Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, was born at Patna Sahib in Bihar, India on December 22, 1616. His real name was Govind Rai. He was the only son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who gave his life to protect religious freedom of Kashmiri Hindus, and Mata Gujri.
“Jab-jab howat arist apaara. Tab-tab deh dharat avtaara.”
It is told that whenever the religion comes in danger and dominance of injustice and malpractices happens, then, for the intersession of religion, upliftment of society and destruction of the diabolical, there is an incarnation of the almighty. Guru Gobind Singh is also believed to be an ‘avtar’ or an incarnation. For the safeguard of the nation and religion, he transformed the Sikhs into warriors’ ambience and constituted the unified power. In 1699, on the auspicious day of Baisaakhi, he formed an institution and named it Khalsa Panth, which inculcates the spirit of both saint and a soldier in its followers to fight oppression in order to restore righteousness. In 1675, he became guru at the age of nine after the martyrdom of his father and continued to be the guru, till 1708.
Guru Gobind Singh was a great warrior, poet, devotee and a spiritual leader. In his childhood, Guru Gobind Singh learned many languages including Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, Braj, Gurumukhi and Persian. He also learned martial arts to become adept at combating. He had four sons, Baba Ajit Singh, Baba Jujhar Singh, Baba Zorawar Singh, Baba Fateh Singh. The Guru regarded himself as the servant of the Khalsa. He said, “To serve them pleases me the most; no other service is so dear to my soul.” He believed in equality. He baptized his five faithful and named them Panj Pyare and gave them sobriquet of Singh. Guru Gobind Singh was a great warrior and a spiritual leader. He was a merciful donor who sacrificed his all. Two youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh were cemented alive behind the wall, whose age was 5 and 8 years, after they refused to adopt Islam. Mata Gujri died soon after hearing of her grandsons’ death. The two eldest sons aged 13 and 17, were also martyred in the battle against Mughal army as they were safeguarding their father. After repeated conflicts with Garhwali and Mughal leaders, Guru Gobind Singh wrote a letter to Aurangzeb in Persian, which was later famously named as Zafarnama or the Epistle of Victory, reminding him of the misdeed the Mughals had done to the Sikhs. He fought against the Mughals later in the battle of Muktsar in 1705.
He is the last guru of the Ten Gurus in Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh declared Guru Granth Sahib, the religious text of the Khalsas and the Sikhs, as the next Guru of the two communities. He died on October 7 in 1708. His efforts to safeguard his religion are always inspirational.