Guru Gobind Singhji was not only a warrior, social reformer, lover of humanity, learning and a martyr, his literary contribution too is immense. He inherited the high level of literary skill from the previous Gurus and enriched it with his own compositions besides encouraging many poets and scholars to come forward with their compositions. He employed the literature to the service of the mankind and shaped the public psyche to enable them face the challenges for all times to come
Devender Singh Sawhney
Guru Gobind Singhji was a genius of the highest order, a Godman and a mystic, a fearless revolutionary warrior, a disciplined planner, a philosopher and champion of the downtrodden, a selfless nation builder.
He was the pioneering spiritual spirit of Guru Nanak Devji; the organising spirit of Guru Amar Dasji and Ram Dasji; the literary ability of Guru Arjan Devji; the military skill of Guru Hargobindji; and the sacrificing power spirit of his noble father Guru Tegh Bahadurji. It is extremely rare to find all the unique qualities of all nine gurus embodied in one person. He was a magnanimous soul. The laying of solid foundation of the Khalsa (the Pure Sant Sipahi) is a wonderful example of his most dynamic visionary spiritual social reformation, which transformed the very face of the society.
Guruji studied extensively many scriptures/Upanishads of ancient Bharat and got some of them translated into Brij and Punjabi languages. A few classics were also translated into the Gurmukhi. Proficient in Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit, he was a man of knowledge. According to Bhai Santokh Singh, the author of Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, the entire work was collected into a single anthology called Vidya Sar, meaning ocean of knowledge. Guruji daily recited Japji, Jaap Sahib, Swayyas, Chaupai and Rehras Sahib. He was an accomplished poet and patronised many other poets. He sent out Sikhs to different parts of Bharat to invite scholars of repute for discussions. He always treated them all with honour and dignity. Several poets like Pandit Sukhdev, Brind, Alim, Kunvaresh, Kanshi and Bhai Nandlal Goya, who had earlier been at the Mughal court, came to spend the rest of their lives at the feet of Guruji. Most of his compositions were written at Paonta Sahib. He had keen interest in organising many poetic symposiums and used to distribute awards to the best poets. The number of his court poets had been fixed at 52.
Selected Writings of Guru Gobind Singh
Jaap Sahib: With 200 stanzas it highlights the creator and destroyer forms of God. It was among the five Vanees recited at the time of formation of the Khalsa in 1699
The complete literary works of Guru Gobind Singhji are compiled in the Dasham Granth, which is all rhymed poetries. Although the manuscripts of Guruji writings were lost in the River Sirsa, but handwritten copies of all these important works were collected and compiled in the form of Dasham Granth. These were put together in the present form sometime after Guruji left his worldly form by Bhai Mani Singh and some other leading Sikh scholars, who were always present in the court of Guruji. The mission of Guruji’s life shines through his own composition Bachittar Natak.
Guru ji writes: Ham Ek Kaj Jagath Mo Aaye!! Dharam Heit Gurudeve Pathaye!! Jehaa Teihaa Thum Dharam Bichaaro!! Dusht Dho Kheeyan Pakar Pachhaaro!! (Bachittar Natak) Jabai Baan Laagyo!! Taabai Ros Jaagyo!!
When the arrow touched my body, the warrior spirit arose. (Bachittar Natak) was written to inspire a fearful and cowardly society to deeds of glory and a source of inspiration to rise and fight the tyrannical forces. In Jaap Sahib, Guruji writes: Ek Moorat Anek Darsan Keen Roop Anek!! In fact, of all the literatures written in the middle age the Jaap Sahib stands out unique to the humanitarian attributes of God. The Nirgun Almighty God has been
depicted in Jaap Sahib. It is without caste, creed, community, religion as ‘Fearless: The Destroyer of Evil’. At the same time care was taken that all moral values and norms of society are upheld while fighting evil. The Jaap Sahib has no equal.
In Akaal Ustat Guruji writes: Maanas kee Jaat Sabhai Ekai Pehachaanbo!! The whole world is one family—Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam. In Chandi Charitara Guruji writes most inspiring words to stand for justice against evil: Deh Shiva Bar Mohe Ihai!! Shubh Karman Tey Kabhoo Na Taron!! This Veer Raas prayer of Guruji to Almighty God Shiva was a clarion call to oneself and whole society to wake up and stand united against evils, injustice. The Chandi Charitars describe the
battles of Goddess Durga against many demons warlords. Chandi Di Vaar Guru Sikh Ardaas is taken from the first
pauree of Chandi Di Vaar. Pratham Bhagouti Simar Kai Guru Nanak Layeen Dhiaaye. This Baani is the most inspiring Punjabi literature ever written. The main purpose for writing about Chandi so many times by Guruji was to encourage and transform a positive change in the weak mindset of society towards Righteousness, inner strength against oppression and tyranny.
Gyan Prabodh: Raajan ke Raajaa, Mahaaraajan Ke Mahaaraajaa, Aeso Raj Chodd Dooja Kaun Dhiyaeeyai!! The praise and prayer of Omniscient and Omnipotent Almighty God, he who is Supreme. Chaubis Avatar: Dhan Jeeo The Ko Jag Meh, Mukh Te Har Chit Meh Judh Bichaarai! In this the stories of the 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva have been included. Of these, Krishna Avatar is the longest followed by Ram Avatar and then Nehkalki Avatar. Guruji fills the avatar tales with Bir Raas, the warrior spirit.
33 Savaiyee: Jaagat Jot Jappai Nis Baasur, Ek Binaa Man Naik Naa Aanai! Invoking the emotions of bairaag within the soul. That this material world will all perish and only Naam Simran will stay internally forever.
Khalsa Mahima: In Hee Kee Kirpa Ke Sajje Hum Hai, Nahee Moso Gareeb Karor Pare! Guruji also wrote: Shastra Naam Mala, which tells the importance of Shastar and considered as Peer. Charitro Pakhyaan contains 74 heroic tales of warrior women like Draupadi, Parvati, Tilotma and more. It begins by describing the extreme bravery and courage of Devi Bhagwati and
highlights her various deeds of glory. Guruji clearly lays down moral rules to be upheld equally by both men and women so that society is free from all sins. Shabad Hazaarey is composed in nine different ragas. In this, Guruji has given expression to his philosophical and spiritual beliefs.
Zafarnama is historic document sent by Guruji to Aurangzeb. Guruji voiced his protest and displeasure about the manner emperor’s generals had broken their pact. Guruji rebuked Aurangzeb for his wrongdoings. It was only a Great karmayogi like Guru Gobid Singh who could address this issue with such daring and valour. This letter had such a deep effect on tyrant Aurangzeb that he realised his mistakes and in remorse died soon after. Hidayatan are eleven pieces of advice, which are included in the Dasam Granth. These are written in Persian with each composition ends on a note of request asking for God’s blessings. There is No Ardas, No Khande De Paahul, No Khalsa without Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.
Haak Haakh Andhaesh Guru Gobind Singh! Baadhashaah Dharavaesh Guru Gobind Singh (Bhai Nand Lal Ji)
From the martyrdom of his beloved father Guru Tegh Bahadurji, his four sons and so many brave Sikhs in
battlefield to the blood soaked path of Machivara jungle, no grief, no hardship could waiver the resolve of Guruji. In every moment of his life, he kept his mission before him.
Guruji never taught the Khalsa Path hatred, radicalism, divisiveness, arrogance, egoist, selfishness and materialism. He was always ready to forgive. Daya Chhima Kar Preet. He showed the path of nationalism, unity, compassion, love for all, valour, equality, Samajik Samarasta, contentment, egoless
humble nature, selfless service to humankind, stand for truth, no false pride and devote inner energies towards spiritual enlightenment uplifitment from worldly materialist desires.
Is Khalsa moving on the path of these basic principles taught by Sri Guru Gobind Singhji today? A true Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singhji must work selflessly to remove evils of society, corruption, stand strong united against great dangers of terrorism and be a disciplined Saint soldier of Nation Building, welcoming one and all with open arms. This really will be a sincere tribute to Guruji on his 350th birth anniversary.
Guru Gobind Singhji was and will be known as the poet of poets, king of kings, warrior of warriors and saint of saints. He was an embodiment of all round perfection. A true lover of the country, an unrivalled martyr of Bharat, He will always be remembered as Bharat Ki Aan, Ban, Shan.