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Guru Gobind Singh in Lakhi Jungle (1705)

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Burning Blue Clothing Scraps

Burning Blue Clothing Scraps

Artistic Impression © [Courtesy Jedi Nights]

Guru Gobind Singh's Tours:

Guru Gobind Singh toured the country side far and wide after his departure from the village of Dina where he had drafted Zafar Nama, his letter of triumph and castigation addressed to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Journeying from village to village, he traveled to Manan, Bhadaur, Bander and Bargarhi, rousting support, raising arms, and inspiring hundreds and thousands to rally and join his cause. He gave instruction in archery when traveling through Saravan, then went on to Jaito, Kothamaluk Das, and Lambhawali. From there, Guru Gobind Singh headed north about 30 miles to Kot Kapura where the landscape provided a natural defense and a fortress had been built overlooking a pond. The fortress master Chaudri Kapura, welcomed the Guru, but declined to allow him use of the fort as he feared reprisal by the ruthless Mughals.

Burning of Blue Garments:

The Guru went on to Dhiliwan Sodhian nearly 10 miles more, where he received a warm reception from his relative Sodhi Kaul, descended from Fifth Guru Arjun Dev's elder brother Prithi Chand. At this secure resting place, Guru Gobind Singh removed the garments that he had been wearing since his trek through Machhiwara which had be made for him by a Sikh lady after he outfitted Sangat Singh in his own clothes in order to escape the Mughals at the battle of Chamkaur where his two elder sons were martyred. Guru Ji ripped the blue garments to shreds and threw the tattered scraps piece by piece into the burning flames and swore an oath to end the Mughal Empire's reign of terror. As the remnants of cloth fell from his fingers and caught fire, he vowed to crush the cruel oppressive regime which had ruthlessly murdered his father, mother, four sons, massacred countless Sikhs, and harassed incalculable innocent people of every caste and creed throughout the country. As sparks consumed the threads reducing them to ash, the Guru resolved that the corrupt dynasty would one day suffer utter annihilation.

Lakhi Jungle:

Guru Gobind Singh continued to scout about for a well positioned place from which to protect Singhs and punish the Mughal's when their army finally caught up with him. Experiencing a change of heart Chaudri Kapura begged the Guru's pardon and offered the services of Chaudri Khana, a reliable guide to lead the Guru west through the Lakhi Jungle towards Dhab Khirdana, a natural reservoir deep in the desert. As he traveled westward, Guru Gobind Singh visited the villages and towns of Ramiaina, Mallan, Gauri, Sanghar and Kaoni. The Guru's entourage quickly increased to about 12,000 followers. An outpouring of sympathy overwhelmed Guru Ji as thousands of Sikhs expressed their condolences for the loss of his sons and mother. The Khalsa rallied around their Guru, conveying uppermost desire to serve him in his quest to overthrow Mughal terror. The Guru counseled his Sikhs to uplift their spirits and remain living in constant consonance with Almighty God. While traversing the Lakhi Jungle the Guru composed a verse expressing his appreciation and praising his Sikhs eager devotion:

"Lakhee jungle Khaalsa aye lagaa
Didar keeto ne|
Sun ke sad mahee daa
Mehee panee ghah mooto ne
Kise naal naa raliaa koee
Eh kee shauk payo ne
Gia firak milia maee
Tan hee shaker keeto ne
||

To Lakhi Jungle came the Khalsa following,
Their dear Beloved’s irresistible calling;
For neither food nor drink did any pause to dine
Like a buffalo herd rushed to their master’s sign
Waiting not for the others their heart's so eager
That no more does separation's pain beleaguer
For in our meeting perfect unity ensued
With overwhelming gladdening gratitude.

Notes and References:

Resources:
The Sikh ReligionVol. 5 by Max Arthur Macauliffe
Encyclopaedia of Sikhism by Harbans Singh Volume 3
History of Sikh Guru's Retold Vol. 2 by Surjit Singh Ghandhi

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