This story is about the spirit and determination of the two youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Zarowar Singh (eight years old) and Fateh Singh (six years old), who courageously stood strong in the face of oppressive and tyrannous authority.
Listen to this story from SikhNet:
Led by Governor Wazir Khan, huge armies surrounded Anandpur. The Guru and the Sikhs were cut off from food and water. The Sikhs were starving. They went for months in a very desperate condition.
Wazir Khan promised the Guru, “If you leave Anandpur, I will allow you to go wherever you want. No one will attack you. I swear on the holy Qu’ran.” This imperial promise was written on the holy Qur’an, which is the Muslim Holy Book. It was signed by the emperor himself.
The Guru knew that the opposing armies were all liars… but the Sikhs convinced the Guru’s mother, Mata Gujri, to leave the fort, “My son, If we stay here, we will all die. We have no food or water. We have no choice but to believe their promise. We must leave.”
Everyone left during the night to cross the river. Wazir Khan lied! He broke the oath written on the holy Qu’ran, “ATTACK THE SIKHS!!!”
It was a fierce battle ,many were captured and killed. The Guru’s two younger sons were only 6 and 8 years old. Fateh and Zoraavar — the sahibzade; the princes — crossed the river and ended up alone with their grandmother, Mata Gujri.
They wandered through the jungle looking for shelter. “Grandmother do you think we will see Guru Pita again?” “Even if we don’t see Pita ji again, it just matters that we remember God.” Mata Gujri always kept a spiritual mood, “My dear children, remember that your grandfather Guru Teg Bahadur was a brave saint! When his life was taken, he never forgot to meditate on God”
They came across another traveler in the jungle, “You must be lost, come with me, you will be safe with me! You remember me right!? I used to serve you in the Guru’s house. You recognize me.. Yes of coarse you do… You can trust me, come” They trusted him and stayed at his house, but very soon found out he lied and betrayed them for money.
The young boys and Mata Gujri were captured and taken away. The situation was awful but Mata Gujri ji held a very sacred prayer. “Bless you my dear boys. Never forget the sacred tradition of the Gurus. May God bless you. May you be in high spirits!” The boys were fearless and kept having fun. The boys were fearless and kept having fun, “We will! haha” “We will never give up our faith! Haha!”
Wazir Khan ordered, “Bring me the sons of that wretched Gobind Rai!” He was corrected, “Sir, I believe they call him Gobind Singh now-” “-I DON’T CARE WHAT THEY CALL HIM… just bring the children to me so I can convert them to be one of us!!!”
The two young boys were brought to the Governors court. A soldier told the boys, “You can not go through the normal door. You will have to go through this…. special tiny…. door here.” You see he was trying to trick the Guru’s sons. But the boys saw through the trap! “They are trying to get us to bow to the governor!” “Haha, than let’s go in feet first!”
They boys laughed and crawled through the little door backwards with their feet first! Then they called out:
“Wahiguru ji ka Khalsa Wahiguru ji ki Fateh!”
Everyone in the court was surprised at their bold spirit! They thought, “It will be great to have them with us…. once they embrace our religion, of course.” One of them said, “You should have some respect for your ruler. Bow to him like a proper subject.” The boys boldly responded, “We are Sikhs of Guru Nanak.” “We do not bow to any man, we bow only to the Guru.”
Governor Wazir Khan saw how fearless and bright these small ones were. He thought that history would see him as a great man if he could change them to be in his religion, “How sweet and brave they are. They will be great men one day! They will make excellent Muslims!… Ahem, my dear boys, our religion will be proud to have you. Recite our religious prayers and you will be welcomed as one of us. Land, wealth, wives, happiness, I will give you anything you ask for.”
The Sahibzade talked to each other for a moment, Zoravar said, “Little brother, the time has come to sacrifice our lives like our grandfather Guru Teg Bahadur. What do you think?” Fateh said, “Our grandfather gave his head but not his faith. We must follow his example. We have taken Amrit. We are blessed by spirit and by sword. Why should we worry about death? Let’s give our lives, Sikh Dharma will grow and these tyrants will fall!”
The Sahibzade spoke to the wicked Wazir Khan, “We come from a virtuous family. Our father is Guru Gobind Singh, our grand-father is Guru Teg Bahadur and our great-grand-father is Guru Hargobind. We will follow their example!” “Our faith is more important than life. We don’t care for your wealth! You can not bribe us, you fool!! We will never give up the Sikh Dharma! When you killed our grand-father, you started a fire… and when you kill us that fire will explode! You will be destroyed and we will not lose our faith!!” “We won’t give up the Sikh Dharma no matter what. Death has no meaning for us.”
Governor Wazir Khan wasn’t used to being talked to like that especially from children! He said to his priest, “Did you hear these….WRETCHED MONSTERS??!! Don’t think they are just innocent children! These boys are just rebels like their father. WE MUST PUNISH THEM!!” The priest didn’t know what to say, “But your governorship, we can not punish them… they have not committed any crimes, it says in the law of our religion that-” Wazir Khan interrupted, “But they are a threat!! Haven’t you heard how…… RUDE they are!!!?”
He really had no good reason to punish these innocent and brave sons of the Guru, so he tried convincing them again, “Ahem, You are still so young, you should be enjoying life. If you listen to me you will get happiness in this life, and in the afterlife, you will live in paradise!” The Sahibzade laughed and said, “We do not fear death, we will sacrifice everything to keep our faith.”
The Governor was outraged that he couldn’t convince the boys in any way. He tried to taunt them, “Don’t you know that your older brothers are dead now. Your father also died on the battlefield.” The Governor was not right about that, and in their hearts, the boys knew the truth. They said, “Our father is a great man, no one can kill him, he is protected by the Immortal God! He will never fall into your hands. He could destroy all of you in a moment if he wanted to, but instead he follows the laws of the heavens.”
They were so brave, the Governor was really impressed. He wanted to convert them to his religion even more. So instead of giving them a punishment right away he gave them another chance, “Why don’t you ask your grandmother if she would prefer you die at such a young age… or if she wants you to change your religion…. and live.”
When they got back to Mata Gujri ji, she kissed their precious foreheads. They told her everything. She blessed them, “You are in such high spirits, I’m very proud of you. You both have shown the greatest strength. You are the light of the Guru. Don’t forget the sacrifice of Guru Arjun Dev ji and Guru Teg Bahadur ji. Don’t ever give up. God’s love is always with you.”
That night they all slept in a freezing cold tower and in the morning they were taken to the court again. The boys listened to what their grandmother said and the whole day they didn’t give an inch. That night they again slept in the freezing tower with their gramma. On the third day they were given another chance to convert or die. They stood firm, “Until the end of our lives, we will stand up to those who manipulate and control others!!”
Wazir Khan asked them, “Boys… what will you do if I allow you to live?” They boldly responded, “We will dedicate our lives to ending tyrants like you!
Wazir Khan told his priest that he would have to punish the children for all the crimes they would commit in the future, “They will definitely be rebels against us when they grow up. You heard what they said! Priest! Tell me what is the punishment for being a rebel according to our religious laws?” The priest obeyed, “Yes sir…. crimes in the future… well… the most reasonable punishment for being rebels is… they should be… bricked alive inside a wall.“
Wazir Khan ordered that the children be brought out to be killed in the open so that everyone could see what happens to rebels. The torturer began building the bricks up The common people were surprised, “What a horrible thing to do to children!!!” “If the rulers end these precious young lives, it will mean the end of this empire.”
Mata Gujri ji couldn’t see what was happening to her precious and heroic grandchildren. Up in the cold tower she was praying for them constantly, “My precious children, may God and Guru continue to bless you with the sweetness of the holy Naam. May you live forever in deathlessness. May you continue with fearless hearts. Bless your precious souls……” Her prayer continued to hold them.
They looked so beautiful even the torturers heart brightened to see them, “Psssst, kids… I have to do this to you, but… I don’t want to. Why don’t you reason with the Governor, you don’t have to die today!” The boys wouldn’t hear of it. They said, “Build the bricks fast and bury the Mughol Empire quickly! Do it as quick as possible.”
The brave princes chanted and remembered the Naam, “Ik ongkaar, Satinaam, Karta Purkh, Nirbao, Nirvair, Akal Murat Ajooni, Saibhang, Gurprasad, Jap, Aad Sach, Jugaad Sach, Hai Bhi Sach, Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach…”
The bricks were being built higher, and higher, and higher…
Zoraavar, the royal son of the Guru, started crying. His brother asked, “Why are you crying?” Zoraavar said, “…I’m crying…. because… I’m older and stronger than you right now.”
Fateh was confused, “Why would this make you cry brother?” Zoraavar explained, “If you leave your body first, you’ll be in the lap of Grandpa Guru Teg Bahadur… you’ll be with God before I will…. I don’t want to be separate from God for one second. I want to be merged, I want it so much…”
People in the crowd began to cry too, “They are like angels on earth. So beautiful, so brave, so precious.”
The fearless sons of Guru Gobind Singh had gone through the worst. As they were being closed up inside a wall, they got lost in meditating on God. Finally the air inside ran out and they became unconscious. The torturer decided to end their pain and finished their lives. The two courageous, bright souls went to meet their true family with the angels.
When Mata Gujri ji heard about the children, she knew that her purpose in life was also complete, so her graceful soul also left her body and joined them.
Later Guru Gobind Singh heard what happened. He was not sad but he knew what needed to happen. He took his arrow and pulled a plant from the ground with it.
Then He said:
“Oppression and injustice need to be taken out… from the root.”
Inspired by these young boys sacrifice, the Khalsa later swept across the land and wiped out Wazir Khan and many other tyrants. Eventually the Khalsa built a huge kingdom all throughout the land.
We always remember that as Khalsa, we are here to chase away the darkness and bring light to this world. We remember Mata Gujri for her sacred prayer… for her grace… her strength… and her love.
If you ever feel shy about standing out as a Sikh, remember these young princes and you will have courage. If you ever see a bully or a tyrant, remember the Sahibzade, their courage, and their happiness.
Let us always be fearless of death and always remember our sweetness.
WAHIGURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHIGURU JI KI FATEH!!!
Guru Gobind Singh is a great light in the world. People who live in darkness do not like the light. Even though Guru ji never threatened or attacked anyone, many people had decided to become enemies of the Guru.
This story is courtesy of SikhNet.
Storyteller: Ravi Kaur Khalsa
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