Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth of the ten Gurus within the Sikhism religion. As the youngest of the five sons of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind, he received early training in swordsmanship and horseback riding. Additionally, he received religious instruction from Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas. He grew up to be a courageous young man who fought alongside his father and other Sikhs in their battles against the Mughal army, demonstrating valor. However, following a particularly terrible fight at Kartarpur in 1634, he adopted the path of renunciation and meditation. In the meantime, his grandfather chose his grandson Har Rai to succeed him as the seventh guru of the Sikhs. Har Rai’s own successor was his son Har Krishan. Guru Har Krishan suffered smallpox in March 1664, and shortly prior to his passing, he informed his devotees that his successor will be located in Bakala. Following a series of supernatural occurrences, Tegh Bahadur was accepted as the heir and designated guru of the Sikhs. As the guru, he traveled throughout India and produced numerous hymns. This brought him into conflict with Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who ordered the barbaric execution of the guru.
Youth and Early Life
On 1 April 1621 in Amritsar, India, Guru Tegh Bahadur was born as Tyag Mal to the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind, and Mata Nanaki. There was one older sister and four brothers in his family.
He was taught the martial arts of archery and horseback from an early age. Additionally, he received religious instruction from Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas. He matured into a courageous young man who exhibited remarkable bravery in the Sikhs’ frequent battles against the Mughals. In appreciation of his courage, his father bestowed upon him the name Tegh Bahadur, which means “Mighty of Sword.”
At Kartarpur in 1634, the Sikhs fought especially harsh and bloody combat. Following this conflict, the young man Tegh Bahadur underwent a profound transformation and turned to the path of renunciation and meditation. He ultimately relocated to the remote village of Bakala and spent several years in prayer and reflection.
Guru’s Final Years
During this time, Guru Hargobind was searching for a successor. He desired to find a man with courage and leadership abilities to succeed him as a Sikh leader. As Tegh Bahadur has now embraced the road of renunciation, he was deemed unsuitable as a successor. Therefore, Guru Hargobind chose his grandson, Guru Har Rai, as his natural successor.
Guru Har Rai had a very brief life and passed away at the age of 31. Just prior to his death, he gave the Guru Gaddi to his five-year-old son, Guru Har Krishan. In 1661, the small infant Har Krishan became the guru. He too had a short lifespan. In 1664, he contracted smallpox during an epidemic and died at the age of eight.
When it became evident that Guru Har Krishan would not survive his illness, his disciples requested his replacement. The child-guru, too unwell to talk properly, could only say “Baba Bakala” before passing away. The disciples interpreted this to signify that the next Guru would be discovered in Bakala.
As Guru Har Krishan’s final words were vague, various individuals appeared to claim the Guru Gaddi, leaving the Sikhs bewildered and perplexed. Sikh mythology describes how Guru Tegh Bahadur was discovered and selected as the ninth guru.
A wealthy merchant named Baba Makhan Shah Labana once told himself that if he survived, he would give 500 gold pieces to the Sikh guru. He journeyed to Bakala in pursuit of the guru and offered each claimant two gold coins. The claimants unanimously accepted his offer and bade him farewell.
Then he encountered Tegh Bahadur and presented him with two gold coins as an offering. Tegh Bahadur blessed him, grinned, and stated, “I believed you had pledged 500 coins.” The trader was ecstatic to have located the actual guru, and he informed everyone as soon as possible.
Guru Tegh Bahadur resumed his rigorous lifestyle once he was properly sat on the Guru Gaddi. He traveled on numerous voyages to preach Guru Nanak’s, the first Sikh Guru, teachings. He traveled to numerous locations, including Assam, Kurukshetra, Agra, Ottawa, Patna, and Dhaka.
In addition to promoting Sikhism’s beliefs, he also established community water wells and langars (community kitchen charity for the poor). His spiritual works comprise 116 shabads and 15 ragas. He wrote extensively.
During this time, the fanatical Muslim Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was punishing non-Muslims and forcing them to convert to Islam. The residents of the country were stunned by the horrors committed by the dictator. Aurangzeb believed that if he forced the Hindu Brahmin Pandits of Kashmir to convert, the rest of the nation would quickly follow.
Iftikhar Khan, the viceroy of Kashmir, began inflicting unimaginable violence on the pandits in an effort to convert them. A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits, unable to endure the Mughal torture, sought aid from Guru Tegh Bahadur.
When the pandits described their predicament to the guru, he became serious about the best course of action. Gobind Rai, his nine-year-old son, approached his father about the problem. The guru said that only the sacrifice of a holy person could stop the Mughals’ misdeeds.
Hearing his father’s response, the youthful Gobind proposed that Guru Tegh Bahadur perform this supreme sacrifice himself. The guru then appointed Gobind Rai as his successor and traveled with the pandits to visit the Mughal emperor. Dyal Dass, Sati Dass, and Mati das, his three ardent disciples, insisted on accompanying him.
Persecution & Martyrdom
When Aurangzeb heard the news, he immediately ordered the arrest of the guru and his disciples, who were then transported to Delhi. Guru Tegh Bahadur was commanded by the Mughal emperor to convert to Islam or face torture. The guru gently declined conversion.
Infuriated, Aurangzeb ordered the guru and his disciples to be brutally punished. He believed that the men would be unable to endure the torture and convert as a result. However, the Sikhs courageously endured all the atrocities committed against them without abandoning their faith.
Before his very eyes, his followers Dyal Dass, Sati Dass, and Mati Dass were brutally tortured and murdered. Yet, the guru kept his composure and saw all the atrocities while uttering the name of God.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was finally executed on November 24, 1675; he was publicly beheaded. The guru’s devotees were able to recover his severed head and corpse and conduct a dignified burial. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi are the locations of the Guru’s execution and cremation.
Guru’s Major Opera
Guru Tegh Bahadur is venerated for the tremendous sacrifice he made to defend the Hindus’ religious liberties. He is renowned as Hind-di-Chaadar (shield of India) because he resisted the forcible conversions of Kashmiri Hindus to Islam. By sacrificing his life for the Hindus’ rights, he became the first person in history to do so to protect the freedom of another religion.
Personal History and Legacy
Tegh Bahadur married Mata Gujri on 3 February 1633.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was replaced by his son Gobind Rai, who became Guru Gobind Singh upon the passing of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Estimated Net Worth
Guru is one of the wealthiest and most well-known religious leaders in the world. According to our investigation, Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Guru Tegh Bahadur has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.