Kehde Joga? JASBIR KAUR
You’re Worthy Of What?
A young boy, Joga from Peshawar, had come to pay his respects to Guru Gobind Singh.
The Guru asked him, “Who are you?”
The boy replied, “I am Joga.”
“Kehde joga?” the Guru asked again. In Punjabi the word “joga” means “worthy of” or simply “for what or whom the person is”. The boy, mesmerised by the powerful yet serene appearance of the Guru, replied, “Guru joga (I am worthy of the Guru).”
Overwhelmed by the response, the Guru replied, “Tu mere joga, main tere joga (if you are for the Guru, then the Guru is for you).”
Born in 1666 in the city of Patna, Guru Gobind Singh, the creator of the Khalsa, was a protector not only of Joga (later known as Bhai Joga Singh), but was a saviour of the entire community and humanity.
Born to a martyr father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, who had sacrificed his life for dharma, Guru Gobind Singh, a father of four martyr sons, was a great warrior, poet and saint.
Guru Gobind Singh, the Sachcha Patshah - The True Emperor - was a firm believer in one Supreme Being. He asserts the unity of all creation. The Guru, addressing the Supreme Being, sings:
“Thou appearest in all forms and beholdest everything. Thou art like an ocean rippling with countless waves unbroken and mysterious. Thou art quintessence of all things yet unformed of the elements. Thou makest all things flourish, and then scatterest away; to Thee I bow again and again. Thou art almighty creator, whose hand is in all concerns of the world. To Thee I bow again and again. Thou art multifarious and yet One …”
“… anek hain phir ek hain …”
In all his writings, Guru Gobind Singh emphasises on inclusiveness and universalism.
The creator, the Akal-Purakh, pervades everywhere and does not discriminate. His creation in the form of water, air, trees, plants, rain and sunlight sees no distinctions and who are we to make these categories. Condemning the manmade inequalities, Guru Gobind Singh created the pure community of the Khalsa -- a perfect combination of saint and soldier.
The Khalsa is enjoined upon to adopt the attributes of the Almighty who is “ever calm”, “without anxiety”, “without desire”, “like the sky above the earth”, calm and deep.
The creator is without any distinctions, so is the Khalsa.
Guru Gobind Singh strongly condemned the practice of rituals, superstitions, use of horoscopes and ceremonies, and the worship of idols. Instead he preached a life devoted to the Supreme Being, based on love, devotion, right conduct, sacrifice, bravery and kindness.
The Khalsa are enjoined to help the helpless and fight the evil. Guru Gobind Singh, in order to re-establish dharma and to save the downtrodden, defends the use of the “sword”.
“When all other means have failed, it is righteous to draw the sword“, says the Guru.
The Khalsa is “Akal ki Fauj”, God’s own army, created to fulfil the divine mission of the Gurus -- ‘dharam chalavan, sant ubaran, dusht sabhan ko mul uparan’ -- to uphold dharma, protect the saintly and uproot the wicked.
Guru Gobind Singh’s life, philosophy, Khande-di-pahul initiation, “Degh-Tegh-Fateh” was like a breath of fresh air for a disheartened people.
[The author teaches Sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University.]
[Courtesy: The Deccan Chronicle. Edited for sikhchic.com]
January 5, 2017
Conversation about this article
1: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, USA), January 06, 2017, 9:49 AM.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji's prayer to Waheguru: "Tum ho sub rajan kay raja / aapay aap gareeb niwaja". That is, "You are the King of all kings, You are the refuge of all those in need." The prayer continues and Guru Sahib requests Waheguru to accept him as His servant and to be kind to him as he has taken refuge at His door. Guru Sahib believed so much in the philosophy of 'Love' and 'Truth', giving it a practical shape when he sacrificed all he had so that others could live. 'Live for others' is the quintessential motto of Sikhi.
2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), January 06, 2017, 4:23 PM.
Jasbir Kaur ji: What a lovely piece to wake up to this morning, with the Guru's blessing, "tu mere joga mein tera joga". May the Gurpurab makes us worthy of that promise.