History of 10 Sikh Gurus
History of Sikh Gurus: Sikhism is the newest religion of the World founded by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He lived through 10 Physical Bodies in Sikh Traditions till the 10th Master Guru Gobind Singh – Founder of Khalsa.
Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1538) was born in Talwandi Rai Bhoi, now called Nankana Sahib (now in Pakistan). His parents were Hindus and belonged to the aristocracy. As a child, Nanak was influenced by religion and his search for the truth of life eventually forced him to leave home. He made four important journeys, called Udasis, which were thousands of miles long.
In 1538, Guru Nanak chose Bhai Lehna to be his successor instead of his son. Bhai Lehna became the second Guru of the Sikhs in the form of Guru Angad. He continued the work started by Guru Nanak.
After Guru Angad
Guru Amar Das became the third Guru of the Sikhs in 1552 at the age of 73. Goindval became a great center of Sikhism during the reign of Guru Amar Das. He started the tradition of giving equal rights to women, banning the practice of Sati and langar, in which Emperor Akbar sat down with the common people of Punjab and ate langar in 1567. Guru Amar Das trained 140 missionaries, including 52 women, to preach Sikhism. At the age of 95, before his death in 1574, he made his son-in-law, Bhai Jetha, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs.
The eldest sat on the throne in the form of Guru Ram Das. He founded a city called Ramdaspur, which later became Amritsar. Guru Arjan, the eldest son of the fourth Guru, became the fifth Guru of the Sikhs in 1581. In addition to the construction of the Golden Temple, he wrote down the religious words of the Sikhs and contributed more than 2000 words to the Guru Granth Sahib. In 1604 he established the Adi Granth as the first religious text of the Sikhs. He was martyred by the Mughal emperor sitting on a hot plate (ਤੱਤੀ ਤਵੀ) In 1606 for refusing to make changes to the Guru Granth Sahib (then Pothi Sahib).
Beginning of martial order in Sikhism
Guru Hargobind became the sixth Guru of the Sikhs. He carried two swords – one of Miri and the other of Peeri. From that time on, the Sikhs became a military power and the battle for their independence was being waged. In 1644, Guru Har Rai became the Guru of the Sikhs and was succeeded by Guru Har Krishan Ji, the youngest in 1661 AD. Guru Tegh Bahadur became Guru in 1665 and led the Sikhs until 1675 when he offered sacrifices at Chandni Chowk in Delhi at the request of Kashmiri Hindus.
In 1675 AD, Aurangzeb had the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, Tegh Bahadur, martyred in the form of Chandni Chowk. In Sikh history, Guru Tegh Bahadur is known as “Hind di Chadar” for his sacrifices to those who failed to convert to Islam by the Mughal emperor. This event marked a turning point in Sikh history. The next Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, ordered his servants, known as the Khalsa, to take up arms. After the martyrdom of the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the Guru sent a Zafarnama (letter of victory) to Aurangzeb. Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru of the Sikhs, in 1708, declared the Guru Granth Sahib as the last and eternal Guru.
* Chronology in Sikh History is subjected to debate as the Panth has not yet worked to sort out these dates.