Published on February 18, 2014
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was the 9th Sikh Guru. He was the youngest son of the 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib. He was born to Mata Nanaki Ji in April 1621 AD in the town of Guru ka Mahal (Now known as Amritsar). He was named Tiag Mall. He received training in various aspects covering religious education, music, sword/archery & horse riding skills under the supervision of his father, Baba Buddha Ji and Bhai Gurdas Ji. He was married at the age of 11 to Gujri Ji, daughter of Sri Lal Chand's at Kartar Pur. Tiag Mall was courageous. At the age of thirteen, He joined his father 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib to fight a battle in Kartarpur against the Mogul ruler, Shahjahan. His bravery and skilful use of sword (tegh) in the battle impressed his father who changed his name from Tiag Mall to Tegh Bahadur (which meant the 'Master of the sword or Bold with the sword'). After the 4th and the last battle, Guru Hargobind Sahib moved to Kiratpur town and organised the Sikhs to spread the message of “Fatherhood of one Lord” as initiated by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Aurangzeb ascended the throne of India by imprisoning his father and murdering his brothers. After resuming the power, he considered it to be his religious duty to convert all the people of India to Islam. He issued special orders in April 1669 to all his governors and officers throughout India to force the conversion to Islam by use of all possible, fair or unfair means. Non‑Muslims were not given jobs and additional taxes were imposed on them. Many temples were destroyed and were replaced by the mosques. Torture & killing were resorted to for conversion to Islam. Even the Muslims, who in any way assisted the non-Muslims, were mercilessly put to death. Conversion process started from Kashmir & other parts of India those were the strong holds for the Hindu faith. Idea was to convert the leaders first and then rest of the followers would have converted by themselves. Hit badly by the extreme agony, the Hindu Brahmins (pundits) from Kashmir prayed to their gods and goddesses in vain. They tried all the help from elsewhere but all failed. They had heard about the glory of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib’s faith and the reputation of helping the needy irrespective of their faith, caste & background. They had also heard about the fresh incident how Guru had saved His Sikh’s sinking ship. Kashmiri Brahmins decided to meet the acting Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, 9th in succession. A group of these brahmins approached Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib at Anandpur Sahib to make a plea to rescue their faith. Guru Sahib listened to them and was in deep thoughts when His 8 year old son, Gobind Rai, walked in and asked about the reason for His sadness. Guru Sahib told him about the endless misery of the Kashmiri Brahmins & other non-muslims.
Gobind Rai asked, "How could this intolerance be put to an end, Pita Ji (father)?". Guru Sahib replied that it would require a sacrifice of life from a noble person. Gobind Rai immediately replied to his father, "who could be more noble than you for the supreme sacrifice?" Guru Sahib was pleased to hear such words of courage from His son. He immediately made up His mind, and told the Kashmiri Pundits to tell Aurangzeb, that if he could convert Guru Sahib to Islam, they would all convert as well. When Aurangzeb received the message through his Governor, he immediately issued orders for the arrest of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and that the Guru Sahib should be presented in his court at Delhi. After long & unsuccessful dialogue to persuade Guru Sahib to accept Islam, Guru Sahib had to accept one of the following three conditions: 1) Accept Islam and you would be given part of the Empire & all the comforts of life OR 2) Show miracle to prove that you are a Divine person & then you would be released OR 3) Be prepared to face death
Guru Sahib replied 1) I cherish my faith and I am not prepared to give it up. Forcing someone to give up one's faith is not only a sin but rather a deadly sin and such interference is against the principles of a true religion. 2) Showing miracle is against the Will of Waheguru and is act of shame & cowardness. Real miracle is to be truthful & attain union with Waheguru. 3) The threat of physical death possesses no terror for me. You make your preparations and you shall see the miracle yourself. Aurangzeb now resorted to forceful persuasions. Guru Sahib was kept in chains and imprisoned in an iron cage . Iron cage was specially made to torture Guru Sahib as it was shorter than Guru Sahib's height and had sharp spikes pointing inwards so that Guru Sahib could neither stand upright nor lean against the walls of the cage. Guru Sahib remained in the cage for 3 days. The Emperor's ministers tried their best to persuade him to accept Islam but Guru Sahib remained firm.
In front of Him, three of His disciples were cruelly put to death. Bhai Mati Das was tied up between two wooden blocks and sawed into half . Bhai Dayal Das was boiled to death in a large vessel . Bhai Satti Das (Bhai Mati Das’s brother) was wrapped up in cotton and doused with kerosene and set alight . All the three disciples died with the Name of God on their lips and their eyes fixed on their Guru. All this was done to frighten Guru Sahib but He was calm as ever. Having failed through all the possible means, orders were issued for the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib in the Chandni Chowk in Delhi (near Red Fort) on 11th November 1675 AD. Guru Sahib was allowed to perform His last prayers. After having bath at the nearby well, He recited Jap Ji Sahib Hymns under a large tree, the appointed place for execution. Guru Sahib asked the executioner, “Jalal-ul-din” perform the execution task when He would bow His head to the Almighty Waheguru after completion of the Jap Ji Sahib recitation. The great Guru Sahib sacrificed His life to bring freedom to practice faith of one’s own choice . At this site, Gurdwara “Sis Ganj” stands today marking the supreme martyrdom. The tree trunk is still preserved within the premises of the Gurdwara.
There was a tight security so that no one could come near the body. It is believed that before meeting with Aurangzeb, Guru Sahib had planned removal of His body with His close Sikhs. History has recorded that a furious storm raged immediately after the brutal assassination, which filled every one's eyes with dust. The clouds darkened the sky. Under the cover of darkness, Bhai Jaita rushed out with the head of Guru Sahib and went straight to Anandpur Sahib whilst making stops on the way at houses of the Sikhs appointed by Guru Sahib. The young Guru Gobind Singh Sahib performed the last rites of Guru Sahib’s head. At the place of cremation stands the Gurdwara “Sis Ganj” in Anandpur Sahib. Another Sikh, Lakhi Shah, retrieved Guru Sahib’s body. He carried it in his cart to his house located 2-3 miles away from the execution site. He and his sons put the body inside a room and performed the cremation by setting fire to their house. Gurdwara Rakab Ganj stands on the site in Delhi. Guru was supreme & great were Guru’s Sikhs.
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24 nov shahidi_guru_teg_bahadur_ji 1. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was the 9th Sikh Guru. He was the youngest son of the 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib.
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