Sikh Gurus > Guru Hargobind Ji

Chandu was fearful that the Guru might avenge his father. His daughter was still unmarried and he wrote to the Guru for her alliance which was again refused. He, therefore, once again represented to Emperor Jahangir against the Guru. Upon this Jahangir summoned the Guru to Delhi through Wazir Khan. After careful consideration the Guru agreed to go to Delhi and assigned the secular duties of the Harmandar to Baba Buddha and its spiritual duties to Bhai Gurdas. He instructed, "The Har Mandar is specially devoted to God's service, wherefore it should ever be respected. It should never be defiled with any impurity of the human body. Sikhs, holy men, guests, strangers, the poor and the friendless should ever receive hospitality from Sikhs. My people should ever be humble, repeat God's Name, promote their faith, meditate on Guru's words, and keep all his commandments." The Guru then went to Delhi. Through the good offices of Wazir Khan, the Emperor received the Guru with great apparent respect. Seeing him very young and already installed as Guru, the Emperor had a good deal of spiritual discussion in order to test his knowledge of divinity. The Emperor having heard that the Guru loved the chase requested him to accompany him one day on a hunting excursion. In the forest a tiger rushed towards the Emperor. Elephants and horses took fright, bullets and arrows were discharged towards the tiger but in vain.

The Emperor was completely paralysed with fear and called upon the Guru to save him who alighted from his horse, and taking his sword and shield ran between the tiger and the Emperor. As the tiger sprang, he dealt him a blow with his sword and the tiger fell lifeless on the ground. The Emperor thanked his God that he was saved by the Guru through his heroic endeavor. It was time for the Emperor to visit Agra and he invited the Guru to accompany him. He, after repeated invitations, consented to go. When they both arrived in Agra, the Guru was received with great rejoicing by the people. Seeing increasing friendship between the Emperor and the Guru, Chandu said to himself, "The Guru will take revenge on me whenever he finds an opportunity. I shall only be safe if by some means I succeed in having broken this friendship or having him imprisoned, and thus I should apply all efforts to that end." The Emperor fell ill and he sent for his astrologer to check upon his stars and find the remedy. Chandu took advantage of the situation and bribed the astrologer heavily to sever connection between the Guru and the Emperor. The astrologer accordingly suggested that a holy man of God should go to the Fort of Gwalior and pray for the Emperor's recovery there.

Chandu on the other hand advised the Emperor that Guru Har Gobind was the holiest of men and thus played double role. Jahangir requested the Guru to go to Gwalior, the latter accepted it without hesitation as another mission awaited him there. There was a joy in the Fort when it was known that the Guru was coming. There were fifty-two Indian princes (Rajas) imprisoned in the Gwalior Fort who were spending their days in lamentation and misery. They believed that they would be released by the Guru's intercession. Hari Das, the governor of the Fort, was happy too, since he had been longing to have 'darshan' (holy sight) of the Guru. He went forth to receive the Guru and prostrated before the Master. The Guru met the princes, comforted them and gave them peace, making them happy even in adversity. Chandu wrote couple of letters to the governor of the Fort, urging him to poison the Guru and put an end to him. Hari Das, however, put all letters before the Guru as he received them; since he had become his devotee. The Guru recited the following Sabad at that time:

"The slanderer shall crumble down Like a wall of Kallar; hear, ye brethren, thus shall be known.
The slanderer is glad when he seeth a fault;
on seeing anything good he is filled with grief.
He meditateth evil all day long, but it befalleth not;
the evil-minded man dieth meditating evil.
The slanderer forgetteth God, and when death approacheth, quarrelleth with God's saint.
The Lord Himself preserveth Nanak, what can wretched man do?"
(Bilawal Mohalla 5, p-823)

Jahangir recovered from his illness. The Guru was still in the Gwalior Fort. When the Emperor heard Wazir Khan's pleading on behalf of the Guru (some say, also the pleading of Mian Mir), he ordered that the Guru should be presented to him. On hearing this the imprisoned Rajas were very much distressed. The Guru would not leave the Fort unless all the Rajas were also released. The Emperor conceded to his wish and released all the fifty-two princes. From this the Guru is still remembered in Gwalior as Bandi Chhorh- the Great Deliverer, the holy man who freed the prisoners. There still stands a shrine 'Bandi Chhorh' in the historic Fort of Gwalior. Mian Mir brought home to the Emperor the innocence of Guru Arjan and how under his cruel orders, the great divine Master had been tortured to death. The Emperor, however, washed his hands clean of this sin and held Chandu entirely responsible for this crime, who was then arrested by the Emperor's order and taken to Lahore to be executed there. He was paraded through the streets of Lahore, people threw filth on him, and cursed him. A grain-parcher struck him on the head with an iron ladle and Chandu died. When the Emperor heard Chandu's death, he remarked that he richly deserved this fate. The Guru, however, prayed that as Chandu had suffered torment for his sins in this life, God would pardon him hereafter.

Emperor Jahangir had died in Kashmir and his son Shah Jahan became the Emperor of India. When Prithia's son, Meharban heard Chandu's death, he was greatly distressed. Meharban said to himself, "Sulhi Khan died when he set himself against the Guru. My father died as he was against the Guru. Now Chandu has died. What magic the Guru possesseth that no one may withstand him ?" Meharban exchanged turban with Karam Chand, Chandu's son, in t oken of life-long friendship, and then discussed ways with him how to bring about the Guru's ruin. They started poisoning Shah Jahan's mind against the Guru. Guru Har Gobind sent his revered Sikhs to Meharban to dissuade him from his hostile and evil designs. He also went himself to Meharban to strike a conciliatory note but in vain. Shah Jahan pursued a different religious policy. He served to orthodox, and religious fanaticism was at a considerable height during his reign. He took keen interest in the welfare of new converts to Islam. If any Muslim gave up his religion, he was severely dealt with. Some temples under construction in Punjab were demolished and mosques were raised in their places. His mind was poisoned against the Guru by his enemies and soon the ties of cordial relations as they had been since 1611, were snapped and a period of open hostility started towards the Sikhs. On his way to Pilibhit, the Guru visited Kartarpur where he met some Pathans of village Wadamir, equipped with swords and shields who offered their services to him. With them was a tall and powerful youth, Painde Khan. His parents were dead and he was living with his uncle. The Guru enlisted Painde Khan on his personal staff. He could, without the aid of a rope or bridle, arrest a horse running at full speed. No wrestler would engage with him. The Guru practised all martial exercises and collected arms of every description. Preparations were made for the marriage of the Guru's daughter, Bibi Viro. Emperor Shah Jahan went hunting from Lahore towards Amritsar. The Guru also went in the same direction. A clash took place between the Sikhs and the royal soldiers over the issue of a royal hawk. One of the royal hawks who was flying after a victim, strayed away and fell in the hands of the Sikhs. The royal soldiers came to recover the hawk but because of their arrogance and abusive language, the Sikhs refused to hand over the hawk and this started the trouble. The royal soldiers were driven away with a slaughter. They hastened back and reported to the Emperor about the seizer of the hawk and the violence of the Sikhs. The enemies of the Guru found a good opportunity to revive the charges against him and to remind the Emperor of Guru's alleged m isdeeds. The Emperor sent Mukhlis Khan, one of his trusted generals with seven thousand soldiers to punish the Sikhs. The Sikhs of Lahore hearing of the military expedition against the Guru, sent immediately a messenger to Amritsar to apprise the Guru of the attack. There were great rejoicing going on at the palace of the Guru on account of his daughter's marriage. The Guru's family was immediately removed to a house near Ramsar. Early next day it was decided to send the family to Goindwal. It so happened that the coming day was fixed for Viro's marriage. Thus the Guru ordered that his family and all the non-combatants of the city should halt at Jhabal, a town about seven miles south-west of Amritsar and the marriage should be celebrated there before going to Goindwal. Two Sikhs were sent to stop the bridegroom's procession, lest it should fall in the hands of the enemy. There was a small fortress, Lohgarh, outside the city. It was a kind of raised platform (serving as a tower) where the Guru used to hold his court in the afternoon and it was surrounded by high walls. Twenty-five Sikhs were posted there in an anticipation of the attack. The Guru went to the temple and prayed for the victory. He repeated the following verse on the occasion:

"Wicked men and enemies are all destroyed by Thee, O Lord, and Thy glory is manifested.
Thou didst immediately destroy those who annoyed Thy saints."
(Dhanasri Mohalla 5, p-681)