NEW DELHI: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid homage to Guru Gobind Singh on his birth anniversary and said the 10th Sikh Guru’s life was devoted to create a just and inclusive society.
“I bow to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji on the pious occasion of his Parkash Purab. His was a life devoted to creating a just and inclusive society,” Modi said in a tweet on the occasion of the 354th birth anniversary of the Sikh Guru.
Guru Gobind Singh was unwavering when it came to upholding his principles, he said. “We also recall his courage and sacrifices,” the prime minister said and tagged a video of his address in the past highlighting Guru Gobind Singh’s efforts for creating an inclusive society and his valour.
“The Guru Sahibs have a special Kripa on me that the 350th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji took place during the tenure of our Government. I recall the grand celebrations in Patna, where I also had the opportunity to go and pay my respects,” Modi said.
He also tweeted his messages in Punjabi.
Profile of Guru Gobind Singh:
Born Gobind Rai at Patna Sahib in Bihar, Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th and last of Sikh gurus in human form. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, was a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708), born as Gobind Rai. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at the age of nine becoming the tenth and final human Sikh Guru. His four sons died during his lifetime – two in battle, two executed by the Mughal army.
Among his notable contributions to Sikhism are founding the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa in 1699 and introducing the Five Ks, the five articles of faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear at all times. Guru Gobind Singh is credited with the Dasam Granth whose hymns are a sacred part of Sikh prayers and Khalsa rituals. He is also credited as the one who finalized and enshrined the Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhism’s primary scripture and eternal Guru.
History tells that Gobind Singh was a man of great intellectual attainments. He was a linguist familiar with Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit as well as his native Punjabi. He further codified Sikh law, wrote martial poetry and music, and was the reputed author of the Sikh work called the Dasam Granth (“Tenth Volume”).
Gobind Singh’s greatest achievement was his creation of the Khālsā in 1699. According to one tradition, one morning after services, he sat in meditation before a great number of Sikhs and asked if any would sacrifice himself for the faith. Finally, one man stepped out. The Gurū and his victim disappeared into a tent. A few minutes later Gobind Singh appeared with his sword dripping with blood, calling for another sacrificial volunteer. This ceremony continued until five men had volunteered. All five men then reappeared; according to one tradition the men had been slain but were miraculously restored to life, and according to another Gobind Singh had merely tested the men’s faith and slaughtered five goats instead. Initiated with amrit (sweetened water or nectar) and given the title pañc-piāra (the five beloved), they formed the nucleus of the Khālsā.
With the Khālsā as the guiding spirit of the reconstituted Sikh army, Gobind Singh moved against the Sikhs’ enemies on two fronts: one army against the Mughals and the other against the hill tribes. His troops were totally devoted and totally committed to Sikh ideals, willing to risk everything in the cause of Sikh religious and political freedom. He paid a heavy price for this freedom, however. In one battle near Ambāla, he lost all four of his sons. Later the struggle claimed his wife, mother, and father. He himself was killed by a Pashtun tribesman in revenge for the death of his father.
Gobind Singh proclaimed that he was the last of the personal Gurūs. From that point forward, the Sikh Gurū was to be the holy book, the Ādi Granth. Gobind Singh stands today in the minds of Sikhs as the ideal of chivalry, the Sikh soldier-saint.