Name – Guru Gobind Singh
Date of Birth: January 5, 1666
Place of Birth: Patna Sahib, India
Death: October 7, 1708
Place of Death: Hazur Sahib, Nanded, India
Major Works: Introduced the Khalsa & the Five Ks; Declared Guru Granth Sahib as eternal Guru for Sikhs; Wrote Zafarnamah, Bachittar Natak, Chaupai (Sikhism), Akal Ustat, Jaap Sahib, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Chandi di Var
Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and last Sikh Guru, a spiritual leader, philosopher, poet and a great warrior. Born as Gobind Rāi, he emerged as tenth Sikh Guru at age nine after his father Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, was beheaded publicly by orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb as he refused to convert to Islam. Such atrocity led Guru Gobind Singh to found the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa that marked a significant event in the history of Sikhism.
He also introduced the five articles famous as the Five Ks and commanded the Khalsa Sikhs to wear at all times. Other contributions of the Guru includes writing important texts on Sikhism and holding Guru Granth Sahib, the religious scripture of Sikhism, as the eternal living guru of the Sikhs.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born Gobind Rai on January 5, 1666 in Patna Sahib, Bihar, India in the Sodhi Khatri family of the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur and his wife Mata Gujri. The first Maharaja of Sikh Empire Ranjit Singh later built the Gurdwara Takht Sri Patna Sahib in the site of the house where Guru Gobind Singh was born and lived for the first four years of his life. The Guru returned to Punjab with his family in 1670 and later relocated with them to Chakk Nanaki on the edge of Shivalik Hills in March 1672 where he did his schooling.
In 1675, the Kashmiri Pandits approached Guru Tegh Bahadur to protect them from oppression of the Islamic satrap of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb called Iftikar Khan. According to the composition Bachittar Natak written by Guru Gobind Singh, his father promised to protect the Kashmiri Pandits and was summoned to Delhi on a pretext by Aurangzeb and on his arrival, Tegh Bahadur was asked to convert to Islam.
Tegh Bahadur was arrested along with his associates after he refused and was beheaded in public on November 11, 1675, in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. Such execution only toughened determination of the Sikhs to fight against atrocities of the Muslims in safeguarding their human rights and identity as Sikhs.
The martyrdom of his father led the Sikhs to formally install the nine year old Gobind Rai as the tenth Sikh Guru on March 29, 1676, on Vaisakhi. He continued with his education which apart from reading and writing also included archery, horse riding and other martial arts. Till 1685 he stayed in Paonta.
The Guru had three wives. On June 21, 1677, he married Mata Jito at Basantgaṛh. Together they had three sons Jujhar Singh born on 1691, Zorawar Singh born on 1696 and Fateh Singh born on 1699. He married his second wife Mata Sundari on April 4, 1684 at Anandpur with whom he had a son called Ajit Singh born on 1687. His third wife was Mata Sahib Devan whom he married at Anandpur on April 15, 1700. They had no children. Mata Sahib Devan played an instrumental role in Sikhism and was proclaimed as Mother of the Khalsa by the Guru.