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Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth of the 10 Sikh Gurus, is commemorated annually by the Sikh community on his martyrdom day, or Shaheedi Diwas. The Guru was imprisoned on the instructions of Jahangir, the then-Mughal Emperor. The request was made for him to accept Islam as his faith and convert, but he declined. In 1606 CE, he was tortured and executed. He is the first of the Sikh faith's two Gurus to be martyred.

Guru Arjan Dev Ji's martyrdom is seen as a turning point in the history of Sikhism. According to Sikh mythology, the Guru instructed his son and successor Hargobind to take up arms and oppose tyranny before being executed.

Adi Granth

According to folklore, the Guru assembled the Adi Granth by collecting hymns written by previous gurus from various locations. He disapproved of any hymns that he thought were fake or deviated from the teachings of the Gurus.

The collection approved by the Guru comprises hymns from the first four Gurus of Sikhism, those composed by the Guru himself, and from 17 Hindu bards and two Muslim bards. This inclusive approach speaks volumes about the Guru's belief in the unity of humankind and his acceptance of diverse religious backgrounds.

According to Sikh tradition, the compilation was finished on August 30, 1604, and on September 1 of that year, it was put in the Harmandir Sahib temple.

The Poet Guru

Guru Arjan, who was also a brilliant poet, wrote 2,218 hymns. In fact, Guru Arjan wrote the majority of the hymns and more than half of the Guru Granth Sahib's volume.

Guru Arjan's compositions mixed a spiritual message with "Braj Bhasha structures and educated Sanskrit terminology," according to Christopher Shackle and Arvind Mandair's "Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures."

The Amritsar structure

Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan's father, founded the town of Ramdaspur, which was centred on the sizable artificial lake known as "Ramdas Sarovar." The infrastructure of the site grew over time as the Guru continued to construct and upgrade it. The devotees' gifts and selfless labour made the extension feasible.

The Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib was built close to the pool as a part of a temple complex that grew around the pool area. In the year 1604, Guru Arjan placed the Sikhism scripture inside the new temple. The location is now known as Amritsar and is the most important place of worship for Sikhs. Other more tasks that he completed are also acknowledged. They include the creation of the towns of Tarn Taran, Kartarpur, and Hargobindpur, as well as the water reservoirs Santokhsar (lake of peace) and Gongsar (lake of Gongaga). He also finished the Harmandir, popularly known as the Darbar Sahib, at Amritsar.

Revered philosopher

The Guru was a renowned saint, philosopher, poet, and the first martyr of Sikhism, according to Dr. Mohit Dixit and Amandeep Kaur in their article titled "Educational Philosophy of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji and its Relevance in the 21st Century." He continued the great Indian philosophical heritage, to which he belonged. Selflessness, in his opinion, is the cornerstone of all kindness. He claimed that selflessness is a natural law. To see the child, the mother must forgo her beauty.

They point out that the lyrics of Guru Arjan Dev Ji are profoundly philosophical, mystical, and full of calm and profundity emanating from the heart of one who has attained Brahma and happiness.

Education Philosophy 

Guru Arjan Dev Ji has a unique way of thinking. His approach to schooling was founded on his ideal of living. He put up an educational theory that still holds true today just as it did back then. According to him, education should assist a person to realise who they are at their core and help them live free from social and worldly problems. True education entails receiving hands-on instruction in knowledge, reality, Naam, and the Shabad of God.

 

*Based on an article published in The Statesman on 15th June 2021

 

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