Preaching’s of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji:  Path to Austerity

The Indian philosophy has widely been inter twined with religion, due to the prominence of religion in our country philosophy has thrived under it. Philosophy hadn’t existed independent of religion. It was passed through wise anecdotes, hymns, mantras, “dohe”, “baani” which were all hearsay yet their authenticity wasn’t the one in question, as it was the morals derived from said forms of communication which was important.

Before going to his preaching’s; Guru Tegh Bahadur was born on 18th April,1621 in Amritsar where he spent his youth. His parents were Guru Hargobind and his mother Nanaki. He had great influences surrounding him and created a plethora of skills ranging from a great equestrian, swordsman, artillery skills. He had accomplished both aspects of Sikhism miri and piri. Guru Tegh Bahadur composed 116 shabads and 15 ragas, and his teachings have been included in the Adi Granth. He believed in true austerity, for he preached to give up material possessions and our attachment to them, he believed to liberate ourselves we had to stop dealing in pesky emotions of love, lust, jealousy. To fraternize in the community was acceptable as to keep a bond.

He further propagated the philosophy brought forth by Guru Nanak Dev ji about the perceived reality in the sri guru granth sahib, the first baani written by Guru Nanak dev ji, in the religious text states that there exists a universal supreme being, who is the creator of the universe. H stated the creator possessed harmony, he was timeless and un-incarnated.

Guru Tegh Bahadur termed this world as the wondrous play of god, he showed that everyday someone gave birth and brought new life to the world and everyday people depart this world.  Our lives are transient we can’t hold on forever. We hold ourselves to be permanent even though we are undeniably not; hence we tend to get attached to material aspects of life and therefore give up on the idea of liberation.

“True Realization of the actual nature of this material world, its perishable, transitory and illusory aspects best dawns on a person in suffering.”(extract from India today)

Guru tegh Bahadur ji believed relation we work and work so hard for are the anchor keeping us attached to this world, we forget in the moments of company that we are however temporary and that the supreme being is the only one that would exist forever. This tether to the world makes us forget the maker of the world and after death the anchor is broken.

Guru Tegh Bahadur asserts that the purpose of human beings is to realize their origin. It was said that humans being lucky enough to have a rationale is so that we could reach the stage of self-realization. He also mentions that the realization to origin doesn’t come easy, as humans have inhibitions of love, lust, comradery, greed, materialism, ego. These are all hurdles stated as the gate keeper of stopping us from reaching self-realization. Only a mind who has managed to tread past these hurdles is the one able to reach liberation; a trait of such person is them being calm and balanced in the face of diversity.

Mind has been given significance in Sikhism and in the literatures of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

He wrote about our mind being the one unable to stay stable in any situation; having the willpower to harness and control our mind is the express way to enlightment. He compared our mind to a dog’s tail which is always wagging: our mind is always submerged in thoughts, always running, it is so dynamic in nature that if we manage to overpower it and stand still for a minute at peace it would do us great good.

The concept of liberation known as jiwan mukat in Sikhism is one of significance. He says the way to reach liberation is to search within, it is to give up on all the vices. We cannot find God in forests, temples, mountains; we have to look within ourselves and meditation is given as a medium of help to do so. A person is said to be jiwan mukat only when they are not influenced by events taking place around them, and are ready to give up human connection in search of salvation. They must assist others on this path after attaining self-realization

In this Age, liberation comes from the love of God (Naam). The Guru has revealed this secret. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib,831)

He signified the need of company of disciple people. People who were austere coming together as a community and meditating, singing hymns, and ballads under one guru who led them to the light of god.

The Guru taught us to separate our ego from our consciousness because it is the barrier between us and self-realization.

He was martyred on 11th November, 1675

Disclaimer: while writing I used a few resources for fact checking purposes


– Hriday Arora