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Gur Panth Parkash

Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh

 

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Divine Mandate and Guru Gobind Singh’s Mission – Sainapati’s Perception and Narration in Sri Gursobha

Prof Kulwant Singh

The poet Sainapati in his poetic epic Sri Gursobha (1711) pays a rich tribute to Guru Gobind Singh for his charismatic personality, his physical and moral courage, his divine dispensation, his mission of eliminating evil doers, oppressors, exploiters and tyrants, his steadfast vision of laying the foundations of a just social order based on righteousness, justice and equality, his founding of a new religion and creation of the Khalsa, his upholding of human rights and defence of the defenseless and his complete commitment and sacrifice to bring about a just political and social order.  Making a selective use of the incidents and anecdotes from the very short span of Guru Gobind Singh’s life, Sainapati portrays Guru Gobind Singh as a divine messenger who succeeded in his assigned task of creating a new class of men who would not only take a vow to dismantle the existing caste-ridden bigoted, intolerant and exploitative politico-social structure but also as one who emerged as a paragon of virtue, sacrifice and selfless service.  Being the last living human successor to the nine Sikh Gurus, whose credo has been establishment of a just social order based on justice, truth and equality, Guru Gobind Singh fired the imagination of the slavish, suppressed and disadvantaged people of Punjab and India to take upon their oppressors and exploiters. With his charismatic personality and soul endowed with the Divine mandate to punish the evil doers and uphold the human rights of the downtrodden and the exploited, he founded an ideological order consisting of a mass of people who were ever ready to lay down their lives  for a just and honourable cause and wage a relentless war against the bigoted tyrannical Mughals and their collaborators, the local feudal chiefs. As a result of this crusade, not only the infrastructure of tyranny and exploitation started crumbling and developing cracks within a short span of less than half a century, but a completely new order of men based on a distinct religious ideology, code of conduct and dress with a new nomenclature of Khalsa emerged on the northern horizon of India. Based on principles of castelessness, equal human rights, dignity, moral uprighteness and sacrifice, it was able to take up cudgels against the mightiest and the most formidable oppressors. Being fearless, imbued with the spirit of sacrifice and inspired by the sacrifices of their mentor and his whole family, the Khalsa could face the most formidable challenges, and developed an instinct for survival even under the most hostile conditions and inhuman atrocities.  It is this kind of indomitable spirit and profile of Guru Gobind Singh and the Khalsa which Sainapati applauds and glorifies in Sri Gurshobha. Endorsing this sort of mission of Guru Gobind Singh and his creation of the Khalsa in the Sri Gursobha, Dr. J. S. Grewal writes:

“Amidst frank admiration of all that was said or done by Guru Gobind Singh, Sainapati’s preference for the creation of the Khalsa as the epitome of Sikhism and the raison d’etre of Guru Gobind Singh’s life comes into high relief.  He accepts the account of the Guru’s mission given in the Bachittar Natak.  Though in line with the true Guru of the pure Panth, Guru Gobind Singh was sent by God to fulfil a specific divine purpose: to enable mankind to worship the true Lord, and to remove all obstacles from the path of this pursuit.  To defend the claims of conscience against external interference, the purified Sikh followers of Guru Gobind Singh – the Khalsa – were to side with Good against evil. As the vanguard of righteousness, they were secure in their eternal foundation in the image of the Guru himself, they were not to remain concealed or to suffer decrease, they were to be ever on the increase.  This was how, according to Sainapati, the mission was conceived by Guru Gobind Singh.”1

Making discrete and selective choice of events from the life of Guru Gobind Singh, Sainapati succeeds in building up the profile of a personage whose image will remain perpetually etched in the collective consciousness of a community, an ideological order of men “The Khalsa” which he had founded.  The final image that emerges in the minds of the readers is one of a prophet divinely inspired and initiated, an ideologue, a founder of a religious order and an immortal icon.

This venerated image of Guru Gobind Singh gets illustrated and qualified from the causes and consequences of each battle that the Guru had to fight against the local hill chiefs or the Mughals or their combined forces.  Sainapati lays down contours of the mandate and mission of Guru Gobind’s life and career in the very first chapter of “Gursobha” in the 17th Couplet:

As destroyer of the evil doers and defender of the saintly,
He emerged as the emancipator of the whole humanity,
As all the gods hailed him as saviour profusely,
They came to seek his benevolent protection.2

It was with this mandate and mission that Guru Gobind Singh had taken a human birth and founded an ideological order of the Khalsa which would accomplish this mission. In will neither remain inconspiciuos nor could be decimated or wished away.  It would multiply and declare an open war against the wrong doers.  The manifesto for founding such an order is further supplemented and presented in the couplets 33 to 35 of this chapter:

Brave Singh warriors jumped into the battle,
And they accomplished the assigned task,
A permanent foundation did they laydown
Which could not be dismantled at any cost.||33||

Let this fact be known to everyone,
Let this truth be embedded in every heart
Such a unique faith (religion) has been created,
As has been ordained by Divine Lord himself.||34||

Neither could it be eclipsed at all,
Nor could it be diminished at any cost.
Forever would it increase and multiply,
Let it be taken as its declaration.||35||3

During the pre and post Khalsa creation period, Guru Gobind Singh had fought as many as 20 battles against the Mughals and hill chiefs.  Irrespective of the victory or defeat in each battle, the image of Guru Gobind Singh that emerges is one of a principled warrior and commander of men, a fearless fighter with nerves of steel, a committed upholder of moral values and inalienable human rights, capable of making extreme sacrifices, a magnanimous forgiver of friends and foes alike, a man of stoic patience in the face of extreme adversity, loss and defeat and a person resigned to the divine will of God. Choosing a fair sample of representative battles, Sainapati has taken a lot of pains to build up such a profile and portrait of Guru Gobind Singh and written an inspiring paean highlighting these qualities.  He builds this profile step by step.  In the very first battle of Bhangani, (1688) (Chapter II) which had been thrust upon the Guru by the narrow-minded, jealous hill chiefs, Guru Gobind Singh’s bravery, warriorship and steely determination comes out clearly. Despite being scantily equipped, Guru’s warriors, inspired by the indomitable spirit of their leader, routed the professional and combined army of the several hill chiefs. It was a fight between motiveless, unprincipled, unorganized and uncoordinated feudal groups on the one hand and a highly motivated class of men steeped in supreme moral scruples and selfless sacrificing led by their ideal commander from the front.  This battle of Bhangani and Guru’s victory in it was a precursor of things to come.  Not only were several hill chiefs killed in this battle, but a lot of war booty fell into the hands of Guru’s warriors.  Sainapati pays a glorious tribute to Guru Gobind Singh for being victorious in this battle:
      
As there were great invincible warriors among the rivals,
       All of them were defeated with Divine Guru’s grace.
       As the sound of victory echoed through the three worlds and fourteen continents,
       Guru Gobind Singh returned after winning the battle (of Bhangani).4

Guru Gobind Singh’s inherited ideology, which he had inherited from his father, of neither frightening anyone nor getting frightened by anybody was upheld and vindicated by Gurus’ victory in this battle. Guru’s warriors who consisted of people from all the castes had vanquished the army consisting of so-called martial races.  It was the inspiring leadership of Guru Gobind Singh which had motivated these people to fight a battle with a spirit of sacrifice to the cause of truth and uprightness.

The battle of Nadaun fought on March 20, 1691 at Nadaun (Chapter III) further brings out the catholicity of vision of Guru Gobind Singh and his opposition against tyranny, oppression, and exploitation by the Mughals even when it was directed against Gurus’ own enemies.  Aurangzeb, the then Mughal ruler had demanded tributes from the hill chiefs and instructed the governor of Lahore to accomplish this task.  He, in turn, deputed Mian Khan to comply with the emperor’s royal mandate who, in turn, deputed his deputy Alf Khan to accomplish this task.

Acceding to Bhim Chand’s request Guru Gobind Singh fought against the Mughals with his dedicated band of devout warriors and won the battle of Nadaun.  Thus, Sainapati brings out Guru Gobind Singh’s valour and commitment to resist oppression and exploitation even if it is directed against his own adversaries, the wily hilly chiefs. Great men are magnanimous even towards those who have wronged them at some stage. Personages such as Guru Gobind Singh are made of stuff of which legends are made.  The next battle with Khanzada and Hussaini (Hussain Khan) (Chapter IV) fought on March 20, 1695, Fagan 23, 1752 B.S. further brings out the greater glory and reputation of Guru Gobind Singh as a valiant warrior.  A very brief description of this battle has been given by Sainapati.  Dilawar Khan, an army commander of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had sent his son Rustam Khan (Khanzada) with a force of five thousand soldiers against Guru Gobind Singh. With a plan to launch an attack at Anandpur Sahib, Khanzada positioned his troops on this side of the rivulet Sirsa. But Guru Gobind Singh’s warriors, being informed by a devout Sikh about the Mughal troops deployment, started beating war drums immediately even before the Mughal Army could launch an attack.  This beating of drums unnerved the enemy so much that they retreated hastily without launching any attack at night. After Khanzada’s retreat, another subordinate of Dilawar Khan named Hussaini (Hussain Khan) advanced to lead an attack with a lot of fanfare. But he was killed on the plains of Guler before reaching Anandpur Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh’s devout warrior Sangati Singh along with seven other warriors were martyred in this battle. But victory belonged to the Guru.

This battle further demonstrates the excellence of Guru Gobind Singh’s warriorship and the sense of fear and terror that he had struck in the hearts and minds of professional Mughal warriors.  The voluntary information rendered by a devout Sikh about the Mughal troop deployment speaks volumes for the appeal of Guru Gobind Singh among the masses.

After winning these initial battles and raising a band of dedicated warriors, Guru Gobind Singh now launched on the most important phase of his career. It is in this phase that the image of Guru Gobind Singh as a visionary, an ideologue and a creator of a new ideological order with far-reaching historical consequences emerges.  It was the phase when Guru Gobind Singh dispensed with the institution of the Masands, initiated and created the Khalsa as a substitute to the decadent Masands and laid down a code of conduct for the new order. Creation of the Khalsa was the greatest contribution of Guru Gobind Singh which changed the course of History of India by dismantling the mighty Mughal empire in India.  It was the Khalsa and the sacrifices of its mighty warriors which not only shook the foundations of the well-entrenched mighty Mughal empire but also put a stop forever to the invasions by the foreign Afghan invaders to India from the north. It was this inculcation of the spirit of defiance, fight and sacrifice against all kinds of oppression, tyranny and exploitation which Guru Gobind Singh had enthused in those who volunteered to join the Khalsa order. The word “Khalsa” besides connoting the pure and the pious also means the one which belongs directly to the Guru.  In the contemporary land ownership terminology and contemporary revenue records, the land which belonged directly to the king and proceeds from which were deposited directly into the State treasury without the mediation of any sort of revenue collectors was called the Khalsa land. By the same analogy, the order of men which owed their allegiance only and directly to the Guru and followed his instructions in letter and spirit and volunteered to make the supreme sacrifice of their lives for upholding the faith of their Guru was known as the Khalsa. It was such a dedicated order of men which became crusaders of the Sikh faith or the Khalsa. It was created by Guru Gobind Singh on the historical day of Baisakhi day on March 1699 at Anandpur Sahib.

It goes to the credit of Sainapati that he dwells more on the fundamental principles and ethics of the newly-established order of the Khalsa than on the ceremonial and dramatic act of creating the Khalsa on the Baisakhi Day of 1699.  In the fifth chapter “Bachan Pargas”, couplet 31 to 36, 38 Sainapati lays down the basic postulates of the Khalsa:

 

Kabit:               “Thereupon, the Divine Guru made a declaration,
          (The Divine Guru) being the cause of all causation.
          All congregations of all the Sikh followers,
          Would forever be belonging to Guru’s Khalsa.
          Whosever followed Guru’s commandment,
          Truely would he be a Sikh of the Guru.
          Whosoever violated Guru’s commandment,
          Surely would he be a desperate wretch.
          Renouncing the company of the wretched five,
          Who loved the company of the virtuous,
          Imbibing the virtues of compassion and righteousness,
          Who renounced all kinds of wordly cravings,
          Abstaining from smoking hubble-bubble,
          Who did not shave his head and beard off,
          He alone would be the Divine Guru’s Khalsa,
          Truely would he be the Divine Guru’s Khalsa.”||31||147||

    
Pauri:   (The Divine Guru) being creator and doer,
          He issued an edict and commandment
          Doing away with institution of Masands,
          He appropriated all the Sikhs into himself.
          Those who accepted the Divine Guru’s command
          Truely rewarding would their living become
          From the bondage of death would they be freed,
          Nectar of God’s sacred Name would they partake.
          That alone comes to pass which Divine Guru Wills,
          That alone happens what his Will causes to prevail.||32||148||

Dohra:             (The Guru) administered (Khandey ki Pahul) initiation
            He being the Divine cause of all causation.
            He created the Khalsa all over the country,
            None else being a competitor to his plan.||33||149||

Pauri:   Administering Khandey-ki-Pahul (initiation)
          He strengthened and emplowered his followers.
          Empowering the Sikhs by making them Singhs,
          He made the Divine Will prevail indeed.
          Those being destined to join this fraternity,
          They alone joined and practised its ethos.
          Other being ignorant lost in superstitution,
          They could not comprehend its mystique.
          Surely, those ignorant could gain nothing,
          Deprived as they had been by Divine Will.||34||150||

Dohra: Renouncing the company of the wicked,
          His grace cleans all the traces of vice,
          His will being eternally prevailing,
          Its acquisance saves human soul from hellfire.||35||151||

Pauri:   Never should a Singh attend ceremonies,
          Of birth and death involving shaving of heads,
          Never should a Singh have bond of love,
          With those who indulge in five vices,
          Those who shun indulgence in five vices,
          They alone succeed in cleansing their souls,
          Those who come under the influence of the virtuous,
          They never fall into the flames of hell fires.
          Eternally true as the will of the Divine Lord is,
          Truely His grace provides all round happiness.||36||152||

Pauri:   The Divine Guru issued a commandment,
          Never must a singh put razor to his hair.
          Must he dwell upon the Divine Guru with devotion,
          Must he practise what the Divine Guru preaches.
          Never must he tonsure his sacred hair,
          Even when his parents shed their mortal frame.
          Countless do not abide by the Divine Will,
          In meaningless fuss do they keep indulging.
          Truely eternal and true is the Will of the Divine,
          Truely, shall it prevail being forever true.||38.||154||5

Among the main postulates of the newly created order of the Khalsa described in Chapter 5 verses 31 to 36, 38 are initiation into Khalsa Panth after partaking of Khandey-ki-Pahul (consecrated sweetened water prepared by stirring the solution with a double edged dagger in the midst of recitation of Gurbani hymns, instead of the old tradition of Charan-pahul (partaking of water touched by the thumb of Guru’s foot), selection of five initiated Sikhs known as Panj Pyaras from within congregation and authorising them for carrying out on the further initiation of Sikhs, abolition of the institution of the Masands, abandoning of all distinctions of caste after getting initiated into the Khalsa, growing and maintaining of unshorn hair as sacred and sacrosanct, tying of turban as a symbol of dignity and self-respect, wearing of five Khalsa (Kakaars) symbols as integral parts of dress, abstinence from smoking tobbaco and use of other intoxicants, and discontinuance of the existing practice of shaving off one’s head after the death of one’s father.  It was the creation of this distinct order of men which brought about a revolutionary change of heart and mind among the masses.  Abandoning all distinctions of caste and social stratification after joining the brotherhood of the Khalsa, it had an electrifying effect on the psyche of those who had been downtrodden and disadvantaged for centuries.  With one stroke of his sword, the Guru reinvigorated the centuries old slavish mentality of the Indian masses and made them bold and brave to confront those who had been oppressing and exploiting them. It was this spirit of defiance, freedom from fear, prejudice and discrimination which was enthused by the Guru through his act of creating the Khalsa.  Khalsa stood for dignity, self-respect and defiance against tyranny, struggle and sacrifice for upholding freedom, human rights and freedom to profess and practice the faith of one’s own choice. It was the rebirth of a nation committed to the ideals of independence, equality and basic human dignity.  Khalsa would never submit to tyranny, religious persecution, slavery and suppression of fundamental human rights. It would be ready to make supreme sacrifices to uphold its faith and live by its code of conduct and ideology.  This, indeed was the mandate and mission of Guru Gobind Singh when he took birth as a human being.  It was for upholding the rights of the virtuous and punishing the evil doers that he had lived for and died.  It was for the fulfilment of this express will of God that he created the Khalsa for carrying on his sacred mission.  No wonder, the Khalsa emerged as a mass of men highly motivated and dedicated to its ideals and enthused with the spirit of struggle and sacrifice.  It showed its mettle in the subsequent battles in which it took on the high and the mighty and won decisive victories setting new records of warriorship and self-sacrifice.  Soon after its initiation at Anandpur Sahib, it had to confront the combined forces of the hill chiefs (Chapter VIII). Refusing to vacate the legally purchased territory of Makhowal (Anandpur Sahib) the Khalsa force, though less in number and less equipped in warfare hardware, it defeated the combined army of hill chiefs of Kahloor and Handoor. After four days of fierce battle, the Khalsa vanquished the enemy on the battlefield.  It was in this first battle of Anandpur Sahib that Guru Gobind Singh’s eldest son, Sahibzada Ajit Singh displayed exemplary courage and verve. Yet, when the vanquished hill chiefs pleaded with the customary cow in chains for a temporary reprieve for their honour and false prestige, the Guru vacated Anandpur Sahib temporarily.  It was his magnanimity that even after winning the battle he agreed to the appeal of the wily hill chiefs.  Thus, with the creation of the Khalsa, the dye was cast and the mettle of the newly amalgamated alloy called the Khalsa was tested in the first battle of Anandpur. Thus, was their order patented with its distinct identity, ideology, code of conduct and its distinct church and symbols. None was more previleged than the other in this order, none lagged behind the other in waging a war and making a sacrifice.  Every one including the Guru’s four sons were ever ready to make the highest sacrifice.  In the subsequent skirmishes following Guru’s vacation of Anandpur Sahib and the hill Chiefs’ going back on their promises and occupying the vacated territory, the battle of Nirmohgarh (Chapter IX) ensued. Once again the Khalsa Army stood victorious after a heavy bloodbath.  Even in the next battle (Chapter X) which took place soon after the Mughal reinforcements assisting the hill chiefs, the Khalsa could not be beaten.  It defeated the combined hordes of hill chiefs and the Mughals and occupied Anandpur Sahib once again.

Sainapati’s highly embellished poetry replete with various epic metaphors, similes and parallelism, describing the battle of Nirmohgarh is a befitting tribute both to the glory of Guru Gobind Singh and the strength of the Khalsa army.  Once again during the Guru’s stay at Baisali, Guru’s valiant warriors gave a crushing defeat to the hostile warriors of Kalmot and the lumpens who dared to enter into a skirmish with Guru’s warriors during a hunting spree. (Chapter X) Thus, the Guru’s newly initiated order of the Khalsa went from victory to victory in these battles.  Even after these smaller skirmishes when the going got more tough, these toughmen got even tougher and more steadfast in their struggle. With the departure from Anandpur Sahib (Chapter XI) under the most trying circumstances when the month-long blockade of all kinds of provisions was imposed by the enemy forces, the Guru and his small band of dedicated men cut through the enemy lines.  It was on the bank of the flooded Sirsa rivulet that the most bloody encounter took place in which the Guru, with his two elder sons and a handful of Sikh warriors, got separated from Guru’s mother and the younger Sahibzadas.  It was here that a great Singh warrior Bhai Udai Singh made the supreme sacrifice of his life while fighting the enemy.  But despite the coincidental conspiracy of nature’s elements in the form of rain and torrent and the enormity of the enemy forces, none of the Guru’s dedicated warriors either fled from the field or surrendered to the enemy. They fought like the furies and when the moment of truth arrived, they went down fighting, killing and getting killed. So firm was their spirit of dedication and commitment to the cause that each one of them competed with the other to make a sacrifice. Unlike the mercenaries on the other side, they were the crusaders and men of faith who were fired with ideals of fighting tyranny and bringing about a new dispensation based on morality, truth and justice.  There was not a trace of motives such as personal aggrandizement of any selfish desire for dominance over others. They wished to be sovereigns of their own land where they could profess and practise their own faith.  The battle at Chamkaur (Chapter XII) and the blood bath that followed was a climax of this saga of sacrifice.  Surrounded by enemy hordes and holed up in a mud fort, the Guru, two Sahibzadas and a handful of Singh warriors dared to confront and resist the combined army of Mughals, Pathans, Ranghars and hill Chiefs. Coming out in batches of few men, they kept fighting and resisting till the last man fell dead. The two adolescent Sahibzadas Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh in their teens did not lag behind.  They, too, became martyrs in this mother of all battles.  It is this unique sacrifice of the two Sahibzadas which makes Guru Gobind Singh a unique commander and a father in the annals of world history.  The strongest of men falter and flinch when it comes to make a sacrifice of their own progeny. But the Guru accepted the Will of God and sent the two Sahibzadas into the battle voluntarily as he sent his other devout warriors.  No sacrifice was too great to fulfil the mandate and mission with which he had been sent to this world. Never for a moment did he falter or waver from his mission howsoever grave be the adversity and howsoever formidable the enemy.  The Guru himself had opted to cross the rubicon but as he had himself partaken pahul (Amrit) from the Panj Piaras it was the collective Will of the Khalsa that prevented his jumping into the fray but commanded him to escape and reorganize the Khalsa in the near future.  Thus, once again the basic principles of the Khalsa brotherhood had come into play.  It was the Guru Panth rather them the Guru which was to be the arbiter of things at crucial moments of history.  So it was at the command couched in the phraseology of advice and appeal of the Khalsa which prevailed.  Leaving Chamkaur, the Guru proceeded towards Machhiwara and thence to the jungles of Malwa (Chapter XIII). Once again the Sikhs started rallying round the Guru and making offering of provisions and their own lives.  It was here that the Guru wrote a letter of protest, rather an epistle of moral victory known as Zafarnama to the bigoted Aurangzeb reminding him of several instances of breach of trust on his part and reiterating his resolve to fight tyranny and oppression despite a colossal loss of lives at the personal and fraternal level.  Khalsa was alive and around to rise and fight against the atrocities.  Loss of two sons at Chamkaur and two younger sons and mother at Sirhind did not deter the Guru from his ideological goal of raising the Khalsa and realising its cherished goal of sovereignty.  Once again at the battle of Muktsar, the reorganised Khalsa proved its mettle.  Making a supreme sacrifice of their lives, the forty Singhs, who had severed their allegiance with the Guru in a moment of weakness, redeemed themselves in the battle of Muktsar.  They were eternally immortalised as “Muktas” (the redeemed ones) by the Guru and their names would get entrenched permanently as icons in the collective consciousness of the Khalsa through their remembrance and reference in the daily Sikh prayer.  It was Guru’s ideology and the moral strength of Guru’s mission which had brought back these errant followers to their fraternity.  It was the prick of their conscience which forced them to return to the Khalsa fold even at the cost of their lives.  Thus, time and again, it was the divine mandate and Guru’s mission which saved the Khalsa from extinction and enabled it to accomplish the task of punishing the evil doers and upholding the virtues of truth, piety and human dignity. Though the Khalsa did not achieve any tangible victory against the forces of oppression and tyranny in Guru’s own life time, yet it succeeded in almost dismantling the infrastructure of religious persecution and human right violations.  The final showdown was yet to come when even the mentor, guiding spirit and the Guru would not be physically alive among the Khalsa.  The dye had been cast, the seed had been sown, it had taken deep roots.  It would hibernate for sometime after its Guru’s demise and then rise as if out of its own ashes to wreak vengeance on those who had perpetrated incredible atrocities on the Khalsa. Before breathing his last, the Guru had visualised its complete future course.  The ideological order raised by him as a part of his divine mandate and mission had reached adulthood and became capable of taking its own decisions collectively.  Instead of seeking guidance from a personal Guru, it would instead seek guidance from the fundamental ethical and spiritual values enshrined in the written word of its sacred scripture Guru Granth and the collective will of the Khalsa.

Thus, if creation of the Khalsa was the seminal stage of Guru Gobind Singh’s mandate and mission, declaration and establishment of Guru Granth Sahib the eternal Guru was the climax of its completion.  In future, it would be the twin ideals of Guru Granth and Guru Panth which would guide and determine the future course of the Khalsa Panth.  While it will seek spiritual and moral guidance and inspiration from the Guru Granth, it will take its derivative temporal, political, social and cultural decisions from the collective body of the Guru Panth. It was as if a nation had come of an age and was capable of making its own destiny.  Hurriedly nominating Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to take up the command of the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh breathed his last after accomplishing his mission.  It is this mandate and mission which Sainapati undertakes to highlight and vindicate in his poetic eulogy “Sri Gursobha”.  Throughout this poetic work, he has laid more stress on the fundamental postulates of Guru Gobind Singh’s vision than on the day to day events. Avoiding to give a detailed narrative account of each battle, skirmish or even the creation of the Khalsa, he has chosen to focus more on the essential ethos and postulates of Guru’s mission. Making a selective use of major battles and events than giving a chronological account of each event, he has chosen to trace the contours of Guru’s visionary and ideological postulates. The spirit and philosophical principle behind each major event is more important for him than the actual event, be it the creation of the Khalsa, abolition of the institution of Masands and establishment of Guru Granth as the eternal Guru.  It is for this kind of expostulation of Guru’s mission that Sainapat’s poetic work should be read rather than as a historical work, written by a contemporary historian of Guru Gobind Singh.  It is the work of a person and a creative writer who had seen the working of the mind of the Guru and understood its profound vision.  It is because of this insight into the long-term vision and the new ideological dispensation to be set up by the Guru that Sainapati almost deifies and apotheosizes Guru Gobind Singh to the level of a divine prophet and believes that the Guru would once again be amongst his beloved Khalsa soon as Divine prophets are believed to have been coming to this world time and again to eradicate sin and vice and restore Dharma and sanity in the world. Thus, it is from the point of view of the vision based on the mandate and mission of Guru Gobind Singh that Sri Gursobha should be read rather than either as a biographical account or as a historical document chronicling the life and work of Guru Gobind Singh. Sainapati visulizes the Guru more as a prophet, a visionary and an ideologue or founder of a religion than as a historical warrior whose life is a sum-total of military victories and daring acts of bravery.  It needs to be read as the profile of a person who has been mandated by the divine Lord to take a human birth to fulfill a divinely ordained mission of punishing the evil doers, defending the virtuous and ushering in an order of men which could set in a new set of values based on justice, equality and sovereignty of human rights. 
~~~

References

  1. Dr J S Grewal: “Sikh Ideology, Polity and Social Order” Manohar, 2007, p. 107-108

 

  2.   Shamsher Singh Ashok edited: “Gursobha”, p. 1
          ਦੁਸ਼ਟ ਬਿਡਾਰਣ ਸੰਤ ਉਬਾਰਣ ਸਬ ਜਗ ਤਾਰਣ ਭਵ ਹਰਣੰ |
   ਜੈ ਜੈ ਜੈ ਦੇਵ ਕਰੈ ਸਭ ਹੀ ਤਿਨ ਆਨ ਪਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਰਣੰ ||
3.   Ibid, p. 12-13

                   ਭਿਰੈ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੂਰੇ | ਕਿਯੇ ਕਾਜ ਪੂਰੇ |
   ਅਚਲ ਨੀਵ ਡਾਰੀ | ਟਰੈਗੀ ਨਾ ਟਾਰੀ ||33||
   ਯਹੈ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨੋ | ਰਿਦੈ ਸਾਚ ਆਨ’ |
   ਕਿਯੋ’ਪੰਥ ਐਸਾ | ਕਹਿਯੋ ਆਪ ਤੈਸਾ ||34||
   ਛਪੈ ਨ ਛਪਾਇਆ | ਘਟੈ ਨਾ ਘਟਾਇਆ |
   ਦਿਨੋ ਦਿਨ ਸਵਾਇਆ | ਸੁ ਡੰਕਾ ਬਜਾਇਆ ||35|| 4.       Ibid., p. 22

                   ihs nihs nGhs i'Xk tv/, s'fj fJe fd;N s/ ;p? xkJ/.
                   G:' i?eko sqJh b'e uT[dk GtB, ihfse? f;zx r'fpzd nkJ/.. 48..98..

  5.   Ibid., p. 33

      ਕਬਿਤੁ: ਕੀਏ ਜਦ ਬਚਨਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਰਨ
    ਸਰਬ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਆਦਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਮੇਰਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ|
    ਮਾਨੇਗਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸੋ ਤੇ ਹੋਵੈਗਾ ਸਿਖ ਸਹੀ
    ਨ ਮਾਨੈਗਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸੋ ਤੇ ਹੋਵੈਗਾ ਬਿਹਾਲਸਾ|
    ਪਾਂਚ ਕੀ ਕੁਸੰਗਤਿ ਤਜਿ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰੇ
    ਦਯਾ ਔਰ ਧਰਮ ਧਾਰ ਤਿਆਗੇ ਸਬ ਲਾਲਸਾ|
    ਹੁੱਕਾ ਨ ਪੀਵੈ ਸੀਸ ਦਾੜ੍ਹੀ ਨ ਮੁੰਡਾਵੈ
    ਸੋ ਤੋ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਹਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ||31||147||
    ਕਰਨਹਾਰ ਕਰਤਾਰ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੀਆ|
    ਕਰ ਮਸੰਦ ਸਭਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਕਰਿ ਲੀਆ|
    ਮਾਨਹਿ ਸੇ ਪ੍ਰਵਾਨ ਸੁਫਲ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਜੀਆ|
    ਉਨ ਤੋਰੀ ਜਮ ਕੀ ਫਾਸ, ਨਾਮ ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪੀਆ|
    ਜੀ, ਜੋ ਤੂ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੁ ਹੁਇ, ਕੀਆ ਸੋਈ ਥੀਆ||32||148||
 ਦੋਹਰਾ:  ਖਾਂਡੇ ਕੀ ਪਾਹਿਲ ਦਈ ਕਾਰਨਹਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੋਇ|
    ਕੀਓ ਦਸੋ ਦਿਸ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਤਾਂ ਬਿਨ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਕੋਇ||33||149||
 ਅੜਿਲ:  ਦੇ ਖਾਂਡੇ ਕੀ ਪਾਹਲ ਤੇਜ ਬਢਾਇਆ|
    ਜ਼ੋਰਾਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਸਿੰਘ ਹੁਕਮ ਵਰਤਾਇਆ|
    ਜਿਹ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਸੰਜੋਗ ਤਿਨੀ ਕਮਾਇਆ|
    ਇਕ ਭੂਲੇ ਭਰਮ ਗਵਾਰ ਮਰਮ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ|
    ਜੀ ਉਨ ਕੇ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਹਾਥ ਧੁਰੋ ਫੁਰਮਾਇਆ||34||150||
  ਦੋਹਰਾ:  ਦੂਤਨ ਕੇ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਾਥਿ ਤਜਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੇਹੁ ਜਲਾਇ|
    ਹੁਕਮੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਸਭ ਸਤ ਹੈ ਮਾਨਹਿ ਨਰਕ ਨ ਜਾਇ||34||151||
  ਅੜਿਲ;  ਸਿਰ ਗੁੰਮਨ ਕੇ ਮਰਨੇ ਪਰਨੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਈਐ|
    ਪਾਂਚਨ ਕੇ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਾਥ ਨੇਹ ਨਹੀ ਲਾਈਐ|
    ਤਜਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਦੁਰਤ ਜਲਾਈਐ|
    ਸਤ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਪਰਤਾਪ ਨਰਕ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ|
    ਜੀ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਸਬ ਸਚੁ ਸਚੁ ਸੁਖਦਾਈਐ||36||152||
 ਪਉੜੀ:  ਬਚਨ ਕੀਉ ਕਰਤਾਰ, ਖੁਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਲਾਈਐ|
    ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਬਚਨਿ ਕਮਾਈਐ|
    ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ਨ ਭਦਰ ਕਰਾਈਐ|
    ਕੇਤੇ ਮਾਨਹਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਧੂਮ ਉਠਾਈਐ|
    ਜੀ, ਹੁਕਮੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਸਭ ਸਚੁ, ਸਚੁ ਮਨਾਈJੈ| 38||
154|¤

 

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