Full Name : Bhai Lehna
Birth : Thursday March 31 1504, Harike, Amritsar, Punjab, India
Guruship : Thursday September 18 1539 From age 35 for 13 years: 1539 to 1552
Joti Jot : Saturday April 16 1552
Parents : Bhai Pheru Mall & Mata Sabhrai
Spouse : Mata Khivi
Children : Sons – Baba Dasu Ji & Baba Dattu Ji, Daughters – Bibi Amro Ji & Bibi Anokhi Ji
Bani in Guru Granth Sahib ji : Total of 63 Shabads and Saloks
Guru Angad Dev ji (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਅੰਗਦ ਦੇਵ) (Thursday March 31 1504 – Saturday April 16 1552) was the second of The Ten Gurus of Sikhism. Guru ji became Guru on Thursday, September 18 1539 following in the footsteps of Guru Nanak Dev ji, who was the founder of the Sikh religion.Before Guru Angad Dev Ji left for his heavenly abode, he nominated Guru Amar Das as the third Guru of the Sikhs.
The second Sikh Guru contributed the following to the people of the world:
To do Nishkam Sewa Selfless Service to humanity.
Completely surrender to the Will of God.
Disapproval of exhibitionism and hypocrisy.
Formalised the present form of the Gurmukhi script
Place of Birth: Harike, Amritsar, Punjab, India
Life Span: 1504 to 1552 – 48 years
Parents Father: Bhai Pheru Mall Ji and Mother: Mata Sabhrai Ji (also known Daya Kaur, etc)
Wife: Mata Khivi Ji
Sons: Baba Dasu Ji and Baba Dattu Ji and Daughters: Bibi Amro Ji and Bibi Anokhi Ji
Guruship: From age 35 for 13 years: 1539 to 1552
Guru Angad Dev Ji , (Bhai Lehna ji) was born in the village named Harike in Ferozepur district in Punjab, on Vaisakh Vadi 1st , (5th Vaisakh) Samvat 1561, (March 31, 1504). He was the son of a sucessful trader named Bhai Pheru Mall usually referred to as Bhai Pheru. His mother ‘s name was Mata Ramo ji (also known as Mata Sabhirai, Mansa Devi, Daya kaur). Baba Narayan Das Trehan was his grand father, whose ancestral house was at Matte-di-Sarai near Mukatsar. Pheru ji moved back to this place.
Under the influence of his mother, Mata Ramo, Bhai Lehna ji began to worship Durga (A Hindu mythological Goddess). He used to lead a batch of worshippers to Jawalamukhi Temple every year. He was married to Mata Khivi ji in Jaunary 1520 and had two sons (Bhai Dasu and Bhai Datu) and two daughters (Bibi Amro and Bibi Anokhi). The whole family of Bhai Pheru had to leave their ancestral village because of the ransacking by the Mughal and Baloch militia who had come with Babur. After this the family settelled at village Khadur Sahib beside the Beas river, near Tarn Taran Sahib (A small town about 25 km. away from Amritsar City).
Once Bhai Lehna ji heard the recitation of a hymn of Guru Nanak Sahib from Bhai Jodha (a sikh of Guru Nanak Sahib) and was thrilled and decided to proceed through Kartarpur to have a glimpse of Guru Nanak Sahib at the time of yearly pilgrimage to Jwalamukhi Temple. His very first meeting withGuru Nanak Sahib completely transformed him. He renounced the worship of Hindu Goddess, dedicated himself to the service of the Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak became his Sikh and began to live atKartarpur. His devotion to Guru Nanak and his holy mission was so great that he was installed as the Second Nanak in September 7, 1539 by Guru Nanak himself. Earlier Guru Nanak tested him in various ways and found an embodiment of obedience and service in him. Guru Nanak gave him a new name “Angad” (Guru Angad Sahib). He spent six or seven years in the service of Guru Nanak Sahib at Kartarpur.
After the death of Guru Nanak Sahib on September 22, 1539, Guru Angad Sahib left Kartarpur for Khadur Sahib Village (near Goindwal Sahib). He carried forward the thought of Guru Nanak Sahib both in letter and spirit. Yogis and Saints of different sects visited him and held detailed discussions about Sikhism and Dharam with him .
Guru Angad Sahib introduced a new alphabet known as Gurmukhi script, modifying the old Punjabi script’s characters. Very soon, it become the script of the masses. He took great interest in the education of the children by opening many schools for their education and thus increased the number of literates. For the youth he started the tradition of Mall Akhara, where physical as well as spiritual exercises were held. He collected the facts about Guru Nanak Sahib’s life from Bhai Bala ji and wrote the first biography of Guru Nanak Sahib. (Bhai Bale Wali Janamsakhi available now a days in not the same as the one that Guru Angad Sahib had compiled.) He also wrote 63 Saloks (stanzas), which were later included in Guru Granth Sahib by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji . He popularized and expanded the institution of ‘Guru ka Langar’ that had been started by Guru Nanak.
Guru Angad visited all important places and centres established by Guru Nanak for preaching Sikhism. He also established hundreds of new “Dharamsalas” (Sikh religious Institutions) and thus strengthened the base of Sikhism. The period of his Guruship was the most crucial one. The Sikh community being in infancy, had to face many dangers. It was not difficult for Hinduism to swallow the newly born Sikhism in due course of time. Moreover Sri Chand’s Udasis sect community and the activities of Jogies had not yet abated. At this hour of juncture he lived Guru Nanak Sahib’s tenets in true spirit and there were manifest signs of establishing a distinct “way of life” away from Hinduism. Sikhism became to established its own separate religious identity.
Guru Angad, by following the example of Guru Nanak, nominated Amar Das as his successor (The Third Nanak) before his death. He presented all the holy scripts including those he received from Guru Nanak, to Guru Amar Das. He breathed his last on March 29, 1552 at the age of forty-eight. It is said that he started to build a new town, at Goindwal near Khadur Sahib and Guru Amar Das was appointed to supervise its construction. It is also said that Mughal emperor, Humayun, when defeated by Sher Shah Suri, came to obtain blessings of Guru Angad in regaining the throne of Delhi.
With compliments to www.sgpc.net for the above account
Devotion and service to Guru Nanak Dev JI
One day, Bhai Lehna heard the recitation of a hymn of Guru Nanak from Bhai Jodha a neighbour who was a follower of the Guru. His mind was captured by the tune and while on his annual pilgrimage to Jawalamukhi Temple he asked his group if they would mind going to see the Guru. Everyone thought this most inappropriate and refused. Not one to shirk his responsibilities, he was after all the guide and leader of the group, he couldn’t abandon them with thieves along the way. But man of honor and dharma that he was, the poems and prayers (kirtan) of Guru Nanak still held onto his every thought. So one night without telling anyone he mounted his horse and proceeded to the village now known as Kartarpur (God’s city) to visit with Guru Nanak. Upon receiving directions to the Guru, Bhai Lehna found a number of people working on a field. Bhai Lehna did not recognize the Guru as he looked just like the ordinary field workers, and asked Guru Nanak if he could take him to the Guru. Guru Nanak agreed and took the saddle strings of the horse while Bhai Lehna sat upon the horse comfortably. After some time the Guru reached his home and told Bhai Lehna to sit down whilst he went to get the Guru; when the Guru returned, this time after freshening up, Bhai Lehna realized instantly what a huge mistake he had made. He had several thoughts going through his head about what a huge sin he had committed by making the Guru pull him and his horse home whilst he sat upon the horse comfortably. His face at once dropped and Guru smiled, he asked what is your name, Bhai replied ‘Bhai Lehna’. The Guru then replied: ‘don’t worry when someone comes to take something they would come as you have’ (as Lehna means to take something) ‘if you give me the strings of your mind as you did with the horse saddles and let me direct you, you will be amazed… ‘
Bhai Lehna displayed deep and loyal service to Guru Nanak. Several stories display how Bhai Lehna was chosen over the Guru’s sons as his successor. One of these stories is about a jug which fell into mud. Guru Nanak’s sons would not pick it up; Sri Chand, the older, refused on the grounds that the filth would pollute him, and Lakshmi Chand, the younger, objected because the task was too menial for the son of a Guru. Bhai Lehna, however, picked it out of the mud, washed it clean, and presented it to Guru Nanak full of water. A different version of this story counts this as a key part of Guru Nanak deciding upon Bhai Lehna for his successor. The Guru’s wife, Mata, said to Nanak “My Lord, keep my sons in mind,” meaning that she wished them to be the ones considered for succession to the guruship. Guru ordered them to come, and he threw a bowl into a tank of muddy water. The Guru ordered them to retrieve it for him, and both of them refused to do it. Guru Nanak then asked Bhai Lehna to retrieve it, and Bhai Lehna promptly complied. In one instance, the Guru orders a wall of his house, which had fallen down, to be repaired. His sons refused to fix it immediately because of the storm that had knocked it down, and the lateness of morning. Guru Nanak said that he needed no masons while he had his Sikhs, and ordered them to repair it. Bhai Lehna started to repair the wall, but Nanak claimed that it was crooked when he was finished, and ordered him to knock it down and build it again. Bhai Lehna complied, and Nanak still claimed the wall was not straight. The Guru ordered him to attempt it a third time. At this, the Guru’s sons called Bhai Lehna a fool for putting up with such unreasonable orders. Bhai Lehna simply replied that a servant’s hands should be busy doing his master’s work. Yet another anecdote exists where Guru Nanak asks his Sikhs and his sons to carry three bundles of grass for his cows and buffaloes, and, as with the other examples, his sons and his followers failed to show loyalty. Bhai Lehna, however, immediately asked to be tasked with carrying the bundles, which were wet and muddy. When Bhai Lehna and the Guru arrived at the Guru’s house, the Guru’s wife complained at Guru Nanak’s terrible treatment of a guest, noting how his clothes were covered from head to foot with mud. Guru Nanak then replied to her, “This is not mud; it is the saffron of God’s court, which marketh the elect.” Upon another inspection, the Guru’s wife saw that Bhai Lehna’s clothes had, indeed, changed into saffron. To this day, Sikhs consider the three bundles as important symbols of spiritual affairs, temporal affairs, and the Guruship.In one of the most significant stories, Guru Nanak travels through the forest with his disciples. The Guru made gold and silver coins appear in front of the group, and all but two followers ran to pick them up: Bhai Lehna and Bhai Buddha. Guru Nanak led them both to a funeral pyre, and ordered them to eat the corpse that was hidden under a shroud. Bhai Buddha started thinking, but Bhai Lehna obeyed. When he lifted the shroud, he found the Guru Nanak himself underneath it. In a different version of this story, Bhai Lehna is met with Parshad (sacred food) instead of Guru Nanak. Bhai Lehna offers the Parshad to the Guru, satisfied to eat of the leavings. Guru Nanak, after this test, reveals the Japuji to Bhai Lehna, proclaims Bhai Lehna is of his own image, and promises that Bhai Lehna shall be the next Guru.
Guru Nanak had touched him and renamed him Angad (part of the body) or the second Nanak on 7 September 1539. Before becoming the new Guru he had spent six or seven years in the service of Guru Nanak at Kartarpur.
After the death of Guru Nanak on 22 September 1539, Guru Angad left Kartarpur for the village of Khadur Sahib (near Goindwal Sahib). He carried forward the principles of Guru Nanak both in letter and spirit. Yogis and Saints of different sects visited him and held detailed discussions about Sikhi with him.
Guru Angad Dev ji’s Message:
Guru Angad stood for a casteless and classless society, in which no one was superior to the other and no one, through greed or selfishness, could be allowed to encroach upon the rights of others. In short, he visualized a society in which members lived like a family, helping and supporting one another. He not only preached equality but practiced it. To promote the acceptance of human equality, Guru established a community kitchen where all sat together in a row, regardless of caste or status, and ate the same food.
Guru Angad said, “He Himself creates, O Nanak; He establishes the various creatures. How can anyone be called bad?. There is One Lord and Master of all; He watches over all, and assigns all to their tasks. Some have less, and some have more; no one is allowed to leave empty.” – Guru Angad Dev
Furthermore, the guru stressed the importance of adopting a uniform way of praising God and the utility of a social organization based on equality. He established a holy congregation, or Sangat, where people of different beliefs and varying social status sat together to hear the Master’s singing of hymns and to be inspired to lead a noble life.
Devotion and Love towards God
Guru stressed the oneness of God. The purpose of life is to seek God, find him and be united to Him. He called upon the people to give up formal and superficial rituals and rally around the Creator, who alone was Omnipotent and Omnipresent. According to Guru Angad, no one has ever found acceptance or achieved self-realization without true devotion to God.
“ O Nanak, if someone judges himself, only then is he known as a real judge. If someone understands both the disease and the medicine, only then is he a wise physician. Do not involve yourself in idle business on the way; remember that you are only a guest here.”
Good deeds are important but winning God’s Grace is still more important. Pride, greed and ego are the greatest distractions to keep away humans from the Creator. A guru or a spiritual divine teacher is needed to guide the man on the true path.
“That virtuous person who does not walk in the way of greed, and who abides in Truth, is accepted and embraced by God”.
This is the nature of ego, that people perform their actions in ego. This is the bondage of ego, that time and time again, makes people suffer”
Guru Angad Dev also emphasized that one must control the greed and worldly attachment because they are impediments in the path of God. One must stay focused on the inner development.
“They know that they will have to depart, so why do they make such ostentatious displays? Those who do not know that they will have to depart, continue to arrange their affairs. He accumulates wealth during the night of his life, but in the morning, he must depart. O Nanak, it shall not go along with him, and so he regrets.”
“The mouth is not satisfied by speaking, and the ears are not satisfied by hearing. The eyes are not satisfied by seeing—each organ seeks out one sensory quality. The hunger of the hungry is not appeased; by mere words, hunger is not relieved. O Nanak, hunger is relieved only when one utters the Glorious Praises of the Praiseworthy Lord.”
He was a constructive architect of a society which focused on the social and religious freedom and equality, promoting dignity of action without distinction of caste and status. He was born at a time when ritual, caste distinctions and superstition had reduced the people to a low level of existence. He gave them courage and uplifted them. He taught the people to lead a righteous life and show due reverence and respect to God instead of supplicating before men. By his own example he made the people fearless and put a new life and spirit in them.
“Those who have the Fear of God, have no other fears; those who do not have the Fear of God, are very afraid. O Nanak, this mystery is revealed at the Court of the Lord.”
The Guru also extolled the dignity of labor and decried the division of society on grounds of birth and founded a classless society based on the idea of equality and universal brotherhood.
He was particularly aware of the degradation which the lower classes of the people suffered through centuries at the hands of rulers and the so called high caste people. He aligned himself with the down-trodden and the less fortunate sections of the people and preferred to stay with the working class people.
Company of the Holy
Guru Angad confirms that “those who meditate on the Eternal Lord, who is fearless and is All Pervasive, are not only themselves emancipated, but they rescue many others form this net of illusion.”
Guru Angad believed in the service and well-being of all mankind and not just of his own followers. He laid stress on character building rather than observance of rituals and formalities. The path which Guru Angad pointed out to his Sikhs for achieving enlightenment was through service and good actions and devotion and worship of one God. He asked his followers to win Divine grace by prayer, singing His praises, cultivating humility, a spirit of service and submitting at all time to His will. Paying a fine under pressure, does not bring either merit or goodness. That alone is a good deed, O Nanak, which is done by one’s own free will. Sewa has to be done selflessly.
Eliminate your conceit and then perform service to humanity, Only then you will be get honor – Guru Angad Dev
He stressed the importance of the physical body as an instrument of spiritual development. He told his followers that there was a spark of divinity in every human being. The body is the temple of God as it houses the soul. God’s presence can be felt by deeper contemplation and reflection within.
“Twenty-four hours a day one looks for contentment in eight different directions but one must also explore the ninth place, which is to their own body and contemplate within. Within the body are the nine treasures of the Name of the Lord—seek the depths of these virtues. Those blessed with the karma of good actions praise the Lord and become true devotees” – Guru Angad Dev
“Those who are blessed with the glorious greatness of Your Name — their minds are imbued with Your Love. O Nanak, there is only One Ambrosial Nectar; there is no other nectar at all. O Nanak, the Ambrosial Nectar is obtained within the mind, by Guru’s Grace.”
Life of Action
He held firmly that physical austerity was not necessary and that spiritual development was not dependent on ritual and external wanderings. “austerity and everything come through immersing oneself in the meditation of the Lord’s Name. All other actions are useless. O Nanak, believe in the One who is worth believing in. By Guru’s Grace, he is realized.”
Guru Angad was at once a spiritual teacher and a man of action. To Guru Angad, religion was not only a spiritual experience but a way of life. Every action must have an impact of spirituality, humility and love. This can be achieved if one is always conscious of the presence of God. Guru Angad insisted that there should be harmony between thought and action and purity in life. “Doing some thing unwillingly or doing under pressure from someone, does not bring either merit or goodness. That alone is a good deed, O Nanak, which is done by one’s own free will.”
“Mortals are known by their actions; this is the way it has to be. They should show goodness, and not be deformed by their actions; this is how they are called beautiful. Whatever they desire, they shall receive; O Nanak, they become the very image of God.” -Guru Angad Dev
“O Nanak, the worldly achievements and glory is worthy of being burnt in the fire if it causes one to forget God. Usually these worldly things has caused mortals to forget the the Name of the Lord. Not even one of them will go along with you in the end.” – Guru Angad Dev