QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON SIKH HISTORY
Compiled by: Gurdeep Singh (Maryland, USA)
- Name the ten Gurus of the Sikhs in the right order
- Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469 - 1539)
- Guru Angad Dev Ji (1504 - 1552)
- Guru Amardas Ji (1479 - 1574)
- Guru Ramdas Ji (1534 - 1581)
- Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563 - 1606)
- Guru Hargobind Ji (1595 - 1644)
- Guru Har Rai Ji (1630 - 1661)
- Guru Harkrishan Ji (1656 - 1664)
- Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (1621 - 1675)
- Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1666 - 1708)
- Name the present Guru of the Sikhs
Guru Granth Sahib Ji and Guru Panth Khalsa
Who were the four Sahebzadas ?
They were the sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
- Name the four Sahebzadas
- Who was the eldest Sahebzada ?
Baba Ajit Singh Ji
- Who was the youngest Sahebzada ?
Baba Fateh Singh Ji
- Name the Sahebzadas who were bricked alive.
- Baba Fateh Singh Ji
- Baba Zorawar Singh Ji
- Name the Sahebzadas who achieved martyrdom in the battlefield of Chamkaur.
- Baba Ajit Singh Ji
- Baba Jujhar Singh Ji
- When & where was the Khalsa Panth created ?
It was created on the day of Vaisakhi of the year 1699 at Kesgarh Saheb by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
- What name did Guru Gobind Singh Ji give to the newly created Sikh Community ?
- Name the first 'Panj Pyaras' (The five beloved ones)
- Name the five 'K's that every Sikh must always possess
- Kes (unshorn hair)
- Kangha (comb)
- Kirpan (knife / sword)
- Kaccha (short breeches)
- Kara (wrist band / bangle)
- Who is the spiritual father of all Sikhs (Khalsas) ?
- Who is the spiritual mother of all Sikhs (Khalsas) ?
Mata Saheb Kaur Ji
- What is the native place of all Sikhs (Khalsas) ?
- What is the Sikh Salutation ?
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
- What is the Sikh Jaikara ?
Jo Boley So Nihaal
Sat Sri Akaal
- What is the literal meaning of the word 'Sikh' ?
- What is the literal meaning of the word 'Singh' ?
- What is the literal meaning of the word 'Kaur' ?
- Name the five prayers that comprise 'NITNEM' the daily prayer of the Sikhs (according to the SGPC Rehat Maryada) orning (Dawn - Amrit Wela)
- Japji Saheb
- Jaap Saheb
- Evening (Dusk)
- Rehras Saheb which comprises Sodar, Choupai Saheb, Six (first 5 and 40th) Pauris of Anand Saheb, Mundawani, and Salok Mahala 2, the concluding hymn of Guru Granth Saheb.
- Night (Before sleeping)
- (Kirtan) Sohaila
- Which of the 'Baanis' of 'Nitnem' are not included in Guru Granth Saheb, but are taken from the 'Dasham Granth' ?
- Jaap Saheb
- Choupai Saheb (included in Rehras Saheb)
- What are the four main apostate acts ('Kuraihats') prohibited for a Sikh ?
- Shaving or cutting of hair
- Eating Kuttha meat
- Use of tobacco or any other intoxicant.
- Name the 'Five Takhts' of the Sikhs
- Akal Takht, Amritsar
- Harmandir Saheb, Patna (also known as Patna Saheb)
- Kesgarh Saheb, Anandpur
- Hazur Saheb, Nander
- Damdama Saheb, Talwandi Sabo (Bhatinda)
- Which Guru started the formal teaching of the 'Gurmukhi' script ?
Guru Angad Dev Ji
- Which Guru formalised the concept of the shared meal into 'Guru-Ka-Langar' ?
Guru Amardas Ji
- Who was the most long-lived Guru ?
Guru Amardas Ji.
- Who got the tank excavated (dug out) in Amritsar ?
Guru Ramdas Ji
- Who built Harmandir Saheb (The Golden Temple) and gave a central place of worship to the Sikhs ?
Guru Arjan Dev Ji
- Who first placed the sheets of copper gilt on Harmandir Saheb ?
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
- Who first compiled the Guru Granth Saheb (The Adi Granth, then known as Pothi Saheb) ?
Guru Arjan Dev Ji
- When was the first compilation of Guru Granth Saheb installed in Harmandir Saheb ?
- Who was appointed the first Granthi of Guru Granth Saheb ?
Baba Buddha Ji
- Where is the original copy of Guru Granth Saheb placed ?
- How many pages does the standard printed volume of Guru Granth Saheb contain ?
- Guru Granth Saheb contains the compositions of how many Gurus ?
Six Gurus : First Five Gurus & the Ninth Guru.
- When did Guru Granth Saheb get 'Guru Gaddi' (Guruship) ?
October 3, 1708 A.D.
- Which Guru was seated on a red-hot iron plate and burning hot sand put on his body ?
Guru Arjan Dev Ji
- Which Guru is entitled 'Shahidaan De Sirtaj' ?
Guru Arjan Dev Ji because he was the Pioneer and Champion of Martyrdom in Sikh History.
- Which Guru is related to 'MIRI-PIRI' ?
Guru Hargobind Ji
- Which Guru was beheaded ?
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji
- Which Guru is entitled 'Hind Di Chadar' ?
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji is entitled 'Hind Di Chadar' because he died to protect the Hindu faith.
- What is 'SIMARAN' ?
Contemplation of the Almighty God
- What is the ceremony of Sikh marriage called ?
- How many 'Lawans' are recited during the Sikh marriage ?
- How much of his income must every Sikh contribute for religious purposes ?
One-Tenth (called Daswandh)
- When was Guru Nanak Dev Ji born & where ?
April 15, 1469 A.D. in Talwandi (now in Pakistan - Nankana Saheb)
- Name the parents of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Father : Mehta Kalu Ji
Mother : Mata Tripta Ji
- Who were Bebe Nanaki & Bhai Jai Ram ?
Bebe Nanaki was Guru Nanak Dev Ji's older sister & Bhai Jai Ram was her husband.
- Name the wife of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Mata Sulakhani Ji
- Name the sons of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Baba Sri Chand Ji
Baba Lakhmi Das Ji.
- Which Guru established the first Gurdwara (Sangat) ? Where & when ?
Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Kartarpur in 1521 A.D.
- What were Guru Nanak Dev Ji's travels called ?
- Name the Muslim who accompanied Guru Nanak Dev Ji with a rebeck (a musical instrument invented by himself).
Bhai Mardana Ji.
- Where are the descendants of Mardana found ?
In Ramdas, the city of Baba Buddha, and are called Rababies or the people of Rebeck.
- During his travels, Guru Nanak Dev Ji went to Sayyadpur (now called Eminabad) and stayed at a carpenter's house (considered of low caste according to the Hindu caste system). Name the carpenter.
- Who was the (high caste) local official there whose feast Guru Nanak Dev Ji rejected ?
- Where was the first missionary center (Manji) established by Guru Nanak Dev Ji ?
The first 'Manji' was established at Bhai Laalo's house to spread Sikhism in Northern Punjab
- What was the abode of the Jogis (Yogis) of Gorakhnath clan called ?
Gorakhmata (later became known as Nanakmata)
- Name the mountains where Guru Nanak Dev Ji met the renowned 'Sidhas'.
Kailash Parbat (also called Sumer Parbat)
- Name the composition in Guru Granth Saheb Ji that records the dialogues Guru Nanak Dev Ji had with the 'Sidhas'.
- Name the so called cannibal that Guru Nanak Dev Ji met during his travel through the wilderness of Assam.
- During his travels, whom did Guru Nanak Dev Ji meet at Sangladeep (Ceylon) ?
Raja Shiv Nabh
- Who was the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India ?
- Name the reigning Mughal ruler during Guru Nanak Dev Ji's time.
- What are the four hymns by Guru Nanak alluding to the invasions by Babar (1483- 1530 A.D.) collectively known as in Sikh literature ?
Babarvani (Guru Nanak described the atrocities of Babar and his men in Punjab)
- Where was Guru Nanak taken captive during Babar's invasion ?
Sayyadpur, now called Eminabad, in Gujranwala district of Pakistan
- Where did Guru Nanak Dev Ji meet Vali Kandhari ?
- Name the Gurdwara, now in Pakistan, which stands at the place where Vali Kandhari's ego was broken.
- When and where did Guru Nanak Dev Ji become 'Joti Jot' (immersed in the Eternal Light) ?
In 1539 at Kartarpur
- How old was Guru Nanak Dev Ji when he passed away and transferred the 'Divine Light' over to Guru Angad Dev Ji ?
- In which year was Guru Angad Dev Ji born ?
In 1504 A.D.
- What was the original name of Guru Angad Dev Ji ?
- Name the father of Bhai Lehna Ji.
- Who was Mata Kheevi Ji ?
She was the wife of Guru Angad Dev Ji.
She is the only woman in Sikh History whose name has been mentioned in Guru Granth Saheb Ji.
- Name the children of Guru Angad Dev Ji.
2 sons: Bhai Datu and Bhai Dasu
1 daughter: Bibi Amro
- In what year was Guru Angad Dev Ji appointed as Guru ?
- Where did Guru Angad Dev Ji stay during the years that Guru Amardas Ji served him ?
- Who was Humayun, and why was he visiting Guru Angad Dev Ji ?
Humayun was Babar's son. Having been defeated by Sher Shah, he was fleeing India via Lahore and hearing the repute of Guru Angad Dev Ji, came to meet him at Khadur for his blessings, with a good number of presents
- When did Guru Angad Dev Ji become 'Joti Jot' (immersed in the Eternal Light)?
In 1552 A.D.
- When was Guru Amardas Ji born ?
In 1479 A.D.
- Name the parents of Guru Amardas Ji.
Bhai Tej Bhan and Mata Lakhmi (or Mata Bhakt Devi as per some historians)
- Name the wife of Guru Amardas Ji.
Bibi Mansa Devi
- Name the children of Guru Amardas Ji.
2 sons: Baba Mohan and Baba Mohri
2 daughters: Bibi Dani and Bibi Bhani
- Who was Bibi Amro Ji ?
She was the daughter of Guru Angad Dev Ji and daughter-in-law of the brother of Guru Amardas Ji.
- How old was Guru Amardas Ji when he met Guru Angad Dev Ji ?
61 years old
- For how many years did Guru Amardas Ji serve Guru Angad Dev Ji ?
- What was the name of the river that Guru Amardas Ji walked to to get water for Guru Angad Dev Ji's bath ?
- When was Guru Amardas Ji appointed as Guru ?
- Name the eldest son of Guru Angad Dev Ji who struck Guru Amardas Ji with his foot when Guru Ji was seated on Gurgaddi (Guru's seat).
- Which city was founded by Guru Amardas Ji, where he settled down after being appointed as Guru ?
- What is a baoli ?
A well with steps proceeding down to the water level.
- When was the Baoli (well) with 84 steps completed by Guru Amardas Ji in Goindval ?
In 1559 A.D.
- Who established the system of preachers called 'masands' ?
Guru Amardas Ji
- In which year did Emperor Akbar visit Guru Amardas Ji ?
- Why did Guru Amardas Ji refuse Emperor Akbar's offering of village revenues for the Guru-ka-langar ?
This Community Kitchen must be community supported and depend only on the offerings of the devout.
- What did one have to do before he was allowed to attend discourse of Guru Amardas Ji ?
They had to partake Guru-ka-langar
- What were the three special days declared by Guru Amardas Ji when all the Sikhs were to congregate from far and near at the Guru's place to hear His words ?
Baisakhi (April 13), Maghi (1st day of Magha, mid January) and Diwali (festival of lights in October/November)
- Guru Amardas Ji opposed the practice of Purdah. What is Purdah ?
Wearing of veil by women
- Guru Amardas Ji opposed the practice of Sati. What is Sati ?
The practice of burning the widow on her husbands funeral pyre is called Sati. When the husband died, the wife either voluntarily burnt herself on the pyre of her husband or was thrown into the fire without her consent. In popular term the woman who did perform this act was called Sati (truthful).
- How many missionaries ('masands') did Guru Amardas Ji train and sent out to various places ? Out of these, how many were women ?
Guru Amardas Ji trained and sent out 146 missionaries, out of which 52 were women. (Note: At one time, the country of Afghanistan and Kashmir were under the jurisdiction of women masands.)
- In which year did Guru Amardas Ji become 'Joti Jot' (immersed in the Eternal Light) ?
In 1574 A.D.
- In which year was Guru Ramdas Ji born ?
In 1534 A.D.
- Name the parents of Guru Ramdas Ji.
Hari Das and Anup Devi (some historians list Daya Kaur as the mother)
- What was Guru Ramdas Ji's wife's name ?
Bibi Bhani Ji. (Daughter of Guru Amardas Ji.)
- What was the original name of Guru Ramdas Ji ?
- Name the three sons of Guru Ramdas Ji.
Prithi Chand (eldest)
Arjan Mal (later became Guru Arjan Dev Ji)
- When and where did Guru Ramdas Ji become 'Joti Jot' (immersed in the Eternal Light) ?
In 1581 A.D. at Goindval.
- In which year was Guru Arjan Dev Ji born ?
In 1563 A.D.
- What was Guru Arjan Dev Ji's wife's name ?
Mata Ganga Ji
- Name the only son of Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
- Name the son of Prithi Chand.
- In which year was the first construction of Harmandir Saheb (Golden Temple) completed ?
- Which guru taught obedience to Satta and Balwand when they struck work ?
Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
- Who was Bhai Gurdas ?
He was the nephew (son of younger brother) of Guru Amardas Ji. He was one of the most learned Sikhs and his writings are still respected by Sikhs. The copy of Guru Granth Saheb at Kartarpur is written in his hand.
- How was Bhai Gurdas Ji a relative of Guru Arjan Dev Ji ?
Bhai Gurdas Ji was the cousin brother of Bibi Bhaani Ji, who was the daughter of Guru Amardass Ji, wife of Guru Ramdas Ji, and mother of Guru Arjan Dev Ji
- Which Guru initiated Bhai Gurdas Ji into Sikhism ?
Guru Ramdas Ji
- Whom did Guru Arjan Dev Ji dictate the Adi Granth to ?
Bhai Gurdas Ji
- In which year did Bhai Gurdas die ?
- When did Akbar die ?
October 17, 1605 A.D.
- Under the rule of which Mughal Emperor was Guru Arjan Dev Ji made to sit on a red-hot iron plate ?
- Where & when did Guru Arjan Dev Ji achieve martyrdom ?
In Lahore on May 25, 1606 A.D.
- Name the Gurdwara, now in Pakistan, that stands at the place where Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred.
- In which year was Guru Hargobind Ji born ?
In 1595 A.D.
- Name the wifes of Guru Hargobind Ji.
Bibi Damodri, Bibi Mahadevi, and Bibi Nanaki
- How many sons did Guru Hargobind Ji have ? Name them.
He had Five Sons. They were :
- Baba Gurditta (Born of Bibi Damodri) (Father of Guru Harrai)
- Baba Suraj Mal (Born of Bibi Mahadevi)
- Baba Ani Rai (Born of Bibi Nanaki)
- Baba Atal Rai (Born of Bibi Nanaki)
- (Guru) Tegh Bahadur (Born of Bibi Nanaki)
- Name the daughter of Guru Hargobind Ji.
Bibi Viro (Born of Bibi Damodri)
- How high is the tower of Baba Atal (built in memory of Baba Atal in Amritsar) ?
It is 9 storeys high.
- Where was Guru Hargobind Ji sent as a state prisoner ?
Fort of Gwalior.
- How many princes who were already imprisoned in the Fort of Gwalior got freed along with Guru Hargobind Ji ?
- Guru Hargobind Ji donned the sword as a twin symbol of two powers. Name them.
Miri (Temporal Power) & Piri (Spiritual Power).
- Name the fortification that Guru Hargobind Ji put up in Amritsar.
- What is the literal meaning of Akal Takht ?
Throne of the Almighty.
- Who built the Akal Takht (then called Akal Bunga) ?
Guru Hargobind Ji
- When did Guru Hargobind Ji build Akal Takht (Akal Bunga) in Amritsar ?
In 1609 A.D.
- Why did Guru Hargobind Saheb Ji build the Akaal Takht directly across from Harmandar Saheb ?
To represent the unity of spiritual and secular (military) affairs. Akaal Takhat (miri) was complimentary to Harmandar Saheb (piri).
- When did Jehangir die ?
October 28, 1627 A.D.
- In which year was the first battle between Emperor Shah Jahan and Guru Hargobind Saheb Ji fought ?
The battle took place in 1634 A.D. The Emperor sent an army of 7000 cavalry under the command of his general Mukhlis Khan to capture the Guru. In the ensuing battle the Gurus forces emerged victorious after the Guru killed Mukhlis Khan in single combat with his sword. This battle marked a turning point as the Sikhs now turned militant under mughal persecution.
- How many battles did Guru Hargobind Saheb Ji fight against the attacking Mughal armies of Shah Jahan ?
Six battles (He won all the battles)
- Who were the two masands of Kaabul who were bringing two choice steeds (horses) of high pedigree to Guru Hargobind Saheb Ji ?
Bakht Mal and Tara Chand
- Name the reigning Mughal rulers during Guru Hargobind Ji's time.
Jehangir and Shah Jahan
- Name the person who recovered the Kabul horses from the Mughals.
Bhai Bidhi Chand. (The horses belonged to a Sikh who was bringing them from Kabul as an offering for Guru Hargobind Ji, but they were seized on the way by the Mughals. Bidhi Chand recovered the first horse disguised as a hay-seller, and the second disguised as an astrologer.)
- What were the names of two horses that Bidhi Chand rescued from the stables of the governor of Lahore ?
Dilbaag and Gulbaag
- Who recited the correct pronunciation ('Shudh Paath') of Japji Saheb to Guru Hargobind Ji ?
Bhai Gopala Ji
- How many Gurus did Baba Budha Ji serve ?
- How old was Baba Budha Ji when he passed away in 1631 ?
125 years old
- In which year did Guru Hargobind Ji become 'Joti Jot' (immersed in the Eternal Light) ?
In 1644 A.D.
- In which year and where was Guru Har Rai Ji born ?
In 1630 A.D. at Kiratpur.
- Name the father of Guru Har Rai Ji.
Baba Gurditta Ji.
- Name the brother of Guru Har Rai Ji.
- Name the wife of Guru Har Rai Ji.
- How many sons did Guru Harrai have ? Name them.
He had Two sons. They were :
- Ram Rai
- (Guru) Harkrishan
- Who was punished (excommunicated from the community) for misinterpreting Gurbani and displaying miracles before Aurangzeb ?
Ram Rai, son of Guru Harrai Ji.
- In which year did Guru Har Rai Ji become 'Joti Jot' (immersed in the Eternal Light) ?
- In which year was Guru Harkrishan Ji born ?
- How old was Guru Harkrishan Ji when he received the Guruship ?
5 (five) years old
- Which Gurdwara stands at the place of Mirza Raja Jai Singh's bungalow where Guru Harkrishan Ji stayed when he came to Delhi ?
Gurdwara Bangla Saheb.
- In which year did Guru Harkrishan Ji become 'Joti Jot' (immersed in the Eternal Light) ?
- How old was Guru Harkrishan Ji when he became 'Joti Jot' ?
8 (eight) years old
- Which Gurdwara stands at the place where Guru Harkrishan Ji's body was cremated after he became 'Joti Jot' ?
Gurdwara Bala Saheb.
- What were the last words of Guru Harkrishan Ji announcing the next Guru ?
"Baba Bakale", which meant that his successor is his grand uncle and would be found at village of Bakala
- How many members of the Sodhi family gathered at the village of Bakala claiming that they were the Guru and successor as named by Guru Harkrishan Ji ?
About 22 (twenty two)
- Who found out the true Guru in Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and proclaimed him to the world, thus exposing the fake pretenders ?
Bhai Makhan Shah
- In which year and where was Guru Tegh Bahadu