Guru Ram Das Ji's Birthday

When I think of Guru Ram Das, I often think about him as a miracle worker and a most compassionate Guru....

Guru Ram Das JI

Honoring the Birth of Guru Ram Das Ji: October 9th
When I think of Guru Ram Das, I often think about him as a miracle worker and a most compassionate Guru. It is popularly known that on the birthday of GuruRam Das, disciples can do something unusual which is to pray for something they wouldn’t normally pray for - themselves. In the holy city of Amritsar, GuruRam Das’s birthday is regarded as a miracle day. This is how I see Guru RamDas, as a huge soul who we can not fathom and who guides our lives and liberates our souls. It is written that Sikhs worship Guru Ram Das as if he is God Himself:

ਸਿਖੀ ਅਤੈ ਸੰਗਤੀ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਨਮਸਕਾਰਿਆ ॥ 
sikhi ate sangatee parbrahm kar namaskaria. 
The Sikhs and all the Congregation recognize You as the Supreme Lord God, and bow down to You.

Sometimes I wonder, how did he become the Great Guru who is worshiped as God? By today’s standards, his life was not desirable for most people. He was an orphan who made a small livelihood through selling beans on the street. He didn’t have a high paying job where he would work to become president of a company. He had a solitary and plain life. By outside standards, most people would feel like failures and suffer having the life he lived.

However, on the inside, he was richer than we can imagine. Full of devotion, Guru Ram Das led a humble life full of service. Devotion filled him to the brim. When


he wasn’t running his simple trade, he was serving whatever needs the Guru might have. As a determined disciple of Guru Amar Das, he worked in the Guru’s langar, exerted himself in hard labor and took on many other tasks. Between his duty, his service, his meditation and prayer he slept little and was very active. He is famous for maintaining his love for service after he became the Guru. In the evenings, he would disguise himself, go into the streets of Ramdaspur and serve the pilgrims who came to see him!

One time a visitor came to the house of Guru Ram Das and found the Guru’s family in the main room. The visitor asked where the Guru was and received the response that he was in the kitchen washing the dishes. The guest was astounded and showed his dismay that this great Guru was doing the dishes while everyone else relaxed and enjoyed themselves. They responded, “He wants to do the dishes. Who are we to hinder his will? He is the Guru. He can do as he pleases and he wants to wash the dishes.” How unfathomable it would have been to be in his company in that way! Can you imagine that you are in a house where the savior of the Kaliyug is doing the dishes while you are in the other room in other people’s company socializing? Such is Guru Ram Das.

As we remember Guru Ram Das’s birthday, the sangat gathers together and in many places there is a large celebration. What if Guru Ram Das was actually present? With his temperament he would surely be cleaning, attending to or serving others in some way.

May his life and teachings motivate us to take on more serviceful actions and think even more humbly. Yet we must be sincere. Guru Ram Das says that if you count your seva it won’t do any good:

ਗਣਤੈ ਸੇਵ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਕੀਤਾ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥
ganate sev n hove, kita thai n pai.  
Calculated service is not service at all, and what is done is not approved.

Guru Ram Das Seva
Simply doing more serviceful actions won’t necessarily do any good. Those actions which are close to your heart, and done from love, do that. 

It could be that your heart is not into service. Perhaps it’s into some other dream. The heart of Guru Ram Das was full of service and he lived his dream. You have to live your own dream. False displays of devotion will do no good. If everyone were to have the same heart as the Guru, then he would have surely made them wash the dishes with him. This birthday, let us drop pretentious prayers and ritual shows of devotion. Guru Ram Das does not need our demonstrations. He knows what’s in our hearts. Be real and true to the core of yourself… then speak to him and ask him to fulfill your dream. If your dream is to serve, may your dream come true.

Wahiguru ji ka Khalsa
Wahiguru ji ki Fateh
New Painting
GRD Painting

Bhagat Singh Bedi from SikhiArt has a painting of GuruRam DasClick here to read more
Story Video
[VIDEO] Shiv Charan

Shiv Charan Singh tells a story about the miracle of Guru Ram DasClick here to watch the video
Music Video

Listen to this beautiful and relaxingGuru Ram Das chant by Nirinjan Kaur. Click here to watch the video
Audio Stories

Stories depicting the life of Guru Ram Das Ji:
The True NecklaceThe first story takes place before he became Guru when he was known as Bhai Jetha ji:


Who Will Be Fourth Guru?The second story is about how ‘Bhai’ Ram Das become ‘GuruRam Das:

Guru Arjan's Love LettersThe third story is about when Guru Ram Das tested his sons to show who had the devotion necessary to become the nextGuru:

Have you heard these stories before? Share them with your children!

Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 8th 2014 

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