Guru Govind Singh Ji
The whole country turns into a mini-Punjab while celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Ji. According to the Julian Calendar, Guruji was born on December 22, 1666, as Govind Rai. However, as per the lunar calendar, his birth anniversary falls in January every year. He was the tenth and the last Guru of Sikhism. The entire Sikh community gets inspiration from his teachings and carries his preaching and values forward through generations.
On the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind, people from the Sikh community gather in their prayer hall or Gurudwaras and offer prayers to the Guru. The community celebrates the day with utmost simplicity, yet filled with excitement, respect, and love.
In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji formed the Khalsa or the “Fraternity of the Pure” and chose five dear ones or “Pyaaras.” The dear ones belonged from different locations and castes. Guruji’s main aim was to prove no other religion except humanity, and everyone must follow them.
One of his remarkable sayings of Guruji is:
“Manas ki jaat sabae Ek hee paechanbo” means to treat humanity as a single race. Since then, the entire Sikh community follows the saying with great respect.
Now, let us know some of the top 10 unknown facts about Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
1. To the hills
Guru Gobind Singh’s hometown is in Anandpur Sahib, which is located in the present-day Rupnagar district in Punjab. Guru Ji left the town after he had a scuffle with Bhim Chand. Gobind Singh proceeded to Nahan, in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, on receiving an invitation from Mat Prakash, the king of Sirmur.
2. Son of a martyr
Guru Govind Singh Ji became the Tenth Sikh Guru at an early age of nine. He ascended after his father Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom at the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s hands while he tried protecting the Kashmiri Hindus.
3. Scholar and warrior
As a child, Guru Gobind Singh was intelligent from a young age. He learned several languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Gurmukhi, and Braj. Besides, he was great in martial arts and learned them so that he could adept in combat.
4. Preaching in the hills
Guru Gobind Singh started preaching in the hills. After his stay at Nahan, he proceeded to Paonta, a town beside the Yamuna River in the South Sirmur in Himachal Pradesh. Here he founded the Paonta Sahib Gurudwara and started preaching his principles on Sikhism. Paonta Sahib is one of the most important pilgrim sites for the Sikh community. Gobind Singh Ji stayed here for three years, wrote several texts, and had several followers within the period.
5. A fighter
At the age of 19, in September 1688, Guru Gobind Singh fought the Battle of Bhangani against the allied force of Garwal king Fateh Khan, Bhim Chand, along with several other local rulers of the Sivalik hills. The battle lasted for a day, where thousands of people lost their lives. The Guru won the battle. You can find the vivid description of Bichitra Natak’s battle, a part of the Dasham Granth. The Bichitra Natak is a religious text attributed to Guru Govind Singh Ji.
6. Return to home
A couple of months after the Battle of Bhangani, in November 1688, Guru Ji came back to his hometown in Anandpur. The city’s name changed to Chak Nanaki after agreeing to the invitation from the dowager queen of Bilaspur.
7. Founder of Khalsa
On March 30, 1699, Guru Gobind Singh gathered his followers in his hometown, Anandpur, and asked a volunteer to sacrifice his head for his brothers. Daya Ram offered his head, and the Guru took him into a tent and later came out with a bloody sword. He again asked a volunteer to come up and repeated the same, which continued three more times. At last, he came out of the tent with all the five volunteers, and others found five headless goats lying in the tent. The five volunteers received the title Panj Payaare or five beloved ones by the Guru.
8. 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.” Guru Ji titled all his followers “Singh,” meaning lion, and founded the principles of Khalsa or the Five K’s.
The five K’s are the five principles of life that every Khalsa follower needs to obey:
- The Kesh or hair, which means to leave the hair uncut and show acceptance to the form God intended us to be.
- The Kangha, or wooden comb, symbolizes cleanliness.
- The Kara or iron bracelet, which reminds the community to become self-restraint.
- The Kachhera, or knee-length shorts, which every follower needs to wear and be ready for horseback battles.
- The Kripan, or a sword used for defending self, and poor, weak, and oppressed from all religions, creed, and caste.
9. Fighting with the Mughals
Guru Gobind Singh faced repeated conflicts with the Garwali and the Mughal leaders. He then wrote a letter to the then Mughal ruler, Aurangzeb in Persian, famously known as Zafarnama or the Epistle of Victory, which was a reminder to the ruler of the misdeed carried on by the Mughals on the Sikhs. Later in 1705, Guru Gobind Singh fought with the Mughals at the Battle of Muktsar.
10. Passing on the legacy
After the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s death, Guru Gobind Singh was no longer an adversary to the Mughals. The successor to the Mughal throne, Bahadur Shah, extended his friendly hand to Guru Gobind and entitled him as Hind ka Pir or the Saint of India. However, later on, Bahadur Shah came under Wazir Khan’s influence, Nawab of Sirhind, and decided to attack the Sikh community.
Wazir sent a couple of Pathan assassins, Jamshed Khan and Wasil Beg, to attack the last Sikh Guru in his sleep at Nanded, which was Guru Gobind’s resting place. They went there and stabbed Guru Gobind Singh in his sleep. Guru, along with his other Sikh brother, killed Jamshed and Beg. Guru Gobind Singh named Guru Granth Sahib, the Khalsa, and the Sikhs’ religious text, the next Guru of the two Sikh communities’ teacher.
Guest post by Rudrani