Guru Har Rai
Guru Har Rai revered as the seventh Nanak, was the seventh of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. He became the Sikh leader at age 14, on 8 March 1644, after the death of his grandfather and sixth Sikh leader Guru Hargobind, he guided the Sikhs for about seventeen years, till his death at age 31. Guru Har Rai is notable for maintaining the large army of Sikh soldiers that the sixth Sikh Guru had amassed, yet avoiding military conflict, he supported the moderate Sufi influenced Dara Shikoh instead of conservative Sunni influenced Aurangzeb as the two brothers entered into a war of succession to the Mughal Empire throne. After Aurangzeb won the succession war in 1658, he summoned Guru Har Rai in 1660 to explain his support for the executed Dara Shikoh. Har Rai sent his elder son Ram Rai to represent him. Aurangzeb kept Ram Rai as hostage, questioned Ram Rai about a verse in the Adi Granth – the holy text of Sikhs at that time. Aurangzeb claimed. Ram Rai changed the verse to appease Aurangzeb instead of standing by the Sikh scripture, an act for which Guru Har Rai is remembered for excommunicating his elder son, nominating his younger son Har Krishan to succeed him.
Har Krishan became the eighth Guru at age 5 after Guru Har Rai's death in 1661. Some Sikh literature spell his name as Hari Rai. Har Rai was born to Baba Gurditta into a Sodhi household, his father died. At age 10, in 1640, Guru Har Rai was married to Mata Kishan Kaur the daughter of Daya Ram, they had the latter of whom became the eighth Guru. Har Rai had brothers, his elder brother Dhir Mal had gained encouragement and support from Shah Jahan, with free land grants and Mughal sponsorship. Dhir Mal attempted to form a parallel Sikh tradition and criticized his grand father and sixth Guru Hargobind; the sixth Guru disagreed with Dhir Mal, designated the younger Har Rai as the successor. Authentic literature about Guru Har Rai life and times are scarce, he left no texts of his own and some Sikh texts composed spell his name as "Hari Rai"; some of the biographies of Guru Har Rai written in the 18th century such as by Kesar Singh Chhibber, the 19th-century Sikh literature are inconsistent. Guru Har Rai provided medical care to Dara Shikoh when he had been poisoned by Mughal operatives.
According to Mughal records, Har Rai provided other forms of support to Dara Shikoh as he and his brother Aurangzeb battled for rights to succession. Aurangzeb won, arrested Dara Shikoh and executed him on charges of apostasy from Islam. In 1660, Aurangzeb summoned Har Rai to appear before him to explain his relationship with Dara Shikoh. In the Sikh tradition, Guru Har Rai was asked why he was helping the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh whose forefathers had persecuted Sikhs and Sikh Gurus. Har Rai is believed to have replied that if a man plucks flowers with one hand and gives it away using his other hand, both hands get the same fragrance, he appointed youngest son Har Krishan as the eighth guru before his death. Guru Har Rai converted many to Sikhism, he started several public singing and scripture recital traditions in Sikhism. The katha or discourse style recitals were added by Guru Har Rai, to the sabad kirtan singing tradition of Sikhs, he added the akhand kirtan or continuous scripture singing tradition of Sikhism, as well as the tradition of jotian da kirtan or collective folk choral singing of scriptures.
The third Sikh leader Guru Amar Das had started the tradition of appointing manji, introduced the dasvandh system of revenue collection in the name of Guru and as pooled community religious resource, the famed langar tradition of Sikhism where anyone, without discrimination of any kind, could get a free meal in a communal seating. The organizational structure that had helped Sikhs to grow and resist the Mughal persecution had created new problems for Guru Har Rai; the donation collectors, some of the Masands led by Dhir Mal – the older brother of Guru Har Rai, all of them encouraged by the support of Shah Jahan, land grants and Mughal administration, had attempted to internally split the Sikhs into competing movements, start a parallel guruship, thereby weaken the Sikh religion. Thus a part of the challenge for Guru Har Rai was to keep Sikhs united, he appointed new masands such as Bhai Jodh, Bhai Gonda, Bhai Nattha, Bhagat Bhagwan, Bhai Pheru, Bhai Bhagat, as the heads of Manji's. Macauliffe, M.
A.. The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus Sacred Writings and Authors. Low Price Publications. ISBN 81-7536-132-8. Singh, Khushwant. A History of the Sikhs: 1469-1839 Vol.1. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-567308-5. Guru Har Rai, Sikhs.org Guru Har Rai, Sikh-History.com Guru Har Rai, Official Website of Gurudwara Shri Guru Har Rai Village Bhungarni
In Hinduism and Sikhism, Bhagats were holy men of various sects. Members of a community that gives prominence to the religious teachings of Kabir are known as Bhagats, the Hindu and Sikh religions both have numerous Bhagat communities in Punjab; these communities have faith in all the Bhagats in the Guru Granth Sahib, but consider Kabir to be the most important of them. Bhagat is a Punjabi word derived from the Sanskrit word Bhagavata, which means: a devotee of the Lord. Many such Hindu and Sikh devotees are followers of the bhakti tradition, who adhere to a prayer-led path of realization. Bhagat is a Hindu and Jain surname, most in northern states of India. Sikhism's central scriptural book, Guru Granth Sahib, has teachings of 15 Bhagats, along with bani of Sikh Gurus and Gursikhs; because Sikhism believes in one human creed and that accounts to adding Bani of various authors, a total of 36, in Guru Granth Sahib irrespective of many belonging to religions other than Sikhism and some Bhagats who were considered as low, untouchables or Shudras, as per the Hindu caste system, based on the caste they were born into.
Religious writings of those Bhagats were collected by Guru Arjan. Some of them lived before Guru Nanak, but came to have a monotheistic as opposed to a polytheistic doctrine. Broadly speaking, therefore, a Bhagat is a holy person or a member of a community whose objectives involve leading humanity towards God and highlighting injustices in the world. Below is a list of the Bhagats who contributed towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib: Bhagat Kabir Bhagat Ravidas Bhagat Farid Bhagat Ramanand Bhagat Beni Bhagat Namdev Bhagat Sadhana Bhagat Bhikhan Bhagat Parmanand Bhagat Sain Bhagat Dhanna Bhagat Pipa Bhagat Surdas Bhagat Jaidev Bhagat Trilochan Sant
Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and became Sikh Guru on 26 March 1552 at age 73. Before becoming a Sikh, Amar Das had adhered to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism for much of his life. One day he heard his nephew's wife, Bibi Amro, reciting a hymn by Guru Nanak, was moved by it. Bibi Amro was the daughter of Guru Angad, the second and 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. Guru Amar Das was an important innovator in Sikhism, who introduced a religious organization called the Manji system by appointing trained clergy, a system that expanded and survives into the contemporary era, he wrote and compiled hymns into a Pothi that helped create the Adi Granth. Guru Amar Das helped establish the Sikh rituals relating to baby naming and funeral, as well as the practice of congregation and celebrations of festivals such as Diwali and Vaisakhi.
He founded centres of Sikh pilgrimage, picked the site for the Golden Temple. Guru Amar Das remained the leader of the Sikhs till age 95, named his son-in-law Bhai Jetha remembered by the name Guru Ram Das as his successor. Guru Amar Das was born to mother Bakht Kaur and father Tej Bhan Bhalla on 5 May 1479 in Basarke village in what is now called Amritsar district of Punjab, he married Mansa Devi and they had four children which they named as Mohri, Mohan and Bhani. Amar Das was a religious Hindu, reputed to have gone on some twenty pilgrimages into the Himalayas, to Haridwar on river Ganges. About 1539, on one such Hindu pilgrimage, he met a Hindu monk who asked him why he did not have a guru and Amar Das decided to get one. On his return, he heard Bibi Amro, the daughter of the Sikh Guru Angad, singing a hymn by Guru Nanak, he learnt from her about Guru Angad, with her help met the second Guru of Sikhism and adopted him as his spiritual Guru, much younger than his own age. He is famous in the Sikh tradition for his relentless service to Guru Angad, with legends about waking up in the early hours and fetching water for his Guru's bath and cooking for the volunteers with the Guru, as well devoting much time to meditation and prayers in the morning and evening.
Guru Angad named Amar Das his successor instead of naming of his surviving son Shri Chand. After Amar Das became the third Guru, he continued his pilgrimages to religious sites, one of, authenticated in a hymn of the Guru Granth Sahib as being to Kurukshetra in January 1553, he died in 1574, like other Sikh Gurus he was cremated, with the "flowers" immersed into harisar. The use of fire being most appropriate way was explained by Guru Nanak in religious terms of god Agni burning the trap of death, Guru Amar Das was consigned to the same tradition. Guru Amar Das emphasised both spiritual pursuits as well an ethical daily life, he encouraged his followers to wake up before dawn, do their ablutions and meditate in silent seclusion. A good devotee, taught Amar Das, should be truthful, keep his mind in control, eat only when hungry, seek company of pious men, worship the Lord, make an honest living, serve holy men, not covet another's wealth and never slander others, he recommended holy devotion with Guru image in his follower's heart.
He was a reformer, discouraged veiling of women's faces as well as sati. He encouraged the Kshatriya people to fight in order to protect people and for the sake of justice, stating this is Dharma. Guru Amar Das started the tradition of appointing manji, introduced the dasvandh system of revenue collection in the name of Guru and as pooled community religious resource, the famed langar tradition of Sikhism where anyone, without discrimination of any kind, could get a free meal in a communal seating, he started and inaugurated the 84-level step well called baoli at Goindval with a resting place, modeled along the lines of the Indian tradition of dharmsala, which became a Sikh pilgrimage center. He met the Mughal Emperor Akbar. According to the Sikh legend, he neither received Akbar nor was Akbar directly ushered to him, rather the Guru suggested that Akbar like everyone sit on the floor and eat in the langar with everyone before their first meeting. Akbar, who sought to encourage tolerance and acceptance across religious lines accepted the suggestion.
The Sikh hagiographies called janam-sakhis mention that Guru Amar Das persuaded Akbar to repeal the tax on Hindu pilgrims going to Haridwar. Guru Amar Das composed the rapturous hymn called Anand and made it a part of the ritual of Sikh marriage called "Anand Karaj", which means "blissful event"; the Anand hymn is sung, in contemporary times, not only during Sikh weddings but at major celebrations. Parts of the "Anand hymn" are recited in Sikh temples every evening, at the naming of a Sikh baby, as well as during a Sikh funeral, it is a section of the Anand Sahib composition of Guru Amar Das, printed on pages 917 to 922 of the Adi Granth and set to the "Ramkali" raga. Guru Amar Das's entire Anand Sahib composition is a linguistic mix of Panjabi and Hindi languages, reflecting Guru Amar Das' upbringing and background; the hymn celebrates the freedom from suffering and anxiety, the union of the soul with t
Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das was the fourth of the ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born on 24 September 1534 in a poor Hindu family based in Lahore, part of what is now Pakistan, his birth name was Jetha, he was orphaned at age 7, thereafter grew up with his maternal grandmother in a village. At age 12, Bhai Jetha and his grandmother moved to Goindval; the boy thereafter served him. The daughter of Guru Amar Das got married to Bhai Jetha, he thus became part of Guru Amar Das's family; as with the first two Gurus of Sikhism, Guru Amar Das instead of choosing his own sons, chose Bhai Jetha as his successor and renamed him as Ram Das or "servant or slave of god ". Ram Das became the Guru of Sikhism in 1574 and served as the Sikh leader until his death in 1581, he faced hostilities from the sons of Amar Das, shifted his official base to lands identified by Amar Das as Guru-ka-Chak. This newly founded town was eponymous Ramdaspur to evolve and get renamed as Amritsar – the holiest city of Sikhism, he is remembered in the Sikh tradition for expanding the manji organization for clerical appointments and donation collections to theologically and economically support the Sikh movement.
He appointed his own son as his successor, unlike the first four Gurus who were not related through descent, the fifth through tenth Sikh Gurus were the direct descendants of Ram Das. Guru Ram Das was born in a Sodhi Khatri family in Lahore, his father was mother Daya Kaurboth of whom died when he was aged seven. He was brought up by his grandmother, he married the younger daughter of Amar Das. They had three sons: Prithi Chand and Guru Arjan. Guru Ram Das died on 1 September 1581, in Goindval town of Punjab. Of his three sons, Ram Das chose the youngest, to succeed him as the fifth Sikh Guru; the choice of successor, as throughout most of the history of Sikh Guru successions, led to disputes and internal divisions among the Sikhs. The elder son of Ram Das named Prithi Chand is remembered in the Sikh tradition as vehemently opposing Arjan, creating a faction Sikh community which the Sikhs following Arjan called as Minas, is alleged to have attempted to assassinate young Hargobind. However, alternate competing texts written by the Prithi Chand led Sikh faction offer a different story, contradict this explanation on Hargobind's life, present the elder son of Ram Das as devoted to his younger brother Arjan.
The competing texts do acknowledge disagreement and describe Prithi Chand as having become the Sahib Guru after the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev and disputing the succession of Guru Hargobind, the grandson of Ram Das. Ram Das is credited with founding the holy city of Amritsar in the Sikh tradition. Two versions of stories exist regarding the land. In one based on a Gazetteer record, the land was purchased with Sikh donations, for 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung. According to the Sikh historical records, the site was chosen by Guru Amar Das and called Guru Da Chakk, after he had asked Ram Das to find land to start a new town with a man made pool as its central point. After his coronation in 1574, the hostile opposition he faced from the sons of Amar Das, Ram Das founded the town named after him as "Ramdaspur", he started by completing the pool, building his new official Guru centre and home next to it. He invited artisans from other parts of India to settle into the new town with him.
The town expanded during the time of Arjan constructed by voluntary work. The town grew to become the city of Amritsar, the pool area grew into a temple complex after his son built the gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, installed the scripture of Sikhism inside the new temple in 1604; the construction activity between 1574 and 1604 is described in Mahima Prakash Vartak, a semi-historical Sikh hagiography text composed in 1741, the earliest known document dealing with the lives of all the ten Gurus. Ram Das composed about ten percent of hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib, he was a celebrated poet, composed his work in 30 ancient ragas of Indian classical music. These cover a range of topics: One who calls himself to be a disciple of the Guru should rise before dawn and meditate on the Lord's Name. During the early hours, he should rise and bathe, cleansing his soul in a tank of nectar, while he repeats the Name the Guru has spoken to him. By this procedure he washes away the sins of his soul. – GGS 305 The Name of God fills my heart with joy.
My great fortune is to meditate on God's name. The miracle of God's name is attained through the perfect Guru, but only a rare soul walks in the light of the Guru's wisdom. – GGS 94 O man! The poison of pride is killing you. Your body, the colour of gold, has been discoloured by selfishness. Illusions of gradeur turn black. – GGS 776 Guru's Bani is part of Nanakshahi calendar and Kirtan Sohila, the daily prayers of Sikhs. His compositions continue to be sung daily in Harimandir Sahib of Sikhism. Ram Das, along with Amar Das, are credited with various parts of the Anand and Laavan composition in Suhi mode, it is a part of the ritual of four clockwise circumambulation of the Sikh scripture by the bride and groom to solemnize the marriage in Sikh tradition. This was intermittently used, its use lapsed in late 18th century. However, sometime in 19th or 20th century by conflicting accounts, the composition of Ram Das came back in use along with Anand Karaj ceremony, replacing the Hindu ritual of circumambulation around the fire.
The composition of Ram
The Ardās is a set prayer in Sikhism. It is a part of worship service in a Gurdwara, daily rituals such as the opening the Guru Granth Sahib for prakash or closing it for sukhasan in larger Gurdwaras, closing of congregational worship in smaller Gurdwaras, rites-of-passages such as with the naming of child or the cremation of a loved one, daily prayer by devout Sikhs and any significant Sikh ceremonies. An Ardas consists of three parts; the first part recites the virtues of the ten Gurus of Sikhism from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh, starting with lines from Chandi di Var from the Dasam Granth. The second part recites the triumphs of the Khalsa and petition; the third salutes the divine name. The first and the third part are set and cannot be changed, while the second part may vary, be shortened and include a supplication such as seeking divine help or blessing in dealing with daily problems, but is in agreed form. While it is sung, the audience or the Sikh devotee stands, with hands clasped in the folded namaste gesture, many with bowed headed, with some saying "Waheguru" after certain sections.
Ardas is attributed to the founder of the Khalsa and the 10th Guru of Sikhism. The root of the word Ardas is related to the Sanskrit word ard which means "request, beg", it is related to the Persian word arzdasht which means a written "petition made by an inferior to a superior". The Ardās is always done standing up with folded hands and is preceded by the eighth stanza of the fourth ashtapadi of the bani Sukhmani, beginning Tu Thakur Tum Peh Ardaas, it consists of three parts: The beginning of the Ardās is set by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh and may not be altered or omitted. It appears as the opening passage of Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki; the first part recites the virtues of the Sikh Gurus. The second part is several paragraphs recounting Sikh symbols, places or worship and values significant and related to Khalsa; this may be changed by reciting a "short ardaas". The Sikh devotee may include a personal prayer such as "Waheguru, please bless me in the task that I am about to undertake" when starting a new task, help me with this problem, or add any personal petition for God.
The third salutes the divine name. This part may not be altered or omitted; the end of the Ardaas is set and may not be altered or omitted. The "Ardās" of Sikhism was first composed by Guru Gobind Singh, he fixed the first eight lines and the last section, these are considered unalterable in Sikhism. The second section has been fluid, revised extensively and by Tat Khalsa in the 20th century; the Sikh Rahit Maryada has published an approved version of the entire Ardas. Chandi di Var Sikh scriptures Sikh Rehat Maryada: The code of Sikh conduct & conventions, Dharam Parchar Committee n.d. Amritsar. MacAuliffe, M A 1909, The Sikh religion: its gurus, sacred writings and authors, The Clarendon Press, Oxford. SGPC
Amrit Velā begins at the start of a new day, begins at 12:00 am and ends at 6:00 am, or before the dawning of the morning sun, used for daily meditation and recitation of Gurbani hymns. Sikhs start Amrit Vela at 2:00 am or earlier. Guru Nanak in the Japji Sahib says, "During the hours of Amrit velā, meditate on the grandeur of the one true Name." The importance of Amrit Vela is found throughout the Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru Granth Sahib states that "those who consider themselves a Sikh must wake up daily at Amrit Vela and be in tune with the Naam" In the Sikh Rehat Maryada, it is written to arise Amrit Velā, meditate on the divine Naam. Sikhs recite their morning Nitnem during Amrit Vela. Traditionally after Nitnem Sikhs meet with the Sangat to recite Asa di Var. Amrit Khalsa Meditation Nitnem Outline of Sikhism Sikh beliefs Sikhism Simran Singh, Puran; the Spirit Born People. Peshawar: Languages Department, Punjab. Singh, Raghbir. Bandginama. New Delhi: Atma Science Trust Singh, Randhir.'Autobiography of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh.'Ludhiana: Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Trust Definition of Amrit Vela Amritvela Cheat Sheet Q&A - Amrit Vela and Sadh Sangat #7 @ UCL Sikh Society Video Amrit Vela - Importance - Guru's Hukam Video Amrit Vela: Rise & Shine
Kirtan or Kirtana is a Sanskrit word that means "narrating, telling, describing" of an idea or story. It refers to a genre of religious performance arts, connoting a musical form of narration or shared recitation of spiritual or religious ideas. With roots in the Vedic anukirtana tradition, a kirtan is a call-and-response style song or chant, set to music, wherein multiple singers recite or describe a legend, or express loving devotion to a deity, or discuss spiritual ideas, it may include dancing or direct expression of bhavas by the singer. Many kirtan performances are structured to engage the audience where they either repeat the chant, or reply to the call of the singer. A person performing kirtan is known as a kirtankara. A Kirtan performance includes an accompaniment of regionally popular musical instruments, such as the harmonium, the veena or ektara, the tabla, the mrdanga or pakhawaj and karatalas or talas, it is a major practice in Hinduism, Vaisnava devotionalism, the Sant traditions and some forms of Buddhism, as well as other religious groups.
Kirtan is sometimes accompanied by acting. Texts cover religious, mythological or social subjects. Kirtan has Vedic roots and it means "telling, describing, reporting"; the term is found as Anukirtan in the context of Yajna, wherein team recitations of dialogue-style and question-answer riddle hymns were part of the ritual or celebratory dramatic performance. The Sanskrit verses in chapter 13.2 of Shatapatha Brahmana, for example, are written in the form of a riddle play between two actors. The Vedic sacrifice is presented as a kind of drama, with its actors, its dialogues, its portion to be set to music, its interludes, its climaxes; the root of kirtan is kirt. The root is found in the Samhitas, the Brahmanas and other Vedic literature, as well as the Vedanga and Sutras literature. Kirt, according to Monier-Williams contextually means, "to mention, make mention of, name, recite, relate, communicate, celebrate, glorify".kirtan, sometimes referred to as sankirtana, is a call-and-response chanting or musical conversation, a genre of religious performance arts that developed during India's bhakti devotional traditions.
However, it is a heterogeneous practice that varies regionally according to Christian Novetzke, includes varying mixture of different musical instruments, oration, audience participation and moral narration. In Maharashtra for example, states Novetzke, a kirtan is a call-and-response style performance, ranging from devotional dancing and singing by a lead singer and audience, to an "intricate scholarly treatise, a social commentary or a philosophical/linguistic exposition", that includes narration, humor and entertainment – all an aesthetic part of ranga of the kirtana. Kirtan is locally known as Abhang, Samaj Gayan, Haveli Sangeet, Harikatha; the Vaishnava temples and monasteries of Hinduism in Assam and northeastern, called Satra, have a large worship hall named Kirtan ghar – a name derived from their being used for congregational singing and performance arts. In regional languages, Kirtana is scripted as Bengali: কীর্তন. Musical recitation of hymns and the praise of deities has ancient roots in Hinduism, as evidenced by the Samaveda and other Vedic literature.
Kirtan were popularized by the Bhakti movement of medieval era Hinduism, starting with the South Indian Alvars and Nayanars around the 6th century, which spread in central, northern and eastern India after the 12th century, as a social and congregational response to Hindu-Muslim conflicts. The foundations of the Kirtan traditions are found in other Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita where Krishna describes multiple paths to spiritual freedom, including karma marga, jnana marga and bhakti marga. Kirtan relates to the bhakti marga tradition of Hinduism. References to Kirtan as a musical recitation are found in the Bhagavata Purana, an important Vaishnava text. Kirtan is practiced as a kind of theatrical folk song with call-and-response chanting or antiphon; the ancient sage Narada revered as a musical genius, is called a kirtankar in the Padma Purana. The famous story of Prahlada in the Avatara Katha mentions kirtan as one of nine forms of worship, called the nava vidha bhakti along with shravanam, pada sevanam, vandanam, dasyam and atmanivedanam.
The so-called Naradiya Kirtan divides kirtan into five parts: naman, chanting, katha or akhyan and a final prayer for universal welfare. Kirtan as a genre of religious music has been a major part of the Vaishnavism tradition starting with the Alvars of Sri Vaishnavism sub-tradition between the 7th to 10th century CE. After the 13th-century, two subgenres of kirtan emerged in Vaishnavism, namely the Nama-kirtana wherein the different names or aspects of god are extolled, the Lila- kirtana wherein the deity's life and legends are narrated; the Marathi Varkari saint Namdev used the kirtan