Get Your Premium Membership

A Tribute to Guru Gobind Singh

You were primarily a spiritualist, But circumstances made you a noble warrior: Your father, Guru Teg Bahadur, was treacherously beheaded. You had to contend invaders from the Western frontier And ward off repeated imperialist incursions from the East. Both the identity and very existence of the people were under constant threat. So, you had to prepare your people for the struggle: You forged a loosely-knit group of followers into a fearless and formidable community, known as Khalsa. You specified their five marks of identity, Famously known as the five Ks: Kesh, uncut hair, covered usually by a turban, Kara, an iron bracelet, Kirpan, a sword, tucked into the belt, Kachera, a cotton undergarment, Kangha, a little comb—as a symbol of cleanliness. You taught them to use the sword skillfully— But only as a last resort. You made it abundantly clear to them: “When all other means have failed, It is but lawful to take to the sword.” Thus, your men were always mindful of ethics— Never thought of expediency. With these disciplined men, you challenged the invaders from the Western frontier, who could never penetrate your defence. The fierce imperialists from Delhi could hardly ever defeat your men in battle. But you had to pay the price: your two elder sons died in battle; your two little sons were captured and buried alive. Now you were the only one left— of the family of martyrs. You carried on your mission—undaunted. Once during your campaign, Some of your men deserted and returned home, only to be driven back, by their brave womenfolk: Stung by shame, these men plunged into battle again! Such was the spirit of the community! Now your life too came to an end: You were, while in bed, villainously assassinated by the enemy. You had the better of the assassin, though; but died of the mortal wound later! Normally, the death of the leader, in those days and in the circumstances, would lead to the meek surrender of the people. The enemy would take over Plunder and massacre or subjugate and dictate terms. But your men, as inspired by you, their late-lamented waheguru, would not let such things happen. They carried on their fight fiercely— not for geopolitical reasons But to preserve their own identity. Thenceforward, the history of Punjab Was the history of the people, not merely of kings. Soon the son of the soil, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Lion of Punjab, took over. And the people rallied under his banner. Thus, you had laid the foundation On which the Maharaja built the Sikh Empire. And it is your blood and your family’s blood that cemented the empire’s superstructure. Now you are no more, yet your spirit continues to inspire and guide millions of your community. Though now diasporic and into various walks of life, and though some of the marks of identity are no longer insisted upon, the people amazingly preserve their identity— Thanks to you, their Waheguru! ***

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017




Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

Date: 12/20/2017 4:42:00 AM
Wonderful Ram...And a great soul was he...Such selflessness is a light to mankind...All the best my friend
Login to Reply
R. V. Avatar
Ram R. V.
Date: 12/20/2017 7:37:00 AM
Thank you, Arturo, for your prompt and perceptive comment. You are indeed one of my constant sources of encouragement.
R. V. Avatar
Ram R. V.
Date: 12/20/2017 7:37:00 AM
Thank you, Arturo, for your prompt and perceptive comment. You are indeed one of my constant sources of encouragement.