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Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji & Durga Devi

It is prevalent among some people that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji worshipped Durga Devi to get the Shakti ( strength ) to fight against the oppression. Before we discuss the topic of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Durga Devi, it will be advisable to study the history of India in brief, which has been deliberately changed after 1947 A.D. Actually the distortion of history has been done intentionally by many modern Indian historians, particularly covering over historical wrongs against Hindus. They believe that by correcting history, the present can be changed. They pretend that the generally cruel Muslim rule in India was benign and secular so that this account will serve to make modern Hindus and Muslims more benign and secular and help them bury the past. But the opposite is true. If a nation does not face its true history, it has no future and its present remains confused. So we should try to know about the real facts instead of the distortions made by many historians after independence. Here we shall mention about those facts in brief. The Muslims invaded India time and again for about 1000 years. The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 700 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period. Below is a brief account of some of the atrocities committed by Muslims. Muhammad Kasim invaded Sind in 711 A.D. Bin Qasim was successful, rapidly taking all of Sindh and moving into southern Punjab up to Multan. The forces of Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahar, and took his daughters captive (they were sent to Damascus). The raiders demolished temples, shattered "idolatorous" artwork and killed many men (it took three days to slaughter all the inhabitants of the city of Debal) enslaving the women and children. Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India no less than 17 times between 1000 and 1025 AD. Mahmud of Ghazni attacked Somnath temple in 1025 AD, and looted it of gems and precious stones. He then massacred the worshippers and had the temple burnt. It was then that the famous Shiva

lingam of the temple was entirely destroyed. The temple and citadel were sacked, and most of its defenders massacred. Mahmud personally hammered the temples gilded lingam to pieces and the stone fragments of the Devi were carted back to Ghazni, where they were incorporated into the steps of the citys new Jamiah Masjid. Alberuni records that the idol of Devi was destroyed by Mahmud and broken parts shipped to Ghazni; "the upper part with all its trappings of gold, jewels and embroidered garments" being kept at his residence and another part before the door of the mosque of Ghazni, on which people rub their feet to clean them from dirt and wet". Pradyumna Prasad Karan further describes Mahmud's invasion as one in which he put "thousands of Hindus to the sword" and made a pastime of "raising pyramids of the skulls of the Hindus". The account of Mahmud's invasions is full of demolition of temples (at Thanesar, Mathura, Kannauj, Somnath - to mention a few), plunder, massacres, enslavement and forced conversions. Mohd. Gauri (1175-1206) committed genocide against Hindus at Kol (modern Aligarh), Kalinjar and Varanasi, according to Hasan Nizami's Taj-ul-Maasir, 20,000 Hindu prisoners were slaughtered and their heads offered to crows. Balban (1266-1286 ): Hindus were skinned from head to foot. Their skins were stuffed with straw. They were hung over every gate of the city. Males over eight years were killed and women carried into slavery. Ala-ud-din Khilji(1296-1316): said when the revenue officer demands silver from the Hindus, they should without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold. If a muslim officer chooses to spit into the mouth of a Hindu, the latter must open his mouth without any hesitation. The Hindus could neither ride a horse, nor dress decently, nor bear arms, nor even chew betel. Ala-ud-din boasted, At my command, Hindus are ready to creep into holes like mice. (Crescent in India by S.R. Sharma 1937 edition). Then came the Moghul rule from 1526 A.D. to 1707 A.D. During their rule martyrdom of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji ( 1606 A.D. ) and Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji (1675 A.D.) took place. The reign of Aurangzeb ( 1658A.D.- 1707 A.D. ) was particularly brutal. During his reign, tens of thousands of temples were desecrated: their facades and interiors were defaced and their murtis (divine images) looted. In many cases, temples were destroyed entirely; in numerous instances mosques were built on their foundations, sometimes using the same stones. Among

the temples Aurangzeb destroyed were two that are most sacred to Hindus, in Varanasi and Mathura. In both cases, he had large mosques built on the sites. The Muslim army was always in thousands, while the Hindu army was estimated almost in every battle about hundreds of thousands. The Hindus were routed in every battle. How do you free them when for generations their families have been trampled upon? How do you give them a sense of worth when all their lives they have been told they were worthless? Words and preaching were not enough to abolish hundreds of years of slave mentality. This slave mentality led to cowardice and no urge to fight. Now we come to the point of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Durga Devi. Here is the real truth about this prevalent story: The pundits with slave mentality requested Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji to worship Durga Devi to fight the Muslims. Guru Sahib showed them the real power of Sword to combat the atrocities of the enemy. Here is that story:A Brahmin, Pandit Keshav Das by name, told Guru Gobind Singh: The goddess Durga is all powerful. He, who worships Durga, is blessed with her powers and can destroy all demonic forces. He thought of blackmailing Guru Ji by suggesting that he should go for worship of the goddess Durga in order to invoke her blessings for future battles. The Pandit asked Guru Sahib to hold a Havan, as that would make Durga Devi appear and bless Maharaj with Shakti to destroy Mughals. Guru ji understood the slave mentality of Pandits and to expose them, agreed to hold the Havan. Their leader, Kashav Das, promised that he would reveal the goddess by reciting the 'Chandi mantra' one lakh (one hundred thousand) times, but Guru Ji would have to put up one lakh (one hundred thousand) ahuti (offerings). Pandit Keshav Das requested Guru Sahib to give him lot of samagri (Ghee, Chandan Wood, Kapoor etc.), thinking that Guru Sahib will not be able to give him such a huge samagri thinking its cost. But Guru Sahib ordered the Sikhs to provide him as much samagri as he requires. So all the samagri was provided to the pandit. Nine Months passed but NO Devi appeared. At last Guru ji asked Pandit Keshav Das the reason for Devi not appearing, to which pandit replied to save his skin that Devi needs sacrifice of your son. Pandit said these words thinking that Guruji would refuse giving his Sons life and we will put the blame for Devi not appearing on Guruji. But Dasam Patshah smiled and replied, Pandit ji, you are my beloved son. Let me give your Bali (sacrifice) to Devi and when she appears, first thing Ill ask her would be to revive you and give your life back. Pandit shivered with fear and started fumbling. Next minute, he said to Guru Sahib, I need to go for natures call and then Ill

return after bath. Guruji let him go. Pandit ji and his Chele (followers) ran away from the Havan spot one by one and never returned. When they didnt return after some time, Guruji understood that Pandits had run away. He thought it futile to be associated with it any longer. Guruji ordered Singhs present to dump all the Havan Samagari (Material used for Havan like Ghee, Woods, chandan kapoor etc.) into Havan Fire altogether. Singhs did this and a Large Flame of Fire rose from Havan Kund (due to all Samagri being thrown in fire at once). Guruji, in his Bir-Ras (martial) Form stood near the Fire and took out His Sword (which was called Sri Sahib) and rose it. Guruji looking at his sword said in Bir Ras This is the Chandi. This is real Durga which vanquishes enemies in battlefield, this is the Kaalka which drinks blood of enemies and destroys them. This is the Bhagauti, which protects Dharam and destroys evil. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji initiated the Amrit ceremony in 1699 A.D. and announced that a single Amritdhari Sikh can fight with125,000 enemy army. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji said in a Persian couplet in his Zafarnamah:
When all other means have failed, It is but lawful to take to the sword.

The Sikhs defeated the Muslim army time and again. Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled over Punjab from 1799 to 1839 A.D. The Sikh army defeated the so called invincible Muslim army battle after battle. Here you can see the brief details of one of the battles: Battle of Jamrud The Battle of Jamrud was fought by the Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Barakzai Afghan Emir Dost Muhammad Khan. The Afghans had previously lost territory to the Sikhs, and had seen their once mighty empire shrink with the losses of Punjab, Multan, Kashmir, Derajat, Hazara and Peshawar. The last three now largely constitute Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The loss of Peshawar was the most personal to many Afghans, as the inhabitants of the region were fellow Pashtuns and the town of Peshawar was the winter capital of the Afghan Emirs. The Afghan army was more than 300,000. The Afghans took oath on Quran Shrief to do or die and not to run away from the battle field. The Sikh army at Jamrud fort was only 500. The noted historian Cunningham gives the details. When the Afghan army reached near the fort raising slogans of Allah Hu Akbar, the Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa ordered the gates to be opened. That was an extraordinary feature, because the gates are closed, when the enemy arrives. Hari Singh Nalwa riding the horse appeared at the open gate. When the Afghans saw Hari Singh Nalwa, they ran helter skelter. Not even a single shot was fired by the Afghans. Hari Singh

Nalwa now ordered the Sikhs to slaughter as many Afghans as they can. Afghans were so scared that many were seen hiding under the corpses of their fellow Afghans. The Afghans remained in a state of limbo for almost ten days. When Sikh reinforcements from Lahore arrived, they fled back to Kabul. Each Sikh was a match for multitude of Afghans. The mention of the name of the general Hari Singh Nalwa would scare the Pathans. If they wanted to silence their crying children, they would say, Be silent. Hari is coming. The Sikhs reversed 1000 years of attack on Indian subcontinent by taking the frontier to the very mouth of Khyber Pass. In this way Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji showed them that to combat their evil designs, we have to take hold of weapons and get rid of the slave mentality. In both historical and contemporary literature Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji has been referred to as the ideal image of pursh or man. Writers of various ethnic backgrounds and religious loyalties have written of the excellence of the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs. Swami Rama expresses; Rarely in the annals of human history does there appear a personage capable of awakening the human hearts noblest virtues to such an extent that an entire nation dynamically expresses the finest of its inherent qualities. Guru Gobind Singh had such an exceptional personality. Matchless in character and unparalleled in attributes, striking in figure and divine in demeanor, he was the definitive warrior-saint. In battle he knew no equal; in piety he was sublime. His presence inspired awe, devotion. Poet, visionary, sage, warrior, and leader, he fearlessly rallied the valiant forces of righteousness lying dormant within the weary hearts of his people. The strength of his moral fiber and the conviction of his spiritual and social ideals inspired his nation to fulfill its noble destiny, uplifting it within a singular purpose and valor. The entire history of humankind, the unparallel example of Guru Gobind Singh stands as a perennial source of inspiration for the leaders of the world. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji laid down rules for carrying on war; and he formed a complete military knighthood. He wrote in zafarnama If an enemy brings hundreds of thousands of men against one who is under the loving protection of the Lord, not even a single hair of his will be harmed. If we consider the work which (Guru) Gobind (Singh) accomplished, both in reforming his religion and instituting a new code of law for his followers, his personal bravery under all circumstances; his persevering endurance amidst difficulties, which would have disheartened others and overwhelmed them in inextricable distress, and lastly his final victory over his

powerful enemies by the very men who had previously forsaken him, we need not be surprised that the Sikhs venerate his memory. He was undoubtedly a great man." (W, L. McGregor) It may not be out of context to say here that throughout the chronicles of human history, there was no other individual, who could be of more inspiring personality than Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Gobind Singh Ji infused the spirit of both sainthood and soldier in the minds and hearts of his followers to fight oppression in order to restore justice, peace, righteousness (Dharma) and to uplift the down-trodden people in this world. The Khalsa was the spearhead of resistance against tyranny." (Miss Pearl, S. Buck) Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, Be brave enough to inspire a sparrow to fight an eagle. And to inspire a single soldier to face an army of one and quarter lakhs. It is only then that you are worthy of uttering the name of (Sri Guru) Gobind Singh. Obviously the inspiration part comes only by setting the example of absolute fearlessness. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji said in a Persian couplet in his Zafarnamah:
When all other means have failed, It is but lawful to take to the sword.

In this way, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji reversed 1000 years of Muslim tyranny and encouraged his followers to fight oppression.