Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

The Great archer

In 1704 when the army of emperor Aurangzeb had laid siege to Anandpur fortress and two of its generals Zabardast Khan and Wajir Khan were playing chess under the shade of a tree while others watched the game, Guru Gobind Singh Ji stood on top of the fortress wall and watched this scene through a telescope. Guru Ji took an arrow from his quiver, strung it hard on his bow and shot it across the fields towards the assembly. Down came the whizzing arrow striking hard into the wooden leg of the manji (indian bed) where the generals sat.

The two generals who were engrossed in the game became panicky when they felt the arrow strike the wooden leg and began to wonder whose audacity and boldness it could be, they both agreed that they had narrowly missed death. Wajir Khan pulled the arrow out with a trembling hand. Nobody could comprehend how and from where the arrow had come and thought it was a miracle. Raja Ajmerchand of the nearby hill states who had turned an ally of the mughals saw the arrow and recognised it. "This can only be an arrow of (Guru) Gobind Singh, look it has gold mounted on it. It belongs to no one except the Guru. But it is hard to tell from where the Guru has aimed the arrow from?"

The Raja of Mandi at this point intercepted, "The Guru is very brave, he must have shot it from atop of the fortress." Zabardast doubted this as the fortress was nearly two miles away. The Raja of Mandi replied " Two miles is nothing Guru Ji's arrows are known to go a lot further." Upon this Wajir stretched out his hands offering his grateful thanks to heaven for sparing his life.

All the military generals the officers present there began to admire and speak highly of Guru Ji's chivalry and valiant conduct. They had hardly recovered from the shock of the first arrow, when a second came hissing by and hit the same leg of the manji again. The very sight of the second arrow put all the officers to flight. After a few moments they came out from under their hiding places. A piece of paper was found tied to the second arrow. Zabardast Khan gingerly untied it and read the Persian script.

"It is no miracle. It is a single art of marksmanship. I am not in favour of performing miracles nor do I intend to take the lives of Zabardast and Wajid Khan. You are labouring under the false notion that the first arrow has shot to kill either of you." Thus the all knowing Guru knew the thoughts of the mughal officers.

Acknowledgement: http://tuhitu.blogspot.com/

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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