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Remembering Guru Amardas Ji On His Birth Anniversary: His teachings & Life Lessons

Remembering Guru Amardas Ji On His Birth Anniversary: His teachings & Life Lessons

Remembering Guru Amardas Ji On His Birth Anniversary: His teachings & Life Lessons

Guru Amar Das ji was born on 5 May 1479 & was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He became Sikh Guru on 26 March 1552 at age 73. Before becoming a Sikh, he was on a pilgrimage after having been prompted to search for a guru. During that time, he heard his nephew's wife, Bibi Amro, reciting a hymn by Guru Nanak, and was deeply moved by it. Bibi Amro was the daughter of Guru Angad, the second and then current Guru of the Sikhs. Amar Das persuaded Bibi Amro to introduce him to her father and in 1539, Amar Das, at the age of sixty, met Guru Angad and became a Sikh, devoting himself to the Guru. In 1552, before his death, Guru Angad appointed Amar Das as Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of Sikhism.

Here are 5 lessons Guru Amar Das taught that are still relevant more than 400 years later:

1. Free Kitchen for all – He created the Guru Ka Langar, to serve and feed people in need and also as a way to make a powerful statement: “We are all equal in nature”, since all visitors from any caste, creed, ranking, social status who wanted to meet him, were asked to first partake in Guru Ka Langar. When Emperor Akbar visited the Guru, he too first sat as a commoner in the Langar, and then had a meeting with the Guru.

2. Women’s Rights Advocacy – He fought against the practice of Sati (the burning of the wife on her husband’s funeral pyre), the Parda (veil to cover the face) system and female infanticide. He also encouraged widow-remarriage. He even appointed 52 women missionaries to spread the message of Sikhism.

3. Importance of Humility as the gateway to God – Guru Amar Das always brought this high quality himself to all of his actions and words. After he was proclaimed the new Guru, Datu (one of the sons of Guru Angad) literally kicked him out of the throne yelling at him that he was just merely a servant and not a real Guru, to what Guru Amar Das (still lying on the floor) replied: “I am old and my bones have grown very hard, I fear they have hurt your tender foot.” He went back to his village afterwards. However, Guru Angad’s followers (including Baba Buddha) went to find Guru Amar Das and begged Him to come back and guide them as a Guru. After listening to their humble requests, He came back with them.

4. It’s never too late to live a spiritual life – Every morning, He used to carry water from the river for Guru Angad’s bath. He couldn’t bear giving his back to the Guru, so he would walk backwards on his way to the river when he was 70. He became the Third Sikh Guru at age of 73.

5. Life can be a blissful journey – He left the precious “song of bliss”, Anand Sahib. One of the Sikh Banis, it is a profound composition full of words of ecstasy and divine love to awaken the heart and uplift the soul.

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