Guru Arjan Dev - New Sikh Guru

Guru Arjan Dev – New Sikh Guru

Many affluent and influential people entered Sikhism. They placed their wealth at the Guru’s feet and with its help the Sikh movement, under Guru Arjan Dev, became widespread and popular. The Guru utilized the generously donated wealth for the welfare and uplift of his people. At Amritsar he busied himself with completing the holy tanks of Santokhsar and Amritsar. Though Guru Arjan was a man of letters and a poet of eminence, he was highly organized and practical. Since he undertook various massive construction works, he set up brick kilns to bake bricks. With a view to making Amritsar a self-sufficient town, he invited skilled workers of all crafts to settle there. Traders from Kashmir and Kabul were encouraged so that Amritsar became an important commercial centre in Punjab. He also finished all the work that was left incomplete by his father, Guru Ram Das.

SantokhsarWhen the Guru was working at the Santokhsar tank an amazing incident took place. When the excavations were being done there, the digger happened to come upon a tiny hut in which they saw a yogi squatting in deep meditation. He was immediately taken out of there and given a massage. When he regained consciousness and saw Guru Arjan Dev, he was ecstatic. Finally at his feet, he revealed that ages ago he had been blessed by his Guru who had said that he would meet Guru Arjan Dev in kaliyug and attain deliverance at his hands. Ever since then, he had been in meditation waiting for the day when he would behold Guru Arjan Dev.

In 1858, Santokhsar was completed. After this, Guru Arjan Dev devoted his attention to the completion of Amritsar – the tank of nectar. He got the foundation stone of Hari Mandir (the Golden Temple) laid by the famous and revered Muslim, Saint Mian Mir. Guru Arjan Dev ordained that this temple was to be open to everyone, irrespective of caste, creed, sex and religion, and that people could go in and worship as they pleased. When his followers entreated that the temple be the largest building in town, Guru Arjan Dev told them that their temple was to be the symbol of the virtue and of humility, and so it would be constructed on as low an elevation as possible. With the resources and single-minded dedication of the Sikhs, the construction of the holy tank and temple made rapid progress. With its completion Guru Arjan Dev gave the credit for it to Guru Ram Das and said that whoever took a dip in this holy tank of Ram Das would be cleansed of all sins.

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