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Zafarnama

The second fortnight of December 1704 was the most difficult and critical period in the life of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It was during this period that forty Majhail Sikhs had deserted the Guru, the city of Anandpur had to be vacated, the Sarsa floods had brought havoc, Guru Ji's family had become separated, his two elder sons had died before his own eyes and the Guru himself had to escape from Chamkaur towards Machhi- wara jungle. Even at Machhiwara he was surrounded by enemy forces from all sides.

In the jungle Guru Ji met two Pathan brothers Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan who were dressed in blue, he asked them to prepare similar clothes for him. In the mean time Guru Ji sent for one of his followers who lived near by called Sayyad Inayat Khan. Guru Ji entrusted him with a letter that wasaddressed to Emperor Aurangzeb for safe keeping. Using the blue garments Guru Ji disguised himself as Uch-Ka-Pir (a holy man from Uch) and with his companions Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan on one side and Bhai Dharam Singh and Bhai Mann Singh on the other they set of towards the village of Ghulal.

They had gone hardly one mile when they were stopped by an army patrol and presented to the commander, he was not satisfied with their explanation. He sent word out to find anyone who knew and could identify the fakir (holy man). Sayyad Inayat Khan got word of this and came to the army camp. Sayyad Ji met the commander Daler Khan Garh Shankria, although he recognised Guru Ji he told him that this was indeed Uch-Ka-Pir and that holding up such a pious person was a sin. The commander was unnerved and went to the Pir with 500Rs as a present and sincere apologies for his detention and that he was free to go.

The Khan brothers and the Singhs carried Guru Ji on a manji as was the fashion, and reached the village of Ghulal. It was at Ghulal village that Guru Ji asked for the letter that was in the safe hands of Sayyad Khan.This letter was delivered under instruction of Guru Ji by Dhaya Singh Ji to the Emperor Aurangzeb (this first letter is not the one know as Zafarnama).

The contents of this letter written in Persian reads as follows :
NAMEH GURU GOBIND SINGH BA AURANGZEB
(Letter from Guru Gobind Singh to Aurangzeb)


1) In the name of the Lord of Sword and Axe.
    In the name of the Lord of Arrow and Shield.

2) In the name of the Lord of Men of Heroic Deeds.
    In the name of the Lord of Speeding Steeds.

3) He, who has given you kingship, has entrusted to me the task of defending Dharam and Righteousness.

4) Your frantic activities are confined to deceit and diplomacy, whereas my efforts are based on faith and truth.

5) The name of Aurangzeb hardly behoves you, for kings should not indulge in deceiving others.

6) Your rosary is nothing more then a collection of beads and thread.
    Your are employing the beads as a snare and the thread as a net to enslave others

7) You kneaded the earthly remains of your father with evil deeds and the blood of your brothers.

8) And with that mud you built your house to live in.

9) I will now storm you like rain water and deal with you with with sharp edges of steel arms.

10) You have met with failure in the Deccan and are coming back thirsty from Mewar.

11) If you now turn you eyes to this side (the north) then you will see your thirst and parched throat set right.

12) I will place fire under your feet and will not allow you to drink water of the Punjab.

13) What if the sly fox has killed under deception two cubs of a lion.

14) The lion itself is alive and will wreak vengeance.

15) I do not now ask you for anything in the name of your Allah and your scripture.

16) I have no faith in your word. Only the sword will now serve its purpose.

17) Even if you claim to be a clever leopard, I will see that the lion remains outside your net.

18) If even you have to talk to me, i will show you the path which is pious and straight.

19) Let the armies on both sides draw up opposite to each other.

20) And let there be a distance of three miles between them.

21) Then i will come alone and you may come along with horsemen.

22) You have eaten fruits and enjoyed unusual gifts but have never met warriors personally.

23) Come forward yourself armed with a sword and axe for a duel and not kill innocent people of Gods creation.

This letter clearly shows that it was written from Machhiwara after the battle of Chamkaur and after Guru ji had sacrificed his two elder sons in the battle field. It also shows that although guru Ji had suffered heavy losses in men and materials he was not in any way feeling vanquished but was full of confidence, faith and courage to chastise and reprimand the Emperor for is deceitful activities.

Bhai Dhaya Singh had taken this letter to Aurangzeb on December 26th 1704. By the time he arrived Aurangzeb and been briefed on Guru Ji being uprooted from Anandpur Sahib. He felt that an injustice had been done particularly when he had been promised safe passage from Anandpur on solemn oaths on the Koran.

The emperor assured Bhai Dhaya Singh that he would do justice and that Guru Ji may be requested to meet him in the Deccan. Bhai Dhaya Singh shrewdly replied that a written letter would have a more immediate effect. The Emperor agreed and sent two messengers with Bhai ji and the letter. Bhai Dhaya Singh reached Guru Ji and Dina in March 1705, a return journey of 900 miles that lasted three months.

Guru Ji heard from Bhai Dhaya Singh the sympathetic and remorseful mood in which the Emperor had written the reply. However there was mixed feelings of magnanimity and seriousness on guru Ji's face as he thought the Emperor was not fully satisfied about his grievances. Guru Ji decieded to send another even more detailed letter to the Emperor in which he neither promised or refused to meet him in the Deccan.