The Gurus Gurpurbs Gurpurbs are days connected with the lives of the Gurus. The most important ones are: Birthday of Guru Nanak - November. Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh - 5th January. Martyrdom of Guru Arjun - 16th June. In addition to Nagar keertan (street procession) and Akhand paath (continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib), Guru Arjun's martyrdom is commemorated by Sikhs having stalls offering free drinks to passers-by. This recalls the original events when Guru Hargobind offered the Sikhs sweet drinks to calm down after the execution of Guru Arjun, the first Sikh martyr. Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur - 24th November. Guru The word "Guru" is a Sanskrit word meaning teacher, honoured person, religious person or saint. Sikhism though
has a very specific definition of the word Guru. It means the descent of divine guidance to mankind provided through ten Enlightened Masters. This honour of being called a Sikh Guru applies only to the ten Gurus who founded the religion starting with Guru Nanak in 1469 and ending with Guru Gobind Singh in 1708; thereafter it refers to the Sikh Holy Scriptures the Guru Granth Sahib. The divine spirit was passed from one Guru to the next as "The light of a lamp which lights another does not abate. Similarly a spiritual leader and his disciple become equal, Nanak says the truth." Pictures of the Gurus Sikhism rejects any form of idol worship including worship of pictures of the Gurus. Although some of the Gurus did pose for paintings, unfortunately none of these historical paintings have survived. Artists renditions are for inspirational purposes only
and should not be regarded as objects of worship themselves. Guru Nanak 1. Guru Nanak is important to Sikhs because he: was the founder of Sikhism, setting out its basic ideas in hymns. travelled 30,000 miles in four journeys to spread God's message (see artists image). set up a model community at Kartarpur. appointed a successor to continue his work. . Guru Angad Dev (1504-1552)
Guru Angad is important to Sikhs because he: was appointed as the second Guru by Guru Nanak, thus establishing the House of the Guru. his name was changed from Lehna to Angad meaning 'my limb' showing that he was now the same as the Guru. developed the langar. His wife, Mata Khivi, is one of the few people mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib. She is mentioned because of
her kheer (rice pudding) which was used to feed the hungry. Guru Amar Das (1479-1574) Guru Amar Das became Guru at 73 and is important to Sikhs because he: made many social reforms to improve the status of women. asked people to eat together in the langar before coming to listen to his teachings. This was to deal with some 'holy' people who refused to eat with 'other' people but wanted to listen to his teachings. He even insisted on this rule when visited by the Mughal Emperor, at that time perhaps the most magnificent
ruler in the world. The Fourth Master Guru Ram Das (1534-1581) Guru Ram Das was born at Lahore.His father was Bhai Hardas ji and mother Bibi Daya Kaur. Guru was the Jetha (means eldest) in the family and his parents died when he was very small. He moved to Basarke in Punjabi, to his grandparent's house. The son-in-law of Guru Amar Das and he founded the city Amritsar,
built the Golden Temple. He spreed Sikhism in North India. Guru Ram Das is important to Sikhs because he: established the city of Amritsar. The Fifth Master Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606) Guru Arjun is important to Sikhs because he: built the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) of Amritsar collected the writings of the previous Gurus and thirty-six other holy people into what western scholars call the Adi Granth (the first copy of the Guru Granth Sahib) in 1604. became the first Sikh martyr
when executed on the orders of the Mughal Emperor. Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) Guru Hargobind is important to Sikhs because he: designed the Nishan Sahib (Sikh flag). wore two swords showing meeri-peeri (worldly power as well as spiritual power). created the Akal Takht opposite the Harmandar
Sahib in Amritsar. The political centre of the Sikhs sat opposite the religious centre showing the balance between worldly and spiritual power (meeri-peeri). ordered Sikhs to ride horses and carry swords. This is illegal for dhimmis (non-Muslims in a Muslim country). freed fifty-two innocent princes who were in prison with him. They held on to tassles attached to his cloak. The event is celebrated by Sikhs at Diwali. created places of prayer for Muslim followers of his. One of them called Guru-ka-Masjid still survives today in India. The Seventh Master Guru Har Rai (1630-1661) Guru Har Rai was the grandson of Guru Hargobind. He was born on 16th Januay 1630, at Kiratpur district
Punjab. His mother was Bibi Nihal Kaur and father Siri Gurditta ji.He made Sikhism strong and popular, like Guru Hargobind. The Guru kept up the tradition of Sikhism. He appointed his son Har Krishan as his successor in 1661. Guru Har Rai is important to Sikhs because he: collected rare plants and used them to make medicines. When no one else could help him, he gave medicines to Prince Daro, the son of Emperor Shah Jehan (the maker of the Taj Mahal). The Eighth Master Guru Harkrishan (1656-1664)
Guru Harkrishan become a Guru at the age of five and the son of Guru Har Rai Ji. His mother was Bibi Kishan Kaur. He lived a short life of eight years. At this age he showed great miracles and helped poor people.He was the youngest son of Guru Har Rai. Guru Harkrishan had the ability in explaining passages from the Holy book (Sri-Guru Granth Sahib). He reminded disciples there was one God alone and asked to discard passions. Learn the truth way of life and also be charity, able love everyone. He died of cholera, when he started his mission of going to the afflicted colonies and nursed the suffering people with his own hands.
Guru's messages is truthfulness and care for others. Guru Har Krishan is important to Sikhs because he: died serving victims of smallpox at the age of 8. The Ninth Master Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675) Guru Tegh Bahadur is important to Sikhs because he: led the first massive non-violent protest movement against the Mughal Emperor's policy of forcing Hindus to become Muslims. became the second Guru to be killed by Mughal Emperors, which some people argue led to
the formation of the Khalsa. died to protect the freedom of a religion whose teachings he disgreed with, and to protect each individual's right to worship God as they choose The Tenth Master Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) Guru Gobind Singh is important to Sikhs because he: created the Khalsa on the Vaisakhi of 1699.
became the first to receive amrit (initiation) from the Khalsa and changed his name from Guru Gobind Rai to Guru Gobind Singh. finalised the Guru Granth Sahib by adding Guru Tegh Bahadur's writings to it. acknowledged Guru Granth Sahib as the Living Guru for Sikhs in 1708. taught the Sikhs the quality of chardi kala (rising spirits) as he remained faithful to God in spite of having his father, mother and four sons killed by the Mughals. showed the importance of compassion as he rewarded Bhai Kannayya, a Sikh who was giving water to Mughal soldiers, during the Sikh-Mughal wars. He asked him to provide the injured soldiers with medical care as well as water. Sri-Guru Granth Sahib- Holy Book
The Guru Granth Sahib is important to Sikhs because: it is the scripture (holy book) of the Sikhs. the original copy still exists, checked and signed by the Guru. Today, it is always printed with 1430 pages. it contains the teachings of the Gurus and 36 Hindu and Muslim holy people whose teachings agreed with their own. it is treated as the Living Guru by Sikhs. The holy book is kept inside all Gurdwaras and the centre piece is the Takht, means a throne. The book is placed on raised platform with a decorated canopy above it. Every
morning the book is taken out from the special rest room and carried on th e head to the centre of the room and is put on the throne. The devotees bow to the holy book, when they enter the Gurdwara.
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