Q86. What do you know of Guru Gobind Singh?
Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) was installed as the Tenth Guru at the age of nine, soon after the martyrdom of his father. He knew that difficult times were ahead, particularly struggle against the Mughal imperialism. He, therefore, made preparations to meet the Mughal challenge, by training his disciples in the art of warfare.
Guru Gobind Singh has four-fold achievements in his credit: (a) the crushing blow dealt to the Mughal power, (b) the creation of Khalsa Panth, (c) the production of creative and martial literature, (d) the installation of the Adi Granth as the Guru Granth Sahib and the perpetual Guru for the Sikhs.
Guru Gobind Singh was a true patriot. He upheld the dignity of man and opposed the tryanny and fanaticism of Aurangzeb. Emperor Aurangzeb made no secret of spreading Islam by force. Guru Gobind Singh with his warriors had to fight on two fronts-against the hill Rajahs and the Mughal army. His victories in the battle of Bhangani(1687) and Nadaun(1689) undermined both the powers of the hill Rajahs and the Mughals. He sacrificed his four sons, wife and mother for the sake of upholding the cause of justice and freedom. Guru Gobind Singh exposed the evil deeds of the emperor in a poetic letter to Aurangzeb, entitled Zafarnama.
The Guru was a literary giant and a patron of poets. The bards of his court composed epics and martial verses, to inspire the Sikhs to acts of glory and valour.
Guru Gobind Singh abolished the order of massands-missionaries because of their misdeeds. He further ordered the end of personal Gurudom, and declared Sri Guru Granth Sahib as an eternal Guru.
The creation of the Khalsa Panth in 1699 was another feat of genius. He conceived the idea of raising an army from men belonging to the lower castes and regarded as weak and depressed. He in turn also had his disciples administer Amrit to him. Guru Gobind Singh died from a mortal wound inflicted by two Pathans in 1708. Later Gurdwara Abchal Nagar, was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Nanded on the spot where the Guru departed his mortal life.