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Guru Tegh Bahadur - Childhood
Scared Painde KhanThe child "Tegh" was brought up like a royal prince. He had beautiful clothes to wear and best of food to eat. He grew up to be a healthy child, but as time passed he began to spend more and more time with himself, in meditation or in deep contemplation of something. He rarely went out of the house or played with boys of his age. He preferred peace ands isolation, and love listening to Shabads even though he could not understand their meaning. He became more and more absorbed in himself with time, and was often found in deep thought. Mother Nanaki noticed his solitary living, and confided to her husband about it. Guru Hargobind, however, assured her by telling her that Tegh was destined to become a great man, and this was his preparation for it. However got the opportunity to talk to him was astounded at vast knowledge the boy possessed. He told them that the main object of life was to carry out God's will, and lead a truthful life.

Even as a child, Tegh Bahadur could not bear the sight of suffering either of men or of animals. He had a very tender heart which melted easily at the slightest of reasons.

When he was five years old, he was sent to a Sikh school where they taught Gurbani (their religious scriptures) among other subjects. He was taught by Bhai Budha, who was not only the high priest but also man of great wisdom. Tegh Bahadur, due to his intelligence and keen interest in studies, soon won the heart of Bhai Budha. In no time, the boy had mastered history, mathematics and Punjabi. His father, Guru Hargobind, was aware of the importance of military training. He wanted to prepare Tegh Bahadur and his other friends so that they could face the unpredictable imperial attacks. He ensured that all the boys were given military training.

Guru Tegh Bahadur learnt quickly, and was soon proficient in the use of weapons like swords and dagger. He was also a very skilled horseman. On the other hand, he also took a very keen interest in poetry and art. He learnt various ragas, with complete dedication, and also composed several hymns which were included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Tegh Bahadur had a very tender heart which was full of compassion for the people. During this period of his growth he often remained silent and pensive. Very early in life he had realized that the world was transient and illusory in nature, and that the only true thing was the name of God which had the power to heal even the most aggrieved heart.

When Tegh Bahadur was eight years old, he underwent the baptism of the Charan Phul, The Guru's lotus feet, after which he was considered "initiated", and could become the rightful devotee of the true one. This proved to be a great experience for Tegh Bahadur since he was more his fathers disciple than his son. He studies their religious scriptures devotedly under his Guru, and gradually, understood the infinite meaning and philosophy of the Sikh faith.

The teachings of Guru Nanak influenced him a lot, and he imbibed from them the concept of equality of man and unity of God. His mother, Nanaki, also had a great influence on the development of his personality and character. She was his inspiration for most of hymns he wrote, during this period. Under the influence of the virtuous and powerful personality of his father, and the gentle qualities of his mother, Tegh Bahadur grew up into a complete human being.

Scared Painde KhanTegh Bahadur was very fond of his elder brother, Baba Atal Rai, and his playmate, Mohan. One day, Mohan was bitten by a snake in the middle of the night, and he died. Next morning, when Baba Atal Rai came to know of his death he immediately went up to the body of his friend, and persuaded it to rise. To the amazement of the all present, Mohan became alive again. When Guru Hargobind heard of the incident, he was furious with his son for inferring with God's work. Atal Rai realized his mistake, and sought his father's forgiveness but since he was angry at that moment, he refused. Within a few hours everyone heard of his sudden death, and the Guru's family was grief-stricken. Guru Hargobind consoled the people by saying that the immortality of Atal Rai was God's wish. His brother's death, however, was a shock to Tegh Bahadur. He did not speak to anyone for several days.

Tegh Bahadur was now thirteen years of age, and according to the customs of those times he was married to Gujariji, the daughter of Bhai Lal Chand and Bishen Kaur of Kartarpur.

At that time Shah Jahan was the Mughal Emperor. The Mughal army had twice been defeated by Guru Hargobind's men and was aching for revenge. An ex-general of Guru's army known as Painde Khan, who earlier had been dismissed by Guru Hargobind, went to Emperor Shah Jahan and instigated him against the Guru and his men. The emperor, already wanting to get even with the Guru at Kartarpur.

At this point Tegh Bahadur and his brother, Baba Gurditta, asked for permission to fight in the battle and it was granted. It was Tegh Bahadur's first battle, and he fought bravely with the enemy and destroyed them. Mother Nanaki, who was watching the battle, was very proud to see her brave and valiant son fighting for them. The battle was won and everyone praised Tegh Bahadur's bravery. Guru Hargobind was very pleased and proud with his son who had risen well to the occasion.

Royal Prince, Mother Nanaki, Guru Hargobind, Sikh School, Gurbani, Bhai Budha, Guru Granth Sahib, Charan Phul, Baba Atal Rai, Kartarpur, Shah Jahan, Mughal Emperor, Mughal Army, Emperor Shah Jahan
Next >>
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur - In the Reign of Terror
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur - Martyrdom
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur - The Sojourn
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur - The Pensive Years
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur - Bengal and Assam
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur - The Revelation
  • Guru Har Rai - The Guru's Coronation
  • Guru Har Rai - Preparing To Leave
  • Guru Har Rai - The People's Guru
  • Guru Har Rai - Amity With The Mughals
  • Next >>
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