I was at the Patna Sahib Gurdwara (Takhat Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib), Patna City, recently.This historic place is the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singhji, the 10th Sikh guru who formalised the Khalsa, the 5 Ks and the Sikh way of life. Born in 1666 to Guru Tegh Bahadur and Mata Gujri at this very place, he led a life of hardness, constantly having to defend his faith against the Mughal invaders, seeing his 4 sons killed by the Mughals in war and captivity under torture.His father, the ninth Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur, was also executed by the barbarian Aurangzeb for preventing the conversions of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits, standing up for his rights and finally refusing to convert to the Islamic faith. I have seen the place of his martyrdom, the Sisganj Gurudwara in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi. Guru Gobind Singh was himself assassinated by the Deccan Sarhandh Nawab’s hired killers at Nanded. Guru Gobind Singh was the last human Sikh Guru; and in Nanded he declared the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, as the next permanent Sikh Guru on October 7, 1708.
Amrit Singhji (who is in the picture),a truly amicable man from the Patna Sahib Gurdwara Commitee, was gracious enough to show me around.I was honoured by a chadar from the Gurudwara which he arranged for me. He told me, “Please tell other people about this place so they may visit here.” This post is an attempt towards the same.
This Gurudwara was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler, in the early 19th century and subsequently enhanced over the years. The site represents the house of a devotee where Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur had stayed in, at various points of history.
I had food at the langar (community kitchen) of a Gurudwara for the first time. It was good food, and needless to say, the halwa was delicious. Though the practice of throwing a chapathi into the (compulsorily outstretched) hands, as if one is begging for alms, may be avoided I think.
The Sikh way of life as taught by Guru Gobind Singhji epitomises the correct, ethical way of living. Not sure how many of the faith adhere to this nowadays, but Sikhism, the fifth largest religion of the world, has messages such as womens’ equality, respect for other religions, righteousness, rightful conduct as its founding principles. The Guru Granth Sahib, religious text of the Sikhs, uniquely has messages from other religions and prophets.
I took some time to listen to the kirtans being played ( though frankly not understanding them much), and reading up a bit about the Sikh faith to understand the significance of the place.
This place is Punjab transplanted in the heart of Bihar! It reminded me of Golden Temple Amritsar 10 years back. People from all religions come here and are welcomed. The only condition being that one has to keep his/ her head covered with a scarf (available here) or any other cloth.
As the Sikhs say, “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh ((meaning- Khalsa pure Sikhs who have undergone the sacred Amrit ceremony, belong to the Waheguru(God) and also the victory (Fateh) belongs to the Waheguru only))”.
I hope to visit again someday. If you are in Patna, do make some time to visit this place.This is among the five main seats of the Sikh faith and holds an important place in history.