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Repetitions - In this article, repetitions are with the purpose of retaining complete lives of Sahibzadae independent of each other. This has been done to avoid referring and going through the text.
Marriages of Guru Gobind Singh It is said, but is controversial that the Tenth Master of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh had three wives -
Mata Jito - Her real name was Ajito - invincible. After taking Amrit - the Holy Drink, it was changed to Ajit Kaur. Mata means mother.
Mata Sundri - Many scholars believe that it was another name of Mata Jito (Ajit Kaur).
Mata Sahib Devan - After taking Amrit, she became Sahib Kaur. She is the Holy `Mother of the Khalsa' - Mother of the Sikh World. It was her `spiritual marriage' - a total celibacy. It was not the physical union. She was wife of the Guru, but only in the spiritual sense.Considering these points, the Guru had only one wife - Mata Jito ji. It is a different subject for pondering.
The Guru had four sons - Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh. In this write-up, the life of each Sahibzada has been dealt with briefly.
The Guru tried but could not win over the Hindu chieftains of the hills. In spite of his best efforts, and repeated assurances, they feared him that he might not take away their estates. Rather, they sought protection of the Moguls, sided them, and kept fighting against the Guru. Had they taken side of the Guru, the history would have made a palpable difference.
The siege cut off all supplies to the town, and it came down to the famine like conditions. The forty fighters deserted the Guru and left the fort. Hindus and Muslims outside, asked the Guru to vacate the fort and promised a safe passage out on their oaths. On assurances of the enemy, the Sikhs inside the fort started pressing the Guru to vacate it. He advised them to wait for a few days more, but the Sikhs prevailed upon him. In the end, he had to give in. When they came out of the Anandgarh fort on the night between 5 and 6 December, 1705, with 500 Sikhs, soon after midnight in a heavy rain, not withstanding their oaths the enemy attacked and gave a hot chase to the Sikhs. There was a fierce battle on the bank of the swollen river Sirsa.
The Guru, his two elder sons, and the Sikhs crossed the river Sirsa and headed for Chamkaur. The Guru sent Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur to Delhi with Bhai Mani Singh. Two younger Sahibzadae in the charge of their grandmother got separated, and their cook Gangu, took them to his village Kheri. He betrayed and on his reporting, they were arrested. Wazir Khan, the Nawab of Sirhind, tried his utmost to convert the two Sahibzadae, but they did not waver and stayed firm. For this, both the innocent children met with their martyrdoms. They were bricked up in a wall, removed on their swooning, revived, and their necks were cut open to kill them.
At Chamkaur, Guru ji, two elder Sahibzadae and 40 Sikhs took positions in a Haveli called `Chowdhri Budhi Chand Dee Haveli' - Haveli of Chowdhri Budhi Chand. A Haveli is a small stronghold with a walled yard and looks like a small fort. It was also known as Garhi (fortress), later called `Chamkaur dee Garhee.' Here, ensued the battle of Chamkaur. The two elder Sahibzadae, giving a tough fight, laid down their lives here.
Two elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh - Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada
Jujhar Singh. Their names go together, because their age difference was
about two years, and they were elder brothers to the youngsters. There
was a gap of about 6 years in their ages and the ages of their two younger
brothers. The two elder ones died together (one after the other) in the
battle at Chamkaur.
On the Baisakhi day, 30 March 1699, Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa - the pure ones, by giving Amrit - Holy-Drink, to the people. Shortly after it, a Sikh group coming from Pothohar - Northwestern Punjab, was looted by Ranghars at the village Nuh, close to Anandpur Sahib. Ajit Singh was about 12 years old. Guru ji sent him with 100 Sikhs on 23 May 1699. He punished Ranghars and recovered the looted property.
Next year, 29 August 1700, the hill-rajas with the support of imperial troops attacked the town of Anandpur Sahib. Sahibzada Ajit Singh was given the defense of Taragarh fort. He, assisted by Bhai (Brother) Oude Singh, repulsed the attack.
In October 1700, he fought the battle of Nirmohgarh. On 15 March 1701, the Sikh devotees coming from Darap area (later, District Sialkot), were waylaid by Gujjars and Ranghars. Ajit Singh set them right.
On 7 March 1703, with 100 horsemen, he rescued a Brahmin bride from the Pathan chief of Bassi.
In 1705, when the imperial forces and hill-Rajas jointly besieged Anandpur Sahib, Ajit Singh was to manage supplies to the forts, besides leading attacks on the surrounding forces.At the night between 5 and 6 December in 1705, when Anandpur was vacated by the Guru, Ajit Singh was about 17. He guarded the rear of the column, and with the help of Bhai Oude Singh, successfully engaged the enemy at a hill named Shahi Tibbi. The Guru, Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, and about 50 Sikhs crossed the Sarsa rivulet in flood. Sahibzada Fateh Singh, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and their grandmother Mata Ganga, separated from the group. The enemy troop from Ropar in hot pursuit, they reached Chamkaur on the evening of the 6 December 1705 AD, and took positions in the Garhi - a high walled fortified building. Garhi was taken into siege by the force from Ropar with reinforcements from Malerkotla and Sirhind. The local Gujjars and Ranghars also joined them. With the sunrise on 7 December 1705 AD, an unequal battle ensued - only 40 facing a million (Zafarnamah by Guru Gobind Singh). When the ammunition and arrows exhausted, the Sikhs started coming out in the batches of five to fight with swords and spears. Sahibzada Ajit Singh led one batch and laid down his life fighting bravely. Sahibzada Jujhar Singh followed his elder brother leading the next batch.
Mata Ajit Kaur died on the night of 5 December 1700 AD, and his grand mother Mata Gujri brought him up. Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh were with Mata Gujri when the column moved out of the fort. While crossing the river Sirsa in spate on horsebacks, three of them got separated from Guru Gobind Singh.
Their cook Gangu escorted the three of them to his house in the village Kherri, later contemptuously renamed Saherri, near Morinda in District Ropar, Punjab. He betrayed, and at night stole their bag with cash and jewelry. In the greed of prize, next morning December 7, 1705 the day of the battle at Chamkaur, he reported about them to the authorities. The officials of Morinda, Jaani Khan and Maani Khan, took the three - both the Sahibzada and their grandmother, into their custody. The next day, they were dispatched to Sirhind, and were confined to the Thanda-Burj - cold tower, of the fort. On 9 December 1705, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were produced before the faujdar - commander, Nawab Wazir Khan, who had returned to Sirhind from the battle at Chamkaur. Wazir Khan tried to allure them to embrace Islam, but the Sahibzadae resolutely rejected it, stayed firm in their faith, and were awarded death sentence.
They both together were sealed into a wall and when it reached their chests, they swooned and the wall crumbled. They were revived and sent back to Thanda Burj. Nawab Sher Mohd Khan of Malerkotla interceded to save the lives of the innocents, but Sucha Nand in the service of Nawab, pleaded for their death. Wazir Khan tried again for their conversion, but they stayed undaunted and refused. On 11 December 1705 AD, they were executed. On getting the news, Mata Gujri breathed her last in Thanda-Burj.
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