Sahib-E-Kamal Guru Gobind Singh

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During the late 1800's and the early part of 1900's, Daulat Rai, an Arya Samajist living in India, was so disturbed by the publication of books by some Hindu activists whose writings maligned the Sikh Gurus that he was forced to pick up the pen himself to author the book: "Sahib-e-Kamal (par excellence) Guru Gobind Singh".

In his book he reminded Punjabi and Hindus of the humiliation and degradation to which their ancestors were subjected under Mughal rule before the Khalsa liberated them. Quoting various historical sources, he wrote:

Not only did Mughal invaders kill Hindus by the thousands, looted their properties and carried away men and women as slaves in the thousands, but also under some Muslim rulers Hindus were not allowed even the comforts of life like -- good clothes, good food, ride horses, wear turbans or keep good homes or valuables or even beautiful children or wives. They were allowed to have minimum of possessions for their mere survival. Often they were given two alternatives: either conversion to Islam or pay Jizya (The jizya was a so called 'protection tax' (ed. often said to be 60%) inflicted upon non-believers).


Below is the introduction that he wrote to his book:

Introduction

It is important to describe the plight of the Hindus and the origin of the Sikh religion before moving on to the life of Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Nanak founded Sikhism in Babar’s time. "Hindu India" had then been under Muslim rule for nearly 350 years. Muslims and other invaders were tempted to invade India because of disunity among Hindus caused by political, religious and social consideration.

During the 1500's, the concept of nationalism was missing in India. Hindus were divided into numerous religious sects following diverse and sometimes diametrically opposite rites, rituals and beliefs. Their modes of worship were different and often they were at war with one another.

Staring with worship of gods and demigods, Hinduism had degenerated into animal worship. The social fabric was in shreds. The caste system had become air tight. The Brahmins in their hey-day had introduced it to keep themselves in power and plenty. Shudras, the lowest caste, were condemned to eternal slavery and damnation. The old Vedic religion in the hands of the Brahmins had become savage and cruel. Religion stands for peace (outward and inward), goodness and righteous living. However, the Hindus masses in the 1500's were deprived of such a faith system; they were without the the blessings of such a religion system.

History before the Mughals

Before the onslaught of Islam, Buddhism had once made great inroads into "Hindu India". It was under Buddhism that India reached into Afghanistan with Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire building shrines and monasteries and inscribed Buddhist teachings on rocks and pillars, as he sent missionaries to countries as remote as Greece and Egypt. His son, a monk, carried Buddhism to Sri Lanka, where it is still the major religion. Ashoka's monolithic stone pillars are among the masterpieces of Indian art. Tthe Sarnath Pillar, with its back-to-back lions, is now India's national emblem. The 24-spoked Ashoka-chakra, is the central symbol on the Indian national. Buddhism rejected the caste system and Hindu India's lower castes embraced it in great numbers and overnight they gained equality with the high castes. Buddhism gained eminence over Brahmanism till it was replaced by the armed might of the Rajputs (of Agni Dynasty) adding fire power to the intellectual gun of Shankaracharya and his followers.

The rise of the Brahmin again

These followers were mainly Brahmins and they exerted themselves extensively to restore the supremacy of the Brahmin and the Khatri castes and the restoration of the Hindu Murtis. As the Rajputs tightened the grip of the caste system that gave them the ruler's roost over the common-man keeping him ignorant and illiterate. However idol-worship, which had been introduced by Brahmins had its roots grown too deep to be uprooted. The philosophy of Shankaracharya that ‘all is God’ (Sabh Brahm he hai) failed to cut any ice against the caste-system and thus did not manage to bring Hindus into one fold. Shankaracharya was a follower of Shiva. His main disciple Ramanuja was a worshipper of Vishnu, who preached the worship of his god. He was instrumental in creating more off-shoots of Hinduism, such as Madhavi, Vishnu Swami, Vallabhachari, etc. Thus instead of integrating the Hindu religious system, had further ramifications that ended in making things worse for Hinduism.

People were attracted to these new fountains of clear reasoning but these new and often degenerate divisions left India weak and divided into inimical, political, social and religious camps. Upper caste Indians had become ease-loving pleasure seekers. Their physical well-being and gratification of their senses became the main aims of their daily existance. The devotees of Krishna were largely responsible for this moral degeneration. The Brahmins resumed the role of gurus for the common man; the common masses believed that the Brahmins would bring spiritual liberation to them; this was engrained in the psyche of the common man. Thus, this "gurudom" of the Brahmin became set, as it were, in stone.

The totally divided nation

Liberation as the destined end of human life.

In order to cheat the common man of his worldly goods and money, the Brahmin advocated that this world of phenomena with its worldly goods, was only Maya (illusion) and that the only true entity is Brahm. So the common man was taught that he should offer his worldly possessions to (Brahm). As possessions were 'untrue' and worthless; Brahm would, in return, look after their spiritual welfare.

The worshippers of Shakti had become cruel and unchaste moral lepers. The Shaivities had taken to drugs, opium, charas, ganja and spirits. Such was the sad plight of the Hindus. They were groping in the dark shrouded by superstition. And with each petty kingdom fighting against its neighbor and their Gods, India was no match for the fierce raiders of Islam, who first came to plunder the gathered wealth of countless centuries of the Hindu Mandirs, who held onto their age old love of looting, even as they were at least temporarily united in their worship of One common God.

The Hindus were stuck in the swamp of polytheism; at logger-heads with one another. The welfare of others was farthest from their minds. They were not united in anything.

The invaders take advantage

"Hindu India" looked like easy prey to the Mohammedans who hated its heat, but came for its wealth, over-running it at will. The Hindu elite made alliances with the Mughal conquerers, giving their daughters in marriage to their new rulers. The Mughals never returned this in kind. While Hindu Generals helped the Mughals conquer other Hindu kingdoms, the Mughals set about converting those of the lower castes over to Islam. If they refused to embrace Islam they robbed them of their wealth and women. Large number of the two lower castes embraced Islam either under duress or willingly to escape the stigma of untouchability and slavery. The high caste Hindus were not greatly perturbed but rather felt relieved that the rotten limbs of the body of Hinduism had fallen off. "Good riddance", they mused. These high caste but partially blind Hindus couldn’t envisage that this limb was going to be rejuvenated and often, return as their masters.

The neo-converts were more zealous than the invading Muslims and had no little hand in inflicting unspeakable horrors on their erstwhile masters and co-religionists. The idol-worship of Hindus invited the wrath of Muslims who considered it a holy duty to destroy the temples, along with the idols of the infidels and bring them under the banner of Islam. Their proselytism assumed gigantic and horrendous proportions.

Abuse of the Hindu population

The idols were broken, the costly gems embedded therein taken away. The Hindus women in their thousands were not only molested and taken into individual harems but were auctioned for the petty consideration of two dinars in the bazaars of Ghazni and other cities. Muslims and Hindus looked down upon each other. The tyranny of the victorious Muslims was boundless.

In all walks of life the Hindus were treated like dirt. They were butchered in thousands, their idols broken and set in the door-steps of mosques where Muslims placed their shoes before entering. They were asked to keep food-stuff, clothes and bare necessities of life needed for a period of six months only and hand over the rest to Muslims. The chronicle of Muslim rule, over the Hindu, is one full of death and decimation; of denigration of their gods, deflowering of their women and denial of all rights to them.

Hindus were forbidden to ride or even own a horse. A good house, a beautiful woman and handsome children wee taken at will. Hindus, save the loyal Rajputs, were not even allowed to wear turbans. The Muslim rulers exerted themselves assiduously to obliterate the word victory, its concept, its very thought from the Hindu psyche. Whenever a Hindu chess-player emerged triumphant over his Muslim adversary, he was ordered to embrace Islam or to be beheaded. If a Hindu wrestler defeated his Mohammedan opponent in the arena, he had to convert to Islam in order to save his skin. It was a devilish and sustained scheme to emasculate the Hindus. The good things of life were not for them. It was considered magnanimity on the part of their victorious rulers to let them breathe and lead a life at sub-human level.

The Rajputs were once considered the finest flower of Hindu chivalry. Their pride, glory and manhood were ground to such fine dust that they vied with each other to offer their daughters in marriage to the Muslim prices and nobles. Thus the Hindu nation had touched the lowest point. Any Hindu who looked askance at them was treated with scorn by the Rajputs. They had to pay jazia (tax) for remaining Hindus, and those who could not afford to pay, had to become Muslims. Hindus to have doors that faced towards the west, as this would desecrate the Kaaba.

Guru Nanak, injects moral values into society

Those Brahmins who embraced Islam were flatteringly called sayyads. The raft of Hinduism was about to be sunk when it was steered clear of the dangerous shallows of sloth, superstition and ritualism and utter despondency by an able seaman no less than Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

He preached the oneness of man and the oneness of God and denounced the caste system and its off-shoots untouchability, idol worship and cankerous ritualism. He preached that Akal (God) is above birth and death. With disarming sweetness he used honeyed words which had the cutting edge of highly honed steel. The Brahmins felt the steel in his words but were powerless to fulminate against him. Guru Nanak pacified to some extent the hostilities between the Muslims and the Hindus.

The Hindus had lost their country and were on the verge of losing their identity and faith. They had got some respite in the reign of Akbar but during Jahangir's and Aurangzeb’s dictatorships, cruelty and tyranny, bigotry and intolerance, and proselytism reached its pinnacle. The earlier Muslim rulers were prompted by holy considerations in all their acts of cruelty and conversation.

Pinnacle of cruelty: Aurangzeb

But Aurangzeb earnestly endeavoured to obliterate the last traces of Hinduism from Indian soil. As he had dealt fiendishly with his own brothers on his way to the throne, his showing of extreme cruelty to Hindus, the infidels, is quite understandable. Thereby he wanted to absolve himself of the sin of fratricide and inhuman treatment of his father Shah Jahan.

The time had come for the annihilation of the Hindus, Aurangzeb celebrated his victories by weighing heaps of the sacred threads (called janun) of the Hindus, killed in the battle. The heavier the weight, the greater the victory. All great Hindu kingdoms had vanished from the Indian scene. The days of the Lunar Dynasty were over; the Yadav kings were a thing of the past. The scions of remnants of the Solar Dynasty like the King of Mewar were hiding in the fastnesses of jungles and hill nooks. The proud Rajputs of the Agni Dynasty were busy offering their winsome daughters to the Muslim rulers. The pride of the Hindus was trampled upon and they lay inert under the Muslim heel.

Saviour of the drowning nation

The raft of Hindus Dharma was about to founder. It was rudderless, without a helmsman, far away from the shores with no hope ever of making it. In this predicament, piercing the mists of despondency there emerged a figure of hope. This personage took the boat out of the ravaging tempest and steered it to the haven of the shore. He was like beneficial rain for the withered and drooping garden of the Hindus Dharma. Like a true friend he alleviated the sufferings of the Hindus. Who was he?

No other than Guru Gobind Singh, known the world over. The sapling which was planted by Guru Nanak, nurtured by the following Gurus; was watered by the blood of Guru Arjan; further support by Guru Hargobind, Guru Har Rai and Guru Harkrishan. Guru Tegh Bahadur quickened its growth by injecting into its veins the vital fluid flowing out of his beheaded body. Guru Gobind Singh helped it mature into a full-fledged tree with the blood of his five beloved disciples, four sons and thousands of his followers. At last this tree bore fruit. Its fruit was nationalism, brotherhood, love and monotheism.

I am endeavouring to portray in the following pages the life of such a fine religious preceptor, great benefactor, peerless fighter, patriot and nation builder for the perusal of the readers. If it finds favour I shall be immensely beholden to them.

25th January, 1901. - Daulat Rai

  • The text of the book is to follow or you can read it NOW: here (pdf format)

External links


Guru Gobind Singh Sakhis

Sakhis of Guru Gobind Singh
Battle of Anandpur Sahib Bhai Sajja Do Not Smoke Guru Gobind Singh and Ghanaya
Guru Gobind Singh Gallery Two Pots Sau Sakhi Guru Gobind Singh and Tobacco
Guru Gobind Singh's arrows Hermit of Kaalsi The Blue Horse Guru Gobind Singh and The Donkey
Chronology of Guru Gobind Singh's life Compilation of Dasam Granth Dasam Bani in Sikh History Death of Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh Guru Gobind Singh and Hari Chand Guru Gobind Singh marg Freedom of India
Martyrdom of Sons Mata Sunder Kaur Nanded 1708 Peer Buddhu Shah
Sahib-e-kamal Guru Gobind Singh Sahibzada Ajit Singh Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Sarbloh Granth
Sau Sakhi Second battle of Chamkaur Sahib Ses dheea par sirar n dheea SIPANJI
Pir Bhikan Shah and the Two Pots of Sweets Some shave their head Sahibzada Zorawar Singh

Guru Gobind Singh

Sikh History