Remembering Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Gobind Singh (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708), born Gobind Rai, was the tenth Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was executed by 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.
He 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.
He was born on 22 December 1666, in Patna, Bihar to a Sodhi Khatri Family. He was the only son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru and Mata Gujri. His birth name was Gobind Rai. When he was only nine years of age, his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur was killed by Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam. Following his father’s death, Guru Gobind Ji took over as the leader and protector of the Sikhs and continued to fight against the injustices done against his community at the hands of the Mughals.
His greatest achievement was the creation of the Khalsa, the military association of the Sikhs.
Guru Govind Singh died on 7 October 1708 in Nanded, Maharashtra.
On this day, Sikhs around the world go to Gurudwaras where prayer meetings are organised in honour of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Many families participate in processions organised by the Gurudwaras, hold kirtans and do seva, which is a significant part of the Sikh religion. Food is also distributed among the needy and poor on this day.