Sikhism followed a tradition of Guru Parampara, a tradition where one guru has a successor in line and this tradition followed till the 10th guru and he was the last one in the line of succession.
The tenth and last one in this order was Guru Gobind Singh. He was born at Bihar in the year 1666 to Guru Tegh Bahadur.
A sad event turned the life of Guru Gobind Singh upside down. There was a treachery amongst the Mughal to convert all Hindus and Sikhs into their own religion.
Protests to condemn this turned ugly and this continued as a war when Guru Gobind Singh unfortunately lost his parents and his four sons in the war.
Guru Gobind Singh’s father was the ninth guru in the succession order and soon after his death; Guru Gobind Singh took over the reins and immediately became the 10th guru in the succession order.
After this, seeing the plight of Sikhs struggling to raise their voices against the Mughal brutality, he formed his own religious group of protesting men.
This group was named by him as ‘Khalsa’ and to a large extent they were able to alleviate Mughal from entering and touching the premises of Sikhs and forcefully converting them into their religion, much against their wishes.
So, Guru Gobind Singh is hailed as an important and significant leader who brought about a great reform to save Sikhism from being destroyed in the wrong hands.
When he knew his death was nearing, he made a very big decision and spoke it out to religious leaders and people followers of Sikhism that the greatest guru they can respect and pray to, is the Guru Granth Sahib and nothing equals the magnificent glory of the spiritual book.
From then on, the Guru Granth Sahib itself is treated as the most important and sacred book of the Sikhs and they consider it equivalent to God and hold special place for it with plenty of devotion.
Guru Gobind Singh passed away in 1708. With his death, as instructed by him, there were no more succession orders of gurus and hence only the guru Granth sahib was offered the place and throne of the guru and all due respects provided to the holy scripture.
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The birthday of Guru Gobind Singh is celebrated as Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti and people pray to him for achieving health, wealth, luck and prosperity in their lives.
In Sikh faiths and beliefs, it is very important to celebrate guru parvs or festival to celebrate and glorify the greatness of their gurus. So the Sikhs consider it very important to celebrate it as part of their life.
They dedicate the day to celebrate the life that their guru led and hope to live up to their teachings and words.
In the Sikh way of life, people respect and consider the Guru Granth Sahib as the ultimate God and truth of life. They follow the words and sayings of the religious book and do not dare go against what the teachings in the religious scripture offers.
Their life revolves around the truth mentioned in the Holy Scripture. Sikhs consider the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus to be the greatest in the world and they consider it the key to a happy and prosperous life. —
Some Important Principles
Sikhism considers all people under this earth as created equal in the eyes of the lord. They are open to any people who come and seek shelter to join in their religion and practices.
Sikhs do not believe in the caste and creed system and to very great extent, do not follow blind rituals and practices of fasting.
They have very limited beliefs in idol worship and they seek god’s presence in every work they do. They dedicate the work they do to the lord and seek his blessings and guidance to take them on the right path.
For them, god is in the form of the Guru Granth Sahib, their revered traditional scripture and seeks guidance from the book at all times.
Prayers form an integral part of their everyday activity and they never leave their homes without praying to God and seeking blessings from him.
The Golden temple, also called as the Harmandir Sahib is the most important and sacred temple of the Sikhs.
Thousands of devotees throng the place to have a glimpse of the beauty of the golden temple and celebrate this architectural marvel.
Sikhs place a lot of importance of humanity and equality among human beings. Guru Gobind Singh was the first person who preached that any person, irrespective of his caste, creed, status or age can come to the Sikh Gurudwara and offer prayers to Lord.
This is quite different from many other religious centers of significance which allow only people of their particular practising religions to enter their sacred premises.
Usually the Gurudwara also have a very large community kitchen that serves food to people from all walks of life.
This particular tradition of deserving food at Gurudwara is also supposed to be brought about by Guru Gobind Singh and hence he is the most revered guru of the ten Sikh gurus.
Celebrations on his Birthday
Celebrations for the day begin on a very grand scale. Sikh community people gather in large crowds and distribute sweets and cold drinks or juices to a lot of visitors at many Gurudwara in their respective places.
People also make it a point to visit the golden temple to pray to god for their well being.
It is considered very auspicious to visit the golden temple on this day and offer services in the temple in the name of lord so that they would be blessed abundantly.
People form their own groups and chant poems and songs composed by Guru Gobind Singh in remembrance of his services to the society and the Sikh community in particular.
The Sikh Way of Life
The three important words that have to be associated with Guru Gobind Singh are – service, humanity and equality.
Guru Gobind Singh taught people to be kind hearted and a giver to the society. It’s very difficult to find a beggar sitting joblessly in the Sikh state of Punjab.
People in that state, following the Sikh customs are known to be highly service minded and hospitable.
People do not rely on their destiny or on any other means for their livelihood, but they rely on themselves and every person believes in working hard to make a livelihood for himself.
People don’t believe in lazing out and wasting time. According to their guru, they are supposed to be doing hard work to achieve a living and then repay it to god in the same measure in the form of service.
Everything happens with the faith and support of god.
People from the Sikh community do not stop any person from practicing the Sikh religion. They are very open minded to include people into their faiths and the same principles are followed at the golden temple and other Gurudwara as well.
Sikhs offer a lot of service at the Gurudwara they visit. During big community functions where food is prepared in mass, people from all walks of life participate in the preparations.
There are people who cut vegetables, some help in cooking and others take part in serving activities.
Cleaning and purifying the areas are other tasks and no person is assigned to do those tasks, but people volunteer themselves and consider it part of their duty to carry out activities at the Gurudwara.
Another important teaching of Guru Gobind Singh remembered on his Jayanti is tolerance and equality towards all people.
Guru Gobind Singh never considered himself superior to anyone. He considered service and equality as life defining words and we have been born on this earth, so that we can offer our services to the lord.
All humans are equal. A human is born out a soul that has taken many re-births and finally takes the form of a human.
The main part of the human life is the soul that never dies but departs from a body to join hands with another one after the death of the former.
Hence, Guru Gobind Singh preached equality as a major teaching since all humans have the basic essence of the soul that can never change in any way.
People are different only because of their appearance and outlooks. Hence, we must pray to god to give us stability and peace of mind.