ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ॥ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫ਼ਤਹਿ ॥
Hey everyone, we’re now coming to the end of term as everyone begins to wrap up their lectures. A reminder about the formal on Saturday for those who signed up and the Games night on Friday 25th Nov at St. John’s college at 7:30pm!
ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਕੇ ਚਲਤ ਭਯੋ ਜਗਤ ਕੋ ਸੋਕ ॥
teg bahaadhar ke chalat bhayo jagat ko sok ||
The whole world bemoaned the departure of Tegh Bahadur.
ਹੈ ਹੈ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਭਯੋ ਜੈ ਜੈ ਜੈ ਸੁਰ ਲੋਕ ॥੧੬॥
hai hai hai sabh jag bhayo jai jai jai sur lok ||16||
While the world Iamented, the gods hailed his arrival in heavens.16.
(Panna 55, Dasam Granth)
In the month of Maghar we remember the Shaheedi Purab of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji (which happened on 28th November/13th Maghar).
In the early months of 1675, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb gave an ultimatum to the Hindus of Kashmir, known as the Kashmiri Pandits. The ultimatum was either convert to Islam or die. The Pandits did not know what to do, and after a period of deliberation they decided to ask Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji for help.
So, in May 1675 the head of the Kashmiri Pandits, Pandit Kripa Ram, met Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji at Anandpur Sahib, and asked for Guru Ji’s advice. After talking to his son Gobind Rai (the future Guru Gobind Singh Ji), he decided to travel to Delhi and give up his life to save the lives of the Pandits. Guru Ji offered a deal to Aurangzeb, that if he could convert Guru Ji, all the Pandits would also convert, but if he failed he would leave the Pandits alone. Aurangzeb was delighted with this deal.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji travelled to Delhi with three companions Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dayala Das (the latter being the brother of Bhai Mani Singh) and then spent many months in jail being tortured. During these months in jail Guru Ji wrote Salok Mahalla 9, one of the last Banis of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Eventually, the Mughal regime decided that the torture was not working, and then prepared to execute Guru Ji. Before Guru Ji’s execution Bhai Dayala Das was first executed. Bhai Dayala Das was offered freedom if he converted to Islam, but like the other Sikhs in Delhi, he refused to do so. As a result, he was put in a cauldron of boiling water and boiled alive.
Then the Mughals offered the same proposition to Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das who were brothers. Both remained steadfast in their beliefs and did not waver when the Mughals promised riches and other worldly pleasures if they converted. So, the brothers then attained shaheedi. Bhai Mati Das was tied between two posts and was sawed in half. As he was being sawed, he recited Japji Sahib, and only when he had finished did he attain shaheedi. Bhai Sati Das was wrapped in cotton and was burnt alive.
The next day Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was executed in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. It is said that the moment the execution happened a fierce storm enveloped Delhi. Amongst the confusion Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanjara retrieved the body of Guru Ji (at the risk of execution by the Mughals) and took it to his house. The Mughals had intended to quarter the body of Guru Ji but instead Lakhi Shah cremated Guru Ji’s body by placing it in his house and setting the house on fire.
At the same time Bhai Jetha Ji retrieved the head of Guru Ji, and took it to Anandpur Sahib where Guru Gobind Ji was staying at the time. So that they could retrieve the head without the Mughals knowing, Jetha’s father offered his own head to replace that of Guru Ji’s. When Bhai Jetha Ji arrived at Anandpur Sahib endowed Jetha Ji with the name ‘Ranghrete Guru Ke Bete’.
Bhai Jetha Ji remained in the Guru’s service and later took Amrit. He then attained shaheedi in the Battle of Chamkaur when he exchanged clothes with Guru Ji so that he could escape.
“Bhai Jiwan Singh”, SikhiWiki, (https://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Bhai_Jiwan_Singh)
“Sikh prayer books return to military after 100 years”, BBC News, (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-63547209)