CREDOS: Sikhism — II

and increasingly high profile of the community under Arjun’s leadership led to conflict with the Mogul emperor Jehangir, on whose orders Arjun was captured and imprisoned in Lahore. After being subjected to horrific torture with hot sand he died after succumbing to his injuries in 1606.

Arjun’s son Har Gobind succeeded as the sixth Guru, and under his leadership Sikhs took the first steps to actively defend themselves when increased Mogul pressure forced a retreat into the Himalayan foothills.

The standoff between Moguls and Sikhs continued until ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur, true to Guru Nanak’s teachings of tolerance, roused the Mogul emperor to new fury by defending the right of Hindus to worship in the manner of their choice. He was tortured and died a martyr in 1675.

The tenth and last Guru, Tegh Bahadur’s nine-year-old son Gobind Singh, grew to be a renowned warrior and, focusing on his father’s martyrdom, he welded the Sikhs into a distinctive and military effective community prepared to defend their egalitarian teachings as well as the rights of others. Founded in 1699 at Ananpur, it became known as the Khalsa, the community of ‘pure ones.’

Under his stewardship, the hymns and poems of Tegh Bahadur were added to the Adi Granth and instead of appointing a human successor he decreed that the scriptures should become the community’s final teacher, the Guru Granth. — Religions of the World