The Colors Worn by the ‘Sahibzadas’

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Let us now consider the colours of the clothing worn by the ‘Sahibzadas’ (sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji): –

In ‘Gur Bilaas Paatshaahee 10’, Bhai Kuyer Singh relays the account of tells that the younger sons of Guru Ji (Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji) being arrested by Mogul armymen. When they were presented in the court, both of the Sahibzadas were in ‘Neel’ shirts: –

Neel Jhaguria Tan Main Kaise.
Bijulee Syaam Abhra Main Jaise.

It is common to see “Neel” here being interpreted as ‘blue’ by many scholars, however in fact, it is used here to mean dirty or unclean. Both of the Sahibzadas were in same clothes for many days, so naturally their garments would not be clean. Undoubtedly, some scholars will not agree with our explanation of this account, however Bhai Kuyer Singh himself later reveals that the Sahibzadas were in fact in saffron (Kesaree) clothing: –

Kesaree Ang Paushaak Mahaabar, Moorat Pekh Kahai Eh Baanee.

The confusion caused here by the use of the word ‘Neel’ is nonetheless understandable as Bhai Kuyer Singh has used the word ‘Neel’ elsewhere for the colour blue as well. The Moguls offered lots of women to the Sahibzadas and asked them to wear a blue dress. When Kuyer Singh Ji writes about this incident, he has used the word ‘Neel’ for blue: –

Jetee Naar Chaah Ho Dehee.
Neel Patambar Dhaaro Ehee.

Now, let us consider another text, this time ‘Gur Bilaas Paat-shaahee 10’, written by Bhai Sukha Singh, who was a ‘Granthi’ (preist) of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib Ji, Sri Anandpur Sahib. This text was written in 1797 AD.

Bhai Sukha Singh speaks of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Ji, the eldest son of Guru Gobind Singh Ji being called into the holy court of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He comes to Guru Ji and Bhai Sukha Singh describes his attire as consisting of red (‘Arun’) shoes which were shining on Sahibzada Ajit Singh Ji’s feet, a red shawl, a red shirt and a red turban which graceful upon his head. The original lines read as follows: –

Arun Dipat Pag Mah Pag-Traana.
Arun Dusaalo Nirkhat Naana.
Arun Sees Rajit Sardaara.
Laalai Kurtee Dipat Didaara.

From these references, we can see that even the ‘Sahibzadas’, in addition to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, would wear various colours.

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