Guru Amar Das
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|Guru Amar Das
ਗੁਰੂ ਅਮਰ ਦਾਸ
Guru Amar Das - Goindwal
|Born||5 May 1479
Basarke Gillan, Amritsar, Punjab, India
|Died||1 September 1574 (aged 95)
|Other names||The Third Master|
|Successor||Guru Ram Das|
|Spouse(s)||Mata Mansa Devi|
|Children||Bhai Mohan, Bhai Mohri, Bibi Dani, and Bibi Bhani|
|Parent(s)||Tej Bhan & Mata Lachmi|
Guru Amar Das was the eldest son of Tej Bhan a farmer, trader and of Mata Lachmi. He was a shopkeeper and lived in a village called Basarke near Amritsar. He 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 and younger daughter named Bibi Bhani. Bibi Bhani later married Bhai Jetha who became the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das. Before becoming a Sikh, Amardas was a very religious Vaishanavite Hindu. One day, he heard some hymns of Guru Nanak Dev being sung by Bibi Amro, daughter of Guru Angad Dev. She was married to Amardas's brother nephew Bhai Jasso. Amardas was impressed and moved by the hymns and decided to go and see Guru Angad Dev at Khadur Sahib. Amardas was 61 years old at that time.
Adoption of Sikhism
Upon meeting Guru Angad Dev, Amardas was touched by the Guru's message and became a devout Sikh. He started living there and became involved in service to the Guru and the community. He adopted Guru as his spiritual guide. He was very dedicated in the service to 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.
As a result of Amardas's commitment to Sikhi principles, dedicated service and devotion to the Sikh cause, Guru Angad Dev appointed Guru Amar Das as the third Guru Nanak in March 1552 at the age of 73. He established his headquarters at the newly built town of Goindwal, which Guru Angad Dev had established. Guru strengthened the Langar community kitchen system. Guru Amar Das 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 men and women respectively. Later, Manji was significantly enhanced by the 7th Sikh Guru har Rai by establishing additional 360 Manjis. The Guru had a cordial relationship with Emperor Akbar, who compared to other Muslim rulers was relatively less intolerant. Guru 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. Guru prohibited Sikhs from visiting and paying obeisance to Muslims religious places.
Death and Succession
Das died at the age of 95 on 1 September 1574. Before his death, he called for Sikh congregation headed by Baba Buddha that was also attended by Guru's two sons Mohan and Mohri. He appointed his son-in-law Jetha as successor and renamed him Guru Ram Das.
26 March 1552 – 1 September 1574
Guru Ram Das