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Gurus Guru Tegh Bahadur: The Shield of Nation

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by dalvindersingh grewal, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    Writer Historian SPNer Contributor

    Jan 3, 2010
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    Guru Tegh Bahadur: The Shield of Nation
    by Col. Dr. Dalvinder Singh Grewal
    Group Director & Principal,
    GTBK Institute of Engg. & Technology
    Malout, Muktsar Punjab

    The period of later Mughals in India was of great turmoil and turbulence.
    The religious fanaticism of Aurangzeb had .started a reign of terror over the
    Hindus. As the physical subjugation of the Indians to the foreign invaders
    was complete; the psychological subjugation was the next step which had
    started with Islamisation of India. This process was adopted by Aurangzeb
    with greater zeal without caring for the feelings of the poor public. He wanted
    India to be Dar-ul-Islam. In April 1669, he had 'ordered the governors of
    all provinces to demolish all the schools and temples of the infidels and
    strongly put down their teachings and religious practices.' (Maasar-I-Alamgiri,
    81). 'Every idol-house built during the last 10-12 years, whether with brick or
    clay, should be demolished without delay, and the Governor should not allow
    the cursed Hindus and the despicable infidels to repair their old temples.'
    (Muraqa'at-I-Abul-Hassan, 202), He appointed officers in all sub-divisions
    and the cities to the Empire to enforce the order on destruction of Hindu
    temples this being their main duty. The number of the officers was so large
    that a director-general was appointed to guide their activity. Side by side with
    destruction of temples, Aurangzeb was busy converting Hindus to Islam.
    (Sarkar J.N., History of Aurangzeb, 267).

    No one could afford to speak out as his mouth was sure to be shut and
    tongue cut off. None dared to point out to the atrocities of the invaders,
    thus these activities of conversions of Hindus in to Islam not only went on
    unchecked but increased progressively. This algebraic increase was sure
    to convert the entire Hindu community of India into Islam within the next few
    years. This was certainly a cause of worry for those who loved Hinduism
    from their core of hearts. However there was no one to lead them. It was this
    situation in which Guru Tegh Bahadur (1921-1675) not only offered to give
    voice to the feelings of the Hindus but also accepted to lead them to stop this
    carnage and conversion regime.

    Born on 1 April 1621 in Punjab, at Amritsar, in Guru ke Mahal, to Mata
    Nanaki, Tegh Bahadur was more inclined to meditation from the very
    childhood. However when desired by his father of Sri Guru Hargobind, the
    sixth Guru of Sikhs, he took up sword and showed his mental in the battlefield
    of Kartarpur and mowed down the Mughal attackers. He was declared ninth
    Guru of Sikhs at Baba Bakala in March 1965.

    This declaration has an interesting background. Makhan Shah Lubana
    (Vanjara), a trader had a serious problem when his ship got stuck in sea. He
    prayed to the Guru that if his ship got saved with Guru's blessings he would
    offer 1000/- Gold coins to the Guru. Just before on 30 March 1664, Guru
    Harkishen had left for heavenly abode and had uttered the word 'Baba Bakale'
    indicating that his successor was his grand elder in lineage stationed at Bakala. As Makhan Shah's ship got saved he reached Bakala to pray and pay
    the prayed amount to the Guru. Tegh Bahadur was not declared Guru till then
    and number of Guru Harkishan's relatives claimed themselves as Guru. Not
    sure as to who was Guru, he offered a gold coin each in front all one by one.
    As he offered the gold coin to Tegh Bahadur, pat came the question, "Is your
    ship safe?" Makhan Shah was quick to realise. He declared openly, "Guru
    ladho re" (The guru has been found.) Tegh Bahadur was then installed as the
    ninth Guru by the sangat.

    Guru Tegh Bahadur, established village Makhowal on the land donated by
    Raja Bhim Singh the King of Kahloor who was his devoted follower. There
    after he left for preaching the word of God in Malwa and later moved to
    UP, Bihar, Bengal and Assam. He found the people being oppressed and
    victimised by the ruling class. He raised voice against the oppression through
    his writings and declared that he was not afraid of anyone. "Bhai kahu ko
    det(i) nah(i), nah(i) bhai manat aan(i)". (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1427)
    "Neither I cause fear unto others nor I accept any fear."

    He traveled wide to convey the true message of the Lord. Wherever he went,
    he instilled confidence in the Public. He also helped in stopping the expansion
    of the Mughals and subjugation of Hindus by helping Raja Ram Singh the
    General of Aurangzeb and the King of Assam to come to terms and enter
    into a respectable treaty where the latter's kingdom was not to be disturbed.
    He had provided a leading light to the flickering hope of the Indians who
    found a hope in him as their saviour at this crucial juncture when either their
    annihilation or conversion was sure.

    Iftikhar Khan (1671-1675), the Governor of Kashmir (Bamzai, PNK, History
    of Kashmir, p.371) had taken the orders of Aurangzeb very seriously. He
    tortured the pandiits of Kashmir and attempted forcible conversion. The
    leading pundits of Kashmir under Pundit Kirpa Ram of Mutton, came to Guru
    Tegh Bahadur with a delegation of 16 Pandits, explaining him the terrorised
    conversions of Hindus by the ruler of Kashmir.(Bhatt Wahi Multani Sindhi,
    Khata Balaonton ka). He knew that the Islamic zealots will not stop until some
    special event occurred. Some great personality has to raise his voice against
    this and accept his own sacrifice as a result. Finding no one else ready to
    take on this cause where martyrdom was sure, Guru Tegh Bahadur took
    upon himself to raise the voice against oppressive conversions. He asked
    the pandits to convey to the Kashmir ruler that if their Guru Tegh Bahadur
    accepted Islam they would also accept conversion.

    The message was conveyed and the expected reaction came too fast.
    Mughals saw this as a fit case for fast conversion. The Emperor sent an
    order from Hassan Abdal for the arrest of Guru Tegh Bahadur. (Ghulam
    Hussain, Siar-ul-Mutakharin). Guru Tegh Bahadur was arrested along with his
    three devoted disciples, Bhai Diala, Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass. and
    brought them to Delhi for enforcing conversion so that all the Kashmiris could
    convert thereafter.

    The courtiers and Qazis tried to convince first and then lure them into conversion. But soon they found that this task of conversion was not so easy
    as they had thought. The King was regularly informed of the events. Having
    failed to convince or lure they thought of force and if need be the ultimate
    elimination. Execution of the Guru would have sent a wrong message to
    the public, not to yield to the oppression. This in turn would have turned the
    waves of forcible conversion in the opposite direction. Guru Tegh Bahadur's
    execution was considered as the last choice. They thought it a better way
    to torture his disciples and create fear in Guru's mind so that he ultimately
    yielded to their will.

    There started the most horrifying tale of torture and the great story of the
    resistance and fearlessness. The words" Bhai kahu ko det na na bhai manit
    aan" was actually converted into deeds of great valour and the greatest
    martyrs of India did what is now being written in golden letters of Indian
    history. Neither the Guru nor his disciples bowed before the torture. The
    order, "put Tegh Bahadur to sword and display parts of his body on the gates
    of the city" was soon received from Aurangzeb. (Ghulam Hussain, Siar-ul-

    This history was created on 10 November 1675. First disciple of Guru Tegh
    Bahadur to be put to the death by torture was Bhai Mati Dass. Bhai Mati Dass
    was not only the most devoted Sikh of the Guru, but was also the Diwan
    and the Home-Minister (Gharbari) of the Guru.1 He was to be put to death
    in front of the Guru by sawing his body into two parts. Bhai Mati Dass was
    bound between two planks and sawing started from his head. Bhai Mati
    Dass remained totally calm and started reciting Gurbani facing the Guru, His
    recitation continued through the entire process of sawing. Even when his body
    was cut into two pieces the name of the Lord could be heard emerging out of
    both the parts. (ardho ardh chirai su dara. Paryo pirthi par hoi dofara. Donhun
    tan te Japuji padai. Horat sabh ke achraj badhai.)2 According to Metcalffe " It
    is said that even when his body was divided in two, he continued to repeat the
    great morning-prayer of the Sikhs, and only became silent when its recitation
    was complete."3

    Guru Tegh Bahadur was being asked continuously either to accept Islam to
    save himself and his disciples or to show any miracle, which the Guru refused
    blandly. There was silence of graves around at such a fearful occurrence but
    this silence was broken by Bhai Diala's forceful words. He said, "It is not that
    you have got a guiltless Sikh sawed into two pieces, but you have sawed the
    Baber's dynasty."4

    Hearing this Qazi and other courtiers became ferocious. Bhai Diala was
    caught hold, tied with ropes and thrown into the boiling water. Bhai Diala
    kept cool and recited the Gurbani till he did not breathe his last. The Guru
    was again asked for accepting Islam or to show miracle which the guru again
    refused. Then came the turn of Bhai Sati Dass brother of Bhai Mati Dass. Cotton was tied around him and he wads put to fire. Bhai Mati Dass too
    continued with the morning prayer till his part was detached.

    The Qazi Abul Wahab Bohra and the courtiers were extremely irritated at
    the kind of peace on the faces of the martyrs; there being no sign of fear on
    anyone's face and not caring for punishment but for the recitation of grubbing.
    Bohra repeatedly asked Guru Tegh Bahadur to accept Islam or show miracle
    but Guru said, " I can go into the ground but I will not leave my religion."
    Guru Tegh Bahadur boil, Dhar payeeye dharam na chhodie." The irritated
    Qazi ordered the Guru to be put to sword. Guru Tegh Bahadur was thus
    achieved martyrdom saving Hinduism. Guru Tegh Bahadur's body could not
    be displayed on the gates as it was taken away by his disciples. Lakhi Shah
    Vanjara along with other disciples brought a convoy of carts on the route
    where Guru's body was lying and in the dust, he picked up the body from
    the ground and brought it to his house. Immediately he put the body on pyre
    inside his house and put his house on fire. Guru's head was taken away by
    Bhai Jaita to Anandpur Sahib.

    Guru Tegh Bahdur's sacrifice for saving religion is unparalleled. Guru Gobind
    Singh later wrote in his verses," tilak janjhu rakha prabh taka. Keeno badu
    kalu mahi saka. Dharam het saka jin kia. Sees dia par sirar na diya. (He was
    the protector of Tilak (vermilion) and janjhu (sacred thread). He did a great
    deed in this Kalyuga. He laid down his life for the religion. He gave his life but
    did not back away from the word." Soon this news spread around and the true
    Muslims felt this was a great atrocity done on a religious man. The forcible
    conversions were soon to stop, as Guru Gobind Singh raised a formidable
    force of Sikhs to save the nation. Thus Guru Tegh Bahadur became the shield
    of Hinduism at a crucial juncture. A writer rightly observed, If Guru Tegh
    Bahadur had not laid his life, 'every Indian would have been circumcised.'

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    This is definitely a keeper. I will put a picture on the thread and stick it. We will have a commemorative thread too by January 31. Thank you for getting a head start. Love the article.

    p/s Aman Singh ji beat me to it.
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  4. Bmandur

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    May 16, 2008
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    Guru Tegh Bahadur: The Shield of Nation

    by Col. Dr. Dalvinder Singh Grewal
    Group Director & Principal,
    GTBK Institute of Engg. & Technology
    Malout, Muktsar Punjab​

    Very Nice & Hard work

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