Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth of the ten total Sikh Gurus, and the first to be martyred for his faith at the hands of the Muslims. He had taken over the leadership of the Sikh community from his father Guru Ram Das in 1581 and under his leadership it had expanded many fold. He had also compiled the first official edition of the Sikh scripture the Adi Granth, which later came to be known as the Guru Granth Sahib. Also Read - Know All About The Golden Temple as Places of Worship Reopen Post COVID-19 Lockdown
Guru Arjan Dev completed his father’s dream of building a place of worship with a manmade pool called the Harmandir Sahib also known as the Golden Temple where people from all walks of life were welcome. He became the first Guru to serve as both temporal and spiritual head of the Sikhs.
Here are the 5 things you should know about him:
1. Guru Arjan Dev was born on April 15, 1563 at Goindval, Taran Taran district of Punjab to the fourth guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das and Bhani Rani. He had two elder siblings and he was married to Mata Ganga.
2. He was appointed as the fifth Sikh Guru in 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das even though he had two elder brothers.
3. Guru Arjan Dev expanded the Sikh scripture written by the previous Gurus and placed a copy of the Adi Granth in the completed Harimandir Sahib temple on August 16, 1604, and appointed Baba Buddha as the first Granthi. He also contributed more than 2,000 hymns himself, which was more than a third and the largest collection of hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib. He was also the author of the well known Sukhmani Sahib Bani.
4. Guru Arjan Dev became very popular as a spiritual figure and many people from all walks of life came to meet him and seek his blessings. During his time Sikhism began to spread far and wide, and it did not sit well with Emperor Jahangir, who feeling threatened by it ordered the arrest of Guru Arjan Dev.
5. Jahangir ordered Guru Arjan Dev to convert to Islam, and when the latter refused he was tortured. According to some accounts, the latter was made to sit on a hot plate that was placed over a fire and also had hot scalding water and hot sand poured over him. Some reports say that after many days of torture he was allowed to take bath in the river Ravi, and that was where he disappeared and was never seen again.