4th Guru Ramdas (1534-1581)
Guru Ramdas was the disciple of Guru Amardas. Guru Amardas had 2 daughters, His elder daughter whose name was Bibi Dani was married to Sri Ram.
Guru Ramdas married the second daughter of his Guru.
Her name was Bibi Bhani.
Guru Ramdas was very humble and never expected special favors from Guru Amardas.
Everyone used to tease him for working like an ordinary labourer in his own father-in-law’s house.
Before Guru Amardas died, he wanted to appoint a successor.
So he put both his sons-in-law to the test.
He asked both his sons-in-law to build a platform.
As soon as they were built, Guru Ramdas asked that they be demolished and brought up again. The above operation was carried on many times. At last Sri Ram was upset and asked what was wrong with his construction. Sri Ramdas on the other hand stated that he had probably not understood his guru’s orders.
Guru Amardas appointed Guru Ramdas as his successor as the latter had proved to be more worthy.
Once Guru Ramdas went to visit the son of Guru Nanak whose name was Sri Chand.
Guru Ramdas humbly told Sri Chand that the reason for him having grown such a long beard is, so that he could wipe the feet of holy men, like Sri Chand.
Sri Chand was impressed at Guru Ramdas’ humility despite the fact that the latter was in his father’s place. Sri Chand conceded that Sri Ramdas deserved his father’s ‘gaddi’
Sri Ramdas fulfilled the wish of a childless couple who had served by providing firewood
to warm the shivering crowds in the spiritual camps.
What the childless couple had wished for, was a child.
And a son was born to the generous and grateful couple.
Guru Ramdas did not make any distinction between rich or poor. Or whether one belonged to a higher caste or a lower caste.
All ate together the same food. This practice is until today called a ‘Langar’.
Guru Ramdas gave rights to a woman, and insisted that they be treated equally.
Guru Ramdas excavated the tank around the Golden temple of Amritsar.
‘sar’ means ‘pond’ and Amrit means nectar.
When it was time for Guru Ramdas to leave the world, he appointed his son Arjan as the successor. Guru Ramdas found his son, Arjan worthy enough to succeed him and sit on his ‘gaddi’.
5th Guru -Guru Arjan (1563-1606)
Guru Ramdas had three sons. Guru Arjan was the youngest one.
The eldest son whose name was Prithia was very unhappy with his father’s decision to give the gaddi to his youngest brother Arjan.
After Guru Ramdas’ death, young Arjan, who was only 18 years of age, became the 5th Guru of the Sikhs.
But Prithia refused to accept his father’s decision and declared himself the rightful successor.
Prithia’s followers would forcibly take the offerings that came for Arjan and give them to Prithia.
Naturally the ‘Langar’ suffered. There was never enough food. The quality of the food that was there, deteriorated in quality.
But young Arjan remained calm.
Guru Arjan’s maternal uncle and Respected Baba Buddha met the visiting Sikhs and explained the prevailing unfair situation.
After that matters came into order. The quality and the quantity of the food, subsequently served in the Langar improved.
Guru Arjan married Mata Ganga. Mata Ganga was often taunted for not having borne a child, despite being married for so many years.
Mata Ganga cried to her husband. Guru Arjan advised his wife to pray to Bhai Buddha.
So the next day, Mata Ganga set out in her beautiful carriage, while her servants carried delicious dishes for the saint.
When Bhai Budhha saw the impressive procession and heard Mata Ganga’s plea, he told her that he was a mere servant and possessed no powers
Mata Ganga returned to Amritsar. She expressed her disappointment to the Guru.
Guru Arjan explained to his wife that one ought to go to saint’s door in utter humility.
This time, Mata Ganga cooked the food herself and set out humbly to meet Bhai Buddha.
The latter happily accepted the food, which he ate with relish, and then blessed Mata Ganga. True enough within a year Mata Ganga bore a handsome son who turned out to as brave as he was spiritual.
Guru Arjan was totally surrendered to the will of God.
He founded the town of Taran Taaran and Kartarpur near Jullunder.
Guru Arjan completed the tank at Amritsar and built the famous Hari Mandir, known today as the Golden Temple, in the middle of the water, believed to be filled with nectar, by God Himself.
Guru Arjan was a zealous preacher. He was also regarded as a political leader.
Perhaps that was the reason why jealous opponents poisoned the mind of Jehangir, the ruling Moghul Emperor against Guru Arjan.
There were allegations against the Guru for having helped Prince Khusru, who had rebelled against his father, the Emperor Jehangir.
The guru was tortured by various inhuman means. Burning sand was poured on him, he was bathed in boiling water. But the latter remained calm.
Mian Mir, a saint respected, by both Jehangir and Guru Arjan wanted to appeal for the Guru’s release. The Guru replied that to stand for the truth demands suffering. Besides whatever transpires is because the Lord will it so.
Through the ordeal, the Guru was reciting the Japji Saheb.
Before he discarded his body, the Guru declared that his son Sri Hargobind should succeed him.
Amongst the great works that the Guru performed, one must mention that he compiled the Holy Book of the Sikhs called the Adi Granth.
It comprises of hymns of the Gurus as well as those of Farid, Kabir, Raidas, Jaidev and Bhikham.
It is after the martyrdom of Guru Arjan that the Sikhs, became famous for readily taking to arms, to bravely defend the faith, if required.