Today is Vaisakhi. In Sikhism, it commemorates the anniversary of the founding of the Khalsa in 1699 by the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, depicted here.
Readers may wish to refer to last year’s Pickled Politics article about Vaisakhi for a summary of the historical, ideological and theological factors involved.
Along with fully militarising the Sikh population, Guru Gobind Singh was also responsible for compiling the final version of the Sikh scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib, which includes hundreds of sacred verses originally written by Muslims.
The foundation stone of the Golden Temple itself was laid by a Muslim saint upon the invitation of the Sikh Guru at the time, on land granted to the Sikhs by a Muslim emperor.
As Guru Gobind Singh himself said in the Akal Ustat,
“Someone calls himself a Hindu, another a Turk, someone a Shia, another a Sunni. Recognise the whole of humanity as one race.
He the One is the only God of us all: it is His Form, His Light that is diffused in all…
The temple or the mosque are the same, the Hindu worship or the Muslim prayer are the same; all humans are the same, it is through error they appear different…..it is the one God who created all.
The Hindu God and the Muslim God are the same; let no man even by mistake suppose there is a difference.”
Some suitable music to mark the occasion:
A Sikh hymn performed by Harbans Singh, used at the start of a recent Indian film; the lyrics are based directly on writings by Guru Gobind Singh, in which he said “If you extend your hand to someone [in assistance], sacrifice your head [ie. your life] but do not let go of their hand”.
A Sikh hymn performed live by Harshdeep Kaur. This is known as the “Mool Mantar” and forms the core basis of Sikh theology. It was written by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and is located at the beginning of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Happy Vaisakhi everyone. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
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Filed in: History,Religion,Sikh