Guru Angad Dev Ji

Guru Angad Dev Ji

Guru_Angad_Dev-ji

Fast Facts

 Father  Pheru Mal Ji
 Mother  Daya Kaur Ji
 Date of Birth  31st March 1504
 Place of Birth  Mate Ki Saranh, Ferozpur
 Wife  Mata Khivi Ji
 Children  Dassu Ji, Dattu Ji, Bibi Amro Ji & Alakhi Ji
 Time at Gur Gadhi  09/07/1539, 12 Years & 9 Months
 Regimes  Humanyu, Sher Shah Suri & Islam Shah Suri
 Age  48 Years
 Jyoti-Jot Day  28th March 1552
 Jyoti-Jot Place  Khandur Sahib

 

Guru Angad invented the present form of the Gurmukhi script. It became the  medium of writing the Punjabi language in which the hymns of the Gurus are  expressed This step had a far-reaching purpose and impact. First, it gave the  people who spoke this language an identity of their own, enabling them to  express their thought directly and without any difficulty or transliteration.  The measure had the effect of establishing the independence of the mission and  the followers of the Guru. Secondly, it helped the community to dissociate  itself from the Sanskrit religious tradition so that the growth and development  of the Sikhs could take place unhampered and unprejudiced by the backlog of the  earlier religious and social philosophies and practices. This measure, as shown  by the subsequent growth of Sikhism, was essential in order to secure its  unhindered development and progress as it required an entirely different  approach to life.

Dr Gupta  feels that this step, to a certain extent, kept the upper classes  among Hindus, to which the Guru belonged, away from Sikhism, partly because they  were steeped in the old religious and Brahminical tradition and partly because  the Sanskrit tradition fed their ego by giving them a superior caste status to  that of the other castes. But, the idea of equality of man was fundamental to the  Sikh spiritual system. Thc Guru knew that its association with traditional  religious literature would tend to water it down. The matter is extremely  important from the point of view of the historical growth and study. Actually,  the students of Sikh history know that over the centuries the influence of these  old traditions has been very much in evidence. It has sometimes even given a  wrong twist to the new thesis and its growth. The educated persons were almost  entirely drawn from the upper castes and classes. They had a vested interest,  visible also in their writings, in introducing ideas and practices which helped  in maintaining their privileges and prejudices of caste superiority, even though  such customs were opposed to the fundamentals about the equality of man laid  down by the Gurus. For example, the Jats, who were themselves drawn from classes  branded as low by the Brahminical system, started exhibiting caste prejudices  vis-a-vis the lower castes drawn from the Hindu fold.

Earlier, the Punjabi language was written in the Landa or Mahajani script  This had no vowel sounds, which had to be imagined or construed by the reader in  order to decipher the writing. Therefore, there was the need of a script which  could faithfully reproduce the hymns of the Gurus so that the true meaning and  message of the Gurus could not be misconstrued and misinterpreted by each reader  to suit his own purpose and prejudices. The devising of the Gurmukhi script was  an essential step in order to maintain the purity of the doctrine and exclude  all possibility of misunderstanding and misconstruction by interested persons.

The institution of langar was maintained and developed. The Guru’s wife  personally worked in the kitchen. She also served food to the members of the  community and the visitors. Her devotion to this institution finds mention in  Guru Granth Sahib.

The Guru earned his own living by twisting coarse grass into strings used  for cots. All offerings went to the common fund. This demonstrates that it is  necessary and honourable to do even the meanest productive work. It also  emphasises that parasitical living is not in consonance with the mystic and  moral path. In line with Guru Nanak’s teaching, the Guru also declared that  there was no place for passive recluses in the community.

Like Guru Nanak, Guru Angad and the subsequent Gurus selected and  appointed their successors by completely satisfying themselves about their  mystic fitness and capacity to discharge the responsibilities of the mission.

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