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God of Guru Gobind Singh Ji


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The bright sunshine of spring is indicative of the time of celebrations in Punjab. People dance in thanksgiving to the Lord of the harvests; visit gurdwaras, sing kirtans and enjoy food together at the langars. Baisakhi falls on April 13. It is a day rendered sacred by several significant events in Punjab’s history.

Baisakhi has a special meaning for the Sikhs. On this day in 1699, their tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, organised the order of the Khalsa. He discontinued the tradition of Gurus in Sikhism by declaring Granth Sahib to be the eternal Guru of all Sikhs. He gave call to his followers to be ready to lay down their lives to protect the faith and defend others against religious despotism. He instituted the Panj Piaras comprising representatives of five different castes to lead the Sikhs.

At a time when numerous religious leaders were setting themselves as gods deceiving the people and blinding them for ever, he castigated the custom of elevating mere mortals to the status of God or gods. Foreseeing the possibility that his own followers may start worshipping him as God, he wrote those immortal words: “Those who address me as God shall fall into the pit of hell. Treat me as a servant of the Lord. And entertain no doubt about it.I am only a slave of the Lord. I have only come to witness the Lord’s play (Lila).”

Equally strong was his condemnation of those customs and traditions which had almost become sources of exploitation of the devout by godmen, the so-called sants. “It is of no avail to sit closing both eyes and meditating like a crane. This world is lost, and the next also, for those who go about bathing in the seas, desiring salvation. They pass their lives in vain dwelling in the midst of sin. I speak verily; hear me all -God is realised only through love.” (Swayya 9)

“God has no marks, no colour, no caste, and no ancestors: no form, no complexion, no outline, no costume and so he is indescribable.” He wrote. “He is fearless, luminous and measureless in might. He is the king of kings, the Lord of the prophets. He is the sovereign of the universe, gods, men and demons. The woods and dales sing the indescribable. O Lord, none can tell Thy names. The wise count your blessings to coin your names.” (Jaap Sahib)

He had a keen insight into the prevalent confusion caused by man-made philosophies. What he wrote then is so true of the religious scene in our land today. “Whoever was clever in the world established his own sect. No one tried to unite people in the search for the Creator. Enmity, contention and pride increased. All, big and small, flared up and started perishing in their own rivalry. And none of them tried my way. They who obtained a little spiritual power struck out their own way. None of them cared to recognise the Supreme Being, but became mad, boasting of themselves. They cared little to recognise the Real Essence. But each became absorbed in himself and tried to establish his superiority over others.” (Bachittar Natak)

We have today godmen and godwomen who proffer themselves as gods and goddesses and make religion their “business.” What is tragic is that millions, in search of truth, are mesmerised by their “good works” accomplished through donations from generous individuals. These so-called saints have great oratorical skills and promote false philosophies to build their own particular empires and spheres of influence. They speak of a dharma which does not extend beyond their kith and kin and thereby sow seeds of narrow-mindedness and hatred among followers.

In our caste-ridden society and even in urban settings where the rich and the powerful are preferred over the poor and men are ‘measured’ in terms of their wealth, his words should bring some realism. “All men are the same though they appear different. The bright and the dark, the ugly and the beautiful, The Hindus and the Muslims have developed in accordance with their different surroundings; All human beings have the same eyes, the same ears, the same body build composed of earth, air, fire and water. The names Allah and Abhekh are for the same God; the same is referred to in the Puranas and the Quran. All human beings are the reflection of one and the same Lord. Recognise ye the whole human race as one.” It is on the basis of that very equality of all human beings and brotherhood of man that he built the order of the Khalsa.

To conclude, the opening chapter of Guru Granth Sahib contains this God: ‘God is one. He is the supreme truth. He, the Creator, is beyond fear and beyond hate. He is immortal. He is neither born and nor does He die. By Guru’s grace shall He be met. In the beginning He was the truth. Throughout the ages He has been the truth. He is the truth here and now and He shall be the truth forever’.

M.P.K. Kutty

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