Guru Hargobind focused on building a strong army to strengthen the Sikh community. He also came up with the idea and built the Akal Takht
Image from Wikimedia Commons.
On June 19, 2021, the Sikh community around the world will celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Guru Hargobind. He was the sixth of the 10 Gurus of the Sikhs.
Guru Hargobind is recognized for having played an important role in giving a new direction to the Sikh religion. He focused on building a strong army to strengthen the community.
According to sacred scriptures, it is believed that Guru Hargobind wore two swords with him during his succession ceremony. A sword symbolized his authority as temporal (miri) and other sword as spiritual (piri) meaning head of the community.
Who was Guru Hargobind?
Born in 1595 in Guru ki Waá¸ali Amritsar, Guru Hargobind was the only son of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh guru. From the start he began to study religious texts and received training in saber and archery. He later became a skilled swordsman, wrestler and horseman as he had received training in military warfare and martial arts.
At the age of 11, he became a guru after the death of his father Guru Arjan Dev. Guru Hargobind came up with the idea and built the Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs), where the spiritual and temporal issues related to the Sikh community are solved.
Interesting facts about Guru Hargobind:
– When Guru Hargobind was building a strong Sikh army for his community, Mughal Emperor Jahangir imprisoned him in Gwalior for 12 years. He was later released.
– In addition to building an army, Guru Hargobind also established congregational prayers to promote Sikhism in the country.
– As a first step towards the spread of Sikhism, Guru Hargobind sent his chosen disciples to various places and cities across India to spread the word of Guru Nanak (first guru of the Sikhs).
– There were several attacks on his life. Once Guru Hargobind’s uncle attempted to poison him and another time a cobra was thrown at him, according to hagiographies written by the Sikh Orthodox tradition.
– Guru Hargobind died on March 2, 1644 in Kiratpur Sahib. He was then cremated on the banks of the Sutlej River.