Martyrdom in Sikhism
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Martyrdom in Sikhism represents an important element of the faith. Sikh festivals are largely focused on the lives of the Gurus and Sikh martyrs. Their martyrdoms are regarded as instructional ideals for Sikhs, and have greatly influenced Sikh culture and practices. The Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev, is generally regarded as the first Sikh martyr.
Martyrdom in Sikh Belief
Martyrdom is a fundamental institution of the Sikh faith. The martyrdom of Guru Arjan in the 17th century is regarded as a key moment in Sikh tradition which has influenced Sikh practices and beliefs, helping define a deliberately-separate and militant Sikh community. The later martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who refused to convert to Islam in an effort to protect Hindu religious practice, is credited with making respect for freedom of conscience a key part of Sikh identity.
The concept of martyrdom was made explicitly part of Sikh teaching by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Prominent Sikh Martyrs
- Guru Arjan Dev, the 5th leader of Sikhism, martyred 30 May 1606.
- Guru Teg Bahadur, the 9th guru of sikhism, martyred on 11 November 1675. He is also known as "Hind Di Chadar" i.e. "the shield of India", suggesting that to save Hinduism,The Guru gave his life.
- Bhai Dayala is one of the Sikhs who was martyred at Chandni Chowk at Delhi in November 1675 on account of his refusal to accept Islam.
- Bhai Mati Das is one of the greatest martyrs in Sikh history,martyred at Chandni Chowk at Delhi in November 1675 to save Hindu Brahmins.
- Bhai Sati Das is one of the greatest martyrs in Sikh history,martyred along with Guru Teg Bahadur at Chandni Chowk at Delhi in November 1675 to save kashmiri pandits.
- Sahibzada Ajit Singh(1687–1705) the eldest of Guru Gobind Singh's four sons.
- Sahibzada Jujhar Singh (1691–1705), the second son of Guru Gobind Singh.
- Sahibzada Zorawar Singh was the third of Guru Gobind Singh's four sons.
- Sahibzada Fateh Singh was the youngest of Guru Gobind Singh's four sons.
- Banda Singh Bahadur was the Sikh Military Commander Appointed By Guru Gobind Singh.
- Singh, Kharak (1997). "Martyrdom in Sikhism". Sikhism, Its Philosophy & History. Chandigarh: Institute of Sikh Studies: 18.
- Fenech, Louis E. (2001). "Martyrdom and the Execution of Guru Arjan in Early Sikh Sources". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 121 (1): 20–31. doi:10.2307/606726.
- Singh, Pashuara; Fenech, Louis E. "The Miri-Piri Doctrine and the Khalasa". The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. Oxford University Press. p. 236. ISBN 9780199699308.