Identity establishes the attachment for survival. If you identify with something, anything for that matter, its loss will define your existence. In your mind.
One, who is free and liberated has no time or need for that.
Protection can never be of a person, for that which is sure to die can never be saved, even by the Divine. Aspiration can only be to dissolve what is divine into the Divine in every perceptible way.
Mata Gujri and her two grandsons had died in the custody of Wazir Khan – who was pursuing and attacking Guru Gobind Singh’s panthis. At that time, the Guru turned to his Guru, the Formless, Stainless and Self-reliant. Primal, Blemishless, Endless, and Birthless. That which was the manifestation as Brahm, Vishnu, and also Shiva, the Adi Yogi.
To understand the panth of the Khalsa, one needs to understand its architect.
The Khalsa and India – how the path was formed
The foundation of Khalsa Panth, not religion, was laid down by Guru Gobind Singh. Not because it was a new way to be, but because it was the need of the hour. Many Spiritual Masters have understood the contemporary situations with clarity that only unencumbered beings can.
Clearing out the nonsense, they can see what is needed.
When Guru Gobind Singh’s family – his father, his kids, his mother – and his colleagues had been tortured and killed by Aurangzeb’s associates and generals, he was praying to the one eternal consciousness and divinity.
In his powerful poem titled Benti Chaupaee, he calls out the enemy and what he would prefer happened to those inimical forces.
ਦੁਸ਼ਟ ਜਿਤੇ ਉਠਵਤ ਉਤਪਾਤਾ ॥ ਸਕਲ ਮਲੇਛ ਕਰੋ ਰਣ ਘਾਤਾ ॥੩੯੬
dusht jitai uthvat utpata skal mlaich kro run ghata
दुष्ट जीतइ उठवत उत्पाता सकल मलेछ करो रन घाता
The evildoers who arise to create destruction, kill all those Mlechh (Islamic invaders*) in the battle.
*Mlechh was the Sanskrit word used for foreign invaders, specifically those who did not follow Dharma. Not as in a religion, but in its social and spiritual construct. Rules of wars being one component. This word was used for the Greek invaders in earlier times and later in Guru Gobind Singh’s time it was used for the Islamic Invaders.
He was asking for strength from the Supreme Eternal consciousness, also known as Hiranyagarbha in most scriptures, for the destruction of अधर्म – Adharma. Entities that did not follow the rules and laws which align with the one eternal being.
The reason for creating the panth – which essentially means a path and not religion – was to raise a group of co-travelers on the difficult but necessary journey that he had undertaken.
Gurus, you see, are not doing things for others or for a frivolous exhibition.
They do what is needed for those times as their offering to life and the life-force that pervades the existence.
It is needed so they do.
For, think about it – what needs of others or even yours are important enough to give away the lives of your kids and mother after your father has been publicly tortured and beheaded?
That which is temporary – body – cannot be protected.
To ask for help for that – his mother or his kids – was a waste of time for the Guru.
What he was raising his voice for was for the life force to align against that which was the source of destruction. The disgust for Mlechhas came from that understanding.
The co-travelers who laid the foundation of the पंथ that Guru Gobind Singh set out to create were not chosen by him at all. When he asked for five people who could give their lives for the पंथ as he took them inside the tent one by one, emerging every time with blood on his sword, he was sharing the intensity that his band of co-travelers had to possess.
When Bhai Daya Ram from Lahore went in, he could do so when the love and trust in the integrity and the purity of his Guru’s way was greater than his own need for survival.
His walk up to his Guru was a walk away from survival. To a step into eternity. When his Guru was greater than his own physical existence.
Similarly, Bhai Dharam Das from Hastinapur (Meerut), UP and Bhai Himmat Singh from Puri, Odisha and Bhai Mohkam Singh from Dwarka, Gujarat and finally Bhai Sahib Singh from Bidar, Karnataka walked up, as the certainty of their physical end and birth into eternal path became crystal clear.
Not everyone took those steps. Only five did that day.
The test – give up the need for the physical temporary existence and align with the eternal. The Khalsa – खालसा पंथ – or the path to the pure and eternal.
Except one, none of those who held Guru Gobind Singh higher than every possible security in life was from Punjab. One spoke Brij bhaasha, one Oriya, one Gujarati, and the final one Kannada.
That is what made the first set of co-travelers of Guru Gobind Singh.
Singh is not born. Singh is one who holds the eternal dharma higher than even his death. Birth is not what defines a Khalsa, his intensity for dharma does. For, that goes beyond death.
What started the first band of travelers on the Khalsa Panth was not allegiance or narrow relationship to Punjab or Punjabiyat, but the intensity to give up all for the lofty work of the Guru.
If the Sikhs, who imagine Khalistan as their goal and some synthetic concept of Sikhi as their ideal, and trample on the concept of India as the way to establish their allegiance, think they have anything to do with Guru Gobind Singh or his path, they can’t be more dishonest. In fact, they are doing the most spectacular job of trampling on the very being of Guru Gobind Singh.
Just as Adi Shankara established the four centers of Dharma in the four corners of this land called India, Guru Gobind Singh established his path with the induction of four amazing beings also from the four corners of India.
The Guru who was born in Patna and left his physical existence in Nanded, Maharashtra had as much importance for an establishment linked to Punjab as his life’s work did for that piece of land.
With gratitude to दृष्टिकोण’s Newsletter