10 Gurus of Sikh: Their Names, Teachings, History

In this article, we will briefly discuss about all the ten Gurus of Sikhism, focusing on their names, teachings, and history. Beginning with Guru Nanak and the founding of Sikhism, we'll discuss their succession, ending with the tenth leader, Guru Gobind Singh. All ten Sikh gurus were born in Hinduism.

What Are the Sikh Gurus?

Founded in the Punjabi region of India over 500 years ago, one would think the Sikh religion would have more than ten Gurus, who are holy leaders and teachers. Sikhism developed in an area where contact between Muslims and Hindus occurred frequently with periods of cooperation and conflict. Sikhism, while sharing some traits with each, is a completely separate religion that follows a single god but believes that all religions follow this god in their own way. Let's look at how each Guru helped shape Sikhism.

Who Were the Sikh Gurus?

Let's cover the Sikh Gurus:

1. Guru Nanak Dev (गुरु नानक देव)

* Founded Sikhism * Spiritual revelations registered as 974 hymns in Guru Granth Sahib * Rejected the authority of the Vedas * Preached the new idea of God as (Supreme, Universal, All-powerful and truthful, Formless, Fearless, Without Hate, Self-existent, Ever-lasting creator of all things, The eternal and absolute truth) * Attacked the citadel of the Hindu caste system, promoting equality of all * Emphasized the equality of women *Rejected the path of renunciation; emphasized leading a householders life * Condemned the theocracy of Mughal emperor Babar * Started the institution of Guru ka Langar * Undertook 4 major journeys, travelling far and wide (including visits to Haridwar, Varanasi, Tibet, Srinagar, Lahore, Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, Syria, Turkey, Kabul, Kandhar, etc.) * Died of natural causes

2. Guru Angad Dev (गुरू अंगद देव)

* Spiritual revelations registered as 63 Saloks (stanzas) in Guru Granth Sahib * Established new religious institutions to strengthen the base of Sikhism * Standardized and popularized the Gurumukhi Script* Opened many new schools * Started the tradition of Mall Akhara for physical as well as spiritual development * Popularized and expanded the institution of Guru ka Langar * Died of natural causes

3. Guru Amar Das (गुरु अमर दास)

* 869 verses including Anand Sahib in the Guru Granth Sahib * Established Manji & Piri system of religious missions for men and women respectively * Strengthened the Langar community kitchen system * Preached against the Hindu society Sati system (burning alive of a wife at the pyre of her deceased husband), advocated widow-remarriage; Asked the women to discard ""Purdah"" (veil worn by Muslim women). * Asked Akbar to remove the toll-tax (pilgrims tax) for non-Muslims while crossing Yamuna and Ganges Rivers * Died of natural causes

4. Guru Ram Das (गुरु राम दास)

* 638 hymns in 30 ragas in the Guru Granth Sahib, which include 246 Padei, 138 Saloks, 31 Ashtpadis and 8 Vars * Composed the four Lawans (stanzas) of the Anand Karaj a distinct marriage code for Sikhs separate from the orthodox and traditional Hindu Vedi system* Laid the foundation stone of Chak Ramdas or Ramdas Pur, now called Amritsar * Strongly decried superstitions, caste system and pilgrimages *Died of natural causes

5. Guru Arjan Dev (गुरु अर्जन देव)

* Compiled the Guru Granth Sahib, and installed it at Sri Harmandir Sahib on Bhadon Sudi 1st Samvat 1661 (August/September 1604), A landmark event in Sikh history* Contributed about 2000 verses to the Guru Granth Sahib * Founded the town of Tarn Taran Sahib near Goindwal Sahib * Built a house for Lepers. * Was tortured and executed on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir * Hailed as the first martyr of Sikh religion, and as Shaheedan-de-Sartaj (The crown of martyrs)

6. Guru Har Gobind (गुरु हरगोबिंद)

* Instituted the practice of maintaining armed legion of Sikh warrior-saints * Waged wars against rulers Jahangir and Shah Jahan * Died of natural causes

7. Guru Har Rai (गुरु हर राय)

* Sheltered Dara Shikoh; persecuted by Aurangzeb who framed charges of anti-Islamic blasphemy against Guru Ji and Sikh verses of Guru Granth Sahib * Died of natural causes

8. Guru Har Krishan (गुरु हर किशन)

* Forcibly summoned to Delhi (the imperial capital of Aurangzeb) under framed charges * Died of the age of 8 due to smallpox, which he contracted while healing the sick people during an epidemic.

9. Guru Tegh Bahadur (गुरू तेग़ बहादुर)

* Opposed the forced conversions of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits by Muslims * Was consequently persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and executed under the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Contributed many hymns (Shlokas) to Guru Granth Sahib * Spread Sikhism far and wide to Bihar and Assam *

10. Guru Gobind Singh (गुरु गोबिन्द सिंह)

* Founded Khalsa in 1699 * Last Sikh Guru in human form * Passed the Guruship of the Sikhs to the Guru Granth Sahib * Died of complications from stab wounds inflicted by Pashtun assassins sent by Mughal governor Wazir Khan