Meet the 10 Gurus of Sikhism: 1-2

The philosophy and traditions associated with the Sikh religion are based upon the teachings and writings of ten Gurus. The first Guru and founder of the religion was Nanak, who was born in 1469. It is believed that his divinity and religious authority passes through each of the Gurus. In this article, you are briefly introduced to the spiritual leaders that have shaped Sikhism.

Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak married Mata Sulakhni when he was around 19 years old. They produced two sons named Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand. His first son Sri became the founder of a renunciate/ascetic sect called the Udasis. Sri Chand built up a reputation as a revered ascetic, where Gurus would later pay visits to him. Until the British period, the Udasis were the guardians of the historical sites associated with the Sikhs.

The teachings of Guru Nanak are written in the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib, which is an extensive collection of revelatory verses recorded in Gurmukhi , the most common script used for writing the Punjabi language. People typically practice Guru Nanak’s teachings in three ways. Naam Japna involves chanting the Holy Name. This is a way to remember God at all times and recognize an endless devotion to God. Kirat Karo is the practice of making a living in a honest away that is without exploiting others or committing fraud. Va Chakko means to help people who are less fortunate and to share with others.

Guru Nanak lived until September 22, 1539.

Guru Angad

Guru Angad was the second of the ten Gurus. Born in 1504, he was a native of the Muktsar district in Punjab and the son of a small successful trader. Instead of choosing one of his sons as a successor to the Guruship, Guru Nanak Ji preferred one of his disciples instead. At the time, he was known as Bhai Lehna, but was given the name Angad when he was designated as the next Guru in 1538. Angad continued with the work that the first Sikh had started.

Bhai Lehna is known for his loyal service to Guru Nanak, especially is the story of the dirty jug. One day, a jug fell into the mud and none of Nanak’s sons would pick it up. Sri Chand (who was the older of the two) believed that the filth would pollute him if he picked up the jug. The younger son, Lakshmi, thought the task was beneath the son of a Guru. However, Lehna picked up the jug out of the mud and washed it clean. When he presented it to Guru Nanak, it was full of water.

In 1520, Angad took Mata Khivi as his wife and from their union, they had four children: two sons named Dasu and Datu, and two daughters named Amro and Anokhi.

Guru Angad lived until March 28, 1552.