Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji


Guru Tegh Bahadur (1 April 1621 – 24 November 1675) was the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. Tegh Bahadur continued in the spirit of the first guru, Nanak; his 116 poetic hymns are registered in Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Tegh Bahadur resisted the forced conversions of Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam, and was publicly beheaded in 1675 on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi for himself refusing to convert to Islam.

Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi mark the places of execution and cremation of the Guru's body. The martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur is remembered as the Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur every year on 24 November, according to the Nanakshahi calendar released by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 2003.


Early Life


Guru Tegh Bahadur was born in a Sodhi Khatri Family. The Sixth guru, Guru Hargobind had one daughter Bibi Viro and five sons: Baba Gurditta, Suraj Mal, Ani Rai, Atal Rai and Tyaga Mal. Tyaga Mal was born in Amritsar in the early hours of 1 April 1621, who came to be known by the name Tegh Bahadur (Mighty Of The Sword), given to him by Guru Hargobind after he had shown his valour in a battle against the Mughals.

In March 1664 Guru Har Krishan contracted smallpox. When asked by his followers who would lead them after him, he replied Baba Bakala, meaning his successor was to be found in Bakala. Taking the advantage of the ambiguity in the words of the dying Guru, many installed themselves in Bakala, claiming themselves as the new Guru. Sikhs were puzzled to see so many claimants.


Works


Guru Tegh Bahadur contributed many hymns to Granth Sahib including the Saloks, or couplets near the end of the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Tegh Bahadur toured various parts of Mughal Empire and was asked by Gobind Sahali to construct several Sikh temples in Mahali. His works include 116 shabads, 15 ragas and his bhagats are credited with 782 compositions that are part of bani in Sikhism.


Martyrdom


In 1675 Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed in Delhi on 11 November under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. According to J.S. Grewal – a scholar of Sikh history, Guru Tegh Bahadur decided to confront the religious persecution of Kashmiri Brahmins by the Mughal officials. He did so after appointing his son the successor-Guru, leaving his base of Makhowal and entering Ropar where he was promptly arrested.

According to Purnima Dhavan – a scholar of South Asian history and Mughal Empire, the Mughal administration kept a close watch on his activities. Guru Tegh Bahadur was kept in jail for four months in Sarhind, then transferred to Delhi in November 1675. There he was asked to perform a miracle to prove his nearness to his God. The Guru questioned the idea that "occult powers were a proof of one's nearness to God", states Grewal. After his "failure to perform a miracle", he was asked to convert to Islam. He refused. Three of his colleagues, who had been arrested with him, were then put to death in front of him. He continued his refusal to convert to Islam. Thereafter, states Grewal, he was publicly beheaded in Chandni Chauk, a market square close to the Red Fort.


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