Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Baba Dattu

Baba Dattu (1537 - 1628) was the younger son of second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad and Mata Khivi. He was born in 1537 at Khadur Sahib in present-day Amritsar district of the Punjab, India. Like his elder brother, Dasu, he too was not reconciled to Guru Amar Das succeeding his father as Guru. But whereas Dasu had soon realized his error and acknowledged Guru Amar Das as true inheritor of Guru Nanak's spiritual legacy, Datu remained hostile. He took to yogic practices to attain supernatural powers and thereby to create a following of his own. One day he went to Goindval and, as says Bhai Santokh Singh in his "Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth", he gave vent to his malice by administering Guru Amar Das a kick as he sat amid his disciples after the evening service. The sangat was stunned, but Guru Amar Das turned round, grasped Datu's foot and caressing it said, "Pardon me, my Master's son ! Let me massage your tender foot as it may have been hurt by my hard aged bones." Instead of being put to shame by the Guru's humility, Datu flew into a rage, called him a usurper and told him to quit Goindval.

Guru Amar Das quietly left for his native Basarke. Next morning, Datu and his men collected whatever they could lay their hands on. He had his eyes especially on Guru Amar Das's mare, but it would not let him mount it. In his effort to control it, he injured his leg. As he was returning to Khadur, he was waylaid by robbers and deprived of the booty he was carrying. Datu limped back to Khadur empty handed. Yet he was unrepentant and it was not until Guru Arjan's time that he realized his error and made amends. Baba Datu lived up to a ripe old age of 91. In September 1628, he visited Amritsar to condole with Guru Hargobind on the passing away of his son, Atal Rai, but died soon after his return to Khadur.

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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Encyclopedias encapsulate accurate information in a given area of knowledge and have indispensable in an age which the volume and rapidity of social change are making inaccessible much that outside one's immediate domain of concentration.At the time when Sikhism is attracting world wide notice, an online reference work embracing all essential facets of this vibrant faithis a singular contribution to the world of knowledge.
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