Sardar Gurcharan Singh Gill
The great men are enshrined complete with all the virtues, but some facets of their personality come before the people as per the need of the hour or place. To confine the personality of a great man to particular form is, however, not appropriate, but discussing different facets of the personality for the guidance of worldly people seems to be relevant and contemporary.
Guru Gobind Singhji was a skilled horse rider, archer, sword-bearer and expert in all types of wars. This was
evident from the very first war fought at Bhangani. When the kings of 22 Dhar unsuccessfully attacked, the most accomplished of their warriors, King Harichand, was called who killed many a braves. Guru Gobind Singhji described it in the stanza 12 onwards of the 8th Chapter in Vichitra Natak. At that time, Guruji challenged Harichand and said, “Attack me first; I am in front of you”. Then Harichand got furious and released the first arrow, which hit Guruji's horse. He released another arrow that passed from near the ear and the third arrow penetrated in the body. Guruji writes in 31st chhand of the 8th Chapter in Vichitra Natak: “The arrows that hit me because of Harichand’s attack forced me to reply befittingly”. When Guruji stretched the bow and released the arrow, it hit Harichand and his horse life abandoned him (Shloka 31 & 33). Guruji has praised King Harichand's prowess in the war with his own pen in Vichitra Natak. Another thing was that he offered first chance to the enemy. This is seen very rarely in the lives of remarkable warriors.
Another occasion arose when Saindkhan swore in Aurangzeb’s Court that he would present Guru Gobind Singh dead or alive in the Court. Even before the war started, Guruji rode a horse to reach to his camp and said, “Why kill innocent people? You may attack me if you have vowed so”. Saindkhan picked up the arrow, but put it down after seeing Guruji's face. Such a daring act is seen quite rarely in the history. Guruji was not only skilled in the warfare, but he was also a
distinguished strategist. He designed Shri Anandpur Sahib Fort in such a fashion and deployed his soldiers in such a way that the armies of Lahore, Sarhind provinces and 22 Dhar States could not took over Shri Anandpur Sahib even after a struggle of eight months, and pressed on Guruji to leave Anandpur Sahib. Guruji was not ready to trust them, but he left Shri Anandpur Sahib on the insistence of Mata Gujariji. Its tragic fallout was the tragedy on Sirsa River in the form of martyr Chhote Sahibzade and Bade Sahibzade. He fought against the
10-lakh strong army with just 40 Sikhs and 2 Princes in fortress at Chamkaur. The Mogul army could not conquer Chamkaur and Guruji left the fortress at Chamkaur safely by Panj Pyare’s order. This was also a unique example of his amazing war strategy.
Like Sketch in Brief
The Brahma Seer Acts
Shri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj was a steadfast sadhak. He would rise in the wee hours of morning and would bathe and indulge in ritual penance. He has described various forms of God in Shri Jaap Sahib and removed many
misconceptions about the God. He describes in Chaupai Sahab: According to one’s own intellect, one describes You differently; The limits of Your creation cannot be known and how the world was fashioned in the beginning because how a child may describe the birth of his father.
He has written about God in the beginning of Shri Jaap Sahib that the God has no chakra, no sign, no race or no caste. He has no form or colour, he has no attire. The God is a perpetual idol and He can be known only through the experience and He is great.
God is without any mark, quoit, colour, caste or creed.
No one can give any explanation of His form, dress, outline and complexion. God’s form is stable, He is self-
illuminated, with immeasurable power.
Defining the relation between the life and soul through various examples, he said as different streams of water get divided in many and then they merge into one stream again, the life is detached from the God in the same form and is merged in the God again.
People had confined the Supreme God to the gods and goddesses, sun, moon and wind. However, the way Shri Guru Gobind Singhji expressed the pure form of Supreme God is the summary of the Vedanta and is the highest
philosophy of the Brahma knowledge.
Guru Gobind Singhji thought that if the land of Bharat is to be freed from the sins and if the aggressors were to be confronted, it could not be done only through a handful of Kshatriyas. Awakening and joining the entire society was necessary. He infused the sense in the society that everyone had the responsibility of protecting the nation and faith. This is why members of Panj Pyare came from even those castes, which were known for service, trade and labour. He ignited self-respect among those Panj Pyares and later thousands of Gursikhs, who tasted the amrit. He offered leadership of the society to the Panj Pyare and thus re-inforced the democratic organisational tradition. Thousands of people got prepared to fight unto death because of his skilled leadership and affectionate treatment to the Gursikhs. He started adding Singh (lion) to the names, which was forbidden for anyone else except Rajputs at that time, to allay the cowardice in the
society. He even named his sons Ajit Singh, Jorawar Singh, Juzar Singh and Fateh Singh, because those were the name providing inner strength and confidence to the society.
Guruji presented the ancient and historic characters and stories in new forms to awaken and strengthen the society. He created a character named Khadag Singh, an icon of strength, in Sri Krishna’s life story. He also created many Muslim characters as well because he knew that Sikhs were to confront them. He emphasised most on the sword, which was an icon of strength, during his sermons. All this was to infuse inner strength in the society. That the Gursikhs shaped by him fought single-handedly with thousands serves to prove this.
Guruji believed that to know how to die was necessary for living graciously. Thus, he emerges as an amazing
organiser in the history who formed the Khalsa taking along the so-called Dalits and downtrodden, that shut the paths of the foreign aggressors forever. Another feature of his organisation was that he created stability of character among the Gursikhs. This is referred to in the later history as well. Quazi Noor Mohammad came with Ahmedshah Abdali as a poet to encourage his force. He has dedicated a poem to the Sikhs in his book Jungnama. He writes: “O my brave soldiers, don’t call them sag (dogs). They are lions who fight like lions on the battleground. During my travel, I have never seen any Sikh raising a weapon on unarmed, old and poor person. Not only this, they never used weapon to rob wealth or honour of a woman.” This was a trait given by Shri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj. One amazing feature of his organisation was that he credited his victories to Gursikhs.
Guru Gobind Singhji fought many battles and lost all his four sons and mother in the war. However, he rose above these sorrows like a saint. Even when he wrote a letter (Jafarnama) to Aurangzeb, his words did not carry anger or hatred, but had a high serenity like a saint. He advised Aurangzeb as a preacher. The first 12 chhands of the Jafarnama praise the Supreme God. The description of those heavenly forms of the Supreme God is unique. He wrote that you and I both believe in God, but your and mine beliefs are different. You say that Supreme God knows the apparent and hidden facts of the world, but you cheat, deceive and con the world. You are not ready to shed treachery, cunningness and badness to prove your point. He wrote further that he was sending the letter to remind him of the false vows so that he could read them and check how truthful he was. It was possible only for a high saint to make Aurangzeb, who had murdered Guruji’s entire lineage and killed thousands of his dear Sikhs, realise his sins like a preacher, in an extremely normal manner.
Amazing Poet and Linguist
Guru Gobind Singhji composed many poetic works like 24 Avatar, Chandi Charitra, Krishnavatar, Ramavatar, etc. Experts says he used 72 metres in his works. Many metres were used in Shri Jaap Sahib such as Chhape Chhand, Chacchari Chhand, Bhuvang Chhand, etc. Languages like Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Brij and Pali, etc have been used in an ornamental fashion in Shri Jaap Sahib. His words are just an expression of his poetic heart.
(The writer is national president of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat)