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The Four Sahibzadas (Princes)

Discussion in 'Sikh History' started by Aman Singh, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Aman Singh

    Aman Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    The Four Princesby SHAMSHER SINGH ASHOK

    This week marks the 304th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Four Sahibzadas.

    AJĪT SIṄGH, SĀHIBZĀDĀ (1687-1705), the eldest son of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, was born to Mātā Sundarī at Pāoṇṭā on 26 January 1687. The following year, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh returned with the family to Anandpur where Ajīt Siṅgh was brought up in the approved Sikh style: He was taught the religious texts, philosophy and history, and had training in the manly arts such as riding, swordsmanship and archery. He grew up into a handsome young man, strong, intelligent and a natural leader of men.
    Soon after the creation of the Khālsā on 30 March 1699, he had his first test of skill.
    A Sikh saṅgat coming from Poṭhohār, northwest Punjab, was attacked and looted on the way by the Raṅghaṛs of Nūh, a short distance from Anandpur across the River Sutlej. Gurū Gobind Siṅgh sent Sāhibzādā Ajīt Siṅgh, barely 12 years of age then, to that village. Ajīt Siṅgh at the head of 100 Sikhs reached there on 23 May 1699, punished the Raṅghaṛs and recovered the looted property.
    A harder task was entrusted to him the following year when the hill chiefs supported by imperial troops attacked Anandpur. Sāhibzādā Ajīt Siṅgh was made responsible for the defence of Tārāgaṛh Fort which became the first target of attack. This, according to the Bhaṭṭ Vahīs, happened on 29 August 1700. Ajīt Siṅgh assisted by Bhāī Ude Siṅgh, a seasoned soldier, repulsed the attack.
    He also fought valiantly in the battles of Nirmohgaṛh in October 1700.
    On 15 March 1701, a saṅgat, column of Sikh devotees, coming from Daṛap area (present Siālkoṭ district) was waylaid by Gujjars and Raṅghaṛs. Sāhibzādā Ajīt Siṅgh led a successful expedition against them. As instructed by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, he took out (7 March 1703) 100 horsemen to Bassī, near Hoshiārpur, and rescued a young Brāhmaṇ bride forcibly taken away by the local Paṭhān chieftain.
    In the prolonged siege of Anandpur in 1705, Sāhibzādā Ajīt Siṅgh again displayed his qualities of courage and steadfastness. When, at last, Anandpur was vacated on the night of 5-6 December 1705, he was given command of the rearguard. As the besiegers, violating their solemn promises for a safe conduct to the evacuees, attacked the column, he stoutly engaged them on a hill-feature called Shāhī Ṭibbī until relieved by Bhāī Ude Siṅgh. Ajīt Siṅgh crossed the Sarsā, then in spate, along with his father, his younger brother, Jujhār Siṅgh, and some fifty Sikhs. Further reduced in numbers by casualties at the hands of a pursuing troop from Ropar, the column reached Chamkaur in the evening of 6 December 1705, and took up position in a gaṛhī, high-walled fortified house.
    The host, since swelled by reinforcements from Mālerkoṭlā and Sirhind and from among the local Raṅghaṛs and Gujjars, soon caught up with them and threw a tight ring around Chamkaur. An unequal but grim battle commenced with the sunrise on 7 December 1705 - in the words of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's Zafarnāmah, a mere forty defying a million. The besieged, after they had exhausted the meagre stock of ammunition and arrows, made sallies in batches of five each to engage the encircling host with sword and spear.
    Sāhibzādā Ajīt Siṅgh led one of the sallies and laid down his life fighting in the thick of the battle.
    Gurdwārā Qatalgaṛh now marks the spot where he fell, followed by Sāhibzādā Jujhār Siṅgh, who led the next sally. An annual fair is held in commemoration of their martyrdoms on the 8th of the Bikramī month of Poh (December-January). The martyrdom of two of the sons of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh in the battle of Chamkaur is substantiated by a contemporary record in the form of an official letter preserved in a manuscript, Ahkām-i-Ālamgīrī by Emperor Auraṅgzeb's official letter writer, Mirzā 'Ināyat Ullah Khān Ismi (1653-1725). The relevant extract from the document, translated into English, reads :
    Received the letter containing miscellaneous matters including the arrival of Gobind, the worshipper of Nānak, to a place 12 kos from Sirhind; the despatch of a force of 700 with artillery and other material; his being besieged and vanquished in thehavelī [i. e. large walled house] of a zamīndār of village Chamkaur and the killing of his two sons and other companions; and the capture of his mother and another son ...

    JUJHĀR SIṄGH, SĀHIBZĀDĀ (1691-1705), the second son of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, was born to Mātā Jītojī āt Anandpur on l4 March 1691.
    Like his elder brother, Ajīt Siṅgh, he started training in the fighting skills as soon as he started learning the religious texts. In 1699, when he was eight years old, he received the rites of Khālsā initiation.
    By the time it became necessary to leave Anandpur under the pressure of a besieging host in December 1705, Jujhār Siṅgh, nearing the completion of his fifteenth year, was an experienced young warrior, strong and fearless. He was one of the band that successfully waded through the flooded Sarsā rivulet on horseback and made good their way to Chamkaur by nightfall on 6 December 1705, with the adversary in hot pursuit. With little respite during the night, he participated in the next day's battle warding off assault after assault upon the gaṛhī, the fortified house in which Gurū Gobind Siṅgh had, along with his 40 Sikhs and two sons, taken shelter.
    As they ran out of ammunition and arrows, Sikhs inside split themselves into batches of five each who would go out one after the other to engage the besiegers in hand-to-hand combat. Jujhār Siṅgh led the last sally towards the end of the day (7 December 1705), and laid down his life fighting near the place where he had earlier seen his elder brother fall.
    Gurdwārā Qatalgaṛh in Chamkaur Sāhib now marks the site.

    ZORĀWAR SIṄGH, SĀHIBZĀDĀ (1696-1705), the third son of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, was born to Mātā Jītojī at Anandpur on 17 November 1696, and was barely nine years old at the time of the evacuation of Anandpur on the night of 5-6 December 1705.
    Since the death, on 5 December 1700, of Mātā Jītojī, Mātā Gujarī, his grandmother had been especially attached to young Zorāwar Siṅgh and his infant brother, Fateh Siṅgh She took charge of both as the column moved out of Anandpur. While crossing on horseback the rivulet Sarsā, then in spate, the three were separated from Gurū Gobind Siṅgh.
    Their cook, Gaṅgū, who had also succeeded in crossing the stream, escorted them to his own house in the village of Kheṛī, now known as Saheṛī, near Moriṇḍā in present-day Ropaṛ 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, Zorāwar Siṅgh, along with Fateh Siṅgh and their grandmother, was taken into custody by Jānī Khān and Mānī Khān Raṅghaṛ, the officials at Moriṇḍā. They were despatched on the following day to Sirhind where they were consigned to the Cold Tower (Ṭhaṇḍa Burj) of the Fort.
    On 9 December 1705, Zorāwar Siṅgh and Fateh Siṅgh were produced before the faujdār, Nawāb Wazīr Khān, who had just returned from Chamkaur with his feudal ally, Nawāb Sher Muhammad Khān of Mālerkoṭlā.
    Wazīr Khān tried to lure the Sāhibzādās 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 Khān's intercession for the innocent children to be spared their lives, they were given some more time to ponder over the suggestion to convert. Zorāwar Siṅgh 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.
    According to tradition, as the masonry around their tender bodies reached chest-high, it crumbled. The Sāhibzādās were sent to the Cold Tower again for the night. The next day, 12 December 1705, the alternative of conversion being again turned down, Zorāwar Siṅgh and Fateh Siṅgh were put to death by execution.
    The aged Mātā Gujarī, who had all along been kept in the Cold Tower, only a little distance away, breathed her last as the news reached her ears.
    Seṭh Ṭoḍar Mall, a wealthy merchant of Sirhind, performed the cremation of the three bodies the following day. The site of the fateful happenings, since named Fatehgaṛh Sāhib, close to the old town of Sirhind, is now marked by four gurdwaras.
    A grand religious fair is held here from 25 to 28 December every year to honour the memory of the martyrs.

    FATEH SIṄGH, SĀHIBZĀDĀ (1699-1705), the youngest of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's four sons, was born to Mātā Jītojī at Anandpur on 25 February 1699.
    After the death of his mother, on 5 December 1700, he was brought up under the care of his grandmother, Mātā Gujarī, with whom he remained till the last. On 12 December 1705, he was martyred at Sirhind along with his elder brother, Zorāwar Siṅgh.

    [Courtesy: The Encyclopedia of Sikhism]
    December 23, 2009

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  3. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    Jan 14, 2009
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    Kivee lavan ge kurz tuhada, Shabjadeyo. Asee te nire khudgurz he niklee.

    Shabzdeen de sheede nu shat-shat parnaam.
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  4. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Oct 6, 2006
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    I, of course, always think of my young shaheed son, Sandeep Singh, who died fighting during the Delhi Pogrom 1984.

    I dare not compare myself to Guru ji or my son to his, but it is something we have in common. We both know what it means to sacrifice those we love best to the great cause. It is comforting to know that he and Mata Sahib Kaur know and understand.
  5. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Oct 6, 2006
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    Does anyone know where the bottom painting of Guru Gobind Singh ji and the Sahibzahdey is from? I really have a need to know this.

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