Guru Hargobind was destined to crush the heads of tyrants. He was the son of Guru Arjan Dev and became the sixth Sikh Guru at the tender age of eleven. The Guru inherited his father’s pious legacy and the misery of the oppressed masses.
He was the first Sikh Guru to raise an army of saint-soldiers. Their purpose was the destruction of evil, the defeat of the Mughal tyrants. Guru Hargobind was a master of warfare. He was also well-versed in Gurbani. His robust nature influenced men to rise above their normal lives and fight for the cause of suffering.
The Guru carried two swords, both emblems of authority, piri and miri, the spiritual and temporal. The Akal Takht was established at his command. It served as a seat of temporal authority, imparting justice to all Sikhs.
The Guru’s army began with 700 volunteers and soon swelled to thousands. All castes were welcomed with open arms. Emperor Jehangir feared Guru Hargobind’s increasing power and imprisoned him in the Gwalior Fort in 1609. But at the behest of the Guru’s well-wishers, Jehangir released him in 1612. The Guru and 52 rajas walked free.
Numerous battles were fought. Severely outnumbered every time, the Sikhs’ courage, determination, and devotion to God led them to victory. This shattered the Mughals, and the ensuing shockwaves led to the first cracks in the Mughal empire’s foundation.
Guru Hargobind chose his grandson Har Rai as the next Sikh Guru. He advised Har Rai to live peacefully but uphold honor and integrity. In May 1644, Guru Hargobind’s holy light merged with God Almighty.
He was the protector of the weak, the ‘Liberator of Bondage’.