Sri Guru Amar Das Ji
Guru Amar Das Ji took up cudgels against the restrictions placed by the caste system and the custom of purdah. He introduced new customs for birth and death ceremonies.
|Name of Guru||Sat Guru Amar Dass Ji, Bhalla Linage – a Linage from Lord Rama’s brother Bharat’s son Bhallan.|
|Birthplace||Baasar Ke, Sannh Sahib, Sri Amritsar Sahib|
|Birthday||1526 Bikrami Vaisakh Sudi 14th, Saturday 5th May 1469 CE, Nakshatra Kritika* Giani Gian Singh in Twarikh Guru Khalsa has mentioned the Birth Samvat as Bikrami 1536 – 9th Vaisakh Sudi 14th. Bhai Kesar Singh has mentioned 18 Vaisakh 1566 Bikrami which was misread and later became 1536 Bikrami in many sources.|
|Parents||Mother Mata Lachhmi Ji (Roop Kaur Ji) from Village Gill Wali, Father Baba Tej Bhan Ji|
|Spouse||Mata Raamo Ji from Khem Karan, Married on 17 Maghar 1556 Bikrami.|
|Gurgaddi||1609 Bikrami Chetra Sudi Ekam, Khadur Sahib, 3 Days before Ascension of Guru Angad Dev Ji on March 25th, 1552 CE.|
|Joti Jot||1631 Bikrami Bhadon Sudi Pooranmashi at Goindwal Sahib, October 1st 1574 CE|
|Children||Baba Mohan Ji Born 1575 Bikrami, Baba Mohri ji Born 1579 Bikrami, Bibi Daani Ji, Bibi Bhani Ji Born 1593 Bikrami.|
|Total Age||105 Years, 4 Months, 1 Day|
|Guruship Period||21 Years, 5 Months, 14 Days|
|Throned King||Humayun, Akbar|
Guru Amar Das Ji Short Biography
Born in Basarke, in the District of Amritsar, Guru Amar Das was a farmer-trader and a strong Vaishnavite before he met Guru Angad at a fairly advanced age. He used to visit the places of Hindu pilgrimage every year. He too was a householder and had two sons and two daughters.
Hearing once the Word of the Guru being recited, he expressed a desire to see the Guru and when he did so, he offered ·himself body and soul to the service of his Master. He would fetch water for the Guru from the nearby river each morning in spite of his old age and served him so well that Guru Angad, leaving out his sons, appointed him to be his successor.
His contribution to the Sikh movement was manifold. Guru Amar Das not only extended the institution of the community kitchen but also fought against Purdah and Sati. He collected the works of his two predecessors and got them written out by his grandson, Sahsar Ram, in two volumes, which later formed the main source for the compilation of the Guru-Granth. He also added some of the sayings of the Hindu Bhaktas to these volumes, adding his comments wherever he differed from them.
Hearing his repute, even Akbar the Great came to visit him and offered a handsome grant for the community kitchen, but the Guru declined the offer, saying, "The Guru's kitchen must depend on small es voluntary offerings of the devotees and not on the imperial gifts".
The hostility of Datu and Dasu Ji
He had also to contend with hostility from Guru Angad's son, Datu, and Guru Nanak's ascetic son, Sri Chand. People were being attracted, as they often are in India, to the asceticism of Baba Sri Chand, to which the Guru was leading a strong opposition. But the hostility of Datu became so pronounced, that the Guru had to sometimes bear the unbearable.
Once Datu came to see him and kicked him off his seat, but the Guru was unprovoked. He started pressing the feet of the offender, saying, "I am old, my bones are dry and hard. Your tender feet must have been hurt by them".
Guru Amar Das founded the city of Goindwal and dug up a well here with 84 steps leading down to it. He visited the places of Hindu pilgrimage as a Guru and preached to large audiences the meaning of his new mission. His faith had now spread far and wide and to minister to its needs. He established 22 seats (Manjis) for missionary work and appointed one of his leading followers to be in charge of each. It was he who initiated reform in the marriage and death ceremonies, making both these occasions for the quiet recitation of the Name of God.
Guru Amar Das's compositions in the Guru-Granth are known for their simplicity of language. He used idiom for the thoroughness of interpretation of the metaphysical terminology. Guru Amar Das also emphasized the need and sanctity Of secular activity amongst his Sikhs. When Gango, a Khatri, came to see him and asked, "What shall I do to save myself," the Guru replied, "Go and open a bank at Delhi and dwell upon the Name of God."