Updated: Jan 16, 2019
The disciples of Guru Gobind Singh ji
Wherever one travels in the world, one is sure to encounter Sikhs, a people like no other. They
are usually handsome, hard working, magnanimous, friendly and passionate.
To understand and appreciate the Sikhs one has to look at the ten Gurus, whose teachings the Sikhs imbibe. To be industrious, seek oneness with the divine and live well while sharing with others.
The Sikhs have always been a peace loving people. With the grace of the 10th Guru many amongst the Sikhs are the 'Khalsa' (pure ones) a class of warrior-saints who always stand up against injustice, tyranny, and oppression.
If today India is free from foreign rule, it is in a significant part the contribution of the Sikh Gurus and people.
Little known even to most Indians is that out of 121 patriots hanged by the British 93 were Sikhs. Of the 2626 awarded life-imprisonment 2147 were Sikhs. Of the 1300 martyred in Jallianwala Bagh 799 were Sikhs. Considering that the Sikhs were hardly 1.5 per cent of the total population of India at the time, their sacrifices amounted to 90 per cent.
During the time of the Oppression was widespread, upon the people of India by both Muslim rulers and in the east by their vassals, the 22 Hindu Rajput kings of the hill region (now Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand).
These powerful forces could not tolerate any another power centre no matter how gentle and compassionate it may have been. They feared that under the Guru's leadership the cub of today might become the lion of tomorrow.
Aurangzeb and the Hindu kings joined forces to form massive armies to destroy Guru Gobind Singh ji and the Sikhs. Failing to destroy the defending forces of the Guru even after numerous waves of attacks, the joint military forces of Aurangzeb and the Hindu Kings resorted to cunning and deceit.
Breaking agreements, promises and vows made upon their holy books both Aurangzeb and the hill kings discredited themselves. The reputation of Rajputs as a noble warrior people, lay in tatters, as did the reputation of Emperor Aurangzeb.
Many people incorrectly believe, that Guru Gobind Singh ji raised a peoples army of warrior saints to fight Muslims. The truth is it was to fight injustice and tyranny everywhere.
Not surprisingly Guru Gobind Singh ji also had many Muslim admirers and disciples too, Even the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah deferred to the Guru.
Guru Gobind Singh ji, was a very unusual Guru. Accomplished in virtually many fields of knowledge and skills, he was also a poet and composer par excellence. He added the hymns composed by Guru Tegh Bahadur ji to the 'Adi Granth'. This is a 1420 page compilation of hymns composed by 6 Sikh Gurus and that of thirty great Sages, Saints, Pirs and Fakirs across India.
One could easily call the Guru Granth Sahib as the 'Hymn book of India'. Its a great unifying piece of poetry, and hymns rendered not in complicated language but in the local spoken language to make it easy to understand, appreciate and be inspired by.
The Guru lived by example and generated such great inspiration that his four young sons, and countless Sikhs committed their lives to the Guru. They lived and died for truth, justice and humanity.
Amongst the vastness and magnificent beauty of Sikhism and Guru Gobind Singh ji's teachings and practice is the continuous evolution of a great yet compassionate humanity beings based on truth, love, justice, nobility, sacrifice and valour. A path on which all people irrespective of caste, creed or gender can join in and walk with dignity and universal brotherhood.
I send greetings to all people in all lands on this auspicious 353rd birth anniversary of of Guru Gobind Singh ji.