Bhai Dayala was one of the Sikhs that accompanied Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib when they were tortured and executed by the muslims at the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb. The other two were Bhai Mati Dass and Bhai Sati Dass.
Aurangzeb was determined to convert the entire Hindu population of India into muslims and join islam by force. He was immensly pleased by the message of Guru Teg Bahadur received by him through Kashmiri Brahmins and Governor of Lahore. He thought, it would not be difficult to deter the Ninth Guru of the Sikhs to shun the idea of coming to the rescue of Hindus from his tyrant methods of conversion. He was confident that his learned Kazis and scholars of Islam would easily persuade the Sikh Guru to become a musalmaan. The learned Kazis questioned the Guru in taking up the cause of the Hindus, the idol worshippers, when he himself had no faith in idol worship. They further told him that Islam preaches worship of one God like the Sikh Gurus. Islam even promised paradise for idol destroyers.
Guru Teg Bahadur's reply to Kazi's persuation and arguments was, "Those using force and the influence of the State to bring about conversion of population from one religion to another can never be graced by God. They should only expect condemnation and punishment at the hands of the Lord. Every one should have the freedom of worship according to one's belief. He said that while it was true that he was trying to educate people about the futility of idol worship and ritualism and concentration on the worship of one God. Since the advent of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, millions of Hindus and Muslims have adopted Sikh religion, only through preaching and persuation. He told them that they were also at liberty to adopt methods used by Sikh Gurus to convince people of other religions to join Muslim faith.
When Kazis, the learned scholars of Islam, failed to convince Guru Teg Bahadur about the supermacy of their religion and found that the Guru was stead fast towards his own religion, they planned to terrify him. In this regard, they cut Bhai Mati Das into two pieces with a big saw. When Bhai Mati Das's brutal death in front of his eyes failed to terrify Guru Teg Bahadur. Bhai Dayala was bound with iron shackles was marched to the place Chandni Chowk where Bhai Mati Das was tortured to death. The Kazi offered to set him free and live a luxurious life if he accepted to be converted to Islam, or a torturous death in the event of refusal.
Bhai Dayala boiled alive by merciless muslims
Bhai Dayala who had witnessed the horrible scene of two executioners sawing Bhai Mati Dass alive in front of thousands of spectators, had mentally and physically prepared himself for a similar treatment.
He told the Kazi, "Don't think Bhai Mati Dass is dead. He is sitting happily in the lap of merciful God and will live forever in the hearts of godly people. Be quick and despatch me quickly to the heavanly abode where Bhai Mati Dass is waiting for me. However, I too wish that I should also be allowed to lay down my life while facing my beloved Guru's cage."
Under the orders of the Kazi, a big cauldron was brought out. Bhai Dayala was made to sit in this vessel. Water was put in and fire was lit under the vessel.
While Bhai Dayala started reciting Gurbani, the water started boiling in the cauldron. The Kazi continued to persuade Bhai Ji to save his precious life by accepting conversion to Islam. Bhai Dayala paid no heed to it and kept meditating on the name of God. Guru Ji, who from his cage was witnessing his devout disciple laying down his life in the most courageous and peaceful manner. Bhai Dayala was completely unmindful of the brutal manner the tyrants were killing him. Boils appeared on the body of Bhai Dayala and the spectators were terrified by the most inhumane scenes. But Bhai Ji had the model of Guru Arjan Sahib Ji's martyrdom, who suffered in a similar but much worse manner under the orders of Emperor Jahangir.
Under the watchful eyes of thousands of spectators, many of who were sobbing, and the graceful eyes of his Guru, Bhai Dayala's soul left his body and acquired the grace of Guru and God.
Bhai Dayala's courage and conviction of his faith in Sikhi and stead fastness to his belief will keep inspiring the Sikh youth and others for generations to come. He thus contributed more than his share in making the Sikh heritage richer.