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आप सबके लिए “आपका ब्लॉग” तैयार है। यहाँ आप अपनी किसी भी विधा की कृति (जैसे- अकविता, संस्मरण, मुक्तक, छन्दबद्धरचना, गीत, ग़ज़ल, शालीनचित्र, यात्रासंस्मरण आदि प्रकाशित कर सकते हैं।

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समर्थक

रविवार, 6 जुलाई 2014

SAHIBE KAMAL GURU GOBIND SINGH -Daulat Rai

DAULAT RAI
ON
SAHIBE KAMAL
GURU GOBIND SINGH
Abridged and translated by :
PROF. SURINDERJIT SINGH
Foreword by :
Dr. Dewan Singh
Gurmat Sahit Charitable Trust
Regd. Office : Bazar Mai Sewan, Amritsar.
Guru Gobind Singh figures in world history as
a great leader of men, a versatile genius of the highest
order, a God-man and mystic par excellence, a redoubtable
warrior and adept strategist, a fearless revolutionary,
a classical Hero of Carlylian description, a
powerful poet and patron of poets, a unique religious
law giver and champion of the downtrodden, a relentless
defender of faith and an all-sacrificing martyr for
the cause of suffering and persecuted humanity. In
fact, it is impossible to encompass and delineate in
words all the facets of his highly charismatic and
remarkable personality.
Contemporary and later historians, both
foreign and Indian, have tried to assess and designate
the tremendous scope and vast dimensions of his
super-human character and his Herculean achievements.
Just to cite an example, out of a whole lot,
Macgregor in his famous History of the Sikhs (1846
p.101) says:
If we consider the work which Govind accomplished
both in reforming his religion and
instituting a new code of laws for his followers,
his personal bravery under all circum-
7
stances, his persevering endurance amidst
difficulties which would have disheartened
others and overwhelmed them, in inextricable
distress; and lastly his final victory
over the powerful enemies by the very men
who had previously forsaken him, we need not
be surprised that the Sikhs venerate his
memory. He was, undoubtedly, a great man.
Verily, agreat man comes to surprise and baffle
the whole world for all time to come. A man standing
up against a vast scourge-like empirieial system bent
upon destroying and demolishing an old and decadent
indigenous religious community! What an impossible
situtation ! What courage, what resource, what pluck!
A lad of nine called upon suddenly to lead a rising and
developing nation, not only to save and preserve it
from the clutches of a cruel and fanatic foreign ruler,
but to reform, reshape and ensteel it into a strong
fighting instrument of great potentiality. This is certainly
a matter for constant rumination and discussion
- a great historical fact to enthrall and electrify
people around for centuries to come - a rare example
for the comity of nations to emulate and furbish - a
fertile subject for historians to cogitate and ponder!
Here in this important monograph based upon
the well-known biographical writing in Urdu by Daulat
Rai, we are concerned with an Indian Historian of
note. He was a man of considerable insight and
acumen, who rose much higher than the ordinary class
8
of historiographers and was thus able to grasp and
understand the real historical situation obtaining in
India before and during the turbulent times of Guru
Gobind Singh.
Daulat Rai, now a very popular and famous
name in Sikh circles, was a man of deep thinking and
impartial religious conviction. Though an Arya
Samajist himself, he was completely free from
religious hias. Though he wrote in 1901 A.D. when the
Punjab was seething with inter-religious wrangling and
communal friction of an invidious nature, he was a rare
person who evinced in his Biography of Guru Gobind
Singh a highly patriotic and national feeling by
transcending all parochial limitations.
Thus he was able to see Guru Gobind Singh in
his true perspective. He saw the great Guru as a national
hero and a national saviour. In fact, he found
Guru Gobind Singh as a unique and peerless world
figure, a prophet with a difference, before whose
divine refulgence, other prophets appear dim and
faded - a warrior and general whose dauntless spirit
and unyielding courage has no match among the great
warriors in history - a religious law-giver and social
revolutionary whose like is rarely to be found among
the galaxy of political reformers and law-givers of the
world.
Daulat Rai was, of course, well-versed with the
world history, so as to compare and contrast relevant
situation while discussing the inimitable character of
9
Guru Gobind Singh. He says with a sense of pride in
praising his matchless hero:
The Emperors of Germany, Austria and Russia
despite having huge armies with them surrendered
unabashed before Napoleon. And so did
thousands of Muslims of Egypt. A brave general
like Cronje despite having guns and four thousand
Boer fighters with him, laid down arms before the
British army. But look at the unparalleled courage
displayed by Guru Gobind Singh. He had only
forty Sikhs with him in a dilapidated adobe structure
at Chamkaur surrounded by the Imperial hordes...
Guru Gobind Singh refused to buckle
under..... (page 122)
This was the type of Hero who welded Sikhs
into a powerful nation. This was the man who emancipated
the long enslaved Hindu nation from the Muslim
tyranny. This was the man who created a casteless,
free society in India after centuries of internal friction
and inequity.
We should be all-praise for Daulat Rai who
gave us a re-thinking, a new line of thought, a new
perspective. He has quoted Guru Gobind Singh's
poetry at length to prove that the great Guru was a true
worshipper of the One Formless God and had nothing
to do with the gods and goddesses of the Hindu belief.
He had certainly a new religious Order and Dispensation
to offer to the strife-torn confused world. In the
words of Daulat Rai :
10
Let me declare here unequivocally that the
Guru worshipped the Formless Lord Akal
only. He was dead set against the worship of
gods and goddesses and always preached in no
uncertain words against it. (page 81)
In the end we should feel beholden to the
"Gurmat Sahit Charitable Trust" of which Mis Singh
Brothers, Amritsar are zealous protagonists for their
onerous effort in printing Daulat Rai's Biography in
various languages, so that the great Guru's message
should reach the maximum number of readers.
397, Green A venue,
Amritsar.
Dewan Singh (Dr.)
Former Professor & Head,
GUnl Nanak Studies Deptt.,
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
II
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We are pleased to make this work of Daulat Rai
available to the English-knowing world, which has
already been well received by Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi
readers. This book, originally written in Urdu, is the
third in the series ofour project oftranslating this work
into other languages, which is being continued by getting
it translated into Telugu and Gujarati.
This book could haven't been brought out
without the continuing encouragement of our
founder-trustee S. Pritam Singh Baura of Southall
(U.K.). We express our gratitude to Prof. Surinderjit
Singh, Ludhiana for translating this book in an
idiomatic language. He, himself an inspired person,
has accomplished this difficult task in reverence and
has made this book a smooth-reading. We are beholden
to Prof. Dewan Singh for his writing the Foreword
of this book, to Prof. Prakash Singh for his going
through the manuscript and making some good suggestions,
to Sh. Hari Dev Bawa for his help in the
proof-reading.
-Convener
Gurmat Sahit Charitable Trust
12
PREFACE
Though I was conscious of my incompetence to
deal effectively with the subject, two factors prompted
me to write this book.
First of all, no such comprehensive book on
Guru Gobind Singh had been written which dwelt at
some length on the mission of this unique patriot and
courageous fighter. Many Janam Sakhis, written earlier
and now, by overzealous devotees are availahle.
Carried away hy their devotion and zeal these writers
wrote such things as strain credence and the readers
find it difficult to sift the factual from the fanciful. Such
writings fail to depict a true picture of the persons
under study and as such do them grave injustice.
Secondly, the majority of the people know so
little ahout this great hero that many unscrupulous
people have tried to gain their selfish ends hy saying
many wrong and undesirable things about the Guru,
his life and teachings. I was taken aback by a book in
which the writer out of sheer ignorance or coloured by
his personal views and prejudices had tried to belittle
and denigrate the mission of the Guru by misinterpret-
13
ing his words and sayings. Feeling the need of consulting
some Khalsa Sikhs regardings these, I was all the
more surprised to learn that most of them were poorly
informed, nay quite ignorant about their Guru's real
views. There were some whose thoughts were not only
wrong but also divergent and contradictory.
So I tried to seek the Guru by delving deep into
his own writings, and in the process my admiration,
gratitude and reverence for the Guru was enhanced
and I felt sorely grieved that most of his noble thoughts
had not been touched upon and many others had been
falsely spelt out. While discussing the Guru, his life
and mission with many learned and literary persons, I
could not escape the conclusion that they were either
ill-informed or sadly misinformed. In certain circles
such wrong impressions had taken root that had I not
personally gone through Guru Gobind Singh's writings,
I should not have considered him above an ordinary
reformer. Impelled by the lamentable lack of
information among the majority and equally saddening
misinformation current in certain circles, I
resolved to write about Guru Gobind Singh's life, his
noble thought and his mission so that the populace at
large could have a just view of the Guru's greatness.
I am deeply indebted to my friend Lala Jawala
Dass, Master of High School, Dera Ghazi Khan for his
ungrudging and valuable help. I am conscious of the
fact that this book is neither perfect nor comprehensive.
It is an humble endeavour to correct the prevail-
14
ing misconceptions about the life, works and mission
of the versatile genius Guru Gobind Singh.. May it
inspire some day a better-equipped person to touch
the theme with greater felicity.
23rd Jan., 1901 - Daulat Rai
15

INTRODUCTION
It is imperative to describe the plight of the
Hindus and the origin of the Sikh religion before
moving on to the life of Guru Gobind Singh. Guru
Nanak founded Sikhism in Babar's time. Hindu India
had then been under Muslim rule for 350 years.
Muslims were tempted to invade India because
of disunity among Hindus caused by political, religious
and social considerations. The concept of nationalism
was missing. Hindus were divided in numerous
religious sects following diverse and sometimes
diametrically opposite rites, rituals and beliefs. Their
modes of worship were different and often they were
at war with one another. Starting with worship of gods
and demigods, Hinduism had degenerated into animal
worship. The social fabric was in shreds. The castesystem
had become air tight. The Brahmins in their
hey-day had introduced it to keep themselves in power
and plenty. Shudras, the lowest caste, were condemned
to eternal slavery and damnation. The old
Vedic religion in the hands of the Brahmins, had become
savage and cruel. Religion stands for peace
(outward and inward), goodness and righteous living.
17
The Hindus then were bereft of the blessings of such
a religion.
Before the onslaught of Islam, Buddhism had
already made inroads in Hindu India. Buddhism, besides
being simple, had rejected the caste system. The
lower castes embraced it in great numbers and overnight
gained equality with the high castes. Buddhism
gained eminence over Brahminism till it was overthrown
by the armed might of the Rajputs (of Agni
Dynasty) adding fire power to the intellectual gun of
Shankaracharya and his followers. These followers
were mainly Brahmins and they exerted themselves
extensively to restore the supremacy of the Brahmin,
tighten the stranglehold of the invidious caste-system
and keep the common man ignorant and illiterate. But
idol-worship introduced by Buddhism had its roots
grown too deep to be uprooted. The philosophy of
Shankaracharya that 'all is God' (Sabh Brahm he hai)
failed to cut any ice against the caste-system and thus
bring Hindus into one fold.
Shankaracharya was a follower of Shiva. His
main disciple Ramanuja was a votary of Vishnu, who
preached the worship of his god. He was instrumental
in creating more off-shoots of Hinduism like Madhavi,
Vishnu Swami, Vallabhachari, etc. Thus instead of
integration further ramifications took place to make
things worse for Hinduism. People were attracted to
these new fountains of clear reasoning but found the
filth of many kinds in their depths. India was weak and
18
divided into inimical, political, social and religious
camps. The Indians had become ease-loving pleasureseekers.
Their physical well-being and gratification of
sense-pleasures became the main purpose oftheir life.
The devotees of Krishna were largely responsible for
this moral degeneration. The Brahmins reassumed
the role of gurus who engrained in the psyche of the
common man the indispensability of idol-worship and
rites and rituals for spiritual uplift. His gurudom came
to stay and cannot be shaken off even now.
Liberation is the destined end of human life. In
order to cheat the common man of his worldly goods
and money, the Brahmin advocated that this world of
phenomena with its worldly goods, is untrue and the
only true entity is Brahm. So the common man should
offer his worldly possessions to him, considering them
untrue and worthless. He would look after their
spiritual welfare in return. The votaries of Shakti had
become cruel and unchaste moral lepers. The
Shaivities had taken to drugs, opium, charas, ganja and
wine. Such was the sad plight of the Hindus. They
were groping in the dark shrouded by superstition.
They were no match for the one-God-Ioving (worshipping)
fierce followers of Islam. The Hindus were stuck
in the swamp of polytheism and manworship. They
were at logger-heads with one another. The welfare
of others was farthest from their minds. They were not
united in anything.
The Hindu India looked an easy prey to the
19
Mohammedans who turned their face towards it and
over-ran it at their will. They destroyed the last vestiges
of Hindu power and completely enslaved the
people. They tried their level best to belittle the Hindus,
rob them of their wealth and women, reduce them
to a servile and spineless people. In short they came
to own Hindus as thoroughly as a man owns his cattle.
The Hindus could not withstand the relentless
ramming of their citadel by the Mohammedans. Large
number of the two lower castes of Hindus embraced
Islam either under duress or willingly to escape the
stigma of untouchability and slavery. The high caste
Hindus were not greatly perturbed but rather felt
relieved that the rotten limbs of the body of Hinduism
had fallen off. "A good riddance," they mused. These
high caste but purblind Hindus couldn't envisage that
this limb was going to be rejuvenated and turn into
their master. The neo-converts were more zealous
than the invading Muslims and had no little hand in
inflicting unspeakable horrors on their erstwhile
masters and co-religionists. The idol-worship of Hindus
invited the wrath of Muslims who considered it a
holy duty to destroy the temples, along with the idols,
of the infidels and bring them under the banner of
Islam. Their proselytism assumed gigantic and horrendous
proportions.
The idols ~ere broken, the costly gems emhedded
therein taken away. The Hindu women in
their thousands were not only molested and taken into
20
individual harems hut were auctioned for the petty
consideration of two dinars in the hazaars of Ghazni
and other cities. Muslims and Hindus looked down
upon each other, there was hardly any meeting ground
between them. The tyranny of the victorious Muslims
was boundless. In all walks of life the Hindus were
treated like dirt. They were butchered in thousands,
their idols hroken and set in the door-steps of mosques
where Muslims placed their shoes hefore entering.
They were asked to keep food-stuff, clothes and bare
necessities of life needed for a period of six months
only and hand over the rest to Muslims. The chronicle
of Muslim rule is full of death and decimation of
Hindus, desecration and destruction of their temples,
denigration of their gods, deflowering of their women
and denial of all rights to them. A Hindu was forbidden
to keep a fine horse, house, woman,children and
things with him, to ride a horse and to wear a white
turhan. The Muslim rulers exerted themselves assiduously
to ohliterate the word victory, its concept, its
very thought from the Hindu psyche. Whenever a
Hindu chess-player emerged triumphant over his
Muslim adversary, he was ordered to embrace Islam
or be beheaded. If a Hindu wrestler worsted his
Mohammedan opponent in the arena, he had to convert
to Islam in order to save his skin. It was a devilish
and sustained scheme to emasculate the Hindus. The
good things of life were not for them. It was considered
magnanimity on the part of their victorious
rulers to let them breathe and lead a life at sub-human
21
level.
The Rajputs were once considered the finest
flower of Hindu chivalry. Their pride, glory and manhood
were ground to such fine dust that they vied with
each other to offer their daughters in marriage to the
Muslim princes and nobles. Thus the Hindu nation
had touched the nadir. Any Hindu who looked
askance at them was treated with scorn by the Rajputs.
They had to pay jazia (tax) for remaining Hindus, and
those who could not afford to pay, had to become
Muslims. Hindus could not keep doors and lavatories
towards west thus desecrating Kaaba.
Those Brahmins who embraced Islam were
flatteringly called Sayyads. The raft of Hinduism was
about to be sunk when it was steered clear of the
dangerous shallows of sloth, superstition and ritualism
and utter despondency by an able seaman no less than
Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He preached the oneness of man
and the oneness' of God and denounced the caste system
and its off- shoots untouchability, idol worship
and cankerous ritualism. He preached that Akal
(God) is above birth and death. With disarming
sweetness he used honeyed words which had the cutting
edge of highly honed steel. The Brahmins felt the
steel in his words but were powerless to fulminate
against him. Guru Nanak assuaged to some extent the
rancour between the Muslims and the Hindus.
The Hindus had lost their country and were on
22
the verge of losing their identity and faith. They had
got some respite in the reign of Akbar but during
Aurangzeb's regnancy, cruelty and tyranny, bigotry
and intolerance, and proselytism reached its pinnacle.
The earlier Muslim rulers were prompted by holy
considerations in all their acts of cruelty and conversion.
But Aurangzeb earnestly endeavoured to
obliterate the last traces of Hinduism from the Indian
soil. As he had dealt fiendishly with his own brothers
on his way to the throne, his showing of extreme cruelty
to Hindus, the infidels, is quite understandable.
Thereby he wanted to absolve himself of the sin of
fratricide and inhuman treatment of his father Shah
lahan. The time had come for the annihilation of the
Hindus, Aurangzeb celebrated his victories by weighing
heaps of the sacred threads of the Hindus, killed in
the battle. The heavier the weight, the greater the
victory. All great Hindu kingdoms had vanished from
the Indian scene. The days of the Lunar Dynasty were
over; the Yadav kings were a thing of the past. The
scions of remnants of the Solar Dynasty like the King
of Mewar were hiding in the fastnesses of jungles and
hill nooks. The proud Rajputs of the Agni Dynasty
were busy offering their winsome daughters to the
Muslim rulers. The pride of the Hindus was trampled
upon and they lay inert under the Muslim heel.
The raft of Hindu Dharma was about to
founder. It was rudderless, without a helmsman, far
away from the shores with no hope ever of making it.
23
In this predicament, piercing the mists ofdespondency
there emerged a figure of hope. This personage took
the boat out of the clutches of the ravaging tempest
and steered it to the haven of the shore. He was like
beneficial rain for the withered and drooping garden
of the Hindu Dharma. Like a true friend he alleviated
the sufferings of the Hindus. Who was he ? No other
than Guru Gobind Singh, known the world over. The
sapling which was planted by Guru Nanak was watered
by the blood of Guru Arjan and Guru Hargobind and
fertilized by their bOI)es. Guru Teg Bahadur quickened
its growth by injecting into its veins the vital fluid
flowing out of his beheaded body. Guru GobindSingh
helped it mature into a full- fledged tree with the blood
of his five beloved disciples, four sons and thousands
of his followers. At last this tree bore fruit. Its fruit
was nationalism, brotherhood, love and monotheism.
I am endeavouring to portray in the following
pages the life of such a fine religious precep.tor, great
benefactor, peerless fighter, patriot and nationbuilder
for the perusal of the readers. If it finds favour
I shall be immensely beholden to them
25th January, 1901. -Daulat Rai
24
GURU GODIND SINGH
Birth and Early Life
Guru Tegh Bahadur left for Bengal along with
the Raja ofJodhpur either on his own or at the behest
of Aurangzeb. He left his mother Nanaki, his wife
Mata Gujri who was in the family way and Kirpal
Chand behind at Patna. Later on he moved towards
Assam.
Mata Gujri gave birth to a son at Patna on
Saturday night of 17-18 Poh of 1723 Bikarami corresponding
to December, 1666. The day was still four
and half hours away. He was called Gobind in
deference to the wishes of his father. Many miracles
are related regarding his birth, which I deliberately
leave out, considering such stories to be not factual,
being born out of the blind devotion of the followers.
When Gobind was old enough to play with
other boys, his favourite pastime was to divide them
into two groups pitting one against the other in mock
battles. He himself was fond of wielding the sling and
the bow and arrows.
As he was the son of a Guru, people respected
him. The boys also showed him great deference and
25
he usually assumed the role of a king or a commander
of the army. Sometimes, he would play the judge and
dispense justice. He was skilled with the sling and·
made the boys familiar with its handling. When
women of the neighbourhood carried pitchers for
fetching water, he and his boys aimed at the pitchers
and broke them. The women in exasperation complained
to his grandma who often reprimanded him
and threatened him with punishment.
The Guru was fearless from his very childhood.
A famous anecdote runs like this. One day he was
playing with his band of boys. The Nawab of Patna was
passing by, in procession. The mace- bearer (of the
Nawab) asked the boys to salaam (salute) the Nawab.
But Gobind directed his companion-boys to make
faces at him, instead. The boys did so and ran away.
When Guru Tegh Bahadur returned to Punjab,
he left his family behind at Patna. He founded
Anandpur Sahib and later sent for his people.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was aware of the temper
of the times, Succession involved strife and jealousy.
So he got his son trained in warfare and horse-riding
alongwith religious instructions. He also made arrangements
for his son to study Persian. Guru Tegh
Bahadur's far-sighted introduction of his son to such
fields of studies proved a great boon to Gobind Singh
in his later life.
26

Unparalleled Sacrifice of His Father
Guru Gobind Singh devoted himself to his
studies and spent his spare time in hunting or travelling
about while his father was preparing for a glorious act
of sacrifice, long-awaited by the people of his time.
Aurangzeb was in power and was bent upon converting
all Hindus to Islam in whatsoever way possible.
Therefore he made free use of coercion, terror and
violence. He had converted villages enmasse to Islam.
The low caste and the middle class Hindus were fed up
with the relentless and extreme cruelties perpetrated
against them by the Muslim rulers. The Hindu
religion had been made so impotent by endless
divisions that it could not offer any mental peace or
solace to these people. The high castes looked down
upon the low, who themselves were not united, amiable
or even forbearing enough to lead a life of peace.
Juxtaposed against this background was the allurement
that by going over to Islam, they would become
members of the victorious and ruling nation and escape
the ills heaped on them by the Hindu Dharma as
well as the torture meted out by the Muslims. Hence
the low-castes not only preferred Islam to the Brahmanic
Hindu religion but found it a God-sent and
joyously joined its fold. Therefore, Aurangzeb did not
include them in his list of priorities. He was determined
to convert the high castes-Brahmins and
Khatris, to Islam by force. That is why he spent huge
sums for the purpose of converting Brahmins and
27
Khatris of Kashmir. When the Brahmins in Kashmir
refused to embrace Islam, he summoned them to his
Delhi court.
At that time the Sikhs were gaining in strength
and stature. Guru Hargobind had earlier measured
swords with the Mughal forces of his time. Their
religion was actively propagated and talked about.
Therefore the Kashmiri Brahmins went to Guru Tegh
Bahadur and related their tale of woe. The Guru
became pensive on learning of their plight, his face
expressing deep grief and concern. The sad plight of
the Brahmins and the murderous might of Aurangzeb
were thought-provoking facts. The plight of the
former was pleading for succour to the oppressed as a
moral duty and his blood rose to defend the freedom
of worship for the Hindus. But the stupendous might
of the Muslim ruler was a thing to reckon with. The
Guru was pondering deeply over these aspects of the
matter when Gobind Rai appeared. Finding his father
pensive, he asked the reason. The Guru replied that
the plight of Hindu Dharma in India called for the
sacrifice of a pious soul. Gobind spontaneously
quipped that there was none more pious than the Guru
himself. The Guru replied,"If that is the Lord's Will,
so be it".
The growing power of the Sikhs was rankling in
Aurangzeb's eyes. On learning of the Guru's help for
the Kashmiri Brahmins, he became incensed. He
summoned the Guru to Delhi. The Guru installed
28
Gobind as his successor informing him that he was
going to offer his head for the cause of Righteousness
in obedience to the Akal Purakh's command. The
Guru advised his son to save his dead body from
indignity and perform the final rites after retrieving it.
He further charged Gobind to shield the oppressed
(Hindus) even at the cost of his life. It all transpired
as the Guru had foretold. Guru Tegh Bahadur was
beheaded at the behest of Aurangzeb and Jiwan, a
Ranghar Sikh carried his Guru's head to Guru Gobind
Singh at Anandpur. On seeing his father's gory head,
Guru Gobind Singh uttered these famous lines:
As an act of redressal, did he so,
Offered his head without a word of woe.
For Righteousness, performed this deed,
Gave he his head, but kept his creed.
The body of the Guru was taken away by a
devoted Sikh to his own house. Fearing exposure he
deliberately set fire to his house, while consecrating
the body to the flames. It was impossible to cremate
the body anywhere outside.
Difficulties Which the Guru Faced
Guru Gobind Singh was fired with zeal to endeavour
for the fulfilment of his mission. But his path
was beset with many impediments. When Guru Tegh
Bahadur bequeathed to his son, the defence of Dharma
(Righteousness), the extirpation of its enemies and
the firing of hearts with patriotic fervour Guru Gobind
29
Singh was only nine. But he enshrined this legacy in
his heart. He had no experience but of the inspiring
self-sacrifice of his father made for Righteousness.
The task before him was stupendous, he had no resources,
no estate, no wealth, only a handful ofSikhs to give
offerings,just enough for bare sustenance. Facing him
was the formidable force of Islam whose sway
stretched from the shores of the Indian Ocean to the
peaks of Himalyas and touching the boundary of
Burma on the east.
Destiny had pitted a penniless recluse (fakir)
lodged in a corner of the vast country against this
redoubtable Islamic empire, finding him most suitable
for this task. It was imperative for a fighter of Guru
Gobind Singh's calibre to carry out the loving command
of his father. What could he do in the face of the
armed might of a pitiless and savage tyrant like
Aurangzeb. An unfledged novice of nine pitted
against a crafty and powerful potentate. Even then he
decided to free Hindus from the Muslim yoke and rid
India of this oppressive Muslim rule. He was not an
enemy of Islam nor had he anything to gain by such
animosity. He was against such Muslims who, under
the garb of Islam, were perpetrating ungodly acts of
cruelty and were Muslims in name only. He was the
enemy of these savage and cruel butchers who
regarded the shedding of blood of non-Muslims and
denigration of their religions as holy acts.
Guru Gobind Singh resolved to oust such
30
people. But the fulfilment of his mission seemed well
nigh impossible. The ill was diagnosed and the
medicine prescribed, but it was very difficult to obtain.
He however, procured it at last. But how this Vaid
Gobinda went about administering this medicine, with
what wisdom and what success, needs a detailed
analysis to be fully understood.
The very exercise undertaking this task was
beset with innumerable impediments and problems.
He was a youngman just past childhood. His kith and
kin were hostile to him owing to his succession to
Guruship. The Sikhs were suspect in the eyes of the
Government of the times. But he was endowed with a
heart which scoffed at all troubles, was undaunted by
impediments and hardships, unperturbed by problems
and uncowed by any grief. A man blessed with such a
heart had not taken birth in India (among Hindus) for
thousands of years. This peerless heart was inspiring
him. But there was no material to work upon.
He wanted to shield his people from the insolent
and tyrannical hand of Aurangzeb. He wanted
to free his country and Hindu Dharma from the
clutches of the corrupt and cruel administration. But
he found his countrymenl lacking in everything. They
were spineless, cowardly, hypocritical, busy in harming
and accusing one another, sans unity, determination
and sense of honour. There was nothing to bring them
together and nothing in them to bind them to a common
cause. Disgrace and decline was in evidence
31
everywhere. The Hindus were beset with extreme
selfishness. There was no one to lend an ear to their
plaints and to succour them. The Kashatris had lost
their valour, the Brahmins their all after effacing
others. The Hindu had lost his self-respect, honour
and possessions. There was no sense ofsecurity. They
faced perpetual danger.
Such was the general state of affairs, when
Guru Gobind Singh was brimming over with zeal for
nationalism and defence of Dharma. He was determined
to restore the honour of the people, allay their
sufferings and free them from tyranny. He was also
conscious of his inexperience, destitution and utter
lack of help of any kind from any quarter. We can well
imagine his predicament. His patriotic fervour boiling
over contrasted with the chilling cowardice and utter
despondency of the people. But he was endowed with
a heart, undaunted by obstacles, undeterred by
hardships, uncowed by the hopelessness of the situation,
unawed by the stupendous might of the Mughals.
He viewed the situation in depth from all sides. He
found the Hindus deflated in everything, fallen in all
aspects. He found certain questions nagging his mind.
and demanding attention and solution. Only after
resolving them could the Hindus be saved.
Problems concerned with Hindus
1. The Hindus had discarded the Worship of one
God and had supplanted Him by numerous gods,
32
avtaras, animals, vegetation and metals. The
obvious result with the disintegration of their
nation. Beset with physical and spiritual slavery
they were out to obliterate their very existence.
How to wean them from the worship of His
creatures and the pull of the Vedas and restore
the worship of one God, was the fitst problem.
2. How to check the downward slide of the Hindus
in physical, mental, spiritual, moral and educational
sphere and give it an ascending direction?
3. What were the causes of disunion, animosity,
bickering and weakness among the Hindus,
which should be removed to bring them on a
common platform of brotherhood and nationalism?
4. How to weaken the dominance of Islam and free
Hindus from bondage?
In short, how to bring about the worship of one
God, brotherhood and nationalism among the Hindus
and how to deliver them from the clutches of degrading
slavery.
It goes without saying that others before Guru
Gobind Singh had deliberated upon this theme but
without any tangible results. All such efforts at reformation
had resulted in the widening of the gulf of
differences. All reformers had pointed in newer directions,
thus leading to further separations and ramifications.
A veritable jungle of pathways was created
33
making more and more new sects who took pleasure
in the discomfiture of others. They never thought of
working unitedly despite religious and political differences,
against the common bloodthirsty enemy.
Owing to mental slavery they had strayed far from the
Vedic religion. The Muslims trampled upon them one
by one (in turn). The only difference being that those
who enjoyed the discomfiture of others had their moment
of humiliation slightly later.
They were united in not a single thing about
religion. All of them boasted of deriving their own
brand directly from the Vedas and looked askance at
others. They were responsible for the slide downward
from mental slavery to political enslavement. And
political bondage had brought them to the brink of
annihilation. Their religion and nationality was about
to lose their identity. Their religion had no strength to
bind the numerous sects together. They had no
power, wealth and manhood left to fight back. Wideranging
reforms were needed in moral, religious and
social fields. The last question perplexing Guru
Gobind Singh was that the material at his disposal was
nil. He was hard put to find a solution to the complicated
problem.
He surveyed the field before him. There were
impediments in the way of religious and social
reforms. The political reality was fraught with dangers
and pitfalls. Despite all this he·steeled himselffor this
Herculean task. He decided to inject new vigour into
34
the frigid Hindu blood which had lost all sense of
honour, shame, brotherhood and valour. He took the
field alI alone like a true warrior.
To put things in their true perspective, it is
proper to view the scene. Guru Gobind Singh was a
recluse sans wealth, power and possessions but possessed
of one thing which despite everything added to
his courage and impelled him towards success. It was
the spark of nationalism and the fighting instinct of a
Kashatri. The exploits of Ramachandra are remembered
with reverence and pride. But in
Ramachandra's time the whole of India was under the
Hindu Kings. Neither the country nor the Dharma was
threatened. He himself was a king, enjoying great
wealth and power. The neighbouring kings sided with
him. No one can aver that patriotism or nationalism
of any kind was involved in his war against Lanka.
Undoubtedly he proved a true Kashatri warrior and
killed Ravana who had forcibly taken away his wife. A
great deed of personal revenge.
On the other hand Guru Gobind Singh took up
the cudgels for the betterment of others, grieved at the
forcible abduction of lakhs ofwives of his countrymen.
He undertook this tough task under extremely difficult
conditions. All exploits of Krishna were motivated by
personal revenge. He killed Kansa because the latter
wanted to obliterate his dynasty alongwith Krishna.
He took to the sword in self-defence and wielded it
well. Conspiring with the Pandavas and with their
35
active support he defeated king Jarasindh, who had
attacked him fifteen times to avenge the killing of
Kansa. Jarasindh had forced Krishna to leave his
Kingdom and found a new Kingdom in Gujrat with
Dwarka as its capital.
It was pure and simple revenge that prompted
these exploits. No patriotism ofany kind was involved.
There is no doubt that Jarasindh and Kansa were both
cruel despots. And it was the duty of a Kashatri to take
up the sword for the extermination of such persons.
Even if we admit that some patriotic feelings were
lying at the back of all this, contrary to the facts, his
,exploits should be assessed in the light of his being a
king with great resources at his command, with many
kings at his side and the great Pandavas backing him
up. His actions appear not beyond any ordinary king
of his time. No foreign power was ruling the country,
which was under Kashatris and the people were
prosperous.
But the task before Guru Gobind Singh was
comparatively far more stupendous, important and
critical. In patriotic fervour he leaves Krishna far
behind. Similarly his deeds far excel those of
Shankaracharya. The latter was helped by Kashatri
kings in his bid to browbeat the Buddhist Scholars with
his intellect and scholasticism. Had he not been backed
by the Kashatri might he would have failed in his
mission. Guru Gobind Singh stood all alone without
friends and helpers. The emperor of his time was dead
36
set against him.
Prophet Mohammad had to contend with a
small tribe of Quareshi sect. Guru Gobind Singh was
faced with a situation far more difficult and critical
than any of these great persons had met. It required
greater courage and determination. His (own) Hindu
brethren were against him, he himself was a penniless
recluse. True his father had been martyred. But millions
before him had been butchered by the Muslim
emperors. Why so far no one had ever thought of
taking revenge during all these centuries ? Why it
occurred only to Guru Gobind Singh that the Muslim
power should be weakened? Why no one had stood
up against the tyranny of the Muslim rule?
The most surprising thing is that the very Hindus
for whose welfare Guru Gobind Singh was bearing
all kinds of hardships were not only fighting shy of
helping him, but were adding to his cup of miseries by
fighting against him. The Hindus were so much consumed
by selfishness that there was no hope of their
ever rallying under the banner of nationalism. In the
heart of Guru Gobind Singh was lit the spark of
nationalism which all earlier Hindu reformers including
Krishna, Ramachandra, Shankaracharya and
Ramanuja had lacked.
The spark was there but material needed for
stoking it was lacking. The Guru was only fifteen and
had this Herculean task before him. No fierce wind of
37
fear and danger, no cyclone of cowardice, no hurricane
of hurry and selfishness, no currents of carelessness
could extinguish this spark. Great wisdom, patient
awaiting of opportune time and the knack of feeling
the pulse of the time were needed for such a task. So
Guru Gobind Singh retired to the hills in order to
nurse the spark of nationalism into a blaze and devise
means to utilise it to good effect. Another reason of his
seclusion could be his desire thereby to cool the opposition
of Ram Rai, a strong contender for Guruship.
It is said that the Guru stayed in the hills for many years
and the hill chieftans did all they could to harass him.
During this sojourn, he added a lot to his
knowledge. He learnt Persian thoroughly, acquired
some understanding of Arabic and attained proficiency
in Sanskrit. He heard and went through the
chronicles of great kings and warriors of India and
studied the lives and philosophies of great reformers
and leaders of other religions. He ruminated over the
ups and downs of his country and listened raptly to the
ballads on the bold exploits of the doughty warriors of
India, sung by the bards. When his Sikhs gathered
around him, such recitals were a regular feature. The
idea was to infuse valour into them. He spent some
of his time in hunting tigers and other wild animals.
All along, his mind dwelt on the task before him,
devising ways and means to be put into practice in the
times to come. During this period the claim of Ram
Rai to the Guruship proved hollow and lost bite. In
38
due course the Sikhs started rallying round Guru
Gobind Singh. He would daily listen to the tales of
woe inflicted by Aurangzeb which steeled him further
in his resolve and kept the spark burning in his heart.
The might of the Mughals was evident as also
the helplessness, sad plight and inherent weakness of
the Hindus. He fixed his priorities and decided first of
all to remove the causes responsible for disunity,
despondency and debility among Hindus. This required
sweeping reforms in the religious field,
alongwith social reforms like eradication of caste system
and untouchability. Needed also was the inculcation
of upward looking among the Shudras. And last
of all he was to turn to political reform. All these
involved considerable difficulties.
Religious Reform
From the very beginning the Hindus have held
the Dharma as supreme, a pious binding duty nearer
to the heart than everything else. At no time in their
history had they turned their back on it or esteemed it
less. They were able to keep it alive during Buddhist
onslaught and even after seven hundred years of Muslim
atrocities. Their country, property, wealth, lands
and families were seized, their libraries and books
burnt and their lives taken. In short they saw everything
perishing before their very eyes, but they kept
their Dharma alive. They enshrined it in the deepest
recesses of their hearts where not even the most tyran-
39
nical hand could reach it. They bore torture, endured
hardships and sorrows but somehow kept their Dharma
alive, because it was most dear to them. They
defended it with streams of their blood and millions of
their lives. They proved equal to the occasion, though
they were a divided lot, various sects warring with one
another. Due to sectarian differences they came to be
sub-divided into groups and sub-groups.
Their existence was like the flickering light of
a dying lamp. This flickering light was about to be
extinguished by the storm of intolerant fanaticism let
loose by Aurangzeb when Guru Gobind Singh
shielded it with his hands and saved it from extinction.
The sad plight of the Hindus was evident from the fact
that even in one family various ways of diverse
religious practices were followed. While one worshipped
Ganesh, the second prayed to the Sun, the
third was a devotee of Shivji, the fourth - a votary of
Vishnu, the fifth, the follower of Ram, the sixth
devoted to Bhairo, the seventh worshipped Hanuman,
the eighth admired Krishan Leela (Amours), the next
was a Vedanti and so on. And added to this emaciating
division was mutual animosity and hatred. Thanks to
these fisiparous tendencies, the Hindus had no common
language. Their religious books were different.
There was no unanimity on any religious issue. They
were not united in anyone thing. How could there be
any feeling of oneness, mutual sympathy and patriotic
feeling among them? There was no social intercourse
40
and fellow-feeling among the Hindus.
Disunity, friction and animosity were rife. The
religious structure was in disarray and loose. The
South had no love for the North. The Hindus of the
North had no truck with the denizens of the South.
Both of them were unconcerned about the eastern
people. And none of them had even a single practice
in common with the West. No one trusted the others.
The country was full of corrupt and deceitful people.
Their religion was not the same, their morality different,
their aims different, their hopes different, their
living different, their habits different, their habiliments
different, their prayers different, their gods different,
their temples different, their rites and rituals
different, their desires different, their food different,
their ways different, their tempers different, their hells
different, their heavens different. There was no oneness
in their thoughts, in their actions. They followed
ways not only different but often sharply conflicting
with one another. They had neither love for one
another nor shared the grief of others. They never felt
inclined to succour one another.
The Hindu kings were hostile to one another.
The subjects were out to harm one another. The
religious sects were thirsty for the blood of one
another. How could then the Hindus survive or
prosper ? Why should not they have decline and
downfall? Why should not they suffer and be despondent?
Why should not their humiliation and disgrace
41
be apparent? Why should not their honour and selfrespect
be well nigh extinct? Why should not their
nations' dignity and destiny be different? Why should
not they be termed cowardly and docile, semi-civilized
or savage rabblement?
The position of religious sects and sub-sects
had become worse. Their number could be counted
in thousands. Normany the Brahmins were the
founders of these sects and groups. In addition to
them were different sects following diverse saints and
fakirs. Things had come to such a pass that every
village had its own rites and rituals, gods and sects
quite different from all others. Some Hindus had slid
still lower by following certain Islamic sects and Muslim
Pirs (holymen) who considered them heathens, fit
only to be bled. Some of the founders of the sects
deified themselves as the supreme Lord, while some
others claimed direct descent from him.
If the play of Maya was eulogized at one place,
the world and its goods were described as ephemeral
..ula transitory at another and people advised renunciation.
All of the founders and leaders of sects had
opened shops, were extolling their own religious wares
and were worried about selling them. Liberation was
going cheap and selling for a song. The fasting of a day,
just one bathing at a Tirath, the recitations of a couple
of words and incantation ofsome names were claimed
to wash away the sins not only of this life but also of
the sum total of thousands previous births, as well as
42
those of one's forefathers and relatives. Over and
above all this they entitled one to emancipation and
transported him to heaven (Swarga). The variance in
religious affairs applied even to tilaks (marks on
foreheads). The tilaks were different, their contours
differen't, their positions different. All this was done
to enable the agencies of the gods to recognize their
respective devotees, after their demise. The rosary
and its beads were different. The materials used and
their coiours were diverse. It is not possible to tabulate
all the ramifications of their diverse creeds.
Differences and contrasts were the order of the
day. Rites, rituals and religious acts differed from man
to man. In the religious field transactions were aglore.
The rules for returns of religious dealings were
defined, rules for sale, purchase and mortgage were
laid down and enforced. One person would worship
god, do penance and give in charity and another could
reap the rewards. Give a man some pice and take away
the gain entailed by his prayers, recitations and incantations.
Sin and commit crimes of all kinds. Then give
a professional in the religious field some money, get a
religious book read, get a couple of mantras recited by
a rosary a number of times and have your sins washed
away. Appease your particular god by offering him
some flowers, Coconut, patashas (sugar-candies) etc.
When absolution was so cheap and readily available,
why should a man bother about morality, engage in the
hard task of worship and prayers and study of the
43
scriptures? Why cleanse the inner selfwith the rigours
of austerities and abstinences ? Why should one think
of social welfare or unity or turn towards one God?
When the rewards of here and hereafter could
be obtained with a handful of coins, where was any
place for virtuous acts of this and earlier lives? Not
only were one's rites, rituals, customs different in this
world but in the next also. Every god had his own
special heaven and hell. When the gods were at
variance with one another, how could there be peace
among their followers? The Hindus even denigrated
the Almighty Lord Himself. First of all they parcelled
Him into gods like Brahma, Vishnu etc. Later on He
was made to manifest Himself not only in the form of
human beings but also of animals like the Crocodile,
the Tortoise, the Boar and what is even worse of a
"man-animal Narsingh (Half lion, half man). They
started idol-worship and carved idols of the gods. But
their idols too, were different.
One idol was headless, another without feet.
While some idols were made of stone, others were
hewed out of logs of wood. Even the stones were of
diverse shapes and kinds, round, chiselled etc. Mostly
the idols of Kaam (Eros) and of Krishna were worshipped.
It is most surprising that the idols of the
Tortoise, the Boar and the Crocodile were not made
and worsh.ipped.
Many tortuous austerities and different physical
tortures were undergone in the name of religion.
44
Some considered it a pious act to die while being sawn
apart in a well at Kashi, while some desired being
trampled to death under the Chariot of Jagan Nath.
But it is surprising that the cutting off of one's nose
or ears had not come into vogue then, though piercing
them was considered propitious. Most bizarre things
were done. While one tried to blight his arm the other
kept standing on one leg to proclaim his religious
fervour yet another hung downward and still another
tried to ape the animals in his stance. The religious
garbs were of diverse colours, of different shapes. The
hair style and modes of keeping hair of the head, the
beard and the moustache were different.
This immoral and irreligious tide was responsible
for the birth of Buddhism. The power of the
sword had led to the spread of Budh Dharma and also
to its downfall. Its good points became extinct in India
with its ouster but its evil practices were retained as a
legacy by Hindus. Animal sacrifice was considered a
fit offering to the gods and goddesses, and human
sacrifice was deemed still more virtuous. The priests
of the temple of Bandar Bashi proudly claimed that
animal sacrifice was offered in such an abundance that
blood never dried on the sacrificial altar. Eating of
filth was the special trait of one religious sect. The
followers of Bhairo indulged in drinking to please their
god. The votaries of Shivji took to opium, charas and
hemp as an act of devotion. The followers of Shakti or
Devi ate meat and drank liquor as a religious duty
towards their deity. Certain sects revelled in eating
45
with dogs. Salvation could be had by merely serving
the saints and sadhus and at the soulful glance of a
guru.
The Brahmins were the originators of all
religious ills. They had forbidden the non-Brahmins
from studying Vedas and Shastras. In due course of
time the field of education became their preserve and
they refused to teach others. They opined that
Sanskrit was the language of the gods and of all the
people of the world only Brahmins were privileged to
study it. They were the editors and rehashers of
Shastras and the makers (writers) of Puranas, as well
as the creators of all religious sects. Despite being
worsted, humbled and humiliated, they were loth to
forego their acquired position of authority. They were
never willing to let go off a thing over which they
claimed their birth right and divine right. Therefore,
it was well nigh impossible to interfere in anyone of
their affairs. They were incensed by such interference
and considered it more hurtful than the Muslim
atrocities. You can fully apprehend the state of affairs
if you go through the various injunctions they had
incorporated in the religious books (Shastras) to perpetuate
their pre-eminence, dominance and self-acquired
authority over others. Their number is great,
but just a few are given below:
1. All the world and all that it contains is the
property of the Brahmin. All things have been
made for him. Manu I Chapt/96, 100, 101.
46
2. The Brahmin can annihilate a king with his
army, horses and elephants,with the power of
his mantras. Manu 9/213.
3. The Brahmin can create many worlds like our
own.rulers of kingdoms, new gods, new human
beings and many other perishable things.
Manu 91315. (This can be true as he had
created many new kings and kingdoms with
small capitals of their own by setting the Rajputs
against one another. He had created
countless new gods, and was busy creating
more every day).
4. The Brahmin deserves greater respect and reverence
than a king. Manu 2/139.
5. Very serious crimes committed in order to
save his body and soul, are not punishable in
the case of a Brahmin. Manu 9/205, 208, 232;
4/69,165; 8/281, 283.
6. Any crime against the person of a Brahmin or
against his property deserves ten times the
ordinary punishment in such cases. manu
7/367; 8/378, 379.
7. It is the imperative duty of ~ king to appoint a
Brahmin as his trusted minister and advisor.
Manu 7/58.
8. The working of courts should be entirely
entrusted to the Brahmin. Manu 8/1, 9, to, 11.
47
9. In a Yajna the Brahmins should be fed and
given plenty of gifts and fees for spiritual services
rendered. In case these are insufficient
all lives,progeny, animals, good name and
blessings Uoys) of now and hereafter of the
person performing Yajna are destroyed. Manu
3/133 to 146; 11/39,40.
to. Atonement for not doing worship, pilgrimage
and Tirath- bathing can only be obtained by
lilJeral cash donations to a Brahmin. Manu
11/117, 139.
11. No tax of any kind can be charged from a Brahmin.
Manu 7/(132), 133.
12. If someone steals an animal belonging to a
Brahmin, his feet should be cut off from the
ankles. Manu 8/325.
13. A shudra should preferably serve a Brahmin
and in case of non-availability of a Brahmin
master, he should serve a Kashatri. Manu
8/334.
It is not necessary here to dwell at greater
length on such references; these few are enough to
establish the pre-eminence of the Brahmins in all
aspects of life. Everything was under their control.
Their right even to create new gods had been accepted.
They interpreted the Shastras to suit their selfish ends
of the moment and established such rites, rituals and
traditions as were consonant with their own material
48
welfare. They had already debarred the common mass
of non-Brahmins from the study of Sanskri1. Now they
forbade them to learn Arabic and Persian, on the plea,
that the study of the language of the Malechhas (a term
of contempt for the Muslim invaders) was against the
injunctions of the Shastra<;. Whosoever, commenced
the study of Persian was declared a Shudra and
ostracised. That is why the Kaisths who were the first
to study Persian are even to-day considered Shudras in
India. The Brahmins completely enmeshed the Hindus
in mental slavery which is even worse and more
damaging than physical slavery.
The Hindus were enslaved mentally by the
Brahmins on the one hand and physically by the Muslims
on the other. Guru Gobind Singh decided to free
them from both these kinds of slavery. Opposition to
the freeing of the Hindus from mental slavery was
expected from the Brahmins, but the Hindus themselves
were ready to oppose him and they did so. But
Guru Gobind Singh gave a clarion call for the freedom
of the Hindus despite opposition from these ungrateful
people. And he forcefully exhorted the people for
the worship of the Aka!.
First of all he turned to reform in the religious
sphere. Being a spiritual leader he preached the
gospel of Lord-devotion and taught the people to
spurn polytheism and to shun the following of manmade
religious sects. He forcefully rebutted the
plurality of god. Following the precepts of Guru
49
Nanak Dev Ji, he forcefully denounced and forbade
the worship of idols. He censured the custom of observance
of obsequies and described the worship of
gods as a fraud, termed the concept of Avtars as antinature,
condemned Tirath-bathing as a hoax, criticised
the religious garbs as dresses of deceit, delivered
people from the worship of men, animals, vegetations
and minerals. He pulled people out of the bog of
superstition, and decried the symbols of religious distinctions.
He drew the attention of the people to the
One Creator, who is Formless and Eternal. He
eulogized supreme glory of Truth.
In short he took people away from small, slimy,
stagnant and filthy fountains to the shores of the infinite
Ocean of Lord-devotion. Given below are some
Kabits of Guru Gobind Singh culled out of his
numerous verses epitomising the beauty of his gospel,
the depth of his Lord-devotion and the extent of richness
of his thought. It is hoped that the readers will
relish them:
50
Tav-Prasad(i) Kabit
Khak malhan gaj gad-ha bibhUtdhari,
Gidila masdn bas kario i karat haiti.
Ghughil mat basi lage dolat uddsi mrig,
Tarvar sadiv mon sadhe i marat haiti.
Bind ke sadhaya tahe hij ki ba{iaya det,
Bandra sadiv pae nage i phirat habi.
Ailgna adhin kam krodh mai prabin.
Ek gian ke bihin chhin kaise kai tarat haiti. (1/71)
Could the Lord be realized :
(a) by eating filth then the swine would,
(b) by smearing the body with dust then the ass and
the elephant would,
(c) by haunting the cremation grounds then the
jackal would,
(d) by living in a domed monastery then the owl
would,
(e) by wandering listlessly then the deer would,
(f) by standing still and silently then the tree would,
(g) by abstinence from sex then the eunuch would,
(h) by walking barefoot then the monkey would.
51
How can a frail being, who is swayed by comely
women, is preyed upon by wrath and lust and is bereft
of perception of the True One, cross beyond? (71)
Bluit bancluiri eMit ehhauna sabllai dLidluidhari,
PawL ke ahari su blwjatig janiat hain.
Tril) ke bhacllhaya dhan lobh ke tajaya teto,
Gallan ke jaya brikh-bhaya maniat haiiz.
Nabll ke lujaya tahe pO/ie/1M ke ba(laya det,
Baglllo birol brik d!lioni l!loniat !lain.
fete ba(le giani tino jani pai bakhani nohe,
Aise /10 prapO/icll man bhlll aniat hoi/i. (2/72)
The Lord cannot be realized by roaming like
ghosts, by subsisting on milk alone like kids and the
young ones of animals, by l\ving on air like serpents.
Those who feed on vegetation and have discarded all
attachment can be likened to the oxen. Those who fly
in the air (with the help of yogic power) emulate the
birds. Those who meditate can be cOILpared to cranes,
wolves and jungle cats. But they who have attained
enlightenment, keep mum and do not even dream of
enacting shows of deceit. (72)
BJuim ke basayo tohe bluicllri ke jaya kahaiil

Unparalleled Sacrifice of His Father
Guru Gobind Singh devoted himself to his
studies and spent his spare time in hunting or travelling
about while his father was preparing for a glorious act
of sacrifice, long-awaited by the people of his time.
Aurangzeb was in power and was bent upon converting
all Hindus to Islam in whatsoever way possible.
Therefore he made free use of coercion, terror and
violence. He had converted villages enmasse to Islam.
The low caste and the middle class Hindus were fed up
with the relentless and extreme cruelties perpetrated
against them by the Muslim rulers. The Hindu
religion had been made so impotent by endless
divisions that it could not offer any mental peace or
solace to these people. The high castes looked down
upon the low, who themselves were not united, amiable
or even forbearing enough to lead a life of peace.
Juxtaposed against this background was the allurement
that by going over to Islam, they would become
members of the victorious and ruling nation and escape
the ills heaped on them by the Hindu Dharma as
well as the torture meted out by the Muslims. Hence
the low-castes not only preferred Islam to the Brahmanic
Hindu religion but found it a God-sent and
joyously joined its fold. Therefore, Aurangzeb did not
include them in his list of priorities. He was determined
to convert the high castes-Brahmins and
Khatris, to Islam by force. That is why he spent huge
sums for the purpose of converting Brahmins and
27
Khatris of Kashmir. When the Brahmins in Kashmir
refused to embrace Islam, he summoned them to his
Delhi court.
At that time the Sikhs were gaining in strength
and stature. Guru Hargobind had earlier measured
swords with the Mughal forces of his time. Their
religion was actively propagated and talked about.
Therefore the Kashmiri Brahmins went to Guru Tegh
Bahadur and related their tale of woe. The Guru
became pensive on learning of their plight, his face
expressing deep grief and concern. The sad plight of
the Brahmins and the murderous might of Aurangzeb
were thought-provoking facts. The plight of the
former was pleading for succour to the oppressed as a
moral duty and his blood rose to defend the freedom
of worship for the Hindus. But the stupendous might
of the Muslim ruler was a thing to reckon with. The
Guru was pondering deeply over these aspects of the
matter when Gobind Rai appeared. Finding his father
pensive, he asked the reason. The Guru replied that
the plight of Hindu Dharma in India called for the
sacrifice of a pious soul. Gobind spontaneously
quipped that there was none more pious than the Guru
himself. The Guru replied,"If that is the Lord's Will,
so be it".
The growing power of the Sikhs was rankling in
Aurangzeb's eyes. On learning of the Guru's help for
the Kashmiri Brahmins, he became incensed. He
summoned the Guru to Delhi. The Guru installed
28
Gobind as his successor informing him that he was
going to offer his head for the cause of Righteousness
in obedience to the Akal Purakh's command. The
Guru advised his son to save his dead body from
indignity and perform the final rites after retrieving it.
He further charged Gobind to shield the oppressed
(Hindus) even at the cost of his life. It all transpired
as the Guru had foretold. Guru Tegh Bahadur was
beheaded at the behest of Aurangzeb and Jiwan, a
Ranghar Sikh carried his Guru's head to Guru Gobind
Singh at Anandpur. On seeing his father's gory head,
Guru Gobind Singh uttered these famous lines:
As an act of redressal, did he so,
Offered his head without a word of woe.
For Righteousness, performed this deed,
Gave he his head, but kept his creed.
The body of the Guru was taken away by a
devoted Sikh to his own house. Fearing exposure he
deliberately set fire to his house, while consecrating
the body to the flames. It was impossible to cremate
the body anywhere outside.
Difficulties Which the Guru Faced
Guru Gobind Singh was fired with zeal to endeavour
for the fulfilment of his mission. But his path
was beset with many impediments. When Guru Tegh
Bahadur bequeathed to his son, the defence of Dharma
(Righteousness), the extirpation of its enemies and
the firing of hearts with patriotic fervour Guru Gobind
29
Singh was only nine. But he enshrined this legacy in
his heart. He had no experience but of the inspiring
self-sacrifice of his father made for Righteousness.
The task before him was stupendous, he had no resources,
no estate, no wealth, only a handful ofSikhs to give
offerings,just enough for bare sustenance. Facing him
was the formidable force of Islam whose sway
stretched from the shores of the Indian Ocean to the
peaks of Himalyas and touching the boundary of
Burma on the east.
Destiny had pitted a penniless recluse (fakir)
lodged in a corner of the vast country against this
redoubtable Islamic empire, finding him most suitable
for this task. It was imperative for a fighter of Guru
Gobind Singh's calibre to carry out the loving command
of his father. What could he do in the face of the
armed might of a pitiless and savage tyrant like
Aurangzeb. An unfledged novice of nine pitted
against a crafty and powerful potentate. Even then he
decided to free Hindus from the Muslim yoke and rid
India of this oppressive Muslim rule. He was not an
enemy of Islam nor had he anything to gain by such
animosity. He was against such Muslims who, under
the garb of Islam, were perpetrating ungodly acts of
cruelty and were Muslims in name only. He was the
enemy of these savage and cruel butchers who
regarded the shedding of blood of non-Muslims and
denigration of their religions as holy acts.
Guru Gobind Singh resolved to oust such
30
people. But the fulfilment of his mission seemed well
nigh impossible. The ill was diagnosed and the
medicine prescribed, but it was very difficult to obtain.
He however, procured it at last. But how this Vaid
Gobinda went about administering this medicine, with
what wisdom and what success, needs a detailed
analysis to be fully understood.
The very exercise undertaking this task was
beset with innumerable impediments and problems.
He was a youngman just past childhood. His kith and
kin were hostile to him owing to his succession to
Guruship. The Sikhs were suspect in the eyes of the
Government of the times. But he was endowed with a
heart which scoffed at all troubles, was undaunted by
impediments and hardships, unperturbed by problems
and uncowed by any grief. A man blessed with such a
heart had not taken birth in India (among Hindus) for
thousands of years. This peerless heart was inspiring
him. But there was no material to work upon.
He wanted to shield his people from the insolent
and tyrannical hand of Aurangzeb. He wanted
to free his country and Hindu Dharma from the
clutches of the corrupt and cruel administration. But
he found his countrymenl lacking in everything. They
were spineless, cowardly, hypocritical, busy in harming
and accusing one another, sans unity, determination
and sense of honour. There was nothing to bring them
together and nothing in them to bind them to a common
cause. Disgrace and decline was in evidence
31
everywhere. The Hindus were beset with extreme
selfishness. There was no one to lend an ear to their
plaints and to succour them. The Kashatris had lost
their valour, the Brahmins their all after effacing
others. The Hindu had lost his self-respect, honour
and possessions. There was no sense ofsecurity. They
faced perpetual danger.
Such was the general state of affairs, when
Guru Gobind Singh was brimming over with zeal for
nationalism and defence of Dharma. He was determined
to restore the honour of the people, allay their
sufferings and free them from tyranny. He was also
conscious of his inexperience, destitution and utter
lack of help of any kind from any quarter. We can well
imagine his predicament. His patriotic fervour boiling
over contrasted with the chilling cowardice and utter
despondency of the people. But he was endowed with
a heart, undaunted by obstacles, undeterred by
hardships, uncowed by the hopelessness of the situation,
unawed by the stupendous might of the Mughals.
He viewed the situation in depth from all sides. He
found the Hindus deflated in everything, fallen in all
aspects. He found certain questions nagging his mind.
and demanding attention and solution. Only after
resolving them could the Hindus be saved.
Problems concerned with Hindus
1. The Hindus had discarded the Worship of one
God and had supplanted Him by numerous gods,
32
avtaras, animals, vegetation and metals. The
obvious result with the disintegration of their
nation. Beset with physical and spiritual slavery
they were out to obliterate their very existence.
How to wean them from the worship of His
creatures and the pull of the Vedas and restore
the worship of one God, was the fitst problem.
2. How to check the downward slide of the Hindus
in physical, mental, spiritual, moral and educational
sphere and give it an ascending direction?
3. What were the causes of disunion, animosity,
bickering and weakness among the Hindus,
which should be removed to bring them on a
common platform of brotherhood and nationalism?
4. How to weaken the dominance of Islam and free
Hindus from bondage?
In short, how to bring about the worship of one
God, brotherhood and nationalism among the Hindus
and how to deliver them from the clutches of degrading
slavery.
It goes without saying that others before Guru
Gobind Singh had deliberated upon this theme but
without any tangible results. All such efforts at reformation
had resulted in the widening of the gulf of
differences. All reformers had pointed in newer directions,
thus leading to further separations and ramifications.
A veritable jungle of pathways was created
33
making more and more new sects who took pleasure
in the discomfiture of others. They never thought of
working unitedly despite religious and political differences,
against the common bloodthirsty enemy.
Owing to mental slavery they had strayed far from the
Vedic religion. The Muslims trampled upon them one
by one (in turn). The only difference being that those
who enjoyed the discomfiture of others had their moment
of humiliation slightly later.
They were united in not a single thing about
religion. All of them boasted of deriving their own
brand directly from the Vedas and looked askance at
others. They were responsible for the slide downward
from mental slavery to political enslavement. And
political bondage had brought them to the brink of
annihilation. Their religion and nationality was about
to lose their identity. Their religion had no strength to
bind the numerous sects together. They had no
power, wealth and manhood left to fight back. Wideranging
reforms were needed in moral, religious and
social fields. The last question perplexing Guru
Gobind Singh was that the material at his disposal was
nil. He was hard put to find a solution to the complicated
problem.
He surveyed the field before him. There were
impediments in the way of religious and social
reforms. The political reality was fraught with dangers
and pitfalls. Despite all this he·steeled himselffor this
Herculean task. He decided to inject new vigour into
34
the frigid Hindu blood which had lost all sense of
honour, shame, brotherhood and valour. He took the
field alI alone like a true warrior.
To put things in their true perspective, it is
proper to view the scene. Guru Gobind Singh was a
recluse sans wealth, power and possessions but possessed
of one thing which despite everything added to
his courage and impelled him towards success. It was
the spark of nationalism and the fighting instinct of a
Kashatri. The exploits of Ramachandra are remembered
with reverence and pride. But in
Ramachandra's time the whole of India was under the
Hindu Kings. Neither the country nor the Dharma was
threatened. He himself was a king, enjoying great
wealth and power. The neighbouring kings sided with
him. No one can aver that patriotism or nationalism
of any kind was involved in his war against Lanka.
Undoubtedly he proved a true Kashatri warrior and
killed Ravana who had forcibly taken away his wife. A
great deed of personal revenge.
On the other hand Guru Gobind Singh took up
the cudgels for the betterment of others, grieved at the
forcible abduction of lakhs ofwives of his countrymen.
He undertook this tough task under extremely difficult
conditions. All exploits of Krishna were motivated by
personal revenge. He killed Kansa because the latter
wanted to obliterate his dynasty alongwith Krishna.
He took to the sword in self-defence and wielded it
well. Conspiring with the Pandavas and with their
35
active support he defeated king Jarasindh, who had
attacked him fifteen times to avenge the killing of
Kansa. Jarasindh had forced Krishna to leave his
Kingdom and found a new Kingdom in Gujrat with
Dwarka as its capital.
It was pure and simple revenge that prompted
these exploits. No patriotism ofany kind was involved.
There is no doubt that Jarasindh and Kansa were both
cruel despots. And it was the duty of a Kashatri to take
up the sword for the extermination of such persons.
Even if we admit that some patriotic feelings were
lying at the back of all this, contrary to the facts, his
,exploits should be assessed in the light of his being a
king with great resources at his command, with many
kings at his side and the great Pandavas backing him
up. His actions appear not beyond any ordinary king
of his time. No foreign power was ruling the country,
which was under Kashatris and the people were
prosperous.
But the task before Guru Gobind Singh was
comparatively far more stupendous, important and
critical. In patriotic fervour he leaves Krishna far
behind. Similarly his deeds far excel those of
Shankaracharya. The latter was helped by Kashatri
kings in his bid to browbeat the Buddhist Scholars with
his intellect and scholasticism. Had he not been backed
by the Kashatri might he would have failed in his
mission. Guru Gobind Singh stood all alone without
friends and helpers. The emperor of his time was dead
36
set against him.
Prophet Mohammad had to contend with a
small tribe of Quareshi sect. Guru Gobind Singh was
faced with a situation far more difficult and critical
than any of these great persons had met. It required
greater courage and determination. His (own) Hindu
brethren were against him, he himself was a penniless
recluse. True his father had been martyred. But millions
before him had been butchered by the Muslim
emperors. Why so far no one had ever thought of
taking revenge during all these centuries ? Why it
occurred only to Guru Gobind Singh that the Muslim
power should be weakened? Why no one had stood
up against the tyranny of the Muslim rule?
The most surprising thing is that the very Hindus
for whose welfare Guru Gobind Singh was bearing
all kinds of hardships were not only fighting shy of
helping him, but were adding to his cup of miseries by
fighting against him. The Hindus were so much consumed
by selfishness that there was no hope of their
ever rallying under the banner of nationalism. In the
heart of Guru Gobind Singh was lit the spark of
nationalism which all earlier Hindu reformers including
Krishna, Ramachandra, Shankaracharya and
Ramanuja had lacked.
The spark was there but material needed for
stoking it was lacking. The Guru was only fifteen and
had this Herculean task before him. No fierce wind of
37
fear and danger, no cyclone of cowardice, no hurricane
of hurry and selfishness, no currents of carelessness
could extinguish this spark. Great wisdom, patient
awaiting of opportune time and the knack of feeling
the pulse of the time were needed for such a task. So
Guru Gobind Singh retired to the hills in order to
nurse the spark of nationalism into a blaze and devise
means to utilise it to good effect. Another reason of his
seclusion could be his desire thereby to cool the opposition
of Ram Rai, a strong contender for Guruship.
It is said that the Guru stayed in the hills for many years
and the hill chieftans did all they could to harass him.
During this sojourn, he added a lot to his
knowledge. He learnt Persian thoroughly, acquired
some understanding of Arabic and attained proficiency
in Sanskrit. He heard and went through the
chronicles of great kings and warriors of India and
studied the lives and philosophies of great reformers
and leaders of other religions. He ruminated over the
ups and downs of his country and listened raptly to the
ballads on the bold exploits of the doughty warriors of
India, sung by the bards. When his Sikhs gathered
around him, such recitals were a regular feature. The
idea was to infuse valour into them. He spent some
of his time in hunting tigers and other wild animals.
All along, his mind dwelt on the task before him,
devising ways and means to be put into practice in the
times to come. During this period the claim of Ram
Rai to the Guruship proved hollow and lost bite. In
38
due course the Sikhs started rallying round Guru
Gobind Singh. He would daily listen to the tales of
woe inflicted by Aurangzeb which steeled him further
in his resolve and kept the spark burning in his heart.
The might of the Mughals was evident as also
the helplessness, sad plight and inherent weakness of
the Hindus. He fixed his priorities and decided first of
all to remove the causes responsible for disunity,
despondency and debility among Hindus. This required
sweeping reforms in the religious field,
alongwith social reforms like eradication of caste system
and untouchability. Needed also was the inculcation
of upward looking among the Shudras. And last
of all he was to turn to political reform. All these
involved considerable difficulties.
Religious Reform
From the very beginning the Hindus have held
the Dharma as supreme, a pious binding duty nearer
to the heart than everything else. At no time in their
history had they turned their back on it or esteemed it
less. They were able to keep it alive during Buddhist
onslaught and even after seven hundred years of Muslim
atrocities. Their country, property, wealth, lands
and families were seized, their libraries and books
burnt and their lives taken. In short they saw everything
perishing before their very eyes, but they kept
their Dharma alive. They enshrined it in the deepest
recesses of their hearts where not even the most tyran-
39
nical hand could reach it. They bore torture, endured
hardships and sorrows but somehow kept their Dharma
alive, because it was most dear to them. They
defended it with streams of their blood and millions of
their lives. They proved equal to the occasion, though
they were a divided lot, various sects warring with one
another. Due to sectarian differences they came to be
sub-divided into groups and sub-groups.
Their existence was like the flickering light of
a dying lamp. This flickering light was about to be
extinguished by the storm of intolerant fanaticism let
loose by Aurangzeb when Guru Gobind Singh
shielded it with his hands and saved it from extinction.
The sad plight of the Hindus was evident from the fact
that even in one family various ways of diverse
religious practices were followed. While one worshipped
Ganesh, the second prayed to the Sun, the
third was a devotee of Shivji, the fourth - a votary of
Vishnu, the fifth, the follower of Ram, the sixth
devoted to Bhairo, the seventh worshipped Hanuman,
the eighth admired Krishan Leela (Amours), the next
was a Vedanti and so on. And added to this emaciating
division was mutual animosity and hatred. Thanks to
these fisiparous tendencies, the Hindus had no common
language. Their religious books were different.
There was no unanimity on any religious issue. They
were not united in anyone thing. How could there be
any feeling of oneness, mutual sympathy and patriotic
feeling among them? There was no social intercourse
40
and fellow-feeling among the Hindus.
Disunity, friction and animosity were rife. The
religious structure was in disarray and loose. The
South had no love for the North. The Hindus of the
North had no truck with the denizens of the South.
Both of them were unconcerned about the eastern
people. And none of them had even a single practice
in common with the West. No one trusted the others.
The country was full of corrupt and deceitful people.
Their religion was not the same, their morality different,
their aims different, their hopes different, their
living different, their habits different, their habiliments
different, their prayers different, their gods different,
their temples different, their rites and rituals
different, their desires different, their food different,
their ways different, their tempers different, their hells
different, their heavens different. There was no oneness
in their thoughts, in their actions. They followed
ways not only different but often sharply conflicting
with one another. They had neither love for one
another nor shared the grief of others. They never felt
inclined to succour one another.
The Hindu kings were hostile to one another.
The subjects were out to harm one another. The
religious sects were thirsty for the blood of one
another. How could then the Hindus survive or
prosper ? Why should not they have decline and
downfall? Why should not they suffer and be despondent?
Why should not their humiliation and disgrace
41
be apparent? Why should not their honour and selfrespect
be well nigh extinct? Why should not their
nations' dignity and destiny be different? Why should
not they be termed cowardly and docile, semi-civilized
or savage rabblement?
The position of religious sects and sub-sects
had become worse. Their number could be counted
in thousands. Normany the Brahmins were the
founders of these sects and groups. In addition to
them were different sects following diverse saints and
fakirs. Things had come to such a pass that every
village had its own rites and rituals, gods and sects
quite different from all others. Some Hindus had slid
still lower by following certain Islamic sects and Muslim
Pirs (holymen) who considered them heathens, fit
only to be bled. Some of the founders of the sects
deified themselves as the supreme Lord, while some
others claimed direct descent from him.
If the play of Maya was eulogized at one place,
the world and its goods were described as ephemeral
..ula transitory at another and people advised renunciation.
All of the founders and leaders of sects had
opened shops, were extolling their own religious wares
and were worried about selling them. Liberation was
going cheap and selling for a song. The fasting of a day,
just one bathing at a Tirath, the recitations of a couple
of words and incantation ofsome names were claimed
to wash away the sins not only of this life but also of
the sum total of thousands previous births, as well as
42
those of one's forefathers and relatives. Over and
above all this they entitled one to emancipation and
transported him to heaven (Swarga). The variance in
religious affairs applied even to tilaks (marks on
foreheads). The tilaks were different, their contours
differen't, their positions different. All this was done
to enable the agencies of the gods to recognize their
respective devotees, after their demise. The rosary
and its beads were different. The materials used and
their coiours were diverse. It is not possible to tabulate
all the ramifications of their diverse creeds.
Differences and contrasts were the order of the
day. Rites, rituals and religious acts differed from man
to man. In the religious field transactions were aglore.
The rules for returns of religious dealings were
defined, rules for sale, purchase and mortgage were
laid down and enforced. One person would worship
god, do penance and give in charity and another could
reap the rewards. Give a man some pice and take away
the gain entailed by his prayers, recitations and incantations.
Sin and commit crimes of all kinds. Then give
a professional in the religious field some money, get a
religious book read, get a couple of mantras recited by
a rosary a number of times and have your sins washed
away. Appease your particular god by offering him
some flowers, Coconut, patashas (sugar-candies) etc.
When absolution was so cheap and readily available,
why should a man bother about morality, engage in the
hard task of worship and prayers and study of the
43
scriptures? Why cleanse the inner selfwith the rigours
of austerities and abstinences ? Why should one think
of social welfare or unity or turn towards one God?
When the rewards of here and hereafter could
be obtained with a handful of coins, where was any
place for virtuous acts of this and earlier lives? Not
only were one's rites, rituals, customs different in this
world but in the next also. Every god had his own
special heaven and hell. When the gods were at
variance with one another, how could there be peace
among their followers? The Hindus even denigrated
the Almighty Lord Himself. First of all they parcelled
Him into gods like Brahma, Vishnu etc. Later on He
was made to manifest Himself not only in the form of
human beings but also of animals like the Crocodile,
the Tortoise, the Boar and what is even worse of a
"man-animal Narsingh (Half lion, half man). They
started idol-worship and carved idols of the gods. But
their idols too, were different.
One idol was headless, another without feet.
While some idols were made of stone, others were
hewed out of logs of wood. Even the stones were of
diverse shapes and kinds, round, chiselled etc. Mostly
the idols of Kaam (Eros) and of Krishna were worshipped.
It is most surprising that the idols of the
Tortoise, the Boar and the Crocodile were not made
and worsh.ipped.
Many tortuous austerities and different physical
tortures were undergone in the name of religion.
44
Some considered it a pious act to die while being sawn
apart in a well at Kashi, while some desired being
trampled to death under the Chariot of Jagan Nath.
But it is surprising that the cutting off of one's nose
or ears had not come into vogue then, though piercing
them was considered propitious. Most bizarre things
were done. While one tried to blight his arm the other
kept standing on one leg to proclaim his religious
fervour yet another hung downward and still another
tried to ape the animals in his stance. The religious
garbs were of diverse colours, of different shapes. The
hair style and modes of keeping hair of the head, the
beard and the moustache were different.
This immoral and irreligious tide was responsible
for the birth of Buddhism. The power of the
sword had led to the spread of Budh Dharma and also
to its downfall. Its good points became extinct in India
with its ouster but its evil practices were retained as a
legacy by Hindus. Animal sacrifice was considered a
fit offering to the gods and goddesses, and human
sacrifice was deemed still more virtuous. The priests
of the temple of Bandar Bashi proudly claimed that
animal sacrifice was offered in such an abundance that
blood never dried on the sacrificial altar. Eating of
filth was the special trait of one religious sect. The
followers of Bhairo indulged in drinking to please their
god. The votaries of Shivji took to opium, charas and
hemp as an act of devotion. The followers of Shakti or
Devi ate meat and drank liquor as a religious duty
towards their deity. Certain sects revelled in eating
45
with dogs. Salvation could be had by merely serving
the saints and sadhus and at the soulful glance of a
guru.
The Brahmins were the originators of all
religious ills. They had forbidden the non-Brahmins
from studying Vedas and Shastras. In due course of
time the field of education became their preserve and
they refused to teach others. They opined that
Sanskrit was the language of the gods and of all the
people of the world only Brahmins were privileged to
study it. They were the editors and rehashers of
Shastras and the makers (writers) of Puranas, as well
as the creators of all religious sects. Despite being
worsted, humbled and humiliated, they were loth to
forego their acquired position of authority. They were
never willing to let go off a thing over which they
claimed their birth right and divine right. Therefore,
it was well nigh impossible to interfere in anyone of
their affairs. They were incensed by such interference
and considered it more hurtful than the Muslim
atrocities. You can fully apprehend the state of affairs
if you go through the various injunctions they had
incorporated in the religious books (Shastras) to perpetuate
their pre-eminence, dominance and self-acquired
authority over others. Their number is great,
but just a few are given below:
1. All the world and all that it contains is the
property of the Brahmin. All things have been
made for him. Manu I Chapt/96, 100, 101.
46
2. The Brahmin can annihilate a king with his
army, horses and elephants,with the power of
his mantras. Manu 9/213.
3. The Brahmin can create many worlds like our
own.rulers of kingdoms, new gods, new human
beings and many other perishable things.
Manu 91315. (This can be true as he had
created many new kings and kingdoms with
small capitals of their own by setting the Rajputs
against one another. He had created
countless new gods, and was busy creating
more every day).
4. The Brahmin deserves greater respect and reverence
than a king. Manu 2/139.
5. Very serious crimes committed in order to
save his body and soul, are not punishable in
the case of a Brahmin. Manu 9/205, 208, 232;
4/69,165; 8/281, 283.
6. Any crime against the person of a Brahmin or
against his property deserves ten times the
ordinary punishment in such cases. manu
7/367; 8/378, 379.
7. It is the imperative duty of ~ king to appoint a
Brahmin as his trusted minister and advisor.
Manu 7/58.
8. The working of courts should be entirely
entrusted to the Brahmin. Manu 8/1, 9, to, 11.
47
9. In a Yajna the Brahmins should be fed and
given plenty of gifts and fees for spiritual services
rendered. In case these are insufficient
all lives,progeny, animals, good name and
blessings Uoys) of now and hereafter of the
person performing Yajna are destroyed. Manu
3/133 to 146; 11/39,40.
to. Atonement for not doing worship, pilgrimage
and Tirath- bathing can only be obtained by
lilJeral cash donations to a Brahmin. Manu
11/117, 139.
11. No tax of any kind can be charged from a Brahmin.
Manu 7/(132), 133.
12. If someone steals an animal belonging to a
Brahmin, his feet should be cut off from the
ankles. Manu 8/325.
13. A shudra should preferably serve a Brahmin
and in case of non-availability of a Brahmin
master, he should serve a Kashatri. Manu
8/334.
It is not necessary here to dwell at greater
length on such references; these few are enough to
establish the pre-eminence of the Brahmins in all
aspects of life. Everything was under their control.
Their right even to create new gods had been accepted.
They interpreted the Shastras to suit their selfish ends
of the moment and established such rites, rituals and
traditions as were consonant with their own material
48
welfare. They had already debarred the common mass
of non-Brahmins from the study of Sanskri1. Now they
forbade them to learn Arabic and Persian, on the plea,
that the study of the language of the Malechhas (a term
of contempt for the Muslim invaders) was against the
injunctions of the Shastra<;. Whosoever, commenced
the study of Persian was declared a Shudra and
ostracised. That is why the Kaisths who were the first
to study Persian are even to-day considered Shudras in
India. The Brahmins completely enmeshed the Hindus
in mental slavery which is even worse and more
damaging than physical slavery.
The Hindus were enslaved mentally by the
Brahmins on the one hand and physically by the Muslims
on the other. Guru Gobind Singh decided to free
them from both these kinds of slavery. Opposition to
the freeing of the Hindus from mental slavery was
expected from the Brahmins, but the Hindus themselves
were ready to oppose him and they did so. But
Guru Gobind Singh gave a clarion call for the freedom
of the Hindus despite opposition from these ungrateful
people. And he forcefully exhorted the people for
the worship of the Aka!.
First of all he turned to reform in the religious
sphere. Being a spiritual leader he preached the
gospel of Lord-devotion and taught the people to
spurn polytheism and to shun the following of manmade
religious sects. He forcefully rebutted the
plurality of god. Following the precepts of Guru
49
Nanak Dev Ji, he forcefully denounced and forbade
the worship of idols. He censured the custom of observance
of obsequies and described the worship of
gods as a fraud, termed the concept of Avtars as antinature,
condemned Tirath-bathing as a hoax, criticised
the religious garbs as dresses of deceit, delivered
people from the worship of men, animals, vegetations
and minerals. He pulled people out of the bog of
superstition, and decried the symbols of religious distinctions.
He drew the attention of the people to the
One Creator, who is Formless and Eternal. He
eulogized supreme glory of Truth.
In short he took people away from small, slimy,
stagnant and filthy fountains to the shores of the infinite
Ocean of Lord-devotion. Given below are some
Kabits of Guru Gobind Singh culled out of his
numerous verses epitomising the beauty of his gospel,
the depth of his Lord-devotion and the extent of richness
of his thought. It is hoped that the readers will
relish them:
50
Tav-Prasad(i) Kabit
Khak malhan gaj gad-ha bibhUtdhari,
Gidila masdn bas kario i karat haiti.
Ghughil mat basi lage dolat uddsi mrig,
Tarvar sadiv mon sadhe i marat haiti.
Bind ke sadhaya tahe hij ki ba{iaya det,
Bandra sadiv pae nage i phirat habi.
Ailgna adhin kam krodh mai prabin.
Ek gian ke bihin chhin kaise kai tarat haiti. (1/71)
Could the Lord be realized :
(a) by eating filth then the swine would,
(b) by smearing the body with dust then the ass and
the elephant would,
(c) by haunting the cremation grounds then the
jackal would,
(d) by living in a domed monastery then the owl
would,
(e) by wandering listlessly then the deer would,
(f) by standing still and silently then the tree would,
(g) by abstinence from sex then the eunuch would,
(h) by walking barefoot then the monkey would.
51
How can a frail being, who is swayed by comely
women, is preyed upon by wrath and lust and is bereft
of perception of the True One, cross beyond? (71)
Bluit bancluiri eMit ehhauna sabllai dLidluidhari,
PawL ke ahari su blwjatig janiat hain.
Tril) ke bhacllhaya dhan lobh ke tajaya teto,
Gallan ke jaya brikh-bhaya maniat haiiz.
Nabll ke lujaya tahe pO/ie/1M ke ba(laya det,
Baglllo birol brik d!lioni l!loniat !lain.
fete ba(le giani tino jani pai bakhani nohe,
Aise /10 prapO/icll man bhlll aniat hoi/i. (2/72)
The Lord cannot be realized by roaming like
ghosts, by subsisting on milk alone like kids and the
young ones of animals, by l\ving on air like serpents.
Those who feed on vegetation and have discarded all
attachment can be likened to the oxen. Those who fly
in the air (with the help of yogic power) emulate the
birds. Those who meditate can be cOILpared to cranes,
wolves and jungle cats. But they who have attained
enlightenment, keep mum and do not even dream of
enacting shows of deceit. (72)
BJuim ke basayo tohe bluicllri ke jaya kahaiil

(cont..)

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