Guru Govind Singh Jayanti
Guru Gobind Singh jayanti
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti falls on 11th Jan 2011.
Celebrated by the Sikhs, the birthday of their tenth and last guru, this day witnesses’ large processions and special prayer gatherings at all Gurudwaras.
History of Guru Govind Singh ji :
Guru Gobind Singh 22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708) was the tenth Guru of Sikhism. He was born in Patna, Bihar in India and became a Guru on 11 November 1675, at the age of nine years, succeeding his father Guru Tegh Bahadur. He was the leader of the Sikh faith, a warrior, a poet, and a philosopher. In the Sikh society, Guru Gobind Singh is considered a perfect example of manhood; highly educated, skilled in horsemanship, armed combat, chivalrous, and generous in character.
Guru Gobind Singh's life and teachings have had a lasting impression on Sikh ideology as well as in their daily life. His establishment of the Khalsa is considered as one of the most important events in the history of Sikhism. He fought twenty defensive battles with the Mughals and their alliances, such as Rajas of Shivalik Hills. Guru Gobind Singh was the last human Sikh Guru; and in Nanded he declared the Guru Granth Sahib , the holy scripture of Sikhism, as the next permanent Sikh Guru on October 7, 1708.
Guru Gobind Singh was born as Gobind Rai in Patna to Guru Tegh Bahadur and his wife Mata Gujri. He was born while Guru Tegh Bahadur was touring Assam to spread his teachings.
According to a legend, the birth of Gobind Rai was prophesized by Pir Bhikan Shah, a fakirfrom Thaksa village (now in Karnal District of Haryana). One day, Bhikan Shah bowed towards the east during his prayers, contrary to the strict standard Islamic practice of bowing in the direction of Qibla-Kaaba only. When the villagers questioned his strange act, he stated that a special child, the savior chosen by the God, would be born in Patna, which lay to the East. He then traveled to Patna with a group of his followers to see the child. He placed two bowls of sweets before the newborn; one bowl was purchased from a Hindu's shop, and the second from a Muslim's shop, thus signifying the two major contemporary religions in India. The baby placed his hands on both the bowls, thus indicating that both Hindus and Muslims will be treated equally by him. According to another legend, the fakir Araf Din of Lakhnaur (now in Ambala District) also bowed to the boy, and proclaimed him as divine.
Gobind Rai spent the first five years of his life in Patna. As a child, he used to playwar games with other children, leading mock battles. He had many admirers, including a learned Brahmin called Pandit Shiv Dutt who used to call Guruji Bala Pritam ("child god"), a name that is used even today to refer to the Guru. Once, RajaFateh Chand of Patna and his Rani, a childless couple, visited Shiv Dutt, and asked him to bless them with a child. Shiv Dutt suggested that they must seek blessing ofBala Pritam, and their desire would be fulfilled. The couple then requested young Gobind Rai to visit their palace, where the Rani asked Guruji to bless her with a son. Guruji smiled and said that why do they need a son, the Rani could call him her son. From that day, the Rani started calling him her son. The royal couple were blessed - Guruji would visit them almost everyday and started playing with his friends in their palace often. Rani cooked meal of poori (a type of Indian bread) and black grams daily for guruji and his wargaming friends. Till today a meal of poori and black gram is served in langar (free kitchen) in their palace which has been converted into gurdawara (sikh religious place).
Other admirers of the boy included two Nawabs, Karim Baksh, who gifted a village and gardens to the child and Rahim Baksh.
Stay in Anandpur
Guru Tegh Bahadur had founded the city of Anandpur Sahib in the year 1665, on the land purchased from the ruler of Bilaspur (Kahlur). After his tour of eastern parts of India ended, he asked his family to come to Anandpur. Gobind Rai reached Anandpur (then known as Chakk Nanaki), on the foothills of the Sivalik Hills, in March 1672.
Gobind Rai's early education included study of Punjabi, Braj, Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic languages, and training as a soldier. He had started studying Hindi and Sanskrit while at Patna. In Anandpur, he started studying Punjabi under Sahib Chand, and Persian under Qazi Pir Mohammad. A Rajput warrior was employed to train him in military skills and horse riding.
In 1675, some Kashmiri Pandits led by Pandit Kirpa Ram of Matton (Martandya) visited Anandpur to seek Guru Tegh Bahadur's assistance against persecution from the Islamic Mughal rulers. Guru Tegh Bahadur proceeded to the Mughal capital Delhi, to discuss the emperorAurangzeb's policty towards the non-Muslims. The emperor had previously made very clear that the Guru's influence was unwelcome and was openly hostile to his presence. Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded on 11 November 1675 at Chandani Chowk, after refusing to convert to Islam. His head was to be put on the public square to deter the public from objecting to Aurangzeb's policies. The beheading of Guru Tegh Bahadur frightened many of his disciples, some of whom even refused to acknowledge themselves as his followers, in order to avoid persecution. A disciple called Bhai Jaita (later Bhai Jivan Singh) picked up the severed head, before it could be put on display and brought it to Anandpur, and narrated the story of fear among the Guru's followers in Delhi.
After hearing of what had happened in Delhi, Guru Gobind decided to inculcate the martial spirit among his followers. Guru Tegh Bahadur, in preparation for the real possibility of his death at the hands of the emperor, had ordained his son as the next guru, before his departure to Delhi. Gobind Rai was formally installed as the Guru on the Vaisakhi, on 11 November 1675
Guru Gobind engaged 52 poets to translate the heroic Sanskrit epics into contemporary languages. He selected the warlike theme in many of his compositions to infuse martial spirit among his followers. He also wrote several compositions preaching love, equality and the worship of one God, and deprecating idolatry and superstition.
Guru's increasing influence and power worried Raja Bhim Chand of Bilaspur (Kahlur), in whose territory Anandpur was located. Meanwhile, the Guru ordered construction of a war drum (nagara) called Ranjit Nagara to enthuse his soldiers. The use of such a war drum was limited to the chieftains, within their territory, and the Raja considered the use of Ranjit Nagara a hostile act. On his Prime Minister's advice, he arranged a meeting with the Guru in Anandpur. He was received with honor in the Guru's court, where his eyes fell at the valuable gifts prese