Kashmiri Pandits and the Great Sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur

Kashmiri Brahmans came to Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandpur in May 1675 to seek the assistance and protection against atrocities of the Mughal leader, Aurangzeb. Kirpa Ram led this group of Kashmiri Brahmans driven to dire straits by the persecution by the state. They had faced stiff taxes, atrocities, cruelty under the Muslim Mughal Governor of Kashmir. Honour of their daughters and sisters was being lost and they were losing their religion to the fanatic zeal and proselytizat ion activities of Islamic crusaders.

Iftikhar Khan, Governor of Kashmir (1671-75) was a harsh man and was forcibly converting people to Islam. Kashmiri Brahmans asked Guru Tegh Bahadur for a solution. He replied – “Such activities can only be stopped by the sacrifice of a great person”. Just then, the 8-year-old son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Gobind Rai (Later Gobind Singh) came along and saw his father in deep thought.

He enquired about the reason and offered a possible solution by saying, “Who else is greater than you, O’ father”. Guru Tegh Bahadur knew immediately about his mission and Dharma. He said to the Kashmiri Brahmans – “Go tell Aurangzeb that if they can convert your Guru, then you will all become Muslims”.

(Excerpts from an article on : sikhiwiki.org)