GURU PROCEEDS TO THE SOUTH TO SEE AURANGZEB:
A rare sketch of Dasam Pita -
the paintings courtesy of World
Sikh Heritage Museum
In response to the Guru's letter called 'Zafarnama', it was here that he received imperial messengers who had come to convey to him the Emperor's wish for a personal meeting. In the Ahkam-i- Alamgiri (Aurangzeb's writing), the receipt of a letter from Guru Gobind Singh is acknowledged by the Emperor and it contains the orders which he issued to Munim Khan of Lahore to reconcile with the Guru and also to make satisfactory arrangements for his travel towards the south. It is also evident from Ahkam-i-Alamgiri that Aurangzeb was anxious to meet the Guru. May be the Emperor wanted to secure peace in the Punjab so that he could concentrate on his schemes to bring the Marahtas to their knees in the south. It was, therefore, on the 30th of October, 1706 (some say it was 20th of October) that the Guru decided to proceed to the south to see Aurangzeb.
He set out in the direction of Rajasthan enroute to Ahmednagar where the Emperor was encamped. From Damdama passing through Kewal, Jhora, he reached Sarsa. Then he proceeded to Nohar, Bhadra, Sahewa,
Madhu Singhana and then to Pushkar, a place of pilgrimage sacred to Brahma. From there he moved to Narainpur, generally known as Dadudwara where saint Dadu had lived and his sect flourished. The Guru paid a visit to the shrine and held a discussion with Mahant Jait Ram. Here the Guru was censured by his Sikhs for lowering his arrow in salutation to Dadu's cemetery. Man Singh quoted the Guru's own written instruction, "Worship not even by mistake Mohammadan or Hindu cemeteries or places of cremation." The Guru explained that he saluted the shrine to test his Sikhs' devotion and their recollection of his instructions. He, however, admitted that he had technically rendered himself to a fine and he cheerfully paid one hundred and twenty-five rupees. Here he met Bhai Daya Singh and Dharam Singh who returned from their official mission with Aurangzeb. Then he reached Baghaur where he received the news of Aurangzeb's death and that the war of succession had broken out among his sons. There was no point now in proceeding any further and he remained there for some time.
Bahadur Shah who was the eldest son of Aurangzeb, hurried back from Peshawar to oppose his younger brother, Azim, who had proclaimed himself as Emperor. Bhai Nand Lal had served prince Bahadur Shah before he permanently moved to the Guru's court. Bahadur Shah, therefore, sought the Guru's help through the good offices of Bhai Nand Lal and in doing so he promised the Guru that he would be fair and just to the Hindus and Muslims alike and undo all the wrongs that his father had done to them. So the Guru helped him with a detachment of his men in the battle of Jaju in which Bahadur Shah became victorious. In grateful regards for the Guru's timely help, Bahadur Shah invited him to Agra where he was being crowned. A royal robe of honor was conferred upon the Guru on July 24, 1707.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji in the Durbar of Emperor Bahadur Shah-who
cordially received the Guru.
During his stay in Agra, the Guru made Dholpur, a plac e about 25 to 30 miles from Agra, a center of hismissionary activities. He carried his missionary tours in the areas of Mathura, Aligarh, Agra, and also in the states of Bharatpur and Alwar for many months before proceeding to Daccan. Many people bec ame Guru's followers. It is said that the Guru had talks with Emperor Bahadur Shah, but these talks were still inconclusive when the Emperor had to leave for Rajasthan to suppress the revolts of some Rajput chiefs. He requested the Guru to accompany him. By now the news reached Bahadur Shah that his younger brother, Kam Bakhsh, in the Daccan had proclaimed himself the Emperor of India. Bahadur Shah proceeded towards Daccan via Chittorgarh. From there he left for Burhanpur and the Guru accompanied him enr outeto Hyderabad. The Guru stayed there for many days and met Jogi Jiwan Das. He also met Mahant Jait Ram of Dadudwara who happened to be there. Both of them told the Guru about one Bairagi Madho Das an d his great occult power. He decided to meet with Bairagi Madho Das. In the meantime the Guru was not satisfied with Bahadur Shah's evasive replies in making clear decision against Wazir Khan, the viceroy of Sirhind, and other officers about their atrocities in the Punjab. The Emperor avoided to give a firm reply under one pretext or the other. Accordingly the Guru parted company with the Emperor at Hingoli and moved to Nader where he reached July, 1708.
So me writers like Bute Shah and Malcolm, say that the Guru went to the Daccan because he despaired
at the terrible reverses and bereavement which had been his lot and wanted a change. Others say that
he joined the Mughal service. Cunningham says that the Guru received a military command in the
valley of Godavari.
All these accounts are untrue and irresponsible and show gross irreverence to Sikh faith. It seems that
majority of these writers are ignorant of the Sikh fundamentals. It should be pointed out to all these
writers that the whole ideology of the Guru (all of Sikh Gurus) is based on:
"Tera kia meetha lagai, Har Nam padarath Nanak Mangai."
(Asa Mohalla 5, p-394)
'Sweet be by Thy Will, my Lord Nanak beseecheth the gift of Nam.'
(Translation of the above)
At the age of nine, Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed his father to save Hinduism and stood face to face with formidable Mughal Empire at its zenith. When his wife asked him where her four sons had gone, he replied,
"What then if thy four are gone?
They yet live, and shall ever live- the Khalsa,
Millions of our brave sons."
In Zafarnama he openly threatened the Emperor when he wrote,
"What though my four sons have been killed, when lives the Khalsa, all my sons! What bravery is it to
quench a few sparks of life? Thou art merely exciting a raging fire the more."
There is no trace of grief or despair in these lines. Therefore, in the presence of such unimpeachable evidence, it is absurd to put faith in the dejection theory.
'Service Theory' can also be rejected in the light of the ideology and the ideals of the Guru. What for he had to have a service under the Mughal government? He was called a 'true king' by his followers and he was actually a true king sitting on the throne of Guru Nanak. As a true king he had vast wealth and true following. Even if for a moment, we listen to these writers- the memory of the wrongs that had been inflicted on him and his followers was too fresh in him to reconcile joining the army of oppression. Nor can this service theory be adjusted with the Guru's commission of Banda Bahadur to the leadership of the Punjab Khalsa. The whole argument is baseless and it rather seems a mud-slinging on the part of these writers to say that the Guru joined the Mughal service.