Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth guru of the Sikh community. He was the founder of the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa in 1699 and introduced the Five Ks, the articles of faith the Sikhs wear all the times. He was born in Patna on December 22, 1666, and was the only son of the ninth guru, Guru Tej Bahadur and Mata Gujri. He became the tenth Sikh guru at the age of nine. His birth anniversary is marked as Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti and is celebrated by offering prayers and organising huge processions. On Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti, devotional songs are sung and Sikh martial art is demonstrated in the processions. In 2018, Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti falls on January 5. On the occasion of Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti, here are seven interesting facts about the tenth guru of the Sikh community.
Son and father of martyrs
Guru Gobind Singh’s father Guru Tej Bahadur accepted martyrdom in the hands of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to protect the Kashmiri Hindus. While his four sons died during the Mughal-Sikh wars – two were executed by the Mughal Army while the other two were killed in the battle.
Guru Gobind Singh was a scholar and learned many languages including Hindi, Urdu, Braj, Sanskrit, Persian, and Gurmukhi.
Paonta Sahib Gurudwara
He stayed in Paonta near the banks of river Yamuna. There he preached Sikh principles and founded the Paonta Sahib Gurudwara. Even today the place remains an important pilgrim site for Sikhs.
On March 30, 1699, in a meeting in Anandpur, Guru Gobind Singh asked his followers who can sacrifice his head for his community. Daya Ram came forward and offered his head. He was taken inside a tent by Guru Gobind Singh and later Guru came out with a sword with blood on it. This was repeated five times in total. At last, Guru came out of the tent with five headless goats and five volunteers. These five volunteers were – Daya Ram known as Bhai Daya Singh, Dharam Das known as Bhai Dharam Singh, Himmat Rai known as Bhai Himmat Singh, Mohkam Chand known as Bhai Mohkam Singh and Sahib Chand known as Bhai Sahib Singh – the five Sikh volunteers and were named as Panj Pyaare or ‘Five beloved ones’.
At the same gathering in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa Vani – ‘Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh’. He also founded Khalsa or the Five Ks – the five principles of life. The five Ks are ‘Kesh’ meaning to leave the hair uncut, ‘Kangha’ meaning comb which is a symbol of cleanliness, ‘Kara’ meaning iron bracelet a reminder of self-restraint, ‘Kacchera’ meaning knee-length shorts meaning always being ready to go on into the battle and ‘Kirpan’ – a sword used to defend self and the weak.