Guru Tegh Bahadur, the youngest of the five sons of Guru Hargobind, was born in Amritsar in the early hours of April 1, 1621. As the news spread at daybreak, Sikhs A Sikh is a person who follows Sikhism as his religion. The term ‘Sikh’ has been derived from a Sanskrit word, Sisya which means disciple. The term used is appropriate for the people as they all follow the teachings of their teachers, the ten Gurus, and practice their preaching. They are known for their courage and hard-work. Male Sikhs use ‘Singh’ in their name, whereas women used ‘Kaur’.
hurried to the presence of Guru Hargobind to offer their felicitations. The Guru himself went to see the child, accompanied by two of his Sikhs, Bidhi Chand and Jetha. As he set his eyes on him, he predicted auspiciously. In the words of the Garbilas Chhevin Patshaili, he said, "Of my five sons, he shall take the of five of Guru. He shall protect the weak and relieve their distress. This shall be his principal mark." Guru Hargobind called the child Tegh Bahadur, Mighty of Sword. The mother, Mata Nanaki, felt happy to hear her son so named. Much charity was distributed and the rejoicing continued for several days.
Owing to a minor skirmish with a Mughal force, Guru Hargobind removed his family from Amritsar to the anonymity of a nearby village, called Jhabal. Tegh Bahadur was carried by Mother Nanaki in a palanquin. From Jhabal, Guru Hargobind travelled to Goindwal, sacred to theThird Guru. Goindwal was one of the important Sikh towns in the Punjab. Some other places then well known in Sikh geography were Khadur Sahib, sacred to the second Guru, Tarn Taran, Sri Hargobindpur and Kartarpur, all three founded by Guru Arjan dev, the Fifth Guru, Talwandi, birthplace of Guru Nanak, Dera Baba Nanak, Darauli and Kiratpur, founded by Guru Hargobind. Similarly, there were towns and villages made famous by the leading Sikh families who lived there. Some of the more prominent among these were Ramdas (Bhai Buddha), Sur Singh (Bhai Bidhi Chand), Bhai Rupa (Rup Chand), Kangar (Rai Jodh) and Baba Bakala (Bhai Mehra). As they reached Goindwal, Guru Hargobind, his family and Sikhs made ablutions in the baoli built by Guru Amar Das. Tegh Bahadur, then barely two, was bathed with the holy water. Ablutions were repeated the following morning before Guru Hargobind lett for Kartarpur. The family were left in Goindwal on the persuasion of Baba Sundar, great-grandson of Guru Amar Das. Upon his return to Amritsar, Guru Hargobind recalled the family from Goindwal. As says the Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, four of the Guru's sons greeted their father by touching his feet. The youngest, Tegh Bahadur, arrived carried on her arms by his sister, Bibi Viro.
Tegh Bahadur was brought up in the approved Sikh style. As a young boy, he was placed under the teaching of Bhai BuddhaBuddha
Gautam Buddha was a sage who was born between 563 or 480 BCE in Lumbini...
and Bhai Gurdas. The former supervised his training in archery and horsemanship and the latter taught him the old classics. Tegh Bahadur made rapid progress and showed early promise of mastery in both fields. He also gave evidence of a deeply mystical temperament by his prolonged spells of seclusion and contemplation. This strain of his genius is best expressed in his superbly sublime poetry preserved in the Guru Granth. The father's favourable prophecies continued. Mother Nanaki, though pleased inwardly, often wondered how Tegh Bahadur, quiet and humble and devoid of all ambition, would attain the rank Guru Hargobind had predicted for him. But there was no doubt that he was his father's favourite and that mighty events awaited him.
To quote the Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, "Tegh Bahadur visited Guru Hargobind but occasionally; yet he received more consideration than anyone else. Usually, he came but once in a month. He would step in softly with his eyes turned to the ground in modesty. Thus he would bow low to the Guru's feet. Guru Hargobind received his gentle son with words of affection and seated him sometimes by his side and sometimes lifted him up on to his knee... "But Mother Nanaki's perplexity was not abated. She knew that her son, Tegh Bahadur, maintained no contact with the masands, nor did he supervise the household. One day she directly questioned Guru Hargobind why he treated Tegh Bahadur with such attention. The Guru answered, 'I shall unlock the mystery for you. Tegh Bahadur can suffer what none other can. His forbearance is unsurpassed. He is master of many virtues. None else is there like him in the world. This is one reason which entitles him to acknowledgement. Second, a son will be born to him who will be mighty of limb and be the vanquisher of foe. He will take part in many a battle. He will excel in both valour and compassion. He will bring fame to the House of Guru Nanak, the world teacher."'
I The next several years were spent in Amritsar until it became time for Suraj Mall to marry. Tegh Bahadur joined his brother's wedding party and, in the description of the Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi, he was escorted by the devout Bhai Bidhi Chand. At Suraj Mall's wedding which took place at Kartarpur on April 23, 1629, Bishan Kaur, one of the bride's guests, chose Tegh Bahadur for her own daughter. Confidentially she spoke to her husband, Lal Chand, "Handsome beyond words is the Guru's son. Though barely eight years old, far excelling is his fortune. Our own daughter is five. We must act quickly and waste no time." They took the proposal to Guru Hargobind. Bhai Gurdas was sent to Tegh Bahadur whose answer was characteristic. He gently said that he would abide by the word of his father. The same day, he was affianced to Gujari, daughter of Lal Chand and Bishan Kaur. In Amritsar, Mother Nanaki received him with redoubled joy.
On February 4,1633, took place the marriage of Tegh Bahadur. Relations and Sikhs congregated in Kartarpur from Goindwal, Khadur, Amritsar, Mandiali, Batala, Kangar, Bhai Rupa, Malla, and other places. Tegh Bahadur was dressed in yellow for the occasion. He wore a wreath on his forehead and an ornamented umbrella was unfolded over him. In deference to an old Punjabi scruple, the party dispensed with carriages and preferred to walk owing to the fact that the bride belonged to their own town. In the words of Bhai Santokh Singh, "Most splendid looked Tegh Bahadur. Both men and women felt fascinated by his looks. He was tall like his father. Handsome as the moon was his face. He was long of limb and broad-chested...and he walked with gentle, graceful steps." "Like bridegroom like bride," says the Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi. "Gujari is by destiny made worthy of Tegh Bahadur in every way."
Old texts record that Tegh Bahadur took part in the battle of Kartarpur on April 26, 1635. This was the last major conflict his father, Guru Hargobind, had to engage in. According to the Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Tegh Bahadur, riding his horse, made bold sallies in all directions. Mata Nanaki and her daughter-in-law watched his feats of arms from the top of their house. When word was sent to him to retire, he, like his brothers, answered that it was not proper to turn one's back on the battlefield. Tegh Bahadur was then fourteen years old. After the battle of Kartarpur, Guru Hargobind, Nanak VI, went to live at Kiratpur. For Tegh Bahadur this meant nine years of uninterrupted happiness in the company of his father. As was his wont, "he remained always saturated in the remembrance of God and spoke but little." When his time Gurdwara Baba Bakala at City of Bakala District Amritsar, place of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji came near, Guru Hargobind asked Nanaki to go and live in the village of Bakala. Guru Hargobind appointed his elder son, Guru Har Rai as next guru. Tegh Bahadur and his brothers were present at this occasion. Tegh Bahadur and his wife Mata Gujari ji shifted to Bakala. It was at Bakala when he heard about the passing away of Guru Har Rai and appointment of Guru Har Krishan as Nanak Eight. It was also at Bakala when he heard about his appointment as ninth guru through Makhan Shah and other Sikhs.
Three successive visits were made to Kiratpur. On August 21,1664, Guru Tegh Bahadur went there to condole with Bibi Rup Kaur upon the passing away of her father, Guru Har Rai, and of her brother, Guru Har Krishan. The second visit was on October 15,1664, at the death on September 29, 1664, of Mata Bassi, mother of Guru Har Rai. A third visit concluded a fairly extensive journey through Majha, Malwa and Bangar districts of the Punjab. The first halt during this journey was at Amritsar, followed by halts at Tarn Taran, Khadur Sahib and Goindwal, all of long-standing sanctity in the Sikh tradition. Crossing the Beas and Sutlej rivers, Guru Tegh Bahadur arrived in the Malwa. He visited Zira and Moga and reached Darauli. He then sojourned in the Lakkhi Jungle, a desolate and sandy tract comprising mainly present-day districts of Bhatinda and Faridkot. According to the Guru kian Sakhian, Baisakhi of 1665 was celebrated at Sabo-ki Talwandi, now known as Damdama Sahib. This journey took Guru Tegh Bahadur up to Dhamdhan, near Jind, from where he returned to Kiratpur. On May 13,1665, Guru Tegh Bahadur went to Bilaspur, farther up in the hills. This was to attend the mourning for Raja Dip Chand of Bilaspur. He was accompanied on this journey by his mother, Mata Nanaki, Mata Sulakkhni, widow of Guru Har Rai, Mata Hariji, wife of Suraj Mall, Bibi Rup Kaur, daughter of Guru Har Rai, and Dip Chand and Nand Chand, sons of Suraj Mall.
The Dowager Rani Champa of Bilaspur offered to give the Guru a piece of land in her state. The Guru bought the site on payment of Rs 500. The land consisted of the villages of Lodhipur, Mianpur and Sahota. Here on the mound of Makhowal, Guru Tegh Bahadur raised a new habitation. The ground was broken on June 19, 1665, by Baba Gurditta Randhawa. Karahprasad was distributed after the ceremonies. The new village was named after Mother Nanaki. Chakk Nanaki later became famous as Anandpur Sahib.
Like his predecessors since the days of Guru Hargobind, Guru Tegh Bahadur maintained the marks of worldly dignity. But he himself lived austerely. Sikh documents, or any other, make no mention of a clash with the ruling power having occurred during his time. yet by his teaching and by his prolonged travels across the country, he created a new energy and environment for Sikh living. He was especially sensitive to the peoples' suffering and taught them to be fearless.
At Dhamdhan, Guru Tegh Bahadur was received by Bhai Daggo with exceeding joy . He put him up in the new house he had constructed. The Guru showered his blessings upon him: "For meeting me with presents, milk shall abound in thy house. Minister to the Sikhs and devotees, and remain with us during our stay in this place." Bhai Pheru was another of the Sikhs who unremittingly served the Guru and the Sikhs. He was so thoroughly devoted to his duty that he never allowed himself leisure to open his big turban and comb his hair. Guru Tegh Bahadur conferred upon him the penegyric: "Clean is thy beard, Bhai Pheru; durable is thy devotion; virtuous are thy actions; thou shalt be reckoned of consequence in the world. The Guru is a sacrifice unto thee, Bhai Pheru!" The festival of Divali brought to Dhamdhan Sikhs from far-off places. They felt blessed by a sight of the Guru and faithfully received his instruction. On November 8, 1665, Guru Tegh Bahadur reached Delhi. Rani Pushpa Devi of Amber was his host. Her family had reverenced the House of Guru Nanak He was the founder of Sikhism who lived from 15th April 1469 to 22nd September 1539. His birthday is celebrated s Guru Nanank Jayanti or Guru Nank Purab. He was a traveler who spread his message of love, humanity and equality. He belonged to a merchant family but at the age of 16, he started working. His teachings are recorded in the Guru Grant Sahib. He preached people to take the name of God whenever possible as it was equivalent to worshipping him.
since the days of the Sixth Guru, and her son, Kanwar Ram Singh, now attended upon the holy guest. Further journey lay through Mathura, Agra, Allahabad, Banaras and Sasaram. The Guru was drawn to Sasaram by the love of a Sikh, called Phaggo. Phaggo was convinced in his heart that the Guru would respond to his devotion and had, in anticipation of a visit, built a new house with a high entrance. His wish was that the Master should ride into the premises without having to dismount his horse. He cleaned the house every day and locked it, for he had vowed not to live in it until the Guru had visited it. Guru Tegh Bahadur answered his wish and, on reaching Sasaram, entered on horseback the house dedicated to him.
Guru Tegh Bahadur travelled on to Patna. There he spent the rainy season. At Patna was born his only son, then called Gobind Das. But he had by that time left the city acceding to the wishes of sangats in remoter districts. Dacca was the seat of an old Sikh sangat. Here the elderly mother of the local masand, Bulaki Das, eagerly awaited the Guru's arrival. She had spun cotton with her own hands and made a dress for him. On reaching Dacca, Guru Tegh Bahadur went straight to where she lived. For the old woman, this was like a dream come true. she felt rejoiced to seat the Guru on the divan she had kept for him and to present him with the dress she had made. The entire sangat came to see the Guru singing the sacred sabads. Guru Tegh Bahadur greeted them by calling Dacca "the citadel of Sikhism. It is a monotheistic religion that came into existence in 15th Century. It originated in South Asia. According to this religion, there is only one God. The people who follow this religion believe in harmony, unity, selfless service, honest existence, social justice and equality. There were ten Gurus who taught people a happy and spiritual way of living. After the death of Guru Gobind Singh, the people gave the book, ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, the status of their impersonal God.
" He advised them to build a new dharamsala, assemble in it for kirtan and celebrate the holy festivals. "Thus will you be liberated; thus will your sorrows be cancelled."