Q78. What do you know of Guru Angad?
uru Angad (1504-52) previously known as Lehna was a worshiper of the goddess Jawala Mukhi. Once, while going to the shrine of this goddess, he came in contact with Guru Nanak. There was spontaneous conversion. He chose to serve the Guru. He became the Guru’s best and obedient follower. After testing him along with others, Guru Nanak nominated him to the Gaddi in 1539.
Guru Angad popularized the Gurmukhi script introduced by Guru Nanak. He broke the Brahmin’s monopoly of learning by encouraging all sorts of people to learn Gurmukhi(the Guru’s script) and read religious literature. He gathered the facts about Guru Nanak’s life from Bhai Bala and wrote the first biography of Guru Nanak Dev. He also set up religious centres where the principles of Sikhism could be propagated.
Guru Angad extended Langar – the free kitchen – and personally looked after the serving arrangements. Langar was intended to break caste barriers and social taboos.
Guru Angad laid stress on the equality of man: “It is like a clay from which pots are made In diverse shapes and forms – yet the clay is the same. Similarly the bodies of men are made from the same five elements, so How can one amongst them, be high and the other low?”
Langar made people of different castes sit in line on the same platform and so provided a healthy forum for charity and service.
Guru Angad was very fond of children. He started a school for young boys and taught them the Gurmukhi script. He also insisted on physical fitness. He opened a gymnasium which had a wresting arena, rural sports and games followed religious congregations. This tradition subsequently helped in enlisting able-bodied men for the Sikh army.
Guru Angad led a life of piety and service at Khadur. Here Amardas – a relative of his – served him day and night. The Guru bypassed his sons, who were disobedient and nominated Amardas as his successor in 1552.