With the objective of killing or capturing Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the joint forces of the emperor of Delhi and the rajas of Himachal Pardesh attacked Anandpur Sahib. They encircled the town and did not allow any food to be taken inside, in the hope of starving the Guru Ji and his followers so that they can come out. They lost thousands of soldiers while attacking Guru Ji who was occupying the fort. Having failed to defeat the Guru Ji they promised him on solemn oath, a safe passage if he voluntarily left the fort.
They further assured him that later on, he could come back again to Anandpur as and when desired. The army generals hoped to give the emperor an image of their victory if they could make the Guru Ji left Anandpur.
The joint forces, not considering their solemn promises given to the Guru Ji, attacked him as soon he left the fort. It was a cold winder night of December, 1704. Attacked by the enemy forces and difficulties of crossing the flooded Sirsa River resulted in the separation of the Sikhs. With great difficulty the Guru Ji and his family along with some daring soldiers could cross Sirsa. In the process all property and most valuable manuscripts were washed away. Many Sikhs were drowned.
Those who succeeded crossing Sirsa were divided into several groups. One group comprised Mata Gujari Ji (Guru Gobind Singh ji’s Mother) and her two grandsons, Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh (younger sons of Guru ji). The second group consisted of Guru ji, his two elder sons Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh and 40 solders. The third group consisted of Mata Sundar Kaur ji, Mata Sahib Kaur ji and their attendants. It was utter confusion and no body knew about the others. The family members got separated. At that place of separation is now located Gurdwara Parivar Vichora Sahib.
Mata Gujri Ji, along with the children managed to reach Roper, nearest city with great hardship. There she met a Brahmin, Gangu, their discharged cook. He offered to entertain them and to give shelter in his village Kheri, near Sirhind. Mata Gujari Ji agreed to accept his shelter and protection. But the Brahmin betrayed and handed them over to Wazir Khan, viceroy of Sirhind. The children and the grand mother were lodged in the Cold tower. They were given neither any food nor warm clothing despite the freezing conditions.
On the following day the grandmother was asked to prepare the children as they had to be produced in the royal court. The children clung to the “Dadee Maan” (grandmother) and her warmth lap gave a tremendous relief against the last nights cold. Sweet and dear “Dadee Maan” started combing their hair and making preparation for the court with very heavy heart. Still, simultaneously she continued advising them to remain firm to their faith, which along would bring honour to their father and grandfather Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. On this Zorawar Singh, the elder said “Dadee Maan” why are you worried about us? We won’t do any thing which could bring insult to you or our family.” He had hardly finished this bold assurance to Dadee Maan when the Mughal soldiers harshly took them away.
The children were produced before Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhand, in his court. Wazir Khan tried very kindly and affectionately to impress upon them advisability of changing their faith and acceptance of Islam on promises of honor and various gifts. But Zorawar Singh replied in equally polite tone “Our faith is dearer to us then the offered royal gifts”. The Nawab retorted “Then get ready to die”. Zorawar Singh remained firm and said “It will be better to die with our faith intact.”
The Governor felt that the young aged children did not understand him properly, and, therefore, they should be given one more chance to think over his offer. Accordingly the children were taken back to their grandmother. Both the children came running to their grandmother and sat in her lap. They narrated to her everything which had happened in the court. She felt the relief after hearing them.
The next day they were produced again in the court. The children exhibited no fear at all. They acted gracefully like princes and with great self-confidence uttered “WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA”, ‘WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH”. This angered Wazir Khan very much and he was annoyed that the children had not lowered before him, to show their respect. He then threatened them with many forms of punishments and tortures if they did not act according to his wishes and embrace Islam. The children again finally refused to give up their faith.
Wazir Khan changed his attitude and was thinking to release the children. But at that moment Suchanand Khatri, his Dewan (courtier) infuriated him again saying “These children are young ones of a snake and could be more poisonous.” Consequently, Wazir Khan harassed the children more and more, but of no avail. He then called Nawab of Malerkotla and offered to hand over the children to him for avenging the death of his brotherr, killed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in a battle.
But the Nawab said “O Viceroy, these children are still drinking milk in the nursery, and are too young to commit an offence. Therefore be pleased to allow them to depart.” Wazir Khan did not pay heed to the advice of the Nawab. He ordered them to be bricked alive. Fateh Singh, aged 6 years and Zorawar Singh aged 8 recited their Japji Sahib whilst they stood side by side and the wall raised around the. The wall fell down when it reached shoulder high but the young Sahibzade were unconscious. They were, therefore, beheaded on the 26th December, 1704 .
As soon as the two Sahibzadas attained martyrdom, Mata Gujri ji, who was sitting in meditation in the tower, breathed her last. The messenger who came with the news of the martyrdom of the Sahibzads found that Mata-Ji had already attained salvation.
This sacrifice of the Guru Gobind Singh’s sons only six and eight years old will forever be remembered by young and old alike to learn lessons from their lives. Firm belief in faith, freedom of worship and refusal to submit to any kind of attack by rulers, is the way to live or to die with courage…
“Why lose your faith to save your life, Faith lives with you, even after you die”