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Author Topic: Guru Gobind Singh - The Warrior Saint  (Read 2565 times)

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Offline JR

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Guru Gobind Singh - The Warrior Saint
« on: February 24, 2007, 01:04:06 AM »
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  • More often the solution of the present ills receives much help from the study of the past and as such the life-sketch of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, I am sure, shall be able to throw more light on the various problems confronting the country in laying the firm foundation of democracy in India.
    Guru Gobind Singh was not only a patriot, but also a poet-philosopher and a prophet. Moreover he was a great leader in the field of national and political life. The message of the Guru can be summed up in one line -- to convert every Sikh into a Singh or a lion. The urgent need of the hour is to con¬vert every Indian into a lion. A leader of Guru's type is needed to integrate the whole of India.
    The qualities required to become a Singh or lion have been excellently stated by Guru Gobind Singh. They are as follows :-

    First to cultivate self-respect and respect for others and to respect the poor and the voice of the community - it means the voice of the people, of the masses, of the proletariat. This is, the Guru's significant teaching and as such I do visualise in the Guru the earliest prophets of democratic socialism and to achieve it, is the goal of Modern India. In this spirit the Guru respec¬ted the voice of the people. He was a teacher of humanity in the true sense of the term. He has stated certain norms to eva¬luate the actions of the rulers and the society.

    The Guru said, "There is one God, all are his children and as such brothers. Each has his own way of reaching the Almighty. Why then quarrel amongst themselves for petty differences in detail?" About the kings or rulers he declared, "The rulers should hold themselves responsible for their actions towards the ruled. The king was to be the chief executive officer; but above him were to be the representatives of the people; the real sove¬reignty was to lie not in the king and his ministers but in the people themselves,"
    The second quality stressed by Guru Gobind Singh is that man must be courageous ~- full of manhood. In the second Granth Sahib, written by him, we learn that he opposed fearlessly the imperial government of Alamgir. "Thou with the intoxication of sovereignty," addressing the king in one of his verses, he said, "art keeping on puffing the heart." The Guru believed in "Right is might," In a hymn in the Granth Sahib, the Guru sings :-

    Eternal God, Thou art our Shield,
    The Dagger, Knife, the Sword we wield;
    To us protection Thou hast given,
    The timeless, deathless Lord of Heaven;
    To us all, steel's unvanquished might,
    To us all times, resistless flight;
    But chiefly Thou protector brave
    All steel, with Thine own servants save.

    It was this foremost quality which was strongly emphasised by Guru Gobind Singh and which enabled him and his followers to fight against the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb and they fought it vehemently. The Guru had more reasons to fight with the Emperor, who was obstinately blind to the grievances and troubles of his subjects. The Guru advised his men and women to boy¬cott government service and courts. To be in the pay of enemy was regarded as going out of the sacred fold -- the Panth -- the Khalsa. For the Sikhs it was all in all. They had to lose all idea of their personality, in the personality of the Panth. Their life was the life of the nation. Purity and chastity, truth and love, service and sacrifice were their guiding principles and fear¬lessness was their virtue.

    What provoked Guru Gobind Singh to fight against Aurang-zeb was that he ill-treated his Hindu subjects. He excluded Hin¬dus from holding office as far as possible, pulled down their tem¬ples, and harassed them by instituting regulations such as Jizya. Besides, the Emperor had murdered the Guru's father, his two sons were also killed by his generals and the two youngest sons were bricked up.

    The Guru, therefore, established a parallel Government of his own. It was full-fledged government. All Sikhs were orga¬nised to form quite a separate entity. His followers were advised not to recognise a system of government based on religo-political ideals, hence they did not like the government of Aurangzeb and they did not recognize the imperial government, the Moghul government, and helped to oust the imperious and unwanted imperial government from the soil of Hindusthan. In this respect the Guru's aim was crystal clear and his government supported him right through. Guru Gobind Singh's government never ditt-ered and vacillated when it made up its mind on issues where a decision ought to be taken. He did what his subjects desired. It was, indeed, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. His government had no reason to act under pressure at any time for it was a true democracy. The Guru knew very well that no ruler can work for long if only his supporters play fair. The tactics of the Guru teach us how the common and ordinary people can master the situation with a strong organization and a capable and devoted leader.

    And the Guru's soldiers, Oh! they were soldier-saints, more than angels. They were imbued with his spirit of self-sacrifice. Their dedication to the cause of love and service was perfect. The Guru showed by his own example that he had sacrificed his father, mother and children and all for the great cause. If any virtue is more remarkable in Sikh character, it is this - the spirit of fearlessness and self-sacrifice. So they fought against Moghul imperialism and poured Indian blood with a lavishness that resembled divine madness. It was a true Yajna. It was a sacrifice of nonparty men and women. There was no one who would sit on the fence and be ready to drop on this or that side either. Though the odds against the Guru's government and his followers were more formidable, they were fully successful in overthrowing injustice and repression from this sacred land.

    The third quality stressed by Guru Gobind Singh was that of sacrifice. This is one of the glorious pages of the history of the world, I mean the history of the Sikhs; it is studded with the blood of martyrs and their sacrifice for their faith and freedom. How joyfully they suffered privations, prosecution, even death! The four sons of the Guru were arrested, but were promised release on condition that they would leave their father.

    What did they say? "We shall stand by our father and re¬sist adharma. His two youngest sons Jorawar Singh and Fathe Singh aged 9 and 7 respectively were bricked up alive. It was a most painful torture unknown to the human eye. Both the sons said : "Do thy business tyrant; we are happy."

    And in the end they said, "Thy will be done, O God. Our father has taught us : 'Medidate on Him in thy heart.' " They were boys of tender age; but they did not for a moment falter in their faith.

    Guru Gobind Singh was a nation-builder and real founder of the Sikh fraternity by instituting or adopting two sacraments. The ceremony of the pahul or baptism consists essentially of drinking consecrated water stirred by a sword or a dagger. The communion rite was specially designed to break caste. The brotherhood so constituted was termed the Khalsa. The communicants, seated in a circle, partake of a mixture of consecrated flour, butter and sugar and thus set themselves free from the restriction of caste.
    Guru Gobind Singh wanted to bring all humanity in the fold of one common brotherhood. With this high objectivity the de¬pressed classes, the untouchables and the lowly and the low were freely allowed to enter the Sikh society with all the privileges enjoyed by the highest class. In fact, he was the first Indian to grant a definite status to this over one tenth of human race re¬garded as untouchables. It was not a lip-service but it was strictly adhered to.

    Even women did not escape the Guru's attention. Early in his life he thought of emancipating them from the traditional customs previaling then in the Hindu society. The Guru insisted on full freedom and widest scope to develop them into a strong womanhood. It was due to his unceasing efforts that Sikh women dressed as soldiers fought bravely for the motherland. He entrus¬ted to them the work of educating the young men as national soldiers. He was the first educationist to recognise the merit of a woman as a suitable and loving teacher.

    Guru Gobind Singh was a mystic and a true lover of huma¬nity and desired peace all over the world. He was a chosen leader of the Sikh democracy. They were the servants of God and the people.
    Three centuries have passed away but the birth-day of this Warrior - Saint and nation - builder lives. I ardently wish it to live long. I hope it shall live forever and inspire the children of this ancient land to do golden deeds. Guru Gobind Singh belongs to India. He loved India. He lived for India and died for India.
    Guru Gobind Singh has adorned a golden page in the history of our land. We may be permited to believe that he is still blessing our young democracy from heaven as he wished it to be. Lo! His name and fame shines like a pleasant planet in the sky to guide the destinies of our motherland.

    Prof. Vaman H. Pandit
    13, Khatipura Rd., Indore City (M. P.)
    सबका मालिक एक - Sabka Malik Ek

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