|1574||Jotti Jot, Third
Patshah, Guru Amar Das Ji.
==> GURU AMAR DAS (1479-1574), the seventy-three years old disciple who had distinguished himself for his humility and simplicity in Guru Angad's holy company was nominated Guru in 1552.
Born of orthodox Hindu parents in Baserke, a Punjab village, in Vaisakh sudhi 14th sunmat 1536 (May 5, 1479) to father TaejBhan and mother Sulakhani, Guru Amar Das married Srimatti Mansa Devi Ji on Magh 11th sunmat 1559. The marriage resulted in two daughters, Bibi Dani and Bhani, and two sons, Baba Mohan and Mohari.
Guru Amar Das was a great pilgrim. Once he happened to listen to a rapturous chanting of Guru Nanak's Japji by Bibi Amro, Guru Angad's daughter and his nephew's wife. He was so much enthralled by its supernal note that he repaired instantly to Guru Angad, the Second Master. He spent about 12 years, from 1540 to 1552 in selfless service and deep meditation, amidst an aura of holiness and splendor radiating from his beloved Guru. Amar Dass became a sikh of Guru Angad Patshah in sunmat 1597 and ascended to Guru Gadhi on Vaisakh 3rd sunmat 1609.
While expounding the gospel of Guru Nanak, the Third Master laid special stress on the service of the Guru and contemplation of the Lord's Name. He asserted that man could attain Sahaj (tranquility) through the path of the holy name. All doubts disappear and he attains Ananda (bliss) a stage achieved by the Bhakts through God-realization. He also held that these values could be acquired only through the Guru's grace.
During the 22 years of his ministry, Guru Amar Das took quite a few significant measures to consolidate the Sikh religion, as also to endear it to the masses of men. To widen the scope of the movement, he made Goindwal his missionary centre. Here he caused a big bavalli (a sort of well) dug and organized festivals on the occasion of Deepavall and Baisakhi. A large number of Sikhs from far-flung places flocked to Goindwal. Indeed it became the first place of pilgrimage.
Besides, the Guru set up twenty-two manjis, or dioceses in different parts of the country where Sikhism had taken roots. Each Manji was placed under the charge of a pious Sikh with whose effort the Sikh Sangats (congregations) met daily and chanted the Guru's hymns.
The Third Master invested the institution of langar with a kind of inviolable sanctity. Thus, no one could, have darshan of the Guru without first partaking of food in the langar. This had the desired effect of proclaiming and establishing the essential equality of all mankind. In the Guru's Temple of Bread, the rich and the poor, the high-born and the untouchable, ate together as members of an integrated human family. The Guru also fought other rampant social evils like Sati, drink and Purdah. With a view to marking out the Sikhs as a distinct people, Guru Amar Das prescribed a set of rites to be followed on occasions such as birth and death. The Guru also visited Hindu cities of pilgrimage and there, too, he propagated the gospel of Guru Nanak.
Guru Amar Das Patshah left for heavenly abode on Bhado Sudi 15
sunmat 1631 (Sept. 1, 1574 after serving 22 years, 5 months, and
23 days as teh third Guru of GurSikhism.
-Ref. Guru Granth Ratnavali, (pp. 142) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar
Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh
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