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Guru Amar Das's Early Life

It is recorded that before becoming a Sikh, Bhai Amar as he was known at the time, was a very religious vaishnavite hindu who spent most of his life performing all of the ritual pilgrimages and fasts of a devout hindu. However, the ritual pilgrimages and fasts failed to provide Bhai Amar with the truth and his connection with God.

About 8 miles from the present City of Amritsar in the village Baserke Gillan a son was born on 5th May 1479, to a trader, Baba Tej Bhan Bhaua and his wife. The child was named Amar. He was the eldest in the family of four brothers. Amar's parents were religous and spent a lot of time in charitable activities.

In this pious environment Amar developed remarkable interest in holy activites. Encouraged by his family he would visit wandering sadhus on the outskirts of the village. In due course, Bhai Amar became familiar with the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the puranic literature and features of hindu religion. Bhai Amar grew up to be a young man with a great religious temperament. Since he was a devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi he visited the pilgrimage places of all faiths.

During that time education was imparted by maulvies and mullas. Due to the predominant influence of Islam classes were held in the mosque. Urdu and Persian were the two languages which were taught, but pandits were engaged to teach hindi to hindu students. Even though there is no evidence to suggest that Bhai Amar attended these classes, but traces of urdu, persian, hindi and sanskrit expressions in Gurbani composed by the Guru show his acquaintances with these two languages.

Stress was laid on physical education in those days. These habits of childhood were evident even in old age when Bhai Amar made a conscious effort to start pathshalas for teaching Gurmukhi and Akharas for the physical education.

Bhai Amar was married aged approx 24 when he married Bibi Mansa, the daughter of Sri Devi Chand, who belonged to the village of Sankhatra in Sialkot district. Bibi Mansa was a God fearing women who believed in carrying out religious duties. She proved an apt partner for Bhai Amar. She helped her husband in carrying out social work for the community and helped organize festivals and ceremonies. The couple was blessed with two sons, Mohan and Mohri, and two daughters Dani and Bhani.

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