Thursday, April 3, 2008

Anandpur Battle and Separation of Guru Gobind Singh's Family Part-III

Anandpur Battle and Separation of Guru Gobind Singh's Family - The Martyrdom of the Younger Sahibzadas - Part [III]
Martyrdom day of young sahibzadas / Sahibzadas attains martyrdom
by Manpreet, Illustrations by Amarjeet Malik

Martyrdom day of young sahibzadas
The Nawab ordered that both the boys be sent back to the tower. He directed his officials to arrange for executioners who would brick them alive in between two walls, which may be constructed immediately.

The Sahibzadas reached the tower and gave a report of the proceedings of the court to their grand mother. She embraced her grand sons, patted them on their back for their courageous and bold stand and said, "You have rightly upheld the dignity and honour of your revered grand father and your valiant father. May God ever abide with you."

Next morning they were taken to the Nawab's court. The Nawab asked them again, "I do hope you have made up your mind to embrace Islam, otherwise, as you know, you will be bricked up alive."

Both Sahibzadas proclaimed fearlessly, "We shall never give up our faith, whatever may be the consequences. Death has no meaning to us." The Nawab was simply amazed to their determined and firm reply. One of his officials stepped forward, and said to the Nawab, "Sir, the two royal executioners of Delhi, Shisal Beg and Vishal Beg, are prepared to carry out your orders of bricking up these boys alive if they are granted pardon." The Nawab called them and told them, "Your request for pardon has been granted on condition that you brick up these two sons of Guru Gobind Singh alive in a wall."

The constables took away both the Sahibzadas. A huge crowd had collected outside. People were surprised on hearing the orders of the Nawab that the two young innocent sons of Guru Gobind Singh were to be bricked alive.

"What crime have they committed?" said one.

"How cruel and inhuman O God!" exclaimed another.

"But they are not terrified," remarked a lady in the crowd.

"They are the brave sons of their brave father, Guru Gobind Singh," pat came the remark by her companion.

The constables, who were escorting the two Sahibzadas, were getting perturbed on hearing such observations from the crowd and were rushing forward.

The Sahibzadas were brought to the spot where a wall was being raised. Both of them were made to stand side by side. The Qazi arrived there soon after and tried to persuade them to accept Islam and not to cut short their lives. Even the executioners tried to prevail upon them but they both were unflinching in their determination and told the executioners, "Raise the wall fast and bury the Moghul Raj quickly. Don't delay for a minute." Thereafter both of them started reciting Japji sahib while the wall was going up brick by brick.
Young Sahibzadas
The wall went up higher and higher until it reached their chests. The Nawab and Qazi approached them and said to them in an affectionate tone, "There is still time for you to save your lives, just recite the Kalma and the wall will be pulled down immediately."

The Sahibzadas shouted loudly, "We shall not give up our faith, death does not frighten us."

Both the Nawab and Qazi were amazed at their steadfast determination. Tears flowed from the eyes of onlookers, as they observed, "Blessed be their mother who gave birth to such children."

The wall went up still higher and it was shoulder high. Sahibzada Zorawar said to his younger brother, "They are putting us to test. They do not know that Sikhs of Guru Nanak are fearless. Our fifth Guru Arjun Dev faced martyrdom cheerfully on burning iron pans. Whereas he guided humanity to the path of truthful and noble life, he also set an example of facing death boldly and with full faith in God."

The younger brother Sahibzada Fateh Singh remarked, " The martyrdom of our revered grandfather, Guru Tegh Bahadur was also unique, we shall soon join him. He is waiting for us."

Later both the Sahibzadas became unconscious.

Sahibzadas Attains Martyrdom
The executioners became nervous as both the Sahibzadas became unconscious. They consulted each other, "They are now nearing their end. There is no need to raise the wall further. Why not cut short their agony by beheading them? It is already getting dark."

The wall was pulled down, they brought the unconscious Sahibzadas out laid them flat on the ground and, in an instant, martyred them.

People in the crowd were shocked at this ghastly act. They sighed in dismay, "What cruelty! How shall they answer for their crime in Mohammad's Court."

As soon as the two Sahibzadas attained martyrdom, Mata Gijri Ji, who was sitting in meditation in the tower, breathed her last. The messenger who came with the news of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas found that Mata-Ji had already attained salvation.

There was great commotion in the town of Sirhind. Every one was furious at the atrocious crime. They were unanimous in their view that this heinous act would herald the doomsday of the Moghul Empire. They admired the courage and steadfastness of the brave sons of Guru Gobind Singh and remarked, "What determination at this young age! They did not budge an inch from their position in spite of several allurements by the Nawab and Qazi."

The same evening Dewan Todar Mal, a jeweller reached Nawab Wazir Khan's court for permission to cremate the dead bodies of the two Sahibzadas and Mata Gujri.

The Nawab agreed on condition that the Dewan paid for the required piece of land by spreading as many gold coins as would cover the entire cremation.

The two martyred young sons of Guru Gobind Singh were cremated with full honours along with their grand mother.

Guru Gobind Singh was at the time in the forest of Machhiwara, when the news of the martyrdom of his younger sons reached him. On hearing this he pulled out a plant with the tip of his arrow and forecast that this tragedy will herald the uprooting of Moghul Empire in India. And to the Emperor he wrote: "It matters little if a jackal through cunning and treachery succeeds in the killing two lion's cubs, for the lion himself live to inflict retribution on you."

Guru Gobind Singh addressed his followers thus: "I have sacrificed four sons for the survival of the thousands of my sons who are still alive."

A wave of anguish gripped the country at the news of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas. After some time the recluse Banda Bairagi come under the influence of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and was christened Banda Singh Bahadur. He shook the Moghul Empire and the town of Sirhind was reduced to utter ruins.

There is no parallel to the martyrdom of such young boys in the annals of human history. Sahibzada Fateh Singh was less than six years old (born 1699) and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh just over eight (born 1696). They laid down their lives in December 1704. They were bricked up alive but did not bow before the tyranny of the Moghul government.

The renowned hindi poet, Maithali Saran Gupt in his well known book Bharat Bharati said:

Maithali Saran Gupt

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