Guru Gobind Singh Ji

Guru Gobind Singh Ji
No better appreciation could be there of the inspiring legacy left behind to the entire nation by that Guru than what Swami Vivekananda observed:
"Mark me, every one of you will have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects in your countrymen, but mark their Hindu blood. They are the first gods you will have to worship, even if they do everything to hurt you; even if every one of them sends out a curse to you, you send out to them words of love. If they drive you out, retire to die in silence like that mighty lion, Govind Singh. Such a man is worthy of the name Hindu; such an ideal ought to be before us always.”

Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Govind Rai (Singh) in Line Of Shri Rama And Shri Krishna
by V. Wadher

"Punjab, rightly claimed as the traditional sword-arm of Bharatvarsha, has valiantly borne the first brunt of all the pre-European aggressors upon her. And one of the most luminous stars which rose in that northwestern horizon and shed its luster over the entire length and breadth of the country is undoubtedly Guru Govind Singh (born at Patna on Maargashtra Shukla Saptami -the 7th Day of bright half of Maargashira, i.e. 24 December 1666) the tenth and the final Guru in the holy tradition initiated by the great saint Guru Nanak. In fact, his life of pain and fortitude is a saga without many parallels in the world.

Rightly, Guru Govind Singh inherited the legacy of the fearless martyrdom of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Tegh Bahadur, with a view to instilling courage and confidence among the Kashmiri Hindus to withstand Aurangzeb's fanatical tyranny and threats to Islamize them, challenged the Moghal emperor to convert him first. And the great Guru preferred to have his head roll down in Chandni Chowk of Delhi rather than sacrifice his faith. Govind was just a boy of nine years at that time. On coming to know of his father's terrible end he exclaimed: "He saved with his blood the honor of Hindu Dharma. Oh, what a remarkable act in this Kaliyuga! He preferred to give up his life, but not his faith!"

It is with such a fiery note of idealism that the young Govind Rai embarked upon his life-mission even from his infancy. As a child he had drunk deep at the fount of Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Puranas. He was inspired with the heroic examples of Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Bheema and Arjuna. He felt convinced that he too like those great forbears was born to vanquish the wicked and to protect Dharma. He began preparing himself in a thorough fashion to play that historic role.

Though engaged with a very busy life, Guru Govind was a great patron of literature. The Guru himself wrote in all genres of poetry, though his forte was martial poetry. His great passion was to get the entire Hindu mythology translated into Braj Bhasa, the lingua franca of those times. Where necessary he also made innovations. His 'Ramavtar' and 'Krishnavtar' are examples. He assimilated the spiritual truths enshrined in the Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagavad Geeta. He became adept in the Persian, Arabic, and Punjabi languages, just as in Sanskrit and Hindi, and was a peerless poet as well.

As an archer he was unequalled in the whole of Hindusthan. No wonder, equipped as he was with such a rare combination of brahmateja and kshaatrateja, he wrote in his auto-biographical poem Bichitra Natak that he was commanded by God to take birth to uphold the true path of Dharma.

The clues to what Guru Govind Singh achieved are to be found in his autobiographical poem Bichitra Natak (the Resplendent Drama). The most interesting formulation in the Bichitra Natak is that the Guru Panth is an extension of the great Raghu dynasty to which Rama belonged. According to Guru Govind Singh, Guru Nanak is a direct descendant of Kush, the elder son of Rama, and Guru Govind Singh himself is a direct descendant of Lava, the younger son of Rama.

On what basis was the Guru to fight the Mughals? If he were just a rebel, he could not arouse Punjab. Besides, he was a Guru who had no business to fight the king. But if the kingdoms of Lahore and Kasur (it is believed that Kasur was founded by Kush and Lahore by Lava) were in fact the legacy of the Gurus themselves, then to fight for regaining the throne of Punjab would become the legitimate right of Guru Govind Singh. Even in his person the Guru had started wearing a bow and a quiver of arrows which were the two distinguishing marks of Lord Rama.

According to ancient Punjabi tradition, Lava and Kush were born in Punjab. Ram Tirath, a place some miles away from Amritsar, is known to have been the hermitage of Valmiki where Sita took refuge when Rama banished her. The sage is known to have brought up Lava and Kush.

Govind Singh wrote that in his past life, he was a Rishi who performed great penances at Hemkunt. He has given a graphic description of a place in the Himalayas ensconced by twelve mountain peaks. It was here that he was ordained by the Param Purukh to take another birth for the specific purpose of uprooting adharma. This story went well with the kind of life he led and the things he achieved. He was born to Guru Tegh Bahadur because the latter too was propitiating God to bless him with a great son. The whole stance of this story is the same as of Dasaratha who also performed penances in his earlier birth and was blessed by the Lord that He himself would be born to him.

In the tradition of Lord Rama, Guru Govind Singh performed a year-long Chandi Yagna at Naina Devi (the shrine of the Goddess of beautiful eyes) overlooking Anandpur Sahib before launching upon his mission. Lord Rama had done the same before marching into Lanka. The Goddess, pleased with his austerities, had blessed Rama with victory. Lord Krishna had taken Arjuna to the temple of the Goddess for seeking her blessings before the battle with the Kauravas.


According to tradition, Chandi is the ruling deity of the Jalander Peeth, the triangle pervaded by the Goddess of which Jalander, Kulu and Vaishno Devi form the three angles. In Punjab when the Shaktas (the worshipers of Shakti) ruled the roost, The Mother was known to be residing in every nook and corner of the triangle, alternatively known as the Trigarth Peeth. The important shrines of the Goddess in this region bear testimony to this point. There are Ambala (Ambalaya - the home of the Goddess), Chandigarh (the fortress of the Goddess), Kalka (abode of Kali), Naina Devi (in the Shivaliks), Asa Devi (in the Dhaulaladhars), Hidimba (in the Kulu hills), Vajreshwari (The Mother of Thunderbolt) at Kangra, Jwala Devi (The Mother of the Flaming Mouth) at Jwala Mukhi, Chintpuri in Hosiarpur and finally Vaishno Devi (the Vaishnavi Mother) in the Jammu Hills.

No catastrophe to his personal self or to his family members, however tragic, could shake his rocklike resolve to pursue his chosen mission. When his two elderly sons, Ajit and Jujhar whom he had sent to lead the battle laid down their lives before his very eyes, thus did the Guru offer prayers to God: "O Lord, I have surrendered to Thee what belonged to Thee.”Later, when his two younger sons Jorawar and Phatte were bricked alive by the Mughals for refusing to succumb to Islam, and the heartrending news reached the Guru, he simply lifted his hands in prayer and uttered the words: "These two, Thy trust, I have rendered unto Thee.”The Guru's mother, Gujri Devi, from whom the two boys had been snatched away, broke her heart and died.

The tone of the historic epistle which the Guru wrote some time later to Aurangzeb is evidence of the majestic equanimity and the supremely high moral posture he maintained even in the wake of such dire calamities.”I know you believe neither in God nor in your Prophet, nor do you know the worth of an oath on Koran. Did your God ask you to tyrannize over others? Fie on your sovereignty and on your regard for God and religion! Fear God, Who is the Master of earth and heaven and Whose vengeance is terrible. What if you have killed my four sons? By putting out a few sparks, you cannot quench the blazing fire. My protection is God than Whom there is no one higher.”

The Guru bore all the cruel blows of fate with an invincible will and fortitude and pressed forward in rousing and organising his countrymen in the cause of Swadeshi and Swadharma. He moved from the north to the southern parts of the country contacting and trying to string together the various patriotic forces. Finally, in the south he found a great warrior turned into a yogi, Maadhav Daas by name, and charged him with the task of proceeding to Punjab to lead the struggle there. Maadhav Daas, known in history as Banda Bairaagi, abided by the Guru's command and carried out the war of liberation with such remarkable ability and was crowned with such rare success - finally falling a martyr to the cause in the true tradition of the Gurus - that even to this day he stands as a glowing testimony to the magic touch of Guru Govind Singh.


The spirit of oneness and harmony which the Guru infused in society has also made him a social reformer of the highest order. His vision encompassed the whole of Bharat, and his love embraced within itself the lowliest in the society. The Panch Pyaare, the five self-sacrificing heroes of the Khalsa whom he chose through a fiery ordeal on Baisakhi in 1699 at Anandpur Sahib were those drawn from distant parts of the country, from Bidar in Karnataka, Jagannaath Puri in Orissa, Dwarka in Gujarat to Delhi and Lahore.

In baptising his followers into Khalsahood, the Guru once again followed the example of Lord Rama. Rama had created warriors out of the common people of the lower Vindhyas known as the Kishkinda where Bali and Sugriva, the twin brothers, lorded over the aboriginal clans. To make them invincible in battle, Rama had given them his name and a uniform which gave them a martial identity. The Khalsa was also created on the same pattern. The Guru gave them the Name to mutter and a martial identity to fight Mughals to protect Hindu Dharma.

Four things in the main need to be explained in this context. They are the concepts of the Sant-Sepahi, the Khalsa uniform, the ultimate authority of the Panch Pyare, and the aphorism"Raj Karega Khalsa.”

The first is the concept of Sant-Sepahi (saint soldier). In the Hindu tradition, the first model Sant-Sepahi was created by Lord Rama in the person of the monkey god Hanuman. He knew only two things- remembering the Name of Rama all the time and keeping himself ready for the greatest sacrifice at the bidding of his mentor.

The second is the creation of the Khalsa uniform in the image of"Narsinh Avtar," which is the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Guru's Khalsa had to modify the image a little. They had to keep their hair unshorn and make Singh as part of their proper names. This made them look as ferocious and brave like lions.

The third concept is the ultimate authority now vested in the will of the five beloved ones. Even the Guru had to bow before them. Lord Rama had also vested the final authority in his chosen five while sending out the"monkey"Warriors to find out where Sita was. His beloved five were Hanuman, Angad, Nala, Neel and Jambvant.

The fourth and last concept is the amulet of victory contained in the aphorism"Raj Karega Khalsa.”Modern Psychologists tell us that success comes to those who don't think of failures. Guru Govind Singh understood the human psychology only too well. However, the slogan is as good as the translation of"Satyameva Jayate"Which means that the truth alone prevails. The Khalsa clearly stands for the one who stands for truth and never compromises with untruth. Guru Govind Rai gave the war cry of"Sat Sri Akal.”It is probably the shortest capsule of Vedanta and it means that the Timeless has two manifestations viz Shiva and Shakti which reside in Him. When we read it together with its first part which is"Jo Bole So Nihal," then it means that anyone who speaks of such a Timeless becomes eternally blessed. He also does not fear death. Such thoughts, ideas and statements could not have been formulated by the Guru without deep roots in Hindu tradition.

Finally the Guru himself, while in the south at Nanded, fell a martyr to the treacherous designs of the Moghals and embraced Mahaasamaadhi (on 7 October 1708 in the true tradition of yogis.)

Rarely do we come across in the annals of human history a life of such all-round greatness as that of Guru Govind Singh, who was a yogi and a warrior - a martyr, a poet and a social reformer, a national emancipator and a dharmic rejuvenator - all rolled into one supremely majestic personality commanding the reverence of his countrymen and even of his enemies.

No better appreciation could be there of the inspiring legacy left behind to the entire nation by that Guru than what Swami Vivekananda observed:

"Mark me, every one of you will have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects in your countrymen, but mark their Hindu blood. They are the first gods you will have to worship, even if they do everything to hurt you; even if every one of them sends out a curse to you, you send out to them words of love. If they drive you out, retire to die in silence like that mighty lion, Govind Singh. Such a man is worthy of the name Hindu; such an ideal ought to be before us always.”

"Akhil vishwame Khalsa panth gaje,
Jagai dharma hindu sakala bandha bhajai,
Nah chodu kahin doost asura nishani,
Firee sab jagatme dharma ki kahani!"

Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Govind Rai (Singh) in line Of Shri Rama And Shri Krishna by V. Wadher

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