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Guru Arjan's Early Life

Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru Nanak, was born on 15th April 1563 at Goindwal. He was the youngest son of Bhai Jetha (later Guru Ram Das) and Bibi Bhani (Guru Amar Das's daughter). There was great rejoicing everywhere in all the Sikh Sangats at his birth. This unusual rejoicing surprised quite a few people, since this was not the first time a son had been born in the family.

The newborn was the third son of the Guru's daughter. Although Guru Amar Das had two sons, Mohan and Mohri, not much notice was taken when they had their children. Guru Amar Das, however, was very pleased when his youngest grandchild was born. There were widespread celebrations, and food and clothes were distributed among the poor and needy. Everyone came to bless the child, who, from the very beginning, had a serene and divine look on his face.

"Dohita Bani Da Bohita"

Guru Amar Das was extremely fond of his grandson, Arjan, and loved to play with him. The child Arjan was also very fond of his grandfather and was always hovering around him. One day, when Guru Amar Das was having his afternoon nap, the child Arjan trotted into the room and woke him up. When the attendant saw this he was really scared, since it was strictly understood that no one was to disturb the Guru during his afternoon nap.

The Guru always woke up very early in the morning for his daily prayers and meditation. When the nervous attendant picked up the child from the Guru's chamber, the Guru stopped him and said, "Yeh mera dohita pani ka bohita hovega" this interprets as 'my grandson shall be a vessel to carry people across the ocean of life." The mysticism in these words of the Guru was revealed much later when Guru Arjan Sahib Ji compiled the Adi Granth.

Future Guru

On yet another occassion, it so happened that when Guru Amar Das was eating, Arjan crawled into the room and tried to share his meal. The Sikh attending the Guru carried the baby away, but he reappeared after a little while. He was again forbidden by the Sikh and removed from the Guru's chamber. When the baby persisted in entering the room the third time, the Guru handed him the tray and said that he had to inherit this tray someday, so the child might as well do it then.

The Sikhs attending the Guru heard this and picked up the child in reverence. They realised through Guru Amar Das's words that baby Arjan would grow up to become their Guru one day. Arjan grew up to be a very kind, generous and warm person. Everyone loved him. He was of a very altruistic and religious nature. He studied the religious scriptures devotedly and said his prayers daily. He was also very compassionate by nature. He was moved at the plight of the weak and the oppressed. He could not tolerate injustice or oppression of any sort.

Humility, Music And Horse Riding

From the very beginning, Guru Arjan lived in such a spiritual atmosphere where the spirit of devotion propagated everywhere. These spiritual surroundings contributed a lot in the character building and development of Guru Sahib. (Guru) Arjan did all that was in his power to help the poor and the needy, without any selfish motives. He never thought of being rewarded for his actions. When Guru Ram Das saw his noble nature, his religious bent of mind and the infinite compassion he had for his fellow human beings, he was convinced that Arjan was the rightful successor to the holy seat of the Guru.

As a child, Guru Arjan, possessed a sharp and intelligent mind. He used to play the Saranda (a musical string instrument) in a beautiful manner. Besides this, Guru Sahib was an expert in horse riding and none could compete against him in the art of spear throwing. All were witness to this when Guru Sahib was married to Mata Ganga, the daughter of Bhai Krishan Chand and Bibi Dhanwanti of village Mao Sahib, near Phillaur, Punjab.

Although he was the youngest son of Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan used to perform the service of distributing langar and washing the utensils. Besides this, he used to serve the Sangat coming from outside during the night.

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