Sri Guru Amar Das Ji - 3rd Sikh Guru

After Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib ji, who departed for his heavenly abode on 29 March 1552 at the age of 48, Guru Amar Das Sahib Ji—also known as Nanak III—became Guru on Saturday, 16 April 1552 at the age of 73. He was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism.

Ten years after the birth of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru and the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Amar Das ji was born in 1479. Guru Ji was the oldest child of devoted mother Mata Lachmi Ji and farmer and trader Sri Tej Bhan Ji. He was a shopkeeper and resided in Basarke, a village close to Amritsar.

The third Sikh Guru was married to Mata Mansa Devi and they had four children - two sons named Bhai Mohan and Bhai Mohri, and two daughters named Bibi Dani Ji and Bibi Bhani Ji. Bibi Bhani later married Bhai Jetha who became the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das. (See article Platforms of Jetha.)

The following were gifts from Guru Amar Das Sahib to humanity:

Early Life

It is said that Bhai Amardas Ji, as he was known at the time, was a very pious Vaishanavite Hindu who spent the most of his life carrying out all of the customary pilgrimages and fasts of a devoted Hindu before converting to Sikhism. Bhai Sahib was deeply moved by Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji's message when they first met in 1539, and he later converted to Sikhism. His involvement in Sewa (Service) to the Guru and the Community soon spread. Bhai Amardas Ji developed into a devoted Sikh under the influence of Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji and the teachings of the Gurus. He chose Guru Ji to be his spiritual mentor (Guru). At Khadur Sahib, Bhai Sahib Ji started residing.

He would get up early in the morning, bring water from the Beas River for Guru ji's bath, wash the Guru ji's garments, and go get wood for "Guru ka Langar" from the jungle. He was so entirely devoted to Sewa and the Guru, had completely eradicated pride, and was completely lost in this dedication that he was regarded as an elderly man who had lost interest in life, called Amru, and was largely abandoned.

But Bhai Sahib's devotion to the Sikh cause and dedication to Sikhi values led Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji, who was then 73 years old, to name Sri Guru Amar Das Sahib Ji as the third Sri Guru Nanak Sahib in March 1552. He established his headquarters at the newly built town of Goindwal Sahib, which Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji had established.

Meeting Bhai Jetha

When the Guru decided it was time for his younger daughter Bibi Bhani to get married, he chose a pious and committed young devotee from Lahore by the name of Jetha. Jetha had travelled to visit the Guru with a group of Lahore pilgrims, and after being so moved by the Guru's teachings, he had made the decision to settle in Goindwal. He made a life here by selling wheat and spent his free time going to Guru Amar Das Ji's services on a regular basis.

None of Guru Amar Das Sahib's sons were deemed suitable for the position of guru, therefore he appointed his son-in-law, Guru Ram Das, to succeed him. The fact that Bibi Bhani and (Guru) Ram Das had a sincere sense of service and a thorough grasp of the Sikh teachings made it a practical rather than an emotional decision. This tradition demonstrates that the Guruship may be transferred to any person who was suitable for the Sikh cause, regardless of whether they belonged to the same family or not. At the ripe old age of 95, Guru Amar Das Sahib departed away for heaven on September 1, 1574 at Goindwal Sahib in District Amritsar, after entrusting the Fourth Nanak, Guru Ramdas, with the duties of Guruship.