Dhan Dhan Guru De Pyarai Daughter of Sri Guru Gobind Sahib Ji Daughter of Mata Sahib Kaur Ji Fearless Warriors Courageous Mothers Determined Daughters They suffered great in-humane tortures Watch their children bleed to death Witnessed the brutal murder of their husbands Yet, they fought for freedom and faith Remembered Guru Ji in every breath And were an Inspiration to all Sikhs We are a Kaur Princess We are a Brave Lioness We are the Daughters of the Khalsa


Aurangzeb had decided to put an end to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji's and activities. He ordered the viceroys of Sarhind and Lahore to march the Guru. They attacked Anandpur in 1701. All the hill-chiefs joined them with their armies. The Ranghars and Gujjars of the locality who were Muslims also joined the attackers. The Sikhs had to face overwhelming odds. They fought as they had never fought before, and held their ground against the repeated attacks of the Hindu and Muslim armies.

The Viceroys of Lahore and Sarhind were struck dumb on witnessing on the splendid spirit and bravery displayed by the Sikhs. They saw their soldier being killed in large numbers.

After a time, they lost all hope of ever being able to defeat the Sikhs in open battles. They decided to besiege the city, cut off all supplies and thus force the Sikhs to surrender or to die of hunger. They acted accordingly.

After a time, the effects of the siege began to be felt in the fort. Those inside the fort began to feel pangs of hunger and thirst. Elephants and horses died lingering deaths for want of food. Now and then, the Sikhs fell upon the enemy's camp at night and took away some supplies and provisions from there. But such supplies could not last for long.

The Sikhs bore the hardships of the siege with exemplary patience and fortitude for three long years. But then they began to lose heart.

They begged the Guru to evacuate the fort. But he would not listen to any such proposal. Overcome by fatigue, hunger and thirst, some of the Sikhs threatened to desert the Guru...

The besiegers came to know of the discontent which had begun to raise its heads in the Guru's ranks. They decided to take timely advantage of it and thus, end the war. Two messengers, a Brahmin and a Sayyid, were sent to the Guru. They were to say to him,
'The Hindu hill-chiefs and the Muslim Viceroys swear by the cow the Quran, respectively, and give you the following promise: "If you evacuate the fort and go away, you will not be harmed in any way. You may even come back after a time." We assure you that the solemn oaths will be sincerely and fully kept honored.'

The messengers went to the Guru. They delivered the besiegers' message him. At the same time, they swore by the cow and the Quran that the besiegers were sincere in their offer.
The Guru refused to put faith in these oaths. He said,
"The hill-men have broken their solemn oaths many a time in the past. They are sure to do the same now and even in future. As for the Mughal Viceroys, they can be no better than their Emperor. Everyone knows how he treated his own father, brothers, and their families. I can trust neither the hill-chiefs nor the Turks.'

A number of Sikhs, however, were in favor of accepting the besiegers' offer. They went to the Guru's mother, Mata Gujjar Kaur Ji. They begged her to persuade him to accept the offer. She advised him accordingly. He tried to convince her that no reliance could be placed on the besiegers' oaths. But she was not convinced. Thereupon, he agreed to demonstrate the correctness of his opinion.

He said to the messengers, 'I shall evacuate the fort on one condition. The besiegers should first allow me to remove my movable property. Go, get their consent, and then come to convey it to me.'

They went away and soon returned to inform the Guru of trje besiegers' consent. The Guru told them that he would send out his property that night.

The messengers went away. Under the Guru's orders such things as old shoes, torn clothes, horsedung, sweepings, and rubbish of all sorts were collected and packed in sacks. Thses sacks were to be the Guru's-'property' intended to be removed. They were covered with bright coloured cloth and loaded on the back of bullocks. Burning torches were tied to the bullocks' horns so that their departure and progress might be easily observed. Thus loaded, the bullocks were led out of the fort at the dead of night. As they approached the besiegers, the latter at once fell upon them to plunder the Guru's 'property'. When they found what the 'property' consisted of, they were filled with sorrow and shame. They had broken their solemn oaths and what had they attained!

The siege was, of course, continued. The condition of the besieged Sikhs grew worse, day by day. But they bore all hardships with patience and fortitude. Then came a letter in Aurangzeb's own handwriting. It said, 'I have sworn on the holy Quran not to harm you. If I do, may I not find a place in God's court hereafter! Cease war-fare and come to me. If you desire not to come hither, then go withersoever you please. No harm shall be done to you.'

The letter was delivered to the Guru by a Qazi. The latter added that the hill-chiefs had sworn by the cow that they would not harm the Guru in any way. The Guru, thereupon, told the Qazi that he had no faith in the oaths and pledges of either the hill-men or the Turks. They were sure to be broken.

The Qazi went back. The siege was continued. The hardships of the besieged were becoming unbearable. So much so that a group of Sikhs decided to go away even against the Guru's wishes and advice. At that he said to them...

'All who want to leave, should give in writing that I am not their Guru and they are not my Sikhs.'

A few hundred Sikhs wrote the 'disclaimer' and went away. After a time, the Guru's mother became in favour of going away with her daughter-in-law and grandsons. At last, the Guru yielded to his mother’s wishes. He agreed to evacuate the fort. Accordingly, he, his family, and his remaining left the fort at midnight. The night was dark and bitterly cold. A piercing cold wind began to blow. Soon it began to rain.

The besieging Hindu and Muslim armies learnt that the Guru and his Sikhs had evacuated the fort. They followed them, forgetting all their solemn oaths and pledges. They over­took the Guru and his party near the bank of the Sarsa stream. The night was dark. A bitter cold wind was blowing. The Sarsa was in flood. To cross it was very difficult indeed.

The Hindu and Muslim armies fell upon the Sikhs. There was hard fighting in the darkness and rain. In the confusion which ensued, all of the Guru's baggage, including some very precious manuscripts, was lost in the waves of the Sarsa. Many Sikhs were killed. The rest succeeded in crossing the flooded stream. The Guru was separated apart from his family. His two elder sons, Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh, accompanied him.

His mother and two younger sons, Baba Zorwar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were separated from the main party. What happened to them will be related in the next chapter. The Guru, along with his two elder sons and forty Sikhs went to Chamkaur Sahib in the district of Ambala. His five dear Ones were among the said forty Sikhs.

by FaujKaur @ Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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