Skip to main content

Martyrdom Day of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib: Ninth Guru of Sikhs

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Guru Teg Bahadur

Guru Teg Bahadur

About Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib

Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib is the ninth guru of the Sikhs.

One of the tenets of Sikhism is the universal brotherhood of man which was espoused by the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. His was a vision that transcended all barriers of caste, creed, race, religion and gender to bring all humanity under a single umbrella of a common brotherhood.

All successive Sikh Gurus practised, preached and protected this moral ideal.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was a pious man whose life was a living example of humility, piety and compassion and whose sublime poetry embodies worldly detachment and is incorporated in the Sikh holy scripture, The Guru Granth Sahib. Guruji is often referred to as Hind Ki Chadar, meaning The Shielder of the Hindus.

About Emperor Aurangzeb

During the time of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib, India was ruled by the Mughals under the fanatic and cruel Emperor Aurangzeb. He with single-minded determination headed a relentless campaign of forcible conversions of Hindus to Islam, starting in North India, in Kashmir and Punjab. His sole motive was to turn India into an Islamic state.

Aurangzeb was a tyrant and was absolutely ruthless. He was a terror in his own family as well. He had imprisoned his father (Emperor Shah Jahan) and got his brothers murdered all for the sake of power that he would get by becoming the emperor. Because of such atrocities, he was disliked even by the Muslims.

In Kashmir, the Brahmins or Pandits, the Hindu religious scholars, were being forcibly stripped of their Tilak and janeu (janeu is a sacred thread worn by Hindus), They were tortured and asked to convert to Islam or face death. Many Hindus had been executed by then. There was a reign of terror and fear and clouds of darkness hung all over.

The Decision

In this hour of darkness, the Kashmiri Pandits saw a beacon of hope in Guru Teg Bahadur sahib whom all Hindus held in high esteem. They felt Guruji could find a way out to end their misery and despair.

With this motive in mind, a delegation of 500 Kashmiri Pandits led by Pandit Kirpa Ram, reached Anandpur Sahib, the place where Guruji resided. Pandit Kirpa Ram then narrated the atrocities being committed on the Hindus and the dilemma they were in as Aurangzeb had given them a deadline to accept Islam or be prepared for execution. They pleaded for help.

Hearing this Guruji became silent and pensive. When his son Gobind Rai enquired about the reason for being in thought, Guruji related all that the Kashmiri Pandits had transpired and then added that a great soul needs to sacrifice his life, to stop this oppression.

The young Gobind Rai, who was just nine years of age, at the time responded by saying who could be more worthy of this cause than his father himself.

Guruji realized that Gobind Rai was now capable to take on the responsibilities of Guruship. He asked the delegation to go and tell Aurangzeb that if the Emperor is able to convert Guruji to Islam, the Hindus would follow suit willingly.

The Martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib

Subsequently, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib was arrested and presented before Aurangzeb. On Guruji's refusal to accept Islam as well as his refusal to perform miracles to prove his divinity, Guruji and his followers who had accompanied him were subjected to various types of physical torture for five days.

Following this, and in order to bring Guruji to submission, one of his followers, Bhai Mati Das was sawn alive, the second Bhai Dyala was boiled live in a cauldron while the third Bhai Sati Das was burnt alive before Guruji.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Owlcation

When Teg Bahadur Sahib still did not relent, he was beheaded in public, in broad daylight in the middle of a public square, in Chandni Chowk, Delhi on November 11, 1675. Guruji was charged with being a stumbling block in the spread of Islam.

Events Following the Martyrdom

After the execution of Guru Teg Bahadur, Nature unleashed her full fury. There ensued a severe dust storm. It was as if the entire universe was in anger. There was pandemonium all around and because of the dust storm, nothing could be seen or heard.

In these circumstances, one disciple of Guruji, Bhai Jaita dared and picked up the Sis (the severed head) and with great devotion wrapped it up in his clothes. Taking his 2 associates along, the group of three traversed over a period of 5 days to reach Kiratpur Sahib, ensuring they stayed safe from the prying eyes of the Mughals.

With a heavy heart, Bhai Jaita now presented Guruji's head to his son Gobind Rai. Guruji's head was consigned to the flames with full respect. Today, at the spot in Anandpur sahib where Guruji's head was consigned to the flames, stands a beautiful Gurudwara, also by the name of Sis Ganj.

In the meanwhile in Delhi, another disciple of Guruji, Lakhi Shah along with his son reached the site with cotton and other stuff loaded on bullock carts and quickly piercing the crowd picked up Guruji's beheaded body, loaded and hid it in the cotton bales in the bullock cart and rode away to their house in Raisina.

The Mughal forces were flabbergasted at the disappearance of the Guruji's head and body. Fearing that the Mughal soldiers would find them out, Lucky Shah took Guruji's body to his house and after a hurried prayer set fire to his house itself to avoid detection. The Mughal soldiers thought the fire had engulfed Lakhi Shah's house and so didn't press further.

About Sis Ganj Gurudwara & Rakab Ganj Gurudwara

Today, Gurudwara Sis Ganj stands at the spot where Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib was executed and Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, stands at the site where Lakhi Shah performed Guruji's last rites by burning down his house.

Guruji's Martyrdom day is celebrated every year all over the country and is known as Shahidi Diwas.

Such supreme sacrifice made to defend the followers of another faith is unparalleled in world history as former IAS and Sikh scholar Gurtej Singh describes it.

Noel King of the University of California said: "Guru Teg Bahadur's martyrdom was the first-ever martyrdom for human rights in the world".

Guru Teg Bahadur Ji

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 03, 2017:

Abhay, thanks for appreciating Guruji's supreme sacrifice. All the best!

Abhay on November 25, 2017:

Example of supreme sacrifice for the cause of humanity. A brave soul who stood up to the Tyrant Aurangzeb.

Shat Shat Naman to the holy Guru

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 22, 2013:

Such an interesting hub. I've never heard of him so thank you for the education.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on November 22, 2013:

He was a great Guru....Not just a Guru but a Savior.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 20, 2013:

@MGSingh-I too wonder about it!

@LKMore-Thanks. Much appreciated.

LKMore01 on August 18, 2013:


Thank you for sharing your knowledge. This was an informative and educational HUB further invoking the tolerance and wisdom I so love and respect of Sikhism and Hinduism.

MG Singh from UAE on August 18, 2013:

Well written and interesting post. Yet, I wonder why the Babbar Khalsa are taking help from Pakistan ?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 14, 2013:

Thanks Devika. Glad you liked the info.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 12, 2013:

An enjoyable read and something new for me thanks

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 11, 2013:

Hi Rahul,

I'm glad you like the hub. Power not only corrupts but some go mentally insane with absolute power. Aurangzeb is a classic example of one.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on January 11, 2013:

I love knowing about Indian history... and this was sheer enlightenment!!

Aurangzeb according to my analysis was fool who got the throne and became lunatic ...

Awesome hub Sir

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 02, 2012:

I agree sweetie. Thank you.

sweetie1 from India on December 02, 2012:

Unless you can not respect the religious views of others, then you can not respect your own religion. All the religions which have evolved in India are very tolerant and have great respect for other religions.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 02, 2012:

You are right Sweetie. Both religions are tightly intertwined with one another. People from both religions visit each other's worship houses and I feel that this is good for humanity as a whole. We are humans first and God made us this way first and I have respect for all religions.

Thanks for sharing your views.

sweetie1 from India on December 02, 2012:

Yes it does differ little bit but as you know Hinduism is broadest religion and wont ever stop its followers to worship non Hindu gods . Also it is common in Punjab to worship Guru Nanak in Hindu families and a picture of Guru Nanak in every Hindu home too.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 01, 2012:

Hi Sweetie,

I agree with you about the eldest son in most Hindu families being made a Sikh. Though Sikhism is an offshoot of Hinduism it differs somewhat in its beliefs like no idol worship, the observance of the 5 K's and the like.

I'm glad you like the hub. Thanks for reading.

sweetie1 from India on November 30, 2012:

Very nice hub on Guru Teg Bahadur but I really don't understand why people call it other religion when even till as recent as 20 years or so back most Hindus families in Punjab made their elder son Sikh. Voting it up.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 22, 2012:

@ Rasma - glad you liked the hub. Thanks for coming by and the sharing.

@ shining - thanks for reading this aspect of history. Appreciate your comments and visit.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on November 22, 2012:

I am truly touched by the strong and unwavering faith of this remarkable being. Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib faced such atrocities and was forced to witness such awful acts of violence, yet he stood brave in the face of religious persecution.

I thank you for sharing this awesome chapter in history.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on November 22, 2012:

Voted up and interesting. Thanks for sharing this informative and fascinating hub. Passing this on. Great pics and video.

viewfinders on November 21, 2012:

an interesting hub!thanks for sharing

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 20, 2012:

@ Harsha - How true! Sacrifices made by great souls never go in vain. Thanks for reading.

@ Carol - it is so baffling to understand why man wants to attain all the power or material things when life is so uncertain. We just don't know what the next moment has in store for us. Thanks for coming by.

@ Bill - Glad you like the story. Thanks.

@ GTF - Glad you liked. Thank you.

Claudia Porter on November 20, 2012:

Wow - what an interesting hub! What ensued after his beheading was intense! Thank you for telling this.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 20, 2012:

A wonderful education about a man I have never heard of. Thank you my friend; this was a great story that needs to be told for all.

carol stanley from Arizona on November 20, 2012:

Today an interesting but sad history story. There are many men in history who have been willing to sacrifice their lives and we still see it everyday with our own soldiers. This was such an interesting story about history. I never do understand the tyranny of man and his ruthlessness to get evil over good.. It is about power and that is stronger than the need for money.

Harsha Vardhana R from Bangalore on November 20, 2012:

By supreme sacrifices of such great souls, Hinduism has survived thousands of years of foreign rule.

Pranam to the holy soul. May he inspire us to live with peace, responsibility and freedom

Related Articles