Guru Nanak Dev –
First Sikh guru who founded the Sikh religion in India
A leading personage of Bhakti movement during later medieval period.
He was born in 1469 at Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib (Pakistan).
During childhood he has no interest in worldly life.
He got enlightenment at the age of 30.
He travelled all over the world and also went over to Mecca and Baghdad
He believe in unity of god and brotherhood of man
He was against caste system, idol worship and Brahmanic hold over the religion
He died in 1539.
He was followed by nine gurus in succession.
Guru Angad Dev (1539-1552) –
- He was the 2nd guru.
- Langar system (common dinning) was started by him.
- He introduced Gurmukhi Script.
- Humayun met him.
Guru Amar Das (1552-1574) –
- He was the third Sikh guru.
- He was a great social reformer.
- He struggled for Caste system, Sati Pratha and Pardha system.
- He established 22 Gaddiyan to propagate religion.
- Akbar met him.
- He started Lavan system to differentiate marriage system of Sikhs with Hindu
- He constructed the sacred Baoli at Goindwal and organised regular congregations and preached his messages.
Guru Ram Das (1574-1581) –
- He was the fourth guru of Sikhism.
- Akbar granted him plot of land (on which Golden Temple of Amritsar constructed by guru Arjan Dev)
- He founded the holy city of Amritsar and built the sacred tank, the pool of nectar which becomes the place of holy pilgrimages for Sikhs.
Guru Arjan Dev (1581-1606) –
- He was the fifth guru of Sikhism.
- He built the world famous Harmandir Sahib popularly known as The Golden Temple or Swarn Temple of Amritsar, in the middle of sacred tank.
- He compiled the Granth sahib which is known as Adi Granth, is the most sacred book religious book of Sikhs
- He appointed Mansad for religious works.
- He gave to the Sikhs their own script, separate pilgrimage place and their own scripture.
- He was tortured or executed by emperor Jahangir in 1606 at Lahore as he blessed Khusro, the rebellious son of Jahangir
- This execution proved a turning point in Sikh history as it transformed the peace loving Sikh community into a military brotherhood.
Guru Har Gobind (1606-1645) –
- He was the sixth guru of Sikhs.
- He trained Sikhs into military community.
- He turned against Shah Jahan with Sikh army.
- He established Akhal Takht opposite the Golden Temple and forfeited Amritsar.
- He shifted his headquarter to Kirtharpur in Kashmir hills.
- He fought many battles with Mughals.
- He spent last days of his life at Kirtharpur in Kashmir hills.
Guru Har Rai (1645-1661) –
- He was the seventh guru of Sikhs.
- He helped Dara after battle of Samuhgarh.
- He passed away at the early age of 30 years in1661.
- After his death his second son obtained as the eight guru of Sikhs.
Guru Har Krishan (1661-1664) –
- He was Eighth Guru of Sikhs.
- He Succeed his father at the age of 5 under unfortunate circumstances since his brother was taken away as a hostage by Mughals.
- He died of small pox while he was a boy.
Guru Teg Bahadur (1664-1675) –
· He was the ninth guru of Sikhs.
· He led his life as saint at Anandpur Sahib
· Mughal governor of Kashmir resorted him forcible conversion of Hindus, guru Teg Bahadur decided to fight it out.
· Aurangzeb summoned him to Delhi and asked for Islam, to which he refused.
· He was executed by Aurangzeb on the pretext that he had instigated the Brahmans of Kashmir to resist him.
· Gurdwara Shishganj (Shishmahal) in front of Red Fort, Delhi, stands at place of guru sahibs martyrdom.
· Gurdwara Rakabganj is situated at the site of his cremation.
Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708) –
- He was the tenth and the last guru of the Sikhs.
- He succeeded his father Guru Teg Bhadur at the tender age of nine years
- He was born on 26 december1666 at Patna in Bihar.
- He was the real founder of Sikh military power and founded Khalsa army and introduced a new rite ‘Pahul’.
- He decided to end the Mughal tyranny. For which he put his faith in the sword as the new diety of the age “god is the sword”
- He founded Khalsa on 13 April 1699 (Baisakhi day) with a distinct dress with five Ks – Kes (long hair), kirpan (sword), kanga (comb), kara (steel bracelet) and Kachcha (short drawer) with appellation of singh (lion) that gives the Sikh a martial spirit and self confidence.
- He fought many battles with Mughals and hill rajas at Anandpur sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Muktsar in which all his four son became martyrs and many of his followers killed
- At the age of 42 years in 1708 he was killed by afghan fanatic at Nander in Maharashtra , where on the banks of Godavari stands the famous Gurdwara Hazur sahib.
- After the death of guru Gobind Singh the holy book of Sikhs, Guru Granth sahib is regarded as the guru or the spiritual guide of the Sikhs or eternal guru.
- He appointed the Banda Bairagi, also known as Banda Singh (original name Lachhman dev ) as military leader of Sikh.
– Sikhs found leader in Banda Bairagi who established the stronghold of Lohgarh or blood iron fort at Mukhlispur and tried to assume royal title and struck coin in his name.
– Banda Bairagi fought many battles with Mughals for eight years and killed Subedar Wazir khan, of Sirhind the murderer of Gobind Singh son and captured many Mughal territories.
– Banda Bairagi was successful for a short while in creating Sikh kingdom but finally captured and put to death in 1716 during region of Farrukhsiyar.
– After execution of Banda Bairagi, The Sikh gradually began organised themselves and took refuges in the forest and hills, however soon they organised themselves into bands of warriors called ‘Misls’ and captured large territories of Punjab and establish an independent states towards the end of 18th century.
– Kapur Singh started an organisation ‘Dalkhalsa’, the theocracy of the Sikhs.