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Indian History

Guru Tegh Bahadur

  • 22 Apr 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nank Dev and other Gurus of Sikhism, Sikhism.

For Mains: Ancient Indian History, Guru Teg Bahadur and his teachings, Sikhism.

Why in News?

The Prime Minister will give an address from the Red Fort to mark the 401st birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675).

Who was Guru Teg Bahadur?

  • Tegh Bahadur was born in Amritsar on 21st April 1621 to Mata Nanki and Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru, who raised an army against the Mughals and introduced the concept of warrior saints.
  • As a boy, Tegh Bahadur was called Tyag Mal because of his ascetic nature. He spent his early childhood in Amritsar under the tutelage of Bhai Gurdas, who taught him Gurmukhi, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Indian religious philosophy, while Baba Budha trained him in swordsmanship, archery, and horse-riding.
  • He was only 13 when he distinguished himself in a battle against a Mughal chieftain.
  • His writings are housed in the sacred text, ‘Guru Granth Sahib,’ in the form of 116 poetic hymns.
  • He was also an avid traveler and played a key role in setting up preaching centers throughout the Indian subcontinent.
  • During one such mission, he founded the town of Chak-Nanki in Punjab, which later became a part of Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib.
  • In the year 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed in Delhi under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

What is Sikhism?

  • The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple'. Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus.
  • Sikhs believe in one God (Ek Onkar). They believe they should remember God in everything they do. This is called Simran.
  • The Sikhs call their faith Gurmat (Punjabi: “the Way of the Guru”). According to Sikh tradition, Sikhism was established by Guru Nanak (1469–1539) and subsequently led by a succession of nine other Gurus.
  • The development of Sikhism was influenced by the Bhakti movement and Vaishnava Hinduism.
  • The Khalsa upholds the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a social conscience.
    • The Khalsa are men and women who have undergone the Sikh baptism ceremony and who strictly follow the Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions.
    • They wear the prescribed physical articles of the faith (5K’s: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a wooden comb), Kara (an iron bracelet), Kachera (cotton underpants) and Kirpan (an iron dagger).
  • Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc.
  • It preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God.
  • The Sikh Literature:
    • The Adi Granth is believed by Sikhs to be the abode of the eternal Guru, and for that reason it is known to all Sikhs as the Guru Granth Sahib.
    • The Dasam Granth is controversial in the Panth because of questions concerning its authorship and composition.
  • Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee:
    • Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, Punjab (India), an apex democratically elected body of Sikhs residing all over the world was established under a special Act of Parliament in 1925 to look after the religious affairs, cultural and historical monuments.
Ten Gurus of Sikh Religion
Guru Nanak Dev
(1469-1539)
  • He was the first guru of Sikh and the founder of Sikh religion.
  • He started the GURU KA LANGAR.
  • He was the contemporary of Babur.
  • Kartarpur corridor was commemorated on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Guru Angad
(1504-1552)
  • He invented the new script called Guru-Mukhi and popularized and expanded the system of Guru ka Langar.
Guru Amar Das
(1479-1574)
  • He introduced the ceremony of the Anand Karaj Marriage.
  • He abolished the custom of Sati and Purdah system among the Sikhs.
  • He was a contemporary of Akbar.
Guru Ram Das
(1534-1581)
  • He founded Amritsar in 1577 on the land granted by Akbar.
  • He started the construction of Golden Temple/Swarna mandir at Amritsar.
Guru Arjun Dev
(1563-1606)
  • He composed the Adi Granth in 1604.
  • He led to the completion of construction of Golden temple.
  • He was acclaimed as Shaheeden-de-Sartaj.
  • He was executed by Jahangir on charges of helping prince Khusrau.
Guru Hargobind
(1594-1644)
  • He led to the transformation of the Sikh Community into a Military community. He is known as “Soldier Saint”.
  • He led to the establishment of Akal Takht and fortified the Amritsar City.
  • He waged wars against Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
Guru HarRai
(1630-1661)
  • He was a man of peace thus devoted most of his life in maintaining peace with Aurangzeb and doing missionary work.
Guru Har Krishan
(1656-1664)
  • He was the youngest guru of all and was given the title of Guru at a very early age of 5.
  • He was summoned by Aurangzeb against anti-islamic blasphemy.
Guru Teg Bahadur
(1621-1675)
  • He founded Anandpur Sahib.
Guru Gobind Singh
(1666-1708)
  • He founded a warrior community known as Khalsa in 1699.
  • He introduced a new rite ”Pahul”.
  • He joined Bahadur Shah’s as a noble.
  • He was the last Sikh Guru in human form and he passed the Guruship of Sikhs to the Guru Granth Sahib.

Source: IE

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