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Sunday, 12 January 2014 11:37

Guru Arjan Dev Martyrdom

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Since 1606, on this day the Sikhs have commemorated the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru and the first Sikh Martyr. 

Up to this point all the Sikh Gurus had taught a message of

 

compassion, love, dedication, hard work, worship of one God and the commitment to peace and harmony for all people. 

The Sikhs did not associate with weapons or violence.  

While Guru Arjan was the Sikh leader, thousands of people had began to follow the Sikh teachings.  Even Hindus and those who had converted to or been born as Muslims went to Govindwal (the centre of the Sikhs during the late 1500s) where they accepted the Sikh religion.  

The Muslim leader Akbar was tolerant of the Sikh religion, but when he died in 1605, his son Jahangir, a fundamentalist Muslim, wanted to turn the whole of Hindustan (a kingdom in Northwest India) into an Islamic State.  

Some Hindu leaders had seen their power base rapidly disappearing because of the influence of Guru Arjan.   These Hindu leaders joined the Muslims who wanted to convince Jahangir to arrest Guru Arjan and end the Sikh religion.  Jahangir found reasons to make baseless allegations against the Guru.  

In May 1606, Guru Arjan Dev was arrested, brought to Lahore and severely tortured.  He was refused food, drink and sleep.  He was made to sit on a burning hot plate while red hot sand was poured over his head and body.  He was sewn up in a fresh cow hide. 

A friend of Guru Arjan Dev tried to intervene, but Guru Arjan Dev told him not to interfere with the "Will of the Almighty".

After several days, Guru Arjan Dev was allowed to take a cooling bath in the nearby river, Ravi. While thousands of people watched, the Guru entered the river, never to be seen again. This happened on the 16th May 1606. 

Because of these incidents, the Sikhs became courageous soldiers.

Read 930 times Last modified on Friday, 14 February 2014 07:53
Elsabe Smit

Elsabe Smit is a well-known author, clairvoyant, and public speaker.

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