1621 – May 1st – Birth of the Guru

Entering the world in the city of Amritsar during the early morning hours of the day, Guru Tegh Bahadur was born on May 1st, 1621 to Mata Nanaki and Guru Hargobind. He was the youngest in the family, having four elder brothers [Baba Gurditta, Suraj Mal, Ani Rai and Atal Rai], and one elder sister, Bibi Viro. When the news spread across the city, large groups of Sikhs came running, some were singing, some throwing flowers in joy but most were frozen in awe looking at the young Guru Tegh Bahadur.

1633 – February 3rd wedding of Guru Tegh Bahadur, 9th day of faghan

Guru Tegh Bahadur got married at a young age in Kartarpur to Mata Gujari, the daughter of Laal Chand and Bishan Kaur. People from around the entire subcontinent came to attend the wedding of Guru Hargobind’s youngest son, Guru Tegh Bahadur. The wedding party in this piece includes Guru Hargobind, Baba Gurditta, Suraj Mal, Bibi Viro, Bhai Gurdas, and Bidhi Chand.

1644 – August – Guru Tegh Bahadur anointed Guru in Bakala

Guru Tegh Bahadur was anointed Guru in the city of Bakala after Makhan Shah Lubana announced to the Sikh congregation that he had found the rightful Guru. The prophetic saying of Guru Harkrishan “The Guru, Baba [grandfather] resides in Bakala”, was Makhan Shah’s guiding principle, which led him to Bakala where countless other charletons had gone to set up camp, declaring themselves the Guru. Makhan Shah saw past all the fake Gurus when seeing the undistributed one-pointed focus of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

1666 – Travels into Assam

While Guru Tegh Bahadur’s adolescence and early adult life was spent in isolated meditation, upon attaining the title of Guru, he traveled extensively across the Asian subcontinent spreading Guru Nanak’s mission far and wide, going as far east as Assam. The Guru spent his time dedicated to philanthropy, building wells in remote villages and visiting places of pilgrimage to set up communal kitchens.

1672 – Travels in Kashmir

The name and reputation of Guru Tegh Bahadur spread far and wide as a negotiator of peace after the Guru brokeraged a peaceful resolution between Raja Ram Singh and Raja Chakardwaj in Assam, India, preventing a large war. When groups of Pandits from Kashmir felt the unyielding oppression enforced upon them by their Mughal overlords, they sought the refuge of Guru Tegh Bahadur who decided to intercede on their behalf, going to Delhi to confront the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

1675 – death of Guru Tegh Bahadur in Delhi

The vicious rule of Aurangzeb is immortalized by its cruel action toward Guru Tegh Bahadur, who attained Shahidi [martyrdom], which in Sikh tradition is remembered as the reason for the unraveling of the Mughal Empire. The Guru’s compassionate and selfless act, coming to the defense of another faith group, was inspiration for the Sikh community to always defend the helpless and poor, regardless of caste, creed or religion. The Guru and his brave Sikhs, laid down their life instead of their faith.