The great archer.

 

 

Every arrow of Guru Gobind Singh Ji was mounted with half an ounce of gold. Its object was to alleviate the suffering of the victim.

Should the person aimed at be wounded then he could sell the gold for medicine.

Should the mark prove fatal, then the gold could be used to aid the deceased family. Two specimens of these arrows are preserved.

 

In 1704 when the army of emperor Aurangzeb had laid siege to Anandpur fortress and two of its generals Zabardast Khan and Wajir Khan were playing chess under the shade of a tree while others watched the game, Guru Gobind Singh Ji stood on top of the fortress wall and watched this scene through a telescope. Guru Ji took an arrow from his quiver, strung it hard on his bow and shot it across the fields towards the assembly. Down came the whizzing arrow striking hard into the wooden leg of the manji (indian bed) where the generals sat.

The two generals who were engrossed in the game became panicky when they felt the arrow strike the wooden leg and began to wonder whose audacity and boldness it could be, they both agreed that they had narrowly missed death. Wajir Khan pulled the arrow out with a trembling hand. Raja Ajmerchand of the nearby hill states who had turned an ally of the mughals saw the arrow and recognised it. “This can only be an arrow of (Guru) Gobind Singh, look it has gold mounted on it. It belongs to no one except the Guru. But it is hard to tell from where the Guru has aimed the arrow from?”

The Raja of Mandi at this point interjected, “The Guru is very brave, he must have shot it from atop of the fortress.” Zabardast doubted this as the fortress was nearly two miles away. The Raja of Mandi replied “ Two miles is nothing Guru Ji’s arrows are known to go a lot further.” Upon this Wajir stretched out his hands offering his grateful thanks to heaven for sparing his life.

All the military generals the officers present there began to admire the speak highly of Guru Ji’s chivalry and valiant conduct. They had hardly recovered from the shock of the first arrow, when a second came hissing by and hit the same leg of the manji again. The very sight of the second arrow put all the officers to flight. After a few moments they came out from under their hiding places. A piece of paper was found tied to the second arrow. Zabardast Khan gingerly untied it and read the Persian script.

 

“It is no miracle. It is a single art of marksmanship. I am not in favour of performing miracles nor do I intend to take the lives of Zabardast and Wajid Khan. You are labouring under the false notion that the first arrow has shot to kill either of you.” Thus the all knowing Guru knew the thoughts of the mughal officers.

The following account appears in the Bachitar Natak, Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s semi-autobigraphy,

Raja Hari Chand one of the twnety two hill chiefs once boasted that if he ever came face-to-face with Guru Gobind Singh Ji on the battle field his one arrow would be enough to kill him. It so happened that when some of the hill chieftains turned against Guru Sahib Ji and sided with the Mughal forces that Raja Hari Chand found himslef face-to-face with Guru Sahib Ji on the battlefield.

In the raging battle Guru Sahib Ji shouted out to him “Hari Chand, here I am. Strike me if you can, you may feels sorry afterwards that Gobind Singh did not give me a chance your proudness in archery.” Upon this, Hari Chand drew his arrow hard and shot it at Guru Sahib Ji with all his might. The arrow missed. A second chance was given and this time it managed to touch Guru Ji’s left ear. Guru Ji shouted again “Hari Chand, you consider yourself an expert and a very good marksman, I give you one more try.”

These words infuriated Hari Chand and he shot his third arrow with full force. The arrow clipped Guru Ji’s waist belt but Guru Ji remained unhurt. Now it was Guru Ji’s turn, he told the Raja to get ready. Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s one arrow pierced the forehead of Hari Chand and he fell off his horse.

Guru Ji writes in the Bachitar Natak, “ Victory kissed my feet. Lord, it happened with thy grace.”

  Home