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Sikh concept of Dharam Yudh


Guest BikramjitSingh

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Guest BikramjitSingh

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

I had a discussion with a Hindu was is a believer in Ahimsa ( non-violence ). In his view there is no justification for violence even as a last resort. As we all know Guru Gobind Singh states in Zafarnama than when all means to right a wrong are exhausted then it is right to take up the sword. The Hindu implied that Guru Gobind Singh was not justified to take up the sword and that one should just rely on God to right any wrong. He backtracked when I mentioned the fact that the Hindus believe that their Avtars had been sent down by God to right any wrongs and all had used violence.

The discussion then went on to what is the difference between the military activity of Guru Gobind Singh and the Jewish prophets and Mohammed. Here are my views and I would welcome some comments from other members.

Firstly violence is associated with hate. We assume that if someone fights then they automatically hate their opponents. Guru Gobind Singh showed that you do not have to hate your enemy and that in the end war can equally be fought with love in your heart. This may seem strange. As an example let's look at if one of us was living in Punjab in 1965 and the Pakistanis had invaded the country. Now why would we join up to fight the Pakistanis ?, is it because we hate them or is it because we love our family, our village, our country more. The soldiers on the borders don't fight there because they hate the enemy soldiers. They are there giving their lives because they love their family and want them to be safe from the Pakistanis.

Now if we go back to Guru Gobind Singh and his fights with the hill Rajas and the Mughals, the Guru never attacked anyone first, even in the thick of battle he waited for his opponents to attack him first. This is also what Guru Hargobind did in his battles. He allowed Painda Khan to attack him first and only then killed him. This concept of fighting with love in your heart can be further expanded by the story of Bhai Kannhiya. The Guru allowed him to treat enemy soldiers as well as Sikhs injured in battle. This preceded the Geneva Convention. The enemy is only an enemy as long as he possesses the capacity to harm you or your loved ones. Once an enemy is wounded than he should be treated with respect and given access to medical aid as well as food and water. This is exactly how the army of Guru Gobind Singh treated it's opponents. Captured women and children as well as injured soldiers were always treated with respect and contary to the accepted norms of wars at that time returned unharmed to the enemy.

Also I read a Sakhi once that Guru Gobind Singh had his arrows tipped with gold. This was so that if the enemy was injured he could use the gold to get treatment and if he was dead then his family would be able to pay for his funeral. This shows that the Sikh concept of Dharam Yudh is contary to the common belief that violence must necessarily involve hate.

In one incident Guru Gobind Singh's army captured a number of Muslim women after defeating a Mughal army. The Guru had his son and other members of the Khalsa escort these women to the Mughal authorities. In the 18th century the Khalsa rescued thousands of Hindu women who were being taken away by the Afghans into slavery and returned them safely to their homes. If one looks at the actions of other prophets when they fought such as Mohammed who the Muslims admit took the women of his dead enemies and distributed them to his army as slaves, we can see how unique the Dharm Yudh concept.

GurFateh

Bikramjit

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Along with bikramjit singh's post; Here are some of them in point forms.

Here are some rules to remember and regulated by guroo gobind singh maharaj during dharam yudh-

Literally, it means waging a war of righteousness or securing freedom and justice. Guru Hargobind Ji raised an army to fight against Mughal and Hindu oppression and injustice. Dhan Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji amplified the Sikh concept of Dharam Yudh as under:

1. War to be waged should be without aggression or feeling of emnity and revenge.

2. Before war is begun, all peaceful means of dialiogue, arbitration and negotiation should have been tried but without any success.

3. The soldiers should be volunteers devoted to the cause.

4. The defeated enemy should be treated with consideration and compassion. No women or children be captured or maltreated.

5. That minimum force be used for subduing the enemy and as a last resort.

6. No territory is to be annexed, no looting or wilful bloodshed is permitted. The army for Dharam-Yudh must observe these conditions, for they have to set an example as Saint-Soldiers.

This was written by Guru Ji himself for all Singhs to emulate. I personally believe that these rules also serve as an excellent guide for life. Think about them along these:

1. Have no hatred towards anyone

2. Try to be reasonable and understanding, but let anyone walk over you!

3. Be devoted to your Guru and always aim to serve your Guru

4. Recognise everything you see around you as that of Vahiguru, love everything. Even people who maltreat you should be treated with Love, to show that whatever they do or say, the only thing that really matters in this world is Vahiguru.

5. Never try to be over-zealous and make sure that what you are doing is for the benefit of YOU and your Guru and that you DO NOT hurt the people who surround you when you are trying to achieve your goals.

6. Do not hurt anyone (physically or mentally) and do not take or receive anything that does not belong to you.

Reference: Some of these teachings come from Guru Gobind SIngh's Charitropakhyan.!

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  • 11 years later...
  • 4 years later...
On 8/29/2003 at 5:26 PM, Guest BikramjitSingh said:

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

 

I had a discussion with a Hindu was is a believer in Ahimsa ( non-violence ). In his view there is no justification for violence even as a last resort. As we all know Guru Gobind Singh states in Zafarnama than when all means to right a wrong are exhausted then it is right to take up the sword. The Hindu implied that Guru Gobind Singh was not justified to take up the sword and that one should just rely on God to right any wrong. He backtracked when I mentioned the fact that the Hindus believe that their Avtars had been sent down by God to right any wrongs and all had used violence.

That is kind of amusing as according to Hindu scriptures, the kshatriyas were created from the arms of Brahma for the purpose of protecting Brahmins and keeping order in society, with the help of their arms (pun intended). Without military might, order cannot be established. I am not for unnessary violence or war, however to defend dharam violence is nessecary in some circumstances. 

Some people have a black and white perception of reality, "this is right, this is wrong". It is inaccurate, in my humble opinion. It is righteous to wage war than to sit back whilst your country is being raided. Although, Gandhi has helped in spreading this ideal of "ahimsa" with people suggesting him as the perfect example, it seems like a clouded perception of reality. Ahimsa has its rightful place as does himsa, neither one cannot be neglected.

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