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SIKH GURUS

GURU RAM DAS
(1534-1581)


GURU RAM DAS (24.9.1534 - 1.9.1581), son of Mata Daya Kaur and Baba Hari Das, was born at Lahore. He was named Jetha (literally: the eldest). His parents died when he was just seven years old. In 1541, his grandmother took him to village Basarke. Here, the child Bhai Jetha came into contact with Guru Amar Das Sahib. Some times later, Guru Amar Das Sahib took him to Goindwal. Bhai Jetha made active participation in the establishment of Goindwal. Guru Amar Das Sahib loved Bhai Jetha so much that he always took Bhai Jetha with him. When Guru Amar Das Sahib went on a missionary journey, Bhai Jetha too accompanied him. In 1554, Bhai Jetha got married to Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das Sahib. Bibi Bhani bore him three sons: Prithi Chand, Mahadev and (Guru) Arjan Sahib. During this period, some Brahmin and Khatri Hindus made a complaint to Akbar that Guru Amar Das had been asking the people not to read Gaetari Mantra (a hymn sacred to the Hindus) and was preaching Gurbaani. In 1566-67, Akbar visited Lahore. Partly because of that complaint and partly on insistence by Birbal (a Hindu minister of Akbar), Akbar sent a message to Guru Sahib to visit Lahore. Guru Amar Das Sahib sent Bhai Jetha to Lahore. Here, Bhai Jetha presented truth before Akbar. At this Akbar rebuked the Brahmins and the Khatri Hindus and thanked Bhai Jetha for visiting Lahore.

In 1570 (according to some sources in 1564), Guru Amar Das Sahib asked Bhai Jetha to establish a model town of the Sikh nation in the heart of the Punjab. Guru Ram Das Sahib purchased the land of Sultanwind, Tung, Gilwali and Gumtala villages and began digging of Santokhsar Sarovar (tank). Guru Ram Das Sahib was installed as Fourth Nanak.

In 1577, he laid the foundation of the city of Amritsar. In 1577, he started the construction of Amritsar Sarovar (tank). The town was, then, known as Guru-Da-Chakk. (Gradually, Amritsar became a center of the Sikh nation's religious, cultural, economic and political life). Later, Guru Arjan Sahib named it Chakk Ram Das, after Guru Ram Das Sahib's name. Now it is known as Amritsar, after the name of Amritsar Sarovar. He spread the Sikh mission by appointing Masands (in charges of mission) to different parts of the sub-continent. It was during his time that Sri Chand (son of Guru Nanak Sahib), the founder of the Udasi sect, expressed his desire to be a part of the Sikh faith.

Guru Ram Das Sahib wrote 638 hymns, which are a part of Guru Granth Sahib. He composed hymns in 30 Rags. His hymns include 8 Vaars, 246 Padei, 31 Ashtpadis and 138 Saloks. He appointed Guru Arjan Sahib as his successor-in-mission and presented the latter with all the Sikh scriptures.





 
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