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Guru Gobind Singh Ji's relics

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Patna’s Harmindar Sahib gurudwara houses Guru Gobind Singh’s relics

By Ajay Sharma, Patna:

Patna has a rich history and was once the capital of the great Mauryan dynasty, but this apart, it also occupies an important place in Sikh heritage.

Patna was the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the last Sikh guru. Patna was also graced by the visit of Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh guru and Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru.

Sikhs regard Patna as one of five takths, and the city upholds great faith and devotion of the millions of Sikh devotees visiting from all over the world.

Situated in one of the old quarters of the city, away from the din and bustle, is Takth Sri Harmandir Sahib, the shrine that commemorates Guru Gobind Singh.

History has it that the place where the shrine is now located was once the Haveli of Salis Rai Johri, a great devotee of Guru Nanak Dev. During his visit in the year 1666, the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Teg Bahadur stayed here along with Mata Gujri Ji and it was here that Guru Gobind Singh was born.

Guru Gobind Singh's childhood was spent in Patna and quite a few relics of the Guru are preserved in the shrine even today. These include a `Pangura' (cradle), four iron arrows, the sacred sword of the Guru and a pair of his sandals.

The preserved `Hukamnamas', the written orders of Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh are a special attraction for the devotees.

“Being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru, devotees from all over the world come here to have their prayers answered. They offer prayer for their well being and that makes this an important pilgrimage site. Devotees come from England, USA, Canada and Singapore,†said Bhai Rajender Singh, Head Granthi, Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib, Patna.

When fire burnt down the ancient Harminder Sahib gurudwara, Maharaja Ranjit Singh got it built again in 1839, and this is the edifice that stands till this day.

The `langar', or the community meal, holds immense religious significance for the devotees.

“Visiting here is a devotional feeling and we paid thanks to the Guru who made it possible for us to pay an obeisance at his holy place. We feel ourselves lucky. Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed his four sons for the well being of the religion and the country. This is a holy place for us. I came all the way from Australia and feel happy about it. It’s a heavenly feeling,†said a devotee.

Rest and succour to the weary traveller is what Gurudwara Harmindar Sahib provides even now, as it did during the time of the Gurus. Generations on, the spirit of humanity has been preserved and is still practised as laid down in the tenets of Sikhism. Therein lies its message of service to humanity, the spirit of selfless service to mankind.

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