Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji is the ninth Guru of the Sikhs. He was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. He was born on April 1st, 1621 at Amritsar. His mother was Bibi Nanki Ji. His birth name was Tyag Mal but keeping in view his courage and bravery, he was named Tegh Bahadur. At the time of his eternal rest, Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji bowed down saying, “Baba Bakale” ie. My successor is at Bakala.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji meditated at Bakala for about twenty years (1644-1664) and lived there with his wife Mata Gujari Ji and mother Mata Nanaki Ji. Bhai Makhan Shah Lobana, a rich businessman, revealed him at Bakala. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji received Guruship on March 30th, 1664 when he was living at Baba Bakala.
The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji
The Mughal Emperor of India, Aurangzeb, attempted to consolidate India into one Islamic nation. In order to achieve this aim, he set out to virtually eliminate Hinduism from India. When the ninth Guru Ji heard of this from a desperate group of Hindus, he challenged the Emperor that, in order to convert all the Hindus, the Guru himself would have to embrace Islam.
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He offered to sacrifice everything for the cause of righteousness. As a result the Guru was imprisoned at the request of Aurangzeb in 1675, Three devout Sikhs (Bhai Mati Das Ji, Bhai Sati Das Ji, Bhai Dyala Ji) who accompanied the Guru were arrested and martyred in front of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji at Delhi.
Aurangzeb gave Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji three options
Despite being forced to watch the torture and execution of these disciples, the Guru Ji simply refused to concede to the Emperor’s demand. The Emperor Aurangzeb gave Guru Ji three options.
1) To embrace Islam,
2) To perform miracles
3) Be ready for death.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji’s sacrifice
Finally, the Guru preferred the latter. His head was chopped off publicly at Chandni Chowk in Delhi on November 11th, 1675 for being a protector of fundamental human rights. Unparalleled in the history of humankind, the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was an act of sacrifice for another religious community. The Guru Ji’s martyrdom served to awaken the collective conscience of the Sikh community, which was about to undergo a final transformation in the years to follow.
Guru Ji was also known as ‘Hind di Chadar’
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was also known as ‘Hind di Chadar’ which means the ‘Shield of India’. But for his brave sacrifice, Aurangzeb would have been successful in converting Kashmiri Pandits to his own religion. Aurangzeb had issued an order to Iftiqar Khan the Viceroy of Kashmir, to forcefully convert the entire population of Kashmiri Pandits to his own religion.
This was because he strongly believed that the mass conversion of Kashmiri Pandits would not only convince but also force the rest of the country to follow suit. Aurangzeb could not stand the sight of Sacred Threads or Tilaks on any of his people. The deadline for the mass conversion was fast approaching and a large group of over 500 Kashmiri Pandits let by Pandit Kirpa Ram Datt, left for Anandpur Sahib to seek the help of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was cremated at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib
The headless body was taken away by Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanjara Ji who cremated it respectfully at his place in Delhi on November 12th, 1675. Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib Ji was erected at this location to commemorate the incidence. The Severed head of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was then presented respectfully to, Guru Gobind Singh Ji by Bhai Jaita Ji at Sri Anandpur Sahib Ji in Punjab. Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib Ji has been erected inside the town of Anandpur Sahib Ji where the severed and revered head of the Guru Ji was cremated
Guru Ji was sacrificed his faith
Some writers have stated that once you promise allegiance to anybody, sacrifice your head but do not let him down at any cost. A great example of this is Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji who sacrificed his life but did not falter from his faith. Gobind Rai Ji son of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was nominated to Gurgaddi. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a child of 9 years when he was called upon to shoulder the responsibilities of a Guru. Bani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was entered into Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji by Guru Gobind Singh at Talwandi Sabo Ji, Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Ji. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji’s bani gives the message of non-attachment.
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