“I have Come into this world To extend faith and virtue everywhere,

 To save the virtuous and the saintly and to seize and destroy root

And  branch of the doers of sin and evil.

THUS wrote Guru Gobind Singh about his birth in this world in this autobiography “Bachitar Natak: He was born at Patna Sahib in Bihar, on December 22, 1666 in the house of Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru. His mother was Mata Gujari. At the time of his birth, Guru Teg Bahadur was on a missionary tour of East India. The day Gobind was born, Guru Teg Bahadur was in Assam. He was named Gobind Rai (some say Gobind Das). He grew up in Patna and spent about five years of his life there. As a child he won every body’s heart, Sikhs as well as non-Sikhs alike. Pandit Shivdutt saw in him God and called him BalaPritam (child beloved). Raja Fateh Chand Mani and his wife found their long cherished wish for a son being fulfilled on seeing him. Pir Bhikham Shah, a prominent Muslim saint of that time found in him the “light of Allah”. Other Muslim Admirers of this young child were two brothers, Nawab Karim Bakhash and Nawab Rahim Bakhash. They gave a village and two gardens to the child as a gift. That land is still the property of the Gurdwara Patna Sahib. Thus in his childhood he proved that he did not belong to only one sect of people. He belonged to all the mankind.

His childhood was different from that of an average child. He learnd Punjabi and Sikh scriptures from his maternal uncle Kirpal. In Guru Teg Bahadur’s absence, he was the fatherly figure for the young child. Kirpal also trained him in the arts of arching and swordsmanship. His childhood games were different too. Mostly he played “war games” with his companions. He was a bold and fearless child. One day Chief of Patna was passing by when he was playing with his friends. Chief’s servants ordered the boys to salute the Nawab, as it was a custom at that time, but Gobind Rai refused to do so.

He saw his father for the first time when he was about five years old. Guru Teg Bahadur returned to Punjab, after s short visit to Patna. In February, 1672, child Gobind and rest of Guru Teg Bahadur’s household left Patna for Punjab. By the time they reached Punjab, it was rainy season, There were many small rivulets, which were flooded. On the way to Anandpur, the party had to spend about five months at Lakhnaur near Ambala. After the rainy season was over they reached Anandpur in June, 1673. So once again whole family was reunited. It was the happiest time of his life. His regular education was to begun now. He was taught Sanskrit and Persian as well as Sikh scriptures. He also learnd horse riding and use of various arms. During the same period, a Sikh came to see Guru Teg Bahadur and he had his son with him about the same age as that of Gobind. His name was Mania. (Later on know as Bhai Mani Singh) he became friend of Gobind and refused to go back home with his parents. Finally his parents left him at Anandpur under the guardianship of Guru Teg Bahadur. He also got his education and arms training along with Gobind.

This did not last for very long. One day when he came back after playing, he found his father in the company of strangers. Everybody looked sad. Upon enquiring, he found out that they were Pandits from Kashmir. They had come to Guru Teg Bahadur for help. They were told by their Muslim governor to choose between Islam and death. Guru Teg Bahadur promised to help them. He told them that “Go and tell your governor that Guru Teg Bahadur is our leader. First make him a Mohammadan and we shall follow”. Everybody knew what it meant. Guru Teg Bahadur was called to Delhi. When he refused to obey the Emperor, he was beheaded in Chandni Chowk on Nov. 11, 1675. Gobind was only nine years old at that time. He assumed the leadership of the Sikhs. Later on he wrote about his father’s martyrdom in the following words:

“My father sacrificed his life,

To protect the religion of the


Their sacred thread and their

frontal mark,

In this Dark Kali Age

He performed the supreme act of

 sacrifice for the sake of Dharama.

He gave away his head,

Without a sigh on his lips.

Lo, He surrendered his life,

But not his resolve”.

Guru’s severed head was picked up by a Calico printer named “Jaita” despite strict vigilance by Royal troops and taken to Anandpur. His headless body was cremated by another Lubana Sikh, (low caste), Lakhi Shah, in his hut by setting his hut on fire. When Bhai Jaita (later on he took baptism and became Jiwan Singh and died fighting at Chamkaur) reached Anandpur, he told the young Guru that where Emperor challenged the Sikhs that “Who so ever is his follower, come and claim the body”. No body came forward while thousands of Sikhs wee standing there.

 Young Gobind was surprised to hear that. He made up his mind that he will create such a “Sikh” that no body has to ask him. He will be as distinguished as a lion among the sheeps. He won’t be able to hide his identity even if he wanted to do so. He cremated his father’s head, at the place where now stands Sisganj Gurdwara in Anandpur. He took over the command of the Sikhs at the time when Sikhs were very much demoralized due to Guru Teg Bahadur’s execution. Other members of Sodhi clan started claiming Guru ship again saying that he could not protect himself how can he protect the rest of the Sikhs. They also had the support of the Delhi Emperor. He was also surrounded by Hindu Hill Chiefs, who were against this new faith. They believed it was a threat to Hinduism. But there were a few things in his favor too, By that time, Sikhism was in existence for more than two centuries and it had spread all over India. Mugal Emperor was busy crushing rebellions in South India. After executing Guru Teg Bahadur, he saw no threat from the “child” and for a while he did not care about Sikhs. Guru also got sympathy of few justice loving Muslims who hated Aurangzeb’s religious persecutions. All this gave Guru Gobind Rai again time to reorganize the Sikh institutions. He picked up the same sword which was not used since time of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind. He started gathering s small army. He always dressed like a prince and held courts. He would go on hunting trips. Free kitchen was started all over Anandpur. Every morning and evening there were prayers and singing of heroic deeds of the Sikhs and other Indian heroes. He studied writing poetry. He also got married to Jeetu Ji, daughter of Harjas, a Khatri of Lahore in 1677. But up to year 1684, he had no issue. So on the insistence of his mother, he was married again to Sundari, daughter of Ram Saran, another Khatri of Lahore. She gave birth to Ajit Singh in 1686. Later on Jeetu Ji gave birth to three sons, Juyhar Singh (1690), Zorawar Singh, (Cont. on Page 5, Col. 1) (1696) and Fateh Singh (1699). She died in June 1701. In the same year, a Khatri of Rohtas, Distr. Jullundur offered his daughter Sahib Devan to Guru for marriage. Guru ji did not want to marry her but on insistence from everybody he agreed to marry her, with one condition that she would have to remain virgin after the wedlock which she agreed to. She is known as “Kanwara Dola” (Virgin Bride). This is the account of three marriages which most of the historians believe, but there are some who believe that Jeeto Ji and Sundari are the names of the same woman. Jeeto Ji was her parents name and Sundari was her name given to her by the in-laws as it was the tradition in India at that time that after marriage if in-laws wished, they could change the first name. She was the mother of all four children of the Guru. It seems logical as both were from Lahore. Secondly, he was only 11 years old at the time of his first marriage. So it is possible that Jeeto Ji stayed in her parents house till 1684 and when she was brought to Anandpur there was again celebration and that was considered 2nd marriage. This custom is prevalent in rural Punjab even upto now, the girls are married in early teens and they actually go to their in-laws’ house after a few years of marriage. So some people believe that Guru Ji had only one real wife and second wife stayed a virgin ever after marriage. During this period of peace, more and more people started gathering in Anandpur and they all brought with them gifts for the Guru. Sikhs from far away places also. came to pay homage to their Guru. One Sikh gave Guru Ji a very expensive tent. Raja Ratan Rai of Assam came to visit guru and he gave Guru Jia well trained elephant whom Guru Ji named “Parasadi’”. He also gave horses, various kinds of weapons and other rare objects as gifts. Guru Ji also erected Anandpur Fort and started using a loud wardrum (Ranjit Nagar), which was only to be used only by the kings. His royal living style, keeping army, holding courts, using war drums, raised alarm among the Hill Chiefs. Raja Bheem Chand of Bilaspur came to see Guru ji and when he saw all the expensive things Guru had, he wanted them for himself. Especially he wanted “Parasdi” elephant. Another Raja of Hun door also felt threatened. Among the visitors to Anandpur, came many learned poets among them was a farmer poet Bhai Nand Lal. Aurangzeb stopped music in his empire, as it was against Islamic way of life. So these poets found haven in Anandpur. He had fifty two poets in his service.

Raja Medni Parkash was threatened by another Hill Chief, so he extended his hand of friendship towards Guru Ji. He invited Guru Ji to his state. Guru Ji accepted his invitation and reached’ Nalian in early part of 1685. He found a nice ‘place in the wilderness and camped there. It was called Paonta Sahib where Guru Ji stayed for a while and wrote good part of his poetry. He himself was well versed in Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Punjabi, Hindi and Bihari. With the help of his poets, he translated the old stories of Indian heroes from Puranas, Ramayan and Mahabharat. He did this not because he believed in those gods and goddesses. He did this to infuse bravery in his followers. So that they could read stories of their forefathers and become brave and fearless. He wanted to establish fatherhood of one god and brotherhood of all mankind. There also came to see him Peer Budhu Shah of Sadhura a Muslim Saints. He was so impressed by his personality and knowlede that he became Gurv’s follower, though he did not give up his Muslim faith). He saw the light of Allah in him too like Peer Bheekan Shah. Later on He sent 500 Pathans into Guru’s service, who left the imperial fort. Paonta Sahib became a center of learning and training both for the poets and soldiers alike. This continued for a while. Guru Ji’s increasing popularity and increase in number of Sikh soldiers raised more alarm among the Hill Chiefs. Raja Bheemchand asked Guru Ji to lend him “Parasadi” elephant for his son’s marriage which Guru Ji refused, knowing very well Raja’s intentions. Then marriage party was supposed to pass near Paonta Sahib, which Guru Ji did not allow. He said only Bride and the Groom with a few companions can pass. It made Raja Bhim Chand angry. His son was going to marry Raja Fateh Shah’s daughter. Fateh Shah was on good terms with the Guru. He invited Guru Ji to the wedding. Guru Ji did not go himself but sent expensive gifts with his representatives. Diwan Nand Chand. When groom’s party reached Siri Nagar and they objected strongly to any gifts of the Guru being accepted by the bride’s house. He also told Fateh Shah that the marriage would not take place unless he joined them in fighting against the Guru. Diwan Nand Chand left in disgust. On the way back they were attacked by Raja Bhim Chand’s men with intentions of robbing the gifts. Sikhs fought bravely and suffered some casualties but they were able to reach Paonta Sahib and told the Guru of the impending danger. Guru Ji decided to face the combined armies of Hill Chiefs about six miles down Paonta, at Bhangani. When Pathans heard about the approaching war, four generals along with four.

hundred soldiers deserted the Guru and went to join Bhimchand’s army. Once general Kale Khan along with his 100 soldiers stayed with the Guru. There were about 500 Udassies staying at Paonta Sahib. When they heard of coming danger they ran away during the night. Only their leader, Mahant Kirpal Das stayed back. When Budhu Shah heard about Pathans deception, he came to help Guru with his four sons and several disciples. Battle of Bhangani was fought on April 15, 1687. On Guru Ji’s side was only a handful of soldiers and his devoted Sikhs. After a fierce battle Guru Ji’s forces won the battle. Mahant Kirpal Das’s killer, deserter Pathan General Haiyat Khan with his club. Guru Ji lost his two cousins. Suryo Shah and Jeet Mall along with many of his devoted Sikhs. Peer Budhu Shah lost his two sons in the battle. Guru Ji also usec .wo wooden canons which were brought by Bhai Rama from Kashi. Bhim Chand left the battle field disgrace and heavy causalities. Pathans ran away when they saw there general Hayait Khan had been killed by an ordinary saint with a club. Raja Harichand challenged Guru Ji and was killed by Guru Ji’s arrow. After the battle was over Guru ji took care of the dead, and the wounded. He presented Budhu Shah with a robe of honor and a Hukamnama and “kirpan” (sword). On Budha Shah’s request that he gave him his comb with some of his hair which was kept with respect by his descendents. Later on it was acquired by Raja Bharpur Singh of Nabha and preserved there as a sacred relic. This was the first test for the Guru Ji’s army that passed it with distinction. The battle gave the Sikhs confidence and made the Hill Chiefs more nervous. Guru Ji described the battle in Bachitar Natak: and said “with the grace of God I won this battle”. He returned to Anandpur after about three years absence, soon after the battle. Guru Ji was aware that this was not the end but beginning of war. So he constructed six forts at Anandpur, Loh Garh, Holgarh, Nirmoh Garh, Fateh Garh, Anandpur and Keshgarh. He was ready all the time to face any danger. When Aurangzeb learnd about Guru’s victory, he was not happy either. Mian Khan, Mughal governor of the region (Jammu) was harassing all Hill Chiefs to pay him heavy tributes. He sent Alif Khan for this purpose with army. This time Raja Bhimchand and his fellow chiefs asked Guru Ji to help them. Guru Ji agreed. The battle of Nadaun was fought in 1687. The battle was won again by Guru Ji army and Hill Chiefs. Soon after, however, Bhimchand got scared and paid tribute to the governor and compromised. He started asking for more help to defeat tne Guru. Soon Anandpur was attacked by the combined armies of Hill Chiefs and Mughuls. Again, Sikhs fought bravely and the attack was repelled. This was called battel of Hussaini as Moghal commander’s name was Hussain Khan. It was fought in 1693. After the defeat Aurangzeb sent his son Prince Muazzim (later known Bahadur Shah) to settle the score with the Guru and Hill Chiefs. When he came to Punjab and after reviewing the situation he did not find it beneficial to fight against the Guru’s Sikhs. He sent Mirza Beg to fight Hill rajas and left Guru Ji alone. Bhai Nandlal who one time worked for Prince Muazzim also might have helped in cooling the situation.

So once again there was short peace. It gave again sometime to Guru to reorganize the Sikhs. He tried to incorporate new ways of fighting which they learned during the previous wars. He also Punished Masand’s (Preachers’) who were getting corrupt and misappropriating the offerings of the Sikhs which were meant for the Guru’s kitchen and abolished the “Masand” system. Stories of Guru Ji and the Sikh bravery spread all over the Punjab and rest of India. Many young men from Jat families came to join Guru ji’s army. “Jats” in general were well built and very straight forward people. They gave the Sikh nation a new dimension. Once again, the daily routine of prayers and diwans started. Army training and hunting trips were resumed. Perhaps that was the happiest time in the history of Anandpur. In the meantime. Guru Ji also had four sons. They were also trained in religious and warfare like all other Sikhs.


Beware of



Article extracted from this publication >>  January 9, 1987