Saturday, December 10, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

SUNDRI


Written By Bhai Vir Singh Ji

PART VI

Saraswati finished speaking and her simple and sincere words brought tears to Sham Singh's eyes. After thinking for a while, he said: "We lead very rough lives, and are constantly faced with danger. These days we cannot even go to our villages. How will you be able to cope with this life of daily strain and discomfort?" Saraswati: "Guruji will give me strength and l will be able to accept whatever happens. I know I want to spend my life here"

After another pause, Sham Singh said; "You are, not an ordinary woman, but an angel of mercy. You are truly blessed that you want to spend your life in service to your brothers. May Waheguru Ji grant you your wish, my dear sister! As for me, you can consider yourself free to do what ever makes you happy, and to lead a meaningful life. However you will have to develop manly qualities to last out here." Balwant Singh: "I too am very happy, my dear sister! You are truly Guruji's daughter, with the courage of a lion. May Waheguru protect you! May Mai Bhago bless you"

Saraswati: "My brother, since the body is perishable and one day it must die, why not let it die in a good cause?

"Remember how the beloved sons of our Guruji faced death with a smile on their faces, and Bhai Mani Singh Ji laughed in the face of his torturers as they cut his body at every single joint! When such holy men are sacrificing their lives: then why should we protect and save ourselves, and for what? I have seen with my own eyes that the love of parents, relatives and friends is short lived"

"When you saved me from the burning pyre, my; dear brother, you risked your life, unlike ordinary brothers. In your heart was devotion to your religion, love for Guru Ji, and a great degree of self respect which made you take pity on me. "I too want to follow a religious path and make truthful living my aim." "You are feeling hesitant because you feel that a woman is not only physically weak, but mentally and spiritually as well. Please believe me when i say that a woman's heart can be soft as butter, and yet hard and yet a rock too. "When she is filled with religious fervor, she can be so firm and determined that nothing can influence her. I say this, not out of empty boasting but with the confidence that Guru Ji will make, all this possible."

Sham Singh and Balwant Singh looked very happy and moved at these words and praised Saraswati for her firm faith and clear thinking.

In the morning, everyone gathered in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib ji for the morning prayers. After' the 'Ardaas' Sardar Sham Singh told the Sikhs about Saraswati's resolve to stay with them and spend her life in service to her religion and her brothers. "We have therefore resolved that she will be given 'Amrit’. it is our request that the whole Khalsa nation acccept her as the daughter of Mata Saheb DevaJi and Guru Gobind Singh Ji and treat her as their sister."

In a solemn atmosphere, Saraswati partook the holy 'Amrit' and when the ‘Shabad’ was read from Guru Granth Sahibji, she was given the name Sunder Kaur and became well known as Sundri

The camp’s atmosphere changed dramatically with Sundri’s presence. The young men had been long separated from their families and learnt to be tough and stoic.

Sundri brought a sense of warmth and affection, and it; is to the credit of the strong principles of the Sikhs that each was happy to see in her, the image of his sister, and mother. This purity of character was taught by Guruji. The whole community was united then, in their shared love for their religion, their willingness to do or die and their love for Gurbani and reciting Waheguruji's name. That too was 'Kalyug’ but the Sikhs were of a different calibre.

Sundri became absorbed into the camp life very soon and took on the Job of caring for her tough brothers, who in turn protected her. With the help of a couple of Sikhs she would prepare the meals and look after the daily needs of the camp. And all the while she would recite Gurbani, and remember Waheguru Ji's name.

Whenever the kitchen ran out of flour and other food stuffs, the Singhs would go and pluck fruits and dig up sweet roots from the nearby woods. Soon, Sundri also became an expert at this job, and would go wandering into the jungle in search of edible plants.

One day, she noticed a small hill at a distance and walked towards it. From the summit, she saw a village on the other side, surrounded by rich, green fields. The villagers were Hindus. They were short but strong in build and relied on their crops for sustenance. Sundri began to purchase vegetables and other items from them, at regular intervals. The villagers were happy to deal with her, but no one could understand where this graceful young girl came from and where she went.

One day all the rations were over in the camp and the money too was finished. Everyone was tired of eating roots and wild fruits. Sundri decided to take matters into her own hands. She had a gold ring studded with a diamond, which had been given to her at her wedding. She took this into the village and showed it to a couple of shop - keepers, hoping to sell it and use the money for buying rations.

No one could put a value on the ring. Disappointed, Sundri turned to go back to the camp. At the end of the street, she was stopped by a well-dressed man.

"Bibi , who are you, and why are you looking so sad ?" he asked.

Sundri: "I can't find a buyer for my diamond ring."

Man: "Let me see it."

Sundri gave him the ring

Man: "It is valuable and the gem is pure. You can easily get Rs. 700/- for it. Unfortunately, I can't help you as I am far from my place and have no money with me."

He heaved a sigh and with tears in his eyes he handed the ring back to Sundri and said, "Bibi, may Lord Shiva bless you. If you can take this ring to a town, you will get a much better price for it."

Sundri: "It will be as Guruji wishes. But tell me, why you, a man, have tears in your eyes?"

Man: "Bibi, you are a helpless woman and I am a weak man. Neither of us can help the other. It is no use reciting my troubles to you. I feel that you are not happy, that is why you are trying to sell your ring."

Sundri: "Oh brother, I am supremely happy. You may think that I am weak, but I know that I am a brave person and belong to a community of courageous warriors, who are putting the fear of the Lord into the hearts of the Mughals."

The man was surprised at Sundri's remarks and asked, "Who can face the Mughals? The Sikhs had managed to get together and gave stiff resistance a few times, but curses are on our brothers who are helping the Mughals in finishing off the Sikhs. Have you heard that Lakhpat is soon coming from Aimnabad with a large army? Oh my Lord Bholanath, what is going to happen

Continued to Part VII

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