Guru Arjan Dev ji was born at Goindwal(Punjab), India in 1863. He was the youngest son of Bhai Jetha (later Guru Ram Das) and Bibi Bhani. Like the other Gurus, Guru Arjan believed in doing good deeds rather than just preaching. He always practiced what he preached. When he saw the poor or the sick, he always sat down to help them. He started hospitals for lepers. Hard work and prayer were the two things he did himself and preached to all. He did not believe in caste system. The Guru hated this idea very much. He said, "When all are born of the same light, how some can be good and others bad?" he Guru wrote many hymns and one of his hymns, called Sukhmani ("Song of peace") is especially popular. It contains the gist of his teachings and anyone who read it is sure to understand the Guru's way.
The Birth of the Guru Granth Sahib
The preparation of the Guru Granth Sahib (also called the “Adi Granth” during his time and before additional writings of other Gurus were added) was one of the great achievements of Guru Arjan Dev. It preserved the original sacred Hymns composed by the first four Gurus and protected them from being distorted by impostors. Along with verses composed by the first four Sikh Gurus plus his own, Guru Arjan Dev Ji also included the divinely inspired words of other enlightened men like Sheikh Farid, a Muslim saint; Bhagat Kabir, a weaver; Bhagat Ravi Das, a shoemaker; Dhanna, a farmer ; Namdev, a calico printer; Bhikhan, a Sufi saint; Jai Dev, a poet; Trilochan, a Brahmin; Sur Das, a blind poet; Pipa, a king; and several more, all belonging to different walks of life, sects, and both high and low castes.
The Mughal Emperor Jahangir ordered that Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru be tortured and sentenced to death after the Guru had refused to stop preaching his message of God as started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The Guru was made to sit on a burning hot sheet while boiling hot sand was poured over his body. After enduring five days of unrelenting torture, Guru Arjan Dev Ji was taken for a bath in the river. As thousands watched he entered the river, never to be seen again. Thus achieved Martyrdom on 23rd May 1606.