Bishwa Nath Singh
A glimpse on the life of the tenth Guru of Sikhism Guru Gobind Singh
(Photo of the tenth Guru of Sikhism-Guru Gobind Singh)
Bishwa Nath Singh:
Guru Gobind Singh was born on December 22, 1666, at Patna Sahib (Bihar).His Parents were Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Sodhi and Gujri ji. After the Sacrifice of the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh took charge of the Sikh masses in 1675 AD and like his grand father the sixth Guru, Guru Har Gobind, he took to arms. Thus Guru Gobind Singh was a challenge to the Great King Aurangzeb, who ruled from Kanyakumari in the South to Kabul in the North of India. He was the tenth and the last Guru of the Sikhs who established the Khalsa Panth. He was a great scholar and warrior. He fought by word and by sword against injustice, tyranny and superstition. Gobind Rai spent the first five years of his life in Patna. As a child, he used to play war games with other children, leading mock battles. He had many admirers, including a learned Brahmin called Pandit Shiv Dutt who used to call Guruji Bala Pritam ("child god"), a name that is used even today to refer to the Guru. Once, Raja Fateh Chand of Patna and his Rani, a childless couple, visited Shiv Dutt, and asked him to bless them with a child. Shiv Dutt suggested that they must seek blessing of Bala Pritam, and their desire would be fulfilled. The couple then requested young Gobind Rai to visit their palace, where the Rani asked Guruji to bless her with a son. Guruji smiled and said that why do they need a son, the Rani could call him her son. From that day, the Rani started calling him her son. The royal couple were blessed - Guruji would visit them almost everyday and started playing with his friends in their palace often. Rani cooked meal of poori (a type of Indian bread) and black grams daily for guruji and his wargaming friends. Till today a meal of poori and black gram is served in langar (free kitchen) in their palace which has been converted into gurdwara (sikh religious place).Other admirers of the boy included two Nawabs, Karim Baksh, who gifted a village and gardens to the child and Rahim Baksh.. He married at Anandpur on July 1677 A.D.Guru Gobind Rai Jito the daughter of Bhikhia of Lahore. In accordance with his mothers wishes, Gobind Rai later weds Sundari the daughter of a new Sikh convert. Guru Gobind Singh lastly wedded Sahib Devi of Rohtas, naming her mother of the Khalsa. He had fore sons who were popular as Baba Ajit Singh ji, Baba Jujhar Singh ji,Baba Zorawar Singh ji and Baba Fateh Singhji Three major conflicts had taken place from 1701 to 1704 A.D end in a siege of Anandpur on May 1705 A.D. Later on in the month of December 1705 A.D, Anandpur was evacuated.He is remembered as martyrdom of his sons and the mother. At Chamkaur on December 7, 1705 A.D. Ajit Singh and *Zorawar Singh fell in battle and were killed wheras Guru Gobind Singh was ordered to escape. and at Sirhind Fatehghar on December 13, 1705 Jujhar Singh and Fateh Singh were put to death. Mata Gujari had died in prison.Thus he had sacrificed his four sons and mother for Khalsa Panth. The Sikhs pay a tribute to him by saying: “Sawa lakh se ek ladoon, tabhi Guru Gobind Singh Naam Kahaoon.He became the tenth Guru of the Sikhs on November 11,1675 at the age of nine years. He was already being taught different languages like Punjabi, Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic etc. Along with this he was also being perfected in martial art to become a strong soldier. Thus in the next 5/6 years, he was most exalted, perfect in all aspects of life, compassionate, kind, loveable, courageous, fearless, saint, soldier, farsighted administrator. He was a Guru and had no ego, lust, greed, anger, attachment or any vices as such. He was a personality who uprooted the Mugal Dynasty from India forever. He was the great-grand-son of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev - a martyr.Grand-son of the sixth Guru; son of of the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur e is remembered as true saint-soldier. His life and teachings have had an everlasting impression on Sikh ideology as well as in their daily life. His establishment of the Khalsa in 1699 is considered as one of the most important events in history of Sikhism. He fought several defensive battles with the Mughals and their alliances, such as Rajas of Shivalik Hills. Guru Gobind Singh was the last human Sikh Guru; and in Nanded he declared the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, as the final Sikh Guru on October 7, 1708.His determination was as strong as that of a mountain, irrespective of the sufferings and personal losses. While accomplishing his mission, he sacrificed his four young sons, five beloved followers, unlimited Sikhs and many devoted Muslims. His mission was not at all different from the predecessors and was same but it was very strong, systematic and final.He had explained his mission in his own words that he has come in this world :(a) to say and act what is right without fear of anybody. (b). to worship only the One Supreme God. (c) To do what is ordained by God. (d) To spread Truth, righteousness. (e) To save saints and (f) to uproot the cruel. He had preached for: (1). Believe in Creator-The One God.(2) Believe in One True Guru, Shabad Guru, Guru Granth Sahib.(3) Always remember God.(4). Live a truthful married life and in high spirits.(5.) All happenings are according to the Will of God and accept it happily.( 6). Love all.(7). Be kind to all.(8). Serve all especially the poor.(9). Do not fear (.10.) Do not threaten.(11.) Let not cruelty and injustice happen to anybody.(12). Control your desires, your mind, and have patience.(13). Treat ladies, young or old, with love, respect and dignity besides many other such virtues. He did not believe in: (1) Idol worship such as Stones, Statues, Images, Figures, Photos etc (2). Burning of candles, lamps at holy places, cemeteries etc (3). Growing matted hairs like yogis.(4). Renouncing world and family life and putting ear rings like yogis.(5.) Renouncing world and family life and pulling hair roots like those followers of Jainism.(6.) Changing appearances and languages to please others and loosing own respect and (7) Praying only in a particular direction i.e. Muslims pray facing towards West (Kaaba). Hindus pray facing towards East (Sun rise). God is everywhere and one can pray in any direction. The accomplishments of Guru Har Gobind Singh as a human-being could be summarized as follows: (1). He used to preach that people should live with self respect, he lived like a king - riding the most beautiful horses, sporting a falcon on his hand, wearing a beautiful turban with a decorated Kalgi and always carried sword, bow and arrows. Like his grand-father, he also kept big drum with him and called it 'Ranjit Nagara' and used it like that of the kings. (2.) Moghyl King Auragazeb did not want people of other religion to worship in public. But Guru Gobind Singh declared that the Sikh place of worship (A Gurudwara) must display a lofty flag, visible from a long distance and keep a big 'Drum' (Nagara). He said that Gurudwara is a place of God and it must give free food to the hungry and shelter to the needy irrespective of caste, creed or religion. No ritualistic type of worshipping like burning of candles, ringing of bells etc. is to be permit, instead, only reading, singing and discourses in praise of God and asking for His Blessings should be conducted. This is to teach oneself that man is a big zero, he is ten only when God is with him. (3). He had given birth to Khalsa, a classless society of saint-soldiers with the above virtues for all the times to come and(4.) he had uprooted the cruel rulers. It was not an easy task to achieve all this. It is said that the basic causes of wars in this world are: Wealth, Land and Women but in the case of Guru Gobind Singh it was none of them. It was all for self respect dignity and freedom. Anandpur Sahib, a place at the base of hills, purchased and populated by his father, Guru Teg Bahadur, was the center of activities of the Guru and the Sikhs since 1671 AD to 1704 AD. In a period of about twenty years, in between 1686 AD to 1706 AD the Guru had to face and fight about sixteen wars. Most of the hill areas were ruled by many Hindu Kings called 'kings of hills' (Pahari Rajas). For the people of their land they were kings but to the King of Hindustan - Aurangzeb, they were slaves. They had lost their self- respect. They were not only paying heavy taxes to Moghyl King Aurangzeb, but were also marrying their beautiful young daughters to Muslim rulers to save themselves from their wrath. It was this downfall of theirs that Guru Gobind Singh objected. The Guru had uplifted the poor. He had all the praises for them. He had brought them up and made them fearless and faithful. The Pahari Rajas out of their ego of high caste, ruling powers, wealth etc. could not accept this good will of the Guru to the poor. They wanted the Guru to create a group of High class Sikhs separate from general Sikhs, which was not at all acceptable to the Guru. Some of the Pahari Rajas were friendly to the Guru, but some of them were very jealous and became enemy and traitors to the Guru. Thus, Pahari Rajas one or the other confronted the Guru and his army many times and lost to the Guru. In some wars, at their behest and instigation the Muslim Rulers fought with the Guru, but lost in all. At one time Moghyl King Aurangzeb had ordered Governor of Punjab to attack Pahari Rajas and collect revenue from them. The Pahari Rajas requested Guru Gobind Singh for help. He had no enmity even with his enemies. He helped them and defeated the Muslim army. Even after getting help of the Guru, seeing rising strength of the Guru and his deep convictions, they remained jealous and afraid of him and kept enmity with him. Such was the bad luck of the Hindu kings of India at that time. The Guru did not sit idle in peaceful times. Martial training was an essential part of life for all the Sikhs. He also gave special attention to literature. He wrote number of poems in praise of God. Jaap Sahib, Akaal Ustat, Gian Probodh, Shabad Hazare, thirty three Swiaiey, Zaffar Nama etc. speak of the high quality thoughts of the Guru. At one time he had fifty two poets with him. He had a poetic sense in him. Guru Gobind Singh wrote prolifically while at Fort Paonta in Sirmur. He completed the Guru Granth, adding the compositions of his father Guru Teg Bahadar, but including only one of his own. His remaining compositions are compiled in the Dasam Granth. Portions of his most important works appear in the five prayers, or Panj Bania, of the Sikhs daily prayer book, Nitnem and include: Jaap Sahib, Tev Prasad Swayee andAkal UstatOther important works are: Shabad Hazaray, Bichitra Natak andChandi di Var. Many mythological pieces of literature were translated by these poets from the original Sanskrit works. This work was for the general knowledge of the masses but bore no sanctity of the Guru. In the later times, whole In the year 1699 AD, on the Ist of Vaisakh of Indian calendar month, a festival day, in a full congregation of about eighty thousand devotees, Guru Gobind Singh took out his unsheathed sword and asked for one head from the masses present there. All were stunned. Never a Guru has asked his followers like this. The Guru was determined. He again gave the call for the offer of one head. A follower got up and with folded hands offered self. Repeating his call the Guru asked again, and the other person got up. And like that five persons, one after the other offered themselves. All the five were of different castes, from far places throughout India. The Guru attired them in a simple, beautiful uniform and baptized them. He declared them "Punj Piaras" the Five Beloved Ones" and called them Khalsa. Each Sikh was called a Singh (Prince) and each Sikh lady was called Kanwar i.e. Kaur (Princess). Thus a classless society of saint-soldiers was created and called Khalsa -The human being in its purest form. The Khalsa is the embodiment of Guru Gobind Singh. God has formed Man in His Own Shape. So Khalsa shall not disfigure himself. Code of Conduct For Khalsa were defined as the following (1). The khalsa shall not trim his/her hair anywhere over the body. (2). The Khalsa shall not adulterate. Shall not indulge in sex with other than his/her wife/husband. (3). The Khalsa shall not take tobacco in any form.( 4.) The Khalsa shall not eat animals killed in a slow killing process. Khalsa was further forbidden from: (1). Worshiping other gods and goddesses (.2). Treating the 10 Gurus differently.(3). Hurting feelings of people of other religions.(4). Deforming human body- like piercing ears, noses etc.(5). Taking all types of intoxicants like wines, drugs, cocaine, cigarettes, beetles etc.(6). Dyeing of hairs.(7). Making relations with(a) Who kill their new-born and young daughters.(b): Who smoke and use tobacco.(c): Who cut their hairs and do not follow teachings of the Guru. (d): Who because of their ego, selfishness, ignorance, jealousy, hate had enmity with the kind and blissful Gurus. The Guru, as well the Khalsa, is ever blissful. Those who sincerely accept mistakes of their misdeeds and repent shall be forgiven and accepted into the Khalsa fold. Such is the code of conduct of Khalsa. Three Golden rules of Khalsa were defined as (a). Remember God, always keep His memory in heart and live in high spirits (b). Do not become burden on any body. Work and Earn.(c). Share and eat. It is said that in the wars of Guru Gobind Singh, , it was Bhai Kanniaha who started serving the injured soldiers alike. He saw the face of his beloved Guru even in the injured enemy pleading for help. Guru Gobind Singh was so pleased with his service, he gave him even medicines to serve all injured. This gesture of Bhai Kanniaha in the Sikh community could not be propagated, instead it is the West, who spread this message throughout the world, though centuries later, in the name of Red Cross Society. Wazir Khan, an official of Sirhind who had ordered the death of Guru Gobind Singh's youngest two sons, later sent assassins to kill the guru. They found the guru in Nanded and attacked him after his evening prayer, stabbing him beneath his heart. Guru Gobind Singh fought and killed his assailant. Sikhs rushed to his aid and killed the second man. The wound began to heal after but reopened several days later when the guru attempted to use his bow. Realizing his end had come, Guru Gobind Singh assembled his Sikhs and instructed them that the scripture of the Granth should forever be their irreplaceable guru and guide The Guru is said to have passed away, along with his horse Dilbagh (aka Neela Ghora) on October 7,1708 at Nanded on the Bank of the Godavar before which he had declared the Guru Granth Sahib as his successor .Let us join to offer our humble obeisance to His lotus feet and pay our respectful homage to Him!
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