2nd Guru – Guru Angad (1504-1552)
Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh Religion. Though it is generally stated that Guru Nanak and Buddha are the founders of Sikhism and Buddhism. It is important to state that neither Guru Nanak nor Buddha had any intention to found a separate religion. These religions were founded by their followers, and once the religion was established, the credit was accorded to those who preached the particular teachings and mode of conduct.
Guru Angad was a disciple of Guru Nanak. He was also called Lehnaji.
One day, Lehnaji heard a beautiful song, sung by another disciple of Guru Nanak.
The song cast a spell on Lehnaji. The latter set out to meet Guru Nanak, on horseback.
On his way, he met an old man.
Lehnaji asked him the directions to go to Guru Nanak’s house. The old man showed him the house. When Lehnaji entered the house, he was surprised to find that the old man was none other than Guru Nanak Himself.
Lehnaji felt very remorseful that he had ridden on a horse, while Guru Nanak walked the path to show him his own house!
Once Guru Nanak wanted three bundles of wet, muddy grass to be taken home. Guru Nanak’s own sons refused to do this work, but Lehnaji, was happy to do this task for his beloved master. Guru Nanak’s own wife admonished her husband for making a guest carry muddy grass. Guru Nanak said that that was not mud but saffron. Surprisingly, the mud dripping from Lehnaji had miraculously changed to fragrant saffron!
Lehnaji would happily follow his Guru’s requests, time and time again.
One day, Guru Nanak wanted his clothes washed in the middle of the night, And yet on another occasion, Guru Nanak wanted a part of the wall, which had collapsed to be repaired. The sons of the Guru and other disciples disobeyed these orders as they considered Guru Nanak a hard taskmaster.
But maybe Guru Nanak was testing Lehnaji to see if the latter was obedient and worthy of becoming Guru Nanak’s successor.
Guru Nanak became very fond of Lehnaji. Guru Nanak told Lehna, that the latter had become as dear to him as a part (Ang) of his body. Hence Lehnaji would be known as Angad.
Lehnaji told his unhappy sons that only one who is sincere, devoted, obedient and self sacrificing is the right kind of disciple, and worthy of becoming his successor.
Thus Lehnaji became Guru Angad, the 2nd Guru, after Guru Nanak.
Guru Angad would wake up very early to meditate, and he healed the sick..
Guru Angad simplified the old Punjabi alphabet. It is called Gurmukhi.
He compiled Guru Nanak’s verses. He opened several schools for children.
He took great interest in their physical fitness programs.
He was a Great Guru who truly lived by the principles of the Sikh Religion.
3rd Guru – Guru Amardas (1479-1574)
Now let us read the story of Guru Amardas.
Guru Angad’s daughter Bibi Amro, was married to the nephew of Amardas.
One day, Amardas heard Bibi Amro singing the hymns of Guru Nanak.
On hearing the story of Guru Angad, Amardas expressed the wish that he wanted to meet Guru Angad.
When Amardas met Guru Angad, Amardas fell at Guru Angad’s feet.
Guru Angad protested as Amardas was not only his relative, but 20 years older.
However Amardas insisted on serving Guru Angad.
Amardas was a very obedient and devoted disciple.
He once sucked out a stubborn stain from Guru Angad’s clothing.
Amardas felt that the impurities of his personality had also got cleansed together with the stain.
Once Guru Amardas went to fetch water at the middle of the night for his guru, when others did not want to do so, as they were sleeping.
As Amardas was returning, he tripped and fell at a weaver’s house.
The wife of the weaver cursed Guru Angad for sending his disciple to fetch water at this unearthly hour.
Amardas told the weaver’s wife that she was insane to speak badly about Guru Angad who was a man of God.
It is believed that the weaver’s wife went really mad, until her husband sought forgiveness of the Guru.
Guru Angad then gave the gaddi to Amardas.
Gaddi literally means the ‘seat’
Giving the ‘gaddi’ means that Guru Angad nominated Amardas as his successor.
On hearing the above, the son of Angad, Datu became very jealous, and he kicked Guru Amardas.
Instead of getting angry, Guru Amardas told Datu: “I am so sorry, that my hard old bones have hurt your tender feet.”
Then Guru Amardas left for his home town.
However no one accepted Datu as their Guru. So the latter took his belongings and left town. On the way, he was robbed and hurt on the same foot with which he had kicked Guru Amardas.
It is believed that that foot hurt all his life.
The Sikhs called Amardas back to sit on the ‘gaddi’ that had been given to him by Swami Angad.
Guru Amardas encouraged the widows to remarry. And he stopped the terrible custom of women taking their lives when their husband’s died. This terrible custom was called ‘Sati’.
Guru Amardas reigned spiritually for 22 years!