Guru Amar Das (Third Sikh Guru) | Early life, Facts, & Death

Guru-Amar-Das
Guru Amar Das

Guru Amar Das was the third Sikh Guru and played a crucial role in the development of Sikhism. He was a disciple of Guru Angad Dev, the second Sikh Guru, and served as the spiritual leader of the Sikh community from 1552 until he died in 1574. Guru Amar Das is renowned for his numerous contributions and social reforms during his time as the third Sikh Guru, and his legacy continues to have a significant impact on Sikhism to this day.

In this article, we will explore the life of Guru Amar Das in detail, covering his early life and education, family, journey to becoming the third Sikh Guru, contributions and social reforms, famous quotes, and legacy. We will also delve into the final years of his life and his teachings, including the circumstances of his death and his lasting impact on Sikhism. Through this article, we hope to shed light on the life and significance of Guru Amar Das and his pivotal role in shaping the Sikh religion.

Guru Amar Das Born, Early Life, and Education

Guru Amar Das was born on May 5, 1479, in the village of Basarke, near Amritsar in present-day India. His father, Tej Bhan Bhalla, was a farmer, and his mother’s name was Bakht Kaur. Guru Amar Das was the eldest of three siblings, with two younger brothers named Manak Chand and Mohri.

In his early years, Guru Amar Das received basic education from his parents and learned about agriculture, which he continued to practice throughout his life. He was also exposed to the teachings of Hinduism and Jainism, the predominant religions in the region at the time.

Guru Amar Das’s spiritual journey began when he met Guru Angad Dev, the second Sikh Guru. His deep admiration of Guru Angad Dev’s teachings led him to become his disciple and devote himself to the service of the Guru.

Guru Amar Das continued to deepen his spiritual knowledge and understanding of Sikhism under Guru Angad Dev’s guidance. He spent several years in Khadur Sahib, the town where Guru Angad Dev had established his center of religious activities. During this time, he developed a strong bond with his Guru and worked tirelessly to spread his teachings.

Guru Amar Das’s education was not just limited to formal learning. He imbibed the principles of Sikhism and its way of life through practical experience and the values and virtues he saw in his Guru. Through his devotion and hard work, Guru Amar Das established himself as an integral member of the Sikh community, laying the groundwork for his eventual succession as the third Sikh Guru.

Guru Amar Das ji family, wife, and children

Guru Amar Das Ji was married to Mata Mansa Devi, who was a devout and pious woman and an active participant in the Sikh community. She was a supportive partner to Guru Amar Das and assisted him in his religious and social work.

Guru Amar Das and Mata Mansa Devi had four children, two sons named Mohan and Mohri, and two daughters named Bibi Dani and Bibi Bhani.  

Guru Amar Das’s family played an important role in his life, providing him with support and encouragement in his spiritual journey. They were active participants in the Sikh community and contributed to its growth and development.

Guru Amar Das’s approach to family life was influenced by his Sikh beliefs, which emphasized the importance of leading a virtuous and ethical life. He believed that family life was an essential part of human existence, and one could attain spiritual enlightenment even while fulfilling one’s familial duties.

What is Guru Amar Das famous for?

Guru Amar Das is famous for his notable achievements and contributions to the Sikh faith. He is widely recognized for his role in spreading the teachings of Sikhism and for introducing important reforms and ideas that continue to shape the faith today. Some of the key accomplishments and contributions of Guru Amar Das include:

Establishing the Manji system: Guru Amar Das introduced the Manji system, which involved the appointment of trained preachers to spread the teachings of Sikhism in different regions. This system helped to establish a strong network of Sikh preachers and played an important role in the growth of the Sikh community.

Promoting equality and social justice: Guru Amar Das was a strong advocate for social justice and equality. He actively worked to eliminate caste and gender discrimination and established langars (community kitchens) to provide free meals to all people, regardless of their social status.

Writing hymns and poetry: Guru Amar Das was a prolific writer of hymns and poetry, and his compositions continue to be an important part of Sikh devotional music.

Contributing to the compilation of the Sikh scripture: Guru Amar Das made significant contributions to the Sikh scripture, including the addition of his compositions to the Adi Granth, the holy book of Sikhism.

Journey to Becoming the third Sikh Guru

Guru Amar Das became the third Sikh Guru at the age of 73. He was appointed as Guru by Guru Angad Dev, his predecessor, in 1552. Guru Amar Das’s appointment as Guru marked a significant moment in the history of Sikhism, as he introduced several important reforms and ideas that continue to shape the faith today.

Despite his advanced age, Guru Amar Das worked tirelessly to spread the teachings of Sikhism and to help others, and his leadership had a profound impact on the growth and development of the Sikh community.

Guru Amar Das’s journey to becoming the third Sikh Guru began when he became a disciple of Guru Angad Dev, the second Sikh Guru. He was deeply influenced by the Guru’s teachings and devoted himself to serving him and the Sikh community.

Over time, Guru Amar Das became an integral part of the Sikh community, working tirelessly to spread the teachings of Sikhism and to help others. He was known for his humility, dedication, and deep spiritual knowledge.

Guru Amar Das’s appointment as the third Sikh Guru marked a significant moment in the history of Sikhism. He brought new ideas and approaches to the Sikh faith, emphasizing the importance of living a virtuous and ethical life, and promoting gender and caste equality.

Under his leadership, the Sikh community flourished, with the establishment of new centers of religious activities and the spread of Sikhism across different regions of India. Guru Amar Das’s journey to becoming the third Sikh Guru was a testament to his deep faith, devotion, and commitment to the teachings of Sikhism.

Contributions and Reforms by Guru Amar Das:

Guru Amar Das made significant contributions to Sikhism and played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Sikh community. He introduced several social and religious reforms that continue to shape Sikhism today.

One of his major contributions was the establishment of the Manji system, which was a network of preaching centers that spread Sikhism across different parts of India. Under this system, each Manji was headed by a Sikh preacher who was responsible for spreading the teachings of Sikhism and promoting the faith.

Guru Amar Das also initiated the practice of Langar, which is a communal meal offered to all visitors and members of the Sikh community. This practice promoted equality and social harmony, as people from different castes and backgrounds were brought together to share a meal.

Another significant reform introduced by Guru Amar Das was the promotion of gender equality. He abolished the practice of Purdah, which confined women to the home, and promoted the idea of female feticide. Instead, he encouraged women to participate in religious and social activities, and he appointed women to positions of leadership in the Sikh community.

Guru Amar Das’s teachings emphasized the importance of leading a virtuous and ethical life, and he emphasized the need to dedicate oneself to the service of humanity. He promoted the idea of the Guru Granth Sahib, which is the holy book of Sikhism, as the ultimate source of spiritual knowledge.

How did Guru Amar Das meet Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

Guru Amar Das had the opportunity to meet Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, in his early years. According to Sikh tradition, Guru Amar Das met Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the town of Goindval, where Guru Nanak Dev Ji had established a preaching center. It is said that Guru Amar Das was deeply moved by Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings and became a devoted follower.

Over time, Guru Amar Das developed a close relationship with Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and he began to play an increasingly important role in the development of the Sikh community. He helped spread the teachings of Sikhism and worked to establish a strong community of followers.

After the death of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Amar Das became a disciple of Guru Angad Dev, who was the second Sikh Guru. He continued to work tirelessly to spread the teachings of Sikhism and to promote the growth and development of the Sikh community. Eventually, he was appointed as the third Sikh Guru, and his leadership had a profound impact on the faith and the lives of countless people.

 Emperor Akbar’s Visit to Guru Amar Das

One of the most famous events in the life of Guru Amar Das was his meeting with Emperor Akbar, the powerful Mughal ruler. In 1569, Emperor Akbar visited the town of Goindval, where Guru Amar Das was living at the time. Despite being a devout Muslim, Akbar was known for his religious tolerance and his interest in learning about other faiths.

Upon meeting Guru Amar Das, Akbar was struck by the Guru’s wisdom and teachings. Guru Amar Das challenged Akbar’s views on religion and presented him with a copy of the Sikh scripture, the Adi Granth. Akbar was deeply moved by the Guru’s message of equality and social justice, and he offered several gifts and tributes to Guru Amar Das.

However, Guru Amar Das refused to accept these gifts, telling Akbar that true spiritual wealth cannot be bought or sold. Instead, he asked Akbar to donate to the langar, the community kitchen that provided free meals to all people. Akbar agreed, and he made a generous donation that helped to support the langar for many years to come.

The meeting between Guru Amar Das and Emperor Akbar was a powerful example of interfaith dialogue and mutual respect. It demonstrated the importance of religious tolerance and the ability of people from different faiths to come together and learn from one another. Today, it is remembered as a key moment in the history of Sikhism and a testament to the enduring legacy of Guru Amar Das.

Guru Amar Das Ji Famous Quotes?

Guru Amar Das was a prolific writer and poet, and his teachings and insights have been collected in the Sikh scripture, the Adi Granth. Here are some of his most famous quotes:

  • “The self-willed manmukh is engrossed in the love of duality. The Gurmukh is absorbed in the Love of the One Lord.”
  • “True humility is accepting that one knows nothing.”
  • “Serve the True Guru, and you shall be blessed with the wealth of the Lord’s Name.”
  • “O Nanak, when the Dear Lord grants His Grace, then the mortal becomes the very image of the Lord.”
  • “The Lord’s Light is in every heart. The Lord is not found by wandering here and there.”
  • “Through shallow intellect, the mind becomes shallow, and one eats the fly, along with the sweets.”
  • “O mind, remember the Name of the Lord, and you shall be blessed with peace.”

These quotes are just a few examples of the wisdom and spiritual insight of Guru Amar Das. His teachings continue to inspire and guide millions of people around the world today.

Legacy of Guru Amar Das

Guru Amar Das’s contributions and teachings have had a profound and lasting impact on Sikhism. Here are some of how his legacy continues to be felt:

The establishment of the Manji system: Guru Amar Das was responsible for creating a new organizational structure within the Sikh community, known as the Manji system. This system helped to spread the teachings of Sikhism throughout India and beyond.

Social reforms: Guru Amar Das was a strong advocate of social equality and worked to break down the barriers of caste and gender. He encouraged the practice of langar, or communal cooking and eating, which allowed people from all walks of life to come together and share a meal. He also spoke out against the practice of Sati, in which a widow would be expected to immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.

Scripture: Guru Amar Das was a prolific writer and poet, and his teachings were collected in the Sikh scripture, the Adi Granth. This scripture is still considered to be the central text of Sikhism today.

Spiritual guidance: Guru Amar Das’s teachings emphasized the importance of meditation, self-discipline, and devotion to the divine. His guidance has helped countless people to find inner peace and spiritual fulfillment.

The legacy of Guru Amar Das continues to inspire and guide millions of people around the world today. His teachings and contributions have helped to shape the Sikh faith into what it is today, and his impact on the world will be felt for generations to come.

The final years of his life and his teachings

During the final years of his life, Guru Amar Das continued to guide his followers and work towards spreading the message of Sikhism. Here are some details on his teachings and activities during this time:

Emphasis on meditation: Guru Amar Das placed a great deal of emphasis on the practice of meditation, and encouraged his followers to set aside time each day for introspection and reflection. He believed that by quieting the mind, one could connect with the divine and find inner peace.

Social justice: Throughout his life, Guru Amar Das was a tireless advocate for social justice. In his later years, he continued to speak out against injustice and inequality and encouraged his followers to do the same. He also worked to establish systems and structures within the Sikh community that would promote fairness and equality for all.

Love and compassion: Guru Amar Das believed that love and compassion were at the heart of all spiritual practice. He encouraged his followers to show kindness and understanding to all beings, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Preparation for the future: As Guru Amar Das neared the end of his life, he worked to ensure that the Sikh community would be well-equipped to continue spreading the message of Sikhism after his passing. He appointed his son-in-law, Jetha, as his successor, and instructed him on how to continue the work of spreading the Sikh faith.

Death

Guru Amar Das passed away on September 1, 1574, at the age of 95. He had spent over two decades serving as the third Sikh Guru, and during that time, he had made numerous contributions to the Sikh faith, including establishing the Manji system, which helped to spread the teachings of Sikhism throughout India.

After his death, Guru Amar Das’s son-in-law Jetha became the fourth Sikh Guru, taking on the name Guru Ram Das. The legacy of Guru Amar Das lived on through his teachings, which were compiled into the Adi Granth, the primary scripture of the Sikh faith. His emphasis on social justice, meditation, and compassion continues to inspire millions of people around the world today.

Conclusion.

Guru Amar Das was a highly revered spiritual leader and the third Sikh Guru who played a significant role in shaping the Sikh faith. Born in the 15th century, he spent his life promoting social justice, compassion, and meditation, and his teachings continue to inspire people around the world today. He contributed significantly to Sikhism, and his establishment of the Manji system helped to spread the faith throughout India. His legacy is celebrated each year during the festival of Guru Amar das Jayanti.

Guru Amar Das’s life and teachings serve as an inspiration for people of all backgrounds, emphasizing the importance of love, equality, and compassion in a world that is often plagued by division and inequality. His impact on Sikhism and the broader world of spirituality is immeasurable, and his message of social justice and compassion remains as relevant today as it was during his lifetime.

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