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Celebrating warrior, philosopher and poet Guru

Celebrating warrior, philosopher and poet Guru
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Admiration for warrior-Guru Govind Singh among the Sikhs is second only to the founder of the religion Guru Nanak. Guru Govind Singh was the tenth and was one of the most celebrated gurus. He formalised faith and helped in forming the Khalsa sect. At a very young age of eleven, Guru Govind Singh succeeded his father Tegh Bahadur. He always carried his two swords, which are known as ‘Piri’ and ‘Miri’.

Both these swords denote Shakti and Bhakti. He helped in fighting against oppression of the Sikh by the Mughal rulers. Because of his huge contribution towards Sikhism, the Khalsa founder is considered as the eternal guru. Guru Govind Singh compiled the teachings of his predecessors in a sacred text – Guru Granth Sahib, which is followed by the Sikhs even today.

As far as Sikhs Nanakshahi calendar is concerned, every year, Guru Govind Jayanti falls on 7 January. Guru Govind Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the day Guru Govind Singh was ordained and it is also called as Gurgaddi Divas. Hundreds thousands of devotees and pilgrims throng Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara in Patna and Amritsar’s Golden Temple.

Guru Govind Singh was born as Govind Rai in Patna. His father Guru Tegh Bahadur, was the ninth Sikh Guru. His mother’s name was Mata Gujri.

He had studied Hindi and Sanskrit in Patna, while Punjabi under Sahib Chand and Persian under Qazi Pir Mohammad. He was married to Mata Sundari (also known as Mata Jito) and they had four sons Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Zorawar Singh, Jujhar Singh and Fateh Singh. Guru Tegh Bahadur had founded the city of Anandpur Sahib in 1665, on the land purchased from the ruler of Bilaspur (Kahlur). After his tour of eastern parts of India ended, he asked his family to come to Anandpur.

Govind Rai reached Anandpur (then known as Chakk Nanaki) on the foothills of the Sivalik Hills, in the month of March in year 1672. Guru Govind Jayanti is also celebrated on the lines of Guru Nanak jayanti by bursting crackers, lighting diyas and lamps in their houses and Gurudwaras by Sikhs. The Gurudwaras appear all lit up. On this day the Gurudwaras organize processions and special prayers. Prakash Utsav is another name for this festival.

The Gurudwaras prepare food for all the visitors, irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. Before
serving the food, all the Sikhs get together and recite the Guru Granth Sahib. Special gatherings for prayer are also held at the Gurudwaras.

During these processions, sweets and Sharbat, which is a sweetened drink, is distributed to the children and adults around the city and the locals. These large processions usually pass through the markets in India.

Guru Govind Singh, gave the Sikhs their very distinctive symbols – the uncut hair, the loin cloth, the comb, the iron bangle and the sword. After ceaseless battles local landlords allied themselves to the Mughal governor Wazir Khan, who himself requested assistance from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Mughals failed to win the war.

Aurangzeb’s successor Bahadur Shah I respected Guru Govind Singh and often used to go to his discourses and believed him to be a God send and ordered an investigation to the actions of Wazir Khan, and it was during this time period that Guru Govind Singh was nearly assassinated by a renegade loyalist of Wazir Khan.
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