Another name for courage and bravery is Sikhs. In the history they are remembered for their bravery and discipline. The ten gurus of Sikh religion not only inspired Sikh’s but also inspired people of many other religions too.
Among these gurus one of the bravest and most notable guru was Guru Tegh Bahadur, who was the ninth guru of Sikhs. His Martyrdom day is observed every year on November 24 as Shaheedi Diwas.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was born on 1 April 1621 and died on 11 November 1675. He was born in Amritsar, Punjab. He was the youngest son of Guru Har Gobind, the sixth Sikh Guru.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was brought up in the Sikh culture and trained in archery and horsemanship. He also taught classics such as Vedas, Upanishads and the Puranas. He was married to Mata Gujri on 3 February 1632.
Sikh tradition has a myth concerning the manner in which Tegh Bahadur was selected as the ninth guru. In August 1664, a Sikh Sangat arrived in Bakala and appointed Tegh Bahadur as the ninth guru of Sikhs. The Sangat was led by Diwan Durga Mal, elder brother of Tegh Bahadur.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded in the year 1675 at the orders of Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb aimed to convert the Hindus to Islam. He executed those who refused to convert. At this time a delegation of Kashmir Pandits sought help from Guru Tegh Bahadur to prevent conversions. Guru Tegh Bahadur proclaimed that if the emperor was successful in converting him to Islam, then the others would be ready to convert too. He was then arrested and presented in front of emperor upon refusing to convert he was imprisoned. His three followers were killed in front of him. Still refusing to convert emperor ordered him to be beheaded. His beheading was carried out in front of public in Chandni Chowk in Delhi.
Today a gurudwara stands at the spot where the guru was martyred, called the Gurudwara Sis Ganj.
Every year on the Martyrdom Day of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Sikh places of worship reverberate with the sounds of chanting of the composition called Bachittar Natak, which recounts his life and was recorded by his son Guru Gobind Singh.
A number of Sikh temples have been built in honour of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
The Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Chandi Chowk was constructed on the site of his execution. A disciple of his, burnt down his house in order to make space for the cremation of Guru’s body and on that spot rose another gurudwara, the Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi. The Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib in Punjab was built on the site where the head of the Guru was brought all the way from Delhi in defiance of the Aurangzeb’s orders and cremated.
Guru Tegh Bahadur fought against religious persecution of Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike. His life and teachings to this day are an inspiration to the Sikh community to continue living his ideals of religious harmony