Pubjab Pulse Bureau
Guru Gobind Singh, the only child of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and his wife Mata Gujri, was named Gobind Rai at birth. Guru Teg Bahadur settled his family in Patna under the protection of the local Raja while he toured Assam and Bengal, and was not present at the birth. *A Muslim mystic Saiyid Bhikhan Shah journeyed 800 miles and fasted in a prophetic quest to have darshan, and get a glimpse, of the infant.
Leaving his family in the care of Kirpal Chand, Guru Teg Bahadar resumed his duties went to Chak Nanki (Anandpur) ahead of his family. In 1670 The Guru sent word requesting Gobind Rai to be brought to Chak Nanki. Gobind Rai was tutored along the way astounding all who taught him with his brilliance. His early education included martial exercise and training.
In 1671, Gobind Rai journeyed with his family through Danapur where an elderly Mai Ji, fed him Khichri (Rice dish) from her Handi (clay kettle). Mai Ji, saved from her own meager stores to feed the family of the Guru, and his entourage. Gurdwara Handi Sahib, of Danapur, Bihar, has maintained the Khichri tradition ever since. Gobind Rai reached Lakhnaur on September 13, 1671, C.E. where his formal education of Gurmukhi and Persian began.
When Gobind Rai was about six years old when, at last, he and his mother joined his father in Anandpur where his education continued. When Gobind Rai was about nine years old, a delegation of Hindu Pundits from Kashmir appealed to Guru Teg Badadar for help resisting in forced conversion to Islam. Gobind Rai entered the council and asked what the meeting was about. His father explained, and the boy asked how a solution could be found. His father told him it would require the sacrifice of a great man. Gobind Rai told his father, that as a guru, he was the greatest of men.
Guru Teg Bahadur made arrangements to leave Anandpur in order intervene on behalf of Hindus who were being forcibly converted to Islam at sword point. He appointed his nine-year-old son Gobind Rai to be his successor and tenth Guru of the Sikhs. Mughal officers acting under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb arrested and imprisoned the Guru and his companions. The Mughals employed all manner of atrocities and torture in an unsuccessful effort to coerce Guru Teg Bahadar and his companions to convert to Islam. Guru Teg Bahadar and his companions remained true to their faith until their final breath.
Loyal family members surrounded young Guru Gobind Rai. His mother Gujari, and her brother Kirpal Chand watched after him and advised him. Also present were Daya Ram, an early childhood companion of Guru Gobind Rai, and Nand Chand, a trustworthy treasurer (massand). His principal companions who acted as bodyguards were his own close relatives.
At age 11, Guru Gobind Rai wed Bibi Jito, daughter of Bhikhia from Lahore who with her family came to Anandpur for the marriage. Later his family pressed him to accept Bibi Sundari, daughter of a new Sikh convert, as his wife. He fathered four sons, Ajit Singh from Bibi Sundari; Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh from Bibi Jito. After he founded the Khalsa, the parents of Sahib Devi of Rohtas publicly promised their daughter to Guru Gobind Singh. He accepted the proposal to protect her honour on the condition that theirs would be a spiritual union. When she requested that he give her a child, the Guru named her Mata Sahib Kaur, mother of the Khalsa.
Guru Gobind Rai created the new spiritual order of warriors known as the Khalsa. He assembled thousands of people for the Vaisakhi (New Year festival) in Anandpur and called for those willing to sacrifice themselves for their faith and their Guru. The five volunteers Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Mukham Singh, Bhai Sahib Singh, Bahi Dharam Singh and Bhai Himmat Singh were then initiated by the Guru as Khalsa by giving them Amrit or immortal nectar to drink and then submitted himself to them for initiation. He called upon all Khalsa to take the name of Singh, keep five articles of faith and adhere to a strict code of conduct while avoiding four taboos.
Gobind Rai engaged in martial training from early childhood. He had a child-sized arsenal of weapons. Games with his playmates took the form of mock battles. After his father’s martyrdom, Guru Gobind Rai raised a guard, built a fortress, and practiced military manoeuvres. A number of minor conflicts arose with local adversaries over petty jealousies of neighboring kingdoms. After founding the Khalsa order, Guru Gobind Singh fought a series of major battles attempting to protect his Sikhs and Anandpur from assault by Mughal forces. Vastly outnumbered, courageous Khalsa warriors defended their holdings to the last breath.
Guru Gobind Singh wrote prolifically while at Fort Paonta in Sirmur. He completed the Guru Granth, adding the compositions of his father Guru Teg Bahadar, but including only one of his own. His remaining compositions are compiled in the Dasam Granth. Portions of his most important works appear in the five prayers, or Panj Bania, of the Sikhs daily prayer book, Nitnem.
Wazir Khan, an official of Sirhind who had ordered the death of Guru Gobind Singh’s youngest two sons, later sent assassins to kill the guru. They found the Guru in Nanded and attacked him after his evening prayer, stabbing him in his heart. Guru Gobind Singh fought and killed his assailant. Sikhs rushed to his aid and killed the second man. The wound began to heal after but reopened several days later when the guru attempted to use his bow. Realizing his end had come, Guru Gobind Singh assembled his Sikhs and instructed them that the scripture of the Granth should forever be their irreplaceable guru and guide.
(With inputs from www.learnreligion.com)