Why in the news?
- Recently, the 401st birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621 -1675) was widely celebrated.
Guru Tegh Bahadur
- Tegh Bahadur was born in Amritsar on April 21, 1621 to Mata Nanki and Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru, who raised an army against the Mughals and introduced the concept of warrior saint.
- As a boy, Tegh Bahadur was called Tyag Mal because of his ascetic nature. He spent his early childhood in Amritsar under the tutelage of Bhai Gurdas, who taught him Gurmukhi, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Indian religious philosophy, while Baba Budha trained him in swordsmanship, archery and horse-riding.
- He became the ninth Sikh Guru.
- Guru Tegh Bahadur traveled extensively through Malwa and Majha, first came into conflict with the authorities when he started questioning the tradition of worshiping at the graves of pirs and faqirs.
- He preached against this practice, and urged his followers to be ‘nirbhau’ (fearless) and ‘nirvair’ (without envy).
- His sermons, delivered in a mix of Sadukhri and Braj languages, were widely understood from Sindh to Bengal.
The guru’s martyrdom
- The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was the contemporary of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
- Back in Anandpur Sahib, the guru was approached by Kirpa Ram, a Kashmiri Brahmin who sought his protection with a group from the Valley. The guru assured Das and his group of his protection and told them to tell the Mughals that they should first try to convert the guru.
- Aurangzeb considered this an open challenge to his authority. Historians accounts that Aurangzeb ordered the public execution of the guru on November 11, 1675 after the guru declined to embrace Islam.