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Guru Gobind Singh - The Childhood

Guru Gobind Singh – The Childhood

The tenth Guru Spent his first five years in Patna itself and did his basic schooling there. Along with the religious scriptures, he also studied the Bihari language at Patna. His Uncle, Bhai Kripal, trained him in archery and swordsmanship and soon he became a great marksman. When Guru Tegh Bahadur returned from Dacca to Patna he saw his five years old child for the first time, and kissed and embraced his divine boy. The Guru blossomed under the spiritual guidance of his father, but it was short-lived since Guru Tegh bahadur had to leave Patna for Anandpur.

Guru Gobind Singh and Bhai Kripal
Guru Gobind Singh and Bhai Kripal

Gobind Rai, as he was called then, was beloved of many people in Patna including a large number of Muslims. The child had a charming personality which attracted everyone he met, even for a short while. He was a wonder boy ever since his childhood. His words always came true. Even before he was six years old he had learnt Hindi, Marathi and Gurumukhi. He was a very bold and courageous boy, and had all the qualities of a great man and a natural leader. He was very fond of playing the soldier and was often the leader of his playmates. He used to divide his friends into two groups and acted out actual war scenes to give his friends lessons in archery and sabre-rattling. During his early years, he gave clear signs of the sort of life which he was to lead later. He was active and full of mirth. He was bold and fearless.

One day, he was playing with his friends in one of the main streets of the city, the Chief Officer of Nawab of Patna happened to pass that way, accompanied by his bodyguard and a number of officers. When the nawab’s servant called upon the boy’s to salute the nawab, the Child Guru stopped his friends from doing anything of the sort. He was aware of Aurangzeb’s cruelty and oppression towards Hindus and Sikhs, and refusing to salute the emperor’s men was his way of standing against him. Soon his fame for working miracles spread far and wide.

In the same city lived a pandit called Shiv Dutta, on the banks of river Ganga. One day, when he reached the holy river for his prayers as usual, he found the child there. He had heard of the miracles of the boy and asked the Guru to make him see his chosen deity. Lord Rama, Gobindji smiled and asked the pandit to close his eyes. Slowly pandit ji was lost deep in meditation. Suddenly within his mental vision there appeared a beam of light and he felt as though Lord Rama was standing right before him. Then he saw the vision of Lord Rama getting merged with that of Child Guru. He was overwhelmed with emotion and when he opened his eyes he fell at the feet of the child Guru, who, he realised was the incarnation of Lord Rama. Smilingly the child Guru placed his hand on the head of Pandit Shiv Dutta, who felt that his worship had been finally rewarded. He related the incident to Raja Fatehsingh of Srinagar, the capital of Garhwal in those times, who had no child of his own, and asked him to seek the blessings of the Guru.

And so, one day, Raja Fatehsingh told his wife about the Child Guru and they decided to visit him. The next day they reached his house and were welcomed warmly by Mata Gujari ji. She was most surprised when they expressed their wish to be blessed by her five year old son. The Child Gobind was playing in the courtyard at that time, when he was called in to bless the couple. The Guru looked at the stick in the Raja’s hand and taking it from him he touched the Rani’s head five times with it, blessing her. In no time, the Rani was expecting a child and she went on to give five children to the King.

Gobind ji had no attachment whatsoever to any worldly things. One day, his mother gave him two gold Karhas (Thick Bangles) and asked him to wear one in each wrist. After a few days she was surprised to see only one Karha on his wrist. When questioned, he calmly told her that he had lost it. When she angrily asked him to take her to the place where he had been playing, he took her near the Ganga and threw the second Karha also into the river. Then told his amazed mother that he felt burdened and weighed by the Karhas which to him represented the worldly temptations. He said that he wished to only follow the path of his father and Guru Nanak Dev Ji. His mother was very pleased with her child. She told him that she was proud of his noble sentiments, which she knew would help him to accomplish great deeds in future.

It was 1672, and the annual Baisakhi fair was nearing. Gobind ji was really eager to join his father at Anandpur, but he was told that they could go only when summoned. As if by miracle, the summon soon arrived. The Political scene was filled with tension as persecution of Hindus continued and there was danger of hostilities from Aurangzeb. In such circumstances, Guru Gobind’s father thought it best for the family to be together, and so he asked them to come to Anandpur.

When Guru Gobind ji was leaving Patna, people gathered around him to despair and sorrow. They felt the pangs of separation from the child who had made very strong place for himself in the hearts of Hindus and Muslims alike. Guru Gobind Rai was given a very tearful farewell by the people of Patna.

After leaving Patna Gobind Ji Passed through Dhampur, Banaras, Ayodhya, Lucknow and Kirtarpur, finally reaching Anandpur. There he was welcomed with great joy. Large crowd of people gathered around him to have a glimpse of the wonder boy. Thousands of people were fed that day by his father and alms were distributed to the poor. The news of his arrival reached far and wide and people came from everywhere with gifts such as bows and arrows as these were his favourite. He loved to organise armies and enact battles, and he spent most of his time playing outside his home.

This period of his life can be described as happiest. He was usually busy with games. He had the privilege of getting spiritual guidance directly from Guru Tegh Bahadur ji himself, his mother and grandmother doted on him and he spent his morning and evenings in meditation. He had already learnt Sanskrit and Persian as well as the sikh scriptures. Special and suitable arrangements were also made for training him in horsemanship and use of arms. At night hymns fro Guru Granth Sahib ji were recited to him, to which he listened with great attention. His father also arranged for his formal education in martial arts and weapon wielding, since he knew that Gobind ji would need the sword to fight dictatorship and injustice in the land. His blissful life in Anandpur was unfortunately cut short.

One day when he came home to greet his father he found group of strangers seated before him with sad and downcast faces. His father too had a grim expression on his face and was lost in thoughts. When he asked him the cause of his worry, Guru Tegh Bahadur disclosed to him that the whole country was being terrorized by the bigots of Aurangzeb and the Hindus Dharma was facing a serious crisis. When Gobind ji was told that the condition could improve only if an able and pure soul sacrificed his life for Dharma, he promptly suggested that no one but his own father was suited for the sacrifice, since there was none more noble and holy than him. Surprised Guru Tegh Bahadur asked what would become of him and his family, Gobind Ji earnestly and calmly replied that Lord Almighty would take care of them. Guru Tegh Bahadur was extremely delighted to hear these noble sentiments expressed by his dear son. Thus he decided to sacrifice his life for the cause of Dharma.

When Aurangzeb heard of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s decision, he immediately sent his officials to arrest him in July 1675. and at the tender age of nine years, Gobind Ji assumed the charge of being the Guru. He was installed as the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs.

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