Guru Gobind Singh ji and Naina Devi Yagna ?
After the battle of Bhangani where Guru Ji defeated the forces of the hill rajas under the command of Raja Bhim Chand, Guru ji returned to Anandpur Sahib. Due to the threat of the hill chieftains martial preparations began in earnest – recruitment and training of Sikh solders, building of forts, collection of arms and materials.
Some devious brahmins thought of blackmailing Guru Ji by suggesting that he should go for worship of the goddess Durga in order to invoke her blessings for future battles. After hearing them patiently, Guru Ji told them that he relied for his protection only on Akal Purkh, the Great Time spirit and Primeval Energy which he also called ‘Maha Kal’, ‘Pritham Bhagauti’ and ‘Kalka-Chandika’ in his writings, but very much in line with Guru Nanak Dev ji’s method of exposing myths, rituals and hypocrisy, the Guru allowed the Pandits to conduct a ceremony on the near by hill top of Naina Devi and said if they could produce that Primeval Energy in any other visible form, then he would consider their request. Guru Ji offered to provide them with the necessary materials and also pay them the money, for which they were actually making the proposal. Their leader, Kashav Das, promised that he would reveal the goddess by reciting the ‘Chandi mantra’ one lakh times. It is recorded that Pandit Kashev Das experimented with the sacrificial fire for many days/weeks on top of the Naina Devi hill near Anandpur Sahib. Guru Ji would occasionally climb the hill to watch what was going on.
One day Guru Ji went to see the Pandit and asked him why the goddess had not appeared. Pandit Kashav replied that the time was fast approaching but what was needed was a celebatarian of high caste to be offered as a sacrifice. Guru Ji was amused by this request and promptly told the Pandit that since he had observed celibacy during this period there would be no better person then him for the sacrifice. Sensing danger he had unwittingly invited, he made his escape in the early hours of the morning. Guru Ji anticipated the result of Kashev Das’ experiment, he thought it futile to be associated with it any longer and dumped the remaining material into the fire and hastened down the hill with a glistening sword in hand and resplendent glory on his face. When in the early hours of the morning the people saw the flames going up in the sky some thought that the goddess had appeared. At this point Guru ji came forward drawing his sword which flashed in the light of the roaring flames and declared: ‘This is the real Durga, the destroyer of evil! This is the true Goddess of power today which will raise the suffering humanity from its degrading condition.’ He also called it by another name BHAGAUTI.
Guru Ji associated himself with the ceremony only for the sake of exposing the brahminical faith is such ceremonies and confirming the conviction of the Sikhs to worship the one Timeless Lord .