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Gurus Guru Hargobind: Gurgaddi 11 June 1606


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Background in the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev - Read first

While in prison, before his execution at Lahore, Guru Arjun had sent a message to his son, Guru Hargobind, then aged only eleven, that he should henceforth maintain an army. At the very time of his installation as Guru, he insisted that he should wear two swords, one representing his spiritual leadership and the other his temporal and political leadership. Soon after it, he constructed in front of the Amritsar temple, another building called the Akal Takht (God's throne) as the seat of temporal power. This place continues to the present day as the centre of every sociopolitical deliberation and power of the community. There, like the two swords he wore, he raised aloft two flags representing the two aspects of his activities. He told his followers, "My rosary shall be my swordbelt and on my turban I shall wear the emblem of royalty." The Sikhs were already engaged in the trade of horses and the Guru advised every Sikh to keep a sword and maintain a horse, wherever possible. He started recruiting a regular army. He had a personal bodyguard of 57 horsemen and kept 700 horses, 60 gunmen and 500 infantry men. Thus a state within a state, started and developed by the earlier Gurus, was consolidated by him. When this news reached the Emperor, he demanded from the Guru the fine imposed on his father. The Guru was imprisoned in the Gwalior fort along with other political prisoners of high status. Later he was released.

There is an important incident which brings out the religious policy of the Gurus. One Ram Das, a Maharashtra saint, met Guru Hargobind. He questioned him as to how he reconciled his being a successor to the spiritual seat of Guru Nanak with his living as a soldier, maintaining an army and calling himself a true Emperor. The Guru replied that Guru Nanak had given up mammon (greed for money). He had not renounced the world, and that the sword was for the double purpose of protecting the poor and destroying the tyrant. These words of the Guru most clearly bring out the religious and spiritual philosophy of Sikh mysticism, its originality and its break with the past. Persons brought up in the tradition of old beliefs and ideas of dichotomy between the religious and the temporal life find it difficult to understand and grasp the significance of the Guru's system. The problem of comprehension that confronted saint Ram Das was the same as arose with the Nath Yogis in their dialogue with Guru Nanak. It arises even now with some of our present-day academicians. But, for the Sikh mystic, participation in life is spiritually essential. Consequently, the defence of moral life, reaction and responses to challenges from the environment form an integral part of the Gurus' mystic system. The reply of Guru Hargobind is an unambiguous clarification of the system of Guru Nanak as understood by the Gurus themselves. This also explains the various empirical steps taken by the first five Gurus in order to develop their religious system and organise the Sikhs in the way they did. Saint Ram Das's meeting with the Guru had a great historical consequence, for he was so impressed by the Guru's thesis that he later trained Shivaji, the great Maratha leader, in the same manner.
Guru Hargobind sponsored the cause of the downtrodden Hindus and provided leadership to the oppressed people of Punjab. In this struggle, he fought six battles with the Mughals in the plains of the Punjab. People came to him and joined his forces because they felt that no one else had the power to stand against the Emperor. In one of these battles he defeated 7,000 Mughal soldiers. Finally, he settled at Kiratpur. His reputation as a military leader spread and ambassadors of the hill Rajas waited upon him.

The organisation of the Sikhs into a separate socio-religious group with political implications had started from the time of the very first Guru. This close and integral combination of the temporal and the spiritual life was a thesis which was foreign to the Indian tradition. No wonder that some of the people around the Sixth Guru, including his own followers, could not understand the spiritual character of these military developments. This explains two points. First, that the transformation of the community into a spirituo- political organisation could only be gradual, because the Gurus had to carry the people with them. Unfortunately, they had all been conditioned by the old traditions. The full understanding and acceptance of the new thesis could only be slow.

The Gurus, naturally, had to wait till their followers fully realised the implications of the new doctrine and owned its responsibilities. Secondly, it also confirms the view that the object was to organise a mission and a movement in the empirical world and not merely to deliver a message and embody it in a scripture or a mythical tale. The scriptural thesis had to be lived among the people and not in the seclusion of a monastery for the training of a few. The aim was to uplift everyone irrespective of caste and creed and to show that each one, howsoever placed, could tread the spiritual path. This choice was open to everyone and the Guru was there to organise and lead the movement. Hence, the progress could only be gradual both in the education of the people and in the pace of the movement. The latter could not outstrip the former. The task was stupendous. For, it had to take place in the face of the understandable opposition of one of the greatest empires of all times.

One incident is very significant of the socio-political climate in the Guru's camp. During a hunt being carried out by the Imperial party in a jungle, the Sikhs also entered the same area in pursuit of game. The Sikhs got hold of a falcon, which was claimed by the official party. A clash took place and the Imperial forces were beaten off. But, what is important is the approval of the Sikhs who stressed, "you are talking of the return of the baz (falcon), we are after your tag (crown)." It clearly shows the independence of political status claimed by the Guru and his Sikhs.

The number and areas of sub-centres of preachings were extended. The Guru himself controlled both the religious centres and the temporal centre at Amritsar. The Guru, thereby, only brought out visibly and symbolically what, in view of the steps that had already been taken by the earlier Gurus, was inherent in the integrated spiritual thesis of Guru Nanak. In fact secure and clear foundations had already been laid by him. While the Gurus, and those engaged in these developments, were fully aware of their responsibility to maintain the original spiritual purity of the religion and the entire movement, to some outsiders, including historians conditioned and committed to different doctrines and systems of religion and polity, the Sixth Guru s work has seemed to show a departure from the original growth. But, a departure, as we have seen, it was not.


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Punjabi video Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji - YouTube

Life sketch of Guru Hargobind

Guru Hargobind was sixth in the spiritual descent form Guru Nanak, was born the only son of Guru Arjan and Mata Ganga on Har Vadi 7, 1652 BK / 19 June 1595 at Vadali, now called Vadali Guru, a village near Amritsar. As a child, he escaped being poisoned by a jealoous uncle and being bitten by a cobra thrown in his way. He also survived a virulent attack of smallpox and grew up into a tall and handsome youth. His contribution to Sikhism and Sikhs can be summed up in one phrase i.e. "making them Saints and Soldiers".

He received his early education and training at the hands of two revered Sikhs of that time Bhai Gurdas and Baba Buddha. The former taught him the religious texts and the latter the manly arts of swordsmanship and archery. He was barely 11 years of age when his father, Guru Arjan, was martyred in Lahore. Guru Arjan had on Jeth vadz 25 1663 Bikrami May 1606 nominated him his successor and, according to the Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, sent him instruction "to ascend the throne fully armed, and have armed men, as many as you can, to accompany you." For the ceremonies of succession which took place on 26 Har 1663 Bk/24 May 1606, Guru Hargobind chose himself a warrior's equipment. He sat on a seat he had had erected in front of the holy Harimandar, with two swords on his person, declaring one to he the symbol of the spiritual and the other that of his temporal investiture. Hukamnamas were issued to sangats on Har vadz 2,1663 Bk/ 12 June 1606 to come with offerings of arms and horses. Guru Hargobind maintained a retinue of fifty-two armed Sikhs. Many more came to offer him their services, and several of them were provided with horses and weapons. Manly sports became popular and bards such as 'Abdulla and Nattha were engaged to recite heroic poetry.

Guru Hargobind combined with soldierly demeanour a compassionate disposition and carried out his spiritual office in keeping with the custom of his predecessors. "He," as says the Mahima Prakash, "arose three hours before daybreak and sat in seclusion, to concentrate on the Divine. Then he dressed himself and repaired to the presence of the Holy Book and began to recite it silently. None entered to interrupt him. None could fathom the depth of his spiritual absorption. "

Reports about the splendid style of Guru Hargobind led Emperor Jahngir to pass orders for his detention in the Fort of Gwalior. According to the Dabistan-i-Mazahib, the charge levelled against him was that he had not paid the fine imposed on his father. For how long he remained in the Fort cannot be stated with certainty. From forty days to twelve years, in Dabistan-i-Mazahib, several different periods of time are mentioned. It seems that Guru Hargobind remained in the Fort for a few months during 1617-19 whereafter he was required to stay in the royal camp under surveillance for some time. During his detention in Gwalior, Sikhs made trips to the city in batches to see him and, when disallowed to enter the Fort, they proffered obeisance from outside its walls and returned. As time came for Guru Hargobind to be released from the Fort, he came out on the condition that all other detenues were freed, too. He led fifty-two prisoners out of the Fort. Bandichhor? (Liberator Benign) is the title by which he is remembered to this day. When at last Guru Hargobind reached Amritsar Sikhs illuminated the town. The anniversary of the event is still celebrated at Harimandar, the Golden Temple, with Lights and fireworks.

Emperor Jahangir from now on continued to be conciliatory and, according to Sikh tradition, he delivered to Guru Hargobind Chandu Shah, who took part of the responsibility far the execution of Guru Arjan and for his own incarceration. Chandu Shah met with a violent end at the hands of the Sikhs. On his lands, also made over to him, Guru Hargobind founded a new town Which came to be known as Sri Hargobindpur. As the work commenced, Bhagvan Das, a local landlord, objected and attacked the Sikhs with a party of his men. Bhagvan Das was killed in the skirmish. His son, Ratan Chand, and Chandu Shah's son, Karam Chand, sought help from the Mughal faujdar of Jalandhar who sent a body of troops against Guru Hargobind. They were repulsed in the battle that ensued. Both these actions were fought in the vicinity of Ruhela, the first on 28 Assu 1678 Bk/28 September 1621 and the second on 3 Kattak 1678 Bk/4 October 1621. At Sri Hargobindpur, the Guru built along with the dharamsala a mosque for the Muslims.

In 1628 the city of Amritsar witnessed the first onslaught on it by the Mughals. Shah Jahan, who succeded his father in 1627 knew that Sikhism had undergone a metamorphosis under Guru Hargobind, the only son of the martyred fifth Guru. This according to the Bhatt Vahi Multan Sindis, was fought on Baisakh 17,1691 Bk/14 April 1634. He had donned two swords of Miri (temporal) and Piri (spiritual), had raised an Akal Takht (1609), built Lohgarh (fortress), collected arms,3 recruited Pathan mercenaries under Paindeh Khan and was giving military training to his followers. On a pretext of getting a royal hawk released from the Guru an expedition of 7,000 strong under Ghulam Rasul Khan Panj Hazari and Mukhlis Khan, Deputy Nazim, was sent. Guru Hargobind would not have liked to make the holy place a battle-ground and had enjoined that "the Harimandir is specially devoted to God's service. It should never be defiled with any impurity of the human body ". He was busy making preparations for the wedding of his daughter Bibi Viro. The combat with royal forces took place at Gumtala, then a suburb of Amritsar. Guru Bilas Patshahi Chhevin 4 gives a vivid account of the encounter, the feats of valour displayed by Bidhia, Jetha, and Piraga each at the head of 100 villagers from Kambowal, who at the moment had arrived to pay homage to the Sixth Guru. The royal troops suffered heavy casualities, including those of Mukhlis Khan the commander of the Mughal army, Maula Bux, son of Qutb-ud-Din, a Qazi of Lahore and Zaffar Beg, a commander. Ghulam Rasul Khan fled. Those thirteen killed on the Guru's side were Bhais Nand, Jait, Piraga, Tota, Tiloka, Sain Das, Paira, Bhagtu, Ananta, Nihala, Takhtu, Mohan and Gopal.5 They died in the defence of the city, the temple and the Guru.

Soon oon afterwards Guru Hargobind left Amritsar, this time taking with him the holy Granth Sahib seated in the Harimandar. The first long halt was at Darauh, near Moga, in present-day Faridkot district. From there Gura Hargobind sent the Granth Sahib with the family to Kartarpur. He himself sojourned in the Malva, visiting his Sikhs and confronting, on 16 December 1634, the Mughal troops in yet another battle, this time at Lahira, near Mehraj, now in Bathinda district. Another armed clash took place at Kartarpur on 29-30 Baisakh 1692 Bk/26-27 April 1635, when Guru Hargobind's own erstwhile Pathan follower, Painda Khan, led out a Mughal force against him. According to Teja Singh and Ganda Singh Guru Hargobind had won four battles, but as his purpose had always been only defensive.

Guru Hargobind finally retired to Kiratpur where he spent the remaining nine years of his life in peace. The town was of the Guru's own creation and had existed since Baba Sri Chand had, according to the evidence of the Bhatt Vahis, broken ground at his request, on Baisakh suds Puranmashl 1683 Bk/l May 1626. The site had been gifted by Raja Kalyan Chand of Kahlur, one of the chieftains who had won their reprieve at Gwalior through Guru Hargobind's intercession. Kiratpur now became the centre of the Sikh faith. Sikhs came here from all parts to see the Guru. Guru Hargobind gave most of his time to religious devotions. Contact was maintained with sangats in farflung places, and old warriors like Bidhi Chand were sent out as preachers. For Sikhs the roles of saint and soldier had become mutually complementary. About the Guru himself, Bhai Gurdas wrote: "Great hero is Guru Hargobind. He is the vanquisher of armies, but his heart is full of love and charity." This synthesis of the heroic and the spiritual was Guru Hargobind's distinctive contribution to the evolution of Sikh society.

Guru Hargobind had travelled extensively in the Punjab spreading the word of Guru Nanak. He had also visited places such as Nanakmata and Srinagar in Garhval (where the famous Maratha saint Samarth Ramdas met him) in the cast and Kashmir in the north. The journey to Kashmir was made in 1620 in the company of Emperor Jahangir, and Srinagar, Baramula, Uri and Poonchh were among the places visited. Gurdwaras in these and in many places in the Punjab and outside honour the memory of Guru Hargobind.

Guru Hargobind, like all of his predecessors, lived a married life. He had six children five sons and a daughter. Gurditta, Ant Rai and the daughter Bibi Viro, Suraj Mall, Atal Rai and Teg Bahadur. Two of his sons, Baba Gurditta and Atal Rai, died in his lifetime . Guru Hargobind passed away on Chet 5,1701 Bk/3 March 1644 at Kiratpur.
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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
Bilāval mėhlā 5.
Bilaaval, Fifth Mehl:

ਸਗਲ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਕੀਆ ਪਰਮੇਸਰਿ ਅਪਣਾ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰਿਆ ॥
Sagal anand kī▫ā parmesar apṇā biraḏ samĥāri▫a.
The Transcendent Lord has brought bliss to all; He has confirmed His Natural Way.

ਸਾਧ ਜਨਾ ਹੋਏ ਕਿਰਪਾਲਾ ਬਿਗਸੇ ਸਭਿ ਪਰਵਾਰਿਆ ॥੧॥
Sāḏẖ janā ho▫e kirpālā bigse sabẖ parvāri▫ā. ||1||
He has become Merciful to the humble, holy Saints, and all my relatives blossom forth in joy. ||1||

ਕਾਰਜੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰਿਆ ॥
Kāraj saṯgur āp savāri▫ā.
The True Guru Himself has resolved my affairs.

ਵਡੀ ਆਰਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੀ ਸੂਖ ਮੰਗਲ ਕਲਿਆਣ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
vadī ārjā har gobinḏ kī sūkẖ mangal kali▫āṇ bīcẖāri▫ā. ||1|| rahā▫o.
He has blessed Hargobind with long life, and taken care of my comfort, happiness and well-being. ||1||Pause||

ਵਣ ਤ੍ਰਿਣ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਹਰਿਆ ਹੋਏ ਸਗਲੇ ਜੀਅ ਸਾਧਾਰਿਆ ॥ आ ॥
vaṇ ṯariṇ ṯaribẖavaṇ hari▫ā ho▫e sagle jī▫a sāḏẖāri▫ā.
The forests, meadows and the three worlds have blossomed forth in greenery; He gives His Support to all beings.

ਮਨ ਇਛੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਫਲ ਪਾਏ ਪੂਰਨ ਇਛ ਪੁਜਾਰਿਆ ॥੨॥੫॥੨੩॥
Man icẖẖe Nānak fal pā▫e pūran icẖẖ pujāri▫ā. ||2||5||23||
Nanak has obtained the fruits of his mind's desires; his desires are totally fulfilled. ||2||5||23||
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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Legacy of Guru Hargobind ji

  • Transformed the Sikh fraternity by introducing martial arts and weapons for the defence of the masses following his father's martyrdom.
  • Militarised the Sikh movement – carried two swords of Miri and Piri.
  • Built the Akal Takht in 1608 – which is now one of five Takhts (Seats of Power) of the Sikhs.
  • Founded the city of Kiratpur in District Jalandhar, Punjab.
  • He was imprisoned in the fort of Gwalior for one year and on release insisted that 52 fellow prisoners be freed as well. To mark this occasion, the Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas.
  • The first Guru to engage in warfare.
  • Fought four battles against the Mughal rulers.
  • The city Hargobindpur, in Majha region of Punjab, is named after him, which he won over from Mughals after defeating them in a battle.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Mughal Forces and the Guru


Emperor Jahangir had died in Kashmir and his son Shah Jahan became the Emperor of India. When Prithia's son, Meharban heard Chandu's death, he was greatly distressed. Meharban said to himself,"Sulhi Khan died when he set himself against the Guru. My father died as he was against the Guru. Now Chandu has died. What magic the Guru possesseth that no one may withstand him." Meharban exchanged turban with Karam Chand, Chandu's son, in token of life-long friendship, and then discussed ways with him how to bring about the Guru's ruin. They started poisoning Shah Jahan's mind against him. Guru Har Gobind sent his revered Sikhs to Meharban to dissuade him from his hostile and evil designs. He also went himself to Meharban to strike a conciliatory note but in vain. Shah Jahan pursued a different religious policy. He served to orthodoxy, and religious fanaticism was at a considerable height during his reign. He took keen interest in the welfare of new converts to Islam. If any Muslim gave up his religion, he was severely dealt with. Some temples under construction in Punjab were demolished and mosques were raised in their places. His mind was poisoned against the Guru by his enemies and soon the ties of cordial relations as they had been since 1611, were snapped and a period of open hostility started towards the Sikhs. On his way to Pilibhit, the Guru visited Kartarpur where he met some Pathans of village, Wadamir, equipped with swords and shields who offered their services to him. With them was a tall and powerful youth, Painde Khan. His parents were dead and he was living with his uncle. The Guru enlisted Painde Khan on his personal staff and continually pampered him to increase his strength. He could, without the aid of a rope or bridle, arrest a horse running at full speed. No wrestler would engage with him. The Guru practised all martial exercises and collected arms of every description. He hunted and witnessed exhibitions of strength by Painde Khan and others. He presented to Painde Khan the offering made by the Sikhs. This caused great heart-burning and worry to others. A deputation of Sikhs went to Bhai Gurdas who in turn sent them to Bhai Buddha. Bhai Buddha represented to the Guru,"Thou art like the Ganges, like the sun and like the fire. The river Ganges swallows corpses and bones of the countless dead, and yet remains pure; the sun draws noxious vapors towards it, and yet remains pure; fire burns the dead, yet remains pure. Thou art like all three. The Sikhs seeing your love and enthusiasm for sport and military exercises, fear for you. Therefore, please abandon them." The Guru laughed and replied,"I have done nothing improper. I am only fulfilling your prophecy and elevating the conditions of my Sikhs."

An orphan Pathan lad Paindey Khan (d.1634 AD) was brought up and trained in the art of warfare by Guru Hargobind Sahib. Paindey Khan led Mughal forces against Guru Ji and died at the hands of the Guru at the battle of Kartarpur. Before the Pathan breathed his last, Guru Ji asked him his last wish. He begged to be pardoned. Guru Ji forgave him and covered his face from the burning sun with his shield.

Preparations were made for the marriage of the Guru's daughter, Bibi Viro, and sweets were prepared and stored in a room. A company of Sikhs came from the west to behold the Guru and present their offerings. They were weary and hungry and reached late at night when kitchen was closed. The Guru desired that the sweets stored for the marriage should be served to his visitors. The key of the room was with Guru's wife, Mata Damodri who refused to give the sweets to any one till the bridegroom's party had partaken of them. The Guru again asked but his wife adhered to her determination. Upon this the Guru predicted,"My Sikhs are dearer to me than life. Were they the first to taste the sweets, all obstacles to the marriage would be removed, but now the Mohammadans shall come and possess themselves of the sweets and marriage be interrupted." This prophecy became true. In the meantime a Sikh brought sweets which were served to the Guru's visitors.

Emperor Shah Jahan went hunting from Lahore towards Amritsar. The Guru also went in the same direction. A clash took place between the Sikhs and the royal soldiers over the issue of a royal hawk. One of the royal hawks who was flying after a victim, strayed away and fell in the hands of the Sikhs. The royal soldiers came to recover the hawk but because of their arrogance and abusive language, the Sikhs refused to hand over the hawk and this started the trouble. The royal soldiers were driven away with a slaughter. They hastened back and reported to the Emperor about the seizer of the hawk and the violence of the Sikhs. The enemies of the Guru found a good opportunity to revive the charges against him and to remind the Emperor of Guru's alleged misdeeds.

The Emperor sent Mukhlis Khan, one of his trusted generals with seven thousand soldiers to punish the Sikhs. The Sikhs of Lahore hearing of the military expedition against the Guru, sent immediately a messenger to Amritsar o apprise the Guru of the attack. There were great rejoicing going on at the palace of the Guru on account of his daughter's marriage. The Guru's family was immediately removed to a house near Ramsar. Early next day it was decided to send the family to Goindwal. It so happened that the coming day was fixed for Viro's marriage. Thus the Guru ordered that his family and all the non-combatants of the city should halt at Jhabal, a town about seven miles south-west of Amritsar and the marriage should be celebrated there before going to Goindwal. Two Sikhs were sent to stop the bridegroom's procession, lest it should fall in the hands of the enemy.

There was a small fortress, Lohgarh, outside the city. It was a kind of raised platform (serving as a tower) where the Guru used to hold his court in the afternoon and it was surrounded by high walls. Twenty-five Sikhs were osted there in an anticipation of the attack. The Guru went to the temple and prayed for the victory. He repeated the following verse on the occasion:

"Wicked men and enemies are all destroyed by Thee, O Lord, and Thy glory is manifested.

Thou didst immediately destroy those who annoyed Thy saints.

" (Dhanasri Mohalla 5, p-681)

The Sikh detachment at Lohgarh though courageous were too few to stop the Mughal army. After estroying hundreds of the enemy soldiers, they fell martyrs to the Guru's cause. The enemy soldiers proceeded to the Guru's palace in search of him but became furious finding the palace empty. They searched the house and took care of the sweets. With the day break, began the conflict, the clashing of swords and the hissing of the bullets. Brave men fell and died, blood flowed in profusion, corpses were piled over one another, heads, bodies, arms, and legs were separated and horses without riders careered around the city.

Bhai Bhanu was the commander-in-chief of the Guru's army and Shams Khan was one of the chiefs of the mperial army. Shams Khan's horse was killed. Bhai Bhanu then dismounted, and he and Shams Khan engaged in a single combat. Bhai Bhanu told Shams Khan,"I will not allow you to escape now." Shams Khan replied,"Defend yourself, I am going to strike." Bhai Bhanu received the sword on his shield, and putting forward all his force, beheaded Shams Khan with one blow. The Mohammadans seeing their commander slain, rushed to Bhai Bhanu and surrounded him from all sides. He cut down the enemy as if they were radishes. At last he was struck by two bullets which passed through his body and the brave commander of the Guru's army left for his heavenly abode.

Bhai Bidhi Chand, Painde Khan and Bhai Jati Mal had been committing great havoc among the Mohammadan army. They, lifting their lances, made their enemies' horses riderless. The Guru himself fought so bravely that no one when struck by him, asked for water again. Painde Khan was equally successful in the combat. He made Didar Ali, the last survivor of Mukhlis Khan's personal staff, bite the earth.

Mukhlis Khan, now left alone, thought nothing remained for him but to engage the Guru himself. He said,"Let you and me now decide the fight by single combat, and none else approach." In order to please him, the Guru warned his own men to stand aside. He then discharged an arrow which killed Mukhlis Khan's horse. The Guru dismounted and said,"Show thy skill and strike the first blow." Mukhlis Khan aimed a blow which the Guru avoided by a swift movement. The next blow fell on the Guru's shield. The Guru then warned,"You have made two strokes which I have parried. Now it is my turn." The Guru then lifting his powerful arm dealt Mukhlis Khan such a blow that his head was cut off in two.

Painde Khan, Bhai Bidhi Chand and Bhai Jati Mal killed the enemy soldiers who held the ground but the majority of them fled without looking behind. After that the Guru's victory was complete and the drums of victory were joyously sounded. This battle was fought in 1628 (some date it as 1634). The battle was extended to a distance of about four miles to the south of Amritsar and a dharmsal called the Sangrana was erected to commemorate the Guru's victory. A fair is held every year on this spot.

After completing the last rites of his brave soldiers, the Guru went to Jhabal and performed the marriage ceremony of his daughter.
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The Sikhs in order to have 'darshan' and blessings used to visit Guru Hargobind Sahib. And, also desired to offer some gift to the Guru. Once, the leader of Sangat offered honey as a gift, which the Guru Sahib declined to accept, saying, I have asked for the same on the way and you refused. This shocked the Sikh and soon after the honey had become unfit for human consumption.

On hearing the death of Mukhlis Khan and the defeat of his army, Shah Jahan called a council of his chiefs at which it was decided that the Guru should be captured or killed lest he should seize the reins of the empire. Wazir Khan, a follower of the Guru, defended him and said,"Sir, the Guru is not a rebel and has no designs on thine empire. Had he ever got such a design, he would have followed his victory, seized some fortress, taken some territory or plundered some of thy treasuries. Is it not a miracle that with only seven hundred men he destroyed the army of seven thousand?" These and many such arguments of Wazir Khan were supported by the friends of the Guru at the court. The Emperor was convinced and agreed to forget the past. After the conflict the Guru went to Kartarpur. Painde Khan soon became a concern to the Guru as he began to boast,"It is I who conquered the countless hosts opposed to the Guru at Amritsar. With my arrow I skewered them like trussed fowl. Had I not been there, no one would have had the courage to oppose them. The Sikhs would have all fled." The Guru heard this. Painde Khan who used to wait on him whole day and go to his quarters just to sleep, was ordered by the Guru to remain at his home and visit him only occasionally. This was his reprimand for Painde Khan's boasting. It was a rainy season and the Guru after crossing the river Beas, went to the right side of the bank which was lofty. He observed that the land dwellings were only in one direction and the rest of the land was unoccupied. He considered it a good site to Found a city. The people received him with open arms but the landlord and Chaudhry, Bhagwan Das Gherarwere not in favor of him. Gherar started hostilities against him and used abusive language. Upon this a clash broke out in which Gherar was killed.

Having secured the goodwill of the people, the Guru made preparations for the city. He cut the first sod himself and summoned masons and laborers from the neighboring villages. The city subsequently was called Sri Har Gobindpur in his honor.

Rattan Chand, son of the Gherar, vowed to avenge the death of his father. He went to Karam Chand, Chandu's son, and urged him to join him against the common oppressor (Guru). They both then went to Abdulla Khan, the Subedar of Jullundhur. Rattan Chand poured his grievances and represented how pleased the Emperor would be if the Guru were put into his hands and what high promotion the Subedar would receive.

The Subedar and his advisors were convinced by Rattan Chand's arguments and an immediate expedition was planned and organized against the Guru. When the Guru heard about the expedition, he simply said," What pleaseth God is best." The Subedar had an army of ten thousand men. He disposed his forces into eight divisions, five for his generals, two for his sons and one for himself. The Guru gave his command to Bhai Jattu, Bhai Bidhi Chand, Bhai Jati Mal, Bhai Mathura, Bhai Jaganath, Bhai Nano and others.

Queen NOOR JEHAN (1591-1645 AD), who was an ardent disciple of Mian Mir, once went to Lahore to seek the blessings of Guru Harghobind. Answering one of her queries, Guru Ji enlightened her by saying that he never forgets death and always remembers God. Guru Ji counselled her not to engage herself in the persuit of wordly things but instead she should try to comprehend truth and discharge the duties of a true wife .

Under the favoring glance of the Guru, the Sikhs who had formerly been weak as hares now became strong as lions. No matter what their birth or previous calling, they all proved themselves as gallant heroes in the field. After all the generals of Abdulla fell in the battle field, he resolved to conquer or die. Karam Chand, Rattan Chand and Abdulla Khan all three came on the Guru, who then asked Karam Chand and Rattan Chand," What think you on? Now avenge your fathers. Retreat not like cowards. Be brave and stand before me; otherwise go where your fathers have gone." The Guru struck Karam Chand with his shield and made him stagger and fall. Rattan Chand ran to his aid but was shot. Abdulla struck few blows which the Guru received on his shield. Then gathering his strength he drew his falchion on the Subedar, and severed his head from his body. By this time Karam Chand recovered his consciousness and rushed towards the Guru. There ensued a sword- play between the two until the sword of the latter was broken. The Guru as a holy man desiring to take no mean advantage of his adversary, put his own sword into his scabbard, and engaged with him in a wrestling combat. At last the Guru, seizing Karam Chand by both arms, swung him around and dashed his head to the ground. The Subedar and all his generals were slain and his army had fled, the battle was ended and victory kissed the feet of the Guru.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
The story above comes from the web site of Gurdwara Sahib Switzerland. There are some embellishments in the story that may be dramatic elaborations. I cannot tell for certain until I cross-check it with Joseph Cunningham's historical account of the history of the Sikhs and the Sikh Gurus. Cunningham's historical account is by far the leanest because he stuck to sources that could be independently verified. So try to take the spirit of the story but feel free to question some of the details. The Swiss sangat is staunchly part of the Singh Sabha tradition; therefore, I do not think, if there are any unreliable embellishments, that they were intentionally added to mislead anyone per the history of Guru Hargobind.

Will check back with the account from Cunningham.

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