Guru Amar Das Ji, the third Guru of Sikhism, occupies a sacred place in the records of Sikh history.
His life, spanning nearly a century from 1479 to 1574, was a remarkable journey that reshaped Sikhism and established the foundation for its unique character.
Early Life & Spiritual Awakening
Guru Amar Das Ji was born in the village of Basarke, located in the Amritsar district of present-day Punjab, India. Raised in a devoted Hindu family, young Amar Das Ji learnt the teachings of Lord Rama and was steeped in the religious traditions of his time. However, fate had deep plans for him.
At the age of 61, Amar Das Ji began a pilgrimage to the Sikh religious center of Khadur Sahib. There he met the life-changing Guru Angad Dev Ji, the second Sikh Guru . This divine encounter marked the beginning of his spiritual transformation .
Dedication to Service & Seva
One of the defining aspects of Guru Amar Das Ji's life was his firm commitment to selfless service known as Seva.
His devotion was evident in his daily tasks that included bringing water from the river Beas for Guru Angad Dev Ji's langar (community kitchen).
His humility, devotion and devotion won him the trust and respect of the guru.
Elevated as the Third Guru
In 1552, Guru Angad Dev Ji recognizing his spiritual prowess and devotion, chose Guru Amar Das Ji as his successor and he became the third Guru of Sikhs.
His leadership marked a turning point in Sikh history.
Equality & Social Reforms
One of the most important contributions of Guru Amar Das Ji was his tireless efforts to abolish social hierarchies and promote equality.
He abolished the practice of sati (widow burning) and encouraged women's education and empowerment.
He emphasized that all people, regardless of caste or gender, have equal opportunities for spiritual growth and salvation.
Under the leadership of Guru Amar Das Ji, Sikhism went through revolutionary changes. He established a well-organized system of government by establishing 22 manjis (dioceses) , each headed by a minority of well-known devoted Sikh preachers.
This administrative decentralization facilitated the spread of Sikhism and helped it gain a stronger foothold in the region. His wise and compassionate administration ensured the spiritual and social prosperity of the Sikh community.
Langar & Community Service
Under the guidance of Guru Amar Das Ji, the institution of langar (community kitchen) flourished.He strengthened the communal dinner, where people from all walks of life, regardless of social status, sat together as equals to enjoy a meal together .
This practice symbolizes the Sikh ideals of humility, equality and selfless service.
Compilation of Bani
Guru Amar Das Ji made important contributions to the Sikh scriptures. He composed many hymns and shabads (spiritual songs) which were later compiled into the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism.
His writings focused on the importance of devotion, ethical conduct and spiritual liberation, providing deep spiritual guidance to Sikhs and seekers.
Birth of Amritsar
Guru Amar Das Ji played a central role in the development of Amritsar, a city of deep significance for Sikhs.
He acquired land and started digging a sacred pool which was later known as Amrit Sarovar.
This body of water later became the centerpiece around which the iconic Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) was built.
This effort made Amritsar a spiritual and cultural center.
Legacy & Impact
Guru Amar Das Ji's legacy remains a guiding light for Sikhs and spiritual seekers worldwide. His teachings of equality, devotion and selfless service continue to shape Sikh philosophy and inspire generations.
The structured religious hierarchy that he created laid the foundation for the growth and organization of the Sikh Panth.