I: Chapter 21
NOT ENOUGH, WIELD A WEAPON-KRIPA RAM DUTTA
a bigot to the marrow of his bone, was a scourge for the Hindus and worked
havoc on them through forcible conversions to the Islamic faith. It was
at his behest that the governor of Kashmir, Iftikhar Khan (1671-75) equally
a bigot, unsheathed the sword of Islam against the Kashmiri Pandits with
the objective of securing their conversion to Islam. At this moment of
grave crisis, some Pandits, wise and learned, under the leadership of Kripa
Ram Dutta of Bhawan, District Anantnag, decided to repair to the Amarnath
cave, held as an abode of Shiva, to pray to the Lord and seek His guidance
for the resolution of crisis they were faced with.
At the holy
cave, Kripa Ram, an ardent believer in Shiva's grace, had a dream in which
Lord Shiva introduced him to the address of Guru Tegh Bahadur and directed
him to seek his guidance to meet the challenge posed by the demon of bigotry
and religious blindness. Acting upon the Lord's Counsel, Kripa Ram at the
head of a delegation of 500 Kashmiri Pandits crossed over the mountain
ramparts to reach Anandpur village in the Punjab to call on Guru Tegh Bahadur.
in extreme agony and distress presented a petition to the Guru in which
it was stated that they were being subjected to religious persecution,
the sacred threads that they were putting on as a mark of religious initiation
were being forcibly removed from their person and each day such threads
weighing a maund and a quarter were being snapped and burnt and cows without
number were being mercilessly slaughtered to inflict grave hurt on the
Hindus. Finally they sought for his intercession and protection.
The Guru in
great distress and anguish pondered for a while and informed the suppliant
Brahmans that the brutal atrocities on the Hindus could be stemmed only
after a great sacrifice.
son, Gobind Rai, prescient and precocious, present on the scene fully realising
the gravity of the distressing situation and exhibiting exemplary courage
and zeal urged his father to undertake the sacrifice for the protection
and preservation of Hindu faith, which was under a severe onslaught from
the Muslim fanaticism and bigotry.
Guru Tegh Bahadur
advised the Kashmiri Pandits to go to Delhi and tell the bigot in the emperor
that he should first convert Tegh Bahadur to Islamic faith and then all
of them would follow suit sans any equivocation. The same was verbatim
conveyed to the emperor. Losing his cool and flying into a spasm of rage,
he summoned the Guru to Delhi. The Guru accompanied by five of his trusted
and faithful disciples arrived in Delhi and Aurangzeb in all his fanatic
fury and wrath asked him to embrace Islam or show some miracle to establish
and prove his credentials of guruship As a spiritualist of high order,
the Guru denied that he could perform a miracle and valiantly and without
a quiver refused to join the fold of Islam. Aurangzeb ordered his execution
and it was thus that the guru attained martyrdom.
of Guru Tegh Bahadur proved a waterlog for the forces of intolerance, hate
and religious fanaticism. The Hindus throughout the country were aflame
with a deep sense of revenge and in the end it got forged and mobilised
into a strong resistance movement led by Guru Gobind Singh, who formed
the 'Khalsa Panth' with the avowed objective of fighting and defeating
the Muslim bigotry and fanaticism. In generating and organising the resistance
movement, Kripa Ram Dutta played a remarkable role by nurturing and teaching
Guru Gobind Singh at the preparatory stage till he flowered as the guiding
symbol of the resistance movement against intolerance and fanatic orthodoxy.
It was Kripa Ram, who is said to have innovated the vital idea of combining
Shastra (learning) with Shastra (Weapon) and infused the same into the
great Guru, who through his divine vision and prescience moulded the Sikhs
into a patriotic martial race. He taught the Guru Sanskrit and through
it introduced him to the entire store-house of Hindu lore and learning
and as a follower of Sikh faith fell to the forces of bigotry in the battle
of Chamkaur, thus materialising his significant thesis into actual praxis.