The Martyrdom of Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji
by Shamanistic Law.
Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji was born on April 15 1563 at Goindwal, his maternal grandfather Shri Guru Amar Das Ji prophesied that the child would be a "virtual ferry boat of scriptures". Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji was installed on Gurugaddi by Shri Guru Ram Das Ji on 1stSeptember 1581.
Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji rejuvenated Santokhsar, and named it Ramdas Sarovar, and in 1589 built Harimandir Sahib. He instructed the foundation stone to be laid by a Muslim Divine; Mian Mir. Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji also compiled the Sikh Scriptures, and utilised the services of the great Bhai Gurdas as his scribe and when the Holy Granth was installed in 1604 in the newly completed Harimandir Sahib, the Guru selected Baba Buddha as its first Custodian.
Emperor Akbar was a benevolent ruler, and supported the Sikhs, after his death he was succeeded by Emperor Jahangir, who was rabidly anti-Sikh. This is evident from his personal diary, Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri: "In Goindwal, which is situated on the banks of the River Beas, there lived a Hindu whose name was Arjun and who professed to be a religious teacher. Thus he acquired quite some fame in the country as an expounder of religion and many a simple-minded Hindu and also some ignorant Muslims admired his character and piety. They called him the Guru. From all directions crowds of people gathered around him and extolled him as a true teacher.
This business had been going on for three or four generations. For a long time past, it had been my intention to shut this shop of falsehood or, alternatively, to convert this man to Islam".
Jahangir was afraid of the growing power of the Guru, whose following had increased rapidly, concerning (for him) amongst Muslims. Jahangir had ordered that the Guru's houses and children be made over to him, and that all his other property be confiscated; and that he should be done to death with tortures and in accordance with the code, the Yasa. Guru Arjun was sat on a boiling hot-plate, with boiling sand and water poured over his head. The end came on this day in 1606AD.
In light of the above facts, it is clear that the punishment which Emperor Jahangir ordered to be inflicted on Guru Arjun in accordance with the laws of the yasa was on two grounds:
- That the 'crimes' of Guru Arjun were of such grave and political nature that the Guru's existence was definitely considered a danger to the safety of the Mughal Empire in India, and,
- That the spiritual status of Guru Arjun was considered so exalted as to make it necessary for him to be put to death by being boiled alive in water.
Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji spoke of 'Just' Rule, and for the actualisation of this dream all the ten Guru's toiled and suffered for it, Guru Arjun and Guru Tegh Bahadur courted martyrdom. Before Guru Arjun was tortured to death, he gave directions to Baba Buddha to arms, for the sixth Guru; Shri Guru Hargobind Ji and the Sikhs, and it flows from Guru Arjun's martyrdom that under no circumstances should the Order of the Khalsa accept slavery and subjugation. The initiate should be a defender of the Khalsa Raj and he should understand the esoteric meaning of the initiation to be that he dedicate his life for the establishment of the Khalsa Raj by wearing arms, the goal being the instrument for the establishment of Universal Society. Not only was the Guru flanked by the greatest Saints; Baba Buddha & Bhai Gurdas he had at his disposal the mightiest General; Bhai Bidhi Chand.
In his Prachin Panth Prakash, Rattan Singh Bhango (1841AD) expresses himself thus:
The Khalsa owes no earthly allegiance.
They are themselves sovereign, sui generis.
The status of the Khalsa is beyond dispute and declared.
It is distinct from the rest of creation.
The Khalsa owes allegiance to no mortal.
The Khalsa either rules or fights and dies as a rebel.
As Sikhs we all should mark this date as a remembrance to the sacrifices of our Great Guru.