Much of Baba Moti Ram Ji Mehra’s life is unclear and until recently much was not known. Baba Moti Ram Mehra was born in Fatehgarh Sahib (the year is unknown but many Historians claim approx 1660’s). Baba Moti Ram was one of two sons. His elder brother was Baba Joti Ram who was the father of Bhai Himmat Singh Ji, one of the original Panj Pyare (five beloved ones).
On the 24th December, 1704, Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh ji, Baba Fateh Singh ji along with Mata Gujri ji (mother of Guru Gobind Singh Ji) were arrested by Kotwal Jaani Khan of Morinda at Kheri, the native village of Gangu Ram. Gangu was a servant of Guru Gobind Singh who was allured by the money and jewellery which Mata Gujri ji carried and ,thus, informed the Kotwal of Morinda about their presence in his house. Jaani Khan brought them as prisoners to Sirhind. Faujdar Wazir Khan of Sirhind imprisoned them in the Thanda Burj (cold Fort).
Baba Moti Ram Mehra was a servant in the Hindu kitchen of the Faujdar. He used to serve food to the Hindu prisoners. Jagat Mata Gujri ji refused to accept the food of the Mughal kitchen as well as that which came from Diwan Sucha Nand’s house. Baba Moti Ram Mehra was a great follower of Sikh Gurus. He used to serve the sikhs on their way to Ananadpur Sahib and back to their homes. The Sikhs took rest at his mud house, where the mother of Baba Moti Ram Mehra and Bibi Bholi, wife of Mehra ji prepared food for these sikhs.
When Mata Gujri ji refused to accept the food, Baba Moti Ram Mehra could not bear the Sahibzadas sleeping hungry. He came home and told his family that he would serve milk and fresh water to these great prisoners. His mother and wife wee scared and tried to persuade him not to take such a step. Bibi Bholi, wife of Mehra ji, told him that the Wazir Khan had made an announcement in the town that whoever tried to help and serve any type of food to the sons of the tenth Guru, he along with his family would be crushed alive in a Kohlu, (the oil squeezer).
This information could not change the resolve of Baba ji. His mother told him that there were so many followers of the Guru in the town, they could have dared to serve the Sahibzadas. Baba Moti Ram Mehra humbly, but with determination, told his mother that those followers feared the ruler .
“Aren’t you scared, my son?” asked the mother.
Baba Mehra ji humbly replied,
“Dear mother our Guru is fighting against injustice of the Mughals. I will serve the great mother and the Sahibzadas. I don’t fear the punishment of the Faujdar. The history will not forgive us if we do not serve the great prisoners.”
Sensing his determination, his wife gave him her silver jewellery and some coins and requested him,” Please bribe the gate man of the Burj and request him to keep this act a secret.”
Baba ji praised his wife for participation in the great cause.Baba Moti Ram served milk and water to the Sahibzadas and Mata Gujri ji for three nights. Seeing Baba Moti Ram Ji’s determination and bravery, Mata Gujri Ji blessed Baba Moti Ram Ji Mehra by saying, “Dhan moti jin punn kamaya, guru laalan taahe dudh pilaya.” (Blessed Moti has earned good deeds, serving the Guru’s son’s with Milk.)
On 27th December 1704, the Sahibzadas were slain after bricking them alive in the foundation of the wall. Mata Gujri ji also breathed her last. Raja Todar Mall of Sirhind performed the cremation. He told Baba Mehra ji to arrange a cart of Chandan wood, which he brought from the forests of Atta Ali. After some time, Pumma, the brother of Gangu, told the Faujdar that his servant (Cook) had served the prisoners with milk and water.
Baba Moti Ram Mehra, his mother, wife and a little son were arrested. He did not conceal his act and boldly told the Faujdar that, it was his dharma to serve the young children and the aged mother of Guru Gobind Singhji. So, Baba Moti Ram Mehra along with his family were sentenced to the death by being squeezed in a squeezer (Kohlu).
Today a Gurudwara stands in memory of Baba Moti Ram ji Mehra and their family in Sri Fatehgarh Sahib. Below is an actual picture of the 2 steel glasses which were uses by Baba moti Ram ji Mehra to serve the milk to the Chotte Sahibzade and Mata Gujri ji.