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ZAFARNAMA - A spiritually enlightening letter of verses written to Aurangzeb by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the blessed GURU who had a SWORD in his one hand and a PEN (Kalam) in the other. (A Humble Reminder by Bobby Sing)

07 Jan, 2014 | Articles on Music, Poetry and Life

Beginning on an honest note, I strongly feel that one of the most balanced divine personality, this part of world has ever witnessed in its entire history is of the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. A saint-soldier who clearly instructed his followers or devotees, not to consider him as GOD but as their humble friendly teacher, who could teach them the most balanced way of living life, following the path of a saint and a soldier together with your complete awareness.

Guru Gobind Singh Sahib as a MusicianHowever unfortunately, I am forced to say that today probably we are not remembering this multi dimensioned divine personality in a much desired balanced manner comparing to the blessed layered life he lived as a spiritual guru, a creative artist, a thoughtful poet and a strong warrior fighting against injustice.
And that is the reason I really feel quite sad when I do find most of the youngsters talking about The Guru as a warrior who bravely fought against the cruel rulers sacrificing his entire family. But rarely I find any young enthusiastic person eager to know or discuss about Guru Sahib’s poetic contribution to the world, his understanding of music, his written philosophical literature, the gifted galaxy of 52 poets & scholars he had in his court, his willingness to call more learned & creative people from all over the country, his love to have a comparative study of more religions or languages around and even his musical contribution to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the present Guru of Sikhs.
May be I am among the only few thinking that way, but the truth remains that if we cannot remember an immensely gifted god-sent personality in the same BALANCED way, as evidently lived by him in this chaotic world, then somewhere the message gets lost or isn’t being passed on to the next generation in the right manner. And that is the reason I thought of writing this concise piece on one of the most impactful and thought provoking letters written in the history of India by one King to the other, with a rare, clear vision without any hidden hatred or grudge.
As per the traditional thought ZAFARNAMA was sent as the second letter in the response of the message received from Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, when Guru Sahib at first had written him a letter composed of 24 couplets known as Fateh Nama (proclaiming moral victory). After reading these initial 24 couplets Aurangzeb had realized that injustice had been done and feeling the regret he requested Guru Sahib to come and have a meeting.
Knowing the remorseful feelings of the Emperor, Guru Gobind Singh wrote another detailed letter of 111 couplets with his honest expressions called ZAFARNAMA meaning ‘Letter of Victory’ written in Persian language. In this highly impactful letter Guru Sahib showed a great amount of confidence and undying faith in the Almighty despite losing his family and kids in the war of justice. He clearly reminded Aurangzeb about his weaknesses as a human being and as a true Muslim too who had lost his touch with his own religion and its Holy Quran.
Of these 111 verses, the maximum were to praise that One Supreme Power, a few on the false oaths of the Holy Quran taken by the Emperor & his generals, more about the events in Battle of Chamkaur (where just 40 men fought with lakhs of attackers) and then also about Aurangzeb’s invitation for a mutual meeting, in response to which Guru Sahib refused to go and himself invited Aurangzeb to come and visit for a mutual conversation.
The most amazing part of the ZAFARNAMA remained the 6 verses in which Guru Sahib actually praised Aurangzeb, clearly conveying that Guru Gobind Singh was not personally against Islam, any particular religion or even an individual, but was just against the injustice and the policy of tyranny practiced by the powerful. In fact Guru Sahib was never in favour of any war too, as all the battles he was forced into were fought in self-defense and not for any attack to gain some territorial reigns. And in one of his verses, he had even clearly said that war needs to be only the last resort when all other ways to fight the injustice fail.
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib in his DarbarSo as I feel, ZAFARNAMA was (and is) a true piece of spiritual art & an alarming (as well as an enlightening) letter to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb which tried to convey the real meaning of this gifted life to be lived feeling your utmost devotion towards that Supreme Power, without causing any discomfort or injustice to the other fellow beings.
In fact such was the demoralising effect of these 111 insightful couplets on Aurangzeb that he could easily see the gruesome mistakes made by him in the recent past and therefore was willing to meet Guru Sahib personally in search of his own redemption. He withdrew all orders given against Guru Sahib, his Sikhs and then issued instructions to make arrangement for his immediate meeting with Guru Gobind Singh to his ministers at once.
Unfortunately, as destiny had decided, within the time period of that travel, Aurangzeb couldn’t survive and he died due to health reasons before meeting Guru Sahib, seeking his own liberation. And that is how another immensely valuable chapter of Indian History got never written.
Now for all the interested friends (and I hope they should be many), there are a number of translations available of ZAFARNAMA in the physical format of a book as well as on the web. But for your instant access, below are given few links where you will find a PDF file instantly, along with the English text & meanings of the Persian couplets thoughtfully written by Guru Sahib.
So this is a small effort from my side to reach the younger minds around, with a hope that we do love, remember and follow the Great Messenger of Life, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib both for his Sword and his Pen (Kalam) together with a balance vision. Because if we tend to remember only the Sword ignoring the Pen, then the message remains incomplete and not being followed as instructed by the Guru himself.
(Bobby Sing)

Tags : ZAFARNAMA By Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the blessed GURU who had a SWORD in his one hand and a PEN in the other, A Humble Reminder on Zafarnama by Bobby Sing, Guru Gobind Singh as Musician, Guru Gobind Singh as a Poet, Guru Gobind Singh as a profound writer, The Zorba Buddha of the present.
07 Jan 2014 / Comments ( 10 )

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and important message and also a part of history which I did not know about.

This exchanging of poetic letters between 2 of the most powerful Kings should be ,and I feel is, a landmark in Sikh and Mughal History but no one talks about them .

I thank Bobby paaji for enlightening us with his knowledge and sharing this.

I will now go through the letters.

Gupurab Di Vadhaiyaan.


Bobby Sing

With the message reaching even one young friend here, makes me feel the purpose fulfilled immensely and I am glad that I could spread the awareness about this immensely important part of our Indian history to many friends who never knew about it before.

So thanks for reading it and understanding the message from my side too Baljeet.
Keep visiting, reading and writing in with


Bobby Chachu....
this was too good and really inspiring...
me as a youngster was ignoring the PEN part of guru sahib....but in the recent days i realized that sword is never the solution to any problem but PEN or simply non voilence definately is....taking the recent example of Gurbaksh singh ji khalsa.....is an inspiring one......
i really thank you for this article of yours.....

Bobby Sing

Thanks Sidak as I am glad that you could find time to read it and then understand it too with the right perspective.
These days it has become quite difficult as both the ways and motive to explain such hidden treasures are fast changing towards something else.
So I have tried it from my side and would continue doing so in the coming times too, So keep in touch and keep writing in.


Prakash Bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
How should I thank you for such a wonderful eye opener Zafarnama composed by Guru Gobind Singhji? Did\'nt know that Guruji was master of persian.Gone through Zafarnama today after reading your article.Ofcourse I read the english translation and was fortunate to read (and trying to understand) the words of Guruji God and our Gurujis may bless you for such service.
Prakash Bhatia

Bobby Sing

Hi Prakash Bhatia Ji,
I am really glad that the write up could introduce you to all the hidden aspects related with Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and his written literature. 
Would soon come with more in this direction at the site. So be in touch always and keep visiting.


Thank u Sir for this wonderful and enlightening piece of work.. Have downloaded the pdf.s, will go through it..

Thanks sir!!

Bobby Sing

The pleasure is really mine Avik.

Lt Gen PS Mehta (retd) AVSM,VSM
I am absolutely enlightened  by this share. Indeepth knowledge of Kalgidar Maharajji...many thanks for such a treasure you have shared.Sat Sri Akal ji
Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot Sir for your kinds words of praise.
Wished to reach many youngsters who are just in touch with the '2-minute' information kind of module now a days famous on the social networks and whats app.
Hope they all read it and get the real picture of our history far from any hatred or venom.

Thanks once again with

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