Name of Ten Sikh Gurus with Brief Description

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Name of Ten Sikh Gurus with Brief Description

A brief description of the Ten Sikh Gurus has been given below:

1. Guru Nanak: Those who believed in the religion preached by Guru Nanak are called Sikhs. The meaning of the word ‘Sikh’ is ‘disciple’ or ‘student’.

Guru Nanak preached Sikhism in the early part of the 16th century. His teachings were very simple and he laid emphasis on the unity of god. He preached that God is one (Ek onkar), is without form (Nirankar), eternal (Akal) and ineffable (Alakh). He asserted that different religions may call God by different names, but the fact remains that he is one and only one. His teachings created an atmosphere of harmony between the Hindus and the Muslims.

Guru Nanak elevated the Hindus of the Punjab to a much higher plain. It helped to reduce the hardship of caste system and gave relief to the oppressed classes.

2. Guru Angad: Before his death Guru Nanak appointed Angad as his successor. Guru Angad carried on the work of his master and made Sikhism a very popular faith in the Punjab. He introduced the Gurumukhi script and used it for writing Gurubani (sermons of the Guru).

3. Guru Amardas: Guru Angad was succeeded by guru Amardas. He constructed a Baoli (or pool) at Goindwal which became a place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs. During his time the Sikhism grew very rapidly. He divided his disciples into 22 branches which were known as ‘Manjis’. He was a great social reformer too. He also condemned the Purdha system.

4. Guru Ramdas: The fourth Guru Ramdas was a contemporary of Akbar. Akbar showed great respect to him and granted him 500 bighas of land at a nominal rate. Guru Ramdas founded the modern city of ‘Amritsar’ there and constructed two famous ponds called ‘Amritsar’ and Santokhsar’. As he needed money for his construction work, he sent representatives, called Masands, all over India to collect funds. It led to the foundation of Masand system which went a long way in the rapid spread of Sikhism.

5. Guru Arjan Dev: The tenure of the fifth Guru Arjan Dev was memorable for many reasons. He completed the construction of Amritsar and built the `Harmandir’ or the ‘Golden Temple’ by its side. The most remarkable achievement of Guru Arjan Dev was the completion of the Adi Granth. This voluminous book contains the teachings and hymns of Guru Nanak and the next four Gurus. When Jahangir’s son Khusro rebelled against him, the Guru blessed him. This offended Jahangir and Guru Arjan was tortured to death by his order. This martyrdom roused the entire Sikh community. Hitherto, Sikhism was a peace-loving sect, but now the Sikhs took up arms in order to fight against the Mughals. Thus on the ashes of Guru Arjan Dev was laid the foundation of the militant Sikhs or the Khalsa.

6. Guru Hargobind: Deeply moved by the execution of his father, his son and the next Guru Hargobind asked his followers to donate horses and weapons instead of money to organize an army. He constructed a fort known as Lohagarh at Amritsar for lodging his armed forces. He also built a palatial building opposite the Golden Temple which was known as the Akal Takhat (Eternal throne).

7. Guru Har Rai: The next Guru was Har Rai Sahib Ji. Though he maintained a strong army he followed a peaceful policy towards the Mughals. He did much for the expansion of Sikhism.

8. Guru Har Kishan: He became Guru at the tender age of five. His intellect impressed the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. He, however, died of small pox in 1664.

9. Guru Tegh Bahadur (1664-75): The ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur incurred the wrath of Aurangzeb as he protested against the religious persecution of the Kashmiri Brahmins. He was put to death by Aurangzeb. It was a great political blunder. In the words of Dr. G.C. Narang, ‘The whole of Punjab began to burn with indignation and revenge” for this murder.

10. Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708): Guru Gobind Singh, son of Teg Bahadur, was the tenth and the last Guru of the Sikhs. He took a vow to avenge the death of his father and to fight against the tyranny of the Mughals. In order to infuse a new spirit among the Sikhs he instituted the custom of Pahul or baptism. Those who underwent baptism were known as Khalsa or pure. They were allowed to add Singh (Lion) after their names. Every Khalsa was ordered to display five K’s namely Kara (iron bangle), Kachha (long underwear), Kesh (long hair), Kripan (sword) and Kangha (comb).

Guru Govind Singh announced the end of personal Guruship. He gave final shape to Adi Granth and renamed it as Granth Sahib.

Henceforth the Sikhs were to regard the holy Granth Sahib as their Guru and reverently called it Guru Granth Sahib.

Thus the Sikhism which started as a reformist movement became in course of time a separate religion from Hinduism.

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