The 399th Birth Anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion was commemorated on 1 April 2020.

Guru Tegh role was instrumental in the then Sikh community to protect their faith and beliefs against forced conversions of non-Muslims, especially the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits to Islam. The Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Delhi marks the place of Guru’s execution and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi the places of his cremation. According to the Nanakshahi calendar published by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 2003, the global Sikh community observes the day of his martyrdom, November 24 as Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur every year.

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Guru Tegh Bahadur Biography

Guru Tegh Bahadur was born in the early hours of 1 April 1621 in Amritsar, Punjab to the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, and his wife, Mata Nanaki. Guru Tegh had a sister Bibi Viro and four brothers Baba Gurditta, Suraj Mal, Ani Rai and Atal Rai. The name Tegh Bahadur meaning Mighty of The Sword was given to him by his father Guru Hargobind after he had shown his valour in a battle against the Mughals.

At his young age, Guru Tegh took the discipleship of the revered Sikh scholar, Bhai Gurdas and learnt Sanskrit, Hindi, and Gurmukhi. Guru Tegh Bahadur was as a great teacher, warrior and thinker. He was an excellent poet, who wrote deep thoughts on the nature of God, mind, body, and physical attachments among other things spiritual. The centre of Sikh faith was Amritsar during his time. The Sikh Gurus were enthroned at Amritsar and the city developed as a state capital with its connection to the Sikhs communities spread across the country through the chains of missionaries. Guru Tegh Bahadur who was brought up in a rich Sikh culture got training in archery and horsemanship and was imparted knowledge on old classics such as Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas. He regularly practised prolonged spells of seclusion and contemplation.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Achievements

Guru Tegh Bahadur travelled to various parts of the country including Dhaka and Assam to propagate the teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. The places he visited and stayed in became sites of Sikh temples. While he preached Sikh ideas and messages among the people, he also helped the needy and the poor by starting community water wells and community kitchen charity.

He visited Kiratpur in Punjab three times in 1664 for different reasons. His first visit on August 21, 1664, was for meeting Bibi Rup, the daughter of Guru Har Rai, the seventh Sikh guru, and console her in the demise of her father and brother. His second visit was upon the demise of Bassi, the mother of the Guru Har Rai and his third visit embarked end of his long journey across the north-western Indian subcontinent. Guru Tegh met with Rani Champa of Bilaspur during his visit to Bilaspur. Rani Champa offered him a piece of land, where he established the city called Anandpur Sahib. Guru insisted on paying her 500 rupees in return.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Life

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Guru Tegh married Mata Bibi Gujri on 3 February 1633, and they had one son Guru Gobind Singh, who was ordained as the tenth Sikh Guru. Guru Tegh founded the city of Anandpur which later became a major centre of Sikhism. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s selected poetic works of the Saloks, or couplets on topics like nature of God, mind, body and physical attachments are included near the end of the Sikh religious scripture ‘Guru Granth Sahib’.

Guru Tegh Bahadur who visited various parts of Mughal Empire and was asked by Gobind Sahali to dedicate several Sikh temples in Mahali. His works consisting of 116 Shabads, 15 Ragas, and his Bhagats are credited with 782 compositions in the ‘Bani’ in Sikhism. Guru Tegh poetry is memorised for its deep and practical implications. Guru Tegh called his followers to be liberated from attachment, fear and dependence. He advised them to attain inner strength through truth, worship, sacrifice and knowledge.

During the rule of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Islam was hugely imposed on people. Aurangzeb ordered to demolish Hindu temples and turn them into mosques, impose higher taxes on non-Muslims to persecute those who don’t conform to Islamic law. Guru Tegh Bahadur stood against the Aurangzeb and objected the conversion to Islam. On 11 November 1675, he was beheaded at Chandni Chowk in Delhi on the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam. The site at which he was executed is now an important Gurdwara of the global Sikh community. He is cremated at the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi. Pashaura Singh, the Sikh scholar and professor at the University of California states that “if the martyrdom of Guru Arjan had helped bring the Sikh Panth together, Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom helped to make the protection of human rights central to its Sikh identity”.

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Guru Tegh Bahadur Images on India Content Website

The India Content website has a good stock of Guru Tegh Bahadur images. The high-definition images on the website are available in three sizes – small, medium and large.

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