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Bandhi Chhor- The Great Deliverer-Guru Har gobind ji



Chandu was fearful that the Guru might avenge his father. His daughter was still unmarried and he wrote to the Guru for her alliance which was again refused. He, therefore, once again represented to Emperor Jahangir against the Guru. Upon this Jahangir summoned the Guru to Delhi through Wazir Khan. After careful consideration the Guru agreed to go to Delhi and assigned the secular duties of the Hari Mandar to Bhai Buddha and its spiritual duties to Bhai Gurdas. He instructed,"The Har Mandar is specially devoted to God's service, wherefore it should ever be respected. It should never be defiled with any impurity of the human body. No gambling, wine-drinking, light behavior with women, or slander, should be allowed therein. No one should steal, utter a falsehood, smoke tobacco, or contrive litigation in its precincts. Sikhs, holy men, guests, strangers, the poor and the friendless should ever receive hospitality from Sikhs. My people should ever be humble, repeat God's Name, promote their faith, meditate on Guru's words, and keep all his commandments." The Guru then went to Delhi. Through the good offices of Wazir Khan, the Emperor received the Guru with great apparent respect. Seeing him very young and already installed as Guru, the Emperor had a good deal of spiritual discussion in order to test his knowledge of divinity.

The Emperor having heard that the Guru loved the chase requested him to accompany him one day on a hunting excursion. In the forest a tiger rushed towards the Emperor. Elephants and horses took fright, bullets and arrows were discharged towards the tiger but in vain. The Emperor was completely paralysed with fear and called upon the Guru to save him who alighted from his horse, and taking his sword and shield ran between the tiger and the Emperor. As the tiger sprang, he dealt him a blow with his sword and the tiger fell lifeless on the ground. The Emperor thanked his God that he was saved by the Guru through his heroic endeavor.

It was time for the Emperor to visit Agra and he invited the Guru to accompany him. He, after repeated invitations, consented to go. When they both arrived in Agra, the Guru was received with great rejoicing by the people. Seeing increasing friendship between the Emperor and the Guru, Chandu said to himself,"The Guru will take revenge on me whenever he finds an opportunity. I shall only be safe if by some means I succeed in having broken this friendship or having him imprisoned, and thus I should apply all efforts to that end."

The Emperor fell ill and he sent for his astrologer to check upon his stars and find the remedy. Chandu took advantage of the situation and bribed the astrologer heavily to sever connection between the Guru and theEmperor. The astrologer accordingly suggested that a holy man of God should go to the Fort of Gwalior and

pray for the Emperor's recovery there. Chandu on the other hand advised the Emperor that Guru HarGobind was the holiest of men and thus played double role. Jahangir requested the Guru to go to Gwalior, the latter accepted it without hesitation as another mission awaited him there.

There was joy in the Fort when it was known that the Guru was coming. There were fifty-two Indianprinces (Rajas) imprisoned in the Gwalior Fort who were spending their days in lamentation and misery. They believed that they would be released by the Guru's intercession. Hari Das, the governor of the Fort, was happy too, since he had been longing to have 'darshan' (holy sight). He went forth to receive the Guru and prostrated before the Master. The Guru met the princes, comforted them and gave them peace, making them happy even in adversity.

Chandu wrote couple of letters to the governor of the Fort, urging him to poison the Guru and put an end to him. Hari Das, however, put all letters before the Guru as he received them; since he had become his devotee. The Guru recited the following Sabad at that time:

"The slanderer shall crumble down

Like a wall of Kallar; hear, ye brethren, thus shall be known.

The slanderer is glad when he seeth a fault; on seeing anything good he is filled with grief.

He meditateth evil all day long, but it befalleth not; the evil-minded man dieth meditating evil.

The slanderer forgetteth God, and when death approacheth, quarrelleth with God's saint.

The Lord Himself preserveth Nanak, what can wretched man do?"

(Bilawal Mohalla 5, p-823)

Jahangir recovered from illness. The Guru was still in the Gwalior Fort. When the Emperor heard Wazir Khan's pleading on behalf of the Guru (some say, also the pleading of Mian Mir), he ordered that the Guru should be presented to him. On hearing this the imprisoned Rajas were very much distressed. The Master would not leave the Fort unless all the Rajas were also released. The Emperor conceded to his wish and released all the fifty-two princes. From this the Guru is still remembered in Gwalior as Bandi Chhor- the Great Deliverer, the holy man who freed the prisoners. There still stands a shrine 'Bandi Chhor' in the historic Fort of Gwalior.

Mian Mir brought home to the Emperor the innocence of Guru Arjan and how under his cruel orders, the great divine Master had been tortured to death. The Emperor, however, washed his hands clean of this sin and held Chandu entirely responsible for this crime, who was then arrested by the Emperor's order and taken to Lahore to be executed there. He was paraded through the streets of Lahore, people threw filth on him, and cursed him. A grain-parcher struck him on the head with an iron ladle and Chandu died. When the Emperor heard Chandu's death, he remarked that he richly deserved this fate. The Guru, however, prayed that as Chandu had suffered torment for his sins in this life, God would pardon him hereafter.

Sujan, a Masand from Kabul who had amassed great wealth from tithes and offerings, heard that Guru Har Gobind had great love for the horses. He looked far and near and ultimately found a horse of rare beauty and speed which he purchased for a lakh of rupees to make an offering to the Guru. When Sujan was crossing the river Indus, the eye of an officer fell on the horse which was of a rare strain and beauty and he ultimately took away the horse saying that the animal should go to the Emperor. Sujan told the Guru how he was robbed of the horse. The Guru recommended patience and predicted that nobody but himself (Guru) would ride that horse.

When the Emperor desired to mount, the horse shook its head which was considered a bad omen. After sometimes the horse fell ill and would neither eat nor drink. All known medicines were tried but in vain. When the horse was on the verge of death, the head Qazi (Rustam Khan) suggested that if the holy Quran was read for him, he might recover. Upon this the horse was presented to the Qazi.

When the Qazi was leading the horse home, the animal neighed as it passed through the Guru's tent (Guru was at Lahore at that time). Through negotiations with the Qazi, the horse was purchased for ten thousand rupees. The Guru patted on the neck of the horse and it started recovering its strength.