Guru Hargobind: The Embodiment of Gurbani

Guru Hargobind attained the name Bandi Chhor, a description that had already been written in the teachings....

Guru Granth Sahib ji is our living Guru. Guru Granth Sahib ji became our final Guru after Guru Gobind Singh, and now we are blessed with the complete body of teachings with a guarantee that Guru ji’s presence is always available through Guru Granth Sahib’s presence.

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At the same time we have the life history and example of our 10 Gurus. Their lives perfectly demonstrate how these very teachings are exemplified. Through their compassion they lived every hardship and confusion to show us how to get through and how to live the teachings. If your parents don’t understand you, Guru Nanak’s life can serve as an example. If you need more balance in your life, you need to exert yourself in a more worldly manner than Guru Hargobind is one to remember. If you feel alone than you can remember the life of Bhai Jetha before he became Guru. When it seems the pressure of the world is crushing you, we have the endless courage against all odds of Guru Gobind Singh to remember. Through their lives, and the presence of Guru Nanak in ten forms physically residing on earth for over two hundred year, we have a template for how the teachings are followed so we are left with no lack. Such is the greatness of our Gurus!!!  

One such teaching example from Guru Granth Sahib ji is:

ਗਈ ਬਹੋੜੁ ਬੰਦੀ ਛੋੜੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਦੁਖਦਾਰੀ ॥
gee behorr ba(n)dhee shhorr nira(n)kaar dhukhadhaaree ||
‘The Restorer of what was taken away, the Liberator from captivity; the Formless Lord, the Destroyer of pain.’ (ang 624)

Click here to listen to the shabad referenced above

The life of Guru Hargobind has one specific example that demonstrates this description of the Divine. Guru Hargobind had been imprisoned and was being let free. One word that could possibly describe Guru ji’s stay in that prison is ‘undefinable’’ or nirankar. He was a rare prisoner who didn’t mind being in jail, in fact it is said he enjoyed the simple life it offered where he could meditate without any hassles. Like Guru Nanak who is often described as ‘Nirankar’ or he who can not be defined, we see that Guru Hargobind is also beyond our limited thinking. His very presence helped to relieve the sorrows of his fellow prisoners. In this he was ‘dukhdaari’.



Guru ji famously refused to leave the prison without freeing the other princes as well. Though a clever tactic Guru ji fulfilled this wish and was able to free all the rest of the prisoners as well. In this he served as ‘bandi chhor’ ‘the freer of the bound’. In fact this became a nickname for Guru ji. Finally he was able to return to his Sikhs who sorely missed his regular Divine presence and longed for what they had been deprived of -- ‘gaee bahor’. So this line of Gurbani perfectly describes this important episode of Guru Hargobind ji’s life.

Guru Hargobind frees 52 Kings

From this we have created a holiday named Bandi Chhor. We can now clearly see that Bandi Chhor was really born from Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji. This year these holidays (Guru Gaddi and Bandi Chhor Diwas) fall two days apart from each other so we felt it was appropriate to draw the connection between the two. Guru Hargobind attained the name Bandi Chhor, a description that had already been written in the teachings. 

Let us not forget that all the teachings, all lessons in life, are found in our living Guru, and that the example of these teachings have been fully and compassionately demonstrated by our 10 Gurus.

Happy Bandi Chhor

Happy Guru Gaddi day

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 Wahiguru ji ka Khalsa Wahiguru ji ki Fateh! 

Guru Hargobind's Chola
This is the actual 52 panel chola Guru Hargobind wore on Bandi Chhor Divas in October 1619. This 400 year old relic has been preserved until today. 
[photo courtesy of SikhNugget]

Audio Stories of Guru Hargobind
These stories take quite a bit of time to produce. We hope you and your children will enjoy them, and please consider donating.
Listen to the story of how Guru Hargobind saved Emperor Jahangir's life:
One day someone sang Japji so beautifully that Guru Hargobind sat him on the throne of Nanak. Listen to what happened next:
Mata Ganga (wife of Guru Arjan) couldn't give birh. Listen to the story of how she was able to give birth to the future Guru, Hargobind:

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