Guru Tegh Bahadur

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

Guru Tegh Bahadur (1 April 1621 – 24 November 1675), revered as the ninth Nanak, was the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. Tegh Bahadur continued in the spirit of the first guru, Nanak; his 115 poetic hymns are in the text Guru Granth Sahib. Tegh Bahadur resisted the forced conversions of Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam, and was publicly beheaded in 1675 on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi for refusing to convert to Islam.

Quotes[edit]

  • One who is not perturbed by misfortune, who is beyond comfort, attachment and fear, who considers gold as dust. He neither speaks ill of others nor feels elated by praise and shuns greed, attachments and arrogance. He is indifferent to ecstasy and tragedy, is not affected by honors or humiliations. He renounces expectations, greed. He is neither attached to the worldliness, nor lets senses and anger affect him. In such a person resides God.
    •  Guru Tegh Bahadur, Sorath 633 (Translated by Gopal Singh), Tegh Bahadur (Translated by Gopal Singh) (2005). Mahalla nawan: compositions of Guru Tegh Bahādur-the ninth guru (from Sri Guru Granth Sahib): Bāṇī Gurū Tega Bahādara. Allied Publishers. pp. xxviii–xxxiii, 15–27. ISBN 978-81-7764-897-3.

Quotes about Guru Tegh Bahadur[edit]

  • [Aurangzeb] summoned the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur (1664-1675 A.D.), to the imperial seat at Delhi and martyred him in cold blood on his refusal to embrace Islam. Some followers of the Guru who had accompanied him were subjected to inhuman torture and torn to pieces. This was as it were a final signal that there was something very hard at the heart of Islam's heart which the Gurus had tried to soften with their teachings of humanism and universalism. Sikhism had to accept the challenge and pick up the sword in defence of its very existence.
    • Swarup, Ram, & Goel, S. R. (1985). Hindu-Sikh relationship. (Introduction by S.R. Goel)
  • The Sikh Gurus Tegh Bahadur, beheaded by Aurangzeb in 1675 for refusing to convert, and his son Govind Singh, who founded the military Khalsa order and whose four sons were killed by the Moghul troops, are very popular in Hindutva glorifications of national heroes'. Their pictures are routinely displayed at functions of the RSS and its affiliates, and their holidays celebrated, e.g.: 'Over 650 branches of Bharat Vikas Parishad observe Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day'.
    • Elst, K. (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. New Delhi: Voice of India. Ch. 8
  • Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom in 1675 was of course in the service of Hinduism, in that it was an act of opposing Aurangzeb’s policy of forcible conversion. An arrest warrant against him had been issued on non-religious and nonpolitical charges, and he was found out after having gone into hiding; Aurangzeb gave him a chance to escape his punishment by converting to Islam. Being a devout Muslim, Aurangzeb calculated that the conversion of this Hindu sect leader would encourage his followers to convert along with him. The Guru was tortured and beheaded when he refused the offer to accept Islam, and one of his companions was sawed in two for having said that Islam should be destroyed.
    At any rate, he stood firm as a Hindu, telling Aurangzeb that he loved his Hindu Dharma and that Hindu Dharma would never die,-a statement conveniently overlooked in most neo-Sikh accounts. Tegh Bahadur’s Hindi reply to Aurangzeb is reproduced in full in Kshitish: Storm in Punjab, p.178. In pro-separatist publications, it is strategically omitted, e.g. in D. Greenlees: Gospel of Guru Granth Sahib, p.xcvii. He was not a Sikh defending Hinduism, but a Hindu of the Nanakpanth defending his own Hindu religion. However, even Tegh Bahadur never was a warrior against the Moghul empire; indeed, the birth of his son Govind in the eastern city of Patna was a souvenir of his own enlistment in the party of a Moghul general on a military expedition to Assam.
    • Elst, K. (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism.
  • Tegh Bahadur’s son and successor, Govind Singh, only fought the Moghul army when he was forced to, and it was hardly to protect Hinduism. His men had been plundering the domains of the semi-independent Hindu Rajas in the hills of northeastern Panjab, who had given him asylum after his father’s execution. Pro-Govind accounts in the Hindutva camp equate Govind’s plundering with the Chauth tax which Shivaji imposed to finance his fight against the Moghuls; they allege that the Rajas were selfishly attached to their wealth while Govind was risking his life for the Hindu cause. The Rajas, after failed attempts to restore law and order, appealed to their Moghul suzerain for help, or at least to the nearest Moghul governor. So, a confrontation ensued, not because Govind Singh had defied the mighty Moghul Empire, but because the Moghul Empire discharged its feudal duties toward its vassals, i.c. to punish what to them was an ungrateful guest turned robber.
    Govind was defeated and his two eldest sons killed in battle; many Sikhs left him in anger at his foolhardy tactics. During Govind Singh’s flight, a Brahmin family concealed Govind’s two remaining sons (Hindus protecting Sikhs, not the other way around), but they were found out and the boys were killed. (In the modern anti-Hindu variety of Sikh history, this becomes: “the Guru was forced into resistance by the incessant attacks of jealous Hill Rgjas, who could not tolerate the rise of Sikhism beside them”, according to Duncan Greenlees: Gospel of the Guru-Granth Sahib, p.xcix. (In neo-Sikh historiography, which has a strong anti-Brahmin bias (e.g. systematically concealing the presence of Brahmin officiants at the Gurus’ weddings), the capture of the two boys is explained with the undocumented allegation that these Brahmins who protected them had “betrayed” them)
    • Elst, K. (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: