All men have the same eyes, the same ears, the same body, the same build, a compound of earth, air, fire and water,” said Guru Gobind Singh. Emphasising on the notion of universal mankind, Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru and the creator of the Khalsa, denounced all kinds of divisions and upheld the inherent unity as an integral trait of the Supreme Being.
Guru Gobind Singh was a believer in One Supreme Being and regarded the whole of humanity as one, highlighting its inclusiveness and universalism. He says: “As sparks flying out of a flame fall back in the fire from which they rise; as dust rising from the earth falls back and on the earth does lie; as waves beating on the shingle go back and in the ocean mingle; so from God come all things under the sun and to God return when their race is run.”
Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1666 at Patna. He moved to Anandpur when he was five and received his initial education in scriptures as well as in arms. It was a time of great stress and challenge for the community. In order to show the true path to the people and to protect the oppressed from tyranny, he formed the Khalsa brotherhood based upon bravery and sacrifice.
Guru Nanak’s concept of the ideal society was transformed into the Khalsa Panth at the time of Guru Gobind Singh largely under social and historical forces. He visualised Sikh society as a universal brotherhood voicing the concept of “One World”. It aimed at demolishing all the walls of prejudice between man and man, man and woman, religion and religion, the rich and the poor and the ruler and the subjects. Hence, Guru Gobind Singh truly presented a unique image of “Saint-soldier” (Sant-sipahi).
In Sikhism, the Almighty is not only the ultimate truth but he bestows justice as well. In his court, no distinctions based on caste, religion, gender and class are taken into account: the person will be judged only on the basis of his conduct and deeds. One of these duties, hence, of the Khalsa, is to stand for the right cause so that justice prevails. It was in keeping with the tradition of the Sikh faith to stand for truth and righteousness that the Khalsa was formed. Guru Gobind Singh describes it as a mission to “To establish dharma, to annihilate the calumniators and oppressors; enemies of universal peace and love; to succour the good, to exterminate the evil”.
The Guru extols the Sikhs to fight against sectarian forces and to remain fearless in the path of truth and justice. The path shown by the Guru is not for the meek, nor for the renouncers. To run away from one’s duty and to remain aloof from the world, especially the woes of the oppressed, is like showing one’s back to the divine. Not surprisingly, the only prayer the Guru says is: “Give me this power, O Almighty! From righteous deeds I may never refrain. Fearlessly may I fight all battles of life, full confidence may I have in asserting my battles; when the mortal life comes to a close, may I die with the joy and courage of a martyr”.