Guru Arjan (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਰਾਮ ਦਾਸ) was the fifth Sikh Guru.
Guru Arjan Sahib Ji was born on April 15, 1563, in the house of Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru. He was the youngest of the three sons of Guru Ram Das Ji.
Guru Arjan was the embodiment of Godly devotion, Selfless Service and Universal Love. He was the treasure of celestial knowledge and spiritual excellence. He substantially contributed towards the welfare of the society. He stood steadfastly for the principles he believed in, sacrificed his own life, and attained a unique and unparalleled martyrdom in the history of mankind.
The Sakhi (story) of Guru Arjan's early life and where he was born.
Bhai Sahari Mal, Guru Ram Das's first cousin, came from Lahore especially to invite Guru Sahib to grace his son's marriage with his presence. Guru Ram Das explained the difficulties there would be if he left Amritsar. In lieu of himself, Guru Ram Das consented to send one of his sons.
Guru Arjan Sahib Ji was a born an apostle of peace. Although he ascended the throne of Guru Nanak at the age of 18, he was far more advanced in wisdom than normal for his years not to ention his angelic qualities. The letters he wrote to his father from Lahore, not then even a teen-aged boy, stand testimony to that fact.
After arriving in Mao Sahib, all the residents of the village came out to receive the marriage party. The headman of the village met the group and said, "There is a tradition of this village that before entering the village the bridegroom has to lance out a peg dug in the field with a spear while on horseback."
Bhai Satta and Bhai Balwand were official Ragis in the Darbar of Guru Arjan. They used to recite Gurbani in the morning and evening. Their sweet kirtan always mesmerized the Sangat. Balwand and Satta continued to please the Guru's visitors with their songs and music; but on seeing his glory increase, their pride and greed increased in the same ratio.
Bhai Manjh Sahib Ji whose name was 'Tiratha', was a preacher of his local area in Amritsar. In the year 1585, when Bhai Ji was going back to his village from Nigaha, he stayed at Amritsar. In the company of Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji, he learnt about the life of Sikhs and Sikhism. Bhai Manjh had not seen such happiness, he asked Guru Arjan to grant him 'Sikhi'.
Bhai Budhu Shah is widely known for not only his tomb but also his famous 'Awa' in Lahore. When Guru Arjan was in Lahore. Amongst his visitors was Bhai Budhu. He was very Influenced to hear the devotional kirtan of Guru Arjan and became his Sikh.
Two Sikhs, Bhai Lalu and Bhai Nihalu were very learned and good interpreters of the Gurus word but they felt troubled because the wealth and prestige they were earning was not providing peace.
Birbal, or Raja Birbal, was a hindu brahmin advisor in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. On religous grounds Birbal was hostile to Guru Arjan and jealous of his daily and increasing popularity. Birbal's energy blazed for a while, but it was only the expiring flicker of the lamp.
It is a common misconception that the foundation stone was laid by the Sufi saint Mian Mir of Lahore. The foundation stone was laid by none other than Guru Arjan Sahib himself in December 1588.
The Gurdwara was completed in 1604. Guru Arjan, installed the Guru Granth Sahib in it and appointed Baba Buddha as the first Granthi (reader) of it on August 1604.
Bhai Kaliana was one of the few Sikhs who were assigned by Guru Arjan with the great responsibility of going out to various places educating people about Gurmat. Once Bhai Kaliana arrived in Mandi the day before the occassion of Krishna Janmashtami.
As advised by Bhai Kalyana, the Raja of Mandi went to Amritsar for an audience with Guru Arjan and presented himself at the morning Sangat (congregation).
Though Hema was extremely poor, and possessed only a coarse blanket to wear, his hut was always open to strangers. Guru Arjan seeing his love and devotion gladly accepted his hospitality.
Tarn Taran Sahib was first founded by Guru Arjan in 1590 AD. During the 1980s and early 1990s Tarn Taran Sahib was suggested as the capital of Khalistan, the proposed Sikh independent nation.
A Sikh of the village of Bhaini invited the Guru to visit him, and the Guru knowing his devotion consented. Subsquently, the Guru renamed the village to Chohla.
Kartarpur, which means 'Town/ City of God', is a town near Jalandhar city and is located in the Doaba region of Punjab. It was founded by Guru Arjan in 1594 AD.
With the object of giving his Sikhs a lesson in humility Guru Arjan decided on referring Mata Ganga to Baba Budha for his advice and blessings.
This sakhi (a verbally narrated true historical account) is told in Sikh families from the time of Guru Arjan. Once a large dedicated Sangat (group of Sikhs) was travelling from Kabul (Capital of Afghanistan) to Amritsar for the darshan (audience, blessings) of the Guru.
A proud ritualistic hindu brahman pandit arrived in Amritsar to hold a religious argument with Guru Arjan. Guru Arjan asked the pandit, "Brahman, why are you so full of arrogance and anger?"
Akbar's Prime Minister and court historian, Abul Fazl, writes in Akbar Namah that Emperor Akbar crossed river Beas at Goindwal on an elephant while his army passed over by a bridge. The Emperor called at the residence of Guru Arjan on November 24, 1598.
The most valuable achievement of Guru Arjan was the compilation of the scriptures of the Sikh Guru's into the Adi Granth, popularly called Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The Guru Granth Sahib is truely unique among the world's great scriptures. It is considered the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion, rather than any living person. It is also the only scripture of it's kind which not only contains the works of it's own religious founders but also writings of people from other faiths.
Chandu Shah, was a wealthy banker and had the ego of a spoiled rich man. He was a proud and arrogant man who was born an upper-caste hindu but converted to Islam in order to gain wealth but he also needed to find a suitable match for the marriage of his daughter.
The Sikh's modern and open views on moral philosophy and equality made many enemies. The qazis and pandits were fearful of losing control of the masses and bore enmity to Guru Arjan on account of his compilation of the Granth and complained to Emperor Akbar.
Prithi Chand took a distinctly hostile view of his brother's appointment as Guru. He often travelled to Lahore to meet the mughals and offered them precious gifts and presents in exchange for favours. Prithi succeeded in enlisting Sulhi Khan And Sulbi Khan but those that oppose the Guru have to pay a high price.
Prince Khusrau was the eldest son of Jahangir and a favourite of Akbar, his grandfather. Akbar had been deeply disappointed with Prince Khusrau's father Jahangir and had nominated Prince Khusrau to the throne in supersession of Jahangir. While fleeing Jahangir, when Prince Khusrau reached Taran Taran near Amritsar, he received the blessings of Guru Arjan.
A number of factors led to the arrest, trial and torture of Guru Arjan. Emperor Jahangir, a notorious alcoholic, drug addict and womanizer, already hated Guru Arjan for several reasons.
After Guru Arjan was arrested he was taken to Lahore for a kangaroo court (fake trial). The trial of Guru Arjan was held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict had in reality already been decided before the trial had begun.
Jahangir ordered Guru Arjan to be tortured after the Guru refused to stop preaching his message of God as started by Guru Nanak. This was how Guru Arjan for his sanctity, his conversion of the hindus and muhammadans, his compilation of the Aad Granth Sahib and his assistance to the grandson of his former benefactor, fell a victim to the bigotry and inhumanity of a muhammadan emperor.
Before the arrest, torture, and martyrdom of Guru Arjan, the Sikhs had nothing to do with weapons or violence, as all the Sikh Gurus had taught the message of compassion, love, dedication, hard work, worship of one God, and the commitment to peace and harmony for all. In the end, Guru Arjan was victorious over torture and tyranny. Guru Arjan sowed the seed of martyrdom, which became the heritage of the Sikhs.
Guru Arjan's popularity with Emperor Akbar and people of Majha and Doaba, his achievements of Harmandir Sahib, Tarn Taran, Kartarpur and the holy Granth had become a matter of great agony and anguish to those who wanted to harm the Sikh cause.
Guru Arjan was the first martyr of the Sikh faith and the fifth of the ten Sikh Gurus, also known as the 'Apostle of Peace'.
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