“The month of December holds heavy for me. While the world celebrates Christmas, December is a month truly exemplifying the concept of Chardi Kala or “eternal optimism” in the Sikh Faith. It is around the month of December in which The 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh was born and the month in which some of his children were born, yet it’s the same month in which all his children, mother, and his father attained shaheedi (martyrdom.) Today is the Shaheedi Divas of Guru Gobind Singh’s father, the 9th Guru- Guru Teg Bahadur. He was beheaded in Delhi for defending the rights of Kashmiri Hindus wanting to practice their faith and refusing to convert to Islam. Upon being brought to Delhi, Guru Teg Bahadur was given the option to help convert the Hindus and himself convert or face death. He chose death, and was beheaded by the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. This event led to him being named “Jag Ki Chadar” or “Shield of Humanity.” Also martyred with him in Delhi were fellow Sikhs, Mati Das, Dyal Das, and Sati Das. Sawed in half, boiled to death, and wrapped in cotton and lit on fire. All chose death over conversion. Gurdwara Sis Ganj in Delhi marks the spot of their shaheedi. A nine year old Gobind was made Guru, and the rest is history. This is our lineage. These are our heroes. They led by action, were unshakeable in their conviction- and it is in their image that I choose to navigate this toxic world- because as hard as it may be for be a Sikh today- it is nothing in comparison to my ancestors. Living in their image is the least I can do. ✊🏾”.
(words in caption: @jasjitsingh_d