Gursikhs from the Past
Bhai Mani Singh a playmate classmate and devoted disciple of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji and a top-ranking scholar of his time. He surved the Guru by many years and was martyred at Lahore. This is an historic letter addressed by him from Amritsar to Mata Sundar Kaur Ji (the wife of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji) at Delhi in April 1716.
The English version of this letter runs thus:-
Letter of Bhai Mani Singh to Mata Sundari Ji
May the Almighty help us.
Mani Singh makes his humble prostration at the holy feet of his venerable mother. Further news is that the climate of this place has aggravated my rheumatism and my health deteriorates fast. I will have to listen to the healing parable of the tertian fever. But my illness has caused no slackness in the performance of the holy service of the Hari Mandir (Golden Temple). The Khalsa no more hods away over the country and its power has waned. The Sikhs have migrated to the mountain retreats. The Malechhas reign supreme in the country. There is no security for the (Sikh) children and women in any habitation. They are hunted out and killed. The opposing states have also joined hands with them. The Hindalis spy on the Sikhs. All (the Sikhs) have deserted the Chak (The earliest name of Amritsar). The Mutsaddis (priests) have also fled. So far the Immortal Lord protects me. Tomorrow is uncertain. What is ordained by the Lord shall prevail. The adopted son of Binod Singh has passed away. Among the books I sent per Jhanda Singh there is one entitled "303 Chritra Upakhyans" by the Lord (Guru Gobind Singh). Give that to Sihan Singh in the Mahal (Matia Mahal in the interior of Delhi City). So far there is no trace of the book "Nam Mala". I found the first part of "Krishna Avtar" but not the second. I shall send it when available. There is a rumour in the country that Banda (Bahadur) has made his good escape from the Emperor`s jail. May the Guru protect him. The Guru`s family (the descendants of the Guru) at Khandur have sent five tolas of gold as a gift for your son`s bride(an adopted son of Mata Ji as all of her four sons were martyred already). Recover seventeen rupees from Jhanda Singh ; I gave him five rupees to meet the expenses of the journey?(?) These expenses will be incurred by him. The Mutsaddis have not yet settled accounts otherwise I would have sent a draft from the city (presumably Lahore) . If my health improves I shall come in the month of assu.
Signed - Mani Singh
P.S. Reply in bamboo stick. (as being confidential)