Guru Arjan Dev Ji's Shaheedi

Chandu informed the Emperor that Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj had blessed Khusro and promised him that he should become Emperor. Chandu also represented to the Emperor that, if he did not have Khasro quickly arrested, the pretender would recieve great military assistance from the followers of the Guru. The people of panjab, he said, were all highway robbers. The pandits and the qazis also thought it a favourable opportunity to institute new proceedings against the Guru on the old charge of having compiled a book which blasphemed the worship and rules of the Hindus and the prayers and fastings of the Muhammadans. By such accusations Chandu induced the Emperor to summon Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj. Chandu's heart was not gratifiied, for he knew he had at last secured his revenge.

Before Guru Ji's depature for Lahore he appointed his son, Har Gobind as his succesor. Guru Ji then addressed his wife, Mata Ganga Ji, 'This body does not exist forever. Wherefore a wise person should not love it. Whatever is born shall perish, and whatever is high will fall sooner or later. This is the law of nature. To love the body is a grievous error. All bodies daily grow old and they do not preserve their original strength. From a child one grows to be a man, and then when old ages comes and seizes the body it causes the body to waste and waste away until it falls into its final sleep. Live when I am gone, do not mourn for me and make no effort to seperate yourself to seperate your soul from your body'.

Guru Ji, took with him Bhai Bidhi Chand, Bhai Langaha, Bhai Paira, Bhai Jetha, and Bhai Pirana. The Emperor Jahangir was at first disposed to treat Guru Ji with respect, but Chandu reminded him of Guru Ji's pecuniary assistance to Khusro. The Emperor then addressed Guru Ji, 'You are a saint, a great teacher, and holy man; you look on all, rich and poor alike. It was therefore not proper for you to give money to my enemy Khusro.'

Guru Ji replied, 'I regard all people, whether, Hindu or Muslim, rich or poor, friend or foe. without love or hate; and it is on this account that I gave your son some money for his journey, and not because he is in opposition to you. If I had not assisted him in his forlorn condition, and so shown some regard for the kindness of your father, the Emperor Akbar to myself, all men would despise me for my heartlessness and ingratitude, or they would say that I was afraid of you. This would have been unworthy of a follower of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the Guru of the World.'

The conclusion of this speech was not calculated to soothe the Emperor's feelings. He ordered Guru Ji to pay a fine of two lakhs, and also erase the hymns in his Granth which were opposed to the Hindu and Muslim religions. Guru Ji replied, 'Whatever money I have is for the poor, the friendless, and the stranger. If you ask for it by way of fine I shall not give you even a kauri, for a fine is imposed in wicked worldly persons and not on priests and anchorets. And as to what you have said regarding erasure of the hymns in the Granth Sahib, I cannot erase or alter an iota. I am a worshipper of the Immortal Lord, the Supreme Soul of the World. There is no monarch save Him; and what he revealed to the Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Ram Das Ji, and afterwards to myself, is written in the Holy Granth Sahib.

The hymns which find a place in it are not disrespectful to any Hindu incarnation or any Muslim prophet. It is certainly stated that prophets , priests, and incarnations are the handiwork of the Immortal God, whose limit none can find. My main object is the spread of truth and the destruction of falsehood; and if, in pursuance of this object, this perishable body must depart, I shall account it great good fortune.'
The Emperor made no reply, but rose and left the hall of audience. After this a magistrate informed the Guru that he must either pay the fine or by imprisoned in default. When the Sikhs of Lahore heard this decision, they proposed to unite and raise a subscription to discharge Guru Jis obligation. Guru Ji however, would not agree and sent them word, that whoever contributed to pay the fine imposed on him would imperil his future salvation. Men devoted to religion, Guru Ji said, 'never pay fines. Fines are for thieves, adulterers, slanderes, and robbers.'

As Guru Ji would not allow the fine to be paid, he was placed under the surveillance of Chandu. The qazis and Brahmans offered Guru Ji the alternative of being put to death or of expunging the alleged objectionable passages in the Granth Sahib and inserting praises of Muhammad and of the Hindu Deities.

Guru Ji, replied, 'The Granth Sahib has been compiled to confer men happiness and not misery in this world and in the next. It is impossible to write anew, and make omissions and alternations as you require.' On hearing this Guru jis enemies concluded that he would yield to no ordinary threats, so they put fetters on him and began to torture him in various ways.

They poured burning sand on him, seated him in red hot caldrons, and bathed him in boiling water. Guru Ji bore all this torture with equanimity and never uttered a sigh or groan. He was given another opportunity to recant and comply to the demands of his enemies. He replied, 'O fools, I shall never fear this treatment of yours. It is all according to God's will, wherefore this torture can only give me pleasure.' On this ocassion Guru Ji repeated the following:

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Maaroo on Ang 1002 of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

maaroo mehalaa 5 ||
Maaroo, Fifth Mehl:

footto aaa(n)ddaa bharam kaa manehi bhaeiou paragaas ||
The egg of doubt has burst; my mind has been enlightened.

kaattee baeree pageh thae gur keenee ba(n)dh khalaas ||1||
The Guru has shattered the shackles on my feet, and has set me free. ||1||

aavan jaan rehiou ||
My coming and going in reincarnation is ended.

thapath karraahaa bujh gaeiaa gur seethal naam dheeou ||1|| rehaao ||
The boiling cauldron has cooled down; the Guru has blessed me with the cooling, soothing Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||1||Pause||

jab thae saadhhoo sa(n)g bhaeiaa tho shhodd geae nigehaar ||
Since I joined the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, those who were eyeing me have left.

jis kee attak this thae shhuttee tho kehaa karai kottavaar ||2||
The one who tied me up, has released me; what can the Watchman of Death do to me now? ||2||

chookaa bhaaraa karam kaa hoeae nihakaramaa ||
The load of my karma has been removed, and I am now free of karma.

saagar thae ka(n)dtai charrae gur keenae dhharamaa ||3||
I have crossed the world-ocean, and reached the other shore; the Guru has blessed me with this Dharma. ||3||

sach thhaan sach bait(h)akaa sach suaao banaaeiaa ||
True is my place, and True is my seat; I have made Truth my life's purpose.

sach poo(n)jee sach vakharo naanak ghar paaeiaa ||4||5||14||
True is my capital, and True is the merchandise, which Nanak has placed into the home of the heart. ||4||5||14||

When Chandu threatened to put Guru Ji through further torture he addressed him as follows:

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Maaroo on Ang 998 of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj:

maaroo mehalaa 5 ghar 2
Maaroo, Fifth Mehl, Second House:

ik oa(n)kaar sathigur prasaadh ||
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

ddarapai dhharath akaas nakhyathraa sir oopar amar karaaraa ||
The earth, the Akaashic ethers and the stars abide in the Fear of God. The almighty Order of the Lord is over the heads of all.

poun paanee baisa(n)thar ddarapai ddarapai ei(n)dhra bichaaraa ||1||
Wind, water and fire abide in the Fear of God; poor Indra abides in the Fear of God as well. ||1||

eaekaa nirabho baath sunee ||
I have heard one thing, that the One Lord alone is fearless.

so sukheeaa so sadhaa suhaelaa jo gur mil gaae gunee ||1|| rehaao ||
He alone is at peace, and he alone is embellished forever, who meets with the Guru, and sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord. ||1||Pause||

dhaehadhhaar ar dhaevaa ddarapehi sidhh saadhhik ddar mueiaa ||
The embodied and the divine beings abide in the Fear of God. The Siddhas and seekers die in the Fear of God.

lakh chouraaseeh mar mar janamae fir fir jonee joeiaa ||2||
The 8.4 millions species of beings die, and die again, and are born over and over again. They are consigned to reincarnation. ||2||

raajas saathak thaamas ddarapehi kaethae roop oupaaeiaa ||
Those who embody the energies of sattva-white light, raajas-red passion, and taamas-black darkness, abide in the Fear of God, along with the many created forms.

shhal bapuree eih koulaa ddarapai ath ddarapai dhharam raaeiaa ||3||
This miserable deceiver Maya abides in the Fear of God; the Righteous Judge of Dharma is utterly afraid of Him as well. ||3||

sagal samagree ddarehi biaapee bin ddar karanaihaaraa ||
The entire expanse of the Universe is in the Fear of God; only the Creator Lord is without this Fear.

kahu naanak bhagathan kaa sa(n)gee bhagath sohehi dharabaaraa ||4||1||
Says Nanak, God is the companion of His devotees; His devotees look beautiful in the Court of the Lord. ||4||1||

Several Jogis and religious men who had met Guru Ji and appreciated his sincerity and exalted doctrines, went to condole with him in his afflictions. Mian Mir, the Muslim saint of Lahore, also went and contributed his sympathetic tears. He found Guru Jis body all blistered and suppurated, and requested his permission to appeal to the Emperor for his release and the punishment of his torturers. Guru Ji requested him to cast his eyes towards the heavens. On doing so, Mian Mir saw angels begging Guru Jis permission to destroy the wicked and the proud. Mian Mir on beholding this supernatural vision asked Guru Ji, why when he possessed supernatural power, he consented to endure suffering at the hands of such vile sinners.

Guru Ji replied, 'I bear all this torture to set an example to the teachers of the true name, that they may not lose patience or rail at God in affliction. The true test of faith is in the hour of misery. Without examples to guide them ordinary persons' minds quail in the midst of suffering. In the second place, if he who possesseth power within him defend not his religion by the open profession thereof, the man who possesses no such power when put to the torture abjure his faith. The sin will light on the head of him who has the power but does not show it; and god will deem him an enemy of religion. In the third place, the body is naturally subjected to woe and weal, but not the spirit. The body is perishable, the soul is imperishable. To set aside by the exercise of supernatural power the law of nature which applies to all things perishable. and thereby to, engender pride in the heart, would be supreme folly.'

Mian Mir on hearing this departed commending Guru Jis fortitude and singing his praises. Upon this Guru Jis enemies again applied themselves to his torture. They kept him for three hours in a caldron heated by a blazing fire.

Guru ji repeated the following also during the period of his torture:

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Siree Raag on Ang 70 of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj

sireeraag mehalaa 5 ||
Siree Raag, Fifth Mehl:

jaa ko musakal ath banai dtoee koe n dhaee ||
When you are confronted with terrible hardships, and no one offers you any support,

laagoo hoeae dhusamanaa saak bh bhaj khalae ||
when your friends turn into enemies, and even your relatives have deserted you,

sabho bhajai aasaraa chukai sabh asaraao ||
and when all support has given way, and all hope has been lost

chith aavai ous paarabreham lagai n thathee vaao ||1||
-if you then come to remember the Supreme Lord God, even the hot wind shall not touch you. ||1||

saahib nithaaniaa kaa thaan ||
Our Lord and Master is the Power of the powerless.

aae n jaaee thhir sadhaa gur sabadhee sach jaan ||1|| rehaao ||
He does not come or go; He is Eternal and Permanent. Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, He is known as True. ||1||Pause||

jae ko hovai dhubalaa na(n)g bhukh kee peer ||
If you are weakened by the pains of hunger and poverty,

dhamarraa palai naa pavai naa ko dhaevai dhheer ||
with no money in your pockets, and no one will give you any comfort,

suaarathh suaao n ko karae naa kishh hovai kaaj ||
and no one will satisfy your hopes and desires, and none of your works is accomplished

chith aavai ous paarabreham thaa nihachal hovai raaj ||2||
-if you then come to remember the Supreme Lord God, you shall obtain the eternal kingdom. ||2||

jaa ko chi(n)thaa bahuth bahuth dhaehee viaapai rog ||
When you are plagued by great and excessive anxiety, and diseases of the body;

grisath (n)b palaettiaa kadhae harakh kadhae sog ||
when you are wrapped up in the attachments of household and family, sometimes feeling joy, and then other times sorrow;

goun karae chahu ku(n)tt kaa gharree n baisan soe ||
when you are wandering around in all four directions, and you cannot sit or sleep even for a moment

chith aavai ous paarabreham than man seethal hoe ||3||
-if you come to remember the Supreme Lord God, then your body and mind shall be cooled and soothed. ||3||

kaam karodhh mohi vas keeaa kirapan lobh piaar ||
When you are under the power of sexual desire, anger and worldly attachment, or a greedy miser in love with your wealth;

chaarae kilavikh oun agh keeeae hoaa asur sa(n)ghaar ||
if you have committed the four great sins and other mistakes; even if you are a murderous fiend

pothhee geeth kavith kishh kadhae n karan dhhariaa ||
who has never taken the time to listen to sacred books, hymns and poetry

chith aavai ous paarabreham thaa nimakh simarath thariaa ||4||
-if you then come to remember the Supreme Lord God, and contemplate Him, even for a moment, you shall be saved. ||4||

saasath si(n)mrith baedh chaar mukhaagar bicharae ||
People may recite by heart the Shaastras, the Simritees and the four Vedas;

thapae thapeesar jogeeaa theerathh gavan karae ||
they may be ascetics, great, self-disciplined Yogis; they may visit sacred shrines of pilgrimage

khatt karamaa thae dhugunae poojaa karathaa naae ||
and perform the six ceremonial rituals, over and over again, performing worship services and ritual bathings.

ra(n)g n lagee paarabreham thaa sarapar narakae jaae ||5||
Even so, if they have not embraced love for the Supreme Lord God, then they shall surely go to hell. ||5||

raaj milak sikadhaareeaa ras bhogan bisathhaar ||
You may possess empires, vast estates, authority over others, and the enjoyment of myriads of pleasures;

baag suhaavae sohanae chalai hukam afaar ||
you may have delightful and beautiful gardens, and issue unquestioned commands;

ra(n)g thamaasae bahu bidhhee chaae lag rehiaa ||
you may have enjoyments and entertainments of all sorts and kinds, and continue to enjoy exciting pleasures

chith n aaeiou paarabreham thaa sarap kee joon gaeiaa ||6||
-and yet, if you do not come to remember the Supreme Lord God, you shall be reincarnated as a snake. ||6||

bahuth dhhanaadt achaarava(n)th sobhaa niramal reeth ||
You may possess vast riches, maintain virtuous conduct, have a spotless reputation and observe religious customs;

maath pithaa suth bhaaeeaa saajan sa(n)g pareeth ||
you may have the loving affections of mother, father, children, siblings and friends;

lasakar tharakasaba(n)dh ba(n)dh jeeo jeeo sagalee keeth ||
you may have armies well-equipped with weapons, and all may salute you with respect;

chith n aaeiou paarabreham thaa kharr rasaathal dheeth ||7||
But still, if you do not come to remember the Supreme Lord God, then you shall be taken and consigned to the most hideous hell! ||7||

kaaeiaa rog n shhidhra kishh naa kishh kaarraa sog ||
You may have a body free of disease and deformity, and have no worries or grief at all;

mirath n aavee chith this ahinis bhogai bhog ||
you may be unmindful of death, and night and day revel in pleasures;

sabh kishh keethon aapanaa jeee n sa(n)k dhhariaa ||
you may take everything as your own, and have no fear in your mind at all;

chith n aaeiou paarabreham jamaka(n)kar vas pariaa ||8||
but still, if you do not come to remember the Supreme Lord God, you shall fall under the power of the Messenger of Death. ||8||

kirapaa karae jis paarabreham hovai saadhhoo sa(n)g ||
The Supreme Lord showers His Mercy, and we find the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy.

jio jio ouhu vadhhaaeeai thio thio har sio ra(n)g ||
The more time we spend there, the more we come to love the Lord.

dhuhaa siriaa kaa khasam aap avar n dhoojaa thhaao ||
The Lord is the Master of both worlds; there is no other place of rest.

sathigur thut(h)ai paaeiaa naanak sachaa naao ||9||1||26||
When the True Guru is pleased and satisfied, O Nanak, the True Name is obtained. ||9||1||26|


A daughter in law of Chandu, daughter of a pious Sikh, who had heard of Guru Jis torture, considered what she could do to save him, whom her father had ever reverencedm and from whom he had ever obtained the object of his desires. She said to herself, 'Guru Ji has not eaten anything, and not drunk water or slept in several days. Accursed is my life in this house that I hear of Guru Jis torture, and still see the light of day!'.

She prepared some sharbat and took it in the dead of the night secretly to Guru Jis prison. When stopped by the sentry on guard, she drew forth a piece of jewellery and gave it to him. He allowed her to pass with strict injunctions to return quickly. She told Guru Ji who she was, 'Recognise me the daughter of a Sikh of yours. I am the wife of the sinner's (chandu's) son, but I ought never to have been married to him. I must have committed some great sin in a previous existence, and this is the result of it. Hence I desire to live no longer. Take this Sharbat and also eat something. Look on me as your slave, and have pity on me.'

Guru Ji replied, 'Hail to you who has so much devotion! You have not but few days to live and you may accompany me. Keep your secret to yourself. I cannot take food or drink from Chandu's house.' On hearing this the lady begged him to take her as his companion to the unknown world.

Chandu was all night meditating further torture for the Guru. He said to himself, 'The Guru manifest no pain under ordinary torture, therefore I will cause him further suffering.' Not withstanding all the tortures employed the Guru would not abate a jot of his determination.

For Five days Guru Ji suffered severe torture and then asked permission to bathe in the Rvi and take him five sikh companions with him. Chandu might afterwards order what he thought fit. Chandu was very pleased at Guru Ji's proposal. He accordingly granted Guru Ji's request and said, 'Your life will be saved, if you hearken to my words.'

Chandu sent with his prisoner an escort of soldiers armed with swords and matchlocks. He ordered them to keep a close watch on the Guru. They were not to speak to any one on the way lest they should reveal the sufferings of Guru ji. They also recieved orders not to allow Guru ji to make any detour, but proceed straight on, and not halt before he had arrived at the bank of the river. While Guru Ji, was bathing and subsequently drying himself, the soldiers were not to address him or interrupt him in any way. They were then to return with him and keep him in front of them so that he might not escape.

Guru Ji enveloped himself in a long sheet and set forth. The whole of his body was blistered and the soles of his feet sore and festered. Guru Ji proceeded very slowly. Several people bowed before the king of kings as he passed. The bystanders were astonished on seeing him weak from hunger and suffering, and said, 'in what state is Guru Ji travelling'. His mind however, was collected and fixed on divine meditation. His devotion like a mountain which cannot be moved was in no way affected by his bodily pain.

On arriving very slow and painful steps at the Ravi he took up some of its cold water, recently melted from himalayan ice and bathed his feet and hands with it. He then went into the water and bathed his whole body. Meanwhile he recited with great devotion Jap Ji sahib. His sikhs who were halo round him, followed his example. Guru Ji then bowed at the end of his devotions and thus addressed his sikhs,'I have succeeded in effecting the object of my life. Go to my son the holy Har Gobind and five him from me ample consolation. Let him also restrain from grief the other members of my family. Let him sit fully armed on his throne, and maintain an army to the best of his ability. Let him hold Bhai Budha in honour and wearing of his arms hereby enjoined, adopt the practises of the preceding gurus. Do not cremate my body, but let it flow on the bosom of this river.'

Having this spoken Guru Ji observed a minstrel approach with a two stringed instrument, and invited him to take a seat on a pleasant spot near the river, sing the Guru's hymns and accompany himself on his instrument. The minstrel accordingly began to sing with great feeling and expression, whereupon the heavenly hosts thronged to listen, to witness Guru Jis departure, and to congratulate him on his victory over torture and tyranny. Some recounted Guru Jis deeds, while others listened with admiration.

They vowed that the earth itself had not such patience as the Guru. There was nothing animate or inanimate to be compared with him. 'He has shown extreme patience and endurance, though had he chosen to exercise his miraculous power, he might have averted his sufferings. He had never mediated retaliation on his enemy; his praise suits none but himself for having endured suffering and heeded it not. He now comes to us to abide in glory and bliss after this earthly misery'.

When Chandus daughter in law heard of Guru Jis death, she too abandoned her body as if it was a worthless blade of grass. Her corpse remained concealed in her chamber and none knew that her spirit had accompanied Guru ji in its heavenly flight.





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