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Our 12 Gurus

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i'm probably one of the least religious ppl on this board, but i wanted to know the history of our 12 gurus. of course i've heard the history of guru nanak ji and guru gobind singh ji and a few of the others.

if someone can give me a brief synopsis of each guru's history and life, in a few sentences, w/o quoting out of a link, i'd be greatful.

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Guest kaur1699

hey, i got this at a camp afew years bac, hope it helps...

The Sikh have 11 Guru's

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539)

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism , was born in 1469 A.D. at Talwandi, since called Nankana Sahib (now in Pakistan). He got married and had two childern. His father was Mehta Kalu and mother was Tripta. He had an older sister, Nanaki. Nanak was a very intelligent boy who thought a lot about God and people. He was always ready to help the poor and he kept his mother very busy cooking and serving meals to poor hungry people, whom, he regularly invited to his house.

Nanak's father was an officer in the local revenue department but he wanted Nanak to become a good business man. He gave Nanak twenty Indian Rupees to start his business with but Nanak spent the money on feeding a large number of hungry people. According to him, the most profitable business was to look after God's people. Guru Nanak worked as a storekeeper for many years. he used to spend a large part of his wages on feeding the poor and hungry.

When Guru Nanak was 30, God's message was revealed to him and he decided to travel all around to preach God's message of love and peace to people. Guru Nanak taught us that there is one God, who is the true and Ultimate Reality. God is the Creator of this Universe and is everywhere. God is not born and does not die, is without form or visible shape. All humans are equal. All humans must remember God and sing his glories. All humans must give a part of their earnings in charity. All humans must live a truthful and honest life. Guru Nanak travelled up to China in the North, Sri Lanka in the South, Mecca in the West and Decca in the East. People loved him wherever he went. Guru Nanak after 20 years of travels settled down at Kartarpur and worked as a farmer. At the age of 70 he passed away.

Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji (1504-1552)

Guru Angad Dev was Sikh of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and was anointed by him as the second Guru at the age of 35. He was born at Mata ki Serai, got married to Mata Khivi Ji and had two sons. He improved the script for writing Punjabi and all Gurbani(Guru's writing) was written in Panjabi. Scripture was available to common people so they began to call it Gurumukhi.

Sri Guru Amar Das Ji (1479-1574)

Guru Amar das, the third Guru, believed in an preached equality of humanity. Guru Amardas was a Sikh of the house of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and was anointed as the third Guru of the Sikhs by Guru Angad Dev Ji. He was born at Baserke in 1479. He got married to Mata Sulakhani Ji and had four children, two sons and two daughters. He served Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji for 12 years, from 1540 to 1552 and was made Guru at the age of 73. He spread the message of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji. The Guru also constructed a well (called BAOLI) at Goindwal and invited all the people to come and fetch water from there irrespective of their religion and caste. (in those days, the lower caste people had separate wells and were not allowed from the wells of the upper caste) The well was in the ground and the Guru made 84 steps to go down and reach the baoli. It is believed that there are 8.4 million lives in this world and an erred souls have to go through these lives to merge again in God. The Guru said that those who would recite JAPJI at each step while going down will be freed from the cycle of transmigration.

Sri Guru Ram Das Ji (1534-1581)

Sri Guru Ramdas Ji was the son-in-law of Sri Guru Amardas Ji. He was a Sikh and a true devotee of the house of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He was chosen to be the fourth Guru of the Sikhs. He was born at Choona Mandi in Lahore. He got married when he was 19 and had three sons. Sri G uru Ramdas Ji laid foundation of the city of Amritsar and therein dug two sacred pools of immortality which were later called as sarovar of Harimandir (Golden Temple) and sarovar of Santokhsar around which he founded the present city of Amritsar.

Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji (1536-1606)

Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the youngest son of Sri Guru Ramdas Ji. He was born at Goindwal and became Guru at the young age of 18 in 1581. He married and had one son. He wrote more hymns than any other Guru. his most well known Banni is Sukhmani. He collected the hymns of all the previous Guru's and those of many hindu and muslim saints and compiled them into one large volume called Adi Granth. He also built the Hari Mandir, now known as the Golden Temple in the middle of the pool of immortality. Like all the Guru's his contribution to the Sikhs faith is exemplary.He compiled the first version of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, then called Pothi Sahib.He constructed Sri Harimandir Sahib which is known as the Golden Temple.He laid the foundation of the city of Taran Taran. .He founded the city of Kartarpur (in Jallandhar) .He became the first Sikh Martyr.

Sri Guru Har Gobind Ji (1595-1644)

Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was born at Wadali, the only son of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji and became the next Guru. He combined Spiritual and temporal powers into one authority. The Guru trained his followers in military arts and encouraged them to use the sword only to protect the weak and the poor. He opened missionary centres and spread the message of the previous Gurus. In addition He gave to the Sikh faith:

1. The concept of Miri (royalty) and Piri (sainthood ) He wore two swords and injected the spirit of bravery amongest his followers.

2. The concept of morning choirs :The Sikhs got together early in the morning and went around places singing the praises of God . Later these choirs became a part of religious ceremonies and processions specially at the birth of Gurus.

3. In the complex of Sri Harimandir Sahib constructed Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.

Sri Guru Har Rai Ji (1630-1661)

Guru Har Rai Ji was a grand son of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji . He was born ar Kiratpur. he was very gentle and kind hearted. He opened a hospital where medicines and treatment was given free. He spread the message of the previous Gurus. He is particularly known for love towards animals .He made special hospitals for animals. He also made Zoo and all species of animals and birds and gave them his utmost love.He also propogated the use of Aryunvedic medicine.

Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (1621-1675)

Sri Guru Teg bahadur Ji was the youngest son of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji and grand uncle of Sri Guru Harkrishen Dev Ji. He was born at Amritsar . Guru Tegh Bahadur spent many year meditation and reached sublime heights therefore was appointed the ninth guru. He became Guru at the age of 43. Like Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, he travelled and spread the message of one God and also the teachings of the Sikh Gurus. He challenged the atrocities and persecution of Hindus by the Muslim emperors through passive resistence and sacrificed his own life in doing so,therby saving the Hindus from compulsory conversion into Muslims

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1666-1708)

Guru Tegh Bahadur's son, Guru Gobind Singh created a community of people called Khalsa. he first baptized the five sikhs who offered to give their lives for their guru and faith. then he asked them in return to initiate him. Thus Gobind Rai became SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JI .

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the only son of Sri Guru TegBahadur Ji. He became Guru at the age of 9. He was married and had four sons .His bravery is unchallenged and sacrifice unlimited. HE IS THE CREATOR AND FOUNDER OF PANTH KHALSA.

He and his handful brave Sikhs soldiers managed to deter the mighty forces of Mughal Emperors from imposing muslimism on to Hindus. In doing so He had to pay the price of sacrificing all he had : His two youngest sons Baba Zorawar Singh Ji (aged 7) and Baba Fateh Singh Ji (aged 5 ) were embedded alive in a brick wall by Mughals but never gave up Sikhism . They lived and left this world with honour and dignity.

At the fort of Chamkour, where Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jis forces were surrounded by mighty forces of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, his two eldest sons Baba Ajit Singh Ji and Baba Jhuzar Singh Ji chose to fight along with other sikh soldiers. They individually led handful of soldiers and sacrificed their lives in the struggle and never accepted conversion to Muslims. They were fine examples of Sikhs and never showed to accept defeat in the eyes of evil. They died with honour and dignity .

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji advised the Sikhs that :

1. The mission of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji has now completed .

2. The Granth Sahib will be called Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Sikhs living Guru ) and there will be no more Sikh human Gurus hereafter .

3 . The Sikhs will get their spiritual guidance from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and temporal advice from panj pyare (five baptised Sikhs ).


In 1708, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave Guruship to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji . The first holy book of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was compiled by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The work on compilation was started in 1601 and completed in 1604 .This recension was called POTHI SAHIB JI and was installed at Harimandir Sahib in 1604. The Pothi was called Kartarpuri Bir. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji added Hymns of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji to the Pothi Sahib AND called it GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI and said that this shall be the final living Sikh Guru and thereafter no more Sikh human Gurus. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji said that the MISSION of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji has been completed. The Sikhs will get their guidance from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and temporal advice from Panj Pyare . Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has 1430 pages

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