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Hari Mandir Sahib and Massa Ranghar

Bhai Mehtab was a fearless son of Guru Gobind Singh....

     Shortly after Guru Gobind Singh left this earth, his Sikhs were being
hunted. The fanatic religious rulers of the time determined to destroy
all the Sikhs.  Many years went by and there were many wars. Sikhs
became very small in number. The Moghul rulers made one rule: whoever
doesn't convert to their religion, will be killed. One of these Moghuls
name was Massa Ranghar, he took over Amritsar in 1740. Massa Ranghar
turned Hari Mandir Sahib in to a common hall for himself.

 

     For many decades Hari Mandir Sahib ji had been used only for the Guru's purpose.
Sikhs recite Gurbani there at all hours. The Sacred Word is so powerful
there, a persons prayers are sure to come true. It is a lighthouse
calling all souls to awaken. Now Massa Ranghar and his people drank
alcohol there and smoked tobacco, things that cause souls to sleep.
Sikhs had always used this holy temple to attach to Gurbani and see God
as the only focus. Massa Ranghar had dancing women entice him and his
lusty men, attaching only to animal instinct. Instead of an enlightening
center where angels dwell, Hari Mandir now became a crude place for
these spiritually blind invaders. A Khalsa named Bhai Mehtab had been
traveling around India when he heard this news. Bhai Mehtab couldn't
stand it when he heard this news. He told the
people in the village, "Start an Akhand Poth, I will either die or
bring back this rulers head by the time it is finished." And to Bhai
Mehtab galloped on horse to Amritsar, with another son of Guru Gobind
Singh named Sukha Singh.

 

     When they got to Hari Mandir Sahib they tied
thier horses on a tree right next to the gate of Hari Mandir Sahib.
They crossed the bridge and found Massa Ranghar drunk with wine. He was
smoking, listening to music and watching dancing girls. Bhai Mehtab
said to him, "I have a gift for you in this bag, look inside." When
this drunken invader leaned over to look in, Bhai Mehtab cut off his
head, which fell in the bag. No one knew what to do as these two Singhs
ran back to thier horses. The rode back a great distance to where they
left. Bhai Mehtab told the Sikhs there, "The Akhand Poth isn't yet
finished and I have his head here. This is how we get rid of those who
dishonor Hari Mandir Sahib." Bhai Mehtab continued to be a defender of
the hunted Sikhs. He was eventually captured. Even though all his bones
were broken in torture, he never uttered a complaint. He chanted
Wahiguru till his last breath. His soul easily merged on the other side.

 

Read the full text:

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The Story of Bhai Mehtab Singh and the
Golden Temple

     Within a few years of Guru Gobind
Singh's death, the Sikhs were being persecuted. They were imprisoned,
tortured, and killed. They were each time given a choice by the
Moghuls, either to abandon their Guru and to become Muslims, or to
lose their life in horrible tortures. Many died giving their head
but not their faith. The Moghuls had even taken over the Golden
Temple in Amritsar, the most sacred Gurdwara of the Sikhs, the House
of Guru Ram Das. They thought that in this way, they could break the
spirit of the Khalsa. A very cruel and evil man named Massa Ranghar
was put in charge of the Golden Temple. He was a great enemy of the
Sikhs, determined to destroy them and their religion. He occupied the
Golden Temple with his soldiers. He turned the walkway around the
Holy Place into a stable for his men's horses. The Temple itself
became a drinking hall. He and his men used to drink liquor and smoke
there, and they had young women dance for them. This was a great
insult to the House of the Guru.

     The man who escaped from Amritsar
traveled to tell the story to other Sikhs. One of those Sikhs, his
name was Bhai Mehtab Singh, lived in Jaipur. When he heard of this,
he said, "What?! You've heard of these terrible things and yet
you live traveling around telling the news to others? Why did you not
kill Massa Ranghar right there and then? Is there no Sikh left in
Amritsar?". "No.", replied the messenger, "There
is no honorable Sikh there. They have all ran away to far away
places, like you, to save their lives." Bhai Mehtab Singh was a
strong and brave young Khalsa. He stood up at once and picked up his
sword. He gathered the people of the village and said, "Start a
Sri Akhand Paath, and I will be back with Massa Ranghar's head before
it is finished. Or else, I will not come back." An Akhand Paath
is a reading of the entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs begin reading
the first page and do not stop until they have read the very last
page. This takes several days to do, but it is a very beautiful and
strong meditation. It protects all those who come near. The Words are
very pleasing to God, and They make the people who hear and the
people who sing Them, very graceful. And so the Sikhs in the village
of Jaipur began to read the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

     Bhai Mehtab Singh and his friend, Bhai
Sukha Singh, jumped on their horses and galloped as fast as they
could towards Amritsar. After riding long and hard, they arrived in
Amritsar. They went straight to the Golden Temple. They went with
such speed that no one stopped them. The Moghul soldiers could not
believe that Sikhs would even come into Amritsar. The two Sikhs
entered the walls of the temple, and when they arrived near the
bridge, they tied their horses to a tree, and they walked across the
bridge. They entered the Golden Temple. Massa Ranghar was seated,
smoking a big rukab pipe. He was drunk for he had drank a lot of
wine. His eyes were half closed and he was watching dancing girls and
listening to their music. The two Sikhs could not believe it, and so
Bhai Sukha Singh stood watch at the door and Bhai Mehtab Singh fell
on Massa Ranghar like lightning from the sky. Raising his sword high,
he cut off Massa's head and threw in a bag. Massa's men were very
surprised. They ran around not knowing what to do. They were very
afraid. Before they could do anything, Bhai Mehtab Singh and Bhai
Sukha Singh ran out of the Temple, they ran down the bridge. They
jumped on their horses and galloped away like the wind. They rode
across the countryside, faster and faster they ran, bringing back the
head of the enemy.

      Finally, they arrived near the
village. They jumped off their horses. Bhai Mehtab Singh took the
Moghul's head and he stuck it on top of his lance. Then, he and his
friend walked their horses into the village. Everyone saw them and
was very joyful and surprised to see them alive. They saw the head of
a man on top of the lance and realized that Bhai Mehtab Singh had
succeeded in his mission. The Akhand Paath was not even yet finished.
"Vaheguru jee ka khalsa, Vaheguru jee kee fateh!", said
Bhai Mehtab Singh, "This is the way that those who dishonor the
House of Guru die." Later on Bhai Mehtab Singh was made prisoner
by the Moghuls. They tortured him and killed him, breaking every bone
of his body on the wheel, but he calmly and joyful continued to
chant, "Vaheguru, Vaheguru, Vaheguru.". Refusing to cry,
refusing to beg, refusing to betray his Guru to save his life. And
this is the way that true Sikhs of the Guru, the true Khalsa, live
and die.

 

Vaheguru jee ka khalsa, Vaheguru jee
kee fateh

 

Storyteller:  Guruliv Singh
Age ranges:  13 - 17, 18 and over