Guru Gobind Sahib Ji Maharaj (1675 -1708)
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The ten year-old son of Akali Guru Tegh Bahadur, Gobind
Rai (later known as Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh)
succeeded him as the tenth Sikh Guru. From the beginning the ministry
of Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh was fiercely imbued with 'Bir
Ras' (warrior essence). The religious persecutions of minorities
by Aurangzeb was at its height and the whole of India was being
driven to revolt by the mad cap state policies of Aurangzeb.
'Kalgidhar' Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh
A painting done in the Persian style depicting the Guru
with his beloved 'Baj' (hawk) and adorned with a 'Kalgi' (plume)
The Shia Muslims in southern India were revolting.
The Hindu Marhattas in central India were revolting. The Hindu Ahoms
in Assam were revolting. In the Punjab, the torch of revolt would
be lit by Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru was no mere warrior
alone, he was a great poet, musician and spiritual leader.
His aim was to prepare the Sikhs physically for overcoming
religious bigotry, fanaticism, fundamentalism and evil forces. He
also sought to spiritually, intellectually and psychologically prepare
the Sikhs for these battles.
The great warrior Guru initiated warriors into the
Akali Nihang Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab in 1699(?)
For this aforementioned end, he employed numerous
scholars to translate all manner of ancient Indian religious,
philosophical, political, martial,
strategic, medical, classical
musical texts, etc., into the common man’s language
and in turn spread their wisdom. The Guru understood that it was
ignorance that bred religious intolerance, bigotry, fanaticism and
superstitions that snared mankind.
In time he altered the structure of the original Sikh
army of the Akal Bunga of the Akalis,
the Akal Sena, by diving its soldiers into Akali
Nihangs and Nihangs.
Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa
A painting of 3 Akali Nihangs in their traditional 'baana' (uniform)
adorned with 'chakars' (quoits), 'toradars' (matchlock rifles) and