9. The stage of Hindusim in the time of guru Govind Singh

The state of Hinduism in the time of Guru Govind Singh was as bad as can possibly be conceived. In Chapter III the measures that the Moghal Governors had taken to suppress Hinduism throughout Hindustan have been described at seine length. But the Punjab, being Hindustan's gate through which all invaders, great and small, passed on their way to Delhi, had been receiving the brunt of the Muslim invasions for centuries previous. It was, therefore, constantly in an unsettled condition. The amenities of a regular Goverment, even of a tyrannical one, were not within the reach of the people. The placas of warship of the Hindus were razed to the ground. To build new ones was a criminal act. Those were the days of rank superstition and awful ignorance. As during the Dark Ages the whole Christendom was led to believe that seats in Heaven could be purchased through the intervention of the Popes, the Hindus were taught to give all they had to the Brahmans and seek death to reach Heaven earlier. An infernal machine, called Kalwatra, was erected in Banaras. Thousands of pilgrims were sawn into pieces and their belongings were appropriated by the crafty priests. To sit in the midst of heaps of fire, to stand for weeks all month in cold water, breast deep, to lie down on iron nails and to cause bodily pain to one's self by similar devices, to burn alive women on the pyres of their husbands, to offer human sacrifices at. the altar of the so-called deities and many other barbarous practices were regarded -acts of merit. Thus the benighted humanity was murdered, robbed and plundered by its own priests. Here and there Hindu and Sikh Sadhus and learned Pandits inculcated higher ideas ; but as such instances were rare they did no lasting good. Apart from this the observance of easte rules had killed fellow feeling from the minds of the Hindus and had made them ernel to and suspicious of one another.