GOBIND SINGH SAHIB
GURU GOBIND SINGH SAHIB (18.12.1661 -
7.10.1708), son of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib
and Mata Gujari, was born at Patna Sahib
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib spent his childhood
at Patna. In 1670, he left Patna for Bakala.
On his way to Bakala, he broke his journey
at Lakhnaur (district Ambala) and stayed
there, at the residence of his maternal
uncle, for a few months. He spent more
than one year at (Baba) Bakala. In March,
1672, he reached Chakk Nanaki. On July
8, 1675, he was installed as the Tenth
Nanak. He was married to Mata Jitoji (Jit
Kaur) who gave birth to four sons Ajit
singh in 1687, Jujhar Singh in1691, Zorawar
Singh in 1696 and Fateh singh in 1699.
From 1673 till 1685 Guru Sahib stayed
at Chakk Nanaki. In April 1685, Medani
Parkash, the ruler of Nahan, invited Guru
Sahib to his territory. At the request
of the Raja, Guru Sahib founded the town
of Paonta Sahib. The foundation stone
of the new town was laid down by Bhai
Ram Kanwar (a descendant of Baba Buddha),
in 1685. From April 1685 to 1688, Guru
Sahib stayed at Paonta Sahib. Soon, Paonta
Sahib became a major centre of the Sikh
nation. Here, several poets and intellectuals
joined the court of Guru Sahib. During
this period, Ram Rai, whom Guru Har Rai
Sahib had excommunicated from the Panth,
visited Guru Sahib and submitted an apology.
Guru Sahib forgave him. In September 1687,
Ram Rai died. Guru Sahib visited village
Khurvaddhi (now Dehradun) and settled
the affairs of the centre of Ram Rai.
Some followers of Ram Rai wanted to occupy
that centre. Gurbakhsh Rai was their chief.
He approached Feteh Shah, the chief of
Garhwal State, and sought his help. Fateh
Shah agreed to attack Paonta Sahib. Here,
Guru Sahib had to fight a battle at Bhangani
(on September 18, 1688). Guru Sahib won
this battle. On October 27, 1688, Guru
Sahib left Paonta for Anandpur Sahib.
On March 28, 1689,
Rani Champa, the queen-mother of the Bilaspur
State, visited Guru Sahib at Anandpur
Sahib and granted Guru Sahib the territory
of some villages for the construction
of five forts for the defense of the Sikh
State. On March 29, 1689, Guru Sahib laid
down the foundation of Anandpur Sahib,
near Chakk Nanaki. [Now both, Chakk Nanaki
and Anandpur Sahib, jointly, are known
as Anandpur Sahib].
On March 20, 1690, Guru Sahib participated
in the battle of Nadaun, against the Mogul
army, to help the hill chiefs of the area.
On March 28, 1692, Guru Sahib presided
over the conference of the rulers of the
hill States, held at Rivalsar. After this
he visited several hill States. On February
19, 1696, Guru Sahib helped the ruler
of Guler when he was attacked by the Mogul
army. In March 1698, Guru Sahib abrogated
Guru Gobind Sahib revealed the Throne
of Faith "Kesgarh Sahib" at Anandpur Sahib.
On March 29, 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib
revealed Khalsa. Khalsa was to be a "politically
and spiritually sovereign" entity, in
direct line of Waheguru, the Supreme Sovereign.
It was an extension of the concept of
Akal Takht Sahib. Khalsa is the direct
subject of Akal Purakh (the Almighty).
Hence, the sovereignty of Khalsa is both
temporal and transcendental. Guru Gobind
Singh prescribed Khanday di Pahul (proper
initiation ceremony) obligatory for those
who wished to join Khalsa (the sovereign
subjects of the Almighty) brotherhood.
Since 1700, Guru Sahib had to fight several
battles against the Moguls, the Hindu
hill chiefs and their joint forces too.
On August 29, 1700, the army of the hill
chiefs attacked Anandpur Sahib the battle
contained till September 1, 1700. On October
7, 1700, the hill armies attacked again.
Another battle was fought on October 13
and 14, 1700. On October 14, 1700, Guru
Sahib went to Basali and stayed there
for fifteen days. Besides these battles
the Sikhs had to face some small skirmishes
too. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib told the
Sikhs not to hesitate to take up arms
to fight against injustice.
At Anandpur Sahib, he founded the institution
of 'Sikh Red Cross', with Bhai Ghanaiya
Singh as its leader.
On May 3, 1705, huge Mogul and hill forces
besieged Anandpur Sahib. The Sikhs fought
against these armies for seven months.
On December 4, 1705, Guru Sahib received
a letter from Aurangzeb, the Mogul emperor,
asking Guru Sahib to leave Anandpur Sahib
and meet him at village Kangar (it is
possible that the hill rulers might have
prepared a fake letter). On the night
of December 5-6, 1705, Guru Sahib along
with his family and about 500 Sikhs, left
Anandpur Sahib and moved to Ropar and
then to Chamkaur. Here too, the Mogul
army attacked Guru Sahib. There were about
40 Sikhs when thousands of the Mogul soldiers
attached the Sikhs. The Sikhs thought
about 40 in number, fought the most crucial
battle of the Sikh history. The Sikhs
fought bravely. Two elder sons of Guru
Gobind Singh Sahib three of the Punj Piaray
and 35 Sikhs embraced martyrdom in this
On the night of December 7-8, Guru Gobind
Singh Sahib, along with a couple of the
Sikhs, left Chamkaur with the help of
Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan. On December
12, two younger sons of Guru Sahib were
butchered to death of Fatehgarh (Sirhind).
The same day the mother of Guru Sahib
succumbed to torture. On December 20,
Guru Sahib reached village Dina-Kangar.
The following day he wrote Zafarnamah
(literally : letter of victory), to Aurangzeb
and sent Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam
Singh to deliver the same to Aurangzeb.
After touring the area of Malwa, Guru
Sahib reached Talwandi Saboo on January
16, 1706 and stayed there for about nine
months. Guru Sahib left Talwandi Sabo
on October 30, 1706 and began his journey
towards Ahmednagar. When Guru Sahib was
on his way to Ahmednagar, Aurangzeb died
(on February 20, 1707). After the death
of Aurangzeb, his son Bahadur Shah tried
to patch up with Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib
helped Bahadur Shah in his war of succession
against his brothers. After his victory,
Bahadur Shah, the new emperor, held a
meeting with Guru Sahib at Agra, on July
23, 1707. The emperor personally thanked
Guru Sahib for his (Guru Sahib's) help.
At first he behaved properly but soon
Guru Sahib smelt his tactics and left
him near Nander.
On September 3, 1708, Guru Sahib appointed
Baba Banda Singh Bahadur as the leader
of the Sikh army and assigned him the
duty to expel the Moguls from the Sikh
Homeland. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur left
Nander on October 5, 1708. The same night,
when Guru Sahib was asleep, Jamshed Khan,
a Pathan (who had been sent by Bahadur
Shah, the Mogul emperor, to kill Guru
Sahib), attacked Guru Sahib with his dagger.
Guru Sahib breathed his last on October
7, 1708. Before his death he installed
Guru Granth Sahib as Guru-Eternal of the
Sikhs (on October 6, 1708). Guru Sahib's
body was cremated on the night of October
7, 1708 and his ashes were immersed in
the river Godavari.
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib was a great soldier,
general, planner, builder, philosopher
and poet (his verses are a part of the
Dasam Granth). It is hard to believer
that he accomplished all this in such
a short span of his life. Before his death,
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib told the Sikhs
that they had become enough trained with
regard to their philosophy and did not
need another living Guru. Beside, the
lives of the Gurus were, in addition,
a beacon light for them. The Sikhs did
not need any more explanations, precepts
and examples. The Sikh Scriptures contain
everything that a Sikh needs to know.
Guru Sahib announced that Guru Granth
Sahib shall be the Guru-Eternal of the
Sikh nation. Since then the spiritual
leadership of the Sikhs is endowed with
Guru Granth Sahib. The temporal leadership
lies with the Sarbat Khalsa (the Sikh
Commonwealth), under the patronage of
Guru Granth Sahib. It does not mean separation
of temporal and transcendental spheres.
It means that the Sarbat Khalsa can take
decision with regard to the Sikh nation
but only with the counsel of Guru Granth