Thursday, July 05, 2007

Best Wishes on Gurpurab of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji

Guru Hargobind Ji was a revelation in giving guidance to Sikhs and helping to build the foundations on which the Panth rests today. His guidance and direction so many years ago helped shape the Khalsa and Sikhism. His moral leadership is a beacon and model for all humanity and an example that should be emulated.

From a young age he was educated in the sciences, sports and religion as his father had insisted. Baba Buddha was responsible for overseeing the Guru's religious teachings.

During the Guruship ceremony Guru Hargobind respectfully declined to wear the Seli (woolen cord worn on the head) which had been passed down on each successive Guru since Guru Nanak. Instead the Guru asked for a sword. Baba Buddha, never having handled a sword before, placed it on the wrong side of the Guru. Guru Hargobind noticing this, asked for another sword saying "I'll wear two swords, a sword of shakti (power) and a sword of bhakti (meditation)." Henceforth the Guru would always carry two swords to symbolize his dual role of holding secular power (Miri) and spiritual authority (Piri).

Soon after his ascension to Guruship in 1606, Guru Hargobind laid the foundation of a new temple at Amritsar; the Akal Takht. The Akal Takht was built facing Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple). Guru Hargobind had a throne built, and would administer Sikh affairs from here. The temporal nature of the Akal Takht balanced the spiritual nature of the Golden Temple, emphasizing the dual concepts of Miri and Piri introduced by the Guru. Guru Hargobind donned the royal regalia of a King and was known by the Sikhs as Sacha Padshah (The True King).

Guru Hargobind knew that the Sikh's would no longer take their freedom for granted, he undertook to steel his Sikhs against tyranny and oppression. The Guru now gave instructions to the Masands and to all the other Sikhs that they should make offerings in the future of horses and weapons rather than just money. The Hindus had become so weak that they could not contemplate any kind of resistance to the rulers of the date. The Sikhs did not believe in self-denial alone; they grew increasingly aware of the need for assertion also. They wielded arms and lived an active life, reared horses, rode on them, and racing and hunting became their pastimes. Guru Hargobind encouraged Sikhs in physical activity and weapons training as well as prayers. Soon an army of one thousand horses was raised. The spiritual side was not neglected. Guru Hargobind would rise long before the day dawned and after his bath in the holy tank, would go into meditation. The Guru would then join his Sikhs for prayers both in the mornings and evenings. Guru Hargobind did not want his emphasis on the temporal caused by the necessity for a war like posture to detract his followers from the spiritual ideals of Sikhism.

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