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Sikh Martyrs

Pandit Kirpa Singh Dutt

Pandit Kirpa Singh Dutt (d. 1705) was the son of Bhai Aru Ram, a Sarasvat Brahman of Matan, 65 KM east of Srinagar, in Kashmir. Aru Ram had met Guru Har Rai and sought his blessing at the time of the latter’s visit to Kashmir in 1660.

Kashmiri Brahmins, came to Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandpur in May 1675 for protection against atrocities of Aurungzeb. Kirpa Ram led this group of Kashmiri Pandits driven to dire straits by State Persecution. They had faced stiff taxes, atrocities, cruelty under muslim Mughal governor of Kashmir. Honour of their daughters was being lost and they were losing their religion to the fanatic zeal and proletyzation activities of Islamic crusaders.

Iftikhar Khan, governor of Kashmir (1671-75) was a harsh man and was making forcible conversion to Islam. Kashmiri Brahmins asked Guru for a solution. Guru replied “Such activities can only be stopped by a sacrifice of a great person”. Just then 8 years old son of Guru Tegh Bahadur Gobind Rai (Later Gobind Singh) came along and saw his father in deep thoughts. He enquired about the reason. He offered a possible solution by saying “who else is greater then you, O father”. Guru Tegh Bahadur knew immediately about his Dharma. He told Kashmiri Brahmins “Go tell Aurungzeb that if they can convert your Guru then you will all become Muslims.” Kirpa Ram obliged and Aurungzeb issued summons for Guru. Guru performed the ceremony and declared that next Guru will be his son, Gobind Rai.

Guru Tegh Bahadur whose help the visitors sought asked them to go and have it communicated to the Emperor that, if he (Guru Tegh Bahadur) was converted, they would all voluntarily accept conversion. Kirpa Ram and his companions sent to Emperor Aurungzeb a petition to that effect through Zalim Khan, a governor of lahore. Then followed by imperial summons, and Guru Tegh Bahadur’s arrest and Martyrdom in Delhi. Kirpa Ram returned to Anandpur. Guru Gobind Singh ji from 1675 until 1690 took an extensive courses in Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, and Punjabi in educating himself. According to chronicles, Pandit Kirpa Dutt helped Guru Gobind singh in his Sanskrit Studies. Guru Gobind Singh contemplated the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (his great grand father), Guru Tegh Bahadur (his father) and decided to create a khalsa. Khalsa was created at Anandpur on March 31st 1699. Pandit Kirpa Ram Dutt became Kirpa Singh after taking Khanda Baate da Pahul. In 1699 he received the holy Amrit and entered the fold of the Khalsa.

In December of 1699 A.D. Mughal forces sieged the fort of Anandpur and after many months, siege was lifted once Guru agreed to give up the fort of Anandpur. Mughals broke the promise and attacked the retreating Guru Gobind singh’s forces, in this confusion, Guru’s soldier and family departed in different directions. Guru Gobind Singh along with his 40 Sikhs (including Kirpa Singh and his two sons Ajit Singh, and Jujhar Singh) came to the fort of Chamkaur. Mughals soon sorrounded the small mud fort of Chamkaur. Guru and his sikhs decided to face the battle in the batches of five soldiers each. Pandit Kirpa Singh Khalsa fell a martyr in the battle of Chamkaur on 7 December 1705.

Excerpts taken from Encyclopedia of Sikhism
by Harbans Singh .
Published by Punjabi University, Patiala


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