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Martyrdom History of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji


Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, also known as the "Shield of Hind," holds a significant place in our history. It is well-documented that Guru Teg Bahadur Ji sacrificed his life by offering his head to protect the Hindu faith upon the earnest request of Kashmiri Pandits. While many are familiar with this historical event, few may truly understand the underlying reasons behind Guru Teg Bahadur Ji's sacrifice for the defense of Hindus. Delve into the following paragraphs for insights into this profound act of selflessness.


On scanning the pages of history, we find the name of Muhiuddin Muhammad, who is also known as Alamgir and Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb, the sixth ruler of the Mughal dynasty, has been depicted in historical fiction as a harsh and steadfast king who dominated India. His reign is marked by a dark tale of his seizing power by imprisoning his father, Shah Jahan, and plotting to have his brothers killed.

Aurangzeb had only one ambition – the eradication of Hinduism and the spread of Islam throughout the Indian subcontinent. His rule was characterized by taking brutal measures, imposing excessive taxes on Hindu festivals and banning Hindu pilgrimages. In the year 1699, Aurangzeb ordered the destruction of all Hindu temples, including iconic sites like the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, the Keshava Temple in Mathura, the Somnath Temple in Gujarat and the Jagannath Puri Temple in Odisha. The temples of Bengal, Maharashtra, Chittorgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Udaipur and Jaipur also met the same fate.

Aurangzeb went so far as to order the Hindus to remove the sacred thread (Janeu) daily, a ritual that symbolized their forced conversion to Islam. The purpose of this deliberate move was to force large numbers of Hindus every day to convert to Islam, with those who opposed them facing cruel consequences.

The severity of Aurangzeb's rule deeply troubled the leaders of the Hindu community. In an effort to escape persecution, some prominent Hindu scholars turned en masse to the worship of Lord Shiva at the Amarnath cave.

After several days of fervent worship, a divine revelation occurred, advising the beleaguered Hindus to seek refuge in the ninth Guru, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, who would protect them from harm.

In response to this divine guidance, about five hundred Kashmiri Pandits led by Kirpa Ram proceeded to Anandpur Sahib to pray to Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji for assistance. Kirpa Ram, with folded hands, pleaded with Guru Ji, "O protector of the faith, Aurangzeb, the ruler in Delhi, is ruthlessly carrying out conversions to Islam. Those who oppose are given the death penalty. Guru Ji, save us from this tyranny." , protect." We."

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, with his commitment to religious tolerance, could not abide forced conversions, laying the foundation for a poignant chapter in history.

Gobind Rai to Guru Ji 

Bal Gobind Rai, who later became the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, inspired his father, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, for martyrdom. Upon hearing the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, Guru Ji fell silent for a while, deeply contemplating the situation. It was then that Guru Teg Bahadur Ji's son, Gobind Rai Ji (later Guru Gobind Singh Ji), who was just 9 years old at the time, arrived.

Young Gobind Rai asked his father, "Why are you silent, father, and who are these people?" Guru Ji replied, "Son, Aurangzeb wants to eradicate Hinduism from Hindustan and has ordered the forced conversion of Hindus to Muslims throughout India." Gobind Rai asked, "Father, why is Aurangzeb doing this?" Guru Ji explained, "Aurangzeb believes that Islam is the only true religion in the world."

Gobind Rai questioned, "What steps can be taken to ensure the preservation of Hinduism?"" Guru Ji responded, "To save Hinduism, a great sacrifice must be made, only then can Hinduism be preserved." Gobind Rai said, "Father, at this moment, I see no one greater than you."

Hearing this, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji contemplated and then instructed the Kashmiri Pandits, "Go and tell Iftikhar Khan that he should first convert our Guru Ji to Islam. If our Guru Ji accepts Islam, then we will happily embrace our religion."

Upon hearing Guru Ji's proposal, the Kashmiri Pandits took a sigh of relief, received Guru Ji's blessing, and left. Upon their return, the Kashmiri Pandits conveyed Guru Ji's message to Iftikhar Khan. When Aurangzeb learned of this, he thought that the task had become even easier. Now, he only needed to convert one man, and the rest would willingly follow suit, abandoning their Hindu faith.

Back in Kashmir, the Pandits narrated Guru Ji's message to Iftikhar Khan. When Aurangzeb heard about this, he thought that the task had become much easier. Now, he only needed to convert one man, and the rest would willingly follow suit, abandoning their Hindu faith.

Arrested Ordered for Guru Teg Bahadur Ji

Aurangzeb, the ruler, issued a swift order for the arrest of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, instructing his quick transportation to Delhi. Furthermore, he announced a reward for anyone who could successfully apprehend Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. Upon learning of this, Guru Ji relinquished his throne to Bal Gobind Rai, bid farewell to his family, and set out for Delhi in the company of Bhai Mati Das Ji, Bhai Sati Das Ji, and Bhai Dayala Ji. Their journey took them through Malwa, Patiala, Jind, Lakhanmajra, and Rohtak, eventually reaching Agra.

The primary motive for Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji's journey to Agra was rooted in a unique circumstance. Guru Ji had a son named Hasan Ali, a shepherd, who had pleaded with him to be the one through whom Guru Ji could be arrested, allowing him to claim the reward and alleviate his poverty.

In Agra, Guru Ji handed Hasan Ali a precious ring and a shawl, instructing him to fetch sweets from the market. The shopkeeper's suspicion arose when he saw a shepherd with such valuable possessions. The shopkeeper apprehended Hasan Ali and brought him to the police station. Hasan Ali revealed that a saintly figure in the garden had given him the ring and shawl. The police officer, upon reaching the garden, discovered that the revered sage was none other than Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.

Upon this revelation, ten thousand soldiers dispatched by Aurangzeb arrived in Agra to arrest Guru Ji. The significant number of soldiers stemmed from Aurangzeb's concern that the news of Guru Ji's arrest might incite a revolt among the 52 Hindu kings in the surrounding cities. These kings were descendants of those liberated by Guru Harigobind Sahib Ji, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji's father, from Mughal Emperor Shahjahan's captivity in the fort of Gwalior in 1619.

Aurangzeb's ministers and Qazis informed Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji of the emperor's offer: acceptance of Islam would grant him whatever he desired. However, Guru Ji steadfastly refused to convert to Islam. In response, Aurangzeb ordered the Qazis to brutally kill Guru Teg Bahadur Ji's Sikhs in front of him, hoping to intimidate him into accepting Islam.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji's Companions Martyred

The Mughal soldiers bound Guru Ji's Sikh brother, Bhai Mati Das Ji, with ropes and began cutting him with saws. Despite the gruesome torture, Bhai Mati Das Ji remained steadfast, reciting Gurbani until he attained martyrdom.

Following this, the Mughals immersed Guru Ji's second Sikh brother, Bhai Dayala Ji, in a cauldron of boiling water, intensifying the heat beneath. Unfazed, Bhai Dayala Ji continued reciting prayers, ultimately achieving martyrdom.

Later, the third Sikh brother, Bhai Sati Das Ji, was wrapped in cotton and set on fire. Even in the face of such agony, he continued to recite prayers and embraced martyrdom.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji witnessed the martyrdom of all three Sikhs but remained resolute.

Aurangzeb's Conditions for Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji

Despite the sacrifice of Guru Ji's three companions, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji refused to embrace Islam. Out of frustration, Aurangzeb imprisoned Guru Ji in a tightly confined cell, making it challenging for him to stand.

Aurangzeb set three conditions for Guru Ji:

1. Show a miracle.

2. Embrace Islam.

3. Be ready to die.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji responded, "The universe operates under the command of the Akal Purakh (Timeless Being), and the laws of nature cannot be altered."

He also said, "I don't dislike Islam, but making someone change their religion against their will is not fair."

Regarding the third condition, Guru Ji affirmed, "I neither wear the sacred thread nor apply the tilak, but the rights of Hindus should not be snatched away. I am ready to sacrifice my life for this cause."

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji's Martyrdom Decree

Convinced that Guru Ji would not accept Islam, Aurangzeb ordered that Guru Ji's head be separated from his body in the Chandni Chowk of Delhi. The news spread, causing an uproar throughout the city.

On the day of martyrdom, Guru Ji performed his morning rituals, recited prayers, and sat under a tree. The crowd gathered, and dark clouds filled the sky. Slowly, the wind intensified.

After some time, Jalaluddin, a Mughal executioner, unsheathed his sword and beheaded Guru Ji. The news of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji's martyrdom spread rapidly, and people cried out against the tyranny, denouncing the injustice.

Last Rites of Guru Ji's Head

Guru Ji's follower, Bhai Jaita, took Guru Ji's head, wrapped it in a piece of cloth, and brought it to Guru Gobind Rai (Guru Gobind Singh Ji) in Kiratpur Sahib. Bhai Jaita was affectionately embraced by Guru Gobind Rai, who called him "Rangreta Guru da beta" (Rangreta, the son of the Guru).

To perform the final rites of Guru Ji's head, Bhai Lakhmi Shah Banjara set his own house on fire. The Mughal army and the public suspected another reason for the fire at Lakhmi Shah's house.

In their quest to find Guru Ji's head and body, they could not comprehend the sacrifice made by Lakhi Shah Banjara to safeguard Guru Ji's sacred relic.

The martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji is remembered for his selfless sacrifice to protect the Hindu religion, symbolized by the saying, "Hind di chadar, Tegh Bahadur" (Tegh Bahadur, the shield of India).

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