andi Chhorr Divas translates to ‘Day of Breaking from False Bonds’ and is celebrated on the same day as the Hindu festival of Diwali. At the age of 11 years, Guru Hargobind Sahib ji was bestowed the Guruship by His father, Guru Arjan Dev ji. Guru ji was devoted to building the martial strength of the Sikhs and emphasised the knowledge and importance of weapons, and maintained a fully trained army. Wrestling matches, target practice and swordsmanship were all encouraged by Guru ji. The Mughal Emperor, Jahangir, grew to dislike Guru ji after learning about the martial training of the Sikhs and Guru ji’s increasing popularity. He saw Guru ji and the newly built Akaal Takht, a sovereign political centre, as a threat to the Mughal rule.
The Mughal Emperor requested Guru ji to be imprisoned at Gwalior Fort, where 52 Hindu Princes and Rajas were being unjustly detained. Jahangir later realised his mistake and he gave orders for Guru ji to be set free. To the surprise of all, Guru ji placed a condition upon His own release, stating that He would only leave the prison if the other Rajas and Princes wrongfully detained would also be set free. The Emperor mockingly replied that only those who could hold onto Guru ji’s robe on His release, were able to leave with Him. Guru ji prepared a special robe, woven with 52 tassels on it. It was on this day, by placing a single tassel into each of the Raja’s hands, that each captive was led by Guru ji to freedom
When Guru ji returned to Amritsar around the time of Diwali, a wonderful celebration took place.Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) was beautifully lit up. During this time of year we come together and listen to Guru ji’s history to light the candles of our mind and ask Guru ji to free us from our worldly bonds. Guru ji’s robe can still be seen at Gurdwara Sri Chola Sahib, Ghudani Kalan, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. Guru ji teaches us to always stand for justice and help those in need. In this life, we too can grab hold of Guru Sahib’s robe: by listening to and following Gurbani, we too can be set free.