Guru Tegh Bahadur

The ninth Guru of Sikhism

Guru Tegh Bahadur (1 April 1621 – 24 November 1675), revered as the ninth Nanak, was the ninth of ten Gurus who founded the Sikh religion and the leader of Sikhs from 1665 until his beheading in 1675. Tegh Bahadur continued in the spirit of the first guru, Nanak; his 115 poetic hymns are in the text Guru Granth Sahib. Tegh Bahadur resisted the forced conversions of Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam, and was publicly beheaded in 1675 on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi for refusing to convert to Islam.


  • This is indeed the blessing of Vedas and Puranas, that you may meditate in the name of Hari.
    • Guru Granth Sahib (original): Ang 220.
  • Bring the offerings , an embroidered dress and six oxen to present to Mata Ji on the occasion of Diwali along with the entire congregation . Take Mata Ji's command to be the command of the Guru. The congregation shall be blessed.
    • Guru Tegh Bahadur on offerings during Diwali. Hukamnamas of Guru Tegh Bahadur: A Historical Study - Page 106 Sabinderjit Singh Sagar · 2002


  • One who is not perturbed by misfortune, who is beyond comfort, attachment and fear, who considers gold as dust. He neither speaks ill of others nor feels elated by praise and shuns greed, attachments and arrogance. He is indifferent to ecstasy and tragedy, is not affected by honors or humiliations. He renounces expectations, greed. He is neither attached to the worldliness, nor lets senses and anger affect him. In such a person resides God.
    •  Guru Tegh Bahadur, Sorath 633 (Translated by Gopal Singh), Tegh Bahadur (Translated by Gopal Singh) (2005). Mahalla nawan: compositions of Guru Tegh Bahādur-the ninth guru (from Sri Guru Granth Sahib): Bāṇī Gurū Tega Bahādara. Allied Publishers. pp. xxviii–xxxiii, 15–27. ISBN 978-81-7764-897-3.
  • Listen All! Said Tegh Bahadur: Those who stick to their Dharma are called brave. I know my Hindu Dharma to be the best. How can I forsake that which is very dear to me? It (Hindu Dharma) gives immense joy in this world and the next. Even life is trivial compared to honor. The fool whose intellect is corrupted, That idiot alone will forsake it. I will endure harm to establish Hindu Dharma in this world. It will never be destroyed even if you try.
    • Attributed in Sri Gur Pratap Prakash written between 1835-1843 CE by Kavi Santokh Singh [1] [2]
  • My answer is that I am a Hindu and I love Hindu dharma. How can anyone destroy it? It provides happiness both in this world as well as in the other world. There is no other religion like it. Only a deranged person or a fool would leave it to become vile. Hindu dharma would remain in the world for ever. It is not going to be destroyed by your efforts.
    • Attributed to Guru Tegh Bahadur by Kshitish Vedalankar: Storm in Punjab, p.178. Tegh Bahadur’s Hindi reply to Aurangzeb when he was asked to become a Muslim.
  • How can I disgrace the Hindu Dharma, so dear to my heart?
    • Attributed to Guru Tegh Bahadur by V. D. Savarkar, in his Essentials of Hindutva, 1923. [3]
  • Aurangzeb: Hinduism is a false religion. It allows idol worship, it does not teach Tauhid (unicity). Therefore, Hindus will be punished in hell. I pity them and therefore I wish that all should be converted to Islam. It is Allah's wish that there should be only one religion, Islam. If the Hindus accept Islam they will be rewarded with wealth, high offices and land grants. In that case you will be able to retain your leadership, have many more followers and be a renowned priest of Islam which is the only true religion on earth. O Guru, accept my invitation to embrace Islam and you shall get whatever your heart's desire may be.
    Guru Tegh Bahadur: O Emperor, thou and I and all people are God's and so are all the religions which acknowledge God. If it were His Will that there should be only one religion in the world he would not have allowed other religion to exist side by side at the same time. There is none to dispute His Will. Is there not more than one road leading to Delhi, and more than one gate to enter the capital? O, Emperor you are merely a labourer and not a true servant ofjthe Lord. You work for your selfish ends, worldly achievements, establishment of your rule, to enslave human beings to your will. And all this you wish to do in the name of religion. Even if you perform namaz, fasting, read the Quran and other things enjoined by the law, yet your are a labourer, for you do all this for reward, to secure a place in paradise. Islam is resignation to the Will of the God, and not to wish worldly things here and heaven after death.
    Aurangzeb: Remember, I am only obeying God's orders in converting all to Islam.
    Guru Tegh Bahadur: I know not whether you imagine that you are carrying out God's command or merely wish to hide the crimes committed to satisfy your greed and desire for power under the cloak of religion. Remember, conversion is not carrried out by force or threats or by bribes. Conversion is a thing that depends on the faith of the heart. Why did not the uncle of the Prophet become a convert to Islam? You say your religion does not allow idol worship in any form. Then whfere is the justification to enjoin a kind of worship to be offered to the black stone of Kaaba? O, King, you speak of unicity but you do not know what that means. All the religion believe in the unicity of God. The meaning of unicity doe's not end here. Remember when the self is eliminated that duality can disappear. Thus alone can one believe Tawhid. "
    • Attributed to Guru Tegh Bahadur in Guru Tegh Bahadur Background And Supreme Sacrifice page 75ff [4]
  • Guru Har Rai Ji had two sons, Guru Har Kishan Ji and Ram Rai Ji. Then, guru-ship was given to Har Kishan. After him, guru Tegh Bhahdur became the guru. By caste Khatri Sodhi Sahib Ji of Kaushish gotra, worshipper of Naina Devi and a native of Vatan ( Suba ) Lahore. Bhoj Raj Ji the prohit of Shri Prag Raj ( Tribeni / Allahabad ), whosoever from the line of the Sodhis and a Sikh of the guru, visiting ( Prayag ) will honour him ( Bhoj Raj prohit ), he will be blessed. Signed Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.
    • Indian History Congress, Proceedings - Volumes 1-2; Volume 39 - Page 434 · 1978 "A study of the Panda Vahis" by Sikh historian Madanjit Kaur (Indian History Congress 1978).

Quotes about Guru Tegh Bahadur

  • This new community, the Khalsa Panth, remained an integral part of the Hindu social and religious system. It is significant that when Tegh Bahadur was summoned to Delhi, he went as a representative of the Hindus. He was executed in the year 1675. His son who succeeded him as guru later described his father’s martyrdom as in the cause of the Hindu faith, ‘to preserve their caste marks and their sacred thread did he perform the supreme sacrifice’. The guru himself looked upon his community as an integral part of the Hindu social system.
    • Khushwant Singh: Many Faces. quoted in Elst, K. (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. New Delhi: Voice of India. Ch. 8
  • [Aurangzeb] summoned the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur (1664-1675 A.D.), to the imperial seat at Delhi and martyred him in cold blood on his refusal to embrace Islam. Some followers of the Guru who had accompanied him were subjected to inhuman torture and torn to pieces. This was as it were a final signal that there was something very hard at the heart of Islam's heart which the Gurus had tried to soften with their teachings of humanism and universalism. Sikhism had to accept the challenge and pick up the sword in defence of its very existence.
    • Swarup, Ram, & Goel, S. R. (1985). Hindu-Sikh relationship. (Introduction by S.R. Goel)
  • The Sikh Gurus Tegh Bahadur, beheaded by Aurangzeb in 1675 for refusing to convert, and his son Govind Singh, who founded the military Khalsa order and whose four sons were killed by the Moghul troops, are very popular in Hindutva glorifications of national heroes'. Their pictures are routinely displayed at functions of the RSS and its affiliates, and their holidays celebrated, e.g.: 'Over 650 branches of Bharat Vikas Parishad observe Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day'.
    Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom in 1675 was of course in the service of Hinduism, in that it was an act of opposing Aurangzeb’s policy of forcible conversion. An arrest warrant against him had been issued on non-religious and nonpolitical charges, and he was found out after having gone into hiding; Aurangzeb gave him a chance to escape his punishment by converting to Islam. Being a devout Muslim, Aurangzeb calculated that the conversion of this Hindu sect leader would encourage his followers to convert along with him. The Guru was tortured and beheaded when he refused the offer to accept Islam, and one of his companions was sawed in two for having said that Islam should be destroyed.... He was not a Sikh defending Hinduism, but a Hindu of the Nanakpanth defending his own Hindu religion...
  • In northern India, Gurdwara Sisgunj in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, stands witness to Aurangzeb's idea of punishment to non-Muslims. Here the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur was called upon to embrace Islam, and on his refusal was tortured for five days and then "beheaded on a warrant from the emperor" (December 1675).
    • Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 3
  • The Guru defended the Hindu religion and gave the message of universal communion.
    • PM Narendra Modi, December, 2020 [5][6]
  • Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s life epitomised courage and compassion. On his Shaheedi Diwas, I bow to the great Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and recall his vision for a just and inclusive society,
    • PM Narendra Modi, December, 2020[7][8]
  • This morning, I prayed at the historic Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, where the pious body of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji was cremated. I felt extremely blessed. I, like millions around the world, am deeply inspired by the kindnesses of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji.
    • — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 20, 2020 [9] [10]
  • It is the special Kripa of the Guru Sahibs that we will mark the special occasion of the 400th Parkash Parv of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji during our Government’s tenure. Let us mark this blessed occasion in a historic way and celebrate the ideals of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji.
    • — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 20, 2020 [11] [12]
  • “It is well known in this world that we are the grandchildren of Guru Tegh Bahadur who went to Delhi and got himself beheaded rather than forsake his Dharma. Now, this group of Turks (Muslims) have threatened us with death but this Dharma will not go away. We will not die merely for fear of Turks. We will remain Hindus till death. Time devours everyone one day. Respected brother, reflect that for this life of four days, why should we lose our Dharma?”
    • Statement by a son of Guru Gobind Singh. Attributed in Panth Prakash of Giani Gian Singh (1822-1921 CE) Cited in Sukhlal Updeshak (1926), p. 93. [13]
  • My father travelled towards the east and took the holy dip at several places of pilgrimage. When he reached the Triveni Sangam, he spent several days there performing charity and many meritorious acts. It is there that I appeared (in my mother’s womb) and then I took physical birth later in Patna.
    • Guru Gobind Singh in his autobiography Bachitar Natak included within the Dasham Granth. Bachitar Natak 7.1-2ab. [14]
  • The Lord saved his Tilak and Janeau He did a great sacrifice in this Kali (yuga).... For Dharma, he sacrificed himself.... With the departure of Tegh Bahadur The world was full of grief. Hai Hai Hai (sighs of sorrow) filled the entire world. Jai Jai Jai (shouts of victory and joy) filled the realm of the Devas (Heaven)
    • Guru Gobind Singh describing his father’s martyrdom in the Bachitar Natak: 5.13-16 [15]
  • At the end of the rainy season, Mata Bassi, grand- mother of Guru Har Krishan, led a sangat from Delhi to Bakala. She brought with her the tokens of succession - five piece and a coconut consecrated by Guru Har Krishnan... On the evidence of the Bhatt Vahi Talaudā Parganā Jind, Guru Tegh Bahadur was formally anointed Guru on Bhadon Amavas 1721 BK / 11 August 1664. Bhai Gurditta applied the saffron mark to his forehead. The assembled Sikhs paid their homage and made offerings.
    • About the rite when Guru Tegh Bahadur was anointed Guru. Harbans Singh: Guru Tegh Bahadur · 1982. Sterling Publishers.
  • He suffered martyrdom for the sake of his faith.
    • From Govind’s poem about his father’s martyrdom. quoted for example in Founder of the Khalsa: The Life and Times of Guru Gobind Singh Amardeep S. Dahiya · 2014

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