Sariaa Nu Lakh Lakh Vadhaaee Hove on today's Gurpurb. Today marks Gurgaddi Diwas (guruship day)of Guru Angad Dev jee, the 2nd Jyot (Light) of Guru Nanak Dev jee.
A SHORT GLIMPSE AT THE LIFE OF GURU ANGAD DEV SAHIB JEE
Guru Angad Dev jee was known as "Bhai Lehna" before he became the Guru. He was son of Mata Ramo jee and Bhai Pheru Mall jee who were rich traders. He was married to Mata Kheevi jee in Jaunary 1520 and had two sons (Bhai Dasu jee and Bhai Datu jee) and two daughters (Bibi Amro jee and Bibi Anokhi jee). Under the influence of his mother, Mata Ramo jee, Bhai Lehna jee began to worship Durga (a Hindu mythological goddess). He used to lead a batch of worshippers to Jawaala-mukhi Temple every year. One day, Bhai Lehna jee heard Japji Sahib from Bhai Jodha jee, a Sikh of Guru Nanak Dev jee. Hearing Japji Sahib, Bhai Lehna jee's heart melted and began to yearn to have a glimpse of the Great Guru himself. Bhai Lehna jee met Guru Nanak Dev jee at Kartarpur Sahib which turned his life around and from then on he renounced Hinduism and became initiated as a Sikh of Guru Nanak Dev jee.
Seva of Guru Nanak Dev jee
Guru Nanak Dev jee set a number of tasks to test his devotees, in all of them Bhai Lehna jee came out top. In one test Guru jee was wandering outside and the Sikhs were following him. While passing through the wilderness area, Guru jee waved his wooden stick in his hand and signalled the followers to stay away from him. Some walked away and others said, "Guru jee, please answer our prayers." Guru jee said, "Whatever you desire, you will get. You want children, you are blessed. You want success in business, you are blessed." The followers were happy and left the Guru. Now, Guru jee looked at Bhai Lehna jee and told him to ask for what he wanted or go away. Bhai Lehna jee with tears in his eyes said, “O True Guru! Where should I go? I have got no house, place or any other shelter except your holy feet. I desire nothing other than you alone Guru jee." Guru Nanak affectionately, with divine love told him that he was also searching for a home for his divine light to reside, which he had found in his (Bhai Lehna’s) heart. Guru Nanak Dev jee proclaimed “You are my Angad, a part of my body” and had made him the next Guru.
Education & Gurmukhi Script
Guru Sahib institutionalised the Gurmukhi script and was strong on education. Centres were made for young people to learn to read and write. Guru Angad Dev jee revealed the 35 letter Gurmukhi script, which is used for Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. Guru jee stressed the importance of learning and teaching others. Guru jee would personally teach Panjabi in Gurmukhi script to children in a medium that they could understand and enjoy. He provided education and means of communication to common folk who would no longer be dependent on the religious or political establishment to pursue their own economic, educational or spiritual goals.
Sports & Health
Guru Sahib built centres (Akhaaras) for sports and training for young people from all walks of life. Guru Angad Dev jee took a keen interest in physical fitness, and encouraged his devotees to be involved in sports and lead healthy lives. He provided opportunities to underprivileged sections of the society to maintain good health. Guru jee encouraged all people to be involved in wrestling matches and compete in physical competitions. According to Guru jee, if you are physically fit only than you can pursue higher goals in life, because a sound mind can exist only in a sound body.
The concept of Guru-ka-Langar (free-community kitchen), started by Guru Nanak Dev jee was formalised by the Guru. The Langar allowed everyone regardless of gender, caste, religion or economic status to be served a meal and eat sitting together on one common level. Mata Kheevi jee, Guru jee's wife, was instrumental in creating and managing the institution of langar. Her role in that capacity was unique and revolutionary because women were usually not seen in the forefront of the society or given managerial roles. She also personally made sure that the food being served in the Langar was fit to eat for the Sangat, and ensured the food was nutritious and wholesome because many who came to see Guru were needy and destitute. Her role and praise is recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee.
Founded the city of Khadoor Sahib
Guru Angad Dev jee followed the steps of the first Guru in constructing cities. This was part of the vision of the Guru Sahibs to broaden the horizons of the Sikh People and show them that Sikhs should not confine themselves to thinking small but to thinking big. The Guru Sahibs were forward thinker. Guru Angad Dev jee founded the city of Khadoor Sahib which became a centrefor education, sports, learning, seva (selfless service), and bhagti (devotional worship).
ਹੁਕਮਿ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਤਾ ਖਸਮੈ ਕਾ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥
Hukam mani▫ai hovai parvāṇ ṯā kẖasmai kā mahal pā▫isī.
Obeying the Order of His Will, he becomes acceptable, and then, he obtains the Mansion of the Lord's Presence.
Bhai Nand Lal Singh Ji writes in his poetry that if one word could describe and summarise Guru Amar Daas Sahib Ji's life, that word be "SUBMISSION."
Bhul Chuk Maaf.
Dhan Guru Angad Dev jee