Martyrdom Day of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib — Ninth Guru of Sikhs (2016)
Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib's Martyrdom day
is on 24 November 2016.
About Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib
Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib was the ninth guru of the Sikhs.
One of the tenets of Sikhism is the universal brotherhood of man which was espoused by the founder if 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 common brotherhood. All successive Sikh Gurus practiced, 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.
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 Kashimi 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 9 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
Susequently, 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 5 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.
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.
After The MartyrdomClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 (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 fire had engulfed Lakhi Shah's house and so didn't press further.
Gurudwara Sis Ganj & Gurudwara Rakab GanjClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 unparalled 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 martydom was the first ever martydom for human rights in the world".
Guru Teg Bahadur Ji
© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly