Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 C.E.) lived during an extremely dangerous time.
As a child he had drunk deep at the fount of Raamaayana, Mahaabhaarata and
Puraanas. 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 protect Dharma. Richly had Guru Govind Singh
inherited the legacy of the fearless martyrdom of his father - Guru Tegh
Bahadur. His father had sacrificed his life to protect the freedom of worship
by Hindus, who were being threatened with conversion or death by zealous
Muslim rulers. Abduction of women and pillage of goods were rampant, but the
people were too timid and terrorized to resist. In the midst of this political
situation, Guru Gobind Singh gained great stature as both Saint and soldier a
leader of firm spiritual principles and intense devotion to God, and at the
same time, fearless dedication to protecting all people from oppression and
injustice through the practice of Kshatradharma.
In 1699, He dramatically initiated five men from the lower castes as His Five
Beloveds, blessing them with great courage as well as nearness to God. They
became models for the Khalsa, the Order of the Pure, which Guru Gobind Singh
created to stand on the front line against injustice. The Khalsa were held to
a very strict moral and spiritual discipline and under Guru Gobind Singh's
courageous inspiration, helped to turn the tide against Mughal oppression in
India. In addition to his spiritual and military leadership, Guru Gobind Singh
was a gifted intellectual and had many poets in his court. He was inspired to
write many powerful spiritual compositions that infused a martial spirit in
the people. This included the Jaap Sahib, but he did not include them in the
Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib. His writings have instead been
collected in a separate volume, called the Dasam Granth. Upon His passing
away, He instructed his Sikhs to regard the Guru Granth Sahib as their
teacher. 'Granth' literally means 'volume' (especially, a Holy volume).
'Sahib' is a term of reverence used for anything sacred. The Guru Granth Sahib
is the perpetual guru of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh and his followers were
engaged in many battles against several Mughal rulers during his lifetime.
During that turbulent period, he lost his mother and four children in fighting
for righteousness. Nevertheless, the Khalsa soldiers stood determined as a
sovereign and distinct body, and could efficiently withstand their enemies.
Before his death in 1708, he added a few writings to the Sikh scriptures and
requested his worshippers to take spiritual guidance out of the Guru Granth
Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs. The words enclosed in Guru Granth Sahib are
from now on and will forever be present as their Guru for the Sikhs
About Guru Gobind