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Martydom of Guru Arjan Sahib Ji Maharaj - Part 3 (Final)

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Waheguru JI Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Continued From Post-2------

The Emperor Jahangir addressed the Guru, “Thou art a saint, a great

teacher, and a holy man; You look on all, rich and poor, alike. It was

therefore, not proper for

you to give money to my enemy Khusro." The Guru replied, “I regard all

people, whether Hindu or Musalman, rich or poor, friend or foe, as

equals; and it is on this account that I gave your son some money for his

journey, and not because he was in opposition to you. If I had not

assisted him in his forlorn condition, and so shown some regard for the

kindness of thy father, Emperor Akbar to myself, all men would have

despised me for my heartlessness and ingratitude, or they would have said that

I was afraid of you. This would have been unworthy of a follower of

Guru Nanak."

The Guru's reply did not sooth Jahangir's feelings and he ordered him

to pay two lakhs of rupees (two hundred thousand rupees), and also to

erase the hymns in his

Granth which were opposed to the Hindu and Muslim religions. The Guru

replied, "Whatever money I have is for the poor, the friendless and the

stranger. If you ask for

money, you may take whatever I have; but if you ask for it by way of

fine I shall not give you even a penny, because a fine is imposed on the

wicked worldly persons and not

on priests and saints. As regarding the erasure of hymns in the Adi

Granth, I cannot erase or alter an iota. I am a worshipper of the Immortal

God. There is no monarch

save Him; and what He revealed to the Gurus, from Guru Nanak to Guru

Ram Das, and afterwards to myself, is written in the holy Granth. The

hymns contained in the Adi

Granth are not disrespectful to any Hindu incarnation or any Mohammadan

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 to spread

the truth and the destruction of falsehood; and if, in pursuance to this

objective, this perishable

body is to depart, I shall account it great good fortune."

The Emperor left and the Guru was placed under the surveillance of

Chandu. Some writers say that Guru Arjan's execution was nothing except

usual punishment of

revenue defaulter. It seems that these writers are totally ignorant of

Sikh tradition. When the Sikhs of Lahore came to know about the fine of

two lakhs of rupees, they

decided to raise the money to discharge the Guru's obligation of fine.

The Guru issued a stern warning to his Sikhs that whosoever contributed

to pay the fine

imposed on him, would not be his Sikh. It was a matter of principle as

mentioned in the Guru's reply above, and not a matter of two lakhs of

rupees which could have been collected in twinkling of an eye. Fines are

for thieves, robbers, slanderers and the wicked. Men devoted to

religion did not belong to that category. It is, therefore,

baseless to say that Guru's execution was usual punishment of revenue

defaulter. The Qazis and Brahmans offered alternatives to the Guru to

exchange death for expunging the alleged objectionable passages in Adi

Granth and inserting the praises of Mohammad and of the Hindu deities.

The Guru did not budge from his position.

Guru Arjan was made to sit on the red hot iron pan and burning sand was

poured over his bare body. He was seated in red-hot caldron, and was

bathed in boiling water. Guru's body was burning and was full of


His friend and devotee, Mian Mir, a Muslim saint, rushed to see him.

When Mian Mir saw the ghastly scene, he cried out and said, “O Master! I

cannot bear to see these horrors inflicted on thee. If you permit me, I

would demolish this tyrant rule (Mian Mir is said to have possessed

supernatural powers at that time)."

The Guru smiled and asked Mian Mir to look towards the skies. It is

said that Mian Mir saw Angels begging the Guru's permission to destroy the

wicked and the

proud. The Guru addressed Mian Mir, “Mian Mir, you are perturbed too

soon. This is the Will of my Master (God), and I cheerfully submit and

surrender to His Sweet Will."

The Guru repeated and exemplified in action the meaning of this verse:

"Tera kia meetha lagei Har Nam padarath Nanak mangei."

(Asa Mohalla 5, p-394)

'Sweet be Thy Will, my Lord Nanak beseecheth the gift of Nam.'

(Translation of the above)

The Guru bore all this torture with equanimity and never uttered a sigh

or a


The Guru was unruffled!

The Guru remained calm and unperturbed like a sea!

The Guru was in Absolute Bliss!

This was the wonder of the Lord- an unparallel example in the history

of mankind.

Mian Mir asked, why was he enduring the suffering at the hands of his

vile sinners when he possesseth superpowers? The Guru replied, “I bear

all this torture to set an

example to the Teachers of True Name, that they may not lose patience

or rail at God in affliction. The true test of faith is the hour of

misery. Without examples to guide

them, ordinary persons' minds quail in the midst of suffering." Upon

this Mian Mir departed commending the Guru's fortitude and singing his


The Guru was again addressed to comply with the demands of his enemies.

When he was threatened with further torture, he replied, O fools! I

shall never fear any

torture. This is all according to God's Will, any torture wherefore

affordeth my pleasure." He is said to have uttered this Sabad:

"The egg of superstition hath burst; the mind is illumined;

The Guru hath cut the fetters off the feet and freed the captive.

My transmigration is at an end.

The heated caldron hath become cold; the Guru hath given the cooling


Since the holy man hath been with me, Death's myrmidons, who lay in

wait for me, have left me.

I have been released from him who restrained me; what shall the judge

do to me now?

The load of karma is removed; I am freed therefrom.

From the sea I have reached the shore; the Guru hath done me this


True is my place, true my seat, and truth I have made my special


Truth is the capital; truth the stock-in-trade which Nanak hath put

into his house."

(Maru Mohalla 5, p-1002)

Chandu thought to suffocate him in a fresh cowhide, in which he was to

be sewn up. Instead the Guru asked for a bath in Ravi river which

flowed embracing the walls

of Lahore city. Chandu revelled at the thought that the Guru's body

full of blisters, would undergo greater pain when dipped in cold water and

he permitted him to bathe

in the river. The soldiers were sent to escort the Guru. The Master's

disciples saw him leaving. He looked at them still forbidding any

action. He said, “Such is the Will of my God, submit to the Divine Will, move

not, stand calm against all woes."

Crowds watched the Master standing in water and having a dip. Lo! The

light blended with Light and the body was found nowhere. Hail to the

Master! Thou art

Wonderful- Martyr, the greatest. Thou art the Greatest!


In Sikhism there is the same emphasis on Raza also called Bhana (God's

Will) as there is on renunciation in ascetic cults and creeds. It is a

state of mind which understands clearly the Divine Will. The doctrine

of Bhana is the acceptance of the Will of God which is the core of Sikh

faith. An enlightened mind lives according to inner dictates of His

Hukam (order). It is a dedicated submission and infinite patience to

accept His Will. Guru Arjan sowed the seed of martyrdom which largely

flourished after him and became the heritage of the Sikhs.

To justify and substantiate that prophets and saints can conquer death

and suffering, two Sikh Gurus and countless Sikhs have faced martyrdom.

They did so to show to the world their belief in the eternity of their

spirit and the fearlessness they acquired in the love of God. It is a

lesson to the world that true devotion to God transcends the sorrow of

life. The Master is not indifferent to the values and to the suffering

of the virtuous at the hands of the wicked. To save and defend is His

Characteristic (Birdh). He cares for devotion of His devotees and guards

His prophets and saints from misery unless He wills and desires that

their agonizing experience and painful martyrdom should serve higher


This was the fourth day of the light half of the month of Jeth, Sambat

1663 (May 30, 1606 A.D.).

Dhan Guru Arjan Sahib Ji Maharaj

Extracted from the book, SIKH RELIGION

Sikh Missionary Center

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