Guru Gobind Singh, born Gobind Rai (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708), was the 10th Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at age nine, becoming the last of the living Sikh Gurus. His four sons died during his lifetime in Mughal-Sikh wars – two in battle, two executed by the Mughal army.
Among his notable contributions to Sikhism are founding the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa in 1699 and introducing the Five Ks, the five articles of faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear at all times. Guru Gobind Singh also continued the formalisation of the religion, wrote important Sikh texts, and enshrined the scripture the Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhism’s eternal Guru.
Born Gobind Rai
22 December 1666
Patna Sahib (Present day India)
Died 7 October 1708 (aged 41)
Hazur Sahib Nanded (Present day India)
Other names Tenth Nanak
Known for Founding the Khalsa
Wrote Jaap Sahib, Chandi di Var, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Zafarnamah, Bachittar Natak, Akal Ustat, Chaupai (Sikhism)
Predecessor Guru Tegh Bahadur
Successor Guru Granth Sahib
Spouse(s) Mata Jito, Mata Sundari and Mata Sahib Devan
Children Ajit Singh
Parent(s) Guru Tegh Bahadur, Mata Gujri
Death of family members
Meanwhile, Guru’s mother Mata Gujri and his two younger sons were captured by Wazir Khan, the Muslim governor of Sirhind. According to the Sikh tradition, his youngest sons, aged 5 and 8, were executed by burying them alive into a wall after they refused to convert to Islam, and Mata Gujri died soon after hearing of her grandsons’ death. Both his eldest sons, aged 13 and 17, also died in December 1704 in battle against the Mughal army as they defended their father.