Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji ‘s verse in Persian

Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji ’s verse in Persian

Some of the Readers must be aware of the history of Sikhs and the significant role played by our tenth Guru—Shri Guru Gobind Singhji.

As is known, He was a Saint, a Warrior, a Scholar, and a great Spiritual Leader, who sacrificed his family for the sake of protecting Hinduism.

One beautiful verse written by Him in Persian is as under :

cun kar az hama hilate dar guzasht
halal ast burdan ba shamsher dast

The literal meaning of the above verse,as translated by eminent scholars of Sikh history is as under :

When all other means fail ,it is proper to take the sword in one’s hand .

Some others have translated it slightly differently as under :

When all other means have failed,It is but lawful to take to the sword.

This was and is our Guru’s Philosophy of Action.What He means is that all possible peaceful means must be adopted first to bring home to the aggressor the futility of his high handedness;but if he proves to be incorrigible, resorting to violent means for achieving the end, was permissible.

This verse signifies the true nature of action and a high water-mark in practical politics. Good means can be effective when used against enemies who have any sense of goodness in them. Sikhism’s astonishing appeal lies in the degree to which Sikhs draw strength from this verse.

More on this aspect in my next posting after I see the response of my dear readers to this piece.

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9 Responses
  1. Shernaz Wadia says:

    This does make sense, doesn’t it? I have heard this sher for the first time, but my take has always been – when someone refuses to understand your language, it becomes imperative to talk to him in his language. Intrisically, I am totally for peace and love. Unfortunately many don’t understand it. They construe it to be weakness. Then one is forced to pull out the iron hand from beneath the velvet glove.

  2. Very true. The similar hymn ‘Deh Shiva Bar Mohe…’ encapsulates within itself two of the most primary aspects of being a Sikh: the aspect of a Soldier and the aspect of a Saint. For more information


    Dear Broca Sa’ab,
    “Sat Sri Akal”. Thank you for sharing the ‘persian couplet’ by Guru Gobind Singhji! It has fragrance of valour as well as a warning for the foes. I firmly believe this tactic must be adopted by Indian Govt. to combat the present terrorism and crush it once for all. No empty words – No false promises… Please do keep on sharing such gems. Good Day!

    Bharat B. Trivedi, K.O. Bahrain (A. Gulf)
    May 16, 2009


    Thank you for that timely persian verse from guru Gobind Singh ji, Jatinder ji and thanks for explaining the different versions of interpretations. You are right, aggression is permissible when situations demand it and all else has failed. Saint-soldier, what an amazing combination of the best of both worlds. I look forward to hearing more verses from you.

    Anupamdeep Bindra, Mercedes, Texas
    May 17, 2009

  5. dr pooja says:

    Jitoo Uncle, I take this as a lesson to learn. The translation helps me understand better. And since you gave two translations, the meaning was more clear. Thank you. Best wishes.

    Dr Pooja G Bhuyar, Bijapur
    May 17, 2009

  6. Dear Sir,

    Thanks for explaining such beautiful words of the Guru. I have written similarly on the subject. Please visit.


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