Sikh Gurus > Guru Teg Bahadur Ji

The Guru then reached Maldah where he stayed with a Sikh who was a confectioner. Thence he went to Murshidabad and next halt was at Dacca. There lived a devout masand, Bulaki Das whose mother had prepared a beautiful couch for the Guru. Knowing about her devotion, the Guru went to her residence. She was overjoyed and fell on his feet. He blessed her for her devotion. The Sikh inhabitants came in crowds to behold the Guru and to receive his instructions and benedictions. He asked them to build a dharamsal ( Gurdwara) in their city where God's praises should be sung.

Raja Ram Singh went to the Guru and said," The inhabitants of Kamrup and Assam became rebels against the rule of Delhi. The Emperor had recently sent Mir Jumla to subdue them but after some success, he died before reaching Dacca on his return journey. The Emperor has now ordered me to go and subdue the Kamrup country. If I conquer that country, it will be an addition to the Emperor's sovereignty; but if I am killed, the Emperor may annex my whole state of Rajputana. O true King, I have come to seek protection of thy holy feet."

The Guru replied," God's Name is the medicine for all diseases, so meditate continually on Name. Guru Nanak will assist you and you will conquer Kamrup."

Raja Ram Singh and the Guru left Dacca and reached Dhubri. The Guru encamped at Dhubri and Raja Ram Singh set out for the city of Rangmati on the right bank of the Brahamputra. Soon after the battle between Raja Ram Singh's army and the army of the king of Kamrup ensued. The decisive victory for the Raja's forces was not easy because of difficult mountainous terrain, climate and rainy season.

In addition to the attack, the king of Kamrup also began to make incantations and spells, and sent for all the women of his land who had magical skills, but none succeeded. After that he went to worship at the temple of goddess Kamakhsha. His mother- in-law saw in a vision, the goddess, who said," Guru Nanak has taken birth in this age. On his throne is now seated Guru Tegh Bahadur. Raja Ram Singh has become his disciple. The Guru is sovereign and nobody has the strength to oppose him. Go and make obeisance to him and ask for pardon otherwise your rule will perish."

The king proceeded to the camp of the Guru and after prostration he said that he had come by the order of the goddess to pray for pardon and protection. He begged the Guru not to allow him to fall under the power of the Muslims. The Guru replied that Raja Ram Singh was a very religious person and he should meet with him. He, however, told the king not to fear, his empire would be permanent.

The Guru sent for Raja Ram Singh and both of them were received by the king in a friendly manner. The Guru sat down placing the royal disputants on either side and effected a reconciliation. He putting his dagger in the ground declared," Let the territory on this side belong to the Emperor and the land on the other side belong to the king of Kamrup. Let both monarchs forget the enmity." Both sides agreed to the settlement and by the grace of the Guru serious bloodshed on both sides was avoided.

The Guru informed Raja Ram Singh that Guru Nanak had visited Dhubri and rendered it holy by his footsteps. He further asked that each soldier should bring five shieldfuls of earth to raise a tall mound in the memory of the founder of Sikh religion. A pavilion was erected at the top of the mound. The Guru spent a few more days there. Hearing his fame, the crowds came from far and near to behold him and also to receive religious instructions. Raja Ram of Assam, having heard Guru's praise, came to pay his homage. The Raja had no offspring and was desirous of a son. He brought his Ranis (queens) with him and after prostration beseeched the Guru," O true king, bring this sinking vessel to the shore." The Guru took off his signet ring and stamped its impression on the Raja's thigh and then said," The impression of my seal shall be on thy son's forehead. By this know it is Guru Nanak who hath mercifully granted thee offspring."

While in Assam the Guru also visited Cooch Behar, chander Bhanga, Kishen Ganj and Purnea.

While the Guru was at Dacca, a messenger arrived from Patna to inform him of the birth of his son. He was born on the seventh day of the light half of the month of Poh, Sambat 1723 (December 26, 1666) at Patna. Before his departure the Guru had directed his wife to name the child as Gobind Rai, who would be born in his absence. He wrote a letter of thanks to the Sikh Sangat of Patna for looking after his family.

There lived in the city of Kuhram a Muslim saint, Bhikan Shah. On the morning of Gobind Rai's birth, Bhikan Shah looked and bowed towards the east (towards Patna). His disciples asked why he bowed towards the east which was contrary to Muslim custom. He replied that there had just been born a spiritual and temporal king in the east who should establish true religion and destroy evil. Bhikan Shah set out for Patna along with his disciples to behold the young prince. When he reached Patna, the Muslim saint asked to have darshan (sight) of the newly- born child. When the infant was brought, Bhikan Shah bowed at the young prince's feet. He placed before him two earthen vessels covered with muslin, one containing milk and the other with water. The child touched both the vessels. Upon this Bhikan Shah thanked them for the opportunity given to him to behold the child and then prepared to leave. He was asked what he meant by the two vessels. Bhikan Shah explained that one vessel was marked for the Hindus and the other for the Muslims. He wanted to know whether he would favor the Hindus or the Muslims. As the child touched both the vessels, it meant that he should abide by both the Hindus and the Muslims and he should include both of them in his religion.

The Guru then left Assam early in 1670 and reached Patna via Bangaigaon, Siliguri and Kathiar. From there after giving instructions to his brother-in-law, Kirpal Chand left for Punjab. He travelled through Jaunpur, Ayudhya, Lucknow, Shah Jahanpur, Muradabad and reached Chack Nanaki (Anandpur). The Guru soon sent for his family who joined him later on at Anandpur.

As Aurangzeb ascended the throne of India by imprisoning his father and murdering his brothers, he decided to enlist the sympathies of the fanatical section of his co- religionists. His idea was to exterminate the idolatrous Hindus and to convert the whole of India to Islam. In order to achieve this objective he tried to go through four fundamental means to deal with the Hindus. Firstly he made peaceful overtures; secondly he offered money; thirdly he threatened punishment and lastly he tried to cause dissention among them. When all these measures failed, he resorted to forcible conversion. Orders were issued to the governors of all the provinces that they should destroy the schools and temples of the infidels and thereby put an end to educational activities as well as the practices of the religion of the Kafirs (non-Muslims meant Hindus). Many temples at Mathura and Banaras were destroyed. Even a Sikh temple in Buriya in Khizrabad pargna of Sirhind had been demolished and a mosque was built on the site. Some Sikhs, however, attacked the mosque and killed the priest. This type of incidents had become common occurrences. In order to force conversion to Islam, all possible means were adopted. In the field of taxation, the policy of discrimination was launched with great vigor. Jaziya and pilgrimage taxes were re-levied. Five percent custom duty was levied on the Hindus while the Muslims were charged only half of that.

The proselytizing zeal of the officials, with their campaign of religious persecution and their conversion at the point of the sword, had sent the wave of terror throughout the country. Sher Afghan Khan, the Emperor's viceroy in Kashmir, set about converting the Kashmiri Hindus by force and massacred those who opposed to embrace Islam. Even the Mohammadans who in any way assisted the Hindus, were mercilessly put to death. In extreme agony of too much slaughter, the Brahman priests of Kashmir prayed to their gods. It is said that the Kashmiri Brahmans heard a supernatural voice who told them," Guru Nanak is the spiritual king in this age. Guru Tegh Bahadur is now seated on his throne. Go to him, he will protect your honor and your religion."

A deputation of Kashmiri Pandits (Brahmans) came to Anandpur and among tears of agony, they narrated their tales of woe and suffering to the Master. The Guru's eight years old son appeared on the scene and asked his father why those people had tears in their eyes. The Guru replied," The Emperor of India is converting the Hindus to Islam at the point of the sword and thus there is no end to the misery of these people."

"What is the remedy, father?" asked the son.

The Guru replied," This requires sacrifice- sacrifice of a holy and supreme soul." His son responded," O dear father, who is more holy than you in this age? Go and offer yourself and save these people and their religion." On hearing this the Guru asked the Kashmiri Brahmans to go to the Emperor and make the following representation to him," Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru is now seated on the throne of the great Guru Nanak, who is the protector of faith and religion. First make t he Guru a Musalman and then all the people, including ourselves, will of our own accord adopt the faith of Islam."