It has been suggested that the Sikh Gurus (Masters) established Sikhism, which has grown into an established religion over the centuries. No guru comes to start a religion, but religions are formed around the teachings, as is the case since the Sikh gurus appeared, beginning in the year 1469. Guru Nanak was the first of the recognized Sikh Gurus, 'Sikh' being a term used for a spiritual practitioner who reaches an inner state of consciousness. Subsequent gurus, in succession, give credit to the previous Guru(s), understanding Oneness and deferring to "Nanak" and "Light" while putting their own revelations to word, recognized as scripture in modern sikhism.
There were ten recognized living Gurus in the Nanak line. Modern sikhism believes the Adi Granth or Granth Sahib, the writings of the Gurus, to now be the guru. This belief has been integrated alongside the writings of Sikh Gurus, and is now called Guru Granth Sahib. Modern sikhism says that the Tenth Guru Guru Gobind Singh bestowed the Guruship forever to the Guru Granth Sahib.
|#||Name||Date of birth||Guruship on||Date of death||Age at death||Major Life highlights||Father||Mother|
|1||Guru Nanak||15 April 1469||--||22 September 1539||69||* Founded Sikhism * Spiritual revelations registered as 974 hymns in Guru Granth Sahib * Rejected the authority of the Vedas * Preached the new idea of God as (Supreme, Universal, All-powerful and truthful, Formless, Fearless, Without Hate, Self-existent, Ever-lasting creator of all things, The eternal and absolute truth) * Attacked the citadel of the Hindu caste system, promoting equality of all * Emphasized the equality of women *Rejected the path of renunciation; emphasized leading a householder's life * Condemned the theocracy of Mughal emperor Babar * Started the institution of Guru ka Langar * Undertook 4 major journeys, travelling far and wide (including visits to Haridwar, Varanasi, Tibet, Srinagar, Lahore, Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, Syria, Turkey, Kabul, Kandhar, etc.) * Died of natural causes||Mehta Kalu||Mata Tripta|
|2||Guru Angad||31 March 1504||7 September 1539||29 March 1552||48||* Spiritual revelations registered as 63 Saloks (stanzas) in Guru Granth Sahib * Established new religious institutions to strengthen the base of Sikhism * Standardized and popularized the Gurumukhi Script* Opened many new schools * Started the tradition of Mall Akhara for physical as well as spiritual development * Popularized and expanded the institution of Guru ka Langar * Died of natural causes||Baba Pheru||Mata Ramo|
|3||Guru Amar Das||5 May 1479||26 March 1552||1 September 1574||95||* 869 verses including Anand Sahib in the Guru Granth Sahib * Established Manji & Piri system of religious missions for men and women respectively * Strengthened the Langar community kitchen system * Preached against the Hindu society's Sati system (burning alive of a wife at the pyre of her deceased husband), advocated widow-remarriage; Asked the women to discard "Purdah" (veil worn by Muslim women). * Asked Akbar to remove the toll-tax (pilgrim's tax) for non-Muslims while crossing Yamuna and Ganges Rivers * Died of natural causes||Tej Bhan Bhalla||Bakht Kaur|
|4||Guru Ram Das||24 September 1534||1 September 1574||1 September 1581||46||* 638 hymns in 30 ragas in the Guru Granth Sahib, which include 246 Padei, 138 Saloks, 31 Ashtpadis and 8 Vars * Composed the four Lawans (stanzas) of the Anand Karaj, a distinct marriage code for Sikhs separate from the orthodox and traditional Hindu Vedi system* Laid the foundation stone of Chak Ramdas or Ramdas Pur, now called Amritsar * Strongly decried superstitions, caste system and pilgrimages *Died of natural causes||Baba Hari Das||Mata Daya Vati|
|5||Guru Arjan||15 April 1563||1 September 1581||30 May 1606||43||* Compiled the Guru Granth Sahib, and installed it at Sri Harmandir Sahib on Bhadon Sudi 1st Samvat 1661 (August/September 1604), A landmark event in Sikh history* Contributed about 2000 verses to the Guru Granth Sahib * Founded the town of Tarn Taran Sahib near Goindwal Sahib * Built a house for Lepers. * Was tortured and executed on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir * Hailed as the first martyr of Sikh religion, and as Shaheedan-de-Sartaj (The crown of martyrs)||Rām Dās||Mata Bhani|
|6||Guru Har Gobind||19 June 1595||25 May 1606||28 February 1644||48||* Instituted the practice of maintaining armed legion of Sikh warrior-saints * Waged wars against rulers Jahangir and Shah Jahan * Died of natural causes||Arjun Dēv||Mata Ganga|
|7||Guru Har Rai||16 January 1630||3 March 1644||6 October 1661||31||* Sheltered Dara Shikoh; persecuted by Aurangzeb who framed charges of anti-Islamic blasphemy against Guru Ji and Sikh verses of Guru Granth Sahib * Died of natural causes||Baba Gurditta||Mata Nihal Kaur|
|8||Guru Har Krishan||7 July 1656||6 October 1661||30 March 1664||7||* Forcibly summoned to Delhi (the imperial capital of Aurangzeb) under framed charges * Died of the age of 8 due to smallpox, which he contracted while healing the sick people during an epidemic.||Hari Rā'i||Mata Krishan Kaur|
|9||Guru Tegh Bahadur||1 April 1621||20 March 1665||11 November 1675||54||* Opposed the forced conversions of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits by Muslims * Was consequently persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and executed under the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Contributed many hymns (Shlokas) to Guru Granth Sahib * Spread Sikhism far and wide to Bihar and Assam *||Hari Gōbind||Mata Nanki|
|10||Guru Gobind Singh||22 December 1666||11 November 1675||7 October 1708||41||* Founded Khalsa in 1699 * Last Sikh Guru in human form * Passed the Guruship of the Sikhs to the Guru Granth Sahib * Died of complications from stab wounds inflicted by Pashtun assassins sent by Mughal governor Wazir Khan||Tēġ Bahādur||Mata Gujri|
|11||Guru Granth Sahib||n/a||7 October 1708||n/a||n/a||Final and last, eternal living guru||-||-|