Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sakhi Series :- 141 ( S Subeg Singh Ji )

S. Subeg Singh ji 

S. Subeg Singh, a resident of village JAMBAR near Lahore, was a Scholar of Persian language and man of high moral character. During the reign of Zakaria Khan, S. Subeg Singh was a government contractor. 

Earlier to this, he had been a police officer (kotwal) in charge of police force of Lahore. During his tenure as police offices he ensured peace and security to the people. Because of his conduct and human approach, residents of Lahore and Governor Zakaria Khan held him in high esteem. In view of this, he had faced no problem in spite of Zakaria Khan's intensive drive to completely finish the Sikh community. The Sikhs had vowed to free the country from the yoke of cruel rulers, and stop the invaders from North West once and for all. With God's name on their lips and Guru's grace, they were happily riding horses and living in jungles, river beds, ravines and desert, always lying in wait to strike and punish ruthless and cruel rulers. Who can finish such selfless warriors? Zakaria Khan miserably failed to achieve his objective of finishing the Sikh community, and was thus looking for a way out of this impasse. He wanted to enter into an agreement with the Sikh leadership to maintain peace in Punjab. He had got permission from Emperor of Delhi on this account.

Through the good offices of S. Subeg Singh and using him as an inter-mediatory, Zakaria Khan offered the Sikhs:

1.      Rs. One Lakh of revenue from Kanganpur, Jhapal and Dayalpur areas.
2. 'A royal dress and title of Nawab to the Jathedar, as a mark of respect.
In return, Zakaria Khan wanted Sikhs to cease hostilities against the government.

S. Subeg Singh approached the Sikhs with this offer. The Sikhs were not ready to accept this offer.but in order to give Peace a chance, the KHalsa accepted it. But when no Sikh leader came forward to accept govt.'s offer, the Khasla nominated S Kapur Singh ji for the purpose. The robe of honour and the title of Nawab was thus bestowed on S. Kapur Singh, who was engaged in the act of operating the manual fan to provide some respite from the heat to the assembly of Sikhs present at that time. Thus S. Kapur Singh became Nawab KapurSingh. This showed how in Sikhism the humble worker was respected and rewarded for selfless service to the community.

Nawab Zakaria Khan expressed his happiness and gratitude to S. Subeg Singh on his return from this successful mission S, Subeg Singh had extended his helping hand to Zakaria Khan on some other occasions as well when Zakaria Khan had behaved well and in a reasonable manner.

The truce between the Sikhs and Zakaria Khan's government did not last long. However, the Sikhs utilised the truce period to improve upon their firepower and striking ability. Zakaria Khan started his old game of exterminating the Sikh community and the Sikhs once again moved to the places of their hideouts in jungles, ravines, deserts and riverbeds.

S. Shahbaz Singh, the brilliant son of S. Subeg Singh, was studying persian language from a Muslim Kazi at a school. At the age of eighteen, he turned out to be very healthy and handsome youngman. His teacher was immensely impressed by the intelligence and conduct of this student. To serve his own self-interest, the Kazi planned to convert the boy into Islam and then make him his son in law by marrying him to his daughter. To achieve his objective, the Kazi started lecturing on the qualities and supremacy of Islam over other religions and tried to prepare Shahbaz Singh for conversion of religion. However, Shahbaz Singh was well informed about the virtues of his own Sikh religion, its philosophy and its practical approach as demonstrated by great Gurus.

Apart from his knowledge of his own religion, he was educated about Islam and Hinduism by his parents. He was proud of being a Sikh boy. When the Kazi persisted in his approach to fulfil his ambition, Shahbaz Singh started reacting actively by having a dialogue with the Qazi on the topic. Shahbaz Singh kept his parents informed about all that was happening between him and the Kazi, his teacher at school.

After failing to persuade Shahbaz Singh to get converted to Islam, the Kazi started using threats to achieve his objective. He told Shahbaz Singh that if he did not agree to conversion to Islam he would lodge a serious complaint against him with the Governor and get him executed.

When even threats proved futile, the Kazi registered a false complaint with the Governor Zakaria Khan charging Shahbaz Singh of insulting Prophet Mohammed by pointing out various deficiencies in the teaching of Islam and contained in the sacred book of Islam.

The Kazi also took the help of notorious anti Sikh Muslim magistrate of Lahore, to fulfil his nefarious designs. Together, they prepared and submitted a long list of baseless charges against S. Subeg Singh and his son ShahbazSingh to the Governor, Zakaria Khan.

The ungrateful Zakaria Khan, forgetting the co-operation extended by S. Subeg Singh at difficult junctures ordered the arrest of both Shahbaz Singh and Subeg Singh. They were kept in separate jail cells. There was no chance of Sikhs getting justice by the judiciary of the time.

Shahbaz Singh was conveyed the false news that his father had been executed and that he could save his youthful life by adopting Islam as his religion. Both father and the son, remained stead fast in sticking to their faith in spite of mischievous propaganda launched by government officials. They prepared themselves for the inevitable, by reciting hymns from Guru Granth Sahib, recalling the brave deeds of Gurus and devout Sikhs who had laid down their lives for upholding the cause of oppressed and defending their faith in the past. They prayed to the Almighty to give them strength to uphold their faith and principles dear to them.

Suddenly at that juncture Khan Bahadur Zakaria Khan died before he could execute the two stead-fast Sikhs, Shahbaz Singh and Subeg Singh. Zakaria Khan's son Yahia Khan, became the Governor of Lahore and proved to be more aggressive towards Sikhs. S. Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh were produced before Yahia Khan, who too offered them the choice between conversion to Islam or death by torture.

Both father and the son remained stead fast in their faith and preferred death to conversion as Muslims. The Kazi was asked to specify the punishment. He promptly specified death on wheels for the two brave Sikhs. Yahia Khan gave his approval without a moments thought to these brutal means of execution for the two Sikhs.
Both Bhai Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh were tied on separate set of wheels opposite each other. The wheels were operated and the steel blades started ripping the flesh of the two brave Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh. Blood started flowing all over their bodies and wheels.

The wheels were halted for a while and the Kazi again told the two Sikhs that their lives could still be spared if they changed their minds but he got a stunning negative reply from the two brave Sikhs. The wheels were set rolling again.

Bhai Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh kept reciting Gurbani and laid down their lives in front of cruel rulers and wet eyes of some in the crowd of people who were watching the proceedings with dismay and disbelief.

The news of execution of these two peace loving Sikhs spread like wild fire throughout the city of Lahore and in the neighbouring jungles and sanctuaries of brave Sikhs. Bands of Sikh warriors came out of adjoining jungles and pounced upon the city of Lahore. They attacked the cruel ruling officials and after putting them to death disappeared again into the jungles. They thus took revenge of execution of Bhai Subeg Singh, Shahbaz Singh from the government officials.

Thus warriors Sikhs also proved that they would not allow the cruel rulers to have their way and that they would soon end the cruel rule and would take over the control of Punjab from rulers.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sakhi Series : 140 ( repeat : mith bolarraa jee har sajan suaamee moraa )

mith bolarraa jee har sajan suaamee moraa

Your mouth has not stopped slandering and gossiping about others. Your service is useless and fruitless. ||1|| (Guru granth Sahib ji – pg 1253)


Once Guru Gobind Singh was out camping and a man brought a bear and wanted to show the play, everybody got very excited to see what the bear could do. The man did so many acts with the bear that it pleased the Guru and the sangat.


Immediately after the show, Guruji asked the Sikhs to prepare karah prashad and did ardas. After which Guruji said to his chauria(the bear's caretaker), "Bhai, please give prashad to the bear also". But surprisingly after eating the Parshad the bear died on the spot. The bear's caretaker now started crying. Guruji then asked the 'Kazanchi' (the man who was in charge of the cash) to give him some money with which he can survive and start doing Kirt again.  


The Sikhs were puzzeled and requested Guruji to explain the episode.

Guru said, "The Bear was a great Gursikh and sewadar. Once when he was serving prashad in the congregation when another sikh who was bringing the wood to the city, and to the langar, thought he can just go in the congregation and pay obeisance to the Guru, get the prashad and run. So he left his bullock cart working(un-attended), and ran over to the Gurdwara and asked the sewadar to please give him prashad first. On this the sewadar (bear) asked him to "Sit down and wait his turn"


But the Sikh just clamped on him. The sewadar got irritated and said, "Why are you clamping on me like a bear?" "Don't you understand, you sit down and I'll give it to you !!" Meanwhile a little prashad fell down and the Sikh quitely picked it up and left.


It was because the sewadar had caused distress and used foul language for a sikh (sangat) that he himself became a bear. And since he was a Sikh and had done sewa in Guru ghar he was redeemed now by giving prashad and doing Ardas.


imT bolVw jI hir sjxu suAwmI morw ]

m i t(h) bo larraa j ee har sajan suaa mee m o raa ||

My Dear Lord and Master, my Friend, speaks so sweetly.


hau sMmil QkI jI Ehu kdy n bolY kaurw ]

ho sa(n)mal thhak ee jee ouh u kadh ae n bo l ai ko u raa ||

I have grown weary of testing Him, but still, He never speaks harshly to me.


kauVw boil n jwnY pUrn BgvwnY Aaugxu ko n icqwry ]

ko u rraa b o l n j aanai p ooran bhagav aa nai ao u gan k o n chi th aar ae ||

He does not know any bitter words; the Perfect Lord God does not even consider my faults and demerits.


piqq pwvnu hir ibrdu sdwey ieku iqlu nhI BMnY Gwly ]

path i th paavan har b i radh sadh aaeae e ik th i l nehee bha(n)nai gh aalae ||

It is the Lord's natural way to purify sinners; He does not overlook even an iota of service.  

(Guru granth Sahib ji – pg 784)

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

True Saint, Fearless Soldier: Bhai Taru Singh

True Saint, Fearless Soldier: Bhai Taru Singh

bhaitarusingh.jpgFor those of you who enjoyed Vismaad Productions' work with Sahibzadey, Rise of the Khalsa and Sundri, there is now a new animated movie to look forward to this fall.  Bhai Taru Singh: True Saint. Fearless Soldier, is the latest production and will be premiering around the world over the next few months.  The film's website provides a description of the film,

The story of Bhai Taru Singh is one of a true saint soldier who lived during an extremely difficult period for the Sikhs. The mughal rulers of the time were brutal towards all citizens, and especially the Sikhs. Bhai Taru Singh Ji bravely stood up to the regime which earned him the respect of all Hindus and Muslims from the surrounding villages. [link]

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sakhi Series :- 139 ( Baba Moti Ram Mehra )

Baba Moti Ram Mehra

After getting separated from Guru Gobind Singh ji and other family members while crossing river Sirsa, Mata Gujri and the younger Sahibzada’s (sons of Guru Gobind Singh ji) were finally captured (due to treachery of Chandu) by the Mughals and were imprisoned in the Cold burj (tower) in Sirhind.

Baba Moti Ram Mehra, a servant in the kitchen of the Faujdar(title awarded by Mughal/Muslim rulers in South Asia to garrison commanders). used to serve food to the prisoners but was a great follower of Sikh Gurus. He used to serve the Sikhs on their way to Anandpur Sahib and back to their homes. The Sikhs took rest at his mud house, where the mother of Baba Moti Ram Mehra and Bibi Bholi Ji, wife of Mehra Ji, prepared food for these Sikhs. When Jagat Mata Gujri Ji refused to accept the food of the Mughals, Baba Moti Ram Mehra could not bear the Sahibzadas sleeping hungry. He came home and told his family that he would serve milk and fresh water to these great 'prisoners'. His mother and wife were first scared and tried to persuade him not to take such a step. Bibi Bholi, his wife, told him that the Wazir Khan had made an announcement in the town that whoever tried to help and serve any type of food to the sons of the tenth Guru, he along with his family would be crushed alive in a Kohlu, (the oil squeezer). This information could not change the resolve of Baba ji. His mother told him that there were so many followers of the Guru in the town; they could have dared to serve the Sahibzadas.

Baba Moti Ram Mehra humbly, but with determination, told his mother that those followers feared the ruler. "Aren't you scared, my son?" asked the mother. Baba Mehra ji humbly replied, "Dear mother our Guru is fighting against injustice of the Mughals. I will serve the great mother and the Sahibzadas(sons of Guru Gobind Singh ji). I don't fear the punishment of the Faujdar. The history will not forgive us if we do not serve the great prisoners." Sensing his determination, his wife gave him her silver jewellery and some coins and requested him," Please bribe the gate man of the Burj(tower where the Mataji and Sahibzadas were imprisoned) and request him to keep this act a secret." Baba ji praised his wife for participation in the great cause.

Baba Moti Ram served milk and water continously to the Sahibzadas and Mata Gujri Ji for three nights. On 27th December 1704, the Sahibzadas were martyred/bricked alive. 
Mata Gujri ji also breathed her last. 

Raja Todar Mall of Sirhind performed the cremation. He told Baba Mehra ji to arrange a cart of Chandan wood, which he brought from the forests of Atta Ali.

After some time, Pumma, the brother of Gangu, told the Faujdar that his servant (Cook) had served the prisoners with milk and water. Baba Moti Ram Mehra, his mother, wife and a little son were arrested. He did not conceal his act and boldly told the Faujdar that, it was his 'Dharma' to serve the young children and the aged mother of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. So, Baba Moti Ram Mehra along with his family were sentenced to death by being squeezed in a Kohlu (oil press). His sacrifice was first sermonized by Baba Banda Singh Bahadur ji.

Waheguru ! Waheguru !