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Call to Arms by Guru Gobind Singh Ji

The following is a passage from Gurpratap Suraj Prakash Granth written by Mahan Kavi Bhai Santhok Singh Ji. Kavi Ji describes a discourse by Guru Gobind Singh Ji towards the Khalsa Sangat. Guru Sahib outlines how Khasatriya Dharam [the warrior lifestyle] had declined in India which gave way for invaders [Turks] to enter India and commit horrendous atrocities. Guru Sahib then gives a call to arms to his followers.

The following should be taken in context however, because in the same granth [Suraj Prakash Granth] it talks about other Sikhs whose duty was not to maintain Khastriya Dharam, most noteably Bhai Ghanaiya Ji, where Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself takes away Bhai Ghanaiya Ji's talwar [sword] so that he may pursue his main calling which was to perform seva [selfless service].

ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਤਾਪ ਸੂਰਜ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ - ਰੁਤ ੩, ਅਧਿਾਇ ੨੩

Gurpratap Suraj Prakash Granth - Rut 3, Chapter 23

ਯਾਂਤੇ ਸਰਬ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਸੁਨੀਅਹਿ । ਆਯੁਧ ਧਰਿਬੇ ਉਤੱਮ ਗੁਨੀਅਹਿ ।

The Guru then said to his Sikhs, "All of the Khalsa should listen [to this directive], carrying weapons is the highest action.

ਜਬਿ ਹਮਰੇ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕੋ ਆਵਹੁ । ਬਨਿ ਸੁਚੇਤ ਤਨ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਸਜਾਵਹੁ ।।੭।।

When you come to have my Darshan, adorn your body with weapons.

ਕਮਰ ਕਸਾ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਹੁ ਦਿਖਾਈ । ਹਮਰੀ ਖੁਸ਼ੀ ਹੋਇ ਅਧਿਕਾਈ ।

When showing yourself to me have your Kamar Kasa [waist band which holds weapons] tied, in such a way I shall be extremely happy.

ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਕੇਸ ਬਿਨ ਪਾਉ ਲਖਹੁ ਨਰ । ਕੇਸ ਧਰੇ ਤਬਿ ਆਧੋ ਲਖਿ ਉਰ ।।੮।।

Those men who do not have Kesh [unshorn hair] or Shastars [weapons], do not recognize those men as full men. Those who have Kesh [unshorn hair], recognize those as half-men.

ਕੇਸ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਜਬਿ ਦੋਨਹੁਂ ਧਾਰੇ । ਤਬਿ ਨਰੁ ਰੂਪ ਹੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਸਾਰੇ ।

Those who have adorned themselves with Kesh [unshorn hair] and Shastar [weapons], those men have attained their full form."

ਅਸ ਉਪਦੇਸ ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਰਿ । ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਪਰਸਤਿ ਆਯੁਧ ਧਰਿ ਧਰਿ ।।੯।।

After listening to this discourse by the Guru, Sikhs would come to the Guru adorning various weapons.

ਸਿੰਘ ਰੂਪ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰਨ ਜੁਤਿ ਹੇਰੈਂ । ਹੋਤਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ ਖੁਸ਼ੀ ਬਡੇਰੈ ।

The appearance of a Singh [is complete] with weapons, when the Guru see's this He becomes extremely happy.

ਕਮਰ ਕਸੇ ਬਿਨ ਜੋ ਸਿਖ ਜਾਇ । ਤਿਸ ਪਰ ਰੁਖ ਨਹਿ ਕਰੈਂ ਕਦਾਇ ।।੧੦।।

Those Sikhs who went towards the Guru without wearing a Kamarkasa [waist band which holds weapons], the Guru would never look towards them.

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