Guru Gobind Singh is the last of the ten Sikh Gurus. A multidimensional personality, He was a spiritual leader, a poet, a philosopher, an author of many Sikh works, and also a warrior.
Guru Gobind Singh
Born on 22nd December, 1666 at Patna, Bihar, he was the son of Guru Tej Bahadur, another Sikh Guru who fought for the cause of Kashmiri Pandits, facing torture from Aurangzeb. Guru Gobind Singh took on the leadership of the Sikhs from his father at a tender age of nine, after his father was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam.
Young Guru Gobind Singh seated with his father, as Kashmiri Pandits come pleading for help
Guru Gobind Singh is today revered by the Sikh community for formalizing the Sikh faith through the Khalsa Movement. The word Khalsa means ‘pure’. Khalsa is a collective body of all Sikh disciples represented by the five Sikh Gurus, known as Panj Pyare, meaning “The five who are much dear”. The Panj Pyare Gurus, much adored by the people, and selected by Guru Gobind Singh were Bhai Sahib Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Daya Singh. The spiritual leadership was passed on to the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, which is the eternal Guru for the Sikhs.
Guru Gobind Singh and the Panj Pyare
Guru Gobind Singh also introduced the five articles of faith, the 5Ks, which have today become the signs of Sikh identity.
- Kesh: uncut hair.
- Kangha: a wooden comb.
- Kara: an iron or steel bracelet worn on the wrist.
- Kirpan: a sword.
- Kacchera: short breeches.
Those who took oath under Khalsa, were given the title of Singh, meaning “lion” by the Guru, making them warriors. This also meant that the Guru’s original name Gobind Rai, became, Guru Gobind Singh, as he became the leader of all warrior within the Sikh community.
Guru Gobind Singh fought many battles defending the country on his blue horse, for which he is also known Neelay Ghoray Whalla, “One with the Blue Horse”. He passed away fighting his enemies on October 18th, 1708.
Guru Gobind Singh on his Blue Horse