(Last Updated on : 16/02/2011)
Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth Guru and the last of the ten human form Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru on November 11th 1675 at the age of nine, following in the footsteps of his father Guru Teg Bahadur ji. He became a Guru when his father was beheaded at Delhi. Gobind Singh ji was born as Gobind Rai in Patna, Bihar on December 22, 1666. He is a renowned figure till the recent times as he influenced the Sikh religion into its present, with the formation of the Khalsa fraternity and completed the Guru Granth in its present form. According to a legend, the birth of Gobind Singh was prophesized by, a fakir from Thaksa village, Pir Bhikan Shah. Another legend relates that a fakir Araf Din of Lakhnaur also proclaimed Guru Gobind Singh as divine. Gobind Singh ji spent the first five years of his life in Patna. As a child, he used to play war games with other children, leading mock battles. Since his childhood, he had earned many admirers including two Nawabs, Rahim Baksh and Karim Baksh. Nawab Karim Baksh had gifted a village and gardens to the child.
The impression of Guru Gobind Singh has altered the formation of the minds of the Sikhs. The establishment of the Khalsa by him is considered to be one of the most important events in the history of Sikhism. The first five baptized Sikhs of the Khalsa were Daya Ram (Bhai Daya Singh), Dharam Das (Bhai Dharam Singh), Himmat Rai (Bhai Himmat Singh), Mohkam Chand (Bhai Mohkam Singh), and Sahib Chand (Bhai Sahib Singh). They were given the title of the Panj Piare or "the five beloved ones" by their Guru. The Guru gave the five members the name "Singh" or lion, and designated them collectively as Khalsa (the Pure Ones), the body of baptized Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh introduced the rallying-cry of the Khalsa which is used till the present day, `Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji Ki Fateh` which means Khalsa belongs to God; victory belongs to God.
Gobind Singh received his early education with the study of Punjabi, Braj, Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic languages, and got training as a soldier. A Rajput warrior was employed to train him in military skills and horse riding. In addition to that Guru Gobind Singh was engaged into writing several compositions preaching love, equality and the worship of one God, and deprecating idolatry and superstition. During his stay in Anandpur, the city found by his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, he ordered construction of a war drum (nagara) called Ranjit Nagara to enthuse his soldiers. Guru Gobind Singh is renowned for fighting many defensive battles with the Mughals and their alliances also. Thus, the Guru infused the spirit of both sainthood and soldier in the minds and hearts of his followers to fight oppression in order to restore justice, peace, righteousness (Dharma) and also to uplift the down-trodden people in this world.
Thus, with the growing influence of Guru Gobind Singh Ji the members of the Khalsa started considering him as their father, and Mata Sahib Kaur, a member of his household, as their mother. The Panj Piare or the five beloved ones became the first members of the Khalsa brotherhood. Women were also initiated into the Khalsa, and given the title of kaur "princess". Before, Guru Gobind Singh ji left for his heavenly abode, he nominated Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (SGGS) as the next perpetual Guru of the Sikhs. He left his mortal body on 7th October 1708.