1. Born as Tyag-Mall (Renunciator-Master), eventual Nanak IX became Tegh-Bahadar (Sword-Warrior) for bravely shining at the battle of Kartarpur against Mughal Imperialism along with his father Guru Harigobind Sahib, who defeated Emperor Shah Jahan’s general Painde Khan.
2. Amidst leadership confusion, Baba Makhan Shah Lubana discovered the Guru via his personal relationship and declared to the world: “I found the Guru” at Baba Bakala when imposter Gurus were confusing and preying on the masses.
3. Contributed 59 Sabads (verses) in 15 rags (musical modes) and 59 Saloks (poetic praise) to Guru Granth Sahib, which Sikhs lovingly recite; all revelations are in Braj language inscribed in Gurmukhi script.
4. Masands with state patronage didn’t allow the Ninth Sovereign to enter Sri Harimandar Sahib Complex and installed a parallel leadership; Sikh women of Amritsar showed solidarity with the Guru. Dhirmal hired a hitman Shihan to murder the Guru; the Guru’s shoulder graced the bullet.
5. Traveled extensively beyond Panjab, including to Assam, where the Guru forged a peace between warring forces of Raja Ram Singh of Amber aligned with Emperor Aurangzeb and Raja Chakardwaj of Ahom.
6. Bought the land of Makhowal village to establish an alternative to masand-infested Sri Amritsar Jiu, named the city Chakk Nanaki which became the inaugural site of the Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib Jiu.
7. Confronted Iftikhar Khan of Kashmir, who was forcefully converting Hindu Pandits with ISIS-adopted Takfiri and Jizya doctrines; the Guru in dialogue with his pre-teen son and eventual Nanak X, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, took on the religious and political hegemony. Beyond Voltaire and the European Enlightenment for the Guru lived: Even in dissent, I will die protecting your rights to live the way you want to live.
8. State tortured and martyred three companions of the Guru: Bhais Mati, Sati, and Dayal were sawed, burned, and boiled, respectively. Aurangzeb ordered Guru’s beheading, nature responded, clouds moved over Chandani Chowk in Delhi, dust storm brewed, rain followed. The Guru “gave his head, but not his conviction.”
9. State paraded the headless body in Delhi and wouldn’t allow the cremation. Bhai Lakhi Shah brought the body to his mansion and offered it to the fire in memory of the Guru – this then became Gurduara Rakab Ganj, Delhi. Bhai Jaita brought the head to the Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, for the head belongs to the Guru. It was offered to the Panjab’s five elements – this then became Gurduara Sis Ganj, Sri Anandpur Sahib Jiu.
10. Guru is “srisati di chadar” (Protector of Humanity) as per Chandra Sain Sainapati’s (court-poet of Guru Gobind Singh) recordings in Sri Gur Sobha. Beware of revisionism: Hind-di-chadar and dharam-di-chadar reduce the Guru’s domain from global to local, political-spiritual to merely religious.
Daily Sikh ardas (collective supplication): Recalling [Guru] Teghbahadar’s life and legacy equals possessing the nine treasures of the world, which in Sikh ethos is Nam, Identification with the 1Force at an intense and personal level!