The Shaheedee Purab of the younger Sahibdzadey Baba Zoraavar Singh Jee and Baba Fateh Singh Jee. This Shaheedee has a special place in the hearts of the Sikh Qaum. This is inevitable as in every family the youngest attract the most affection, I suppose this is just human nature.
The uniqueness of this Shaheedee is that at young ages both Baba Zoraavar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh Jee did what most in the adulthood can not do. Akaal Purkh in this Shaheedee has displayed the greatness of Sikhee regardless of age and experience. There really could not have been any other path taken by the young Sahibzade other than the one they took.
Ever since this Shaheedee, Sikhs have always used this kurbanee to lift their faith. The terminology “Look at what the little Sahibzade did and you can’t even …” has been used towards all generations and all principles of Sikhee.
The young Sahibzade’s Shaheedee has always been a soft spot for Sikhs and always will be. When Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Jee came to rally the Sikhs against the tyrants, he came virtually empty handed but he came equipped with one line, all he said was “Sirhind is calling you”. How could any one calling himself a Sikh not meet that call? Banda Singh Bahadur created an army within days. The khalsa not only defeated Sirhind but it destroyed it, every brick in the city was smashed. Such was the Joush of the Khalsa and the memory of the young Sahibzade.
Around 5000 Shaheed Khalsa were cremated there at what is now Fatehgarh Sahib. This Maha Asthaan has such a presence of Kala that you can’t help but feel it. The memory of those Shaheed Khalsa hits you so hard that you don’t want to leave such a place you cannot but admire the awe of such great history surrounding that place.
The Muslims of the Malerkotla region of Punjab were untouched in the riots of partition due to the role of the Nawab of Malerkotla in condemning this Shaheedee. This again demonstrated the affection of Sikhs towards the young Sahibzade.
Mata Gujree was alone with the young Sahibzade with out any other Sikh to help. Unlike the battle of Chamkaur there were no survivors from this Shaheedee Saka so it has made recording this Shaheedee difficult. Sources have been third parties and there are many discrepancies in detail. The name of Gangu Brahmin seems to have been introduced in writings of the 19th century. The actual Shaheedee method differs in many accounts. The Muslim historians writing in Farsi seem to be a bit biased and some have not even mentioned the Shaheedee, they don’t seem to be too proud of the fact that a Muslim killed children and I don’t blame them.
It is difficult to find the correct details of this Saka, most written accounts are from nearly half a century later. No mention of detail is given in Zafarnama or Sri Gur Sobha. However the main core of events and its lessons are the same. There is no denying that the young Sahibzade and Mata Gujree Jee were arrested because of treachery and greed, there is no denying that the young Sahibzade refused to convert to Islam and passed all the tests given to them and there is no denying that they were made Shaheed. Only unimportant detail is hard to verify it does not make a difference to the greatness of the Shaheedee.
Below I’ve tried to quote some extracts which readers might like to read. These are from two of the oldest sources which give some detail to this Shaheedee.
The first is Katha Guru Jee Ke Suthan Kee by Bhai Dhunaa Singh Honduria. Bhai Dhunaa Singh claims to be a contemporary of this Shaheedee Saka, he mentions that he was with the young Sahibzade up until Chamkaur. This account however seems to be written after 1760’s and therefore he must have been in old age at the time of writing. Like any historical document it also has some shortcomings. The hand written version of this was kept at the Sikh Reference Library under ref 6045 but was lost when the Indian Army attacked Darbar Sahib in 1984.
The second is from Gurbilas Patshai 10 written by Bhai Koer Singh completed in 1751. This account was written from the information given to Bhai Koer Singh by Shaheed Bhai Manee Singh Jee.
Extracts from Katha Guru Jee Ke Suthan Kee & Gurbilas Patshai 10
Katha Guru Jee Ke Suthan Kee
—- The two young Sahidzade refused to eat from the hands of the Masand Dhumaa from the village Seherhi( this village still exists today unlike Gangu’s village kherhi, but notice it sounds similar to Seherhi)
ਇਸ ਕਹਕੈ ਤਬ ਘਰ ਲੈ ਆਯੋ, ਭਈ ਰੈਣ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦ ਕਰਾਯੋ I੧੯I
ਲਹੇਰ ਕੀ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਰੀ, ਮਸਰੀ ਕੀ ਕਰੀ ਦਾਲ ਥਾਲੀ ਮਾਂਹਿ ਸੁ ਪਾਇਕੈ, ਲੈ ਆਯੋ ਤਤਕਾਲ I ੨੦ I
ਸੋ ਰੋਟੀ ਐਸੀ ਕਰ ਲਯਾਯੋ, ਹਮਰੇ ਕਾਗ ਨ ਕੂਕਰ ਖਾਯੇ I
(The Masand out of greed stole their belongings at his house. After arguing with Mata Jee he forced them out of his house. This eventually led to the arrest of Mata Jee and the Sahibzade.)
—- After arrest they never felt any pain and Akaal Purkh gave them the determination
ਨਾਹਿ ਮੰਨੈ ਦੁਖ ਸੀਸ ਸਹੈਂ, ਦ੍ਰਿੜ੍ਹਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਆਪ ਦਈ ਤਿਨ ਆਏ I ੬੪ I
—-The Nawab of Malerkotla speaks out and says don’t give these children pain they are innocent
ਖਮਚੀ ਸਾਥ ਜੁ ਲਗੇ ਤਬੈ ਦੁਖ ਦੇਵਨੰ ਏਹ ਸੁ ਬਾਲਕ ਫੂਲ, ਧੂਪ ਨਹਿ ਖੇਵਨੰ ਤਬ ਮਲੇਰੀਏ ਕਹਯੋ, “ਜੜਾਂ ਤੁਮ ਜਾਂਹਿ ਹੀ ਇਹ ਮਸੂਮ ਹੈਂ ਬਾਲ ਦੁਖਾਵਹੁ ਨਾਹਿ ਹੀ I ੬੫ I
—-Below is the description of the torture and mind games played with the Sahibzade to make them bow. (Note : Chutey/liar is the name been given to Sacha Nand. Other old writings like Memha Prakash also write Chuta Nand instead of Sacha Nand).
ਤਬ ਝੂਠੇ ਨੇ ਮਾਰ ਕਰਾਈ, ਕਬਹੂ ਊਠਾਲੈ ਕਬਹੂ ਬਿਠਾਈ ਤਬਹਿ ਦੁਸ਼ਟ ਐਸੇ ਫੁਨ ਕਹੈ, ਮਸਤਕ ਸਨਮੁਖ ਟੇਕਹੁ ਅਹੈ I੬੮I
ਨਹਿ ਜਬ ਮਸਤਕ ਸਨਮੁਖ ਟੇਕਹਿੰ ਸਾਂਸ ਉਲਟ ਮੁੜ ਪਾਛੇ- ਪੇਖਹਿੰ ਬਹੁਰੋ ਕਹੀ ਦੁਸ਼ਟ ਯਹਿ ਬਾਨੀ “ਦੋਖੋ, ਬਾਲਕ ਯਹ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੀ?I ੬੯ I
They cut up a Cow and showed it to the Sahibzadey to scare them
ਗੋ ਬਧ ਕਰਕੇ ਲੈ ਆਇ, ਕਹੈ ਸੁ ਚਸ਼ਮੁ ਲੇਹੁ ਤੀਨ ਚੁਲੀ ਤੁਮ ਪੀ ਲੇਵਹੁ, ਅਵਰ ਸੀਸ ਮਹਿੰ ਲੇਹੁ I ੭੦ I
ਸੋ ਨਹਿ ਮਾਨਹਿ ਬਾਤ, ਬਹੁਤ ਕਸ਼ਟ ਦੁਸ਼ਟਨ ਦੀਆ ਦੰਤ ਫੜੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਣ ਘਾਸ, ਦੀਨ ਹੋਇ ਰੁਦਨੈਂ ਕਰੈਂ I੭੧I
—- Baba Fateh Singh jee said to his brother that all the 10 Gurus are here and watching them
ਜ਼ੋਰਾਵਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਐਸੇ ਭਨੈ, “ਕਿਉਂ ਭਾਈ! ਅਬ ਕਿਉਂਕਰ ਬਨੈਂ ਫਤੇ ਸਿੰਘ ਤਬ ਕਹਯੋ ਬਖਾਨ, “ਦਸ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਹਾਨ” I੭੨I
—-The Sahibzadey were in complete bliss, they kept doing Jaap of Naam while the tyrants kept saying recite the kalmaa
ਸੋ ਅਪਨੇ ਮੁਖ ਰਾਮ ਉਚਾਤ, ਦੁਸ਼ਟ ਕਹੈਂ “ਕਲਮਾ ਜਪ ਮਾਨੀ” ਸੋ ਨ ਮੰਨੇ ਤਿਸ ਸੀਸ ਦਯੋ, ਜਿਮ ਤੇਗ਼ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਬਾਤ ਚਲਾਨੀ
Eventually in this Katha it says that Sis of both Sahibzadey were cut off with a Kataar.
It says that a Sikh by the name of Todar Mall went and told the news to Mata Jee, who then did Akaal Charee
Gurbilas Patshai 10
—-The sahibzadey were wearing blue tops, their beautiful hands were handcuffed and their feet were chained.
ਨੀਲ ਝਗੁਰੀਆ ਤਨ ਮੈ ਕੈਸੇ I ਬਿਜੁਲੀ ਸਯਾਮ ਅਭ੍ਰ ਮੈ ਜੈਸੇ I ੨੨੬ I
ਕੋਮਲ ਅੰਗ ਹਥੋੜੀ ਹਾਥਾ I ਪਾਦ ਜੰਜੀਰ ਤਿਨੂ ਕੇ ਸਾਥਾ I ੨੨੭ I
—-However when they were present in the court they were wearing Kesri( Some say Kesri symbolises Shaheedee )
ਕੇਸਰੀ ਅੰਗ ਪੌਸਾਕ ਮਹਾਬਰ, ਮੂਰਤ ਪੇਖ ਕਹੈ ਇਹੁ ਬਾਨੀ I
—-The Sahibzadey were kept hungry for days but they did not show any discomfort. Although their fair and beautiful bodies were showing the lack of nourishment.
ਗੋਰ ਸਰੀਰ ਅਧੀਰ ਭਯੋ ਅਤਿ, ਦੁਖ ਪਯੋ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਨਉਚਾਰੇ I
ਸੂਕ ਗਏ ਅੰਗ ਯੌ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ, ਅਤਿ ਭੂਖ ਪਿਆਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਹੀ ਧਾਰੇ I
—-The kazi was persauding the sahibzadey to embrace Islam and said Kafirs will go to hell. Baba Zoraavar Singh Jee in response said those that go against the will of Khudha are the real Kafirs!
“ਸੁਨਿ ਕਾਜੀ ਅਸ ਬੈਨ ਹਮਾਰੇ I ਨਹਿ ਕਾਫਰ ਜੋ ਆਪ ਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ I
ਕੀਤੀ ਬਾਤ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕੀ ਜੋਈ I ਜਾਇ ਮੇਟ ਕਾਫਰ ਅਤਿ ਸੋਈ I
ਜੋ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਢਾਹੈ I ਕਾਫ਼ਰ ਆਪ ਨਬੀ ਯੌ ਕਹਾ ਹੈ”I ੨੪੩ I
The Sahibzada said further, that “we are blessed to be born in the house of Guru Nanak and anything else is fruitless. We are eagerly awaiting our Shaheedee”. Hearing this the Kazi began to tremble in anger.
ਜੋ ਤਿਹ ਜਨਮ ਦੀਓ ਸੋ ਨੀਕੋ I ਔਰ ਸਭੈ ਲਾਗਤ ਹੈ ਫੀਕੋ I
ਮਰਨ ਯਾਹਿ ਤੇ ਭਲਾ ਨਿਹਾਰੈ I” ਯੌਂ ਸੁਨ ਕਾਜੀ ਕੋਪਤਿ ਭਾਰੈ II
—-Eventually the Sahibzadey after many tortures attained Shaheedee by being bricked alive. This is the earliest account that gives this version of Shaheedee and the only one written in the 18th century.
ਦੇ ਕਰ ਦੂਖ ਬਹੁਤ ਅਧਿਕਾਏ I ਤਬ ਨੀਹੋ ਮੈ ਬਾਲ ਚਿਨਾਏ I
ਬਹੁਤ ਕਲੇਸ ਤੁਰਕ ਤਬ ਦੀਨਾ I ਮੁਖ ਸੇ ਨਾਹ ਉਚਾਰਨ ਕੀਨਾ I ੨੬੫ I