Wednesday, November 22, 2006

thanksgiving redefined




Sitting in the world where one Turkey gets pardoned so that scores of other Turkeys can be killed....where you hardly utter the word "thanks" during those midnite queues and early morning rush and push for a discount sale...... I was looking for something to redefine the "holidays" .. apart from the spilled over work of course
And then it struck.. my thanksgiving this year is dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur, whose martyrdom day falls on the 24th Nov (friday) this year.... (I think its a "optional" national holiday in India) .......

Here's a bit from swordoftruth , a portal that sadly doesn't seem to exist anymore

Aurangzeb decided to Islamize India as fast as possible, starting with Kashmir. He had a devil's brain and he devised all kinds of artifices to get his way. Writes Sir Jadu Nath Sarkar in his renowned five volume History of Aurangzeb: "In Kashmir, Hindus and Muslims used to intermarry, and the wife, whatever might have been her father's creed, was cremated or buried as her husband happened to be a Hindu or Islamite. But in October, 1634, Shah Jahan forbade the custom and ordered that every Hindu who had taken a Muslim wife must either embrace Islam and be married anew to her, or he must give her up to be wedded to a Muslim. This order was rigorously enforced."


The rise was to turn the Hindus into Muslims by virtue of political power. In any event, it was still a 'slow' process from Aurangzeb's point of view. He wanted to turn the world into a Koranic world of Muslims only and those who still did not opt for Islam, had no place in the kingdom.
'Aurangzeb ordered that every Hindu must become a Muslim under pain of death. The Hindus wanted a period of six months to consider the proposal, which was granted. Aurangzeb also issued a fiat that those who refused to be Mohammedans would be put to the sword and a wholesale order was issued to kill the Brahmins and collect their janoys or sacred threads, as proof of the slaughter.


Aurangzeb demanded that enough Kashmiri Pandits were to be slaughtered every day, so that their sacred threads weigh at least 1.25 maunds (46 kgs). The weight of a single thread is very small and on calculation, it was found out that at least 25,000 Kashmiri pandits had to be killed every day in order to fulfill the requirement of the 1.25 maunds of thread. Naturally, there was panic among the Pandits. They met Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandpur Sahib on May 25, 1675. They prayed to the Guru and said: "Our lot has become unbearable. You are rightly known as Hind ki Chader or Champion of the Hindus. We have been given six months' time in which to make our choice between Islam and death. That period is about to end...We have come to you for help, guidance and protection. O Champion of the Hindus!"


Naturally, the Guru was plunged into deep thought. He noticed the sad faces of the Brahmins. His young eight-year-old son, Govind Rai (the future Guru Gobind Singh) asked his father why these good men looked so worried? What has happened!

Continuing the rest of the story from a different source


"Guru ji, I see the acutely sad faces of the Sangat and you are silent and in deep thought. What is the problem?" asked Gobind Rai to his father. Gobind is about 9 years old at this stage.
Guru ji slowly turn to his son and explain the situation as concisely as possible.


"Baata (Son), this is sangat from Kashmir. They are Hindus who have been friends of Sikhs since the time of Guru Nanak. They have a very serious problem on their hands" said Guru ji.
Gobind Rai replied, "Pita ji, you are the Guru of the entire world ("Jagat Guru"). You will know of a solution to all problems"

"Baata, Emperor Aurangzeb has given them an ultimatum – If they do not become Muslims, he will kill them all", explained Guru ji.

Guru ji continued, "Some well-known Religion person ("Mahapurakh") will have to make a sacrifice to stop this butchery. We have to find a supreme soul who will die so as to awaken the sleeping consciousness of the people of Hind".

"Pita ji, there is an easy answer to this problem. You are the most spiritually aware person in whole of Hind. You can make that sacrifice", answered Gobind Rai.

Guru ji was pleased to hear these words as it confirmed that his son had reached a suitable age to become the next Guru, and that Guru ji's work on Earth had been completed.

Guru ji addressed the Pandits, "Go and tell Aurangzeb that if he can convert Guru Tegh Bahadar to Islam, they will all convert. Otherwise he should leave them alone"

The Pandits were delighted that a solution was found and duly informed Emperor Aurangzeb of the decision. Aurangzeb was delighted that by converting one person, he would without any further delay have the conversion of many 1000's to Islam. Accordingly he summoned his officers to arrest Guru Tegh Bahadar.


In the summer of 1675, the Guru, along with some of his companions were finally brought to Delhi and asked to convert to Islam or else face the penalty of death. Guru ji was also asked to perform a miracle. Guru Tegh Bahadur averred that he would rather sacrifice his life than give up his faith and his freedom or belief or perform a miracle. Thus, under Aurangzeb's orders, Guru ji and his companions were tortured. The Guru was chained and imprisoned in a cage and was tortured in the cruellest and the most inhuman ways for five long days. In order to terrorise him further into submission, one of his distinguished devotees (Bhai Mati Das) was sawn alive, another (Bhai Dyal Das) was boiled in the cauldron and the third (Bhai Sati Das) was roasted alive before the Guru.

Finally, the Guru himself was beheaded, under imperial warrant, in broad daylight, in the middle of a public square, the most prominent public place in India, called Chandni Chowk, of Delhi, on the charge that he was a stumbling block preventing the spread of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. The exact location of the beheading is marked by Gurdwara Sis Ganj in Delhi. His martyrdom was yet another challenge to the Sikh conscience. It was then realized that there could be no understanding between an insensate power imbrued with blood and a proud people wedded to a life of peace with honour. The sacrifice roused the Hindus from their passive silence and gave them the fortitude to understand the power that comes from self-respect and sacrifice. Guru Tegh Bahadur thus earned the affectionate title of "Hind-di-Chadar" or the Shield of India.

4 comments:

froginthewell said...

The Pandits were delighted that a solution was found

I don't quite see how that was a solution; because why would Aurangazeb agree to such a proposal?

Anonymous said...

inormative. but who will teach these lessons to Sikh community?


vamadeva

drisyadrisya said...

FITW, I donno if u read it carefully..and this is history. why did aurangzeb agree ? you must perhaps ask him.. Quoting again :

----------------------------

Guru ji addressed the Pandits, "Go and tell Aurangzeb that if he can convert Guru Tegh Bahadar to Islam, they will all convert. Otherwise he should leave them alone"


The Pandits were delighted that a solution was found and duly informed Emperor Aurangzeb of the decision. Aurangzeb was delighted that by converting one person, he would without any further delay have the conversion of many 1000's to Islam.

------------------------

drisyadrisya said...

sriman vamadeva

I am not exactly sure in what context you asked that. This incident I think should be known to every Sikh and Hindu, and to the entire world, for lessons from the past should help us in future

"na hi jnAnEna sadrsaM pavitramiha vidyatE"

but if you specifically meant in the context of any current social situation, please elaborate

~A