Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and the last living Gurus of the Sikhs. He was not only a Guru. He was a warrior fighting off others to protect Sikhism; he was a spiritual leader and a philosopher, who had to don the mantle of his father Guru Teg Bahadur when he was only 9 years old.
Guru Gobind Singh was the last living Guru of the Sikhs because he died without leaving a successor as four of his sons had attained martyrdom.
His remarkable contribution other than trying to ward off the enemies of the Sikhs, was to give them the Five Ks.
He was born on the 22nd of December as per Julian calendar. In 2017, his birth ceremony will be commemorated on January 5th.
- Dates of Guru Govind Singh Jayanti in the next five years according to the modern day calendar:
- In 2014, the Guru Govind Singh Jayanti date is on Tuesday, January 7.
- In 2015, the Guru Govind Singh Jayanti date is on Monday, January 5.
- In 2016, the Guru Govind Singh Jayanti date is on Saturday, January 16.
- In 2017, the Guru Govind Singh Jayanti date is on Thursday, January 5.
- In 2018, the Guru Govind Singh Jayanti date is on Friday, January 5.
- Life of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh was the only son of Guru Teg Bahadur and his mother was called Mata Gujri. He was born on the 22 December 1666 as per the Julian calendar. After numerous ups and downs, in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh asked all his followers to congregate at the Anantpur Sahib on 30th March, Vaisakhi day. Upon being asked by him as how his followers saw him, they all answered that he was their Guru. Then he asked for volunteers who were willing to risk their lives for him and the religion. In the 3rd call someone volunteered. Guru Govind Singh took him inside his tent and came back with a sword, dripping blood. In this way the Guru asked for 4 more people. When all the five came out they were all dressed in new clothes.
After this the Guru poured water in an iron bowl and added Punjabi Patashas. He then stirred it with a double edged sword and recited the Adi Granth with it. He called this the Amrit and gave it to the 5 men. These 5 men came to be known as the PanjPyare or the Five beloved ones. He also started the rallying cry of the Khalsa- Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji Ki Fateh’ or Khalsa belongs to God and victory belongs to God. He administered that the Sikhs should have the five Ks. Kesh or uncut hair, Kangha or a wooden comb, Kara an iron bracelet, Kirpan a sword and Kacchera or shorts.
However the formation of the Khalsa did not go down well with other Hindu kings and who wanted to evict Guru Govind Singh from that region. After the First Battle of Anandpur in 1700 the hill states formed an understanding with the Guru that he will leave Anandpur Sahib. Accordingly he left Anandpur but was again drawn in the Battle of Basoli where they were able to thwart the army of Raja of Kangra and the Mughal forces.
The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb tricked Guru Govind Singh and attacked them the moment they left Anandpur after an understanding and a letter from Aurangzeb. The Guru’s two sons along with his mother strayed away from him and he had to flee from the Mughal armies in disguise. His two boys were executed by Wazir Khan, the governor of Sirhind.
After a life full of struggle, trials and tribulations Bahadur Shah 1 and the Guru got into an understanding post Aurangzeb’s death. But Wazir Khan was unhappy with the situation and employed two assassins to kill Guru Govind Singh. An assassin jamshed khan stabbed the Guru in his left chest below the heart. Despite the wound being treated, it reopened and caused severe bleeding. Realizing that his days were numbered, Guru Govind Singh declared the guru Granth Sahib as the next Guru of the Sikhs.
- Celebration of Guru Govind Singh Jayanti
This is a festival where prayers are offered for the prosperity of the community. Large processions are organized on this day which goes through the streets and the neighborhoods. People sing devotional songs and offer sharbat and sweets to all and sundry. There are also special prayer meetings held on this day at the Gurdwaras.
Before the day, a 48 hours Akhand Path of the Granth Sahib is held which culminates on this day. A day prior to the birthday celebrations, the Five Panj Pyare s take out a palanquin carrying the Guru Granth sahib. In the morning of the celebrations, people wake early and sing the Asa-di-var and chants from the Guru Granth sahib. A langar (community charitable meal) is organized in the Gurdwaras on this day serving food to everyone throughout the day. This day is celebrated by the Sikh community with great and utmost religious fervor as he was the last and tenth of the Sikh Gurus and after him no human being was ever accorded the status of the Guru again.
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