What are the 11 Sikh Gurus?

What are the 11 Sikh Gurus?

Hinduism dates back more than 5,000 years and there were some off-shoots from Hinduism. One such religion is Sikhism. Sikh Gurus have played a big part on the existence of Hinduism, as we know today. I would like to acknowledge each Sikh Guru and give a brief overview of each one. Guru Nanak was first guru of Sikhs.

Who established Sikh religion? 

Sikhism was founded over a period of more than 200 years by ten human gurus, who set an example of how to live a spiritual and worthy life. 

What is the Guru Granth Sahib and why is it important? 

The teachings are enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib, which is considered as the 11th Sikh Guru.

What does it mean to be a guru? 

Guru means teacher or master. Each of the ten gurus reinforced and added to the teachings of the previous guru, outlining the principles, practices and beliefs that define Sikhism today.  Sikhs think of their Gurus as messengers from God. 

What is the name of ten Sikh gurus? 

The ten Sikh gurus in order are: 

  • Guru Nanak¬†(1469 ‚Äď 1539)‚Äď
  • Born of Hindu parents.
  • Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism.
  • He travelled all over India speaking out against religious rituals, pilgrimages and the caste system.
  • Guru Angad¬†(1504 ‚Äď 1552)‚Äď
  • Born into Hindu family,¬†became the Guru on 7th¬†Sept 1539.
  • Became a Sikh, at the age of 27, after following Guru Nanakji‚Äôs teachings.
  • Developed the written version called Gurmukhi.
  • Created many Sikh religious institutions and schools.
  • Initiated Mall Akhara for young people, a form of physical and spiritual exercises.
  • Wrote verses, which were later included in the Adi Granth.
  • Established Langar as compulsory in gurdwaras.
  • Guru Amar Das¬†(1479 ‚Äď 1574)‚Äď
  • Born to Hindu parents,¬†became the Guru on 26th¬†March 1552.
  • Became a Sikh at the age of 73.
  • Fought against caste prejudice and sought to establish social equality amongst people.
  • Enshrined the langar for all, regardless of rich/poor, teacher/student.
  • Inaugurated the 84-level stepwell called¬†baoli¬†at Goindval with a resting place, which then became a Sikh pilgrimage.
  • Guru Ram Das¬†(1534 ‚Äď 1581)‚Äď
  • Born to Hindu parents.
  • Became the Guru on 1st¬†Sept 1574.
  • Founded the city of Amritsar, the holy city for the Sikhs
  • Started the construction of the Golden Temple at Amritsar
  • Started the tradition of appointing¬†masands, religious administration
  • Introduced the¬†dasvandh,¬†‚Äúthe tenth‚ÄĚ of income to be given in name of the Guru for community religious events.
  • Guru Arjan¬†(1563 ‚Äď 1606)‚Äď
  • Became the Guru on 1st¬†Sept 1581.
  • Compiled the first official edition of the Sikh scripture, the Adi Granth.
  • Completed the construction of Darbar Sahib at¬†Amritsar
  • Re-organized the¬†Masands¬†system initiated by Guru Ram Das
  • The¬†dasvand¬†financed the building of Gurdwaras & langars
  • He was killed by Emperor Jahangir for not converting to Islam.
  • Guru Hargobind¬†(1595 ‚Äď 1644)‚Äď
  • Became the Guru on 25th¬†May 1606, at the age of 11, after his father, Arjan had been killed.
  • Known as the ‚Äėsoldier saint‚Äô.
  • First Guru to engage in warfare
  • Advised the Sikhs to take part in military training and martial arts
  • to defend the faith and
  • to protect the weak and needy
  • Symbolized it by wearing two swords, representing the dual concept of temporal power and spiritual authority.
  • Constructed the Akal Takht (the throne of the timeless one) in front of the Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara.
  • Founded Kirtarpur Sahib, where the ashes of the deceased are taken
  • Guru Hari Rai¬†(1640 ‚Äď 1661)‚Äď
  • Became the Guru on 3rd¬†March 1644, aged 14, & died aged 31
  • Peaceful leader
  • Devoted him to spreading the teachings of Guru Nanak.
  • Started several public singing and scripture recitals
  • Introduced¬†akhand kirtan¬†or continuous scripture singing tradition of Sikhism.
  • Guru Har Krishan¬†(1656 ‚Äď 1664)‚Äď
  • Installed as Guru on 6th¬†Oct 1661, at the young age of five
  • A humanitarian, who helped heal people in Delhi who were suffering from a smallpox epidemic.
  • He, himself contracted the disease and died before his ninth birthday.
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur¬†(1621 ‚Äď 1675)‚Äď
  • Became the Guru on 20th¬†March 1665
  • Believed firmly in people‚Äôs freedom to worship whatever religion they wanted.
  • He defended the Hindu religion, to protect Hindus from being forced to convert to Islam.
  • He, himself refused to convert to Islam and was executed as a result.
  • Contributed many hymns to Granth Sahib including:
  • Shabads
  • 15 Ragas¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
  • The¬†Shaloks, or couplets near the end of the Guru Granth Sahib, cover a wide range of topics, e.g. the nature of God, human attachments, body, mind, sorrow, dignity, service, death.
  • Guru Gobind Singh¬†(1665 ‚Äď 1708)‚Äď
  • The 10th¬†& last of the human Gurus.
  • Installed as the Guru, at the age of 9, on 11th¬†Nov 1675
  • A spiritual master, warrior, poet & philosopher
  • His four sons died during his lifetime, 2 in battle & 2 executed by the Mughal Emperor.
  • Introduced the Khalsa, the Sikh warrior community, or ‚Äėthe pure ones‚Äô in 1699.
  • Introduced the ‚Äú5 Ks‚ÄĚ, the articles of faith that Sikhs have to wear at all times.
  • He wrote the Dasam Granth, whose hymns are a sacred part of Sikh prayers and Khalsa rituals.
  • Finalized and enshrined the Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhism‚Äôs primary scripture and eternal¬†Guru.
  • The Guru Granth Sahib:
  • The final & last Guru was installed on 7th¬†Oct 1708.
  • The eternal religious scripture of Sikhism consists of 1430 pages & 5,894 shabads, which are poetically rendered to North Indian Music.
  • Written in Gurmukhi script.
  • Composed by:
    • Guru Nanak
    • Guru Angad
    • Guru Amar Das
    • Guru Ram Das
    • Guru Arjan
    • Guru Tegh Bahadur
    • 13 Hindu Bhakti movement sant poets
    • 2 Sufi Muslim poets
  • It‚Äôs installed in Gurdwaras.
  • Everyone has to bow to it on entering a temple.

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