Guru Gobind Singh ji, the Tenth Guru of Sikhs, has a shining place in the galaxy of the great heroes of humanity. He maintains a very respectable position in the history of India, for he set up a new religious philosophy.
The expression ‘apostle’ originally comes from the Greek word apostolos used for ‘a person sent on a specific assignment or mission’. This qualification of an apostle applies to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji without any doubt, because according to his own testimony in Bachitar Natak (Autobiography of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji), the divine Ultimate Reality (Akal Purakh), has sent or given a call to Guruji to spread dharma (righteousness) in theworld:
I have established you as my son and have created you to spread dharma.
Go from this place to that one,Move the cycle of dharma and stop people from committing evil deeds.
It inspired Sri Guru Gobind Ji to work relentlessly for his mission and his vision of the ‘Universal Humanhood’. Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s life was full of struggle and strife, yet noble and inspiring. An outstanding social reformer, a profound scholar, a prodigious linguist, a great organiser and above all a nation builder, he believed and advocated the golden principle of ‘MANAS KI JAT SABE EKE PAHICHAANBO’.
A MAN OF VIRTUES
In the battlefield, as a general he displayed such unsurpassed military and strategic ability that he not only surprised his adversaries but also won their applause. As an organiser, he awakened amongst his followers a spirit of self-sacrifice. To defend the truth, he founded the order of the Khalsa. As such he brought to a beautiful culmination of the mission that Guru Nanak embarked upon, and that his successors furthered in their own way but they never forgot that Sab mein jot, jot naisoea- Guru Nanak’s Jyoti.
At a very young age, he developed the qualities of self-reliance, responsibility and leadership. When his father, Guru TegBahadur, from the prison, sent him a verse to test his mind,
The strength is gone, shackles have been put on. And the things are beyond all remedy.
Gobind, at once, sent back a verse in reply,
Strength has come and shackles have shattered, every remedy is possible. Sayeth Nanak, Oh God, everything is in Thy hands and Thou to help.
Further when Bhai Jiwan Singh brought to him the head of his father, after he had been beheaded, and narrated to him what difficulties he had to encounter, the boy Gobind remarked; “Well, I shall now see that my followers are not able to hide themselves and they will do their work openly and undauntedly they will do or die.”
Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s aim was to lift up the humanity. He organized his followers into Khalsa, made them real Brethren and ordered them to stand as four squares against social injustices and rules of tyranny, with the motto of ‘do or die’. His Khalsa established its name for bravery, chivalry and hardiness.
This saint-soldier was the tenth and the last Guru of the Sikhs and sat on Guru di Gadi at the age of nine and for the next 33 years consolidated the military power of the Sikh. In fact, most of the visible aspects of the Sikh community today owe their origin to Guru Gobind Singh.
Contributed by Dr. (Maj) Balbir Singh Bhasin,
Former Vice Chancellor, Maghad University