The below is translated from Katha on Zafarnama by Giani Sant Singh Ji Maskeen.

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaaj in his letter to Aurangzeb did mention some good things about Aurangzeb which can come as a shock. It’s due to Aurangzeb that Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib Ji became shaheed, it’s due to him 2 Sahibzaade were bricked alive, home was lost and life spent in Sangharsh.

Regarding this person Guru Gobind Singh Ji did write good things. Meaning of “Zafar” is victory and meaning of “Naama” is letter. Letter of victory, it’s amazing that it’s called letter of victory, even after Guru Ji lost a father, sons, family separated , and still Guru Ji said “Aurangzeb, I have won and you have lost”

Zafarnama Rendition:

The Letter of Victory was sent to Ahmed Nagar and after reading it Aurangzeb suffered and continued to suffer. Satguru Ji wrote good things about Aurangzeb that you wake up at Amritvela which is a great quality, you read the namaz 5 times a day, you twice a day read and discuss about the Koran, which is a great quality. You also have another great quality that you hold rosary beads in your hands and whenever you have free time you recite “Allah Hu”.   On Thursdays, which is called “Jumme Di Raat”, you do “Zakaat” and during the month of ramzaan you do fast for 30 days which is another great quality of yours.

After stating such good qualities, Guru Gobind Singh Ji states after such positive qualities, you Aurangzeb still are a devil, not a god’s man, you don’t have any understanding of god, you have done things which have hurt people, and he who is close to god unites hearts of people.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji called a flower a flower, a thorn a thorn, and calling a thorn a thorn and a flower a flower is truth, this is truthfulness.

Calling a thorn a flower is foolish and false and calling a flower a thorn is an insult.

Often humans say half truth which is worse then a lie. What is a half truth is that you call a flower a flower but it’s difficult for you to call a thorn a thorn. If you call a thorn and it stung you, then you clothes will get ripped, and we say so what do we care.

It’s very rare that someone like Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaaj comes to this planet and calls a flower a flower and a thorn a thorn.  By Giani Sant Singh Ji Maskeen

In this letter, Guru Ji reminds Aurangzeb how he and his henchmen had broken their oaths taken on the holy Koran. Zafarnama is included in Hikayats and it’s the first Hikayat.

Despite this deception, this treacherous leader could not harm the Guru. Guru Ji states in this letter that in spite of his several sufferings, he had won a moral victory over the crafty Mughal who had broken all his vows and had resorted to underhand behaviour. Despite sending a huge army to capture or kill the Guru, the Mughal forces did not succeed in their mission.

Contents of Letter:

The Zafarnama reads like a reprimand by a superior personality on a higher plane to a cruel and distorted inhuman being on a lower and pitiful plane. Guru Ji in the 111 verses of this notice rebukes Aurangzeb for his weaknesses as a human being and for excesses as a leader. Guru Ji confirms his confidence and his unflinching faith in the Almighty even after suffering extreme personal loss.

Of the 111 verses, the maximum numbers of 34 verses are to praise God; 32 deal with Aurangzeb’s invitation for the Guru to meet him and the Guru’s refusal to meet the Emperor – instead Guruji asks Aurangzeb to visit him going so far as to guarantee that no harm will come to him. Though parts of the letter are an indictment of Aurangzeb and the treachery of his Mughal Generals and forces, other parts of the letter are like one from an older wiser veer (brave or valiant brother) more in touch with the part of the jyot (light) of God in his heart, who though terribly wronged on one plane, is asking his lost veer, who he sees as having lost touch with the promise of his own religion and its Holy Koran, to return to the fold of brotherly love and make things right between them again. Amazingly 6 verses actually praise Aurangzeb.

24 verses detail the events in the Battle of Chamkaur, which took place on 21 and 22 December 1704; 15 verses reprove Aurangzeb for breaking written promises given by him and his Officers, written in the blank pages of a copy of the Qur’an, given to the Guru; In verses 78 and 79, the Master had also warned Aurangzeb about the resolve of the Khalsa not to rest until his empire and its evil practises is driven out of India or destroyed.


ZAFARNAMA (The Epistle of Victory)

The Lord is One and His Word is True.

The Victory is of the Lord.

The Sacred Utterance of the Tenth Sovereign.

The Lord is perfect in all faculties. He is Immortal and generous. He is the Giver of victuals and Emancipator.1.

He is the protector and Helper; He is Compassionate, Giver of food and Enticer.2.

He is the Sovereign, treasure-house of qualities and Guide; He is unparalleled and is without Form and Colour.3.

Through His Generosity, He provides Heavenly Enjoyments to one without any wealth, falcon, army property and authority.4.

He is the Transcendent as well as Immanent; He is Omnipresent and bestows honours.5.

He is Holy, Generous and Preserver; He is Merciful and Provider of victuals.6.

The Lord is Generous, the Highest of the High; He, the preserver, is Most Beautiful.7.

The Lord is Omniscient, the Protector of the lowly; He, the Friend of the poor, is the Destroyer of the enemies.8.

He is the Source of all virtues, keeper of Dharma; He knows everything and is the Source of all Scriptures.9.

He is the Perfect Being and Treasure of Wisdom; He, the All-Pervading Lord, is Omniscient.10.

The Lord of the Universe, Knows all the sciences and breaks the knots of all complications.11.

He, the Supreme and Most High, Supervises the whole world; He, the Sovereign of the Universe, is the Source of all Learning.12.

I have faith in your oaths; the Lord Himself is the Witness.13.

I have not an iota of faith in such a person, whose officers have relinquished the path of Turth.14.

Whosoever puts faith on the oath of Quran, he is subjected to punishment on the final reckoning.15.

He, who comes under the shade of the legendary Huma, a very brave crow cannot harm him.16.

He, who takes refuge of the fierce tiger; the goat, sheep and deer do not go near him.17.

Even if I had taken an oath on Quarn in concealment, I would not have budhed and inch from my place.18.

How could forty famished persons fight in the battlefield, on whom ten lakh soldiers made a sudden attack.19.

Your army breaking the oath and in great haste plunged in the battlefield with arrows and guns.20.

For this reason, I had to intervene and had to come fully armed.21.

When all other methods fail, it is proper to hold the sword in hand.22.

I have no faith in your oaths on the Quarn, otherwise I had nothing to do with this battle.23.

I do not know that your officers are deceitful, otherwise I would not have followed this path.24.

It is not appropriated to imprison and kill those, who put faith on the oaths of Quarn.25.

The soldiers of your army, clad in black uniforms, rushed like flies on my men.26.

Whosoever from them came near the wall of the fort, with one arrow he wos drenched in his won blood.27.

None dared to come there near the wall; none faced then the arrows and destruction.28.

When I saw Nahar Khan in the battlefield, he was greeted with one of my arrows.29.

All those boasters who came near the wall, they were dispatched in no time.30.

Another Afghan, with a bow and arrow came in the battlefield like a flood.31.

He shot arrows heroically, sometimes in senses and sometimes in madness.32.

He made several attacks and was drenched with last.33.

Khwaja Mardud hid himself behind the wall; he did not enter the field like a brave warrior.34.

If I had seen his face once, one of my arrows would have dispatched him to the abode of death.35.

Many warriors wounded with arrows and bullets died in the battle on both the sides.36.

The darts were showered so violently, that the field became red like popyflowers.37.

The heads and limbs of the dead were scattered in the field like the balls and sticks in the game of Polo.38.

When the arrows hissed and bows tinkled, there was a great hue and cry in the world.39.

There the spears and lances provided a dreadful sound and the warriors lost heir senses.40.

How could bravery ultimately withstand in the field, when only forty were surrounded by innumerable warriors?41.

When the lamp of the world veiled itself, the moon shone in brightness during the night.42. He, who puts faith on the oaths of the Quran, the Ture Lord gives him the guidance.43.

There was neither any harm nor injury; my Lord, the vanquisher of the enemies, brought me to safety.44.

I did not know that these oath-breakers were deceitful and flowers of mammon.45.

They were neither men of faith, nor true followers of Islam, they did not know the Lord not had faith in the prophet.46.

He, who follows his faith with sincerity, he never budges an inch from his oaths.47.

I have no faith at all in such a person for whom the oath of the Quran has no significance.48.

Even if you swear a hundred times in the name of the Quran, I shall not trust you any more.49.

If you have even a little of faith in God, come in the battlefield fully armed.50.

It is your duty act on these words, because for me, these words are like the Orders of God.51.

If the Holy Prophet had been there himself, you would have acted on them with all your heart.52.

It is your duty and a binding on you to do as bidden in writing.53.

I have received your letter and the message, do, whatever is required to be done.54.

One should act on his words; the speech and action should correspond.55.

I agree with the words conveyed by the Qazi, but if you promise to come on the right path.56.

If you want to see the letter containing oaths, I can send you the same immediatedly.57.

If you come yourself in village Kangar, we can meet each other.58.

Do not bring in your mind the danger of coming there; because the Brar community acts according to my orders.59.

We can talk to each other in this way; kindly come so that we may have direct talk.60.

Your saying that I may bring for you a very fine steed of one thousand rupees and get this area as a feoff (jagir) from you, you may keep this thing in your mind.61.

I am the man of the Sovereign of Sovereign and His slave; if He permits me, then I shall present myself there.62.

If He permits me, then I shall be present there in person.63.

If you worship One Lord, you will not cause any delay in this work of mine.64.

You should recognize the Lord, so that you may not talk ill or cause injury to anybody.65. You are the Sovereign of the world and you sit on the throne, but I wonder at your ill acts of injustice.66.

I wonder at your acts of piety and justice; I feel sorry at your sovereignty.67.

I wonder very much regarding your faith; anything said against truth brings downfall.68.

Do not be rash in striking your sword on helpless, otherwise the Providence will shed your blood.69.

Do not be careless, recognize the Lord, who is averse to greed and flattery.70.

He, the Sovereign of Sovereigns, fears none; He is the Master of the earth and heavens.71.

He, the True Lord, is the Master of both the worlds; He is the Creator of all the creatures of the universe.72.

He is the Presever of all, from ant to elephant; He gives strength to the helpless and destroys the careless.73.

The True Lord is known as `Prtector of the lowly`; He is carefree and free from want.74.

He is Unassailable and Unparalleled; He shows the path as a Guide.75.

You are strained by the oath of the Quran, therefore, fulfil the promise made by you.76.

It is appropriate for you to become sane and do your task with severity.77.

What, if you have killed my four sons, the hooded cobra still sits coiled up.78.

What type of bravery it is to extinguish the speak of fire and fan the flames.79.

Listen to this well-said quotation of Firdausi : “The hasty action is the work o Satan”.80.

I have also come from the abode of Your Lord, who will be the witness on the day of Judgement.81.

If you prepare yourself for the good action, the Lord will give you an apt reward.82.

If you forget this task of Juustice, the Lord will forget you.83.

The righteous has to tread the path of truth and virtue, but it is still better to recognize the Lord.84.

I do not believe that man recognizes the Lord, who injures the sentiments of others through his action.85.

The Ture and Merciful Lord does not love you, though you have unaccountable wealth.86.

Even if you swear a hundred times by the Quran, I shall never trust you.87.

I cannot come to you and am not prepared to tread your path of oaths; I shall go, wherever my Lord will ask me to go.88.

You are king of king, O fortunate Aurangzeb; you are a clever administrator and a good horseman.89.

With the help of your intelligence and the sword, you have become the master of Deg and Tegh.90.

You are the acme of beauty and wiseom; you are the chief of chiefs and the king.91.

You are the acme of beauty and wisdom; you are the master of the country and its wealth.92.

You are most generous and a mountain in the battlefield; you are like angels wielding high splendour.93.

Though you are the king of kings, O Aurangzeb ! you are far from righteousness and justice.94.

I vanquished the vicious hill chiefs, they were idol-worshippers and I am idol-breaker.95.

Look at the time-cycle, quite undependable; whosoever it pursues, it brings his decline.96.

Think of the power of the Holy Lord, which causes one persons to kill lakhs of people.97.

If God is friendly, no enemy can do anything; the generous action proceed from the merciful Lord.98.

He is the Emancipator and the Guide, who causes our tongue to sing His Praises.99.

In throubled times He withdraws the faculty of sight from the enemies; He releases without injury the suppressed and the lowly.100.

He, who is tuuthful and follows the right path, the Merciful Lord is Graceful towards him.101.

He, who surrenders his mind and body to Him, the True Lord is Graceful towards him.102.

No enemy can ever beguile him, on whom the Merciful Lord showers His Graces.103.

When one man is attacked by lakh, the Generous Lord gives him protection.104.

Just as our hopes lie in your wealth, I depend upon the Grace of the Lord.105.

You are proud of your kingdom and wealth, but I take refuge in the Non-Temporal Lord.106.

Do not be careless about this fact that this saraae (resting place) is not the permanent abode.107.

Look at the time-cycle, which is undependable; it gives a fatal blow to everthing of this world.108.

Do not oppose the lowly and helpless; do not break the oaths taken on the Quran.109.

If God is friendly, what the enemy can do?, though he may be inimical in many ways.110.

The enemy may try to give a thousand blows, but he cannot harm even one hair, (if God is friendly).111.

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