Today 12th June is the Shaheedi Gurpurab of Shaheeda de Sirtaj Dhan Dhan Shiri Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj!!
Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the 5th Guru of the Sikhs, was given the death sentence in 1606 by the tyrant government of the time. History tells us of many factors which led to Guru Arjan Dev ji’s Martyrdom, the main being that Maharaj helped the emperor’s relative Khusrau during a rebellion.
The other reasons noted are from Sikh AND non-Sikh sources. They paint the following picture. Whilst Guru ji was compiling the Siri Adi Granth Sahib (the Sikh Holy Scriptures), the Moughal authorities ordered that Guru Arjan Dev put a verse of the Quran into the Siri Adi Granth Sahib. Maharaj declined the order thus was asked to pay a fine of nearly 2 lakh (200,000 rupees)
A Sikh offered to pay the fine, but Maharaj declined that also. During this time, Maharaj was arrested and brought to Lahore. There they were imprisoned.
They were asked to convert to Islam, they refused. The order was then given that Guru Arjan Dev Ji be tortured and executed. Guru Sahib was tied to a tree which had all its branches cut off so there was no shade. They then had sand poured over their feet and were kept in a open courtyard in the blistering heat all day long without any food or water to drink. This went on for a few days.
During this time Guru ji did not ask for mercy, plead, cry or break down. They remained focused on Waheguru (The Supreme Lord).
The order was then given that Guru Arjan Dev ji were to be seated on a hot iron plate whilst boiling sand would be poured over them. During this barbaric torture, the 5th Master of the Sikhs recited Prayers. They recited the following lines…
Tera Kiya Meetha Lage,
Har Naam Padarath Nanak Mange
Your actions seem so sweet to me, O Lord,
Nanak begs for the treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord!!
Maharaj after this torture, were allowed to bathe in the River Raavi which flowed on the outskirts of the city of Lahore. Here Guru Arjan Dev ji immersed into the cool waves of the river and journeyed to their heavenly abode…
Bhai Gurdas ji, a contemporary of Guru Arjan Dev Ji and the pioneering scribe of Guru Granth Sahib, summed up:
“Like a rain-bird, thirsting only for a drop of rain and no other water, Guru Arjan Dev Ji abandoned all worldly opportunities offered to him and desired but an abiding repose in the love and will of God. So deeply was he absorbed in the undisturbed and unbroken vision of the Lord, that his enlightened and elevated spirit conquered all sorrow and pain and his soul rested peacefully in the eternal embrace of God’s love. I am a sacrifice unto Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the Perfect one.”