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The Sikh religion was founded by Bâbâ Nânak, who was the first of a series of ten Gurus or Spiritual

teachers, viz.

1. Bâbâ Nânak, A.D.


2. Guru Angad,








3. Guru Amardâs,
4. Guru Râmdâs,
5. Guru Arjan,
6. Guru Hargobind,
7. Guru Har Râi,

8. Guru Har Kishn,

9. Guru Tegh Bahâdur, 1664-1675.

10. Guru Gobind Singh, 1675-1708:*



When Nanak had passed his twelfth year, and did not give up his habits of sitting alone, and of eating abstemiously, his parents felt very anxious about him. One day his father approached and tried to persuade him to give up his habits.

"My son," he said, "people say you have gone mad, and some say you are an idle slovenly fellow. I can bear the taunts of these people no longer. I wish you would go and look after my fields; you will enjoy your walks and dispel the idea of the

From Guide to the Golden Temple by Sirdar Sundar Singh Ramgarhia.


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people about your idleness; I think it is now time for you to do something; why not take to farming? Father," said Nânak, "I am not idle, I am busy with my work; my field is this body, and with my self-controlled mind I plough it; I water it with modesty, and I have sown it with the seed of the sacred word; I hope to bring home such a harvest as will remain with me for ever; this worldly wealth does not go with anybody, but the store I am trying to accumulate can never be snatched away from me."

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"I see you don't like farming," said his father bluntly; "then why not keep a shop in the village?” Father," said Nânak, smiling, "I do keep a shop; my shop is made up of time and space, and is stored with the merchandise of truth and self-control; I am always dealing with my customers, and their custom is very profitable indeed."

"Ah!" said his father: "I am afraid you don't like sitting all day in the shop. Why not then become a dealer in houses: I think I have hit it; you will be able to go to far off countries, visit great cities and great men; as you are such a good talker, I am sure you will succeed."

"Truth is my house, and the seven Shâstras are my guides," said Nânak; "and with a purse full of good deeds I am sure to reach the country of the Beloved."

"If you cannot do anything," said his father in despair, "why not take up some situation here under the Subâ ?"

"I am already a servant," was Nânak's reply; "I have given myself wholly to Him; I am trying to do my duty in His service, and pleasing Him is the only reward I covet."

"If you cannot do anything else," said his father, 66 will you be a little more cheerful? I cannot tell you how sad I feel when I always find you brooding over something like this."

"Father," said Nânak; "I simply said what I thought about these worldly affairs; as for myself, I am ready to obey you, for it is my duty to obey you.'

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The Sikhs have two sacred books, viz., (1) the Granth (lit. Book)-also known as the Adi-Granth or Ad-Granth (i. e. Original Book)—which was compiled by the 5th Guru, Arjan, and which contains the spirit of the teaching of Guru Nanak, and (2) the Daswin Padshah ka Granth (or Book of the 10th Guru), which was composed by Guru Gobind Singh. The former Book is by far the more widely read and worshipped. †


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There is said to be a Hindu tradition mentioned in the Bhavishyat Purâna to the effect that in old times there was somewhere between the Râvi and Biâs rivers a sacred pool known as the Amrit kund,' i. e. the 'pool of nectar' or 'of immortality,' which was a subject of contention between the gods and the demons. This pool is identified by Hindus and Sikhs with the Amritsar' or 'tank of immortality', which now constitutes the centre of Sikh worship; but the present importance of the tank is believed to date from the time of the first Sikh Guru,

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• From The Central Hindu College Magazine; from a communication by Jogendra Singh.

From Guide to the Golden Temple by Sirdar Sundar Singh Ramgarhia.

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