350th Birth Anniversary | 13 Amazing Facts About Guru Gobind Singh Ji


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.

Incident with the Kashmiri Pandits

Incident with the Kashmiri Pandits

 

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

 

Significant battles

  1. Battle of Bhangani (1688), which states chapter 8 of Gobind Singh’s Bicitra Natak, when Fateh Shah, along with mercenary commanders Hayat Khan and Najabat Khan, attacked his forces without any purpose. The Guru was aided by forces of Kripal (his maternal uncle) and a Brahmin named Daya Ram, both of whom he praises as heroes in his text. The Guru’s cousin named Sango Shah was killed in the battle, a cousin from Guru Hargobind’s daughter.
  2. Battle of Nadaun (1691), against the Islamic armies of Mian Khan and his son Alif Khan, who were defeated by the allied forces of Guru Gobind Singh, Bhim Chand and other Hindu kings of Himalayan foothills.[54] The non-Muslims aligned to the Guru had refused to pay tribute to the Islamic officials based in Jammu.

In 1693, Aurangzeb was fighting the Hindu Marathas in the Deccan region of India, and he issued orders that Guru Gobind Singh and Sikhs should be prevented from gathering in Anandpur in large numbers. [55]

  1. Battle of Guler (1696), first against the Muslim commander Dilawar Khan’s son Rustam Khan, near Sutlej river, where the Guru teamed up with the Hindu king of Guler and routed the Muslim army. The commander sent his general Hussain Khan against the armies of the Guru and the Guler kingdom, a war fought near Pathankot, and Hussain Khan was defeated and killed by the joint forces.
  2. First Battle of Anandpur (1700), against the Mughal army of Aurangzeb, who had sent 10,000 soldiers under the command of Painda Khan and Dina Beg. In a direct combat between Guru Gobind Singh and Painda Khan, the latter was killed. His death led to the Mughal army fleeing the battlefield.
  3. Battle of Anandpur Sahib (1701), against the neighboring Hindu kingdom chiefs who controlled the mountain kingdoms. This was accompanied by a battle wherein Jagatullah was killed by Sikh forces.[57] The hill chiefs laid a siege of Anandpur, and the Guru had to temporarily leave Anandpur as a condition for peace. According to Louis Fenech, his wars with kings of the Himalayan kingdoms was likely triggered by the growing army of Sikhs, which then raided and plundered villages in nearby mountainous kingdoms for supplies; the Hindu kings joined forces and blockaded Anandpur.[55]
  4. Battle of Nirmohgarh (1702), against the forces of Aurangzeb, led by Wazir Khan on the banks of Nirmohgarh. The battle continued for two days, with heavy losses on both sides, and Wazir Khan army left the battlefield.
  5. Battle of Basoli (1702), against the Mughal army; named after the kingdom of Basoli whose Raja Dharampul supported the Guru in the battle.  The Mughal army was supported by rival kingdom of Kahlur led by Raja Ajmer Chand. The battle ended when the two sides reached a tactical peace.
  6. Battle of Anandpur (1704), against the Mughal army led first by Saiyad Khan and then by Ramjan Khan; The Mughal general was fatally wounded by Sikh soldiers, and the army withdrew. Aurangzeb then sent a larger army with two generals, Wazir Khan and Zaberdast Khan in May 1704, to destroy the Sikh resistance.  The approach the Islamic army took in this battle was to lay a protracted siege against Anandpur, from May to December, cutting off all food and other supplies moving in and out, along with repeated battles. Some Sikh men deserted the Guru during Anandpur siege in 1704, and escaped to their homes where their women shamed them and they rejoined the Guru’s army and died fighting with him in 1705.  Towards the end, the Guru, his family and followers accepted an offer by Aurangzeb of safe passage out of Anandpur.  However, as they left Anandpur in two batches, they were attacked, and one of the batches with Mata Gujari and Guru’s two sons – Zorawar Singh aged 8 and Fateh Singh aged 5 – were taken captive by the Mughal army.  Both his children were executed by burying them alive into a wall. The grandmother Mata Gujari died there as well.
  7. Battle of Sarsa (1704), against the Mughal army led by general Wazir Khan; the Muslim commander had conveyed Aurangzeb’s promise of a safe passage to Guru Gobind Singh and his family in early December.[64]However, when the Guru accepted the offer and left, Wazir Khan took captives, executed them and pursued the Guru. The retreating troops he was with were repeated attacked from behind, with heavy casualties to the Sikhs, particularly while crossing the Sarsa river.
  8. Battle of Chamkaur (1704) Regarded as one of the most important battle of the sikh history. It was against the Mughal army led by Nahar Khan; the Muslim commander was killed, while on Sikh side the remaining two elder sons of the Guru – Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, along with other Sikh soldiers were killed in this battle.
  9. Battle of Muktsar (1705), the Guru’s army was re-attacked by the Mughal army, being hunted down by general Wazir Khan, in the arid area of Khidrana-ki-Dhab. The Mughals were blocked again, but with many losses of Sikh lives – particularly the famous Chalis Mukte (literally, the “forty liberated ones”),  and this was the last battle led by Guru Gobind Singh.  The place of battle called Khidrana was renamed about a 100 years later by Ranjit Singh to Mukt-sar (literally, “lake of liberation”), after the term “Mukt” (moksha) of the ancient Indian tradition, in honor of those who gave their lives for the cause of liberation.  Source from  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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

Image Source: Wikimedia

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. 

Click here to download 

http://www.zafarnama.com/Download/zafarnama.pdf

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

13 Amazing Facts Guru Gobind Singh Ji

13 Amazing Facts Guru Gobind Singh Ji

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