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The Khalsa Is the Guru

Namo Sri Guru Khalsa
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ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਮੇਰੋ ਰੂਪ ਹੈ ਖ਼ਾਸ ॥ ਖ਼ਾਲਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਹੌ ਕਰੌ ਨਿਵਾਸ ॥
Khalsa is my (Guru Gobind Singh’s) true form, Within the Khalsa I abide
Khalsa Mehima, Sarbloh Bani

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Upon his departure for Sachkhand, Guru Gobind Singh gave the Gurgaddi to two things, the Shabad Guru Granth Sahib (the Gyaan of the Guru), and the Guru Khalsa Panth (the Roop of the Guru). If the Granth is the brain, the Panth is the body. In this way authority was vested into the Khalsa, so long as they maintained Rehit and adopted Gurmat.

ਆਪਨਪੌ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਖਾਲਸਹਿ ਸੌਪਾਂ, ਦ੍ਵਤਯਿ ਰੂਪ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥਾ ॥
I have entrusted the Khalsa with my status, and the second form of the True Guru is the Granth.
ਬੋਲਨ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਬਦ ਸੰਭਾਖਨ, ਨਾਮ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੀਰਤਨਿ ਸੰਥਾ ॥
The speech of the Guru is: the recitation of the Shabad, remembrance of the Name, the singing of Divine Keertan, or the study of Gurbani.
ਗੁਨਾਨੁਵਾਦ ਪੁਨਿ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਲਾਹਨਿ, ਊਠਤੁ ਬੈਠਤੁ ਸੈਨ ਕਰੰਥਾ ॥
One should contemplate on the Divine's virtues and then praise and sing about them whether standing, sitting or sleeping.
ਪਾਵਨ ਪੰਥ ਖਾਲਸਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਯੋ, ਚਾਰ ਵਰਨ ਆਸ੍ਰਮ ਸੁਭ ਪੰਥਾ ॥੧॥
The pure Khalsa came into being, the true path included all castes and life stages.
ਇਨ ਕੇ ਦਰਸ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕੋ ਦਰਸਨ, ਬੋਲਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗ੍ਰੰਥਾ ॥
Having the Khalsa's Darshan is the Darshan of the True Guru, the speech of the Guru are the words within the Guru Granth.
ਦ੍ਵਾਦਸਿ ਰੂਪ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਏ ਕਹਿਯਤਿ, ਦ੍ਵਾਦਸਿ ਭਾਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਹਰਿ ਸੰਤਾ ॥
The True Guru is said to have 12 forms, just like Hari's Saint is as bright as the 12 suns. [Note: Each month the Suraj is thought to ascend on a different chariot to travel through a different route in the sky].
ਪ੍ਰਤਯਖ ਕਲਾ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਧਣੀਛੈ, ਗ੍ਰੰਥਿ ਪੰਥ ਖਾਲਸ ਵਰਤੰਤਾ ॥
The absolute power of Parbrahm is manifesting within the Granth and Panth Khalsa.
ਦਾਸ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਫਤਹ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ, ਖਾਸ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਗੁਰੁ ਰੂਪ ਬਦੰਤਾ ॥੨॥ਦੁਪਦ ੧॥
The Servant Gobind claims victory to the True Guru, which is importantly proclaimed as the Granth and Panth.

Sri Sarbloh Granth Translation from

Any subsequent “leader” was a mere servant of the Khalsa, and not ever meant to be the other way around. This is exemplified with gift given to Banda Singh Bahadur and the subsequent looting of that gift, by the Khalsa. Here is an excerpt from Rattan Singh Bhangoo’s Prachin Panth Prakash:


ਬੰਦੇ ਗੁਰ ਖੰਡਾ ਦਯੋ ਲਯੋ ਉਨੈਂ ਗਲ ਪਾਇ । ਖਾਲਸੋ ਦੇਖ ਸੁ ਵਿਟਰਿਓ ਤਿਨ ਖੰਡੋ ਲਯੋ ਛਿਨਾਇ ।੧੧।
The Guru then handed over his double-edged dagger to the Banda Singh, Which he accepted and wore around his person as an armour.
Feeling enraged at the loss of their legitimate right of being Guru’s heirs, The Khalsa Singhs stripped Banda Singh of Guru’s armour. (11)
ਤਬ ਫਰਯਾਦ ਉਨ ਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਕਰੀ । ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਹਸ ਹਸ ਚਿਤ ਬਿਚਰੀ। ਚੀਜ ਆਪਨੀ ਇਨ੍ਹੈਂ ਸੰਭਾਰੀ । ਭਯੋ ਖਾਲਸੋ ਅਬ ਕਲ ਧਾਰੀ ।੧੨।
As stripped Banda Singh complained to the Guru (about the Singh’s act), The Guru went into peels of laughter with immense joy.
The Guru remarked that with Singh’s forcible possession of their legitimate right, His mission of empowering the Khalsa Panth has been fulfilled. (12)

Sri Prachin Panth Prakash, Episode 29

Anyone who takes on a position to lead the Khalsa is doing so as a tool of the Khalsa. No one can give an order to the Khalsa, they can only make a suggestion. It is up to the Khalsa to decide whether to accept or not. This applied even to Guru Gobind Singh! There is the example above of the Khalsa defying the gift given to Banda Singh, but there is also the Hukams the Guru Khalsa gave to Guru Gobind Singh during the Battle of Chamkaur to escape, go rebuild strength and keep the movement alive.


ਹਮ ਪਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਦਈ ਹੰਨੈ ਹੰਨੈ ਲਾਇ । ਜਹਿਂ ਜਹਿਂ ਬਹੈਂ ਜਮੀਨ ਮਲ ਤਹਿਂ ਤਹਿਂ ਤਖਤ ਬਨਾਇਂ ।੩੯।
Satguru had conferred sovereignty on the Khalsa Panth, As well as on each individual Singh of that fraternity. Wherever a Singh sets his foot and settles on earth, He establishes his own self-reliant/autonomous sovereignty (Takht).

Sri Prachin Panth Prakash, Epidode 90

This shared status of each individual member of the Khalsa is actually the basis upon which the Misl system arose. It was a way for the Khalsa to reconcile that each one of them had equal status, but also fall into hierarchies to achieve particular goals. Each Khalsa had the freedom to leave a Misl and join another, or start their own, thus maintaining each individual’s freedom of choice... Somewhat.
It wasn’t perfect sure, and Azadism has argued extensively in favour of the Misls but with a few tweaks to get it exactly how Guru Sahib intended (at least in Azadism’s opinion). But one of the primary basis's of this advocacy is to recognise and respect the mandate from the Guru to the Khalsa that each has that status. A Misl system (again, with a few tweaks), is the most compatible method of governance for the Guru Khalsa Panth.

ਵਹੀ ਵਰਤਾਰੋ ਭੁਜੰਗਨ ਵਰਤਾਯੋ । ਆਪਸ ਗੁਰ ਚੇਲਾ ਕਹਿਵਾਯੋ ।
After being initiated by the five initiated ones in the same manner, He (Guru Gobind Singh) came to be known as Teacher-disciple rolled into one (“Aape Gur-Chela”).
ਯਹੀ ਆਦ ਹੁਤ ਆਯੋ ਵਰਤਾਰਾ । ਜਿਮ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰ ਅੰਗਦ ਧਾਰਾ ।੨੧।
This has been the tradition from the very beginning, As Guru Nanak had also accepted Guru Angad as his Guru. (21)

Sri Prachin Panth Prakash, Epidode 15

It was not pakhand when Guru Gobind knelt down to receive Khande Di Pahaul from the Guru Khalsa on Vaisakhi. He truly meant what he was showing, that the Khalsa is now equal in status.
Khalsa is just one way of doing Sikhi, but it is a way sanctioned and launched by the human manifestation of the Guru itself. And it is the one way that was given Gurgaddi. By becoming Khalsa, you become the Guru. This is the ultimate apotheosis and a gift given by Guru Gobind Singh to anyone who is willing to put in the effort to follow a Rehit, adopt the mentality and engage in Dharam Yudh.
Guru Sahib is NOT some unobtainable ideal. The whole point of Sikhi is to reach the exact same status! This is not blasphemy, this is the gift the Guru gives!

ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਦੂਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਤੂੰ ਹੈ ॥
God is not far way, God is YOU!
Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 353

So it is incredibly frustrating watching those who wear the Bana of Singhs then act like complete sheep and shut off their free-thinking ability for others. The Khalsa has been given such a royal status, yet we still act like beggars?
Not only do we already have a leader (the Guru), that leader passed his leadership to the Khalsa. We will follow every other mandate except this one because people are confused and distracted by their attachment to intermediaries and middle men.
I am by no means saying these offshoots, Sant babai, Jathedars etc have no value, many indeed do. But as guidance, not gospel.
Remember this when reading the , as it will be directly relevant.
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Bunga Azaadi — Institute for Azadist Studies

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