The year 2016 marks the 350th Birth anniversary of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. So, it is being celebrated with great deal of enthusiasm and religious fervor, not only in India, but in the entire world. Since Guru Gobind Singh was born in Patna Sahib in the year 1666, so this day is celebrated with grandeur befitting the occasion. And it is expected to be attended by lakhs of Sikhs and other devotees from around the world at Patna (Bihar) from 30th December, 2016 to 8th January 2017. On this auspicious occasion D.S.G.MC (I.C.F.S.S) organized a National Seminar on ‘Guru Gobind Singh: Saint Soldier’ and book on the same title is being published.
D.S.G.M.C is also reprinting a pictorial book ‘In the footsteps of Guru Gobind Singh’ by late Dr. J.S. Neki for free distribution during the various celebrations regarding Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th Birth Anniversary, so that the great Guru’s message and beautiful pictures should rach the maximum no. of readers. D.S.G.M.C with the collaboration of Punjab Govt. also organized multimedia programme at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, which was attended by more than 25000 people of Delhi. Number of ‘Kirtan Darbars’ and Nagar Kirtans’ were also organized in the various colonies of Delhi. It also organied a light and sound programme on Guru Gobind Singh Ji in the Central Park of Connaught Palace, which was attended by thousands of people.
Guru Gobind Singh occupies an unparalleled position in history. He was barely 9 years old, when his father decided to lay down his life for the protection of Tilak and Janju. The 9th Guru was tortured and executed by the order of bigoted Emperor Aurangzeb in 1675 A.D.
‘Tilam Janju Rakha Prabh Taaka, Kino Bado Kalu mein Saaka’.
When Guru Gobind Singh took over the charge of his disciples, Hindusim was facing a great crisis. Aurangzeb was determined to convert Dar-ul-Harb (Land of the infidels) into Dar-ul-Islam (Land of the faithful). By arming his disciples and teaching them to resist tyranny he set up such a fine example that even the fear of death and the temptation of high offices failed to attract them to his faith. Bulleh shah has rightly said in his couplet that if Guru Gobind Singh had not taken birth most of the Hindus would have embraced Islam.
‘Agar na hote Guru Gobind Singh, Tau Sunat hoti sab ki’.
Guru Gobind Singh ji had great Muslim followers like Nabi Khan, ghani Khan and Budhu Shah who saw the righteousness of his actions and gave him help and protection during the most critical pahses of his life. He taught that resisting tyranny was as important as taking up a rosary. H saw cowardice as essentially an evil and therefore he taught his followers to be fearless. The sword however was to be used with utmost care and restraint and not for selfish ulterior motives. In the other hand it was to be the last resort.
‘choo kar aa huma hiltey dar gurjashat
‘Halal asr burden ba shamshir dast’
In his autobiography he clearly outlined his aims. Firstly was his resolve to uplift religion and secondly was his determination to rise against injustice. To this end he combined Bhakti and shakti. Guru Gobind Singh was a staunch believer of democracy. In 1969 on the Baisakhi Day, he created the Khalsa. He selected five persons from different clans who offered themselves for the sacrifice. They became the five beloved ones and were initiated by the Baptism of the double edged sword or Khande di Pahul. But what was most surprising was that after he baptized his five beloved ones he asked them that they should then initiate him in the same manner, thus bridging the gap between the Guru and the Khalsa. It was really a revolutionary and an extremely democratic step. Thus in this way the Guru converted his devotees into Saint Soldiers or Sant Sipahi who were ready for every possible sacrifice at the bidding of the Guru. Indu Bhushan Banerjee remarks that Guru Gobind Singh was ‘builder par excellence’. He brought new people into being an released a new dynamic force into the arena of Indian history. The teachings of the Guru and the creation of the Khalsa had a miraculous effect in uplifting the depressed and the downtrodden. His touch transformed the dregs of humanity into brave and fearless warriors and those who were hitherto regarded as unclean and polluted in the Hindu Society, became leaders among men of high birth and determined the destiny of thousands.
In 1707 A.D Aurangzeb died and succeeded by Bhadur shah. Guru Gobind Singh was friendly with him and consequently accompanied him to the south. On the way at Nanded, Guru ji was stabbed by a Pathan and the Guru ji died on 7th October 1708 A.D. A day before his death in 1708 A.D Guru Gobind Singh bestowed the status of living Guru on Guru Granth sahib and enjoined the Sikhs to regard Guru Granth Sahib as the only Guru, which is primarily Sabad as held in Sikhism from the time of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. So the personality worship came to an end and Guru Granth Sahib as revealed divine word (Sabad) came to be worshipped among the Sikhs.