Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji


Guru Angad (31 March 1504 – 29 March 1552) was the second of the ten Sikh Gurus. He was born in a Hindu family, with the birth name as Lehna, in the village of Harike (now Sarae Naga, near Muktsar) in northwest Indian subcontinent. Bhai Lehna grew up in a Khatri family (Kshatriya, traditionally warriors), his father was a small scale trader, he himself worked as a pujari (priest) and religious teacher centered around goddess Durga. He met Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and became a Sikh. He served and worked with Guru Nanak for many years. Guru Nanak gave Bhai Lehna the name Angad ("my own limb), chose Angad as the second Sikh Guru instead of his own sons.


Early Life


Guru Angad was born in a village, with birth name of Lehna, to Hindu parents living in northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent called the Punjab region. He was the son of a small but successful trader named Pheru Mal. His mother's name was Mata Ramo (also known as Mata Sabhirai, Mansa Devi and Daya Kaur). Like all the Sikh Gurus, Lehna came from Khatri caste.

At age 16, Angad married a Khatri girl named Mata Khivi in January 1520. They had two sons (Dasu and Datu) and one or two daughters (Amro and Anokhi), depending on the primary sources. The entire family of his father had left their ancestral village in fear of the invasion of Babar's armies. After this the family settled at Khadur Sahib, a village by the River Beas near what is now Tarn Taran.

Before becoming a Sikh and his renaming as Angad, Lehna was a religious teacher and priest who performed services focussed on Durga (Devi Shaktism, the goddess tradition of Hinduism). Bhai Lehna in his late 20s sought out Guru Nanak, became his disciple, and displayed deep and loyal service to his Guru for about six to seven years in Kartarpur.


Succession


Before his death, Guru Angad, following the example set by Guru Nanak, nominated Guru Amar Das as his successor (The Third Nanak). Before he converted to Sikhism, Amar Das had been a religious Hindu (Vaishnava, Vishnu focussed), 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 (sadhu) who asked him why he did not have a guru (teacher, spiritual counsellor) and Amar Das decided to get one. On his return, he heard Bibi Amro, the daughter of the Guru Angad who had married into a Hindu family, singing a hymn by Guru Nanak. Amar Das learnt from her about Guru Angad, and with her help met the second Guru of Sikhism in 1539, and adopted Guru Angad as his spiritual Guru who was much younger than his own age.

(Guru) Amar Das displayed relentless devotion and service to Guru Angad. Sikh tradition states that he woke up in the early hours to fetch water for Guru Angad's bath, cleaned and cooked for the volunteers with the Guru, as well devoted much time to meditation and prayers in the morning and evening. Guru Angad named Amar Das as his successor in 1552, instead of naming his surviving son Shri Chand. Guru Angad died on 29 March 1552.


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