Essay On Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Wallpapers

Guru Gobind Singh

(1667 to 1708)
Full Name : Gobind Rai
Personal Details
Birth :Friday, January 5, 1667 in Patna, Bihar, India
Guruship : 1675 to 1708
Joti Jot :Thursday, 21 October, 1708 at Nanded
Family
Parents :Guru Tegh Bahadur & Mata Gujri
Brother/Sisters : -N.A-
Spouse :Mata Jeeto, Mata Sundri, and Mata Sahib Kaur.
Children :Zorawar Singh, Ajit Singh, Jujha Singh, Fateh Singh
Other Details
Bani in GGS: Recomposed the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Damdama Sahib in 1706
Other Info: Wrote Dasam Granth and Sarabloh Granth
Creation of Khalsa Panth
Fought wars of defense for righteousness

Guru Gobind Singh ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ) (January 5, 16671 - 21 October, 1708), born "Gobind Rai" at Patna Sahib, Bihar, India, was the tenth and last of the human form Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru on November 24, 1675 at the age of nine, following the martyrdom of his father, the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.

A divine messenger, a warrior, a poet, a philosopher, Guru Gobind Singh molded the Sikh religion into its present shape, with the institution of the Khalsa fraternity, and completion of the sacred scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, in the final form that we find today. Before leaving his mortal body in 1708, Guru Gobind Singh decreed the Guru Granth Sahib as the next and perpetual Guru of the Sikhs.

It may not be out of context to consider that throughout the chronicles of human history, there has been no individual who lived a life more inspirational than Guru Gobind Singh. He is variously revered as Sarbans Dani (the merciful donor, who sacrificed his all), Mard Agamra (man without any parallels), Shah-e-Shahenshah (emperor of emperors), Bar do Alam Shah (ruler of both worlds), amongst others.

"If we consider the work which (Guru) Gobind (Singh) accomplished, both in reforming his religion and instituting a new code of law for his followers, his personal bravery under all circumstances; his persevering endurance amidst difficulties, which would have disheartened others and overwhelmed them in inextricable distress, and lastly his final victory over his powerful enemies by the very men who had previously forsaken him, we need not be surprised that the Sikhs venerate his memory. He was undoubtedly a great man." (W, L. McGregor)

It is said that after the martyrdom of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the tenth Master declared that he would create such a Panth (community/society), which would challenge the tyrant rulers in every walk of life to restore justice, equality and peace for all of mankind. Via institution of the Khalsa in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji infused the dual spirit of a saint and a soldier in the minds and hearts of his followers to fight oppression in order to restore righteousness (Dharma) and to uplift the down-trodden people in this world.

As a prophet, the Guru is unique. His teachings are very scientific and most suitable for all times. Unlike many other prophets he never called himself God or 'the only son of God.' Instead he called all people the sons of God sharing His Kingdom equally. For himself he used the word 'slave' or servant of God.

"Those who call me God, will fall into the deep pit of hell. Regard me as one of his slaves and have no doubt whatever about it. I am a servant of the Supreme Being; and have come to behold the wonderful drama of life."

Extracts from Guru Gobind Singh's writings;

"God has no marks, no colour, no caste, and no ancestors, No form, no complexion, no outline, no costume and is indescribable.
He is fearless, luminous and measureless in might. He is the king of kings, the Lord of the prophets.
He is the sovereign of the universe, gods, men and demons. The woods and dales sing the indescribable.
O Lord, none can tell Thy names. The wise count your blessings to coin your names." (Jaap Sahib)

Birth of a Star

A splendid Divine Light shone in the darkness of the night. Pir Bhikan Shah a Muslim mystic performed his prayers in that Easterly direction (instead of towards the West, contrary to his daily practice), and guided by this Divine Light, he travelled with a group of his followers until he reached Patna Sahib in Bihar.

It was here that Gobind Rai was born to Mata Gujri in 1666. It is said that Pir Bhikan Shah approached the child and offered two bowls of milk and water, signifying both the great religions of Hinduism and Islam. The child smiled and placed his hands on both bowls. The Pir bowed in utter humility and reverence to the new Prophet of all humanity.

Gobind Rai was born with a holy mission of which he tells us in his autobiography “Bachitar Natak” (Wonderous Drama). In it Guru Ji tells us how and for what purpose he was sent into this world by God. He states that before he came into this world , as a free spirit he was engaged in meditation in the seven peaked Hemkunt mountain. Having merged with God and having become One with the Unmanifest and the Infinite, God commanded him:

“I have cherished thee as my Son, and created thee to establish a religion and restrain the world from senseless acts. I stood up, folded my hands, bowed my head and replied,‘Thy religion will prevail in all the world, when it has Thy support’.”

Guru Ji describes the purpose of his coming to this world and why he emerged from the Supreme Reality in human form to carry out his Creator’s command :

“For this purpose was I born, let all virtuous people understand. I was born to advance righteousness, to emancipate the good, and to destroy all evil-doers root and branch.”

Early Life

Gobind Rai's 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, Sri Patna Sahib Gurdwara, Bihar.

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 the community he was destined to lead.

Kashmiri Brahmins come to Anandpur

Early in 1675, a group of Kashmiri brahmins under the leadership of Pandit Kirpa Ram, mad in desperation by the religious fanaticism of the Mughals General, Iftikar Khan, (he had threatened them with forced conversion to Islam) visited Anandpur to seek Guru Tegh Bahadur's advice. Aurangzeb had ordered the forced conversion of all Hindus and thought that if the respected Kashmiri brahmans accepted Islam, others in the country would be easily converted. They had been given six months to decide or suffer the consequences. Time was running out!

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 you to make such a sacrifice," remarked Gobind Rai in his innocent manner.

Guru Tegh Bahadur advised the brahmins to return to their village and tell the authorities that they would accept Islam if Guru Tegh Bahadur could first be persuaded to do so.

Father Guru's martyrdom

Main article: Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur

Soon afterwards the Guru with a few followers proceeded to the imperial capital, Delhi. After watching the tortured deaths of three of his followers he, as well, refused to convert and was beheaded on November 11, 1675. The 13 year old Gobind Rai, ordained as the next Guru before his father departed Anandpur, was formally installed as Guru Gobind Singh on the Baisakhi day of March 1676. In the midst of his engagement with the concerns of the community, he gave attention to the mastery of physical skills and literary accomplishment. He had grown into a comely youth spare, lithe of limb and energetic.

He had a natural genius for poetic composition and his early years were assiduously given to this pursuit. The Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki, popularly called Chandi di Var. written in 1684, was his first composition and his only major work in the Punjabi language. The poem depicted the legendary contest between the gods and the demons as described in the Markandeya Purana. The choice of a warlike theme for this and a number of his later compositions such as the two Chandi Charitras, mostly in Braj, was made to infuse martial spirit among his followers to prepare them to stand up against injustice and tyranny.

For the first 20 years or so of his life, Guru Gobind Singh lived peacefully at Anandpur practicing arms and exercises to complete his training as a soldier. He also studied Persian and Sanskrit and engaged 52 poets to translate the Hindu epics. Stories of ancient heroes were translated into Punjabi in order to create the martial spirit among the Sikhs. The Guru also wrote several compositions including Jaap Sahib, Akal Ustat and Sawayas during this period. He also established a Gurdwara at Paonta Sahib on the banks of the river Jamna.

Stay at Paonta Sahib

Much of Guru Gobind Singh's creative literary work was done at Paonta he had founded on the banks of the River Yamuna and to which site he had temporarily shifted in April 1685. Poetry as such was, however, not his aim. For him it was a means of revealing the divine principle and concretizing a personal vision of the Supreme Being that had been vouchsafed to him. His Jap Sahib, Swayas and the composition known as Akal Ustat are in this tenor.

Through his poetry he preached love and equality and a strictly ethical and moral code of conduct. He preached the worship of the One Supreme Being, deprecating idolatry and superstitious beliefs and observances. The glorification of the sword itself which he eulogized as Bhagauti was to secure fulfilment of God's justice. The sword was never meant as a symbol of aggression, and it was never to be used for self-aggrandizement. It was the emblem of manliness and self-respect and was to be used only in self-defence, as a last resort. For Guru Gobind Singh said in a Persian couplet in his Zafarnamah:

"When all other means have failed, It is but lawful to take to the sword." (verse 22)

Martial training

During his stay at Paonta, Guru Gobind Singh availed himself of his spare time to practice different forms of manly exercises, such as riding, swimming and archery. His increasing influence among the people and the martial exercises of his men excited the jealousy of the neighbouring Rajput hill rulers who led by Raja Fateh Chand of Garhwal collected a host to attack him.

But they were worsted in an action at Bhangam, about 10 km north-east of Paonta, in September 1688. Soon thereafter Guru Gobind Singh left Paonta Sahib and returned to Anandpur. The Guru and his Sikhs were involved in a battle with a Mughal commander, Alif Khan, at Nadaur on the left bank of the Beas, about 30 km south-east of Kangra, in March 1691.

Describing the battle in stirring verse in Bachitra Natak, he said that Alif Khan fled in utter disarray "without being able to give any attention to his camp." Among several other battles that occurred was the Husain battle (20 February 1696) fought against Husain Khan, an imperial general, which resulted in a decisive victory for the Sikhs.

Following the appointment in 1694 of the liberal Prince Muazzam (later Emperor Bahadur Shah) as viceroy of north-western region including Punjab, there was however a brief respite from pressure from the ruling authority. In Sambat 1756 (1699 A.D), Guru Gobind Singh issued directions to Sikh sangats or communities in different parts not to acknowledge masands, the local ministers, against whom he had heard complaints. He asked the Sikhs to send their offerings directly to Anandpur.

Battle of Bhangani

Main article: Battle of Bhangani

The Guru admonished hill Rajas including Raja Bhim Chand for giving their daughters to the Moghuls as tribute for holding their positions. His efforts at winning their support against Aurangzeb bore no fruit. On the contrary, the hill Rajas conspired with the Moghul armies to put down the power of Guru Gobind singh. They however faced defeat several times at the hands of the comparatively small Sikh Army. See www.info-sikh.com for more details

Battle of Nadaun (Hussaini Yudh)

The Masands

The Guru received various complaints against the priests, masands who robbed the poor Sikhs and misappropriated the collections. Guru Sahib abolished this order and severly punished the miscreants. Hereafter, the faithful were to bring their offerings directly to the Guru at the time of the annual Vaisakhi fair.

The Guru wanted to create a strong self-respecting community. He inspired the Sikhs with courage and heroism and a life of simplicity and hard work. He started an arms factory at Anandpur in order to manufacture swords and lances needed for his soldiers. Once when the Brahmins insisted that he should offer worship to goddess Durga in order to seal victory, he agreed and kept up the farce till nothing came out of it. At the crucial moment, the Guru unsheathed his sword exclaiming, “The sword is the Durga which will give us victory over our enemies.


Sikhs, he instructed, should come to Anandpur straight without any intermediaries. The Guru thus established direct relationship with his Sikhs. The institution of the Khalsa was given concrete form on 30 March 1699 when Sikhs had gathered at Anandpur in large numbers for the annual festival of Baisakhi.

Creation of the Khalsa

An open air diwan was held in Kesgarh Sahib at Anandpur. The Guru drew his sword and in a thundering voice said, "I want one head, is there any one who can offer me?"

This most unusual call caused some terror in the gathering and the people were stunned. There was dead silence. The Guru made a second call. Nobody came forward. There was still more silence. On the third call there raised Daya Ram, a khatri of Lahore who said, "O true king, my head is at your service."

The Guru took Daya Ram by the arm and led him inside a tent. A blow and thud were heard. Then the Guru, with his sword dripping with blood, came out and said, "I want another head, is there anyone who can offer?" Again on third call Dharam Das, a Jat from Delhi came forward and said, "O true king! My head is at thy disposal."

The Guru took Dharam Das inside the tent, again a blow and thud were heard, and he came out with his sword dripping with blood and repeated, "I want another head, is there any beloved Sikh who can offer it?"

Upon this some people in the assembly remarked that the Guru had lost all reason and went to his mother to complain.

Mohkam Chand, a calico priner/tailor of Dwarka (west coast of India) offered himself as a sacrifice. The Guru took him inside the tent and went through the same process. When he came out, he made a call for the fourth head. The Sikhs began to think that he was going to kill all of them.

Some of them ran away and the others hung their heads down in disbelief. Himmat Chand, a cook of Jagan Nath Puri, offered himself as a fourth sacrifice. Then the Guru made a fifth and the last call for a fifth head. Sahib Chand, a barber of Bidar (in central India), came forward and the Guru took him inside the tent. A blow and thud were heard.

The last time he stayed longer in the tent. People began to breathe with relief. They thought may be the Guru has realised "his mistake" and has now stopped.

The panj pyare

Main article: Panj Piare

The Guru now clad his five volunteers in splendid garments. They had offered their heads to the Guru, and the Guru had now given them himself and his glory. When they were brought outside, they were in the most radiant form. There were exclamations of wonder and the sighs of regret on all sides. Now people were sorry for not offering their heads.

Since the time of Guru Nanak, Charan Pauhal had been the customary form of initiation. People were to drink the holy water which had been touched or washed by the Guru's toe or feet. The Guru proceeded to initiate them to his new order (Khande di Pauhal) by asking the five faithful Sikhs to stand up.

He put pure water into an iron vessel or Bowl (Batta of Sarbloh) and stirred it with a Khanda (two edged small sword). While stirring the water with Khanda, he recited Gurbani (Five Banis- Japji, Jaap Sahib, Anand Sahib, Swayas, and Chaupai). Sugar crystals called 'Patasas' which incidently the Guru's wife, Mata Sahib Kaur, had brought at that moment, were mixed in the water.

Amrit Sanchar

Main article: Amrit Sanchar

The Guru then stood up with the sacred Amrit (nectar) prepared in the iron bowl. Each of the five faithful, by turn, each kneeling upon his left knee, looked up to the Master to receive the divine amrit. He gave five palmfuls of Amrit to each of them to drink and sprinkled it five times in the eyes, asking them to repeat aloud with each sprinkle, "Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh." (This means: Khalsa belongs to God and all triumph be to His Name) Then he anointed with five sprinkles in the hair.

In this way Amrit was administered to the five faithful from the same bowl. After that he asked them to sip Amrit from the same bowl to signify their initiation into the casteless fraternity of the Khalsa. All the five faithful were baptized in this way by the Guru who then called them the 'PANJ PYARE' or Five Beloved Ones.

He gave them the appellation of SINGHS (Lions) and they were named from Daya Ram to Daya Singh, Dharam Das to Dharam Singh, Mohkam Chand to Mohkam Singh, Himmat Chand to Himmat Singh, and Sahib Chand to Sahib Singh. The Guru then addressed them as the supreme, the liberated ones, pure ones and he called them THE KHALSA.


He then ordained them to do the following:

I. First they must wear the following articles whose names begin with 'K':

The 5Ks

Main article: 5Ks
  • 1. Kesh - unshorn hair. This represents the natural appearance of sainthood. This is the first token of Sikh faith.
  • 2. Kanga- A comb to clean the hair.
  • 3. Kachha - An underwear to indicate virtuous character.
  • 4. Kara - A Iron bracelet on the wrist, a symbol of dedication to the Divine Bridegroom.
  • 5. Kirpan - A sword symbolising dignity, power and unconquerable spirit.

II. They must observe the following guidelines:

  • 1. Not to remove hair from the body.
  • 2. Not to use Tobacco or other intoxicants (alcohol).
  • 3. Not to eat or touch Kuttha (Halal or Kosher) meat of an animal (see Hukamnama by Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji to the Sikhs of Kabul).
  • 4. Not to commit adultery- 'Par nari ki sej, bhul supne hun na jayo' (never enjoy, even in dream, the bed of a woman other than your own wife) (A supplementary ordinance was issued that any one who did not observe any of the four directives, must be re- baptized, pay a fine, and promise not to offend any more; or he must be excommunicated from the Khalsa).

III. They must rise at dawn, bathe, meditate on Gurmantar-'Waheguru', Moolmantar- the preamble of Japji, and recite five banis- Japji, Jap Sahib and Swayas in the morning; Rehras in the evening; and Kirtan Sohela at bed time at night.

IV. They must not worship idols, cemeteries, or cremation grounds, and must believe only in One Immortal God. The Guru further spelled out that they should practice arms, and never show their backs to the foe in the battle field. They should always be ready to help the poor and protect those who sought their protection. They were to consider their previous castes erased, and deem themselves all brothers of one family. Sikhs were to intermarry among themselves.

Guru asks for Amrit

After the Guru had administered Amrit to his Five Beloved Ones, he stood up in supplication and with folded hands, begged them to baptize him in the same way as he had baptized them. He himself became their disciple (Wonderful is Guru Gobind Singh, himself the Master and himself the disciple).

The Five Beloved Ones were astonished at such a proposal, and represented their own unworthiness, and the greatness of the Guru, whom they deemed God's Vicar upon earth. They asked him why he made such a request and why he stood in a supplicant posture before them. He replied," I am the son of the Immortal God. It is by His order I have been born and have established this form of baptism. They who accept it shall henceforth be known as the KHALSA.

The Khalsa is the Guru and the Guru is the Khalsa. There is no difference between you and me. As Guru Nanak seated Guru Angad on the throne, so have I made you also a Guru. Wherefore administer the baptismal nectar to me without any hesitation." Accordingly the Five Beloved Ones baptized the Guru with the same ceremonies and injunctions he himself had employed.

The rise of the Khalsa

The Guru was then named Gobind Singh instead of Gobind Rai. Guru Gobind Singh was the first one to take Amrit from the Khalsa, the Five Beloved Ones. About 80,000 men and women were baptized within a few days at Anandpur. "The creation of the Khalsa was the greatest work of the Guru. He created a type of superman, a universal man of God, casteless and country less. The Guru regarded himself as the servant of the Khalsa. He said, "To serve them pleases me the most; no other service is so dear to my soul." The Khalsa was the spearhead of resistance against tyranny." (Miss Pearl, S. Buck)

The creation of the Khalsa created a sense of unity among the Sikhs and their supporters. This unity and the resulting perceived strength in the Sikhs did not go well with the local rulers. The continuous gatherings at Anandpur sahib and the presence of many thousands of the congregation, some armed with fierce weapons caused anguish with the surrounding hill Rajas. These developments most alarmed the caste ridden Rajput chiefs of the Sivalik hills. They perceived the Sikhs as lower caste beings who had posed no danger to their authority. However, the creation of the Khalsa changed that. Firstly, it disturbed their system of discrimination and division; secondly, they could see that the forces of the Guru were becoming dangerous in number and in armaments.

Siege of Anandpur

They hence rallied under the leadership of the Raja of Bilaspur, in whose territory lay Anandpur, to forcibly evict Guru Gobind Singh from his hilly citadel. Their repeated expeditions during 1700-04 however proved abortive. The Khalsa forces were too strong to be dealt with by the hill Rajas. They at last petitioned Emperor Aurangzeb for help. In concert with contingents sent under imperial orders by the governor of Lahore and those of the faujdar of Sirhind, they marched upon Anandpur and laid a siege to the fort in May 1705.

Over the months, the Guru and his Sikhs firmly withstood their successive assaults despite insufficient amounts of food resulting from the prolonged blockade. While the besieged (Sikhs) were reduced to desperate straits, the besiegers (governor of Lahore) too were exhausted at the courage of the Sikhs. At this stage the besiegers offered, on Oath (promise) of the Qur'an, safe exit to the Sikhs if they quit Anandpur. At last, the town was evacuated during a night of December 1705. But as the Guru and his Sikhs came out, the hill monarchs and their Mughal allies set upon them in full fury.

Sikhs "tricked" by the Mughals

In the ensuing confusion many Sikhs were killed and all of the Guru's baggage, including most of the precious manuscripts, was lost. The Guru himself was able to make his way to Chamkaur, 40 km southwest of Anandpur, with barely 40 Sikhs and his two elder sons. There the imperial army, following closely on his heels, caught up with him. His two sons, Ajit Singh (born. 1687) and Jujhar Singh (born. 1691) and all but five of the Sikhs fell in the action that took place on 7 December 1705. The five surviving Sikhs commanded the Guru to save himself in order to reconsolidate the Khalsa.

Guru Gobind Singh with three of his Sikhs escaped into the wilderness of the Malva, two of his Muslim devotees, Gani Khan and Nabi Khan, helping him at great personal risk. Guru Gobind Singh's two younger sons, Zorawar Singh (born. 1696), Fateh Singh (born.1699), and his mother, Mata Gujari Ji, also evacuated Anandpur but were betrayed by their old servant and escort, Gangu, to the faujdar of Sirhind, who had the young children executed on 13 December 1705. Their grandmother died the same day.

Guru escapes

Befriended by another Muslim admirer, Rai Kalha of Raikot,here Guru Gobind Singh gave his sword to Rai Kalha in gratitude for his kindness.(the sword is ingraved on both sides,on the right side is AKAL PURKH KI RACHCHIA HAM NE,SARAB LOH KI RACHCHIA HAM NE, EK ONKAR SATGUR PARSAD AUTAR KHAS PATSHAH 10. On the left side is,SARAB KAL KI RACHCHIA HAM NE, SARAB JIA KI RACHCHIA HAM NE.

(The sword was taken from the Toshekhana of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on 1st may 1849, along with other arms ie:SHUMASHER WA SIPAR(sword and shield),DAE-I-AHINEE(an iron weapon),NEZA(a lance),CHUKKUR-I-AHINEE(a circular missile weapon of iron),SHUMSHER TEGHAH(a seimitar),KULGHEE-E-KUCH(a crest of glass in silver case),BURCHEE(a small spear),BURCHHA(a large spear), by the east india company. These relics were sent to England under the orders of Lord Dalhousie.)

Guru Gobind Singh reached Dina in the heart of the Malva. There he enlisted a few hundred warriors of the Brar clan, and also composed his famous letter, Zafarnamah (the Epistle of Victory), in Persian verse, addressed to Emperor Aurangzeb. The letter was a severe indictment of the Emperor and his commanders who had broken their oath. They attacked Guru Gobind Singh once he was outside the safety of his fortification at Anandpur. Two of the Sikhs, Daya Singh and Dharam Singh, were despatched with the Zafarnamah to Ahmadnagar in the South to deliver it to Aurangzeb, then in camp in that town. From Dina, Guru Gobind Singh continued his westward march until, finding the host close upon his heels; he took position beside the water pool of Khidrana to make a last-ditch stand.

Brave Sikh women join fight

The fighting on 29 December 1705 was hard and desperate. In spite of their overwhelming numbers, the Mughal troops failed to capture the Guru and had to retire in defeat. The major part in this battle was played by a group of 40 Sikhs who had deserted the Guru at Anandpur during the long siege, but who, scolded by their wives at home, had come back under the leadership of a brave and devoted woman, Mai Bhago, to redeem themselves. They had fallen fighting desperately to check the enemy's advance towards the Guru's position. The Guru blessed the 40 dead as 40 mukte, i.e. the 40 Saved Ones. The site is now marked by a sacred shrine and tank and the town which has grown around them is called Muktsar, the Pool of Liberations.

After spending some time in the Lakkhi Jungle country, Guru Gobind Singh arrived at Talvandi Sabo, now called Damdama Sahib, on 20 January 1706. During his stay there of over nine months, a number of Sikhs rejoined him. He prepared a fresh text of Sikh Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, with the celebrated scholar, Bhai Mani Singh, who wrote the Guru's bani. From the number of scholars who had rallied round Guru Gobind Singh and from the literary activity initiated, the place came to be known as the Guru's Kashi or seat of learning like Varanasi (A city of northeast-central India).

Zafarnamah bears result

The Zafarnamah sent by Guru Gobind Singh from Dina seems to have touched the heart of Emperor Aurungzeb. He forthwith invited him for a meeting. According to history, the Emperor had a letter written to the deputy governor of Lahore, Munim Khan, to conciliate the Guru and make the required arrangements for his journey to the Deccan.

Guru Gobind Singh had, however, already left for the South on 30 October 1706. He was in the neighbourhood of Baghor, in Rajasthan, when the news arrived of the death of the Emperor at Ahmadnagar on 20 February 1707. The Guru there upon decided to return to the Punjab, via Shahjahanabad (Delhi). That was the time when the sons of the deceased Emperor were preparing to contest succession.

Guru helps Bahadur Shah

Guru Gobind Singh despatched for the help of the eldest claimant, the liberal Prince Muazzam, a token contingent of Sikhs which took part in the battle of Jajau (8 June 1707), decisively won by the Prince who ascended the throne with the title of Bahadur Shah. The new Emperor invited Guru Gobind Singh for a meeting which took place at Agra on 23 July 1707.

Emperor Bahadur Shah had at this time to move against the Kachhvaha Rajputs of Amber (Jaipur) and then to the Deccan where his youngest brother, Kam Baksh, had raised the standard of revolt. The Guru accompanied him and, as history says, he addressed assemblies of people on the way preaching the word of Guru Nanak. The two camps crossed the River Tapti in June 1708 and the Ban-Ganga in August, arriving at Nanded, on the Godavari, towards the end of August.

While Bahadur Shah proceeded further South, Guru Gobind Singh decided to stay awhile at Nanded. Here he met a Bairagi (a person who withdraws from the world), Madho Das, whom he blessed into a Sikh with the vows of the Khalsa, renaming him Gurbakhsh Singh (popular name Banda Singh). Guru Gobind Singh gave Banda Singh five arrows from his own quiver and an escort, including five of his chosen Sikhs, and directed him to go to the Punjab and carry on the campaign against the tyranny of the provincial overlords.

Plan to assassinate the Guru

Nawab Wazir Khan of Sirhind had felt concerned at the Emperor's conciliatory treatment of Guru Gobind Singh. Their marching together to the South made him jealous, and he ordered two of his trusted men with murdering the Guru before his increasing friendship with the Emperor resulted in any harm to him.

These two pathans Jamshed Khan and Wasil Beg are the names given in the Guru Kian Sakhian pursued the Guru secretly and overtook him at Nanded, where, according to Sri Gur Sobha by Senapati, a contemporary writer, one of them stabbed the Guru in the left side below the heart as he lay one evening in his chamber resting after the Rahras prayer. Before he could deal another blow, Guru Gobind Singh struck him down with his sabre, while his fleeing companion fell under the swords of Sikhs who had rushed in on hearing the noise. As the news reached Bahadar Shah's camp, he sent expert surgeons, to attend to the Guru.

Guru recovers but mission is at an end

The Guru's wound was immediately stitched by the Emperor's European surgeon and within a few days it appeared to have been healed. The injury had been contained and the Guru had made a good recovery. However, several days later, when the Guru tugged at a hard strong bow, the imperfectly healed wound burst open and caused profuse bleeding. It was again treated but it was now clear to the Guru that the call of the Father from Heaven had come. He prepared the sangat for his departure; instruction were given to the immediate main Sewadars and finally he gave his last and enduring message of his mission to the assembly of the Khalsa.

He then opened the Granth Sahib, placed five paise and solemnly bowed to it as his successor, GURU GRANTH SAHIB. Saying 'Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh', he walked around the Guru Granth Sahib and proclaimed, "O beloved Khalsa, let him who desireth to behold me, behold the Guru Granth. Obey the Granth Sahib. It is the visible body of the Gurus. And let him who desires to meet me, search me in the hymns."

He then sang his self-composed hymn: "Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe."

Translation of the above:

"Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created. All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as embodiment of the Gurus. Those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The Khalsa shall rule, and its opponents will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees shall be saved."

Guru Granth Sahib becomes Guru

He, in grateful acknowledgement of the spiritual benefactions of the founder of his religion, uttered a Persian distich, the translation of which is:

"Gobind Singh obtained from Guru Nanak Hospitality, the sword, victory, and prompt assistance."

(These lines were impressed on a seal made by the Sikhs after the Guru left for his heavenly abode, and were adopted by Ranjit Singh for his coinage after he had assumed the title of Maharaja in the Punjab)

The Guru then left for his heavenly abode. The Sikhs made preparations for his final rites as he had instructed them, the Sohila was chanted and Parsahd (sacred food) was distributed. While all were mourning the loss, a Sikh arrived and said," You suppose that the Guru is dead. I met him this very morning riding his bay horse. After bowing to him, I asked where he was going. He smiled and replied that he was going to the forest." The Sikhs who heard this statement arrived at the conclusion that it was all the Guru's play, that he dwelt in uninterrupted bliss, that he showed himself wherever he was remembered. He who treasures even a grain of the Lord's love in his heart, is the blessed one and the Guru reveals himself to such a devotee in mysterious ways.

Wherefore for such a Guru who had departed bodily to Heaven, there ought to be no mourning. The Word as contained in the Guru Granth Sahib was henceforth, and for all time to come to be the Guru for the Sikhs.


Above article adapted from: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saadh_sangat/

Guru's Bani

Main article: Bani of Guru Gobind Singh

"Without the support of the One Name, Consider all religious ceremonies superstitions."

"Karta (The Creator) and Karim (The beneficient) are the names of the same God.
Razak (The provider) and Rahim (The merciful) are also the names given to Him.
Let no man in his error wrangle over differences in names.
Worship the One God who is the Lord of all. Know that his form is one and He is the One light diffused in all."


"The Khalsa is my own image. I shall always manifest myself in the Khalsa.
The Khalsa is my body and soul; The Khalsa is the life of my life.
The Khalsa is my perfect leader. The Khalsa is my brave friend.
I say nothing untrue and to this; Guru Nanak, united with God, is my witness."

"Why impress false religion on the world? It will be of no service to it.
Why run about for the sake of wealth? You cannot escape from death.
Son, Wife, friends, disciples, companions none of those will bear witness for thee.
Think, O think, you thoughtless fool, you shall have in the end to depart alone." (Swayya 32)

Quotes

Guru Gobind Singh was the Tenth Sikh Master, son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, grandson of Guru Hargobind, great-grandson of Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru.

Chronology of the Main Events

See also

Additional References

1.A Short Sketch of The Life and Work of Guru Gobind Singh - Bhagat Lakshman Singh

2.Kee Guru Gobind Singh devi di Pooja Karde Sun - Surjeet Singh Tract No. 329

3.Victories of Guru Gobind Singh - Ardaman Singh Bhayee - Guru Nanak Dev Mission Tract No. 47

4.Guru Gobind Singh's death at Nanded - An Examination Of Succession Theories - Dr. Ganda Singh

5.Guru Gobind Singh - His Life Sketch - Sher Singh MSc Kashmir

6.The Khalsa or the Elect - Sher Singh MSc Kashmir

7.Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji - Being Some Unwritten Leaves In The Life Of The Guru

8.Dashmesh Darpan tey Sri Dasam Granth di Kunji - Sher Singh MSc Kashmir

9.Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji - The Baptist Beyond Peer - Gyani Brahma Singh Brahma

10.Guru Gobind Singh's Amrit - The Eternalising Libation

11.Guru Gobind Singh - A Great Spiritual Leader

12. Sarabloh Da Kavi - Ranjit Singh Kharag

External Links

Notes

  • 1). Previous records show Guru Gobind Singh's date of birth as December 22, 1666. However, following the standardisation of the Sikh calendar called the Nanakshahi Calendar, this date was amended to January 5, 1667.

Gallery

Main article: Guru Gobind Singh Gallery

Guru Gobind Singh Sakhis

Guru Gobind Singh

Sikh History

<center>  Guru Gobind Singh   </center>
<center>  History of the Sikhs   </center>
Birth of Guru Gobind Singh
The Amrit Sanskar Ceremony

This article is about the tenth Guru of Sikh religion. For the recipient of the Victoria Cross, see Gobind Singh (VC). For the Malaysian politician, see Gobind Singh Deo.

Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji

Portrait of Guru Gobind Singh, holding a falcon and escorted by Sikhs

ReligionSikhism
Known forFounding the Khalsa[1]
Wrote Jaap Sahib, Chandi di Var, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Zafarnamah, Bachittar Natak, Akal Ustat, Chaupai (Sikhism)
Other namesTenth Nanak[2]
Personal
BornGobind Rai
22 December 1666
Patna Sahib (Present day India)
Died7 October 1708(1708-10-07) (aged 41)
Hazur Sahib Nanded (Present day India)
SpouseMata Jito, Mata Sundari and Mata Sahib Devan[3]
ChildrenAjit Singh
Jujhar Singh
Zorawar Singh
Fateh Singh
ParentsGuru Tegh Bahadur, Mata Gujri
Religious career
PredecessorGuru Tegh Bahadur
SuccessorGuru Granth Sahib

Guru Gobind Singh (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ) (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708),[4][5] born Gobind Rai, was the tenth Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam,[6][7] Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at age nine, becoming the tenth Sikh Guru.[8] His four sons died during his lifetime in Mughal-Sikh Wars – two in battle, two executed by the Mughal army.[9][10][11]

Among his notable contributions to Sikhism are founding the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa in 1699[1][12][13] and introducing the Five Ks, the five articles of faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear at all times. Guru Gobind Singh also continued the formalisation of the religion, wrote important Sikh texts,[14][15] and enshrined the scripture the Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhism's eternal Guru.[16]

Family and early life[edit]

Gobind Singh was the only son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, and Mata Gujri. He was born in Patna, Bihar in the Sodhi Khatri family [17] while his father was visiting Bengal and Assam.[4] His birth name was Gobind Rai, and a shrine named Takht Sri Patna Harimandar Sahib marks the site of the house where he was born and spent the first four years of his life.[4] In 1670, his family returned to Punjab, and in March 1672 they moved to Chakk Nanaki in the Himalayan foothills of north India, called the Sivalik range, where he was schooled.[4][12]

His father Guru Tegh Bahadur was petitioned by Kashmiri Pandits[18] in 1675 for protection from the fanatic persecution by Iftikar Khan, an Islamic satrap of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.[4] Tegh Bahadur considered a peaceful resolution by meeting Aurangzeb, but was cautioned by his advisors that his life may be at risk. The young Gobind Rai – to be known as Gobind Singh after 1699[5] – advised his father that no one was more worthy to lead and make a sacrifice than him.[4] His father made the attempt, but was arrested then publicly beheaded in Delhi on 11 November 1675 under the orders of Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam and the ongoing conflicts between Sikhism and the Islamic Empire.[19][20] After this martyrdom, the young Gobind Rai was installed by the Sikhs as the tenth Sikh Guru on Vaisakhi on 29 March 1676.[21]

The education of Guru Gobind Singh continued after he became the 10th Guru, both in reading and writing as well as martial arts such as horse riding and archery. In 1684, he wrote the Chandi di Var in Punjabi language – a legendary war between the good and the evil, where the good stands up against injustice and tyranny, as described in the ancient Sanskrit text Markandeya Purana.[4] He stayed in Paonta, near the banks of river Yamuna, till 1685.[4]

Guru Gobind Singh had three wives:[3][22]

  • at age 10, he married Mata Jito on 21 June 1677 at Basantgaṛh, 10 km north of Anandpur. The couple had three sons: Jujhar Singh (b. 1691), Zorawar Singh (b. 1696) and Fateh Singh (b. 1699).[23]
  • at age 17, he married Mata Sundari on 4 April 1684 at Anandpur. The couple had one son, Ajit Singh (b. 1687).[24]
  • at age 33, he married Mata Sahib Devan on 15 April 1700 at Anandpur. They had no children, but she had an influential role in Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh proclaimed her as the Mother of the Khalsa.[25]

The life example and leadership of Guru Gobind Singh has been of historic importance to the Sikhs. He institutionalized the Khalsa (literally, Pure Ones), which played the key role in protecting the Sikhs long after his death, such as during the nine invasions of Panjab and holy war led by Ahmad Shah Abdali from Afghanistan between 1747 and 1769.[5]

Founding the Khalsa[edit]

In 1699, the Guru requested the Sikhs to congregate at Anandpur on Vaisakhi (the annual spring harvest festival).[26] According to the Sikh tradition, he asked for a volunteer from those who gathered, someone willing to sacrifice his head. One came forward, whom he took inside a tent. The Guru returned to the crowd without the volunteer, but with a bloody sword.[26] He asked for another volunteer, and repeated the same process of returning from the tent without anyone and with a bloodied sword four more times. After the fifth volunteer went with him into the tent, the Guru returned with all five volunteers, all safe. He called them the Panj Pyare and the first Khalsa in the Sikh tradition.[26]

Guru Gobind Singh then mixed water and sugar into an iron bowl, stirring it with a double-edged sword to prepare what he called Amrit ("nectar"). He then administered this to the Panj Pyare, accompanied with recitations from the Adi Granth, thus founding the khande ka pahul (baptization ceremony) of a Khalsa – a warrior community.[26][27] The Guru also gave them a new surname "Singh" (lion). After the first five Khalsa had been baptized, the Guru asked the five to baptize him as a Khalsa. This made the Guru the sixth Khalsa, and his name changed from Guru Gobind Rai to Guru Gobind Singh.[26]

Guru Gobind Singh initiated the Five K's tradition of the Khalsa,[28]

  • Kesh: uncut hair.
  • Kangha: a wooden comb.
  • Kara: an iron or steel bracelet worn on the wrist.
  • Kirpan: a sword or dagger.
  • Kacchera: short breeches.

He also announced a code of discipline for Khalsa warriors. Tobacco, eating 'halal' meat (a way of slaughtering in which the animal's throat is slit open and it is left to bleed before being slaughtered), fornication and adultery were forbidden.[28][29] The Khalsas also agreed to never interact with those who followed rivals or their successors.[28] The co-initiation of men and women from different castes into the ranks of Khalsa also institutionalized the principle of equality in Sikhism regardless of one's caste or gender.[29] Guru Gobind Singh's significance to the Sikh tradition has been very important, as he institutionalized the Khalsa, resisted the ongoing persecution by the Mughal Empire, and continued "the defense of Sikhism and Hinduism against the Muslim assault of Aurangzeb".[30]

He introduced ideas that indirectly challenged the discriminatory taxes imposed by Islamic authorities. For example, Aurangzeb had imposed taxes on non-Muslims that were collected from the Sikhs as well, for example the jizya (poll tax on non-Muslims), pilgrim tax and Bhaddar tax – the last being a tax to be paid by anyone following the Hindu ritual of shaving the head after the death of a loved one and cremation.[1] Guru Gobind Singh declared that Khalsa do not need to continue this practice, because Bhaddar is not dharam, but a bharam (illusion).[1][31] Not shaving the head also meant not having to pay the taxes by Sikhs who lived in Delhi and other parts of the Mughal Empire.[1] However, the new code of conduct also led to internal disagreements between Sikhs in the 18th century, particularly between the Nanakpanthi and the Khalsa.[1]

Guru Gobind Singh had deep respect for the Khalsa, and stated that there is no difference between the True Guru and the sangat (panth).[32] Before his founding of the Khalsa, the Sikh movement had used the Sanskrit word Sisya (literally, disciple or student), but the favored term thereafter became Khalsa.[33] Additionally, prior to the Khalsa, the Sikh congregations across India had a system of Masands appointed by the Sikh Gurus. The Masands led the local Sikh communities, local temples, collected wealth and donations for the Sikh cause.[33] Guru Gobind Singh concluded that the Masands system had become corrupt, he abolished them and introduced a more centralized system with the help of Khalsa that was under his direct supervision.[33] These developments created two groups of Sikhs, those who initiated as Khalsa, and others who remained Sikhs but did not undertake the initiation.[33] The Khalsa Sikhs saw themselves as a separate religious entity, while the Nanak-panthi Sikhs retained their different perspective.[34][35]

The Khalsa warrior community tradition started by Guru Gobind Singh has contributed to modern scholarly debate on pluralism within Sikhism. His tradition has survived into the modern times, with initiated Sikh referred to as Khalsa Sikh, while those who do not get baptized referred to as Sahajdhari Sikhs.[36][37][38]

Sikh scriptures[edit]

In the 16th and 17th century, multiple and different versions of the Sikh scripture by unknown authors, all claiming to be the words of Guru Nanak were in circulation. Guru Arjan (d. 1606) attempted to remove corruption and interpolation of the text, and compiled a purer version of the Adi Granth.[41] In the 17th century, the text was called the Pothi, and three manuscripts claimed to be authentic, one Kartarpur version (dated 1604), the other a bit larger Khara Mangat version (dated 1642), and the third quite different Lahore version of the Adi Granth (date unknown).[42]

Guru Gobind Singh is credited in the Sikh tradition with finalizing the Kartarpur Pothi into the Guru Granth Sahib in Bathinda and releasing it in 1706.[42] The final version did not accept the extraneous hymns in other versions, and included the compositions of his father Guru Tegh Bahadur.[42] Guru Gobind Singh also declared this text to be the eternal Guru for Sikhs.[16]

Guru Gobind Singh composed other texts, particularly the Dasam Granth which many Sikhs consider to be a scripture next in importance after the Guru Granth Sahib.[43][44] The Dasam Granth includes compositions such as the Jaap Sahib, Amrit Savaiye and Benti Chaupai which are part of the daily prayers/lessons (Nitnem) of Sikhs.[45] The Dasam Granth is largely versions of Indian theology from the Puranas and secular stories.[46][47][48] The Sarbloh Granth has also been attributed to the Guru.

Wars[edit]

— Guru Gobind Singh, Zafarnamah[49][50]

When all other means have failed,
It is but lawful to take to the sword.

The period following the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur – the father of Guru Gobind Singh, was a period where the Mughal Empire under Aurangzeb was an increasingly hostile enemy of the Sikh people.[51] The Sikh resisted, led by Gobind Singh, and the Muslim-Sikh conflicts peaked during this period.[51] Both Mughal administration and Aurangzeb's army had an active interest in Guru Gobind Singh. Aurangzeb issued an order to exterminate Guru Gobind Singh and his family.[52]

Guru Gobind Singh believed in a Dharam Yudh (war in defense of righteousness), something that is fought as a last resort, neither out of a wish for revenge nor for greed nor for any destructive goals.[53] To Guru Gobind Singh, one must be prepared to die to stop tyranny, end persecution and to defend one's own religious values.[53] He led fourteen wars with these objectives, but never took captives nor damaged anyone's place of worship.[53]

Significant battles[edit]

  • 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,[54] 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.[55] The Guru's cousin named Sango Shah was killed in the battle, a cousin from Guru Hargobind's daughter.[54]
  • 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.[56] The non-Muslims aligned to the Guru had refused to pay tribute to the Islamic officials based in Jammu.[54]

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.[54][57]

  • 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.[58] 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.[58]
  • 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.[59] 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.[59]
  • 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.[59] The hill chiefs laid a siege of Anandpur, and the Guru had to temporarily leave Anandpur as a condition for peace.[60] 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.[57]
  • 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.
  • Battle of Basoli (1702), against the Mughal army; named after the kingdom of Basoli whose Raja Dharampul supported the Guru in the battle.[61] 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.[61]
  • Battle of Anandpur (1704), against the Mughal army led first by Saiyad Khan and then by Ramjan Khan;[59] 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.[59] 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.[62] 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.[63][64] Towards the end, the Guru, his family and followers accepted an offer by Aurangzeb of safe passage out of Anandpur.[65] 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.[60][66] Both his children were executed by burying them alive into a wall.[62][67] The grandmother Mata Gujari died there as well.[60]
  • 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.[66] However, when the Guru accepted the offer and left, Wazir Khan took captives, executed them and pursued the Guru.[68] The retreating troops he was with were repeated attacked from behind, with heavy casualties to the Sikhs, particularly while crossing the Sarsa river.[68]
  • 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;[69] the Muslim commander was killed,[69] 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.[60][70]
  • 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"),[64] and this was the last battle led by Guru Gobind Singh.[71] 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.[72]

Death of family members[edit]

Guru's mother Mata Gujri and his two younger sons were captured by Wazir Khan, the Muslim governor of Sirhind. 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 collapsed on hearing her grandsons' death.[73] Both his eldest sons, aged 13 and 17, also killed in the battle of December 1704 against the Mughal army.[62]

Mughal accounts[edit]

The Muslim historians of the Mughal court wrote about Guru Gobind Singh as well as the geopolitics of the times he lived in, and these official Persian accounts were the readily available and the basis of colonial era English-language description of Sikh history.[74][75]

According to Dhavan, the Persian texts that were composed by Mughal court historians during the lifetime of Guru Gobind Singh were hostile to him, but presented the Mughal perspective.[74] They believed that the religious Guru tradition of Sikhs had been corrupted by him, through the creation of a military order willing to resist the Imperial army.[74] Dhavan writes that some Persian writers who wrote decades or a century after the death of Guru Gobind Singh evolved from relying entirely on court histories of the Mughals which disparage the Guru, to including stories from the Sikh gurbilas text that praise the Guru.[74][76]

The Mughal accounts suggest that the Muslim commanders viewed the Sikh panth as one divided into sects with different loyalties, and after the battle of Anandpur, the Mughals felt that the Guru's forces had become a small band of left over warriors.[77]

Post-war years[edit]

After the Second Battle of Anandpur in 1704, the Guru and his remaining soldiers moved and stayed in different spots including hidden in places such as the Machhiwara jungle of southern Panjab.[66]

Some of the various spots in north, west and central India that the Guru lived after 1705, include Hehar with Kirpal Das (maternal uncle), Manuke, Mehdiana, Chakkar, Takhtupura and Madhe and Dina (Malwa (Punjab) region). He stayed with relatives or trusted Sikhs such as the three grandsons of Rai Jodh, a devotee of Guru Har Gobind.[78]

Zafarnama[edit]

Main article: Zafarnama (letter)

Guru Gobind Singh saw the war conduct of Aurangzeb and his army against his family and his people as a betrayal of a promise, unethical, unjust and impious.[66] After all of Guru Gobind Singh's children had been killed by the Mughal army and the battle of Muktsar, the Guru wrote a defiant letter in Persian to Aurangzeb, titled Zafarnama (literally, "epistle of victory"), a letter which the Sikh tradition considers important towards the end of the 19th century.[66][79][80]

The Guru's letter was stern yet conciliatory to Aurangzeb. He indicted the Mughal Emperor and his commanders in spiritual terms, accused them of a lack of morality both in governance and in the conduct of war.[81] The letter predicted that the Mughal Empire would soon end, because it persecutes, is full of abuse, falsehood and immorality. The letter is spiritually rooted in Guru Gobind Singh's beliefs about justice and dignity without fear.[81]

The Zafarnama letter includes text towards the end that praises Aurangzeb as a human being by calling him as a charitable one with brilliant conscience, handsome body and the king of kings, and then seeks a personal meeting between the Guru and the Emperor for a reconciliatory dialogue.[81] Aurangzeb received the letter in 1705, agreed to a meeting in 1706 for which Guru Gobind Singh travelled to Ahmadnagar.[66] However, Aurangzeb never met the Guru, and the Mughal Emperor died in 1707.[66]

Final days[edit]

Aurangzeb died in 1707, and immediately a succession struggle began between his sons who attacked each other.[82] The official successor was Bahadur Shah, who invited Guru Gobind Singh with his army to meet him in person in the Deccan region of India, for a reconciliation but Bahadur Shah then delayed any discussions for months.[62][82]

Wazir Khan, a Muslim army commander and the Nawab of Sarhandh ,against whose army the Guru had fought several wars,[71] commissioned two Afghans, Jamshed Khan and Wasil Beg, to follow the Guru's army as it moved for the meeting with Bahadur Shah, and then assassinate the Guru. The two secretly pursued the Guru whose troops were in the Deccan area of India, and entered the camp when the Sikhs had been stationed near river Godavari for months.[83] They gained access to the Guru and Jamshed Khan stabbed him with a fatal wound at Nanded.[62][84] Some scholars state that the assassin who killed Guru Gobind Singh may not have been sent by Wazir Khan, but was instead sent by the Mughal army that was staying nearby.[71]

According to Senapati's Sri Gur Sobha, an early 18th century writer, the fatal wounds of the Guru was one below his heart. The Guru fought back and killed the assassin, while the assassin's companion was killed by the Sikh guards as he tried to escape.[83]

The Guru died of his wounds a few days later on 7 October 1708[85] His death fueled a long and bitter war of the Sikhs with the Mughals.[83]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abcdefArvind-Pal Singh Mandair; Christopher Shackle; Gurharpal Singh (2013). Sikh Religion, Culture and Ethnicity. Routledge. pp. 25–28. ISBN 978-1-136-84627-4. 
  2. ^Pashaura Singh; Louis E. Fenech (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. Oxford University Press. p. 311. ISBN 978-0-19-969930-8. 
  3. ^ abDhillon, Dr Dalbir Singh (1988). Sikhism – Origin and Development. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. p. 144. 
  4. ^ abcdefghGanda Singh. "GOBIND SINGH, GURU (1666-1708)". Encyclopaedia of Sikhism. Punjabi University Patiala. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  5. ^ abcOwen Cole, William; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practice. Sussex Academic Press. p. 36. 
  6. ^Guru Tegh Bahadur BBC Religions (2009)
  7. ^Everett Jenkins, Jr. (2000). The Muslim Diaspora (Volume 2, 1500-1799): A Comprehensive Chronology of the Spread of Islam in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. McFarland. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-4766-0889-1. 
  8. ^Jon Mayled (2002). Sikhism. Heinemann. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-435-33627-1. 
  9. ^Chris Seiple; Dennis Hoover; Pauletta Otis (2013). The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Security. Routledge. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-415-66744-9. ;
    John F. Richards (1995). The Mughal Empire. Cambridge University Press. pp. 255–258. ISBN 978-0-521-56603-2. 
  10. ^"The Sikh Review". Sikh Cultural Centre. 20 (218-229): 28. 1972. 
  11. ^Hardip Singh Syan (2013). Sikh Militancy in the Seventeenth Century: Religious Violence in Mughal and Early Modern India. I.B.Tauris. pp. 218–222. ISBN 978-1-78076-250-0. 
  12. ^ ab"BBC Religions - Sikhism". BBC. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
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Guru Gobind Singh's birthplace
A Fresco of Guru Gobind Singh and The Panj Piare in Gurdwara Bhai Than Singh built in the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Kanga, Kara and Kirpan – three of the five Ks
The Dasam Granth is attributed to Guru Gobind Singh. It incorporates the warrior-saint mythologies of ancient India.[39][40]
Gurudwara Parivar Vichora Sahib, Majri, Rupnagar, Punjab where Mata Gujri with the two youngest Sahibzadas (Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh)[73] were separated from the Guru's regiment. Many Sikhs drowned or were martyred while crossing the river.
Guru Gobind Singh's letter written to Rama and Tiloka. Dated 2 August 1696.
Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded, built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated in 1708, the inner chamber is still called Angitha Sahib.

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