Over the weekend we celebrated the Parkash Divas of Guru Angad Dev Ji, our second Guru Ji. Happy Parkash Divas! Guru Ji was born into a Hindu family to parents Bhai Pheru Mall Ji and Mata Sabhrai Ji with the name Bhai Lehna. He was a devout worshipper of Goddess Durga until he came across Bhai Jodha Ji singing the 21st Pauri from Asa Di Var. After hearing this, he decided he must meet Guru Nanak Dev Ji and went to go meet him in Kartarpur. From them he became a follower of Guru Nanak. After many tests and years of service, Bhai Lehna Ji was renamed Guru Angad Dev Ji and the Guruship was passed on to him. For example, when a cup fell in the dirt, Sri Chand, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s son would not go to pick it up, but Bhai Lehna Ji gladly went into the mud to pick it up.
Guru Angad Dev Ji was married to Mata Khivi Ji at age 16 and lived the life of a householder. They had four children: Dasu, Datu, Amro, Anokhi. Both of them did an incredible amount of hard work and sewa in their lifetime. Guru Ji created the Gurmukhi script. This is particular important because at that time, most religious writings were in Sanskrit and only the elite could read it. Punjabi was simple enough that there was no division among people- it was easy for anyone to learn to read and write. It was also clear enough that there wasn’t misinterpretation. Guru Ji believed in education and created many schools. He also taught about equality and carried on the tradition of langar. He established many religious institutions. I actually learned for the first time that Guru Ji was an advocate of physical wellness as well and used to teach youth to exercise and play sports after their prayers in the morning, because he believed that being fit was a foundation for being able to have higher goals for your mind. I think nowadays perhaps we under-value how important it is to keep physically fit! Guru Ji contributed 63 shabads and saloks now in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Book Illustrated Life Stories of Guru Sahibs’ by Dr. Ajit Singh Aulakh (really awesome English resource!)
Picture from http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/gurus/nanak2.html