Birthday of Guru Amardas Ji | 3rd Famous Guru of Sikhs
Shri Amardas Ji, the third Guru of the Sikhs was not only a great spiritual thinker, he also showed the right path to free the society from various types of social evils. Guru Angad Ji handed over the title of Third Guru to Amardas Sahib in 1552. The tradition of Langar in Sikhism was started by Guru Amardas Ji. They had great importance in the Mughal period. It is said that Akbar himself used to consult them on many issues.
Details of Guru Amardas Ji:-
Guru Amardas Ji was born in Vaishakh Shukla Ekadashi Samvat 1536v i.e. 23rd May 1479 AD, in the village of ‘Basar Ke’ in Amritsar to the father Shri Tejbhan and mother Lakhmi Ji. He would remain engaged in Hari Naam Simran despite being busy with farming and business operations throughout the day. His such dedication to the Hari name made him popular and people started calling him devotee Amardas Ji. He had done a walk on Haridwar 21 times.
Guru Amardas Ji became 3rd Guru of Sikhs:-
Once he heard a ‘Shabad’ composed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji from his daughter-in-law. After hearing he was so impressed and showed his interest to meet Guru Angad Dev Ji hence he asked his daughter-in-law to provide the complete address of Guru Angad Dev Ji.
At the age of 61, Guru Amardas Ji has accepted Angad Dev Ji as his guru and he served him for the next 11 years with his full dedication, respect and love. Pleased with his service and dedication, the second Sikh Guru Sri Angad Dev Ji handed him ‘Gurugaddi’, considering him worthy in all respects, and he got the name of the third Guru of the Sikhs.
Service of Guru Amardas Ji towards the nation and Society:-
There was a time in Indian society when it was suffering from many social evilness. At that time, many evils like sati-practice, caste-system, girl-killing, and high-low were prevalent in society. These evils stood as a hindrance in the healthy development of society. During such difficult times, Guru Amardas Ji launched a very effective movement against these social evils.
In order to end the caste system and high-low, Guruji further strengthened the Langar system. According to the caste people used to put ‘Pante (lines for the people according to casteism)’ to eat at that time, but Guru Ji made it mandatory for everyone to sit in the same raw and eat ‘Langar chhakna’ (eating).
It is said that when the Mughal emperor Akbar came to Goindwal Sahib for Guru Darshan, he too sat in the same ‘Pangat’ with ‘Sangat’ and touched the anchor. Not only this, to eliminate untouchability, Guru Ji also constructed a ‘Sanjhi Baoli’ at Goindwal Sahib. Any human could use its water without any discrimination.
Another revolutionary work of Guru Ji was the end of sati-pratha. Taking a disgusting ritual like Sati-system as an antidote to the existence of a woman, she campaigned fiercely against him. In the ‘War Suhi’ composed by Guru Ji, there is a strong refusal of the practice of Sati.
Historians believe that Guruji was the first social reformer to raise voice against the practice of Sati. It is the result of the efforts of Guru Amardas Ji and other later social reformers that today’s society has been able to overcome many evils.
Some of the special works of Guru Amardas Ji Sahib’s are as follows:
- Guru Amardas Ji did the work of preaching and teaching the teachings and music of the two Gurus before him.
- “Anand Sahib”, which is called the song of Paramananda, was written by Guru Amardas Ji.
- He gave special importance to the organization of Langars during his tenure.
- Guru Amardas Ji sowed the seeds of social harmony among his followers by eliminating caste discrimination.
- He also started religious works like Manji and Piri.
- Special emphasis was laid by Guru Amardas Ji on the education system of women and men.
- Guru Amardas Sahib had asked the emperor Akbar to get the Sikhs and Hindus out of the Islamic Jizya tax imposed on them.
Social reforms by Guru Amardas Ji:-
Guru Amardas Ji strongly opposed the practice of Sati. He promoted widow marriage and asked women to abandon the veils. He presented a socially relevant life philosophy to the society for birth, death and marriage celebrations. Thus he left a mark of a nationalist and spiritual movement on the social plane.  He liberated Sikhism from Hindu evils, promoted inter-caste marriages and allowed widows to remarry. He vehemently opposed the Hindu Sati system and prohibited his followers from following the practice.
Founder of Langar tradition Guru Amardas Ji:-
Guru Amardas Ji tried to show the right direction to the society stuck in the superstitions and rituals spread in society. He explained to people in a very simple language that all humans are brothers of each other, all are children of the same God, and then how can God distinguish between his children. It is not that he has said these things only in a preachy form, by implementing these teachings in his life, he has set an example of social harmony by becoming an ideal himself.
To overcome evils like untouchability, the Langar tradition was carried out, where the alleged untouchables, from whom the people tried to escape, used to eat in a row with the same high caste people. This Langar tradition started by Guru Nanak continues even today. Anchor serves the accompaniment without any discrimination. Guru Ji started a tradition to remove caste discrimination, where people of all castes worshipped together.
During his visit, he accepted the hospitality of every person who loved him lovingly. In the social atmosphere of the time, Guruji laid the foundation of such a brotherhood for his revolutionary steps, for which the discrimination of religion and caste was meaningless.