GURU TEGH BAHADUR
( 1621-1675, Guruship 1664-1675 )
‘Baba Bakale’, was the only clue given by Guru Har Krishen for his successor. As this word reached the village Bakala, twenty-two Sodhis1 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, 1665. 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 well. 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 devoted followers.
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 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 will perish.” 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 and Purnea.
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 son.
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.2 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.3
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 to Anandpur :
“All power shattered, humanity in fetters and availeth no resource;
Saith Nanak, God is now only refuge; He should succor as
He did the elephant.”
(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.
Lastly and most important of all is the fact that Gurbani is the Divine Word which the Gurus claim that it came to them direct from God. So Gurbani could come only through the Guru. Nine years old son was not Guru yet, how could he utter Gurbani ?
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 final decision.” 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 in 1790.
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.4 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 coconut 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
(Guru Gobind Singh- Bachitar Natak)
1. Guru belonged to Sodhi clan.
2. It is said that Aurangzeb was at Hasan Abdal at that time but he was being continually reported about the Guru’s activities.
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 to
4. It 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.