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Onslaught of Hindu Conservatism and Islamic Imperialism

The immediate effect of the creation of the Khalsa was that it brought the hostility of the Hill Chiefs in the open. In the activities of the Guru they saw a potent threat to their own religion and power.

The Guru in fact, wanted peace for his new born Khalsa to grow and to organise itself, but in his mission and reforms, the Hill Chiefs found something fundamentally different from what they had been born to uphold. After the creation of the Khalsa, one of the first acts of the Guru was that the Sikhs should be baptised according to the new rites, and to this effect, he enjoined them to come to Anandpur. The Sikhs responded enthusiastically. Ever increasing number of the baptised Sikhs surcharged with egalitarian spirit and disengaged from orthodox way of life and always ready to combat the evil, seriously alarmed the Hill Chiefs. It is therefore, not surprising that the Guru's continued presence in their midst was considered a direct challenge to their feudal order and their style of living.

Besides this, the Hill Chiefs and Ajmer Chand of Kahlur in particular, had another grievance against the Guru. The ever increasing number of Sikhs who visited Anandpur created the problem of meeting their mundane needs. The Guru had no possessions except Anandpur and its suburbs which he might call his own. For provisions, the Guru depended on the voluntary contributions of his followers which usually helped meet the needs sufficiently. But in the wake of the call of the Guru to his Sikhs to receive baptism speedily, the number of the visitors to Anandpur increased manifold. At times, the supply of provisions did not match the demand. Therefore these had to be supplemented from the neighbouring villages.[1] Since the Hill Rajas, especially Ajmer Chand, the Raja of Kahlur state in which Anandpur was located, had no love lost for the Guru for the reasons adumbrated above, they did not hesitate to create troubles by inciting the people in their favour. This fact in conjunction with others as referred to earlier so worked upon the Rajas that they made up their mind to restrain the Guru.

Two of them, Alam Chand and Balia Chand, Chieftains[2] of some principality, finding their opportunity when the Guru was accompanied by a few Sikhs, fell on him. The Sikhs gave a determined fight, but because of enemy's large strength, soon started losing ground. Not long after, reinforcement under Uday Singh reached and the tables were turned. Alam Chand lost his right arm and left the field. Balia Chand was seriously wounded and his soldiers took to their heels. The Guru returned victorious.[3]

The defeat of Alam Chand and Balia Chand unnerved the Hill Rajas, who met in a council and decided to seek Emperor's help. They presented their case to him through the Nawab of Sirhind admitting that they had failed to restrain the Guru and if the Emperor did not deal with him hastily and firmly, he might find the situation uncontrollable later. According to M.A. Macauliffe, the Subedar of Delhi, under instructions from Aurangzeb who was at that time in the Southern part of India, despatched a force of ten thousand under his two able generals Painde Khan and Din Beg. The Hill Chiefs joined them at Ropar. The Guru met the combined forces near Anandpur. In a sanguinary battle Painde Khan was killed. Din Beg and Hill Rajas fled away.[4] They were pursued by the Khalsa soldiers for some distance. A large booty consisting of horses, arms and precious baggage fell into the hands of the Sikhs.

Much chagrined and agonised, the Hill Rajas now resolved to act against the Guru independently of the Mughals. They organised a federation and gave its leadership to Ajmer Chand[5], son of Bhim Chand of Bilaspur who was the most knowledgeable amongst the Hill Chiefs with regard to the Guru and his Sikhs because of the location of Guru’s headquarters in his state. He sent a message to the Guru asking him to either vacate Anandpur or pay the rent and revenue thereof since it lay in his territory. In the absence of a favourable response he would have to face Raja's wrath. The Guru rejected the demands of the Raja out rightly, and to counter his threat issued fiats to his followers to join him at Anandpur to participate in the war likely to be imposed on him. They responded in large numbers.[6] The Hill Rajas besieged Anandpur. The Sikhs took positions in the forts of Anandgarh, Fatehgarh and Kesgarh. On the first day (Bhandon 29, 1757 BK) Ajmer Chand made a forceful attack on Taragarh fortress near Anandgarh but his army was repulsed by the Sikhs led by Baba Ajit Singh, the eldest son of the Guru. On the side of the Sikhs, Ishar Singh, Kalian Singh and Sangat Singh achieved martyrdom among others.[7] A Hill Chieftain Raja Ghumand Chand suffered severe wounds during the battle.

Next day, Ajmer Chand once again mounted fierce assault on the fort named Fatehgarh. He and his allies met with stout resistance from the Khalsa and in the sallies organised by determined Sikhs under the able command of experienced Bhagwan Singh. The hill forces suffered heavy casualties in a five hour battle. As the sun-set approached, the fighting stopped. Jawahar Singh and Bhagwan Singh received martyrdom.[8]

On the following day with the breaking of dawn, fighting resumed. Ajmer Chand launched a vigorous attack on Agamgarh this time, but failed miserably. The Sikhs lost Bagh Singh and Gharbara Singh, their veteran campaigners.[9]

Ajmer Chand now called a conference of his allies to take stock of the situation. During the meeting a different strategy was drafted to achieve success. It was decided to storm the fort of Lohgarh initially to be followed by simultaneous attack on other sides of Anandpur. The command of the troops for storming the fort was given to a very brave chieftain, Kesri Chand Jaswaria.[10] He meticulously planned his manoeuvres; one of which was that a very highly intoxicated elephant would be set against the door of Lohgarh to break it and make way for the hill forces to enter the fort. The plan though made in camera[11] leaked out to the Guru who forthwith took steps to counter it. The Guru wanted to appoint Duni Chand,[12] considered to be very bold and iron-willed Sikh, to face the elephant, but his spirit failed and he deserted the Guru.[13] Bachittar Singh, son of Bhai Mani Singh, lost not even a fraction of a second to offer his services to meet the challenge of the elephant. The Guru gave a pat on his back and handed over a specially forged spear named Nagni to face the intoxicated elephant.[14]

As the morning of 1st Katak dawned, the hill forces, under the overall command of Ajmer Chand, positioned themselves near the fort of Lohgarh. Kesri Chand led the force from the front. They goaded the intoxicated and well shielded elephant to the main gate of the fort. When the furious animal advanced to strike the door with all its might, Bachittar Singh, having invoked the blessings of the Guru through prayer, struck it with his spear with such a force that it pierced through the plates covering its forehead to his brain making him furious with pain. The elephant lost his sense of direction and purpose. It turned back and ran pell mell trampling everything on its way, including the hill soldiers waiting to enter the citadel once the gate was broken. In the disorder that ensued, Uday Singh already astride his swift horse, sprang forward and challenged Kesri Chand. Kesri Chand astride his steed attacked Uday Singh with his sword. Uday Singh dodged the attack aside and then hit him with his sword so strongly that his body was cleaved in twain.[15] Kesri Chand having met his remesis, Ajmer Chand thought it appropriate to seek safety in retreat. Alam Singh son of Daria, Sucha Singh son of Rai Singh, Kaushal Singh son of Makhan Singh attained martyrdom in the battlefield.[16]

Fighting continued for four consecutive days but did not yield any favourable result for the Hill Rajas; rather ignominy and demoralisation fell into their lap. Any more failures in the battle might have spelt disaster for them. These could have given opportunity to some disgruntled elements in their territories to defy them, besides feeling tempted to join the Khalsa. Now to save face, the Hill Rajas decided upon a stratagem at the suggestion of Parmanand, the family priest of Raja of Kahlur[17] who was well known for his cunning and guile. They sent Parmanand to Anandpur with a letter. He very cunningly and stealthily placed it at the gate of Anandgarh duly tied to an image of cow with janeu (sacred thread). The letter stated that the Rajas sincerely regretted the losses on both sides and desired an amicable settlement immediately so that the purposeless fighting could be stopped.[18] The letter also stated that a unilateral retreat on their part would be too humiliating and mortifying in the eyes of their subjects as well as other neighbouring states and if the Guru vacated Anandpur, the siege would be raised and then he could come back and reoccupy it after some time, if he desired. According to Sainapat, they appealed to the Guru's sense of chivalry by requesting him to leave Anandpur to them as the Gao-bhat, that is the touch of the Cow.[19]

The Guru agreed thinking that the Hill Rajas after all had realised the futility of waging a war. Probably the Guru did so because he reckoned that prolonged hostilities might induce the Hill Chiefs to approach the Mughals to come to their help.

Anyway, the Guru came out of the security of the fort and stepped in the open leaving Anandpur in the hands of some of his brave and trusted men. He established himself at Nirmohgarh, a place about four kilometres away from Anandpur.

Throwing their promise to the winds the Hill Chiefs fell upon the Guru. The Sikhs resisted with all their might and the enemy had to retreat.[20]

In this battle, Dewan Sahib Singh and his band of one thousand Sikhs bore the brunt. The Dewan and some other eminent Sikhs such as Mathura Singh, Surat Singh, Deva Singh, Anup Singh and Sarup Singh laid down their lives for the Guru.[21] Then the Guru himself took the command and made so vigorous an assault that the hill forces had to lift the siege.

Ajmer Chand, now exasperated, decided to square up the issue with the Guru once for all. He decided to get aid from his suzerain, the Mughal government, and sent an envoy for the purpose.[22] It is not clear whether this appeal was made to Aurangzeb when he was in the South or to Muazzam at Kabul or to the Mughal government at Delhi, whether directly or through the Subedar of Sirhind. In any case, the Mughal contingents arrived shortly at Sirhind to collaborate with its Faujdar who had been instructed to aid the vassal chief of Bilaspur against the Guru.[23]

Ajmer Chand also succeeded in instigating Gujjars and Ranghars to fight against the Sikhs. Both these communities were Muslims and resided in a number of villages around Anandpur in his state. They were organised into clans—each clan under a head. They were habitual marauders and had often tried to plunder the Sikhs while on their way to Anandpur. Possibly, Ajmer Chand played upon their communal feelings vis-a-vis the Khalsa and their marauding instincts to enlist their co-operation.

The Mughal army as well as the army of the Hill Rajas joined hands at Sirhind and then moved on to achieve success in their mission. The Guru already abreast with the circumstances made appropriate preparations. Apart from retaining some Khalsa who would normally come to have an audience, he had invited daring men of different Sangats from several towns and villages, given them arms and enlisted them as his soldiers.[24] The Guru's strategy was to defend himself against the offensive stance of the enemy. The allied armies attacked Nirmohgarh from one side while Ajmer Chand attacked from the other. Their objective was to weaken the defences of the Guru. In Sainapat's simile[25], the enemy surrounded Nirmohgarh, as the stars surround the moon.' The contest lasted for about a day before the Khalsa could get respite from the enemy's vigorous attack. Ultimately, Guru was constrained to evacuate Nirmohgarh, probably because of the use of cannons by the Mughal Faujdar.[26] But before the retreating Khalsa army could cross the river Sutlej, they were overtaken by the allies who were naturally keen to obstruct their safe passage.[27] The Khalsa fought desperately for four hours[28] and eventually succeeded in crossing the river and entering the territory of Raja Dharampal[29], the Chief of Jaswan, who was an ardent admirer of the Guru. The Guru and the Khalsa marched towards the town of Basoli, fourty-five kms from Anandpur beyond Una across River Swan, eighteen kms away on the Una-Hoshiarpur road.

The Guru had hardly left the place, when another engagement took place on the bank of River Sutlej. The Sikhs fought gallantly and forced the enemy to retreat. Sahib Singh, a noted and noble Sikh general, lost his life.

The combined forces of the Hill Rajas also crossed the river and attacked the Sikhs at Basoli. The Guru put up a formidable defence and once again the enemy was unable to subdue the Sikh forces. The battle is known as Battle of Basoli.[30]

Thereafter, the Mughal troops returned to Sirhind with unsure satisfaction of achieving although at a great cost, the limited objective of expelling the Khalsa from the territory of Kahlur on the Eastern side of the River Sutlej. The Hill Rajas also withdrew to their respective states.

The Guru and his family put up at the residence of the Raja while beautiful canopies were pitched in the suburb of the town for accommodating the Khalsa soldiers.

The Guru stayed at Basoli for some days, resting and enjoying hunting and other sports.[31] Soon, the Guru took initiative against Ajmer Chand leading incursions into his territory on the North of River Sutlej. He gradually moved towards Anandpur. At this time, the Gujjars and Ranghars of the village Kamlot attacked a party of the Sikhs who had gone on a hunting expedition. Hearing about the mis-adventure of the Ranghars against the hunting party, the Guru ordered the Khalsa to teach them a lesson. Uday Singh who headed the hunting party led an attack on the village. The Gujjars and Ranghars were severely dealt with. Jiwan Singh[32], a notable general, laid his life in this contest. His dead body was brought to Basoli where it was cremated with full honours.

Finding that Wazir Khan, the Subedar of Sirhind, had gone back, and the Hill Rajas were satisfied that they had at long last got rid of him (the Guru), the Guru, marched back to Anandpur[33] and lost no time in repairing the forts and other buildings and structures badly damaged by the allied forces. He also took prompt steps to re-establish the past glory of Anandpur as the headquarters of the Khalsa. No wonder, the Sikhs in large numbers started surging to Anandpur to seek Guru's benedictions and also to offer their services. Meanwhile news reached Anandpur that Sangat of Darap region had been stripped of their belongings including their offerings for the Guru by Ranghars of Bajrur. This was beyond the liking of the Guru who ordered Ajit Singh, his eldest son, to proceed to Bajrur at once to punish the miscreants. The order was obeyed forthwith and the Sahibzada besieged the village. Chittu and Mittu, the leaders of the village were put to sword and the village was ransacked. The inhabitants were taught a lesson who never plundered or coerced the Sikh Sangats in future.[34]

Towards the end of the last year of the seventeenth century, the peace of Anandpur Sahib was disturbed by Wazir Khan, the Subedar of Sirhind, who made a surprise attack on Anandpur. The Sikhs had to evacuate the city and proceed to Bhadsali at a distance of 45 kilometers from Anandpur beyond Una across the River Swan. The Mughal forces went in pursuit and engaged the Guru's forces at Bhadsali. In the hard contest, Sahib Singh, a notable Sikh commander and a hero, lost his life. Soon after, when the din of the war diminished and tempers cooled down, the Guru returned to Anandpur[35] hopefully to renew ties with his Sikhs and to extend the area of Sikh influence.

The Guru obliged Sidh Shah, the ruler of Mandi, with his short visit in 1701.[36] He was accorded a very warm welcome by the Raja. At Mandi, the Guru interacted with other Rajas who had come there, seemingly in response to Sidh Shah's invitation. Consequently, the Rajas were convinced of the loftiness of the Guru's designs. In later years, some of them only played a marginal role against the Guru while the Raja of Mandi had been an ardent follower and sincere admirer.

The Guru attended Rawalsar[37] fair held every year on the first of Baisakh. On this occasion the Raja begged the Guru for the perennial safety of his capital. The Guru granted the boon. The memory of this event is preserved in the tradition that the Guru got a small earthen pot (Handi in Punjabi Language) and threw it into the River Beas flowing by the side of Mandi. The vessel did not dissolve. The Guru uttered, "As my earthen vessel is safe so will remain safe your Mandi. If ever Mandi is plundered, heavenly balls of fire will burst."[38] It is obviously the blessings of the Guru that the town of Mandi continued to enjoy immunity from the Sikh intrusion till 1839, although it had long been a tributary to them from 1809. In 1840 a force under General Ventura was sent into the hills by the orders of Nau Nihal Singh, grandson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.[39]

In 1702, Sayyad Beg and Alif Khan, two eminent commanders of the Mughals, who were going to Delhi from Lahore were tempted by Ajmer Chand through the offer of a large sum of money to attack the Guru. According to Hari Ram Gupta, they were promised a payment of one thousand rupees a day.[40]

Both the commanders marched towards Anandpur. The Guru was at that time sojourning at Chamkaur along with a few soldiers while returning from Kurukshetra. After a few skirmishes, Sayyad Beg was so much impressed by the Guru's charismatic personality that he thought it appropriate to join him.[41] Alif Khan had to retire inspite of his long-nursed desire to avenge his failure which he had met earlier while fighting against the Guru in Kangra hills.[42] On his arrival at Delhi, he was scolded by the higher authorities. Sayyad Beg fought in the battle on Guru's side. After the battle, he stayed with the Guru for some time. A little after this event (March 1703), Sahibzada Ajit Singh had to subdue and kill Jabar Jung a local Chaudhary of the village Bassi Kalan in the district of Hoshiarpur. The cause was that a Brahmin's wife had been forcibly taken away by the Chaudhary to satisfy his carnal desires. The Brahmin was terribly depressed and had virtually broken down morally. He ran for succor from pillar to post but none offered him any help. At last he came to Anandpur and related his doleful story. The Guru was shocked and asked Sahibzada Ajit Singh to lead a military expedition immediately against the cruel and unscrupulous Choudhary. The task was accomplished with alacrity and the woman was restored to her husband. The Brahmin and his wife were overwhelmed by the profound sense of gratitude to the Guru. Everybody at Anandpur had been convinced by now that the righteous cause was the noblest for the Guru.

In 1703, the Guru had to deal with two attacks. On both the occasions, Ajmer Chand was the architect of the campaign. On the first occasion, he attacked in association with Rajas Bhup Chand, Wazir Singh and Dev Saran.[43] On the second occasion, he sought help from Mughal Subedar of Delhi and then raided the Guru's citadel. On both occasions, he suffered defeat[44] and his mission remained elusive. Guru Gobind Singh's control over Anandpur[45] remained firm, to the disappointment of Ajmer Chand and to the dismay of his associate Hill Rajas. The Mughal commanders were also nonplussed by the high morale of the Sikhs. Another remarkable thing happened in the second attack. Maiman Khan, a Mughal commander, deserted his side and joined the Guru in response to the call of his conscience. The Guru blessed him and his entry into Guru's forces boosted the morale of Sikh soldiers. At this juncture, the Guru in exultation and exuberance uttered that, "It is through them (Khalsa) that I have won my victories and have been able to grant gifts to others."[46]

Just about this time, presumably at the request of the Hill Rajas as well as of the local chiefs, a strong contingent of the Mughal soldiers was sent to Anandpur from Delhi to fight against the Guru. The fight was designated as Jehad—a crusade proclaimed against the infidels whose decimation had been made out to be a religious act of a very high order by the Muslim priestly class especially of Sunni hue in the medieval times of India under Aurangzeb. The Commander of the Mughal contingent was Sayyad Khan. He was joined by the Hill Chiefs along with their armies. The fight began. The Guru's five hundred regular soldiers fought heroically. Maiman Khan, Sayyad Beg and several other Muslims fought on their side. This was something strange for Sayyad Khan. Sayyad Beg and Maiman Khan both fell fighting. Sayyad Khan was a general of repute and had won many a battles. He was sure.' of victory and did not expect prolonged and stiff opposition. But he was amazed at the doggedness and martial expertise of the Guru's followers. His ego was hurt and he aimed a shot at the Guru that went amiss. Another attempt also failed. He was a skilled shooter and had never missed the target. But when he failed twice, he was perplexed. He had heard a lot about the greatness of the Guru and his lofty ideals from no other person than his own sister Nasiran who was the wife of Pir Buddhu Shah, a great admirer of the Guru. When he came face to face with the Guru in the battlefield, he grew contemplative. He reflected on the cause of war and got convinced that it was the working of the elements, sponsoring and upholding conspiracy of the Mughal politico-cultural imperialism and Hindu conservatism to protect their vested interests. Being God-fearing to the core, he decided to take side of the cause of the Guru which he looked upon as righteous, facilitating human beings, both at the individual and the corporate levels, to refashion their consciousness to enable them establish a society, free from exploitation of any kind, guaranteeing basic freedom to a man. He decided not to give a fight. Instead, he yearned for the Guru's blessings. He got down from the horse and touched the Guru's stirrup with his head and rose with light in his eyes, love and joy in his heart. He entered the discipleship of the Guru and returned to a lonely cave near Kangra to pass his days in Divine contemplation. When the Guru proceeded to Deccan 'Sayyad Khan followed him and remained with him to the last.' There were many other Muslim soldiers, who had, for love's sake, placed themselves at the Guru's disposal and fought battles for him. Their presence in the Guru's army gives a lie to the assertion of the persons like Muhammad Latif who would have us believe that the Guru was an 'irreconcilable and inveterate enemy of every Mohammedan'. He had no ill-will against any individual of whatever religion caste or creed. It was the evil system that he wanted to destroy and it was against its authors and defenders that his efforts were directed.

The Mughal government appointed Ramzan Khan in place of Sayyad Khan. He resumed the campaign with vigour. There was much bloodshed on both sides. Maiman Khan was killed. The Sikhs had to evacuate a part of Anandpur which the Mughal army plundered with impunity. Mughal army celebrated its victory by indulging in merry-making on a large scale. They drank so heavily that they became oblivious of the possibility of an attack by the vigilant Sikhs. Under Sahibzada Ajit Singh, the Sikhs fell upon them in a surprise attack causing consternation among the revelers. The Mughal army fled in different directions leaving behind all the booty they had plundered earlier from Anandpur. The reverses faced by Ramzan Khan equally upset the Emperor who was camping in Southern India and the Hill Chiefs.

After some time, the hostilities started again. The reasons were no different than the previous occasion; viz; the ever increasing prestige of the Guru, hatred for his movement which championed the cause of values diametrically opposite to those of the Hill Rajas.

The latter who were in the close proximity of the Khalsa at Anandpur arranged a formidable force of allies against the Guru and at once marched upon him. They were welcomed by a few cannon shots from the fort of Anandgarh. They decided to lay siege to the town instead of suffering heavy losses in an attempt to capture it by a direct assault. Even this plan of their's was badly foiled. They could not achieve any success against the lightning-like sorties of the Khalsa cavalry whose shrewd tactics completely discomfited them. The Hill Chiefs were left with no alternative but to retreat. Inspite of this, the Hill Rajas never relented in their determination to oust the Guru from their territory. They made preparations on a large scale. The Gujjars and Ranghars were also incited to join the war against the Khalsa. They harnessed their own resources with care and assiduity and requested the Mughal authorities,[47] for assistance. Till then, the Mughal Governments of Delhi, Lahore, Sirhind and Jammu had fully monitored the potentialities of the Sikhs including their military might and were convinced that challenge of the Sikhs was not to be brushed off as insignificant. If it was not tackled seriously and promptly, it could assume dangerous dimensions. It could become a potent threat to the Mughal rule as well as to the Hill states. They, therefore, favourably endorsed the petition of the Hill Rajas to Aurangzeb who was at that time in South India conducting campaign against the recalcitrant Shia states and the Marathas. Their main argument was that Emperor's neglect of Khalsa challenge might cost the Mughals their territory in the North-West. The Emperor was naturally upset. He issued specific instructions to his governors of Lahore and Sirhind to actively assist the Hill Chieftains and to take necessary steps to force the Guru to evacuate Anandpur. The era of comparative peace that the

Guru had enjoyed in the wake of the company of Prince Muazzam had come to an end with the creation of the Khalsa which the Mughal Government had not taken kindly to as it read dangerous portents in it. Even then Aurangzeb slow pedalled the problem, and except rendering tentative military and diplomatic help to the Hill Rajas in their fight against the Guru, he did nothing tangible on a scale matching his power.

In all this, the Emperor being a willy politician had a design. He wanted to achieve his object of snuffing out the Sikh movement through Hill Chieftains or to get both the Guru and the Hill Rajas weakened by their infighting before taking decisive action against one or both emerging victorious out of their mutual wars. But when the news reached him that the Hill Chieftains even with the military help from his local officials had been humbled by the Guru, he became explicit, serious and overt, and issued clear instructions to his Governors. He despatched a personal letter:

"There is only one Emperor. Thy religion and mine are the same. Come to me, by all means, otherwise I shall be angry and go to thee. If thou come, thou shalt be treated as holy men are treated by monarchs. I have obtained this sovereignty from God. Be well advised and thwart not my wishes."[48]

The Guru went through the letter brought by a Qazi and wrote the following reply,

My brother! the sovereign who had made thee Emperor hath sent me in the world to do justice. He hath commissioned thee also to do justice, but thou hast forgotten His mandate and practisest hypocrisy. Therefore how can I be on good terms with thee who persecutes the Hindus with blind hatred? Thou recognisest not that the people belong to God and not to the Emperor, and yet thou seekest to destroy their religion."[49]

The allied forces soon advanced from Ropar side to attack Anandpur. According to Mohammad Akbar, "a fierce battle took place near Kiratpur. The Sikhs fought gallantly but were soon driven back and forced to take refuge in the fort of Anandgarh."[50] The allies, thereafter, encircled the Sikhs on all sides and the great siege of Anandpur began.

In this exigency, the Guru invited help from the Sikhs. He issued several letters to different Sangats to reach Anandpur fully armed immediately (1704 A.D. 1761 BK). One such letter was sent to Bhai Mukhia and Bhai Parsa who were asked to come with, "cavalries, footmen, gunners and daring youths."[51] The Guru divided his army into six contingents. He placed one each in five forts, while a detachment of 500 men, was kept in reserve. Anandgarh was in Guru's personal charge, Fatehgarh was entrusted to Uday Singh. Holgarh was in the command of Mohkam Singh. Guru's eldest son Ajit Singh controlled Kesgarh. His other son Jujhar Singh held Lohgarh. Ajit Singh won a great victory on the very first day by killing Jagatullah, the leader of Ranghars and Gujjars. Two heavy guns named Baghan (Tigress) and Vi jay Ghosh (Victory warrant) were scaled on the ramparts of Anandgarh. They wrought havoc in the enemy ranks. In the first day fight Wazir Khan lost nine hundred men, while the Sikh loss was also immense. Even in the midst of bloodshed and high tension environment, the sublime tasks of righteousness were accorded adequate premium. At the conclusion of first day's battle, Sikhs came with faces red with anger. They lodged a complaint with the Guru against one Bhai Ghanaiya who served water even to the wounded soldiers of the enemy in the battlefield, thereby playing treachery to the cause of the Khalsa. The Guru summoned the alleged culprit to his presence and enquired if he had done what the Sikhs were ascribing to him." 'Yes' and 'No' my Lord. It is true that I served water to persons who are called Turks quite as freely as to those called Sikhs. But I served no Turk or Sikh. Thou hast so enlightened my mind that I beheld thee in every human body that I saw lying wounded on the battlefield, craving for water. So I gave water to none but thee, O Master," Bhai Ghanaiya said humbly. The Guru was immensely pleased to know that his Sikh has understood the mission of Guru Nanak and has even displayed his understanding in his deeds.

The siege was conducted with great intensity and planned in such a manner that all ingress and egress routes for both goods and persons were completely blocked. With the logistic support being cut off, the Sikhs were put to great hardships. The position of ration stock became extremely serious and the Sikhs were driven to undertake some dangerous expedients. They sallied out to snatch provisions from the besiegers, but met with a partial success; and that too on some occasions. The allies collected their stores at one place and guarded them round the clock. The Sikhs resorted to direct assaults on the allies but they were thwarted by them. A small brook taken from River Charan Ganga for supply of water to Anandgarh was diverted by Raja of Kahlur. Civil population being hard pressed began to flee.

Having suffered extreme hardships, the Sikhs besought the Guru to evacuate the fort, but the Guru counselled them to bear patience for some more time. On perpetual insistence by some Sikhs, the Guru declared that everybody was free to leave whenever he/she wanted to.

When the enemy learnt of the distress in which the Sikhs and the Guru were placed at that time, they planned a different strategy to derive maximum advantage of the situation. They sent a message to the Guru suggesting that if he decides to abandon Anandpur, he would be allowed a safe passage. Their offer of a safe passage was treacherous, since they had planned to draw out the Sikhs from within the shelter of the township and attack them to annihilation. The Guru sensed their ulterior motive when he received the message, and therefore did not accept the offer. But some of the Masands and the Sikhs who were under their influence insisted that the offer of the enemy be accepted and the Anandpur abandoned. Forty of them were so vehement in their demand that they became desperate and disclaimed Guru Gobind Singh as their Guru. Then they left Anandpur in a huff. At this juncture they prevailed upon Mata Gujri to support their view-point. The Guru then thought out a scheme to expose the hypocrisy of the enemy, as also to convince his followers of their folly.

The Guru ordered a few bullocks to be laden with waste material. When all preparations had been completed, he informed the messengers of the enemy that he had accepted their proposal. They were told that the Guru's treasure would leave the township to be followed after some time by him and his people. The enemy received this information with great joy. At the appointed hour of the night, the Guru called for the loaded bullock carts tied lighted torches to the horns of the bullocks and sent them out under escort of some Sikhs. When the enemy saw the treasure bearing caravan emerging from the township, they forgot all their pledges and fell upon the escort party of the Sikhs in order to loot the treasure.[52] But their disappointment was unfathomable when they found that the carts were loaded with tattered clothes and rubbish. After exposing the ill intentions of the enemy, the Guru according to Koer Singh addressed his Sikhs in the following words:

Never true to their words are these

Hill Rajas, you know not their deceptions.

They are all big cheats unworthy of trust.[53]

Wazir Khan expressed regret for the misconduct of some of his troops and delivered a letter to the Guru. This letter bearing the seal of Emperor Aurangzeb contained many assurances for the safe passage of the Sikhs out of Anandpur Sahib.[54] The followers of the Guru who were already anxious to leave the township became very vocal and active. They approached Mata Gujri and pleaded with her.[55] The Guru, however, felt that the promise of the Mughals were simply the ploys to dupe the Sikhs. He had sufficient experience of the double talk of the Mughals as well as of the Hill Chiefs.

But ultimately the Guru took a decision to evacuate the fort and the city much against his wishes and better judgment. Some scholars have wrongly surmised that the Guru's action smacked of acquiescence. In fact, the offer of safe passage was made by Wazir Khan and the Hill Rajas with the full knowledge that the Guru would never surrender. And the Guru's decision was prompted more by his determination to die fighting than by the promise held out to him by the Mughals.

The Guru evacuated Anandgarh and Anandpur on December 5-6, 1705 (Poh 6-7; Samvat 1762 BK). Just before this, he distributed his treasures as well as arms among the Sikhs and when everything was ready. Whatever could not be carried was put to fire.[56]

The moment the enemy got an inkling of the departure of the Sikhs, they forgot all about their vows and set out in hot pursuit immediately.

Skirmishes commenced from Kiratpur onwards. Realizing the impending danger, Guru Gobind Singh placed a band of 50 Sikhs under Bhai Uday Singh[57] and charged him with the responsibility of delaying the enemy's advance.[58] Bhai Uday Singh fought a bloody battle with the enemy at Shahi Tibbi. All of them perished fighting bravely, covering themselves with immortal glory. The battle lasted for two and half hours.[59]

When the battle at Shahi Tibbi was in progress, the rest of the caravan including Guru Gobind Singh had reached the bank of River Sirsa. It was almost daybreak now. About this time the news arrived that a contingent of enemy troops was fast approaching. Bhai Jiwan Singh[60], a prominent Sikh, was given a contingent of 100 Sikhs and ordered to encounter the pursuers. With the rest of his people, the Guru descended into the flooded waters of the River Sirsa. The flow of water was so fierce that many of them were drowned and many more were swept away. Guru's family members too separated from each other. Besides, there was a heavy loss of valuable literature and property. It was here that the Guru's mother, revered Mata Gujri and his two younger sons, Zorawar Singh, and Fateh Singh, got separated and proceeded to Saheri, the village of one of their domestic servants, Gangu Brahmin, who handed them over to the state police at Morinda to be taken to Sirhind[61] where they were cruelly put to death by Wazir Khan, the governor of Sirhind, in spite of the vehement protests of the then Nawab of Malerkotla.[62] Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur were hurriedly led by Bhai Mani Singh towards Delhi where they stayed in the house of Jawahar Singh.[63] As regards the Guru himself, accompanied by his two elder sons and a band of veteran Sikhs, he was able to reach the village Ghanaulla[64] on the other side of River Sirsa. It was now planned to proceed further to Kotla Nihang Khan and pass the day safely in the residence of the Pathan Zamindar Nihang Khan[65] who, being a sincere follower of the Guru, could be depended upon for help even in a critical situation such as this. Apprehending that the route ahead might be wrought with danger, the Guru set apart a band of about 100 veterans including Sahibzada Ajit Singh under the command of Bhai Bachittar Singh and instructed them to march by the direct route, whereas he along with some of his people preferred to take the longer path along the left bank of River Sutlej. The Guru met no resistance on the way and reached Kotla Nihang Khan safe and sound. Bachittar Singh and his men, however, had to fight their way through a cordon of the Ranghars of Malikpur, a village enroute and Pathans of Ropar. In the fierce fighting that took place on this occasion, majority of the Sikhs received martyrdom. The leader, Bachittar Singh, was mortally wounded and in that serious condition was carried to Kotla Nihang Khan by Sahibzada Ajit Singh.

The Guru did not want to stay at Kotla longer than was absolutely necessary. He decided to proceed further on the same day. His two elder sons, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, and 40 Sikhs were to accompany him. When the night fell, the whole band set out on the onward journey. Nihang Khan detailed his son, Alam Khan to guide them to the route, they were to follow.

When Guru Gobind Singh left Kotla Nihang Khan, his object, it seems, was to proceed to Machhiwara and Raikot. At the former place lived two Pathan brothers, Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan. They had many trade dealings with the Guru and eventually had become his devoted followers. Moreover, they happened to be cousins of Nihang Khan and as such could be depended upon. The second place, Raikot, was under the control of Rai Kallha, whose daughter had been married to Alam Khan, son of Nihang Khan. Besides, like Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan of Machhiwara, Rai Kalla also had become a follower of Guru Gobind Singh. Another reason for the Guru to select this route was that the sixth, seventh and the ninth Gurus had already travelled across this area and attracted a good number of local people to the Sikh faith.

Battle of Chamkaur

After Kotla Nihang, the village Bur Majra, became the halting place of Guru Gobind Singh and his men. Soon after their arrival there, news was received that a large body of Sirhind troops were approaching right on their heels. Immediately, the Guru decided to face the enemy at Chamkaur. He hurriedly reached his destination and encamped his entourage in a garden on the skirts of the village. He was well aware of the topography and locale of the place as he had on a previous occasion fought a military engagement here in 1702 when he was on his way to Kurukshetra.[66] The garden belonged to Rai Jagat Singh, the local landlord. The Guru sent some of his disciples to request him to let him take shelter in his Haveli (a spacious walled house) more like a Garhi (Mud Fortress).[67] Jagat Singh hesitated for the fear of the ruler's wrath but his brother Rup Chand asserting his right as a co-owner of the place allowed the Guru to use the place as he liked.[68] According to some chroniclers, the names of the owners were Bandhu, Chand and Gharlu who willingly handed over their Haveli to the Guru.[69] Soon after, the imperial army closed upon the place. The Pathans of Malerkotla, the Ranghers of Ropar and many Muslims of the neighbouring areas also joined it.[70] The Guru’s army comprised of only forty[71] men, an infinitesimally small number in comparison to the huge army of the Mughals.[72] Besides, the Guru's soldiers were poorly equipped and had only those weapons, mainly consisting of swords, lances and jamdhars, which they had managed to carry during their flight from Anandpur. The allied forces attacked the Garhi (Mud Fortress) at day break. The Guru organised allround defence of the Garhi. He himself occupied a position on the top storey to observe and direct the operation as also to shoot his arrows. Out of forty men (exclusive of Guru and his two sons) about one fourth were deputed to defend the gate. An equal number was posted in the upper storey to keep a sharp watch on the enemy's movements. The rest took up their positions along the walls to keep vigil to prevent enemy scaling them. According to Mirza Inayat Ullah Khan the compiler of Ahkam-i-Alamgiri, the Garhi was attacked by 700 cavalrymen but the actual number appeared to be much large.[73]

Imperial Commanders, Khwaja Mohammad and Nahar Khan reconnoitred the Guru's arrangements and immediately resorted to psychological warfare. They sent their envoy to the Guru to remind him that he was to face not the paltry and undisciplined troops of the Hill Rajas but an invincible army of Aurangzeb, who was the king of kings, the asylum of the poor, the protector of the world, and it would be his sheer folly to attempt improbabilities. He should immediately renounce hostilities, make instant submission, embrace Islam and swerve infidelity.[74] The Guru's reaction to envoy's advice was of gross indifference. Sahibzada Ajit Singh, however, got provoked. He drew his scimitar and roared to the bearer of the message, "Utter another word and I will slash your head off your body."[75] The envoy though infuriated, yet remained tight- lipped. Soon he trudged back to his camp, agitated and disturbed.

The enemy then attacked the Garhi (Mud Fortress) with all the fury and might at their disposal. The Sikhs also gave them a blazing welcome. They rained arrows from all sides; from behind the walls, from roofs, firing ports and through every chink in the doors. Clad in black like a fly, enemy made a sudden and concerted attack. The Guru at that juncture responded to their manoeuvre very deftly. Every soldier who advanced from behind the wall was struck by an arrow and fell soaked in blood. Nahar Khan also tasted the pinch of a sharp-edged arrow of the Guru and found safety in flight. Many other Khans followed him betraying their courage and bravado. The Khawaja, seemingly the keyman of the Mughal forces, failed to muster courage to come into the open and that really was Guru's regret.[76] Many Sikhs lost their lives in the contest. They ran short of ammunition two or three hours before the sunset. Now the Guru devised another stratagem. He divided his men into groups, each of whom went out and fought the enemy with their personal weapons viz. sabre, spear, sword and lance. These groups operated in different directions one after the other to keep the enemy guessing and themselves fighting on their chosen ground. The leitmotif was that the enemy should not be able to storm the Garhi that day. The Guru's sons, Ajit Singh (17 years) and Jujhar Singh (15 years) led vigorous attacks and received martyrdom in the process.[77]

By the night fall, thirty-five out of the forty Sikhs, both the sons of Guru who were still in their teens fell fighting. Only five Sikhs, Daya Singh, Dharam Singh, Man Singh, Sant Singh and Sangat Singh survived. They suddenly gathered in a group, deliberated on a plan in hushed tones and then resolved to enact the scene of Anandpur in which the Guru, five years earlier, had played a double role of being the Guru and disciple at one and the same time. They told the Guru that at the moment, they were the Guru and he was a Khalsa. They passed a gurmata (resolution) ordaining the Guru to escape in the interest of the Panth.

They also decided that Bhai Daya Singh, Dharam Singh (The first and the second of the five beloveds) and Man Singh would accompany the Guru. Sant Singh and Sangat Singh were to stay behind to continue the fight.

The Guru who had made up his mind to die fighting had to retract from his decision and he decided to leave the mud fortress. The Guru could not but obey the gurmata—fiat of the five Sikhs—Panj Pyaras—representing the whole of Khalsa Panth whom he had raised to the status of Guru at Anandpur at the Baisakhi of 1699. He took off his plume, placed it before the five Sikhs went around them thrice and bowed before them. "The Khalsa Panth said the Guru, "Has stood well the ordeals and deserves to be crowned." He reiterated, "The Khalsa is the Guru and the Guru is Khalsa.” Whenever five of you assemble with God in thy hearts, God and the Guru will be with you. The word is the Guru, and under its guidance, the Khalsa is the Guru."

According to Sainapat, Sant Singh was killed[78] when the Guru and his party were on the verge of leaving the fortress. Sangat Singh alone had to hold the advancing enemy at bay till his last breath. He put on the dress including plume similar to that of the Guru and positioned himself in the upper storey which the Guru had occupied during the day time. From a distance, or to an observer who had not seen the Guru himself, it was well-nigh difficult to differentiate between the Guru and Sangat Singh because he was wearing the dress akin to that worn by the Guru. The latter resembled the Guru almost. The enemy, therefore, concentrated their attention on him, mistaking him for the Guru, and, no wonder, they were jubilant when an arrow struck him dead. Historians have differed: whether it was Sant Singh or Sangat Singh or Jiwan Singh who put on the dress similar to that of Guru and successfully duped the enemy. Sant Singh could not be because Sainapat in his work Sri Gurusobha says that Sant Singh was killed just when the Guru and his party made a move to abandon the fortress. He also informs us that the Guru got enraged at the death of Sant Singh and very excitedly let fly arrows, causing havoc in the enemy ranks.

Bhai Jiwan Singh could also not masquerade as Guru because there is a positive evidence of Bhat Vahi declaring him to be a martyr in the battle on the bank of flooded River Sirsa.

This being so, it is not difficult to surmise that it was Sangat Singh who dressed up himself like the Guru and bore the brunt of the enemy's attack.

He was the younger brother of Bhai Jaita, a day younger to Guru Gobind Singh. According to Kankan, a court poet of the Guru, he had enjoyed the privilege of being the Guru's companion at Patna, and even afterward.

He is mentioned as Bangesak by Koer Singh, Shamsher Singh Ashok, a modern writer, also supports him. Sukha Singh uses the expression Bangesh in the case of Sant Singh to convey that the latter used to live in Bengal. Since in the time of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna where Sangat Singh played with Guru Gobind Singh, formed the headquarter of Suba of Bihar and not of Bengal, the usage of Bangesh to establish that Sangat Singh or Sant Singh belonged to Bengal does not carry conviction. The fact is that Bangsi or Bangesh both usages were meant to convey that Sangat Singh had connection with the people inhabiting the region called Bangesh. By the time Koer Singh wrote Gur Bilas, the Rangrettas, especially the band of the Sikhs under Bir Singh, had over-run the region of Bangesh in the North-Western frontier of India and many of them had settled themselves there. Like other inhabitants of this region, they began to be called Bangesar i.e. to say they belonged to 'Bangesh' region. This fact seemed to have impelled Bhai Sukha Singh to use this expression.

As per plan, all the three (Daya Singh, Dharam Singh and Man Singh) approached the enemy camps stealthily from three different directions i.e. heading towards South, East and West, undetected by skillful use of the ground and their field craft training. Just at the approach time to the camp which was coordinated, arrows from Garhi were discharged to extinguish burning torches of the enemy soldiers which had illuminated the Garhi, and its surrounding areas. While running past the enemy camp in the South, East and West, they raised loud cries individually warning that the Guru along with his soldiers was escaping. Since by now there was complete darkness, the allied forces got confused and fell upon each other killing many of their own soldiers. The allied forces deployed towards the North of Garhi moved towards the East and West of Garhi to capture the Guru. At this moment when there was total chaos the Guru moved towards the North and escaped towards the pre-decided rendezvous.

The allied force commanders unable to apprehend the motive behind the moves of the Sikhs made a forceful attack on the Garhi and had the satisfaction of having killed the Guru who was in fact Sangat Singh. The Garhi was captured. The Mughal forces joy was unbounded as they were under the impression that the Guru had been killed. But soon the euphoria evaporated when they came to know of the reality. It was not the Guru but one of his Sikhs named Sangat Singh who was killed by their arrows.

The Guru had left the fortress under the very nose of the enemy. Similarly, Man Singh, Dharam Singh and Daya Singh effected their escape. Wazir Khan and his commanders had to face utter disappointment. They won the battle but gained nothing.

Thereafter, the Mughals employed all their resources to capture the Guru but in vain. The Guru had covered long distance during the night on unfamiliar tracks. According to one assessment, the Guru covered 16 kms in two hours barefooted in unknown terrain, full of thorny bushes and reached the predetermined place before the appearance of dawn.

Thirty-seven Khalsa soldiers plus two elder sons of the Guru laid down their lives at Chamkaur out of spiritual conviction rather than love of worldly gain or glory. Such persons, indeed, were Jiwan Mukt, the ones who had the fullest realisation of God and led their lives in harmony with Guru.

According to some scholars, it were these people who are mentioned in the communitarian prayer of the Sikhs. But this view is not supported by any substantial historical evidence. Even a little reflection on the whole episode would expose its improbability. The number of martyrs at Chamkaur was only thirty-seven, three less than the forty as it is generally believed. Moreover, persons who courted martyrdom at Muktsar were in no way less resplendent than their counterparts at Chamkaur, equally courageous and eager to trudge the righteous road with their heads placed on their palms and hence their incorporation in the Ardas (Prayer) was doubtlessly legitimate.

Notes and References

[1] Sukha Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, XIII, p. 9. Sri Gursobha, VIII, p. 40, XI, pp. 5-6.

[2] We have not been able to identify the hill states to which they belonged.

[3] Swarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, (ed.) Piara Singh Padam, Sakhi 64, p. 129.

[4] M.A. Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, Vol. V, pp. 124-126.

[5] Raja Bhim Chand had abdicated in 1691 soon after the reverses at Nadaun.

[6] Ibid., p. 126.

[7] Swarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, p. 130, Sakhi 66, also see Bhat Vahi Tamar Bijlauton ki, extract given by Piara Singh Padam in Guru Kian Sakhian, p. 130.

[8] Bhat Vahi Jado Bansian ki, 'Khata Bartie Kanauton Ka'—Also consult Guru Kian Sakhian by Swarup Singh Kaushish, p. 131.

[9] Bhat Vahi Talaundha Pargana Jind, 'Khata Jalhane Puaron ka’

[10] Swarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, p. 132.

[11] Ibid., p. 134.

[12] He was the Grandson of Bhai Salho. Refer to Guru Pad Prern Sagar by Bawa Sumer Singh 1882, Swarup Singh Kaushish, op. cit., p. 133.

[13] Swarup Singh Kaushish, op. cit., p. 135, Sakhi 67. Bawa Sumer Singh, Guru Pad Prem Parkash, p. 4, (1882 A.D.)

[14] Ibid., p. 135, also Consult Bhat Vahi Talaundha Pargana Jind,' Khata Jalhanon KaJ

[15] Swarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, p. 136, also consult Bhat Vahi Talaundha Pargana Jind, 'Khata Jalhanon ka'.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid., p. 137.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Indubhushan Banerjee, Evolution of the Khalsa, Vol. II, 128; Sri Gursobha, 45.

[20] Swarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, p. 137, Sakhi 69.

[21] Ibid., p. 138.

[22] Sri Gursobha (ed.) Shamsher Singh Ashok, pp. 64-65 stanza 345.

[23] The Hill Rajas wrote a letter to the Faujdar of Sirhind asking for his help against the Guru. Kartar Singh in Life of Guru Gobind Singh, p. 181; Sri Gursobha, pp. 64-65, stanzas 345-351.

According to Giani Gian Singh, Aurangzeb himself is said to have sent an order to Wazir Khan to proceed against the Guru. Twarikh Guru Khalsa, p. 915, Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Partap Suraj Granth, pp. 2642-48.

[24] Sainapat, Sri Gursobha, Chapter 9, p. 65, stanza 351.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Kartar Singh, Life of Guru Gobind Singh. The use of canon by the Mughal troop is not improbable.

[27] Sainapat, op. cit., p. 69.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Basoli fell in the territory of Jaswan.

[31] Sainapat, Sri Gursobha, Chapter X, p. 72, stanza 90.

[32] He was the son of Prem Chand and grandson of Moola, Bhat Vahi Talaunda Pargana Jind, 'Khata Jalhanon ka'.

[33] M.A. Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, Vol. V, pp. 128-37. Phir Basyo Anandpur Rajan Manian.

[34] Swarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, (ed.) by Piara Singh Padam, p. 142, Sakhi 72. The date of this event is given by Kaushish as Chet Vadi Panchah Samat 1754-1700 A D.

[35] Sainapat, Sri Gursobha; Harnam Singh, pp. 55-57, 62-65.

[36] This date is given by Khazan Singh in his book History and Philosophy of Sikhism, V. I.

[37] Rawalsar is a natural lake with floating islands about 15 Kilometres West of Mandi Town. At the time when Guru Gobind Singh visited the place, there was practically no habitation around it.

[38] Jaisi Bache Men Handi

Waise Bache Gi Teri Mandi

Mandl ko Jab Lutenge

To Asmani Gole Chhutenge

Lepel Griffin: Rajas of the Punjab, pp. 580-81.

Hutchinson and Vogal, History of the Punjab Hill States p. 389.

A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and the N.W. Frontier Province, Vol. 1, p. 691.

[39] A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and the N. W. Frontier Province, p. 691.

[40] Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, Vol. I, p. 286.

[41] M.A. Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, pp. 153-54. Sayyad Beg threw away his sword and vowed never to use it against the Sikhs again. See Sakhi Pothi, p. 59. He fell fighting for the Guru when another imperial force under General Said Khan attacked Anandpur in collusion with the Hill Chieftains in February 1703, (Encyclopedia of Sikhism Vol. IV, p. 23).

[42] M.A. Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, pp. 154-55.

[43] Ibid., pp. 153-154.

[44] Ibid., Vol. V, p. 154.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Narain Singh, Guru Gobind Singh Retold, p. 229.

[47] We are not sure whether direct representation was made, but it is fairly certain that the Emperor had sent orders to the Mughal officials notably Wazir Khan, the Faujdar of Sirhind. Mirza Muhammand Harisi, Ibratnama;

S.H.R. 231, 66, 67. Ahmed Shah, Twarikh-i-Hind, S.H.R. 1291, 383. Ganesh Das, Chahar Bagh-i-Punjab, S.H.R. 553, 158.

[48] M.A. Macauliffe, Vol. V, p. 165.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Muhammad Akbar, The Punjab under the Mughals, p. 219; Adarah-i- Adabiyat-i-Delli, 1974.

[51] Ganda Singh, Hukamname, p. 181, Hukamnama no. 60.

[52] M.A. Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion, Vol. V, p. 175.

[53] Koer Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, pp. 155-56.

[54] According to Hari Ram Gupta the letter was delivered by Wazir Khan himself, History of the Sikhs, Vol. I, p. 290. Zafarnama, Verse 5, 13-15, Gian Singh, Twarikh Guru Khalsa, p. 980. Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Partap Suraj Granth, pp. 5843-44, 5852, 5853.

According to Santokh Singh, Aurangzeb wrote, "I have sworn on the Quran not to harm thee. If I do, may I not find a place in God's court hereafter. Cease warfare and come to me. If thou desire not to come hither, then go wheresoever thou pleasest."

[55] Santokh Singh, op. cit., p. 5848.

[56] Sri Gursobha XI, 64/467; Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Partap Suraj Granth, 5855. The vows appear to have been most wantonly violated and to these we have poignant references in the Zafarnama. Sainapat also refers to violation of oath by the imperial forces.

[57] Santokh Singh, op. cit., p. 5848.

[58] Bhai Uday Singh was the son of Bhai Mani Singh Ahiwal [Shaheed Bilas, Bhai Mani Singh, (ed.) by Giani Garja Singh]

[59] Sri Gursobha XII, p. 84, 11/479.

[60] Bhai Jaita's name after baptism.

[61] Sainapat, Sri Gursobha, Chapter XI.

[62] Inayat Ali Khan, Description of the Principal Kotla Afghans, pp. 13-14.

[63] Lakshman Singh, Guru Gobind Singh, p. 105, (I have consulted 1909 edition).

[64] Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Partap Suraj Granth, p. 5858.

[65] Muslim Chief of Kotla Nihang Khan, near Ropar, in the Punjab, was a devotee of Guru Gobind Singh. According to Swarup Singh Kaushish, Guru Kian Sakhian, he with his wife and sons attended Baisakhi festival at Anandpur in 1699 and rendered homage to the Guru. At his request Guru Gobind Singh visited him in his village a month later on the occasion of the betrothal of his son and blessed the family.

[66] Mahan Kosh.

[67] Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Vol. I, p. 429.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Sainapat, Sri Gursobha, Chapter 12, stanza 473.

[70] Sri Gursobha, (ed.) Dr. Ganda Singh, p. 52.

[71] The number did not include the Guru and his two sons, Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh.

[72] Zafarnama, a letter addressed to the Emperor Aurangzeb.

[73] Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, p. 208.

[74] Ganda Singh, Makhiz-i-Tzvarikh-i-Sikhan, I, p. 8, also refer to Sayyed Muhammad Latif, History of Punjab.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Zafarnama, line 19-41; Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, p. 208.

[78] Sainapat, Sri Gursobha, Chapter 12, p. 70.