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Bhai Kirpa Dutt

Kirpa Singh Dutt (d. 1705) was the son of Bhai Aru Ram, a Sarasvat Brahman of Matan, 65 KM east of Srinagar, in Kashmir. Aru Ram had met Guru Har Rai and sought his blessing at the time of the latter's visit to Kashmir in 1660.

Kashmiri Brahmins, came to Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandpur in May 1675 for protection against atrocities of Aurangzeb. Kirpa Ram led this group of Kashmiri Pandits driven to dire straits by State Persecution. They had faced stiff taxes, atrocities, cruelty under muslim Mughal governor of Kashmir. Honour of their daughters was being lost and they were losing their religion to the fanatic zeal and proletyzation activities of Islamic crusaders.

Iftikhar Khan, governor of Kashmir (1671-75) was a harsh man and was forcibly converting people to Islam. Kashmiri Brahmins asked Guru Ji for a solution. Guru replied "Such activities can only be stopped by a sacrifice of a great person". Just then 9 years old son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Gobind Rai (Later Guru Gobind Singh) came along and saw his father deep in thought. He enquired about the reason. He offered a possible solution by saying "who else is greater then you, O father". Guru Tegh Bahadur knew immediately about his Dharma. He told Kashmiri Brahmins "Go tell Aurangzeb that if they can convert your Guru then you will all become Muslims." Kirpa Ram obliged and Aurangzeb issued summons for Guru. Guru performed the ceremony and declared that next Guru will be his son, Gobind Rai.

The Kashmiri Brahmins communicated to the Emperor that, if Guru Tegh Bahadur was converted, they would all voluntarily accept conversion. Through Zalim Khan, a governor of Lahore, Kirpa Ram and his companions sent Emperor Aurangzeb a petition to that effect. An imperial summons was issued followed by Guru Tegh Bahadur's arrest and martyrdom in Delhi. Kirpa Ram returned to Anandpur. Guru Gobind Singh Ji from 1675 until 1690 took an extensive courses in Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, and Punjabi in educating himself. According to chronicles, Pandit Kirpa Dutt helped Guru Gobind Singh in his Sanskrit Studies. Guru Gobind Singh contemplated the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Sahib (his great grand father), Guru Tegh Bahadur (his father) and decided to create a khalsa. Khalsa was created at Anandpur on March 31st 1699. Pandit Kirpa Ram Dutt became Kirpa Singh after taking Khanda Baate da Pahul. In 1699 he received the holy Amrit and entered the fold of the Khalsa.

In December of 1699 A.D. Mughal forces sieged the fort of Anandpur and after many months, siege was lifted once Guru agreed to give up the fort of Anandpur. Mughals broke their promise, on the Koran, and attacked the retreating Guru Gobind Singh's forces. In the confusion, the Guru's soldiers and family departed in different directions. Guru Gobind Singh along with his 40 Sikhs (including Kirpa Singh, and Guru Ji's two sons, Ajit Singh, and Jujhar Singh) went to the fort of Chamkaur. The Mughals soon surrounded the small mud fort of Chamkaur. Guru and his sikhs decided to face the battle in the batches of soldiers. Bhai Kirpa Singh Khalsa fell as a martyr in the battle of Chamkaur on 7 December 1705.

Excerpts taken from Encyclopedia of Sikhism by Harbans Singh.

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