Guru Gobind Singh was born Gobind Das/Rai in Patna, Bihar, to parents Mata Gujri and Guru Tegh Bahadur. His father was the ninth Sikh guru. In the year 1670, his family relocated to Punjab and then near the Himalayan foothills in 1672. His father was petitioned by a community of Hindus living in Kashmir for protection against fanatic persecution under the Mughal rule of Aurangzeb. His father wanted a peaceful resolution to the conflict; however, others did not share the same faith and cautioned him that his life may be at risk. He was publicly beheaded under the orders of the ruler.
Singh was schooled when the family settled in the Shivalik range near the Himalayas. After his father’s passing, he became the 10th guru on March 29, 1676. His education continued and along with learning to read and write, he became well-versed in martial arts, archery, and horse riding.
In 1699, Singh requested the Sikh community to gather during the harvest festival called ‘Vaisakhi.’ It was during this occasion that he founded the ‘Khalsa’ (Pure Ones), baptizing five Khalsas and becoming the sixth Khalsa in the process. He also gave the Khalsa a new surname ‘Singh’ (lion). Therefore, he became the Guru Gobind Singh that we know today. During his lifetime, he defended the community against the increasingly hostile Mughal Empire under Aurangzeb. However, he believed in the concept of “Dharma Yudh,” a war in defense of the righteous fought as a last resort. He led about 13 wars with the goal of putting an end to tyranny and religious persecution, though never damaged any place of worship or took hostages. All his children were killed before him, either in battle or via execution by the Mughal Empire. Singh was assassinated in 1708.
He bravely fights the Battle of Bhangani.
Singh and his troops go to war against the Islamic armies at Nadaun.
He courageously fights a battle against the tyranny of Aurangzeb.
He fights the last battle against the Mughal army.
Why We Love Guru Gobind Singh
A true leader
Over his lifetime, Singh fought many battles. However, he was not motivated by the power to grab or politics—he wanted to fight injustice and oppression. He also believed that one must only use a sword when all other methods fail. He even sacrificed his own life and family for the cause. Furthermore, he turned himself into a disciple of his own initiated followers, considered them superior, and merged his identity with the self-created community.
He was extremely skilled
Singh had mastered weaponry and archery. A tale recounts him using a javelin to fight off a mad elephant causing havoc in his neighborhood. In addition, he was also skilled at art and created many compositions and poetry.
He formed the five Ks
As mentioned earlier, Singh was the one to establish the five Ks, which are of paramount importance in Sikhism. These five Ks refer to ‘Kesh’ (uncut hair), ‘Kangha’ (wooden comb that symbolizes hygiene), ‘Kara’ (a bracelet symbolizing self-restraint), ‘Kacchera’ (shorts to express ever-readiness for battle), and ‘Kirpan’ (a sword that symbolizes defense).
Why We Love
A child prodigy
He was only nine years of age when he became the 10th Guru in Sikhism.
He was multilingual
He learned several languages, such as Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Gurmukhi, Braj, and Persian.
He finalized and enshrined the holy book
He is believed to have finalized and enshrined “Guru Granth Sahib.”
He established the “Khalsa Vani”
He formed the five Ks of Khalsa.
His love for art
Singh loved art and invented musical instruments named ‘Taus’ and ‘Dilruba.’
Guru Gobind Singh FAQs
How many wives did Guru Gobind Singh have?
He had three wives.
Is Guru Gobind Singh God?
In Sikhism, he is viewed as an instrument of God, who protects their community.
What bird did Guru Gobind Singh have?
He had a Northern goshawk, which also symbolizes tenacity and strength.
Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday dates