Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469 1539)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founder Guru of the Sikh religion. Born in 1469 in village talwandi district shekhu-pura now in Pakistan, from early age Guru Nanak Dev Ji made friends with Hindu and Muslim children, at the age of 13 he was to be invested with sacred thread according to Hindu custom. At the ceremony attended by family and relatives Guru Nanak Dev Ji refused to accept sacred cotton thread from the Hindu priest.
“The hymns of Guru Nanak Dev was:- there is one God, his name is the truth, He is the creator, He fears non, he is without hate, he never dies, he is beyond the cycle of births and death, he is self illuminated, he is realized by the kindness of the true Guru, he was true in the beginning, he was true when the ages commenced and has ever been true, he is also true now” (Jap Ji Sahib P-1gs)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji went on four missionary tours (Udassis) accompanied by his Muslim companions Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana, visiting holy places of worship and preaching the word of one God. During their travels Guru Ji opened guest house called Dharamsala where Guru Ji began providing free Langar
Guru Nanak Dev Ji recited gurshabad and noted them in his book (pothi) which later collated in to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. During their visits to holy places Guru Ji, explained to people that everyone is God’s children and should live a harmonious life and respect everyone equally and respect all faiths and equality of all people
Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave to his followers three principles: – Kirit Karo; Naam Japu; Wand Chakou
Guru Anged Dev Ji–
Followed in Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s footsteps and gave the Sikhs concept of “Hukum” “obedient”
Guru Amardas Ji –
Removed the cast system by introducing Langar Sangat-Pangat (free kitchen)
Removed the system of (Sati)
Guru Ramdas Ji –
Founded the town of Amritsar and constructed a large pool in the town centre, and started the construction of Harimander Sahib (golden temple)
Guru Arjan Dev Ji –
In completing the construction started by his father Guru Ramdas Ji, Guru Arjan Dev Ji called upon the services of Saint Sai Mia Mir Ji, a devote believer in God to lay the foundation stone of the Golden Temple. Collected the four (pothis) of Guru Nanak, Guru Anged, Guru Amardas and Guru Ramdas Ji and his own collection of hymns collated in to one Guru Granth Sahib Ji and installed it in Harimander Sahib Ji in 1604. First Guru to be martyred at the hands of mogul emperor Jahangir; Guru Arjan Dev Ji gave his Sikhs the concept of Shaeedi
Guru Hargobind Ji –
Guru Hargobind Ji ordered his followers to train in martial art, horse riding and introduced wearing of two swords. The two swords representing spiritual and secular sovereignty, the sixth Guru Ji; constructed Akal Takhat Sahib opposite Harimander Sahib for religious and political decisions with the growing power Guru Ji was imprisoned by the authorities at Gawalior Fort. From where he was freed along with 52 kings of the adjacent estates, and became to be known as “Bandi-Choor” Guru.
Guru Har Rai Ji –
Gave his Sikh the concept of selfless service towards community, equality between people, opened Dawa-Khana’s (dispensaries) free medicines
Guru Harkishan Ji –
The youngest Guru of the Sikh religion, but, mature in wisdom taught his Sikhs the virtues of patients, charity, love and care
Guru Teg Bhadur Ji –
Guru Teg Bhadur Ji a very devoted deep believer in meditation, at the request of the Hindu Brahmins to save their religion being converted into Islam by force, went to Delhi where he sacrificed his life for the sake of Hindu religion. He was beheaded at Chandni Chowk Delhi where now Gurdwara Sis-Ganj Sahib is
Guru Gobind Singh Ji –
Guru Gobind Singh Ji the tenth and the last human Guru of Sikh religion transformed the religion into saint and soldier. He was the son of the ninth Guru Teg Bhadur Ji, and became Guru in 1675, aged 9. He held the Guruship for 33 years until 1708.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a great scholar and great military genius. He accepted the use of power and the sword to fight tyranny in defence of religious freedom when all other approaches failed. He fought twelve battles and sacrificed his four beloved sons in the campaigns against tyranny.
The four Sahib Zady
- Baba Ajit Singh Ji
- Baba Jujhar Singh Ji
- Baba Zorawar Singh Ji
- Baba Fateh Singh Ji
On April 13th 1699, first day of Vaisakh, (Indian calendar month) Guru Gobind Singh Ji transformed the Sikhs in to saints and soldiers by baptising his devotees with Amrit and gave them new names of Singh/ Kour. On this day Guru Ji called a large gathering at Anandpur Sahib where he challenged the crowd and asked for five volunteers who would give their lives for the Guru! The only five who volunteered were all from different religions and casts.
- Dharma Das
- Daya Ram
- Mokham Chand
- Himat Rai
- Sahib Chand
Guru Gobind Singh Ji initiated these five Sikhs with (khanday-Di-Pahul) “initiation by double edge sword” ceremony. Guru Gobind Singh Ji prepared Amrit by stirring water in a iron bowl with Khanda (a double edged sword) whilst reciting five baanis (sacred prayers)
- Jap Ji Sahib
- Jaap Sahib
- Tavparsad Sawaiys
- Chopai Sahib
- Anand Sahib
Mata Jeeto Ji added “patasse” (sugar sweets) to the holy water to signify to balance the humility and sweetness to go together with courage and bravery. Guru Gobind Singh Ji named his five beloved Panj-Pyares. In doing so gave concrete shape to Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s foundation that we are all equal irrespective of cast, creed or colour.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji received Amrit from the Panj-Pyares and gave the Sikhs a new greeting of “Waheguru – Ji – Ka – Khalsa; Waheguru – Ji – Ki – Fateh”
After taking the Amrit both the Panj Pyares and Guru Gobind Singh Ji took the name of Singh meaning (Lion) for men and Kaur to females meaning (princess) thus the Khalsa Pant (brotherhood) came into being;
- Bhai Daya Singh Ji
- Bhai Dharam Singh Ji
- Bhai Himat Singh Ji
- Bhai Mohkam Singh Ji
- Bhai Sahib Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh Ji, ordered his Khalsa to always observe the five K’s
- Kesh- long un-cut hair (symbolises acceptance of God’s given gift to all humans)
- Kanga – a wooden come to groom the hair and keep it clean
- Kara – a steel bracelet worn on wrist representing moral strength
- Kirpan – small sword symbolises courage, strength
- Kachhera- shorts, symbolises modesty and morality
Granth Sahib Ji
The Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the 11th Guru of the Sikhs and contains hymns composed by the Sikh Gurus. Along with hymns from non-Sikh, Hindu and Muslim. Granth is a Sanskrit word for holy book. Sahib is added in the Sikh tradition of expressing respect and veneration toward the Lord.
The Granth Sahib Ji is a collection of 1430 pages and written in Punjabi language (Gurmukhi) it is set to 31 different Ragas (classical music) ha5867 hymns. The Granth is a treasure house of spiritual and moral teaching, and contains the eternal truth, proclaims God and shows the way to his realisation. Guru Granth Sahib Ji starts with the Mool Mantra, set by Guru Nanak Dev Ji founder Guru of the Sikh faith. It also contains hymns from non Sikh saints and fakirs.
Guru Aran Dev Ji started the first compilation in 1601 and the scribe for this edition was Bhai Gurdas Ji an uncle of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The completed edition was installed in Harimander Sahib Ji in 1604 and Bhai Gurdas Ji became the first head Priest of the Golden Temple. Granth Sahib Ji contains Gurbani of the following Gurus.
The second edition was re-compiled by the tenth master Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Damdama Sahib. The scribe for this edition was Bhai Mani Singh, a class mate of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Gurbani of the ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bhadur Ji was also added to this edition in thus completing the Gurbani of
Guru Nanak Dev Ji
- Guru Anged Dev Ji
- Guru Amardas Ji
- Guru Ramdas Ji
- Guru Arjan Dev Ji
- Guru Teg Bhadur Ji
- Baba Sunder Ji
- Rababi- Sata Dume
- Rababi- Rai Balwand
- Bhai Mardana Ji
Along with 15 Bhagats of different faiths and 11 Bhats- bards scholars of the time contributed their hymns and are contained in the Guru Granth Sahib
The following Gurpurabs are celebrated with Sri Akhand Paath Sahib Sewa. The following Gurpurabs are:-
- Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Birthday
- Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s birthday
- Vaisakhi (birth of the Khalsa)
- Guru Arjan Dev Shaheedi (martyrdom)
- Phela Parkash Guru Granth Sahib
- Guru Teg Bhadur Ji’s Shaheedi (martyrdom)
- Nagar Keertan (a religious procession) held each year in the month of May
- Rest of the Gurpurabs are celebrated as the demand of Sewa from individual families.