Sikh Gurus


Sikhism has a very specific definition of the word 'Guru'. It means the descent of divine guidance to mankind provided through ten Enlightened Masters. This honour of being called a Sikh Guru applies only to the ten Gurus who founded the religion starting with Guru Nanak in 1469 and ending with Guru Gobind Singh in 1708; thereafter it refers to the Sikh Holy Scriptures the Guru Granth Sahib.

             The era of the  ten gurus spans nearly 300 years, from the birth of Nanak Dev in 1469, through the life of Guru Gobind Singh. At the time of his the death in 1708, Guru Gobind Singh bequeathed his title of Guru to the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth. Sikhs regard the ten gurus as the embodiment of one guiding light which passed from each guru to their successors and which now resides with the scripture Siri Guru Granth Sahib.


Guru Nanak (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ) (Saturday 15 April 1469 - Monday 22 September, 1539), the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Gurus of the Sikhs, was born in the village of  Talwandi. Also called Rai Bhoe-ki Talwandi, the village now known as Nankana Sahib, is near Lahore in present-day Pakistan. He was born, according to all ancient Sikh records, in the early morning of the third day of the light half of the month of Baisakh (April - May) in the year 1469; this is believed to be Saturday 15 April 1469. However, the Sikhs now celebrate this auspicious event on November 24, every year. 


His father was Kalayan Das Mehta, also known as Mehta Kalu, and his mother was Mata Tripta ji. They were Hindus belonging to the Vedic Kshatri (Khatri) caste. Guru ji had an older sister called Bebey Nanki, who was the first to recognise Nanak as an enlightened Soul. Guru Nanak from an early age evidenced a questioning and enquiring mind. He soon mastered the Vedas and Sanskrit and was enrolled into a madrassa to study Persian and Arabic. Picking up both languages quickly, he surprised his teacher by composing an acrostic on the Persian language. When it was time for Nanak to be invested with the twice born thread the “sacred” thread, called the Janeu, he refused to take part in the ritual. When the priest continued to insist that the young Nanak done the string he went into a trance and sang:

        Let mercy be the cotton, contentment the thread,
        Continence the knot and truth the twist.
        Oh priest! if you have such a thread,
        Do give it to me.
        It will not wear out, nor get soiled, nor be burnt, nor lost.
        Says Nanak, blessed are those who go about wearing such a thread.  

Guru Nanak founded and formalised the three pillars of Sikhism:

1. Naam Japna Guru ji led the Sikhs directly to practise Simran and Naam Japna – meditation on God through reciting, chanting, singing and constant remembrance followed by deep study & comprehension of God’s Name and virtues. In real life to practice and tread on the path of Dharam (righteousness) - The inner thought of the Sikh thus stays constantly immersed in praises and appreciation of the Creator and the ONE ETERNAL GOD Waheguru.

2. Kirat Karni He expected the Sikhs to live as honourable householders and practise Kirat Karni – To honestly earn by ones physical and mental effort while accepting both pains and pleasures as GOD's gifts and blessings. One is to stay truthful at all times and, fear none but the Eternal Super Soul. Live a life founded on decency immersed in Dharam - life controlled by high spiritual, moral and social values.

3. Vand Chakna. The Sikhs were asked to share their wealth within the community by practising Vand Chakna – “Share and Consume together”. The community or Sadh Sangat is an important part of Sikhism. One must be part of a community that is living the flawless objective values set out by the Sikh Gurus and every Sikh has to contribute in whatever way possible to the common community pool. This spirit of Sharing and Giving is an important message from Guru Nanak. 

The Guru leaves for his heavenly abode

                  Kartarpur (meaning: The City of God), was established by Guru Nanak in 1522[1]. On Asu sudi 10, 1596 Bikrmi [Monday September 22, 1539 AD] Guru Nanak breathed his last at Kartarpur. Since the Guru's followers had been raised as Hindus or Muslims (each of which had different methods of dealing with one's earthly remains), an argument arose over whether the Guru's body should be cremated or buried. Traditionally, Hindus cremate while Muslims bury the bodies of loved ones after death.

Ultimately it was decided that flowers would be placed by each group on his body. Whosoever's flowers were found withered the next morning would loose the claim. It is related that the next morning when the cloth sheet was removed the Guru's body was missing and both sets of flowers were found as fresh as when they were placed.

The two communities then decided to divide the cloth sheet that covered the Guru's body and together with the flowers that they had place, one burying it and the other consigning it to fire. Therefore, both a samadh (Hindu tradition monument of remembrance) lies in the Gurdwara at Kartarpur and a grave (according to Muslim traditions) lies on the premises as a reminder of this joint claim to Guru Nank by both the communities.

The gurdwara is located next to a small village named Kothay Pind (village) on the West bank of the Ravi River in Punjab, Pakistan. The original abode established by Guru Nanak was washed away by floods of the river Ravi. 

Hindu samadh: Half shawl cremated and then buried here

Grave: Muslim half of shawl buried here


Guru Angad Dev ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਅੰਗਦ ਦੇਵ) (Thursday April 18 1504 - Saturday April 16 1552) was the second of The Ten Gurus of Sikhism. Guru ji became Guru on Thursday, September 18 1539 following in the footsteps of Guru Nanak Dev ji, who was the founder of the Sikh religion.

Before Guru Angad Dev Ji left for his heavenly abode, he nominated Guru Amar Das as the third Guru of the Sikhs.

The second Sikh Guru contributed the following to the people of the world:

    * To do Nishkam Sewa Selfless Service to humanity.
    * Completely surrender to the Will of God.
    * Disapproval of exhibitionism and hypocrisy.
    * Formalised the present form of the Gurmukhi script
    * Born: March 31, 1504
    * Place of Birth: Harike, Amritsar, Punjab, India
    * Life Span: 1504 to 1552 - 48 years
    * Parents Father: Bhai Pheru Mall Ji and Mother: Mata Sabhrai Ji (also known Daya Kaur, etc)
    * Wife: Mata Khivi Ji
    * Sons: Baba Dasu Ji and Baba Dattu Ji and Daughters: Bibi Amro Ji and Bibi Anokhi Ji
    * Guruship: From age 35 for 13 years: 1539 to 1552
    * Gurbani: Total of 63 Shabads and Saloks
Grave: Muslim half of shawl buried here

Invention of Gurmukhi
       Guru Angad invented the present form of the Gurmukhi script. It became the medium of writing the Punjabi language in which the hymns of the Gurus are expressed. This step had a far-reaching purpose and impact. Firstly, it gave the common people a language that is simple to learn and write. Secondly, it helped the community to dissociate itself from the very reserved and complex nature of the Sanskrit religious tradition so that the growth and development of the Sikhs could take place unhampered and unprejudiced by the backlog of the earlier religious and social philosophies and practices.

Further establishment of Langar 

The institution of Langar was maintained and developed. The Guru's wife, Mata Khivi personally worked in the kitchen. She also served food to the members of the community and the visitors. Her devotion to this institution finds mention in Guru Granth Sahib.

The Guru earned his own living by twisting coarse grass into strings used for cots. All offerings went to the common community fund. This demonstrates that it is necessary and honourable to do even the meanest productive work. It also emphasises that parasitical living is not in consonance with the mystic and moral path. In line with Guru Nanak's teaching, the Guru also declared that there was no place for passive recluses in the community.  

 Guru Nanak bestows Guruship on to Bhai Lehna


             Guru Angad, (Bhai Lehna ji) was born in the village named Harike in Ferozepur district in Punjab, on Vaisakh Vadi 1st , (5th Vaisakh) Samvat 1561, (March 31, 1504). He was the son of a sucessful trader named Bhai Pheru Mall usually referred to as Bhai Pheru. His mother 's name was Mata Ramo ji (also known as Mata Sabhirai, Mansa Devi, Daya kaur). Baba Narayan Das Trehan was his grand father, whose ancestral house was at Matte-di-Sarai near Mukatsar. Pheru ji moved back to this place.

Under the influence of his mother, Mata Ramo, Bhai Lehna ji began to worship Durga (A Hindu mythological Goddess). He used to lead a batch of worshippers to Jawalamukhi Temple every year. He was married to Mata Khivi ji in Jaunary 1520 and had two sons (Bhai Dasu and Bhai Datu) and two daughters (Bibi Amro and Bibi Anokhi). The whole family of Bhai Pheru had to leave their ancestral village because of the ransacking by the Mughal and Baloch militia who had come with Babur. After this the family settelled at village Khadur Sahib beside the Beas river, near Tarn Taran Sahib (A small town about 25 km. away from Amritsar City).  

Guru Angad Dev Ji Teaching Gurmukhi to children

The first duty Guru Angad performed after his morning devotions and kirtan was to tend the sick and succour the needy

Guru Angad believed in the service and well-being of all mankind and not just of his own followers. He laid stress on character building rather than observance of rituals and formalities. The path which Guru Angad pointed out to his Sikhs for achieving enlightenment was through service and good actions and devotion and worship of one God. He asked his followers to win Divine grace by prayer, singing His praises, cultivating humility, a spirit of service and submitting at all time to His will. Paying a fine under pressure, does not bring either merit or goodness.

Life of Action
Guru Angad was at once a spiritual teacher and a man of action. To Guru Angad, religion was not only a spiritual experience but a way of life. Every action must have an impact of spirituality, humility and love. This can be achieved if one is always conscious of the presence of God. Guru Angad insisted that there should be harmony between thought and action and purity in life. “Doing some thing unwillingly or doing under pressure from someone, does not bring either merit or goodness. That alone is a good deed, O Nanak, which is done by one’s own free will.”

“Mortals are known by their actions; this is the way it has to be. They should show goodness, and not be deformed by their actions; this is how they are called beautiful. Whatever they desire, they shall receive; O Nanak, they become the very image of God.” -Guru Angad Dev

“O Nanak, the worldly achievements and glory is worthy of being burnt in the fire if it causes one to forget God. Usually these worldly things has caused mortals to forget the the Name of the Lord. Not even one of them will go along with you in the end.” - Guru Angad Dev  


"Deep within the self is the light of God. It radiates through the expanse of God’s creation. Through the Guru’s teachings, the darkness of spiritual ignorance is dispelled. The hear lotus flower blossoms forth and eternal peace is obtained as one’s light merges with the supreme light." 

                 Guru Amar Das Ji was the eldest son of Sri Tej Bhan Bhalla Ji a farmer and trader and Mata Lachmi Ji. GuruJi's father was a shopkeeper in the village of Basarke near Amritsar.

GuruJi married Mata Mansa Devi and had 4 children - 2 sons (Mohan Ji & Mohri Ji) and 2 daughters named (Bibi Bhani & Bibi Bhani Ji). Bibi Bhani later married Bhai Jetha who became the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das. (See article Platforms of Jetha.)

Guru Amar Das Ji became Sikh Guru at the age of 73 following in the footsteps of his teacher Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji, who died on 29 March 1552 at age 48. Guru amar Das ji established his headquarters in the town of Goindwal Sahib, which was established by Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji.

 Contributions to Sikh culture
    * Required visitors to Gurdwaras take Langar (Free Blessed Food) before seeing the Guru. "First Pangat then Sangat"

    * Discouraged the caste system.

    * Raised the status of women by prohibiting the practice of Sati (a wife's suicide on her husband's funeral pyre) and "Parrda" (veil covering the face)

    * Established an administration system for the Sikh congregations

    * Created the prayer ritual called Anand Sahib, which is one of the Five Banis recited daily

    * Established the city of Goindval on the banks of river Bias in 1552.

    * Contributed 907 hymns to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib!

    * Visited and assigned Sikh missionaries to different parts of India.

    * Divided the Sikh Sangat area into 22 branches called Manjis and appointed a local Sikh preacher for each location as follows:

In the area of Majha (Amritsar, Lahore, Sialkote)

1. Manak Chand Jhinwar (Water Carrier) at Variowal in Amritsar.
2. Sada ram, a Blacksmith near Amritsar.
3. Hindal at Jandiala near Amritsar.
4. Gangu Shah banker at Lahore.
5. Mutho-Murari, a devoted couple, at Chunian in Lahore Dist.

In Jalandhar Doab

6. Paro Julka at Jalandar.
7. Mahesh Dhir at Sultanpur Lodi.

In Kangra Hills

8. Sawan mal, Nephew of Guru Amar Das, at Haripur Guler.
9. Name not given, at Dharamsala.

Kashmir Hills

10. Phirya at Mirpur.

Malwa (Area of Patiala, Ludhiana, Bhatinda)

11. Kheira at Firozpur.
12. Mai Das Bairagi in charge of Ludhiana dist.
13. Mai Bhago at village Wayun, tehsil Kharar, dist. Rupar.
14. Mai Sewan at Village Gardnoh in Patiala District.
15. Sachna Shah in charge of Ambala distt.
16. Baba Nand Lal ji at Village Gharuan, Tehsil Kharar, Dist. Ropar


17. Lalu in charge of some area in Sind. 


Guru Ram Das (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਰਾਮ ਦਾਸ) (Friday October 9 1534 - Saturday 16 September 1581) was the fourth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and became Guru on Monday 16 September 1574 following in the footsteps of Guru Amar Das ji. The Guru original name was Bhai Jetha. Before Guru Ji died, he nominated Guru Arjan Dev, who was his youngest son as the next Guru of the Sikhs. 

 Early Life

Very Less about the Early life is known about Guru Ram Dass. Guru Ram Das ji was born at Chuna Mandi Bazaar, Lahore at the site of present shrine on 24th September 1534 where he spent the first seven years of his life. Soon after birth, he was given the name Jetha, meaning the first born. When he was of 7 Years his father died so her maternal grandmother take him to Basrake. Jetha's simple and God-fearing parents, Hari Das and Anup Devi of Lahore were delighted at this precious gift from Waheguru. As he was growing up and in his teens, he could always be found in the company of religious men. Jetha became a handsome young man.

 Construction of Ramdaspur

Eventually Bhai Jetha was ordained as Guru Amar Das's successor and named Guru Ram Das ji. (Ram Das means servant of God). Guru Ram Das ji now eagerly continued the building of the city of Ramdaspur (the abode of Ram Das) by the digging of the second sacred pool as he had been instructed by Guru Amar Das ji. Pilgrims came in ever growing numbers to hear the Guru and to help in the excavation work of the tank. The holy tank would be called Amritsar meaning pool of nectar. Today the city of Ramdaspur, which now is the holiest center of Sikhism has come to be know as Amritsar. Guru Ram Das ji urged his Sikhs that one could fulfill one's life not merely by quiet meditation but in actively participating in the joys and sorrows of others. This is how one could also rid oneself of the prime malady - Ego, and end their spiritual loneliness.

 Gaddi to Guru Arjun Dev Ji & Death

Guru Ram Das ji immediately sent for Baba Buddha to journey to Lahore and to bring back his son Arjan Dev with full honours. On his return the Guru declared him his successor. Prithi Chand's deception had resulted in bringing about his fears, he never accepted his father's choice and continued to misbehave and abuse Guru Arjan Dev ji. Eventually Guru Ram Das ji had to publicly condemn his son Prithi Chand for his actions.

Shortly thereafter Guru Ram Das ji left his physical form on September 16, 1581. 


               Guru Arjan Dev Ji or Guru Arjun Dev Ji (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜੁਨ ਦੇਵ) (born in Amritsar, Punjab, India on 15 April 1563 – 30 May 1606 Lahore, Punjab, (now in Pakistan) was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and became a Guru on 1 September 1581 following in the footsteps of Guru Ram Das. He was born at Goindval, and was the youngest of the sons of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das[1]. Before his death, he nominated his son Har Gobind as the next Guru of the sikhs.

He completed the construction of Amritsar and founded other cities such as Taran Taran and Kartarpur. He constructed a Baoli at Lahore. The most important work of Arjan Dev was the compilation of Adi Granth. He collected all the work of the first four Gurus and dictated it in the form of verses in 1604. It is, perhaps, the only book of a scriptural nature which still exists in the form first published (a hand-written manuscript) by the Guru. It and the Guru Granth Sahib which includes the writing of the later Gurus have managed to avoid the embellishments, additions and alterations that have plagued the original writing of other more ancient religious texts.

Composing the Adi Granth, he gave to his followers a fixed rule of religious and moral conduct. His starting of collection of offerings by way of Masand system, in a systematic way, accustomed them to a regular government. He traded in horses, though not extensively, and encouraged his followers to follow his example, to be as zealous in trade as they were in their faith.

 Martyrdom of Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji

 On the 16 June of every year since 1606, the Sikhs have commemorated the martyrdom of their first martyr, the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev. Sikh history until then had been peaceful and non-violent. All the Sikh Gurus had taught the message of compassion, love, dedication, hard work, worship of one God and the commitment to peace and harmony for all the peoples of the world.

During the Guruship of Guru Arjan many thousands of the native people had began to follow the teachings of Sikhism and both the Hindus and Muslims were crowding to Govindwal, the centre of Sikhs during the late 1500's. The Mughal administration was jealous of the popularity and the large following of the Sikh Gurus and the wanted to destroy their base and institution.


Guru Har Gobind (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਾਹਿਬ) also Sacha Badshah (ਸੱਚਾ ਪਾਦਸ਼ਾਹ True King) (19 June 1595–2 March 1644) was the sixth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and became Guru on 25 May 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev. He was the sixth Guru in Sikhism. He was not, perhaps, more than eleven at his father's execution. Before ascension, he nominated Guru Har Rai, his grandson as the next Guru of the Sikhs.

From the very beginning he was the deadly enemy of Mughals.

Early years

He put on two swords: one indicated his spiritual authority and the other his temporal authority.He built the Akal Takht, the Throne of the Almighty.
Guru Hargobind ji excelled in matters of state and his Darbar (Court) was noted for its splendour. The arming and training of some of his devoted followers began, the Guru came to possess seven hundred horses and his Risaldari (Army) grew to three hundred horsemen and sixty gunners in the due course of time. Additionaly five hundred men from the 'Majha area of Punjab' were recruited as infantry. Guru Har Gobind built a fortess at Amritsar called 'Lohgarh' (Fortess of steel). He had his own flag and war-drum which was beaten twice a day


The Guru was a brilliant martial artist (Shastarvidya), and avid hunter.He encouraged his people to maintain physical fitness and keep their bodies ready for physical combat. His policy was sometimes at odds with more established members such as Baba Buddha, this was however, accepted by him and others.

Several efforts were made on the life of young Hargobind even in his infancy. A snake-charmer was bribed to let loose a poisonous snake, but the young Guru to be overpowered the snake.

 The hand script of Guru Hargobind in a pothi kept at the Amritsar Museum

Guru ji had his darzi (tailor) prepair a coat with 52 ribands or tails and left the fort with the fifty-two rulers trailing behind him, each holding onto a piece of the Guru's coat. That is why Guru Ji is referred to as the Liberator (Bandi-chor) in history. Bandi Chhorh Divas is celebrated in honor of the day.

           When Guru Ji reached Amritsar his Sikhs lit lamps to welcome him. His arrival also consided with the tradional Indian festival of Diwali. Since then the festival of Diwali (lighting of lamps) is celebrated as Bandi-Chor diwas by Sikhs.

From Amritsar he went to Lahore where Kaulan, adopted Hindu daughter of Kazi Rustam Khan and a follower of Saint Mian Mir came into contact with the Guru due to her dire plight. Guruji asked her to move to Amritsar, where she led a pious life. On Guruji's command, Baba Budha Ji had Gurdwara Kaulsar built in Kaulan's memory in 1681 of Bikrami calendar. On the invitation of Sikhs of central India he also travelled there where he had Gurdwara Nanak Matta completed. Later he visited Kashmir and secured many followers there. From Jammu and Kashmir, he returned to Punjab via Gujrat.


Guru Har Rai Ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇ) (31 January 1630 - 20 October 1661) was the seventh of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and became Guru on Tuesday, 19 March 1644 following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind Ji. Before Guru Ji died, he nominated Guru Har Krishan Ji, his son as the next Guru of the Sikhs. The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru Ji life:

   1. Continued the military traditions started by his grandfather Guru Har Gobind Ji
   2. Kept 2200 mounted soldiers at all times.
   3. Was disturbed as a child by the suffering caused to plants when they were accidentally destroyed by his robe.
   4. Made several tours to the Malwa and Doaba regions of the Punjab
   5. Guruji's son, Ram Rai, distorts Bani in front of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, after which the Guru is supposed to have said, ” Ram Rai, you have disobeyed my order and sinned. I will never see you again on account of your infidelity.”

The Guru made his other son Guru at the age of only 5 years.

Detailed Account
Guru Har Rai ji was the son of Baba Gurdita Ji and Mata Nihal Kaur Ji (also known as Mata Ananti Ji). Baba Gurdita was son of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. Guru Har Rai ji married Mata Kishan Kaur Ji (sometimes also reffered to as Sulakhni Ji) daughter of Sri Daya Ram Ji of Anoopshahr (Bulandshahr) in Utter Pradesh on Har Sudi 3, Samvat 1697. They had two sons: Baba Ram Rai Ji and  Sri Har Krishan Ji.

Although, Guru Har Rai Ji was a man of peace, he never disbanded the armed Sikh Warriors (Saint Soldiers), who earlier were maintained by his grandfather, Guru Hargobind. He always boosted the military spirit of the Sikhs, but he never himself indulged in any direct political and armed controversy with the contemporary Mughal Empire. Once on the request of Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shahjahan), Guru Sahib helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzebs armed forces during the war of succession. 

Mool Mantar written by Guru Har Rai Ji.  

Recitation of Gurbani

One day the Sikhs asked the Guru whether those who read the Gurus' hymns without understanding them derived any spiritual advantage from it. The Guru gave no reply at the time, and next morning went hunting. En route, the Guru came across a broken pot which had held butter. The rays of the sun were melting the butter on the broken pot fragments. The Guru took one of these fragments in his hand and said, "Look my Sikhs, broken pot shards - when they are heated, the butter that adhered to them readily melts. As the grease adheres to the potshards, so to do the Gurus' hymns to the hearts of his Sikhs. At the hour of death the Gurus' instruction shall assuredly bear fruit. Whether understood or not, it has within it the seed of salvation. Perfume still clings to a broken vase." The meaning of the parable is that whoseoever daily reads the Gurus shabads shall assuredly obtain peace. And even though he may not fully understand them, God will undoubtedly assist him.

Guru Ram Das has said: "The Word is the Guru, and the Guru in the Word, and in the Word is the essence of ambrosia." 


 Guru Har Krishan Ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ) (Wednesday, 23 July 1656 - Saturday, 16 April 1664) was the eighth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru on Sunday, 20 October 1661 following in the footsteps of his father, Guru Har Rai Ji. Before Guru Ji died, he nominated Baba Bakala ji, as the next Guru of the Sikhs. It turns out that this was his granduncle Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru ji's short life:

✏ Hari Krishan had ver less age when he controlled the diocese of preaching Sikhism. There are very few Devotees in past history which have high level of spirituality in such small age. Prahlad, Dhruv were one of them and Guru Hari Krishan is also in same list. All other Guru's sat on Gaddi when they were minimum 12 of age, but only GUru Hari Krishen sat on Gaddi when he was just 5 of age.

✏ When Guruji stayed in Delhi there was a smallpox epidemic which resulted in many deaths. By Guruji's blessing, the lake at Bangla Sahib provided a cure for thousands. Exposing himself to his many devotees he too died of Smallpox. Thus he unselfishly, without the thought of danger to himself, served many people. This is true Sewa to care for the sick even at the risk of one's own life.

✏ Gurdwara Bangla Sahib was constructed in Guruji's memory. This is where he stayed during his visit to Delhi. This was originally the palace of Raja Jai Singh, who was a strong Sikh and a devotee of the Guru.

✏ Guru Sahib caused the illiterate water-carrier named Chhaju Ram to expound the philosophy of the holy Gita on the challenge from Pandit Lal Chand. On hearing this narration of the holy Gita, Pandit Lal Chand was deeply humiliated. He was so impressed with this feat performed by the Guru that he became a Sikh and later escorted the Guru Sahib up to Kurukashatra.

Guru Harkrishan Sahib in Delhi with the city in the grip of an epidemic. Guru Ji went all over the city through narrow lanes and gave succour to all in anguish without any discrimination. 

 An Illiterate Recites Salokes

When Guru was near Panjokhara, a Sikh spoke with humility, "Sangats are coming from Peshawar, Kabul and Kashmir. Stay here a day so that they may have the chance of seeing you, Master." The Guru agreed. In that village lived a pandit, Lal Chand by name, who was proud of his caste as well as of his learning. He came to see the Guru and spoke with derision: "It is said that you sit on the gaddi of Guru Nanak. But what do you know of the old religious books'?" Chhajju Ram, an illiterate, village water-carrier of a low caste that was forbidden access to the Vedas, happened to pass by at that moment. Guru Har Krishan asked Dargah Mall to call him. As Chhajju Ram came, the Guru enquired if he would explain to the pandit the gist of the Bhagavad gita. The illiterate villager astonished everyone by his cogent commentary on the sacred book. Lal Chand's pride was overcome. Humbly he fell at the Guru's feet. Both men became the Guru's disciples and travelled with him up to Kurukshetra.

Mute Bhai Chhajju Ram recites Saloks from the holy Gita


Baba Bakala Announced By Guru Ji at Delhi

Baba Bakala

Shortly before his death, realizing the gravity of the situation, Guru Har Krishan called his mother and told her that his end was drawing near. When asked to name his successor, he merely exclaimed 'Baba Bakala'. Learning of his pronouncement many would style themselves as the next Sikh Guru at the village of Bakala. However, at the time the future (Guru) Teg Bahadur Sahib, was residing at village Bakala near river Beas in Punjab province.


Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦੁਰ) (Wednesday, April 18, 1621 - Wednesday, November 24, 1675) was the ninth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and became Guru on Saturday, 16 April 1664 following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan. Before Guruji left his body, he had nominated his son, Gobind Rai, who became the 10th Guru of the Sikhs. It was Guru Gobind Rai who introduced the Khalsa, the Panj Pyares and added the name Singh (Lion) for men and the name Kaur (Princess) to those who became Khalsa, after taking Pahul. He asked his Sikhs (devotees) to add the two words in substitution for their Ancestral names (Rai in this case). So the Guru's name became Guru Gobind Singh. As he neared death he announced that the Guru Granth Sahib would serve ever after as the Guru of the Sikhs.

The following is a summary of the main highlights of Guru Tegh Bahadur's life:

    * He built the city that his son would enlarge and rename Anandpur Sahib.
    * He traveled extensively throughout India.
    * He sacrificed his own life, facing down the EmperorAurangzeb on behalf of the Kashmiri Hindus, ending Aurangzeb's threat to them - choosing to convert to Islam or be executed.
    * He contributed 115 hymns to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, all of them Sloks.
    * His Saloks (Mahal 9) near the end of the Guru Granth Sahib are extremely popular.

Gurdwara Sis Ganj, Chandani Chowk, Delhi, where he was beheaded and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, Delhi, where the residence of Lakhi Shah Vanjara was - the man who burnt his house so as to cremate Guruji’s body.

Early life

Guru Ji whose original name was Tyag Mal (Master of Renunciation) spent his childhood at Amritsar. In his early years he learned Gurmukhi, Hindi, Sanskrit and Indian religious philosophy from Bhai Gurdas, and archery and horsemanship from Baba Budha while his father Guru Hargobind Ji, Master of Miri and Piri taught him swordsmanship. Only 13 years old, he asked his father to accompany him into battle as his village was attack by Painde Khan and the Moghuls in a battle over Shah Jahan's hawk. During the battle he had weighed into the enemies with abandon, slashing his sword right and left.

Gurdwara Thara Sahib

 Gurdwara Thara Sahib in Amritsar is situated just to the north (14 on map), of the Akal Takht Sahib. This is where the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur rested when he arrived from Baba Bakala to pay his respects to Darbar Sahib soon after he was announced as the next Guru. The custodians of the Harmindar Sahib closed the doors on the Guru to safeguard their vested interests. 

Gobind becomes 10th Sikh Guru

He had his son, Gobind Rai consecrated Guru and successor on 8th July 1675. The ceremony that had taken place seven times before was repeated: The Guru place five coins and a coconut before his son as a symbol of the Guru ship passing from him to his son; Gobind Rai was now the Guru of the Sikhs at the age of 9 years.

Guru tegh Bahadur then left Anandpur for Delhi with 3 other Sikhs who knew as well the danger they were to face, Bhai Sati Das, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Dayal Das.  

 Journey to Martyrdom

It seems orders for his arrest had been issued by emperor Aurangzeb as soon as he received reports of his declared intention, because he was arrested four days later. An entry in Bhatt Vahi Multani Sindhi reads:

    Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Ninth Guru,… …was taken into custody by Nur Muhammad Khan Miraza of Ropar Police post, on Savan 12,1732 /12th July 1675, at Malikpur Ranghran, Pargana Ghanaula, and sent to Sirhind.

Along with him were arrested Diwan Mati Das and Sati Das, sons of Hira Nand Chhibbar, and Dyal Das, son of Mai Das. They were kept in custody at Bassi Pathana for four months. The pitiless captors imposed much atrocity on the Guru. He was then cast into an iron cage and taken to Delhi, where he arrived on 4th Nov. 1675.  

Guru's welcome in heaven
Guru Ji was beheaded on 11 November 1675, Bhai Jaita consecrated Guru Ji’s severed head to Anandpur Sahib were it was cremated by Guru Gobind Singh. A severe storm had come up after the execution and Bhai Lakhi Shah carried Guru Ji’s body to his nearby house, which he then set on fire to conceal the cremation of his Guru's body. It is said that Bhai Jaita's own father volunteered to be beheaded to cover the loss of the Guru's body. 


Guru Gobind Singh ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ) (Friday, January 5, 16661, in Patna, Bihar, India - Thursday, 21 October, 1708) was born "Gobind Rai" and was the tenth and last of the ten human form Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru on November 24, 1675 at the age of nine, following in the footsteps of his father Guru Teg Bahadur ji.

Before Guru ji left his mortal body for his heavenly abode, he nominated Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (SGGS) as the next perpetual Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh molded the Sikh religion into its present shape, with the formation of the Khalsa fraternity and completion of the Guru Granth Sahib as we find it today, which some will say was his greatest act.

              The tenth Guru (teacher) of the Sikh faith, was born Gobind Rai. It may not be out of context to say here that throughout the chronicles of human history, there was no other individual who could be of more inspiring personality than Guru Gobind Singh.


Birth of a Star 

 Gobind Rai was born with a holy mission of which he tells us in his autobiography “Bachitar Natak” (Wonderous Drama). In it Guru Ji tells us how and for what purpose he was sent into this world by God. He states that before he came into this world , as a free spirit he was engaged in meditation in the seven peaked Hemkunt mountain.

Early Life
Gobind Rai was escorted to Anandpur (then known as Chakk Nanaki) on the foothills of the Sivaliks where he reached in March 1672 and where his early education included reading and writing of Punjabi, Braj, Sanskrit and Persian. He was barely nine years of age when a sudden turn came in his life as well as in the life of the community he was destined to lead. 

Creation of the Khalsa

An open air diwan was held in Kesgarh Sahib at Anandpur. The Guru drew his sword and in a thundering voice said, "I want one head, is there any one who can offer me?"

This most unusual call caused some terror in the gathering and the people were stunned. There was dead silence. The Guru made a second call. Nobody came forward. There was still more silence. On the third call there raised Daya Ram, a khatri of Lahore who said, "O true king, my head is at your service."

The Guru took Daya Ram by the arm and led him inside a tent. A blow and thud were heard. Then the Guru, with his sword dripping with blood, came out and said, "I want another head, is there anyone who can offer?" Again on third call Dharam Das, a Jat from Delhi came forward and said, "O true king! My head is at thy disposal."

The Guru took Dharam Das inside the tent, again a blow and thud were heard, and he came out with his sword dripping with blood and repeated, "I want another head, is there any beloved Sikh who can offer it?"

Upon this some people in the assembly remarked that the Guru had lost all reason and went to his mother to complain.

Mohkam Chand, a calico priner/tailor of Dwarka (west coast of India) offered himself as a sacrifice. The Guru took him inside the tent and went through the same process. When he came out, he made a call for the fourth head. The Sikhs began to think that he was going to kill all of them.

Some of them ran away and the others hung their heads down in disbelief. Himmat Chand, a cook of Jagan Nath Puri, offered himself as a fourth sacrifice. Then the Guru made a fifth and the last call for a fifth head. Sahib Chand, a barber of Bidar (in central India), came forward and the Guru took him inside the tent. A blow and thud were heard.

The last time he stayed longer in the tent. People began to breathe with relief. They thought may be the Guru has realised "his mistake" and has now stopped.  

The Amrit Sanskar Ceremony 

Amrit Sanchar
The Guru then stood up with the sacred Amrit (nectar) prepared in the iron bowl. Each of the five faithful, by turn, each kneeling upon his left knee, looked up to the Master to receive the divine amrit. He gave five palmfuls of Amrit to each of them to drink and sprinkled it five times in the eyes, asking them to repeat aloud with each sprinkle, "Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh." (This means: Khalsa belongs to God and all triumph be to His Name) Then he anointed with five sprinkles in the hair.

               He gave them the appellation of SINGHS (Lions) and they were named from Daya Ram to Daya Singh, Dharam Das to Dharam Singh, Mohkam Chand to Mohkam Singh, Himmat Chand to Himmat Singh, and Sahib Chand to Sahib Singh. The Guru then addressed them as the supreme, the liberated ones, pure ones and he called them THE KHALSA. 

Sikhs "tricked" by the Mughals

In the ensuing confusion many Sikhs were killed and all of the Guru's baggage, including most of the precious manuscripts, was lost. The Guru himself was able to make his way to Chamkaur, 40 km southwest of Anandpur, with barely 40 Sikhs and his two elder sons. There the imperial army, following closely on his heels, caught up with him. His two sons, Ajit Singh (born. 1687) and Jujhar Singh (born. 1691) and all but five of the Sikhs fell in the action that took place on 7 December 1705. The five surviving Sikhs commanded the Guru to save himself in order to reconsolidate the Khalsa.

Guru Gobind Singh with three of his Sikhs escaped into the wilderness of the Malva, two of his Muslim devotees, Gani Khan and Nabi Khan, helping him at great personal risk. Guru Gobind Singh's two younger sons, Zorawar Singh (born. 1696), Fateh Singh (born.1699), and his mother, Mata Gujari Ji, also evacuated Anandpur but were betrayed by their old servant and escort, Gangu, to the faujdar of Sirhind, who had the young children executed on 13 December 1705. Their grandmother died the same day.

Plan to assassinate the Guru
Nawab Wazir Khan of Sirhind had felt concerned at the Emperor's conciliatory treatment of Guru Gobind Singh. Their marching together to the South made him jealous, and he ordered two of his trusted men with murdering the Guru before his increasing friendship with the Emperor resulted in any harm to him.

Guru recovers but mission is at an end
 The Guru's wound was immediately stitched by the Emperor's European surgeon and within a few days it appeared to have been healed. The injury had been contained and the Guru had made a good recovery. However, several days later, when the Guru tugged at a hard strong bow, the imperfectly healed wound burst open and caused profuse bleeding. It was again treated but it was now clear to the Guru that the call of the Father from Heaven had come. He prepared the sangat for his departure; instruction were given to the immediate main Sewadars and finally he gave his last and enduring message of his mission to the assembly of the Khalsa.

He then opened the Granth Sahib, placed five paise and solemnly bowed to it as his successor, GURU GRANTH SAHIB. Saying 'Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh', he walked around the Guru Granth Sahib and proclaimed, "O beloved Khalsa, let him who desireth to behold me, behold the Guru Granth. Obey the Granth Sahib. It is the visible body of the Gurus. And let him who desires to meet me, search me in the hymns."  

He then sang his self-composed hymn: "Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe."

Guru Granth Sahib becomes Guru

 The Guru then left for his heavenly abode. The Sikhs made preparations for his final rites as he had instructed them, the Sohila was chanted and Parsahd (sacred food) was distributed. While all were mourning the loss, a Sikh arrived and said," You suppose that the Guru is dead. I met him this very morning riding his bay horse. After bowing to him, I asked where he was going. He smiled and replied that he was going to the forest." The Sikhs who heard this statement arrived at the conclusion that it was all the Guru's play, that he dwelt in uninterrupted bliss, that he showed himself wherever he was remembered. He who treasures even a grain of the Lord's love in his heart, is the blessed one and the Guru reveals himself to such a devotee in mysterious ways.

Wherefore for such a Guru who had departed bodily to Heaven, there ought to be no mourning. The Word as contained in the Guru Granth Sahib was henceforth, and for all time to come to be the Guru for the Sikhs.

      "ਸੱਬ ਸਿੱਖਣ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ"


The Guru Granth Sahib (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ, gurū granth sāhib), or Adi Granth, is the final Guru of the Sikhs.It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh Gurus, from 1469 to 1708. It is a collection of hymns or shabad, which describe the qualities of God and why one should meditate on God's name. Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), the tenth of the Sikh Gurus, affirmed the sacred text Adi Granth as his successor, and elevating the book to Guru Granth Sahib. Thenceforward the text remained the holy scripture of the Sikhs, regarded as the teachings of the Ten Gurus. The role of Adi Granth, as a source or guide of prayer, is pivotal in worship in Sikhism.

The Adi Granth was first compiled by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev (1563–1606), from hymns of the first five Sikh gurus and other great saints, including those of the Hindu and Muslim faith. After the demise of the tenth Sikh guru many edited copies were prepared for distribution by Baba Deep Singh.

Written in the Gurmukhi script, predominantly in archaic Punjabi with occasional use of other languages including Braj, Punjabi, Khariboli (Hindi), Sanskrit, regional dialects, and Persian, often coalesced under the generic title of Sant Bhasha. 

Illuminated Guru Granth folio with nisan (Mul Mantra) of Guru Gobind Singh. Collection of Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib.

Meaning and role in Sikhism
Sikhs consider the Adi Granth a spiritual guide for all mankind for all generations to come, and it plays a central role in "guiding" the Sikhs' way of life. Its place in Sikh devotional life is based on two fundamental principles; that the text is divine revelation, and that all answers regarding religion and morality can be discovered within it. Its hymns and teachings are called Gurbani or "Word of the guru" and sometimes Dhur ki bani or "Word of God". Truthfully, the revealed divine word is written by the past Gurus.

"All Sikhs are commanded to take the Granth as Guru."