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New Age Guru - Guru Gobind Singh

With the truthfulness of a Messiah, he proclaimed that he was not willing to come down and be reborn.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2004 11:18 IST

The New Age Messiah, Guru Gobind Singh was born in the Indian city Patna, the ancient seat of learning called Pataliputra, in the year 1661. India was at that time being torn apart at the seams by the forceful conversions of Hindus to Islam by the Mughal invaders.

This grand ancient city, on the banks of the Ganges, became the childhood playground of the Guru. When he was six years old, he moved to Anandpur, in the Punjab, where he was given extensive training in the martial arts, as well as in the languages of Persian and Sanskrit. Adept at both, literary and martial pursuits, his spiritual nature earned him the title of Saint Soldier.

His autobiography, called Bachitra Natak, explains why he had to take birth on this Earth at that particularly crucial time. The story starts with an account of his previous birth. He was living at Hemkunt in the Himalayas, a lake surrounded by seven hills, in a state of deep meditation.

With the truthfulness of a Messiah, he proclaimed that he was not willing to come down and be reborn, but the Akal Purakh, the Divine Identity, persuaded him to go for the specific mission of fighting injustice to the people of India. He says in his Bachitra Natak:
"I surely didn't like to come.
My spirit continued for the Lord to yearn
Somehow the Lord God made me understand
And sent me to the world with this command:
I assign you as my son to complete the task that remains undone."

The main objective was to resuscitate, rejuvenate, and reinvest Hindu society with all the lost glory of its ancient traditions, which had been diluted over the centuries by the pundits who served more as a barrier between God and the people, rather than being truthful communicators.

He had to come at a time when Islamic rulers were forcefully, and cruelly converting Hindus into Islam, and there was no forceful enough leader who could put a stop to this injustice. He started his Dharmayudh, or holy war to protect all Hindus, and extended the hand of friendship to the Mughals.

He came to end all religious differences by proclaiming that there was only one God, the Divine Identity, comprising the One All Pervading, Infinite Creator, by whichever name we may call Him.

He was born to remind these two great religions, that the essence of all of them was the same, and that was the religion of humanity, trust, and love between all humans.

He took religion to the heights and realms of pure spirituality by asking each Sikh to empower himself by realizing his Divine Nature. He named his followers the Khalsa, which literally means the Pure Race, and proclaimed that each such pure one would have the strength of one lakh twenty five thousand unrealised souls.

Next week, through excerpts from his scripture, the Dasam Granth, I shall lead you into the greatest mind of the New Age movement.

First Published: Feb 13, 2004 11:16 IST