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Early Life in Bihar

Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and the last Guru of the Sikhs was born in the early hours of a cold winter morning on December 22, 1666[1] in Patna at the place where the present shrine Takht Sri Har Mandir Sahib stands. His father Guru Tegh Bahadur had left Punjab a few months earlier to undertake missionary tour of Eastern states of India. Travelling with his wife, mother and a band of devotees, the Guru arrived in Patna towards the end of the year. His wife Gujri or Mata Gujri as she was reverentially called by the Sikhs, being in an advanced stage of pregnancy, had decided to remain there for her confinement while Guru Tegh Bahadur proceeded further to Bengal and Assam.

At the time of birth of his son, Guru Tegh Bahadur was at Dacca[2] fully engrossed in missionary and organisational work. Bhai Dayal Das who appeared to have stood at the head of Sikh Sangat of Patna at least during the life-time of the Guru, immediately despatched a letter to him giving him the happy news. The letter was carried by Bhai Kalyan Chand. Great celebrations took place at Patna as well as at Monghyr. Guru Tegh Bahadur's well-wishers and disciples flocked to Patna to behold the son of their Guru. According to Macauliffe, "The Guru was beside himself with joy on hearing the good news, which was followed by great rejoicings. Considerable sums were given away generously as alms and charity to the poor and the needy. The accompanying Raja (Ram Singh) also participated in these joyous celebrations and at his command 'Guns were fired.' The best musicians exhibited their skills, and copious alms were bestowed."[3] A contemporary chronicle writes: "The gentle breeze of happiness blew through every home. The prayer of each heart was granted as the new moon (Gobind Rai) rose over Patna."

Kirpal Chand, the maternal-uncle of the babe and Sangat of Patna warmly received all those who came to have a glimpse of the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Everyone found something unique, something magnetic and elevating in the baby.

Mata Gujri named her son Gobind Rai in the memory of his grandfather Guru Hargobind. According to Sikh tradition, when Guru Tegh Bahadur was born, Guru Hargobind prophesied that he would be blessed with a son who would defend the people against the tyranny of the Mughals.

Guru Tegh Bahadur's mother is said to have reminded him of his father's words and when he departed from Patna after leaving his family, he left instructions with his wife that if they were blessed with a son, he should be named Gobind. The story probably owes its origin to the fact that Gobind Rai grew to resemble Guru Hargobind more than any of his other ancestors. He inherited not only his grandfather's features and built but his temperament also. It is not surprising that the torch of defiance that Guru Hargobind had lit was carried a stage further by Gobind Rai.

Among the very first batch of pilgrims who came to pay their obeisance to the Guru was a Muslim Faquir, who seeing the child, claimed him to be very special, a divine prodigy. In the village of Ghuram (Patiala District in Punjab), another Muslim saint of high reputation, named Sayyad Bhikhan Shah made obeisance to the East instead of West on the day of (Guru) Gobind's birth. His disciples were astonished and demurred at the Pir's conduct, for, no Muslim was expected to make such gesture. The noble Faquir calmed them down and explained that in the city of Patna, God has revealed Himself through a new born babe. He had not done any wrong while bowing to him who was God Himself. Gobind Das or Gobind Rai as the child was called, soon became the object of adoration and wonder at Patna. His radiant face imparted joy to the people who happened to look on him. His face shed luminosity as his smile aroused affection. He indulged in lovable pranks which charmed the people no end. He was deemed to be a shining spot where the desperate found solace, the disappointed regained hope and seekers experienced bliss. He was cynosure of all eyes and his mother and grandmother in particular were very indulgent towards him and took special care to nurture him into a wise and a brave man. Guru Tegh Bahadur, despite his pressing engagements elsewhere, kept himself in touch with the family through letters and emissaries and never forgot to write to his wife, mother and brother-in-law Kirpal Chand and Sangat of Patna to pay full attention to the upbringing of his son.[4]

As he crossed the age of infancy he was found to take likings to the games which encouraged his interest in sword- playing, swimming, archery, horse-riding et al. He was also exposed to the literary and religious discussions and debates that were often held at Patna at the behest of the Sangat of Patna in which scholars/theologians/thinkers of diverse religious and literary traditions took part. People soon realised that the child was extraordinary and destined to be a great man. His physical demeanour was, of course, most pleasing. His eyes were gay, bright and cheerful and seemed to reflect wisdom beyond his age. His assertive yet unassuming utterances and the amiable and affectionate manners made him the beloved of the people and, particularly of the neighbourhood. To the boys of his age group, there seemed something mysteriously great and inspiring about him.

The grandmother and the mother of Gobind Rai must have vied with each other in their affections for the rapidly growing child and must have been careful to see that Gobind Rai did not deviate from the path chartered by the Sikh Gurus, and preached by them for nearly 200 years. It can be safely conjectured that Mata Nanki would relate to him the stories of the greatness of his great grandfather who was the first martyr in Sikh history. She must have often reminded him that he was the grandson of Guru Hargobind who in consonance with concept of Miri and Piri challenged the mighty Mughals to an armed contest in the neighbour-hood of Lahore itself[5]. At the same time we can imagine, revered Mata Gujri telling his son of the mission of Guru Nanak and his successors and nurturing him on the philosophy of devotion to one God, implicit obedience to the Guru and the relevance of Nam Marg (Path of meditation on Noumen).

Gobind Rai seemed to be responsive to the efforts of his mother, grandmother and his maternal uncle; for, he showed no disinclination towards their suggestions; rather he took them very seriously. All the time, even in the midst of serious counsels, he kept buoyancy and balance and was quick enough to surprise/amuse others through a play of wit and humour that he possessed in ample measure. He took delight in breaking with pallets, the earthen pitchers of women carrying water from the well in the campus of his house. They rarely complained to his mother or grandmother. Occasionally when some of them approached the mother/grandmother with a complaint, she was politely asked to forgive him as he was too young and needed their indulgence. None, therefore, even admonished him. All found in him a streak of spiritual splendour.

As he grew up, he began to show signs of organisational ability. Whenever he participated in any game, he always played the role of a leader and his companions were ready to carry out his injunctions. He would gather around himself a bevy of his playmates, run about on the banks of the River Ganges, splash water, swim, wrestle, box and fight. He would then bring his contingent back home, give them presents and feed them.[6] Sometimes, he would divide his playmates into two groups and arrange mock fights between them, himself heading one of the groups. He wielded weapons with such dexterity and ease that none of his companions could excel him. 'Guru Gobind Singh, says Henry Court, was from his early childhood an expert, and during his early years, he had learnt archery so well that none of his companions was able to shoot arrows like him.[7] Cleansing the weapons, wiping out the dust with a handkerchief and then burning incense before them with great interest and paying them obeisance daily constituted main activities in the child's daily routine.[8] The sling shot was his favourite weapon and he relished in practising and shooting pallets with it. Gobind Rai never hesitated in ridiculing the Sadhus and Yogis who sat cross- legged in an attitude of intense devotion on the banks of the river. He would taunt them for their hypocritical unconcern for life.

Often when his maternal uncle returned from hunting and related his adventures in the forest, the excitement of the chase, the frightening roar of the tiger and exhiliration after the kill, Gobind Rai was all attention to what his uncle said. He developed a liking for hunting which later became his favourite sports.

Occasionally, he overstayed his play-time and returned home late. This delayed the recitation of Rehras, the evening prayer. By custom the Rehras at Gurdwara Patna Sahib is still read after the usual canonical hour.

Pandit Shiv Dutt[9], an erudite Sanskrit scholar and a revered old Brahmin, who had earned a name in the city of Patna, discovered in the Guru the culmination of a life-time quest for inward tranquility. Earlier he had left his aristocratic home and practised austerities but he had not found what he had been seeking. Thus there was a sense of emptiness in his heart. A new awareness dawned on him when he had the glimpse of Gobind Rai. His sense of duality vanished. He felt filled to the brim. He realised that it was the end of his quest. His only desire was, that the joy that his meeting with the child Guru had conferred upon him should remain with him forever. The child-Guru became the all-time object of his contemplation and in him he perceived the vision of the deity he had long cherished and adored. At that very place, where the Pandit used to meditate on his gods and goddesses, and which is just a stone's throw from the Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib at Patna has sprung a Sikh place of worship, called Gurdwara Gobind Ghat.

A few days later when Pandit Shiv Dutt was absorbed in meditation on the banks of the River Ganges, two visitors came to seek a favour of him. They were Raja Fateh Chand Maini and his wife Vishamra Devi, who had known Shiv Dutt for a number of years. They had everything: name, power and wealth but were issueless. This caused them much unhappiness. Pandit Shiv Dutt had divined what tormented them. He told them politely that their wish could be fulfilled if they were blessed by the heavenly child who dwelt in their vicinity. He suggested that they should open their hearts to him for seeking his grace. The Royal couple found a new object of worship. Their love and yearning grew day by day.

One day, the Guru entered their palace quietly and twining his little arms around the neck of the Queen, who at that time was sitting in deep reverie with her eyes closed, called out "Mother, Mother."

The Guru's one word 'Mother' took away her life-long grief. She opened her eyes and was amazed to see Gobind Rai in her lap. The miracle that she and her husband had been praying for had happened. Both of them were overwhelmed by this gesture of the child. The action filled the Queen with immense joy and in the loving embrace she felt she had got a son in Gobind Rai. She thought that she had got what she longed for and had no need for any more son. Here was a son whom both the Raja and his Queen could love and consider as theirs. He became the light of their lives. They felt that a God-filled child had come to them through His Grace and they wanted nothing more. They were perfectly satisfied and experienced beatitude. They had realised that bliss lay not in procreation but in communion with God. They made it a routine to spend most of their time in meditation and prayers. Their home became the venue of Sikh congregation. It has been so since then and today it is one of the historical shrines at Patna. Its name is Gurdwara Maini Sangat and it has preserved a poniard earthen pallet, a shoe of Kinkhal, a picture of the Queen, and a volume of Guru Granth Sahib in which Mul Mantar is believed to be written in Guru Gobind's hand. Reaching home Gobind Rai announced that he had found another mother. Mata Gujri wondered and asked, "Then how will he be able to play in two laps?" "Just as one moon plays on two pools" was the reply of Gobind Rai.

The child expressed desire to eat something and the Queen served him and his companions with Purian (sort of pan cakes) and roasted grams, which she had prepared for her family. The practice has come down to us (though the first thing has been omitted) and everyday roasted grams are distributed among the children early in the morning.

Among the many well-wishers of the child-Guru in Patna, there were two Muslim nobles—Rahim Bakhsh and Karim Bakhsh[10]. They were so much impressed by the child's charisma that they donated their two gardens and a piece of fertile land—a benefice still enjoyed by the holy shrine of Patna.

There are a number of traditional accounts current even in the present times, which portray greatness of Gobind Rai. It is true that tradition is not history entirely; but it is also true that every tradition embodies at least a grain of truth and therefore is a great help in formulating authentic history. This being the case, a critical scrutiny of all the traditional accounts leave one in no doubt that Gobind Rai revealed qualities which were portents of his significant role in times to come.

There lived a proud Mansabdar at Patna. Wherever and whenever he rode on his elephant through the town, he expected every passerby to salute him. One day, seated on his elephant, he passed through the street where Gobind Rai was playing with his mates. The elephant was caparisoned in velvet and bore costly rings on his tusks. A crowd of people stood humbly bowing their heads to the Mansabdar. Someone out of his entourage exhorted Gobind Rai's playmates to salute the Nawab by raising their hands to him. When Gobind Rai heard this, he goaded to his companions to 'Grin and Grimace at the Nawab.' All the children joined in the fun. The Mansabdar was baffled and his temper rose. His mahavat however, pacified him by saying, "They are children, too innocent to discriminate between the high and the low." Gobind Rai on his part had a design in his action. He wanted his friends never to display subservience and slavish mentality. Rather they should be bold enough to scorn the arrogant and haughty.

The Guru's family resided in a spacious house especially built by the Sikhs of Patna to accomodate them. Originally the house belonged to Salis Rai[11], a rich jeweller, who was blessed by Guru Nanak when he came to Patna during his itinerary. In appreciation of the Guru and his sublime message he turned it into a venue of Sikh congregation. The house was situated on a beautiful spot on the right bank of the River Ganges.

The city of Patna like the Ganges had been a darling of the muse of history. It had the privilege of being the capital and heart of Mauryan Empire in the third and second centuries B.C. Even earlier than that, it was consecrated by the visit of Lord Budha, who, it is said, came here to admonish its legendary founder Ajat Satru for a sin he had committed. During the rule of Sunga Dynasty, it suffered decline but it basked in glory again during the Gupta period. Its power declined and by the seventh century it was destroyed. In 1541 it was rebuilt by an Afghan ruler and soon it regained its past splendour. It was named Patna while its earlier name was Path Putra. Since then the city has been enjoying high status both in political and economic spheres. In the Mughal period it was the capital of the Subah (province) of Bihar. Towards the close of his reign[12], Aurangzeb renamed it as Azamabad. It enjoyed a very commanding position as a centre of commerce and trade. According to Bowrey, "This is a country of very great traffic and commerce, and is really the great gate that openeth with Bengal and Orissa and so consequently into most parts of India, viz from the Northern kingdoms or Empires (by land) namely, Persia, Cormania (Kirman), Georgia, Tartaria etc[13]." The eyes of the foreigners were dazzled by the prosperous trade and commerce carried on in this city. Ralph Fytch, the English traveller (1538-91) spoke of it as a great town with a trade of cotton and cloth, much sugar, very much opium[14] and several other commodities. To Sebastin Manrique (1629-43), it appeared as a town of enormous quantity and variety of merchandise, whereas Peter Mundig called it the greatest mart of that entire region. The fact is also vouchsafed by the Hukamnamas (Epistles) of Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. In Guru Tegh Bahadur's Hukamnamu numbered 5, the Guru ordained the Sikhs of Patna that they should make available a certain number of tents of different kinds like Qalandri, Rawala, Qanats, Sahet Khan, Sahela etc. In that very epistle, the Guru makes mention of two scores of turbans of very fine Muslin cloth. From a lengthy Hukamnama of Guru Hargobind we can discern that Patna abounded in a special type of cloth, called Elachy[15] made of silk and cotton-thread. Patna also traded in fine quality of scents and this fact can be verified from the information contained in the Hukamnama of Guru Gobind Singh dated Asuj 10, Samvat 1749 (corresponding to 1692) directing his followers at Patna to supply him a perfumed leather.[16] According to Irfan Habib a lot of merchandise from the North-Western India including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was navigated from here to the Eastern part of India.[17]

It also served as the centre of Islamic Revivalist Movement especially of Naqshbandis and Mahdies. Sheikh Abdul Hai son of Khawaja Chakar Hisar and Sheikh Nur Mohammad had been the guiding lights of Naqshbandi Movement at Patna. These remained in regular correspondence with the Mujaddid at Sirhind and made strenuous efforts to spread his mission.[18] Similarly Mahdi Movement, ushered in India in the reign of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, made considerable headway under the guidance of disciples of Sayyad Mohammad Ashraf Jahangir Simani at Jampur.[19] The Hindu saints, especially of Vaishnav persuasions, also flourished at Patna during this period.

A large Sangat had also been functioning here since the time of Guru Hargobind. During Guru Tegh Bahadur's time Bhai Dayal Das, Gurdas, Anantia, Bhai Sangatia, Kewal Rai, Japu Deda, Murari, Bala and Ram Rai were some of the eminent Sikhs[20] who guided Sangats formed at various places particularly in Bihar and at other places and developed them into a cohesive network. Even Sangats of Benaras, Jaunpur and Mirzapur were a part of this network. These Sangats had established direct links with the Guru and received instructions directly from him and not through Masands. Therefore, such Sangats were designated by the Guru as Khalsa or Kaliana (emancipated). Since quite a number of Guru's Hukamnamas were addressed to the Sikhs of Patna, it is not difficult to surmise that Patna enjoyed a special position in the annals of the Sikh chronicles.

The Sikhs of Bihar and especially that of Patna were economically sound. That the Gurus addressed as many as three dozen letters to them at frequent intervals, each making requisition for ready money or different articles, is a proof on one hand of a strong sense of loyalty and devotion among the followers and of their good material condition on the other. The two Hukamnamas—one sent to the Sangats of Mashiana and the other addressed to Lashkar (army) of Prince Azam instructing them to send 80 and 100 Tolas of gold respectively amply supports this fact.

On the social plane too, they appeared inclined to follow teachings of the Guru. They did not approach any court for settlement of their disputes (especially those arising among themselves) or their grievances redressed. Instead their disputes or mutual discords were usually referred to and accords arrived at by the Sangat which acted as arbitrator.[21] In the seventeenth century, because of the fanatical and oppressive religious policy of Aurangzeb, the Sikhs, like other non- Muslims, were feeling suffocated and were unable to live their religious life freely and fearlessly. The Guru seemed to have grown fond of the River Ganges and loved to spend hours together on its banks. Hopefully, he pondered over the mythological tales and history woven around it and reached his own conclusions. Normally a vast concourse of people comprising different classes, faiths, ethnicities, ideologies and economic interests visited Patna to have a dip in the Ganges or to conduct business. In the process they interacted with one another. The Guru being witness to all that must have learnt a lot, which in his later years helped him to mature his plans. The Sikh affairs also did not eacape his notice.

Having been born in a family with roots firmly planted in Sikhism besides their responsibility of its propagation; he learnt his first lesson at home. He also learnt through osmotic effect or by joining daily congregations held at his residence. He picked Bihari, a dialect of Hindi, in the company of his Bihari friends, and Gurmukhi script from his dear mother. He lisped in Bihari Hindi, acquired a taste for that language which found poetic expressions in his compositions in later years. Since many scholars, thinkers, poets and artists visited Patna to pay respects to the family of Guru Tegh Bahadur, he found a chance to mix and interact with them. As a result, he not only grew maturer but also developed interest in languages as well as in the art of versification.

In short, Guru's childhood was characterised by an intense quest, for a kind of warming up for the struggle he was destined to wage on spiritual, social and political planes. It seemed as if a commissioned soul was busy at the outset equipping itself with the arsenal needed to assault the forces of evil and darkness and to rebuild man and society afresh.

The Guru himself revealed his mission in his autobiographical narrative entitled Bachittar Natak:

For this have I come into the world.

The Lord God sent me for the protection of Right (Dharma)

That I spread the truth everywhere

And defeat and destroy the wicked and evil doers.

For this mission have I taken birth;

Let all holy men know this in their minds To spread the faith to uphold holy men,

And to extirpate the wicked root and branch.[22]

Later events showed that though physically removed from his birth place, Guru Gobind Singh never forgot it and always cherished its sweet recollections. That he was in touch with Patna is manifest from his letters that he wrote to the Sikhs of Bihar, who too always experienced uneasiness at his absence from that city. Of all the people, separation from Gobind Rai was most acutely felt by the Maini's and Pandit Shiv Dutt. Time weighed heavy on them and the pangs of separation became quite unbearable. They decided to pay a visit to Gobind Rai, who had by then grown up to be a handsome young man and was residing at Anandpur in the Punjab. He was their Master and culmination of their quest for bliss. To achieve their objective, they set out on their journey to Anandpur, notwithstanding the hazards involved in the venture. The faint echoes of their intended visit had not failed to reach the Guru who rushed out of his hill abode and came as far as Ropar to receive them. They were taken to Anandpur where an enthusiastic welcome was accorded. They were simply overwhelmed. Their ego completely wiped out and they enjoyed oneness with the Master, a stage of supreme bliss or Nirban, the term used by Guru Tegh Bahadur in his Bani. Pandit Shiv Dutt, now an old man, was not destined to return to Patna as he breathed his last at Anandpur where his last rites were performed with due solemnity. The Royal couple was back home safe and sound with a copy of the Granth Sahib, presented to them as a token of love and respect for them. It was installed, so goes the traditional account, at a suitable place inside the palace where it still continues to be enshrined adding grace and grandeur to the said palace and a new lustre to the name and fame of those with whom it was associated.

As has been said earlier, Patna was the place much loved by the Guru. People of Patna also reciprocated this love. It was not surprising that a large number of Behari Sikhs were present in the vast congregation that met at Anandpur Sahib on 29th March, 1699, the Baisakhi day, when the Guru set afloat the Order of the Khalsa. The Sikhs of Patna on their return duly informed the population of Patna that they were required to receive Pahul.[23]

Soon after the manifestation of the Khalsa when the people had left for their homes, the Guru at once sent letters through his proficient messengers to all the Sangats including those in Patna, Rampur, Dacca and Bengala intimating them about the new developments.[24] The disciples of the Guru showed the Sikhs the orders of their Master[25], enjoining upon them to come to his presence with grown hair and other mandatory articles. The same can be corroborated from a letter of Guru Gobind Singh preserved in Takht Sri Hazur Sahib in Patna City. This letter dated Samvat 1758 Phagan 10 (corresponding to February 6, 1702) and addressed to Bhai Mehar Chand, Dharam Chand and Karam Chand contains the following order:

Recite Guru’s Name; you will feel elevated. You are my Khalsa. You are to comply with a requisition of Rs. 101/- for the purchase of an elephant. The same may be sent by Hundi as soon as you see the Hukamnama. Besides bring personally everything set apart for the Guru. He will be blessed who comes armed to the court of the Guru. The Guru will always be with him. Whatever is therefore the Guru’s should not be made over to anyone else. Don't have any association with the Masands and do not show any respect to them. Take any Sikh who wishes to accompany you; do not put him to inconvenience. This is my order.[26]

From the perusal of the above Hukamnama it becomes amply clear that, even when the Guru was away from Patna, he continued to keep himself in touch with his followers in Bihar especially those of his birth-place and reposed full confidence in them.

He was quick enough to apprise them of the changes those were gradually taking place and often looked forward to their assistance for meeting his exigencies from time to time.

Notes and References

[1] The traditional and accepted date of birth of Guru Gobind Singh is Saturday, Poh Sudi 7, 1723 Bk viz December 22, 1666 CE. This date has been recorded by Sukha Singh in his Gurbilas vide page 84. Gurbilas, authored by Koer Singh also recorded this date as the birth date of the tenth Guru. Bhai Kahn Singh in his Mahan Kosh has also endorsed this date to be correct. This date has also been given in an old MSS lying in Patna gurdwara and inscribed on a commemoration tablet.

Some writers, however, are of the opinion that the Guru was born on Poh Sudi 7, Samvat 1718 Bk viz December 18, 1661. One of the protagonists of this date is Gulab Singh of Nirmala order who has recorded this date in his Gur Parnali (quoted in Gur Parnalian, Randhir Singh, page 199). Bansavalinama by Kesar Singh Chhibber, p. 125 also supports this date. If we accept the later date i.e. to say 1661, then age of Guru Gobind Singh at the time of his father's martyrdom would be fourteen years. Several English writers like J.D. Cunningham and Muhammad Latif have also followed them in assigning the date of birth of the Guru.

Giani Garja Singh on the evidence of Bhatt Vahis and Panda Vahis states that Guru was born in 1661. The view has been upheld by G.B. Singh and D.R. Narang in their recent book Correct Date of Birth of Sri Gum Gobind Singh.

We however, do not agree with Garja Singh, G.B. Singh or D.R. Narang or any other scholar who. considers 1661 as the right date of birth of the Guru, because these sources were not as reliable as they are made out to be since they suffered serious inaccuracies. Each Bhatt or author of Panda Vahi recorded information regarding different families who intended to seek spiritual guidance from him with the purpose of maintaining cordial relation with them. The information was often general, touching only those aspects which could benefit a particular Bhatt or his family. It was rarely specific and often far from true historically.

[2] Hukamnama's photostat copy can be seen in Guru Tegh Bahadur by Dr. Trilochan Singh facing p. 228.

[3] M.A. Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, Vol. IV, p. 357.

[4] Fauja Singh, Hukamnamas Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahih, No. 14, p. 99.

[5] Of the four battles that Guru Hargobind fought against the Mughals, the first three were fought in Amritsar District.

[6] Khazan Singh, History of the Sikh Religion, p. 166. Bhagat Lakshman Singh, Guru Gobind Singh, p. 3-

[7] Major Henry Court, History of the Sikhs or Sikhan de Raj di Vithya, p. 42.

[8] Koer Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, p. 32. Sukha Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, p. 37.

[9] Kartar Singh, Life of Gum Gobind Singh, p. 23.

[10] Kartar Singh, Life of Guru Gobind Singh, p. 23.

[11] Ved Parkash, Sikhs in Bihar, p. 95.

[12] Irfan Habib, An Atlas of the Mughal Empire, p. 39.

[13] Thomas Bowrey, A Geographical Account of Countries Around the Bay of Bengal 1669-79, (ed.) Lt. Col. Sir Richard Carnal Temple Bart C.I.E., p. 221.

[14] Irfan Habib, op. cit. p. 39.

[15] Ved Parkash, Sikhs in Bihar, p. 145. According to Hugh and Parkar the layches and elaches were so called because they were so woven as to give the appearance of a cardamom.

[16] This Hukamnama is preserved at Sri Hazur Sahib Patna. Ganda Singh, Hukamname, No. 41, p. 142.

[17] Irfan Habib, An Atlas of the Mughal Empire, pp. 40-41.

[18] S.A.A. Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movement in Northern India, p. 227.

[19] Ibid., p. 74.

[20] Ganda Singh, Hukamname, No. 22, p. 105.

[21] Hukamnama of Mata Sundri dated 19th Kartik, Samvat 1780 as quoted in Ved Parkash, Sikhs in Bihar, p. 137.

[22] Hum eh kaj jagat men ae.

Dharam het gurdev pathde.

Jahd taha turn dharam bitharo.

Dust dokhiyan(i) pakarfl) pachharo.42.

Yahi kaj dhara hum janaman.

Samajh lehu sadhu sab manman.

Dharam chalavan sani ubaran.

Dust saban ko mul uparan.43.

[23] Ved Parkash, Sikhs in Bihar, p. 89.

[24] Koer Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, p. 141.

[25] Sukha Singh, Gurbilas Patshabi 10, p. 144 as quoted by Ved Parkash, Sikhs in Bihar, p. 87.

[26] Ganda Singh, Hukamname, No. 55, p. 171, translation by the Author.