Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was the 9th Sikh Guru. He was the youngest son of the
6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib. He was born to Mata Nanaki Ji in April 1621 AD
in the town of Guru ka Mahal (Now known as Amritsar). He was named Tiag Mall.
He received training in various aspects covering religious education, music,
sword/archery & horse riding skills under the supervision of his father, Baba
Buddha Ji and Bhai Gurdas Ji. He was married at the age of 11 to Gujri Ji, daughter
of Sri Lal Chand's at Kartar Pur.
Tiag Mall was courageous. At the age of thirteen, He joined his father 6th Guru,
Guru Hargobind Sahib to fight a battle in Kartarpur against the Mogul ruler,
Shahjahan. His bravery and skilful use of sword (tegh) in the battle impressed his
father who changed his name from Tiag Mall to Tegh Bahadur (which meant the
'Master of the sword or Bold with the sword').
After the 4th and the last battle, Guru Hargobind Sahib moved to Kiratpur town and
organised the Sikhs to spread the message of “Fatherhood of one Lord” as initiated
by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Aurangzeb ascended the throne of India by imprisoning his father and murdering his
brothers. After resuming the power, he considered it to be his religious duty to convert all
the people of India to Islam. He issued special orders in April 1669 to all his governors
and officers throughout India to force the conversion to Islam by use of all possible, fair or
unfair means. Non‑Muslims were not given jobs and additional taxes were imposed on
them. Many temples were destroyed and were replaced by the mosques. Torture & killing
were resorted to for conversion to Islam. Even the Muslims, who in any way assisted the
non-Muslims, were mercilessly put to death. Conversion process started from Kashmir &
other parts of India those were the strong holds for the Hindu faith. Idea was to convert
the leaders first and then rest of the followers would have converted by themselves.
Hit badly by the extreme agony, the Hindu Brahmins (pundits) from Kashmir prayed to their
gods and goddesses in vain. They tried all the help from elsewhere but all failed. They had
heard about the glory of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib’s faith and the reputation of helping
the needy irrespective of their faith, caste & background. They had also heard about
the fresh incident how Guru had saved His Sikh’s sinking ship. Kashmiri Brahmins
decided to meet the acting Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, 9th in succession. A group of
these brahmins approached Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib at Anandpur Sahib to make a plea to
rescue their faith. Guru Sahib listened to them and was in deep thoughts when His 8 year
old son, Gobind Rai, walked in and asked about the reason for His sadness. Guru Sahib told
him about the endless misery of the Kashmiri Brahmins & other non-muslims.
Gobind Rai asked, "How could this intolerance be put to an end,
Pita Ji (father)?".
Guru Sahib replied that it would require a sacrifice of life from a
noble person. Gobind Rai immediately replied to his father, "who
could be more noble than you for the supreme sacrifice?" Guru
Sahib was pleased to hear such words of courage from His son.
He immediately made up His mind, and told the Kashmiri Pundits
to tell Aurangzeb, that if he could convert Guru Sahib to Islam,
they would all convert as well.
When Aurangzeb received the message through his Governor, he
immediately issued orders for the arrest of Guru Tegh Bahadur
Sahib and that the Guru Sahib should be presented in his court at
Delhi. After long & unsuccessful dialogue to persuade Guru Sahib
to accept Islam, Guru Sahib had to accept one of the following
1) Accept Islam and you would be given part of the Empire & all
the comforts of life OR
2) Show miracle to prove that you are a Divine person & then you
would be released OR
3) Be prepared to face death
Guru Sahib replied
I cherish my faith and I am not prepared to give it up. Forcing someone to give up
one's faith is not only a sin but rather a deadly sin and such interference is against the
principles of a true religion.
Showing miracle is against the Will of Waheguru and is act of shame &
cowardness. Real miracle is to be truthful & attain union with Waheguru.
The threat of physical death possesses no terror for me. You make your
preparations and you shall see the miracle yourself.
Aurangzeb now resorted to forceful persuasions. Guru Sahib was kept in chains and
imprisoned in an iron cage . Iron cage was specially made to torture Guru Sahib as it
was shorter than Guru Sahib's height and had sharp spikes pointing inwards so that
Guru Sahib could neither stand upright nor lean against the walls of the cage. Guru
Sahib remained in the cage for 3 days. The Emperor's ministers tried their best to
persuade him to accept Islam but Guru Sahib remained firm.
In front of Him, three of His disciples were cruelly put to death.
Bhai Mati Das was tied up between two wooden blocks and
sawed into half . Bhai Dayal Das was boiled to death in a large
vessel . Bhai Satti Das (Bhai
Mati Das’s brother) was wrapped up in cotton and doused with
kerosene and set alight . All the three disciples died with the
Name of God on their lips and their eyes fixed on their Guru.
All this was done to frighten Guru Sahib but He was calm as
Having failed through all the possible means, orders were
issued for the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib in the
Chandni Chowk in Delhi (near Red Fort) on 11th November
Guru Sahib was allowed to perform His last prayers. After
having bath at the nearby well, He recited Jap Ji Sahib Hymns
under a large tree, the appointed place for execution. Guru
Sahib asked the executioner, “Jalal-ul-din” perform the
execution task when He would bow His head to the Almighty
Waheguru after completion of the Jap Ji Sahib recitation. The
great Guru Sahib sacrificed His life to bring freedom to
practice faith of one’s own choice . At this site, Gurdwara “Sis
Ganj” stands today marking the supreme martyrdom. The tree
trunk is still preserved within the premises of the Gurdwara.
There was a tight security so that no one could
come near the body. It is believed that before
meeting with Aurangzeb, Guru Sahib had
planned removal of His body with His close
Sikhs. History has recorded that a furious storm
raged immediately after the brutal assassination,
which filled every one's eyes with dust. The
clouds darkened the sky. Under the cover of
darkness, Bhai Jaita rushed out with the head of
Guru Sahib and went straight to Anandpur Sahib
whilst making stops on the way at houses of the
Sikhs appointed by Guru Sahib. The young Guru
Gobind Singh Sahib performed the last rites of
Guru Sahib’s head. At the place of cremation
stands the Gurdwara “Sis Ganj” in Anandpur
Sahib. Another Sikh, Lakhi Shah, retrieved Guru
Sahib’s body. He carried it in his cart to his
house located 2-3 miles away from the execution
site. He and his sons put the body inside a room
and performed the cremation by setting fire to
their house. Gurdwara Rakab Ganj stands on the
site in Delhi. Guru was supreme & great were