Guru Hargobind Biography
Birthday: June 19, 1595 (Gemini)
Born In: Amritsar, India
Guru Hargobind was the sixth of the Sikh gurus and the first one to engage in warfare. He is credited to have organized the first Sikh army which gave the community their military identity. He was highly wary of the Mughal forces as his father Guru Arjan Dev had been tortured and executed by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Assuming the Guru Gaddi at the young age of 11 after his father’s death, he chose to adorn himself with a sword rather than the Seli of Guru Nanak Dev which had been used previously by the earlier gurus. The brutal torture and execution of the peaceful and saintly Guru Arjan Dev necessitated that the Sikhs adopt a military tradition in order to face the Mughals and resist Islamic persecution. He greatly emphasized on training in martial arts for the Sikhs and he himself became an expert swordsman, wrestler, and rider. Under his able direction and guidance, the Sikhs fought several battles against the Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s army and emerged victorious. He strengthened the Sikh community, and with him as the leader, the community came to occupy a sort of independent state within the Mughal Empire. As the guru he established congregational prayers and sent his followers to distant places to spread the teachings of Sikhism.