(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)
When Mukhlis Khan attacked the city of Sri Amritsar Sahib Ji, Guru Hargobind Sahib said to his Sikhs, “It is not right to fight within the Gurdwara complex. I have decided to fight in the battlefield”.
Thus, Guru Ji started to arrange for a face-to-face battle. It was an emergency. Guru Ji ordered to evacuate the city. All the families were ordered to leave the city. Guru’s own family was also to be shifted. Time was running very fast.
Guru Ji himself was busy in making plans for the battle. It was the first battle in the history of Sikhism. A new page of the Guru-history was to be written there.
When Guru’s family reached Sri Ramsar Sahib, it became known that Bibi Veero Ji, the daughter of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was missing. She was just a child at that time. When the family was leaving the city, she was playing with dolls and other toys. In such haste, no one could know that she did not sit on any carts, which were being used to take the family members out of the city.
Meanwhile, the Mughal Army had entered in the city. Mughal army men were roaming here and there. In such a dangerous situation, Bibi Veero Ji was all-alone there in the complex.
It was a very difficult situation. Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib thought that any reliable warrior should go there and bring Bibi Ji to Sri Ramsar Sahib safely. Guru Ji needed a person, who was a fearless warrior, reliable, and above all, known to Bibi Veero Ji. It was obvious that Bibi Ji would not go with an unknown person. In such a critical time, Guru Ji selected his ‘Purohit’ for this challenging job. This ‘Purohit’ was a great warrior. He was a mighty commander of Sikh Army. Above all, he was like a family member to Guru Ji and Bibi Veero Ji knew him very well. His name was Bhai Singha Ji. Because, he originally belonged to Brahman Purohit’s family, so some Sikh books call him ‘Singha Purohit’.
Guru Ji ordered Bhai Singha Purohit Ji, “Purohit Ji! Go to my home and bring Bibi Veero Ji safe here. Your birth on this earth will be successful. Baabak will accompany you”.
Bhai Baabak Ji was not only a great ‘Keertani’ of Guru-Darbar, but a great warrior also. As per Guru’s instructions, both the warriors disguised themselves as Mughal army men. Guru Ji gave them a gun.
The royal army in Sri Amritsar Sahib. Hundreds of Mughal armymen with all the weapons in their hands. The black night. And, two Sikh warriors on two horses and one gun with them. Following the Guru’s order, Bhai Singha Purohit Ji and Bhai Baabak Ji advanced towards Guru’s palace.
Both the brave Sikhs reached in front of Guru’s palace. Bhai Singha Purohit Ji called Bibi Veero Ji. Bibi Ji opened the window and saw Bhai Singha Ji out there. Bibi Veero Ji came out of the palace and sat behind Bhai Singha Ji on his horse.
Bhai Singha Ji said to Bhai Baabak Ji, “Let us go without any delay”.
They remembered Guru Ji and started to return. Mughal army men had already entered in the city. In the dark of the night, they were looking for Guru Ji. Among the hundreds of enemies, there were only three Sikhs in the city of Sri Amritsar Sahib, Bhai Singha Purohit Ji, Bhai Baabak Ji and Bibi Veero Ji.
A Mughal chief was on guard duty in front of ‘Darshani Deodi’ (entrance door of Sri Darbar Sahib) along with other soldiers. He had a spear in his hand. When Bhai Singha Ji and Bhai Baabak Ji reached near him, he said, “Who are you? Where are you going?”
Bhai Baabak Ji replied, “All are our brothers. Be careful. Everybody is looking for the Guru. Have you not seen the Guru yet?”
When Bhai Singha Ji ran his horse, Bibi Veero Ji’s shoe fell down. Some small bells were attached to that shoe, which jingled. Mughal chief heard this and started to shout. Bhai Singha Ji and Bhai Baabak did not waste their time and ran away on their horses. Bibi Veero Ji, as said earlier, was with Bhai Singha Ji. Mughal army men started to chase them. They were shouting, “Enemies are running. They are carrying Guru’s family. Catch them, catch them”.
Bhai Singha Ji said to Bhai Baabak Ji, “It is now time to fire”.
When Bhai Baabak Ji listened this, he fired a shot and Mughal chief was lying dead on the land of Sri Amritsar Sahib Ji.
With happy minds, both the warriors reached in front of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and touched the holy feet of warrior Guru. Bibi Veero Ji was in her family now. Guru Ji was very pleased to both of brave Sikhs.
Bibi Veero Ji was saved. She was saved, so that she could give birth to five warriors to fight in the battle of Sri Bhangaanee, for their cousin Guru, the tenth holy King, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. She was saved by Bhai Singha Ji, whose grand-son was to fight in the battle of Sri Bhangaanee for his Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Wow! Wonderful Guru history!
Well, on the other hand, battle was already start outside of the city. Sikhs were fighting bravely in the dark of night. Many Sikhs were martyred in the battlefield.
When Bhai Bhaanu Ji, a warrior Sikh, was martyred in the battlefield, Guru Ji called Bhai Singha Purohit Ji. Bhai Purohit Ji reached near Guru Ji. Guru Ji asked him to go to the battle, because other Sikh warriors were being martyred by the Mughal army men.
Brave Bhai Singha Ji bowed his head before Guru Ji and started to make arrangements for a memorable battle. He was waiting for the early morning. In the early morning, Guru Sahib Ji himself sent him to the battle. Five hundred warrior Sikhs were under the command of Bhai Purohit Ji.
Sun was not risen yet. Bhai Singha Ji gathered his ‘Jatha’ of 500 Sikh warriors. Riding on his horse’s back, Bhai Singha Ji reached in the battlefield. As soon as he reached there, guns started to shout. The enemy attacked like a full flowing river. There was great noise on both the sides.
Mohammed Ali was leading the enemy’s army. Bhai Singha Purohit Ji deployed his soldiers in trench. When he saw the enemy shouting near the holy city, Bhai Singha Ji said to his warriors, “Fire at once at these ‘Malechh’ people you are looking at. Kill all of them”.
As soon as Bhai Singha ordered to fire, Sikhs started to fire their guns. Many Mughal army men were killed in a moment.
Now, it was time to use swords, the common weapon of those days. Bhai Singha Ji advanced towards the enemy. Other Sikh warriors followed him. The limbs of the warriors were being cut into pieces.
After sometime, Bhai Singha Ji noticed that Sikhs were being killed in the battlefield. This made him very angry. According to the ‘Sri Gur Prataap Sooraj Granth’: -
Im Mare Maar Singhe Nihaar.
Lalkaar Paryo Jeh Bal Udaar.
Bal Bipra Guru Prodha Subhat.
Tab Bhayo Samukh Maare Ulat.
(Raas 6, Ansu 10, Page 2827).
Means, when he saw Sikhs being killed there, he, who had too much power, started to challenge (the enemy). Then, the powerful Brahman, who was Guru’s Purohit and a warrior, came in front of (enemy) and killed them.
Bhai Singha Ji started to shot his arrows towards enemies. Wherever he shots his arrows, they would cross the bodies of enemies. Hissing like snakes, Bhai Singha’s arrows were flying here and there. Bhai Singha Purohit Ji killed whoever came in his way.
The fight by Bhai Singha Ji created tumult in the enemy’s camp. The enemies could not face the bloodthirsty arrows of Bhai Sahib. At last, the enemies had to run away.
Mohammed Ali, the enemy’s chief, gathered his army again and thus Mughal army men again came in the battlefield. Until now, Mohammed Ali had understood that it was Bhai Singha Purohit, who was creating trouble for Mughals. In anger, he came in front of Bhai Singha Ji and started to fire his gun. Bhai Singha Ji jumped his horse for many times and thus saved himself from Mohammed Ali’s bullets.
However, Bhai Singha was a target of many guns, he continued to shot his arrows and was killing the enemies continuously. This made Mohammad Ali very mad. Now, he fired at Bhai Singha Purohit’s horse. Bhai Singha Ji’s horse was shot and Singha Ji’s fell down on land. Bhai Singha Ji was now without horse among the hundreds of horsemen enemies. Obviously, enemies were happy now.
Hundreds of Mughal horsemen surrounded Bhai Singha Ji, who was fighting all alone there. He was too alert. He continued to shot his arrows towards enemies. Whoever came near to him, Singha Ji donated him an arrow and sent him to the other world.
A single man was killing many Mughal soldiers. This made Mohammed Ali angrier. He ordered to fire at Bhai Singha Ji from all the directions. It was, now, not possible for Bhai Singha Ji to save him from bullets. He was all-alone there in the battlefield fighting against the hundreds of Mughal horsemen. Some bullets injured him. Even then, Bhai Singha Purohit Ji continued to transfer enemies to the other world.
However, Mohammed Ali did not hesitate to kill the horse of Bhai Singha Ji, but Bhai Singha Ji did not kill Ali’s horse. This is a good point to understand the character of this brave warrior of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.
Mohammed Ali was jumping his horse here and there. Sometime he would shout on his soldiers, sometime he would fire on Bhai Singha Ji. Absentmindedly Mohammed Ali came near to Bhai Singha Ji. It was a good chance for badly injured Bhai Singha Ji. Bhai Singha Ji was not there to miss such a chance. He shot an arrow, which struck into Mohammed Ali’s forehead. The gun fell down from Ali’s hand. Now, Bhai Singha shot another arrow, which gave salvation to Mohammed Ali. Ali died there and his horse ran away.
Bhai Singha Purohit Ji shot all of his arrows. Now he was without arrows. The enemies forwarded towards Bhai Ji and fired at once. Bhai Ji fell down. Even then, enemy’s soldiers continued to attack him using swords. His limbs were cut to small pieces. According to ‘Sri Gur Prataap Sooraj Granth’: -
‘Huye Khand-Khand Mil Gayo Khet’.
(Raas 6, Ansu 11, page 2828).
Cut to small pieces, he was intermixed into the earth.
Thus, a wonderful warrior received a wonderful death. His martyrdom in the battlefield caused Guru Ji’s participation in the battle. When Guru Ji heard that Bhai Singha Purohit Ji had been martyred, he himself came in the battlefield and won the battle.
Bhai Singha Purohit Ji fought in favor of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. The time will write another beautiful episode of great Guru history, when grandson of Bhai Singha Purohit Ji will fight in favor of grandson of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Yes, Amritsar to Bhangaanee, the journey is not too long.
Sources: ‘Sri Gur Pratap Sooraj Granth’, ‘Gur Bilas Patshahi 6′, ‘Brahman Sikh Itihas’, ‘Twaareekh Guru Khalsa’, ‘Mahan Kosh’.