Mata Gujri Ji, Chhote Sahibzadas' saga of sacrifice | Safar-E-Shahadat

Baba Zorawar Singh's martyrdom occurred swiftly, while Baba Fateh Singh, after enduring half an hour of excruciating pain, eventually succumbed. Unable to bear the grief, Mata Ji, too, embraced martyrdom, succumbing to the unbearable agony

Jasleen Kaur
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Safar-E-Shahadat: Upon departing Anandpur, Guru Gobind Singh Ji led the Sikh community and his family as they faced attacks initiated by the Mughals and hill kingdoms, breaching their oaths. Crossing the tumultuous Sirsa river, the Guru's family became separated amid the chaos. Mata Gujri Ji, guiding the innocent Chotte Sahibzadas, traversed the Sirsa's banks and reached the vicinity of the Sutlej River, where the Saraswati river seamlessly merged into the Sirsa.

Kuma Mashki, a devout follower of Guru Sahib, hospitably invited Mata Ji and the Chotte Sahibzadas to seek refuge in his humble abode. That night, under Kuma Mashki's shelter, Mata Ji and the young Sahibzadas found respite.

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Betrayal and Imprisonment: Gangu's Deceit

Subsequently, Mata Gujri Ji and the Chotte Sahibzadas met Gangu, a resident of Saheri village in Morinda, who offered them accommodation in his home. However, upon noticing a purse of coins in Mata Ji's possession, Gangu's integrity faltered, leading him to steal the purse that very night. Confronted by Mata Gujri Ji the following day, Gangu vehemently denied the theft despite Mata Ji witnessing the act. She advised him that honesty was the path to acquire money, instead of resorting to theft. Exposed, Gangu's demeanor changed, prompting him to seek rewards by betraying them to the authorities, aspiring to gain wealth.

Gangu's treacherous actions led to the imprisonment of Mata Ji and the Chotte Sahibzadas. He informed the Morinda jail's authorities about their whereabouts, resulting in their arrest and subsequent transfer to the authorities of Suba Sirhind. Initially confined in the Morinda jail for a night, Mata Gujri Ji and Chotte Sahibzadas were subsequently moved to Suba Sirhind the next day.

Inhumane Captivity: Suba Sirhind's Cruelty

In the book "Katha Guru Sootan Ji Ki," written in the Brāj language by Dina Singh, it is narrated that young Sahibzadas were forcibly taken away with their wrists bound by Gangu. On the night of 8th Poh, Mata Ji and the Sahibzadas were left starving in a cold room at Morinda, deprived of any clothing, enduring the chilly ground throughout the night. The subsequent day, they were taken to Sirhind. Upon learning of the arrest of Mata Ji and the Sahibzadas, Wazir Khan speculated that now the mother's affection would attempt to draw Guru Gobind Singh Ji to her side, coercing Guru Sahib to submit before her.

Wazir Khan confined Mata Gujri Ji and the young Sahibzadas within a cold tower. Underneath this tower flowed water, causing a draft that brought up cold air, intensifying the chill even in the midst of a sweltering climate. The intense contrast between the heat and the cold conditions couldn't be precisely estimated. Mata Ji and the children found themselves seated on the chilly floor with only meager pieces of cloth for cover. They were deprived of any sustenance that night. Two days later, they were served uncooked gram, exposed and vulnerable.According to the account by Dr Ganda Singh, the nostrils of the Sahibzadas had turned red, and their hands became numb due to the extreme cold. The adversaries sought a new strategy to coerce Guru Gobind Singh into submission by considering the idea of forcing these young children to convert to Islam. Consequently, injuries appeared on their fragile bodies, and tender marks emerged on their gentle skin due to this punishment. Despite these severe measures, the Sahibzadas did not show any signs of wavering.

Suffering and Resilience: Torture and Unwavering Spirit

According to the narrative in "Katha Guru Sutnan Ji Ki, the Sahibzadas had nails hammered into their fingers, and a fire was kindled beneath their nails to observe their suffering. Remarkably, despite the excruciating torment, these revered sons of Guru Sahib displayed unwavering determination and resilience.

On the final day of the month of Poh (mid-January), when the executioner was about to deliver the final blow, a question was posed to Kazi regarding Islamic law which prohibits shedding the blood of a child or a woman on the earth. However, no fault was found with the Sahibzadas. Upon this, Sucha Nand, a loyal and devout companion, asked, "Hey Sahibzadas, if you were set free, what would you do?" The young Sahibzadas replied, "We would go to our father, Guru Gobind Singh, gather the Sikhs, and then administer justice to the Sirhind region." Despite repeated inquiries by Sucha Nand, the young Sahibzadas reiterated the same response. Finally, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh stated, "Sucha Nand, till we overthrow this tyrant's rule or become martyrs, we will continue to fight." The tyrant then decided to bury the Sahibzadas alive in a wall. The verdict was given, and Mata Ji was informed by the Sahibzadas that they would be buried alive in a wall the next day.

Final Sacrifice: Martyrdom of Mata Gujri Ji and the Chhote Sahibzadas

In accordance with history, before the martyrdom of the young Sahibzadas, Mata Ji took out blue robes, adjusted their turbans, and bid farewell by kissing their foreheads. Sohan Singh Seetal wrote that when Chhote Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were bricked alive, they collapsed due to the intense heat and lost consciousness. Even though a sentence couldn't be imposed again, an order was given to behead them with sharp swords. The executioners lifted both the Sahibzadas, lay their holy bodies on their laps, and severed their heads.As documented in the historical text "Bansawali Nama," it is recorded that Baba Zorawar Singh attained martyrdom within two to two-and-a-half minutes, whereas Baba Fateh Singh, approximately after half an hour, had his feet beating until blood oozed out. Slowly, his feet stopped moving. On the other hand, unable to bear the separation from their grandsons and the story of their martyrdom, Mata Ji also could not endure the agony and, adhering to the will of the Almighty, bid farewell to this transient world by sacrificing her life.

Mata Gujri Ji Chotte Sahibzadas safar e shahadat