A SHORT HISTORY OF SIKH GURUS
Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak Dev ji at the beginning of the 16th century. The succeeding nine Gurus developed it. The conflict between materialism and spiritualism in Sikh religion so long as material comforts are integrated with righteous living, according to the teachings of the Guru.
The history of Sikh Gurus is available in numerous books written by extremely learned and well known authors. The purpose of this effort is to provide a very condensed narration of the most important events in each Guru’s life and their message for us and the whole humanity. It is hoped that after reading the short history of each Guru, the readers will develop a strong desire to read more about our Gurus and their teachings. The following books are recommended for those who want to read more about Sikh Gurus:
1. History of the Sikhs by Dr. Hari Ram Gupta
2. History of the Sikhs by J.D. Cunningham
3. A History of the Sikhs by Khushwant Singh
4. Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala
This is a good opportunity to memorize Gurbani, one Pauri at a time. You can concentrate better and enjoy more if you recite bani without looking at the gutka.
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DID YOU KNOW
In Sikhism, we have five seats of authority, called TAKHATS. Takhat literally means ‘throne’. The five Seats of Authority (Takhats) are:
1. Akal Takhat
Akal Takhat (the throne of timeless God) is situated in front of the Harmandar Sahib in the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, Punjab. It was established by Guru Hargobind Ji (the 6th Guru) in 1609. The Guru did not consider it appropriate to discuss the political and military matters inside the Golden Temple itself, which is meant purely for worship of God. So, he established a separate place, within the complex, to discuss those matters. Even today, the political matters and other issues are discussed here by the Sikh leadership and Hukamnamaas (orders for the Sikh masses) are issued by the Jathedaar (head priest) of Akal Takhat.
2. Takhat Sri Patna Saheb
The second seat of authority is called ‘Takhat Sri Patna Saheb’. It is located in the city of Patna in Bihar state in India. Guru Teg Bahdur ji lived here in 1665 and Guru Gobind Singh ji was born here and spent his childhood here. Some of Guru Gobind Singh ji’s relics, including his weapons and proclamations, are preserved here.
3. Takhat Sri Kesgarh Saheb
The third seat of authority is known as Sri Kesgarh Saheb, where Guru Gobind Singh ji created the Khalsa on the Vaisakhi day of 1699. The historic double edged sword, called Khanda, with which the Guru stirred the Amrit (baptism water) that auspicious day, is kept here along with a number of other weapons of Guru Gobind Singh ji. Kesgarh Saheb is located in the township of Anandpur in Punjab. This town was founded by the ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur ji in 1665.
4. Takhat Sri Hazur Saheb
The fourth seat of authority is Takhat Sri Hazur Saheb. It is situated in the city of Nader in Maharashtra State in India. It is the place where Guru Gobind Singh ji passed away in 1708 and gave Guruship to Guru Granth Saheb (the Adi Granth). Maharaja Ranjit Singh renovated the temple and provided gold plated dome. Some of Guru Gobind Singh ji’s weapons and other relics are kept here and are put on display for visitors.
5. Takhat Sri Damdama Saheb
The fifth seat of authority is Damdama Saheb. This place owes its importance to the literary work done by Guru Gobind Singh ji during his stay here in 1706. Here, the tenth Guru prepared the authentic edition of the Aadi Granth, to which he gave the Guruship at the time of his passing away. Most of Guru Gobind Singh ji’s own writings were also prepared at this location.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
JO JEE HOE SO UGVAE MOH KA KEHAA VAO, BEEJE BIKH MANGAE AMRIT VEKHO EHO NIAO (SGGS-Asa Di Waar)
[Your thoughts become your words, (your words become your deeds). Doing evil and expecting goodness in return – what kind of a justice is that (you reap what you sow). ]