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Painda Khan

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File:Paindakhanguruhargobind.jpg

Painda Khan (d. 1635), also sometimes spelt as Painde Khan in Sikh chronicles, was the son of Fateh Khan, an Afghan resident of the village of Alimpur, 7 km northeast of Kartarpur in the present Jalandhar district of the Punjab. His parents died while he was still very young, and he was brought up by his maternal uncle, Isma'il Khan, of Vadda Mir, also near Kartarpur. According to Gurbilas Chhevm Patshahi, Isma'il Khan along with his 16 year old nephew and some other Pathans of his village, once accompanied a Sikh sangat proceeding to Amritsar on the occasion of Divali to see Guru Hargobind.

The Guru, pleased with the manly demeanour of Painda Khan, engaged him to be trained as a soldier. Painda Khan grew up into a brave, hefty warrior and showed his mettle fighting against the imperial troops at Amritsar(1629). Guru Hargobind always treated him with special consideration. While at Kartarpur, he had Painda Khan married to an Afghan girl from Chhota Mir, and asked him to stay there with his bride. During his visits to Kartarpur, the Guru would take him out for the chase, and shower him with praise and gifts. Painda Khan was in Guru Hargobind's train during his visit to Darauli Bhai in 1631. After the death of Mata Damodari there in November that year, he was told to escort the family back to Kartarpur, while the Guru himself set out on a journey across the Malva tract to meet the sangats.

As the Guru arrived at Kartarpur after the battle of Mehraj in December 1634, Painda Khan presented himself and, to quote Bhai Santokh Singh in "Sri Gur Pratdp Suraj Granth", spoke boastfully: "Had I been there I would not have let the Guru go forward and expose himself to danger, nor would have Bhai Jetha died." About this time Painda Khan married his daughter to Asman Khan, an Afghan youth of the village of Chhota Mir itself. On the occasion of the next Baisakhi, 29 March 1635, Sikhs from far and near came with presents to pay homage to the Guru. Chitra Sain, a rich merchant, presented a beautiful horse, a white hawk, a costly dress and a khand or dual-edged sword. Guru Hargobind gave the hawk to Baba Gurditta, his eldest son, and bestowed the horse, the dress and the sword upon Painda Khan.

As the latter went home, elated at having been so honoured by the Guru, his son-in-law, Asman Khan, claimed the gifts which Painda Khan reluctantly passed on to him. Asman Khan, donning the dress and sword, went out hunting the following day riding the horse. Baba Gurditta, with his newly acquired white hawk, also happened to be sporting in the same area. The hawk fell into the hands of Asman Khan, who took it home. Painda Khan who turned up without wearing the dress gifted to him, denied before the Guru that the gifts had changed hands or that the hawk was in the possession of his son-in-law. Guru Hargobind sent a Sikh, Bhai Bidhi Chand, to Chhota Mir, and the gifts along with the hawk were recovered from Asman Khan.

Chagrined at the exposure of his perjury, Painda Khan openly turned against his patron. With the help of the faujaddr of Jalandhar, he attacked the Guru but was worsted in the battle which, according to Bhatt Vahi Multani Sindhi, raged for three days, from 26 to 28 April 1635. Painda Khan fell to Guru Hargobind's sword on the final day. The Gurbilas Chhevin Pdtshdhi records that, as Painda lay dying, the Guru told him to recite the kalimah, the Muhammadan confession of faith, shading with his shield his face from the scorching sun.

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