As well as being the Third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das was a great social reformer.
Guru Amar Das asked all visitors to Gurdwaras to first take Langar together before seeing the Guru. "First Pangat then Sangat".
Guru Amar Das further abolished the hindu caste system.
Guru Amar Das lifted the status of women and gave them equality with men. He strictly prohibited the practice of Sati (the dying of the wife on her husband's funeral pyre), "Parrda" (veil to cover the face), etc.
Guru Amar Das established an administration system for management of the increasing size of the Sikh congregations, called Manjis.
The khatris and brahmins felt threatened by the new Sikh religion and wanted to crush it.
When Emperor Akbar came to Lahore, the khatris and brahmins met him and complained that Guru Amar Das was a danger to the hindu religion. That he had created his own religious scripture and customs. That his religous knowledge was poor and he didn't know that the hymn's from hindu scriptures are gayatri.
Emperor Akbar summoned Guru Amar Das to Lahore. A message was sent stating that the khatris and brahmins had made complaints against him and he should come to Lahore and respond in court. On hearing Akbar's message, Guru Amar Das asked Bhai Jetha (who later became Guru Ram Das Ji) to go to Lahore and represent him. On listening Guru Ji's order, Bhai Jetha became concerned as he had not studied any of the scriptures. Bhai Jetha asked Guru Amar Das to reconsider as he did not have the required knowledge.
Guru Amar Das listened Bhai Jetha and asked him not to worry. Guru Amar Das instructed Bhai Jetha 'that when in the court of the emperor, whenever a question is asked, then think of me and look towards your right arm'.
Guru Amar Das explained that he would be with Bhai Jetha in spirit and that Bhai Jetha's faith will provide him with all of the required knowledge enabling any question to be answered without any difficulty. After Bhai Jetha received Guru Amar Das's blessing, he left for Lahore. Bhai Jetha rested at Choona Mandi Lahore and the next morning, after prayering, he entered the Emperor's court.
In the presence of Akbar, Bhai Jetha recalled Guru Amar Das's advice and while looking towards his right arm, he recited the gayatri and explained its meaning. Bhai Jetha peacefully responded to the complaints of khatris and brahmins.
After hearing the meanings with vocals, the people in the court (including the khatris and brahmins) were amazed and shocked. They couldn't understand how a simple representative of the Guru had so much knowledge. Imagine the knowledge the Guru had! The courtiers were at a loss, they had no further questions.
The Emperor was impressed by the deep and meaningful answers given by Bhai Jetha. Akbar dismissed the complaint and labelled the khatris and brahmins as liars. Akbar recognised Guru Amar Das's greatness as presented a robe of honour to Bhai Jetha before respectfully bidding him farewell.
After leaving Akbar's court, Bhai Jetha passed through the bazaar. He saw an expensive and beautiful cloth for sale and thought it would make a fine gift for Guru Amar Das. However, as Bhai Jetha didn't have enough money he could only think about nice the gift would look on Guru Amar Das.
At the same time, Guru Amar Das, while at Sri Goindwal Sahib, was removing wrinkles from his clothing. When Bhai Ballu asked Guru Amar Das what he doing. Guru Amar Das explained that Bhai Jetha was in Lahore and wanted him to look nice. Guru Amar Das was still spiritally connected with Bhai Jetha.
The next day, Bhai Jetha began his journey back to Sri Goindwal Sahib. Along the way, Bhai Jetha saw some nice, unseasonal, mango's being sold in the market. The mangos looked delicous and Bhai Jetha thought they would make a beautiful gift for Guru Amar Das.
Bhai Jetha bought a mango for one rupee and left for Goindwal Sahib. After spending a night on the way, Bhai Jetha reached the village Bharowal (now known as Bharowal Sahib) near Goindwal Sahib. After resting at Bharowal, Bhai Jetha noticed that the mango was starting to rot and its juice had started flowing. Bhai Jetha was concerned the mango might not reach Guru Ji.
Bhai Jetha thought that although he had bought the mango for Guru Amar Das it would not physically reach Goindwal. Bhai Jetha offered his prayers and ate the mango himself. Bhai Jetha hoped that the satisfaction of eating the mango would go to Guru Amar Das. This is where Gurdwara Sri Amb Sahib Bharowal is now located.
At the same time, Guru Amar Das was eating a mango and enjoying it at Goindwal Sahib. After eating the mango, Guru Amar Das asked Bhai Ballu to keep the seed in the window nearby.
When Bhai Jetha returned he told Guru Amar Das and other Sikhs about the events of the Emperor's court. Bhai Jetha was surprised that Guru Amar Das seemed to know what had happened. Guru Amar Das asked what Bhai Jetha had brought from Lahore. Bhai Jetha explained that he wanted to buy some cloth but then bought a mango which didn't make the journey.
Guru Amar Das explained that he had eaten the sweet and beautiful mango and asked Bhai Ballu to show the remains. Bhai Jetha and the other Sikhs were amazed.
Bhai Khema was an old Sikh follower who lived in Bharowal. Bhai Khema served Guru Angad Sahib Ji with great zeal. Guru Angad Sahib Ji was pleased with Bhai Khema's service and asked him what he wanted. Bhai Khema had no children and asked for a son. And so, the age of 70 his wish became true.
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
Other Gurbani Contributors