Baaj (falcon/hawk) represents the traits of the Khalsa. This article will discuss the eight traits of a Baaj hence the reason why Guru Gobind Singh Ji always kept a Baaj with Them.
What Does Baaj Mean?
The word Baaj is often translated in different ways by different people. Some say, Hawk, Falcon, Grey falcon, White falcon or Ghost hawk. For this article, we will call it a Baaj. Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji also kept a Baaj with Them. We have to keep in mind that everything that Guru Gobind Singh Ji does in Their life, what They say and everything They teach the Khalsa (collective of initiated Sikhs) is there for a reason. There's a lesson and mystery behind it.
The Baaj Represents the Khalsa
The biggest reason and mystery behind why Guru Ji kept a Baaj is that the Baaj represents the Khalsa. All the traits of a Baaj are the traits that should come with the Khalsa. The eight main traits of a Baaj that we should be following are:
#1: Cannot Be Enslaved
A Baaj can never be kept in captivity. A Baaj will either break out of the cage and fly away or it will die inside of a cage. You can't enslave it.
It is completely independent. A Baaj never eats anything that has been killed by somebody else and simply given it to it. Whatever it eats, it will kill it by itself. So it completely depends on itself. This is a teaching to the Khalsa that the Khalsa depends on itself. It does not need to beg from anybody else. It does not need to rely on anybody else. The Khalsa can rely upon itself. Since it's given the Bakshish (blessing) and the Kirpa (grace) of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
#3: Flies High but Keeps his Vision Low (Humility)
A Baaj flies very, very high but it always keeps its Drishti (vision) on the ground which represents Nimrata (humility). A Baaj keeps its vision on the little creatures that are walking and crawling around on the Earth. That's a teaching to the Khalsa. You’re going to fly very high, reach the heavens and reach the skies. In this world, you're going to reach the highest thrones but always keep your eyes and mind at the lowest part of yourself. You always keep your Avgun (demerits) in mind and remain the lowest of the low. Keep your attention to the lowest of the low, even though you may be at the highest of the high. Don't let that ego get on top of you.
#4: Chakarvarti (Always moving & unattached)
Chakarvarti means always moving and never remaining in the same place (unattached). The Khalsa and the Baaj don't hold on to any attachments. The Baaj will never make a house and call it its permanent house. It will make a house, but then it might let go of the house and go somewhere else. It will always be traveling across the world and it never sets up a permanent house. So, that is teaching the Khalsa that you may be living in a house or certain country but don't identify your inner self in such depth with that place. We are going to be letting go of this world. So don’t hold any attachments.
#5: Never Lazy
A Baaj will always be alert. A Baaj will always go out and will do what needs to be done. It will never put off things till later. There's a teaching to the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh Ji that never be lazy.
#6: Flies Against the Wind (Unique)
A Baaj will always fly against the wind, whereas all other birds of the sky will fly with the wind. This is a teaching to us that pressure might be coming from one way, the world might be going one way and going with the flow, but the Khalsa is Nirala (unique). It is always going to flow against the pressure even though it might be difficult. The Khalsa will always fly against the wind in a way that nobody else is going.
A Baaj is completely fearless. It does not fear any other bird of the sky or any animal of the land.
You may have seen videos where a Baaj comes down and picks up a goat, sheep or other small animals. It is not scared of any other animal.
#8: Royalty (King of the Sky)
A Baaj is the king of the sky. Since it's like the king of the sky, a Baaj is like royalty. It's held at the highest point of the hierarchy. That is a teaching to the Khalsa that the Khalsa is also royal blood. If your father is a king (Guru Gobind Singh Ji), you being the son/daughter of the king, you also have that same blood running through your veins. So, we should be following the same traits that Kalgidhar Paatshah (Guru Gobind Singh Ji) lived in their life. They are teaching the Khalsa within this one metaphorical example of keeping a Baaj with them. Hence why we call Guru Ji, Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj, Baajawale (The one with the falcon).