9.1.16

Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa and created the structure suitable to replace the hereditary monarchy at the time of his death.


Gobind Rai found himself at the head of the faithful at the age of just nine years. After performing the funeral rites in honor of his father Tegh Bahadur (1621- Guru 1664 -1675), ninth Gurū and second martyr of the Sikh brutally killed by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707), retired to a town hidden in the mountains where for years he harbored thoughts of revenge and redemption for his Sikhs (disciples).


During this period he devoted himself to physical activities and at the same time he studied history, Sanskrit, Persian, the Hindi, Panjabi and the respective literature, drawing inspiration and by building a solid foundation on which to develop important innovations introduced soon. He promoted and practiced himself, following the example of many of his predecessors, hunting and other physical activities and martial.

After several years of intense conflict with the Rajputs, who alternately supported him and coming from one side to ally with him against the Mughals and the other to openly declare to war thanks to the alliance with the emperor, the Gurū returned to Anandpur (a small village founded by his father), where taking advantage of a long quiet period of 12 years, was able to devote himself to the reorganization of its forces, arming first Anandpur further defenses and by building a chain of fortresses unbroken territory Rajput .

Recognizing ignorance the root cause of killing morale of his people also devoted himself to the promotion of culture. He knew as seen major languages ​​of the time, and now he took steps to make them known and studied to as many people as possible, by posting this purpose five disciples in Benares to study Sanskrit and the texts of Hindu mythology.

His studies had provided the basis for understanding their full time and tools to carry out successfully the mission he set for himself. It's time to apply their knowledge and instill courage and confidence to carry out its duties in the mass of the faithful, accustomed for centuries to submit to any discrimination without raising any protest and this undermined the self-confidence and the ability to change .

Gurū Gobind then translated and had it translated from Sanskrit to Panjabi many myths and uplifting stories in which they praised the courage and heroism. Gifted for poetry, he himself wrote many hymns in which it explained its thinking according to Nanak. In particular he recognized the danger that derived from idolatry, still widespread among the Hindus, and emphasized the oneness of God, of which he was the envoy, humble servant. In this regard, firmly he condemned all forms of idolatry to his person.

Conscious of the impossibility of success of a movement purely political anti-Mughal and signs of decline showed that the religious monarchy, took measures to reorganize the community. First he identified the main causes of decline: the inheritance of charge, with the consequent struggles of succession, had rendered the Gurū very similar to a contemporary monarch (from the point of view of a pronounced moral laxity and customs) ; the establishment of Masand (often true local landlords who enriched themselves posing as interpreters of the will of Gurū) and the collection of taxes assigned to them were another major cause of discontent in the population oppressed.

Gobind wasted no time in half measures and resolutely eliminated both. Abolished in the block Masand, although aware of the risk of impoverishment which was meeting the whole community, deprived of the only means of livelihood, and presented to the faithful the task of making voluntary donations and take care of their own communities as well and not under compulsion by someone.

The other cause of forfeiture - the religious hereditary monarchy - was certainly more difficult to reform or eliminate and needed something that would take over the functions and responsibilities. At the beginning of 1699, Gurū Gobind Rai invited all the faithful to make a pilgrimage to Amritsar for the gaudy, explicitly requiring them to attend the event with the beard and uncut hair.

The first day of the month of Baisakh, during the great gathering, showed the auditorium with a sword in hand, demanding that those who were ready to sacrifice themselves for him offered him the head in sacrifice. Silence descended on the bystanders. At the third repetition of the request a man stepped forward. Gobind took him behind a curtain, from which he emerged a little later with the bloody sword in hand.

For four more times he repeated the same application and each time a faithful offered in sacrifice. After the Gurū left the tent with the five (had sacrificed goats in their place) and proclaimed that those who had shown themselves ready to sacrifice themselves for him were his PANCH Pyare (five beloved ones), and would form the nucleus from which It arose the Khalsa, the community of Saints-soldiers ready to fight to the death for the triumph of dharma.

He instituted a new rite, stirring the sugar water with a double-edged sword, and sprinkling the five with Amrita obtained. Immediately after he asked to be baptized with the same ritual. Entry into the Khalsa everyone had to give up their previous occupation to that of a soldier to his family to embrace that of Gurū, all rites except those provided Gurū, his faith to that of Sat Gurū.

All men, entering the Khalsa, also added to its name to Singh (Lion) and all women to Kaur (Princess, Leonessa) , names of Rajput noble in stark contrast to the humble names caste that carried so much of faithful. In the absence of Gurū decisions of PANCH Pyare they would be considered equivalent to the will of the master, spiritually present at the meeting.

Who was part of the Khalsa was then required to wear five symbols (the so-called five "K") , each designed to emphasize a particular aspect of being saints-soldiers. The most important symbol had hair and beard uncut (KES), while the others completed the semantic extension. The use of non-cut beard and hair is in vogue since time immemorial in the Indian ascetic, as a symbol of renunciation of worldly illusions, and it seems very likely that all Gurū by Nanak Sikh onwards bring this symbol of holiness. So the decision to make it mandatory for all members of the Khalsa no surprises especially the Sikhs, who apparently were already accustomed.

The innovation lies in the fact Gobind wanted to emphasize that all members of the Khalsa were the saints in God's service, ready to take up arms in defense of the dharma, against the evils of the world: the Saints-Soldiers (sant-Sipahi). The value of a soldier is measured precisely in its being constantly alert and ready to draw his sword and offer a sacrifice their lives, but only when you need it, when every other way has been foreclosed and 'Adharma risks to triumph.

The other symbols are easily explained starting from these assumptions, and are all related to the occupation of the Sikh Saint-Soldier embraced entering the Khalsa: so Kangha (wooden comb) serves to keep clean and tidy her long hair hidden under turban and to remember the need to be clean, in life as in battle. The kach, the comfortable and simple pants used by the warriors of the time, went to replace the pretty, but totally impractical in battle, dhoti.

The use of bring a sword (kirpan) is obviously tied in glove with being a sant-Sipahi and does not seem to require any particular explanation. The symbol that has some major problems of interpretation is the Kara, the iron bracelet. Apparently not connected with the art of war, he had its practical use in the battle to defend the arm from the blows, and it seems possible that resulting from the use of Hindu encircle wrists warriors with good-luck tapes before going into battle. The iron also seems to bring to mind the simplicity that was to inspire the life of every Sikh, in contrast with the simultaneous use of bright and adorn themselves with expensive jewelry in precious metals.

Each member of the Khalsa was required to respect these four rules (rahat) : the prohibition to cut beard and hair (obviously a repeat of KES), the prohibition of taking tobacco and other intoxicants, the prohibition against eating animals killed by exsanguination (as It was the use Muslim) but only killed by a shot net, a ban on Muslim women to spend time with.

Finally, to establish and clearly define the new identity Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh prescribed a new greeting: WAHE guru jī kā Khalsa, Waheguru jī Ki fateh. With the establishment of the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh had created the structure suitable to replace the hereditary monarchy at the time of his death.

On a democratic basis had successfully replaced all the time functions of Gurū, demand to an assembly of five pious men (much like the Hindu pañcāyat of which evidently was a reworking), and gurumatā , the board where everyone participated in law with the entry in Khalsa, it called for all cases of vital importance.

Was anxious to emphasize the equality of all people and to give them courage and confidence in the possibilities of a compact motion and succeeded in doing this through the power of the symbols he chose and the intelligence with which he introduced them to the faithful: Singh , the lion , until then a caste name, became the only name for all members of the Khalsa, all lions ready to fight to the death. The humble names hitherto used by the majority of the faithful were replaced by a single noble surname, which was carrying high responsibility.

Also for the spiritual elevation of the disciples he strove so that no one felt lower down others because of their occupation (what would make equality conferred by surname and by membership of the Khalsa purely formal). Recognizing the importance of the gain and the way to get it banned the charity and all the humiliating work and decreed that worthy occupations were agriculture, trade, the professions of pen and, of course, the professions of the sword.

All such changes corresponded to a turnaround in the social composition of the Panth (literally: path, way, what in the West is known as Sikhism in India is the Sikh-panth). The Khatri, high caste urban from whose ranks came the Masand, which until then had formed the backbone of the Panth and they had certainly given certain aspects of the occupation and way of life, were gradually replaced by a majority of JAT , low caste rural fierce fighters, which will form the core of the army Sikh.

The Rajput mountains watched with growing concern the operations of Gurū and then decided, aware that if they had done nothing of the fury Mughal would fall on them, to try to stem the growing power of Gurū.

First they tried to provoke him but to his determination responded besieging Anandpur. At first Sikhs repeatedly broke the cordon that surrounded the city in the long run, however, it became difficult to find regular supplies, and they moved into a small village, Nirmoh , where they fought with the Raja of Bilaspur (always at the head of operations against the Gurū) defeating.

The heads of the mountains then realized that the strength of the Sikhs was beyond their means, and therefore asked the help of the Emperor. Their combined forces attacked the Sikhs in Nirmoh, trying in vain to besiege them, and when he retired with his Gurū in Basal, Bilaspur tried one last time to destroy him. Severely beaten he had to come to terms with Gobind, who then returned to Anandpur dedicating the urgent task of fortifying in order to withstand the attacks that were waiting.

Soon the concerns of Raja caused a new sending imperial troops against Anandpur, which was encircled. This time the siege was long and finally proved exhausting for both parties; many abandoned the Gurū, who stayed with a handful of men. There was a tentative agreement, immediately breaking the Imperials; Gurū Gobind Singh gave a Brahmin mother with the two minor children and retired - protected by a rearguard that was wiped out to the last man - towards South to Chamkaur, where he decided to resist until the end with the forty who remained with him.

When all it seemed lost a faithful that resembled Gurū put on his clothes and went out to the battlefield, giving Gobind time to escape and reach Jatpura. Here he learned of the death of the two minor children and his mother in to the newspapers Sikh betrayed by a Brahmin who had been assigned - at the hands of the governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan.

Thousands of Sikhs gathered around the Gurū and offered their help to avenge the horrible crime. Wazir Khan learned that was marching against him and now the help of his strong, Gobind lunged over his rivals in defeating Khidrana, that since then was renamed Muktsar (the Pond of Salvation).

Gurū Gobind Singh withdrew therefore to Talwandi Sabo, where with the help of the disciple Mani Singh dedicated himself to the final drafting of Dasven Pādśāh kā Granth (The Book of the Tenth Emperor), or Dasam Granth, which were collected in his hymns.

On March 2, 1707 died the Emperor Aurangzeb. Immediately he opened the struggle for succession and Gurū took the side of Bahadur Shah (remembering the help from those previously offered to him) by sending a detachment of riders participating in the battle of Jajau June 1707. Gobind then accompanied the new Emperor in his march in the Deccan to suppress the rebellion of his brother Kam Baksh, while not taking part in any battle.

They arrived on the banks of the Godavari and pitched camp in the village of Nanded in September 1707. One night two Pathan is intrufolarono the tent of Gurū and stabbed. The serious wound was sutured and it seemed that the Gurū could survive, but the points exploded shortly after. Gurū Gobind Singh then picked up the faithful around him and gave instructions: the succession of Gurū ended with him .

From then on the spiritual guidance of all the Sikhs would be Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the book which collected the hymns of praise for the first nine masters and those of some mystical Hindus and Muslims, as Guru Nanak, recognized to worship, always and in any case, and beyond every division made by man, God himself.

He died Oct. 7, 1708. As Guru paid much attention to the mastery of skillfulness both physical and literary. He had a natural talent for writing poetry and his first years Furuno devoltis assiduously to this. Much of the work of Guru Gobind Singh was held at Paonta, the place where he had temporarily shifted in April 1685. For him poetry was a means to reveal the divine principle and to conceive a vision of the Supreme and unique behavior strictly ethical and moral disapproval beliefs in superstitions.

The sword has never had the meaning of aggression and should be used only in self-defense. It was the emblem of the protection of humanity in the most serious. Guru Gobind Singh also wrote in his Zafarnama "when all other means fail against tyranny, one may use the sword." During his stay at Paonta Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh used his free time to practice military in various forms, such as horse riding and archery. Its increased influence on people and martial training of his men increased the jealousy of rivals and Moghul that with Raja Fateh Chand Garhvał attacked the Sikhs, but came out losers in this battle to Bhangani, about ten kilometers from Paonta, on Sept. 18, 1688.

Guru Gobind Singh ji when he was sure that the people could manage themselves and live head-on and walk on the right path, in April of 1699 gathered a large number of people, men and women, baptized them and giving them a new identity and soppreanominò Sikhs males Singh, lion, and Sikh women Kaur, princess, and he was required to always carry the five symbols of the Khalsa, all starting with the letter K; the Kesh, that long hair and a long beard; the Kangha, the little one comb to keep the Kesh ordered; Kara, a steel bracelet; The kirpan, a small dagger; the Kachera, particular type of undergarment.

The Sikhs Furuno encouraged to browse the poor and fight the oppressors, to have faith in one God and to consider all human beings equal, regardless of caste and creed. Guru Gobind Singh himself received the rite of the five heroes, so the authority of the Khalsa changed his name from Gobind Rai to Gobind Singh. Many poets recite "Gobind Singh, master and disciple at the same time", an action ever recorded up to that time by an entity so high.

Other important details to be a true Sikh are that they must not use tobacco and alcohol. A Sikh should not have sex outside the marriage bond. After the attack on Anandpur Sahib by the Mughals, the Guru's family was separated and two of the four sahibzade (sons), younger, Zorawar Singh (born in 1696) and Fateh Singh (born in 1699), and his mother, Mata Gujri were hosted by their servant, Gangu, who shortly thereafter denounced them to the forces of Mughals in exchange for money.

So sahibzaade were killed because they refused to convert to Islam on December 13 of 1705 and their grandmother, Mata Gujri, He left his body on the same day. As the two largest sahibzade, Ajit Singh Santo in QTIYD and Jhujhar Singh lost their lives fighting valiantly against the Mughals. Guru Gobind Singh helped by a Muslim Ral Kalha of Raikot, he reached Dina in the heart of the Malva. There he enlisted some warriors and also composed the famous letter, Zafarnama or epistle of victory, addressed to Emperor Aurangzeb.

The letter was an indictment for the Emperor and his commanders not their oath, to end all rivalry if the Guru and his army had left the city of Anandpur, but the opposite attacarono the city of Anandpur. Dina, Guru Gobind Singh continued his journey until he managed suitable position on both sides of Lake khidrana so he can make one last final battle. The battle of 29 December 1705 it was very hard and terrible. Despite the large number of soldiers, the troops of the Mughals failed to block the Guru and had to beat a retreat.

The most valiant in this battle was carried out by a group of 40 Sikh; that they had abandoned the Guru to Anandpur during the long siege of the Mughals, but when they returned from their families were rebuked by the latter because they had left the Guru alone, and so under the direction of a woman courageous and determined, Mai Bhago , they managed to regain confidence in themselves and returned to fight as heroes to check the progress of the enemy to the position of the Guru.

The Guru blessed the clappers after 40 Sikhs as mukte, ie the 40 liberators. After spending a bit 'of time in the jungle of Lakhi, Guru Gobind Singh arrivòa Talwandi Sabbo, now called Damdama Sahib: 20 January 1706. During the stay of more than nine months, a number of Sikhs joined him. He prepared a new review of the Guru Granth Sahib, with Bhai Mani Singh as its writer.

The epistle, Zafarnama, transmitted by Guru Gobind Singh, he will reflect the emperor Aurangzeb who immediately wanted to invite to a meeting and sent a letter to the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh received a letter that summoned him to Deccan. He was near the Bhangore in Rajasthan, when the news arrived of the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in Ahmadnagar 20 February 1707. The Guru then decided to return to Punjab, from Shahjahanabad (Delhi). Meanwhile, the two sons of Emperor deceased were fighting because of succession.

Guru Gobind Singh declared a preference for his older brother, Prince liberal Muazzam, who ascended the throne with the title of Bahadur Shah. The new Emperor invited Guru Gobind Singh for a meeting that took place in Agra on 23 July 1707. The Emperor Bahadur Shah wanted to move against the Kachhwaha Rajputs of Amber (Jaipur) place where his younger brother, Kam Baksh, had raised the revolt against him and the Guru decided to accompany him. The two camps crossed the river Tapti between 11 and 14 June 1708 and Ganga on August 14, arriving at Nanded, on the Godavari, towards the end of August.

While Bahadur Shah continued the march, Guru Gobind Singh decided to stay for a while in Nanded. Here he was in contact with an inmate of Bairagi, Madho Das, who converted to Sikhism and became known as Gurbaksh Singh (Banda Singh Bahadur, the name by which it is known today). Guru Gobind Singh gave Banda Singh five arrows from his quiver and five of his Sikhs and told him to go to Punjab to continue the company against the tyranny of the rulers of the area. Nawab Wazir Khan of Sirhind s'ingelosì seeing the emperor and the Guru to stand side by side and so commissioned two of his trusted men assassinate the Guru before his friendship with the Emperor would increase.

One of them struck the Guru in the left side below the heart when he was resting in his quarters after the evening prayer Rehraas Sahib. Before he tried another blow, Guru Gobind Singh killed him with his sword, while his companion was caught fleeing from the swords of Sikhs who come to the aid of Guru. As soon as the news reached the camp of Bahadur Shah, he immediately sent experts to assist surgeons of the Guru.

The wound was stitched and healed quickly. Guru finally decided to leave this earthly life, October 7, 1708, but before doing so gave the Sikhs their new and final Guru, the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib. From that moment on, the Sikhs had recourse only to the word "divine" and there would be no more a human figure for them.

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