|FATHER||Hari Das ji|
|MOTHER||Daya Kaur ji|
|DATE OF BIRTH||September 24, 1534|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Chuna Mandi, Lahore (Pakistan)|
|CHILDREN||Prithi Chand, Maha Dev & Arjan Dev|
|AGE, YEAR & TIME AT GUR GADHI||August 30, 1574, 7 Years|
|CONTRIBUTION OF BANIES||638 Shabad, Salok & Chand etc.|
|JOYTI JOT PLACE||Govindwal|
His name means ‘the servant of the all-pervading divinity’. He feels a sense of community with all mankind and the pains of those isolated hearts yearning to open, as well as those that have been betrayed and broken. Aware of the pain and confusion that reigns in the place of true love he invites us to realize the possible human; a being of truth and service. This is the fourth great teacher and master in the lineage of the Sikh tradition, Guru Ram Das.
Jetha ji (Guru Ramdas Sahib) was born at Chuna Mandi, Lahore (in Pakistan), on Kartik Vadi 2nd, (25th Assu) Samvat 1591(September 24, 1534).
Son of Mata Daya Kaur ji (Anup Kaur ji) and Baba Hari Das ji Sodhi Khatri was very handsome and promising child. His parents were too poor to meet even the daily needs and he had to earn his bread by selling boiled grams. His parents died when he was just 7 year old. His grandmother (mother’s, mother) took him to her native village Basarke. He spent five years at village Basarke earning his bread by selling boiled grams. According to some chronicles,
once Guru Amardas Sahib had come to village Basarke to condole with the grandmother of Jetha Ji at the death of her son-in-law and developed deep affection for Jetha Ji.
Along with grandmother he left for Goidwal Sahib to settle there.
There he resumed his profession of selling boiled grams and also began to take part in the religious congregation held by Guru Amardas Sahib. He also made active participation in the development of Goindwal Sahib.
A very interesting story is narrated by almost all writers, old and new. One day the Guru’s wife seeing Bibi Bhani playing about remarked to her husband that as Bhani as grown up, they ought to search for a husband for her. The Guru agreed and ordered the search for a husband for her. Bibi Bhani’s mother saw a boy outside her door hawking some articles of food. On carefully observing him, she said “Search a youth like him”. Hearing this Guru exclaimed “He is his own parallel, for God has made none other like unto him”. Saying this Guru called the youth and enquired from his about his whereabouts. After that he sent him with marriage presents to his father Hari Das in Lahore and had the betrothal ceremony performed (1545).
Bibi Bhani served Jetha Ji not merely as her dear husband but also as a rare saint. The couple lived happily and in due course three sons were born to them. In order of seniority they were
Prithi Chand (1547 A.D),
and Arjan Dev (1553)
Jetha Ji was a paragon of love, devotion, service and resignation. He looked upon Guru Amar Das not merely as his father-in-law but also as his most revered beau ideal i.e. The Guru. He served him in a spirit of complete self-surrender. He along with his wife Bibi Bhani used to shampoo him, draw water, cook, serve meals from the kitchen and then wash the dishes. The more he served the Guru the more his love for him and for all mankind increased. Gradually his disposition became divine just as they say iron is turned into gold by the contact of the philosopher’s stone. Later on, when the construction of the Baoli (a well with stairs) was undertaken, Jetha Ji became conspicuous for his tireless and unremitting labor.
He carried baskets of earth on his head like everybody else and paid no heed to the banter or reproaches of his companions of his kith and kin. Once when his relatives were returning from a pilgrimage to the river Ganga, they halted briefly at Goindwal on their way to Lahore. When they saw Jetha Ji working like a common laborer, they were furious and said to him. “Thou hast shamed the family by performing menial service like Shudra in thy father-in-law’s house. Couldn’t thou not obtain suitable maintenance to draw water, scrub deity vessels, and shampoo the Guru”. Jetha Ji was much displeased at this language and replied, “In your estimation the Guru is my father-in-law but in mine he is God in person.” On hearing this they went to the Guru and complained to him about what he had made of his son-in-law. To this Guru’s reply was: “I had not made him carry filth on his head, but I have put filth on the heads of his slanderers, and I have caused the umbrella of true sovereignty to wave over him. If he had not been born in your family, you would all have been damned. It is he who hath saved the whole of your tribe.”
When Guru Amar Das wanted to select his successor like the first two Gurus, the Guru asked both of his sons-in-law, Rama and Jetha Ji to make him two platforms beside the Baoli at Goindwal. He held out the promise without telling them about the Guruship that he who did the better work in his eyes should receive the greater honor. When they completed their platforms, the Guru went to inspect them. Both the platforms were declared to be defective and they were asked to throw them down and rebuild them. In obedience to his command, new platforms were erected. These were also disapproved and ordered to be dismantled. On this Rama the elder son-in-law refused to build it a third time. He demurred, “The Guru hath grown old and his reason failed him”. Jetha Ji’s work was subjected to the same rigorous standard. He continued to build platforms which were then dismantled each time pronouncing it faulty by the Guru. This process was repeated seven times. Ultimately, Jetha Ji clasped the Guru’s feet and humbly addressed him :” I am a fool; pray have regard for thy duty (bird) to me as thy son. I am erring and of mean understanding, while thou possess all knowledge.” On hearing this Guru smiled and embraced him affectionately saying, “Jetha Ji is a perfect being who hath become incarnate and the world following him shall be saved” The Sikhs were astonished on witnessing Jetha Ji’s marvelous devotion and obedience, and henceforth began to recognize him as the image of the Guru. On August 30, 1574 A.D. Bhai Jetha succeeded Guru Amar Das as the fourth Sikh Guru under the name Ram Das.
Bhai Jetha Ji was directed by Guru Amar Das to set up a new township at the site marked by the Guru. Guru Ramdas Sahib laid the foundation stone of Chak Ramdas or Ramdas Pur, which is now called Amritsar. Subsequently when Guru Ram Das had a holy pool constructed on this spot, the place came to be known as Amristsar or the ‘Pool of Immortality’. Phrase came to be associated with the tank dug at Amritsar which was :
“Ramdas Sarovar Nahate, Sab uttre paap kamate”,
“I bath in the tank of Ramdas and all my sins were washed away”.
The new city (Chak Ramdas Pur) flourished soon as it was situated at the centre of international trade routes. It grew into an important center of trade in Punjab after Lahore. Guru Ramdas Sahib himself invited many merchants and artisans from the different walks of life and trades. Later on, it proved to be step of far-reaching importance. It provided a common place of worship to the Sikhs and paved the way for the future guidelines for the Sikhism as a different religion. Amritsar continues to be the centre of Sikhism and holiest place for the Sikhs till today. Guru Ramdas Sahib introduced Masand system in place of Manji system and this step played a great role in the consolidation of Sikhism.
Guru Ramdas was a perfect example of humility and piety. Once Sri Chand, the son of Gurn Nanak visited him. He asked the Guru in a humorous way as to why he maintained a long a flowing beard. The Guru gave him as apt reply: “To wipe the dust of your holy feet.” Sri Chand was deeply moved by this answer and expressed regret for his impertinence.
The Guru’s mission spread quickly among the poor the high classes. Some aristocrats visited Amritsar and became his followers. The Guru turned his friendship with Emperor Akbar to good account by persuading him to relieve distress and to remove the oppressive taxes on non-Muslims.
Guru Ramdas laid down a Sikh code of conduct and worship. He prescribed the routine of a Sikh as his hymn to be found on page 305 of Guru Granth Sahib as under:
“He, who calleth himself a Sikh of the true Guru, should rise early and meditate on God;
He should make an effort early in the morning; bathe in the inner tank of nectar;
Repeat God’s Name under Guru’s instruction, and all his sins and transgressions shall be erased;
At sunrise he should sing the Guru’s hymns, and whether sitting or standing meditate on God’s Name;
The disciple who at every breath meditateth on God, will be dear to the Guru;
The Guru imparteth instruction to that disciple to whom my Lord bestows His grace;
The servant Nanak prayeth for the dust of the feet of such a disciple of the Guru who himself repeateth God’s Name and causeth others to do so.”
(Gauri Ki Var- Mohalla 4, p-305-6)
He composed the Lavan for Sikh marriage ceremony and other hymns appropriate to certain other functions and festivities. Being a talented musician he composed hymns in eleven new ragas. He wrote 638 hymns in 30 ragas, these include 246 Padei 138 Saloks, 31 Ashtpadis and 8 Vars and are a part of Guru Granth Sahib.Sahari Mal, Guru’s cousin from Lahore, invited the Guru to grace his son’s marriage. For some reasons, the Guru could not go, but he asked his eldest son, Prithi Chand to attend the marriage. Prithi Chand refused to go. His refusal was attributed to possibly two motives. It is said that he was in charge of the offerings that were made to the Guru and was able to set aside much wealth for himself. If he had gone to Lahore, this illicit gain might have fallen in somebody else’s hands. Secondly he thought that the time was fast approaching for the selection of a person to succeed his father as Guru and so he should remain in Amritsar. Mahadev, the Guru’s second son, did not want to go because of his indifference to worldly affairs. The third son, Arjan Dev agreed to attend the marriage. He was instructed to stay on in Lahore after the marriage to look after the affairs of the Sikh Sangat of that place. After some time, he started feeling the pangs of separation for his father and the Guru, and wrote three letters, two of which were intercepted by his elder brother, Prithi Chand. A letter marked ‘3’, reached the Guru and Arjan Dev was immediately recalled from Lahore. On his return he told his father that he had sent three letters. The truth came to light and Prithi Chand was forced to produce the other two letters. Thus Prithi Chand’s actions were exposed. Guru Ram Das embraced Arjan Dev, sent for five paise and a coco-nut, and placed them before him. He descending from his throne seated him there before the whole assembly of the Sikhs. Baba Buddha affixed the tilak of spiritual sovereignty to Arjan Dev’s forehead, and thus he was proclaimed as Guru Arjan Dev. This happened in August, 1581. Prithi Chand became so mad that he addressed his father in abusive language. He told Baba Buddha that his father acted improperly in giving Guruship to his younger brother. He vowed that he would remove Guru Arjan and would seat himself on the Guru Gaddi (throne). The Guru counseled him not to quarrel about it, but Prithi Chand refused to submit and adopted an attitude of open defiance. Having nominated Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Ram Das left for his old headquarters at Goindwal. After a few days He left eft this world on the first of September, 1581.
Gurdwaras of Sri Guru Ramdas
Gurdwara Janam Asthan Sri Guru Ram Das. This is a historical Sikh gurdwara in Pakistan. It is the holy historical place where Guru Ram Das was born on 24th September, 1534 (25 Asuj, Samwat 1591) to Sodhi Hardas Ji and Mata Daya Kaur. The Satguru spent first 7 years of his life here. This place is situated inside Delhi Darwaza, near Purani Kotwali Chowk in Chuni Mandi, Lahore now in Pakistan . The ancestral house of the Guru was small in size, so Maharani Nakain requested to Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the time of birth of Kanwar Kharak Singh, for permission to rebuild this historical place a new. As a result of this, the Maharaja purchased the surrounding buildings from the Qazis and got a Gurdwara of dimensions 122′-6” x 97′-6” built which was somewhat similar to the Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar. On the west is an open yard and Nishan Sahib is fixed on the South-West corner. The Singh Sabha Movement got set-going from this Gurdwara in 1927 A.D. According to Gurdwara act, this Gurdwara came under S.G.P.C. Management. At the time of partition eighteen Sikhs faced martyrdom there.
GURUDWARA SHRI CHAUBARA SAHIB. This is situated at the Goindwal Sahib City in Taran Taaran Distt. Gurudwara Sahib is situated near to the GURUDWARA SHRI BAOLI SAHIB SHRI GOINDWAL SAHIB.
GURUDWARA SHRI THADA SAHIB. It is situated in Distt City Amritsar. This Gurudwara Sahib is situated in the prikarma of GOLDEN TEMPLE SHRI HARIMADIR SAHIB AMRITSAR. Sitting here SHRI GURU RAM DAS JI SAHIB used to supervise the construction of GURUDWARA SAHIB and excavation of SROVAR SAHIB. Holy Pothy sahibs brought from SHRI GOINDWAL SAHIB were kept here in order to edit SHRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB. Wazir Khan (Governer of Lahore) was cured of disease by performing kar sewa here at instance of Baba Budha Ji. There is a legend that SHRI GURU NANAK DEV JI and SHRI GURU ANGAD DEV JI SAHIB also visited this holy place. Here SHRI GURU ARJAN DEV JI SAHIB recited shabad in Rag Ramkali “Asthath tirath jah sadh pag dareh”.
GURUDWARA SHRI HARMANDIR SAHIB. It is situated in the middle of Amritsar city. It is also known as the Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib (Divine Court). The Golden Temple is a living symbol of the spiritual and historical traditions of the Sikhs. It is a source of inspiration for all Sikhs and their chief place of pilgrimage. The temple with it’s glistening gold covered exterior stands in the middle of the tank of nectar. Gurudwara Shri Harmandir Sahib has entrances and doors on all four sides. SHRI GURU ARJAN DEV JI exclaimed; “My faith is for the people of all castes and all creeds from whichever direction they come and to whichever direction they bow.” SHRI GURU AMARDAS JI asked SHRI GURU RAMDAS JI to build a central place of congregation for the Sikhs. Baba Budha used to monitor the digging work sitting under the Beri situated in the Parikrma. SHRI GURU RAMDAS JI started excavation work in 1577 during his lifetime. SHRI GURU ARJAN DEV JI completed excavation of the Tank known as Amritsar (The Pool of Nectar) in 1588. SHRI GURU ARJAN DEV JI then started construction of the Temple building himself which was finally completed in 1601. SHRI GURU ARJAN DEV JI got the Foundation stone of Gurudwara Shri Harimandir Sahib laid down by Sain Mian Mir a muslim prophet. The first edition of the Holy Book of the Sikh’s SHRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB was installed there in 1604 Baba Buddha was appointed the first granthi (caretaker of the book). The last Sikh Guru to live in Amritsar was SHRI GURU HARGOBIND JI. The Golden Temple has always been a rallying point for Sikhs throughout it’s history. In 1761 the Afghan Ahmed Shah Abdali blew up the Temple and filled in the Sacred Tank with refuse. The great Sikh martyr Baba Deep Singh laid down his life in revenge. The construction of the Golden Temple as it appears today was begun in 1764 when Jassa Singh Ahluwalia laid the foundation stone. Many of the doors, walls and domes were covered with copper sheets overlaid with gold during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
GURUDWARA SHRI PIPLI SAHIB. It is situated in the Distt City Amritsar. Situated in the Putli Ghar area of Amritsar, it is remembrance of SHRI GURU RAMDAS JI, SHRI GURU ARJUN DEV JI AND SHRI GURU HARGOBIND JI. SHRI GURU RAM DAS JI due to the Shade of Peepal tree (Banyan tree) and its location (on the way to Lahore), built a well. SHRI GURU ARJUN DEV JI: When GURU SAHIB took guru ship, Prithi Chand became hostile and he took all donations, due to that GURU SAHIB langar was not sufficient for the Sangat. When Bhai Gurdas ji returned from Agra after death of SHRI GURU RAM DAS JI and took langar, he got Onions and grams in langar. When Bhai sahib asked the reason then Bibi Bhani narrated the story of wickedness of Prithi Chand. Then Bhai sahib and Baba Buddha Ji came to this place and sat on sheet. The Sangat from Kabul and Kandhar and west side when come to this place they met and greeted them. Baba Buddha ji Sahib narrated them the whole story about wickedness of Prithi Chand and took donation and gave all donation to GURU SAHIB. GURU SAHIB and mata ji used to serve Sangat and pampered them.