SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH SAHIB JEE, THE INCOMPARABLE
Bhupinder Singh (Mumbai)
Most heroic of men, peerless among Indians and absolutely deservingly belonging to the pantheon of exalted personages in history, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Jee was the greatest martyr of mankind. Swami Vivekananda, another super star in Indian history, called him “one of the greatest and noblest of our race.” In fact, the Guru Patshah non pareil cannot be referred to except in superlative terms. While I honors myself by seeking to pen this humble homage to his hallowed memory, I fumble for words even as my powers of expression, feeble as they are, get totally disarmed by love and reverence.
Was Gobind Rai, the name affectionately given to him by his illustrious parents, a child prodigy ? Because he trained in arms early on and could perform feats of physical prowess? Because he played the leader and general in childhood war games? Because he imbibed the knowledge and spirit of Sikh scriptures? Recall the scene of Kashmiri Pundits approaching his father Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Jee with their problem, and Gobind Rai curious to know what the issue was. Upon learning of the gravity of the situation, he asks, what the solution is. Only a child prodigy could have been so solution-focused. His father answers, a great sacrifice is called for now. And the nine-year old son rejoins, “Father, none is greater than you.”
This is one of the most heart-rending dialogues in history. The child exhorting his father to lay down his life as sacrifice for a cause, and the father taking up the gauntlet—a script that changed the course of history. This would be only the first in a succession of sublime sacrifices. Two of the great Guru Patshah’s four sons, still in teens, died gloriously on the field of battle, waging a righteous war against tyranny, and holding aloft the banner of Truth. The other two brave little dears were martyred at the hands of despotism when they refused to swerve from the path of Truth. And the immortal Guru Patshah, whose life was a saga of struggle and sacrifice, was himself betrayed and stabbed. There is no parallel in history of three generations of a family courting violent death only to uphold the cause of Truth, to save a civilization from extinction, and a race from annihilation.
In creating the Khalsa warriors, he infused valor into a dispirited society, and banded the weak and vulnerable people into a formidable fighting force. The way he went about it was a stroke of genius— calling forth the five Panj Piaras- each a member of a different caste…, all too well documented in history. With the self-same stroke though, he dealt a knock-out blow to the caste system. But the masterpiece was the injunction about unshorn hair. The Sikh could not disguise or hide; he had to be upfront about fighting. And all of that super-human achievement in a life-span of about just 42 years! And we have not even touched so far on his spiritual side, a saint-warrior, giving distinct identity to the followers of Sikh Faith, demolisher of entrenched tyranny, savior of a nation and humanity.
The India of today is a legacy of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Jee.
India survives because Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Jee lived.
Waheguru Jee Kaa Khalsa!! Waheguru Jee Kee Fateh!!