I published this post- “The Fearless Lion Cubs” yesterday, in the section for Sanskrit Subhaashits on this blog. Today, the first news report I read in the morning newspaper was this-
Three Sikh men were said to have been beheaded by Taliban groups in the FATA area of Pakistan and their heads sent to a gurudwara in Peshawar.
Typically, the Times of India is only concerned about the upcoming Indo-Pak talks-
In what threatens to cast a shadow on the upcoming Indo-Pakistan talks scheduled for February 25, three Sikh youths were beheaded by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region after they allegedly refused to convert to Islam. Their severed heads were dumped at a gurudwara in Peshawar.
I am posting what I wrote yesterday, here as well, today.
We in India have lessons to learn, from history and from present events. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The Fearless Lion Cubs
Guru Teg Bahadur was the 9th Guru of the Sikhs. At that time, the cruel Emperor of Delhi, Aurangzeb, had embarked upon a campaign of converting everyone to Islam. In Kashmir, the viceroy of Kashmir, Iftikar Khan, was carrying out this policy of converting non-Muslims by force.
Face with this danger of being forced to renounce their faith, a group of Kashmiri Pandits came to Guru Teg Bahadur for help. He instructed them to tell the Mughal authorities that they would convert only if Guru Teg Bahadur did so. The Pandits accordingly did this.
Aurangzeb ordered Guru Teg Bahadur’s arrest, and when he would not give up his faith even after being tortured, he was publicly beheaded in Chandni Chowk.
Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh, were the younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, and the brave grandsons of the valiant Guru Teg Bahadur. They displayed extraordinary courage while facing death at the hands of the brutal Mughal rulers.
There is a Subhaashit written by Bhartrihari –
सिंहःशिशुरपि निपतति मदमलिनकपोलभित्तिषु गजेषु l
प्रकृतिरियं सत्ववतां न खलु वयस्तेजसो हेतुः ll
Even the cub of a lion (सिंहःशिशुरपि) will leap on (attack without fear) ( निपतति) a mad elephant whose cheeks are wet because of musth (मदमलिनकपोलभित्तिषु गजेषु).
Those who have this inherent quality (of courage)(सत्ववतां) are this way by nature (प्रकृतिरियं ), the maturity of age is not necessary for (their courage) to shine (न खलु वयस्तेजसो हेतुः).
These two sons of Guru Gobind Singh- at the ages of merely six and eight years – were such lion cubs.
Betrayed by their servant, they were captured and brought before Nawab Wazir Khan in his Court.
Urged to convert to Islam if they wanted to live, they replied, “We are fighting against tyranny and injustice. We are the sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the grand sons of Guru Tegh Bahadur and descendants of Guru Arjan Dev. We shall follow in their footsteps. We are ready for all sacrifices for the protection of our faith”
The Nawab and his advisors feared that the boys would raise a revolt against the Mughal rule when they grew up. So they were sentenced to death. These two boys were bricked alive, but till the end not once did they show fear.
This martyrdom of Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh was to be the beginning of the weakening of the powerful Mughal authority.