Once a farmer was plucking dele (capper berries) in dense forest on the outskirts of village Rameana.
Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji saw the farmer and asked him what was in his lappet. The farmer gave a handful of capper berries to Guru Sahib from his lappet. Guru Ji tasted one, which was bitter and asked the farmer to throw the berries away.
Guru Gobind Singh asked the farmer to throw away the berries three time in total. Each time the farmer would throw away only a portion until one quarter were left.
Guru Gobind Singh explained that if the farmer had followed his instructions the dark age of kalyug would have passed. However, it would now take some time to pass.
In 1704 Anandpur was under an extended siege by the mughals and the hindu hill chiefs. Provisions were completely exhausted and the Khalsa lived on leaves and the bark of trees. The Jats of Majha decided to leave and go home. Led by Mahan Singh Brar they told Guru Gobind Singh that they were not his Sikhs any more and wanted to leave.
Guru Ji accepted what he was told by the deserters and asked them to write a disclaimer saying they were no longer his Sikhs and sign it. Out of hundreds of Sikhs, forty Sikhs signed the bedawa (disrespectful) document; then they were permitted to leave Anandpur. Note: In the history of warfare, deserters have never been treated with such leniency and forgiveness.
When the forty arrived home, rather than finding wives joyful for their return, happy that they were alive, what did they find? Wives who were appalled that they had deserted Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Khalsa women had already consciously chosen widowhood. They chose to bear the burden of seeing their husbands dead, of being left with the sorrow of being widowed, of raising their children alone, of having their economic and personal futures comprised with the absence of a husband, than to see their husbands walk away from their destinies and betray their Guru.
Mai Bhago shamed and censured the Singhs for their cowardice and eventually brought them back to the path of devotion and sacrifice. She, donning a man's dress, inspired them to return to the fold of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Feeling ashamed for their act of cowardice, they followed her banner and joined in the famous battle of Sri Muktsar Sahib, which was fought against the Mughal forces at Muktsar Sahib.
Although it is said the bedawa may have been signed here at Rameana, it may have been at Anandpur. Regardless, the Sikhs changed their minds and paid the ultimate price in defnding their faith from the mughal muslims. This happened on 19 visakh 1762 bikrami ie. 4th May 1705.
Back to Historic Sikh Gurdwaras list
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
Other Gurbani Contributors