Sri Guru Arjun
Dev Ji (The Gurus)
Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563 - 1606)
Guru Arjan (1563 - 1606) was in his teens
when he was given the Gur Gaddi. He developed Amritsar as a centre
of industry and culture for the Sikhs. He requested Mian Mir - A
Muslim divine - to lay the foundation stone of the Har Mandar (Temple of
God). The temple was built on a level lower then the surrounding
land, in the middle of a beautiful lake. This is now known as the
In order to put the township on a sound basis,
the Guru helped the establishment of new trades and professions.
Amritsar was centrally situated and there was enough scope for commercial
realtions with neighbouring countries. The Sikhs were sent to Afghanistan
and Central Asia for buying good horses. The trade in horses gave
Sikhs a taste for ridind and horsemanship.
Guru Arjan felt that the Sikhs should have their
own scripture. He collected the hymns of the first four Gurus and
of Indian Bhagats and Bhatts. He dictated the hymns including his
own to Bhai Gurdas and completed the compilation of the Adi Granth the
first book in 1604.
Guru Arjan was a man of the people and wielded
great influence. His growing power and prestige aroused the jealousy of
Emperor Jahangir. Even Muslims came to the Har Mandar. Jahangir
resolved, to use his own works, "to put an end to this traffic."
He asked Guru Arjan to change the text of part of ths Granth to include
the praise of the prophet Mohammed. The Guru refused to do so.
In the meantime, Chandu - the Diwan - who bore a grudge against the Guru
- poisoned the mind of Jahangir with all sorts of false stories.
Jahangir placed Guru Arjan in the charge of Chandu. The latter perpetrated
tortures like pouring boiling water on him, throwing burning sand on the
Guru. Guru Arjan bore all these tortures with great resignation.
After nominating his son Har Gobind as his successor,
the Guru was taken to the river bank. His body was then thrown into
the river as a final torture. He is the first martyr in Sikh History.