31. Martyrdom of Shri Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib Ji

Next morning, a large crowd gathered at Chandni Chowk to see the unique sacrifice of a Pir, whom all Hindus acknowledged to be their spiritual leader. Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur took His bath in a nearby well and recited the holy hymns. This well still exists and is situated near the back entrance to Gurdwara Sis Ganj. The Guru was then seated on a platform which had been erected for this occasion under a banyan tree, Qazi Abul Wahhab Borah then read the "fatwa." The executioner Jalaluddin of Samana stood nearby. The Guru requested Jalaluddin to strike the blow when He had finished the recitation of "Japji Sahib" (Sikh morning prayer) and when He bowed in reverence at the end. Accordingly, Jalaluddin struck the blow. The holy head flew into the lap of Bhai Jaita, who was standing nearby. He moved away swiftly towards Anandpur Sahib as ordained by his Master. The World had seen a miracle and the Mastery of the Sword at Delhi the like of which they had never seen before. The Guru performed this "supremely heroic act to uphold righteousness" on Thursday, the eleventh day of November 1675 A.D. or 1732 Bikrami a few minutes after the clock had struck nine. It is recorded in history that the martyrdom took place a little after sunrise. The authors were told by the late Mahant Gurbakhsh Singh of Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib that his grandmother, who had met S. Baghel Singh at Delhi had told him that the exact time of this martyrdom was 9.12 a.m. At the place where Guru Tegh Bahadur ji 'was martyred there now stands the magnificent shrine Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib. The Emperor had it announced in the Capital that the headless body of the "Pir of the Hindus" lies in Chandni Chowk. "He who wishes to cremate it may come forward and do so." At the same time he imposed a heavy guard around that area so that no Sikh or Hindu may come near it. There was mourning all around Delhi. For the Hindus, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji was their last hope; their gods had told them so. Even some God-fearing Muslims mourned and said that the Sultan had "not done well." They knew not that from each drop of the holy blood that fell on this day, there were to be born hundreds of thousands of Sikh martyrs, who would bring this mighty Moghul Empire on to its toes. The Guru had shown us that to defend one's principles one must be ready to give up one's life. This has ever since been the fundamental principle of Sikhism. "To accept death first, and to give up the false hope of life." This was the spirit with which Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Baba Deep Singh, Akali Phulla Singh and Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa fought. This was the philosophy which had the saffron flag of the Khalsa flying all over the Punjab within one generation after Guru Gobind Singh ji's ascent.