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The Ratification of the Khalsa and what it means for us today


In a prior article, we delineated how Bhai Gurdas, the successor to Guru Nanak’s Sikh intellectual tradition, elaborates in his Kabits that the physical Guru is the personification of the divine wisdom constructed by Akal Purakh that underpins our existential reality. The Guru’s mission is not to solely provide a renunciative liberation from worldly travails but rather reform the Sikh into an emulation of himself furnishing an eternal example of the Guru’s own liveable virtues.

The 1698 ratification of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and ultimate Sikh human Guru, and the simultaneous confirmation of the Guru Granth as Guru substantiate the nature of this mission as the Granth provides the impetus and means of emulating the Guru while the Khalsa is the organic reflection of the Granth’s content in action. This is not to say, however, that the Sikh supplants the Guru as Bhai Gurdas explicitly elaborates that the Guru is truth incarnate:

Satguru is the divine truth personified. Satguru’s injunctions are true. Satguru’s assembly is true. But this truth is only achievable if one presents themselves to the Satguru. Immersion in Satguru’s vision (by adhering to the divine injunctions) is true, the assembly of the Guru’s Sikhs is true but this reality is only achievable is one becomes a totally obedient Sikh of the Guru…”

The mortal, though, is fallible and even after having surmounted the highest of spiritual heights can just as easily plummet to the bottom of the abyss if they do not maintain a steadfast observance of the Guru’s credo. This is why the Bhai underscores the exclusivist nature of the Sikh identity that rubbishes the utopian concepts of universal brotherhood and solidarity fashioned by a secularist approach to the abstract notion of societal oneness,

“Millions of fire rituals (homs), celestial feasts and libations to the Gods of other religions and their forms of worship are not even comparable to an iota of the glory of a Gursikh. Countless intellectual and mental Yogas, the possession of miraculous powers and other forms of worship are not even an inch closer to the glory of a Gursikh…


“If a warrior defeats a mutinous landowner and presents him to the emperor, the emperor upon witnessing the warrior’s steadfast loyalty becomes pleased with his conduct. If the warrior rushes to the mutineer’s side and aligns with him against the emperor, the emperor has him executed in ignoble defeat. If another’s slave seeks refuge with an emperor, he is honored and indulged. If, though, he seeks solace elsewhere he is ridiculed and held in contempt.

Similarly, when the follower of another deity or (false) faith wholeheartedly accepts the Sikh path the true Guru grants them shelter. But those who seek shelter with the Guru cannot seek solace in another deity or faith for only the true Guru alone is the fount of true liberation and none other for other deities and Gods have no such power.”

Contrary to the bitter wranglings of the Boomer Brotherhood Brigade, this exclusivism reinforces the differentiation between the loyal Sikhs adherent to Sikhi and those who would misuse it to pursue an abstract cosmopolitanism that dilutes its emphasis on mental, physical, and spiritual effort. It is only such exclusivism that establishes the success of the Guru’s mission among the Sikhs: those who accept Sikhi wholeheartedly versus those who cherry-pick.


Ratan Singh Bhangu narrates in his Panth Prakash that prior to the Wadda Ghalughara (bigger holocaust- February 1762), the Islamofascist Ahmad Shah Durrani soliloquized that the Khalsa was incorruptible, incorrigible in its opposition to Islamist dominance, and more than prepared to weather the consequences of its decisions rather than express any weakness at the outcome. Bhangu, consecutively, elucidates how the Sikhs of time perceived the Gurus:

“The contemptuous idiot Abdali did not realize the fact that such a Panth as the Khalsa required no material riches. All its ten emperors had fought throughout their lives…”

-Sri Gur Panth Prakash, Ratan Singh Bhangu.

The ancient Sikhs perceived the Gurus as having being warriors. Their sense of conflict did not solely encompass the physical battlefield but also cast life as a battle itself considering how the Guru Granth portrays it as such,

ਰਾਜਨ ਰਾਮ ਰਵੈ ਹਿਤਕਾਰਿ ॥ ਰਣ ਮਹਿ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨੂਆ ਮਾਰਿ ॥

“The all-pervasive Emperor forever benign, (his warriors) engage in battle to subdue their minds.”

-Guru Granth, 931.

It is only natural to accept that if divinity, in one form or another, manifests on earth then it must undergo the same trials and travails as mortals to ensure it grasps the significance of mortal life and the tribulations it has blessed man with. The false faiths provide a plethora of unconfirmed miracles from splitting the moon while molesting prepubescent children to raising the undead yet somehow ceasing the process and then promising to resume it sometime in the future.

Where else but in Sikhi do we see the personifications of divine essence entering the mortal realm and then making themselves subject to the conditions of mortality to pave the path to reality for mankind? Bhai Gurdas elaborates:

“If hailstones be falling, and lightening be striking while thunder roars among the clouds, if forests be burning with flames and the oceans be rising in wrath. If the subjects have lost their kings, and the ground be trembling, and one be jailed for nothing more than a trivial offence while in innate pain. If the trials of life be ceaseless, false accusations be continuing, poverty be increasing, slavery be imposing, and hunger be craving.

And even if more such savagery befalls the Gursikh they will be unperturbed, ceaselessly immersing themselves in the divine love of the Guru and continuing to live life joyfully blossoming forth with divine effulgence.”

One witnesses such barbaric spectacles in the lives of the Sikh Gurus who despite the opposition given to them, heroically resisted the spectra of false faiths and false ideologies while continuing to enhance the divine truth of Sikhi and warring for its upkeep. It is no wonder then that Bhangu celebrates all the ten Gurus as having warred throughout their lives. Four warred on the field of battle while six warred with life itself to teach mortals how to win the battle that is life.


The 1698 ratification of the Khalsa was not an ends but the means to continuing the mission entrusted to the divine effulgence, namely the progress of the Khalsa as an emulation of the divine truth. This same divine truth was personified by the Gurus throughout their lifetimes and it was decided by the will of Akal that the same truth be made the lynchpin for the Khalsa’s existence. The Khalsa was made recipient of this incorporeal effulgence that animated the Gurus.

And the mission of the Gurus resonates just as strongly today as it did during their lifetimes. Some may argue it resonates even more strongly today than in the historic past. Man is now subject to the vagaries of liberalism, Marxism, secularism and other insidious ideologies that aim to fragment his existence into caricatures of human perversity. We are witnessing the very destruction of societal mechanisms designed to shield us from our own animalistic baseness.

It was the mission of the ten Gurus to ensure the ascendance of man from his bestial self to his true human self, the formation of an enlightened Being totally in harmony with his Maker. Bhai Gurdas describes this aim thus,

“What distinguishes man from beast is that man is aware of consciousness and the divine word of the Guru while the beast retains no such self-awareness. If a beast is requested to avoid pasture land, it ignores the order having no ability to comprehend it. Man, meanwhile, is able to lodge the true Guru’s injunctions in his heart and adhere to them. The beast is unable to form language with its tongue, but man is able to.

If a man comprehends and selflessly speaks the Guru’s words while adhering to them, consider him a truly wise and intelligent person. An enlightened Being. But if you observe no such traits among him then consider him nothing more or nothing less than a foolish beast concerned only with satiating his wants.”

It is for no other reason than that Gurbani advises:

ਮਤਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਰਤਨ ਜਵਾਹਰ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਜੇ ਇਕ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣੀ ॥

“Within the (human) intellect there are priceless jewels, these can only be acquired if the Sikh heeds the Guru’s instructions.”

-Guru Granth, 2.

The Path:

The path to surmounting the beast and acquiring the human state is discernible only among the Khalsa, the very repository of divine virtues in this day and age. No other belief or ideology can come close to the divinity in-built among the Khalsa. It is tragic that in today’s time the Sikhs are unable to cohesively spread the Khalsa’s divine mysticism to the greater world around them and save it from drowning in its various self-created hells.

The Gurus lived the wisdom they bequeathed the Sikhs in the Guru Granth. The fallacious argument that the Guru Granth is universal falls flat on its face when one realizes that the Shabad Guru is only for those who adhere to its injunctions in entirety. Not for those who cherry-pick in the name of some paradisical oneness. This is why Guru Nanak’s exclusivism was reinforced by Guru Gobind Singh in 1698 at that divine moment at Anandpur Sahib via the ratification of the Khalsa.

The divine wisdom that Guru Nanak personified was also the divine wisdom he and his successors lived via to furnish a conspicuous and highly potent example for his Sikhs; that the battle of life was surmountable, that no impossibility could ever prevent them from triumphing if they persevered in the face of all the severity that life dealt them. These exemplars are just as relevant today as they were when the Gurus first provided them. But are we still adhering to them?

ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਹੋਇਆ ਵੇਖਹੁ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਰਜਾਇ ॥

ਇਹੁ ਕਾਰਣੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਕਰੇ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥੩॥੫॥

“Nanak became the Guru through the divine wisdom, observe this miraculous command of the Master. The Master is the cause of all causes including this: our effulgence merges within the Master’s divine radiance.”

-Guru Granth, 490-491.

And if divinity was willing to subject itself to mortal conditions to pave the way for us, than what excuse do we have to avoid treading the path to divinity itself? To reciprocate the herculean sacrifices it made for us showing us that nothing is impossible when warring with our greatest foe: our own selves?




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