THE TENTH MASTER :GOBIND SINGH NANAK
Prof. Puran Singh
- Anandpur of the Tenth Master
- Malin, the Gardener’s Wife
- Bhai Nand Lal and Gyassuddin at Anandpur
- Gobind Singh in Disguise
- Gobind Singh and ‘Renunciation of the Sanyasi"
- The Ancestor of the Panjab Kalals
- The Call of the Master
- The Disciples Baptize the Master
- Hansa enters the Path of Discipleship
- Padma, Daughter of the Rajah of Naham
- The Hill Rajahs, the Tools of the Moghal Empire
- Saidkhan Enters Discipleship
- The Master Besieged
- The Sweetness of Death
- Two Pathans help the Master
- The Two Princes Betrayed
- The Forty Martyrs
- Love Gatherings Again
- The Mystic Fire
- Abchal Nagar
- The Word Crowned
Out of the joy of the Masters have grown the names of our cities filtering down into the common language of the people! The Sikh gave to the Panjab thirty-five new words for "Joy". Guru Nanak founded, on the Ravi the city of the Creator – "Kartarpur". "GoindwaT" is "The City of God". Amritsar means the "Pond of Ambrosia", or "Lake of Immortality". Guranditta, son of the Sixth Master, named Kiratpur "city of praise". Anandpur is "the City of Divine Bliss", founded by Tegh Bahadur. At the martyrdom of Tegh Bahadur, there was no sorrow at Anandpur: the new Nanak Gobind led the town in celebrating the event with a new purity of joy: -"Tegh Bahadur is gone!
The world says, ‘Alas! Alas!
The heaven rings with hallelujahs!
Welcoming his return home!
The angels sing ‘the victor comes home!
The victor comes home!
All victory is in the Dhyan of His Glorious Name!
His disciples and his saints sit still in that
His Supreme Dhyanam!
And in His love is freedom for them!"
Anandpur was made once again, under the divine leadership of Gobind Singh, the City of Immortal Bliss. Nothing was lacking, the former Master had provided everything for his children. He gave all his soul to his people, coming no more in earthly form to them. He knew it; though they did not and could not know of his purpose.
Gobind Singh, too, brought new delight to the Sikh people. He scattered joy and light in an abundance hitherto unknown even in the Sikh life of the past nine generations of this dispensation of divine grace!
Anandpur was a center of life of the people; spiritual, mental, and physical. Around the Master assembled poets and painters, and scholars; and he encouraged the development of art and learning in his people. The disciples were sent to Benaras to learn Sanskrit He caused many long Sanskrit books to be translated into Hindi. In fact, the disciples had returned to their own line of work, forgetful of the injuries inflicted on them by the kings. There was a tremendous revival of literature and art at Anandpur We have accounts of this period from the Dhyanam of Bhai Vir Singh ji, in the little brochures published by the Khalsa Tract Society, Amritsar. One of these, MaIm, or the Gardener’s Wife, lifts up the curtain that time had let fall on Anandpur, and allows us to see more of that place and its society than is permitted by an earlier historian.
Mohina and Sohina were once rich people but they had renounced all in love of Nanak. They were accomplished singers, gardeners, flower-breeders and poets. They came in disguise as poor people, and entered Gobind’s service in his garden. They never tried to see him as they had once had sentence pronounced against them by a Sikh "He will not grant you a glimpse of himself’: these words had escaped the lips of the Sikh when he was fatally wounded and dying of thirst, and when he was refused water by Mohina and Sohina who were carrying sacred water to the temple for the worship of their stone deity – for at that time they were idol-worshippers. They had been so haunted by the Sikh that they had returned hurriedly from the sanctuary to give him the very same water, but the Sikh had died meanwhile. His voice rang in their empty souls: "He will not grant you even a glimpse of himself’. One day Kesara Singh (Saffron Singh), the Guru’s gardener, exhibited specimens of their work of plant breeding and making many a flower bloom out of its season, and named them to the Guru. Nobody else knew anything about them. He looked up to the sky, and repeated in an undertone the words of the dying Sikh, "He will not grant you a glimpse of himself’. Then he added: "Tell them they cannot see the Master yet" But the Mother afterwards paid them occasional visits in their neat nest-like hut in the garden, and they used to sing the song of the master to her. Every morning, whatever the season, they sent her a garland of flowers, with which the Mother garlanded the Beloved. One day, a Faqir called Roda Jalali came and begged of the couple for some of their flowers that seemed to him a curiosity at that season. Mohina and Sohina could not part with them; they were sacred. Roda Jalali stole like a cat into the garden at night, and plucked all the flowers with a view to presenting them to the Guru in the morning. Next morning, as the Master was sitting in the assembly of disciples, Roda Jalali presented himself and made an offering of the basket of flowers. "Why did you not bring gold Mohurs as an offering?" said the Master Faqirs never touch gold", said Jalali. "Then a Faqir should come empty handed", said he, "the empty hands of a Faqir are beautiful". "But one must come with an offering", said Jalali. Thereupon the Master made a sign to Bhai Mani Singh to take off Roda Jalali’s cap from behind – when lo! a few gold Mohurs fell out of it. Meanwhile the Guru, looking at the flowers, cried like a grieved father: "O Roda! You have not plucked flowers from the bush, but you have torn two souls from God". Saying this, the Master ran barefooted to the hut of Sohina and Mohina. The couple had already fainted amid their despoiled bushes; they seemed near to death. He revived them with his glance, and sat by them, lifting their head into his lap while the Mother gave them water to drink. Their opening eyes saw those of the master gazing deeply into them. Thus did Mohina and Sohina enter the path of discipleship.
Bhai Nand Lal had migrated from Kabul to India with his wife and children. Providing them with a house at Multan, Bhai Nand Lal entered the Imperial service at Agra, becoming secretary to Bahadur Shah, the son of Aurangzeb. He was a poet, and an Arabic and Persian scholar and he solved many a knotty theological problem in the theology of Al Quran, which were referred to him by the Prince. Once, when every other scholar failed to satisfy Aurangzeb as to a particular verse in private, when repeated to the Emperor, gave him great pleasure. Thus was the scholarship of Bhai Nandlal brought to the notice of the Emperor, who ordered that so able a person should no longer be allowed to remain a Hindu. The news leaked out; and Bhai Nand La saw that, to avoid death or apostasy, he must flee. He thought of escaping with his devoted Faqir – follower Gyassudin to Anandpur, and taking shelter with the Tenth Master So with a few valuables they escaped by night from Agra, on two mules. When they reached Anandpur, they saw Gobind Singh sitting in the midst of a happy congregation. Bhai Nand La and Gyassudin offered their homage and took their seats, as the Guru blessed them and welcomed them. Addressing Gyassuddin, the Gobind said" "Brother Gyassuddin, to whom dost thou belong?" At this, one of the disciples wished to correct him, but the Master promptly stopped him, saying, "There is no dispute at all. Brother Nandlal belongs to me, and brother Gyassudin belongs to Nandlal; so, 0 good man! both belong to me". These words were. enough for Bhai Nandlal: he was thenceforward eternally his. By these words, and in these words, the Master gave the gift of Nam to both, and they entered the path of discipleship.
Bhai Nandlal, once he had laid his head at his Master’s feet, never left his presence. The Master was overwhelmingly kind to him, and always addressed him affectionately as "Nand Lala" – Master of Joy. He would compose Persian verses in praise of the Guru, and recite them every day. We have two volumes of these Persian poems.
Gobind Singh often sported with his disciples, and had many surprises for them. It was ordained at Anandpur that every disciple should keep a langar of his own to feed the pilgrims and passers-by, and the orders were that none should be sent away disappointed. Very early one day, the Master disguised as a common pilgrim, went round all these langars, asking for bread. The disciples were busy getting the bread ready, so they could not promise anything till they were fully prepared to receive guests. The Master went from door to door till he reached Bhai Nandlal’s langar. Bhai Nandlal welcomed the guest with a beaming face and brought everything that was in the room; butter, half-kneaded flour, half-cooked pulse, and other vegetables; and placed them before the guest. "This is ready and is all for you, but if you permit me, I will prepare them for you, and serve you in the Name of My Master", said Bhai Nandlal. Next morning, the Guru told everyone that there was but one Temple of Bread at Anandpur, and that was Bhai Nandlal’s.
A group of Hindu Sanyasis came to Anandpur, and complained to the Master that he was not laying sufficient emphasis on the virtue of Renunciation. he replied, "My disciples are men of renunciation in joy; their bliss is infinite, and no more needed; all things come to their hands, and they use them as they need. As long as they do not go under illusion (Maya), so long they are free and pure. If one has obtained Self-Realization, of what use, my friends, is Renunciation?" They were for arguing further, when he interrupted them, playfully bidding his Sikhs put live charcoal on the lids of their coconut Bowls of Renunciation. And as the lac cementing the joints melted off under fire, the bowls were shaken and gold Mohurs dropped out giving an open proof of their hypocrisy.
The scenes of Gobind Singh’s life at Anandpur are lit by laughter, and joy. He would welcome his disciples with a smile or a touch on the shoulder, and he delighted in surprising them by his play of wit. Anandpur was alive with continual festival: "Every day a new-year’s day and every night a wedding night!"
Gobind Singh is Guru Nanak; but he rides a splendid steed, arms himself with a quiver of arrows and a mighty bow has a sword hanging in his belt and a hawk perched on his hand and eyes that sparkle with joy and velour of the soul. His heart is gay because of his uncontainable joy.
There came into the assembly a Kalal, or wine distiller of the Panjab, a member of the most-hated caste. (It is said that the punishment for merely stepping on the bone of a Kalal is seven generations in hell. The hatred was of the caste-hatred type; and not hatred for the wine he made, for the Kashatnyas and other castes consumed wine freely even in the Mahabharata times.) He stood at a little distance. The Master invited him to come and sit in the assembly. On which he hesitated and said that he was a Kalal. The Master immediately answered, "No, come in; you are not a Kalal, but Guru ka Lal," a ruby of the Master. Such was Gobind’s attitude towards the low castes, and submerged humanity: he loved to lift them, and he did it by his looks. He raised them, to the dignity of his own children by his baptism of love. His transmuting touch was the secret.
The Master had called for a cup of water, which was brought to him by a nobleman’s son, a handsome young man with clean white hands. The water was crystal clear, and the cup scrupulously clean; but the Master, after taking it in his hand, returned it to the young man without drinking and said, "My son, it seems your hands have not yet labored in the service of the Saints. "No sir, I have never worked with these hands yet," said the boy. "Ah, My boy, go and make them pure first in the service of the Saints".
Anandpur was the center where all castes and creeds and colors met in one joyous crowd; as formerly were at Kartarpur, Goindwal and Amritsar. Hundreds of thousands jostled to catch a glimpse of the Master.
The Master pondered deeply on the destiny of these people; for this was the last incarnation of Guru Nanak, as he alone knew. What was to become of them.
Henceforth the disciple must be made the vehicle of the spirit of Guru Nanak, with the Word of the Master enshrined in his heart, as the Deity of this Temple. Henceforth they who would thirst for his Presence, must kiss his feet and his body by taking the Word into their souls.
Gobind Singh fixed a day for the gathering of all his disciples at Anandpur. When they had gathered from all parts of the country, he rose with the naked steel in his hand and called for a life to be offered to his steel from among their number, if they wished to continue this disciples. The call caused some terror in the assembly; for they had already forgotten the ways of Guru Nanak and that this was not the first time in Sikh history that some such call had been made. Guru Nanak had called in the same awful tone, and only Angad had come forward, the others being afraid. Moreover, the disciples knew their present Master only in his loving and sustaining mood, and as they failed at the time of Guru Nanak, it is not surprising that now they were unable even to guess the meaning of the Master, for whom this was a climactic moment in which centuries throbbed to new life. The Master called again, "Does any disciple wish to die under my steel!" Only one rose and came forward in deep reverence, saying, "Thine it is forever, Master; under the keen edge of thy steel is the highest bliss". A tent was pitched on a little mound nearby, and the blessed disciple followed the Master into the tent.
The Master came out again with his flashing sword, saying: "One more disciple to die today!" So did he call five times in all and five Sikhs stepped forward to die.
After a while, out of the tent came the Beloved Five, decked in saffron-dyed garments and saffron turbans :altogether a new type, with the Master in their midst looking strangely as one of them. The Beloved Five by his favor had the same dress, the same physical appearance and the same Divine glow as he. Gobind Rai proceeded to dissolve the song of the Master (Godword) in water; and he prepared the Nectar of Knowledge Absolute in he immortal draught in which he had resolved to give himself away to the children of Guru Nanak!
The Nectar was ready as he had finished the chanting of his Mantram when the Mother of his disciples came with sugar-crystals and stood waiting before the Master. "Welcome, good lady!" said he, power without the sweetness of soul means little. Pour the gift into the Nectar, so that our disciples may be blessed not only with power, but with the grace of woman-sweet soul." And the Mother thereupon sweetened the Nectar.
The Blessed Five were as fully-armed soldiers in appearance, with the tresses of each tied in a Knot-of-disciple Dharma gathered not the crown of the head and covered by a graceful turban; and they wore a kind of half-trousers. From within the Master’s tent came out a new incarnation of the disciple, a new face of the Saint-soldier who had accepted death in love. It was a moment of creation whose full fruition requires the lapse of eons.
He stood up; with the sacred Nectar contained in a steel vessel, to give the blessed abundance of God-in-man away. The disciple from Bir-Asan, kneeling on his left knee, looked up to the Master to receive his eternal light. The Master gazed into the eyes of the disciple, and showered on his face the Nectar, calling him aloud with each shower to sing the Mantram composed by the Master for the occasion:
"Wah-Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Sri Wah-guru Ji Ki Fateh." – the chosen Ones, the King’s servants, the disciples, the Khalsa, belong to the Glorious Master, all triumph be to His Name! He is Truth ~and Truth triumphs now." He did it three times. The knot of Disciple-Dharma, which the Master had just gathered in his own hand, was then anointed by him with the same Nectar. Thenceforward every hair of the disciple’s head was filled with his Nectar; every hair was a tongue which was to sing the Song of the Master. Every hair of the disciple is thus sacred for all time. Thus were the Five Beloveds anointed by the Master, and they were asked to drink the Nectar from the same steel cup in deep draughts of brotherly love.
"You are the Sons of Nanak, the Creator’s own, the chosen.
I name ye the Khalsa.
Ye are the disciples of Song, and ye shall be the saviors of man.
Ye shall own no property, but all shall be the Master
Ye shall love man as man, making no distinction of caste or creed.
Ye shall keep forever this flame of life lit for you, unflickering, in deep meditation on the One Deathless Being.
Ye shall bow your heads down to your Master only, Ye shall never worship stock, stone, idol, or tomb. Ye shall always pray in the Dhyanam of your Master. Remember always in times of danger or difficulty the Holy Names of the Masters, Nanak, Angad, Amardas, Ramdas, Arjun Dev, Har Gobind Sahib, Har Rai Sahib, Har Krishan, Tegh Bahadur. I make ye a Rosary of these names; and ye shall not pray each for himself, but all for the whole Khalsa. In each of you the whole brotherhood shall be increased. Ye are my sons, b6th in flesh and in spirit.
After this, Gobind Singh asked his Five Beloved Disciples to prepare again the Nectar as he had prepared it, and to anoint others with it as he had done. The Five sat in a group, and, inspired by the Master, prepared the Nectar in the same way. It was the Master himself
Page One Hundred – Ninety-Two who offered first of all to drink the Amritam from the hands of the Beloved Five. From Guru Gobind Rai his name was changed to Guru Gobind Singh. Thereupon, the whole heavens
resounded with the joyous ejaculation, "Sat Sri Akal" – "the only Reality is He" -the deathless, the timeless Glory! Thousands of Sikhs were anointed on that day with the sacred word – Amritam of the Master. It was this Amritam that changed the docile, poor, fearful disciples into the leonine men of the new Khalsa: Saint-soldiers; who were taught to salute the God and the Master with a naked sword swung high in the air, and to practice the Simran of Mantram Wahe-Guru. Arms were thenceforward the symbol of the disciples’ fervor of soul.
This great miracle of creation, done by Gobind Singh transmuted Anandpur into the center of a new Savior-Nation. A contagious spirit of independence arose and spread, and the face of the country changed. Where love is supreme, the heart in which it resides must be clothed in splendor of steel: the flashing sword of love must be the expression, in this dark world, of the light of the soul. "I am thine, death is nothing to me. I wear arms, not to kill, but to dazzle with their flash the eyes of cowardly kings, and to blazon in letters of fire Supreme majesty of love over all. I need no kingdoms on this earth; I lust not for shining gold, nor for the beauty of woman. I own nothing. All belongs to Him, the Lord! If he has chosen to adorn my smile of Knowledge Absolute with the flash of His cleaving sword, it is his pleasure. My Religion then is of His Sword.
"Do not misunderstand me. I know the Truth, I am made of it. I am in the safe-keeping of the Beloved. His pleasure is my salvation. I have no need to act, for al? action has ended for me in ~~is love. But so He wills; and I take the body of flesh to the altar of sacrifice for the sake of suffering humanity, and, rising out of the Master’s heart still half-asleep~, I go forward and die for others. With my blood, I will buy their in this world of trade and money-getting. a moral and physical relief. I covet no more but to die naming Him, with His song on my lips and his Nectar flowing out of my mind; fixed on the one purpose, to die for others and to save them from misery! I therefore, pray I may die, not in solitude, but in the battlefield; and not for my glory, but for the glory of the song that is deathless."
The human spirit at Anandpur manifested its joyous spiritual energy in many ways. On every day that dawned There were new ideas in the very air, and the Khalsa crystallized in many shapes. The Sevapanthis, the Nirmalas, the Sahej-Dharis set forth new shining resolutions; and last but not least, came the Akali, who washed himself clean of all earth and earthly life, till absolutely free from the illusion of flesh and immersed in the vision of the Guru. Sevapanthis reserved
themselves for the creed of service; later on they formed the first "Red Cross" corps of Gobind Singh, serving friend and foe alike. They carried water on their backs in the battlefield, and held the bowl of mercy to the thirsty lips of the dying. They carried on a stock of first aid, and gained special knowledge in surgery and medicine. Nirmalas devoted themselves to learning. They studies Sanskrit and Vedanta, and went about educating the country and spreading the literature that took its start in Anandpur. Sehaj Dharis, "Disciples of the vow of moral devotion", was a beautiful name given to the disciples who could not yet stand up to the wearing of the sword of the Khalsa, since wearing the sword meant death and dissolution. They would rather be in the background, the sympathizers. the hidden disciples of the Master. "They also serve who only stand and wait".
Akali was the Khalsa with an increased share of the Master’s Amritam in him. He was already immortal, he had shaken off his body; there was no consciousness in him of death, sin, or self. He recked nothing, he heeded nothing. So great was the power of soul in him that he called Death – "ascension to Heaven (charahi)". He called the silver and the gold coins "husk", "pieces of broken chaina". His arithmetic began with Sawa Lakh (1,25,000). Whenever an Akali entered the city, he said, "The Armies of the Khalsa have arrived" – he never said, "I". When anyone asked, "how many?", he said, "Sawa Lakh". Whenever he wanted anything he did not "beg", but he said that he had only come to collect "taxes of the Khalsa".
Some ill-informed writers have depicted the Akali as a king of human wild boar, because he was sincere to the point of savagery. He was armed from head to foot, "covered with steel"; his flesh was steel, and his eyes shone with the blue fire of destruction if anyone touched him wrongly. But he was the disciple, full of the Nectar of the divine song. If they were to cut him, they would find nothing but Han Nam in his blood and bone. Was it not a marvel that at the call of Gobind Singh, there came a kind of man who soon rid the country of its weakness and won a respect for the Master’s personality that no king could command?" "Akali’ means deathless or timeless "
Kill me, cut me to pieces,
I never die.
I am Akali, out of this door I go, out of that door I come in Again.
His touch has emancipated me.
I am knowledge absolute.
I am purity absolute.
I am love absolute."
The Akali called Emperor Aurangzeb by the curtailed name of Auranga", their language turned the world’s glories and greatness into object of contempt. They acknowledged no kings, and perhaps that is why no Akali could be tolerated in the British Panjab.
Without intending it, do doubt, the present rulers in India, in the ordinary course of their administration, have made the existence of the Akalis in the Panjab of today impossible. For he could allow no laws to interfere with his indigo garments, his infinite self-confidence, his prophetic-like ~majesty and sincerity combined with the simplicity of a child in his love of his Master
The creation of the Khalsa in India is the culmination of Guru Nakan’s genius, and the written character of his Word. The Amritam of the Tenth Master completely transmuted the men drawn from low or high castes of India, drawn from the Hindu or the Mussalman. After the Amritam, the Khalsa resembles no part type of his own. For making the universal nation of man – apart from the characteristics that delimit races and nations – for the evolution of one united family of man on earth, Gobind Singh had shown the way in his Khalsa which he brought out ready-made from his brain, as Jupiter brought out Minerva. In the Khalsa is his type of the universal "super-man", dead drunk with the glories and powers of the Infinite, yet sweet as a woman, innocent as a child, the Bhai "brother of all", "striking fear in naught nor himself afraid of aught". He has given to him also a form which the great Master dreamt for the future universal man of God belonging to no one country, caste or creed. In the Khalsa there is seen the blending of the whole spiritual character of man of the past and the future; as if it were a new creation.
"Anandpur of the Master: now the Anandpur of the Khalsa! The Khalsa chanted the new life-mantrams with untied voice that passed like a thunder rolling over the hills: Sat Sri Akal".
The Khalsa chanted the Song of the sword composed by Gobind Singh for their daily invigoration. He is said to have composed this song in adoration of some old Hindu goddess; but he merely employed the words used in Sanskrit literature in praise of an old goddess, adapting them to the praise of Steel. In recent history, under the leadership of Bhai Ram Singh, and inspired by the same old life-mantram, "Wahe-guru", there again rose in the Panjab the semblance of the old Khalsa; the Kukas, whom the last generation saw sitting cross-legged in the posture of yoga-meditation, chanting this Song of the Sword, and spring rot and for – still in their sitting posture, like birds – to accompaniment of their cry:"Sat Sri Akal, Sat Sri Akal". The original of this at Anandpur may be imagined. Whoever went to Anandpur in those days saw a new world, as if the veil of sky had been lifted at one corner and the celestial life was in sight. For in truth no one could recognize those Figures of Light made by the Master as anything of this earth. Pilgrims, both Hindu and Mussalman, came in singing caravans from all parts of the country to the City of Joy, which resounded day and night with the music of Nam.
The brochure Bakshind Mahram (the Beloved that Forgives) of the Khalsa Tract Society, describes how Hansa (it gives no full names, only the brief ones that the Khalsa adopted), a religious teacher of the Jams, came to the Master seeking for the "hidden light" that illumines the path of life from within. Hansa was a Pundit, a great painter and a leading monk. He brought an offering of a painting of the sunrise for Gobind Singh, but the orders were that he should not have an audience of the Master. After a few days, the disciples that took and interest in him set up his painting in such a place in the garden, that the Guru (who encouraged al Kinds of fine art) might see it. Gobind Singh saw it, and said: "The painting is full of light, but the painter~ heart is all dark. His is cruel, very cruel". Saying this, he went away and said nothing more, indicated thereby to his disciples that he could not grant an audience to Hansa. This remark from the Master astonished the disciples who had thought well of Hansa. Meanwhile the disciples, and Hansa had many discussions in the garden on grave points of philosophy, the Guru’s coldness remaining unexplained. Then one day, a palanquin came to Anandpur, borne by the Guru’s disciples land containing what was little more than a living skeleton – though not long ago a handsome young man. He was lying in a helpless condition in pursuance of his vow of self-purification and the Guru had sent of him. This young man, now half dead with the performance of his vows, was once in the same convent with Hansa, as a Jam Brahmachari Near the same convent, there was a young girl, almost a child, whose parents had presented her to the Jam Temple as an offering in charge of Jam nuns. She and the young man belonged to the same town, where they had played together from their childhood upwards. Both loved each other at an age when they hardly knew what love was; but their guardians had separated them, putting the boy in the temple and the girl in the convent. Hansa was in charge of the temple. For years the young people did not see each other; then, while gathering flowers in he forest, they met for a moment and conversed. This was a great sin according to the rules of the convent and nunnery. The girl was punished by having her eyes put out. The boy was sent to the hills for a prolonged penance, from which he was rescued by the disciples.
Hansa was responsible for all this. As to the girl, only Hansa knew her whereabouts, and he was asked to bring her to Anandpur. By this time, the great love of the Master, and the nursing of the disciples had brought the young Jam Brahmachari to full health again. He was sitting in the assembly, and the music of praise was in full song as the blind girl entered. The Master looked at her, and she saw the Master. Gobind Singh blessed her and initiated her into the Raja Yoga of Nam. It is written that she recovered her sight and that her face shone with celestial light. The Master’s joy was great, and he ordered that the nuptials of these two disciples be celebrated then and there. Great was the rejoicing of the disciples. Hansa was initiated the same day. and made a Singh" of the true faith.
Gobind used to go on excursions to various parts of the hills. He was invited by the Rajah of Nahan to stay with him. The Master went and lived by the Jumna, at a point where stands the temple of Paonta Sahib today – on the other side of the river, at this place, runs the ancient trunk road to Srinagar, marked by the Ashoka’s famous pillar at Kalsi. He stayed with the Rajah for months, giving full training to his disciples in arts of archery and musketry From here the Master went to Dehra Dun, the residence of the late Ram Rai, to see his widow, Ma Punjab Kaur and to settle her affairs.
There was a large gathering of the hill Rajahs at Riwalsar, where they had invited the Master to see the floating island in the lake of Riwalsar. The Master went with his disciples. The Rajahs had come thither with their queens, each of whom had a private audience with the Master. Padma, the talented daughter of the Rajah of Nahan, saw the Guru here, and entered the path of the discipleship. Padma’s devotion to the Guru took a fatal turn, her tender soul blended with the light she beheld, so that to be separated from it was death, yet Padma must go back to Naham. The air was thick with rumors that the Hill Rajahs were being compelled by Aurangzeb to fight against the Guru and to annihilate the Khalsa. Padma had heard this from her father, and had already tried her best to avert the danger, but some of the Rajahs were too cowardly to stand against the prestige of Aurangzeb. Naham was a small estate and did not count for much. The Rajah of Bilaspur was already jealous of the Guru’s rising power. Padma knew that a war was imminent between the treacherous hosts and the glorious guest at Riwalsar. Before she left, she prayed to the Master that she might not live to see this cruel war against him and he told Padma’s mother, the Rani of Mahan, that the remaining days of her illustrious daughter were few. So it happened. Padma died soon after he left Riwalsar, and never saw the cruel war waged by the Hill Rajahs against him.
Gobind Singh had come to know of the evil intentions of Aurangzeb and how he was not pitting the Hill Rajahs against him. But nothing would disturb the peace of the City of Joy. The Rajah of Assam, a disciple, came on a pilgrimage, and, amongst many other valuable offerings, he brought a trained elephant named Pershadi for the Master. This elephant had a white stripe from the tip of his trunk all along his back, right to the end of his tail. He was trained to hold a fan in his trunk and wave it, and to do a hundred other feats. The Rajah of Bilaspur in whose territory lay the city of the Guru, asked him to lend this elephant, but he declined as the Master would not part with a gift brought with so much devotion.
The Khalsa used to go for fuel and grass into the State forest, and many a time there were small skirmishes with the hill men, but the Rajahs never thought of disturbing the Master at Anandpur. They had already tasted the steel of the Guru’s disciples, and they thought it best to leave the Khalsa alone.
But then came an unexpected turn of trouble. The Hill Rajahs came with their combined arms to attack the Master when he was on holiday at Paonta, hoping to surprise him and to take him prisoner; and there was fought a most deadly battle between the Guru’s chosen few and the Hill Rajahs. The latter were finally routed; but Imperial hordes joined with them and there ensured many actions against the Guru, with a like result. Pir Buddhu Shah of Sudhora came to fight on the Master’s side, and in one of these battles many of his followers and two of his sons were killed. Pir Buddhu Shah was a great devotee of the young Guru and carried his glorious image in his inmost Dhyanam.
The Master now entrenched himself and his people at Anandpur, which was soon besieged by the combined forces. They were scattered many a time in nightly sallies but reinforcements poured in from Lahore and Sirhind, till Anandpur was blocked, and no provisions could enter. Many strange things happened during the following months of siege. A new General named Said Khan, brother of the wife of Pir Buddha Shah, fresh from Ghazni side, was ordered to take command of forces besieging Anandpur. He went to Saddhora to see his sister and he found her mourning the death of her two sons, fallen in the opposite cause. Pir Buddhu Shah having returned from the battlefield, Said Khan began a little altercation with him because of his faith in a Kafir. The discussion was brought to an end by Nasiran who, in the’ midst of her deep sorrow, saw in a trance the veil of sky
Page One Hundred – Ninety-Seven torn and in the celestial realms her two sons – in full angelic effulgence of perfected souls, bringing her immediate peace. She had never seen Gobind Singh; but, in the same realm of trance, she saw the glorious Master on his fiery purple stated riding paster her, blessing her and saying, "Daughter, fear not, do not mourn – thy great sons live in the Higher Realms". It was his hand that had torn the veil. On rising from the trance, Nasiran understood what had attracted her husband to the saint of Anandpur; she, too, felt the same attraction now, and agreed with her husband that nothing of his could be kept from the service of such a one. "We breathe for the Beloved, we shall willingly die a thousand times to have but one glimpse of Him." Said Khan saw the holy transfiguration of his sister, and was greatly perplexed, being under orders to lead the army against the Guru. He left Saddhora for Anandpur. Ever after that initiation into the path of discipleship, Sasiran lived in intense Dhyanam of the master; she saw him clearly in the fort of Anandpur. The war was raging outside; inside the disciples still raised the music of praise to Heaven, and the limpid current of Nam flooded their souls. Gobind Singh led this joy, fed it from his soul, and Nasiran lived not in her body now, but there at his feet. A day came when she saw him ride on his blue steed into the enemy’s camp, right up to general Said Khan. She saw Said Khan lift his gun and aim it at him; but Nasiran standing before Said Khan, shook it, so that the bullet missed its mark. This occurred as she remained at home in her Dhyanam; while, at Anandpur, the Master had gone to Said Khan on horseback all alone, and saw Said Khan level his gun at him as he approached and missed. By this time, the Guru stood close to him, and said, "Come, Said Khan, let us fight". Said Khan was fresh from Saddhora, and Nasiran’s face was before his eyes as he beheld the Guru. "What is all this mystery, Sire? Explain to me", said Said Khan. "Bow they head to my stirrup", replied Gobind. As Said Khan placed his head at the foot of the Master he entered the path of discipleship, obtained the seed of Simran. This took place in much less time than it takes to think of it, and lo! the Master was gone. Before one of the enemy could realize what had happened, the Master had returned to his fort. Said Khan told nobody what had happened; he three away his sword, changed the dress, "became poor", and suddenly left the battlefield for a lonely came near Kangra, whither the Master had ordered him to go, there to pass his days in Simran.
Thereupon the disciples began to starve and with them starved their Master, his four sons, his wife, and his aged mother – not to mention his elephant Pershadi and his horses, which wasted away and died. The Master was for remaining in the fort to the last, but his disciples could not bear to see him starve – much less his four little ones. They even wished to compel him to leave Anandpur, but he sternly bade them leave him to die with them – otherwise he would go, after he had by written word disavowed his Master’s hold upon them. Forty disciples wrote in reply disowning his leadership and left him. They went to their homes, but Sikh mothers and Sikh wives alike disclaimed them, and there was no welcome for them anywhere. Then they bitterly repented, and wished to return to the Beloved, but they could not reach Anandpur. Besides, by this time he was gone from Anandpur. After they left, an offer was made by the investing force to let the Master and his followers go without any injury to their persons or property, on condition that they vacated the fort. The Guru could hardly believe in this overture, but in the end, the fort was given up, valuable contents being thrown in the river Sutlej that then washed its walls. Some loads of manuscripts, the literary labour of years, were included in the property that was to accompany the party. They had not gone very far from the fort, however, when the enemy fell upon them. Gujri, the mother of Gobind Singh, and her two grandsons, escaped with a small party; only a Brahman cook was left as their sole attendant and took them to his village.
The mother of the Khalsa fled in another direction, while the Guru with a few Sikhs made towards Ropar. The manuscripts were all destroyed in this affray; only a few translations from Sanskrit books, which now form our "Dasham Grantha", could be saved.
During this flight the Master never allowed the current of Nam in his disciples to ebb; he watched, and saw that fear of death had no effect on it. While fleeing, the Khalsa held its daily Diwans of His Praise, sang the Word of the Master, and constantly kept itself refreshed with song.
Chamkor (now in the Tahsil of Ropar, Panjab) had a small fortress, which Gobind Singh occupied. He had then with him about forty disciples, and his two elder sons, Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh – the former being fifteen years old, and the latter thirteen. But soon the Imperial army, which was in hot pursuit, besieged this fortress also, and there was no way out but to fight and die one by one. The disciples held the fortress a long time, baffling the calculation of the enemy as the Master kept up an incessant shower of his gold-tipped arrows. The disciples one by one would sally out, waving their swords in the midst of the enemy, and die. Ajit Singh entreated his father to let him also go and die, as his brothers were dying before his eyes. "0 father! I feel an intense desire for this death, and the feeling rises supreme in my breast that I must go and fight and share this last honor with my brothers!" The father lovingly embraced the boy, decorated him with sword and shield, dressed him fully as a soldier, and kissed him. "Go my child! Akal Pursha so wills." Ajit Singh rode a horse into the thick of the battle, and waving his sword and crying, "Sat Sri Akal, Sat Sri’AkaI", departed for the true Kartarpur of Guru Nanak. Gobind Singh saw him go, closed his eyes in prayer, and accompanied the soul of Ajit Singh for a little distance beyond death’s door till the boy was among the celestials. As the father opened his eyes, he saw the little one Jujhar Singh standing before him with folded hands with the same entreaty on his lips. "Father, I, too, wish to go where my brother has gone." "You are too young to fight", said the father. "What is age, father? Have I not drunk my mother’s milk, and have I not tasted the sacred Amritam? Bless me, father, and let me go." Gobind Singh took the little one in his lap, washed his face, dressed him in a beautiful velvet suit embroidered with gold and silver, put a small belt round his little waist, and gave him a miniature sword. He wound a turban on his head, decorated it with a little crest, and kissed him. "My child", said he, "we do not belong to this earth. our ancestors live with the Akal Pursha. You are now going; go and wait for me there". The child had gone but a little distance when he returned and said hewas feeling thirsty. Gobind Singh again said, "Go, my child! There is no water for you on this earth. See younger, there is the cup of Nectar for you where your brother lies." This child then rode the way his brother had gone.
Last of all Gobind Singh had to quit the fortress of Chamkor, and under cover of night he went whither the road might take him. He had already fasted for days, and this journey on foot utterly exhausted him, so he laid his head on a clod of clay and slept in the open field, having previously plucked and eaten a leaf of Ak to sustain himself. As he rose, a shepherd saw him, and, recognizing him, wished to raise a cry; but the Master, without hurting him more than was necessary, sealed his two lips with an arrow, and escaped. As he entered the next village, Machhiwara, he was recognized again by his old admirers, Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, the horse dealers. These faithful friends received him with great respect, and concealed him in their house, as the Imperial army was still in hot pursuit. He was by this time joined by some of his followers. When the house search became imminent, Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan disguised him and his followers in indigo-dyed garments as Mussalman Faqirs – throwing their long tresses back and carried him, thus disguised as Uch Ka Pir, through the camp to a more secure part of the country. The commander suspected and interrogated these two men closely, but they proved more than match for him, and carried the Master safely across.
The Brahman cook Gangu, who took Mata Gujri and her two grandsons -Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh – to his village on their flight from Anandpur turned traitor and handed them over to the Nawab of Sirhind. The grandmother was kept in a prison cell separate from her infant charges. The little ones, pale and livid with many days’ privation, were produced in the Nawab’s court as princes, with absurd theatricality. The Nawab made a speech, in which he asked them to embrace Aurangzebian Islam or die. In the former case, he promised them all kinds of honors and joys and riches and comforts. The pale faces of the two Princes blushed red at the insult offered. Fateh Singh the elder, asked the younger to remain quiet when he himself replied, "We are sons of the Master, Gobind Singh, and grandsons of Tegh Bahadur. The joys of Senses are for dogs and asses; sacred Death, good Death, for us." Day after day there were harassed with similar temptations in the court; the Nawab trying to be kind to them, if they would accept Islam. When nothing availed, and the little heroes stood firm as a rock, the Nawab called two Pathan youths whose father had been killed in a battle by the arrows of the Guru, and wished to hand the two boys over to them for any vengeance they like to wreak on them. But the Pathan youths declined to do any injury to the two infants, saying, "No, sire, we will fight the enemy in the battlefield, but will not, like cowards, slay these two innocents." After many days, a very cruel form of execution was devised by the Nawab. The wall of Sirhind was thrown down for about three yards, these young ones of the Master were made to stand a yard apart from each other, and the order was given to build the wall little by little on their tender limbs; repeating at every foot and half foot of construction, the same alternative, – Death or Islam? The Princes stood with their eyes turned upward, seeing their heavenly ancestors come to bear them away and remained calm and speechless until the cruel wall entirely covered them.
Mother Gurjri expired in the prison on hearing of the tragic end of her two beloved grandsons. Gobind Singh heard of this heart-breaking tragedy as he was passing across the country near Sirhind. He closed his eyes, and sent to Heaven the prayer embodied in his famous hymn – The Message of us, the Disciples, to the Beloved.
"Give him, the Beloved, the news of us, the disciples!
Without Thee, the luxury of soft raiment and sweet rest is for us, all pain;
And these high palaces creep toward us like snakes!
The lips of the wine cup cut us like thin-edged poniards,
And dry as dust this jug of wine when Thou art not with us!
The pallet made of pale straw is Heaven for us, if Thou be there!
Burnt be the high palaces if thou be not there!
The forty deserters never saw the Master again, but they did resolutely fight with the enemy, breaking his march on the Guru. They all died in battle, but they succeeded in scattering the enemy forces. The Guru came on the scene, saw that this attack on the enemy was the performance of his old devotees, and went round lifting each of their dead bodies with fatherly affection, wiping their faces, and blessing them. Only one, Bhai Mahan Singh was yet alive, and the Guru took him in is lap and asked if he had any wish to be fulfilled, any prayers to offer life or immortality. "No, father! I have no wish. I only pray that forty of us may be reunited so that we may live at Thy Feet." The Master tore the document they had given him at Anandpur, and said, "Dhan Sikh, Dhan Sikhi, Dhan Sikhi – How great is the discipleship!"
During these vicissitudes, the Master halted once in the Lakhi jungle where the disciples gathered round him again in hundreds and thousands. There he composed a very pathetic song; which, even now, brings tears to the eyes of us, his poor disciples.
"O! When they heard the call of the Beloved, They came crying to him. So will the scattered herd of buffaloes fly to the long-absent Master on hearing his voice, dropping the halfchewn grass from their mouths as they hasten back to him."
Then he went on the concourse of his singing disciples and halted at a place called Damdama. He was still dressed in the indigo-dyed garments. One day, a fire was lit, and he tore his indigo garments into shreds and burnt them shred by shred in the fire. Thus was the Moghul Empire burnt by him shred by shred.
It was at Damdama that the Khalsa came together again, and Anandpur was reproduced there. The mother of the Khalsa joined the Master. When she arrived, he was sitting in the full assembly of the disciples, who were singing his immortal songs. Addressing him, she said:
"Where are my Four, Sire? Where are my Four? He replied:
"What of thy Four, O Mother? What of thy Four?
When lives the whole people, the Khalsa here?
Gone, gone are thy Four
As sacrifice for the life of these millions more, all thy sons!
O Mother! What if thy Four are gone?
Gobind Singh wrote here his famous epistle, Zafarnama, to Aurangzeb. He sent for the original copy of Granth Sahib from Kartarpur on the river Beas, but the foolish people there would not part with it; so the Master sat in Dhyanam of the word, and dictated the whole of it to Bhai Mani Singh out of his vision, as did Arjun Dev dictate to Bhai Guru Das. Granth Sahib had a second birth from the Master, Gobind Singh, and it came out of his soul, as came his Khalsa. In this copy of Granth Sahib he changed only one world. Khulasa (freedman) was dictated by the Tenth Guru as Khalsa (the King’s own). And there was a slight variation of one letter in reproducing the whole volume out of his intense Dhyanam.
This is our Sacred Granth which occupies the Throne on which sat Gobind Singh. It is another "Angad". The Tenth Master thus ends in the First, Guru Nanak, again.
After a short stay here, Gobind Singh left for Deccan, where he settled on the banks of the Godawari at a place known as Nader. Soon a city sprang up round him, and he called it Abchal Nagar, the City of the Eternal that Moves Not. The last days of his earthly life were spent here in all the wondrous glow of Nam-life, as it began at Anandpur, it had been kept undimmed during the disciples’ passage through the hatred of the enemies. · Anandpur was reproduced here in Deccan again.
The disciple Said Khan came all the way from Kangra hills to see the Master. one day, in the full assembly of the disciples, a messenger arrived from the Panjab to Said Khan. Said Khan opened the letter, and it was a song, an epic feeling how the Emperor’s minions ransacked Saddhora, treating the saint Buddhu Shah as a rebel.
"Today Shah Sahib is gone to the heavenly land!!
"And it is now my turn. these eyes had not seen the Beloved yet, but they have drunk of his beauty in Dhyanam. There is no sorrow. It is the inner joy blossoming up in the fullness of a willing death! The soldiers are making house-searches today. My turn comes today or tomorrow."
"Second day – Lo’ good brother! They have come. I have tied a white handkerchief on -my head, and I have slung a dripan in my belt. I am full dressed as a true soldier-disciple. Thy sister Nasiran; the Guru’s Nasiran, is glad to die such a death. Lo, Brother! Farewell! But we have already met in Him forever."
The messenger had been a long way, searching for Said Khan in the Kangra hills; and then after a long and weary journey he found him at Nader – Abchal Nagar – sitting in the joy-illumined, the sacred Assembly, lit by the Master’s face.
As the letter was read , the Master closed his eyes and blessed his daughter Nasiran.
The day came when the Master sent for a coconut and five pice, and, placing them as an offering before the Granth Sahib, he said:
"So does the Akal Pursha ordain, The Word is Master now -The song of Nam, the "Guru Granth".
All Khalsa should seek the Master in his word.
And bow to ‘Guru Granth’ as my successor."
Fully attired as a soldier, he mounted his blue horse, and rode away and disappeared behind the Veil.
Sat Sri Akal.
Sri Wah-l-Guru Ji Ka Khalsa
Sri Wah-l-Guru Ji Ki Fateh