Guru Amar Das

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Guru Amar Das
ਗੁਰੂ ਅਮਰ ਦਾਸ
Guru Amar Das - Goindwal
Guru Amar Das - Goindwal
Born 5 May 1479 (1479-05-05)
Basarke Gillan, Amritsar, Punjab, India
Died 1 September 1574 (1574-10) (aged 95)
Goindval, Punjab
Other names The Third Master
Years active 1552–1574
Known for Introducing the Anand Karaj, Writing the Anand Sahib
Predecessor Guru Angad
Successor Guru Ram Das
Children Bhai Mohan, Bhai Mohri, Bibi Dani, and Bibi Bhani
Parents Tej Bhan & Mata Bakht

Guru Amar Das ([ɡʊru əməɾ dɑs]; 5 May 1479 – 1 September 1574[1]) was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 26 March 1552. He died at an age of 95.

Early life[edit]

Guru Amar Das was the eldest son of Sri Tej Bhan Ji a farmer, trader and of Mata Lachmi Ji, his devoted mother. He was a shopkeeper and lived in a village called Basarke which is near Amritsar. The third Sikh Guru was married to Mata Mansa Devi and they had four children - Two sons named Bhai Mohan and Bhai Mohri and two daughters named Bibi Dani Ji and younger daughter named Bibi Bhani Ji. Bibi Bhani later married Bhai Jetha who became the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das. See article Platforms of Jetha.

Guru Ji as Vaishanavite Hindu and Sikh[edit]

It is recorded that before becoming a Sikh, Bhai Amardas Ji as he was known at the time, was a very religious Vaishanavite Hindu who spent most of his life performing all of the ritual pilgrimages and fasts of a devout Hindu. One day, Bhai Amardas Sahib Ji heard some hymns of Sri Guru Nanak Dev being sung by Bibi Amro Ji, the daughter of Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji Maharaj, the second Sikh Guru Sahib. Bibi Amro Ji was married to Bhai Sahib's brother, Bhai Manak Chand Ji's son who was called Bhai Jasso Ji.

Bibi Amro Ji lived together with Bhai Sahib's brother. It so happened that Bhai Sahib was at his brother's nearby house when he heard the wonderful recitation of Gurbani by his niece-in-law. Bhai Sahib was so impressed and moved by these Shabads that he immediately decided to go to see Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji at Khadur Sahib. It is recorded that this event took place when Bhai Sahib was 61 years old. Guru Amar Das, an illustration from Max Arthur Macauliffe's book, The Sikh Religion

First Edition of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj by the Brother of Guru Amar Das[edit]

Bhai Sahib also had a younger brother called Bhai Ishar Das whose son Bhai Gurdas Ji, was a superb poet and scholar of comparative religions who would later become the scribe that was chosen by Guru Angad Dev to pen the first edition of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj.

Devotion of Guru Angad[edit]

In 1635, upon meeting Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji, Bhai Sahib was so touched by the Guru's message that he became a devout Sikh. Soon he became involved in Sewa (Service) to the Guru and the Community. Under the impact of the Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji and the teachings of the Gurus, Bhai Amardas Ji became a devout Sikh. He adopted Guru Ji as his spiritual guide (Guru). Bhai Sahib Ji began to live at Khadur Sahib. He used to rise early in the morning, bring water from the Beas River for Guru ji's bath, he would wash the Guru ji's clothes and fetch wood from the Jungle for 'Guru ka Langar'. He was so dedicated to Sewa and the Guru and had completely extinguished pride and was totally lost in this commitment that he was considered an old man who had no interest in life, he was dubbed Amru, and generally forsaken.

Accession To Guruship[edit]

However, as a result of Bhai Sahib's commitment to Sikhi principles, dedicated service and devotion to the Sikh cause, Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji appointed Sri Guru Amar Das Sahib Ji as third Sri Guru Nanak Sahib in March 1552 at the age of 73. He established his headquarters at the newly built town of Goindwal Sahib, which Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji had established.

Strengthening of Langar System[edit]

Guru ji strengthened the Langar community kitchen system.[2]

Establishment of Manji and Piri seats of religious missions[edit]

Guru Amar Das Ji started the Manji and Piri system by appointing 94 men as Manji and 52 women as Piris for the spread of Sikhism. The word Manji (wooden cot) and Piri (very small wooden cot) are taken as the cot/seat of authority in this context from which the Sikh Manji's (male Sikh preachers) and Piris (female Sikh preachers) as the holders of seat of religious authority would teach Sikhism to other mean and women respectively. [3]

Later, Manji was significantly enhanced by the 7th Sikh Guru har Rai ji by establishing additional 360 Manjis.

Relations with Muslims and Opposition to discriminatory Jizya tax on Non-Muslims[edit]

The Guru Ji had a cordial relationship with with Emperor Akbar, who compared to other Muslim rulers was relatively less intolerant. Guru Ji influenced Akbar to stop the persecution of Hindus and Sikhs by removing Islamic Jizya toll taxes on non-Muslims for crossing Yamuna and Ganges rivers.[4]

Prohibition on Visiting Muslim Places of Worship[edit]

Guru ji prohibited Sikhs from visiting and paying obeisance to [Muslims]] religious places.[5]

Death and Succession[edit]

Becoming Guru at the age of 73, he left this humanly abode at the age of 95 on the full moon day of Bhadon in 1574 (September 1, 1574). He died of natural causes. Before his death, her called for Sikh congregation headed by Baba Buddha that was also attended by Guru Ji's two sons Mohan and Mohri. Guru Ji appointed his son-in-law Jetha as successor and renamed him Guru Ram Das, Ram Das means Servant of Rama/God.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Guru Angad
(31 March 1504 – 29 March 1552)
Guru Amar Das Followed by:
Guru Ram Das
(24 September 1534 – 1 September 1581)