|Guru Hargobind Singh Ji|
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Sat Nam Readers!
Today I want to share what I’ve learned of our sixth Guru – Guru Hargobind Ji. Please forgive any mistakes that I make, as I’ve said before, I’m bound to make some and I ask your forgiveness.
Our sixth guru was born on July 5th, 1595 in Amritsar, Punjab in India. His father was Guru Arjan Dev Ji. He became Guru on May 25, 1606 on the shaheedi of his father. He was not yet eleven years old. He died peacefully at Kiratpur Rupnagar in the Punjab on March 19, 1644.
Unlike each of the other Gurus, Guru Hargobind Ji had three wives – Mata Nanaki, Mata Mahadevi and Mata Damodari. He had a total of six children – Baba Gurdita, Baba Suraj Mal, Baba Ani Rai, Baba Atal Rai, our ninth Guru – Guru Tegh Bahadur and Bibi Biro.
During the ascension ceremony, Guru Hargobind Ji donned two swords (previously a cord called a Seli had been used) ‘Miri Piri’ – one representing his spiritual authority (‘piri’) and the other his temporal authority (‘miri’). One sword would smite the oppressor and the other would protect the innocent. He began to arm and train the Sikhs, ultimately owning 700 horses and having an army of 300 horsemen, sixty gunners and 500 infantrymen. He encouraged the Sikhs to become physically fit and ready for combat. The days of Emperor Akbar were over and it was no longer possible to protect the Sikhs without being armed.
Emperor Jahangir did not tolerate the arming of the Sikhs. He was imprisoned at Gwalior prison as a political prisoner along with a number of princes. However, Jahangir soon realized that the imprisonment of the Guru was a reason that Jahangir’s popularity in India had dropped. What is more, the Sikhs would travel from all over to Gwalior to do katha outside of the walls of Gwalior, surrounding the prison regularly. It was a real possibility that there would be an uprising if our Guru was not released to return to his followers. Jahangir finally determined to release the Guru after two years.
The Guru told Jahangir that he would not leave unless the other political prisoners at Gwalior were also released. Jahangir said that the Guru could take as many as could hold onto his coat. So Guru Hargobind Ji had a coat specially made with 52 cords hanging off of it, freeing all 52 Hindu kings and princes who had been imprisoned with him.
Guru Hargobind Ji also built the Throne of God – the Akal Takht and the Fortress of Steel – Lohgarh at Amritsar. He founded the city of Kiratpur in the Jalandhar district of Punjab.
He was said to excel in matters of state. Though after the reign of Jahangir and during the reign of Shah Jahan, relations between the Mughals and the Sikhs became embittered once again. Guru Hargobind was a brilliant strategist, leading his army inn several battles.
Painde Khan was a childhood friend of Guru Hargobind Ji but in adulthood had become his enemy, over the theft of a white hawk by Painde Khan. Painde Khan was appointed to lead troops to attack the Guru. Painde Khan was given the first blow, and then the second, and finally Guru Hargobind Ji slew Painde Khan. The attack stopped and Khan dying on the ground, Guru Hargobind Ji ensured that Khan was able to have final prayers and a proper Muslim burial.
Guru Hargobind Ji was also the target of attempt to kill him by his uncle, Priti Mal, who was still put out that Guru Arjan Ji became Guru ahead of him.
Nearing his death, Guru Hargobind Ji named his grandson, Har Rai, to succeed him.
To learn more about Guru Hargobind Ji, I recommend the fantastic videos on the Basics of Sikhi YouTube Channel, also A History of the Sikhs by Khushwant Singh is very informative.
Until next time Readers! Sat Nam!