Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

British Soldier Meets Guru Gobind Singh Ji and How He Became a Sikh

In 1964, when some of the weapons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji were brought back from England, an Englishman, in complete Sikh form, accompanied them. Out of curiousity, someone asked the Englishman what inspired him to adopt the Sikh form. Was it due to respect for the weapons or was there some other reason? The explanation given by him at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi is something that should be of interest to all readers.

"My name was A. David. I happened to be commanding a Sikh Regiment during World War II. My Regiment suffered very heavy losses fighting the Germans. Most of the Sikh jawaans (soldiers) of my Battalion were killed. Only a few survived and we were all surrounded by the Germans. As there were very remote chances of our survival, I called the Subedaar major of the Battalion and informed him about our precarious situation. Death was facing us and there was no chance of survival. I suggested to him that the jawans should individually attempt to escape from the enemy encirclement and save their lives.

The Subedaar Major replied, "We cannot bring ignominy to the Sikh Regiment by running away from the battlefield." However, he suggested that they should perform an Akhand-Paath ceremony and take action as per the Divine Hukam (Holy Command). Accordingly, necessary security arrangements were made and the Akhand-Paath ceremony was completed without interruption. After the supplicatory prayer (Ardaas), the Divine Hukam from the Holy Scripture was explained to me by the Subedaar Major and the religious teacher (Granthi).

The Guru's instruction as per the Divine Hukam was that we should not abandon the battlefield; victory will be ours. Then I conveyed to them the miracle that I had witnessed during the supplicatory prayer. While standing with my eyes closed during the Ardaas, a fully armed Sikh on horseback with a unique grandeur appeared in front of me and ordered "Follow me." I pointed out the direction in which the fully armed Sikh went after giving the order and asked them about the identity of the warrior. The Subedaar Major said that from the description I had given, he seemed to be none other than Sri Guru Gobind Singh himself!

So, we got ready and launched an attack in the direction pointed out by the Guru. After a short while, we were able to break through the German encirclement and save ourselves. We then got in touch with the Brigade Commander on wireless and requested for additional help.

After the war, I reflected upon the incident and the divine personality who had saved our lives from the impregnable enemy encirclement in a desperate situation by ordering me to follow him. I made up my mind to follow him for the rest of my life. I resigned from the Army and along with my daughter, embraced Sikh Dharam with the initiation ceremony of the Khalsa. Now my name is Devinder Singh and my daughter's name is Surjit Kaur. This is due to the blessings of Guru Gobind Singh that he made us his disciples."

Acknowledgement: http://tuhitu.blogspot.com/

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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