Happy Vaisakhi


by Jai
13th April, 2010 at 4:11 pm    

“When I have taught the sparrow to fight the hawk, when a single individual can challenge 125,000, only then will I deserve the name Gobind Singh.”

The Sikh festival of Vaisakhi commemorates the creation of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699, symbolising a range of humanitarian ideals and values, including the necessity to fearlessly stand up for universal human rights focusing on the inherent unity, equality and dignity of mankind irrespective of “race”, religious affiliation, or gender.

In the picture beneath this article’s main title, the Guru is shown asking for volunteers prepared to offer their heads (ie. potentially sacrifice their lives) for these ideals. Out of the thousands gathered, an initial five people volunteered; the Guru inducted them into the Khalsa as its first formal members via the Amrit/Khanda-de-Pahul “baptism” ceremony, and as a gesture of humility and equality he then asked them to induct him as well.

The creation of the Khalsa was also the culmination of the process of militarisation begun by Guru Gobind Singh’s predecessor and near-namesake Guru Hargobind a few generations earlier, and the basis was not only self-defence but the principle that the innocent and the vulnerable must also be defended from persecution and unjustified aggression.

Guru Gobind Singh explicitly promoted the teaching that people should “View the whole of humanity as one race”; indeed, the core principle is that one should desire the wellbeing and happiness of the entire human race without any kind of distinction or bias regarding people’s individual religious affiliations or “ethnic” backgrounds.

“It is not life that matters; it is the courage you bring to it.”

The integrity, compassion, and bravery of Guru Gobind Singh (to whom the quote above is also attributed) can serve as sources of inspiration to all of us, regardless of our backgrounds; he is part of the shared history and heritage of mankind. We can all take pride in that.

The world has always needed great men and women whose goal has been to unite, not to divide; to elevate, not drag down into the gutter; to bring out the very best in humanity, not the very worst. Guru Gobind Singh and other historical and contemporary heroes like him from all over the world are shining examples of the heights of nobility that the human spirit is capable of achieving, and their positive message continues to have resonance for our troubled modern times.

Some suitable music to mark the occasion, as per the theme of my previous article The Music of Unity and the Politics of Division :

Jagjit Singh singing a prayer written by Guru Gobind Singh. The video depicts numerous scenes from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing in the traditional North Indian classical style. This is originally a recording from a live concert.

And finally, as powerfully sung by Lakhwinder Wadali and Puran Chand Wadali (the introduction to the song is translated on-screen during the video).

“Nanak says that with the Name of God comes ever-rising joy and optimism; with Your blessings, may the whole of mankind prosper.”

Happy Vaisakhi, everyone. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.


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Filed in: History,Religion,Sikh






24 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Happy Vaisakhi http://bit.ly/bSJpWv


  2. Leon Green

    RT @pickledpolitics Blog post:: Happy Vaisakhi http://bit.ly/bSJpWv


  3. carmenortiz

    Pickled Politics » Happy Vaisakhi: Happy Vaisakhi all! Sarbat da bhalla. (Goodwill to all mankind). Dalbir — on 13… http://bit.ly/adpSgP




  1. chairwoman — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:27 pm  

    Happy Vaisakhi Jai, Sunny, Gurpreet, Dalbir etc…..

  2. Dalbir — on 13th April, 2010 at 4:46 pm  

    Nice!

    :)

    Happy Vaisakhi all!

    Sarbat da bhalla

    (Goodwill to all mankind)

  3. Dalbir — on 13th April, 2010 at 5:02 pm  

    PS – Just so you know, that goodwill encompasses women too, in case it’s misread as some form of patriarchy…..

    lol

  4. Mangles — on 13th April, 2010 at 6:09 pm  

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Happy Vaisakhi to one and all.

    Excellent article Jai -once again lived up to all expectations.

    Here’s to fulfilled journeys seekers.

    Rab rakha!

  5. Sunny — on 13th April, 2010 at 6:22 pm  

    good post!

    the basis was not only self-defence but the principle that the innocent and the vulnerable must also be defended from persecution and unjustified aggression.

    ooops! That’s it, we are officially a terrorist supporting blog!

  6. persephone — on 13th April, 2010 at 6:53 pm  

    Happy V day

    No time to go to the G/w today but as I spent today working to potentially save more than 125,000 people ( that includes all regardless of race or gender) am doing things in the spirit of things.

  7. KJB — on 13th April, 2010 at 6:59 pm  

    Happy Vaisakhi to anyone who’s marking it.

    Persephone, for some reason when you wrote ‘Happy V day’ it made me think of Valentine’s!

  8. persephone IAE — on 13th April, 2010 at 7:18 pm  

    Yep I know what you mean. It could also allude to the Churchillian V Day abbrev for Victory

  9. Gurpreet — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:14 pm  

    Happy Vaisakhi all and thanks chairwoman

  10. Rumbold — on 13th April, 2010 at 8:15 pm  

    Happy Vaisakhi.

    Good post Jai.

  11. Mangles — on 13th April, 2010 at 9:51 pm  

    Persephone that’s an impressive days work – quite fulfilling – i’m impressed.

    Who’s this perspephone IAE – you haven’t cloned yourself so that you can save 250,000 lives tomorrow? that would be dedication!

    Rab rakha!

  12. Desi Expat — on 13th April, 2010 at 11:10 pm  

    Happy Vaisakhi to all ! And Best Wishes for the New Year to those celebrating their New Year at this time.

  13. bananabrain — on 14th April, 2010 at 8:59 am  

    happy vaisakhi!

    hazaq wu-barukh! (“strength and blessing”)

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  14. Leon — on 14th April, 2010 at 12:18 pm  

    Happy Vaisakhi!

  15. Kulvinder — on 14th April, 2010 at 3:44 pm  

    happy vaisakhi

  16. P. Rangi — on 14th April, 2010 at 9:10 pm  

    ਸਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ ਜੀ
    ਵਸਾਖੀ ਦੀ ਲਖ ਲਖ ਵਧਾਏਆਂ ਔਰ ਖੁਸ਼ੀਆਂ
    ਪੰਥ ਕੀ ਜੀਤ
    ਦੇਗ ਤੇਗ ਫਤਿਹ
    ਵਹੇਗੁਰੂਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਵਹੇਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ

  17. Jasy — on 15th April, 2010 at 1:37 am  

    It is first time in my adult life that I went to Gurdwara today and ate lunger, I felt humbled by the large-heartedness of our community and culture and decided that I will try to celebrate Vaisakhi, from next year at my house with my freinds and family, with as much pride and pomp and show as the Christians celebrate their Christmas !!

  18. Jai (updated article) — on 16th April, 2010 at 4:27 pm  

    Thanks for your responses, everyone. The humanitarian principles involved in the creation of the Khalsa are of course a very far cry from the petty message of bigotry, division and hatred promoted by the BNP, EDL and Al-Muhajiroun, and it goes without saying that the leaders of those groups don’t even remotely compare to the greatness of Guru Gobind Singh.

    The main article has been updated and the video by Lakhwinder Wadali and Puran Chand Wadali can now be viewed directly on PP, so please do check it out when you’re at home. Considering the recent nefarious efforts on PP by members of the BNP in particular, listening to it cuts through that poison like a brilliant ray of light, although you’ll realise that within the first 20 seconds of the song.

  19. Dalbir — on 16th April, 2010 at 5:13 pm  

    Hope no one minds me sharing this. Some things are out of our hands I guess.

    I extra love the violin bit.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LeFYbouKn8

  20. learner — on 24th April, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

    Sri bhagauti ji sahe
    Jo Bole so Nihaal:

    keep up the work sunny and expose these pakhand kirtani jathas who disrespect shiromani akali buddha dal, the taruna dal, although i dont like the dam dami taksal an enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  21. Mangles — on 4th May, 2010 at 8:57 pm  

    Learner #20 you seem to have a lot to learn

    Rab rakha!

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