Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh or Gobind Rai was the tenth Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher

Updated: June 16, 2022

Guru Gobind Singh or Gobind Rai was the tenth Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at age nine, becoming the tenth Sikh Guru.
Founding the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa in 1699 and introducing the Five Ks, the five articles of faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear at all times was among his notable contributions to Sikhism. He was born on December 22nd, 1666 and died on October 7th, 1708. He dictated the Guru Granth Sahib to Bhai Mani Singh and at the time of his death, passed the mantle of the Guruship to the holy text .


Childhood of Guru Gobind Singh:

Guru Gobind Singh was born on 22 December 1666 in Patna, India, to Guru Tegh Bahadur and his wife Gujri. Named Gobind Rai at birth, he was the couple's only child. His father was the 9th Guru of Sikhs and was on a preaching tour in Assam at the time of Gobind Rai's birth. His father toured frequently so he left his family under the protection of the local Raja. In 1670, Tegh Bahadur went to Chak Nanki (Anandpur) and called for his family to join him.


Education of Guru Gobind Singh:

In 1671, Gobind Rai journeyed with his family through Danapur and started receiving his basic education on the journey itself. He learnt Persian, Sanskrit and martial skills. He and his mother finally joined his father in Anandpur in 1672 where his education continued.


Family of Guru Gobind Singh:

Guru Gobind Singh had three wives. At age 10, he married Mata Jito on 21st June 1677 at Basantga?h, 10 km north of Anandpur. The couple had three sons: Jujhar Singh (b. 1691), Zorawar Singh (b. 1696) and Fateh Singh (b. 1699).


At age 17, he married Mata Sundari on 4th April 1684 at Anandpur. The couple had one son, Ajit Singh (b. 1687).


At age 33, he married Mata Sahib Devan on 15th April 1700 at Anandpur. They had no children, but she had an influential role in Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh proclaimed her as the 'Mother of the Khalsa'.


Some facts about Guru Gobind Singh:

  • Gobind Rai was formally made the Guru on the Baisakhi day (the annual harvesting festival) in 1676.
  • He focused on creating a strong army of dedicated warriors who would happily sacrifice their lives while fighting for the noble cause of protecting the dignity of all humanity.
  • He requested all the followers of Sikhism to congregate at Anandpur on 13 April 1699, the day of Baisakhi. At the congregation, he made 'Amrit' or 'nectar' which was a mixture of water and Patashas (Punjabi sweeteners).
  • When he asked for volunteers who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the Guru, five men volunteered. Then he administered the 'Amrit' to these five men and designated them collectively as the Khalsa, the body of baptized Sikhs, and gave them the last name 'Singh'. He also took the Amrit himself and became a baptized Sikh, adopting the name 'Gobind Singh'. Several other men and women were also initiated into Sikhism.
  • Guru Gobind Singh then established the Five Ks, the five Articles of Faith that identify baptized Khalsa Sikhs. These five symbols were Kesh: uncut hair, Kangha: a wooden comb, Kara: a metal bracelet, Kachera: a specific style of cotton undergarments, and Kirpan: a strapped curved sword.
  • Guru Gobind Singh and his Sikh warriors fought a series of major battles against the Mughal forces after the founding of the Khalsa order. The Battle of Bhangani, Battle of Nadaun, Battle of Guler, Battle of Nirmohgarh, Battle of Basoli, Battle of Anandpur, and Battle of Muktsar were among the battles he fought.
  • Many brave Sikh soldiers, including the Guru's two eldest sons lost their lives in the battles. His younger sons were captured by the Mughal forces and forced to convert to Islam. The young boys refused and were bricked alive inside a wall and killed. Guru Gobind Singh continued fighting bravely in spite of the tragic loss of his sons.
  • He completed the composition of the Guru Granth Sahib, which is a collection of hymns (Shabad) or Baani describing the qualities of God. The Granth contains the teachings of the ten Sikh Gurus and is regarded the holy scripture of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh affirmed the sacred text as his successor and passed on the spiritual leadership to the holy text.
  • He died on 7th October 1708 at Nanded.



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