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SIKH GURUS

GURU TEGH BAHADUR SAHIB
(1621 - 1665)


GURU TEGH BAHADUR SAHIB (1.4.1621 - 11.11.1675), son of Mata Nanaki and Guru Hargobind Sahib, was born at Amritsar. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib studied a lot of philosophy and Scriptures. He was married to Mata Gujari, on September 14, 1632. [A son, (Guru) Gobind Singh (Sahib), was born to them, in 1661]. He was also a great soldier. He had participated in the battles of Amritsar and Kartarpur. Though Guru Hargobind Sahib (at the time of his death, in 1664) had installed Guru Har Rai Sahib as the Seventh Nanak, (Guru) Tegh Bahadur Sahib continued very active Sikh missionary activities. In June 1656, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib left Keeratpur Sahib for a long missionary journey of Assam, Bihar and Bengal and spent several years in that area.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was installed as the Ninth Nanak, on August 11, 1664. In March-April 1665, he took an extensive tour of Malwa and Bangar area. During this tour, he built a Sarovar at Talwandi Saho (Damdama Sahib). He decided to set up a Sikh centre at Talwandi Sabo. On April 27, 1665, Raja Dip Chand, the ruler of the Bilaspur State died. When Guru Sahib visited Bilaspur, Rani Champa, the widow of Raja Dip Chand, requested Guru Sahib to stay near her State. She granted Guru Sahib the land of Lodipur, Sahota and Mianpur. [Instead of accepting the grant. Guru Sahib paid rupees five hundred for the land]. On June 19, 1665, Guru Sahib founded the Sikh town of Chakk Nanaki, named after his mother Mata Nanaki (now it is known as Anandpur Sahib), on the ruins of the village Makhowal. Anandpur Sahib is an example of strategic military planning. Guru Sahib knew that in the future the Sikhs will have to face a such-like situations. Guru Sahib stayed here for four months and then left for his second missionary journey of Malwa and Bangar area. When Guru Sahib was at village Dhamtan(district Jind), he, along with several Sikhs, was arrested by Aalam Khan Ruhela. Guru Sahib and the Sikhs were taken to Delhi and were produced before Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb ordered their execution but Kanwar Ram Singh (son of Raja Mirza Jai Singh), who had close relationship with Aurangzeb, affected the release of Guru Sahib (on December 16, 1665). From Delhi, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib went to Assam, Bihar and Bengal on his missionary journey. During this tour, Guru Sahib mediated a compromise between Raja Chakradhwai, the ruler of Ahom (Assam) and Kanwar Ram Singh, who had led the Mogul army against Raja Chakradhwaj. Guru Sahib traveled as remote as up to the village of Harjo. Guru Sahib left Assam in April-May 1670. On his way to Delhi, he was arrested at Agra, in June 1670. He was brought to Delhi but was released soon after. Guru Sahib stayed at the Dharamsala of Bhai Kalyana. On June 20, 1670, Rani Pushpa Devi visited Guru Sahib to make her obeisance. On her insistence Guru Sahib stayed at her palace for some days. From here he went to Bakala where he spent the next one and half year. In 1672, he moved to Chakk Nanaki.

On May 25, 1675, a group of Hindus of Kashmir, led by Pundit Kirpa Ram Dutt, visited Guru Sahib at Chakk Nanaki and asked him to save them from forcible conversions by the governor of Kashmir. Guru Sahib agreed to lead struggle against Aurangzeb's persecution of the non-Muslims. Guru Sahib knew that he shall have to make sacrifice of his life, so, on July 8, 1675, he installed (Guru) Gobind Singh Sahib as the Tenth Nanak and left for Delhi. On his way, he was arrested at village Malikpur Rangharan (on July 12, 1675). Bhai Dial Das, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das too were with Guru Sahib. They were kept in Bassi Pathanan prison where they were tortured. The arrest was reported to Aurangzeb, who was at Hasan Abdal at that time. The emperor sent several persons to impress upon Guru Sahib to convent to Islam. Finally, Aurangzeb issued orders for transportation of Guru Sahib to Delhi. Guru Sahib reached Delhi on November 5, 1675. At Delhi he was tortured again. Guru Sahib and the three Sikhs were given final chance to choose between 'Islam or death'. Guru Sahib and the three Sikhs were executed on November 11, 1675, at Chandani Chowk Delhi (at the site of Gurdwara Sis Ganj). Guru Sahib's head-less body was cremated at village Raisina (present site of Gurdwara Rakab Ganj), on November 12, 1675, and his head was cremated at Anandpur Sahib (present site of Gurdwara Sis Gunj at Anandpur Sahib), on November 17, 1675. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib sacrificed his life for the freedom of right to faith and worship. The Hindus, who were being forced into Islamic faith, called Guru Sahib "the Saviour" (Messiah of the Hindus).

Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was a superb poet too. He composed 115 verses, which have been included in Guru Granth Sahib.




 
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