12. Battle of Chamkaur Sahib ji

The imperial army which was in hot pursuit, besieged the fortress. They were joined by the hill chiefs and the Ranghars and the Gujars. The Guru appointed eight men to guard each of the four walls. Two Sikhs held the door and other two were appointed sentinels. The Guru himself, his two sons; and Daya Singh and Sant Singh went on the top storey. The Sikhs held the fortress for a long time against the heavy odds. Nahar Khan and Ghairat Khan, the two imperial officers, attempted to scale the little fort, but were shot down by the Guru. After that none of the Mohammadan officers dared to attempt the fatal ascent. Five Sikhs went forth to contend with the enemy. After fighting with great bravery, they were killed. They continued in batches of five. Guru's eldest son, Ajit Singh (about 18 years old) asked permission to go forth and fight the enemy. The Guru approved the proposal and Ajit Singh went with five Sikh heroes. He performed prodigies of valor and ultimately fell, fighting bravely along with his companions. On seeing his brother's fate, Jujhar Singh (14 years old) could not restrain himself and asked his father's permission. Like his elder brother, Jujhar Singh went in the battle field, but after a little while he turned back and asked for water. The Guru shouted," Go back, there is no more water left for you on this earth. See yonder, Ajit Singh is holding the cup of nectar for you." Jujhar Singh went back and created havoc upon the enemy and fell fighting valiantly. Upon this the Guru's face was jubilant. His expression of mental composure showed glow of divinity upon the glorious end of his sons.

After the sons had achieved their splendid mission, the Guru then got ready to go out and fight. The remaining few Sikhs fell on their knees before him and entreated him not togo. At that moment their victory lay in saving the Guru. If he lived, they argued, he would create millions like them. They therefore, persuaded the Guru to leave the place but he would not listen to them. At that point Bhai Daya Singh who was the first of the Five Beloved Ones, recalled that at the time of creation of the Khalsa, the Guru had promised that the mandate of the Five Beloved Sikhs would be binding even upon the Guru. Upon this Bhai Daya Singh took four other Sikhs and formed an assembly which passed a 'Gurmata' (resolution) and said," O true king, the Khalsa now orders you to leave this place." As promised at the time of administering Amrit to the Five Beloved Ones, the wonderful supreme lord Guru Gobind Singh submitted before the Khalsa and accepted their verdict to leave the Garhi (fortress). Sant Singh and Sangat Singh offered to remain in the fort while Daya Singh, Dharam Singh, and Man Singh were determined to accompany the Guru. It is said that Sant Singh very much resembled the Guru. Therefore he gave his plume to Sant Singh, clothed him in his armor and seated him in the upper room where Guru was stationed. He and three of his companions escaped during the night. He told them that if per chance they were separated from him, they were to go in the direction of a particular star which he showed to them. It was a cold night of December and the allied armies were resting in their tents. The Guru decided to awaken the enemy, lest they should think that he absconded. He discharged two arrows on the Turkish sentries. The arrows first struck torches which they held in their hands and then they passed through their bodies. In the darkness which followed the extinction of the torches, the Guru and his three companions escaped. A little far outside, he clapped his hands and shouted aloud that he was leaving if any one wanted to capture him, should try.

When he was escaping, he bade his men to stand firm. The Sikhs who were left behind, inflicted great loss on the enemy. The Mohammadans at last were able to scale the building and they believed that they were going to capture the Guru. They were greatly disappointed to subsequently learn that the person who was wearing plume and armor, was not the Guru but he was Sant Singh, and that the Guru had escaped. The allied armies retreated to their respectable places. Wazir Khan sent orders in all directions of his areas that any one who offered aid to the Guru, would be severely punished, and the one who captured him or gave his whereabouts would be greatly rewarded. After leaving the Garhi, he proceeded barefooted on his journey alone and after passing through Jandsar and Behlolpur, he reached the thorny wilds of Machhiwara, a place between Rupar and Ludhiana. Thirst, hunger and fatigue overtook him. His feet were blistered. When he reached a garden he rested his head on a heap of earth and slept. While he was resting in the garden, his three companions, Daya Singh, Dharam Singh and Man Singh reached and rejoined him. The situation was very grave because the enemy was in hot pursuit of the Guru. Gulaba, an old Masand of Machhiwara, took him and his three companions to his home, but soon he got frightened and feared for his own safety if the Guru stayed with him. At this juncture two Pathan horse merchants, Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan, who were old acquaintances of the Guru, came and chose to risk their lives for the service of the Guru.

There lived a Sikh woman in the village who had spun and weaved a cloth for the Guru and had vowed to keep it until his arrival in the village. The Guru had the cloth dyed blue and a robe was made from it in imitation of the attire of Mohammadan pilgrims. He wore the blue robe and then departed from Gulaba's village. He was carried in a litter by Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan in front, and Dharam Singh and Man Singh in rear, while Daya Singh waved a chauri over him. They told all inquirers that they were escorting Uch da Pir or a high priest. Since Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan were very famous horse merchants in the area, people believed them. From there they reached Ghangharali village and then Lal. At the village Lal which is about five miles from Doraha in Ludhiana district, a military officer had some doubts and he made searching inquiries. Pir Mohammad of Nurpur who was known to the Guru, was asked to identify the occupant of the litter. He confirmed that he was really Uch da Pir, upon which the officer let the Guru go. From Lal he visited Katana and then Kanoch where masand Fateh put him off with excuses and did not let him stay. From there he reached Alam Gir. Here Nand Lal, a Zamindar presented a horse to the Guru, thereby enabling him to change from litter to horse. The situation became easier and the Guru asked Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan to return home, after giving them a letter of appreciation (Hukam Nama) recommending them for the consideration of the faithful. Pir Mohammad was also honored with such a letter of appreciation. From Alam Gir he advanced on horse back in the direction of Rai Kot. At Silaoni the chief of Rai Kot, Rai Kalla who was Guru's devotee and a close relative of Nihang Khan of Kotla Nihang, waited upon him and took him to Rai Kot. Here Nura Mahi brought the news from Sirhind about Guru's younger sons.