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Hind ki Chadar: Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur

Rajan Khanna

Rajan KhannaSep 04, 2021, 03:47 PM IST

Hind ki Chadar: Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur

In the annals of history, many great souls have taken birth in human form; Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji was one of those souls. He was born on 1st April 1621 and now we are celebrating the 400th birth year of the Guru who is better known as “ Hind ki Chadar .” He was born in the house of the sixth Sikh Guru Shri Hargobind ji and his wife Nanki ji at Amritsar. It is indeed heartening that the Government of Bharat is also paying tribute to the great Guru by celebrating his 400th birth year on an official note. 

The childhood name of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur was Tyag Mull. His father Shri Guru Hargobind ji had given a clarion call against the atrocities of the Jihadist Mughal empire and used to wear two swords: Miri and Piri. He stood like an impregnable wall against the attacks of the Mughal governors. In the year 1635, in one such battle of Kartarpur, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji who was fourteen years old at that time showed his skills with Tegh (sword) and thus his name was changed to Tegh Bahadur from Tyag Mull. Before that, he was married to Mata Gujri ji in 1633. In the year 1640 Guru ji came to stay with his family in Baba Bakala, a place in today’s Amritsar district.

Guru Tegh Bahadur had very profound spiritual tendencies and used to spend much of his time in meditation hence his father Shri Guru Hargobind ji announced his grandson Guru Har Rai ji ( Son of his second son Bhai Gurditta ji) as his successor. After the seventh Guru Har Rai, his son Shri Guru Har Krishan succeeded him on Guru Gaddi. Guru Har Krishan ji died at a very young age of eight, but, before his death, he uttered words, Baba Bakala. His disciples understood that the ninth Guru will be found in Baba Bakala only.

A disciple whose name was Makhan Shah Lubhana had pledged that he will offer five hundred gold coins to Guru ji if his ill-fated cargo laden ship will be salvaged. In the event of saving of the ship, he rushed to Baba Bakala to fulfil his pledge. However, there he found many individuals claiming to be the ninth Guru; he kept on offering two gold coins to each of them which all of them accepted without any comments. Eventually, he reached Guru Tegh Bahadur, who was meditating, he offered the same number of coins but Guru ji opened his eyes and said with a smile,” You had promised five hundred but now you are giving only two.” Makhan Shah immediately realised that he had found the true Guru. He rushed to the rooftop and started exclaiming, “ Guru Ladhyo re”. It means I have discovered the true Guru. Thus ninth Sikh Guru Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji ascended Guru Gaddi in the year 1665. The incident establishes the divine powers of Guruji which he had attained due to remaining in meditation most of the time.

Guru ji established the city of Anandpur Sahib afterwards and shifted there with his family. It is important to note the political and social climate of that time and how Guru ji provided leadership to the society. Mughal rulers had continued their jihadist agenda and Aurangzeb had crossed all the limits of atrocities; his aim was to convert this land of Bharat into Dar-ul-Islam hence his unabated tirade of forcible conversions of Hindus. Sikh Gurus had been providing Dharmic leadership to the desolate masses and the development was not being tolerated by Aurangzeb and his henchmen.

Guru Tegh Bahadur ji set out first for his Yatra of pilgrim centres and then reached Patna with his wife Mata Gujri. At that time’s ruler of Patna was not afraid of Aurangzeb’s diktats and welcomed Guruji there. Assam had remained unconquered by the Mughals and it was Aurangzeb’s ambition to annex that territory also. He sent his military commander Raja Ram Singh with a large army to confront Raja Chakradhwaj of Assam. Guru Tegh Bahadur went to Assam from Patna and materialised a truce between Raja Ram Singh and Raja Chakradhwaj.

He must have counselled Raja Ram Singh that Assam was one of the remaining few territories ruled by the Hindu rulers still unconquered by the Mughals and being himself a Hindu, he should not help Aurangzeb carry forward his nefarious agenda. It is clear beyond doubt that Guru Tegh Bahadur did not spare any effort to unify Hindu forces during the tyrannical rule of Aurangzeb. Guruji was blessed with a son Gobind Rai in 1666 in Patna and he returned to Anandpur Sahib in 1671. His total 116 Shabads ( Hymns) in 15 Ragas are there in Guru Granth Sahib ji. Guru Tegh Bahadur set out for the Yatra of northwest India and Kashmir in the year 1673. He continued his Dharmic harmonisation and awakening against Jihadist forces throughout his travels.

In the year 1675, an epoch-making event took place. Nawab of Kashmir Iftikhar Khan had been implementing the agenda of his master  Aurangzeb with jihadi zeal. The majority of Hindus in the Kashmir valley had already been converted to Islam and few of them who were resisting was being hounded by Nawab to get converted. They congregated and remembered their long association with Sikh Gurus and decided to send a delegation under the leadership of Pandit Kripa Ram to the ninth Guru Shri Tegh Bahadur to Anandpur Sahib.

On receiving the delegation and on listening to the travails of the Kashmiri Hindus, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji uttered the following words,”Time has arrived when a great individual will have to make a sacrifice for Dharma Raksha”. Nine years old Gobind Rai who was listening to the whole conversation immediately retorted,” Pita ji, who will be better than you to perform this Dharmic duty?” Never in history a nine year old boy would have exhorted his father to sacrifice his life for the protection of Dharma.

A message from the great Guru Tegh Bahadur was sent to the tyrannical Badshah Aurangzeb that if Hindus’ Guru can be converted to Islam then you can convert all of them. He and his three disciples, Bhai Sati Das, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Dayala, were arrested and were brought to Delhi. All kinds of enticements were offered to them to convert and when the tyrants failed they heaped all kinds of atrocities on them. Ultimately when all efforts were unsuccessful, Aurangzeb ordered to kill all four of them. He could have executed them in the Red Fort itself but he wanted to terrorise the Hindu mass therefore Guru Tegh Bahadur and his three disciples were killed in the public square. Today the place where this saga of sacrifice happened is known as Gurudwara Sheesh Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. Indeed Jihadi terrorism saw its zenith that day.

Bhai Mati Das was vertically cut by a saw, Bhai Dayala was put in a cauldron with boiling water and Bhai Sati Das wrapped in cotton and burnt alive. Finally Guru Tegh Bahadur ji was beheaded and orders were given that nobody will dare to cremate his body. Dharma of Hindusthan was at stake; either they could have saved themselves by accepting Islam or the coming generations could have lived as Hindus. They chose the second path.

11th November 1675 when this unparalleled saga of sacrifice happened is known as a watershed year as far as the graph of religious conversion in Bharat is concerned. Jihadi agenda of converting Hindus had been going on unabated with entry of Islam on the land of Bharat; it saw a downward graph with the supreme sacrifice of the great Guru and his disciples. An unprecedented awakening took place among the Hindu masses and it proved to be the beginning of the end of the barbaric rule of Aurangzeb and Mughals. Indeed history of Bharat, in the context of religious conversions of Hindus, should be written as pre and post 11th November 1675 eras.

Bhai Jaito courageously disregarding Badshah’s diktat took Guru ji’s head to his son Gobind Rai in Anandpur Sahib and Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanzara after keeping his body in his cottage put it on fire lest the Mughal soldiers stop him from cremating his great Guru. Today where Bhai Lakhi Shah cremated the Guru by burning his house, Gurudwara Rakabganj Sahib is present.

On the great sacrifice of his father, Guru Gobind Rai wrote the following shabads....

ति लक जंझूराखा प्रभ ताका।

कीनो बडो कलूमहि साका।

साधनि हैति इति जि नि करी।

सीसुदि या पर सी न उचरी ।

धर्म हेतुसाका जि नि कि या।

सीसुदि या पर सि ररु न दि या ।

तगे बहादर के चलत भयो जगत को सोक ।।

हैसब जग भयो जय जय जय सरुलोक ।।

 

Guru Gobind Rai took the cudgels of saving the Dharma of Hindusthan upon himself and on Baisakhi day in the year 1699 called a huge congregation of people at Anandpur sahib. He then laid the foundation of Khalsa Panth and its first Panj Piyaras came from different castes and various directions of Bharat. In one single moment, Guru ji struck down casteist shackles of the Hindu society and created a sentiment of nationalism of unprecedented proportions. Guru Gobind Rai became Guru Gobind Singh and all his followers were also transformed into Singhs

( Lions).

 

It is noteworthy that till that time mostly Rajput Kshatriyas were putting Singh as suffix to their names and they only used to fight wars against the invaders. Guru Gobind Singh gave the call that all his followers are Singh ( Lions) irrespective of caste, creed and region and henceforth the duty of the entire society will be of Dharma Raksha instead of one section doing it. It is important to mention that the Islamic armies which were constituted in Central Asia and Afghanistan were paid through a dual system. They were promised a share in plunder which they had to do when they win the lands of the Golden sparrow Bharat. The doctrine of Momin and Kafir was deeply ingrained in their psyche. Those armies had all the rights to loot and plunder Kafir Hindus. Once the rules of the invaders were established, regular armies were maintained and salaries were being paid.

 

Now Hindus of that era were rendered helpless when it came to the question of creation and sustenance of armies to defend themselves. Neither Hindu ethics allowed them to plunder the vanquished nor they had access to the revenues with which they could pay salaries to the soldiers. An unprecedented social transformation took place in north-west Bharat. The onus of protection of Dharma was taken upon itself by each and every family. Each family started making one of its children, Sikh and gave it to the society for Dharma Raksha. Thus Khalsa had its ranks swelling with Guru Gobind Singh’s Sant Sipahis.

It is noteworthy that Guru Gobind singh had sacrificed his entire family- his father, mother and four sons- for protection of Dharma. The fathers and mothers of Hindu society emulated their Guru by sacrificing one child for the same noble cause. Khalsa was created with the supreme sacrifice of those Hindus who kept the sentiment of Dharma Raksha above all other considerations.

Today when we are celebrating 400th birth year of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, apart from paying our tributes to the great Gurus, we have to remember those mothers and fathers also who made supreme sacrifices for Dharma Raksha in this pious land of Bharat. Each and every household of this land should go to Gurdwara Sahib and remember Guru Tegh Bahadur ji and celebrate one day as “ Mata-Pita Pranam Divas” to commemorate those who had been sending their children to the altar of Bharat Mata, are doing so today and will continue to do so tomorrow also. Great Gurus had sacrificed their lives for protection of Dharma against Jihadist forces. The fight is still on. Victory of Dharma over Adharma is inevitable. The values and teachings of the great Sikh Gurus have to be imbibed by the people of this land and become true Sant Sipahis.

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