ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ
Guru Gobind Singh Ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ 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, and a philosopher, Guru Gobind Singh Ji molded the Sikh religion into its present shape, with the institution of the Khalsa fraternity, and the completion of the sacred scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, in the final form that we find today. Before leaving his mortal body in 1708, Guru Gobind Singh decreed the Guru Granth Sahib Ji 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 Ji. 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)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.”