Guru Arjun: The Axle of Sikh REvolution
Arjun Mal, as the name of the fifth Guru appears in Persian chronicles of his times, was the youngest son of the fourth Guru, Sri Ram Das, the eldest being Prithia or Prithvi Chand, and the middle one Mahadeva. He was born on April 15, 1563, at Goindwal, when his maternal grand father, Guru Amar Das was still alive. Finding him to be a precocious child of great promise, so goes the tradition, his maternal grand father, himself a veritable mine of the Divine Word, prophesied that the child would, in due course, turn out to be a virtual ferry boat of scriptures.1
During his father’s ministry (1574-1581), Arjun Mal lent his father a great hand in administering its affairs and carrying on the various public utility works launched by his father. His humility and service endeared him not only to his father, but to all those who were around him also. This made his elder brother, Prithvi Chand very unhappy, distrustful and jealous. In disgust, he would often pick up quarrels with his father and prove discourteous to him. There is a sabda in the holy scripture in which the father is reported to have expressed his displeasure in no uncertain terms.2
Once Guru Ram Das had an invitation to attend, at Lahore, the wedding ceremony of a near relative. The Guru asked his elder son, Prithvi Chand, to go and represent him. Prithvi Chand got himself excused on a false pretext and chose to remain at the headquarters. The second son, Mahadeva, was of a recluse nature. He had no interest in such worldly things. Arjun Mal, when asked to go and attend the wedding, readily obeyed his father. He was ordered to stay there until recalled. He stayed there for long preaching the Word of Guru and organising the local community. It appears, he utilized this occasion to construct a baoli (a well with steps leading down to the surface of the water) also near the place where his father was born (the locality is called Dabbi bazar).3
When sufficient time lapsed and the urge in the young heart to be once again amidst his kith and kin grew stronger, Arjun Mal wrote to his father three letters, in verse, imploring him to recall him. All the three were intercepted by his jealous brother, Prithvi Chand. The fourth, however, reached his father, whereupon Arjun Mal was sent for at once. When back home, Guru Ram Das expressed his appreciation of the solid and constructive work he had done at Lahore. This seems to have settled the question of the next successor.
Arjun was installed on gurugaddi before the passing away of Guru Ram Das on September 1, 158l.
As was natural the loss of gurugaddi came as a great shock to the over-ambitious Prithvi Chand. He now began to make all sorts of mechanisations to see Guru Arjun ousted. Guru Arjun did his best to placate him and assigned him all the income that was to accrue from house property. For the maintenance of the community-kitchen and other institutions of public weal, he now, depended upon voluntary offerings of the devotees only. Prithvi Chand would not allow flow of this much income even. He often intercepted the unsuspecting pilgrims and took away from them offerings intended for the Guru. Bhai Gurdas, a maternal uncle of Guru Arjun and a Sikh missionary on assignment at Agra, came to know of the sorrowful state of affairs at Chak Ram Das. He came back and with the help of the devoted Baba Buddha, showed Prithvi Chand his proper place and checked the pilferage of the much needed revenue for construction works that were going on at that time.4
The Guru had, for his funds, so far relied on offerings made to him by his adherents on their visits to him. With construction activity expanding every day, these were, however, not enough. He, therefore, asked his followers, henceforth to contribute one-tenth of their income (dasvandh) to the Guru’s exchequer. To collect this and other offerings made by the sangat in kind and money on festive and ceremonial occasions, he appointed a class of trust - worthy lieutenants, called Masands. They were asked to collect all such offerings on behalf of the Guru and deposit them with the Guru on the eve of Baisakhi or any other occasion when they happened to visit him.
This Dasvandh, misinterpreted by certain English writers as “tribute” with political implications, and even “rapine” by some, was absolutely a voluntary contribution by the Sikhs to works of common weal being carried on by the Guru and for the community-kitchen. Its institution ensured the flow of funds enough to enable the Guru to go ahead with his works.
The Sikh Gurus were not only great religious leaders, but builders of great centres of commerce, industry and trade also. The beginning in this respect was made by Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith. He built the first settlement of the community at Kartarpur by the side of the Ravi, followed suit by Khadur Sahib constructed by the second Guru, Angad. The third Guru, Amar Das, in his turn, provided to the growth of Goindwal a great fillip by digging in it a baoli and making it a centre of pilgrimage. Guru Ram Das on his part laid the foundation of Chak Ram Das or Guru Ka Chak, called Ramdaspur also. He managed to persuade artisans of fifty two trades to come and settle there. Because of their industry and pilgrims from all over the country, this tiny market once called Guru Ka Bazar grew, in course of time, to be a mighty centre of trade and commerce. Guru Ram Das provided this new settlement with a tank called Santokhsar. He then started another at the low lying area of the town where Dukhbhanjani beri (the jujube tree) stood by the side of a small pool of water.6 But the Guru’s end came too soon to see it completed. The task, thereafter, devolved upon his successor.
Guru Arjun took up the thread from where his father had left. He first rejuvenated Santokhsar and then completed the other tank and named it Ramdas Sarovar. Sometime after this, to be exact, in 1589, a temple called Harimandir, the Temple of God, was built in the midst of the Ramdas Sarovar. Its foundation is said to have been got laid by a Muslim Divine, Mian Mir of the Qadiriya Sect, who had his headquarters at Lahore. Guru Arjun did not have the temple built at high plinth as was the custom in those days. He had it built on a level lower than that of the surrounding area so that the worshippers had to go many a step down to enter it. He ordained that the temple should have access to it on all the four sides.7 These architectural features were to be symbolic of the new faith. These indicated that the way to the abode of God could only be through humility and the entry to it could not be barred on any caste or class of people. This temple and tank, along with the Akal Takht erected by the sixth Guru was, later on, to be the hub of the Sikh activity. The tank, in due course, gained Amritsar as its appellation and the Harimandir, The Darbar Sahib, popularised by the Westerners as “The Golden Temple”.
The building activity now being at its zenith, the Sikh world saw in rapid succession the construction of a big tank at Tarn Taran along with a leperesium in 1590, the township of Kartarpur in the Jalandhar Doab in 1594, and Sri Hargobindpur in 1595 by the side of the Beas. This latter town was founded to commemorate the birth of the Guru’s only son, Hargobind who, later on, was scheduled to play an important role in the transformation of the Sikh community from docile mendicants to dogged fighters, of course, for the cause of righteousness.
After initial animosity and acts of meanest treachery, for which Prithvi Chand, the elder brother of Guru Arjun, earned the sobriquet Mina (the detestable) from Bhai Gurdas,8 he had reconciled a bit with his lot in the hope that after Guru Arjun’s dying issueless, the gurugaddi would automatically pass on to his son, Miharban. But that was not to be. The birth of a son to Guru Arjun upset his plan. He again became at logger-heads with the Guru. Many hymns composed by Guru Arjun and recorded in the Guru Granrh, reveal attempts made by him on the life of the little child and his providential escape every time. Prithvi Chand then joined hands with the Muslim Governor of Jalandhar, Sulhi Khan, and incited him to attack and harass the Guru, but Sulhi Khan met an ignonimous death by a fall in a live kiln on his way to Chak Ram Dass.9 Prithvi Chand felt very much discomfited and was always in search of fresh excuses to vilify and harm Guru Arjun.
Sikhism had spread by, amongst other things, the propagation of bani or the Guru’s word. Hymns composed by the Gurus in the native tongue were readily understood and sought after reverentially by the adherents of the faith. Stray compilations of them were in circulation. Conscious or unconscious interference in their text, prompted often by a desire to round off a word or a phrase or to regulate its metrical flow in accordance with the whim of the singer, was not an uncommon phenomenon. To check this the need to place an authentic version of the bani in the hands of the readers seemed paramount. The corpus of the bani left by the third and the fourth Gurus, as also composed by Guru Arjun himself, had grown enormously.
There was a need to regulate it, lest it should be lost. There was a danger of its being interpolated by imitators too. Guru Arjun, therefore, thought it fit to compile the whole corpus of gurubani in a befitting way and, thus, leave behind himself an authorized version of the Sikh Scripture.
The compiling of the Scripture was no easy task. The Guru himself had to devote much time to it and seek assistance of others too. Messages were passed on to the Sikh sangats (community centres) to send their collections of hymns to the Guru. An earlier such attempt said to have been made by Sahansar Ram, the grandson of Guru Amar Das. Some text with Baba Mohan, compiled in a number of pothis (manuscript copies). The Guru first sent Bhai Gurdas and then Baba Buddha to fetch these collections but they were not allowed access. Thereupon, so goes the tradition, Guru Arjun himself accompanied by his renowned musicians went there, and by singing a song in praise of Mohan, such as could mean Baba Mohan’s eulogy as also of God, since Mohan is an epithet of God too, was able to persuade Baba Mohan to part with his pothis. These were placed in a planquin and carried to Amritsar with great fanfare. Four Sikhs, it is said, bore the planquin on their shoulders while the Guru and his cavalcade walked behind it singing sacred hymns all the way long from Goindwal to Amritsar.10
Back at Amrirsar, a quiet and secluded place at some distance from the Harimandir, towards the south of the town, was selected for carrying on the work of compilation. A tent was pitched by the side of a small pool of water surrounded by thick groves of trees on all sides. This tank and place, later on, came to be known as Ramsar. Bhai Gurdas was asked to act as amanuensis. Four others, Sant Das, Haria, Sukha and Mansa Ram, recounted by Kesar Singh Chhibbar of the Bansavalinama fame as the Guru’s permanent scribes, were, probably, also put on the job along with Bhai Gurdas.11 Guru Arjun had already made a large contribution to the mass material that was to be classified and included in the Scripture. Here, at Ramsar, he made yet another addition to it by composing Sukhmani. The calm and quiet idyllic setting in which he was now working, prompted him to produce this marvellous Psalm of Peace (Sukhmani) which to this day has been a source of solace to numerous souls yearning for a life of peace and equipoise.12
In accordance with Sikhism’s avowed aim of being cosmopolitan in character and sticking to nothing but Truth, the bani of not only Sikh Gurus but of other renowned saints of like-minds, was also included in the Granth. There were Farid, Kabir, Bhikhan, Mardana, Satta and Balwand from the Muslim fold and Namdeva, Ravidas, Sadhna and Sen from the so called Sudra or untouchable classes of the Hindus. They all had, in their teachings, preached oneness of God, equality of mankind and the pursuit of Truth as against blind faith and adherence to meaningless rituals, as the only and true way to the attainment of spiritual salvation.
Though beset with numerous difficulties, Bhai Gurdas, working under the direct supervision of the Guru himself, accomplished the task of preparing the canon very meticulously. Prayers meant for morning, evening and night, that is the Japu, the Sodaru cum Sopurukhu and the Sohila (The Arti), were placed in the beginning. Then followed hymns classified in thirty ragas or musical modes/measures. While classifying, modes such as Megh, Hindol, Jog and Deepak, were outright rejected which were calculated to work the mind to states of extreme joy, sorrow and passion. Within each raga or musical mode, primacy was given to the poetic form the chaupada; the astpadi followed next; and then came the chhant and the var (the ode). Between the Gurus their chronological position was strictly maintained: Bani of the Bhagtas was placed at the end of the Gurus’ bani in each Raga or mode; and in their case the order envisaged and maintained was Kabir, Namdeva, Ravidas, and others. Towards the end slokas of various Gurus, as also of Kabir and Farid, were placed. Then followed swayyas of eleven contemporary bards who in their writings had admirably summed up the salient features of the Sikh society and certain traits of the Sikh Gurus that they witnessed. A miscellany of slokas left over from their insertion in the vars, was relegated to a place after the swayyas and the Scripture was closed with the mundavani (the epilogue) that summed up the whole corpus of the Guru’s teaching thus:
In this dish-tray are arranged three things:
Truth, Continence and Contemplation;
Yet another is the Nectar of the Lord’s Name
Which is the sole sustaining ingredient.
He who eats and enjoys a morsel from it,
Shall, no doubt, be redeemed for ever.13
The Granth was completed in 1604, and thereafter installed in the Harimandir with Baba Buddha as its first Granthi or Custodian. As has very aptly been put by a great scholar of Sikh studies, these two, the Harimandir and the Granth were the two concrete statements of the crystallizing Sikh faith. The former provided a central place of worship, whereas the latter became a very factor in the organisation of the community. Both proved to be of great significance in moulding Sikh self-consciousness and in the reification of Sikh life and society. The Granth Sahib was the permanent repository of the Gurus’ message, the revealer of Divine Truth and was meant to be the spiritual and religious guide of the Sikhs for all times.14
While the Granth was still under preparation a complaint was lodged with Emperor Akbar that the Sikh Guru, Arjun was compiling a book in which the Muslim and the Hindu prophets were reviled. The Emperor himself a benevolent ruler, visited the Guru at Goindwal towards the end of 1598 and was very much pleased to listen to some of the hymns read out to him from the manuscript. He found nothing objectionable in them and expressed his deep appreciation of the Guru’s efforts to bind the two communities in abiding love through the advocacy of unity of God and brotherhood of man. The Guru’s teachings appeared to him sound and in conformity with his policy of tolerance and synthesising the two opposing cultures and communities. The Guru utilized this occasion to win from the Emperor a few concessions for the people of the ilaqa by getting a portion of the year’s revenue due, to the· royal exchequer, remitted. The zimidars of the ilaqa were then in great hardship because of the failure of crops.16 The Guru was highly respected for his saintly attainment. He was a man of name and fame and his influence extended over Hindus and Muslims.
The Emperor’s visit enhanced the reputation of the Guru still further, but this drew the envy of the coterie of the Muslim divines, especially of the Naqshbandi order, as were not well disposed towards liberal policies being pursued by Akbar. As soon as Akbar died and Jahangir became Emperor, the Naqshbandi Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi, Mujaddid-i-Alif-i-Sani through a coterie in the Mughal court, began to din into the Emperor’s ear the heretical activities that, he thought, were being carried on by Arjun to the deteriment of Islam. The King, as he writes in his Tuzuk (diary), wanted to put an end to this shop of falsehood (dukan-i-batil)17 This opportunity was provided to him by the unsuccessful revolt against him of his son, Khusrau.
Fleeing towards Kabul before the royal forces which were advancing on him from Agra, Khusrau encamped for a respite by the side of the Beas near a place where Guru Arjun was staying. The Guru, according to the Tuzuk’s version, went to him, sought his audience, and made certain communication to him. On this occasion the Guru made a finger mark in saffron, qashqa, on his forehead also which in the parlance of the Hindus is called tilak and is considered to be propitious.
When this rendezvous of the Guru with Khusrau was reported to the Emperor, he got enraged. He ordered that the Guru should be arrested and brought before him – obviously to receive punishment. No enquiry was made and no trial was held. The Emperor’s mind already stood prejudiced, for he writes in his Tuzuk that he fully knew his (Guru’s) heresies and wanted either to put an end to his false traffic or order him to be brought into the fold of Islam.19
Nobody knows what little conversation passed on between him and the Guru, but he closed this chapter by ordering that the Guru’s houses and children be made over to Murtaza Khan Sheikh Farid Bukhari; that all his property be confiscated; and that he should be done to death with tortures and in according with the code, the Yasa. Yasa is a Mongol word which means royal command or law. In technical terms Yasa stands for the code of law promulgated by Ching-hiz Khan.19a
The Guru was taken to Lahore. There he was handed over to Chandu Shah who, according to Sikh accounts, nursed a grudge against him. The Guru was subjected to all sorts of tortures in the burning heat of Lahore and, finally, to add to his agonies, his blistered body was dipped into the cold water of the Ravi. This was too much for a mortal frame. The end came on May 30, 1606.
The man who derived utmost satisfaction from the execution of Guru Arjun was, no doubt, Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi, Mujaddid-i-Alif-i-Sani. In one of his letters (No 193) included in Maktubat-i-Imam-i-Rabbani, he haild the news of the execution of the accursed of Goindwal as a great achievement.20 It was Murtaza Khan, Sheikh Ahmad Bukhari to whom Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi had jubilantly written that the accession of Jahangir to the throne was auspicious for Islam. These two orthodox Sunni Muslims patronized by the State were the real culprits for instigating Emperor Jahangir for his dynamic hatred against non-Muslim (kafir) subjects.
The shedding of Guru Arjun’s blood did not go in vain. It, as a renowned historian puts it, “became the seed of the Sikh Church as well as of the Punjabi nation.21 The supreme sacrifice of Guru Arjun for the sake of justice and freedom of religious worship laid the foundation of the tradition of Shaheedi (martyrdom) in the Sikh community. This event visualised the concept of man of action at the time of stark reality of life situation to face the challenge, respond boldly and act at the cost of one’s life as preached by Guru Nanak and Bhagat Kabir.22 The subsequent martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (a grandson and ninth Guru of the Sikhs) for the protection of religious symbols of the Hindus (Tilak and Janju) by the order of the fanatic Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1675 institutionalised the spirit of Shaheedi in the Sikh community. Guru Gobind Singh’s mission of Dharam Yudh (fight for righeousness and justice and the creation of the Khalsa in 1699 is a documentary evidence of this phenomenon. The mission of Dharam Yudh generated the idea of Raj Karega Khalsa (only the righteous shall rule) laid the foundation stone of the establishment of the Sikh sovereignty in the Punjab. The sacrifices made by Guru Gobind Singh, his children and Khalsa prepared the track for the evolution of the Sikhs as a martial race and earmarked the decisive role the Sikhs were going to play in the future history of India. The later history of the Sikhs is full of glorious examples of Shaheedi of the Sikhs (including children and ladies) who laid down their lives for the sake of their religion and preferred death to abjure their faith. This episode of Sikh martyrdom is remembered with reverence in the recitation of the daily prayer (Ardas) by the Sikhs all over the globe. All this development is the impact of the great martyrdom of Guru Arjun.
The legacy of Guru Arjun Dev in consolidating Sikhism is a glorious chapter in the annals of the history of Sikh community. The Guru organized the central administration of the Sikh church on solid ground. He founded the central shrine of the Sikhs – the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) and edited the Sikh scripture Adi Granth / Sri Guru Granth Sahib and gave it an authentic shape and universal character by including devotional hymns by Muslim and Hindu Bhagats along with bani of the Sikh Gurus. Above all by sacrificing his life Guru Arjun ignited a revolutionary spirit of protest and confrontation in the Sikh community against injustice and made them (Sikhs) realise to achieve the aspirations of Sikhism not only metaphysically and spiritually but even historically also.
Sukhmani or ‘The Psalm of Peace’ into which the nomenclature of this devotional composition is usually rendered in English, literally means ‘the gem that brings peace to mind’. It alludes to the folkloric belief that a certain species of snakes possesses in its head a stone which is capable of shedding light in darkness and providing all sorts of comforts to its possessor. Guru Arjun, the author of this eternal song, seems to have chosen this name purposely to stress the belief that that mani (gem) may be elusive and a myth but this one based on the recitation of nam and produced by him in the form of this composition, is real, within the reach of every seeker, and has the potency to provide one’s heart a great comfort and tranquility as the fabulous gem is supposed to do.
Sukhmani, no doubt, is a composition of very high order designed to stir the depths of human mind and to start a current ‘of religious emotion that cleanses and invigorates one’s tiny self and enables one to feel a sense of unity with the Universal Soul. It, thus, soothes the heart in affliction and deepens the joy in life. No wonder, millions of souls are devoutly attached to it and have no rest till they have recited it in the morning or the day, as it suits their daily schedule.
Sukhmani is the lengthiest composition of Guru Granth Sahib. It notably proclaims, in a simple manner, the typical Sikh gospel. Its verses sing the praise of One Universal God, the Divine Guru, who dwells everywhere and especially in men’s hearts and is accessible to all who practise naam simran (remembrance of God). In the opinion of John Clark Archer, “the hymns of Sukhmani are as effective for worship and meditation as, for example, the Psalms of David, of Asaph or of Soloman, except that they are not so well-known or as widely read.23 This spiritual aspect of the practice of reciting Sukhmani has been specifically highlighted by Prof. Puran Singh who has captioned this devotional composition as a ‘Hymn of Peace’. According to Prof. Puran Singh, the message of Sukhmani of Guru Arjun is “like a river of peace in which we can dip our soul .... I feel when we read Sukhmani, there is, unknown to ourselves, a strange effect on our minds. And there is a reflex action on the body. The mind mounts up to some delectable heights and the body becomes light and ethereal and soars with it. We feel bodiless. In this river of peace, we must plunge daily and refresh ourselves.”24
Prof. Puran Singh believes that the singing of Sukhmani has a great cure for human falling out.25 He compares it with the Temple of God. ‘Sukhmani’ is the Hari-Mandir built in song’.26
The content of the Sukhmani has universal appeal. Prof. Puran Singh regards it as a great universal anthem of Guru Arjun. ‘The Guru does not sing of a nation here, nor of kingdoms, nor of war cries or of the victory yells of conquerors. It is a hymn which is to set all the loose screws of humanity right.27 Sukhmani is the “music of the soul” and the “music of the union”, which is the highest, interest passion of the human soul”.28 It is the Music that creates –The Beautiful in us’.29 The music of the Sukhmani is universal. “It creates temple-atmosphere within ourselves” and ‘Musical attunement with our environment’. Paying his tribute to this glorious hymn of Guru Arjun, Prof Puran Singh professes, “If the atmosphere of Sukhmani departs from my temple of flesh, the world is a graveyard for me”.30 The essence of Sukhmani is that as our relationship with God is personal and intimate there is no need for the Almighty to reincarnate in human or angelic form.31 The dictum of the Sukhmani is that those who seek Him are worthy of respect. This is the meaning when the Guru says-
Those who remember God are the Chief amongst men.32
But such a status to be achieved is a rare accomplish.33
References and Notes
1. ਦੋਹਤਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਾ ਬੋਹਿਥਾ ॥
2. ਪੂਤ ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਜਣੇ ਬਡੀਰੇ ਤੁਮ ਹਉ ਤਿਨ ਸਿਉ ਝਗਰਤ ਪਾਪ॥ – Guru Granth Sahib, p 1200
3. This Baoli was filled up in 1628 by the orders of Emperor Shah Jahan, who got a mosque erected in its place. This mosque was pulled down and the Baoli was restored by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1834. The Baoli had again been destroyed during the communal riots of 1947 at the time of partition of India.
4. Teja Singh and Ganda Singh, A Short History of the Sikhs, Vol I, Published by Punjabi University, Patiala, 1999, p 26
5. Ibid., p 27
6. For detailed study see Madan Jit Kaur, The Golden Temple Past and Present, 2nd Edition, Published by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, 2004, p. 3-7.
7. Ibid., pp 9-14
8. Bhai Gurdas, Varan Bhai Gurdas, Ed Bhai Veer Singh, Published by Khalsa Samachar, Amritsar, 1972, VAr XXVI, Pauri 33, p 445 also Var XXXVI, Pauri I, p 577.
9. Guru Arjun has referred to this incident in his hymn M 5, Rag Bilaval, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p 825. Reference to similar strain has been made by Guru Arjun in his other hymns without mentioning the name of Sulhi Khan – M5 Rag Gauri, p 199; M5, Rag Todi, ibid, p. 714; M5, Rag Bhairo, Ibid., p. 1138.
10. Teja Singh and Ganda Singh, Vol. 1, p 31.
11. Kesar Singh Chibbar, Bansavalinama Dasan Patshaian ka, ed. Dr Rattan Singh Jaggi, Pub-in Parakh, Vol. II, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1972, p 45
12. See Appendix
13. ਥਾਲ ਵਿਚਿ ਤਿੰਨਿ ਵਸਤੂ ਪਈਓ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੋ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਾ ਪਇਓ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਸਭਸੁ ਅਧਾਰੋ ॥ – Mundavani, M5, AG. 1429
14. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, Edition 1983, p 47.
15. Sujan Rai Bhandari, Khulasat-ut-Tawarikh (Persian MSS, 1696), Pub by Maulvi Abrar Hasan at G Sons Press, Delhi 1918, p 425. Translated into Punjabi by Ranjit Singh Gill, Punjabi University, Patiala , 1972, Also Teja Singh and Ganda Singh, Vol I, p. 33
16. Ibid., p 425
17. Ganda Singh (ed), Makhuz-i-Tawarikhi-i-Sikhan, Vol I, p. 21
18. The English Translation of the Tuzuk reads:
In Gobindwal, which is on the river Biyah (Beas), there was a Hindu named Arjun, in the garments of sainthood and sanctity, so much so that he had captured many of the simple-hearted Hindus, and even of the ignorant and foolish followers of Islam, by his ways and manners, and they had loudly sounded the drum of his holiness. They called him Guru, and from all sides stupid people crowded to worship and manifest complete faith in him. For three or four generations (of spiritual successors) they had kept this shop warm. Many times it occurred to me to put a stop to this vain affair or to bring him into the assembly of the people of Islam.”
At last when Khusrau passed along this road this insignificant fellow proposed to wait upon him. Khusrau happened to halt at the place where he was, and he came out and did homage to him. He behaved to Khusrau in certain special ways, and made on his forehead a fingermark in saffron, which the Indians (Hinduwan) call qashqa, and is considered propitious. When this came to my ears and I clearly understood his folly, I ordered them to produce him and handed over his houses, dwelling places, and children to Murtaza Khan, and having confiscated his property commanded that he should be put to death. - Tuziik-i-Jahangiri, Tr. Rogers and Beveridge, Vol. I, Published by Munshuram Manohar Publishers, Delhi, n.d. p. 72-73.
b) Soon after his accession to the throne, the Emperor found a chance to put an end to the so-called false traffic of the Guru. It was reported to Jahangir that the Guru had shown sympathy towards Prince Khusrau who had rebelled against his father and sought help from the Guru during his flight. It is true that the Prince met the Guru and received his blessings like other visitors, but beyond this no assistance was given to the rebel Prince, as the Guru had no intention to Interfere in the affairs of the State. But the friendly gesture of the Guru was misinterpreted and a charge of treason was against him. The Guru was heavily fined but he would neither admit the charge nor pay the fine. Jahangir ordered the Guru to be arrested. No enquiry was made, and no trail was held. - Teja Singh and Ganda Singh, A Short History of the Sikhs, Vol. I, p. 34, (Note: that the Guru was put to death under orders of the Emperor is clearly evident from the Emperor’s own statement above—Authoress.]
19. The imperial order reads: Farmudan ki ora ba-siyast
Wa ba-yasa ras anand – Tuzuk-i-Jahangir, Nawal Kishore Press, Lucknow, p 35
19a. Before the acceptance of Islam the Mongols were the followers of Shaman religion. The Shaman is a form of primitive religion. The Shaman believed in ghosts and their priests were called bikki. The shaman religion believed that if the blood was shed off of any bikki, his ghost would do grave injury to the Mongol tribe. It is evident from the Mongol law Yasa, that, when it become necessary to impose punishment of death on a bikki, he was either put to death by being boiled alive or his hands and feet were tied and he was thrown into the mid-current of a river – See Riasanovsky, Fundamental Principals of Mongol Law, pp 32-33.
In the light of this fact, it is clear, that, the punishment which emperor Jahangir ordered to be inflicted on Guru Arjun Dev in accordance with the laws of the Yasa was on two grounds, one that the crime of Guru Arjun was considered of such a grave political nature that Guru’s existence was definitly considered as a danger to the safety of the Mughal Empire, and two that the religious status of Guru Arjun was considered so exalted as to make it necessary for him to put to death by being boiled alive in water. This information makes clear the meaning of the imperial order that Guru Arjun be dealt with fa-siyasat va ba-yasa. See Kapur Singh, Guru Arjun and His Sukhmani, ed., Madanjit Kaur and Piar Singh , published by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, second edition, 1995, pp 39-40; Also see, Kapur Singh, Sikhism for Modern Man, ed Madanjit Kaur and Piar Singh, GNDU, Amritsar, Fourth edition, 2000, pp 47-48.
20. The execution of the accursed Kafir of Goindwal at this time it is a very good achievement indeed and has become the cause of a great defeat of the hateful Hindus:
Daftar Awwal, Letter No 193. Lucknow, 1919 (Translated into Urdu also).
21. Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, p. 62
22. On the heroic them of martyrdom Guru Nanak says: ਮਰਣੁ ਨ ਮੰਦਾ ਲੋਕਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜੇ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਐਸਾ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸੇਵਿਹੁ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸੰਮ੍ਰਥੁ ਆਪਣਾ ਪੰਥੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਆਗੈ ਹੋਇ ॥ Guru Granth Sahib, p 579; (Blessed is the death of those heroic men, who lay down their lives in an approved action.) Again Guru Nanak Stressed: jau qau pRym Kylx kw cwau ] isru Dir qlI glI myrI Awau ] Guru Granth Sahib, p 1412 (Should thy heart be filled with passion of love for God, step into this path with thy head placed on thy palm. He who treads this path, must prepare to give up life without demur). Bhagat Kabir emphatically proclaimed the identification of a patriot as following: sUrw so pihcwnIAY ju lrY dIn ky hyq ] purjw purjw kit mrY kbhU n CwfY Kyqu ] Guru Granth Sahib, p 1105 (He is the true warrior, one who fights for the poor and oppressed, he is ready to die in the battlefield than to retreat.)
23. Johan Clark Archer, The Sikhs, p 145
24 Puran Singh, The Spirit Born People, p. 62
25. Ibid., p 63
26. Ibid., p 63
27. Ibid., p 62
28. Ibid., p 65
29. Ibid., p 66
30. Ibid., p. 65.
31: Thou, O Lord, art our father and mother
We are Thy children,
It is in Thy Grace that we find the Bliss. – Sukhmani, M5. Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Eng. Version by Gopal Singh), Vol.1, p. xxxvi
32. ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਹਿ ਸੇ ਪੁਰਖ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ॥ – Sukhmani M5, AG, p. 263
33. ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਜਨੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ – Ibid, p. 265
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All