Reference to Durga in Writings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji – KS Ahluwalia

Says Guru Gobind Singh:

Which Kalika did I worship? ‘Mahan Kal’ – the great destroyer, i.e. Almighty God, I worship. He goes on:

‘Some worship Brahma and some call Shiva God. Some say Vishnu is the Lord of the earth by whose orship all sins depart. O ignorant man, think a thousand times over (over the futility of this sort of worship), none of these shall avail thee at the end. Dwell on Him alone in your heart Who was, and Who ever shall remain’- Guru Gobind Singh (33 Swaiyyas)

‘In the body corporate of the Lord there are millions of Vishnus and Shivas . In it are contained millions of Brahmas and Indras and millions of the Sun gods, Moon Gods and the Water gods’Guru Gobind Singh (Chaubis Avtaar) 

‘My Guru is the Lord that made the world, created gods, demons, yaksshas and is incarnated in all from the beginning to the end.’ 
‘Sin and suffering do not come near those who meditate on Thy name, O Lord, but they who dwell on other deities, destroy themselves, in futile squabbles.’ 
‘All deities are subject to time and therefore subject to death. He alone is the immortal Lord – beyond time and space.’
Do not accept for worship anyone created by Him, worship only the creator. The Lord without a beginning, the Unborn, the Unconquerable and the Imperishable, should be recognized as the Supreme Lord. 
Do not recognize any except the One Lord. I have discarded all other doors and have taken refuge only at Thy door. I will not worship any except thee. Whatever blessings I need, I shall get these from thee.
Guru Gobind Singh (Bachittar Natak, Shabd Hezere) 
Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) employed a novel technique wherein he wanted to inculcate among Sikhs a sense of bravery and to dispel fear or cowardice from the hearts of Indian people and pre-pare them for the relentless struggle he was called upon to wage. If the Khalsa was to become a brave nation, it needed that kind of inspiration.
With the same objectives, the Guru encouraged his court poets to translate epics: Ramayana and Mahabharata. When the heroic warlike deeds of the brave mythical heroes of the Puranas were recited, or sung, and the people were greatly inspired for heroic action in the cause of holy wars, to liberate India from foreign yoke.
He wrote the Classic ‘Chaubis Avatar‘ on the achievements of Ram, Krishan, Brahma, Datta, Kalki and others. These were all mere translations into Hindi poetry with commentaries, here or there, of his own. In ‘Krishna Avataar’, he specifically pointed out the purpose for which these translations were undertaken.
‘I have rendered into commonly familiar dialect; the t O” chapter of Bhagwat Gita, to inspire zeal for a religious kind of warfare and for no other purposes what so ever’
For creating physical strength and courage in his people he also translated the various accounts of the goddess Chandi, or Bhagavati, and the work is entitled ‘Bhagavati Ki Var‘.
It would be an over simplification to infer that the Guru paid any special homage to Chandi, or to any mythical personage as such. He extolled the achievements of Chandi in the same way as, for instance he eulogized the Sword, in high symbolism.
Not only that, it was as natural for him to employ the word ‘Bhagavati’ for the Shakti – aspect of God as he employed Sword for Him. The other Sikh Gurus too had never hesitated to bring into the service all Names that people had associated with God or an Aspect of God. lt was only the heart that should be in communion and it therefore did not matter what name was employed to express him.

*Executuve Coach and Mentor – Excalibre. Email:
Every now and then, Indian scholars come up with the story of Guru Gobind Singh’s deep devotion for the Hindu Goddess Durga. Recently Ms Renuka Narayan made a similar claim in the Hindustan Times. The author of this article – a profilic and eloquent writer has sent the following rejoinder for the benefit of our readers.

(This article has been taken, with thanks, from the April 2009 issue of ‘The Sikh Review’)

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