Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sikh History in December - Part 6: Arriving at Sirhind...


Arriving at Sirhind
Arriving at Sirhind, the Sahibzaade had their feet and hands shackled. As a result blood was coming out of their hands and feet. Wazir Khan was feeling depressed that he had not caught Guru Gobind Singh jee and felt humiliated. However, when Sucha Nand, his courtier, informed him of the news that mother and younger sons of the Guru had been captured, he was elated. He ordered for the Sahibzaade and Mata jee to be imprisoned in the Thanda Burj (Cold Tower). This was a tower facing the river bank where Wazir Khan would go to relax in the summer from the heat. In the winter it was unbearably cold. Wazir Khan wished to punish the Guru's family as much as possible.

The Thanda Burj
Sitting in the Thanda Burj, it was the fourth day coming that Mata jee and the Sahibzaade had not eaten. Wazir Khan had ordered that not only would they have no blankets given to them but no food or water was to be provided to them. In order to get warmth and comfort, Mata Gujjar Kaur jee recited Gurbani to the Sahibzaade and reminded them to remember who they are. The Sahibzaade placed their faces in the lap of Mata Gujjar Kaur jee to get some warmth from the cold. Mata jee would sometimes hold their feet to give them heat and then rub their hands. Whilst in the Thanda Burj, Mata Gujjar Kaur jee remembered her husband, Guru Teg Bahadar jee and prayed, "Just as you passed the test of faith, may I pass the test of faith."

The next morning
Mata Gujjar Kaur jee woke up the Sahibzaade at Amritvela and they did Naam Abhiaas followed by their Nitnem prayers. The sun had not fully risen when two soldiers came with swords and spears. Mata jee was asked for the Sahibzaade to be handed over to them for being taken to court. Mata jee replied, "Why are they being called to court? They are no murderers, thieves or criminals?" The guard replied, "We are just employees of the government carrying out our duties." Mata jee looked at the Sahibzaade and said, "Remember my dear children that you are the sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh jee. You may get cut piece by piece but do not allow your father's Dastaar (turban) to be stained." The Sahibzaade replied, "Daadee Maa! We will die but not lower our heads before anyone else." 

Entering the Court
The guards escorting the Sahibzaade knew that if they could convert the Sahibzaade to Islam or make them surrender before the Governor they would get great rewards from the government. During the journey from the Thanda Burj to the Court, the guards repeatedly telling them that they must bow their heads before the Governor and say 'Salaam'. The officials had purposefully closed the main gate to the court and instead opened a smaller gate in which the Sahibzaade would have to lower their heads on entering. Thinking that these young children at the age of 7 and 9 can be easily convinced, one guard entered first by lowering his head first and then entering. On the other side of the door, Wazir Khan had people holding plates of gold and wealth and in another the Quran. On expecting the Sahibzaade to enter lowering their heads first, the court had planned to applaud them at lowering their heads before the Quran and the Governor and then overwhelm them with the plates of wealth and gold. However, the Sahibzaade entered the court by first putting their feet in and therefore sending a bold message that they push away their offers of pleasures with their shoes.

First court appearance
In Court the Royal Qazi said to the Sahibzaade, "If you accept Islam all your crimes will be forgiven, you will get high positions, be married to beautiful women, and will get back your Anandpur. Your father and brothers and dead. You are now alone. If you are willing to accept Islam then we can arrange you to meet the Emperor Aurangzeb?" According to Allah Yaar Jogi, the Sahibzaade replied, "Are you talking about Aurangzeb who pretends to read the Quran but jailed his own father. The same Aurangzeb who celebrated the father of his death and who killed all his elder brothers in order to sit on the throne? What justice would people get from such an unjust person? We will not lower our heads." Hearing such a bold reply from the Sahibzaade, Wazir Khan, the Royal Qazi and all the courtiers were left speechless. It was decided that the Sahibzaade should go back to the Thanda Burj to consider the offer they had been given with their grandmother and then meet again at the Court the next day. 

To be continued...

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