During the last half of the 17th century, the people of India lived in fear for their lives. The evil Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had declared it was his life’s purpose to forcible convert people of other faiths to his own religion. Each day, thousands of men, women, and children were put to the sword and fed to the emperor’s dogs because they refused to give up their faith.
Finally, the tenth of the Sikh Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh, took up the cause of religious freedom. After all peaceful means had failed, he resolved to take up the Sword, to protect the weak, the poor, the innocent, from the ravages of the tyrant emperor’s army. When the emperor heard of this he was enraged, and sent an army of 500,000 to bring back the Guru’s head. The army surrounded the Guru, his two eldest sons, and a band of forty devoted Sikhs in a small fort at Chamkur.
Each day the Mughal army attacked, and each day five of the Guru’s men would take the field, to defend the fort. By incredible feats of skill and bravery, the five would hold the army at bay from dawn to dusk, before succumbing to the overwhelming odds.
One of the first to volunteer to sacrifice his life was the Guru’s eldest son, Baba Ajit Singh. 18 years old, he came before the Guru and said,
1. “Father, I must go to the field of battle,”Said the first son of the tenth Guru.
“Those who will die for the Truth will never live enslaved,The Lord will measure us by what we gave.
It will be a blessing to me to give my life in service of Truth,To free mankind from the tyranny, free to serve God and Guru.”
Then he went with five brave Sikhs,Mounted, rode forth in the face of a certain death.
A hundred thousand men to one,He never thought of fear or felt the pain.As he died on his lips was a smile and the priceless Name.
A coward may die a thousand deaths of shame and never know why,But a hero of Truth will know no death, his name shall never die.
Live a life of courage, it may be hard;Just remember the sons of the tenth Guru who lived by the Grace of God.
Then the Guru’s second son, Zorowar Singh, fourteen years old, came to him.
2. “Father, may I go to join my brother?”Said the second son, barely a man.
“To know the Truth is beautiful and to live the Truth is higher,But to die for the Truth is all you can ask of a man.
My life means nothing to me, if at your feet my head I can give,So the weak and the innocent can be free,And the Truth always may live.”
So they waded into the foe,Cutting them down like wheat in the harvest time.
They cleared the field with flashing steel,And on every side of them was death.From dawn ‘til night the battle raged. They took the Name ‘til their last breath.
The Guru’s two youngest sons were captured by a viceroy of the emperor.In an effort to convert them from Sikhism,
He offered them land, wealth, women and power.They refused.
Finally he gave them their choice:They must change their religion or be bricked alive into a wall.The two boys, aged seven and nine, laughed at him and said:
“Oh great fool our heads will roll before we change.We’re the sons of Guru Gobind Singh.
You may do your worst, your actions may be hard,We may bow our heads only to God.”
Nations will fall and time goes on,But their names will always be known.A true Sikh lives eternally in the eyes of God and history.
Final ChorusA coward may die a thousand deaths of shame and never know why,But a hero of Truth will know no death, his name shall never die.
Live a life of courage, it may be hard:Just remember we’re the sons of the tenth Guru who live by the Grace of God.