Saturday(1 May 2021) marks the 400th Prakash Purba of Guru Teg Bahadur and this is the reason why Narendra Modi Ji bowed before Guru Teg Bahadur Ji on this day.
The peerless Indian prime minister Narendra Modi Ji acknowledged one of the bravest and widely respected personalities Guru Teg Bahadur ji on his Prakash Purba. The term Prakash Purba or Guru Purba is derived from Sanskrit meaning festival, and the word guru (meaning teacher) is attached to it. Guru Teg Bhadur was the 9 of 10 gurus(teachers) of the Sikhs.
Narendra Modi ji offered his prayers at Sis Ganj Sahib. He said,
“We can never forget the life, ideals, and supreme sacrifice of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji.”– Narendra Modi
Our Prime Minister greeted the nation on Prakash Purab and laid emphasis on how his life provides strength and motivation to many. Modi ji pointed out how this historic occasion is a spiritual privilege and national duty as well. His shrine, the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, located in New Delhi is frequented on this auspicious occasion by numerous devotees.
Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2020 to form a national level committee for the systematic organization of the 400th Prakash Purab celebrations scheduled in April 2021. He highlighted that this Great Guru held a special place in the country’s history.
On the eve of 400th Prakash Parv of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha shared his thoughts,
“Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s martyrdom is unique in the history of mankind. Guruji made supreme sacrifice for upholding the principles of freedom of conscience, moral values, dignity, and religious freedom which will continue to inspire the generations to come to dedicate themselves for the service of others.”– Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha
“Guruji fought for the helpless and the weak and offered new light of knowledge, which taught us to put our lives into meaningful service for the prosperity of society. I urge the people to imbibe the spirit of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s noble teachings and philosophy and follow the path shown by Guruji to make human service a natural part of our lives for building an inclusive society.”-Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha
The Lt Governor also said,
“Today, in this tie of Covid pandemic, when I see the youth helping others, the passion of doctors, nursing staff, and the dedication of the frontline health workers, it reminds me of the moral values shown by Guruji.”– Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha
Who was Guru Teg Bahadur?
Acknowledging the amount of respect and glory the Sikh guru received, it is sure to raise a question as to who Guru Teg Bahadur was and the reason everyone especially why Narendra Modi Ji bowed before guru teg bahadur ji on this day. In the later part, we will give you a quick tour of his life and the reason why the 9th Sikh guru is so famous.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth of the ten Gurus who significantly contributed to the flowering of the Sikh religion. He was a prolific Sikh leader who was born in Amritsar– the citadel of Sikhism- in the year 1621. At first, he was known as Tyaga Mal and was later renamed Tegh Bahadur. This was owing to the extraordinary valor he exhibited in the fight against their perceived foes, that is, the Mughals.
He voiced the right of the people to be able to profess and practice the faith without any hindrance. He made several sacrifices to uphold religious freedom, and was also called, ‘Hind di Chaadar.’
Quotes by Guru Teg Bahadur
Out of a plethora of quotes Guru Teg Bahadur enunciated, let us look into a few more of his quotes which will prove insightful in every walk of life.
“Give up your head but forsake not those whom you have undertaken to protect. Sacrifice your life, but relinquish not your faith.”
“One who vanquishes his ego and beholds the Lord as the Sole Doer of all things, that person has attained ‘Jiwan Mukti’ (is liberated while living), know this as the real truth, says Nanak“
True Realisation of the actual nature of this material world, its perishable, transitory and illusory aspects best dawns on a person in suffering
O saints, renounce the Ego, and always flee from lust, wrath and evil company. One should consider pain and pleasure, honour and dishonour the same. One should renounce both praise and blame and even the search for salvation. This is a very difficult path and rare is a (Gurmukh) pious person who knows how to tread it.
For whom praise and dispraise are the same, and on whom greed and attachment have no effect. Consider him only enlightened whom pain and pleasure do not entrap. Consider such a person saved.
If the hands, feet, or body are covered with dust, they are cleansed by washing them with water. if clothes are made unclean, by use of soap they are washed of impurity. If the buddhi (intellect) is defined by sin, love of the Name will purify it.
He is the epitome of sacrifice and ideals. He was full of compassion for the impoverished. His important works comprise 116 shabads, 15 ragas and 782 compositions. These deal with a wide spectrum of aspects like human relationships, body, and mind, service to mankind, demise, dignity, intricate human relationships.
He composed hundreds of hymns which are compiled in the Guru Granth Sahib. He was a great scholar; learned in the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Puranas. He possessed knowledge and skills in archery and horsemanship. He aided in the construction of Sikh temples in various parts of the country in the course of the Mughal rule.
His attributes that act as a source of our inspiration
Guru Teg Bahadur ji is remembered for being a chivalrous warrior, and for his fearlessness in the face of several adversities faced during the reign of the Mughals. Not only did he strive hard to safeguard religious freedom but also lived his life in austerity. He also brought to light that the nature of the material world is transient and perishable and those who get entangled in the illusory aspects are bound to suffer.
Bollywood Movies based on the life of guru teg bahadur ji
Indian cinema is never too late to make movies on the lives of popular personalities. So is the case of guru teg bahadur as well. There aren’t many scripts written or movies filmed based on his life. The primary reason being that Sikhism does not promote idol worship and making a movie where someone is shown to be God-like could promote idol worship. In the movies that are made, extra care has been taken so as not to idolize Guru Teg Bahadur ji in any way. Following are the few most popular movies based on the life of guru teg bahadur:
The Stillness of Guru Teg Bahadur: is the latest animation released on the occasion of his Prakash Purba. this is a short animation developed by SikhNet.com and features the life of Guru Teg Bahadur.
Dharam Di Chaadar: the two-hour-long movie produced by Sunheri Virsa production back in 2003 depicts the immense sacrifices and infinite courage to dare oppose the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb in order to protect the faith of non-muslims.
Chaar Sahibzaade: is not entirely based on the life of Guru Tegh Bahadur but the story revolves around the lives of the children of the 10th Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh— Fateh Singh Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Jorawar Singh, and Jujhar Singh.
Impact of the Pandemic on the Prakash Utsav of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji
Celebrations took place to a certain extent in spite of the lurking threat of the raging pandemic in Prayagraj where the gurudwara ‘Pakki Sangat’ is situated. The Guru himself visited this gurudwara in the 17th century which is why it is considered to be holy among the Sikh community. This occasion was celebrated by the main devotees by maintaining the covid protocols while the rest of them offered their prayers from their homes themselves.
According to Amarjeet Sing, the corporator of Preetam Nagar locality said, “Although the day bears special significance for all of us but because of the restrictions, we sung Ardras from our homes and prayers at Gurudwaras were offered by the pujari.”
Remembering Guru Teg Bahadur today
We pay homage to the legend by erecting several educational institutions viz schools, colleges, and a range of hospitals to serve people as he did. Some of the famous institutions include:
Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology is closely associated with his name. This private engineering college was set up in 1999 by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management and was approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital is situated in Kolkata, Delhi and many such places across India.