ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ਼ ਬਹਾਦੁਰ
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ਼ ਬਹਾਦੁਰ) (Wednesday, April 18, 1621 – Wednesday, November 24, 1675), revered by the Sikhs as Srisht-di-Chadar (Protector of humanity), was the ninth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He had become Guru on 16 April, 1664, following the footsteps of his grand-nephew and the eighth Guru, Guru Har Krishan Ji.
A poet, a thinker, and a warrior, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji carried forward the light of sanctity and divinity of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the subsequent Sikh Gurus. His spiritual writings, detailing varied themes such as, the nature of God, human attachments, body, mind, sorrow, dignity, service, death, and deliverance, are registered in the form of 116 poetic hymns in the sacred scripture, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. To spread the message of Sikhism, the Guru traveled extensively through the Indian subcontinent, setting up several new preaching centers. He founded the town of Chak-Nanki in Punjab, later enlarged by the tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, into the city of Sri Anandpur Sahib.
In May 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was approached by Hindu Pandits from the Kashmir region, seeking the Guru’s intercession against the forced conversions of Hindus to Islam by the Mughal rulers of India. For supporting the Hindu Pandits by resisting these forced conversions, and for himself refusing to convert to Islam, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji was publicly executed via beheading at the imperial capital of Delhi on the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb. Today, Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib stand at the sites of beheading and cremation of Guru Ji’s body. Along with Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, three other Sikhs, Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das, and Bhai Dyal Das, were also executed.
On Guru Teg Bahadur Ji’s supreme sacrifice to champion fundamental human rights for all, his son, the tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, wrote: