Sikh Missionary Society
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Man of the Era
Sikh Missionary Society: Articles: Essays on Sikh Values: Man of the Era

Man of the Era
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh

More than three hundred years have not been able to produce the lofty personality of Guru Gobind Singh. Ranbir, author of “Hemkunt Ka Musafir,” in Urdu language, called him the “Yug Pursh” - Man of the Era. He was a deft general, an apt leader, unique philosopher, learned scholar, Sarbans-dani (one who sacrificed his family), and rolling all these in one, a venerable Tenth Master - the great Prophet, the light of Guru Nanak Dev and other Gurus following him (Nanak).

He knew Sanskrit, Persian, Biharee, Devnagri, and Punjabi. He was not very tall but was robust, stout, very active, and had such an intense aura that no one could fix gaze on his glowing face. He became Guru at the age of nine and the King of the time was Aurangzeb, a Mogul.

Problem of the Time

Whenever a common man thinks of Guru Gobind Singh, he imagines him and his Sikhs engaged in the struggle against injustice, discrimination, and for the liberty of the faith, humanity and country.

His fights were not for money, woman, or land. These were against cruelty - human torture, injustice, discrimination, slavery, inequality, suppression, and all other negative forces let lose against the human beings. The sword was the last resort when the predecessors of the Guru could not curtail tyranny with their preaching and sacrifices.

The Fifth Guru Arjun Dev, forefather of the Tenth Guru, and his own father the 9th Guru Tegh Bahadur, gave their lives to keep up the principle of justice, and non-violence (non-reaction). We need not entertain doubts about his mission and the actions of his followers. It is a historical fact that he was compelled to be in the battle fields, and he lost his four sons fighting injustice. Battles were forced on him. All along, he kept preaching about God. He himself became a sacrifice crusading for the Truth. It was appreciation of his mission that a Muslim Peer Budhu Shah, Mahant Kirpal Chand, some Muslim generals and Pathans were with him in his fights. It was a struggle between virtues and vices.

Guru Gobind Singh - Literature

From 1666 AD, to 1708 AD, the Guru graced this mortal world for about 42 years, and although imbued with a constant struggle for the liberty of the humanity, in his short life, he produced so-called tons of literature. In his court were 52 renowned poets like Bhai Nand Lal Goya and Sainapati. To boost up the spirit of the downtrodden, the 10th Guru got many heroic Hindu epics translated into the simple language like Devnagri. Guru Gobind Singh followed the philosophy of his preceding Nine Gurus.

Tenth Guru added the Hymns of his father Gur Tegh Bahadur to the Adi Granth. A day before his death in 1708, the Tenth Master declared this Holy Book Guru of the Sikhs, and it became Guru Granth Sahib, or Adi Guru Granth Sahib. He proclaimed that after him, there would be no more a human guru for the Sikhs, and they will follow Guru Granth Sahib - the `Word Guru.'

Bani (Hymns) of Guru Gobind Singh was compiled after his death by Bhai Mani Singh, in a separate book called Dassam-Granth (Book of the Tenth Master).

Methodology - Amrit
When the Guru was about 32-33 years old, for his followers to survive with dignity, he put a new life into his followers by a sort of baptizing ceremony by giving them Amrit - the Holy Drink. They had to follow a strict discipline of the noble living.

Taking Amrit eliminated personal distinctions of those who took it. Discriminations of caste, class, and sex were wiped out, and women became equal to men.

Pangat and Sangat - Community kitchen - eating together sitting on the floor at one level, removed discriminations. Selfless service, helping and protecting the needy (weak and women), education, and the art of self-defense, were given great importance. All this was for the dignified, collective coexistence. Those who did not get inducted into the Sikh faith by taking Amrit, but followed the philosophy and discipline of the Guru, were equally his Sikhs and dear to him. These were Sehjdhari Sikhs, living as usual, free from the bindings of Amrit.

Guru Gobind Singh - Mission
Attainments

The Guru banished superstitions of every kind, advocated the right use of weapons, stressed on the ethical and God-oriented honest living, preached the policy of his father “Fear none and frighten none,” and believed in “When all your resources and efforts fail to work out, only then it is right to use the force.” He stressed, “ Recognize all human beings as one.”

Mission of the Guru was to uplift the suffering humanity, to make the downtrodden realize their rights and duties, to attain equality and freedom, to get rid of the sorrows and bindings of the lower nature (Maya), and to keep evolving by worshipping God. He awakened the humanity and its self respect.On the `Baisakhi 1999' day, the world celebrated 300th year of such a change in the human mind - awakening of the human dignity, and spiritual emancipation i.e. the change of the human head!

 


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