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::  Sikh Gurus  ::

Guru Ramdas Ji

4. Guru Ramdas Ji
(1534 - 1581 & Guruship: 1574 - 1581)


Guru Ram Das Ji (a.k.a. Bhai Jetha) was born in 1534, in Chuna Mandi, Lahore (now in Pakistan). His parents were Sri Hardas Ji and Mata Daya Kaur Ji. He was married to Bibi Bhani Ji and had three sons namely Prithi Chand, Mahandev and Arjun Dev.
Dedicated selfless service and humility were the marked characteristics of Guru Angad Dev and Guru Amar Das Ji. They passed through very strict tests before they were accepted by the Gurus and the spark passed on to them. Guru Ram Das, who was called Jetha before acquiring the Guruship, kept up the tradition. He was just an infant went he lost his mother, and at the age of seven his father also passed away. Even at this young age, he gave solace and comfort to his sad and heart-broken grandmother. He started earning his livelihood in the village of Basarke, as a small hawker selling boiled grains.
Guru Ramdas Ji - Sold boiled grains
Guru Ramdas Ji - Married
Guru Amar Das used to observe the young Jetha flocked by enthusiastic customers with whom he was very popular because of his sweet manners.
When Guru Amar Das moved to Goindwal, Jetha followed him there. In due course the far-sighted Guru Amar Das got Bhai Jetha married to his daughter Bibi Bhani.
Bhai Jetha was directed by Guru Amar Das to set up a new township at the site marked by the Guru.
This place was called 'Guru-Chak', later known as Ramdaspura. 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". Amritsar, continues to be the centre of Sikhism and holiest place for the Sikhs till today.
Guru Ramdas Ji - Guru Chak
Bhai Jetha's sincere devotion and selfless service earned him the admiration of Guru Amar Das and finally, in the year 1574, He transferred the 'Divine Light' to Guru Ram Das Ji. He was now responsible to advance the Sikh religion keep up to the tradition set up by his previous masters.
Guru Ramdas Ji - Amritsar
Guru Ram Das continued the tradition of Kirtan (holy music), langar and sewa (selfless service). During his Guruship period, Guru Ram Das always emphasized the value of sewa, which should be the primary duty of every Sikh and his family. Besides every Sikh should be engaged in honest labour during which the name of God should always be on ones lips.
This would bring happiness in the world and mukti or liberation from the painful process of birth and death.
Once Guru Ram Das's first cousin Sahari Mal, came to invite the Guru to visit Lahore in connection with the marriage of his son. The Guru being much too busy with his work promised to send one of his sons instead. Guru Ram Das asked his eldest son Prithi Chand to attend on his behalf, but he refused. Prithi Chand feared that his father was perhaps trying to eliminate him in order to install his youngest brother Arjan as the next Guru. Arjan was a great favorite of his father. Mahadev the Guru's middle son was a recluse and excused himself on the ground that he was not interested in the affairs of the world.
Guru Ramdas Ji - Divine God
The Guru therefore asked his youngest son Arjan Dev to attend, which he agreed to do with such grace and humility, that Guru Ram Das was very pleased. Arjan Dev now proceeded to Lahore, where his father asked him to remain until called for and to take charge of the needs and education of the Sikhs in Lahore, his ancestral home. After two years of feeling intensely homesick, Arjan Dev composed a poem of love and devotion and sent it to Guru Ram Das. This poem along with another one a few month's later were intercepted by the Guru's jealous son Prithi Chand who made sure his father never received them. Finally Arjan wrote a third poem and numbered it with a 3 and gave strict instructions to the messenger to only hand it over to the Guru personally.
"A moment's separation and it was like an age. When do I see you now, my beloved Lord ? My night does not pass, nor do I get sleep, Without seeing the Guru's darbar. I am a sacrifice, I am a sacrifice again to the true darbar of the Guru. 3" (Majh) Upon finally receiving this poem, Guru Ram Das sensed what must have happened to the earlier two messages so he confronted his eldest son Prithi Chand. At first, Prithi Chand denied everything, but seeing the insistence of the Guru and the consequences of refusal to obey him, he finally confessed his treachery and produced the other two letters. When Guru Ram Das read them, he was moved to tears by the humility and sincerity of his son Arjan's compositions. Guru Ram Das immediately sent for Baba Buddha to journey to Lahore and to bring back his son Arjan Dev with full honour. The Guru then had Bhai Budhha apply the saffron mark to the forehead of Arjan Dev and declared him his successor. Prithi Chand would not accept his fathers wishes and continued to misbehave and abuse Guru Arjan Dev. Guru Ram Das had to publicly condemn his son Prithi Chand for his actions. Shortly thereafter Guru Ram Das breathed his last on September 1st, 1581.

Click below to see more about the history of our Gurus...
1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji 2. Guru Agad Dev Ji 3. Guru Amardas Ji
5. Guru Arjan Dev Ji 6. Guru Hargobind Ji 7. Guru Har Rai Ji
8. Guru Har Krishan Ji 9.