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Nirbhau - Beyond Fear

The Sikh Religion has a very well-founded theory of fear. A prime injunction of the Sikh Religion is: Fear No One and Put Fear In Nobody.

True Sikhs do not recognize any difference between life and death and do not recognize the importance of blood relationships. Hence true Sikhs do not have any fear. When a Sikh takes the Amrit of the double edged sword they are symbolically drinking death. By abandoning the false entanglements of this world (maya), the false virtuosity of blood relationships and taking the Amrit of the double edged sword, true Sikhs are enjoined to totally abandon fear.

When a Sikh takes the Amrit of the double-edged broadsword, they drinks Amrit (the nectar of God). Symbolically this means that they are drinking death. The Amrit of a Sikh means that they no longer distinguishe between life and death. They are one and the same, except for a transformation. And true Sikhs have no enmity. Sikhs are supposed to fight wars without emotion – that is, do not hate your enemy even in battle and do not exult in killing the enemy. This principle is frequently remembered in the context of Guru Hargobind, who is said never to have displayed any emotion on the field of battle.

Sikhs do not view death in the same terms as the adherents of other religions and as a consequence they can be incredibly brave and dangerous. The practical demonstration of the Principle to Fear No One and Induce Fear In No One is exemplified in the Chardi Kala spirit.

Chardi Kala refers to a state of mind where a fearless, brave and optimistic attitude is maintained, even in the most daunting and oppressive off circumstances. It is a requirement imposed on Sikhs as a religious obligation to maintain the Chardi Kala spirit. At the core of the concept is the idea that there is no difference between life and death and that the material world is ultimately of no consequence. The concept was articulated by the Lord Of The Falcons, Guru Gobind Singh. It was a psychological weapon used by Sikhs to fight armies that vastly out-numbered them.

The greatest treasure of the Chardi Kala spirit is the saying of Guru Gobind Singh at Raikot. The context of this saying and the complete verse is as follows. A messenger arrived to inform Guru Gobind Singh that his two sons, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh aged seven and nine years old had been entombed alive upon their refusal to convert to Islam.

The Guru was uprooting a small shrub from the ground as the tale of martyrdom in the cause of the Religion of Slave Nanak was recounted by the messenger. The Guru then said, "Just as I uproot this shrub so shall I extirpate the Turk. I shall set a fire under the hooves of their stallions and I shall not let them drink the water of My Punjab. I shall make the sparrow hunt the hawk and make one man fight a legion. Then only shall I be called Guru Gobind Singh."

After this incident, Guru Gobind Singh composed the epic poem Zafarnameh (Epistle Of Victory) in the Persian language and dispatched two warriors to ride 2000 kilometres southward into the Deccan Plateau to deliver the Epistle to the Emperor.

The Zafarnama is similar in style to Firdousi’s Persian epic medieval ballad Shahnama (Epistle Of The Kings) composed around 1000 A.D. and is written in very chaste Classical Persian. It is off the same stature as Beowulf.

It is with these thoughts that the fearless Khalsa were born at Vaisakhi 1699.

Nihang means crocodile in the Persian language. Nihangs were the shock troops and Shaheedi warriors in Sikh armies and have a mythical status in Sikh lore.

Fear Ends Where Faith Begins...

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