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Guru Arjan Dev, the Fifth Sikh Guru


Guru Arjan Dev ji was born on April 15, 1563 A.D. at Goindwal, a small town on the bank of the river Beas in the district of Amritsar, in the house of Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru. He had destined to be the first martyr to the Sikh cause and religious toleration, enjoyed the distinction of being the grandson of Guru Amar Das.

As a child, Arjan was equally blessed as the progeny of Bibi Bhani, known for her piety, service and humility and Jetha Ji. Before Guru Arjan Dev ji died, he named Guru Hargobind Ji, his son as the next Guru of the Sikhs. Guru ji was married to Ganga, daughter of Krishen Chand, a resident of Meo village near Phillaur in Jalandhar district. The marriage took place in 1589 when he was about 26 years old.

  • First Sikh Guru to be martyred.
  • Guru Ji contributed a total of 2218 hymns to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Author of Sukhmani Sahib Bani – Prayer for Peace
  • Compiled and installed for the first time the holy Sikh Book, which at this stage is called Adi Granth, a major achievement.
  • Built the Golden Temple
  • Developed Amritsar as a Centre of Excellence.
  • Enhanced the Structure of Sikh Society by introducing the Masund system

Guru Arjan Dev ji stood steadfastly for the principles he believed in, sacrificed his own life, and attained a unique and unparalleled martyrdom in the history of mankind. He contributed towards the welfare of the society, treasure of celestial knowledge and spiritual excellence.

Akbar Mughal Emperorhad already been convinced of the piety of the Sikh Gurus. During one of his campaigns he had come to Goindwal and partook of the Langar; sitting on the floor he ate coarse meal, and paid his obeisance to Guru Amar Das.

After the death of Akbar,‘Jehangir summoned Guru Arjan Dev Ji to Lahore’. With preconceived ideas, Jehangir showed dissatisfaction with the Guru’s explanation of Khusro’s shelter. He labelled the Guru as a party to rebellion and ‘wanted to punish him with death’. But on the recommendation of Pir Mian Mir he commuted it by a fine of two lakh rupees’ plus ‘an order to erase a few verses’ from the Granth Sahib. Guru Arjan Dev Ji refused to accept. The Sikhs of Lahore wanted to pay off the fine but the Guru desisted them.

Jehangir wrote in his biography, “ A Hindu named Arjan lived at Goindwal...simple minded Hindus and ignorant and foolish Muslims have been persuaded to adopt his ways... this business (shop) has been flourishing for three generations. For long time it had been in my mind to put a stop to this affair or to bring him into the fold of Islam...”

Guru Arjan Dev ji was imprisoned and tortured. His body was exposed in the scorching heat of May-June sun. He was forced to sit on the red-hot sand, and boiling hot water was poured on his naked body. Pir Mian Mir approached him and offered to demolish the whole city of Lahore with his ecclesiastic power in punishment but the Guru refrained him to take such an action..

And on this day of May 30, 1606, he enveloped his blistering body in the cool waves of the River Ravi and journeyed to his heavenly abode. Bhai Gurdas, a contemporary of Guru Arjan Dev Ji and the pioneering scribe of Guru Granth Sahib, summed up.

Gurudwara Dera Sahib Panjvin Patshahi (Gurudwara Dera Sahib) is situated opposite Lahore Fort near Badshahi Mosque. This is the place where Sat Gur Arjun Dev Ji was martyred in the River Ravi facing the tortures inflicted by Chandu on 30th May 1606 AD.

The Gurudwara was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the memory of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru who complied the Adi Granth, the principal part of Sikh scriptures. This shrine has a highly gilded attractive dome. The followers of Guru Arjan Singh assert that it is the same spot where Guru Arjan Dev miraculously disappeared in 1606 A.D. in the waters of river Ravi. The site where Guru Arjun Dev was martyred a Thara (platform) Sahib was built at by Guru Hargobind Ji in Samvat 1919 when he came to Lahore visiting Gur Asthans.

Sources- Eternal Glory of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Sikh Missionary Society, Guru Arjan, the Apostle of Peace - eBook- BBC Guru Arjan Dev, Guriqbal Singh (Gurdwara Mata Kaulan Amritsar Wale) - Sri Sukhmani Sahib Ji Diyan Visheshtaian



April 15, 1563 A.D-May 30, 1606