Guru Hargobind Death Anniversary: Facts about the sixth guru of the Sikhs
Guru Hargobind Death Anniversary: March 2 marks the death anniversary of Guru Hargobind, the sixth of the 10 gurus of Sikhs. This year, devotees will observe his 376th death anniversary.Updated: Mar 02, 2020 12:30 IST
March 2 marks the death anniversary of Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru of the Sikhs. This year, devotees will observe his 376th death anniversary.
He became guru at the age of 11 after the death of his father Guru Arjan Dev. Guru Hargobind is credited with developing a strong Sikh army. This brought him in direct conflict with the Mughals.
It is believed that Guru Hargobind carried two swords at his succession ceremony. One sword symbolised his authority as temporal (miri) and other as spiritual (piri) head of the community.
He was an adept swordsman, wrestler and rider as he had been imparted training in military warfare and martial arts.
Born on June 19, 1595, he constructed the Akal Takht, the highest seat temporal seat of the Sikhs. Spiritual and temporal matters related to the Sikh community are resolved at Akal Takht.
As a result of Guru Hargobind’s attempt to build a strong Sikh army, Mughal emperor Jahangir jailed him in the fortress of Gwalior for 12 years. He was later set free.
After the demise of Jahangir, Shah Jahan started persecuting the Sikh community. Guru Hargobind took on Shah Jahan, and his strong army defeated the Mughal armies four times. Shah Jahan’s defeat at the hands of Sikhs was a telling blow to the military might of the Mughals.
Besides building an army, he established congregational prayers to promote Sikhism. He sent his followers to various places across India to spread the word of Guru Nanak, first Guru of Sikhs.
According to hagiographies written by the orthodox Sikh tradition, Guru Hargobind survived several attempts at his life. Once his uncle tried to poison him, but he survived. He also escaped unhurt when a cobra was thrown at him.
He breathed his last on March 2, 1644, at Kiratpur Sahib and was cremated on the banks of River Sutlej. Gurdwara Patalpuri Sahib now stands at his place of death.