Guru Arjan Dev
Diamonte Henriquez October 18, 2013
Life Before Guruship and Beginning of Guruship
Guru Arjan Dev was born at Goindwal on April 15, 1563. He was born as the youngest of 3 sons of Guru Ram Das, and invested in Guru-ship by his father in 1581. The eldest of his brothers Prithi Chand was very jealous of him and wanted to become the next guru.
After Arjan Dev went on an extensive tour of Punjab, in 1590, he returned and his brother was even more jealous. He hadn't had any children yet; Prithi had had a son who he'd hoped would surpass Arjan. Soon after this the Guru's wife, Ganga Devi, became pregnant.
Impact on Sikhism and Important Sikh Buildings
Prakash Utsav of Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurpurab (The Celebration of Arjan Dev's Birthday)
Arjan Dev laid the foundation of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in the middle of the tank of Amritsar. All of the Sikhs wanted the temple to be the tallest thing in the new town. Guru Arjan felt different; he reiterated how big of a virtue humility is. The temple was then built as low as possible. 'To counter the Muslim belief that God's House is in the west and the Hindu belief that it is in the east where the sun rises, the Harmandir Sahib had entrances on all four sides. Guru Arjan exclaimed; "My faith is for the people of all castes and all creeds from whichever direction they come and to whichever direction they bow.(Siks.org)" ' To help raise money for these public recreation works, the Guru declared that all Sikhs should donate 1/10th of their earnings to charity.
Later in his life, Arjan Dev faced a problem that shook the foundation of Sikhism itself. His brother, and a few others, were passing around fake hymns that they had made up themselves. Him and his other, trusted Sikhs went around the country to find authentic hymns from past Guru's. This group included Bhai Piara, Bhai Gurdas and Baba Buddha. The emperor Jahangir wanted Guru Arjan Dev to remove all references of Hinduism and Islam from the Holy Granth, but he refused. He was tortured for five days yet remained peaceful and calm. There he was the first Guru to be martyred. This showed his followers that watched him die that you should accept, happily and peacefully, the will of God and turn away for no one. This was his end of 26 years of guruship.