I am going to use. That sand is, Naam, that sand is Gurbaani. I will sharpen my mind with Naam and Gurbaani.” Now the executioner sharpens his blade with sand and Bhai Mani Singh Ji sharpened his mind with Naam. He recited Japji sahib and finishing reciting Gurbaani he roared a loud jaikaara, “Boley so nihaal! Sat sri Akaal!” With a glowing face with the power of Naam and Gurbaani, Bhai Mani Singh Ji shouted to the executioner, “Come on executioner, now me and you will talk.” A wooden block was brought forward. Bhai Mani Singh came forward saying “Satnaam Waheguru” he put forward his right hand on the wooden block. The executioner makes his mark on Bhai Mani Singh’s fingers. Bhai Mani Singh Ji pulls away his hand. “Mani Singh, you got scared! Before you were talking so much, yet this is the first cut. You couldn’t even handle the first cut, yet we are going to cut you limb by limb, your whole body,” said Zakhriya Khan. Bhai Mani Singh Ji replied back, “O executioner, what were your orders? You were ordered to cut me piece by piece. You have left all my fingers. Zakhriya Khan, ensure your servant doesn’t disrespect your orders and I will not disrespect my Father, Guru Gobind Singh Ji Paatshaah’s orders. Piece by piece, Bhai Mani Singh Ji’s body was cut to bits. Bhai Mani Singh Ji only recited Gurbaani, and it was what he had lived and breathed.
Aman Singh, Jun 29, 2008