Guru Gobind Singh Ji
The tenth and the last Guru or Prophet-teacher of the Sikh faith, was born Gobind Rai Sodhi on Poh 7, 1723 sk/22 December 1666 at Patna, in Bihar. His father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Ninth Guru, was then travelling across Bengal and Assam. Returning to Patna in 1670, he directed his family to return to the Punjab. On the site of the house at Patna in which Gobind Rai was born and where he spent his early childhood now stands a sacred shrine, Takht Sri Harimandar Sahib, one of the five most honoured seats of religious authority (takht, lit. throne) for the Sikhs.
Gobind Rai was escorted to Anandpur (then known as Chakk Nanaki)on the foothills of the Sivaliks where he reached in March 1672 and where his early education included reading and writing of Punjabi, Braj, Sanskrit and Persian. He was barely nine years of age when a sudden turn came in his life as well as in the life of tile community he was destined to lead. Early in 1675, a group Kashmiri Brahmans, drivels to desperation by the religious fanaticism of the Mughals General, Iftikar Khan, visited Anandpur to seek Guru Tegh Bahadur’s intercession. As the Guru sat reflecting what to do, young Gobind Rai, arriving there in company with his playmates, asked Why he looked so preoccupied. The father, as records Kuir Singh in his Gurbilas Patshahi 10, replied, “Grave are the burdens the earth bears. She will be redeemed only if a truly worthy person comes forward to lay down his head. Distress will then be expunged and happiness ushered in.” “None could be worthier than yourself to make such a sacrifice,” remarked Gobind Rai in his innocent manner. Guru Tegh Bahadur soon aftenwards proceeded to the imperial capital, Delhi, and courted death on 11 November 1675.
Guru Gobind Singh was The Tenth Nanak or the last of the Sikh preachers to live. His teachings have inspired the Sikh community and others for generations. The Sikh community celebrates this day offering prayers at gurudwaras and remembering Guruji’s words of wisdom.
1 .Incident with the Kashmiri Pandits
When, the Kashmiri Pandits had approached Guru Tegh Bahadur Jee Maharaj, seeking his help to stop the forced conversions that were being carried out by Aurangzed, Guru Gobind Singh Ji ( then called Gobind Rai) who was just nine years old, came running to his father’s lap, and asked him what was the matter. Guru Jee replied, “These people are in trouble. It would require the sacrifice of a great man to save their faith”.
Gobind Rai replied ,”Father, there is no soul greater than you at this time on earth. You should go ahead for the sacrifice.”
Thus at the age of nine years, little Gobind Rai, sent his father to safeguard the interest of Kashmiri Pandits by sacrificing his human frame.
2. A Leader Among Us
Gobind Rai, who would later be named as Guru Gobind Singh, was born to the ninth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Teg Bahadur and Mata Gujri at Patna Sahib or Takht Sri Patna Sahib (now in Patna).
3. Son Of A Martyr
He was only nine when he became the Tenth Sikh Guru. He ascended after his father Guru Teg Bahadur accepted martyrdom in the hands of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to protect the Kashmiri Hindus.
4. Scholar And Warrior
As a child, Guru Gobindh Singh learned many languages including Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, Braj, Gurmukhi and Persian. He also learned martial arts to become adept in combat.
5. To The Hills
Guru Gobindji’s hometown was the city of Anandpur Sahib in the present Rupnagar disrict in Punjab. He left the town due to a scuffle with Bhim Chand and proceeded to Nahan, a place in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, following an invitation of Mat Prakash, the king of Sirmur.
6. Preaching In Hills
From Nahan, Guru Gobind Singh proceeded to Paonta, a town beside the river Yamuna in South Sirmur, Himachal Pradesh. There, he founded the Paonta Sahib Gurudwara and preached about the Sikh principles. Paonta Sahib remains an important pilgrim site for Sikhs. Guru Gobindji also wrote texts and had a substantial number of followers within three years, the time he spent there.
7. A Fighter
In September 1688, at the age of 19, Guru Gobind Singh fought the Battle of Bhangani against an allied force of Bhim Chand, Garwal king Fateh Khan and other local kings of the Sivalik Hills. The battle lasted for a day and thousands of lives were lost. The Guru came out victorious. A description of the battle can be found in Bichitra Natak or Bachittar Natak, a part of the Dasham Granth, which is a religious text attributed to Guru Gobind Singh.
Battles by Guru Gobind Singh
8. Return To Home
In November 1688, Guru Gobind returned to Anandpur, which became known as Chak Nanaki, agreeing upon an invitation from the dowager queen of Bilaspur.
9. Founder Of Khalsa
On March 30 in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh gathered his followers to his home in Anadpur. He asked for a volunteer to sacrifice his head for his brothers. Daya Ram offered his head and the Guru took him inside a tent and later emerged with a bloody sword. He again asked for a volunteer and repeated the feat. This went on for three more times. At last, Guru emerged from the tent with the five volunteers and five headless goats were found in the tent. These five Sikh volunteers were named as Panj Pyaare or ‘five beloved ones’ by the Guru.
The five volunteers were Daya Ram, also known as Bhai Daya Singh; Dharam Das, also known as Bhai Dharam Singh; Himmat Rai, also known as Bhai Himmat Singh; Mohkam Chand, also known as Bhai Mohkam Singh; and Sahib Chand, also known as Bhai Sahib Singh. They were the first Sikhs.
10. Khalsa, The Way Of Life
At the gathering of 1699, Guru Gobind SIngh founded the Khalsa Vani – “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh”. He named all his followers with the title Singh, meaning lion. He also founded the principles of Khalsa or the Five ‘K’s.
The five ‘K’s are the five principles of life that are to be followed by a Khalsa. These include Kesh or hair, which means to leave the hair uncut to show acceptance to the form God intended humans to be; Kangha or wooden comb, as a symbol of cleanliness; Kara or iron bracelet, as a mark to remind a Khalsa of self-restraint; Kacchera or knee-length shorts, to be worn by a Khalsa for being always ready to go into battle on horseback; and Kirpan, a sword to defend oneself and the poor, the weak and the oppressed from all religions, castes and creeds.
Kakar – The 5 Articles of Faith
The 5 Articles of Faith, given by Guru Gobind Singh that a baptised Sikh has to carry every time with him, has a great significance and a deep meaning behind them.
1. The Kesh:
The hair, is considered to be a gift of the Almighty and is supposed to be kept in its natural state. Guru Nanak Dev ji started this practice, and Guru Gobind Singh ji instructed the Sikhs to wear the Turban in order to protect it.
2. The Kanga:
A Sikh is instructed to carry a comb, comb his hair twice a day and tie his turban neatly. The turban is worn to protect the hair and to promote social identity.
3. The Kara:
The bracelet, worn on the right wrist, is a reminder to the Sikh of the vows taken by him.
4. The Kirpan:
The sword symbolizes courage and self- defence. It embraces dignity and is a reminder of self dependence and reliance.
5. The Kacchera:
The under shorts, reminds the Sikhs about the self discipline over rage, anger, lust and passion. If a Sikh ever gets caught in a moment of negativity, the Kachehra reminds him of his duties.
11. Shaheed of Family Members
Meanwhile, Guru’s mother Mata Gujri and his two younger sons were captured by Wazir Khan, the Muslim governor of Sirhind. According to the Sikh tradition, his youngest sons, aged 5 and 8, were executed by burying them alive into a wall after they refused to convert to Islam, and Mata Gujri died soon after hearing of her grandsons’ death. Both his eldest sons, aged 13 and 17, also died in December 1704 in battle against the Mughal army as they defended their father.
12. Fighting The Mughals
After repeated conflicts with Garwali and Mughal leaders, Guru Gobind Singh wrote a letter to Aurangzeb in Persian, which was later famously named as Zafarnama or the Epistle of Victory, reminding him of the misdeed the Mughals had done to the Sikhs. He fought against the Mughals later in battle of Muktsar in 1705.
13. Passing The Legacy
After Aurangzeb’s death, Guru Gobind Singh no longer remained an adversary to the Mughals. The next Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah was friendly with Guru Gobind at first. He even named the Guru as Hind Ka Pir or the Saint of India. But later on, Bahadur Shah was influenced by Wazir Khan, Nawab of Sirhind, to attack the Sikh community. Wazir Khan sent two Pathan assassins Jamshed Khan and Wasil Beg to attack the Guru during his sleep at Nanded, the Guru’s resting place. They stabbed Guru Gobind Singh in his sleep. The Guru killed Jamshed, the attacker, with his sword, while other Sikh brothers killed Beg.
Guru Gobind Singh named Guru Granth Sahib, the religious text of the Khalsas and the Sikhs, as the next Guru of the two communities. He left his bodily form and on October 7 in 1708.
Source from sikhiwiki.org , indorehd.com , indiatoday.intoday.in