Guru Gobind Singh ji

Guru Gobind Singh ji

Guru_GobindSinghjpg

Fast Facts

 Father  Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji
 Mother  Mata Gujri Ji
 Date of Birth  22nd December 1666
 Place of Birth  Patna Sahib
 Wife(s)  Mata Sundari Ji, Mata Sundari
 Children  Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Jorawar Singh & Fateh Singh
 Time at Gur Gadhi  11/11/1675, 33 Years
 Regimes  Aurangjeb, Bahadur Shah
 Age  42 Years
 Jyoti-Jot Day  17th October 1708
 Jyoti-Jot Place  Nanded

 

It may not be out of the way to say here that throughout the annals of human history, there was no other individual who could be of more inspiring personality than Guru Gobind Singh. At its climax the tenth Nanak infused the spirit of both the saintlihood and the undauntedness in the minds and hearts of his followers to fight oppression in order to restore justice, righteousness (Dharma) and to uplift the down-trodden people in this world. It is said that after the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the tenth Master declared that he would create such a Panth (nation) which would not be cowed down by tyrant rulers but it would rather challenge the oppressor in every walk of life to restore justice, equality and peace for mankind. He further resolved that he would feel worthy to be called Gobind Singh only when any single member of his Khalsa Panth would successfully and undauntedly challenge the army of one hundred and twenty-five thousand opponents in the field. This point was rightfully proven at Chamkaur Sahib when Sahibzada Ajit Singh (Guru’s about 18 years old eldest son) challenged the Mughal forces and their allies, the hilly Rajas.

“The Divine Guru hath sent me for religion’s sake On this account, I have come into the world; Extend

the faith everywhere Seize and destroy the evil and sinful. Understand this, ye holymen, in your minds

I assumed birth for the purpose of spreading the faith, saving the saints and extirpating all tyrants.”

(Guru Gobind Singh- Chaupai, Bachitar Natak)

Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom symbolized in itself the resistance to the tyranny of Muslim rule in favor of a new society. When evil is holding its head high, should a holy man knuckle under it or take up arms to combat and destroy it? The young Guru, Gobind Rai, decided in favor of the latter course i.e. to combat evil and uphold righteousness. He thus enjoined upon his followers to make use of the sword if all other means failed to liquidate the wicked and his wickedness. In order to achieve this mission, he issued ‘Hukamnamas’ (circular letters of authority) to his followers to present to him arms of different designs. The Guru’s orders were obeyed with great zeal and devotion. He himself wore uniform and bore arms and induced others to practise archery and musket- shooting. He encouraged various muscle-developing and strenuous sports as part of the program of physical culture. Many followers with martial instincts whose forefathers had served the Guru’s father and his grandfather, flocked to him. His principal companions at that time were his aunt Bibi Viro’s (Guru Har Gobind’s daughter) five sons, Sango Shah, Jit Mal, Gopal Chand, Ganga Ram, Mohri Chand; his uncle Suraj Mal’s two sons- Gulab Rai and Sham Das; his maternal uncle Kirpal Chand; Bhai Daya Ram, the friend from his youth; and Bhai Nand Chand, a favorite masand.

The Guru instructed his followers to lead a well-meaning and disciplined life. He according to the customs of his redecessors, used to rise early in the morning and perform his devotions. He was particularly delighted to listen to Asa di Var. After day-break, he gave divine instructions to his Sikhs and then practised martial exercises. In the afternoon, he received his followers, went shooting or raced horses; and ended the evening by performing the divine service of ‘Rehras’.

The Guru’s handsome exterior was much admired both by men and women. A person called Bhikhia from Lahore came to visit him. Seeing the handsome young Guru, Bhai Bhikhia offered the alliance of his daughter Jito to him. The proposal was accepted and there were great rejoicing at Anandpur on the occasion of the betrothal ceremony. The twenty-third of Har, Sambat 1734 (1677 A.D.) was fixed for the marriage. The Guru sent orders in all directions for this occasion and the Sikhs thronged from various places including Lahore. A place was set up near Anandpur, which was called Guru ki Lahore where the marriage ceremony took place.

Upon the death of his father, Guru Gobind Singh felt compelled to organize the Sikhs into a community of saint-soldiers. During the spring of 1699, the Guru called his followers for a special gathering. During the day, thousands of people assembled in front of a stage and a tent, out of which emerged the Guru to address the massive audience. With sword in hand, the Guru asked the congregation if anyone would be willing to sacrifice their head for him. Naturally, the audience was stunned by the Guru’s request, and many followers began to disperse out of sheer terror. Still, the Guru pressed for one of his followers to give their life for him. Finally, one of the assembled stood, with hands folded, and approached the Guru in full submission. The lone disciple was led into the tent by the Guru. After some time, the Guru emerged with a blood-stained sword and asked for another head. Overcome with shock, the audience could not believe what they were seeing; however, another devoted follower stood and offered his head to the Guru. Eventually, with the same outcome, three more devoted disciples offered their lives to the Guru. After the fifth devotee was led into the tent, to the surprise of the massive audience, the Guru emerged with the five followers fully clothed in the uniform of the Khalsa, or Pure. The Guru’s demonstration symbolized a revitalization of the Sikh identity and the definitive evolution of the Sikh community into a community of saint-soldiers. After initiating the five “beloved ones” into the new order of the Khalsa, the Guru knelt before them and requested that they initiate him. In the annals of human history, such a transformation into a distinct and solidified community, culminating in the baptism of the prophet by his followers, remains a unique and defining moment.

Guru Gobind Singh and his Khalsa army were engaged in several battles against the imperialist Mughal army during the Guru’s life. Through the course of those turbulent times, the Guru lost his four children and his mother to the cause of righteousness; but nevertheless, the Khalsa stood firm as a distinct and sovereign entity, able to withstand the onslaught of a mighty enemy.

In the face of persecution, the Guru wrote:

“When all peaceful means of resolution have failed, it is righteous to draw the sword”

Before his death at the hands of an assailant in 1708, the Guru added the writings of Guru Tegh Bahadur to the Sikh scriptures, thereby giving a final revision to its form. The Guru also declared the lineage of living Gurus finished, and requested his followers to seek spiritual guidance from the Guru Granth Sahib. In essence, the light of Nanak, the first Guru, was to be forever enshrined within the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib.

To illustrate his point that the Guru Granth Sahib was the final Guru of the Sikhs, and as a sign of humility, Guru Gobind Singh did not include his writings, over 1400 pages worth of literature, in the Guru Granth Sahib.  A separate volume, called Dasam Granth, features the writings of the tenth Sikh Guru.

 

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