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Guru Arjan Dev ji-first martyr of the Sikh faith

Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563 – 1606) was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. Guru Arjan Dev Ji was born in Goindwal (in Punjab), is the youngest son of Guru Ram Dass ji and Mata bhani Ji .Guru Ji bestowed  with Guru ship  in 1581 following in the footsteps of Guru Ram Dass Ji . Guru Arjan Dev was married to Mata Ganga Ji in 1589. Guru Arjan Dev Ji compiled the first official edition of the Sikh scripture the Adi Granth which later expanded into the Guru Granth sahib. Guru Ji contributed a total of 2218 hymns to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, authored Sukhmani Sahib Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the first martyr of the Sikh faith.

The construction of the Darbar Sahib at Amritsar was started by the Guru ji and its foundation stone was laid by the reputed Muslim Sufi Saint, Mian Mir. He built another tank and temple at Taran Taran. These temples had doors on all sides, indicating that these were open to all castes and communities.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji compiled the hymns of previous Gurus and of other saints into Adi Granth, the first edition of the Sikh scripture, and installed it in the Darbar  sahib.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji  reorganized the Masands system initiated by Guru ram Das ji, by suggesting that the Sikhs donate, if possible, one tenth of their income, goods or service to the Sikh organization (as Dasvand).This system of voluntary offerings for the common cause and the sharing of one’s earnings was made regular. Every Sikh was supposed to contribute 10% of his income to the common fund maintained by the Guru.The Guru had a well-organised central establishment which included the maintenance of a contingent of horses and elephants. He encouraged his followers to trade in horses from Central Asia. As such, the Sikhs became good horsemen and formed later the nucleus of military power. All these features were important developments because they were clear preparation for the military organisation that was to follow from the time of the Sixth Guru.

Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan Dev Ji

Emperor Jahangir who was unlike his father Akbar and pretty much intolerant of other faiths. Prince Khusro  (the son of Jodha Bai, daughter of Udai Singh of Jodhpur)  who was also son of Akbar and was contesting for throne was captured by Jahangir’s men. Since prince Khusro was born to a Hindu mother, was disliked by the fanatics who wanted Prince Salim who was a 100% Sunni Muslim. Prince Khusro   escaped and went to Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Khusro was a pious man who was as liberal as his grandfather. Akbar had designated him next in line to head the kingdom. While passing through Punjab he visited Guru Arjan Dev Ji at Tarn Taran and sought his blessings. Guru Arjan Dev ji gave him help with money and shelter. Meanwhile  Salim succeeded with the title of Jahangir. Jahangir hated all those who were in Akbar’s good books. He summoned Guru ji to Lahore. Sikhs of Lahore pleaded with Jahangir to let them collect the fine and pay to him to release Guru, but Jahangir refused. Guru ji was imprisoned at Lahore fort and was chained to a post in an open place exposed to the sun from morning to evening in the months of May thru June. Below his feet a heap of sand was put which burnt like a furnace. Boiling water was poured on his naked body at intervals. In this agony Guru ji used to utter.

Tera Kiya Metha lage, naam padarath Nanak mange (whatever you

ordain appears sweet.  I supplicate for the gift of name)

The Sikhs offered to pay the fine themselves but the Guru ji forbade them to do so. He replied to the Emperor, “Whatever money I have is for the poor, the friendless and the stranger. ” The Guru accepted death by torture and suffered the first great martyrdom. His sacrifice further steeled the faith of the community in the mission of the Gurus.


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