TEGH BAHADUR ( 1621-1675, Guruship 1664-1675 )
'Baba Bakale', was the only clue given by Guru Har Kishen for his
successor. As this word reached the village Bakala, twenty-two Sodhis
including Baba Dhir Mal, the grandson of Guru Har Gobind, set up
their shops and claimed themselves as the ninth Guru. The Sikhs
were in great confusion as they could not know who the real Guru
was. Makhan Shah Labana of Jehlem district was a trade merchant.
When his vessel full of merchandise was sinking, he had invoked
Guru Nanak and had vowed to offer five hundred gold mohars (coins)
if the vessel reached the shore safely (some say that he vowed 101
gold mohars). Makhan Shah came to the village of Bakala to pay his
offering to the Guru. He was surprised to find that twenty-two Sodhis
had installed themselves as Gurus. In that state of confusion and
uncertainty, he resolved to try the pretenders. He thought to put
two mohars before each impostor and the real Guru being the searcher
of hearts, would ask for the balance of his promised offering. He
visited all the 22 impostors and made each of them offering of two
gold mohars, but none of them asked for the balance.
He then inquired if there was any one else in
Bakala. Someone informed him about Guru Tegh Bahadur. Makhan Shah
went and as usual made his offering of two gold mohars. Upon this
Guru Tegh Bahadur asked," How now, O Sikh, thou art trying
to wheedle the Guru by presenting him with only two gold mohars?
Where are the balance of five hundred gold mohars you had promised
when your ship was sinking?" Mukhan Shah was delighted and
prostrated himself before the Guru. He then went to the roof of
the house and screamed," Guru Ladho! Guru Ladho!" 'I
have found the Guru! I have found the Guru!'
Guru Tegh Bahadur was the fifth and the youngest
son of Guru Har Gobind and was born on first of April, 1621 to
Mata Nanaki at Amritsar, Guru ke Mahal. He was married to Mata
Gujri, daughter of Lal Chand of Kartarpur in Jullundhur district.
After Guru Har Gobind, he with his mother, Mata Nanaki and his
wife went to live in Bakala.
Makhan Shah's discovery of the genuine Guru put
an end to the pretensions of the false Gurus. Dhir Mal could not
reconcile with the situation and was determined to snatch the
Guruship by force. One day he communicated his feelings to his
masand, Sihan who promised to put an end to his enemy (Guru).
Accordingly the masand, along with a score of people, set forth
to kill the Guru. He fired and the bullet struck Guru's shoulder
without serious wound who remained calm and full of composure.
The other men plundered the property of the Guru and went away.
When Makhan Shah heard of this incident, he proceeded with a body
of Sikhs to Dhir Mal's residence. Dhir Mal closed his doors but
they burst it open and seized him and his accomplices, tied his
masand's hands at his back and brought them before the Guru. They
brought back all the property of the Guru and they also took Dhir
Mal's property. They brought back the original copy of the Adi
Granth which was in the possession of Dhir Mal and placed it before
the Guru. The masand Sihan fell at the feet of the Guru and asked
for forgiveness for his sins. The Guru pardoned the masand and
ordered Makhan Shah to return all the property of Dhir Mal including
the Adi Granth. He preached Makhan Shah and his other Sikhs that
the holy Guru Nanak gave them the wealth of Nam which was sufficient
for all their wants.
GURU VISITS AMRITSAR:
When Guru Har Gobind shifted his headquarters
to Kiratpur, most of his disciples had also moved to that place
with him and the Golden Temple at Amritsar fell ultimately into
the hands of the impostors like Harji Minas. In November 1664,
Guru Tegh Bahadur went to Amritsar. He bathed in the sacred tank
but the Pujaris (or the ministrants) closed the doors of the Har
Mandar against him. He saluted it and remarked that it was they
who were rotten within, who through greed of offerings, had entered
the temple. When the news spread, the people of Amritsar went
in a body and poured their souls at his feet. The women of the
city took the lead, welcome him with the Guru's hymns and went
with him singing all the way to the village Wadala (or Walla)
where he stayed in the humble abode of a devout disciple. The
Master blessed the women of Amritsar and Amritsar itself. On seeing
their devotion he blessed them with these words,"God's love
and devotion shall ever abide among you."
FOUNDATION OF CITY OF ANANDPUR:
Leaving Amritsar the Guru passed through the Majha
and Malwa regions before reaching Kiratpur sometimes in May, 1665.
He attended the last rites of Raja Dip Singh of Bilaspur and expressed
his desire to build a new settlement near Kiratpur and also showed
his inclination to buy a suitable land for that purpose. The Rani
of Bilaspur offered to donate the site of Makhowal. The offer
was accepted, a token price of about five hundred rupees was paid.
The foundation stone of new settlement, Chak Nanaki was laid in
June, 1665, after the revered name of Guru's mother. In the course
of time, a beautiful town called Anandpur grew up around it.
GURU ON MISSIONARY TOUR:
After founding the new settlement, the Guru did
not stay there long. However he entrusted the construction work
to his trustworthy followers. It is said that the Guru undertook
his missionary tour of the east in response to the invitation
of his Sikhs from that area, Bhai Bulaki Das and Bhai Hulas Chand
from Dacca and Bhai Darbara and Bhai Chain Sukh from Patna. These
Sikhs had met the Guru at Kiratpur and begged him to visit their
land in the east with his family. The Guru left Anandpur in August,
After leaving Anandpur he passed through Ghanauli,
Rupar, Dadoomajra and Lung village and then reached Mulowal in
Patiala state. The people of Mulowal complained to him that they
did not have drinking water nearby and for that purpose they had
to travel a long distance. There was a well nearby but its water
was brackish and unwholesome. The Guru told them to first repeat
God's Name, then draw water, and they would find it pure and sweet.
From that day the well yielded sweet water and it is known Guru's
He then proceeded to Pharwali, Handiaya, Bhandehar,
Khiwa and Bhikki. He gave religious instructions wherever he stopped
and instructed the people not to worship idols and tombs, but
worship only One God, the Formless. He passed through the villages
of Dhaleo, Alisheir, Khiala and reached Maur where he was awaited
by a great concourse of people to whom he preached true Name.
He induced the people to sink a well over there. He then went
to Maisarkhana and thence to Sabo ki Talwandi, now known as Damdama
Sahib and then travelled to Kot Dharmwala, Bachhoana, Gobindpura,
Sangheri, Gurna and reached Dhamdhan in the Bangar tract. The
Guru presented the Chaudhri of the village with funds to construct
a well and a dharmsala for the reception of the travellers.
The Guru was accompanied by a Sikh, Ramdev, who
was totally devoted to his service. He drew water, brought firewood
from the forest for the kitchen, and performed all the services
for the Guru. He always kept a cushion on his head to lift the
burdens and it was continually wet from water and as a consequence
his head festered. One day as he put his pitcher of water down,
his cushion and turban fell off when maggots were seen from a
sore in his head. It was brought to the notice of the Guru who
sent for him. Being pleased with his devotion to service, the
Guru gave him a robe of honor, named him Bhai Mihan and promised
him that he would be a Mahant or a superior of religious order.
On the Guru's instruction he preached Sikh religion. His generation
is called today Mihan Shahi or Mihan Dasiay.
The Guru then proceeded to Tekpur and he stayed
for a few days in the house of a carpenter who conducted him as
far as Kaithal. He reached Barna and preached here against the
use of tobacco.
GURU AT KURUKSHETRA:
The Guru reached Kurukshetra on the occasion of
solar eclipse. He was received with great honor and distinction
by all the holy men present there. During his stay he preached
the true Name. From there he went to Bani Badarpur where he contributed
money for the excavation of a well. Then he crossed the Jamna
river and hunted on the way. He shot an animal and hung it to
his saddle and reached Kara Manak where a saint called Maluk Das
was living. Having heard that the Guru hunted and killed the animals,
he refused to see him. It is said that when Maluk Das laid down
food before his idol of worship next day, he found it turned into
meat. He felt that it was a miracle wrought by the Guru. Then
he wanted to see the Guru and bow before him, but he thought that
the Guru being the searcher of hearts, should sent for him. The
Guru knew what was going on in Maluk Das's mind, sent his Sikhs
and a palki (litter) to fetch him. He went to the Guru, received
religious instruction and initiation, and became one of his most
GURU IN UTTER PRADESH:
From Kara Manak he proceeded to Mathura and reached
Agra. There is a Gurdwara to symbolize his visit. Through Itawa
he reached Kanpur where there is a Gurdwara at the bank of the
Ganges. Then he reached Priyag (Allahabad). The Guru's mother
told him that her late husband Guru Har Gobind, had promised that
a great being would be born in the house of Guru Tegh Bahadur
and so she was awaiting for that event. He replied that her desire
would soon be fulfilled but she had to meditate continually on
Guru Nanak. He stayed about six months at Priyag and to the great
joy of his mother, his wife got pregnant. From Priyag he proceeded
to Mirzapur where there is a Gurdwara on the bank of the Ganges.
He reached Banaras (Kashi) and stayed in Resham Katra where a
Gurdwara marks the memory of the Guru. Hundreds of people came
to behold him.
GURU IN BIHAR PROVINCE:
He arrived at the village of Sasram where lived
a very devout disciple called Chacha Phagoo who had built a mansion
and within it placed a superb couch for the Guru. Every morning
he used to perfume it and then would close the doors declaring
that he would not live in it until the Guru had come, entered
and hallowed it with his footsteps. Chacha Phagoo's desire was
fulfilled and he had the happiness to entertain the Guru in that
mansion. He he proceeded to Gaya. There the Brahmans met him in
a body and explained the virtues of pilgrimage of Gaya. They said
if barley rolls were offered to Brahmans at Gaya for the souls
of ancestors, they would go to heaven even if they were already
in hell. So they pressed the Guru to give money to perform such
a ceremony for him. He refused to accept their argument rather
exhorted them to meditate on God and instructed them on divine
knowledge. The Guru then reached Patna and encamped at first in
a garden outside the city. That place is called Guru ka Bag. Bhai
Jaita, a devout disciple, took the Guru to his residence. The
Master gave religious instructions to the people. One day he told
his mother, Mata Nanaki that many Sikhs were waiting for him in
a distant land, so he must go to them. He wanted the family to
remain at Patna. On their remonstrance the Guru told his wife,"
The prophecy of my father is now about to be accomplished. A son
shall be born to thee, who shall be great and powerful, extend
the faith, establish Sikh supremacy, root out the wicked, and
destroy the enemies of truth and true religion. You would suffer
great hardship in travelling, so be happy here." He offered
words of consolation to his mother and wife, thus, entrusting
them to his brother-in-law Kirpal Chand, bade farewell and proceeded
to Munger, Bhagalpur and Rajmahal.
GURU TO BENGAL:
He arrived at Maldah where he stayed with a Sikh
who was a confectioner. From there he went to Murshidabad and
next halt was at Dacca. There lived a devout masand, Bulaki Das
whose mother had prepared a beautiful couch for the Guru. Knowing
about her devotion, the Guru went to her residence. She was overjoyed
and fell on his feet. He blessed her for her devotion. The Sikh
inhabitants came in crowds to behold the Guru and to receive his
instructions and benedictions. He asked them to build a dharamsal
(Gurdwara) in their city where God's praises should be sung.
Raja Ram Singh went to the Guru and said,"
The inhabitants of Kamrup and Assam became rebels against the
rule of Delhi. The Emperor had recently sent Mir Jumla to subdue
them but after some success, he died before reaching Dacca on
his return journey. The Emperor has now ordered me to go and subdue
the Kamrup country. If I conquer that country, it will be an addition
to the Emperor's sovereignty; but if I am killed, the Emperor
may annex my whole state of Rajputana. O true King, I have come
to seek protection of thy holy feet."
The Guru replied," God's Name is the medicine
for all diseases, so meditate continually on Name. Guru Nanak
will assist you and you will conquer Kamrup."
Raja Ram Singh and the Guru left Dacca and reached
Dhubri. The Guru encamped there and Raja Ram Singh set out for
the city of Rangmati on the right bank of the Brahamputra. Soon
after the battle between Raja Ram Singh's army and the army of
the king of Kamrup ensued. The decisive victory for the Raja's
forces was not easy because of difficult mountainous terrain,
climate and rainy season.
In addition to the attack, the king of Kamrup
also began to make incantations and spells, and sent for all the
women of his land who had magical skills, but none succeeded.
After that he went to worship at the temple of goddess Kamakhsha.
His mother- in-law saw in a vision, the goddess, who said,"
Guru Nanak has taken birth in this age. On his throne is now seated
Guru Tegh Bahadur. Raja Ram Singh has become his disciple. The
Guru is sovereign and nobody has the strength to oppose him. Go
and make obeisance to him and ask for pardon otherwise your rule
The king proceeded to the camp of the Guru and
after prostration he said that he had come by the order of the
goddess to pray for pardon and protection. He begged the Guru
not to allow him to fall under the power of the Muslims. The Guru
replied that Raja Ram Singh was a very religious person and he
should meet with him. He, however, told the king not to fear,
his empire would be permanent.
The Guru sent for Raja Ram Singh and both of them
were received by the king in a friendly manner. The Guru sat down
placing the royal disputants on either side and effected a reconciliation.
He putting his dagger in the ground declared," Let the territory
on this side belong to the Emperor and the land on the other side
belong to the king of Kamrup. Let both monarchs forget the enmity."
Both sides agreed to the settlement and serious bloodshed on both
sides was avoided.
The Guru informed Raja Ram Singh that Guru Nanak
had visited Dhubri and rendered it holy by his footsteps. He further
asked that each soldier should bring five shieldfuls of earth
to raise a tall mound in the memory of the founder of Sikh religion.
A pavilion was erected at the top of the mound. The Guru spent
a few more days there. Hearing his fame, the crowds came from
far and near to behold him and also to receive religious instructions.
Raja Ram of Assam, having heard Guru's praise, came to pay his
homage. The Raja had no offspring and was desirous of a son. He
brought his Ranis (queens) with him and after prostration beseeched
the Guru," O true king, bring this sinking vessel to the
shore." The Guru took off his signet ring and stamped its
impression on the Raja's thigh and then said," The impression
of my seal shall be on thy son's forehead. By this know it is
Guru Nanak who hath mercifully granted thee offspring." While
in Assam he also visited Cooch Behar, Chander Bhanga, Kishen Ganj
BIRTH OF A SON:
While the Guru was at Dacca, a messenger arrived
from Patna to inform him of the birth of his son. He was born
on the seventh day of the light half of the month of Poh, Sambat
1723 (December 26, 1666) at Patna. Before his departure the Guru
had directed his wife to name the child as Gobind Rai, who would
be born in his absence. He wrote a letter of thanks to the Sikh
Sangat of Patna for looking after his family.
There lived in the city of Kuhram a Muslim saint,
Bhikan Shah. On the morning of Gobind Rai's birth, Bhikan Shah
looked and bowed towards the east (towards Patna). His disciples
asked why he bowed towards the east which was contrary to Muslim
custom. He replied that there had just been born a spiritual and
temporal king in the east who should establish true religion and
destroy evil. Bhikan Shah set out for Patna along with his disciples
to behold the young prince. When he reached Patna, the Muslim
saint asked to have darshan (sight) of the newly-born child. When
the infant was brought, Bhikan Shah bowed at the young prince's
feet. He placed before him two earthen vessels covered with muslin,
one containing milk and the other with water. The child touched
both the vessels. Upon this Bhikan Shah thanked them for the opportunity
given to him to behold the child and then prepared to leave. He
was asked what he meant by the two vessels. Bhikan Shah explained
that one vessel was marked for the Hindus and the other for the
Muslims. He wanted to know whether he would favor the Hindus or
the Muslims. As the child touched both the vessels, it meant that
he should abide by both the Hindus and the Muslims and he should
include both of them in his religion.
The Guru then left Assam early in 1670 and reached
Patna via Bangaigaon, Siliguri and Kathiar. From there after giving
instructions to his brother-in-law, Kirpal Chand left for Punjab.
He travelled through Jaunpur, Ayudhya, Lucknow, Shah Jahanpur,
Muradabad and reached Chack Nanaki (Anandpur). He soon sent for
his family who joined him later on at Anandpur.
AURANGZEB'S CAMPAIGN OF RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION:
As Aurangzeb ascended the throne of India by imprisoning
his father and murdering his brothers, he decided to enlist the
sympathies of the fanatical section of his co-religionists. His
idea was to exterminate the idolatrous Hindus and to convert the
whole of India to Islam. In order to achieve this objective he
tried to go through four fundamental means to deal with the Hindus.
Firstly he made peaceful overtures; secondly he offered money;
thirdly he threatened punishment and lastly he tried to cause
dissention among them. When all these measures failed, he resorted
to forcible conversion. Orders were issued to the governors of
all the provinces that they should destroy the schools and temples
of the infidels and thereby put an end to educational activities
as well as the practices of the religion of the Kafirs (non-Muslims
meant Hindus). Many temples at Mathura and Banaras were destroyed.
Even a Sikh temple in Buriya in Khizrabad pargna of Sirhind had
been demolished and a mosque was built on the site. Some Sikhs,
however, attacked the mosque and killed the priest. This type
of incidents had become common occurrences. In order to force
conversion to Islam, all possible means were adopted. In the field
of taxation, the policy of discrimination was launched with great
vigor. Jaziya and pilgrimage taxes were re-levied. Five percent
custom duty was levied on the Hindus while the Muslims were charged
only half of that.
The proselytizing zeal of the officials, with
their campaign of religious persecution and their conversion at
the point of the sword, had sent the wave of terror throughout
the country. Sher Afghan Khan, the Emperor's viceroy in Kashmir,
set about converting the Kashmiri Hindus by force and massacred
those who opposed to embrace Islam. Even the Mohammadans who in
any way assisted the Hindus, were mercilessly put to death. In
extreme agony of too much slaughter, the Brahman priests of Kashmir
prayed to their gods. It is said that the Kashmiri Brahmans heard
a supernatural voice who told them," Guru Nanak is the spiritual
king in this age. Guru Tegh Bahadur is now seated on his throne.
Go to him, he will protect your honor and your religion."
KASHMIRI BRAHMANS COME TO GURU:
A deputation of Kashmiri Pandits (Brahmans) came
to Anandpur and among tears of agony, they narrated their tales
of woe and suffering to the Master. The Guru's eight years old
son appeared on the scene and asked his father why those people
had tears in their eyes. He replied," The Emperor of India
is converting the Hindus to Islam at the point of the sword and
thus there is no end to the misery of these people."
"What is the remedy, father?" asked
The Guru replied," This requires sacrifice-
sacrifice of a holy and supreme soul." His son responded,"
O dear father, who is more holy than you in this age? Go and offer
yourself and save these people and their religion." On hearing
this the Guru asked the Kashmiri Brahmans to go to the Emperor
and make the following representation to him," Guru Tegh
Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru is now seated on the throne of the
great Guru Nanak, who is the protector of faith and religion.
First make him a Musalman and then all the people, including ourselves,
will of our own accord adopt the faith of Islam."
GURU SUMMONED TO DELHI:
The Pandits obeyed the Guru and conveyed the proposal
to the Emperor. On hearing this proposal, the Emperor was very
much pleased because he thought that it was much easier to convert
one person than the whole lot. He retorted," If the Guru
does not become Musalman, he will then at least show us a miracle."
He was hopeful that once the Guru was converted, there would be
a large accession of Hindu and Sikh converts. The Emperor, therefore,
sent his emissary to the Guru to invite him to Delhi. The Guru
received Emperor's message and wrote in reply that he would come
to Delhi after the rainy season.
MARTYRDOM OF GURU TEGH BAHADUR:
The Guru took leave of his family and his devoted
Sikhs and began his journey to Delhi sometimes in June-July. From
Anandpur he passed through Kiratpur, Rupar and various villages
before reaching Saifabad in Patiala state to see his Muslim friend
Saif-ul-din. He stayed for sometimes with him. Saif-ul-din became
his disciple. He went to Samana where he met another disciple
called Mohammad Bakhsh. The Guru continued his journey through
Kaithal, Lakhan Majra, Rohtak and other places, conferring temporal
and spiritual favors on his disciples, and finally he reached
Agra where he encamped in a garden outside the city.
After the rainy season, the Emperor again sent
his messenger to hasten the Guru's presence to Delhi. When the
messengers were unable to find the Guru, they reported that he
had fled. Orders were issued all over the empire to find and arrest
him. There are different views about the place of Guru's arrest.
Some writers say that he was arrested at Dhamdhan; some say that
he was arrested at Malikpur near Rupar and others say that the
arrest was effected at Delhi while others still account for his
arrest at Agra. According to Sikh accounts there lived a poor
old man, Hasan Ali, at Agra. He knew that there were orders about
Guru's arrest and the person who could effect his arrest, would
receive one thousand rupees as a reward. Hasan Ali prayed,"
O true Guru, if ever you want to get arrested, please do it through
me. This will fetch me some money to bring my family out of the
clutches of miserable poverty." The Guru being the searcher
of hearts, came to Agra to get arrested through Hasan Ali.
The Guru saw a shepherd boy in the garden whom
he gave his gold ring studded with diamonds and asked him to pledge
it and bring him two rupees worth of sweets. When the boy told
him that he had no cloth to wrap the sweets, the Guru gave him
his valuable shawl for that purpose. The boy took his grandfather,
Hasan Ali along with him and stopped at the confectioner's shop,
gave him the ring and asked for sweets to be wrapped in the shawl.
On seeing the ring and the valuable shawl, the confectioner was
astonished and asked the boy from whom he had received those articles.
The boy told him the truth but the confectioner became suspicious
and took them to the police. The police went to the garden with
the boy and asked the Guru who he was. When he disclosed his identity,
the police officer was delighted that he would get a large reward
from the Emperor for his capture. The Guru was thus imprisoned.
The Governor of the fort reported the arrest to the Emperor. Ultimately
he was brought to Delhi. There were three Sikhs, Bhai Mati Das,
Bhai Dayala and Bhai Sati Das with the Guru (Some writers account
for five Sikhs- Mati Das, Gurditta, Uda, Chima and Dayala) who
were arrested with him and were brought to Delhi.
The Emperor explained that God appeared to him
in a vision and told him to convert the whole world to Islam.
Those who were to embrace Islam, would be rewarded with wealth,
appointments, land revenue grants and lands. The Emperor tried
to lure him," In this way you will have many disciples, and
you will become a great priest of Islam. Therefore accept my religion-
Islam, and you will receive from me whatever your heart desire."
The Guru asked for one and one-quarter of maan (about 100 pounds)
of black pepper. When it was brought, it was put into a heap and
was ignited. The heap of pepper was let burning for twenty-four
hours and was apparently reduced to ashes. The heap was then pounded
and sifted. Three pepper pods came out as whole. The Guru addressed,"
O Emperor, you desire that there should be only one religion (Islam)
out of two religions (Hinduism and Islam), but as these three
pepper pods have been saved from the fire, God wishes to make
three religions out of two. So there shall be three religions-
Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism in the future."
Upon this it was ordered that the Guru be imprisoned
with sufficient guards around him. Again he was sent for and was
told that if he embraced Islam, every service would be performed
for him otherwise he would be severely tortured. He replied that
he would never embrace Islam and thus, remained in Delhi jail
for eight days. He was given three choices: firstly to embrace
Islam; secondly to perform a miracle; and thirdly to prepare himself
to court death. The Guru responded that to show a miracle was
against the Will of God and thus he would not consent to the Emperor's
proposals and the Emperor might act as he pleased. He was then
put to extreme tortures.
It is said that there was conversation between
the Guru and his disciple Bhai Mati Das. He told Mati Das that
Guru Nanak had blessed Emperor Babar with the continuation of
his empire for a long time. Since the Mughal Emperors started
committing great enormities, their line would be exterminated
if he (Guru) laid down his life. In consequence of this conversation
which was overheard by a priest, Bhai Mati Das was bound between
two pillars and his body was sawn asunder. When the executioners
put saw on his head, he began to recite Japji (the first Bani
in Guru Granth Sahib). It is said that when his body was cut into
two, he continued reciting Japji and he was silent only when the
recitation of Japji was complete. This was a wonder of Guru's
Grace. Bhai Dayala was boiled to death in a cauldron of hot water.
It is said that the third companion Bhai Sati Das was roasted
alive with cotton wrapped round his body. The authorities thought
that these tortures of his Sikhs might shake the Guru. Nothing
could and nothing can shake the Divine Light (the Guru).
It is generally believed in Sikh circles that
there was some communication between the Guru and his son when
the Guru was being detained in Delhi jail before his execution.
The story runs that Guru Tegh Bahadur foreseeing his execution,
wanted to test the capability of his nine years old son and so
he wrote the following couplet (Slok) and sent it through a messenger
"All power shattered, humanity in fetters
and availeth no resource;
Saith Nanak, God is now only refuge; He should succor as He did
(Slok Mohalla 9 (53), p-1429)
It is being assumed that the Guru's nine years
old son wrote back:
"With power, fetters break, availeth all
in grace Divine;
Nanak, everything is in Thy power, it is only Thou Who canst assist."
(Slok Mohalla 9 (54), p-1429)
It is the common opinion that upon receiving this
reply, the Guru was convinced that his son was capable to take
reigns of the Guruship.
Let us examine the merits of the above story which
is prevalent in Sikh circles:
Firstly there are 57 Sloks (couplets) at pages
1426-29 of Guru Granth Sahib which begin under the heading 'Slok
Mohalla 9'. This heading means that all the Sloks under this heading
were uttered by the Ninth Guru.
Secondly how far it is valid to say that the Guru
wanted to test the capability of his son? Being a Divine Guru
and sitting on the throne of Guru Nanak, did he not know himself
whether the son was capable? Did he have to ask him?
Thirdly if it is argued that the Guru was worried
about the young age of his son to take command of Guruship, what
about the eighth Guru? The eighth Guru was only five years old
when he was installed on the throne of Guru Nanak. How much this
argument of being too young holds good?
Fourthly as explained earlier also, in the case
of Guruship, the age, experience and intelligence of a person
did not matter. Once the person was invested with the Guruship,
then the Divine Power worked itself, and the age, experience and
intelligence of a person in question was of no consequence.
In the light of the above circumstances, it seems
evident that all the 57 Sloks belong to the Ninth Guru and none
to the Tenth Guru.
The final message was given to the Guru,"
You are to accept the religion of Islam or show a miracle. If
you work a miracle, you may remain a Guru. If you accept Islam,
then you will be advanced to an exalted position. If you fail
to accept these offers, you shall be put to death. This is the
The Guru emphasized," I will never abandon
my faith. I want no honor in this life; I want honor hereafter.
The threat of death possesses no terrors for me. For death I am
prepared and I cheerfully accept it."
Hearing this reply it was ordered that the Guru
should be executed. Saiyid Adam Shah accompanied by courtiers
and Muslim priests came with a warrant for his execution. Many
people turned out to witness the execution. He was then taken
out of his cage and allowed to perform his ablutions. He sat under
the banyan-tree where he recited Japji. The executioner, Jalal-ud-din
of Samana (some say it was Adam Shah) took his sword and in a
split of second, severed Guru's head from the body. This happened
on the afternoon of Thursday, the fifth day of the light half
of the month of Maghar in Sambat 1732 (November 11, 1675) at Chandni
Chowk, Delhi where now stands Gurdwara Sis Ganj in his memory.
This Gurdwara was constructed by Sardar Baghel Singh Karor-Singheiye
History has recorded that a furious storm raged
immediately after this brutal deed which filled every one's eyes
with dust. Bhai Jaita dashed out of the crowd and instantaneously
took away the holy head of the Guru to Anandpur. He reached Kiratpur
on the 15th of November, 1675. From there the Guru's head was
taken to Anandpur with full honor and on the 16th of November,
1675, it was cremated with full ceremonies. There is a Gurdwara
called Sis Ganj at Anandpur where the hallowed head of the Guru
was cremated. The tenth Guru received Bhai Jaita who belonged
to backward classes, embraced him and said," Rangrettei Guru
ke bettei" (Rangrettei were the sons of the Guru, Rangrettei
was Bhai Jaita's caste). Bhai Jaita told the young Guru and his
family how Guru Tegh Bahadur had sent for five paise and a coco-
nut and bowed to his son Gobind Rai, made him the successor and
infused his Light unto him.
Lakhi Shah Labana was a famous contractor in Delhi
and he was also a follower of the Guru. He emptied his carts laden
with lime near the Red Fort, taking advantage of the darkness
and the carelessness of the Mughal sentries, and with the help
of his sons, Nagahiya, Hema, Harhi and his friend Dhuma, whisked
away the sacred body of the Guru, in one of their carts. Apprehensive
of the government reprisal, Lakhi Shah and his sons then built
up a pyre inside their own house and set fire to it. When the
body was duly reduced to ashes, they cried out that their house
had caught fire and called upon their neighbors to assist them
in extinguishing it. Next day they collected the Guru's remains
and buried them in a copper vessel called 'gaggar' in the earth
under his funeral pyre. On this spot there stands a Gurdwara,
Rakab Ganj, near Parliament House in New Delhi.
"Having broken his potsherd on the head of
the king of Delhi, he departed for Paradise;
No one else coming into the world acted like Tegh Bahadur. The
world was in mourning for the departure of Tegh Bahadur;
There was weeping for him in the whole world, but rejoicing in
(Guru Gobind Singh- Bachitar Natak)
FN-1:Guru belonged to Sodhi clan.
FN-2:It is said that Aurangzeb was at Hasan Abdal
at that time but he was being continually reported about the Guru's
FN-3:Some writers say that Emperor Aurangzeb was
not at Delhi at that time as he had gone on an expedition to Hasan
Abdal, but Guru's execution was carried on as per orders of him.
Others say that all conversation took place directly between the
Guru and Aurangzeb because this opportunity was unique and of
utmost importance to achieve his goal of ultimate mass conversion
is said that the Guru had told Bhai Jaita that his head would
fall into his lap, and he should fear nobody, take it to Anandpur
and cremate it there. It is also said that Bhai Jaita shared this
secret with his neighbor Bhai Nanu and he also took Bhai Uda,
a resident of Ladwa, into confidence and three of them took Guru's
head to Anandpur.