The Life and Times of Guru Arjan
In this episode, we will talk about the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev and his role in crystallizing the concepts of the Sikh faith. By the time Guru Arjan was appointed as the fifth Sikh Guru, the Sikhs were already a community of people who had a culture that was distinct from all others – Sikhs were a community that regarded all humanity as equal, gave women an equal status as men and rejected the vicious caste structures that plagued the Indian society. In 1588 Guru Arjan first constructed the Darbar Sahib or the Harmandir Sahib and established Amritsar as the nerve center of the Sikh faith. By 1604, he had compiled the Adi Granth, the first version of the Guru Granth Sahib, which was put into its final form by Guru Gobind Singh. In 1606, the Indian subcontinent was under the control of the Mughal ruler Jehangir, and Guru Arjan became the first Sikh Guru to sacrifice his life to uphold the fundamental rights to equality, justice, freedom and religion.