Hi everyone! Today is a very special day for the Sikh community, as well as other communities who were impacted by this. It is the Shaheedi Day of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Shaheedi means martyr, and Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was a martyr. On this day, he wasn’t specifically protecting the rights of his people, the Sikhs. Instead he was protecting the rights of the loving people of Kashmir. These people were Hindu Pandits, also known as scholars, who were being forced to convert to the religion of Islam. On the day of May 25, 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji made one of the biggest decisions, that he would sacrifice his life to make sure these people had their rights to stay with their religion.
As Sikhs, we are told and taught that we shouldn’t practice of the worshiping to Idols, etc. but we are their to respect all faiths and if their faith is being threatened, we shall not just watch we must act. We also should be able to learn how to never say “I, as a Sikh respect and honor all other religions” but instead we should try our best to get to the point where we can say “As a Sikh, I am ready to die to protect the rights of the people of other faiths or religions,” Getting to this point is not easy. One cannot just say it. But on this day, our beloved Guru Ji, Bhai Mati Das Ji, Bhai Dayala Ji, and Bhai Sati Das Ji, were all martyred to protect the rights of these people.
On the day when Guru Ji and the three Bhai Sahib Ji’s were brought amongst the executioners and Aurangzeb, Guru Ji was forced to watch them. He was asked if he had any final wishes, and responded that he wanted a bath, and to be able to read the Japji Sahib. The Executioner asked, how would we know when it is over? Guru Ji replied that when he bowed his head down to Guru Nanak Dev Ji Sache Patshah, the executioner could do whatever he needed to do. Guru Ji was also asked by the Executioner, aren’t you afraid of death? Guru Ji responded, afraid of death? All my life i have been singing about death! People have been afriad when talking about death, when talking about death I sing from the top of my voice! The executioners were confused as to how he was so calm about the thought of being executed, but didn’t think anything of it. They continued by first executing Bhai Mati Das Ji. Bhai Mati Das Ji was executed by being sawed directly in half. Vicious metal teeth ripping through him, but what surprised the Mughals the most was that instead of hearing screams of pain like they normally did when executing others, Bhai Mati Das Ji had a smile on his face and continued to repeat the Banis. When Bhai Mati Das Ji had been fully cut in half, his body fell half by half to opposite sides of the floor, and you could still hear his voice echoing the Bani, even though he had no tongue left. Next, Bhai Dayala had instantly spoken as soon as Bhai Mati Das Ji had fell.
He said “You may think you have just killed my brother, but you haven’t. Instead you have just began to cut your rule. And from now on your rule will slowly come to an end.” The executioners as well as others heard, and were appalled. They immediately began preparing to execute Bhai Dayala Ji. Bhai Dayala Ji, before going, walked up to Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. Guru Ji was forced into a cage where there were spikes behind him, spikes in front of him, and spikes above him. He wasn’t even able to stand at his normal height and was forced to stay bent because if he moved up, spikes would rip through his head. Bhai Dayala Ji bent down to be lower than Guru Ji, and said Guru Ji, just like you in your 5th form, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, had the strength to be boiled alive and stay calm, please make sure to show that to these people as I know I am not strong enough for this. Guru Ji smiled, and said go on Dayala. Bhai Dayala Ji was a very close friend of Guru Ji. When Guru Ji was having his son, he left Bhai Dayala Ji in charge and told the army as well as others to listen to Bhai Dayala Ji’s commands as if it were him speaking. Bhai Dayala Ji went into the pot right after. And pictures have shown us that the pot had water up to his neck, but historians have shown that the executioners pushed his head down and put a lid and covered him. But to their surprise, they didn’t hear any screams. They moved closer to the pot and heard Sukhmani coming out of his voice. A bit later they opened the pot and saw that Bhai Dayala Ji’s skin had separated from his bones, and other organs, and then closed the fire.
The last of the three Bhai Ji’s who were executed right before Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, was Bhai Sati Das Ji. He was wrapped in cotton, and then rope. But for example, you know how when we get a little burn on our body fromo the stove, etc. and we instantly move away? Well these cruel executioners nailed down the rope that tied Bhai Sati Das Ji to a pillar and began to pour oil all over him. They lit him on fire, and as his limbs began to burn he still repeated the Bani. What is most astonishing, is that even AFTER Bhai Sati Das Ji had been fully burnt, his dead body fell towards the direction of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.
And then came the time for Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji to be martyred. Before doing so, Guru Ji was asked by the Mughals, we heard you can perform miracles, why don’t you show us something? Guru Ji began laughing and said, You fools. You have just seen three miracles happen right before you. You sawed one of my Sikhs in half, and he was smiling and repeated Japji Sahib. You boiled one of my Sikhs alive and still heard no screams, but heard him repeating Sukhmani. You just lit one of my Sikhs on fire, and heard no screams, but his dead body still fell right towards me. Have you not already realized the miracles that just happened before you? Guru Ji saw an executioner sharpening his sword, also known as a tegh, and the executioner asked, Aren’t you scared? Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji smiled and replied, me? scared? of your sword? My name is Tegh Bahadur. You cannot scare me with this my name is Tegh, Bahadur.
Finally, after refusing to perform miracles himself in front of Aurangzeb, and seeing these Sikhs being tortured, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was beheaded. A note was also written by Guru Ji and it said “My head I gave, but my faith I did not.” We can see that Gurbani refuses for us to worship Idols, taking part in fasts, these things were also part of hinduism. But that just goes to show that Guru Ji was so astonishing that he gave up his life so that those people could practice what they believed, even though his religion contradicts it.
Guru Ji’s body was cremated by Bhai Lakhi Shah. These Sikhs had such a sophisticated plan, and here is what happened.
Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanjara was present at Delhi where the martyrdom happened. There has a Dust Storm that had hit them and the Mughals had ran to find cover. Bhai Lakhi Shah and Bhai Ude had made a plan to bring lots of carts of cotton to the area. The cotton carts blew more dust into the air and made it harder for things to be visible. Risking his own life, Bhai Lakhi Shah was able to recover Guru Ji’s body from the area and moved onto his home and since it was very dangerous to be able to cremate the body in front of others, ( the Mughals had planned to put his body on display,) Bhai Lakhi Shah lit his house on fire to cremate Guru Ji. I personally think that is something only such a devoted person can do, not caring about how much you have in your house, what could happen next, but to repay your Guru with whatever you can, you cremate him in your home. At the same time, Bhai Jaita Ji had taken Guru Ji’s head on his way to Anandpur Sahib which is where it was cremated. At this place currently stands Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib.