Sikh gurus

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A miniature painting, dated 1890, depicting an "imaginary portrait" of the ten Gurus and others.[1]

The Sikh Gurus (Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖ ਗੁਰੂ) are the spiritual masters of Sikhi, who established this religion over the course of about two and a half centuries, beginning in 1469.[2] The year 1469 marks the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. He was succeeded by nine other gurus until, in 1708, the Guruship was finally passed on by the tenth guru to the holy Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, which is now considered the living Guru by the followers of the Sikh faith.[3]

Etymology and definition[edit]

Guru (/ˈɡr/, UK also /ˈɡʊr, ˈɡʊər-/; Sanskrit: गुरु, Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ, IAST: guru) is a Sanskrit term for a "teacher, guide, expert, or master" of certain knowledge or field.[4] Bhai Vir Singh, in his dictionary of Guru Granth Sahib describes the term Guru as a combination of two separate units: "Gu;(ਗੁ)" meaning darkness and "Rū;(ਰੂ)" which means light.[5] Hence, Guru is who brings light into darkness or in other words, the one who enlightens.

Bhai Vir Singh's definition provides further insight about Sikhi itself and explains why Guru Granth Sahib is considered the living Guru. The word Sikh is derived from the Sanskrit term shishya[6](Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖ) which means a disciple or a student. Thus, Sikhs have a student–teacher relationship with their Gurus since their teachings, written in Guru Granth Sahib, serve as a guide for the sikhs.

The Gurus[edit]

No. Name Portrait Guruship Birth Date Birth Place Born as Father Mother Date of death Reason Place of death
1 Guru Nanak Dev Ji Guru Nanak Dev by Raja Ravi Varma.jpg Since birth 14 April 1469 [note 1] Nankana Sahib, Punjab, Delhi Sultanate Hindu Khatris Kalyan Das Bedi Mata Tripta 22 September 1539(1539-09-22) (aged 70) Natural causes Kartarpur, Punjab, Mughal Empire
2 Guru Angad Dev Guru Angad from a painting at the Lahore Museum.jpg 7 September 1539 31 March 1504 Muktsar, Punjab, Mughal Empire Hindu Baba Pheru Mal Mata Ramo 29 March 1552(1552-03-29) (aged 47) Natural causes Khadur Sahib, Punjab, Mughal Empire
3 Guru Amar Das Amardas-Goindwal.jpg 26 April 1552 5 May 1479 Amritsar, Punjab, Mughal Empire Vaishnavism, Hindu Tej Bhan Bhalla Mata Lachmi 1 September 1574(1574-09-01) (aged 95) Natural causes Goindval, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire
4 Guru Ram Das Guru Ram Das.jpg 1 September 1574 24 September 1534 Lahore, Punjab, Mughal Empire Hindu Khatris Baba Har Das Mata Daya 1 September 1581(1581-09-01) (aged 46) Natural causes Goindval, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire
5 Guru Arjan Dev Guru Arjan.jpg 1 September 1581 15 April 1563 Goindval, Punjab, Mughal Empire Sikh Guru Ram Das Mata Bhani 30 May 1606(1606-05-30) (aged 43) Execution by Mughal Emperor Jahangir Lahore, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire
6 Guru Hargobind Guru Hargobind, The sixth Guru of Sikhism.jpg 25 May 1606 19 June 1595 Amritsar, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire Sikh Guru Arjun Dev Mata Ganga 28 February 1644(1644-02-28) (aged 48) Natural causes Kiratpur Sahib, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire
7 Guru Har Rai Guru Har Rai.jpg 3 March 1644 16 January 1630 Kiratpur Sahib, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire Sikh Baba Gurditta Mata Nihal Kaur 6 October 1661(1661-10-06) (aged 31) Natural causes Delhi, Delhi Subah, Mughal Empire
8 Guru Har Krishan Sri Guru Har Krishan Ji Gurudwara Pothi Mala.jpg 7 October 1661 7 July 1656 Kiratpur Sahib, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire Sikh Guru Har Rai Mata Krishan Kaur 30 March 1664(1664-03-30) (aged 7) Smallpox Delhi, Delhi Subah, Mughal Empire
9 Guru Tegh Bahadur Guru teg bahadur.jpg 20 March 1664 1 April 1621 Amritsar, Lahore Subah, Mughal Empire Sikh Guru Hargobind Mata Nanaki 11 November 1675(1675-11-11) (aged 54) Execution by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Delhi, Delhi Subah, Mughal Empire
10 Guru Gobind Singh Guru Gobind Singh portrait.jpg 11 November 1675 22 December 1666 Patna Sahib, Bihar Subah, Mughal Empire Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur Mata Gujri 7 October 1708(1708-10-07) (aged 41) Assassinated by Jamshed Khan and Wasil Beg on order of Wazir Khan (Sirhind) Hazur Sahib, Bidar Subah, Mughal Empire

Timeline of Sikh Gurus[edit]

Pedigree of Sikh Gurus[note 2][edit]

Bansawali Guru Sahibaan Ki

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Sikhs. E.J. Brill. p. 38. ISBN 9004095543.
  2. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 186–187. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  3. ^ The Sikhs : faith, philosophy & folk. Lustre Press. ISBN 9788174360373.
  4. ^ Stefan Pertz (2013), The Guru in Me - Critical Perspectives on Management, GRIN Verlag, ISBN 978-3638749251, pages 2-3
  5. ^ Singh, Veer (1964). Sri Guru Granth Kosh. p. 122.
  6. ^ World religions : from ancient history to the present. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7.


  1. ^ officially observed on Katak Puranmashi (October–November)
  2. ^ Listed names and relations might vary from source to source since different aspects of Sikh history have been written by many different individuals over the course of past six centuries

External links[edit]