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Guru Har Gobind was Guru Tegh Bahadur's father. He was originally named
Tyag Mal but was later renamed Tegh Bahadur after his gallantry and bravery in the
wars against the Mughal forces. He built the city of Anandpur Sahib, and was
responsible for saving the Kashmiri Pandits, who were being persecuted by the
After the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadar by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, a
number of Sikh temples were built in his and his associates' memory. The Gurdwara Sis
Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, was built over where he was beheaded.
Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, also in Delhi, is built on the site of the residence of a
disciple of Teg Bahadur, who burnt his house in order to cremate his master's body.
Another Gurudwara by the same name, Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib at Ambala City
where that man halt for a night with Teg Bahadur's head after that he went for Anandpur
Sahib in Punjab. Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib in Punjab marks the site where in November
1675, the head of the martyred Guru Teg Bahadar which was brought by Bhai Jaita
(renamed Bhai Jivan Singh according to Sikh rites) in defiance of the Mughal authority
of Aurangzeb was cremated here.
Guru Tegh Bahadur has ever since been remembered for giving up his life for
freedom of religion, reminding Sikhs and non-Muslims in India to follow and practice
their beliefs without fear of persecution and forced conversions by Muslims. Guru Tegh
Bahadur was martyred, along with fellow devotees Bhai Mati Dass, Bhai Sati Das and
Guru Tegh Bahadur spoke out amid this persecution.
Guru Tegh Bahadur's execution hardened the resolve of Sikhs against Muslim
rule and the persecution. Pashaura Singh states that, "if the martyrdom of Guru Arjan
had helped bring the Sikh Panth together, Guru Tegh Bahadur's martyrdom helped to
make the protection of human rights central to its [Sikh] identity". Wilfred Smith states
that, "the attempt to forcibly convert the ninth Guru to an externalized, impersonal Islam
clearly made an indelible impression on the martyr's nine year old son, Gobind, who
reacted slowly but deliberately by eventually organizing the Sikh group into a distinct,
formal, symbol-patterned community". It inaugurated the Khalsa identity.
A number of places are named after the ninth guru of Sikhs, Guru Teg Bahadur.
Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, Assam.
Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi
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Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa Institute of Engineering & Technology, Malout
Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Institute of Technology
Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Integration Chair, Punjabi University, Patiala
Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Railway Station, Mumbai(G.T.B. Nagar)
Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Durgapur
Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Malout
Gurudwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadar Langar Saheb, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadar English High School, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa Collge (SGTB Khalsa Collge), University of
Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, Ludhiana
Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Patran (District Patiala)
Gurudwara Sahib, Sri Guru Teg bahadur Nagar, Jalandhar (Punjab)
Guru Gobind Singh
Family and early life
Gobind Singh was the only son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, and
Mata Gujri. He was born in Patna while his father was on a preaching tour in Assam. A
shrine, Takht Sri Harimandar Sahibas, marks the site of the house where he was born
and spent his early childhood. In March 1672 the family moved to Anandpur, where his
education included Punjabi, Persian, Sanskrit and martial skills. After the execution of
his father in November 1675, Gobind Singh was installed as Guru on Vaisakhi in March
Guru Gobind Singh had three wives:
Mata Jito, married 21 June 1677 at Basantga
h, 10 km north of Anandpur.
The couple had three sons: Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh.
Mata Sundari, married 4 April 1684 at Anandpur.
The couple had one son, Ajit Singh.
Mata Sahib Devan, married 15 April 1700 at Anandpur.
Mother of the Khalsa.
Leaving Anandpur Sahib and Return
Gobind Singh's father Tegh Bahadur founded the city of Chakk Nanaki, now
known as Anandpur Sahib, in 1665, on land purchased from the ruler of Bilaspur
(Kahlur). Gobind Singh moved there in March 1672. In April 1685, he shifted his
residence to Paonta in Sirmaur state at the invitation of Raja Mat Prakash of Sirmaur.
According to the gazetteer of the Sirmur State, the Guru was compelled to quit Chakk
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Nanaki due to differences with Bhim Chand, and went to Toka. From Toka, he was
invited to Nahan, the capital of Sirmaur by Mat Prakash. From Nahan, he proceeded to
Paonta. Mat Prakash invited the Guru to his kingdom in order to strengthen his position
against Raja Fateh Shah of Garhwal. At the request of Raja Mat Prakash, the Guru
constructed a fort at Paonta with help of his followers, in a short time. The Guru
remained at Paonta for around three years, and composed several texts.
The hostility between Nahan King and Fateh Shah, the Garhwal king continued
to increase during the latter's stay at Paonta, ultimately resulting in the Battle of
Bhangani near Paonta. Fateh Shah attacked on 18 September 1688; the battle ended
with the Guru's victory. In the Battle of Nadaun in 1687, the armies of Alif Khan and his
aides were defeated by the allied forces of Bhim Chand, Guru Gobind Singh and other
hill rajas. According to Bichitra Natak and the Bhatt Vahis, Guru Gobind Singh remained
at Nadaun, on the banks of the River Beas, for eight days, and visited various important
military chiefs. In November 1688 after the Battle of Bhangani, at the request of Rani
Champa, the dowager queen of Bilaspur, Gobind Singh returned to Chakk Nanaki,
which he renamed Anandpur, after one of the forts which he erected to guard the city.
In 1695, Dilawar Khan, the Mughal chief of Lahore, sent his son to attack
Anandpur. The Mughal army was defeated and Hussain Khan was killed. After
Hussain's death, Dilawar Khan sent his men Jujhar Hada and Chandel Rai to Sivalik
Hills. However, they were defeated by Gaj Singh of Jaswal. The developments in the hill
area caused anxiety to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who sent forces under the
command of his son, to restore Mughal authority in the region.
Founding the Khalsa
In 1699, the Guru sent hukmanamas (letters of authority) to his followers,
requesting them to congregate at Anandpur on 30 March 1699, the day of Vaisakhi (the
annual harvest festival). He addressed the congregation from the entryway of a
small tent pitched on a small hill (now called Kesgarh Sahib). He first asked everyone
who he was for them? Everyone answered - "You are our Guru." He then asked them
who were they, to which everyone replied - "We are your Sikhs." Having reminded them
of this relationship, He then said that today the Guru needs something from his Sikhs.
Everyone said, "Hukum Karo, Sache Patshah" (Order us, True Lord). Then drawing his
sword he asked for a volunteer who was willing to sacrifice his head. No one answered
his first call, nor the second call, but on the third invitation, Daya Ram (later known as
Bhai Daya Singh) came forward and offered his head to the Guru. Guru Gobind Rai
took the volunteer inside the tent. The Guru returned to the crowd with blood dripping
from his sword. He then demanded another head. One more volunteer came forward,
and entered the tent with him. The Guru again emerged with blood on his sword. This
happened three more times. Then the five volunteers came out of the tent in new
Guru Gobind Singh then poured clear water into an iron bowl and adding
Patashas (Punjabi sweeteners) into it, he stirred it with double-edged sword
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accompanied with recitations from Adi Granth. He called this mixture of sweetened
water and iron as Amrit ("nectar") and administered it to the five men. These five, who
willingly volunteered to sacrifice their lives for their Guru, were given the title of the Panj
Pyare ("the five beloved ones") by their Guru. They were the first (baptized) Sikhs of
the Khalsa: Daya Ram (Bhai Daya Singh), Dharam Das (Bhai Dharam Singh), Himmat
Rai (Bhai Himmat Singh), Mohkam Chand (Bhai Mohkam Singh), and Sahib Chand
(Bhai Sahib Singh).
Guru Gobind Singh then recited a line which has been the rallying-cry of the
Khalsa since then: 'Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji Ki Fateh' (Khalsa belongs to
God; victory belongs to God). He gave them all the name "Singh" (lion), and designated
them collectively as the Khalsa, the body of baptized Sikhs. The Guru then astounded
the five and the whole assembly as he knelt and asked them to in turn initiate him as a
member, on an equal footing with them in the Khalsa, thus becoming the sixth member
of the new order. His name became Gobind Singh. Today members of the Khalsa
consider Guru Gobind as their father, and Mata Sahib Kaur as their mother. The
Panj Piare were thus the first baptised Sikhs, and became the first members of the
Khalsa brotherhood. Women were also initiated into the Khalsa, and given the title of
kaur ("princess"). Guru Gobind Singh then addressed the audience -
From now on, you have become casteless. No ritual, either Hindu or
Muslim, will you perform nor will you believe in superstition of any kind, but
only in one God who is the master and protector of all, the only creator and
destroyer. In your new order, the lowest will rank with the highest and each will
be to the other a bhai (brother). No pilgrimages for you any more, nor
austerities but the pure life of the household, which you should be ready to
sacrifice at the call of Dharma. Women shall be equal of men in every way. No
purdah (veil) for them anymore, nor the burning alive of a widow on the pyre of
her spouse (sati). He who kills his daughter, the Khalsa shall not deal with
Kesh: uncut hair is a symbol of acceptance of your form as God intended it to be,
and to give an unmistakable visual identity to the Khalsa.
Kangha: a wooden comb, a symbol of cleanliness to keep one's body and soul
Kara: an iron or steel bracelet worn on the wrist, to remind the Khalsa of their
vows and as a mark of iron self-restraint.
Kirpan: a sword to defend oneself and protect the poor, the weak and the
oppressed, regardless of religion, race or creed.
Kacchera: shorts, which are riding breeches cut off at the knee, to keep the
soldiers of the Khalsa always ready to go into battle on horseback
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Smoking being an unclean and injurious habit, you will forswear. You
will love the weapons of war, be excellent horsemen, marksmen and wielders
of the sword, the discus and the spear. Physical prowess will be as sacred to
you as spiritual sensitivity. And, between the Hindus and Muslims, you will act
as a bridge, and serve the poor without distinction of caste, colour, country or
creed. My Khalsa shall always defend the poor, and 'Deg' - or community
kitchen - will be as much an essential part of your order as Teg -the sword.
And, from now onwards Sikh males will call themselves 'Singh' and women
'Kaur' and greet each other with 'Waheguruji ka Khalsa, Waheguruji ki fateh
(The Khalsa belongs to God; victory belongs to God).
A result of the Guru's actions is arguably that the strength of Sikhi in the 18th and
19th centuries was based on the third, fourth, and fifth orders of Indian society, even
though some of its leaders still came from the Kshatriya varna. An interesting
representation of the first amrit ceremony is found in the paintings that show two dead
hawks, lying on their backs on the ground, while their killers, two doves, sit upon the
bowls of amrit. Symbolically, the Sikhs, the doves, had gained the strength of hawks,
the strong, militant people who lived on all sides of them.
Guru Gobind Singh's respect for the Khalsa is best represented in one of his
All I possess and carry, I dedicate to these people.
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The formation of the casteless military order Khalsa did not go well with the
Hindu rajas of the Sivalik Hills, who in turn got united to evict the Guru from the region.
After seeing the rajas' desire to become the Guru's disciples,[who?] told the hill rajas
that fighting alongside the low-caste members of the Sikhs would pollute their Khatri
caste status. The hill rajas' expeditions during 1700-04 were unsuccessful.
Balia Chand and Alim Chand - two of the hill chieftains made a surprise attack on
the Guru, while he was on a hunting expedition. In the ensuing combat, Alim Chand
managed to escape, while Balia Chand was killed by Guru's aide Ude Singh.
After several failed attempts to check the rising power of the Sikhs, the hill chiefs
petitioned the Mughal rulers for help. The Mughal emperor of Delhi sent his generals
Din Beg and Painda Khan, each with an army of five thousand men. The Mughal forces
were joined by the armies of the hill chiefs. However, they failed to defeat the Guru's
forces, and Painda Khan was killed in the First Battle of Anandpur (1700).
Alarmed at the Guru's rising influence, the rajas of several hill states assembled
at Bilaspur to discuss the situation. The son of Bhim Chand, Raja Ajmer Chand of
Kahlur, suggested forming an alliance to curb the Guru's rising power. Accordingly, the
rajas formed an alliance, and marched towards Anandpur. They sent a letter to the
Guru, asking him to pay the arrears of rent for Anandpur (which lay in Ajmer Chand's
territory), and leave the place. The Guru insisted that the land was bought by his father,
and is therefore, his own property. A battle, dated from 1701 to 1704, followed. The hill
rajas were joined by a large number of Gujjars, under the command of Jagatullah. Duni
Chand led five hundred men from Majha region to assist the Guru. Reinforcements from
other areas also arrived to help the Guru. The conflict, known as the First Battle of
Anandpur resulted in retreat of the hill rajas.
Later, the hill rajas negotiated a peace agreement with the Guru, asking him to
leave Anandpur. Accordingly, the Guru left for Nirmoh village. Meanwhile, Raja Ajmer
Chand had sent his envoys to the Mughal viceroys in Sirhind and Delhi, seeking their
help against the Guru. The army of Sirhind viceroy Wazir Khan arrived to assist the hill
rajas. Seeing that Nirmoh was not fortified, Raja Ajmer Chand and the Raja of Kangra
and the Mughal force launched an attack on the Guru's camp, but were repulsed. After
that the Guru withdrew to Basoli. An alliance of the hill rajas, led by Ajmer Chand, made
a heavy attack, but were driven off in the Battle of Basoli,(1702).
After repeated pleas for assistance from the hill rajas, the Mughal emperor sent
an army under Saiyad Khan's command. Saiyad Khan was a brother-in-law of Pir
Budhu Shah, and defected to the Guru's side, after the Pir spoke highly of him. Ramzan
Khan then took the command of the imperial army, and allied with the hill rajas to attack
Anandpur in March 1704. It was the crop-cutting time of the year, and the majority of the
Guru's followers had dispersed to their homes. Guru was assisted by two of his Muslim
admirers, Maimun Khan and Saiyad Beg, however his men were outnumbered, and
decided to vacate Anandpur. The Mughal army plundered the city, and then proceeded
to Sirhind. On their way back, they were caught in a surprise attack by the Guru's
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forces, who recovered the booty captured from Anandpur. The Guru then returned to
Evacuation from Anandpur
The hill chiefs then decided to approach the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb,
through his Governor in Punjab, Wazir Khan, to help them subdue the Sikhs. Their
memorandum spoke of his establishing the new order of Khalsa
Singh) wants us to join hands with him to fight our Emperor against whom he
harbours profound grudge. This we refused to do, much to his annoyance and
discomfiture. He is now gathering men and arms from all over the country to
challenge the Mughal Empire. We cannot restrain him, but as loyal subjects of
your Majesty, we seek your assistance to drive him out of Anandpur and not
allow grass to grow beneath your feet. Otherwise, he would become a
formidable challenge to the whole empire, as his intentions are to march upon
Sirhind, Lahore and Kashmir to proceed against the Guru. The Mughal forces were
joined by the armies of the hill rajas, the Ranghars and the Gurjars of the area. The
Guru also made preparations for the battle, and his followers from Majha, Malwa,
Doaba and other areas assembled at Anandpur.
The imperial forces attacked Anandpur in 1705, and laid a siege around the city.
After a few days of the commencement of the siege, Raja Ajmer Chand sent his envoy
to the Guru, offering withdrawal of the siege, in return for Guru's evacuation from
Anandpur. The Guru refused to accept the offer, but many of his followers, suffering
from lack of food and other supplies, asked him to accept the proposal. As more and
more followers pressured the Guru to accept Ajmer Chand's offer, he sent a message to
Ajmer Chand offering to evacuate Anandpur, if the allied forces would first allow his
treasury and other property to be taken outside the city. The allied forces accepted the
proposal. The Guru, in order to test their sincerity, sent a caravan of loaded bullocks
outside the fort. However, the allied forces attacked the caravan to loot the treasure. To
their disappointment, they found out that the caravan carried no treasure. The Guru
then decided not to vacate Anandpur, and refused to accept any further proposals from
the allied forces.
Finally, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb sent a signed letter to the Guru,
swearing in name of Quran, that the Guru and his followers would be allowed a safe
passage if he decided to evacuate Anandpur. The Guru, hard pressed by his followers
and his family, accepted the offer, and evacuated Anandpur on 20
21 December 1705.
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