Guru Angad Dev Ji, the second Sikh Guru, holds a significant place in Sikh history. His life was defined by humility, selfless service, and a profound spiritual journey leaving a long - lasting impact on the Sikh community.
Early Life & Transformation
Guru Angad Dev Ji, originally named Lehna, was born on March 31, 1504, in a village called Matte Di Sarai, near Muktsar in present-day Punjab, India. He belonged to a devoted Hindu family and was a successful businessman. His life changed profoundly when he met Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, at the age of 27.
After meeting Guru Nanak Dev Ji, he was deeply moved by the Guru's teachings and divine presence. Lehna offered Guru Nanak Dev Ji a gift of fresh milk when the Guru arrived in his village. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, recognizing Lehna's sincere heart, blessed him and gave him a new name, “Angad” meaning "one's limb" or "part of oneself", indicating his spiritual connection with Guru Nanak.
He embraced Sikhism wholeheartedly and became one of Guru Nanak's most devoted disciples.
Upon Guru Nanak Dev Ji's passing in 1539, Guru Angad Dev Ji was chosen as his spiritual successor,the second Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Angad Dev Ji carried forward and expanded upon Guru Nanak Dev Ji's teachings, focusing on the importance of meditation, humility, and selfless service.
One of the most important contributions of Guru Angad Dev Ji was the Gurmukhi script, the native literature of the Punjabi language. Guru Angad Dev Ji realized the need for a script that could translate the hymns of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and later the Gurus , so he developed and popularized the Gurmukhi script. This manuscript later became the medium for writing the Guru Granth Sahib, the central scripture of Sikhism.
Guru Angad Dev Ji also composed many hymns and initiated Prakash Utsav, a public reading of Sikh scriptures, to make Sikh teachings accessible to all.
Promotion of Education & Langar
Guru Angad Dev Ji laid great emphasis on education. He established many schools (known as "pathshalas") where children could receive both spiritual and secular education. This commitment to education is central to the Sikh tradition today.
Under the leadership of Guru Angad Dev Ji, the langar system became an integral part of Sikh gurdwaras. Langar is a hallmark of Sikhism where free meals are served to all regardless of caste, creed or social status. Guru Angad Dev Ji saw langar as a means of promoting equality, unity and selfless service.
Guru Angad Dev Ji's contribution to Sikhism continues to shape its identity and practice.
The standardization of the Gurmukhi script enabled the creation of the Guru Granth Sahib.
His dedication to education and langar reflects the Sikh values of equality and selfless service.
Finally, the life and teachings of Guru Angad Dev Ji is a shining example of humility, devotion and selfless service. His legacy continues to be a guiding light for Sikhs and individuals around the world.
Guru Angad Dev Ji, another Guru of Sikhism, continues to inspire generations with his timeless wisdom and devotion to the divine.