Today in Sikh History :25th August
|1581||Jotti Jot, Fourth Patshah, Guru Ram Das Ji.|
==> GURU RAM DAS (1534-1581). the Fourth Master, ascended the holy gaddi (throne) of Guru Nanak in 1574 and continued to adorn the exalted office till 1581. Though he was the son-in-law of Guru Amar Das, being married to his daughter Bibi Bhani, yet he revered the Third Master as a Guru with an unwavering fervor. Inebriated with the nectar of the divine Nam, he spurned delights, and spent all his time in an ecstatic communion with the Lord through moments of deep meditation.
Originally called Jetha Ji, Guru Ram Das was born in a Sodhi family at Lahore in 1534. His parents died when he was just a child. He was, therefore, brought up by his maternal grandparents. He had an opportunity to visit Goindwal, the seat of the Third Master, at a time when the bavali was being dug through voluntary labor. He immersed himself in this labor of love with such a rare verve and dedication that he won the Guru’s appreciation and recognition. The Third Master was so highly pleased with the disciple that he gave his daughter Bibi Bhani to him in marriage. Nevertheless, he served Guru Amar Das with as much love and devotion as ever before. It was in 1574 that he was invested with Guruship and named Guru Ram Das.
Guru Ram Das’s contribution to Bani is considerable. His compositions throb on born of love for fellowman and yearning for God. They inculcate in the people the adoration of God and the Guru. Rightly does the Master image an ideal man as one who had drunk deep at the fount of Nam and whose eyes are aglow with the love of the Lord. He sought a consummation of the human personality through God-realization.
The Vars (ballads) of the Fourth Master, enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib, outnumber those of other contributors. After Guru Nanak and Guru Amar Das, it was he who expanded the range of the Ragas in the Adi Granth adding as many as eleven to the existing system. Notable among the Fourth Master’s contribution to Sikhism is the establishment of a new Chak called Guru Ka Chak on the land gifted by Emperor Akbar to Bibi Bhani, the Guru’s wife. Later, it grew into the city of Amritsar. Here the Guru started the digging of two sarovars (pools) which when completed during Guru Arjan’s time, came to be known as Santokhsar and Amritsar So great was the Guru’s magnetism that during his pontificate Amritsar emerged as a famous place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs.
With a view to transmitting the gospel of Sikhism as also to meeting the expenditure incurred on the ever expanding altruistic plans and programs, the Guru founded the institution of masands. The offerings of the Sikhs were collected by the masands who rendered these to the Guru.
Guru Ram Das also deputed learned missionaries to establish contact with the Sikhs outside the Punjab. Guru Amar Das had already set up 22 Manjis (dioceses). Accordingly, the Fourth Master bade Bhai Hindal and Bhai Gurdas begin their missionary work and preach Sikhism at Jandiala and Agra, respectively. The Guru also shifted his head-quarters from Goindwal to Amritsar. Besides, he got prepared handwritten Gutkas (booklets of holy hymns). The Adi Granth contains 679 hymns by Guru Ram Das.
Guru Ram Das had three sons – Prithi Chand, Mahan Dev and Arjan Dev. He considered the youngest son, Arjan Dev, the ablest and saintliest and, therefore, installed him as Guru in 1581.
-Ref. Guru Granth Ratnavali, (pp. 58) by Dr. D.S. Mani, Sardar Bakhshish Singh, and Dr. Gurdit Singh.
|1637||Bhai Gurdas Ji passed away.|
==> BHAI GURDAS: was a true GurSikh, who was a close brother of Bibi Bhani Ji. He adopted the Sikh faith from Fourth Patshah, Sri Guru Ram Das Ji, in 1636 and learned the essence of GurSikhism from the Fifth Patshah, Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Bhai Gurdas eventually became a full-fledged GurSikh preacher and effectively propagated the GurSikhism tenants. He preached concentrated in Lahore, Agra, Kanshi and surrounding region.
The very first copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib commissioned by Guru Arjun Dev Patshah was hand scribed by Bhai Gurdas. Bhai Sahib’s own writings, 40 Vara and 556 Kabit, represents a wealth of knowledge about and a detailed exposition of GurSikhism principles. Bhai Sahib’s writings represent the most detailed Rehatmana on GurSikhism. In Guru Arjun Patshah’s own word, study of Bhai Sahib’s writings is a source of Sikhi. Bhai Sahib’s writings are widely acknowledged as the THE KEY to unlocking the treasures and understanding the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Therefore detailed study of Bhai Sahib’s writings is considered a mandatory pre-requisite for any study of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Further, Bhai Gurdas Ji’s writings are blessed with the unique honor of mandatory recitation during every diwan. This honor was bestowed by Sri Guru Arjun Dev Patshah. According to the Sikh Rehat Maryada, Bhai Sahib’s writing are among the Banis accepted for recitation outside of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Others with similar honor include the Bani of Dassam Granth and the writings of Bhai Nand Lal Ji.
Bhai Gurdas Ji passed away on Bhado Sudhi 8, sunmat 1694 at Goindwal Sahib, during Sixth Patshah, Sri Guru Har Gobind’s period. Guru Sahib personally conducted the last rights and the cremation of Bhai Gurudas Ji’s body.
-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 416)
|1977||Jarnail Singh Bhindrawalae assumed responsibility of Chief sewadar of Damdami Taksal.|