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THE GROWTH OF RESPONSIBILITY IN SIKHISM


GURU HARKRISHAN 1656-1664
ELECTION OF LEADERS

The Sikhs had risen to a complete consciousness of there own and other's rights, and had acquired sufficient character to stand in defense of them. But still there was deficiencies left, which, in times of sudden emergency, might defeat their national cause. They had yet to learn how to find out their leaders. Those who have studied the practical lessons of history know how dangerous it is for a party to acquire power, without knowing how to select its best men and put itself under them. Our own history of later days affords many examples of this defect.

It was due to Guru Harkrishan that the Sikhs got for the first time a taste of the elective system. The Guru himself, though a boy, showed a remarkable sense of discrimination. As in witnessed by his success in find out the true Rani from among a crowd of royal ladies, though the former, to hoodwink him, had dressed herself in the clothes of a slave, At this, it is said, even the Emperor Aurangzeb was satisfied that the choice of the Guru was not wrong. In fact in appointing a Guru, greatest care had always been taken to select the best man available; and the rejection of Ram Rai. A grown-up man, in favour of Guru Harkrishan was itself an example of this discrimination. But the Sikhs had never been allowed to have anything to do with this appointment.

Now they were to take another step on the road to responsibility Before his death, the Guru place the whole Sikh community on trail of its efficiency to seek out its Representative Man, and the only clue given was that he was to be found in Bakala. As soon as the Guru had breathed his last, many spurious guruships were set up at different places in the same village. But, Thanks to the preparation undergone in eight generations, our forefathers proved equal to the task, and were able to find out their true Guru.


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