They were required to wear the five
symbols of the Khalsa.
Every Sikh baptized as Khalsa vows to wear the Five
Kesh - uncut hair and beard, as given by God, to sustain him
or her in higher consciousness; and a turban, the crown of spirituality.
- a wooden comb to properly groom the hair as a symbol of cleanliness.
- specially made cotton underwear as a reminder of the commitment to purity.
a steel circle, worn on the wrist, signifying bondage to Truth and freedom from every
- the sword, with which the Khalsa is committed to righteously defend the fine line of the
Guru Gobind Singh, then himself received initiatory
rites from the same five disciples, now invested with authority as Khalsa, and had his
name changed from Gobind Rai to Gobind Singh.
Further injunctions were laid down for the Sikhs.
They must never cut or trim their hair and beards, nor smoke tobacco. A Sikh must not have
sexual relationship outside the marital bond, nor eat the flesh of an animal killed slowly
in the Muslim way.
Guru Gobind infused the heroic spirit among them so
that each Singh was said to oppose a hundred and twenty five opponents (Sawa Lakh). He
laid down, for the community, the ideal in his well known hymn Deh Shiva.
Guru Ji, organized his brave devotees into a
well-knit fighting force, and took up the sword against the tyranny of the Moghul rulers.
Many battles were fought and may Sikhs soldiers became martyrs, fighting bravely and
fearlessly all for a noble cause. In 1705, in the battle of Chamkaur, the Guru's two elder
sons Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh and many other Sikhs fought bravely, till their last
breadth, protecting their faith. The Guru bore the death of his two sons with a calm
spirit as the death of heroes.
The Guru's two younger sons Zorawar Singh and Fateh
Singh along with their grandmother, were staying at the village of Kheir. Being a
treacherous man he betrayed them and informed the local Moghul officials of their stay.
They were all captured and were asked to give up their faith and accept Islam. The two
sons were made to stand in a wall being constructed. They were asked to accept Islam. But
the two of them were determined and were not afraid of anything.
They shouted out, "We shall not give up our
faith; death does not frighten us. The wall continued to rise until it finally covered
them. The wall was then pulled down and the executioners brought the unconscious boys and
slew them with swords. They attained martyrdom at a very tender age, setting an example of
steadfast devotion to their faith which will serve as a beacon light for younger
Guru Gobind Singh was a unique religious guide, a
brave fighter with a vision. After the death of all his four sons, he still did no lose
heart and continued protecting others and fighting for his faith.
Guru Gobind wrote Aurangzeb a letter, in Persian,
called Zafarnama (Epistle or Message of Victory). In this letter he wrote, "You take
pride in the fact that you are the ruler and have a huge army. My Protector is Akal, the
Immortal God. No doubt you are a king, but sincerity and true religion are far from you.
You cannot put out the fire of revolt by extinguishing a few sparks. A huge fire will
blaze. What if four of my sons are killed, I am still alive to carry on the fight."
In the meantime, Guru Gobind Singh Ji told Banda
Singh Bahadur, a hermit turned heroic soldier, to raise an army and avenge the death of
his sons and to destroy the Moghul rule. Banda Singh attacked the towns of Samana and
Sirhind, the places where Guru Ji's sons were murdered, and was victorious.
On September 15, 1708, Guru Gobind Singh Ji was
stabbed while completing his evening prayers and was seriously injured. This injury was
the cause of Guru Ji's death.
Realizing that his end was near, the Guru called his
devotees and proclaimed that thereafter the Guru Granth Sahib will be their Guru and guide
forever. The Sikh congregation assembled in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib will called
Guru Panth and represent Guru.
Addressing his devotees the Guru said, "Guru
Granth will be your guide in whom resides the divine spirit of all the ten Gurus. The Sikh
Sangat symbolizes their teachings and looks to Waheguru for sustenance and support. The
Guru's word, as revealed in the Shabad, will ever be the source of inspiration for the
community. Meeting his brethren Khalsa will be regarded as a great privilege by every
member of the community.