As Sri Guru Teg Bahadur ji became popular among the people and the climax reached after He assured a deputation of Kashmiri “Pandits”,who came to Him to seek help against forcible conversion to Islam, to tell Aurangzeb that if he converts Guru Teg Bahadur ji to Islam, who is their Guru, and that they will all follow the Guru and convert to Islam, as millions of Hindus had been massacred prior to this.
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur was summoned to Delhi and asked to convert to Islam, to which The Guru refused. Then His close companions were extremely tortured to death I.e. Bhai Mati Dass was sawn alive, Bhai Sati Das was wrapped in cotton and burned to death and Bhai Diala JI was boiled to death in water in front of the Guru so that on seeing the torture He may accept Islam. As The Guru remained unmoved, He was put in chains and was told to perform miracle, which He refused to appease the persecutors. Consequently He was subjected to extreme torture and was publicly beheaded and martyred on 11th Nov,1675 AD in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, which The Guru endured with infinite peace, for the sake of humanity as He sacrificed His life for the another sect/religion i.e. Hinduism. Guru’s obvious aim and vision was to prepare and brace the Indian community morally for battles against injustice that they would be required to fight and enthuse them to make sacrifices for humanity.
Thus Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, by His supreme sacrifice, gave a glorious lead to the people for imbibing a spirit of heroism and the will to fight against oppression without bias. Tenth Nanak i.e. Guru Gobind Rai was only nine years old, when the great responsibility of directing the affairs of the Sikhs fell on His shoulders. He was very saddened to learn from Bhai Jaita, who carried the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji from Delhi and presented to Guru Gobind Rai at Anandpur Sahib, that at the time of the trial of The Guru very few Sikhs with the exception of immediate followers had shown courage of their conviction. Also the fact that only a few sikhs volunteered to take the headless trunk of the Guru to perform the last rights by eluding the guards was disheartening. Amongst the few Sikhs was Lakhi Shah Vanjara who burnt down his own house in order to cremate Guru Tegh Bahadur ji’s body. Thus the Guru saw in this, the danger of backsliding among the Sikhs. He vowed therefore that He will empower the Sikhs to always fight against oppression for the cause of humanity and give them such an appearance that a Sikh will never fear and could be spotted and identified even amongst a crowd of thousands.
Guru had no prior experience for undertaking a task of this magnitude, but the exemplary selfsacrifice of His father to protect the oppressed at the cost of His life was engraved in His heart. The task before Him was stupendous, having no resources, no army, no wealth, but only a handful of Sikhs for this purpose. He was aware of killing cowardice and utter despondency of the Indian people ,who had fallen in all aspects, i.e. castridden, lost manliness being suppressed by Muslim rulers, having faith in many gods, Demigods, Goddesses, stones, fire, water, animals, vegetation, metals etc..
The spark of fighting for humanity was lit in the heart of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji , which all earlier Hindu reformers such as Sri Ramachandra, Sri Krishna, Shankaracharya and Ramanuja greatly lacked. Thus with great wisdom, patience for an opportune time in mind and desire of cooling down the opposition of Ram Rai (a contender for Guruship), GURU GOBIND RAI retired to the hills in the state of Nahan, where He founded a fort called ‘Paonta’ on land offered by the ruler of Nahan. He calibrated ways and means to free His countrymen from the bonds of sins and sufferings. He acted on the advice of His father, as mentioned by Him in “Bachitar Natak”. He placed literary activity in the forefront of His program of national reconstruction and for this purpose He engaged 52 poets. His purpose was to diffuse a new spirit among the people and devise means to utilize to its good effects. Here, He learned Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit etc. and studied chronicles of great warriors and the message of The Gurus in ‘Gurbani’ and philosophies of other religions.
He also practiced riding, hunting, swimming, archery and sword play. Sikhs started gathering around Him, seeing His ‘aura’ and accepting the fact that Ram Rai’s claim had proven hollow. He then set to preparing an army of Sikhs. His living embraced all phases of life i.e. moral, sociopolitical and spiritual. Guru has made His mission clear in “Bachitar Natak”, where He says that He came to this world to propagate principle (dharma) and to protect saints and annihilate tyrant rulers. His intellectualized emotions rose to the highest when He communes with The God, which is mentioned in His Baani, “Akaal Ustat”, where He addresses God with “Tu Hi” sixteen times, and gets absorbed for 16 hours. His increasing influence made hill rulers jealous and they attacked Him and the Guru defeated them in the battle of ‘Bhangani ‘ in 1686 AD. But the Guru did not use the victory for any political gains and returned to Anandpur. Here, He built four forts to keep hill state rulers in check. He tried to rouse the hill people and hill rulers to a sense of national unity but found them not rising above caste and, racial prejudices and vested interests by making common cause with Muslim rulers and even joining hands with the enemy against Him.
After having exercised all possible peaceful means of persuasion to stop the repressive acts of the Mughal rulers against humanity, Guru ji was forced to resort to take up armed struggle when he declared that: CHU KAR AZ HAMA HEELT E DAR GUZSHAT II HALAL AST BURDAN B SHAMSHEER DASAT II 22 || Dasam Granth ( Zafarnama ) i.e. all modes of redressing a wrong having failed; raising of sword is pious and just. The sword remained to be put to test. He also felt that the Sikhs were very limited in number to take on the Herculean task of wrecking the tyranny of the Mohammedan rulers and put an end to the evil.He felt the necessity of building the Psyche of Indians and Hindus in particular as Hindu mind had lost its manly character and had become submissive and the very sight of the sword terrified them. Moreover, the Hindus of north India had no truck with the Hindus of south India, both being unconcerned with the east India and none of these having any single practice common with the western India. The Indian people had been reduced to servile and spineless people as Hindu India was completely enslaved by the Mohammedans, so much so that even Rajputs had started offering their daughters to Mughal rulers.Something spectacular and miraculous was needed to revolutionize the thought and will of the the people of Hindu India.
Guru Gobind Singh ji decided to wake up their conscious and make them brave and fearless by baptizing the people with “Amrit” i.e. the water of immortality and give a unique identity to this small nation of The Sikhs. He called a congregation at Anandpur on Baisakhi day i.e. March 30, 1699 AD. When all were seated, He drew out His sword and said loudly, “Is there anyone here, who would lay down his head for Dharma”?. At this the whole assembly was thrown into commotion, but THE GURU went on repeating His demand. At the third call, Daya Ram, a Khatri of Lahore, volunteered. GURU took him into an enclosure. He came out with the sword dripping in blood and asked for another head. At this instance Dharam Chand, a jat of Delhi, came forward and was taken into the enclosure. In a similar fashion, three more men offered themselves for the sacrifice.
The GURU after dressing these five in handsome attire with flowing beards and ‘KES’ (hairs) maintained; submitting to LAWS OF NATURE/ WILL OF GOD and tying handsome turban to preserve them nicely and brandishing four other ‘KAKARS’ i.e. ‘KARHA’, ‘KASHEHRA’, ‘KANGHA’, ‘KIRPAN’, Symbolising holiness, spirituality, masculinity, selfrestraint,sovereignty and destroyer of darkness and brought them before the assembly. He baptized them with “Amrit” i.e. water of immortality, which was prepared by stirring water in an iron bowl with His double edged sword called “Khanda” and reciting the divine ‘baanis’ of ‘Japji’, ‘JAAP’, ‘Tav Prasad Savaiye’, ‘Kabio Bach Benti Chaupai’ and ‘Anand Sahib’ Himself and which was sweetened with sugar crystals added by Mata Sahib kaur ji. He baptized them by making them drink the water of immortality i.e. “Amrit”, pouring “Amrit” into their eyes and head. He also asked them to drink it from the same iron bowl, although four of them were from low castes and one was from high caste. Thus with this revolutionary deed, The Guru turned ‘jackals’ to “lions” and emboldened ‘sparrows’ to face “Eagles” and simultaneously took a great step for abolishing caste system in India and created a caste less universal brotherhood. Thus He made religious fervor the backbone of His warlike doctrines and created the practical skill with mystical meditation, the subsequent results of which speak for themselves.
Thus The ‘NAAM’ and spirit of Omnipotent God was instilled into water with having recited ‘GURBANI’, thus turning it into “Amrit” and sugar crystals were added to it ,giving the devout and the fearless the character of love, tolerance, respect, humanity along with traits of a warrior as per Divine Command. He called them “Panj Piaras” i.e. Beloved ones and gave them the name “Singh”. He also gave them the slogan “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji KI Fateh” to greet each other. The Guru then requested these five beloved ones to give Him “Amrit” and make Him their first disciple, as they collectively should be His Guru. He thus became Guru Gobind Singh from Guru Gobind Rai. The Guru hence set an example of religious development in the world i.e. The Guru baptizing the followers and the followers baptizing The Guru. The Guru thus passed the leadership to “Panj Piaras” and called them ‘KHALSA’. Guru thus completed the framework of a Sikh for which it took almost 200 years to complete the task. Guru declared that ‘Khalsa’ has been born as per wishes of the God as Guru says that: KHALSA AKAL PURAKH KI FAUJ || PARGATEO KHALSA PARMATAM KI MAUJ || – Guru Gobind Singh ji (Sarbloh Granth) Thus the founding of “Khalsa” was the climax of founding of Sikhism. The people divided as Hindus, Muslims, rich,poor,low and upper castes were united into one universal brotherhood. Thus the religious evolution started by Guru Nanak reached its goal i.e. the communities which hated each other were united into one brotherhood i.e. SIKHISM.
He took this revolutionary step, realizing that evil in the world was spreading on the wings of the sword. He thus decided to face it by organizing virtue with the help of sword so that the sword of a reformer should act as surgeon’s knife. Guru thus gave birth to “Khalsa” who will worship one God, be sovereign in religious and political aspects of life and fight for justice, freedom and equality and punish the evil and endure to establish a humanitarian rule. He called the “khalsa” His own self as the Guru says that;
“KHALSA MERO ROOP HAI KHAAS || KHALSE MEIN HAU KAROON NIWAAS|| JAB LAG KHALSA RAHE NIYARA|| TAB LAG TEJ DIUN MAEN SAARA||
Guru Gobind Singh ji (Sarb loh Granth) i.e. ‘Khalsa’ is very essence and I live in the KHALSA”. Till the Khalsa is perfect/ pure as envisaged by Him, His blessings will be with the Khalsa. Thus The ‘KHALSA’ created by SRI Guru Gobind Singh ji,acting on the advice, the spirit and with the blessings of The Guru gave a HEROIC fight to the Mughal/Turkish rulers of ‘Sirhind’ and erased Sirhind to the ground and routed the rule of Sirhind Muslim state and thus the first SIKH STATE of SIRHIND was created by Baba Banda Bahadur Singh in 1710 AD with the blessings and as per directions of SRI Guru Gobind Singh Ji,which were given to him at NANDED IN 1708 AD, when The Guru gave him five arrows and directed him to act on the advice of five sikhs. Baba Banda Bahadur Singh established a humanitarian rule and gave ownership rights of land to the actual tillers of the land i.e. farmers.
No Mosques were destroyed and no Muslims were killed , except the rulers. Continuing their tirade ,The Sikhs established 12 SIKH ‘Misals’ from boundaries of Delhi to Lahore under different brave Sikhs Generals such as Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Nawab Kapur Singh,Charat Singh, Sham Singh Attariwala ,etc. The ‘KHALSA’ then unified these ‘Misals’ and ultimately established ‘KHALSA RAJ’ right from boundaries of Delhi to ‘DARIYA KHYBER’ in Afghanistan under Ranjit Singh in 1799 AD, who was declared Maharaja in 1802 AD by Sahib Singh Bedi,who was ‘sarbarah’ of Akaal Takhat.The brave ‘KHALSA’ Generals like Hari Singh Nalwa fought so bravely that even just his name haunted the Muslims and Pathans.He was so strong that he killed a lion with his hands without any weapon when asked by Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the behest of ‘DOGRAS’. There is no parallel to this in the world. It was all due to the fervent spirit instilled by The Guru through the ‘AMRIT’ in The ‘KHALSA’. Is this not a miracle that SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH Ji transformed the castridden, coward, fallen and utterly despondent society of Hindu India to “lions”, to whom He gave the name of ‘KHALSA ‘, whoremovedthe shackles of slavery of about 800 years suffered by Indian people , by destroying the tyrant Mughal/Turkish rule in Punjab and creating the ‘KHALSA RAJ’ in Northwest of India.
Brave sikh generals like General Hari Singh Nalwa blocked the entry of foreign invaders from Khyber pass forever, which laid the foundation for destroying Mughal/Turkish rule in entire India. So much so that sikh generals like BAGHEL SINGH occupied the Delhi throne and unfurled ‘Khalsa’ flag over Lal Qila and as THE ‘ KHALSA’ did not have enough army to control whole of the area and therefore left it after taking Rs three crores in cash as booty and taking assurance for building Gurdwaras in memories of Sikh Gurus in Delhi, for which about 4000 sikh Army stayed back. The Indian people especially the Hindus are forever indebted to GURU TEGH BAHADUR JI (INSANIYAT DI CHADAR), for having sacrificed His life to protect their sacred thread(Janeu); and SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JI (SARBANS DAANI) for sacrificing His entire family I.e.Grandfather, father, mother and four sons to fight against oppression to free humanity from tyranny and establishing a socialist rule.
There is no parallel to sacrifice of SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JI in the whole world as The GURU sacrificed His whole family for the cause of HUMANITY and not for any vested interest, religion or establishing kingdom, when all wars in the world have been fought because of women, dispute, land/ kingdom(‘RAJ’). Thus when we visualize the short life of GURU GOBIND SINGH JI, it is like being connected to a live electric wire. He was luminous like the sun and had conquered death. Although all Gurus contributed to the task started by Guru Nanak Dev JI for the welfare of humanity but SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JI reached the climax BY GIVING BIRTH TO ‘KHALSA’ and completed the task by giving the status of THE LIVING GURU to SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI as it is a universal message for the humanity at large. Thus The“Gurbani” in Sri Guru Granth Sahib became the spirit and if the Sikh Nation acts as per this spirit, their life attains the true spirit of the “Gurbani”, it becomes the “Khalsa” the pure and true and therefore the “GURU KHALSA PANTH”.
In consonance with Guru Gobind Singh ji’s wishes the Sikh faith is guided by joint sovereignty of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and “GURU KHALSA PANTH” i.e “GURU GRANTH PANTH” i.e. the Guru is the scripture permeating in the Sikh community. But at the same time, tenth Guru cautioned that if the ‘Khalsa’ is away from the spirit of ‘Gurbani’, He will not be with them. Guru says that: JAB EH GAYE BIPRAN KI REET II MAEN NA KAROON IN KI PARTEET II Guru Gobind Singh ji (Sarbloh Granth ) I.e. If The Sikhs follow the brahmanical ways, The Guru will not give His blessings to The ‘KHALSA’. Thus if the Sikhs do not act on the directions of the Guru in ‘Gurbani’ and do not imbibe its true spirit and follow the brahmanical ways, they do not get Guru’s blessings and thus lose the rights of “KHALSA” and become the same host of misguided people who existed before the advent of the Guru and consequently lose the right to be part of “GURU GRANTH PANTH”. THUS THE SIKHS AND THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD TAKE A PLEDGE, ON THE EVE OF THE BIRTH DAY OF THE ‘KHALSA’ i.e. ‘VAISAKHI DAY’ ,TO LEARN ‘GURBANI’ IN ‘SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB’ TO THEIR HEARTS, UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE IT IN THEIR DAILY LIFE AS IT IS A MESSAGE FOR THE HUMANITY AT LARGE AND NOT FOR ANY PARTICULAR SECT/ RELIGION AND FOLLOW THE PRINCIPLES LAID BY THE GURUS FOR FIGHTING OPPRESSION AGAINST HUMANITY AND ENDURE TO ESTABLISH A SOCIAL AND A TRULY DEMOCRATIC RULE, FOR THE WELFARE OF HUMANITY AT LARGE, IRRESPECTIVE OF CASTE,CREED,RICH,POOR,COLOUR,SECT /RELIGION AND BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF COUNTRIES / STATES, IN THE WHOLE WORLD/ UNIVERSE. THUS REVIVING THE SPIRIT OF ‘KHALSA’ AND SPREADING THE MESSAGE OF SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB WILL BE THE BIGGEST TRIBUTE TO SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JI AND AND THEREBY ATTAINING PLEASURE OF GOD AS ‘KHALSA’ WAS BORN AS PER WISHES OF GOD TO DEFEAT THE EVIL IN THIS WORLD/ UNIVERSE, FOR WHICH SIKHS ARE DUTY BOUND AS PER MESSAGE / DIRECTIONS OF THE GURU.
(Er.Narinder Singh Pheruman is Former chief Engineer)