ਤੇਗ਼ ਬਹਾਦੁਰ ਸੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਆ ਕਰੀ ਨ ਕਿਨਹੂੰ ਆਨਿ ॥
None ever performed as noble a deed as did Guru Tegh Bahadur (Guru Gobind Singh)
By Gurmukh Singh | Opinion |
Through own example, Guru Tegh Bahadur taught three lessons to World Religions:-
First Lesson by responding to Emperor Aurungzeb: Do not seek converts by using force, fear or false worldly attractions.
Second Lesson through Sikhs martyred while following in the Guru’s footsteps: Be prepared to defend your own faith (Truth) with your life.
Third Lesson by responding to the leading Brahmins of northern Indian subcontinent (not just from Kashmir) who pleaded for His help : Be prepared to defend the defenceless regardless of their faith (religion) with your life, if need be.
It was in that sense that the sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur was unique among the great martyrs of the world. Preachers of world religions seeking converts today can learn from the life and unconditional martyrdom of the Guru for another’s belief system while remaining true to His own chosen path.
The deep foundation of the edifice of the Khalsa Panth laid by Guru Nanak Sahib had been built upon by the lived Sikhi of the earlier Guru-personalities of One Guru Jot and Jugat (Divine Light and Method). The time had come for the second Guru martyrdom after Guru Arjan Dev to be followed later by Sarbans Daani, Guru Gobind Singh. The emergence of the Khalsa as the saint-soldier was the final step.
By defeating the will of the fanatic Aurungzeb, Guru Tegh Bahadur had shown that one who has conquered self and the fear of death within, is the ultimate warrior. Guru Tegh Bahadur taught that lesson to his Sikhs and the evil empire started crumbling before the egalitarian ideology of Guru Nanak: abolition of caste, levelling of high-low socio-economic positioning and men-women inequalities, increased the resistance power of the Khalsa, manifold.
During and following the 400th Parkash celebrations, it seems India and even some misguided Sikhs themselves have re-discovered the immense contribution of Guru Tegh Bahadur. This was after distortion of classroom history by Indian NCERT historians so far as Sikh history is concerned, especially the life, mission and martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Sikh parcharaks, too had confined the most widely travelled Guru after Guru Nanak Sahib to meditation in a bhora at Bakala. All have started re-discovering Guru Tegh Bahadur – The True Story. (Also the title of my research through the Sikh Missionary Society UK).
Other main points of the True Story are:- The Guru was arrested or detained three times. Contemporary evidence from Assamese Buranji (chronicle) confirm that the first arrest which eventually led to the martyrdom, was following complaints from the Brahmins and Ulema of northern and eastern Indian subcontinent against the extensive and prolonged preaching tours of the Guru. He preached against exploitation and ritualism at Hindu centres and against forced conversion by Islamic zealots. People were taught not to fear anyone nor frighten anyone. That defensive stance was construed as rebellion.
Aurangzeb was personally at Delhi when he ordered the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Contrary to false stories told by some parcharaks, Delhi Sikhs played a daring and well-planned part following Guru Tegh Bahadur’s execution. Bhai Jaita’s feat is historic and stands out.
Guru Arjan completed the first stage of the Guru mission by compiling the Aad (Guru) Granth Sahib and establishing the main Sikh institutions. Starting with Guru Nanak’s firm foundation, each preceding Guru had built on it and made a stepped contribution to the process. Guru Arjan left instructions for Guru Hargobind to continue to the next stage, for example, by establishing Sri Akal Takht Sahib.
Guru Hargobind was the architect of the strategy to be followed by His successors.
Tutored by Guru Hargobind, Guru Tegh Bahadur provided the bridge supporting the Guruships of Gurus Har Rai and Har Krishan, to hand over to Guru Gobind Singh.
Thus was completed Guru Nanak Jot-Jugat mission by Vaisakhi 1699, the high point of Sikh tradition, with the emergence of the niara Khalsa Panth, distinct from Abrahamic and Indic traditions and guided by Preceptor Eternal, Guru Granth Sahib.
Gurmukh Singh OBE, a retired UK senior civil servant, chairs the Advisory Board of The Sikh Missionary Society UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more details on the author.
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
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